You know we have really entered a moral freefall when it actually appears reasonable to call black white, and white black; when we manage to convince ourselves that virtue is now vice, and vice is now virtue. And when people claiming to be believers jump on board this foolishness, then we have just about lost the plot altogether.
This situation can best be summarised by two biblical texts, one from each Testament. In Isaiah 5:20 we read these words: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” And in 2 Tim. 3:12-13 we find Paul warning that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
These verses very nicely describe a new round of madness that is being proposed, both from without and within the church. Hot on the heels of the national sorry day for treatment of so-called stolen generations, the homosexual lobby is now calling for a similar day of apology for them. Activist Rodney Croome for example says the homosexual community has been systematically mistreated by the Government in the same way that Aboriginals have, and this has resulted in deep personal trauma, requiring a national apology.
That whole scenario is bizarre enough, but it gets even worse. In Sydney there is what is known as the 100 Revs movement. This is supposed to be a collection of 100 Christian reverends and pastors who want to offer a collective apology to homosexuals on behalf of the church. They will march in the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras this weekend.
Of course there seem to be only a handful of church folk on board, not a hundred, but those who have signed up are all the usual suspects. In fact it is partly led by Anthony Venn-Brown, a former AOG pastor and married father, who abandoned both his church and his wife and kids to embrace homosexuality.
He claims to be a homosexual Christian, in complete repudiation of what the New Testament says about such an oxymoron. One might as well call oneself a Christian thief, Christian drunkard or Christian fornicator. Paul makes it quite clear that genuine believers are those who have renounced and repented of such sinful lifestyles (1 Cor. 6:9-11). They have agreed with God as to what is sinful behaviour. They may still struggle with the temptations, and the sinful orientation, but with God’s help they can experience real change and victory.
So what does one make of this call by church people to offer a blanket apology for homophobia and similar “sins”? A number of things come to mind. If considering homosexuality as Scripture does makes one homophobic, then every believer should be homophobic. We should always agree with God as to what is sinful and what is not sinful.
But homophobia is of course a completely meaningless term. It literally means to fear that which is the same. Believers who seek to uphold Biblical values have no fear of those of the same sex, nor hatred. Indeed, it is quite the opposite. It is love for the homosexual, like love for any sinner – which means every person on planet earth – that drives people to want to see homosexuals delivered from their sexual bondage and sinful lifestyle, and set free for the kingdom of God.
The truth is, those marching are extreme liberals – theologically and politically. Thus their sense of moral angst is all one-way traffic. I would like to see these trendy lefty church leaders marching side by side with, say capitalist exploiters, environmental polluters or Western warmongers, in a public display of solidarity and repentance for how they treated those folk. Somehow I don’t expect to see that happening soon.
As Joel Belz rightly said over a decade ago: “Concerning those of the religious left who say we should be kinder to homosexuals and abortionists: I have never heard one of these critics say something like this: We all know that racism is a sin, but in our zeal to confront racism, let us be careful to show love for the racist. The church has got to learn to welcome racists. Nor have I heard them plead the cause of the capitalist oppressor, explaining patiently how the tendency to use ones economic position to exploit others may be at least a lifelong habit, or maybe even something genetic. For some reason, the kindness and civility these friends urge us to exercise is always in just one direction.”
On being sorry
Now if individuals have mistreated homosexuals, or been less than Christlike in their dealings with them, then by all means they may wish to make amends. If an individual congregation has done the same, it too may seek to offer some sort of apology. But it is ludicrous in the extreme to expect either a national apology or a church-wide apology.
What indeed would such an apology include? If some homosexual activists and their liberal church supporters had their way, one suspects quite a bit. Indeed, they are in effect asking believers to say they are sorry for a whole range of things, such as:
We are sorry for standing up for the Word of God.
We are sorry for calling sin, sin.
We are sorry for refusing to be politically correct.
We are sorry for not bowing down to the homosexual activists.
We are sorry for seeking to see enslaved homosexuals set free by the liberating grace of God.
We are sorry for seeking to loose homosexuals from the bonds of a dangerous, high-risk and extremely unhealthy lifestyle.
We are sorry for wanting the church of Christ to be holy and pure, a bride prepared for the bridegroom.
We are sorry for putting the word of God ahead of trendy political fashions.
We are sorry for wanting to uphold God’s unchanging ideal for human sexuality.
We are sorry for wanting to protect the God-ordained institutions of marriage and family.
We are sorry for wanting to affirm the goodness of God in telling people the honest truth of a lost eternity apart from Christ.
With all due respect, the ones who should be apologising are the liberal and bible-denying church folk who claim to be representing the true faith on all this. They have a lot to answer for.
They should apologise for keeping homosexuals trapped in their deadly, and dead-end lifestyle,
They should apologise for deceiving homosexuals into thinking God will welcome sinners into the kingdom with no repentance, no admission of sin, no acknowledgment of transgressing God’s clear commandments.
They should apologise for trampling on the clear teaching of Scripture, and replacing it with the traditions of men and political correctness.
They should apologise for dividing the church and bringing it into disrepute by calling something holy which God has called unholy.
They should apologise for stealing hope away from homosexuals, many of whom deep down really do want to change, and are looking for a way out.
They should apologise for leading many innocent and vulnerable young people into thinking that the homosexual lifestyle is just fine, and worth getting involved in.
Jesus was scathing about this sort of behaviour: “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.”
And Paul was quite clear about what we should expect in the last days: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
That pretty well describes things. One is reminded of Joshua’s challenge: “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).