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Between the Dock and the Boat (Part 2)


Yet culturally, socially and legally, the darkness is falling. What we are seeing is that Christians are losing the right to object to a behavior they deem objectionable or a violation of their belief system.


  • The Law Society of British Columbia has voted to deny a Christian university the right to confer law degrees over Trinity Western University’s stance on homosexuality.
  • Christian bakers and owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa were forced out of business by gay activist over their refusal to bake a cake celebrating a same sex marriage.
  • A Catholic adoption Service had to close its doors because of Massachusetts law would require them to place children in adoption in same sex marriage homes.
  • A French mayor faced jail time for refusing to marry a gay couple
  • Two wealthy gay men in Britain are suing to have Anglican churches made to conduct gay weddings.
  • In Denmark, the Danish National church must by law conduct gay marriages


It is because of these examples and the trends they represent that anything other than a clear clarion call of orthodox teaching is a great disservice to the church. These examples cited show that increasingly, resistance to the accepted cultural norm, yesteryear’s abnormal, is treated as bigoted, insensitive and a violation of the rights of the protected group. Currently we are seeing social and economic pressure applied to those who do not, or will not adhere to the homosexual agenda.


How far will this go? Certainly the trend is that Christians who are faithful to a traditional and biblical understanding of sexuality and marriage will be increasingly the odd man out, socially and even perhaps economically. We are, not to be negative but to be honest, looking increasingly at dark times ahead. The words of the apostle Paul, that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ must remain at the forefront of our minds.


In the short-term Christians may lose and lose painfully on this issue.


What is vital for us to remember is that we are not called to win our way on any issue that confronts society. Rather we are called to be faithful to our Lord. We are called to persevere for the truth, in trials if necessary but not prevail over those opposed to us here, in this life.


As we consider the possible results of this cultural tsunami, the church has three options. We can acquiesce to the pressure from the culture to conform. We can remain silent (silence in the face of sin and darkness is also a form of acquiescence) or we can speak prophetically to our culture.

We must speak prophetically on culturally impacting issues for reasons of biblical clarity. The word of God must be taught as relevant, authoritative and true, with application for all of life. We must also teach and articulate a Christian worldview to properly answer and understand cultural forces that are washing over the church in this day. If we do not explain from a biblical understanding how are to understand and examine the world from God’s kingdom eyes then we are looking through the wrong end of the microscope.


As it relates to our issue of same gender sexuality and marriage let us give an example of how worldview impacts these issues. The dominate worldview today looks at same gender sexuality as an extension of the natural order and that sexuality is, to a large degree, genetic. Consequently people will act in accordance with their genetic disposition. Since this behavior has a strong, if not pervasive genetic component, it is cruel to the extreme to deny such behavior legitimacy.


Taking this position some in the liberal denominations have framed this issue of same gender sexuality as one of civil rights, attempting to make it analogous to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. That is however, a false argument because the issue is one of behavior and not of racial status. What is lost in all of this to many, even in churches, is that ultimately people make moral choices on their behaviors and are still, in the eyes of God, responsible for those moral choices. For the church perhaps a better more realistic and biblical analogy would be not to look at same gender sexuality issues as one of civil rights but as a matter of a indicator of spiritual brokenness and sin.


The Christian worldview is altogether different from a liberal perspective. The Christian worldview does see same gender sexual expression as symptomatic of man’s sin and fallen brokenness before God. Those that act upon same sex attraction need divine cleansing, healing and reclamation.


If same gender sexuality has any genetic aspect, 1 it is due to the taint of the fall that has intruded into every aspect of our souls. This is what Paul is driving at, in part when he speaks of lesbian and homosexual acts in Romans 1:26-30. Indeed, Paul says in so many words that same gender sexuality is a curse, a judgment due to a rebellious wayward heart.


There are those I hear from who come from the point where they wish to sow kindness and grace into the lives of gay people who are wounded by real and perceived rejection from the world around them, rejection from family, from friends who learn the truth, co-workers and society in general. I understand all that, that sense of wanting to salve the wounds to the hearts and souls. Homosexuals and Lesbians DO need our kindness and compassion, but it must be an honest compassion with a look toward healing, not simple acceptance. . So what we would seek for the gay community is not acceptance of their choices, as some would, rather we would seek to lovingly and graciously guide them to repentance and a redeemed life. We do not and cannot affirm their ‘gayness’. Our goal is obedience to Christ for our lives. To the degree that our lives match his desire for us, then we are truly fulfilling our creation-purpose and truly have the life abundant.


We realize today that for many people the goal of opening the church body is to create a welcoming atmosphere for all sorts of folks especially those previously marginalized. While we welcome the inquirer into the matters of Christ and faith we cannot deny a very simple fact of loving Christ. There is a standard of behavior and attitudes the faith demands. Behaviors and attitudes antithetical to the established faith cannot be indulged long-term if a person is truly Christ’s. To come into Christ’s church we must repent of our sins, placing our behaviors, our attitudes, our very heart, under the life changing, soul changing obedience to Christ. We are not allowed the option to come into the church, unrepentant of our sins and to continue in those sins as if they are acceptable.


