Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Great Awakening in Our Time

“In a time of universal deceit -
telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
-- George Orwell

Amen to that. Dr. Michael Brown cites this in his new book Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide. He doesn't waste any time in seeking to encourage the reader:

This is our time to stand, not in hate but in love, not in frustration but in determination. Put another way, rather than capitulate, give up, throw in the towel, it’s time for us to be energized and mobilized for action. It’s time for heroes to arise, and those heroes can be ordinary people who make an extraordinary difference in the decisions they make and the values they embrace. You can be one of those heroes. (Preface XVII).

First things first, this is an incredible read and I do recommend it to all of my fellow Christian brothers and sisters who could use some encouragement in light of recent cultural events, most especially the ongoing gay revolution. This is the third book Brown has written on the subject of the LGBT movement, and while all are excellent, this is the most inspiring. It's precisely what I needed to read at this dark time in our nation's history. The SCOTUS effectively legislated newfound rights of same-sex couples to "marry," which has opened Pandora's box to the slippery slope of marriage becoming whatever we want it to mean. Isaiah described societies like ours:

20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;  
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;  
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!  
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes  
And clever in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21, NASB)

The immense shift that has taken place during the last decade has literally caught me by surprise. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine my country would so clearly abandon Biblical principles for marriage, and now even gender distinctives. But that's where we are, and rather than hide in our Christian caves, I agree with Michael Brown that we need to be ready to face our society by our godly example and with the only message of hope for sinners.

I know you feel the pressure from our society to conform to their standards. They do a rather fine job of convincing themselves that they accept everyone and aren't judgmental at all. In fact, it's baffling to them why Christians don't want gay people to have the same rights as heterosexual couples. They honestly wonder why Christians are standing in the way of LGBT people's happiness. All they want is for us to accept them and their lifestyles by giving our stamp of approval. They want us to celebrate their newfound "Constitutional right" to "marry." President Obama, many others in government, most fortune 500 companies, the media, and the majority of Americans now support homosexuality and gay marriage. They wonder why Christians can't get with the program?

Yes, the pressure is all too real.

To make it even more difficult, they have positioned their entire movement as though it were the modern day Civil Rights movement from the 1960's. "Gay is the new black" and "Gay marriage is a civil right" are the mantras we hear repeated today over and over and over again. If you are foolish enough to simply disagree with homosexual behavior, you are labeled a homophobic bigot - the intent of this kind of rhetoric is simply to shut down all rational thought. I mean, who wants to be called a homophobe, or a bigot? I sure don't!

So what if you’re branded a homophobe and a bigot? Jesus was called far worse. … As I write these words, Christians in radical Muslim countries are literally losing their heads for their faith, yet we here in the West are concerned about losing our Facebook popularity. How can we be so cowardly? How can we be so easily moved? How can we capitulate when, deep down in our hearts, many of us know that God’s standards haven’t changed in the least? The words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have never been more relevant: “Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.” That time is now. (Bold Mine; pgs 6-7).

Oddly enough, and though gay activists wish this weren't the case, their origin does not stem from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's.

...the gay revolution is not the successor of the civil rights movement of the 1960’s; it is the successor of the sexual revolution of the 1960’s. (pg. 58).

[After citing the results from a 2014 Gallup poll about sexual morality] No matter how you slice the cake, the results are the same: those who are more accepting of sexual immorality are more accepting of homosexuality; those who are less accepting of sexual immorality are less accepting of homosexuality. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out, and it is hardly a coincidence that the same decade that witnessed the rise of the sexual revolution, culminating in Woodstock in 1969, witnessed the rise of the gay liberation movement, marked by the Stonewall riots of 1969. (pg. 65).

This is recognizably apparent after reading this, but with the regular onslaught from our world, it can be difficult to think about this rightly. We need to stop and think for a moment so that we're not fooled into believing that homosexuality is a good thing. It isn't a good thing; the Bible describes it as a self-destructive and sinful behavior.

As noted by social worker Luis Pabon in his web article “I No Longer Want to Be Gay”:  "The self-loathing in this community forces you to encounter a series of broken men who are self-destructive, hurtful, cruel and vindictive towards one another. I have struggled to adapt my moral code to fit the behaviors concomitant with the lifestyle but it seems that the lifestyle is forcing me too far away from everything I love and value. No matter how many times I try to purge my perception of its firmly held beliefs and skewed biases, the same classic stereotypes of gay men keep rearing their ugly heads. The indiscriminate sex, superficiality, unstable relationships, self-hatred, peter pan syndrome, closeted connections, ageism, shade, loneliness, preoccupation with sex, prejudice, aversion to intimacy all seem to come out of the ground I thought they were buried under. Gay men just seem to find it difficult to transcend the stereotypes and clichés attached to the life and it is becoming disheartening.” (pg. 154).

