“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.” Romans 1:24-28
With the outpouring of equal signs overwhelming social media today in an effort to support “equality in marriage”, it is more than clear that we live in a society that has exchanged the truth of God for a lie. Both Christians and non-Christians alike have voiced their support for homosexual marriage in the name of tolerance and acceptance, all the while with the remembrance of the blood-stained cross of Jesus Christ in clear sight as we approach Good Friday. We live in a culture that has been deceived by an enormous amount of lies. Rick Warren said it best in regards to today’s events with these words:
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
God calls us to love, yes. And it was in His unfailing love for us that He required the cross of Jesus Christ. You see, God does not nor has He ever tolerated sin. Rather, He demanded payment for sin, the ultimate sacrifice – Jesus on the cross. And because God doesn’t tolerate sin, neither should we. However, because it is politically incorrect to call sin what it is, we embrace a more palatable Gospel, one that proclaims “truth is relative”. The problem with saying “whatever is good for you is OK” is that each person’s definition of good is drastically different from one another, not to mention in stark contrast with God’s Word. There are some who would tell you that it is obedience and the highest form of love for their god to kill someone who opposes their religion. Good? Have we simply forgotten that there is a standard, and that the standard is God’s Word? Or do we just reject it as being outdated, not up with the times and the changing culture? As culture continues to change, so will morals, ethics, and values. The world shouts at us, “Follow your heart!” The Bible tells us to guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23) because the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure (Jeremiah 17:9). The more we live apart from life in the Spirit and obedience, the more deceitful our desires become.
Let’s be reminded of something. ALL SCRIPTURE is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), not just the parts that make you and I feel good. The Bible is not a buffet that we can pick and choose the parts that taste good to us. The entirety of God’s Word is life-giving truth, and apart from truth, we have no freedom.
Straight from the very mouth of Jesus Christ, the one who took our punishment on Himself and died in our place, He alone determines truth from error:
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31b-32
Brandy B says
Great post, Cherie! I was saddened to see so many red equal signs on my FB feed yesterday, even this morning. A lot of us have really lost focus on God and His Word.
Sin is sin, and we are all sinners. To accept the ultimate gift of salvation that God gave us through his son Jesus Christ means that we turn away from our sin. AND we love one another by sharing the truth with them and encouraging them to turn away from their sinful lifestyle. We as believers are not to condemn but to live out our faith and to stand up for truth in the name of love! Regarding homosexuality, it was as widespread in Paul’s day as it is today! And Paul was speaking truth in the name of Christ. Thank you Cherie!
I’m glade that you wrote a blog that was able to better articulate my stance on this better than I ever could. There truly is a standard, and it is exhausting to deal with people day in and day out who want to fight against it. This topic though is a slippery slope because we are commanded to love all people, but to also take a stance against sin. I see Christians go one of two ways, they either draw a line in the sand completely against the rest of society and have an “us vs. them” mentality, or they go the hippie route and try to preach the “do what feels good” approach to things. I personally feel that by being the example and loving others is the best way to combat these types of issues.
Thank you for being a voice of reason and taking a stand, Cherie! Even if it’s not “popular,” people who call themselves Christians still need to stand for Christ, not the world.
