Thoughts on Homosexuality and Future Generations
Recently a blogger asked the question about homosexuality and future generations. Her contention is that the Church is losing the battle over homosexuality and she predicts that the Church of the future will embrace homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle complete with marriage and all civil rights associated with homosexuality. Her points are that 1) most young people don’t care if you are gay or straight. That’s your personal preference. Happiness is the key. 2) Young people point out that slavery was once viewed as right and now is a sin so why can’t homosexuality turn from a sin to not being a sin. 3) Young people believe that homosexuals are born gay and cannot turn from their “sin.”
What are my thoughts?
1. The Need for Expository Teaching
While I don’t believe that expository teaching is a cure-all for sinning (I have known expositors who have fallen into sexual sins), I do believe that the Church has largely failed to train disciples to be disciples and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). The Church has been preaching a “happy clappy Christianity” that fails to preach against sin, fails to glorify God, fails to show the true sinfulness of humanity, and fails to proclaim the Word of God as the inerrant and infallible Word. Instead, people show up to hear “Apps for Life” series or something worse. Instead of verse by verse teaching of the Word of God from the servant of God who is broken by the grace of God and in awe of the holiness of God they get another watered down “talk” that doesn’t exalt Jesus nor preaches true salvation.
The point of Bible teaching is to teach people how to hear from God for themselves. Verse by verse teaching of God’s Word shows people, “This is how you study the Bible and this is how you can hear from God.” They don’t need a clergyman. They need the Word of God and correct exegesis and from that will flow the truth of God which always confronts sin and confronts pride and destroys the works of Satan (Isaiah 55:10-11). As Amos 8:11 says, we have a famine not of the Word of God but of hearing the Word of God. We have Bibles but we don’t know how to hear from God for ourselves from His Word. The Word of God keeps us from sin (Hebrews 4:12; cf. John 17:17; Psalm 119:11). The Word of God reveals the Lord’s salvation (2 Timothy 3:15) and keeps us saved (James 1:21).
We have failed to preach holiness and this has led people to think that they can sin (whether homosexuality or adultery or lying or greed, etc.) and get away with it. The Bible teaches that we are to be a people of holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16). The Bible says that we are to pursue holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). The Bible teaches that we are to seek those things which are above and not this world (Colossians 3:1-3; 1 John 2:15-17). The Bible teaches that we are be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). The Bible teaches that we are new creations in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17) and that having been baptized into Christ, we are now to be dead to sin (Romans 6).
Yet we have played with sin. We have taught people that sin we all sin every day and none of us are perfect then why bother seeking to overcome sin by the grace of God. Instead of standing firm for Jude 4, we have turned against Jude 4 and are seeking to give people such grace that they can abide in sin and still claim Jesus. We need to embrace 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 once again and realize that those abiding in sin will not inherit the kingdom of God. We need to proclaim 1 John 2:3-6 and declare that the person who claims to know Jesus but doesn’t obey Him as Lord does not know Him (Matthew 7:21-23). We need to preach that the Holy Spirit will help us overcome sin (Galatians 5:16-17) as we submit to Him (Ephesians 5:18). We need to preach that the grace of God empowers us to live godly lives in this evil age (Titus 2:11-14) and the grace of God can help us avoid sin (1 Corinthians 10:12-13).
Now I don’t believe we can obtain perfection because we still live in the flesh. We must continually trust in Jesus to save us (Hebrews 7:25) from sin and its power and we must realize that Jesus is our faithful high priest who intercedes for us even when we fail (1 John 1:9). This is not a license to sin but a call to look to Jesus for sanctification (John 17:19; Acts 15:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). Jesus can help us overcome all sin. If He can’t then sin is more powerful than He is which would be heretical (Matthew 28:18; Colossians 1:15-20). Jesus’ call to us is go and sin no more (John 8:11).
Some would say that prayer falls under discipleship and that discipleship has been a failure of the Church. I agree that discipleship has largely been abandoned by the Church. Even Sunday School is largely missing now. Yet I have never met or known a serious intercessor who did not reject homosexuality or other sins. There is simply something about being in the presence of God that causes you to hate what He hates and love what He loves. The Spirit of God prays through us (Romans 8:26-27) and I believe that as we seek God and the Spirit prays for us, we will yearn to glorify Christ (John 16:14).
