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March 25, 2021 7:00 am
When it comes to the issue of homosexuality allots been happening in our world lately. I'm sure you saw in the paper this past week that the Massachusetts Supreme Court has mandated that the state of Massachusetts has to offer.
Same-sex marriage to lesbian and gay couples. Beginning May 16, 2004, Massachusetts now joins Vermont, which also legalize same-sex civil unions back in 2000, but this is now marriage in the year 2003 California lawmakers granted same-sex couples. Virtually all the rights of married couples.
Also in 2003, the US Supreme Court struck down all state laws across America against homosexual activity by consenting adults. Bravos queer eye for the straight Guy is a huge hit, along with other shows depicting happy gay couples such as Will and Grace. It's all relative. And boy meets boy. Many of us on live TV. Or if you didn't, you've certainly heard about the time on tong lip lock between Brittany and Madonna and brides magazine recently featured its first ever article on how to plan a same-sex wedding. Now that on top of that we have to add the Episcopal Church which you knew about November 2003 consecrated the first openly gay bishop in the church's history. The Rev. Jean Robinson of New Hampshire joining the United Church of Christ is the second Protestant denomination in America to recognize openly gay practicing clergy in an article in CBS intolerant CBS entitled landmark year for gay rights. Kate Kendall, the head of the National Center for lesbian rights observed in our quote by any standard of measurement 2003, stands out as a year of unprecedented forward progress. Visibility and equality for us.
She went on to say we are at the tipping point where most Americans are simply not willing to engage in the fight against us."
The guys in the heck is going on in America will listen to Dr. Samuel Silverman Prof. of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and I quote homosexuals cannot only come out of the closet. They have become militant, they are demanding all kinds of rights to be fully accepted as normal. To be able to marry to adopt and raise children to have their lifestyle presented as a perfectly normal alternative to heterosexuality." Dr. Lindgren stale sociologist at U Cal Davis said and I quote Janus is no longer being presented in the media as an issue or problem to be solved, but rather as simply a part of everyday life." In Dr. Silverman again. Many of these militant gays are not just fighting for their own civil rights but they are also attempting to win converts to their way of life." Now, as far as Bible believing followers of Jesus Christ here in America. What does this. Where does this leave us what we do about all of this with friends. I believe that it leaves us in the middle of a great conflict that exists on two levels. It exists.
First of all art on the level of a conflict for the soul of America.
A conflict for the very moral fabric of our nation, a conflict, it has to be Paul thought in the political arena that has to be fought in the courts and the legislatures and the county governments and the classrooms and the colleges of America.
And I say to you, this is a fight we dare not lose but also it leaves us with another conflict and that is a conflict for the souls of men and women who are caught up and trapped in this sinful and self-destructive behavior. And this is also a conflict that has to matter deeply to us because Jesus Christ loves every one of these ladies and every one of these men and died on the cross for every one of these men. Every one of these ladies, whereas we must be utterly relentless in the political arena of this conflict, we must be just as utterly compassionate in the personal arena of this conflict, may I repeat that we need to be relentless in the political arena. We need to be compassionate in the personal arena. This is what I want to talk about today when a little series growing out of acts chapter 20 call modern theological myths.
It grows out of Paul's challenge to the church leaders in Ephesus and ask 20 and to us today as church leaders asked 20 verse 28 to keep watch over God's sheep and protect them from theological error and so I'm breaking into a tall small little series a few messages about some of the most insidious theological errors that are being shelved down the throat of the American people today and last week we talked about the first one to Jewish people really need Jesus. We said last week, there is the two covenant theory out there that says Jewish people have a completely different arrangement with God the Gentile, so therefore they don't need Christ to have eternal life and to go to heaven and we saw last week. This is theological baloney. This is totally bogus and if you missed that you need to get the tape of the CD today were going to look at a second theological error that's been shut down our throat, which is also baloney, which is also bogus.
