Homosexuality: What set the stage?

 

Homosexuality: Setting the Stage for a Moral RevolutionIt’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.

 

birth control pillSome of the Steps that Got Us Here

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.”
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.

  1. 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 …).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Blessings,
Donna

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26 thoughts on “Homosexuality: What set the stage?

  1. Oh, dear Donna! How this post blessed my soul today! I am so thankful for you and your stand for righteousness. Our moral decline started long ago, and sometimes, it just looks so impossible to ever see things get back on a Godly, Biblically-correct path. It starts with us, as Christians who are upholding the truth, repenting of our own sins and taking responsibility for dropping the ball. It is only through our own willingness to admit our own wrongdoing that we will ever see the healing of our land. God help us all to examine ourselves, personally, before ever trying to correct others. As goes the church, so the nation will follow. The discord among God’s people and our unwillingness to get along and flow together in unity must be dealt with before we can ever hope to reach the hurting world outside our ranks. What a mess we must look like to God! He is our only hope, and the 4 steps of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is our only way back. Thank you ever so much for preaching the truth here.

    • Cheryl,

      Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and the truths you shared. You are absolutely right! If we don’t humble ourselves and pray and do the work we need to do, how can we ever help others.

      I hope you’ll keep reading as I commented to Latisha, not because I’m so wise, but because there are wise, godly people who have some great things to say to us as believers on this subject. I hope to share as much of that as I can.

      Blessings,
      Donna

  2. I truly enjoyed reading this thought provoking post. These are truly issues that I have thought about and struggled to find my place as a Christian in a world that totally accepts what I know to be wrong and condemn what I know to be right. I’m still trying to figure out where and how to stand in this world.

    • Latisha,

      I hope you will read all the posts in this series, not because I’m so smart, but because there are godly men and women out there who are so much better thinking and wiser than I am, and I want to share what I have learned. I believe you will gain some valuable, godly information. I just couldn’t say it all in one post.

      Blessings, My Sweet Sister,
      Donna

  3. Sounds like an amazing conference. I hate to say this is a great post, because, well, you know. I appreciate how well written and easy to follow you have made it.
    I liken what is happening in our world today to a modern day confusion of languages. Things no longer mean what they used to–we are redefining whatever we want now, yes? What’s good was bad. What’s bad was good.
    Bless you for putting out truth on this tender subject.
    Blessings,

  4. I appreciate your thoughts on such a thorny issue! I think your first point in general was really important. Instead of families, marriage, sex, love, and babies all being part of the same circle they’ve now been segmented so that many people think that one has nothing to do with the other – leading to all sorts of situations that lead to heartbreak. (I’m not anti-birth control, BTW, but I do think that its use, particularly the use of it outside marriage, has been a huge contributor to this attitude.) Thank you for making that connection and I’m really looking forward to reading about the rest of the insights you got from the conference!

    • I’m with you, Jenny, I’m not against birth control either (as long as it prevents pregnancy rather than terminates it after the fact), but in hindsight it’s easy to see how it contributed to where we are now. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I look forward to sharing more.

  5. Thank you Donna!

    First, thank you for being willing to share what you took away from this conference. I have been so sad, but awakened, at the direction of the church over the last several years, to be able to have an inside view of the direction of Christian couselors is a privilage. I am very interested in this series. I hope to feel hopefull when you’re done with it, BUT I’ll be honest, and say that this post has me only causiously optomistic.

    What was a blessing in this post was the history behind how we got here. I 100% agree with all that you walked us through. It’s been step away from God after step away, and here we are. The reproductive issues are *absolutely* connected to where we are and it’s about time someone not only put it together, but was bold enough to speak it!

    I identified as bi-sexual before I came to Christ. I write about it often on my personal blog. The gospel, Christ, and responding to His word in faith is what all of us need- homesexuals and transgenders are no different.

    That said, the over arching theme of LOVE is what I will be keeping a close eye on as you move forward in this series. As I’m sure you know, I see the biggest down fall of the church in the out of balanced, unbiblical embrace of the hyper grace movement and “love” that isn’t really love at all. I’m very interested to see what the Christian Counselors organization’s view is of these topics.

    • Ren, I can assure you biblical counselors view “love” the same way. Much of what is called love, simply isn’t! Hope you’ll keep adding your comments as we go along. I’m always blessed by your input. Blessings!

      • I know that responses to the birth control/ medical conception are going to be emotional- and you’re handling them well- so, I just want you to know that I see the sense in what was said at your conference, that I agree with their role in bringing us to where we are today.

