News media, social media, and any other type of media you can imagine have been abuzz since President Obama announced earlier this week that he fully supports same-sex marriage. This is not exactly a shocker for anyone who is familiar with his past on this topic, but, nonetheless, there has been considerable outrage, particularly from the Christian community.
My intention is not to dissuade anyone from speaking out against same-sex marriage. I believe the Bible speaks clearly about homosexuality, and it is every Christian’s right to vote their conscience on the matter. Therefore, Christian, keep speaking out about the matter.
But I do want to address a source of hypocrisy on our part. Yes, I’m a part of the hypocrisy, so please don’t hear me speaking as one who is above the crowd, but this has come through time spent pondering the nature of sin and our blindness towards personal sin.
Here’s my main point: as Christians, we have been completely inconsistent on the issue of sexual immorality, and it is cause for repentance.
When it comes to homosexual sin, the Church will gladly “call someone out” and exclude them from fellowship. That particular sin is a source of hatred and disgust for many Christians. And I’m not saying that feeling this way towards sin is a bad thing, though feeling hatred and disgust for an individual is a bad thing. We should hate sin, and it’s easy to hate that sin. Why? Because homosexuality is a sin of the “other.” It’s not one that most people struggle with. It’s foreign. It’s an easy target. We can’t relate to the struggle, so we automatically wonder how someone could have such “evil” desires.
But this is where our hypocrisy comes in. Though our disdain is for this particular form of sexual immorality, we fail in despising all sexual immorality. Sure, we may say that we hate it. But practically, this isn’t the case. This is evidenced by the fact that immorality runs so rampant within our churches. We say that we esteem the sanctity of marriage, but the divorce rate for Christians is not much different than that of unbelievers.
We say that we hate sexual immorality, but females (teenage and adult) wear provocative clothing without the slightest consideration that they might be causing their brothers in Christ to stumble. Also, there is no thought given to the obsession with chick flicks that so often revolve around sex outside of marriage and/or marital infidelity in the name of “true love.”
We say that we hate sexual immorality, but males (teenage and adult) flock to movies, like The Hangover and American Pie, that celebrate that same sexual immorality. Not to mention the fact that you wouldn’t even want to know the percentage of men in churches who watch pornography.
The Church says, “We’re with Jesus, and we hate sexual immorality.” We lie.
Sure, there are those who struggle against this sin, but there are many more who fill pews week after week who love it.
This shouldn’t be. We, as Christians, must hate all sexual sin, and we must fight against it in all forms, not just that “other” form. It’s time for the Church to stop looking into the mirror for our standard of holiness and start looking to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus demands holiness from His disciples, but He also gloriously provides it through the working of His Spirit. He is our Hope.
How do we fight against it? Well, our current plan of attack seems to be acting like the sin doesn’t exist. That hasn’t exactly worked. Therefore, it’s time that we acknowledge the Church is filled with sinful people with sin issues, and then we look to Christ for power to bring our sinful hearts in line with the gospel. We preach the sufficiency of Christ to overpower sin, we pray that the Spirit would convict and restore, and then we confront the sin issues head-on. All secrecy does is allow the infection to grow and fester. Of course, people will run away and talk bad about the church who actually takes a stand against all forms of sexual immorality, but at least God will be pleased.
So, the next time you’re calling down curses from heaven after watching a story on the news about the growing approval of homosexual marriage in our country, take a minute and consider your own heart. Are you showing the same disdain for your personal sin?
The Church needs fewer self-righteous hypocrites and more redeemed and repentant sinners. Until then, we don’t deserve to be taken seriously in the debate on marriage. Until then, we’re just silly dogs who are barking at our own reflections in the mirror.