Last week the Supreme Court ruled on two extremely important cases regarding the legalization of same sex marriage in America. Both of these rulings have strengthened the stance of gay marriage advocates and seemingly paved the way for the wholesale acceptance of gay marriage nation wide.
As a result I feel the Church is at an urgent moment and therefore it’s extremely important to address the issues of homosexuality and gay marriage at this time. Some would question my motives for addressing these issues. No need to question, here’s the reasoning behind my rationale:
1. The church needs clarity on this issue – Many are being swept into deception because of the lack of clarity in the church. It is the responsibility of Christian leaders to speak into the discussion and offer clear biblical grounding. ( I am going to post a few more blogs this week that work through the scriptures, offering biblical perspectives on these issues.)
2. Because of the lack of clarity, the church lacks conviction – We must bring the conversation back to the stable ground of truth rooted in the Scripture. From there, amidst many voices and much pressure, the church can find herself confident in love, standing on truth, secure in her convictions.
3. I want to equip believers, especially 18-30 year olds - While the shifting definition of marriage is unprecedented in human history, for many young people the current state of the world is all they’ve ever known. I want to equip believers with a biblical worldview so that we can stand confidently with tenderness and courage, meekness and boldness, in the face of opposition.
4. We must answer the unprecedented activism - In our nation we are experiencing unprecedented pressure to embrace as normative what the bible identifies as sin. The church must answer this activism. The reason why I’m highlighting homosexuality over fornication or adultery is because of the activism.
Homosexuality has been practiced for many thousands of years; however, in no generation but this one has there ever been the push to redefine the institution of marriage as something other than between one man and one woman. Marriage and family are the bedrock institutions of any healthy society. Marriage is an institution that has been divinely created by God as a depiction of His very nature. The fact that this definition is somehow “up for grabs” in our time needs to be addressed.
Make no mistake about it, our right to differ is being challenged and vilified. The current status of this discussion is such that if a Christian expresses his disagreement with gay marriage, he is depicted as hateful. This demands a bold but tenderhearted response rooted in truth and love, declaring unflinchingly the biblical perspective on homosexuality and gay marriage. Having a different opinion has never been so assailed as it is on this issue. This is a moment for the church to humbly engage, stand up and declare the truth in love.
THE PROPER ATTITUDE FOR CHRISTIANS
In a spirit of brokenness and humility, I am calling believers to a proper heart posture toward those struggling with homosexuality and same sex attractions. Here are four steps.
1. Receive God’s heart for Homosexuals – In order to minister effectively to anyone, it’s important to understand their heart and mind. For this to happen we must pray and receive God’s heart for them. God needs to break our hearts for those struggling with homosexuality and fill us with His emotions and thoughts. Pray. Listen. And Pray some more. If you’re not broken over their state, it’s likely you will not address it with the heart and mind of God. Speak last, pray first and often, listening all the way.
2. Recognize many have been hurt by the church – If we imagine that Christians haven’t done any damage to homosexuals we are blind. We must take responsibility for the groups that have spewed hatred and genuinely apologize. It will likely take many conversations with those in the gay life to begin to rebuild trust because of the ignorance and reprehensible actions of many Christians.
3. Reach out with compassion – Christians must determine to understand the struggle those in the gay life face. From the desire to understand, we must reach out with compassion and love, offering friendship and care. I encourage Christians to constantly look for opportunities to form relationships with homosexuals in order to offer compassion and truth in love.
4. Resist gay activism with boldness – We must address gay activism boldly and confidently stand firm against it. There is a very aggressive gay activist agenda that is coming at us on many fronts: in education, athletics, social clubs(boy scouts), the medical field, and politics. To imagine you won’t have to address these issues is absolutely naïve.
REASONS WE MUST ADDRESS THESE ISSUES
As citizens of the Kingdom of God what is our responsibility?
Some would encourage silence saying, “Why can’t we just believe what we believe and allow others to do the same?” – meaning “Just leave it alone.” This is not only a fatal position for believers it’s actually in opposition to the clear teachings of Scripture.
1. Love compels us to speak the truth (Eph 4:15)- If you love someone you tell them the truth regardless of whether or not it’s popular. If someone is in danger, you act to help whether or not they believe in the danger. The fundamental key to speaking and acting is LOVE. Period.
2. We are called to be salt and light (Mat 5:13-16)- Salt preserves from decay. Light dispels darkness. It’s amazing that Jesus actually called the church the light of the world. The society may not like it, but it needs the church to uphold a standard of righteousness.
3. The church is called to disciple nations (Mat 28:18-20). Jesus commissioned His followers to preach the gospel in all the world calling everyone to follow His ways. Central to the issue of discipling nations is calling individuals to embrace Jesus’ standards and values.
4. The Church is the prophetic conscience of the nation. Martin Luther King said, “The church is not the master of the state, nor the servant of the state, but the conscience of the state.” If the church remains silent, the conscience of the nation is silent.
We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the issue of homosexual activism. We live in an urgent hour that requires boldness rooted in love. Its time that believers take responsibility for our compromise, repent of our lukewarmness, and with tenderness and boldness address this issue wherever and whenever God gives us the opportunity.
Finally, I want to extend an invitation to all who are struggling with sexual sin, including homosexuality, to experience the freedom available to you through the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to earth on a mission of love to take the penalty of sin upon Himself that all who give their life to Him may experience freedom from bondage, and liberty in love. I’m inviting you today to know the life-changing power of the love of Jesus Christ.