The most recent salvos in the war were fired at the fast food company Chic-fil-A for the stand that its owner takes on the matter of same sex marriage. The owner, made a statement that he was “guilty as charged” for supporting “the biblical definition of marriage.” In a radio program later he said, "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’”
Gay rights proponents have called for a boycott of Chic-fil-A, the Muppet Company pulled its toys from kids' meals, and the mayors of Boston and Chicago told the chain it is not welcome in their cities. Thomas Menino, the mayor of Boston said, “There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.” Rahm Emmanuel, the mayor of Chicago said, "Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values."
Carlos Maza of equality Matters, a gay rights organization, has waged a war against Chic-fil-A for many years pointing out their $3 million contributions to conservative organizations that support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. He issued a statement saying, “This solidifies Chick-fil-A as being closely aligned with some of the most vicious anti-gay voices in the country.”
Notice the word “vicious” in this accusation. The word vicious is taken from the word “vice” which Webster defines as “a moral depravity or corruption, and wickedness.” In other words, this organization accuses people who simply believe the biblical principle that sexual activity outside of biblically defined marriage is adultery. They believe in living morally clean lives in real commitment to one person through marriage and that it is wrong and hurtful to have sex outside of that relationship.
These people are being called depraved, corrupt and wicked. Is it just me or is there a strange twist of irony in the stance taken by gay rights activists? They participate openly in something the Bible describes as morally depraved, corrupt, and wicked, while accusing those who live clean, wholesome lives of these vices. According to a report in our local newspaper gays are planning a "kiss in" at our local Chic-fil-A. They reportedly will show up in mass at the restuarant and make out in public as a sign of their disapproval.
Such actions do not originate simply with human anger. They flow from the anger of the evil one against the plan of God. People seldom know when they are being used in the cause of evil. The history of the last fifty years in America is the history of that cause being unleashed throughout our society. People have fallen for it and a nation teeters on the brink of collapse.
But that is the nature of this cultural war. The war is a spiritual one. Oh, I know most people who condone same sex marriage do not believe in the reality of evil or the spiritual forces behind it. They do not believe in that category the Bible calls sin which basically can be defined as the behavior that emanates from its originator, Satan. Certainly they do not believe in a God who is a person with deeply held beliefs about how we should live.
But part of Satan’s plan is to turn the tables on God and His followers. He has been doing that since the Garden of Eden where he said to Eve, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Gen. 3:5, ESV). His strategy is always to take what God says and twist it to his way of thinking. People fall for it all the time, especially those who lean heavily on manmade religion or those who deny the existence of God.
God has made it clear from start to finish that His eternal purpose is clearly portrayed in the wholesome marriage between a man and a woman. In eternity past He betrothed His Son to His earthly bride. He began earth’s history with a wedding between one man and one woman. His ministry on earth began at a wedding in Cana where He turned water into wine. The Bible ends with a grand heavenly wedding when the eternal betrothal of the Son will be realized. Marriage is God’s spiritual creation, His eternal purpose.
Satan knows the importance of marriage to God so he has worked overtime to try to destroy it. If one could summarize the cultural successes of Satan since the 60s in this country it could be stated as an attack on marriage. The free sex movement of the 60s and 70s threw out the notion that sex must be between married people. Media and entertainment have capitalized on this since, portraying sex as just another physical thing that people do, not the holy, wholesome thing purposed as the highest act of love between a man and a woman.
In the 70s he convinced many people that the precious births that come from this holy act are just globs of growing tissue. Women began to kill their unborn babies without any sense of guilt or shame. Sex between people was reduced to a mere biological activity between two high forms of animal developed by the evolutionary process. There is no God, so the argument went, so there are no ultimate morals. What we do with our bodies or the bodies of our babies does not matter.
In recent years the enemy has waged his campaign trying to convince the American public that homosexual behavior should be categorized as normal and that homosexual people have a right to marry. The emphasis has been placed on such marriage as a Constitutional right. Homosexuality is to be considered a civil right guaranteed by the Constitution and marriage is one of their rights. The end result is that some states have passed same-sex marriage laws allowing gays to marry and have all benefits of marriage.
For our country to embrace same sex marriage requires two things. First, the Bible must be thrown out as an accurate revelation of God’s purpose and standards for human behavior. The statements in the Bible about homosexuality are too explicit to re-explain. Some have tried but most gay rights advocates have given that up, choosing instead to simply dismiss the Bible as irrelevant to today’s culture.
Secondly, the people of our once great country must allow themselves to be deceived by the great deceiver himself. Many have blamed our court system for difficult decisions they have made in recent decades. While I believe they must share some of the blame, I believe it is the people who shoulder most of the blame for the direction our country has gone. It is the church of Jesus Christ that has failed to hold the line against the moral onslaught of the enemy. We have bought into the enemy’s notions about marriage, family, children and sexual behavior. Because of our failure the country is spiraling away from Christ and the blessings He provides.
This is not about what we say and preach but about what we do in our marriages, families and sexual behavior. The homosexual agenda could not have been successful had we maintained our bondservant relationship with Christ and lived lives that reflect His will. It is my belief that the tipping point came years ago. We have long since abandoned a living, faithful relationship with the Lord. We have accepted Him and appreciated Him as our Savior but have not made Him our Lord. We have been one-day-a-week Christians who talk the talk but have not walked the walk that proves the talk.
Political action is important and I don’t discourage it, but I must say that our words ring untrue when we speak out against homosexuality but continue to live in sin ourselves. The only way to turn the tide back into Satan’s face is to repent and turn from our own wicked ways so that God may hear our prayers, forgive our sins and heal our land (2 Chron. 7:14). Those who think that political action alone will succeed do not understand God or His ways. Even prayer will not change things unless it is preceded by repentance and turning back to Christ and His ways.
We worship programs and preachers and entertainment but we cannot say we worship Christ if our lives remain unchanged. Paul said,
But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3: 16-18).
There is a veil covering our eyes, keeping us from seeing Him in His glory. When we truly turn to Him, the veil falls away and He comes into our lives and we are able to behold His glory. That glory, not religion or programs or church services or sermons, will transform us into His image. In other words we will begin to look and act like Him. When we are transformed, the culture around us will be transformed as well.
The great Roman Empire was so high and mighty and their culture so dominant and powerful. But one Carpenter from a humble city and a rag-tag group of ordinary men brought that empire to its knees. They did so not with political action but with transformed lives that bore witness to a resurrected Lord. The thousands of people in this country who claim to be His followers should be able to win the cultural battle we are in but we must win it with holiness and righteousness, and the power of resurrection life not religion, condemnation and political action without holy lives.
We do not condemn gay people but know for certain how our Lord feels about the practice of homosexuality. We do not condemn adulterers but know how our Lord feels about the violation of our marriage vows. We do not condemn those involved in same-sex marriages but we know how our Lord feels about the marriage union that He instituted in eternity past. Jesus, today does not condemn gay people but He utterly hates their behavior. Jesus did not condemn the sinners He met when He walked the earth, but He made it clear that He did not condone their sin. He forgave the woman caught in adultery but lifted her up and said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more” ( John 8:11).
Christ changed the world by changing peoples lives through His transforming presence. Any change that is to come in regard to the culture war must come through lives transformed by Him. This is a spiritual battle and we fight against a spiritual enemy who has spiritual weapons. Our weapon is Christ in us the hope of glory. When people see the resurrected Christ living through the lives of transformed people, the enemy will know that He is defeated and the victory will be ours.