Dear Abby Strikes, Again

I have a lot of respect for Dear Abby. For the most part, the advice given by her is reasonable and I am sure over the many years this column has run that there are many people she has comforted, as well as set straight. I have the same respect for Ask Amy, and pretty much any advice columnist because, if for no other reason, they have such an impact on and responsibility to others.

But, then again, sometimes they are giving “politically correct” advice and not really honoring a godly position.

Here’s today’s take: an older couple has a daughter moving in with her boyfriend and having an open house. The couple writes that their faith is against this sort of relationship, they love their daughter but feel they can’t bring themselves to participate in an open house that represents a relationship they are against, religiously.

Abby pretty much told them they were wrong, that many couples are living together today and that they will lose more than they will gain by not attending.

I think since this couple raised these kids, the kids would already know how they feel about cohabitation (“living in sin”, as we used to say; that is, when people cared whether they were sinning or not) and might invite the parents as a courtesy, but not really expect them to attend.

We are to hate the sin and love the sinner, but that doesn’t mean we should condone the actions, and being “tolerant” is just standing by and watching sin without speaking up against it. The Bible is pretty clear about not allowing evil to be ignored. Check out Ezekiel 3:8, or Ephesians 5:11, Hebrews 13:4 (about marriage) and throughout the Tanakh. We are told if we see an enemy’s donkey overburdened we are to offer to help, and if someone loses their animal we are to care for it until it can be returned.

The Bible teaches us to try to help others and speak out against wrongdoing, whereas the World teaches that we should be happy if our enemy suffers and “finders, keepers; losers, weepers.”

I applaud this couple who say they love their kids and yet will not prostitute their beliefs just to make the kids happy. What lesson does that teach? It teaches that if the world says it’s OK then you should do it. That is bad advice, Abby- that is the “wisdom of the world” that will send people straight to hell. If everyone else takes the “mark” and is rewarded for it, as they will be, then should I also take it, even when I know what it means? Just because it will make my family happy? Because everyone else is doing it? Because it is accepted by society? Hasn’t your mother ever asked you, “If everyone else was jumping off the Empire State building, would you jump off, too?”

The trouble is that in today’s world (actually, it has always been this way) people jump off the building because they don’t know they are jumping off the building. The Prophets were told, because they know the true word of God, that they are required to tell those sinning to repent, otherwise the blood of the wicked will be on the head of the Prophet! That sounds like a lose-lose deal, doesn’t it? If I say something against what the world does I will be an outcast, and if I go along with them I will be guilty before God. Read Jeremiah to find out how difficult it is to be Godly-right and worldly-wrong.

Personally, I prefer being OK with God and the World can go to … , well, that’s where the world is already going, isn’t it?

The Bible says that we, those who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, are to be holy because He is holy. Being holy means being separated, and you can’t be separated from the world if you go along with the world. This couple is separated, and they are determined to stay that way, even at the potential cost of alienating their own daughter. That is the kind of faith that wins people over to God, and the kind of faith that God requires of us all. That is the kind of faith the Levites showed at the base of Mt. Horeb.

What is the strength of your faith? If it was your daughter or son having an open house for their unmarried relationship, or even a gay relationship, would you go?  I confess I am not sure what I would do. I have family members who have been in a gay relationship for many years and when Donna and I visit we stay at their house. They are very aware that I do not agree with their lifestyle, but I love them and want to be with them. I think the best way I can get someone to see God’s way is to demonstrate it in my lifestyle and I can still be true to my beliefs without having to alienate them. But that’s me.

These are tough questions, and require tough answers. And the answer has to be one you decide for yourself. The end is coming sooner than we realize; it is just around the corner and there is no more time to think about it.

There are only two sides to this game, and God has already won. So, nu? Who’s side do you want to be on?

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