And that's this that homosexuality is a genetic predisposition that people cannot help having and therefore we must accept homosexual behavior as normal sexual practice in America disappointment. Talk about today. The folks whether we like it or not the church of Jesus Christ is right smack dab in the middle of this fight over homosexual rights and gay marriage. Let me tell you why. The reason is that the traditional taboo against homosexual behavior is one that is firmly rooted in the Bible is firmly rooted in the Bible's declaration that this behavior is an abomination against God and degrading to any society for 3500 years.
The arch enemy of homosexual behavior is been the teachings of the Bible. And yet, as we've seen, even today, the churches start to waffle on this Dr. George Chauncey of Prof. of history at the University of Chicago said and I quote the split that has happened in the Episcopal Church shows irreversibly that there is a debate among people of faith over homosexuality, it will never be possible again for the Christian right to claim there is only one biblical position on this issue."
Well I can't speak to you today as a representative of the Christian right, but I can speak to you as a pastor and I can speak to you as a theologian and I can speak to you as a church leader and in that role. I'm here to tell you that without equivocation there is a single unified monolithic position in the Bible on this issue.
The issue of homosexual behavior, to tell you what it is. Leviticus chapter 20 verse 13 if a man lies with another man as one lies with a woman, both of them have gone what is detestable. Leviticus 18 verse 22. In the Old Testament. You shall not lie with a man has one lies with a woman is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord and it's interesting that here. Leviticus 18 just to show you how detestable God really considers this behavior to be. I want you to notice the bookends that he put around this prohibition right in front of it. Verse 21 he put a prohibition against child sacrifice and right behind it.
In verse 23 he put a prohibition against having sex with animals and this is where God placed this particular prohibition which tells us about what level he considers this behavior to be in Genesis chapter 18 God said the sin of Sodom is so grievous that I will go down and do something about it and we all know what the sin of the city of Sodom was it was rampant homosexual behavior and this was so offensive to God that what he came down and did about it is that he wiped the whole city out of existence and friends we could go on with more verses but I think the point is clear that the Bible has a consistent position about homosexual behavior opposition that is not change. Since homosexual behavior began on the face of the earth, and that position is that homosexual, lesbian behavior is detestable and abominable in the sight of God is still allowing the whole of the Old Testament and you know Jesus. I mean, he brought loving grace to the world so maybe you know what about the New Testament. I'm emulating in the New Testament that's different okay well let's look at Romans one where I ask you to turn in the New Testament. Here in Romans chapter 1 in the last half of the chapter, the Bible describes for us how human society is the process by which the stages by which human societies deteriorate morally and spiritually move away from God and move towards the judgment of God, and there are three stages that this these verses describe each one is denotative by the phrase used three times in the end of this chapter, God gave them over and every time God uses this phrase it marks another decline a lower decline in the society away from God and toward self-destruction.
Now want you to see with those three stages are because homosexual behavior figures very strongly in this process. Watch the first stage is humanism, that is when a society replaces God with man and the things of God with the things of man walked verse 21 for although men knew God existed. They refused to glorify him as God claiming to be wise in themselves, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals.
Verse 25. Therefore, here comes our phrase God gave them over first time so that they worshiped and served created things rather than the creator. This is when a society decides that they're going to display the going to displace God as the head of society, and they're going to win thrown man instead. This is one of society decides that they're going to displace the wisdom of the Bible as the guiding principles for their society and their going to put their own wisdom in place of that and you know folks for all practical purposes, American society is already well through stage one you go to any public school in America today. You go to any public college in America today and even though there may be wonderful followers of Christ on the staff's and teaching in the classrooms of these institutions. They are forbidden by law to teach the Bible in these classrooms.
They are forbidden by law to mention God or a biblical worldview and make it clear comes out of the Bible. In these classrooms where are we today you go into those classrooms and you'll hear all about man's wisdom is man's achievements man's capacities man's capabilities stage one, of Romans chapter 1, now states to his homosexuality and not homosexuality is a closet behavior that goes on secretly in a society this sober stage to hear his homosexuality being recognized approved and normalized by a society as completely acceptable behavior walked verse 26 because of his humanism. Next becomes our second use of the phrase God gave them over to shameful lusts.
