Repeated Disclaimer: I can't wordsmith this so that everyone who wants to defend their lifestyle isn't offended. So before you call me a hater and small minded bigot - understand this: I've spent a lot of time in my life ministering to people in the worst of situations. I have loved people you might deem unlovable. I've spent time in prisons, time in far away parts of the globe, just to encourage men and women, share Christ's love with them, help them and minister to them. I'm just contrasting what our culture is saying with what God's Word says, so if the best you can do is call names, save your breath (and I'd still welcome the opportunity to talk to you about Jesus and His great sacrifice for you).
From the rainbow flags being waved by folks I thought were Christians, there seems to be confusion around the question: Is Christianity compatible with the practice of homosexuality or same-sex marriage?
In the area of same-sex marriage, there are some ideas that are completely at odds with simple Bible based Christianity (the only other kind of Christianity is what we make up ourselves). Here they are:
1. The appropriation of the rainbow as symbolizing gay pride.
I'm truly amazed by this. It's what you call "trying to poke your finger in the eye of God".
The rainbow is one of the oldest Christian and Jewish symbols, representing God's promise to Noah in Genesis 9:15 that "Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life".
If anyone takes a sacred Jewish or Christian symbol and says it represents their pride in (what the Bible calls) sin, that should be a giant warning sign that this is not a movement of God.
2. The concept of "gay pride" itself.
Hint: any time you see the word "pride" connected to anything that just might possibly be a little questionable, run! Why? Simply because:
God is at war with all pride.
He actually says He hates it. Prov. 8:13
The word pride or proud appears in the Bible over 100 times and is NEVER, EVER used in a favorable way. It is ALWAYS negative. It's associated with arrogance and conceit and self sufficiency.
James 4:5 "God opposes the proud." Nebuchadnezzar had pride in his great kingdom. For a minute. And God took his mind and sent him wandering insanely in the wilderness like a cow (Daniel 4).
Embracing a concept that God loathes (pride), is a good indication this is not a movement of God.
3. The practice of homosexuality.
This is elementary. The Bible's communication on this is simple and clear. The practice of homosexuality and same-sex marriage is sin.
God never stutters. He doesn't say one thing when He means another. He's never confused words for each other. But looking at the verbal gymnastics that folks go through to try to justify homosexuality with the Bible, you'd think that God was an illiterate who can't spit out a coherent sentence.
And according to the Bible (the basis of Christianity) homosexuality is a sin, like adultery or stealing or lying.
Romans 1:26-27 is a complete repudiation of homosexuality. Need more? Leviticus. 20:13, Leviticus 18:22 (but that OT-it's gone man! Oh-so you reject Leviticus 18:21 about not offering your kids in the fire as a sacrifice too?). How about 1 Corinthians 6:9,1 Timothy 1:10. God wrote all of that. He's clear. Even in creation He places a natural order: heavens-earth, dark-light, land-seas, man-woman. Jesus even quoted the creation account in Matthew 19, stating that a "man shall leave mother and father and hold fast to his wife." And of course the entire Bible is the Word of God representing Jesus' beliefs.
God's also clear that every single person has sinned, and there is forgiveness for homosexuality just like there is for every other sin. He's clear that the hope for every man, woman and child, is salvation through Jesus Christ. His desire is that none should perish, but that everyone come to repentance - 2 Peter 3:9. But you have to come to repentance. Which means you have to get to that starting place that you agree with Him that it's sin.
4. Today, homosexuality is a sin like no other.
As a friend told me the other day: if I lie, I'm a liar. If I steal, I'm thief. If I cheat on my wife, I'm an adulterer. I feel bad and no one celebrates my sin. But if I engage in homosexuality, I get a parade. And if anyone calls it sin, they get run out of town (figuratively for now, although Mr. Sulu would like to change that for Clarence Thomas).
Homosexuality is the one sin that is paraded, prided, and promoted at every level of society.
5. A totalitarian intolerance of dissent.
Marriage, for the Christian, is a uniquely religious ceremony. More than two people coming together, it also represents Christ's relationship with His church. So for the Christian to participate in a same-sex marriage would be to demand he or she violate their conscience.
But that is exactly the demand across the country.
The same-sex marriage movement is not unlike the Borg. The Borg, from the Star Trek series, would assimilate you into the collective, make you part robot and you would lose all personal identity. Their motto is "You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."
There have been cases all across the country, from Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, to the the cancellation of the the Benham Brothers HGTV show, to flower shops, bakeries and photographers being fined and attacked with a torrent of violent and profane vitriol (and in some cases threats of arson and murder) because they refused to violate their conscience and participate in what is an inherently religious ceremony.
Anytime a group refuses to tolerate dissent, whether it's the same-sex marriage movement, the KKK, or Isis (all want to outlaw freedom and punish dissenters), that's a clear sign it's not a movement of God (and yes, I include violent "Christian" movements of the past like burning witches and the Spanish Inquisition - obviously NOT movements of God).
But David! Those are just a few crazies. You'd be wrong. The movement is against Christianity and Christians:
- 1 in 5 people in the US believe that the church should be FORCED to perform same-sex marriages (link).
- Companies that cater weddings, must cater same sex weddings even if it's against their religious believes regarding this religious ceremony. Disobey and you will be out of business.
- The Atlanta fire chief was fired for expressing Christian beliefs regarding homosexuality (link).
- Time Magazine printed an article arguing that now that we have the same-sex marriage thing in the bag, it's time to hit the churches in the wallet and take away their nonprofit status (link).
- Bottom line: the crushing of religious expression is a clear sign that this is not a movement of God.
So to recap, popular culture says:
1. Rainbow means homosexual pride, not promise of God;
2. Pride is a virtue, not a sin warned of by God;
3. Homosexuality is pure and holy;
4. Homosexuality is to be celebrated;
5. Dissent is NOT allowed and must be crushed.
If 1 through 5 is true, then the Bible is false, and so Jesus (we know about Jesus, His teachings and beliefs from the Bible. No Bible, no Jesus).
To say "I'm for Jesus" and "I'm for same-sex marriage" is a nonsensical statement because Jesus is against every one of those points. One caveat: if you make up your own Jesus and own Bible, none of this applies.
So pick a side. Choose this day who you will serve. If it's Jesus, do it honestly, up front, and embrace all He is and all He says. If it's same-sex marriage, do it honestly and declare that you're not buying what Jesus is selling.
Then, whichever side you choose, let's have a talk about this Really Good News that Jesus brings to all sinners, whether their sins be lying, stealing, adultery, homosexuality, or pride. He is the Good News in a world bombarded with bad news of murder, terrorism and hatred. He is the hope of the world.