9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. – 1 Coringthians 6:9-10 (NIV)
While sitting in my car, in the parking lot of a Walmart last night, waiting for my wife to come back from grocery shopping, I started thinking about America and God’s Providence.
Is the decayed position our society finds itself in the result of God’s taking his hand of protection off of the nation he built?
I don’t think so. As the popular movie, “God’s Not Dead”, pointed out so well, God is still moving in America.
And, Americans still know, in their hearts, the difference between right and wrong. Please refer to Tuesday’s Midterm Elections, for an example.
Earler this week, a Cincinnati Appeals Court upheld the ban on Gay Marriage, which had been overwhelmingly voted for by Americans in four states.
As I have written time and again, American is still an overwhelmingly Christian-Majority Natiion, as 76% of our countrymen and women, proclaim Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, per Gallup.
That being said, is homosexual marriage a “Civil Right, or the use of a word, defined as the union of one man and one woman to glorify and normalize a sexual sin?
Shane Idelman, the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, just North of Los Angeles, just released his 7th book, “Desperate for More of God”. Shane’s sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be found at http://www.wcfav.org. He recently wrote the following thought-provoking opinion piece, “Gay Marriage: What Does the Bible Really Say?” for The Christian Post.
I have nothing but compassion for those trapped in sexual sin. My hope is that readers will read the entire article before drawing conclusions. Those who strongly believe in the Bible and God’s will regarding sexual behavior also strongly believe in unconditional love and forgiveness. To say that authentic Christians hate or fear those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the Christian faith.
To “confront in love” simply comes from a desire to honor God and to truly love and care for others. The ability to relate to people on their level, show genuine concern, and love them regardless of their lifestyle is the mark of true Christianity.
In case you don’t continue reading, let me offer some encouragement: If you’re hopeless, depressed, and confused, look to the One who created you. He has the answers. No matter what you have done, you have the ability to turn to Christ and start anew. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
It’s no surprise that the Church, and our nation, desperately need to hear “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” to awaken, convict, and restore. It was not so long ago that we were concerned about “the fall of America.” America cannot fall because she has already fallen. We are now picking up the pieces of a broken nation reflected in our laws, lives, families, and children. America’s moral heartbeat has ceased because we cut off the source of life. We need resuscitation, renewal, and revival of the truth.
Unfortunately, those who are sounding the alarm are often categorized as irrational, judgmental, bigoted, and intolerant. But how can we warn if we won’t confront, correct if we won’t challenge, and contend if we won’t question? We must speak the truth in love…the Bible is crystal clear on sexual sin, including homosexuality.
Why is there a lack of conviction today? The reason may not be only in the pew, but in the pulpit as well. Pastors focused only on feel-good messages, pleasing the masses, and not being controversial, are in a dangerous spot. God’s Word does not call us to make the truth popular, but to make the truth clear.
The majority of the churches in America are seeking to please the masses rather than convict. Judgment is never mentioned, repentance is rarely sought, and sin is often excused. We want to build a church rather than break a heart; be politically correct rather than biblically correct; coddle and comfort rather than stir and convict. This leaves people confused and deceived because we teach and live a form of Christianity void of repentance…void of truth.
Many reject the Bible as absolute truth because absolute truth, by definition, is exclusive. But they fail to realize that relativism is also exclusive—it excludes those who hold to absolutes. People will accept numerical truth such as 2 + 2 = 4, but they don’t like “moral” truth.
They want the freedom to do what they want, when they want, how they want, to whom they want, which, according to Scripture, leads to their our own destruction. God’s Word says to confront, confess, and turn from our sins, whereas relativism encourages us to ignore, overlook, and continue in them. Relativism says, “If it ‘feels’ good, do it.” If you doubt this, simply read all the negative comments that will occur after this article is posted. When darkness is exposed, it lashes out (cf. Romans 1).
Consider the following in light of God’s truth:
1. The “moral” laws in the Old Testament such as killing, stealing, lying, adultery, sexual immorality, and so on are all valid today. Jesus referred often to the Old Testament, and said that He didn’t come to abolish it, but to fulfill it. Although many of the ceremonial and dietary laws of the Old Testament do not apply today, the moral laws do. They are as significant today as they have been throughout history. For example, Leviticus 20:13 states, “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination….” To suggest that this verse is invalid today is to advocate the dangerous practice of redefining or deleting what God has said. Jesus referred to the Old Testament often in regard to moral behavior.
