Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Guardrails of the Road for Life

My wife and I have a three year old and a four month old. Translation: "My wife and I don't go to the movies very often." LOL. My parents are kind enough to watch our kids every so often, and last night had our daughter spend the night. What were Emily and I to do with our new-found, albeit temporary, freedom? Why, see a movie, of course!

It seems that whenever these blessed scenarios come about there aren't the big, huge movies that we were dying all year to see, but you know what, we get to sit down in a dark theatre, chomp down some unwholesome popcorn, and watch a whole movie in peace. My wife is the smart one. She suggested we see "American Sniper," because of the massive turnout and its popularity. We ended up seeing another movie instead: "The Imitation Game." All I knew was that Benedict Cumberbatch was in the film, and that it was based on a true story about code-breakers during WWII. I mean, how could that movie not be good? Every trailer that I saw (if you know me, you know I saw them all) looked incredible. Good actors. Good setting. Fascinating plot potential.

The movie started out great. More than great. I was really getting into it. It was everything I thought it would be and more. Until about half way through when the main character was revealed as being a homosexual, and the entire movie became about his struggle. The rest of the plot faded away, and by the end of the movie, that's all it was about really. It had the potential to be such a fantastic film, and in many ways it was. The acting was superb, the initial plot was incredible.

I just didn't realize that I was watching a gay rights activist movie until it was too late.

On our walk out to the car, my wife made this remark: "Can't we just watch a normal movie without having this LGBT propaganda shoved in our face? It's like we can't watch anything anymore..." I couldn't have said it better myself.

Earlier in the year we made the decision to stop watching one of our favorite shows, "Parenthood," because they introduced a gay story arc into the plot. Oh sure, we expect television to portray worldly culture, but we have to draw the line somewhere. And improper expressions of human sexuality are one of those areas we don't want broadcast into our home. I never want to have to explain to my children why we're being entertained by these kinds of sinful behaviors. I would expect a show about "Parenthood" to at least incorporate proper roles for men and women in the show; and I don't think I'm asking too much.

We stopped watching "Modern Family" not too long ago. We watched through a couple seasons before we started questioning whether we should find humor in a show based on redefining the family. I agree with Al Mohler who argues that to laugh at something is to make oneself vulnerable to accepting the truth-claims behind it. I want to guard myself and my family from unnecessary worldly intrusions. The way I see it: the world gets to spend enough time bombarding us with their views, their opinions, and their loose sense of morality. The last thing I want to do is afford them another opportunity in the time we have to relax as a family.

Swerving back to "The Imitation Game," I walked out of the theatre disappointed and glad that I saw the movie. Disappointed because it had such amazing potential as a WWII movie. Glad because I'm now familiar with the movie in case it comes up in conversation. Alan Turing was the main character, and the genius behind inventing what may have been the world's first computer. Ultimately, his work helped save 14 million lives, and allowed the Allies to win the war. He sounded like a brilliant man who did some remarkable things, worthy of commendation.

According to the movie, Mr. Turing also struggled with his homosexuality throughout his life. He was persecuted as a boy and as an adult for being a bit odd. He didn't quite fit in. And you know what, I feel bad for him. I empathize with him. I recognize that he, and many LGBT individuals have internal struggles about the way they feel about other people, both sexually and otherwise. I want to also take the time to say that anyone who mistreats LGBT people are sinning. I believe that homosexuals are my fellow human beings, and are equal in value to me in every way. They are made in the image of God, and therefore have inherent value. They deserve our respect as human beings. We ought to love them and care for them, just like we would love and care for anyone else. Period.

But what I would say to my homosexual friends is this:

I believe that mankind is much more than our society is allowing them to be. I cannot lower man to the level that you are asking me to. What I mean is that man is actually capable of making choices, and ruling over his desires. We are not the sum total of our genes. (James White, PRBC Sermon from 2/1/15).

Amen to that. I would add that just because we have desires or urges to do something doesn't mean we are required to act on them. Sometimes I get angry, but that doesn't mean I should live out my anger. God calls us to specific purposes as human beings. He is our Creator, after all. He has the right to tell us how to live and what we were made to do (and not to do). We aren't defined by our desires; rather, we are defined by God who made us in His image.

Later on in this same sermon, James describes Leviticus 18 as not just a list of "Thou shalt not's," but as the guardrails along the sides of the road for life. Is that an incredible analogy or what? He then added, "God hasn't left us in moral darkness, rather, He has given us His light" in the Scriptures. This needs to be our message to people: we aren't against homosexuals, but we are against homosexuality because it will lead you down the path to destruction. I want you to experience life, and that only comes by obeying the Law given to us by God, and ultimately through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I also thoroughly agree with James' point that if we really believe what God's Word says about this, then it would be hateful for us to live in this society and not say anything about it. If we love our neighbors, we will talk about this, and relate it back to the power of the gospel that can bring abundant life here and now, as well as eternal life to sinners who need it.

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