When truth is applied to the church first
    December 16 2014 by Matthias Ponce-de-Leon, Guest Column

    It is a great burden to see our culture shift so far from biblical truth on the issue of same-sex relationships. Scripture is clear regarding the sinfulness of these types of relationships. These behaviors are characteristic of cultures given to idolatry and all types of sexual immorality.
     
    This does not happen suddenly or without warning. It is the neglect of the primacy of scripture that produces an acceptance of moral laxity. The Word of God is replaced by the word of man. Apathy of this nature does not happen outside of the church, but within. When the Word is neglected, the warnings about the danger of forgetting God and living according to self-will are missed. This process begins slowly and subtly. Churches seek to arrange life to suit their own will rather than aligning life to suit the will of God. Small concessions are made in morality that deprecates the Christian example.
     
    The starting point of these concessions are in the areas of integrity and character – doing whatever I need to do, and saying whatever I need to say to get what I want. Before sin ever takes place in the church, it has already gained a foothold in the heart and mind of a believer.
     
    Remember, the heart and mind, not the outward action of flesh, are the seat of defilement. When there are concessions in integrity and character, personal desires and opinions become the standard for actions among believers. The church, in such a state, is being propelled by the will of man and not God.
     
    Consequentially, the church is plagued with the pressure to accept moral looseness and succumb because they do what they feel like doing. This is what the lost world sees from the church.
     
    In many ways the silence over ungodly, unscriptural heterosexual relationships among believers has had the greatest impact upon our lack of influence than any other single behavior.
     
    The problem can always be traced back to apathy and neglect of the Word. It sets an example to the world of the exact opposite of what the church is to be. The world becomes indifferent to the “noise” of the church and often views our “stands” as hypocritical. While our lips don’t promote same-sex relationships and unions, our hypocrisy does.
     
    Until the church accepts responsibility for the role it has played in the production of the carnality that surrounds us, there will never be any progress.
     
    What is tragically missed in the midst of all the anger related to the same-sex issue is that the church possesses the power of the Living God to radically impact the world.
     
    What is going to transform the society is not the addition or subtraction of laws, but the establishment of genuine, blood-purchased, personal relationships with Jesus Christ! One of the greatest weapons in our arsenal is the union God has sanctified between one man and one woman for life. It is the “divine metaphor” of Christ’s love for His church!
     
    Does the world see the beauty in the provision, protection and unconditional love in our marriages? Are we teaching our children through our example of the husband and wife relationship in our home? Are we teaching the definition of a covenant relationship and how careful and prayerful we should be when it comes to the marriage union? Does the church realize that our witness depends in large part upon the sanctification and success of our marriages? Our marriages should shout the awesome, beautiful love of the Savior! Do they?
     
    As the church, we are bound to proclaim truth. The truth is, sin is never OK. It is the knowledge and acceptance of truth that brings freedom. We are in a challenging time where the temptation is great to find ways to distance ourselves from an extremely uncomfortable issue.

    But this troubling issue is merely the next symptom in a progression of symptoms that always happens when God’s people neglect His Word. This progression will continue if there is not genuine repentance among the people of God for our own personal sin. Until the Lord calls us home, movements of God will always be initiated through the church, for that is where the power of God’s Spirit resides. If we are waiting for the world to change in any other way than that, we will continue to be disappointed in the direction of our society.
     
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Matthias “Matty” Ponce-de-Leon is pastor of Arlington First Baptist Church in Jonesville.)

    12/16/2014 1:09:18 PM by Matthias Ponce-de-Leon, Guest Column | with 0 comments
    Filed under: church, culteral change, homosexuality




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