The consequences of wrong actions may have changed, but the moral implications remain the same. For instance, even though we no longer stone to death those who commit adultery, this does not mean that adultery is acceptable or any less dangerous. Adultery is wrong even though there aren’t legal consequences.
2. Jesus condemned “all” sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and woman when He said, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications…these defile a man” (Matthew 15:19). Jesus was implying that all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is harmful and immoral. The word “fornication” in the Greek is porneia; where the word “pornography” comes from. We cannot say, “But I was born this way,” because we were all born to lie, cheat, lust, and deceive, but this doesn’t make it right…it makes us sinful and in need of a Savior.
3. An argument cannot be based solely on silence. To suggest that Jesus approved of homosexuality simply because He did not use the term “homosexual,” is to imply that He approved of necrophilia, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality. But, of course, we know better.
4. Other passage in the New Testament are clear on this issue as well. Romans 1:18-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-20 are good places to start. In short, mankind did not see fit to acknowledge God and they suppressed the truth; therefore, God gave them over to a depraved mind-to do those things which are not proper. Homosexual behavior, and sexual sin in general, is comparable with dishonoring the body and turning from God. “The sexual disordering of the human race is a judgment of God for exchanging Him for the creature, said theologian John Piper.
5. Jesus said that since the beginning of creation, God created them male and female in order that they would be joined together and become one flesh. He adds, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9). Marriage between a man and a woman is God’s plan since creation. No matter how many laws are passed in favor of gay-marriage, it will not change God’s mind. Man often rebels against God; this is nothing new.
In closing, Jesus would often speak out against sin, but His love and mercy also reached out to those who regretted and hated their condition. Forgiveness is a mark of genuine faith. We should have compassion for those who struggle with same-sex attraction because we all struggle with sin, but at the same time, we should not condone or excuse this type of sin any more than we condone or excuse any other sin.
I believe the position that America finds itself in, is a result of a lack of moral guidance from generations before. The Bible tells us to lead children in the ways in which they should go. As humans, we are fallen creatures, who often do not do the right thing. Being good parents is one of those things which God requires of us.
Now, I’m not saying that homosexuality is the result of failed parenting. As most of you are aware, homosexuality can have several causes. In college, when I took the class, “The Sociology of Deviant Behavior”, back around the late seventies, the professors at that time theorized that homosexuality was caused by any number of social and psychological causes. Whether it be a dominant mother, an effeminate father, or some sort of deep shock to the system when the individual is young, they theorized that homosexuality could come from a myriad of experiences in each individual’s life.
The only thing that I can say for certain is that it is not a biological predisposition.
Why do I say that?
The reason for my comment, is the fact that scientists have tried to identify a gene or some genetic marker that causes homosexuality. And, as of today , in 2014, they have been stymied in their attempts to find a biological cause for homosexuality.
In recent years. Liberals have pushed homosexuality as normal sexual behavior. They have featured it on television shows, in movies, books, and encouraged mass demonstrations of it, in public, if you will, as Professional wrestler Dusty Rhodes used to say.
However, try as they may, a majority of Americans still view it as abnormal behavior. And, as demonstrated in the last few years by popular vote, the majority of Americans remain against Gay Marriage.
In confrontations with homosexuals,, concerning their behavior, our opposition to their sexual lifestyle, as Christians, is based on Christian concern and compassion for their very souls.
However, what gets in the way of Christians’ efforts to reach out to homosexuals, is the fact that God gave us all free will.
And yes, if you are homosexual and reading this, it is your right as an American and as a human being to exercise the free will which the Lord gave you, when he made you. However, do not expect him to approve of your sin, or expect me as a Christian American, to give you free license to engage in your sexual sin.
Because, you see, God gave me free will as well, and being American born, I have the Constitutional Right to speak my mind…in the street, behind a pulpit, or in the voting booth.
I don’t hate you. As an acquaintance or if you are with a family member, I love you. I will pray for you. I will work with you. I will invite you inside my home. I will be your friend.
However, I will, out of Christian love, tell you straight to your face that what you are engaging in is wrong.
As the author says in the article, confronting the sinner is not an act of hatred, it’s an act of Christian Concern.
If you are an American Liberal, one of the 23 percent of our population who believe that political ideology, do not attempt to tell me that my ideas about traditional marriage and about what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior, are wrong.
Someone possessing a higher pay grade than you, is Whom I listen to.
And, He left me a guide to make sure that I get it right.
Until He Comes,