NOTE: This blog was originally published on June 26, 2015. In rereading it, I realized the truths the Lord led me to write at that time are even more vital for us to heed now as our culture has even more fully embraced the lies being perpetrated by those who are against God’s Word, His will, and His divine purpose for creating mankind in His image as ‘male and female’. From Drag Queen story hour at libraries throughout our nation to even elementary public schools’ curriculum promoting the LGBT lifestyle to churches with gay and lesbian clergy as well as ‘baptized parishioners’ to movies and popular TV shows promoting the LGBT lifestyle to the widespread promotion of PRIDE month every June, there is a preponderance of evidence that our nation has totally embraced the LGBT agenda. It is interesting to note that the LGBT movement coopted the rainbow— the well-known sign of God’s covenant promise to Noah after He destroyed those in Noah’s day whose pride led them to rebel against God, and that they have chosen the word PRIDE as their rallying cry, which is at the root of every sin and always ‘comes before destruction’ (Proverbs 16:18). It is also important to note that there is an increase in the assault against those who do not accept and endorse the LBGT lifestyle; they are labeled as bigots, intolerant, haters. Those who speak out against the movement make themselves ‘a prey’ (Isaiah 59:15) in the marketplace, and there are governmental entities at work to silence those who oppose the ‘politically correct’ LGBT agenda as well, as evidenced by California’s proposed bill AB 2943, which passed the CA Assembly in April and is expected to pass the state Senate before the end of summer. The UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech which was recently released could also impact the freedom of speech of those opposed to the LGBT lifestyle. We must recognize that the goal of Satan is always to silence the truth of God’s Word and His will…for it is the truth of the gospel that alone is able to set people free!
Since we are looking to celebrate another anniversary of our nation’s founding, and recently our Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage, I can’t help but reflect upon how drastically our nation has changed since my childhood. Freedoms—like the freedom of speech, religion, and the right to bear arms– that our God-fearing founding fathers sacrificed their livelihoods and even their lives to obtain, and that I and many have long taken for granted, are under attack and before long could be just a memory. We are definitely living in a day when that which is evil is being called ‘good’, and good is being called ‘evil’. (Isaiah 5:20) It is growing increasingly difficult to speak out against gay marriage in our nation without being accused of being intolerant, a bigot, a ‘hater’, or worse. As several florists, photographers, and bakers can already attest– and perhaps many more of us will find out– it can be very costly to take God at His Word and to refuse to condone ‘gay marriage’ —which in fact is an oxymoron since God created marriage and defined it as being between a man and a woman. (Genesis 2:24) Regrettably, the fear of real or imagined reprisal from family, friends, or even the government, is causing some professing Christians to remain silent on the subject of ‘gay marriage’ and the entire LGBT movement.
Others remain silent because they lack knowledge of what the bible has to say about the subject–whether because they are ‘unchurched’ or have not personally studied it or because their pastor avoids preaching on the topic; some are confused and not sure what they believe because what they hear in the mainstream media from certain religious leaders, politicians, Hollywood stars and other media personalities contradicts what they have been taught to believe and they do not feel confident that they know how to respond to this crucial issue which has temporal and eternal significance.
It is time that we as the Church—Jesus’ Bride– speak up and stand on and for the Word of God!
Rather than acquiescing to the accusation, “Who are you to judge someone else’s lifestyle?’ Christians need to make it clear that we are not judging anyone! We need to assert that we are not expressing our opinion. We are just agreeing with God, the Ultimate Judge, and what He has clearly stated in His Word regarding both the sanctity of marriage and the sin of same gender sexual relations. (I wholeheartedly agree with those who say we also must not remain silent on what God has to say about sexual relations between heterosexuals who are not married to one another!)
Rather than remaining silent when people assert that a person who claims to be gay was born that way and has no choice in the matter, we need to speak the truth in love that since the fall of Adam and Eve ALL of mankind has been born with a sin nature and we all of us will continue in our sin unless we receive a ‘new’ nature. We need to share in love that it is only when a person receives a ‘new nature’ by being ‘born again’ through faith in Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross that ANYONE—whether they are ‘gay’ or ‘straight’, male or female, rich or poor, black, white, yellow, or red, or anything else that might distinguish individuals from one another—can have the power to overcome the temptation to sin. Praise be to the Lord Who gave us both the power to resist the temptation to sin and the power to overcome the penalty of our sin, which is death, through the power of the Holy Spirit Who’s at work in all who put their faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross!
