I know I talk a lot about the culture. I know probably too much, to be honest. I know as I get older I’ll probably look back and say, “Why did you get so bent out of shape about the world, Jesus said it was going to get bad.” I also know the most important thing we can do (as Christians) is to focus on sharing the Gospel with others and loving people. Right? Yes, right! That’s the #1 mission. Go make disciples of nations. Yes, we are Christ’s ambassadors. But, here’s the issue. It’s getting harder and harder to share the Gospel because the grid of most people’s minds and their thinking is so askew from the Bible.
In 1955 if you went into a bar and said to a man, “You know your momma wouldn’t like it if you were in here.” He would likely look you straight in the face and say, “You’re right, she sure wouldn’t…God love her soul.” True?
Yet, in 2014 if you went into a bar and said the same thing to a man, he would likely lean back and say, “Right here’s my momma.” What a difference 60 years has made. The culture is SO different. Today there is so much work that has to be done to debug a person’s mind to help them to be able to even understand the Gospel. Why? Because of the “teaching” that’s out there today. The stuff that has been pumped into people’s minds for the last couple of generations has so tainted their ability to comprehend the truth about God that it is mind-blowing to me.
I sit down and try to talk to people about Jesus and I’m awed by what I hear. I talk to couples who look me dead and the eye and say, “What’s wrong with living together. We were made for each other. We are soul-mates. We love each other, so there’s nothing wrong with it.” You know what they are doing? Repeating what they’ve watched on TV and seen in movies for years. They are totally desensitized and have almost nothing in their brain as far as a biblical grid is concerned.
How has this happened? Slowly… Slowly… Slowly… Satan is patient and he has bided his time. He has done a great job in dismissing God from our schools. No Jesus. No Bible. No prayer. And what do we get in exchange? Evolution, Climate Change (a.k.a Global Warming), and almost no teaching on character and morality (because that would interject “religion”).
Let me give you an example. Just last week, a student at our Wilkes Community College took a picture of her textbook and this teaching…
The highlights were already there in the book. The Christian young lady in our church who sent this to my daughter was appalled.
Here’s another example.
In the name of “diversity” and “tolerance,” school administrators and classroom teachers are being encouraged to promote materials—primarily by outside sexual advocacy groups—which blur the lines of normal gender roles. And, oftentimes without the parents’ knowledge.
The page above is from a book called: 10,000 Dresses. It’s a story about a boy named Bailey, who dreams about dresses and wants to wear them. The story switches back and forth between gender pronouns that refer to Bailey:
“Dad, I dreamt about a dress,” Bailey said. …
“And I was wondering if you could grow me a dress like that?”
“Bailey, what are you talking about? You’re a boy. Boys don’t wear dresses!”
“But, I don’t feel like a boy,” she said.
“Well, you are one, Bailey, and that’s that! Now go away, and don’t mention dresses again! So, is it any wonder that children might come home confused or asking questions about their own gender identity?
Do you see what’s happening? More desensitization. This is another attempt to familiarize and normalize behaviors, such as cross-dressing, to children at very young ages. Parents should be the ones to determine when, how and if their children are exposed to sensitive subjects like this—not public schools.
So, do you see why we should care? Because it’s going to get EVEN harder and harder to share the Gospel in a way that people will understand and “get it.” The Gospel is offensive. We know that. Jesus said as much. But, boy, oh boy…it’s REALLY offensive today. If you tell someone that homosexuality is wrong, you better buckle up…you’ll get blasted! They will tell you that you are unloving. But, folks…isn’t the most loving thing we can do is to help someone if they are living in a lifestyle that the Bible calls sin? Shouldn’t we want to help the drunk? Shouldn’t we want to help the drug addict? Shouldn’t we want to help the person who is 450 lbs and eating himself/herself to death? Shouldn’t we try to help the man addicted to porn? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. We should seek to help all sinners, of which I’m the chief!
I talked to a young man today who is 17 years old. He’s a good kid. But, his grid is so out of whack, that it took me 45 minutes to even get to the place I could convince him to let me tell him about the truth of Jesus that the Bible teaches. (He told me that Christians and Muslims worship the same god.) Do you see what I’m talking about?
Well, I know you face it too. When do you speak up and when do you not? How should you take part in a conversation where you know what is being shared is totally anti-Biblical? How do you stand for truth without being seen as a know-it-all, or worse… “holier-than-thou?”
The Apostle Peter recorded these words of the Holy Spirit:
13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:13-17
See that “gentleness and respect” part in verse 15? That’s the key. But, it’s also important that you are “always being prepared.” Do you have an answer for those who are asking tough questions? Do you know the Bible well enough to impart the TRUTH? We should.
