Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. – Genesis 3:7
Many people support Pride Month because they believe they are supporting equal rights for minorities. This emphasis on social justice includes sexual minorities, which refers to those who do not see themselves as exclusively male or female. As a result, legal protections for all sexual orientations and identities are associated with the civil rights movement against racial prejudice. They believe this is true justice.
The Bible calls us to “do justice and love kindness” (Mic. 6:8) and praises the faith of those who “enforced justice” (Heb. 11:33). So how do we as Christians separate out biblical justice from the injustice others demand be addressed?
God has always been just (Psa. 9:7), but before sin entered the world, he had no cause to show it. When the first man and woman disobeyed God’s command, they placed themselves under his justice.
When sin entered the world in Genesis 3, we woke up to our need for justice.
Adam and his wife knew that their relationship with God had changed because they felt shame. Before they sinned, as those created in God’s image, they were “naked and unashamed” (Gen. 2:25). After they sinned, they covered themselves with leaves and hid among the trees (Gen. 3:7-8).
As a result of the first man and woman’s sin, we all live with that painful awareness of shame. That awareness makes us long for justice.
Shame can be defined as “the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another.” We should feel shame when we do something we know is wrong.
But our sinful hearts make this a complicated problem. We quickly learn how to manage our shame by observing what is acceptable and what is shameful to the people around us.
As a result, avoiding shame is a powerful incentive to do what others expect, even if that is unjust. But we also have a powerful incentive to change the rules when they remind us of our shame.
It requires spiritual discernment to know if our shame is the result of denying God’s image our our disobedience of his law. This spiritual discernment of shame helps us determine where we must fight injustice and work for true justice.
Denying that others are created in the image of God is unjust and against what the Bible teaches (Gen. 1:26-27). We should oppose laws and social norms that deny the humanity of others, including those who identify as LGBTQ+.
But opposing laws and social norms that remind us of God’s law is not justice. Instead, it is an injustice of the worst kind. If we deny what it means to be created in the image of God, we have cut ourselves off from God’s forgiveness and grace. As a result, we are left with no hope for a just solution for our sin and, therefore, no solution for our shame.
As a result of the sin of the first man and woman, we will feel shame. But God sent another Adam into the world to succeed where the first Adam failed. Only faith in Jesus’ death on the cross can remove our shame (Heb. 12:2).
Pride Month is part of an effort to change what is considered injustice, both legally and socially. We should be open to examining the basis of our laws and social norms, but not by redefining what it means to be human.
The foundation of true justice is that we are created in the image of God as male and female.
What aspects of Pride Month might fit with biblical justice?
How could you show support for those affected by them?
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