Our lives and words should never serve as instruments to ease denial but, rather, to spark repentance.
- Anne Reed
Significant controversy has taken place in recent weeks concerning the new film Beauty and the Beast after Disney incorporated a gay scene into the storyline. Although, alarming for many that such a message would be woven into an age-old children’s fairytale, it has become virtually “normal” for TV programs and movies to contain either a vague reference or an overt display of homosexual behavior. I’m sure you’ve noticed.
Satan has an agenda. He has set out to do three things: kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). And he will stop at nothing less.
The enemy of our souls wants us to think of homosexuality as “normal.” He wants our children to think of homosexuality as normal. If ever there were a tool to get it done, it’s Tinseltown. With all of its glamour and pretentiousness, Hollywood has pervasive influence in the lives of Americans.
Television and movies have been shaping values by their portrayal of relationships and sexuality for years. And it certainly didn’t start with homosexuality. Heterosexual sex outside marriage has been presented as an expected norm for decades.
In 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul addressed a group of believers who had compromised by allowing and even bragging about sexually immoral behavior inside the fellowship. In that letter, he grouped the fornicator and the adulterer with the homosexual and described them as those who will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
He explained that such behavior was to be a thing of the past. “Such were some of you” he said; “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 (v 11).
Oh how we need to be reminded of this today. Many sit in congregations Sunday after Sunday while living in active sexual sin. Sometimes it’s hidden and other times it’s in the open for all to see.
Is there any sense of conviction? Should the church still boldly proclaim the truth of Scripture? Or has the church become just another place where cultural norms have been accepted and adopted? Somewhere along the road, did we give up and just accept it because, well, everybody’s doing it?
“Their sexual relationship isn’t hurting anybody, mind your own business,” one might say. Another may ask, “What does it matter?”
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:18: “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.”
Paul goes on to say, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” We have been made alive to enjoy fellowship with the living God.
If we live as persons whose spirits remain dead and allow ourselves to be led and controlled by our bodies (fleshly desires), we can neither glorify nor live in fellowship with God.
My husband and I once attended church services with two singles who were dating each other. One of the two had been our friend for several years. After the two began dating, they missed services regularly because they took weekend or week-long trips together. Sometimes their travels would take them to cities within driving distance and other times to locales that required a passport. They volunteered the information with no visible reserve, shame, or guilt.
For my husband and me, the questions rattled through our minds, and arose in our private conversations. “Do you think they are staying in separate rooms? Is anyone questioning them? Should we?”
But we did nothing.
In humility and love for our brothers and sisters, we are called to judge (1 Corinthians 5:12), gently rebuke (Luke 17:3, 1 Timothy 5:20), and restore (Galatians 6:1) each other to fellowship with our Lord. We failed on that front. To put it bluntly, we sinned.
It is important that the body of Christ push back the enemy’s agenda to portray evil as good, to substitute darkness for light, light for darkness, bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20) – whether it’s attempted through a children’s movie pushing homosexuality or a movie about a shack in the woods which slyly weaves in false teachings.
We are instructed in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
We can expect the world to live in a state of sin. But, when we fail to call sin what it is, we are tucking the sinner into his death bed. Our lives and words should never serve as instruments to ease denial but, rather, to spark repentance. I often think of God’s perfect plan when He sent John the Baptist to call sinners to repentance before the Savior of the world appeared on the scene.
Bottom line: when the church fails to speak truth into our culture, the culture begins to speak lies into the church. We are experiencing the evidence of this sequence of events today.
Father, fill us with the Holy Spirit, infuse us with boldness and courage to trust and obey You. Help us to overcome our fears of losing the affection of friends, of being disliked, or mocked.
Help us to wholeheartedly seek the truth, live the truth, and tell the truth. Your Word tells us everything we need to know to live a life that pleases You. Help us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to You as our true and proper worship.
Help us to hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for you are faithful. And help us to consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together but encouraging one another.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.