Thursday, March 19, 2015

Will Conservative Churches Eventually Surrender On Homosexual Marriage?

Will Conservative Churches Eventually Surrender On Homosexual Marriage? 
The Christian Science Monitor published a story recently concerning the Presbyterian Church's approval of homosexual marriages in every congregation, making it the largest Protestant group in the United States to do so. Here is the link to the story and I have posted the entire story below as well. 
Are the major Pentecostal and conservative Baptist
denominations and other conservative fellowships far behind?
I remember preachers standing in the pulpit when I was a boy in the mid to late 1970's saying the day would come when the sodomites would take over the world. They predicted that Sodomy would be considered normal and marriage between homosexuals would not only be accepted by society but common. I suppose their preaching was inspired in part by
Genesis 19
Luke 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 
 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 
 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
And by
Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
I remember hearing this as a boy and being completely dumbfounded. It was absolutely unbelievable that something that drastic could or would happen in our 1970's worldview. How could Sodomy ever be considered normal and marriage between homosexuals not only be accepted by society but common?
Even in the context of the sexual revolution and free love movement of the 60's and 70's, homosexual marriage was unquestionably out of the realm of possibility. The whole idea was preposterous.
I do not remember any type of pronounced reaction from the church to this kind of preaching. I seemed to me that they nodded their assent and then went on to the next subject. 
Of course as a boy my perception could have been out of focus but I remember thinking this is more serious than we are taking it. We ought to be rushing to the altar asking God to change hearts and protect the world and the church from what was coming.
I am sure that churches did take it seriously. I am sure there were people alarmed at the possibilities. But the prospect of the very thing that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha becoming common in America was a shock to my young mind. Those scriptures and that message was etched into my mind and burned into my consciousness.
I never forgot it and I never got over it.
Even as I preached it myself in later years and expounded on the future as I saw it from the pulpit, I hoped and prayed it would be delayed or completely avoided. Ten to fifteen years ago as most states went to the ballot box to change their constitutions to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman it seemed as if the forces of evil were being pushed back.
Over the last six years we have witnessed as state after state had their laws and constitutional amendments preserving the legal definition of marriage declared unlawful by liberal activist federal judges. In just a few short years what seemed so impossible is now nearly the universal law of the land.
Yet sodomites are not satisfied with having the legal right to marry, every one must approve and cheer them on or else. If you preach what the Bible says about homosexuality, it is hate speach. To preach the simple message that most churches believed just a few years ago is bigoted, dogmatic and narrow minded. To say exactly what our President said a few years ago is unfair, unreasonable, inexcusable and nearly illegal.
What did he say that is so off limits now? In 2008 our President was then a candidate. He stated emphatically and repeatedly that he was against homosexual marriage. He said, "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage." He also said, "Now, for me as a Christian, for me, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix." 
He has since reversed his position and has pushed the homosexual agenda with the full power of his office. It is well documented by those close to him, including one of his chief campaign officials and a former White House adviser, (David Axelrod Believer: My Forty Years in Politics) that Obama purposely misled the American public concerning his stance on homosexual marriage in order to get elected.
It is said that he saw this deception as necessary to win the presidency and that he did not enjoy it. Yet he referred to his Christianity and invoked the name of God to convince the American public that he was sincere. Like a kid covering his lie by saying, "I cross my heart and swear to God and hope to die."
Now, a few years later, if we say the same thing our President said against homosexual marriage, "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage." and "Now, for me as a is also a sacred union. God's in the mix.", we are labeled as twisted, warped, obstinate and insensitive. 
That is a disquieting and nauseating turn of events in such a short span of time.
In the last year caterers have been sued and harassed because they refused to bake a cake for homosexual weddings. a florist's business was destroyed because they would not provide flowers for a homosexual wedding.
Soon photographers, wedding planners, banquet halls, food service companies, printers, dress makers and many others will be forced to participate in homosexual weddings or stop servicing weddings altogether.
