"Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord." - Jude 3-4
There are many reasons why same-sex marriage is not a good idea, but there is one reason that far outweighs all the rest in importance: it leads people AWAY from God instead of toward Him!
As a Christian and a pastor it is my heart's desire to lead people to the one true God who has revealed Himself in His Word, the Bible. I love people and I desperately want them to know the God who sent His Son, Jesus, the Christ, into this world to save sinners like me. You can't be a Christian ... REALLY, you can't be a Christian if you don't believe that Jesus is "the Way and the Truth and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him" (John 14:6). God has provided a way for sinners to come to Himself, to be reconciled to Him, and that way is repentance and faith.
The evidence of the work of God's Spirit in a person's heart and mind and life is a godly sorrow for sin that produces true repentance (II Corinthians 7:10), the desire and the strength of God to turn from sin and to pursue righteousness. Peter writes in II Peter 3:9 that God desires that everyone would come to repentance. Paul writes in Acts 17:30 -31 that "God commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead." Jesus is the only one who has risen from the dead, as we just celebrated. Jesus Himself said that when the Holy Spirit came He would "convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:8).
Millions have become convinced that same-sex marriage is about people having certain rights that are given to married couples. But that is a smoke-screen for what lies behind Satan's scheme to deceive people into hell by leading them away from God's grace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Same-sex marriage is a symptom of a culture that has utterly and totally thumbed its nose at God by rejecting His holiness, His standard of righteousness, His truth and His offer of salvation. And the worst part of the debate that is now taking place in our society is the silence of the church, or even worse, its approval of sin. Homosexuality is not "worse" than heterosexual sins or any other sins named in God's Word as contrary to His will for mankind. What IS worse is the acceptance of it and the approval of it by those who claim to be followers of Jesus, but who now say that the Bible is archaic, irrelevant and no longer to be taken seriously. These are the people Jude was writing about in the verses above. The false teachers have secretly slipped into the church and have led people away from God and His transforming power, all the while claiming to be followers of Jesus! (II Corinthians 11:13-15).
If Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus or the followers of other religions want to approve of such things, I have nothing to say to them except that they are hurting themselves and those who listen to them. But when those who claim to know the Jesus who is revealed in the very Bible whose teaching they reject pretend that they are speaking for God, I am angry and I will stand to defend the truth that God has revealed in His Word. These people DO NOT KNOW JESUS! Even those who are usually voices of "conservative" politics are now calling those of us who oppose same-sex marriage "Bible-thumpers."
How about this: What are those who throw stones at us "Bible-thumpers" offering to those who do not know the God who offers forgiveness to those who confess their sin and desire to repent, to turn from it to follow Jesus? If what we "Bible-thumpers" offer is so bad, what does the rest of the world offer to people who will one day stand before a holy God and answer for the life they lived? Clearly, the Bible says that we will all stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ - literally. The Jesus who supposedly offered this "love" that just accepts everybody the way they are without calling them out of their sin to follow Him is the very One who spoke more about eternal judgment than about heaven. He warned those who listened to Him over and over again that judgment was coming.
Ah, some will say, but His harshest words were for the Pharisees - people like ME!! Well, I am not a Pharisee (though I have probably been called worse by some). The Pharisees really thought they were better than everyone else based on their own righteousness. I know better. I am painfully aware of my sins and if my record were stacked up against yours or against those who approve of same-sex marriage it may well be that the scale would tip in your favor or theirs. I hate the sin that remains in me and I desire to turn from it. I ask God to help me focus on Him and to obey His commands. But I know that I will NEVER be good enough, righteous enough, to stand before Him clothed in my own goodness, my own righteousness. That's why I thank God for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. He did what I couldn't do ... He suffered God's wrath against MY sin and then, by grace alone, without my deserving anything, He gave me His Spirit, opened my mind to hear the Gospel, the good news of Jesus taking my place and of His righteousness, and then, gave me faith to believe what seems to be too good to be true: By faith in Jesus God credited to ME the perfect righteousness of Jesus!! When God looks at me, He no longer sees my sin, but instead sees the righteousness of His own Son.
So what do I offer to people when I tell them about Jesus? I offer them righteousness through faith in Him; a righteousness that gives them access to the very throne-room of the Creator of the universe. I offer them NEW LIFE and freedom from the guilt and burden of sin. What does the world offer them? What does a society that approves of what God calls sin offer people who are openly and without repentance living in sin and accepting their sin? DEATH ... ETERNAL death! Is that REALLY what love is all about?
Same-sex marriage is not about giving people a license to get married, it is about giving them a license to immorality ... not by MY definition, but God's. How foolish is the response that says, "Oh yeah, but what about YOU?!" As I have shared above, I am a sinner, saved by grace. I don't boast in my sin, but in a Savior whose name is Jesus. Jude wrote, "For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord" (Jude 4). Immorality, whether it is homosexuality or any form of sexual sin, from adultery to pornography, from incest to lust ... whether it is gossip or lying or cheating ... whether it is abortion or hatred ... gambling or laziness ... IMMORALITY KILLS PEOPLE ... forever ... unless .... ....
The ONE cure for sin is confession, repentance and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. This is the only way to receive, as a gift of God, the righteousness you need to stand in His presence on the day of judgment. This is why I wrote in my last post that "I am not ashamed of the Gospel ... for in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith'" (Romans 1:16-17).
Those who are tempted with same-sex attraction have a difficult struggle. Homosexuality, along with all the other sexual sins, is a result of mankind's broken relationship with God. The only "natural" thing about it is that some people appear to be "born this way." But God has made it clear that it is not how He intended it to be, any more than He made anyone to be selfish or hateful or ....
Paul wrote to the Galatians, "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21). Those of us who are "in the church" who truly know Jesus Christ and who have put our trust in HIM for forgiveness and righteousness, still struggle with our sin, but we know we have a Savior and because His Spirit is at work in us we desire to turn from it. Every true follower of Jesus, every true Christian, WANTS to please God above himself or herself.
Why is the push toward the acceptance of homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage such a bad idea? Because it leads people away from the God who stands ready and willing to forgive them and thus condemns people to an eternity of judgment. Forget for a moment what the result will be for our culture and for our nation (God DOES care and He IS watching) ... and just think of the people, of the children and young people who are now being led to believe that sin doesn't matter. It was abortion, then gambling, now homosexuality ... Perhaps the next thing legalized will be drugs - we have already begun with marijuana ... You see, all these things society, and even the Supreme Court, may approve and allow, but in the end they will all bring judgment upon those who practice them without confession, repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, without a sincere desire, produced by the Holy Spirit, to turn from sin to righteousness.
I will keep preaching truth and offering forgiveness as long as God gives me breath. Call me a "Bible-thumper," but understand that if you reject what God offers in this book you will answer not to me, but to Him. That's just the way it is. As for me, I thank God that though I am a sinner like you, I know a Savior whose name is Jesus, and I love Him, because He first loved me. I thank God for the freedom from the guilt and bondage of sin that I would be living in without Jesus. And I praise Him for His marvelous grace! I sincerely invite you to join me. I would love to spend eternity with YOU!!