Sunday, October 6, 2013

Compromise Kills, Divides, and Will Destroy the Church

 I marvel that there are well-intentioned Christians who support same-sex marriage (SSM). To support this institution is also to support gay adoptions and to deny the rights of Christians who refuse to participate in this practice.

SSM is also a doorway to the entry of other destructive, anti-social institutions – pedophilia, transgenderism, the removal of any form of sexual distinctions, and the persecution of people who disagree.

Those Christians who favor SSM argue that continuing these culture wars is not good for the church. They wrongly suppose that if we affirm SSM, we will have peace with our “progressive” society. However, there will be no peace without complete surrender of everything central to the Christian faith

Historian Thomas Kidd reports:

  • [British] Parliament approved gay marriage earlier this year, but it allowed dissenting churches to opt out of performing same-sex weddings. That exemption irritates activists and civil partners like Barrie and Tony Drewill-Barlow, who are suing the Church of England to force all ministers to conduct gay weddings. Barrie Drewill-Barlow explained that “it upsets me because I want it so much – a big lavish ceremony, the whole works…I am still not getting what I want.” (World, October 5, 2013, 64)
Evidently, he has no concern about what others might want. There is no peace, and there will be no peace until the church is entirely compromised and rendered indistinguishable from “progressive” society.

However, meanwhile we are wounding our God-given conscience in a vain attempt to find acceptance in a hostile world, where Jesus warned:

  • "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. (John 15:18-20)
What then are we to do? Jesus warned that worry can become our slave-master. Instead, we have to maintain right priorities and trust that our Lord will provide:

  • But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
But how do we seek Him first? By remaining faithful to His Word – His commands and teachings:

  • We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him. (1 John 2:3-5)
Fundamentally, we are not called to be successful, popular, or respected; we are called to be faithful, even when faithfulness proves costly. We have no choice. Paul warned that when we violate what we believe, we injure both ourselves and our relationship with God.

  • But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. (Romans 14:23)
Paul warned that when we encourage our brethren to do something that they do not believe is right, they are “destroyed” because of us (1 Cor. 8:11).

Our nation has broke its constitutional contract with the very people it has pledged to serve by revoking religious freedom. The State has coerced religious institutions to violate their conscience to service gay marriage. It has required Christian businesses to pay for services and even perform services that violate their religiously guaranteed rights, to their own destruction. Some Christians have already elected to surrender both business and vocation to this onslaught rather than choosing compromise.

What will happen when the church is required to perform gay marriage? It will tear the church in two!

We must not put our hope in man or even in our Western institutions. They are capitulating as clapboard buildings before a tsunami (Jer. 17:5-7). Our trust must be in God alone (Psalm 62).

However, this trust does not preclude seeking justice. It is precisely because we trust in God that we trust that He will empower our words and hands. It is because we trust God that we endeavor to cry out for our persecuted brethren.

If we trust Him, we will do what He says! What does He say? He tells us to let His truth shine through us (Mat. 5:14-16). He tells us to love our brothers, and, by doing this, our oppressors might come to believe (John 13:35; 17:20-24). He also promises that the justice of our cause will eventually prevail:

  • Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun…For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. (Psalm 37:5-9)

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