In my comments section of the earlier post, Dolphin raises a sticking point with me.
A few years ago the Barna Group did a study and found that when Americans aged 16-29 (both christian and non-christian) were asked to come up with a word or phrase that described Christianity, the TOP answer (not one of the top, but the very top most common answer) given was “anti-gay.”[ed. note: added links are mine]
Not “believes in unity with God”; not “feeds the hungry, clothes the poor, opens hospitals around the world”. They don’t know we are Christians by our love but by our anger.
A couple of days ago Christian minister Rachel Held Evans addressed this very issue. Her post title was How to win a culture war and lose a generation.
Most feel that the Church’s response to homosexuality is partly responsible for high rates of depression and suicide among their gay and lesbian friends, particularly those who are gay and Christian.
In her post yesterday, Rebecca Luella Miller–who is a very nice person but also very opposite me on some of these issues–said
Since when did adults surrender standards of right and wrong to our children?
I’ve been pondering these things a great deal. During this internal questioning my mind has flashed back to the Frank Peretti. In one of his books (I’m sorry I can’t recall which one) he portrays a cabal of feminists and homosexual community leaders as working in a unified bloc to conspire the downfall of the Church. I’ve read countless articles and blog entries that say the same thing. There are many Christians who believe that we as Christians are in a war with Satan. Wait. I’m one. I believe that too. But then my question becomes this. What, exactly, are we fighting FOR?
There is one belief that says we are fighting for the rightness of God’s Word. Fighting to assert the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This group seems to see homosexuals as the forefront of Satan’s Army, pushing an agenda to defeat God.
Let’s pretend for a minute that this is completely true.
1. If we believe in the sovereignty of God, why do we fear any group of men?
2. If our God can be defeated by mankind’s beliefs and actions, what use is it to believe in that God? (Dolphin also asks this, rightly.)
3. If this Cabal exists, who are the enemy? The gay people or the Satan who is presumed to be guiding them?
Now, I happen to believe (because the Bible I believe in tells me so, and I’ve seen it and felt it and been in it) that we are in a war with the forces of Evil. Our scripture is pretty plain when it says we do not war against flesh and blood. Gay people are not the enemy. Abortion doctors are not the enemy. Women who don’t shave their legs and believe that abortions are ok are not the enemy. We have an enemy, that’s for sure.
But again I ask “what are we fighting for?”
I have been struck repeatedly over the last 20 years with the growing realisation that our desire to be ‘proven right’ is an earthly thing. I happen to think that this is the way Satan is tricking the Church. Our Fruit of The Tree of The Knowledge of Good And Evil is this. We want everyone to know what is Good and what is Evil. And we seem to be left with death. People are fleeing the churches in great numbers. We are perceived as haters of mankind and hypocrites against our own God’s directions.
Maybe, just maybe, if satan is using anyone he might be using our own pride and desire to be seen as right against us.
Jesus said that if all people were silent, the stones would cry out in honour of God. God doesn’t NEED us to acknowledge the I AM. But God did call us to carry the message of eternal love and
perfect peace to everyone. That’s our mission. That’s what I’m fighting for. I’m fighting for the right to let Hope out of the box. I want by the time I die for that poll to say “#1 They bring hope”.