        I really feel like neither of those things, while having just enough poistive to them to keep us from seeing how destructive they really, were ever God’s intent for us. Both of those things boil down to control. One allows us to say, “Not now” or “No more” to God, and another allows us to get what we want when the answer we’ve received in, “No” or “Not now”.
        And, neither builds faith. Neither asks us to trust God.

        I have three children, but they didn’t come easy, I’m not super fertile. I know the pain that comes with the realization that the answer might be “No”. I know what it is to be tempted to do whatever it takes to get the “Yes” I want. . . *I* want. While I waited for a husband, God gave me things to fill that void. I, found peace remembering that He’d do the same while I wait for more children, and if none come, He wouldn’t leave me feeling barron unless I chose to embrace that feeling on my own.

        My husband feels over whelmed with life right now and would like to not have anymore children, but is as committed to leaving it in God’s hands as I am.

        He prays that God would not allow anymore, and while I pray for more, I also see my husband trying to keep his head above water, and so, pray God would not allow another if another would sink him.

        Both of the controls we seek to take over reproduction are nothing more then the evidence that people really, really, really don’t know how to just trust God.

        Of course it makes sense to take control when we, as a society, don’t have anyone to trust otherwise. And, when we, as a church, allow the reasoning of the world to influence us, it’s easy to forget that trusting Him in all things includes trusting Him with the amount of children we have or don’t have.

        That’s just the measure of faith I’ve been given.

        • Ren, you hit the nail right on the head. While I can’t begin to understand the temptations someone might face when desiring a child or more children, I do know what it feels like to want to take control in other areas. God always puts us in positions in various areas of our lives that require us to trust Him even when it hurts to do so. Thanks so much for your encouragement.

  6. I agree so much with most of what you wrote, but have to disagree on the ART point. If there were moral conditions to it (only for married people, only creating as many embryos as you plan to use, etc.) it would not be an issue at all. As it is, it has helped thousands of good people become parents, so it doesn’t really seem like a terrible thing. I do believe that accepting divorce was the biggest threat to marriage, far greater than homosexual marriage, unfortunately it is a little late to that party for me.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your point of view. I do understand that many loving couples have been helped, but the problem is that it is used outside of marriage and multiple embryos are created. I can’t begin to understand the heartache some couples experience when they are not able to conceive, but if we really believe that life begins at conception, what does that mean? We can’t use an evil thing to justify a good one. I hope you hear my heart in this. Thanks so much and I hope you’ll stop by again soon.

  7. Interesting post, Donna. Sounds as though it was an interesting and informative conference. And, the pill? Who knew?! I’ll be looking forward to reading more. My interest is piqued. #testimonyTuesday

  8. This is very detailed information. All I can say is God help us all to realize we are in the last days and must guard our salvation with fear and trembling.
    And we must be God’s hands and feet in bringing in the harvest before He returns.
    Have a super blessed day from Wedded Wednesday!
    Love

  9. Thanks, Donna, for this thought provoking post about an issue some of us never thought we would see happening in our lifetimes.
    Blessings and grace,
    Pam

  10. I have thought several times about how we as a nation got where we are now. I think it was before the pill even. I think it started with the femmanist movement and women leaving the home. This is a huge pill to swallow for most and not a very popular thing to talk about. Mostly because the role of a woman in a marriage is no longer understood, biblicly speaking. Submission to our husbands is taken as weakness, which it is not. Also, the “I want, I deserve” attitude has made women think they need to work out of the home. People say they cannot survive on one income, meanwhile they have a 2,000 sq ft home and 2 brand new cars. I am an RN who used to work out of the home. I went back to school after I had my children. I wanted to provide a better life for my kids. However, my children did not benefit. My oldest developed anxiety and I started to feel so left out when my mother in law was the one hearing about their school day first. I eventually got rid of the brand new car for one paid with cash, we downsized our home, and I have started learning to make food from scratch, and now am raising livestock to provide our meat. People think I’m crazy but this is what I do so that I can be home with my children and be home to teach them God’s word. If we are not at home living out our biblical roles as wives and mothers how can we expect our children to do the same? We need to follow the bible wholely not in pieces. We also need to learn to trust in him. He will provide our needs, not all of our wants but all of our needs.

  11. I admire the fact that you can write the truth in a loving and Godly manner. To Danielle, very few people have the courage to take a stand to do what is right over what seems right to others. God sees your sacrifice and will bless and keep you. I admire your love for you children and your God. He is my God too and I am encouraged to there are still people who want to live by The Word of God.

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