Even their women exchanged natural relations with men for unnatural ones. In the same way men abandoned natural relations with women and burned in their loss for one another, men committing shameful acts with other men there's any doubt whether God's position is changed on homosexual behavior.
Look at the adjectives that are used here. Shameful, unnatural God's position has not changed and it's very interesting here that the first group mentioned under this stage are the women involved in this behavior, which I find very interesting, but I think God does this because he is trying to tell us something.
He's trying to tell us this is not just as I said a few closet homosexuals. This is a stage that looked society reaches where homosexual behavior is so normalized and so accepted that even the women in that society corn or normally the most chaste and the most virtuous element of any society. Even the women are brazenly involved in this kind of behavior.
History tells us that any society that is ever going over this home stage to completely that no society has ever come back after going over this home every society that has has self-destructed. There was the Sodom and Gomorrah society.
We know about them.
There were the ancient Phoenicians and Canaanites and Egyptians. There were the ancient Greeks, you may not realize this but Socrates and Plato were homosexuals, exalted homosexual love in their writings. Alexander the great had male lovers.
The Spartans commonly had male lovers as well as female lovers, even the word lesbian comes from the Greek island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea where this behavior was completely normal in practice. During the time of classical Greek and then we have the Romans to Tony as the Roman historian tells us in his book the 12 Caesars 14 out of the first 15 emperors of the Roman Empire were day that Julius Caesar was a homosexual but Nero dress-up a little boy in a bridal veil and married him in the streets of Rome that the bathhouses in Rome were hotbeds of homosexual activity and true story when archaeologists on earth, Pompeii, the ancient Roman city. The depictions of homosexual behavior on the walls of the houses and on the pottery were so gross and so explicit that they actually put newspapers over them so they didn't have to look at them and they forbid women to even come onto the site because I didn't want to see the historians, Gibbon and Toynbee both conclude that without a doubt homosexuality was one of the clear reasons for the decline in the fall of the Roman Empire say law women women women salsa now look long homosexual activities exist in every society in the world from the beginning of time so you know the world still going.
Why don't we just live and let live. I don't understand what the big deal is.
Friends, you're right. Homosexual activity has existed in the world from the beginning, but this is not what stage II is talking about is talking about reaching the place in a society where homosexual behavior is normalized where it is accepted where it is pronounced a completely appropriate lifestyle to be practiced and what the Bible tells us here in Romans wanted, predicts, and history confirms that once a society goes over this falls they never come back. The world may keep going, but not that society and that's why we cannot be cavalier about this and we cannot live and let live because this is the agenda of the homosexual community. This is where they want to take America to where homosexual behavior is completely normalized and Romans one warns us severely about what happens when we get there.
Let me just conclude it just for the sake of completeness and show you the third stage and that is spiritual hardness is a woody nearby that that means when a society gets to the place where sinful behavior is done with such brazenness and such shamelessness and such incorrigibility that there's no remorse about it even anymore. Nobody impair look at this verse 28 since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God in their minds third and final use of the phrase God gave them over to a depraved mind, as a society. The King James version translates it a reprobate mind so that they became filled with every sort of wicked behavior and depravity. They not only continue to do such things, but they took pleasure in convincing others to do those things rent this where society gets to the place where they don't trust people in that society don't just do wrong things and then feel terrible about it. This is the place where people don't even register that it's wrong anymore. This is the place where there's a flaunting of sin. There's a a boasting about sin.
There's a defiant mockery of everything that God says is pure and right.
