I have been running into an increasing number of Christians who do not think that gay marriage is a big deal. I’m shocked by it, but I think I understand why they believe that. Even if I understand their ambivalence, there are no issues more important to our nation today.
First, why have so many Christians been relatively ambivalent toward gay marriage or even in support of it? You could probably get a slightly different answer from almost every person you talked to, but it can be summed up in two ways: 1) Lack of understanding God’s heart and 2) A desire to shake off the shackles of the tired, old hypocritical notions of dusty Christianity. Let’s start by looking at the first reason:
Notice how I did not say people lack an understanding of God’s word. There has been an unusual amount of Biblical justification regarding gay marriage in the last several years. That should cause us to pause for a moment. Why would a group of people who associate themselves the least with God and the Bible be so willing to quote it? And why would so many Christians use the Biblical justifications offered to them by people who do not believe the Bible to begin with? It’s not because they lack Bible knowledge. It is because Christians today lack an understanding of the God of the Bible.
Form of Godliness
Jesus addressed the same issue in His day with the religious leaders of His day.
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,
The problem with knowing the scriptures is that unless we recognize the God who wrote them, they will cause us more harm than good. If we choose not to believe scripture, it will testify against us. We must search the scriptures, never to justify ourselves, but to encounter the Living God. Scripture can never conform to our views, we must conform to it.
This leads us directly into the second reason I listed above. There is a countercultural shift away from the clanging cymbals of the past couple decades in Christianity when it comes to homosexuality. The same passage in John 5 could be used to describe most of them. They have wielded scripture to justify their own beliefs and homophobia instead of having their lives conform to scripture. People aren’t stupid, and they’ve been able to see through this kind of stuff for generations.
The problem is that even though far too many preachers have been shouting from pulpits that homosexuality will destroy our nation for all the wrong reasons, we shouldn’t be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
What’s the solution, then? Why is homosexuality so wrong, if I claim these self-righteous preachers have it all wrong?
For starters, let’s be clear. Homosexuality is a sin. And to dispel any fears of sympathetic Christians, so is heterosexual sin (adultery, fornication) and gluttony, lying, stealing, cheating and on an on. There are many other sins in our nation that we tend to gloss over. That is not a problem with God’s Word, that is a problem with our culture. We have to make that distinction carefully. We cannot use our Christian tendency to never address things like gluttony to make less of another sin like homosexuality.
We must always declare sin as sin. Anything else and we begin to try to justify ourselves. That’s not a slippery slope, it’s a cliff.
The reason gay marriage is such a big deal in America today is not because it is just another sin among many, but because God tells us it is a barometer. It is how we can tell where the collective heart of a culture is. Is it near to God or is it far away?
When God spoke to me in March of 2003 in a dream, He showed me that when One World Trade Center in New York was completed, our nation would hang in the balance. He showed me a disturbing picture of homosexuality and its acceptance in America, largely at the hands of Christians. In my dream, God tied those two events together and they are happening today. The barometer that God established in scripture long ago is manifesting itself today in America exactly as the Lord showed me it would in my dream.
Homosexuality is a barometer because it is lifestyle that most cultures (not all) throughout history have rejected as unacceptable. There is a natural tendency for anyone to feel “weirded out” by it. Most people have a natural homophobia. I don’t mean that to say it is good or bad, it just is. That is why when a culture accepts homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, something has drastically shifted. Paul describes those shifts in Romans 1:
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Here, Paul clearly identifies homosexuality as sin, but not as the sin that destroys a nation, as so many would-be Jeremiahs have claimed. He says that it is the result of people turning away from God. It is not what causes a nation to turn away, it is the evidence that it already has.
The Lord Spoke To Me
In my dream, the Lord clearly showed me that it was Christians who were complicit with this turning away in America. You can read about it in my book, The Year of the Lord’s Favor? We can see today that more and more Christians are jumping on this bandwagon because they do not understand what they are doing. They are condoning the turning away of America from God.
To some of you, that may sound ridiculous. How could true believers stand for things that God’s Word clearly rejects? The rejection of God’s Word is not because so many Christians do not love God, but because they are tired of, let me say this as clearly as I can, “idiotic leaders.” Far too many times we’ve seen and heard leaders spouting off about how God hates homosexuality. God hates sin, but not sinners. God hates fags.
God hates, God hates, God hates.
No wonder so many people are rejecting things that are clearly spelled out in the Bible. Using the Bible to justify our pre-conceived notions always leads to perversion of truth.
Read Romans. The Whole Thing
God does not hate homosexuality. God defined it. He created it. I refer you to Paul’s explanation of the law in Romans to understand what I mean. Homosexuality isn’t to be hated: it is a definition that judges us. Just as we use the definition of murder to judge a defendant by in a trial.
