The idiom “beating a dead horse” brings a rather disturbing image to mind. After all, why would a person beat a dead horse? It makes no real sense at all. The expression did not come from a person that saw a dead horse on the side of the road and randomly start beating it. The first use was by a British politician who was convinced that the bill he was wanting passed was facing an upward battle. He stated that continued work on the bill was like flogging a dead horse to get it to pull a load. The apparent apathy of the British parliament was what he considered the dead horse. While the meaning may have slightly changed over the years, the idea conveyed is still to a hopeless cause. Today we say a person is beating a dead horse when they continue to bring up the same issue over and over again.
Over the last couple of weeks we have seen the homosexual agenda all over the radio, televisions, and other forms of mass media. We watched in disgust, frustration, and defeat as the Supreme Court of the land failed to support godly values and made it so same sex couples should be treated as married under the law. We watched as they failed to take a stand for the people of California who wanted gay marriage outlawed in their state. In the days that followed preachers and fellow Christians took to Facebook, twitter, bulletin articles, their websites, and sermons explaining how they feel about these rulings. Over and over again I saw I Cor. 6; I saw Old Testament passages quoted which condemned homosexuality; I saw Rom. 1 quoted all in hopes to “get the message out.” Sometimes I saw Christians write some pretty inflammatory comments on their Facebook pages all explaining how they felt about gays and lesbians. Do we really believe that the homosexual community is unaware that there are some out there that do not agree with that sinful lifestyle? Do we really believe that a random tweet will all of a sudden open someone’s eyes? Do we really believe that venting our frustrations onto social media accounts constitutes ”teaching the truth in love.” Or for that matter, gathering with other Christians only to talk about how ignorant, stupid, sinful, etc this country, state, person, community, etc is for accepting, condoning, and encouraging homosexuality. This is the very meaning of beating a dead horse.
It seems that over the last several years this is the one sin we keep coming back to. If we want to talk about how bad society is we talk about its open acceptance of homosexuality as if that is the only thing wrong with our country. Gone are the days we grow frustrated at babies born out of wedlock. I caught a commercial the other day about “Celebrity wife swap” where Joan Rivers made some derogatory comments about Bristol Palin. More often that not, conservatives come out and support her. And yet, what Rivers said was that when she was that age, any girl having a child born out of wedlock would not have received the loving support Bristol has. You know something, Rivers is right. We don’t get bent of out shape when we here of teen pregnancy. They are actual TV shows about teen pregnancy that are rather popular. We don’t show how lying, stealing, or alcoholism are destroying the fabric of American society. No, we spend our days explaining how the home is wrecked by homosexuality as if only the gays make husbands cheat on their wives. Or that it is the gays fault that children are disrespectful to authoritarian figures. Or that if there wasn’t a gay pride month divorce rates will drop, the church will double in size yearly, and a Ronald Reagan like president will be elected.
I am not saying that lessons on homosexuality are not important. I am not saying that we should turn a blind eye to the problems in society. What I am saying is that we need to be consistent. Homosexuality is not the only sin that our country is accepting. It is not the only sin that destroys the home. It is not the only activity that God disproves of in American culture. Stop beating the dead horse. Stop blaming homosexuality for all that is wrong in this country.
Finally, permit me to add this. We need to change how we address homosexuality and sin in general. Too often we act like the Pharisees who caught the woman in the act of adultery in John 8. We drag the sin through the city claiming see, see this is sin. Look at who wicked this sin is. This person needs judged. This person needs cast out. This person needs humiliated before all because they sinned. What we ought to be doing is taking the person aside and asking them what we can do to help. Behind closed doors make certain they realize what they are doing is sin. Help them to know that they do indeed have a choice to rise above the fleshly desires we get caught up in. It is time we acted more like Christ who rather condemning those in sin, he told them to go and sin no more.
Grinnell church of Christ
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Beating a Dead Horse
Volume 4 Issue 30