Many, many years ago, Rev. Franklin Graham rallied the Church to Washington DC believing the Church should lead the way in ministering and meeting the needs of those impacted by HIV/AIDS. The Prescription for Hope Conference in Washington DC was a major turning point in my life. Now, Rev. Graham is voicing, once again, the God-given mandate to the Church “to be” God’s visible expression of Himself and return to setting societal standards.
Yesterday, a very pointed and direct article appeared in Charisma News which was encircled with Rev. Graham stating, “I refuse to be silent and watch the future of our children and grandchildren be offered up on pagan altars of personal pleasure and immorality.”
Charisma News Franklin Graham: Young Pastors Are Caught Up in Pop Culture
Once again, I find myself appreciating and applauding Rev. Graham’s frankness and courage.
Today, for some people, morality has become purely a matter of personal taste. Regarding sexual expression, opinions vary on how best to attain fulfillment, and in the thinking of many people, these differences are nothing more than opinions. From this perspective, regardless of one’s personal view or opinion on sexual expression, sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman or remaining celibate as a single man or woman, have been reduced to a matter of personal preference or expression. It escapes many people today that it is both illogical and inconsistent to believe that morality is purely subjective.
What we really should be asking ourselves is, are the qualities or consequences of sex outside of marriage beneficial or detrimental to individuals and to society? The question is neither political nor religious. Even if Democrats, Republicans or The Church were silent on the subject, we would still need to ask whether sex outside of marriage is right or wrong. Ultimately, when the moral question is in focus, a number of other matters become irrelevant.
Whether or not sexual expression outside of marriage is good, and therefore, whether it ought be socially accepted, has nothing to do with its legality or its political correctness. What matters morally should be determined on the basis of our best understanding about what constitutes human well-being.
Therefore, the issue before us is whether or not people’s lives are better physically, psychologically, and socially, as a result of sex outside marriage between one man and one woman. Today, in American society, the quest to gain society’s stamp of approval on any type or form of sexual expression is relentless. What this amounts to is a society in which a majority of people will in turn lose the right to freedom of conscience, which in this case means the right to withhold affirmation and teaching and the right to believe that any form of sexual expression is not on par with the marriage bond between one man and one woman.
Romans 1:29-32 tells us the consequence of a society which ignores and suppresses His truth is a people filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, back-biters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
Thirty years ago, it was Christians, speaking both truth and grace into my life that made all the difference. I would not be here today without them. My particular sin and brokenness was not overlooked but rather talked about openly and in conjunction with many, many other sins. For the first time in my life I began to be who God created me to be which, by the way, also included loving even the broken parts as He did and does.
Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
When the moral question has been offered and answered, then, and only then, can we truly deal with the moral decay that exists in American society and the world.
Truthless grace accomplishes nothing.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
Member of Restored Hope Network
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, the I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is tested.” Martin Luther