I have become very unpopular of late. Apparently my open disapproval of same-sex marriage makes me both homophobic and bigoted, as well as hateful. And this is not just criticism from non-Christians, but also those within the church. But I do understand why.
I come from a Pentecostal background and during those years the word of God was very rarely preached. Instead, little anecdotes, words of encouragement, relevant stories about the Pastor’s kids, and ‘prophecies’ from God were delivered from the pulpit. I was so hungry and desperate for God after a number of years dealing with this, that I left the church and the Lord placed me in a sound Reformed church where the truths of God were preached unapologetically, and the Word of God was our standard for all things. What a relief. What this has shown me is that too many people sit under weak and watery teachings for far too long, having their ears tickled and their self-esteem boosted, so they never actually grow. Some of them couldn’t genuinely even claim to be Christian as their sin has never been exposed, and they have never felt the weight of it and the offence it is to God. Ear-tickling is much more pleasant than conviction, but it leads to death.
Now the church is being bombarded with same-sex marriage issues and not many know how to respond. When a person who claims to be Christian has never felt the weight of their own sin, and has never grieved over how offensive it is to a Holy God, how on earth can they ever recognise the abomination to God that same-sex marriage is? Firstly, it’s not marriage and never will be. And on the other side, those who truly are Christians but are content to sit under weak and sugary preaching, have no idea how to call out sin. Do they even understand why same-sex relationships and marriage are sinful? If they do, how can they share that with others? I think it’s also because too many Christians think no more of Jesus than being the lamb. They are unable to fathom that He is also the Lion! He is Almighty, He is angered, He is just and He will punish sinners. Even the world tells Christians that we are being unloving when we call out sin or disapprove of the world’s standards, and many Christians don’t know how to respond. They don’t understand that telling Biblical truth and sharing the gospel is the most loving thing in the world.
The issue is not just same-sex marriage. The issue is sin and the issue is unbelief. The issue is that the world and some Christians call good, what God calls evil. The Bible must always be our standard and everything must be measured against it. It doesn’t matter what we think or feel about a topic, our flesh is sinful and our mind always seeks that which brings pleasure and comfort to the flesh. Our human understanding is so deceptive and that’s why we must continually go to the Bible for wisdom and for answers. Added to our fleshly deception is the fact that we live in times of deception. The whole world is deceived and the world hates God. The world sees God as the enemy because He won’t allow or excuse their sin and their desires for pleasure rather than obedience and sacrifice, and I think that Christians can be guilty of buying into the world’s ideologies.
But Christians need to stand and be counted, especially in these dark days. Yes, it means we’ll be persecuted, we’ll lose friends, we’ll be called names, threatened, and many will ultimately end up in legal trouble. And if we don’t experience hardship and suffering for our faith, then maybe we should question our faith. I don’t mean that we should go looking for trouble or be hateful just for the sake of it, but we are called to stand apart and to continue preaching the gospel, preaching the truth, calling sinners to repentance, and declaring God’s word. I will not be told that I have no right to post my Christian beliefs on Facebook or any other social media platform, as I was recently reprimanded by a Christian. I will go out into all the world and preach the gospel as per the instructions of Lord Jesus Christ Himself. I don’t care if the world hates me— Jesus tells us in His word that we will be hated just as He was hated. I don’t care if so called Christians tell me to be quiet and to stay out of the same-sex marriage debate— I won’t. I will continue to declare God’s word and a call to repentance. People will never recognise they are sinners in need of a Saviour if we are being too polite and politically correct to call them out on their sin. Losing friends and popularity is nothing compared to what we will gain in eternity; an eternity with our Lord. Yes, it hurts, and it is frustrating and mostly very unjust, but it is all worth it in the light of an eternity spent with our Lord. That’s what I choose to hold on to as I nurse my wounds and continue to stand strong. It’s all worth it.
#Jesus #Same-sex marriage #homophobia #repentance #Christian