2015 Annual Gay Parade in Tel Aviv. The gay movement has become the sharp point of the arrow of sexual immorality. (123RF.COM)
In my youth I rebelled against God and my parents. Only by His grace and through the prayers of my parents I finally found my path to redemption.
Even with a chaotic life during my teens and early 20’s, I grew up in an age when America was very different. There were virtually no drugs on the streets, and there were few known homosexuals. It was considered an anomaly, a perversion, not only by me and my family, but by most of the entire Western world.
Here is a report from theatlantic.com describing the ‘70’s:
On May 18, 1970, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell walked into a courthouse in Minneapolis, paid $10, and applied for a marriage license. The county clerk, Gerald Nelson, refused to give it to them. Obviously, he told them, marriage was for people of the opposite sex; it was silly to think otherwise.
When the clerk rejected Baker and McConnell’s application, they sued in the state court. Nothing in the Minnesota marriage statute, Baker noted, mentioned gender. And even if it did, he argued, limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples would constitute unconstitutional discrimination on the basis of sex…
The trial court dismissed Baker’s claim. The Minnesota Supreme Court upheld that dismissal, in an opinion that cited the dictionary definition of marriage and contended, “The institution of marriage as a union of man and woman…is as old as the book of Genesis.”
Finally, in 1972, Baker appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. It refused to hear the case, rejecting it with a single sentence: “The appeal is dismissed for want of a substantial federal question.” The idea that people of the same-sex might have a constitutional right to get married, the dismissal suggested, was too absurd even to consider. (theatlantic.com; link: goo.gl/qVB3lQ)
The Atlantic revealingly stated the fight for gay marriage in America had to be first won among the American people, and then the courts.
A SUDDEN SHORTAGE OF TOP LAWYERS
And so it was, when lawyers for same-sex marriage presented their cases to the Supreme Court in 2015, there was not a single major law firm that would represent the Biblical perspective!
“The level of sheer desire to crush dissent is pretty unprecedented,” said a former federal appeals court judge who teaches law at Stanford. (nytimes.com; link: goo.gl/n8YF4w)
The transformation began slowly at first, and then things began to change exponentially. Homosexuals began to “come out.” They banded together. They changed their branding to “being gay.” They ranted against homophobia. They called whoever disagreed with them bigots and extremists. They sued. They demanded constitutional rights. Activist groups popped up on campuses across America.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MEDIA
More Hollywood stars began to admit they, too, were gay. Movies and TV shows began appearing, and then proliferating, showing wonderful, warm gay people and mean, harsh homophobes – anti-gays.
A profusion of openly gay men and women became journalists and editors of leading and local newspapers and publications and TV hosts. Today, stories in the secular press nearly 100% of the time present sympathetic articles castigating the homophobic religious types who don’t want to give freedom and equality to people who just want to be their “natural selves.”
The abundance of real facts concerning LGBT is simply not getting to the public because secular media won’t present it.
Just one example: The Christian website WND reported on Dr. Paul McHugh, a former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital who cites a 2011 study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden that followed 324 people for up to 30 years who had sex-reassignment surgery.
The study showed that about 10 years after the surgery, transgendered people began to have increased mental difficulties. As they progressed through life, their suicide mortality rose almost 20 times above the comparable nontransgender population.
More compelling perhaps is the recovery data. Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic tracked those who forewent gender reassignment. They found that 70 percent to 80 percent of those [children] who face the confusing identity crisis, but do not ultimately have the surgery, report that their feelings dissipate over time.
Johns Hopkins ended its sexual reassignment surgery [for transgenders] in 1970 for the same reasons. Still there is little in the news about that. (wnd.com; link: goo.gl/e9x9kZ)
The crushing assault of homosexual propaganda on the West by gay activists in partnership with the media began to change the entire culture of America, of Israel, and of Europe – nations which once had their roots in the Judeo-Christian faith, until conservative Fox News TV host Bill O’Reilly asserted, “The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals. They claim, ‘We are Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.’”
“To deny that,” O’Reilly said, “you’ve got to have a very strong argument on the other side. And the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.”
In other words, the Bible’s moral compass, together with overwhelming scientific facts of the benefits and need for children to have a mother and a father are no longer compelling arguments.
As King David said, “How the mighty have fallen.”
OBAMA SAYS “NO THERAPY FOR GAYS”
There is no doubt President Barack Obama has had enormous influence in pushing the homosexual agenda. His senior adviser Valerie Jarrett recently posted a notice that the administration supports banning any type of “conversion therapy” for LGBT!