Paul referred to this. First Timothy four when he said their conscience has been seared as with a branding iron meaning the conscience of that society that was once living tissue and registered remorse and embarrassment about disobeying God. Now it's not living tissue anymore. It scar tissue and it feels nothing is there will on at least thank God were not there. In America, yet really just to Super Bowl to see Justin Timberlake rip the top off of author Janet Jackson and he called it a wardrobe malfunction. He said it was on client friends if that was unplanned than I in the next American Idol. That's all I gotta say, and you know that's not true. That was not on plan my foot that was unplanned night. Here's the scary thing CBS apologized the next day for that. But CBS got hundreds and hundreds of letters and emails from people in America say on why are you apologizing. There's not a thing in the world wrong with this.
We all have more of this. Europe is already got it.
Why are we such proof that one Democratic presidential candidate said he didn't understand what the big deal with the big fuss was all about.
You look at network TV here in America for adultery in premarital sex or as casual as Abaco: our television murders and every show called movies like Italian Job exalt God stealing the show friends things.
The pornography is funny and cool on television pay and foul language on on network television got the place where the beach don't even get in. Sometimes on time and that bigger pass ideally need and you know exactly what the people said last week ER air to show in which there was a bare breast of the lady on network television in BC and what even a whimper of response from the American public salon was happening to us friends Romans one tells us what's happening to us. We are moving toward stage III about the sound of a society's dissent where it doesn't even register with the people in our culture anymore than things are wrong. It doesn't even there's not even a sense of embarrassment anymore about things that God says are wrong and inappropriate for our culture that's where were headed and if you can slay these three principles overtop of where we are as a nation and not be scared out of your mind for the future of America during the mile during denial. Let's get back to the homosexual thing for just a moment and closes up, what's the point with regard to homosexuality in all this.
The point is that the Bible tells us with clarity that when a culture accepts and condones homosexual behavior that is an integral step in that culture's decline and self-destruction. And as I said earlier once a culture goes over that. Hopefully they never ever in history have come back now you know we we went to school and we were taught the evolutionary dialectical model for human development say what in the world.
Is that what that's the movement of the human race.
The ascent of man from caveman to civilized man to modern man. You know what, that's not all. A picture of the Bible back the picture. The Bible's exact opposite. The Bible says that if it had to give a title to human history, it would call it the descent of man, because the Bible says man began in the Garden of Eden as that did the apex the masterpiece of God's creation, intelligent, upright, if you're aware of God's reality connected to God. And ever since then they have been going. They'll this is the worldview of the Bible and that sometimes man is gone down so far, God is actually destroyed, cultures, and sometimes in his mercy, God is stepped in with revival and purification and restored cultures back up to an awareness of God and as soon as he did. They went right back down again witness the Wesley revolution in England. 200 years ago. Witness the great awakening in America. 200 years ago 250 and so folks we need to understand the Romans one road here that this is what happens to society. Secularism leads to the normalization of homosexual behavior and other sinful sexual behavior leads to spiritual hardness were people don't even recognize anything is wrong anymore leads to self-destruction. Now let's stop there and ask a question showing a really important question and you know what it is. So you already still wake okay. Ready here we go. 123 Ceylon okay will you say what you're saying to what you want me to do about what you want us to do about what I got two suggestions or two things I believe God calls you and me as followers of Christ boss as a church family to do about this. The first thing God calls us to do is to respond on a political level to the homosexual agenda that we can't do this is a church it's illegal and is not even appropriate for us to get involved in political action, but you as followers of Jesus Christ can and the Bible calls you and me as individual followers of Christ to oppose this agenda because friends this agenda is leading our nation into self-destruction. That's what Romans one says and we've got to understand that this means that we as followers of Christ have got to oppose gay rights. We've got to oppose same-sex marriages.
We have got to oppose gay friendly curriculums in our school, and we've got to oppose any political candidate who runs on a on a platform that espouses gay rights in the courts. The gay lobby.
I maintain whether their Republican, Democrat, Green party yellow party or rainbow party out there.
What party they are with their out to a spouse, gay rights, we have a responsibility to do the best we can do to see to it they never get political power, they never get into political office where they can carry that agenda out. We have the responsibility to teach our children what the Bible says about true sexual behavior healthy godly sexual behavior. We cannot abdicate that to our schools.
