Some may bristle at my definition of erotic liberty – but allow me a few moments to explain why this definition is the one I’ve chosen. Recently our nation has undergone a radical change when it comes to marriage. This change has been one forced upon us by the courts to accept and to celebrate homosexual marriage as legal – and now as right and good. This is going to take several paragraphs to explain.
First off, this erotic liberty has not come to us by means of Constitutional legislation. Laws, if you’ve read the Constitution, are only to be originated in the Legislative branch of government (The House of Representatives or the Senate). The current move toward erotic liberty has come in contradiction to law. What I mean by this is that this new “right” has come to us by means of unelected judges overstepping their bounds in the court system. These judges have thrown out state Constitutional amendments again and again – and in their place have unconstitutionally declared law from the bench. Not once has homosexual marriage resulted from a vote of the people. Actually, the norm is that states vote to restrict this new erotic liberty (most often by a legal state constitutional amendment) and then that amendment is overturned by judges. In the wake of the judicial over-reach, a new right is decreed by our new position of “Autocratic Judge.” Even a federal law was treated this way when thrown out by the Supreme Court. (NOTE: What I find saddening is that we were told in the 1990’s that we didn’t need a Federal Constitutional Amendment for marriage – because the very thing that has happened – would never happen.)
Secondly, the new “erotic liberty” that is now a right – demands that we not only accept, but celebrate homosexual marriage as right and good. Again, this is a pretty strong statement, but nevertheless one that is true. What began as a movement for tolerance has quickly turned intolerant to anyone who will not celebrate it. Consider the cake maker, a Bible believing Christian, who was told to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual marriage. To refuse to do so on the basis of his religious beliefs – was invalidated by the courts. In the end – to the cheers of the new owners of the definition of liberty – he was run out of business. Evidently religious freedom does NOT extend to conscience. There are those who are making it clear that religious freedom also should not extend to a church hiring a pastor or staff of their choice according to their biblical beliefs. It already is tenuous at best to think that an evangelical, Bible-believing school can hire teachers and staff according to Biblical standards. Forgive me – but I wonder if this is going to also be the standard put on the mosques and Islamic groups who believe homosexuals should be put to death? Seems to me that those who hold our new position of Judicial Autocrat should have them in their crosshairs as well? One wonders why groups are not boycotting gas stations using Saudi Arabian oil as bigots and homophobes along with that horrific Chick-fil-A who also supports beheading homosexuals – oh, wait a minute, the Chick-fil-A official only made comments that he did not support homosexual marriage . . . my bad . . . well actually, my bad and their total hypocrisy.
My last assertion is that “erotic liberty” advocates are demanding that their rights be preferred over the rights of others. Again – this is being hashed out in the courts. The judiciary is being used to choose which right is preferred in court case after court case. As each new case is decided – we watch erotic liberty make advances while at the same time religious liberty recedes. Some wrongly assert that the two can coexist. They cannot. The religious liberty of evangelical, Bible-believing Christians would allow them to state – and state openly – that a practicing homosexual is sinning against God. (By the way – the same person would also assert the thief, adulterer, liar, disobedient child, murderer, and covetous person are also sinning – i.e. the 10 commandments. You might not know about these because the Supreme Court says they are illegal to display just about anywhere – except where the Supreme Court meets – hmm – something seems very wrong here?) The new “erotic liberty” advocates are horrified by such a statement – calling it hate speech. Those who say such things are targeted for punishment. Remember before you argue with me that we just watched a fire and rescue chief in Atlanta fired for holding such views. We see in this – as well as in numerous other cases – that erotic liberty and religious liberty are incompatible. They are, at least when religious liberty includes the freedom of speech and conscience of evangelical, Bible-believing Christians.
Where does all this take us? What are we to do about the erosion of our rights to a religious conscience guided by biblical principle and Bible-based morality? I want to encourage you to two courses of action. First and foremost we should take the course of the “Gospel mandate” as most important. We MUST preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. We MUST do this honestly and lovingly. Doing so honestly means we take seriously what the Word of God says in 1 Corinthians chapter 6.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NASB)
If we take this statement seriously we see that all those who practice these things will NOT inherit the kingdom of God. They are NOT going to heaven – and they stand in need of the grace, forgiveness, and change the gospel gives to those who repent and believe. We cannot institute or affirm something that Scripture clearly states is sin.
As we embrace this truth – we must also embrace love. Love speaks that truth – but does so without any kind of vindictiveness or hateful statements. Ephesians reminds us to, “. . . speak the truth in love.” Therefore we are to approach this as graciously and kindly as we can. We cannot avoid the offense of the gospel – or the offense of God’s holiness that comes from sinners who reject it because it calls their chosen path sin. As a sinner who embraced heterosexual immorality (as well as a host of other sins too numerous to be mentioned) in my youth and teen years – I was not happy about God pointing out that sex outside of marriage was fornication. I was not particularly thrilled that my use of God’s name in vain was called blasphemy. I was equally not overjoyed that my whole way of life (overflowing with the love of self, sin, and worldliness) was offensive to a holy God. But it was that very truth – which was shared with me in love – that led to my salvation as I came in repentance to put my faith in Jesus Christ. We need to do the same – even if it means some (or possibly many) are offended. But, as we do so, we need to avoid being a jerk as we share what Scripture calls, “the offense of the cross.”
The second thing I would encourage believers to do is to work toward upholding and encouraging the Constitutional form of government in our Republic. We need to do this in a way that does not hinder our ability to share the gospel with others. What I mean by this is that we need to be careful not to embrace the “Us vs. Them” mentality that currently dominates our political discourse. We can encourage debate on these things – but when that debate turns ugly – we need to choose the gospel over our political rights. I know for some that was a particularly offensive sentence – but it is one that we need to pray through before rejecting. I am aware that those who support “erotic liberty” are often very unkind in how they deal with political debate as well as how they speak. I am also aware that politics is a place where “being nice” is not respected. That being said, we cannot forget that though we are counseled to be wise as serpents – we are told to be innocent as doves. Our actions are always to be governed by the advance of the gospel – as well as the example of Jesus Christ Himself. If we win in court – but do so in a way that causes people to reject the gospel outright – we lose. Hopefully this has been helpful to those of us who hold to biblical truth. It is a difficult and perilous time in which we live. May God give us both wisdom and boldness as we walk through it May He grant to us a heart-brokenness over those around us who reject Him and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. May that brokenness drop us to our knees in prayer – and raise us up from our knees to fight for “truth, justice, and the gospel advancing way.”