Do you ever feel pressure to put your Christianity on hold public? Everyone is in an unseen battle; the devil constantly tries to oppress God's creation.
The fight against gay marriage is not against people or government, but against spiritual forces. Satan wants us to put the Bible aside for the sake of politics, but we must stand up for Biblical truth. (Ephesians 6:10-13)
1. Love is our greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-40
The number one way we have to deal with any issue is in love. Love is always underlined in definition with obedience to God's word. Once obedience to God is violated, it is no longer love.
Jesus replied, If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.John 14:23
2. Unconditional love is God obedience based on truth, not unconditional approval of behavior based on emotion. 1 John 5:3
Having an emotional tie to someone does not mean that any behavior is approved under the banner of "love." Rather, a true friend helps you to help you obey God even if you don't like it. If someone tells you only what you want to hear but not the honest truth, that person is not your friend.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:6
3. Wake up and acknowledge the unfriendly options that box you in. Romans 12:1-2
The devil wants us to believe that we have limited options as to our behavior and beliefs.
Satan's Option #1 - Conform or be militant
Christians often don't want to have conversations about gay marriage because of fear that we will be labeled "militant" or "radical."
Satan's Option #2 - Conform or be irrelevant
Christians often believe that unless they conform to the opinions of others, they will be outcast and thought to not understand. However, sometimes this type of "irrelevance" is appropriate. There are some issues that we really shouldn't know about, such as how to make and take drugs.
4. Wake up and acknowledge terms Satan has redefined.
There are many false claims against the church in this fight concerning gay marriage. Understanding the definitions in the claims around this issue is very important.
Hate (v.) - A passionate dislike
Claim: The church hates same sex couples because we choose to obey God, claiming that biblical marriage is only for a man and a woman.
Truth: Love tells the truth even if it is not popular. (John 15:13)
We must distinguish between dangerous people and dangerous behavior. Christians are called to love homosexuals while upholding that marriage is between a man and a woman, the way God created it.
This view is unpopular, but we are called to put ourselves in harm's way for the love of our community. It's not about what we want, but what God wants. Pastor Miles shared that he doesn't want to preach about same-sex marriage (as there are a lot of other easier topics to discuss), but he does it because he is called to help others obey God.
Bigot (n.) or Discriminator - Someone intolerant toward those who hold different views
Claim: It is bigotry and discrimination to support biblical marriage, which would prevent same-sex marriage.
Truth: Love holds everyone to a common standard. (Matthew 19:4-6)
The Rock approaches marriage in the same way toward everyone. Our pastors don't marry minors, or bigamists, or siblings, etc. under the same guideline of God's definition of marriage. We are all called to the same standard of sexual purity.
Hypocrite (n.) - An actor - unless someone has changed the script
Claim: The church is not acting consistently with their teaching.
Truth: Love values consistent behavior.
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8
God is consistent - He doesn't change, so we hold fast to His word.
Judgmental (adv.) - Decisions pertaining to right and wrong
Claim: The Church thinks they have the right to decide who is wrong and who is right.
Truth: Being "right" means keeping Jesus' Word. (John 14:23-24)
The Holy Spirit confirms that truth in John 16:5-15.
DO Something! Write down one thing you fear will happen if you stand up for your faith.