Lawsuits against churches that will not allow homosexual weddings in their churches and preachers that will not perform homosexual weddings will be the next order of business. The day will come and is not far off when our churches will be forced to perform or at least allow homosexual weddings in our sanctuaries or stop performing or allowing any type of weddings at all.
What will your Pastor do? What will your church do? You better figure that out now, because you will face the decision in my opinion.
The article below names several denominations that have embraced the ordination of homosexuals in the ministry and that have allowed members to be practicing homosexuals and have homosexual marriages. It is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many more examples. Plus the numbers of denominations that are wrestling with this issue is huge as well.
In the late 80's I cut out an article from the USA Today newspaper. It was a story about the largest congregation of the Unitarian Universalist church ordaining an openly homosexual pastor. It was totally radical in that day and most of the major denominations were against it.
I stood in the pulpit then and declared, as I have many times since then, that other denominations would follow the Unitarian's and in time the major Pentecostal denominations would fall in line as well. The first part has come to pass in devastating and disappointing fashion and I still fear the Pentecostal denominations will not be far behind.
Our Pentecostal denominations and other historically conservative denominations, groups and fellowships have compromised many long held Biblical doctrines and moral standards. We  have repeatedly followed the main line groups down their liberal path just a few years after we thundered condemnation on them from our pulpits and from our pews. 
Here is the pattern. They compromised, we preached against them, then we put our hand over our mouth and followed them, conveniently ignoring the Bible and our former vocal opposition to their downward direction.
Surely we will never compromise on this issue. The Bible is clearly against the sin of homosexuality. This is one line we will not cross. We love those caught up in sin. We confess that God saved us from sin and washed us in His own blood. We believe and declare that He will do the same for every sin and for every sinner. Every sinner can be set free from sin and no longer be in bondage to sin.
Every liar can be restored to truth. Every hater can be baptized in love. Every drug addict can be set free. Every alcoholic can be delivered. Every defiled mind can be cleansed. Every adulterer, every fornicator, every idolater, every thief, every gossip can be be forgiven. Every captive can walk in liberty. Every effeminate and abuser of themselves with mankind can be washed in the precious blood of Jesus just like every other sin.
Such were some of you! 
I Corithians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 
 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 
 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Praise God we are not what we used to be. We are now washed. We are now sanctified. We are now justified. We are no longer bound by sin that had shaped us and formed us. We are brand new creatures in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
There is a remedy for all sin. There is remission for all sin. There is no reason to remain in sin. Hallelujah! We are saved by the blood of Jesus and sin no longer rules over us! We are set free from the reign of sin.
Therefore we will never embrace the sin of homosexuality and bring Sodom into the church. Not when there is forgiveness and redemption. We can not. We must not. We will not. The fundamental groups will not. The Pentecostal denominations will not. The Pentecostal fellowships will not.
That steadfast resolve will remain true for some. God will find men faithful when He returns. I wish that were true of all. I want to believe it is true for all. However I have witnessed our propensity to compromise on major issues. I have observed our pattern of backsliding and I am convinced some are about to stumble on the top step of a very long descending stairway.
This is not going to be a pretty fall. There will be no reason for rejoicing. I can imagine even the unscrupulous, immoral, deceitful, underhanded and shameless of this world will have to turn their face rather than watch the church embarrass itself in condoning and cuddling known sin.
But they will rejoice. They are rejoicing in the Presbyterians decision this week. They are thrilled at the mounting pressure on the church. They love to watch the church figure out a way to save face while selling out. They enjoy hearing the intellectuals chew Hebrew and spit Greek as they explain their evolving theological position when they KNOW the purpose behind the church's fake rationalization.
It does not require spiritual discernment to know the real reason churches change their beliefs and whole movements embrace what the Bible clearly calls sin. They no longer love God above all else and reverence His Word. A church that willingly and knowingly clings to and cradles sin is selfish, calloused, petulant and cares little for the commands of God OR the God behind the commands.