I disagree. The Bible contains many instances of God’s commands that seem unconscionable to follow in today’s culture. We must, and we do, pick and choose. For instance, the Bible teaches that slavery is ok, that women must wear veils, and in mass slaughter of those with different religion is commanded:
“….and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind, and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be discredited…. Bid slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect…” Titus 2:4-9
“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of every woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God…. any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head …For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair …For a man ought not to cover his head; since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. (For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.)” 1 Corinthians 11:2-10
“Go up, my warriors, against the land of Merathaim and against the people of Pekod. Yes, march against Babylon, the land of rebels, a land that I will judge! Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them, as I have commanded you,” says the LORD. “Let the battle cry be heard in the land, a shout of great destruction”. (Jeremiah 50:21-22 NLT)
When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are about to enter and occupy, he will clear away many nations ahead of you: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These seven nations are all more powerful than you. When the LORD your God hands these nations over to you and you conquer them, you must completely destroy them. Make no treaties with them and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them, and don’t let your daughters and sons marry their sons and daughters. They will lead your young people away from me to worship other gods. Then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and he will destroy you. (Deuteronomy 7:1-4 NLT)
Thank you so much for this! I was disheartend yesterday to see so many of my friends have the equal sign as their profile picture. I wanted to say something but couldn’t find the words without being unkind (NOT what I was going for!!). Thank you for finding the words and the kindness!!! God is good all the time and I am grateful that he shows His love and grace to me daily!
Sincerely, good article. I’ve been thinking about this today. I’m a Christian male. I believe homosexuality is a sin. I have understood from the Bible that our sin nature’s are from birth, so I’ve wondered against popular opinion, if it isn’t true that homosexuals are born that way.
However, where I get caught up is how much time/energy/passion we Christians should devote to railing to keep or create laws that govern our non-Christian neighbors.
Why aren’t we railing to put laws on the books regarding hetero adultery (including sex outside of marriage) or idolatry or greediness or all drunkenness, all coveting, all deceit, slander, etc? Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed due to lots of different kinds of depravity which merely included homosexuality and many other forms of sexual immorality. Those weren’t just cities of homosexuals.
Why is it so easy for us to target gays vs heterosexual adulterers, for example? My guess is because gay behavior is so foreign to heteros, yet adulterous behavior is not, for example.
Also, as far as not tolerating sin, we’re clearly told not to judge those are aren’t our brothers and sisters. So, why would we need laws on the books to govern ourselves? There’s a great FEAR going on among Christians where we’re trying to govern everyone else. We’re judging non-Christians and want to govern them, frankly, it would seem.
Personally, I think if it’s up to a vote, go ahead and vote your beliefs. I would vote against it. I guess that’s where we are. If ever it’s NOT up to a vote, we should let it be and submit to our leaders.
When I see Facebook friends railing against gay marriage, I can’t help but think, “Great, there’s another great example of love to a non-Christian.”
Why aren’t we fighting against all of the below:
Galatians 5:19-21 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Cherie Wagner says
If you heard or sensed a judgemental tone in my blog, then you missed the entire point of what I wrote. Calling sin “sin” is not judgemental, rather it’s Biblical. Sin is sin, and the more we refuse to call it what it is and address it in love, the more unloving we become.
No, sorry. I didn’t sense a judgmental tone. I didn’t sense malice. I carried some other thoughts here from other discussions today and just dumped it. 🙂 Ultimately, I’m thinking about what hating the sin and loving the sinner means today. God can hate sin without malice. I think all of us Christians know a few who we’d call brothers/sisters who tend to have malice in their words regarding these issues. You wouldn’t see them posting loudly against heterosexual adultery (fantasies) or using God’s name in vain or greed or gluttony like they so easily post against anything homosexual. It’s just an easy flag to wave with no fear of a social beatdown. This is NOT on you. 🙂 Your blog was on my path today. I thought I’d leave thoughts for others.
BUT we still do not get the right to judge, that’s God’s job.
Excellent post!! Your points are spot on – if we as Christians accept lifestyles that the Bible clearly condemns than we are in effect condoning sin. It is not judgmental to see sin for what it is and to reject it in all of its forms. This is not being judgmental – the Bible says “thou shalt not kill” and yet none of us would ever accept murder, regardless of the situation whether it be under the guise of “acceptance” or for any other reason. And yet we see the gay lifestyle as somehow being a “lesser sin”? God does not place grades on sin – sin is sin.
We are taught to love our fellow man, but that does not mean that we are to accept everything they do.