This is astounding. There is no other philosophy, religion or practice under the constitution by which you have no right to help someone change from one belief system to another (terrorism excluded). Now, it is forbidden for parents in California, New Jersey and Massachusetts to seek counsel for their own children! A state representative fighting such a ban in Colorado warned, “Human dignity demands that a person be allowed to choose for himself.” (nymag.com; link: goo.gl/oOUas9)
Last year the Texas Republican Party adopted a plank recognizing “the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle.” Nevertheless, the Texas Legislature is one of the states that is now reconsidering making illegal any kind of treatment for homosexuals, even if they want help! (Ibid.)
Obviously, this push is most of all directed against churches, pastors, and born-again believers who are calling for people to turn back to God.
OBAMA THREATENS AFRICAN COUNTRIES
One area of the world where large minorities or even majorities of Christians live, is Africa. These countries with Christian influence still stand firm against forcing homosexual values on their entire cultures. Yet President Barack Obama is actively attempting to force homosexual values on these African nations by threatening to withhold aid if they don’t pass laws to legalize same-sex marriages!
The gay movement has become the sharp point of the arrow of sexual immorality. Any legal decree which legislates disobedience to the Word of God signifies that a strong demonic force is attacking the whole of society.
The strategy of Satan is this: By the next generation, these sins will be so embedded in these post-Christian nations, that children who have grown up in this environment will totally accept homosexuality, abortion, atheism, porn and the like as Truth – as The Norm.
As I have watched evil, deceptive powers force the agenda of the gay movement on all society, I wanted to speak out on this subject, but didn’t know how.
And then I heard our close friend Dennis Rouse preach to his mega-congregation on the subject of sexual sin. With his pastor’s heart, he analyzes the current cultural challenges much better than I could and brings superb balance for believers who may be perplexed as to how to respond. Next is his dynamic message.
When I moved to Israel in 1967, this nation was very similar to the U.S. culture. Homosexuality was not a subject thought of, let alone discussed in the public arena.
Not in the press, not on TV or in movies. In fact, it was considered a disgrace, a humiliation for a family that had to grapple with this issue.
All that has changed. Today Israel’s homosexuals are a protected species. If 16-year-old kids want to check out what it’s all about, they can walk into gay “youth clubs” with no supervision at all. Gays are in the army, the navy and the air force. The mayor of Tel Aviv has long worked to make our city the “homosexual capital of the world.” He thinks it’s great for tourism.
Israeli Knesset Member Bezalel Smotrich told Galey Israel Radio,
“There are many senior officials in the media market in Israel, among those who hold the mike and tell us what we should think and what we should say, many, many of them are [LGBT] themselves.”
Smotrich claimed that mainstream support for the LGBT community stems from the media coverage, and in the radio interview said conservative beliefs — like his own — are absent from the media debate.
“These people hold immense power in shaping our social consciousness. When you look at the list today, there are many dozens [of gays], the most dominant figures today [in the media]… so naturally, an opinion like mine cannot be heard,” he told the radio. (timesofisrael.com; link: http://goo.gl/xQG5Ie)
One of the ways the gay movement in Israel has become nationally accepted is through their yearly parades in Tel Aviv. These end up in wild beach parties on the Mediterranean Sea, where nudity, drugs and public sex goes uncontested. Of course many straight Israeli young people stream to these parties where absolutely anything goes. No one checks the ages of anyone and it is my opinion that many youngsters have their first taste of the gay life at these parades.
But the Tel Aviv parades were not enough. Gay activists demanded a yearly parade in Jerusalem. When the ultra-Orthodox mayor in office in 2005 would not grant a permit for such a parade, Israel’s Supreme Court fined the mayor personally 30,000 shekels, some $10,000, and ordered that the parade be permitted. Now there are such parades in seven more cities.
In 2009, a man entered a Tel Aviv gay center called “Youth Bar” and shot two people, one a 17 year-old, and injured 15 others, mostly minors. Need it be said? This was an unspeakable slaughter. But here is an important point that was not brought out in any public media nor the press. No one said one word about that club being filled with kids.
Yet there is a law on the books that if a Messianic Jew brings a youth under 18 to faith in Yeshua, he or she could face a jail sentence. My point here is that Israeli society has passed laws against Messianic Jews. But Israeli children are clearly not being protected from homosexual predators by law. They are protected from heterosexual predators. Figure that!