Even the world can perceive that compromising churches like the acclaim of the elite, love the applause of men, live for the approval of the crowd and they cave to the compulsion to conform to every one else.
Public opinion is turning against us on this issue. The executive and judicial branches of our government have turned against us on this issue. It is only a matter of time until it becomes very inconvenient, expensive and even down right dangerous to cling to the Biblical stance on homosexuality and marriage.
This issue is not going away. The homosexual agenda will never be satisfied with tolerance. They are demanding acceptance and applause. The Unitarians, the Presbyterians, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church and many others have already stepped off the cliff. Many more groups have one foot in the air and they are preparing to leap.
What the real church does now is very important. God help us.
Thanks for reading.

Christian Science Monitor:
Presbyterians approve gay marriage in church constitution
The historic decision makes the Presbyterian Church the largest Protestant group in the United States to allow same-sex weddings in every congregation.
The Presbyterian Church approved redefining marriage in the church constitution Tuesday to include a "commitment between two people," becoming the largest US Protestant group to formally recognize gay marriage as Christian and allow same-sex weddings in every congregation.
The new definition was endorsed last year by the church General Assembly, or top legislative body, but required approval from a majority of the denomination's 171 regional districts, or presbyteries. The critical 86th "yes" vote came Tuesday night from the Palisades Presbytery in New Jersey.
After all regional bodies vote and top Presbyterian leaders officially accept the results, the change will take effect on June 21. The denomination has nearly 1.8 million members and about 10,000 congregations.
The Rev. Robin White, a leader of More Light Presbyterians, which advocates for gay acceptance within the church, said many families headed by same-sex couples "have been waiting for decades to enter this space created for their families within their church communities."
So far, 41 presbyteries have rejected the redefinition, which includes a provision that no clergy would be compelled to preside at a gay marriage or host such a ceremony on church property. The vote in one presbytery was tied, according to a tally by the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, a pro-gay group that works to keep Presbyterians united despite theological differences.
The new wording for the church Book of Order will read, "Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives."
Carmen Fowler LaBerge, president of the conservative Presbyterian Lay Committee, said the new definition was "an express repudiation of the Bible" and approved "what God does not bless."
The church had already authorized ordination for people with same-sex partners four years ago, and last year, allowed ministers to preside at gay weddings if local church leaders approved in states where the unions were legally recognized. LaBerge's group has urged Presbyterians to protest by redirecting donations away from the national church until the original marriage definition is restored.
Although several US Protestant denominations have taken significant steps toward recognizing same-sex relationships, only one other major Christian group has endorsed gay marriage as Christian church-wide.
In 2005, the 1.1 million-member United Church of Christ became the first major Protestant denomination to back same-sex marriage, urging its individual congregations to develop wedding policies "that do not discriminate against couples based on gender.
The Episcopal Church, which blazed a trail in 2003 by electing the first openly gay Anglican bishop, Gene Robinson, does not have a formal position on gay marriage, but allows bishops to decide whether their priests can officiate at the ceremonies. Episcopalians will take up gay marriage at a national meeting in June.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which eliminated barriers to gay ordination in 2009, takes a similar approach, allowing some discretion by clergy and congregations to officiate at same-sex ceremonies without formally recognizing same-sex marriage as a denomination.
The United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., bars "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" from ordination and prohibits gay weddings.
The Rev. Brian Ellison, executive director of Covenant Network of Presbyterians, said he recognized "there will be significant disagreement among thoughtful faithful people" about the new marriage definition. "We're very committed to helping the church continue working through this issue," he said.

Between 2011, when the Presbyterian church authorized gay ordination, and 2013, the latest year for which figures are available, 428 of the denomination's churches left for other more conservative denominations or dissolved.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Because of an enormous amount of spam all comments will require word verification and will be moderated. They may not be visible for a few minutes. We love it when you participate in the conversation. Thanks for leaving a comment!