It’s easy to condemn and criticize out of hand what is now accepted, condoned, even mandated, especially when it comes to homosexuality, trans-gender issues, and sexual immorality, in general. And as believers we should be concerned about the changes in morality in our nation and the world.
But what is our responsibility? How should we respond to those we meet who are struggling with these issues? How should we respond to those who don’t seem to be struggling at all, but instead, are “in our face” about what they consider our unloving, even hateful, attitudes?
What set the stage for the moral revolution that is taking place in our world today? Does all the responsibility lie with the LGBT community and other non-believers or do we bear some of it?
I recently attended the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky where homosexuality and transgender were the main themes. The conference was incredibly helpful and informative and I want to share some of the information with you in a new series of posts. Much of what I’ll share comes from my conference notes. I’ll endeavor to give specific credit wherever I can.
The Bigger Theme
First, I want to say that the bigger theme of the conference was what should always be the driving force of our lives … LOVE.
We are called to love those who are struggling with every kind of sin and this sin is no different. We are called to share the gospel with a broken, hurting world and what our homosexual friends, neighbors, and family members need is the gospel. We are even called to love our enemies.
A Moral Revolution
Our culture is transitioning very rapidly. The focus in our world today is “the sovereign self.” Self, what I want, what I feel, what makes me happy, who I think I am, is the determiner of what’s right or wrong. It’s no longer about who God created you and I to be. The goal is to be “who you are.”
Our nation and many others are undergoing a moral revolution of epic proportions. But this revolution didn’t start with a Supreme Court decision. It didn’t start with the LGBT agenda. We need to take a look back to see the roots of our moral decline.
Al Mohler in a session entitled “Clarity in the Midst of Confusion: the Ethics of Homosexuality & the Gospel of Grace” shared some of the steps that got us here. I’ve tried to summarize them and included a few of his quotes:
- The separation of marriage and reproduction. “The Pill” changed everything. It was no accident that the advent of the birth control pill coincided with the sexual revolution in the 60’s. For the first time in human history, you could have sex without having babies. There were voices against what was happening, warning that it was a slippery slope. In fact, originally every major denomination was against birth control, but there was relatively little evangelical conversation about this and it soon became a non-issue.
- The divorce revolution. This made every marriage tentative. Marriage was no longer an enduring institution. “Irreconcilable difference” became sufficient reason. Something that was at one time shameful became common. Dr. Mohler said, “This was far more injurious to marriage than same sex marriage. As far as damage to marriage, heterosexuals got there first.”
- Assisted reproductive technology. Test tube babies, surrogate mothers … now you could have babies without sex. This redefined kinship and the family. (This is a subject we should seek to understand more fully as believers. Besides the kinship and family issues Dr. Mohler talked about, there are issues of creating multiple unused embryos, etc., but that’s a discussion for another time.)
- The normalization of heterosexual misconduct. Now we have thousands and thousands of out of wedlock babies. Couples are openly living together, many of them professing to be believers and attending church every Sunday. Adultery is no longer “adultery;” it is an extramarital affair.
These changes set the stage and the moral revolution was well under way. The church as a whole has largely failed to be a real voice. God’s methods for keeping his church pure have been ignored.
Sinning and struggling church members have been sent out into the world to get counseling where many behaviors the Bible calls sin have been validated rather than addressed biblically.
Few churches are willing to follow the Matthew 18 process of church discipline. Sin and repentance are seldom talked about and preachers are often unwilling to make anyone feel uncomfortable when they come to church.
3 Conditions for Moral Revolution:
Once the stage had been set, there were 3 conditions that needed to be met for a moral revolution to really take off.
- That which was condemned has to be celebrated. Today we have no condemnation to what had been universally condemned in the past (divorce, living together, homosexuality …).
- That which was celebrated is condemned. This means there’s a turning of the tables, a moral inversion. Marriage and biblical truth, standing up for what is right by God’s standards, is no longer celebrated. Now it is being condemned.
- The ones who refuse to celebrate must be condemned. If you refuse to celebrate what is politically correct and popular you are called prejudiced, self-righteous, hateful, homophobes and worse.
A Pugh survey discovered that it’s not different people polling differently about these things. It’s many of the same people who have changed their views.
And the statistics about teens and people in their 20’s are much higher.
These philosophies about the importance of “being who you are” are being pushed on students at every level. We’ve probably all heard about books used even in elementary schools like “Heather Has Two Mommies.” But a quick scan of the internet yields dozens of others like:
I am Jazz which is described this way, “From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. Based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings.”
Donovan’s Big Day described this way, “Captures the excitement of a young boy as he and his extended family prepare for the boy’s two moms’ wedding. A picture book about love, family, and marriage.”
That which was condemned is now celebrated!
Things to Remember
In upcoming posts I’ll be talking about the numerous unbiblical responses to these issues (some from those who call themselves Christians), how to respond biblically to people who are struggling with homosexuality and transgender issues, and how to help their hurting families, among other things, but I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts I wrote down during various sessions.
People struggling with same-sex attraction and transgender issues and those who are open about it are in our churches and will be more and more.
We must be God’s ambassadors and our lives must reflect this.
“We have to speak wisdom and reality to a culture that has lost it.”
“The church must be an outpost of the gospel.”
Redemption is found only in Christ.
“God does not need new PR, he needs preachers to preach the truth.”
We must speak the hard truths and call people back to it. There is no one else going to do it. We are the last line of defense.
We don’t need to be scared of them. We have more reason to love fellow sinners than anyone else. We need to be known for being loving to this community.
Also, we need to remember that Jesus was perfectly loving, and they hated Him so don’t think everyone will love us.
I look forward to sharing more with you on this subject over the next few weeks.
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