Ultra Orthodox Jews do not support homosexuality, but they keep a low profile in opposing it. In fact, the only opposition I’ve heard of is through violence: an ultra-Orthodox man recently broke through police lines in the latest Jerusalem gay parade and stabbed three people, killing one 16 year-old girl who came to watch. The death of the girl has caused an outpouring of sympathy from the Israeli public for the gay movement with politicians and officials attending her funeral.
Because marriage licenses in Israel are under the control of the Rabbinical court, there is no same-sex marriage in Israel. But the government does recognize same-sex unions. Some 60% of Israel’s society are pro-gay.
As judgment to the nations is spelled out in the New and Old Testaments, I fear that Israel will not escape Jacob’s Trouble, foretold by Israel’s prophets of old. These prophets were God’s loving warnings to the Jewish people first, and then to all nations, that there is a Judgment Day coming.
All nations that break God’s laws will pay the consequences God so desires not to bring against His beloved creation.
If you are under 30, you probably have a friend or a relative who is gay. So it is just normal for you to agree with today’s status quo. Eighty percent of people under 30 are in agreement with gay marriage. So that tells you the church has some challenges.
I am going to challenge some of that thinking, but I will endeavor to do it in love. Many people from the gay population visit our church. Many of them say, “I want out,” and we have a ministry for those who want out. We do not view homosexuality differently than we view heterosexuality in the sense of sin. We believe all sex outside of marriage is sin. Let me put it this way: plenty of you have had sex outside of marriage. So we have to make sure that we remove the beam in our own eye before we start trying to pull the speck out of somebody else’s eye.
GOVERNMENTS AREN’T USUALLY GODLY
If you study the life of Jesus and His disciples, Paul, Peter, James, John, all of them lived in a society where government was definitely not godly. I have studied history, and as far as I can tell, of the countries that have risen to become great world powers, I can only count two in the history of the world that based their government on the true God – Israel and the United States. Many of the leaders who originally founded our nation were believers in Jesus and relied on scripture to form their opinions and laws of the land.
Today those foundations are under attack, and being reformulated and changed. Now our nation is making new laws that do not align with God and His words. But truly, most of the governments of the world were not founded on Judeo-Christian principles.
ROME WAS PERVERSE
Jesus lived at a time when Rome was the seat of government. When you study the history of Rome, you find it was one of the most perverse nations in the history of the world. There was not only rampant homosexuality, but also pedophilia, where many of the Roman leaders used young boys as sex slaves.
Yet when you listen to Jesus speak, and when you listen to Peter and Paul, you hear them address the religious leaders, but never the secular government. They always spoke directly to the people. When they spoke the truth, if it did not align with government policy, the governments persecuted them and put most of them to death. One thing was clear – the church has a Kingdom culture that is always going to go counter to the world’s culture.
GOING AGAINST THE WORLD
The power and strength of the church is not when it goes with the world, it is when it goes against the world. But today the important things in life are relationships, friendships and to be agreeable to everybody, and “let’s just get along, let everybody coexist and everybody love.” This is one of the traps the enemy uses to get you to go along with the culture. Real Christianity actually goes against culture.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talks about the path to Heaven. In Matthew 7:13 He says, “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 that find it.”
If you are a follower of Jesus, just understand this: once you decide to follow Christ, the road you are going to get on is not going to be popular. Some of your friends are going to defriend you. It is not a popular thing to be a believer anymore.
Secondly, the road to God is narrow, which means there is only one path to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and the only way that you come to the Father is through me.”
Thirdly, the road to God is not only narrow but it is also difficult. It is not easy being a Christian and herein lies our problem because in the past, in America, being a Christian was easy.
CHRISTIANITY GONE SOFT
The reason the church in America has suffered and the reason why America is in the state we are in now is because we have not had any persecution. And some of us have gotten a little soft in our Christianity, preaching a message of grace without truth. The Bible says Jesus comes to bring grace and truth. A message of grace without truth creates lawlessness. In other words, it makes people in the church feel that God is a sugar daddy; He is okay with everything. He loves us, He died for our sins, He forgave us; we do not have to repent of sin, and we do not have to do anything right because we are already forgiven. We are going to Heaven.
MOST AMERICANS ARE “GOING TO HEAVEN”
If you ask the average person in America if they are going to Heaven, if they believe in God, about ninety-nine percent of them say, “I am going to Heaven.” If you ask them why, they will say, “Because I am a good person, and I do good things.” Well, you could not be a good enough person or do enough good things ever to get into Heaven. You have to receive forgiveness of sin through grace in Jesus Christ, but you also have to have the truth that sets you free and brings correction.
