The LGBTQ Movement and Christianity (Its Threat and Our Response): Part 4
- Pastor Ric Fritz President and Director, Center for Christian Civic Engagement
- 2018 13 Jul
This four-part article:
1) clearly defines the dangerous threat inherent to the LGBTQ movement on the Church and the culture (click here to read),
2) looks the current failure and corruption within the Christian church (click here to read),
3) reviews the enemies game plan to date and how Satan is successfully using the LGBTQ lifestyle to further his goal of separating man from God (click here to read), and
4) identifies how Christians should respond to the enemy’s actions while simultaneously lovingly leading people to Jesus Christ with compassionate conviction.
This final part focuses on how we, as Christians, are to respond to the challenge the LGBTQ lifestyle presents. Our response must address both people and the lifestyle. We must first look at how to respond to those actively dealing with LGBTQ temptation and sin in their life. Then we can look at how we must respond to those who advocate, encourage, and/or celebrate the LGBTQ lifestyle.
Expect Serious Resistance
Expect serious resistance, naturally from sinners but also from those who profess faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I have had some of the most heated, and admittedly frustrating, conversations with those who believe in their salvation through Jesus Christ as much I do. I am not questioning their salvation status—that is between them and God. I do question their theology, particularly their continual defense of sin.
Most Christian LGBTQ apologists do everything possible to justify, defend, and protect the LGBTQ lifestyle using “loving people” as justification while at the same time questioning, accusing, and attacking (not in a very loving way) any stances based upon God’s holiness and design. At the center of the issue is the desire to defend and protect sinful actions while either rejecting or selectively applying scripture as needed. Meaningful conversation rarely occurs unless someone is willing to recognize, admit, and understand the LGBTQ lifestyle is in fact sinful. As a brother or sister in Christ we must confront wayward Christians. What I have experienced, as with most people in the clutches of sin, is they are not interested in correction. However, our duty is to speak Truth, never compromising with sin, and let God do the rest.
Naturally we should expect LGBTQ advocates who do not know God or the Bible to not understand our point of view. In this case, we continue to speak the truth and pray for the Holy Spirit to work on their hearts and minds. Trust in promises such as Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” and John 16: 7-8 “But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.”
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We All Are Sinners and Are in Need of a Savior
EVERYONE is a sinner saved by grace. Those living in the LGBTQ lifestyle are no worse a sinner than I. We ALL have fallen short of God’s design and need a Savior. The good news, the Gospel, is no one is beyond the saving power of Jesus.
Everyone is invited to share in the good news of the Gospel. God desires for everyone come to Jesus and believe in His victory over sin accomplished upon the cross, His victory over death through His resurrection, and His future reign as King. In order to have eternal life we simply need to believe and accept and act upon these facts–Jesus died for our sins, we are forgiven through Jesus and cannot earn our salvation by anything other than faith, and we must ultimately position ourselves under Jesus as Lord and obediently follow Him.
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All Are Called; Not All Accept the Invitation
Unfortunately, not everyone is interested in receiving Jesus as Lord (oh, for certain they have little issue with Him as Savior). There are many reasons but most of which is their desire to remain in the dark. They do not want their sinful actions to come into the light, or they do not wish to give up their sinful lifestyles and fully commit to Jesus Christ as their Lord. By doing so, either by ignoring or rejecting Jesus, they align themselves with Satan and his schemes.
This is where things get difficult and messy. As Christians we are called to demonstrate and extend the love and grace of Jesus Christ to all. We are also called to stand in opposition to the lies and deceptions of Satan and to stand upon God’s truth with courageous conviction. How can both of these attitudes be expressed simultaneously? The key is understanding you are addressing two distinctive things: people and lifestyle. Each is addressed separately.
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People: Love Without Approving, Accept Without Condoning
We must LOVE and ACCEPT people without approving or condoning sinful behavior. This is not easy in today’s world. People increasingly demand that you must approve and condone of what they do if you are to love and accept who they are. Sinful lifestyles, especially within the LGBTQ realm, now define the very core of what and who people believe they are. Christians know this to not be true.
We know it is possible to love and accept someone without approving or condoning behaviors because that is what God did for us. Romans 5:8 reminds us, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (emphasis added).
