Over the last week or so, I’ve tweeted about several stories regarding proposed or approved concessions that the “main line” denominations would make to the prevailing culture. For example is this one:
They wonder why people are leaving?: Rev. Emily C. Heath: The Religious Right (Side of History) http://t.co/mNxyCt69
— Mark McIntyre (@mhmcintyre) July 16, 2012
As Rev. Emily Heath writes in that article:
For Christians in the mainline Protestant denominations, this has been an interesting summer. First, the Presbyterian Church (USA) rejected an amendment that would have opened the church up to blessing same-sex marriages. Then, less than a week later, the Episcopal Church approved a new liturgy to bless same-sex unions and also affirmed the ministry of transgender clergy.
The PCUSA rejection of that amendment was a narrow victory for those who desire to stay true to Scripture.
While Rev. Heath and others are euphoric over these monumental changes. I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13–14, NASB)
Truth, is by its very nature narrow. The description of an object is always narrow as compared to what it is not. I have on my wrist a watch, it is not a hammer or a motorcycle or a puppy or a yacht. It is one thing and there are an infinite number of things it is not.
When the New Testament uses the word homosexual, the Greek word from which it is translated is a very graphic term which describes a sex act between men. You can work around this all that you want, but it is the homosexual act that is condemned. The word means one thing and no amount of wrangling of words can make it mean something different. The definition is narrow and specific.
Furthermore, Jesus himself tells us that marriage is between a man and a woman. According to Jesus, it is for the purpose of being married to a woman that a man will leave his father and mother.
Some would see support for homosexual union in an argument from silence because Jesus does not specifically speak against same sex pairing. Yet I would argue that the silence cuts the other way because Jesus specifically identifies a union between a man and a woman as the relationship that God ordains and God blesses. Nowhere can you find any such blessing for a homosexual union. So the argument that Jesus was silent on homosexuality is a sham.
The definition of marriage is narrow. I understand that for those with same sex attraction, this is very difficult. Yet, the difficulty does not relieve us of the burden of proclaiming the truth.
All sin is condemned in Scripture. For example, the Bible condemns religious pride. Those of us who have grown up in the church can look down on others who have less knowledge of Scripture and Christian principles. Scripture condemns this pride and I am wrong when I practice it. When I am proud, no excuse or explanation will make that pride less wrong.
We cannot lightly set aside the clear teaching of Scripture just because we have a desire and a proclivity toward a certain behavior. Whether it be pride or homosexuality, we cannot aquiesce into acceptance no matter how much pressure there is from inside and outside the church.
As Bob Dylan so eloquently tells us, “Truth is an arrow and the gate is narrow that it passes through.”
The Truth hurts all of us, but the wound is ultimately for our benefit if we are willing to yield.