When I wrote about homosexuality and same-sex marriage in 2013 in my book Bearing the Standard, a mere nine U.S. states plus the District of Columbia had already legalized so-called gay marriage, with ten states having constitutional bans against it. In the two years since publishing my book, several of those bans have been overturned, and the number of states legalizing same-sex marriage soared to thirty-seven states—accounting for virtually 75% of U.S. states. In the span of just twenty-four months, the issue of “gay marriage” and the normalization of homosexuality in America went from being a more or less evenly split issue to that of having a clear and ever-increasing majority in favor of it (the trend according to Gallup is clear). The inevitability of it all has loomed large, the trajectory clear: America would soon make “gay marriage” the law of the land.
That was yesterday.
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled “that same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide.” A disheartening decision for many, an exhilarating moment for many more.
But what most of us don’t realize is that despite the decision’s direct and potential bearing on the future of religious freedom in America for those who oppose homosexuality, the Supreme Court’s decision ultimately changes nothing. Rather, our take-away from this should be that the unprecedented speed of homosexuality’s acceptance (and the normalization of other sexual perversions and sexual confusion following closely on its heels) should be viewed as a sign… not a sign of the rapidly degrading morals of society, but of the Body of Messiah’s accelerating free-fall into the abyss of unfaithfulness to the Word of God.
Sadly, as the general population goes, so goes the Body of Messiah (though it should be the other way around). We are following directly behind public opinion with our increasingly favorable view on homosexual-related topics, and fewer and fewer voices being raised in opposition. Within a generation, sexually active “gay Christians” will be just as accepted and integrated among our ranks as those who have been divorced (for reasons other than sexual unfaithfulness) or remarried (after an illegitimate divorce), as well as those who participate in premarital sex, cohabitate, and even indulge in pornography. We will continue to permit the perpetuation (and sometimes celebration) of these sins in our midst under the guise of love, tolerance and happiness, without requiring any form of repentance, or rehabilitation, or insisting that the ongoing sexual sin stop. We will continue to turn a blind eye to all manner of sin and fleshly behavior that permeates our faith-communities, as it eats away at our collective soul, empowering us for nothing but death. This is what today’s normalization of homosexuality should signal to a decaying Body of Messiah.
My brother, my sister—this has happened on our watch. Like it or not—admit it or not—this is on us. We own it. So what are we going to do about it?
We can no longer continue to regard the sick, lukewarm, sinful, nominal, unscriptural, “liberal” parts of the Body as “them” or not true believers. We are one Body, and we are therefore malformed, sickly, and perverted together as the same Body. Our concern should not be so much for the future loss of religious freedom, but how we have been squandering the freedom we have in Messiah today! Rather than reveling in our former, glorious majority—basking in a self-focused, celebrity-driven, consumer-minded spirituality—we should have been working to multiply ourselves through disciple-making, and ensuring that the values, beliefs and boundaries of Scripture were being successfully passed down to our physical and spiritual descendants. Instead of simply shunning the sinful, or allowing them to remain among us while we looked the other way, we should have taken them into our arms and homes, and, with the true love of Messiah, made them answer to the Word of God—held them accountable in light of the solely objective standard of Scripture.
So now—in our collectively frail, weakened and nearly useless state—let us look to Messiah for strength. When we see the gaining acceptance of homosexuality (and more!) barreling down from the world around us, let it be a sign to us of our failure to make generations of true disciples, but also of the need for a Remnant to arise, stand upon, and further the cause of the Word of God.
Let it be a sign for us to repent for believing that Yeshua died for us so that we could be happy and comfortable.
Let it be a sign for us to ask God’s forgiveness for relying on others to teach us the Word, and not knowing and owning it ourselves.
Let it be a sign for us to rededicate our lives to the perfect Word of God—to know it and do it, no matter the cost, beginning with the loss of ourselves.
Let it be a sign for us to renew our commitment to our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren—to ensure that we pass down to them the whole truth of God’s Word, and the courage to live it out.
And let it be a sign for us that we can never rest until each one of us utterly and completely surrenders our daily lives to Yeshua, to be transformed by the Spirit and the Word, and to multiply the Yeshua in us by becoming true disciple-makers for Messiah. Let it serve as a sore reminder that also outside our own households, we are obligated to do the work of sharing the Messiah, giving testimony of His power and love, teaching others His excellent ways, keeping other Messiah-followers accountable to His Word, and making true disciples who will then make more disciples for Messiah in turn.
As we watch Americans and others around the world wave their banners in support of homosexual normalization—or any cause that leads away from the straight path of righteousness—may our hearts not be discouraged, longing for days of morality’s past, but set ablaze for the truth of God’s perfect Word, and for boldly and self-sacrificially bearing the standard of Scripture.