When We Rise began last night. The four-night, eight-hour ABC miniseries tells the story of the gay rights movement in America. Critics call it “inspirational” and “powerful.” TV Guide praises the series for illustrating “the blood, sweat and tears that went into making it so that LGBT people can now enjoy freedoms including the right to marry.”
The miniseries is Hollywood’s latest attempt to normalize homosexual behavior. This should not surprise us. Wikipedia has compiled a list of 987 bisexual, pansexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender characters on television and radio. I didn’t try to count its very long lists of animated, dramatic, and comedic TV programs with LGBT characters.
My purpose this morning is not to recount the extensive biblical prohibitions against same-sex activity or outline yet another defense of biblical marriage. Rather, it is to encourage Christians not to give up on this issue.
Our culture wants those of us who believe in biblical sexual morality to stop caring about this debate. “Marriage equality” (such a misleading misnomer!) is the law of the land, we’re told, so we need to move on or be accused of intolerant homophobic bigotry. In this war of attrition, it’s tempting to concede the battle and tolerate what the Bible forbids.
Here’s why we must not do that.
One: This is about the authority of God’s word, not the popular whims of society.
The Bible consistently and clearly forbids same-sex behavior. If we decide that God’s word is irrelevant on this subject, where next will we abandon biblical authority?
Two: Souls are at risk.
Homosexual behavior is not the unpardonable sin, but it is a sin. And like all sin, it always takes those who practice it further than they wanted to go, keeps them longer than they wanted to stay, and costs them more than they wanted to pay. Jesus died for every LGBT person you know. They are loved by God and deserve to know his word and will for their lives.
Three: This is going to get worse.
What started as the “sexual revolution” to legitimize premarital sex has turned into escalating divorce rates, a pornography epidemic, widespread sex trafficking, and ever-more aberrant behavior. After same-sex marriage comes polygamy and polyamory (many loves), “zoophilia” (sexual relations with animals), and “consensual love” (sexual relationships without regard to age or biological relationship). If you think I’m exaggerating, ask yourself if you would have expected legalized same-sex marriage ten years ago.
Our culture deserves our witness and our King deserves our obedience. It’s always too soon to give up on God.
Four: God’s strength is all we need.
When we serve the Kingdom, we can claim the power of the King: “I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). One way God wants to redeem the discouragement of our day is by using it to draw us to him in faith. Craig Denison notes, “Your God is the same God of David, Samson, Paul, and John. The success that they had was the direct result of their choosing God’s strength over their own.”
So keep believing that God’s word is true (John 17:17). Keep speaking that truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Our culture deserves our witness and our King deserves our obedience. It’s always too soon to give up on God.