Same-sex marriage, I-feel-and-therefore-I-am-entitled, men in girl’s bathrooms, the on-going HIV/AIDS crisis, sexual addiction, pornography epidemic, gender confusion, sexual abuse, sexual identity confusion – why has it and why is it taking the larger Body of Christ to recognize, “Yes, we have a crisis!?”
The truth of the matter is the crisis has existed for decades with the downward spiral beginning with the acceptance of welcoming Jesus into our theology but not into our sexuality. The crisis we have faced and the crisis we continue to face began there, so let’s stop blaming the liberals.
The winds of social change have and continue to blow aimlessly across America with a continued and relentless emphasis being placed upon “tolerance”, which is to be extended to everyone and anyone without limitation and to any and all kinds of sexual expression.
Is there nothing wrong with sex as long as it is consensual? And if there is something wrong, what is it? Does it really come down to a matter of personal taste, of private sentiment and personal choice? Have we become a nation, a world that gains a sense of purpose and meaning primarily from our sexual desires and behavior?
Today, with many rejecting the Authority of Scripture in matters of faith, practice and God’s holy boundary lines with regard to sexual expression, clearly what we are witnessing is that without the spiritual, sexuality will always rule and reign supreme.
On every hand you find those “who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.” (Isaiah 5:20)
While there are those still attempting to make The Bible and Christianity socially and culturally relevant by rewriting and redefining biblical standards, I find tremendous comfort and strength in knowing God’s Word remains steadfast from generation to generation. Therefore, it remains crucial that each and every true faithful follower of Christ Jesus understand and embrace “thus saith the Lord” when it comes to God’s divine intent for human sexuality and other issues of our time.
Ultimately, God is not and will not be mocked, and there is no way anyone can legitimately rewrite or circumvent what God prohibits. Anyone choosing to practice any behavior (in any form or to any degree) that God has clearly defined as sin, cannot glorify God and will eventually downward spiral.
But the good news is “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8) no matter how sinister, dark, rebellious or disobedient our actions or heart may be.
How well I remember my first reading of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
What hope and comfort this passage offers. Clearly, according to God, anyone can be an overcomer and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. The Lord Jesus has not changed, nor will He ever alter His Word to accommodate man’s sinful desires, choices and behaviors.
The reality of an across-the-board crisis of sexual and relational brokenness in the Church and America clearly points to an increasing inability, as the Church and society, to make healthy and moral distinctions. Even those who place a high premium on tolerance are obligated to recognize that matters of various sexual lifestyles now threaten the very values and institutions on which a solid and vital Church and society is built and sustained.
Unfortunately, not every Christian or American is willing or responsive enough to such an obligation. What’s more, they do not want anyone to hold them responsible. Those who have the self-respect to recognize that a person is not reducible to his or her desires or behavior truly exhibit a concern for social justice, personal responsibility and a true love for this nation which seeks nothing higher than the welfare of people.
When a person’s actions, no matter how sincere, endanger the well-being of the Church and society, criticism and confrontation is both appropriate and necessary. Irresponsible sexual behavior, is one of the most destructive realities for the Church and society.
How is it in choosing to dismiss and disregard a moral compass, we are shocked by the state of our culture? Even so, shocked at what has happened and continues to spread in the Church?
Speaking as someone that was trapped for many years in a behavior and lifestyle, thinking there was no way out, I completely understand how anyone might have difficulty in believing in and receiving God’s forgiveness and restoration.
“But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) God remains rich in mercy and remains willing to deliver anyone. “He is forever our great Sin-bearer and the God who forgives.” (Psalm 99:8)
Jesus Christ is the alternative. He addresses the problem “man limited to self” and provides the way through which we can find fulfillment in God and His people. By releasing us from the dictates of the past, Jesus frees us to live as new creatures.
God’s grace is sufficient because His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He provides a new identity – the center out of which a true sense of well-being can be achieved and enjoyed. As we draw close to Him we are enabled to reflect His image in our humanity more and more fully.
America is in need of huge and immediate change. I believe the Church should be out front by showing the way to bring it about. If things continue in this wonderful nation as they have, America and the Church will remain adrift without a moral compass.
There was a time when the Church set societal standards. We cannot and we must not apologize for moral and ethical “holy boundary lines” for living. All faithful followers of Christ Jesus are called to a higher standard.
It is absolutely essential we return to pinning our faith to, and subject “all” our thinking to and doing to, what we read in the Bible. The 138th Psalm says, “I will praise your name for your loving kindness and your truth, for you have magnified your word about your name.”
Obviously, God thinks highly of His name – but He has magnified His Word even about His name – and, so should we all.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
Member of Restored Hope Network