Friday, March 28, 2014

About Gays and World Vision

 “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?”                                                   ~ 1 Corinthians 5:1-2

My heart breaks for the number of “proud” people (who claim Christ as their Savior) who lauded Richard Stearns before his reversal on the gay-marriage decision at World Vision.

Personally I am very confused.  Mr. Stearns and his books have been an inspiration to my wife and me.  We are grateful that he “repented” of his position.  Our hope is that the repentance was based on his genuine change of heart on the matter and was not driven by the drop in funding for his organization since the row occurred.  If it were the latter, our hearts break even more.  And as many other Christians have expressed to me, "What else will he compromise on for the sake of 'unity'?"

Now there is a social media firestorm brewing.  More liberal, progressive Christians accuse those who disagreed with Stearns as “judgmental,” “lacking grace,” and “unloving toward gays.”  They have even stated things like, “How dare other Christians put the children of World Vision at risk?”

But those accusations have absolutely NOTHING to do with the issue.  The issue has everything to do with whether or not a self-professed Christian believes that the act of homosexuality is a sin.  If they agree it is sin, then the issue becomes, Is the sinner repentant of that sin and actively endeavoring to draw closer to Christ? 

If they are, then the former sinner would be welcomed in nearly any Christian organization that exists.  But if the sinner refuses to acknowledge that their behavior is sinful, why should any such organization feel obligated to employ them?

And no, Bible-following Christians are not hypocritical.  Yes, adultery is also a sin, even if it’s heterosexual.  But you would be hard-pressed to find a truly Christ-centered company that employs ANYONE in unrepentant sin—like spouses having affairs, filthy-mouthed alcoholics, or even doctors who perform abortions.

The Bible is clear.  The act of homosexuality is a sin.  And when two gay people marry, it is a statement to the world that it is most certainly NOT a sin to them.

It is extremely dangerous to accuse those who follow the truth of Scripture of somehow not showing “grace” to the sinner.  God alone shows grace to the sinner through repentance.  Christians show the love of God to them.  Christians who protested Stearns's initial decision are NOT unloving toward gays.  We are simply protesting the anti-biblical acceptance of homosexual marriage for the sake of “unity.”

Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Unity in error is unity in ruin.”

And Adrian Rogers said, "It is better to be divided by truth than to be united by error."

Jesus prayed, “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:11). And shortly after he prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth” (John 17:17). Jesus desired the church to be unified as one body and sanctified by the truth of the Word of God. According to Christ, truth and unity go hand in hand. He never even hints at creating a contrast between the two.

Christian truth is NOT the antithesis of unity!  It is the foundation of it.  Otherwise, the Bible was written in vain and Christ’s death on the cross was also done in vain.  Otherwise, the apostle Paul would not have gone to such great lengths to consistently, publicly distinguish the true gospel from any false influence. 

He was dealing with pre-Gnosticism, which voiced the idea that Jesus did not actually come in the “flesh,” but was some sort of spirit.

He was dealing with Judaizers who insisted that Jewish converts to Christianity must abide by Old Testament rules, as in circumcision.

He was dealing with ascetics who insisted on a cloistered lifestyle and dietary habits.

He was dealing with hedonists whose purpose in life was to avoid pain or discomfort at any cost.

These issues are mild compared to what he would write today if this conversation about gays arose.  Why didn’t the topic arise back in his day?  Because except for the Romans themselves, the Roman “Christian” world was firm that the act of homosexuality was wrong.  Why?  Because they had the Scriptures to back it up.

Therefore, contrary to accusations that are flying in the social media arena, I make the following attestation:

The word “phobic” implies fear.  I am not afraid of those in the gay lifestyle.  I truly LOVE them.  I worked with them for years in the fashion industry.  My absolute best friend in the world came out of the lifestyle because he recognized its waywardness. I am not ashamed to be seen with them in public.  I am not afraid to have them come into my home and play with my children.  When I see them on the street, I do not cross to the other side to avoid them.

I do not love gays any more or any less than I would, say, an adulterer.  They need the love of Jesus.  Jesus gave me immense love for them.  I have no ulterior motives in building and keeping relationships with them.  I love them as people.  I do not look at them with disgust or hatred.  I can love them even though I do not agree with their lifestyle.  And why must I agree with them in order to love them?  If that’s the definition of love, we’re all lost.

We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  They are in need of a Savior as much as anyone else.

I have yet to meet someone in the gay lifestyle who sees a Bible verse and says, “Gee, I didn’t know God thinks it’s a sin.”

We all may struggle with proclivities and desires that are not godly.  But God looks at the heart and wants us to “Be holy as He is holy.”  If that means keeping desires at bay until He comes or takes us to be with Him, then so be it.  We are ALL to die to our fleshly desires, however those look.  Temptations are not sin.  Allowing temptations to take root in our hearts is sin, whether we act on them or not. (James 1:13-15)

I want to encourage all those who are under attack for standing up for the Word of God.  Time is short.  The Lord is separating the wheat from the chaff in these last days.

“All people are like grass,
    and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
~ 1 Peter 1:24-25

The American Constitution is under attack for being outdated.  The Word of God is never outdated, and we will all stand before God someday as He calls us into account for any compromise whatsoever in our walk with Him.
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