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1st Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)
We need to make it clear that homosexuality, being a lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, or any other choice regarding sexual behavior is not the ‘unforgivable sin’. The ‘unforgivable sin’ is refusing to receive the free gift of salvation that God offers through the death and resurrection of His beloved son Jesus.
So why should we focus on this particular sin? Why are we considering this sin rather than any number of other sins like fornication, adultery, lying, drunkenness, gluttony, or gossip? Because this sin– which not so long ago was considered ‘abnormal’ even by the American Psychiatric Association – is now being promoted as an acceptable ‘lifestyle’, even one that is to be embraced and celebrated. Those who label it ‘sin’ are increasingly under attack and considered to be an abomination, and pressured to adopt the culture’s view.
Why is it critical that we label sin for what it is rather than calling it our ‘choice’, our ‘lifestyle’, a ‘disease’, or something else?
First, we can call something anything we wish but our calling it something else does not make it so. Only God Who created and rules the world has the authority to call something sin, and He has already written in the bible what sin is. It is rebelling against Him and going against His Word. Both the New and Old Testament make it clear that same gender sexual relations is sin because it violates His commands and His will.
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22 (See also Leviticus 20:13)
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 (See also 1st Timothy 1:9-11; Romans 1:18-32; Jude 1:7)
Secondly, if we ‘misdiagnose’ something we won’t know to take the necessary action to remedy the situation. For example, if I have swallowed something poisonous, I need to know what it was I swallowed in order to take the appropriate antidote. Similarly, I must recognize that I have sinned so that I will go to Jesus, the Great Physician, Who alone has the power to save me from my sin. If we do not label sin for what God clearly states that it is in His Word, then rather than going to Jesus to receive the forgiveness that He promises to all who confess their sin, we will continue in our sin and ultimately receive the penalty that our sin deserves—death and eternity in hell. In other words, if we refuse to acknowledge that our sin is indeed ‘sin’, we will not realize our desperate need for a Savior Who alone can ‘cure’ us from our sin.
Can you imagine being around a person who you know has an incurable disease, and choosing not to tell that person that you know there is an antidote for it? Could you stand by and do nothing as they or even others celebrate the person’s condition because they are ignorant of its fatal nature? Would a loving person say or do nothing if it was in his or her power to share the antidote that was the only way the person’s life could be saved?
Then how can we as Christians be silent when we know that belief in Jesus’ atoning work on the cross is the ONLY way that sinners can be saved? Wouldn’t remaining silent when you have the ability—as well as God’s command (Matthew 28:19)— to share the necessary and only way of salvation be the ultimate act of ‘hatred’? And, wouldn’t remaining silent also be an indication of your lack of love for God, Who expressed His lavish love for all of mankind by sacrificing His beloved Son Jesus to be the ‘antidote’ for mankind’s sin?
Are there some people who oppose gay marriage who hate those who are homosexual and lesbians? Regrettably, I am sure that there are some. But there is also a large number of people who oppose gay marriage and the entire LGBT ‘movement’ who do so because they love God, and they know that if they love Him they will support and obey His commandments, commandments which He gave for the good of all mankind. (John 14:15, 23)
Secondly, because they love God, they share His love for those who are homosexual, lesbian, and bi-sexual. It grieves them to think that if those who have succumbed to such sexual sin do not repent of it that they will spend eternity in hell. Those who truly love God and share His heart of love for others who are caught in sin—ANY and EVERY to kind of sin– will feel compelled to speak up and share the redemptive power of the gospel with them. They will also pray for them to be set free from their sin, and not deride them. Have you extended the love of God by sharing the gospel with anyone you know who has been taken captive by the sin of same gender sexual relations, or anyone who has bought our culture’s lies regarding other forms of sexual sin?
The real ‘haters’ are those who hate God and want to do away with the commands He has provided in the bible for our good because He loves us and knows what is best for us. They hate those who represent God and His Word because they have been deceived by Satan and falsely believe that those who oppose ‘gay marriage’ and the LBGT agenda want to keep them from something good. The truth is that those who oppose ‘gay marriage’ for biblical reasons want to protect those who identify as LGBT from the sorrow and destruction they will experience if they continue in their sin.