If we want God to turn America back to Him, we must not fight against gay marriage. We cannot fight against homosexuality. It won’t even do any good to rail against gluttony. What we must do is repent for our own sins that have led this nation down a path where this could become normalized. God promises in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if His people will turn from THEIR wicked ways and repent, He would heal our land.
The last barrier people have today is one of extremism. They are tired of the black and white lines people have created around justifying their position. Today the love and grace message of “why can’t we all just get along” has muted far too many Christians from wanting to “take sides” on these issues. But we must. We must speak up that where we are and where we are going is not okay. It will lead to our destruction. But there is still time.
Time To Get Extreme
For those who do not want to jump to extremes, I offer you this:
6Then an Israelite man brought into the camp a Midianite woman right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 7When Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, saw this, he left the assembly, took a spear in his hand 8and followed the Israelite into the tent. He drove the spear into both of them, right through the Israelite man and into the woman’s stomach. Then the plague against the Israelites was stopped; 9but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000. 10The Lord said to Moses, 11“Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal. 12Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him. 13He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood, because he was zealous for the honor of his God and made atonement for the Israelites.”
What Phinehas did may sound extreme, because it was extreme. If you’re not slightly offended by what he did, then you’re lying. When everyone else in Israel was just okay to sit by and watch the nation wander quickly into immorality, Phinehas acted quickly to stop things. What he did was very extreme, but God honored him with one of the greatest honors in scripture. The only other covenant like this in the Bible is the one God made with David.
I’m not advocating anyone go and kill homosexuals (please, please please don’t read that here). What I am saying is that if you set your heart to honor God in your actions, you may appear extreme. You may be called a bigot. You may lose friends. You may be hated by 55% of Americans. And you may say things wrong and even insensitively.
But if you get extreme for God, He will honor you, and His honor lasts forever. Ask those 55% of Americans how long their honor will last.
So to the throngs of Christians caught in the middle of this struggle, I say this: How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, then follow Him. As for me and my household, I will server the Lord. (1 Kings 18:21 and Joshua 24:15)
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Darren, it has been 20 years or more since we really knew each other,
but I enjoy dropping in on your blog from time to time when you post
links on FB. We both started out as Southern Baptist kids in a
Baptist-in-all-but-name Christian school. We’ve taken separate paths
away from those roots; you in the direction of the Charismatic movement,
and I towards a more traditional group of believers (Missouri Synod
The reason I like reading your blog on occasion is
that it reminds me that we really are part of the same family still.
Thanks for writing like someone who is reasoned, not going for
sensationalism and emotional manipulation. Going for the big applause
line is easy by swinging to either extreme on this issue. I expected to
follow this link and be see another “homosexuality is destroying
‘murica” message. Instead, you hit the right mark, I think.
Homosexuality is sinful…but we Christians should ask ourselves what
our own lives are communicating about God’s design for marriage and let
God’s grace heal our own brokenness. Only then will be able to share
both truth and grace with others.
20 years! Ugh, I don’t like to think about anything in my life happening 20 years ago. I’m not old enough for that!
Seriously, it’s great to hear from you, Holly. It’s always good to hear from old friends, especially when they’re continuing on with the Lord. I’m so glad you can find agreement with what I’m trying to convey. Fewer and fewer are these days.
I so long for every believer in America to take responsibility for where the nation has gone instead of pointing the self-righteous finger of blame at our culture. The church has commanded our culture for generations; whatever we see now is directly because of either our actions or inaction.
But God will heal our land if we repent. He will restore. We don’t have to go back to the way things were–they weren’t always that good. We need to move into the fullness of God’s heart for this nation, and that will take all His people, from every denomination and credal flavor crying out to Him in repentance, humility and unity.
I’ll have a follow-on to this article next Wednesday. I’d love to hear your opinions on that one, too.
so so very spot on regarding this subject! u are the man darren ! i wish i could memorize every word in this message to recite when faced with this discussion, which is very often these days. thanks for the good word that you always give regarding our culture in these times. thank you for the gift that you share that reveals the heart of God in these matters that define in these last days.i am so glad i signed up to receive your messages. i am 60 years old and have read MANY others on the internet but you have the best way of putting it all into the proper perspective that i have read.
thank you and please do not grow weary in what you are doing. your clear sane voice of wisdom IS being heard. i will be recommending you more often to people.
Thank you so much for your kind words. You will never know how encouraging they are on a day like this. I pray that the Lord would use these words to encourage others not to give up hope, but to continue pressing into God for the salvation of our nation. God, give us this land and turn the fallen hearts back to You!