On the Divisive Issue of Homosexuality in the Church
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! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21)
These verses bear witness to the stark reality of what is occurring in our nation today. In so many fundamental areas of our society we are calling evil good and good evil. We openly celebrate and glory in those things that should be to our shame. (Philippians 3:19) It’s as if a flood of evil has been unleashed, a raging torrent intent on sweeping away any trace of what is truly good. Homosexuality is an issue at the forefront of this flood.
The gay agenda is a thriving topic amidst the plethora of information and news flooding the internet and other media each day. Unlike any other time in history, television sets nationwide have been inundated with endearing images of gays and lesbians. Gay rights continues to be at the forefront of our country’s political and legal issues, and for the first time in our nation’s history a President of the United States fully backed the homosexual agenda--even to the point of endorsing same-sex marriage.
More concerning to me, however, is that the Church has not escaped the pressure to conform to the gay agenda. Mainline denominations have changed their positions and are now readily ordaining gay and lesbian pastors and leaders, and enthusiastically performing same-sex marriages. Foundational truths of God’s Word which have been solidly in place for thousands of years are being recklessly swept aside.
Some have said that the issue of homosexuality has brought the Church to a crossroads. But I believe we came to the crossroad—and took a wrong turn—a long time ago.
The Church Was Divided Before Mainstream Homosexuality
Homosexuality isn’t the issue here; that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In truth, what we are seeing now is simply the result of veering away from the authority of God’s Word over a period of decades, though many of these deviations may have seemed insignificant at the time. At its very core, the real issue is a rejection of God and a suppressing of His truth in favor of being wise in our own eyes. (Romans 1:18-22) To put it plainly, we are in pride and rebellion against God.
Homosexuality is just one manifestation of a society that rejects God. The full consequence on a society of suppressing His truth is a people “filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:29-32)
For decades now, certainly since the 1960s, we have seen a steady increase in all these things not only in society but even in the Church. When we began deviating from scriptural truth, it was like a crack in the dam. Uncorrected, this crack has now become an open floodgate of evil.
The warning signs have been visible for years. The very existence of Pure Life Ministries testifies to this fact. And, since the early 1990s, we have seen a dramatic increase in the pervasiveness of men and women in the Church who are given over to sexual sin and lusts of all kinds.
In fact, I am afraid we have already become the Church Paul foresaw when he warned of the coming time when “they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2Timothy 4:3- 4) Just the fact that the church world would even debate whether the Bible teaches that homosexuality is sinful bears out this truth.
The Dividing Line Is Only Increasing
Recently I read an article by Dr. Michael Brown in which he said, “Without a doubt, this issue will become a great dividing line in the Church. It points to a much deeper divide in our approach to God, His Word, and the people He wants to redeem. Ultimately, it will separate those who put God first and ask, ‘How can I fulfill His desires?’ from those who put themselves first and ask, ‘How can He fulfill my desires?’”
I’m thoroughly convinced that the separation will become clearer and clearer, with those who have conformed their lives to the Gospel Jesus proclaimed on the one side and, on the other side, those who have created a gospel that conforms to their lives.
Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
The true believer on the Narrow Way lives with God at the center of his or her life. They receive His Word with meekness and are doers, not merely hearers, of the Word. (James 1:21-22) They seek to do His will and those things that are pleasing in His sight. (Hebrews 13:21; 1John 3:22) They don’t live by the dictates of the flesh but are led by the Spirit; they are true sons of God. (Romans 8:12-14)
Those on the Broad Way are those who have embraced false teachings, based on the principles and philosophies of this world, and not on Christ. (Colossians 2:8) They have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worship the creature rather than the Creator. (Romans 1:25) They put self at the center and relegate God, at best, to the outer fringe of their life. They really love pleasure rather than God, and have a form of godliness but deny its power; they profess to know God, but deny Him by their lifestyle. (2Timothy 3:4-5; Titus 1:16)
Paul warned the church at Philippi about the “many who walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:18-19) The truth is they will not hear the Word of God, but delight in hearing flattering words that cater to their fleshly desires. This will ultimately be the cause of their destruction. Many will say in that day, “Lord, Lord!” Yet Jesus will say, “I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:21-23) Frightening words, but surely a depiction of the woe Isaiah prophesied for those who call evil good and good evil.
We must return to the Word of God and resist this flood of evil. Enough souls have been washed away already.
We Must Choose A Side
So, here is the decisive issue all professing Christians face today: Will you be one of the many who reject the authority of the Word of God for your life, or will you be one of the few who will, by the power of the Holy Spirit, conform your life to the Word of God?
The separation that must happen for the true Church to arise has already begun and I, for one, welcome it. I believe a great harvest of souls will be rescued through the few who are holding fast to God’s Word. I believe this because we have a promise in His Word that, “when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:19) In other words, God Himself will go before His Church lifting up the standard against the enemy.
In fact, this is what we are seeing at Pure Life Ministries. It is not only our core mission but also our fervent desire to be “a servant of the Lord” helping the countless precious souls taken captive by the enemy “come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26) What a privilege it is for us to be part of the Last-Days-Remnant-Church that is standing firm for the truth and glory of God.
Jeff Colón is a minister of the Assemblies of God. He held various positions during his 22 years with Pure Life Ministries. Jeff holds an MDiv and BA in Biblical Counseling from Master’s International School of Divinity. He recently branched out on his own, launching Lighthouse Biblical Counseling Center in Dry Ridge, Kentucky.
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