Yesterday, the voters of North Carolina did the right thing by voting for an amendment to their Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
But, how dare me claim this was “the right thing”? How dare me be so “bigoted” or “unloving”? My wife (who is our FB Rep) has told me that some of our friends and family do not agree with me on this issue. Some have expressed embarrassment for the State of NC. Others have tried to claim Jesus did not speak to the issue. Some are saying “we” have no right to force our views down everyone else’s throats. (Of course, perhaps it has not occured to them that all laws legislate morality. The only question is whose morality will become the law of the land). I invite all readers of this blog to simply hear me out, realizing that when I have addressed this issue in the past responses come out of the wood works, and everyone suddenly is an expert on the Bible. But friends, please just know that the Bible speaks as clearly to the sin of homosexuality as any issue in the Bible. Major interpretive gymnastics must be done to avoid the obvious teaching of God in His Book, the Bible.
So, let me begin by simply reminding us all that God ordains all governments and He has ordained government to promote the good and punish the evil (Romans 13:1-7). The ridiculously clear implication of this is that governments, in order to fulfill God’s purposes for them, MUST KNOW GOOD FROM EVIL. It is a crime against God for a government to reverse this and begin to promote evil and punish good.
But, that is precisely what advocates of so-called “gay marriage” want our governments to do! While some have said we must not “force” our views on others, that is exactly what ALL LAWS do. There is no getting around it. Laws are the governments’ way of telling citizens what is right and what is wrong! Period. So, if NC voters had chosen to continue to allow an “anything goes” definition of marriage, then that would have been somebody’s idea of morality being imposed on everyone else in NC. Every single law works this way. So, what is most important is for us to determine whose ideas of right and wrong should be enacted as law.
Enter God. He does not use fuzzy words or shady logic on the issue of sin, whether it is lying or sexual perversion. Let’s let God speak to this issue and ask for grace to think God’s thoughts after Him.
“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
This is the very first command God gives to His human creatures, whom He has made “male and female” we are told one verse prior. So, homosexual behavior violates the very first command of God to humanity. If everyone in that first generation of humans chose to only live the homosexual lifestyle, NONE OF US WOULD BE HERE.
“Have you not read that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man [singular] shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife [singular], and the two [not the three or four] shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate’ ” (Matthew 19:4-5).
These are the words of Jesus. He clearly defines God’s design for marriage here as one man + one woman for life. Jesus surely did speak to the issue put before NC voters yesterday!
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effiminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Could the Holy Spirit of God have said it any clearer through the pen of the Apostle Paul? [Please note these last two are New Testament quotes, and we have not even touched on Romans 1:18-32.]
So, ultimately it does not matter what any human thinks on this issue. God has spoken clearly, and thus the NC voters did what was right in God’s eyes by codifying His Divine view into law.
But now, we need to ALL notice how the verse above condemns us all to hell. Jesus said lust in our hearts makes us adulterers (Matt 5:28). And this is where the gospel comes into play. While we Christians can and must hold out God’s Word, and we must let God define what is sin (wrong) and what is pure (right), what we must not do is act like somehow sexual sin is more deserving of condemnation from God than other sins.
Every sin deserves God’s wrath in hell. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This is what we have all earned with God (Romans 3:23)! If we have broken one of God’s laws we are guilty enough to be condemned forever (James 2:10). So, anyone who accuses me of hating someone struggling with the sin of homosexuality simply does not know me. I pastor a church full of sinners who are struggling with all sorts of sins, and their pastor is not exempted from this statement!
It is very possible that each Sunday someone sits in our pews who truly does struggle with homosexual attraction, or even behavior. I will not, by God’s grace, treat that person any differently than the man who comes to me and says he needs help being a more patient father to his children. Sin in all its forms ruins us from the inside out (Mark 7). Sin all stinks and it all has only one solution – the blood of Jesus Christ applied to the sinner’s heart by the Holy Spirit of God.
The sin of homosexuality put Jesus on the cross. God was metting out the punishment countless homosexual sinners had earned, and He was metting it out on the Perfect, sinless Substitute, Jesus. Lying put Jesus on the cross. Greed put Him on that judgment tree. Worshipping false gods put Him there. Selfishness, lust, sex outside of marriage, envy, lack of sacrificial love for wives and neighbors, failure to love God whole-heartedly, disobedience to parents – this and so much more put the precious Savior on the cross where He bore the wrath we had earned.
And friends, we dare not for a second look down our noses at another sinner. It took the same Jesus on the same cross to save the homosexual sinner as it did to save this old selfish sinner preacher. This is what we hold out to ALL sinful people – the gospel which “is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). The blood of Jesus can cleanse us “from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
So, Christians have no business either ignoring or neglecting God’s clear words on right and wrong, and they should not want to see any other view of morality enacted into law other than God’s (it is quite arrogant to think we know what is moral better than God does). Christian, you do not have the option of thinking about things from your own perspective or your culture’s. Rather, you are called by the God who bought you with His blood to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Christian, you are to “have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16). Christ’s mind on issues of sin is as clear as a moutain stream. Jesus always condemned sin. Think His thoughts after Him and never apologize for it!
On the other hand, Christians never have a right to ostracize a certain segment of sinners, or mistreat another human, or be unloving or unkind to any people or any person. Rather, we are the ones who hold out the ONLY HOPE for homosexuals and liars – His Name is Jesus and He can change the heart of ANY sinner when His Spirit invades that person’s life and applies the precious gospel truth.
Let’s make sure we read the “rest of the story” from 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 quoted above. Verse 11 goes on to say . . .
“Such were some of you [note the past tense]; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
Our culture tells people who you are can never change. Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. And so on. This is a bunch of demonic lies. God says the blood of His Son and the power of His Spirit can wash any sinner clean and change the very disposition of his or her heart. John Newton, the slave-trader turned Christian hymnist and pastor said it this way:
“I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see.”
I urge everyone reading this to own yourself a helpless, wrath-deserving sinner before God. I urge everyone reading this to cry out to Jesus for mercy and forgiveness and cleansing and a new life that seeks to please an Audience of One. May you be given grace today to truly confess from the deepest part of you – “Jesus is Lord.”
And by the way – this response is why I cannot be on Facebook! FB lends itself to trite sayings that are shallow and careless and not biblically informed at all. There is no way I could read the comments of people in my own family, and people who I know are in evangelical churches who actually thought NC should endorse homosexuality as a behavior and lifestyle, without giving a 1500 word answer. Should we also get rid of laws against wife abuse? Child pornagraphy? Pedophilia? Lying in court? Polygamy? Parental rights to raise children as they deem fit? You see, laws always legislate morality. It is always only a question of whose morality will be codified and enforced. May NC voters continue to use the only true source of morality in this world – the Holy Word of the One True Holy God, the Bible.