Ron, we already condone sin every day as Christians. Do you condone gluttony? Do you tell people not to take God’s name in vain? Greed? Selfishness? Can we have laws against eating fatty foods and sugary drinks to stop us from gluttony? Should we have laws about how much wealth we can accumulate? I dare you to take up those unpopular causes. Is taking God’s name in vain less than murder? 🙂 So, are you trying to get away with rejecting the sin and rejecting the sinner? Are you rejecting the murderer? On the contrary, I think most of us Christians give more weight to homosexuality and violence and theft, the easy sins to rail against. But, there’s more we tolerate. I’d hate to see Christians drawing a line.
You’re right, no we don’t have to accept any sinful behavior. I just think we need to be careful not to shun all sinners away from us, or who else is there?
Cherie Wagner says
As believers, our law is God’s Word, and it is the perfect law of liberty. When we live within the boundaries of God’s Word IN ALL THINGS (not just the “hot topics”), we experience and know freedom. Yes, there are other issues that quite frequently get overlooked. However, as social media literally erupted with talk of marriage equality yesterday, who are we as Christians to not take a stand on truth? I invite you to check out my other posts. I write about all topics, including grace. But for those who continue to throw around the word “judgement” or “condemning”, be reminded that as Christ-followers, we have been given ALL authority through Christ to teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sin, in all its forms, separates us from God. To say nothing about that to a lost world ushers them into the realm of false hope that will eventually lead them to an eternity separated from God. Truth sets us free. We need truth spoken in love, coupled with grace.
Whether you believe homosexuality is a sin or not is your business, but who are WE to judge other people’s sins? Are your sins somehow better than theirs? Do you sin in a more acceptable manner? And besides, this is not about what it says in the Bible or what God taught because recognizing a gay couple as a civil union has no bearing on religion. The United States government does not and should not stipulate laws according to Christianity. This is violating the 1st amendment in many ways. I think you’re missing the message here.
Cherie Wagner says
Again, I will say that calling sin “sin” is not judgemental, it’s Biblical. I in no way am “lessening” my own sin. The error that continues to creep it’s way into the church is that we must present a more palatable Gospel, one that’s easier to swallow with less of a blow. The truth is that you and I both should be convicted by sin and any way that we are giving others a license to sin.
But Julie, in our country, people are free to vote their beliefs.
While you can vote on your beliefs and you are entitled to your beliefs – those beliefs become a problem when they harm or restrict the rights of others. Separation of Church and State.
In the case of gay marriage, no natural human right is being infringed upon. Separation of church and state doesn’t imply separation of religious belief and voting.
I am a Christian and I agree with most of what you just said regarding sin. As Christians, we know that God treats homosexuality as a sin. However, the issue at hand is not whether or not Christian’s believe that homosexuality is a sin. This is an equal rights issue. We live in a democracy that is ruled by its people, not a monarchy or oligarchy where only Christian’s have the right to write laws. Because freedom of religion is a constitutional right, we have citizens who hold many different beliefs. Legally speaking, marriage is not limited to only Christians; people of all faiths are allowed to marry. There is a separation of church and state for a reason. Therefore, regardless of the belief’s that we may hold personally about sin, we must remember that the law is not based on only what we as Christians consider to be right or wrong, but on human rights. The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. The Declaration of Independence also states that all people have the unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. It is not in accordance with our founding laws to deny any person the pursuit of happiness because of our beliefs, so long as that person’s pursuit of happiness does not take those rights away from others. For example, if a man A felt he could only be happy by killing man B, we could deny man A his pursuit of happiness because it takes away man B’s right to live. However, we have no grounds to make any laws against gay marriage because two homosexual people getting married have the unalienable right to pursue happiness, and their marriage does not take away the rights of anyone else.
Aside from how the legal system should regard gay marriage, I feel that too many Christian’s today forget that Christ gave us two key commandments to keep: ‘love God above all things’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. We are commanded to love one another unconditionally, regardless of sin. Christ also said, “he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Therefore we must love adulterers, thieves, murderers, and yes, even gays. If all we do is condemn gays for their sin, what motivation will they have to come to the faith? Would you want to become a Christian if all you ever heard was how wicked of a person you were and how you were going to hell because of your sins?