The church at Corinth had all sorts of issues that drove Paul to distraction. Corinth was a major cosmopolitan city. One of the problems Paul encountered was that some church members wanted to be Christian but act as the pagans. Paul had to remind them that being a Christian was a life altering event and business, or sin, as usual would no longer do. In his first letter to the Corinthians chapter six, Paul starts out addressing an issue of lawsuits in the church but transitions about a third of the way through the chapter to the following thoughts:


 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Neither sexually immoral people, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor passive homosexual partners, nor dominant homosexual partners,  nor thieves, nor greedy persons, not drunkards, not abusive persons, not swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And some of you were these things, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.(1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Lexham English Bible )


Paul goes on in the next several verses to call the Corinthians not to be sexually immoral and sums up his thought this way: “for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20). The point is clear that in our sexual expression we are to bring honor to our Lord. We say these things with all humility because we are not above reproach or temptation. We all need the Father’s mercy. If we are born from above, the clear teaching of scripture (2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 1:6; 2:13) is that we are not left unchanged; God will work out the character of his son into our lives.


Human sin has its ultimate answer in the kingdom of God. When we look at the Lord’s Prayer a most basic objective listed by our Lord is for God’s kingdom to come here and be present on Earth as it is in heaven. For the Christian church, this in part, has been a spur and an impetus for evangelism as a means of helping to bring the world into the kingdom and dominion of our Lord Jesus Christ


As a practical example, if a thief comes into the church and claims conversion, continued thievery would not and should not be tolerated. Paul has just shown us that there were homosexuals and thieves, for example, who had come into the body of believers there at the Corinthian church but they were washed, sanctified and justified by our Lord. Paul says very clearly in this passage that the sexually immoral, the idolaters, the adulterers, the homosexuals, the thieves, the greedy people, the drunks, the abusive people and swindlers, unless they repent of their sin, have no place in the kingdom. Our sexual immorality, our idolatry, our adultery, our homosexuality (or lesbianism), our thievery, our greed, our drunkenness, our abusiveness, our dishonest swindles or business deals, all of these sins drove the nails into Jesus’ flesh on the cross. Every sin committed, planned, or desired in our hearts, God treated with utmost seriousness when his son was crucified and put to death.


When the issue of compassion is raised we must say that it is never compassionate to affirm and normalize sin, no more than it is for a doctor to normalize and affirm disease or injury. A good doctor will rather seek to treat and correct the disease or injury to restore or promote health for the patient.


We start with the fact that the foot of the cross is level for all have sinned and anything good and godly in our lives and conduct is a matter of a grace given, not a right earned. So to those on the other side of the same gender sexual issue from me, I should share the gospel message that healing is offered. We will come to faith or to ruin. We can either cling to the rock that is Christ in this present life’s storms or we can reject the rock and be crushed against it. We come from a place that wants the sinner whole, which desires his or her healing and salvation.


In the same way, we seek the ultimate spiritual correction and wholeness for the homosexual, the lesbian and the transgendered. We do not want to denigrate, insult or belittle anyone and in particular the same gender sexual community.


What we say is that we trust God’s intentions, his wisdom and understanding of how we were designed, as what is truly best for our lives sexually and otherwise. We’re saying that certain prohibitions and rules are laid down for the Scriptures with the purpose, not for harm but for good; not to wound but to heal. We’re also saying that when people are submitted to the Lord Jesus it is only then that they can truly and properly find the happiness that God designs for them. That does not mean that a Godly life is always easy or in the short term pleasurable. But we have to trust that God knows what he is doing and what he is doing in our lives.


Anyone who has ever been a parent and anyone who has any common sense will know that sometimes parents place restrictions on children’s behavior ultimately for their good and happiness. Those restrictions have a goal in mind, coming from a wise parent, and that goal may be future oriented. The child may have absolutely no grasp of the larger wisdom and intelligence of what the parents are saying. The child may think and say that the parent is being mean or cruel or arbitrary. We as parents are faulty, broken people and sometimes we make bad decisions but a good parent overall will make good decisions and seek those things that are ultimately for the best of their children.


We see in Matthew, in the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus compared our father in heaven to our earthly father and by way of comparison he said that an earthly father would not give a child a stone that asked for bread. The thought being that our father in heaven is far wiser and far better than a father on earth. If the father on Earth gives good things to his children how much more shall that heavenly father give good things to his offspring? Our message to the same-gender sexual community is that this behavior is not, nor shall never be healthy, it shall never be wholeness and it will never be good. Our message is that God call us out of any rebellious sin because that sin, be it homosexual or lesbian behavior, be it lust, adultery, idolatry (in all its modern permutations) theft or unwarranted divorce, what ever that sin is, is our ruin.



Copyright © 2014 Brian Bailey, Author