God has laws of right and wrong. When you do the right thing, good things will happen. If you do the wrong thing, bad things will happen. A lawless person says I do not want any laws that tell me what I am doing is wrong. So lawlessness creates a deception in the mind. It makes you think that everything is okay with God when in fact He says, no, you are not getting in because of lawlessness.
FEELINGS, OPINIONS, EMOTIONS
God’s Word says if you build your house on your feelings, your opinions, your emotions, and what is popular in culture, you build your house on sand. Then when the real storm of life comes, you are going to crumble. So He is saying make sure that you understand the foundation on which you build your life.
Now as we draw closer to the end of time things intensify. There is a whole flood of new thinking, new changes in society, new culture. Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 59, “The enemy comes in like a flood.” But then it says, “The spirit of the Lord raises up a standard against him.” That standard is His Word through His church. We are that standard. We are the standard that holds the line, and if we do not hold the line, then there is no more standard!
Why is gay marriage a big issue? Is it important to God?
In Matthew 19:4 Jesus addresses the subject of marriage. They asked Him if it was permissible to divorce for any reason, and His answer was straight out of the Old Testament: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female.” And He continued, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.” He is saying – I made a man and I made a woman for this reason.
THE REAL MEANING OF MARRIAGE
Marriage, from the very foundation of creation, was created to demonstrate what a relationship with God looks like. In fact, Paul addressed it in Ephesians, “Wives submit yourselves to your husband as unto the Lord.” He explains that a wife is representative of the church as the church submits to Jesus. Then he says, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church and gave himself for it that he might present her to himself without spot or blemish.” He is saying marriage between husband and wife is like a marriage between Jesus and His Body of believers.
Is it any wonder why Satan would attack marriages, or anything to do with marriages? If he can destroy the foundation of marriage, he breaks the family apart, and he can rule over society. The very foundation of the Judeo-Christian faith is rooted in marriage between a man and a woman.
But some ask, “What if you are born that way?” I do not believe that, but I do not want to get into an argument about whether or not you are born with that tendency. However here is the bottom line.
ALL BORN WITH SINFUL DESIRES
Every one of us was born with certain tendencies. Let me just ask you something. Were you not born with some sexual tendencies that were not right? Some of you had sex before marriage because you wanted to. That was your tendency, your yearning, your longing, right? Then you realized when you came into contact with God, that was wrong. Then you had to make a decision – if I come to Jesus, I am going to have to make a change in my sexual habits.
THE GOOD SEX
He says sex before marriage is wrong. Sex after marriage, in marriage, is good. The only kind of sex that God commends and says is good is between a man and a woman in marriage! So if sex is not healthy for you outside of marriage and it is wrong, then how do you change that? You have to be born-again! You have to start your life over, only now with God’s spirit living inside of you helping you to make changes in your sexual behaviors!
Do not tell me that you cannot change; you can change. Do not ever let your sexual desires define who you are. Sex was given by God as a gift to enjoy in marriage, never something to be perverted as defining who you are.
Now some people say that Jesus never talked about homosexuality. When the Pharisees asked him why Moses allowed divorce, Jesus answered, “Whoever divorces his wife except for sexual immorality…” Let’s just stop here for a moment.
JUST WHAT IS SEXUAL IMMORALITY?
Is sexual immorality only between a man and a woman? Is that all? Here He is addressing ALL sexuality, not just homosexuality, but also heterosexuality and all sexuality outside of marriage. He is saying, if you are having sex with a partner who you are not married to, it is immoral.
Did Jesus say anything about pedophilia? Did He say anything about having sex with children? Did He say anything about having sex with animals? No. Is it okay then to do that because He did not address it? No, of course not. What makes one thing wrong and another thing right? Where do you draw the line? If you say there is no line here, then there is no line anywhere. Where you stand is not based on how you feel; it is based on what God’s Word says.
When the writers of the New Testament were saved, the Holy Spirit gave them further revelation. The Bible is not only the words of Jesus. It is also the words of the prophets and the apostles who were speaking words given to them by the Holy Spirit.
THE SEX GOD
Paul comes on the scene in the first Epistle – the Book of Romans. He has bravery; he has courage – because he knows if this letter gets out, he is done. In the midst of this perverseness in the Roman government, he addresses sexuality. He says in Romans 1:24, “Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanliness in the lusts of their hearts to dishonor their bodies among themselves” – he is talking about all sexualities. “Who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” Basically, they had developed a new god called the sex god, worshiping all forms of sexual perversion. —
“For this reason” – look at this – “God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise, the men also leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men, committing what is shameful and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error, which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind to do those things which are not fitting being filled with unrighteousness, [and] sexual immorality….”