I urge all Christians to not to forget this and to remember that laws are not written based on Christian beliefs, but on human rights.
Cherie Wagner says
The issue I addressed was not one of loving the sinner, but rather addressing sin. The most loving thing we can do AS CHRISTIANS is speak truth in love. If we don’t do that, we are not loving. We cannot remove truth and remain loving. We just can’t. What concerns me most is this over-arching mentality that is beginning to say this lifestyle is OK, and this is being said amongst believers. To say that it isn’t OK because it’s in direct violation of God’s Word is now intolerant and judgemental. You are right in stating that many out there are throwing stones. However, every time a Christ-follower speaks forth truth on this matter is not always coming from a heart of condemnation. Truth will offend, and many will reject it. We should not, therefore, cease speaking it.
You still fail to address the fact that the current issue is not about sin but about constitutional law. Acknowledging that our laws are not based on Christian beliefs but on human rights is different than accepting that a certain lifestyle is “OK”. By “OK” I assume you mean moral or immoral based on Christian beliefs. As Christians, I am not saying that we must accept another person’s lifestyle that is not in accordance with our beliefs. However, regardless of how we may feel about a person’s lifestyle, our feelings do not give us a right to deny any person their right to “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”. It is as simple as that. This issue is no different than when we abolished slavery or when we gave women the ability to vote. We cannot deny a person their human rights based on our beliefs. In regards to speaking truth, you are right that not every Christian is speaking “from a heart of condemnation”, but I have found that more often than not, unfortunately, that is the case. I think it is very difficult for many Christians to make the distinction between condemning others and truly speaking truth out of love. I do agree that we should not cease speaking the truth, but there is a difference between speaking it out of love and speaking it out of hatred. I must disagree, however, that speaking truth about sin is the most loving thing we can do as Christians. Speaking the truth about salvation is. It is important to remember that when trying to bring others to the faith. While we should not omit the truth of sin, our focus should be on the truth that God has forgiven us all of our sins and has granted salvation to all that believe in him. Still, these are our beliefs, and are not shared by all people in our nation. The fact remains that we cannot deny another person their human rights based on our beliefs.
Phil, don’t compare slavery with the “struggle” for homosexuals to officially marry rather than live in civil union. That’s offensive. There is no human or natural right to marry. Christians believe God said man and woman can marry. What other source said marriage is a right?
So by that standard, only Christian’s should have the ability to marry? If that’s the case, why shouldn’t we make it also illegal for Jews, Muslims, and atheists to marry? This is a fundamental problem that Christians have on this issue. Christians do not have any ownership of the practice of marriage. As I recall, people were getting married long before Christ came to this earth. The covenant of marriage may be a Christian sacrament, but a legal marriage predates Christianity. This is why churches will continue to not allow homosexuals to be married in a church and enter the Christian covenant of marriage, and by all means they should continue doing so. However, the Christian church, or any other church for that matter, does not have authority over legal marriages. That authority lies in our Constitutional rights as Americans. As I said in my previous comment, we have freedom of religion. Because each person has equal rights in our nation, if one person has the right to marry another person, it follows that any citizen has that same right, regardless of their religious background.
God actually predates Christianity too, right. Christ came much later. Basically, you’re asking for a marriage of the government. I get that. Not of the church. Religioius peoples and non-religious alike have chosen to vote against it, because it’s been up for vote. Some day, it won’t be up for vote. You’ll get your wish. However, for now, many religious including Christians who think it’s sin and many non-religious who just don’t like it won’t vote for it. That’s ok. That’s the system. At some point, the way things are moving, it probably will happen for you. True Christians won’t ever acknowledge those marriages as proper unions, and we’ll probably realize that the government possibly should never have been involved in recognizing our marriages.