How do we teach people to pray? Prayer doesn’t come from reading a book or hearing a lecture on prayer. Prayer doesn’t come just from preaching on prayer. We must pray! The secret to prayer is praying in secret. The more we spend time with God, the more we will long for Him and learn to seek Him. Leonard Ravenhill use to say that he could learn more about a man from hearing him pray than from anything else. I would agree. I have been around expositors of the Word but when I heard them pray, there was no passion for God, they fumbled with their words, and it was clear that they didn’t pray to Him often. I learned to pray by hearing other men of God pray. I use to go into a prayer room at the church I was saved at and would listen to two men of God pray. Brother Stewart and Brother Bush. They would seek God. They would cry out to God. They would weep and wail before the Lord (James 5:1). They understood the principle of Scripture that if they would “draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8) but how few draw near. How few know how to pray through anymore. How few know what it means to lose sleep because of seeking God. How few have calloused knees from seeking Jesus. How few will turn off the TV and the chatter of this world to seek God. We know His promises (Matthew 7:7-11) but yet we don’t pray.
And because so few know how to pray, the public church is full of religious people who don’t know how to get alone with God. I recently read that the average church member prays 2 minutes a week. 2 minutes a week! The average evangelical pastor prays 5 minutes a week. 5 minutes? And we wonder why the next generation sees homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle? To quote Leonard Ravenhill again, “A praying man will not sin and a sinning man will not pray.” That sums us up perfectly.
4. Your Best Life Now Christianity Versus the Law of God
My last point is that the reason I believe the next generation is embracing sin as a legitimate lifestyle is because we are not preaching the Law of God anymore but instead we are preaching “your best life now” Christianity. We are not confronting sinners with the Law of God and thus the Church is full of false converts. There are countless people who claim the name of Christ who are abiding in sin and the reason is that they have never heard that they are sinners and have the wrath of God on them. They must hear the Law of God.
Martin Luther said,
“The first duty of the Gospel preacher is to declare God’s Law and show the nature of sin, because it will act as a schoolmaster and bring him to everlasting life which is in Jesus Christ.”
That is just what Paul the Apostle said in Galatians 3:24. The Law shows us our need for God’s grace and forgiveness. The Law shows us that we sinners in need of a Savior (Romans 7:7). The Law makes religious hypocrites and the self-righteous realize that they are sinners and deserve God’s just wrath against their sins (Romans 3:19-20).
J.C. Ryle said,
“People will never set their faces decidedly towards Heaven and live like pilgrims, until they really feel that they are in danger of Hell…Let us expound and beat out the Ten Commandments, and show the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of their requirements. this is the way of our Lord in the sermon on the mount. We can not do better than to follow His plan.”
Paris Reidhead said,
“If I had my way, I would declare a moratorium on the public preaching of “the plan of salvation” in America for one or two years. Then I would call on everyone who has use of the airwaves and the pulpits to preach the holiness of God, the righteousness of God and the Law of God until sinners would cry out, “What must we do to be saved?” Then i would take them off into a corner and whisper the gospel to them. Such drastic action is needed because we have gospel-hardened a generation of sinners by telling them how to be saved. Don’t use John 3:16. Why? Because you tell a sinner how to be saved before he realized that he needs to be saved. You have gospel-hardened him.”
Amen! Preach the Law of God and watch as sinners twist and turn trying to avoid the clear implications of the breaking of God’s Law (James 2:10). The Law of the Lord converts the soul (Psalm 19:7 NKJV).
How many people today who see homosexuality as a lifestyle or even see people born that way and claim to be Christian have ever trembled before the Law of God? How many have read through the entire Bible and did not notice that God pours out His wrath on all sin? How many people sitting in the Church today preach perhaps against homosexuality but they fail to preach against adultery and pornography and other sins? Let us exalt the Law of God and show the majesty of His grace toward us in the giving of His Son (John 1:17). Let us preach hard against sin but all while showing the mercy of God in His Son. There is such joy in the Lord but few know this because they believe that sin is more pleasurable than holiness. How wrong they are.