Caution! Politically incorrect message follows! Anyone offended by biblical morality is advised to avoid this post!
This week I got the news that Tel Aviv, Israel, has been voted “World’s Best Gay City” in an American Airlines/GayCities.com contest. Tel Aviv received 43% of the votes, while the next runner-up, New York, received only 14%! Toronto, the third runner up, and the city I was born in, received 7%.
First-off, this says more about American Airlines than it does about Tel Aviv. As Jesus said, “you cannot serve God and mammon (the god of money)” (Matt 6:24, Luke 16:13,I Timothy 6:10) It is very clear that American Airlines’ motivation for producing this contest is to promote business…money.
Gays often have a lot of money to spend. Let’s face it, no gay relationship, in the last 4,000 years, has ever produced any children. If you have no dependents, you have more money left over for things like travel and recreation. It is my opinion, therefore, that AA’s promotion of this contest is to promote tourism, and flights to the winning city, and to the runner’s-up cities. I do wish Tel Aviv well, and would like to visit there some day.
I’m also sure that there are many in Tel Aviv who are embarrassed by the title. My heart goes out to them.
The Tanakh, The Old Testament, has much to say about the “gay” lifestyle. People often refer to the books of Moses as being “hateful” because they tells us that “sodomites” (the old term for “gay”) deserve death. There are actually 40 sins that had the death penalty at that time, only one of which was homosexuality. After the Law, the bible reveals more of the Holiness of God, so we know that ultimately all sin deserves death, not merely the 40 with the death penalty. See Ezekiel 18:4 & 20, Romans 5:12, & 6:23.
Deut. 23:17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.
Notice in Leviticus that the prohibition of sodomy is in the middle of prohibition of several other sins. We can know, therefore, that God views this sin the same way as the others. Why then do many churches preach against homosexuality, but allow adulterers in the pulpit? The Jack Hyles story being one example in many.:
20 Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her. 21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. 22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. 23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. 24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: (Leviticus 18:20-24)
We see the same thing a couple chapters later:
12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them. 13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you. 15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. (Leviticus 20:12-15)
Please bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this…
It wasn’t only Moses, though if it was, that should be enough for us. Later on we are told what the good kings of Israel did in this matter:
11 And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. 12 And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. (I Kings 15:11-12)
46 And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land. (I Kings 22:46)
And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove. (II Kings 23:7)
The gay defenders like to tell us that it was other sins, for which Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. The problem is that there is some truth in what they are saying, but it’s not the whole truth:
48 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. 49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. (Ezekiel 16:48-50)
Notice that He is referring to sodomy with the reference to “abomination”, but this wasn’t their only sin, and it isn’t the only sin of our society today. Read the whole chapter of Isaiah 16. There is so much there that we don’t have time to discuss. It clearly says that Israel’s iniquity was greater than that of Sodom, at that time!
This was the reason why Israel was scattered among the nations, and there is no indication that they will have abandoned their sin by the time they return to the land. Ezekiel 37:8 indicates that Israel will come together as a nation while there is yet no (spiritual) life in them. The bones came together, and flesh came upon them, but there was still no life in them. This is what we are seeing today.
Does this mean that we should loudly denounce these people, and shake our fists at them? Absolutely not! You and I are just as guilty. Do you remember the story when a group of men brought a woman, caught in adultery, to Jesus?
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:3-11)
Jesus is our example! What He said here applies to all of us sinners!
Note that the condemnation of adultery is from the same passage as the condemnation of homosexuality. Not only this, but Jesus is the fulfilment of the Law. The point of all of this is not so we can point to others, condemn them as sinners, and take their lives and/or freedom! No! The whole point of the Law was to prove to us that we are all sinners, deserving of death, every last one of us! When I looked at a woman in lust, I was just as guilty of adultery as the woman in John 8!
God does not insist that every sinner die, for if He did, this planet would be empty! He never did! Had Moses died for the murder he had committed, the Pentateuch, or Torah, would never have been written! (I know that many excuse Moses’ killing of the Egyptian, but even in the law Moses himself wrote, it is never OK to kill a man for beating a slave, and the very slave the Egyptian had been beating knew this! See Exodus 2:11-15) Note the following, it too comes from the Old Testament:
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)
This is the crux of the matter. God shows mercy to us, to give us time to repent. It doesn’t mean He’s soft on sin.:
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: (Acts 17:30)
God allows us to sin, because it is our sin that brings us to God! When we realize that our sin makes us ineligible for entrance into Heaven, then we are prompted to cry out to God for forgiveness. For some of us it takes a lot of sin. When I was a child, and had told a couple of lies to my parents, I didn’t think I was really a sinner. My sins were small, so it really didn’t matter, or so I thought.
