It seems like there isn’t a day that goes by when there isn’t a headline concerning the clash of homosexuality and Christianity. This past weekend, Dan Savage, a gay activist who started the ‘It gets better’ campaign, was in the headlines when he spoke at an anti-bullying conference for high school journalists. From the documented reports, his speech was filled with anti-Christian attacks for a large portion of it, even leading some high school students to walk out of the event, which led to a verbal assault from the “anti-bullying” keynote speaker, Mr. Savage. These kinds of stories will continue to increase. It’s not because the evangelical church is making this the #1 issue of our day, but the worldview of the homosexual community and that of the evangelical church are diametrically opposite. As Christians though, we have to understand that those who practice homosexuality and the homosexual agenda are not the enemy. Satan is. Sin is. They may have a different worldview and a different mission in life, but we must still show and share love and truth with them.
So why is gay marriage such a big deal? There’s an article in the Charlotte Observer today in which one of their columnists basically says that marriage isn’t that big of a deal, so Christians should basically get over it. I would rebut the assertion that marriage isn’t a big deal because at the height of the creation story, God institutes marriage (Gen. 2:18-25). Marriage was designed by God. Marriage is so important that the apostle Paul states that it is essentially one of the greatest pictures of the gospel (Eph. 5:22-33). So marriage is sacred to God, therefore it needs to be sacred to us. This is where the Christian worldview comes into practice. The Bible teaches that all things are sacred, from eating and drinking, to singing and sex. There is nothing that we do that God doesn’t care about. God wants all things to be done in a spirit of worship. He not only cares about what we do, but how we do it, so if there are standards that He lays down for us in Scripture, we better take them seriously. I know I talked a lot about that in my last post, but I wanted to address this issue before I make my next point.
Here it is (and I know this may make some of you upset): The American evangelical church has almost lost the battle over homosexuality. I’m not saying the battle is over, but we have to wake up and realize that the moral influence of Jesus’ church is waning in our culture. Why is this? I believe we lost the battle over homosexuality 50 years ago when the sexual revolution exploded in our nation. Yes, the church gave lip service to the evils of the new sexual freedom that was being promoted, but all the sermons in the world couldn’t outweigh the lives of the people in the pews. We had people calling themselves Christians, but divorced themselves from the biblical worldview and standards that make us distinct. Over the last 30 years the moral authority that the church once had is almost gone. We’ve spent the spiritual inheritance that was given to us by men like George Whitfield, John Wesley, and Jonathan Edwards. The scandals of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker and Ted Haggard have left a dent, but I dare say that it’s all of us attending our evangelical churches that have done the most damage. Statistics tell us that students that grow up going to Bible-teaching churches have as much sex outside of marriage as those who have no religious affiliation. The divorce rate among Christians is the same as those outside the church, and the percentage of Christian men that look at pornography is no different from other men.
Simply put, we’ve lost our light. We are no longer the salt of the earth. When we turn a blind eye at heterosexual sins, and give a little wink as we tell all the straight church attenders that their sexual failings aren’t that big of a deal, we will reap the situation we are in now. When we shrug our shoulders at our own sins, and are ready to cast the stone at others, we don’t reflect the heart of Jesus. We serve a Holy, and I mean HOLY, God. He hates sin (Prov.6:16-19). It is time that we start looking inside our own hearts, or as Jesus would say, take the log out of our own eye first. We must start living, by God’s grace and strength, the holy life that He expects us to live. When we bear the name of Christ, we must live, and think, and talk, under the complete control of the Holy Spirit. I know that we can never be perfect, but there’s a huge difference between perfection and failing, and we are failing right now to live humble and holy lives before all men.
Chances are, Amendment One is going to pass. North Carolina is more of a socially conservative state with a strong, evangelical presence. But we must not think that if Amendment One passes, that the church has succeeded. Even the Republican leader of the NC House recognizes that this amendment will be overturned within a generation. The church must recover the authority that we’ve lost. We need to repent. We need to take inventory in our hearts and repent of our pride. We need to repent of our own past and present sexual sins, even publicly to someone else if we need to. And, finally, we need to learn how to repent corporately. I know that corporate repentance may be a new idea to you. Nehemiah and Daniel are great examples of this in Scripture (Nehemiah 1; Daniel 9). We need to repent for our nation’s and for our church’s sins. Repentance means that there is a change of mind, which leads to a change of direction. The trajectory of our nation and the evangelical church is not too good right now. Only prayer and repentance will change our course.
I hope you vote your conscience on May 8. Vote based on the biblical standards that God gives us in His Word. But more must be done. It has to be. I pray that there will be a desperation among us that is from the Holy Spirit. I pray that we would repent and reclaim the title, “Christian” once more. Only God knows if we have the men and women who will step up and start living like Jesus.