An Open Letter to the World
Less than three weeks ago, I celebrated 55 years of being a part of you. For the most part, my experiences have been good—a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis at age 39 notwithstanding— and I am very grateful for whatever meager successes I have enjoyed, and especially so for all the people who have influenced my life thus far in my journey. This, of course, would include the influence of my parents and grandparents who raised me to value integrity, hard, honest work, and that my life is a gift of God and should be lived in such a way that He is honored above all else. While far from any level of perfection, I have always sought to sustain these principles as my daily modus operandi, and I seek the grace and interaction of God to make my life an example worthy of following by those with whom I am privileged to work.
The Bible, God’s written expression of himself, has always been the bedrock on which all I have been taught and sought to embody has rested. For while you, the World, are in constant flux, God never changes; He “is the same yesterday, today, and forever”, and is The One before whom all of us must, and will give an account. Above all opinions, His is the most important, and the one I most earnestly seek to understand and conform to.
In my lifetime, I have seen: Prayer in public schools banned; the lives of unborn children sacrificed on the altar of personal preference and convenience; and now, with SCOTUS’ latest ruling on June 26, 2015, the desecration of the God-ordained and oldest relational institution known to mankind—the marital union of man and wife.
All of these are in direct opposition to God’s expressions of his desire and will for “the world”, and I cannot stand by without making my voice publicly and unequivocally heard. Therefore, I personally and publicly declare and affirm that:
- Life cannot be independently segmented as secular and sacred; that civil Government and God cannot be exclusive of each other; and that the stability and success of the former is necessarily in need of the latter. This does not necessarily imply one faction holding all authoritative sway over the other, but does express the inherent and inseparable intertwining of the natures of the two entities.
- All human life is sacred, valuable, and God-created from conception to final breath and is to be protected and preserved with the highest dignity and provision possible.
- Marriage is ordained by God as a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman for both the personal enjoyment of relationship and the exclusivity of sacred intimacy, as well as the procreation/adoption and upbringing of children within a loving and committed family structure. All alternative variations of this relational format (One man/One Woman in a lifelong, exclusive marriage relationship) are unsupported by the declarations of Christian Scripture and are counter to both its historic teachings and the general rule of historical cultural practices of human behavior and custom.
- God alone is my final judge, and His precepts, declarations and written opinions supersede and overrule any individual or corporate human rendering. Therefore, I will submit my personal and public powers to the teachings of God as revealed in the Christian Scriptures, the Holy Bible.
- I will seek to treat with respect and graciousness all who may disagree with me, and, in love, seek to share the reasons for my concern for them and my dissent to their points of view, but will not alter my commitment to the clear, unambiguous precepts of moral understanding as expressed in Scripture and historically defended and maintained by orthodox Christian traditions.
- I will willingly, yet perhaps sadly, accept any forfeiture that may accompany this commitment and declaration. For indeed, “a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”, and, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matt 10:36-39/NIV84)
Finally, World, many of you will find me offensive, bigoted, homophobic and hateful for assuming this stance. I cannot control your opinions, but I will deny them as accurate or truthful. I am intimately aware of where many of you are, for some of you are my own blood and family; and while I strongly disagree with your version of “truth” and “rightness”, I will affirm as forcefully as I have my previous statements that I love you. I love you because God loves you. “This is how God has shown his love for the world: He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him, will not perish but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16/my translation)
God’s love for you was willing to sacrifice all to express itself to you, and I can do no less.
I believe that your actions are harmful to both you and those around you; and if you will be as a child stretching your hand toward an open flame, I will speak as loudly and firmly as I can to hinder your self-inflicted mutilation and harm. If that is hate, then that is your interpretation, not my intent. Indeed, my parents “hated” me often in this respect, and I love them for it. I pray that someday you will love me for such “hatred”.
I find encouragement in the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy, now so very poignant and timely. Paul, nearing the end of his own life, said to his protégé in 2 Timothy 3:10-17:
You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings–what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV84) (Emphasis mine)
May God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth and all that is within them, grant me the grace, courage, and fortitude to stand for the truth of His Word and the holiness of His Character; and may I do so with an attitude of gentleness and love through overt acts of compassion— reflecting the very Grace that he has shown me, a sinner above all others, without restraint, prejudice, or concern of loss for anything except His Honor, and Glory and the souls which He seeks to redeem. Amen!
Douglas Allen Jenkins