After God created the world and made Adam, He said that it was not good that Adam be alone. So He designed the perfect helpmate for him, a woman. A woman whom God designed in every way—including physically–to complement, or complete man. Then God gave them the joint assignment ‘to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth’. That was an assignment that neither could do alone; they needed each other. Clearly, God did not choose to put two men or two women together as two of the same gender could not have fulfilled His command to reproduce. God knew that the very best helpmate for man was woman, and that man was the very best helpmate for woman. Not just for reproductive purposes, but in His infinite wisdom He created them in His image– both men and women– to reflect different aspects of the triune Godhead and to assume different– but equally vital– roles. His plan for marriage was for man and woman to be united as one flesh, and to reflect the mystery of Christ’s love for and oneness with the Church. (Ephesians 5:22-35)
As Our Creator Who made us for His pleasure and glory (Isaiah 43:7), God alone has the right to define what marriage is, which He did in the beginning when He created man and woman for oneness and fruitfulness. Throughout the bible God reaffirms the role of marriage and the importance of family, and throughout the bible God consistently addresses the issue of same gender sexual relations as sin. His design for marriage and family has not changed, nor has His Word regarding same gender sex. Unfortunately, mankind has not changed either. Like Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden who doubted that God’s Word was for their protection and for their good, we too in our pride think we know better than God and we too rebel against His perfect word and will.
Satan’s successful ploy in the Garden of Eden was to get Eve and Adam to doubt the legitimacy of God’s love for them when He restricted them from eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God was very clear in His instruction; there was no equivocation or room for doubt. Yet, Satan appealed to the desire of their eyes and the lust of their flesh. Rather than calling upon God to deliver them from their temptation, they gave into it. Unfortunately, all too often that has been the story of mankind ever since. Rather than believing that God loves us and that every command He gives us is for our good, we have doubted His love and falsely assumed that His commands are to keep us from something good rather than to protect us. Those who are caught up in the sin of same gender sexual relationships have bought the same lie that Adam and Eve did: the lie that God’s Word is not to be trusted and that they know what is better for them than God does.
God warned Adam and Eve that if they disobeyed His command that death would be the result. And it was. If people today rebel against His Word and do not repent and turn to Jesus, they will face the consequences of their sin too, which is death. (Romans 6:23) There will be consequences not only for those who themselves rebel against God, but also for the nation that turns its back on God’s commands (Psalm 9:17; Jeremiah 13:25; Ezekiel 14:13), which is also why we as Christians should be concerned about the direction of our nation and vocalize our opposition to laws that are made which are contrary to God’s commandments. We also must pray for those who have been taken captive by this sin to be open to hear God’s Word, and pray that we who know and love God will lovingly and boldly share with them how they too can be delivered from the power and penalty of sin and enjoy the peace that is only found in a life surrendered to God’s will.
In His love and mercy God made a way for Adam and Eve—and all of us who inherited their sin nature– to be fully reconciled to a Holy God. The question for each and every person regardless of their sexual ‘orientation’ or ‘preference’ is the same: Will you accept the free gift of deliverance from death that God has provided through trusting in Jesus’ death in your place on the cross, or will you choose an eternity in hell by rejecting the free gift He has provided? Will you live your life in rebellion against God’s commands, or in submission to them?
In this nation we have enjoyed the privilege of sharing our faith without fear of being fined, imprisoned, or facing physical suffering. We cannot be certain of how long we will continue to have that privilege; hostility toward Christian values in this country is growing more intense and increasing at an alarming rate, as is global persecution. I believe that you and I and all believers are at a crossroads where we are going to have to choose between the fear of man and the fear of the Lord. Are we going to stand on and for the Word of God, or are we going to bow down to ‘political correctness’? Do you love the applause of men—as the Pharisees did (John 12:43)—more than the praises of God? Are you more concerned about offending a Holy God, or of offending people who are ignorant of God’s Word or who purposely rebel against Him? Do you love yourself and your comforts more than you love the souls of those who will perish for all eternity if they do not turn to Jesus and repent?
God has put governmental authorities in place that we are to respect and obey. However, as we see from the example given in Acts 5:29 after Peter and John were told by the authorities that they were not to declare the gospel, Peter responded, “ We must obey God rather than men.” Is that your conviction too? Think how different history and even your life would be had the apostles remained silent because they were unwilling to face persecution for the sake of sharing the truth of God’s love and His commands in a hostile culture. The Holy Spirit in them compelled them to share the gospel regardless of the cost. Are you listening to and following the leading of the Holy Spirit, or are you responding to the world, your flesh, and the devil that conspire to keep you silent?
Jesus told us that if we followed Him that we would be persecuted; that we as His servants are not above our master who willingly suffered and laid down His life out of obedience to the command of His Heavenly Father. If we are persecuted for remaining faithful to God and to His Word, our response should be the same as Jesus’: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
Jesus also said, Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10) Have you considered that the greatest blessings of your life may be found in the days ahead in a culture that wishes to silence you, but desperately needs to hear the gospel message that you have been commanded to share?
If you love others– and especially if you love God– silence is not an option.
Written by Julie Van Gorp