Reading: Romans 1 (all of it)
Friends, it has finally come to this. Oh, yes - a conglomorate of pent-up tensions concerning a subject, though many don't necessarily agree with, find no true argument against. Take our new feature film "Brokeback Mountain" featuring Heath Ledger and Jack Gylenhall (spl?). Never having seen the movie, reviews blatantly hail it as a positive step in light of left-wing progress. Now, you're probably thinking, "Oh, crap! A right-wing extremist out for revenge on those who have swept their grounds clean of those seeking a humanly-inherent good!" Not quite, dude. In fact, I wish to look at both sides of this oft-flipped coin for some answers, AND I will be doing my searching from a Biblical perspective. For you who do not share my, hopefully, Christ-centered view, you'll find that we, Christians, have screwed up too many times to count, beginning with Adam and Eve.
Now, Adam and Eve were made in the image of God. In this wonder of creation, we meet a young man who had the ownership of Eden and enjoyed toiling it. Eve, God's next human creation, was made as "a helper fit for him" (Gen. 2:18). They are then charged by God to "[be] fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens (or air) and over every living thing that moves on the earth..." and so on and so on (Gen. 1:28b). This serpent, then, appears and attemps (successfully) to send these two on a path away from God. What was Satan's strategy? Make 'em think that they can be gods like God. A contemporary version of this would be to "find in yourselves the divine, the inherent good in humanity," all the while, forgetting about God. That's the New Age movement for ya. It's all about me.
Now, some of ya are saying, "Hey! Wait a minute! You're saying there's no good in humanity?" That's correct, not after man decided we were better than God. I mean, heck - they were walking PHYSICALLY with God and they turned against him! You think we have doubting issues when it comes to faith? These guys didn't need faith - they had God on a platter, and they forsook him. What would you do if you had God physically walking next to you? You could feel him, see him, hear him. Yet, a slimy serpant can deter us from knowing God and obeying him.
Ok...alright... where does this fit in with the subject of 'homosexuality?' Well, open your Bibles to Romans chapter 1. We have Paul, a newly-converted messianic Jew, who, after being confronted by Jesus about opposing the church, goes on a missions rampage to help persuade the world to know Christ and him crucified. After coming into the faith, he readily opposed unrighteousness, evil, murder, strife, deceit, and maliciousness (Romans 1:29, et al). You see, we look at many things nowadays with tainted vision. We look at John resting on Jesus' bosom and we think they were gay. How do I know that they were not? "You [God] who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong..." (Hab. 1:13a) AND "You [MAN] shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination" (Lev. 18:22, as well as many others) connect at this: sin, wrong, abomination... putting two and two together makes four. There are such things as non-sexual friendships, ya know! Homosexual relationships had, and have, been going on for millenia, if not since the fall of man (whenever that was in time). To make a statement for cultural acceptance is an illogical statement. How does homosexuality being wrong then equate with homosexuality being good in our day and age? How's that right? It's not, and it's wrong. Now, let's get to Romans 1.
The first 17 verses are essentially a testimony to faith and to being sold-out to Christ. From verse 18-32, we are confronted by what happens to our mind and heart when we fall into sin (defined as a continual pattern or habit of missing God's mark). Verses 18-20 is basically telling of God's visible invisibility (i.e., we know there's a God). Verse 21 then begins with what happens when we initially walk away from knowledge of God. We begin to give creative allegiance to the creation, and not the creature.
Now, of course (believe it or not), God doesn't want them to walk away. However, God doesn't knock down doors - that's not true love. True love allows choices, whether good or bad. The consequences of those actions are "a whole nother sermon." When one sins and begins a pattern of sinning, things in life (like morality, for instance) gets skewed. We see things as they should not. It's kinda like what happens when one gets drunk, execpt it's more on a spiritual level. Our spiritual visions gets blurred by our intoxication of sin. And, because of that, unless we heed the advice of our DD's, we continue going down the wrong path. And, let's face it.. we've all seen that too many times. We, then, find that it's ok to engage in immoral activities. When we're drunk, it's sex with someone you do not know, or drinking more than we're capable of handling, or what have you. When we're in a pattern of sin, it's sex with the same gender, it's okay'ing things we wouldn't normally do (i.e., making sin ok). It's not just homosexuality, yet we see that lots of sin includes some form of sexual sin, whether it's extortion, money laundering, or most other sins. Rapists, for instance, use sex as a way to let people know how powerful they are. The orgasm doubles as their reward for sexually bullying another.
Then, says Paul, we get to the point in our sin that we, "though...[knowing] God's decree that those practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them" (Romans 1:32). Wow! We can screw up pretty easily! You see, there's a huge difference between sinning and making a habit of sin, just like there's a difference between hanging off of a cliff just in the grasp of safety (sinning) and falling so far off of the cliff that we cannot call out for help (making a habit of sin). Do you see what's going on here? You know people that are risk-takers. They get really close to the edge, making all around them shudder with fear. They step closer...closer...closer, until they slip and fall off of the edge. They call for help, and they are saved. But, they go back for more... the thrill is a rush. They see the branch they held on to when they slipped, and they jump for it.... and miss! They fall... fall... fall... until they hit bottom. Seeing they are alive, they shout for help, yet they've fallen so far they are unable to be heard, or they are already feared dead and forgotten.
How sad! How sad! How terribly dreary! They call out, "Hear ye! Hear ye!" Yet, are so steeped in their problems they cannot get out without the proper help. Heck, maybe it's nice down there... grass, water, marijuana bushes. Yet, we as a church continue to allow people to remain in their sin, all the while condenming them for their actions. Heck, if my friend had fallen, I'd think I would do anything to get them out.
That's where the church fails. Isn't that what you see? I see a church dying of laziness. My friends, homosexuals... I'm sorry we've left you. We've forsaken you. We've been poor examples of love, compassion, discipline, positive presence. On behalf of all those who truly love you, we apologize. Sin is wrong: you sin, we sin. We ALL have gone astray, each to his own way. We are like sheep to the slaughter. We all need Jesus to heal us of our wrongs. Join me in that journey. I want to walk with you. More to come...