A Glimpse into the Future…
In 123 A.D., the government of Rome enacted a severe crackdown on the Jews that culminated in 134 A.D. with the Jewish practices of Sabbath observance and Torah study being forbidden. The subsequent action by rabbis was resistance and the continuation of their faith practice. A number of them were persecuted and some like Rabbi Hananiah ben Teradyon paid with their life.
Now, fast forward a couple thousand years and hear what has been recently introduced into the California legislature. It is a resolution known as “Assemble Concurrent Resolution 99.” And, as Michael Brown reports, it calls on “counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators' and institutions with 'great moral influence' to stop perpetuating the idea that something is wrong with LGBT identities or sexual behavior. ACR 99 also condemns attempts to change unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion as 'unethical,' 'harmful,' and leading to high rates of suicide."
If you are perceptive enough, you understand that essentially the legislators are telling pastors and spiritual leaders to get rid of the scriptures and adopt a culturally conforming message of political correctness—or else. We’ve already seen these types of things before. Just a couple of years ago the mayor of Houston, demanded that pastors who preached anything considered offensive by the LGBT community, have their sermons subpoenaed and risk potential jail time. While the resolution, even in California, is not expected to pass, it is a chilling glimpse into the future regarding bias and bigotry against Biblical teaching and Christian instruction.
It is an ironic twist of political correctness that those who for years screamed that everyone’s belief should be tolerated, are now the very people who have become culture’s most intolerant. As one writer put it, “Those who came out of the closet, now want to put anyone who does not affirm and endorse their beliefs in the closet.”
While demonizing the LGBT community should be avoided, we should not avoid teaching and preaching the truth of God’s Word about sin, all sin, and that includes homosexuality and sexual gender dysfunction. But, as the Bible says, we must speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15) and declare the love and forgiveness of God that was displayed on the cross for all humanity.
What is happening in California may not pass, but you can be sure it is a glimpse into the future of what will pass in days to come and will eventually try and shape our churches and our messages. What is, and what will be our response when that day comes? Peter and John show us the way in Acts 5:27-29, “And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching… But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” Let us love with the love of Christ and let us stand without apology on the Word of God.
Thank You RBC… for allowing me and Alison to take this next month off. I’ll be reading, writing, studying the Word, prepping future message series, traveling a bit and relaxing. And did I say reading and reading and reading! I’ll be back in the pulpit in August. Let me also say thanks to our capable staff who will be filling the gaps during my absence. I love you guys. Be blessed and remember, God is always trying to take us someplace new. I love being your Pastor.
For God’s Glory Alone,