The biblical worldview is fairly straightforward about our current condition: things are not the way they are supposed to be. What God originally created has been rejected by his creation, and now we find things are drastically amiss in every area of life.
Instead of a close love relationship with God, we are alienated from him because of our sin and selfishness. We actively defy him, seek to deny him, and pretend he has no claims on us whatsoever. If there is one word that perfectly captures the human condition, the word rebellion is probably it.
In our fallen, sin-soaked state, we are all rebels who seek to defy our creator and our created order. We shake our fists at God and tell him he is not wanted. We want to be the master of our own fate, and certainly don’t want anyone – not even our Creator – telling us what to do.
As C. S. Lewis once put it, “Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms.” This is a major feature of human sinfulness: complete and utter rebellion against God and his good and gracious plans for us.
Jesus captured this so very well in his parable about the ten talents (Luke 19:12-27). The ruler in the parable is of course meant to be Christ, yet we read about how he is received by his subjects: “We will not have this man to rule over us” (v. 14).
Just as throughout human history people have rejected God, so too when Jesus invaded planet earth. Mankind in its rebellion will have nothing to do with him. They do not want Christ as king. They would rather crucify him. Scripture takes this rebellion very seriously indeed. In 1 Samuel 15:23 for example we read that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry”.
Another hallmark of life in a fallen world is the problem of deception. Because we have cast off God and his perfect truthfulness, we are continuously living a life of deceit, deception, and falsehood. We fool ourselves, we fool others, and we seek to even fool God. Scripture speaks repeatedly about the importance of not being deceived.
As just one text, consider the strong words of the prophet Jeremiah: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). Indeed, the ability for all of us to be swamped by self-deception as well as demonic deception is a real stranglehold on us, broken only by God.
And it needs to be pointed out that this rebellion, deception, and so on, is not limited to those who are non-believers. Sadly, Christians can be and are still subject to these realities. When we come to Christ we say no to sin and self and say yes to God. From then on we have a lifelong work of sanctification where we seek to become more Christlike by the power of His Spirit.
While we are to allow God to work in our lives and transform us, this does not always occur unfortunately. Often Christians can be just as rebellious, steeped in deception, and out of God’s will, as non-believers are. Thus the Bible speaks much about the need of believers to make sure they are not deceived, living in rebellion, walking in the flesh, and pushing their own ungodly agendas.
But sadly we have many examples of this very thing. The New Testament provides many instances of this, and today we find more of the same. One clear example of this is when Christians wilfully rebel against the clear teachings of Scripture on the issue of homosexuality.
Thus we have some radically misguided religious leaders who have completely capitulated to the homosexual agenda, exchanging the certainty of biblical faith for the latest trendy radical social causes. These folk have simply given up on the biblical position here, and have instead embraced this deceptive agenda.
Consider how the radical homosexual activist group, Australian Marriage Equality, has launched what they are calling “Christians 4 Equality”. They put forward a tiny handful of Christians who have been totally duped into embracing and promoting their unbiblical agenda.
They have actually come out seeking to have us believe that same-sex marriage is somehow God’s will and is just peachy. It really is incredible how far they have moved from biblical Christianity. This is of course a major case of deception.
And it is also wilful rebellion against everything Scripture teaches us about human sexuality. One might as well launch a group called Christians 4 Adultery, or Christians 4 Fornication. Such obviously anti-biblical and oxymoronic groups would be dismissed out of hand by any serious believer. Yet this is exactly what we find here with this group.
Jesus and the apostles warned us over and over again about this very thing. Jesus said for example in Matt 24:10-1: “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”
Paul warned in 2 Tim 3:12-14, “In fact, 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. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it.”
Or as the prophet Isaiah said so long ago: “These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the LORD’s instruction” (Is 30:9). We must always be on our guard. Paul in fact warned that about those who “are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:13-14).
Indeed, on the very issue of homosexuality Paul makes an unmistakeable warning about not being deceived: “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:9-11).
In my new book on this topic I fully lay out the biblical case, and look at the various ways in which the theological revisionists seek to twist Scripture to their own destructive ends. But for now suffice it to say that this is not the time to let down our guard. Deceivers and deception seem to be getting worse and worse, as even those who claim to be believers live in defiant rebellion against God’s clear purposes for us and our sexuality.
Let us all stand firm and resolute. A major falling away is taking place all around us, but as Jesus said, those who “persevere to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:13).