I agree with Bonhoeffer. Do you? He lost his life putting his faith into action by housing innocent people during the reign of Hitler and the Nazi party in WWII. He put his faith where his mouth was.
Daniel said, “…but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” Daniel 11:32
It reminds me of what just happened in the beautiful city of San Francisco. The San Francisco Bay Area’s Fremont Unified School District adopted a textbook, Your Health Today: Choices in a Changing Society, for use with approximately 2,400 ninth-grade students in the district’s six high schools.
Parents balked when they saw explicit illustrations and adult-themed content in the textbook—content they found inappropriate for students as young as 13- and 14-years old. In addition to providing graphic portrayals of sexual activity and explaining how to use and purchase condoms, parents expressed concerns about the book describing controversial sexual games and fantasies.
“There’s a section that tells you how to talk to your prospective partners about your sexual history,” said Asfia Ahmed, a parent and school district employee, who was quoted in the San Mercury Jose News on Aug 8. “How does that relate to a 14-year old kid? I don’t see it at all.” But the parents didn’t give up—nor did they give in. Rather, they organized, used social media to start a petition and they quickly gathered more than 2,500 signatures to have the textbook removed. As of Aug. 3, parents prevailed when the school voted not to use the book in ninth-grade health classes.
Woohoo!! You see, there is a balance here. There has to be times when we stand for what is right. We can’t just say, “Oh well…I guess this is just how it’s going to be. Nobody can stop it.” Wrong! Christians are to be salt and light. We must get out of the salt shaker and must shine our lights before men so that they see our good works (paraphrased from Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount).
Did you hear about the farm in New York that was ordered to provide training for their staff because they declined to have a lesbian wedding. It’s their private farm! My goodness! Get this… The farm was fined $13,000 by the state Division of Human Rights for declining to host the same-sex ‘wedding’ on their property and they were ordered to train their employees in the future to accommodate homosexual ceremonies despite their Christian beliefs. Read the full story here: http://christiannews.net/2014/08/15/ny-farm-fined-13000-for-declining-lesbian-wedding-ordered-to-prove-staff-training/
Well, enough of that. You get the picture. The point is. We need to lovingly and winsomely stand for the truth. We are told in Scripture to “contend for the faith.” So, let’s do that.
I leave you with a wonderful article about how to help families who have family members who are struggling with same-sex attractions. This is exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to lovingly and kindly helping those who are struggling with sin.
The article begins with this picture…
Here’s the first few paragraphs to give you a taste…
It’s a moment many Christians have had to face: a family member’s announcement that he or she is gay.
Amid feelings of sorrow, guilt, fear and anger that families may experience surrounding such an announcement, biblical counseling experts say believers must have hope and realize that Jesus always changes those who come to Him in repentance and faith.
The “lie” that “change is impossible” for people who experience same-sex attraction “is an offense against the Gospel because change is Jesus’ gig,” Heath Lambert, assistant professor of biblical counseling at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, told Baptist Press. “We need to be infusing people with hope. We need to be infusing them with the deep conviction that Jesus has been changing people for 2,000 years and He will change you if you have faith in Him.”
Lambert; John Babler, associate professor of counseling at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Sam Williams, professor of counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, suggested several ways Christians can help family members struggling with same-sex attraction.
Develop a culture of honesty where family members can confess their sins and ask for help.
“In view of the mercy of God, if there is a Gospel, it makes no sense to avoid, deny or minimize same-sex attraction,” Williams, a member of the SBC Executive Committee’s Mental Health Advisory Group, told BP in emailed comments. “I would like to propose that there is a properly Christian form of ‘coming out of the closet.’ Should we not all come out of the closet with anything we find inside that is broken and wrong? We do this so that we can repent more thoroughly, and receive all the help and healing that comes through authentic Christian relationships.”
It’s important for families not to act more “creeped out” by a confession of same-sex attraction than they are by confessions of other sins, Lambert said.
“Christians forget that sin is sin,” he said. “We have to be really careful not to move someone beyond hope and beyond help or think that they have a higher ‘ick’ factor with their struggles than we do with ours.”
Express love and explain that homosexual lust and behavior are sins.
Families must avoid the twin mistakes of either blowing up at a confession of same-sex attraction or avoiding conversation about the topic for fear of damaging relationships, the biblical counselors said.
A statement of unconditional love is a good starting point for any conversation about a family member’s homosexuality, Babler told BP, but that must not be the only thing said.
“Say that homosexuality is clearly a sin issue, as the Bible teaches,” Babler said, although it is not “some ultra-sin that is worse than anything else.”
The rest of the article can be read here…
Let’s stand for truth and go love the world to Jesus!