February 12, 2006

Go Tell It on the Mountain

A battle for the souls of men and women is now raging in our society – as if you hadn’t noticed. The devil’s strategy is to get people to call good evil, and evil good. One arena in which he is succeeding has been confronting me this week: homosexuality. You might say, "Well come on, Jackie. What do you expect when you move to the San Francisco Bay area?" That is true – except that it may begin here, but it spreads out like a plague to infect the entire planet and at this point it has reached a pandemic stage.

I am not referring to people becoming homosexuals; I am referring to the spread of the belief that homosexuality itself is perfectly normal and acceptable and certainly not sinful. The film "Brokeback Mountain" was just nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and named film of the year at the 26th London Film Critics' Circle Awards. One of my husband’s students (who isn’t a Christian) went to see it and said that she had to cover her eyes during the homosexual sex scenes because it made her squeamish. Yet the film has already won "Best Picture" in the Golden Globe Awards and other minor film award competitions. And straight people everywhere are lauding it as a move forward for society.

This week at work (Cal State University East Bay), it was announced that starting on Valentine’s Day, our campus would be celebrating QueerFest. Staff and faculty were encouraged to prepare for the week-long event by attending a two-hour seminar (on company time) to learn more about how to make the homosexual community feel welcome at Cal State. The gay man who announced it said that even though San Francisco is just across the bay, it may seem awfully far away to some. We were encouraged to let the gay students know how much we affirm them in their relationships and lifestyles (he assumed we all did). At the seminar we would receive a pink triangle that we were to display on the doors of our offices that read "safe zone" so that "LGBTQ individuals" would know where their allies were.

I am certainly not promoting the idea that gay people should be hunted down and tossed off college campuses, but their sin is not something to be celebrated. It is a lifestyle that is very harmful to its adherents, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. To affirm that it is not is to promote a lie. I heard Rosie O’Donnell once say that she would discourage her adopted daughter from going in that direction because life would be harder for her. And I don’t think she was referring to society’s reaction to her own lesbian relationship.

Churches Conforming to This World

The United Church of Christ (UCC) denomination has announced its new ad campaign that will go into gear around Easter time. That apostate denomination is attempting to reach the so-called unchurched – not with the Gospel of salvation – but with the invitation to join a "faith community" that will affirm them in whatever sinful lifestyle they so choose – without judgment, of course. This is the direction I see all of Christendom going in. They call the new program, "The Stillspeaking Initiative." God is still speaking to them, they claim.

They say they have discovered "‘un-churched’ people to be extremely alienated from the church. Typically, the un-churched in these focus groups spent hours to unpack their anger and hurt." [These are the same targets that the "Emerging Church" wants to reach to bring into Bible-believing congregations such as Calvary Chapel.] And what are they angry about? The fact that the Bible condemns their behavior as an abomination to God. Yet we are asked by society and Christendom to disagree with God and side with Sodom. The UCC affirms everyone in their relationships, no matter how sinful they might be. As long as there is love, they surmise, God is in it. One of their new recruits, a guy named Brooke, testified:

"When I came out as an openly gay man, they [UCC] proved to me that they keep their promises. For me, that's important. Many of my friends were not so lucky to receive such unconditional love from their church communities – or their families for that matter. For a lot of folks who identify as gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender, church and sexuality do not always go hand in hand. Their own Bible baggage has turned them away from their own relationship with God." http://www.stillspeaking.com/campaign/

We are told that Jesus loved the sinner and would not cast a stone at them. I agree with Jesus. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God! However, the sin of homosexuality is the one that God gives people over to when they refuse to repent.

Romans 1: 24-27 "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due."

And the Bible tells us that the time when Jesus comes in judgment will be characteristic of the days of Lot and so we know this is a major sign of the Lord’s soon return.

Luke 17: 26, 28-30 "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of an: … Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed."

If we go along with the crowd and affirm those lifestyles, how can we expect not to be given over? Our example in this case is Lot:

2 Peter 2:7-8 "…and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)…"

If these lawless deeds, as the Bible calls them, do not torment us, do we have the Spirit of the Living God abiding in us? How can we look for our ransom if we go along with the world’s program when the world is facing judgment?

Instead of affirming their sinful relationships, we should concentrate on preaching the Gospel of Repentance to them – that is if we really love them. Rather than invite them into the congregation of believers, should we not go out to them and welcome them into our fellowships only after they have repented and received Christ? Are churches putting the cart before the horse in allowing them into the fellowship of believers while they openly and proudly celebrate their sin? The apostle Paul commanded that those flaunting sinful lifestyles should be put out of the church until they have repented, and then bring them back in.

1 Corinthians 5:1-2 " It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles--that a man has his father's wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you."

We do people no favors when we tell them that God approves of their sinful lifestyles. We become partakers of their deeds and their blood is on our hands.

I’ve seen the Word in action in the lives of those struggling with the sin of homosexuality. I used to teach a weekly Bible study at a women’s prison and sometimes there were lesbians that would come just to get out of their cellblocks. They would sit together, holding hands and giggling. By the end of the study, I’ve seen them no longer holding hands with more serious looks upon their faces. The Word of God has that impact when the convicting power of the Holy Spirit is present. But when the Spirit is grieved by the flaunting of sin He does not show up.

Lord Jesus, help your remnant to proclaim your truth even when it is not popular. Help us to hold firm to your Word in the face of opposition both inside and outside the professing church. Don’t allow us to be swept away in the tide with those who defy you under the banner of love. Help us to discern when to lift up your Word and when not to cast our pearls before the swine. Keep us from getting trampled upon by the onslaught of wickedness that grieves our spirits as the wicked become more wicked still. Purify our minds and hearts even as we live in a world that has turned into a cesspool of perversity. We look to You, the Author and Finisher of our faith, to keep us till the end. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

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Reaction

Hi Jackie,

 I appreciate receiving your emails. I read them all. I have a question. Do  you have any former homosexual friends who repented and became Christians? I  have only known one person like that, who is now married with children.

-- Steve

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Dear Steve:

When I taught at the prison, I saw four turn from lesbianism, but they might have just been talked into that behind bars. I haven't kept up with them, though. 

I have one friend - a man - who has become a Christian and renounced his old ways. The Lord used me to rescue another young man before the tentacles of it were too engrained. But I lost contact with him twenty years ago.

I know it does happen. And I also know that there is a new trend in Christendom for gays to convert to Christianity and explain away the passages that convict them, and turn a deaf ear to the Spirit's conviction as well. They never have a change in their hearts - as many false converts who also stay in their destructive lifestyles, whatever they may be. They just tack Jesus on.

When I was unsaved, my crowd of friends included many homosexuals who turned on me with such hatred even before I knew what the Bible had to say on the subject. I just couldn't understand their hostility.

Now we're also seeing many false leaders go the way of homosexuality as God gives them over due to their false doctrine. Paul Cain and Paul Crouch come to mind. Even Jim Bakker messed with it. And I don't think these men ever thought about homosexuality while they were walking with the Lord.

It is certainly a major sign of the times.

Watching & Waiting,
Jackie

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