However, when addressing those struggling with LGBTQ-lifestyles we must recognize the enemy has successfully twisted minds to believe that homosexual or transsexual behavior is who they are and not something they do. Hence, you hear “I was born this way.” In other words, they are saying “my behaviors define me as a person so deeply I believe God designed me to be gay (or bi-sexual, or trans-gendered, etc.) from birth”. This is an outright lie. No one is born gay; but they are indeed born a sinner.
The truth is everyone is born sinful. It is a fact clearly supported in God’s Word and through experience. The sinful tendencies that plague a person are different and unique to each individual. I have my own temptation that seem to repeatedly challenge me. If influenced by worldly thinking I might even say I was born with these tendencies. If I was born with certain tendencies is debatable within theological and academic circles. Regardless one thing is clear, it is unbiblical and very wrong to say that a holy God made me sinful. Nor does any of this justify my surrendering to sinful temptation. No, my sin has been a result of pure free will. Sin is a choice.
True Christian love is reflected in one’s ability to love and accept people who have chosen to sin without approving or condoning their sin.
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Lifestyle: Stand upon God’s truth with compassionate conviction.
Speaking God’s Truth in the public arena has become increasingly difficult. An unbelieving lost world views believing in a God who defines absolute truth as outright hostile and hateful.
David Platt in Counter Culture says it well, “Tell any modern person that there is a God who sustains, owns, defines, rules, and one day will judge him or her, and that person will balk in offense” (Platt, 2015, p. 3). He continues “…the most offensive claim in Christianity is that God is the Creator, Owner, and Judge of every person on the planet. Every one of us stands before him guilty of sin, and the only way to be reconciled to him is through faith in Jesus, the crucified Savior and risen King. All who trust in his love will experience everlasting life while all who turn from his lordship will suffer everlasting death” (Platt, 2015, p. 16). The existence of a holy God, even one who provides a savior for the forgiveness of sins, is offensive to the vast majority.
This majority has now crept into churches in sufficient numbers that it even affects church leaders. Paul predicted this when he warned Timothy, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear” (2 Tim 4:3, emphasis added). This time has clearly arrived.
However, just because God’s truth is not popular or has fallen out of favor in the public eye does not give us excuse or justification to disengage and hide from a hostile world. Nor does it give us permission to not stand upon what we know to be God’s design and truth. Some may ask, what does it matter?
God declared certain behaviors sinful because 1) they are incompatible to His Holy nature, and 2) they cause pain and hurt to his creation. Sin hurts. Sin hurts because it causes separation of God from His creation. It hurts people because it separates us from our Creator. Sin has painful ramification that often extends far beyond the sinner because of intended and unintended consequences. It is because of this pain that Christians develop a compassionate conviction against sin. It is this compassionate conviction that motivates us to keep standing upon God’s truth in the face of a hostile and disinterested world.
Standing on truth matters because it matters to God. It requires great courage to act upon compassionate conviction because it is not easy. Speaking the truth about sin offends the person to which the sin is being revealed. This offense causes all sorts of defense mechanisms to go into full effect which only makes speaking compassionate truth all the more difficult. It are those times, where someone loved me enough to press through my defensiveness, I have experienced the greatest growth in my life. Compassionate conviction desires to reconcile people with God. Reconciliation is not possible without dealing with sin which caused separation in the first place.
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Be Strong, Courageous, and Stand Firm
Compassionate conviction requires strength and courage. God repeatedly commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous. In Ephesians 6: 10-14 God encourages us to “…Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil…Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground…” The quoted verses highlight the emphasis of being strong and standing firm—please read all the verses for the full power of God’s call.
God’s principle calls to be strong, be courageous, and to stand firm remain in place for us today. Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:22 that, “…all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.” We must endure, persist, stand firm, and be courageous in God’s truth and for His design.
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What Should We Stand Firm For?
Marriage: One man and one woman, united forever with the purpose of raising a family.
But what about two men or two women who love each other, why shouldn’t they be able to marry? It is outside of God’s design. The presence of love is not the only condition of biblical marriage.
The secular issue of the legal ability to share property, etc. is outside of the scope of what is termed as “marriage”.
Family Composition: A family is composed of one man and one women and the children (if any) they are raising.
Can a family consist of two women, or two men raising children? No. It is inconsistent with the Bible and God’s design.
