"This is a day of infamy."
Addressing a conference in the hills of North Carolina, these are the exact words I communicated upon hearing the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. My heart was very heavy. I plunged into a period of mourning. I'm still there while praying and reflecting. This is serious.
Pastors and politicians usually have to feel the heat before they see the light. Now we are crossing the Rubicon to face the chilling consequences of this horrible decision.
Dr. James Dobson told us in a national prayer conference call a month ago that an unfavorable ruling would not be the end but only the beginning of our woes. Consider just a few of the ramifications surfacing as gay activists have the momentum, the media, the money and multitudes of politicians and pop-culture personalities in their pocket.
Franklin Graham accurately said regarding the White House rainbow light-up ceremony, "God is the One who gave the rainbow and it was associated with His judgment."
Besides the President's in your face, shameful display of gay/rainbow colors on the White House (what is to be the symbol for all Americans--the "People's House,") came the advertising campaigns from corporations celebrating this ruling. Just as my wife and I were preparing to withdraw our funds from Wells Fargo for their aggressive gay advocacy, Coca-Cola ran their ad with two gay guys and their "adopted" baby, "We Choose Happiness Over Tradition."
[Parental Advisory] CBN News reported that "Virginia students in 8th grade will soon be receiving lessons on oral and anal sex…the goal is to teach students about homosexual, bisexual and transgender identity."
When attorney Donald Verrilli warned during SCOTUS oral arguments that "It's going to be an issue" regarding churches and tax-exempt status, we're already hearing New York Times "Beliefs" columnist Mark Oppenheimer communicate the following, "Rather than try to rescue tax-exempt status for organizations that dissent from stated public policy on matters of race and sexuality, we need to take a more radical step. It's time to abolish or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt status."
TIME magazine asked AIDS activist Larry Kramer, "Did you ever imagine the US would be where we are today in terms of widespread acceptance of gays?" He responded, "And a plague that's really causing genocide among gay people and people of color."
Psalm 1 heralds, "Take warning, O judges of the earth." An angel in heaven still declares with a loud voice, "Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come… " (Rev. 14:7). May we still see a spiritual awakening to rescue our nation before it's too late.
How in Heaven's Name Did We Get to This Point?
[Hang in there as we fly over 50 years!]
Beginning with the shocking assassination of President Kennedy in the 60s, a flickering of Camelot–inspired hope was extinguished. Prayer and Bible reading were banned from our public schools and the "God is dead" pronouncement of 1966 fostered an era of skepticism and cynicism bleeding through our land.
It's not like there was one defining event that triggered our current confusion, but when the turbulent twenty-four months of '67 and '68 erupted on the scene, clues emerge. Cultural analysts call this a "tipping point."
The year 1967 was dubbed, "Summer of Love." Scores of us naïve youth fell in line behind pied piper Scott McKenzie as we grabbed our knucklehead buddies and love beads and swayed with the wind all the way to San Francisco. Do you remember the song? "Are you going to San Francisco? You're going to meet some gentle people there… " It almost moves you to put some flowers in your hair!
Millions of us idealistic young people and our counterpart "hippies" believed we were ushering in the long awaited "Age of Aquarius" with all our peace symbols, free love and free speech. American psychologist Timothy Leary, took LSD and told us, "Turn on, tune in and drop out." Seduced by our foolishness we declared, "Never trust anyone over 30!" while Pete Townshead and the "Who" exclaimed, "Hope I die before I get old!" (He's now 70 and still cashing in on his musical career!). Soon thereafter, hundreds of thousands were sloshing in the mud at the Woodstock Festival – can you believe it's been almost 50 years?
Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, was my idol as I was a drummer in "The Lost Souls." His moronic philosophy: "I'm interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos, especially activities that appear to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road to freedom! "
Slowly but surely, years of "freedom" took its toll. TIME magazine called 1968, "A knife blade that severed past from the future."
Casting off restraints to protest and launch the Gay, Women's and Black Power Movements, the Sexual Revolution and the Drug Counterculture, we soon morphed into meltdown. The Civil Rights Movement was one positive initiative.
Pop idols Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison all were dead at age 27 – overdosing on drugs, sex and unrestrained freedom. AIDS (GRID - Gay-Related Immune Deficiency, as it was called) followed. Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated. Student riots paralyzed Chicago. The Altamont Rock Festival degenerated into murderous mayhem right before Mick Jagger's bloodshot eyes. Kent State University erupted in campus shootings over the still-simmering Vietnam War. Hippie communities and Gay bathhouses started folding like houses of cards as Barry McGuire sang "Eve of Destruction."
