“Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.” (1 Cor. 10:32-33). “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10).
The Indiana and Arkansas Laws on Religious Discrimination bring up a pivotal practice point for Christians in a progressively pro-homosexual culture -- how do we avoid personal discrimination without avoiding godly discernment? Paul says, seek to please all in order to save all -- but don’t please all in order to favor all. Knowing which is which is the difference between running the race to win (1 Cor. 9:19-27) and simply running for exercise. Three considerations on knowing the difference between gospel offense and needless offense:
First, know the difference between engaging in an activity that celebrates sin and an activity that celebrates the person. If my homosexual neighbor invites me to his birthday party, then I go to show support to my neighbor (the 1 Cor. 10:32 principle). But if that same neighbor invites me to a “coming out” party with his lover, then I must decline and give my reason (the Gal. 1:10 principle). The same would be true if a gay couple came to your church, or if your lesbian daughter brought home her lover to meet you. Know the difference between personal acceptance and sinful approval. We separate from homosexuality, not homosexuals.
Second, know the difference between showing respect with labels and compromising truth. I show respect when I use the term “gay” in referring to a homosexual, because that’s how they refer to themselves. But I compromise truth if I use the term “wife” when referring to his lover. The bible calls him effeminate (1 Cor. 6:9). The bible is gender-specific as to what a wife is, just like it’s gender-specific as to what a mother or father is -- and mate-specific as to what a marriage is. We should never use derogatory terms toward anyone, but neither should we agree to use unbiblical ones either. Not speaking according to a fool’s folly includes not using the folly of their labels and terms (Prov. 26:4).
Third, know the difference between your own prejudice and godly disapproval. Prejudice makes the sinner the object of our own disgust, godly rebuke makes it the sin. While it takes both to make both (sin and sinner), and both will ultimately be condemned together (Rev. 21:8), separate them out in wisdom for the purpose of gospel reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:29; Jude 22). Truth-speaking and love-giving are a set (Eph. 4:15). Sinners don’t need you piling on once they have stumbled over the rock of offense (1 Pet. 2:8).
Expect to be misunderstood, criticized as a homophobe, ridiculed as narrow-minded. But as ambassadors of a sovereign Christ with an eternal message, we run our race to bring as many people as possible with us to heaven -- always accepting sinners, but never approving sin.
“The Lord said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
". . . God gave them over to a depraved mind . . . and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them" (Romans...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
"Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit." (Prov. 25:28). "But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23). According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, an...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
“And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”" (Jn. 9:39). Christmas has a dark side. The advent of the Savior isn't "peace on earth" for...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good (Gen. 1:31). The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
“My days are like a lengthened shadow, and I wither away like grass. But You, O Lord, abide forever, and Your name to all generations. (Psa. 102:11-12). ____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _ Change...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God . . .” (Rom. 8:16). “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God . ....[ abbreviated | read entire ]
"It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and vexing woman." (Prov. 21:19). "You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a...[ abbreviated | read entire ]