We cannot begin to abdicate that to our family life courses in public school because they are going to teach your children the exact opposite of the word of God, and that's your responsibility that's my responsibility and many of us are shirking that responsibility. We need to teach our children what God says on these issues. We have got to engage politically in the arena or we are going to lose this fight is still a lot, have we lost already lost it. I don't think so. I think of the dudes of the verdict is still out.
The jury still out, but were definitely getting punched around pretty bad friends were in the ring and the gloves are on and if were not careful.
Were gonna lose this fight and if we do if we do based on what Romans chapter 1 says the consequences for this nation will be dire. We dare not lose this fight, or if we lose it. We need to lose it with argon smoking understand what I'm saying now. On the other level not enough. I appreciate that. I'm not sure it's appropriate but thank you. I wish you clap as much when I said we need to go reach people for Christ but okay.
That would that's another thing now but there's another level of this that we need to really talk about today and that's the personal level because you see friends as much as were against the political agenda of the homosexual community. We need also understand that real people's lives were involved in this that real men and real women in real young people are caught up in this bondage that is homosexuality and lesbianism and it is bondage is bondage to despair to confusion to loneliness to depression to promiscuity and the guilt that comes from it to sell paint hating and self-loathing oneself and to self-destructing and we need to tell these people and offer them help to get free. We need to tell them Jesus Christ can set you free because they think they are free, but they're not, you know, take Kendall the head of the national lesbian group call 2003, the year of our liberation. Well I'm sorry to tell her that 19 centuries ago. Peter talked about folks like her and said she had it exactly back.
Listen to what Peter said second Peter chapter 2, he said, appealing to the most carnal desires of the sinful human nature. They people like Kate entice people promising them freedom, while they themselves are the slaves of depravity" and you know a hard look at the homosexual community in America and around the world will tell us that Peter was right, not Kate.
Mr. Murray Morris was a newspaper reporter in California and did several exposes of the gay community out there wrote an article entitled, there's nothing gay about homosexuality. Here's what he soon he said one of the biggest problems with homosexuals is their own loneliness and homosexuals own publications in the writings of psychiatrist to treat them in the words of ministers who try to help them. There is this constant repetition of the loneliness of the homosexual lifestyle. This loneliness leaves many homosexuals into drugs and alcoholism, they headed to sadomasochism.
They are frequently vicious with their own partners and others. Whoever decided to call homosexuals gay must've had a terrible sense of humor." But not only is there the personal tragedy of the personal sadness of his lifestyle friends. This lifestyle is self destructive in an incredible way. Dr. Paul Cameron did a study quite easily published in the book called the homosexual lifespan and in this book.
What he did is he went and looked at the obituaries in homosexual journals, 10 of them across the nation of 4109 homosexuals. He studied their obituaries and here's what he found that homosexuals have 20 times the suicide rate of the average American homosexuals are victims of murder 83 times more often than the average American. And that's not from gay bashing in almost every case, the perpetrator of these murders were other members of the homosexual community homosexuals with AIDS. The average death of a male homosexual with age is 36 years old.
The average death of a male homosexual without AIDS is 43 years old folks. The average death of a male in America 75 years old and he concluded by saying and I quote homosexuality plays out as the most deadly lifestyle.
It is far worse than smoking or alcohol abuse or working in a uranium mine." What this means is, there are some people for whom Jesus died. There were some people whom Jesus loves federal horribly self-destructing in this behavior and we as the church have the responsibility we as followers of Christ have the duty to reach out with the love of Jesus to these people and tell them you don't have to live this way.