I was ignorant of the Holiness of God. While one sin is all it takes to separate us from God forever, it usually takes many sins before we realize we are bankrupt, and in need of a Saviour. Often we must reach the end of ourselves, before we come to the place where we cry out for help! This is why God allows gossips, the proud, liars, thieves, idolators, adulterers, homosexuals, abortionists, and murderers, to keep on living. He uses our sin, and the law, like a tool, to convict us. Sometimes it takes a lot of sin, and this is why He gives us this freedom.
This is why it is wrong for Christians to affirm any sinful lifestyle. We must never condone any sin, though we may be guilty of it ourselves, but must always give the biblical answer. Preach the truth, warn them, but never take away the rights of others. Leave that to God.
Have Christians always acted in accordance with the teachings, and example, of Jesus on these subjects? No, absolutely not! Many Christians have thought that the biblical condemnation of sin meant that we must force our society to live holy lives. Catholics, Puritans, Protestants, and Baptists have all been guilty of this, at one time or another. (Most Baptists only do it in their own homes, but Jerry Falwell’s “Moral Majority” fits the pattern of the others)
All they succeeded in doing was to create a society of hypocrites. A society having a surface righteousness, who don’t understand their desperate situation before God!
This is the problem with the millennial reign of Christ. It will be a wonderful time, with Jesus personally ruling the earth from Jerusalem, but ultimately the world will reject Him. He will rule society in Holiness, and sin will not be tolerated. Consequently the only sin in existence will be very small. If one were to confront many a citizen during the millennial reign, they might say something like: “I’m not a sinner. Sinners are those people who get executed. Since I haven’t been executed I can’t be a sinner”. It will be very difficult to convince such a person that just thinking “God is wrong”, is a sin worthy of an eternity in the Lake of Fire. This is why we are told:
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (II Corinthians 6:2)
I think the root of the problem stems from an incorrect eschatology, and an incorrect theology. Those who believe they must create a paradise on earth, in order to hasten the return of Christ, are often involved in political causes, attempting to force the world into their mold. I am referring to dominionists, reconstructionists, amillennialists, and post-millennialists. The ideas these philosophies hold, will ultimately result in their acceptance of the Antichrist! (not all, but many) The idea that it is up to the Church to take over the world before Christ can come back, is a direct fulfilment of 1 Timothy 3:5
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (1 Timothy 3:1-5)
In case you haven’t gotten it yet, those who believe it is up to the Church to create “the kingdom of God on earth” are denying the ability of God to do it Himself! These people have a form of godliness, a morality that has the appearance of being biblical, but they are foreigners to God Himself! They don’t know Him!
This is a tricky situation that requires a delicate balance. It is right to make your voice heard on moral issues like abortion or gay marriage, but at the same time, taking the law into your own hand is not encouraged in the New Testament. In fact social activism is totally absent from the biblical account of the first century Church. The mission of the Church is to preach the gospel, not to transform society!
Christians are nowhere told to feed the poor without giving them the gospel. In fact Paul told us that we could do that, and it would not benefit us at all, if we don’t have love. But isn’t feeding the poor “love”? No! As Brannon Howse says, “that’s kind of like giving a person a bottle of water on their way to the Lake of Fire!”;
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (love), it profiteth me nothing. I Corinthians 13:3
Those who think love is “acceptance” of everyone and everything, don’t know the true definition of love! We must get our definitions from the one who originated language, and not from our society’s norms.
For a Christian to love anyone, we must tell the truth, and not affirm a sinful lifestyle. It was God’s original intent, in allowing people to live such lifestyles, to show them that they are sinners, so they know they need a Savior. It is most loving to show them their lifestyle is sinful, and to show them that Jesus paid for all their sin, on the cross.
My sin condemned me, but I repented and Jesus saved me, by His grace. I want nothing less for the world’s gays. I want the best for them.