This article that Dr. Brown cites isn't from some right-wing Christian, but from a gay man. Mr. Pabon reveals that the portrayal of homosexual relationships isn't as glamorous as the pro-gay activists would have us believe. Instead of the truth, the world regularly presents us with a cleaned up version of homosexual relationships that's similar to heterosexual relationships.

My point isn't that gay people are horrible and awful people, while Christians are wonderful. Not at all! Both gays and Christians are guilty sinners before a righteous God. But, just as Christians used to be slaves to sin (and still struggle with sin), homosexuality is described by God as a sinful behavior in His holy Word. I would suggest that if you love LGBT people, you would warn them of the truth that unrepentant sinners will someday face the just judgment of God, and will be found guilty of breaking His Law. This can only result in being sent to Hell for all eternity as a righteous punishment for sin. We can't remain silent out of love for our fellow man, and out of love for the God we serve.

An unfortunate byproduct of the gay revolution is the questioning of gender complementarity, which now has many today questioning gender distinctives. Is gender something you're born with and stuck with for life? Or is it more "fluid" than that? Can your gender evolve over time, depending on how you feel?

In Lincoln, Nebraska, a “‘gender inclusive’ school district” wants to drop terms like “boys and girls” and instead call kids something else, even “purple penguins.” A handout for teachers in the Lincoln Public Schools states, “Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention.” As Todd Starnes reported, “The handout was part of an effort to educate teachers and administrators about transgender issues,” meaning again that all the schools must be completely overhauled because of the struggles of a few. How in the world did this happen? (Bold Mine; pg. 116).

I echo the sentiment of Dr. Brown, because I'm flabbergasted at the insanity of this school district's line of thinking. Questioning the essence of gender does seem to be the logical next step after the acceptance of homosexuality. After all, once gender complementarity isn't viewed as essential - in other words, that there is nothing special about one man and one woman - then who's to say two of the same gender can't be an equivalent romance? Gay activism argues that homosexual couples are the same as heterosexual couples, which denies meaningful gender distinctives. This opens the door to transgenderism as another sexual expression. But the slippery slope only gets worse, because the number of people involved in romantic relationships is another logical question. Then we have consensual adult incest, and even "intergenerational" love. I mean, if romance is simply whatever we want it to be, then who's to say otherwise?

Societies that embrace this kind of sexual chaos don't last long. The simple fact of the matter is that rebelling against our Maker has severe consequences, because humankind was made to operate under specific moral principles. We can't utterly abandon those principles and expect to prosper, which is why our responsibility to this society is all the more important. We have a duty to God, and to our children to be faithful Christians. While homosexuality can never produce life, true marriage can naturally produce life. The legacy and culture of homosexuals dies with them, but if we teach our children the ways of the Lord, our legacy will endure.

Our job is to concentrate on doing what is right, even if same-sex “marriage” becomes the law of the land, even if gender distinctions are all but erased in many sectors of society, even if we can’t rely on the public school systems at all and we have to come up with creative educational alternatives that work for the poor as well as the rich.  
We need to walk in sexual purity whether we’re single or married. We need to be true to our wedding vows and really mean it when we say, “Till death do us part.” We need to celebrate motherhood and fatherhood and the beauty of gender distinctions. We need to make our kids a priority rather than a distraction, recognizing that we have no more precious gift in this world than our children and that, one day, they will be the leaders of the society.  
We need to embrace wholesome values in our personal lives and inculcate those in our families. We need to be positive influences in the secular society, with reputations for integrity, generosity, compassion, and honesty. And we need to celebrate life to the full, beginning with sanctity of life in the womb, thereby swimming against the tide of the culture of death. (Bold Mine; pg. 208).

Dr. Brown encourages Christians to pray for another Great Awakening in our time. I love the belief he has that the Lord can do this today, if He chooses to. I love how he writes convincingly of God's faithfulness, and His desire to show mercy to sinners. I love how he believes we have reason to hope, because our God is steadfast in His promises. I agree with his sentiment as he closes out the book: "To my fellow cultural revolutionaries I say: On with it!" (pg. 217). Oh, how I am with Michael Brown in this. Our God can do all things - if He can create light out of darkness, and can shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, surely He can save a multitude of sinners just like us.

14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14, ESV).

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