There is a way out. Once gay, always gay is not true and you can be free and you can be healed and you can live a functional healthy life with no deal, no depression, no self-loathing, and hatred, Jesus Christ conception for now so long. What about this genetic thing you not read about this you know that it's in the genes that but you can't really help with the God made me gay. What about this what you want to tell you I agree with the homosexual community that this is genetic. This behavior so you agree that homosexual behavior is in the genes gets genetic. I do absolutely so was lying, cheating, stealing, murder, adultery, it's all in our genes, folks, every bit of we were born with a sinful human nature that we inherited in the genes of our parents and every one of those behaviors is genetic and in our genes, but where I don't agree with them is that we have no choice about this God says every sinful behavior. Man has ever engaged in. Man has choice and they have a choice and that brings hope because if you have a choice to do it by the power of the Holy Spirit is a choice not to do and that brings hope and that's what we proclaim, but you know is not just good enough to preach this we got a come alongside men and women because yes, the power of Christ makes you free but you know what people made you sick and it takes people to make you well and we got a come alongside people and say not just that we can preach is to you were to put arm around you and will walk with you were to help you get free working to support you while you get free were to be your friend. Through this we have a wonderful ministry are called out of darkness which is a support ministry and a healing ministry for people who have homosexual issues and lesbian issues and transgender issues and we don't publicize a lot because it's the start one of those things that you beat the drum about tell everybody about, but were helping people already with these issues and let me just turn now and closing to those of you were here today and say I'll bet there are a lot of you here today plus I miss my guess, who have struggled with homosexual desires. Gay lesbian desires much of your life. You maybe have had one or two encounters friends one or two encounters is not a lesbian or homosexual me, but it does mean you need help and we're here to help you were here to tell you that we love you deeply and that Jesus Christ loves you on conditionally.
He didn't care about your behavior. He loved and he died on the cross for you so that you can be free and you know what will help you with that if you let us, that's what were here to do. Jesus said if I the Son of Man make you free. You be free indeed. Now many of you have never told anybody much about this and you certainly not told anybody in the church about this because you're sure if you knew that can reject you for going to judge you for going to condemn you and I'm here to tell you were not interested in doing any one of those three were interested in helping them get you free because friends is not any different than me. I was a drug addict was a different was the difference. It's all wrong. It's all sin. And Jesus set you free from whatever source you need that can't help we got some folks down in room 1109 right out after the service and it's down around the corner and you go down there and they're there for you whatever you want whatever you need, however far you want to go there there for you and that what they'll tell you is the same thing that I'm telling you, and that is Jesus Christ to make into a new creature who set you free. If you give me opportunity in your life.
So this is what this is our responsibility. It's twofold it's to reach out to people involved in the self-destructive behavior. Tell them Jesus Christ can change your life and then walk with them to see that that happens. That's our duty.
It's also to say on a political agenda level. We are against this. It's not about civil rights. This is about morality and decency and nobody civil rights ought to go to the point where it endangers the very fabric of our society and this is not a civil rights fight.
This is a morality fight and that's the level on which we have to attack it and we have to stand our ground and if it makes us unpopular. Well guess what makes us unpopular and if people don't like us well you know I'm not living for people to like me.
I'm living for Jesus to say well done good and faithful servant.
And that's what you ought to be living for and so this is our responsibility is your responsibility and I hope that you will take it seriously day next week number to talk about sink. No clear would ask people to talk about the da Vinci code and why that book is so incredibly wrong.
So you come next week and will talk about is pray together.
Let's pray together. I heavenly father. Thanks. Talking to us today about this very modern and appropriate issue and this is a tough issue because feelings run very very deeply in America about this. The Lord, we don't really care what Americans feel we care what you feel we care what your position is and you've made your position clear and so we pray that you would help us on both levels. The political and the personal to take your position and bring that message to the people of America to the people of the city. Father, help us reach out in love and genuine compassion to folks who are trapped in this destructive and devastating behavior. The Lord Jesus.
My prayer is that we might see many of them get free, both here and in eternity and father. My prayers also that you by the power of your spirit would drop a curtain of steel in American society and in your mercy say that's far enough you not going any farther were turning this around. I don't know how to ask you to do that. Lord, but we need you to do that before we lose this fight and really subject our country to some of the very on some of the very nasty consequences that the Bible tells us of so Lord help us take both ends of the seriously and we pray these things in Jesus name, amen