Friday, March 14, 2008

Not Against Flesh and Blood

The political landscape of the State of Oklahoma is currently a front line in spiritual warfare.

In an unprecedented move, an openly gay man, Jim Roth, is running for a statewide office. He was previously appointed Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner by Governor Brad Henry when the position was vacated last year by the previous Commissioner. Now, that seat is up for election, as well as one other, and he could very well be the first open homosexual to be elected to office by an entire state. The fact that this is happening in Oklahoma and not, say, California is even more significant. Because of this, gay activist organizations from across the nation are pouring money into his campaign.

Next month, several major high school districts across our state are participating in the Day of Silence, an event created to recognize the oppression of homosexuals as inhumane. Students are encouraged by faculty to participate by wearing special t-shirts, taking a day-long vow of silence and handing out literature promoting the event. Obviously, the students who refuse to participate will be easy to identify.

Now, of course, this is America. As Americans, citizens have the right to live the way they want to live, promote what they want to promote and donate to whom they want to donate. They can say what they want and do what they want, and are protected by our Constitution, as they should be.

However, this is one of those times when being a Christian can conflict with being an American.

As a Christian, I take civic duty very seriously, as you know from previous blogs. The welfare of our country has been placed in our hands. And when America says something is okay but God says it’s not, the choice should be obvious. Christians, American Christians, should tremble in fear when their fellow citizens openly and publicly refute the Word of God as unnecessary, irrelevant, and untrue. And when we have the power to stop or at least resist the deliberate, militant march of organized sin, we should run to the forefront of the fight.

Are we to fight homosexuals and their sympathizers? Not really. We must realize who it is we are really fighting against. Make no mistake, sin is sin, and anyone who encourages the social acceptance of sinful living, Christian or not, will have to face the consequences.

But we are not struggling against the sinful and the hateful. We are struggling against the powers of evil, “against spiritual wickedness in high places.” That phrase has never been so plain to me before. Recognize the Enemy for what he is, the Great Deceiver, and recognize the sinner for who they are, the Deceived.

But, with that, recognize the need for truth. God is loving and merciful, or else he would not provide us an escape from our sin. But God is also just and holy. He cannot tolerate sin, and pronounces harsh penalties against those who not only practice it but promote it.

It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble. (Luke 17:1)

I know your works--your love, faithfulness, service, and endurance. Your last works are greater than the first. But I have this against you: you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and teaches and deceives My slaves to commit sexual immorality and to eat meat sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality. Look! I will throw her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her practices. I will kill her children with the plague. (Rev. 2:18-23)

We have an obligation to proclaim the truth. To publicly recognize sin as sin is certainly offensive, but also loving. After all, if we are Christians, and we believe Hell is a real, physical place, why on earth would we be ashamed of warning those we care about away from it?

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not give up. Instead, we have renounced shameful, secret things, not walking in deceit or distorting God’s message, but in God’s sight we commend ourselves to every person’s conscience by an open display of the truth. (2 Cor. 4:1-3)

We need to understand that the world is meant to be offended by the truth of the Gospel, because it is offensive to it. It is not unloving, but it is at odds with the world and those who cling to it. And while it may hurt and be difficult, Paul talks about the result of such offense, or “grief”:

“For although I grieved you with my letter, I do not regret it…Now I am rejoicing, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed…for godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldy grief produces death.” (2 Cor. 7:8-10)

So, Christians, you must decide why you are so embittered against, embarrassed by, ashamed of, or in any way opposed to a fellow believer who stands in the public arena proclaiming the Word of God as truth. Why do so many to try and distance themselves from someone who does that, by saying things like, “she makes Christians look bad” or “I don’t really think that should have been said there/to them/that way.” Are we taking a stand for Christ when we join the world in denouncing those who proclaim his Word? Why do we make excuses for protecting those who need to be broken?

Do you remember how you came to Christ? Do you remember what it took to make you realize you needed a Savior? It took brokenness, guilt, shame, conviction, and an honest look at yourself as a sinner in need of forgiveness. And if that’s what it takes to be cleansed and made new by God, why do we try and shield others from going through that? Why do we try and let our loved ones take the “long way” to Jesus by trying to give them a feel-good version of Christianity without honestly telling them what the Word says? Why do we assume that being nice is enough to bring people to Jesus?

2 comments:

Mary said...

When is the election?

Jaci said...

If I am remembering correctly, it is just going to be in the general election because this is not a party specific election, for lack of a better term, meaning that as many Republicans and Democrats and Independents can run against each other as want to. There is no primary, just a general election on November.