And they did it again.
I’m not saying it was on purpose. I don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist, but while the nation was embroiled in debate over whether or not the South should ban the Confederate Flag (present company included), the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal in all 50 States.
I suppose I expected that my timeline, for the most part, would be busy with posts aghast about what had just transpired. But, what I found was rather a let down.
Yes, there were posts by pastors declaring that no Supreme Court in the land would ever determine the content of their sermons. There were others who declare their disgust for the ruling, but there was an overall passivity that left me flummoxed as people denied its extreme significance or wanted to equate that significance with earlier legislation that has most certainly changed the spiritual moral climate of this nation.
And this has been the problem all along!
Passivity in Christian discipline that keeps our spiritual senses sharpened so that we not only recognize sin for what it is, but carefully guard our homes and hearts from its deception, has lowered our standards to such a degree that we see little to no problem with entertaining ourselves by it!
Films and sitcoms portraying all manner of immorality: from fornication to adultery and homosexuality fill our hearts and minds with filth, but in a way that is appealing. We barely notice it anymore.
What used to be scandalous is now tolerable, and not only tolerable but expected.
Christians have been the proverbial frog in the boiling pot.
Society couldn’t force us to change our moral principles on immorality, divorce, and homosexuality, so Hollywood chose to entertain us with it; knowing full well that by slowly pushing the envelope in ever-increasing measure may at first shock the senses, but at the same time be irresistible.
Yes, there have been those who spoke out against these immoral portrayals and called on their fellow believers to raise their standard of entertainment, but their calls were met with scorn or dismissal. Or worse, they were called “holier than thou” and commanded to sit down and shut up.
And with each push of the envelope, the church grew more and more quiet, until she no longer sees these sins as a problem. Or perhaps she knows they’re a problem, but doesn’t consider them a very significant one.
Scripture, however, doesn’t agree. Both the Old and New Testaments have much to say about moral sins: fornication, immorality, homosexuality, and other perverse sins.
Above all, Paul says that those who practice these sins (among others) will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Not only that: he didn’t just say those who just practice these since wont inherit the kingdom Heaven, but those who are these things (ie. someone who identifies himself as a homosexual but doesn’t actively practice homosexuality) will not inherit the kingdom of heaven!
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. – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
That’s pretty straightforward. He doesn’t leave any wiggle room at all, does he?
And yet, while the church knew that this decision was before the Supreme Court, where was the church? Where were the calls to prayer and fasting? Where was the outcry?
Where was the church?
Sadly, there are many in the church who do not consider homosexuality a sin. In fact, they have openly embraced the LGBT community in their churches.
And so we see that society’s agenda was a success. They knew the truth of this ancient quote:
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
– Alexander Pope
Yes, the Supreme Court decision matters!
It matters a great deal. Besides the fact that it is likely that pastors will soon lose their ability to decline weddings that do not agree with their moral and religious values, it points to a deeper and more sinister problem in the body of Christ.
We’ve lost a proper understanding of the holiness of God.
Yes, God is love.
Yes, God is grace.
But we must not lose the balance of His character! He is also righteous and holy. And when we forget that, we lose His hand of blessing because we begin to tolerate those things that deeply offend Him!
We start to assume that sin isn’t as serious as His Word says it is.
We become deceived, believing God will somehow excuse certain people because they’re not terrorists. They aren’t Saddam Hussein. They’re not Osama bin Laden. And since they’re not in that category, God will certainly look the other way.
This deceptive message that the church has believed, that we should only love the sinner without addressing the sinner’s sin has presented a distorted image of God.
And when we have a distorted image of God, we get a distorted image of sin.
The magnitude of His sacrifice is diminished.
And our entire faith becomes shaky, because somehow we have to reconcile Scripture with our beliefs. In an effort to do so, we focus heavily on some while dismissing others; or we attempt alter their meaning by declaring them to be “culturally irrelevant to today” or “meant only for the era in which they were written”.
But what do we do with the verse, “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.”
Is it settled in heaven forever? Or are only parts of it meant for us today?
Is God the same yesterday, today and forever, or has He changed His mind about certain things He once called sin?
Or will we be held accountable for entertaining ourselves with the very things that nailed His only Son to the cross?
Or will we be required to explain ourselves because we chose to tolerate those things He called an abomination?
Or will we have to stand before His throne of judgement on that day and answer as to why we chose to completely ignore parts of His Holy Word that told us to flee sin, hate those things that He hates, and live consecrated lives?
Because, Church, we have defiled ourselves!
Our robes are not spotless.
We are not a church without wrinkle.
We are a bride who has so prostituted herself with the world that there is no longer anything to distinguish ourselves from it.
If there is any good that could come from this Supreme Court decision, it would be that a clear and distinct call would go out to the body of Christ to repent.
Rend your heart an not your garments.
Make your repentance sincere, not just a show of fancy words and nice actions.
Weep for our nation. Weep for our church that has grown so passive so as to be completely comatose.
Rend your hearts for a church that is no longer a bride without spot or wrinkle.
And perhaps, just perhaps, we will return to the God of our fathers and stay His hand of judgement on our great land!