Monday, June 4, 2012

Feels Good Doesn’t It?

There is nothing better than feeling like you are part of something. When you have that warm glow from knowing the people around you approve of you. You receive that positive self-affirming feedback from those around you. All is right with the world. Feels good doesn’t it?

It does. That is why the human is a social animal. We are wired to desire the company and companionship of others. Understandably, we also desire the approval of others.  It is simply human nature to want to be part of the current popular trend or movement, the Popular Culture. Call it herd mentality if you will. Popular Culture is a mirror into this mentality. Popular Culture is also a catalyst for cultural change. Its a bit of a contradiction but it is true nevertheless.

Pop culture not only mirrors what is popular in our society, but, in doing so, it is also a mechanism for change. By reflecting certain trends, the popularity of said trends becomes magnified in the eyes of society. Then, by virtue of this perceived popularity the trend becomes, well… more popular. It feels good to be popular.

One of the reasons God gave the gift of His word to us (the Bible) is so that, through the ages, mankind would have a moral baseline. We would know what is right and what is wrong. Incontrovertibly. No matter what might be acceptable to the current culture we always know where God stands! What is disturbing is when Christians succumb to the desire to be “popular” and adopt the values of the Popular Culture, forsaking Gods word. I see this happening more and more as the “Church” conforms to the world around it.

Now, I feel we have reached a critical point in the struggle of the world/flesh vs. The Holy Spirit/The Church. That tipping point is the apparent approval of homosexuality by several Mega Church Pastors. Since the Mega Church represents Christianity in the eyes of the Popular Culture the appearance is given that homosexuality in the eyes of God is no longer considered a sin. This is an abomination!

In a sermon on Christianity Pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, raised eyebrows when he told a story wherein he referred to homosexuality as if it were not a sin. In Georgia, mega-church pastor Jim Swilley openly admits to being a homosexual and states he expects to continue as pastor in his church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has formerly adopted a policy to “recognize and support monogamous same gender relationships.” I have friends who, though they are believers, treat homosexuality as if it were somehow not really sin. Even some conservative Christian churches are at best reluctant to address the subject and at worst, are silent.

Recently the President of the United States gave his approval of homosexual “marriage”. All over the country and particularly in the pop culture media the gay lifestyle is no longer seen as an aberration but something that is not only acceptable but even admirable.  Now, many mega-churches and other churches of the liberal denominations have added their approval. We have reached a critical point indeed.

The Bible is clear on the subject of homosexual behavior. The Bible clearly states that if two (of the same sex) lie together, or "know" each other as man knows a woman, then they are condemned, because "it is an abomination to God." - Lev_18:22  Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Throughout the entire Bible homosexuality is condemned. There is no room for doubt, no difference in translation, no contradiction. It is crystal clear. For a man to lie with a man or woman with woman as man lies with his wife brings condemnation.

Lev 20:13 And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

1Co 6:9-10  You know that wicked people will not inherit the kingdom of God, don't you? Stop deceiving yourselves! Sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals,
  thieves, greedy people, drunks, slanderers, and robbers will not inherit the kingdom of God. –emphasis added

Rom 1:26-27  For this reason, God delivered them to degrading passions as their females exchanged their natural sexual function for one that is unnatural.
 In the same way, their males also abandoned their natural sexual function toward females and burned with lust toward one another. Males committed indecent acts with males, and received within themselves the appropriate penalty for their perversion.

God has been clear from the beginning as to what is sin and how he feels about it. Any believer who thinks that homosexuality is not a sin, is not an abomination, is ignoring the word of God and substituting their own world view. Christians who are in the position of authority, who are pastors or teachers of Gods word are held to a higher standard than the rest of us (Titus 1:6, 1 Timothy 3:2). There is special condemnation for those who lead someone astray (Matthew 18:6, Luke 12:48). Pastors and teachers who ignore the very word of The Living God invite condemnation.

As I stated, the Bible is perfectly clear as to what constitutes sin. The Bible is also crystal clear as to what mankind must do in order to be forgiven for their sins and to restore their relationship with our righteous and holy God. One must confess their sin, repent and turn away from their sin and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior:

1Co 15:1-4  And, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and in which you stand;
 by which you also are being kept safe, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,
  and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…
John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."

It doesn’t matter what sin we are talking about. All sin separates us from God and condemns the unsaved to an eternal punishment in hell. To deny the sinful nature of homosexuality is not just foolish, it is eternally dangerous! This doesn’t mean that there is no hope however nor does it mean that it is just or right to hate those who are in sin. Jesus came to save sinners. So that, “…whoever believes in Him should not perish…”. Therefore, turn from your sin. Repent and receive Jesus as your Savior. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your heart and empower you to overcome your flesh and turn from your sin. “Therefore, if anyone is in the Messiah, he is a new creation. Old things have disappeared, and—look!—all things have become new!” -2 Corinthians 5:17.

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