WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?
Here is a classic example of what I have pointed out in many posts of which I receive comments and e-mails both supportive and strongly otherwise. This couple is firmly entrenched in this fallen culture and are both embraced by and to that same fallen culture. In fact, by implication they consider their way of life a walk of “holiness” just because they are heterosexual.
I watched this clever video where a couple spoke of their gut wrenching confusion when their 12 year old son told them he was gay. They were professing believers and they made many mistakes but eventually their son spiraled downward into hard drugs because he believed God hated him. He overdosed and died. But the parents seemed to now wish they had embraced his same sex attractions.
Oh the blindness of the church which has become so American it cannot understand just how blind we all have become. The issue they share about having a gay son or daughter while being a professing believer is an extremely complex one. Not as to what God’s Word teaches, but as to how we should react and how the gospel itself applies itself to that situation. The western church is filled with all kinds of sin and hedonistic practices. In fact it is a microcosm of the fallen culture which includes self affirmation, self pleasure, self actualization, profound hedonism, and even heterosexual adultery both in practice and in the mind.
Thursday the 4th of July was revered and celebrated as believers by the literal millions show their love and allegiance to what God hates. Most call it patriotism but God calls it idolatry. That is one well spring of all kinds of elicit attractions that may not be sexual but are every bit as diabolical and sinful. And that is the foundation of my ongoing journey to seek Christ in all His ways and fullness without presenting a Christ who is at odds with His own words. And it also identifies my supposition that the gay issue is an ongoing deception that lends affirmation to a heterosexual community of faith which continues to live as if God was a capitalist American but decidedly not gay.
I was moved by this couple’s story. But the obvious unspoken answer to their family dilemma was that their love for their son has somehow become the exegetical prism through which they see and know God. And although I abhor the ranting and chanting evangelical hordes which demand condemnation and even legislation to flex their doctrinal muscles abut same sex attractions, I cannot reconcile a condoning of behavior which embraces and manifests those attractions. I do not have all the answers.
But one thing I do know for a metaphysical certainty. If the Starbucks and the snowboarding and the expensive vacation crowd can claim to be following Jesus, and if that same crowd can be saved by grace through faith alone, then so can a gay believer who is blind to his sin. Seeing an expansive view of Christ’s redemption in that way does not condone sin. God forbid. But it covers sin through His shed blood. And perhaps the greatest sin of all and which results in all kinds of viciousness is the sin of self righteousness.
So when the evangelical pastor stands behind the pulpit and lambasts the degenerate culture as evidenced by the growing gay thing, and when the pew dwellers nod and say amen and even applaud his bold stand for Biblical morality, I believe that climate is fertile ground for an incredible harvest of self righteousness. And I also believe that the evangelical community does not have a clue, nor do they desire one, about what self righteousness is and how it permeates the soul and renders our faith as little more than a string of moral pontifications.
And just to throw out some red meat for the voracious appetites of the evangelical masses, and just to shield myself from those who would throw stones my way labeled compromise, I still believe that acting on same sex attractions is sinful. Almost as sinful as my own self righteousness. It’s that last bit of red meat, my own, which drives me to so often be a doctrinal vegan.
Here is a man, a professing believer, who strives to be a financial success and in so doing spends very little time with his children and his wife. In fact, he begins a relationship with his secretary and his marriage begins to deteriorate. Within months they speak of divorce. It happens. And the next year this man marries his secretary and begins a new life. He is still financially successful and he sees his children infrequently. But this man does not believe God hates him. He is not depressed, and his sin is not continually trumpeted from evangelical pulpits. In fact he and his new wife join a large evangelical church and are welcomed into the fold. No questions asked.
This man experiences no struggles and he is affirmed by his new church family. In fact, when the preacher comes down hard on homosexual marriage and the liberal mindset this man and his wife nod and smile in approval. You think my story is some kind of fairy tale? Not only do I know personally people in this kind of narrative, but I know preachers who fit this mold. Here is man who is a pawn broker. He charges 25% PER MONTH interest for pawned items which are usually desperate and poor people. He believes he provides a service and he is willfully blind to the Biblical teaching on usury. But he a church member in good standing and his third wife sings in the choir. He does not feel condemned by God nor does he sense God hates him. You see, his sin is not an abomination.
Prov.6: 16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Where oh where are the gays in this list? The depth of self righteousness is astonishing. All sin is an abomination before God. But if serves our self righteous purpose to call the sin of same sex relationships an abomination. Please provide me with all the New Testament verses about the sin of homosexual behavior and I will provide you with the verses about greed and heterosexual sin. Sin is sin and the cross is the cross and the gospel is the gospel and Jesus is the Redeemer for whosoever will. And no amount of conservative legislation or evangelical condemnation can ever minimize the fact that Jesus loves sinners and died for us all. But that does not seem to dissuade many people from trying.
And so on and on it goes. That which is casually called “Christianity” continues to be an innocuous segment of a fallen culture. And within a house with no mirrors there is a moral telescope. As long as you are not gay you are walking in holiness. But the larger question is why is there this obsession with the gay issue when the New Testament is literally filled with admonitions about money and greed? Why can the church submit and gladly participate in a sin which is so clear but get hypertension about all things gay?
The answer is simple. It is self righteousness plain and simple. Self righteousness is basically exalting man over God. It is speaking for God things that He never said while changing or even ignoring things He did say. In fact it is a form of unbelief even while still using His name. The church has never had a prayerful conversation about these issues, in fact what the modern church has is a monologue which tickles the ears and soothes the conscience. And reclining in a place of moral hubris, the church looks down on the cultural serfs and passes judgment. It is a great show and creates an atmosphere of self affirmation but it is void of the messy and bloody business of redemption. And you cannot be on the Lord’s “team” without a proper uniform.
I Pet.5…5 Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
The church no longer desires a conversation, a seeking on the subject of the redemption of Christ. We have our statements of faith and do not need any challenges. Even if we establish the exclusivity of Christ the church still has little appetite for a deep and prayerful exploration of God’s eternal Word as it pertains to the gospel and its implication and application to all sorts of sinners. We are “literalists” and we are bound to what we have been told we believe. It is such a comfortable place.
Humility? Tears? Fastings often? All night prayer vigils? Seasons of repentance? Who are we kidding? No one and surely not God. We have become an unwieldy monolith which has lost its heart and goes to bed each night exhausted by the energy it takes to run the race laid out for us by the fallen culture. When was the last time just the thought of eternity stopped us in our tracks and shook our very being as we considered the plight of the lost? It seems everything has been distilled down into cute little doctrines which are presented as orthodox and conservative credentials rather than life changing truths which impact us every single day.
Moral politics is such an easy game. It soothes the conscience and affirms the flesh. It disembowels the gospel and makes earthly issues the cause of Christ. And this kind of earthly alliances with the heathen has made the church a collection of people who meet periodically in buildings paid for with bank loans and with many care takers. But as far as power that can be compared with the Book of Acts let us not lie. We are religious zombies who find much pleasure in this world while doing our religious duty once or twice a week. Is it that bad, you ask? Have you ever heard of the word apostasy?
But if you dislike that word you can just believe this post is about homosexuality.
That should help.
(Part two of this post will be a genuine conversation and exploration of Christ and His redemption.)