Last week I attended a Martin Luther King Jr ceremony at a local Presbyterian church. The host pastor gave some opening remarks and stated how his church has done a lot to work in creating equality. He went on to say, “We are setting up programs for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender population to feel accepted in church and the community.” I’ve written extensively (see my books and other articles) on this subject. I firmly believe Christians can’t show hatred towards anyone. We sin just like they do. This doesn’t mean we make any sinner feel “accepted” so he or she can continue sinning. If we did, that would be akin to saying, “I want my murderous son (insert any loved one) to feel that his actions are okay and we accept his feelings.” We want people to feel loved and wanted in the church body. However, we must not embrace whatever sin he or she (or us) deliberately decide to continue in. Isaiah 5:20 tells us, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” We must reach out to everyone but we must not change our values to accommodate anything that isn’t in line with Scripture.
Recently, I met with someone who wanted some advice. Like you, I get excited when the opportunity avails itself to share God’s word. I asked a rather simple question that resulted in a shocking admission. I asked, “How long have you two been married?” The person stated their ring was just symbolism. “We don’t want to get married and mess anything up.” Obviously, our conversation changed. I asked some simple questions to see what their understanding on how God feels about the situation. Remarkably, the person knew God’s stance but felt that it was okay for them to violate God’s word. Just like the previous sin we discussed, premarital sex (fornication) is against God’s word (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). We can’t accept this behavior while condemning homosexual relations.
I was helping a person move from one house to another. Time slipped away and we realized we wouldn’t make it to an appointment to meet with another Christian. In fact, we were about 40 minutes late. Instead of telling this other Christian friend we were late because we simply got sidetracked. My friend did the exact opposite. He lied. (Matthew 5:37). He said, “We got caught up in traffic.” He then winked at me and smiled. I said, “No we didn’t. Then I explained what happened. The person we were meeting with understood and replied, “I understand, things happen.” Like the other two scenarios, this was a deliberate action. Should this “white lie” be accepted?
You might be wondering, “What does these three events have in common?” Great question. They are examples of Christians acquiescing to fear, convenience or indifference instead of standing up and standing strong for Christ. We must stay true to what we say we believe (the whole council of God). We set ourselves up for failure when we deviate from Scripture. We represent Christ everywhere we go. We don’t just represent Christ in church, we represent Him always. The pressures of convenience, tolerance (so called), maintaining friendships, etc., is where the crucibles of faith are forged. What’s inside of you will come out. We must put more of His word in us and be led by the Holy Spirit.
Like many of you, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling. Pastor Rick Warren gave a clarion call to us all when responding to a question about society’s attempt at changing the definition of marriage. I believe it applies to what we’re discussing. Pastor Warren said, “I fear the disapproval of God more than I fear your disapproval or the disapproval of society.”
Remember, our worldview should be shaped by the bible. We shouldn’t shape the bible through our worldview. Lets continue to condemn sin, love people, share Christ, and live Christ-like. Stay strong my brothers and sisters, we need each other.
In His grip