Joe McCarthy says
We all have our beliefs and interpretations of what the Bible is saying to us. I just know in my heart that this is wrong. And will continue to have my beliefs. And leave the judgment up to him.
Peace be with you.
How are you leaving the judgement up to him if you are judging those who are gay and lesbian by saying what they are doing is wrong? That’s pretty judgmental…
Cherie Wagner says
What if I were to say that murder is wrong and so is sexual exploitation of children? What if I or any other Christian were to write a blog about the sin of addiction to pornography? Would that also be deemed as judgmental? I never once said that God doesn’t love homosexuals. I did say that He calls it sin, just as much as greed, gluttony, and gossip are sin. God’s Word is truth, and it remains the standard by which we are to live, whether you believe it or not. Choosing to reject the truth of God’s Word doesn’t make it any less true. It stands alone. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord…including those that rejected Him on this side of heaven. God IS love. God IS good. God IS full of grace and forgiveness. Scripture also tells us that He is holy, righteous, and jealous. We err when we embrace one of His attributes and reject the rest.
Joe McCarthy says
I simply said it was wrong,which is my opinion, and saying something is not making a judgement.
People who say it’s sad and disheartening to see so many equal signs on FB, its sad and disheartening to read so many posts that are against EQUALITY. Christians were once against inter-racial marriages as well. And now it’s no big deal and you love who you love.
I am a Methodist, born and raised. I go to church every Sunday and I am heavily involved in my church. As a Christian, I believe God is love. How can we as Christians say God is love and that Jesus loved everyone – except for the gays.
And if you are saying that we shouldn’t pick and choose Bible versus to live by – then you need to stop eating shell fish, make women wear veils and women should not be considered equal to men either. If you want to go at it from the “It says so in the Bible!” stance – then you should also follow every single thing it says in the Bible. Which I highly doubt most Christians do.
Love is love. Why would you want to stop love? If God is all about love – why stop it? There is no logical reason to oppose Gay Marriage. The only reason people oppose is because of how ignorant they are. Gay and lesbian people are HUMAN. Treat them as such.
The main issue is that God, Jesus and other writers in the Bible do make it clear homosexuality is a sin. It’s stated in many, many places. It’s not open to interpretation. The church should love those sinners like any other (though I agree that’s not always the case), but does not have to marry them into a sinful relationship just as the church would not marry a horse to a woman. That wasn’t God’s intent. All this being said, I do think sinners of the homosexual kind probably face a higher degree of exile and judgement from religious and non-religious alike than other sinners.
The Moral Atheist says
I find serious issue with the logic used in this blog post. It states truth is not relative and then admits that everyone’s definition of “good” varies. This means that even from Christian to Christian the absolute can very. If the God’s Word is absolute truth, then whose interpretation of it is correct?
The Author also points out that morals, ethics, and values change with the culture, and in doing so suggests that the Word of God does not. Yet as a respondent to the blog post points out, there are several areas in the Bible where genocide, slavery, subjugation of women and other horrendous acts, some of which would be defined as “crimes against humanity” by today’s standards, are condoned and in some cases even praised by the authors. To suggest Christian morals haven’t evolved with the culture is disingenuous.
She finishes by saying that the entirety of the Bible is God’s Truth, but there is so much that the modern Christian ignores. I am all for a healthy debate about the merits of Gay Marriage, but have yet to find a convincing Biblical argument because it seems to rely on the statement, “The entirety of the Bible is Absolute Truth (you just have to ignore some parts).”
I think that the church and Christians as a whole are being deceived. The advocates of gay rights are far more brilliant, manipulative and well versed in psychology that most people think and they know what they’re doing. Keep telling the truth! You shouldn’t be suprised at how many people resist you, this is exactly what they planned if you read the PDF below. I’m def not a conspiracy theorist, but if you look at their tactics and how successful they’ve been it’s mind-boggling!
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 2 Timothy 4