I was as grieved by the massacre in Orlando as much as anyone. I shed tears over the article that recounted a youth’s last texts to his Mommy. I shed tears over the bartender’s recounting of his and others’ escape. Omar Mateen perpetrated a heinous crime.
But another heinous crime in the face of God is homosexuality. In reading these articles, I was saddened by the sudden change of the newspapers publishing them of their website banners to rainbows. There were rainbows all over the place, in ‘support’ of the homosexual lifestyle. False teachers such as liberal Glennon Doyle Melton and influential Rachel Held Evans immediately responded with Facebook statuses in support of homosexuality. Evans said in her note that Christian theology “hurts” gay people. Evans’ note about the Orlando massacre got 2176 shares and over 200 comments before I quit looking.
I quote the passage at Romans 1:18-32 a lot. It is the section where Paul shows what God does to a society/individual that rejects Him. At the last, God judges them with homosexuality and that means that “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.” (Romans 1:29).
Homosexuality is the judgment upon a person. Its widespread presence in a culture indicates that the judgment upon a society is already here.
On November 1st, 2015, well before the Orlando massacre, Burk Parsons wrote the following for Ligonier’s TableTalk magazine. I reprint it here according to Ligonier’s copyright policy. I follow it with a comment.
Courage and Compassion
by Burk Parsons
Homosexual sin is a grievous and heinous sin. While it is indeed true that all sexual immorality is sin—adultery, fornication, pornography—homosexual sin is different. It is a more heinous and grievous sin because, as the Word of God makes clear, homosexual sin is contrary to nature (Rom. 1:26). Homosexual sin strikes against God’s created order in every way and mocks God’s design for procreation, thus making homosexuality logically self-defeating. Those who suggest the Bible is not clear about homosexual sin have never read the Bible or have not been given the ears to hear what the Bible plainly teaches.
The Bible is clear, so we must be clear. We cannot and must not waver in the face of seemingly overwhelming opposition. Although the world is changing, the Word of God is not. We must stand our ground on the unchanging Word of God in the midst of an ever-changing culture. For even if the whole world says homosexuality is acceptable, we must stand our ground on the authority of God’s Word and insist that it is in fact unacceptable and unconscionable. We must speak the truth even if it means persecution and imprisonment. We must insist that homosexual sin is wrong, and like all sins, sexual or otherwise, it is deserving of God’s righteous wrath and condemnation.
Make no mistake, this is not hate speech; it is love speech. We speak of the sinfulness of homosexual sin, sexual sin, and all sin not out of hate, but out of love. In fact, the most hateful thing we could do is not call sin what God calls sin. That would certainly be the easier path for us, but it is not the path of truth that leads to forgiveness and freedom. We love homosexuals just as we love adulterers and all sinners, which is precisely why we must speak the truth in love to them, just as we need the truth spoken in love to us about our own sins. The Bible calls us to be righteously vexed by sin and to hate sin—our sin and the sins of the world. The Bible also calls us to love sinners and to pray that they would repent of their sins and trust Jesus Christ, who is the Savior of repentant sinners.
If only more Christians demonstrated Christian love as they should by praying for the sexually immoral of this world, by calling sin what God calls sin, and by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to the end that the sexually immoral might know their desperate need to repent and that, by the grace of God, they might cling to Christ and His righteousness. Then homosexuals might know how much we Christians love them. For we cannot love without speaking the truth, and we must not speak the truth without love.
We must have compassion and courage as we live coram Deo, before the face of God, proclaiming His truth and His gospel to our homosexual neighbors, sexually immoral neighbors, and unrepentant, unbelieving neighbors, just as we preach the gospel to ourselves.
With that said, I have a comment on the culture war. As a lover of language, a studier of movements & revolutions, I see that the homosexual agenda has been very successful in how it has positioned itself. The first pass was to change the term sodomite to homosexualand then to gay. Words and terms are everything. The second pass was to position homosexual marriage as a “civil right”. The third pass has been to insist that the homosexual not be identified by his sin, like every other sinner, but to be set apart because they have some kind of intrinsic “value”. In fact that the very presence of the sin in the person is separate from and has no bearing on the person’s “value” to God, they say. Never mind, the desire to lay with those of their same sex is not even a sin. It brings to mind Isaiah 5:20,
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Amy Spreeman posted Huffington Post’s “Religion” article titled An Open Letter To My Conservative Christian Family: A Response To The Orlando Shooting which generated a discussion. The comment below was my contribution to it, with the addition of the Isaiah verse.
The crux of the matter is the pull-quote from the article, “Homophobia, at its core, is hatred that changes the way LGBT+ people understand their value.”
The truth is, LGBT+ people have no value to God while in their sin just as a thief has no value while still a thief unrepenting of their sin. If any sinner is saved by grace, then they have infinite value. No sinner has “value” to God, not the adulterer nor the swindler nor the homosexual. Oh, homosexual people might have man-centered value to their partners, an adulterer might have value to his mistress, a thief might have value to his fence, but to God, no sinner brings anything of value to God at any time. God is angry with sinners every day. He hates them. (Psalm 5:5, Psalm 11:5).
The only value a sinner might have is the glory that a Holy God demonstrates through wrath when sinners die and are punished for their sins.
And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh. (Isaiah 66:24)
The value here is His justice upon sinners, seen and shown to the universe.
Though homosexual people are made in the image of God just as all sinners are, that image is totally damaged due to the inherited sin-nature we all possess. (Gen 1:27, Psalm 51:5). The LGBT people simply practice a different flavor of sin than other people. (1 Cor 6:9-10).
However, faux-Religion writers like the HuffPo author and the LGBT folks will never acknowledge the fact that if ALL of us have no value to God while we are in our sin, that would equalize them too much along with the rest of the no-value sinners, and force a conscience-driven confrontation with their deceitful heart. So, they elevate their “value,” ignore their sin, and hammer it home. Actually they are actually winning the culture war on that front. Satan is not stupid. (Genesis 3:1).
Listen! How much more value to God is the redeemed sinner! Jesus IS the highest value of all, His precious blood shed for sinners, so as to create a church of the redeemed to worship Him in truth and love. What value there is in a cleaned heart and a praising, redeemed sinner! The former homosexual, now THERE’s the value. (1 Cor 6:11)