Abortion demands intensified as all the "Make love – not war," mantras spawned unwanted babies. Soon abortion was legalized.
Divorce laws were liberalized (today 80% of divorces are "no fault," translating into 45 million divorces since the end of the 60s!) Sexual standards evaporated and resulted in rampant pornography, skyrocketing out-of-wedlock births, one in every four teens strapped with a sexually transmitted disease, drug abuse, school violence, teen suicide, spousal and child abuse, violent crime, prison overpopulation, sexual anarchy, gender confusion, glamorizing and promotion of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, transgenderism with gender reassignment surgeries. All of this proliferating since the now infamous "Summer of Love" soured to a stench.
Dr. James Dobson identified six lies that are now accepted:
- Premarital, extramarital and traditionally abnormal sex are moral and healthy.
- There should be no sanctity of human life in law.
- Drug use makes great recreational sport.
- Divorce offers an easy escape from marriage.
- Marriage should be redefined to include same-sex unions.
- God is dead – at least make it appear that way by systematically airbrushing Him from society.
Multitudes of people need a reality check to bring them out of a sentimental yet distorted remembrance of this period. We must remove the romantic recollections of this turbulent 60s era. In contrast to PBS nostalgic specials highlighting the supposed peaceful and musical 60s time period, we need to come down to earth and recognize the devastation that resulted. This was not a time that was all groovy, lovey, peaceful with flowing-hair, girls in granny dresses twirling in the park amidst syrupy-faced guys with tambourines and doves flying around their heads as they harmonized in childlike unity, singing Kumbya and playing flutes while innocently getting high. This is a fantasy that needs to be shattered immediately.
THE CRISIS OF TRUTH IN AMERICA
Simply stated, here's the downward spiral we're experiencing - the pattern repeated throughout history:
- Reject truth
- Lose discernment
- Moral confusion
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth (REJECT TRUTH)...although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave Him thanks, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened (LOSE DISCERNMENT)...They exchanged the truth of God for a lie… Because of this, God gave them over to…[What follows is a cascading list of behaviors including shameful homosexual and lesbian behavior, perversion, greed, deceit, envy, murder, strife, arrogance, dishonoring parents and inventing ways of doing evil (MORAL CONFUSION)]" (Romans 1:18–32).
The words of humorist Mark Twain have relevance here: "Most people are bothered by those passages in Scripture which they cannot understand; but as for me, I always notice that the passages in Scripture which trouble me most are those I do understand!"
As multitudes today cry out for social justice, isn't it plain as the nose on our face that we should be waving a red flag before it's too late? Because of unrestrained sexual "freedom" we have the fatherless epidemic pornography, homosexuality, plus the skyrocketing epidemic of STDs and AIDS. We've have lost 57 million babies exterminated in the womb. That's more than the combined populations of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington DC!
Two thousand years ago, a Roman governor named Pilate asked Jesus Christ, "What is truth?"
His response revealed the simple mission for which Jesus Christ said He came into the world: "I came into the world to testify to the truth" (Jn. 18:37-38).
Isn't it wonderful to know we not only follow the embodiment of all truth but we can be his ambassadors to charitably and courageously communicate it to our generation? Our mission is to persevere through these dark days to model the truth and make it known, starting with the gospel that transforms lives!
Where Do We Go From Here?
Three things are essential for us to see societal transformation.
1. We must recognize the gravity of the situation.
2. We must cry out to God for wisdom and a sense of urgency.
3. We must pray and proclaim the gospel and truth at every opportunity as we engage outsiders in a winsome way.
This presupposes that we know the issues, the truth, and have the courage and confidence to speak out. "Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person" (Col. 4:5-6).
Seeing the gathering storm clouds on the horizon, I recently pulled apart with my wife to a secluded cabin in the mountains of Tennessee. My assignment from God was to write a book that would be a tool to help shape informed influencers to make a difference in today's confused culture. I pinpointed the 30 "hot button" issues of today.
God gave me a practical plan: Challenge people to take 30 days and invest 15 minutes a day in a 3 step process to develop a biblical worldview and confidence in addressing our country's controversial issues: 1. Review a video--3 min. 2. Read an article--10 min. 3. Reflect and pray--2 min. The title of the book is "Bullseye" and it'll help us "hit the mark" in sharing the gospel and biblical truth to dispel deception and foster spiritual awakening.
I invite your prayer support as we finalize this project. May this be one of many divine strategies given by God at this tipping point in America's history.
"For behold darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you" (Is. 60:2).