Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Three Cultural Shifts Every Christian in America Needs to Watch – Part 2

The Mainstreaming of Homosexuality

Two years ago I preached a sermon on the sin of homosexual behavior. In the sermon I said that the mainstreaming of homosexuality in America was going to be THE issue that the church would be forced to deal with in the future. Oh sure, there have always been gay people in any culture even our American culture, but American Christians have historically taken the attitude of “as long as ‘they’ don’t bother me, then I won’t bother them.” On top of this do nothing attitude, churches have, for the most part, completely mishandled gay people by singling out the sin of homosexuality as being “bigger” and more “repugnant” than other sins and thus completely rejecting the sinner along with his/her sin. Church has not been a safe place for a gay person genuinely struggling with this sin and trying to seek forgiveness and help. As a result, gay people have found no help from God’s people in recognizing homosexual behavior as sin and finding freedom from it.

But we have now reached a tipping point in America as it relates to homosexuality. Gay people can no longer be ignored and Christians can no longer hide in their church buildings and pretend that the culture is not shifting. Where we are today has been coming towards us like a freight train for years. The writing has been on the wall. Hollywood normalized homosexual behavior a long time ago. A ground breaking movie like Brokeback Mountain would no longer be ground breaking today. Gay couples on prime time television are now a staple.

Amazingly, even certain mainline denominations have begun to dismiss homosexual behavior as sin and have instead viewed the historical taboo as a culture issue instead of a moral one. The result is acceptance of same sex marriage and the ordination of gay clergy in the Episcopal church and in certain facets of the Presbyterian church, just to name two.

The homosexual community has successfully turned the debate into one of equal rights using the civil rights movement as a framework. To be gay, we are now told, is the same as being black or white or Hispanic. You can’t choose your race and you can’t choose your sexual orientation.

But the tipping point has been reached, I believe, over the issue of same sex marriage. This is a game changer to be sure. Just a couple of weeks ago, Maine became the fifth State to legalize same sex marriage. The FIFTH State. That means 10% of the United States endorses gay marriage. One of those States is Iowa. That’s right, Iowa. It’s easy to disregard California (which by the way voted down same sex marriage in a State wide vote, but don’t think the battle there is over), or New York as being extreme, but Iowa is middle America. Iowa is common, salt of the earth folks. And in Iowa, two men or two women can now marry each other. The reason we have reached a tipping point over the issue of gay marriage is this: as more states legalize same sex marriage, the harder it will become for other states to refuse. It’s the domino effect. And because the whole issue of sexual orientation has been framed as an equal rights issue, the pressure for hold out states will be great. Can you imagine even one state still legalizing slavery today? It’s all or nothing because we are a UNITED States for good or ill. In time, and that’s all it takes is time, all 50 states will normalize gay marriage.

Mark my words, this is a slippery slope we are now going down. By legalizing same sex marriage, we are destroying the whole basis for civilization as designed by God. That’s right, designed by GOD. Marriage was God’s idea, not man’s. It was God that said that marriage is one woman and one man together. That is the standard. Anything else is not marriage. What same sex marriage does is change the standard. We are told now that the standard is consensual love between any two people regardless of gender. But let me ask you this, based on this new standard which emphasizes and champions LOVE regardless of gender, then why stop at two. Why can’t, now, three people be married? Or four or more? Based on this new standard, how can you argue that two is better than a plurality? And what about man who wants to marry his mother or sister? Or a woman who wants to marry her daughter? If the standard is love regardless of gender, how can you argue against this? At this point we have marital and societal chaos. Oh, you think it will never happen? Go back 30 years…just 30 years and ask anyone if they could ever see the legalization of two women as a marriage.

By the way, this all has direct tie-in to the other cultural shift I addressed last week in Part 1. In order for any culture to survive, fertility rates must be high. It doesn’t take graduating top of your class to understand that any culture that normalizes gay marriage is going to have lower fertility rates and thus be a culture in risk of dying.

Every Bible believing Christian is going to feel the impact of the mainstreaming of homosexuality. It will not be able to be ignored. Much is said today about hate speech. With the normalization of homosexuality based on a civil rights platform, we are closing in on the day when it will be illegal to speak out in any way that it critical of homosexual behavior. To call homosexual behavior a sin will be tantamount to hate speech. That means that the sermon I preached two years ago could one day soon get me arrested. Just look at what happened to Miss California, Carrie Prejean, a few weeks ago when she was asked a direct question about what she believed. Her belief in marriage as being defined by one man and one woman made her the subject of public scorn. This kind of scorn is what Christians can expect as the new norm. Tolerance has now been re-defined from “you must accept my right to my opinion” to “you must agree with and endorse my opinion.” All viewpoints are now equal, except for the Christian viewpoint. Christians are now the recipient of the new discrimination.

The question is what will be our response? The church chose silence in the past, foolishly hoping that ignoring the sin of homosexual behavior would insulate them from it. Now the church is going to be bullied into silence. But will we remain silent? Will we be willing to speak the Truth about God’s order for a culture? Will we champion God’s design for a society, built around heterosexual unions of one man and one woman, producing lots of children and teaching them God’s ways? Will we love people who are gay and separate the sin from the sinner? This is not cliché speak. Will the church be serious about loving gay people, confronting them with the truth that homosexual behavior is a sin, and point them to forgiveness and a better way to live? Do we love people enough to lead them into God’s best instead of man’s worst?

By the way, I found an interesting story on the web. As I said at the beginning, there have always been gay people in every time and culture. No society is immune from this particular sinful behavior. The Russians are even dealing with it. Apparently in Moscow, the gay community is seeking the right to conduct gay pride parades much like what we have seen for years in America. But the Russian government has chosen to BAN these gay pride parades. That’s right ban them. Their stated reasoning is that such parades by the gay community would “interfere with the rights and everyday lives of ordinary Muscovites.” In a statement issued by the Moscow City Hall, they further explained that “society's absolute majority does not accept gay lifestyles or their philosophy."

It is interesting to me that an atheistic government has found moral ground on the issue of homosexual behavior and in America we have lost it.



Dozer said...

Interesting indeed.

Dozer said...

Check this out....

A gallop Poll shows that more Americans are now Pro-life than Pro Choice... a huge swing in just one year.

T.F. said...

The American church has been hiring preachers who are taught in seminary to preach application for decades. There is good money in ministry so they do what they need to do for the bucks. These pastors are wishful thinkers when they say "Bible believing Christians" because Christians are Biblically illiterate as research indicates. So Christians have been silent on moral issues because they have no contrast from the world since they are not being changed by Bible teaching. The culture now reflects the total failure of the church including the Evangelicals who is my own group.