If the gay population is on the road with you, if the government is on the road with you, if all the liberals are on the road with you, and all the people who are living lives of debauchery are on the road with you, you might be on the wrong road if you think you are going to Heaven. Because if you are on the right road, you are going to notice some things about how it narrows down. It is less popular, it is more difficult, it is more challenging. You lose friends, and sometimes you even lose family members. You are trying to keep peace and Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace to the world. I came to bring a sword.” He said His Word is going to divide even family members from each other.
PREPARE FOR PERSECUTION
Here are three things Jesus said to prepare for. Number one – prepare for persecution. Thus far, persecution has been lite in America. Now we are entering a time where persecution of Christians is going to increase. There will be an avalanche of people trying to attack the church. They will call us bigots and homophobes. Society will call good, evil, and evil, good. They are going to sue the church if we do not conduct weddings for gay people.
Jesus said in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” The world would love you as one of its own, but you are no longer part of the world. Even the religious leaders got mad at Jesus because He was calling sin, sin.
Matthew 5:10 says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in Heaven for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
So let me ask you a question, are you being persecuted? If not, you might be on the wrong road because when you begin to stand up and speak up, you are going to be persecuted.
ONLY TRUTH MAKES YOU FREE
Secondly, once you have come to know the truth, the truth will make you free. It is not agreeing with the world that makes you free. It is not going along with the culture that makes you free. It is not just doing whatever your body wants to do that makes you free. It is agreeing with the truth.
Your faith is saying that you are going to maintain your body, you are going to keep it under the authority of God’s Word. You are going to do it the way that God says to do it because you believe God’s word is true. John 8:31 says, “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed him, ‘if you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.’”
Thirdly, love people, and let God judge sin. Some of you have taken over for God. You have become God on Facebook. “I am God. I am going to let those sinners have it.” Can I just tell you something about judgment? Judgment has never won one person to Christ. It never draws people to Christ. In fact, it repels people from Christ.
How do you get to a place where you stand your ground on the Word and the truth without judging people, and let God be the judge? Here’s what Jesus says in Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge others and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged, and why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye, when you have a log in your own eye?”
CHRISTIANS AND PORN
It is reported that sixty percent of the church is hooked on pornography and yet we are sitting behind our pious, religious façade. Before we start trying to fix everybody else, we must get ourselves healed first. We all need help. That is why we need God’s grace.
And we also need God’s truth. Truth without love is legalism, and that is the error of the church. All of us are sinners. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. We all need God’s grace and forgiveness. There is not one of us above the other. There is a world out there that is walking in darkness. The Bible says that gross darkness covers the earth; and it admonishes us as believers to rise and shine for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. You do not shine with judgment; you shine with love.
Sometimes you are going to have to take a stand, but take a stand in love.
What if one of your family members is gay? All of a sudden, things change. Now you realize this is a person I love, this is a person that I have grown up with, this is a person I have raised, and this is a person that is close to me. I cannot just reject them. So I love them, but at the same time, I have to uphold the standard of the Word without agreeing with them.
“COME TO MY GAY MARRIAGE”
So when they say, “I want to bring my partner and we are going to get married. Would you come to the wedding?” The answer is no and here is the reason why – because I love you. I cannot support the behavior that goes against God’s Word and truly love you. I love you. I do not want to see you continue down this road. This road does not have a good ending. My heart for you is that your life would follow God and be full of goodness. I recognize that you do not agree with that, and you do not agree with me. Just know this; I am not here to judge you. I am not here to condemn you or judge you. Jesus did not come to condemn or judge you; He came to save you. Just like you have your desires, I had to overcome desires. And here is what I believe, I believe that all of us – not just you, but me too – are sinners who have the opportunity to be saved by grace.
When you take this stand, you will be persecuted. Others will say ugly things against you, but you should not judge them. You must stand on the truth. And you must walk in love.
We are all walking into a world that is getting darker and darker. Persecution is rising, truth is being challenged, and the temptation and the enticement of the enemy is to tempt you to be judgmental. Judgment will only alienate you from the very people Jesus came to save.
Love them, and be a LIGHT to all!
I pray Holy Spirit that you would come upon me and infuse me with the power of God to make the changes necessary for me to live a holy life before you. Remove judgment from my heart and my lips. Let me shine brightly for you. Amen.
Dennis and Colleen Rouse pastor the Victory World Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
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