As the church, we are called to love as Christ loves, and that means loving all people regardless of their behavior or beliefs. Loving people does not mean supporting them in opposing God's creative order. True love demands truth. In this case, true love demands that we speak the truth about sexual sin. Clearly, God's word defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman and any sexual activity outside the confines of a Biblically defined marriage is sin. Sin separates us from God and leads to eternal damnation. Christ died to pay the penalty of sin. Christ's death does not, however, excuse sin.
The legalization of same sex marriage is not a plague on America but a symptom of a much greater disease, the disease of apostasy. American culture has been working toward divorcing itself from God since the 1960's and the Supreme Court's usurpation of power over the definition of marriage is one more move against God and His principles. This ruling should not come as a surprise, as our nation is mostly non-Christian and people separated from God should be expected to embrace sin and reject the teachings of scripture.
Apostasy does not take place in a secular culture, but within the Church itself. Church leaders across America are abandoning sound doctrine for progressive concepts and merrily leading the nation down the path to destruction. The very institution that is supposed to be calling people to holiness and Biblical truth is increasingly touting evil and allowing emotions to govern decision making within the upper echelons of ecclesiastical leadership. How does this happen?
The Roman Catholic Church, which officially takes a stand against sexual immorality, is currently led by a false prophet who claims to stand for God's truth and creative order while practicing just the opposite. Pope Francis has repeatedly spit in the face of conservative Catholics who stand for Biblical truth, which is ultimately, spitting in the face of the very One whom he claims to represent, Jesus Christ. To read about the Popes apostasy, CLICK HERE
Currently, the Pope is on a crusade to protect the planet from man made climate change. Professor John Schellnhuber, a Vatican spokesman on climate change, has called for a depopulation of planet Earth from 7 billion people down to 1 billion. God told us to "be fruitful and multiply" and to "fill the earth." The Vatican is proposing a sustainable population of just 1 billion people, which in affect is endorsing a policy that contradicts God.
The Vatican, this week has signed a treaty with the Palestinians, recognizing the statehood of Palestine, in direct opposition to the Word of God, concerning the Gaza. Zephaniah 2:4-7 For Gaza shall be deserted, and Ashkelon shall become a desolation; Ashdod's people shall be driven out at noon, and Ekron shall be uprooted. Woe to you inhabitants of the seacoast, you nation of the Cherethites! The word of the LORD is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines; and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left.
And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures, with meadows for shepherds and folds for flocks.
The seacoast shall become the possession of the remnant of the house of Judah, on which they shall graze, and in the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening. For the LORD their God will be mindful of them and restore their fortunes. This passage reveals the fact that God has bequeathed Gaza to Israel, not the Palestinians, or anyone else who may lay claim to that land. Once again, the Pope is seen supporting a policy that contradicts God.
On same sex marriage, we see the same contradiction of God on the part of Pope Francis. In 2010, Argentina voted to legalize same sex marriage. Argentine Bishop, Jorge Bergoglio wrote a statement, filled with references to the Holy Spirit, condemning Argentina's move to legalize same sex marriage. According to the document Bergoglio wrote, it appeared that he was in favor of the Biblical definition of marriage and believed that homosexual practice was a sin. What most people do not know is that Bishop Bergoglio, in a phone call to Argentine gay rights activist, Marcelo Marquez, stated, "I'm in favor of gay rights" and supported civil unions, stating that Argentina was "not yet ready for a gay marriage law. Bishop Bergoglio is now known to the world as Pope Francis. Others have reported similar conversations with the Pontiff while he was still a cardinal. Francis has made controversial comments concerning his acceptance of the sin of homosexuality since his ascension to the so called throne of Peter. Most troubling was his statement to reporters, "When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem…they’re our brothers." This does not sound like the words of a man who holds to a Biblical view of sexual sin.
When church leaders, like Pope Francis, openly or even secretly, support sin, there is no hope for a secular society to choose a moral path. The church is the gatekeeper, church leaders are supposed to be the watchmen on the wall, keeping vigil and steering God's people toward holiness and truth and by doing so, helping society retain a moral compass. When those who claim to speak for God tout the theologies of Satan, who is watching the gate? The church must stand for righteousness in love. Love means telling the truth and helping people come to Christ for forgiveness and transformation. Church leaders who endorse sin are just as evil as hatemongers like Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church. Phelps, and his brand of Christianity, bears no resemblance to any form of Biblical Christianity that follows Christ's example to love people.
The church bears some blame for than the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage, because the church has not been clear it's beliefs on the matter. Most mainline denominations either openly accept sexual sin or merely pay lip service against it. Those who take a stand for holiness are marginalized and maligned by both secularists and many who claim to be Christ followers. Those who claim Christ and support evil "have a form of godliness, but the truth is far from them." The church cannot accept sin any more than it can hate unbelievers or expect them to behave according to the Bible. The role of the church is to make disciples of all nations, which means loving people enough to speak the truth into their lives and offering them the saving grace of Jesus Christ. We cannot lash out in hatred and vitriol towards those who do not have the Spirit of God and who choose to live according to their own rules. We cannot allow those who claim to speak for God to lie and endorse sin. Somehow, we must balance holiness with love, offering hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless without compromising the message of the cross or minimizing the consequences of unconfessed sin. The church will face a challenge like it has never seen before and much prayer will be needed on the part of believers as we navigate our not so brave, but very new world.