I took the phrase for this article from an interview with Dr. Rosario Butterfield. The context is homosexuality. For years, the gay community has been telling the world that they are born with same sex desire. People refuted that in the beginning. I think it is more or less accepted as factual now. I realize that I may lose some Christian friends at this point, but I hope you stick around.
I realize that what I am about to say might turn away my non-Christian friends, and even some of my Christian friends. I hope you will look past my next statement and keep reading too. The Bible is pretty clear that acts of same gender sex are sin (along with sexual lust, sexual exploitation, sex with multiple partners, sex outside of marriage, adultery, etc.)
It only seems right, now, that I offend everyone. I say that only somewhat tongue in cheek. But here goes – We are all sinners.
Before I lose everyone, think about it: do you not at times of brutal, personal honesty feel as though you are just not quite right? I suppose the brutal honesty comes in the form of thinking that those around you are just not quite right. (That is an easier conclusion to reach for most of us.) Something is just off.
Things are not the way any of us think they ought to be.
Most of us have come to accept that “this” is just the way it is. “This” is normal, and, indeed it is normal! What we know, what we all know, is the normal state of man – this not-quite-rightness.
Depending on how we view the world, we focus on certain aspects of not-quite-rightness. Some focus on homosexuality, the “attack” on the family and abortion. Others focus on threats against the right to bear arms, business and the erosion of capitalism. Others focus on the damage we do to the environment, cruelty to animals and economic disparities. Many focus on the cruelty of war, the barbarism of torture and over-aggression of police forces. Racism, greedy capitalism, domestic abuse, child abuse, adulterous affairs that ruin marriages, child neglect, the over-sexualization of women, oppression of women, human tracking, pornography, dams on our rivers, phosphates in our waters, dark clouds of pollution spewing into the air, dictators oppressing entire nations, drunk drivers, flaws in the legal system that leave people without justice – something is not quite right with the world.
We tend to feel of ourselves that we are better, or at least not as bad, as many, if not most, people. We have primarily good intentions. We do not generally wish people harm. We try not to hurt people, but sometimes we do. Sometimes, in spite of our best intentions, we are unkind, say things we should not say and do things we should not do.
If you stop and really think about it, there are all sorts of things we should do, but don’t. If all the people in the world did things we should be doing, we would eliminate poverty and war and all kinds of troubles. We tend to think that we are not part of the problems in the world, and we probably are not, directly. When we look at the “World”, we tend to compare pretty well. If we look only at ourselves very long, we see there are places that we fall short, even in spite of those feelings of good intentions.
Why is that?
We were born into this not-quite-rightness, and we are part of the not-quite-rightness. We are each not-quite-right ourselves.
Be honest now. Do you do all the things you know you should do? Do you never do things you know you should not do? Even if you do not subscribe to a “Christian” moral code, do you keep your own moral code? Does the world live up to it? If you have read this far, you must admit that the world is not quite right.
I am not quite right, and I have never been quite right. I have never succeeded at being the person I thought I was and thought I should be. I am just being honest.
I know I am not alone in that (though I might have once thought so). I figured out somewhere along the way that others are not quite right as well – whether they see it or admit it. (Think “plank in my eye” analogy here.)
We are “born this way.” I was born with a very strong will, a strong infatuation for girls, a strong competitive instinct and a strong desire for comfort. In my life I have had to face that I am selfish, lustful, jealous, unkind, quick to anger and just plain lazy. I am not being hard on myself; I am just being honest.
I was born that way.
But there is hope! The story of Dr. Rosario Butterfield brings me to tears, because it is my story; and I am grateful.
That same hope took hold of me many years ago, and I just want the world to know that there is glorious, beautiful, life-changing hope in the person of Jesus Christ who was God shedding his position of power and detachment to become one of us. He showed that He cares and that He understands in being willing to suffer and die for us. He showed that there is hope for us in rising again to conquer sin and death.
God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son…. that we might live.
You can find the living reality of that love and the hope He gives in the story and life of Dr. Rosario Butterfield:
- Her story told in Christianity Today
- You can listen to her tell her story at Wheaton College
- You can get her book and read her story in her own words