Is it possible for two men or two women to raise children? No. Again, it is inconsistent with the Bible and God’s design. Addition, it is physically impossible to procreate children according to God’s design.
Can’t two men or two women love and care for a child the same (if not better) than a man and woman? It is possible, but the presence of love does not define a family.
Sex is reserved for marriage and is to be practiced only between a husband and wife. Any sexual relations outside of this context is inconsistent with God’s design and biblical support.
Actively living and exhibiting homosexuality, transsexuality, or any other LGBTQIAity is a sinful condition, incompatible with God’s design. For years, under Biblically moral influence, these behaviors were properly diagnosed as harmful and often viewed as mental illnesses. This view created a desire to help restore and recover people out of sinful behavior(s). Legislation and policy should reflect a desire to help people out of sin and not encourage people in or into sin.
Special class protection shouldn’t be (and shouldn’t have been) extended to LGBTQ-behaviors.
When religious liberty (protected by the First Amendment) comes into conflict with LGBTQ behavior, religious liberty should prevail.
Policies and legislation that honor God must be based upon God’s design and Biblical principles. Any variation is incompatible and ultimately detrimental.
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Scriptural Support, Old Testament
The previous statements are fully supported by scripture. Any interpretation of scripture to the contrary (in support of LGBTQ lifestyles, corrupted marriage, and infinite forms of family) generally require selective scriptural reading, demonstrate poor biblical hermeneutics, and require a feat of mental gymnastics to arrive.
We encourage you to dig into scripture and have provided a number of scriptures for reference and study that are specifically chosen to reveal God’s design, His standard He has called us to aim for, and scriptures addressing willful sin and its consequences. There is a specific emphasis on LGBTQ behaviors and this list is by no means an all-inclusive.
Genesis 1:27 – Design of gender.
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (NLT)
Genesis 1:28 – Purpose
Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” (NLT)
Genesis 2:24 – Design of marriage
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. (NLT)
Genesis 19: 4-9 Tragic Consequences of Sexual Immorality (specifically homosexuality in this case)
But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”
So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing. Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.”
“Stand back!” they shouted. “This fellow came to town as an outsider, and now he’s acting like our judge! We’ll treat you far worse than those other men!” And they lunged toward Lot to break down the door. (NLT)
Leviticus 18:22 – Homosexuality Declared Immoral
Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. (NLT)
Deuteronomy 22:5 – Transgender, Cross Dressing Declared Immoral
A woman must not put on men’s clothing, and a man must not wear women’s clothing. Anyone who does this is detestable in the sight of the Lord your God. (NLT)
Deuteronomy 23:18 – Prostitution
When you are bringing an offering to fulfill a vow, you must not bring to the house of the Lord your God any offering from the earnings of a prostitute, whether a man or a woman, for both are detestable to the Lord your God. (NLT)
Isaiah 1: 16-17 – Clean Living
Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. (NASB)
Malachi 2: 14-16 – Marriage, Divorce, and Adultery
You cry out, “Why doesn’t the Lord accept my worship?” I’ll tell you why! Because the Lord witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows.
Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. “For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.” (NLT)
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Scriptural Support, New Testament
Matthew 5: 27-28 – Adultery
You have heard the commandment that says, “You must not commit adultery.” But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (NLT)
Mark 10: 2-12 – Marriage and Gender (also Matthew 19: 3-9)
Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?”
Jesus answered them with a question: “What did Moses say in the law about divorce?”
“Well, he permitted it,” they replied. “He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away.”
But Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
Later, when he was alone with his disciples in the house, they brought up the subject again. He told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she commits adultery.” (NLT)
Romans 1: 24-27 – Sinful Nature
So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. (NLT)
Romans 6:16 – Slaves to whom you obey
Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (NLT)
Romans 8: 12-13 – Live by sin or Spirit; it is your choice
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. (NLT)
Romans 12: 1-2 – Transformed lives, no longer conformed to the world
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (NASB)
Romans 13:13 – Sexual immoral
Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – Sexual sin, homosexuality, etc.
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 6:18 – Sexual Sin and Sexual Immorality
Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 10:13 – Temptations are common and escapable
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (NASB)
Philippians 3: 18-19 – Worldly minded warning
For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. (NLT)
Ephesians 4: 19-24 – Living for or throwing off lustful pleasure
They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. (NLT)
Ephesians 5: 1-3 – Love without the Sexual immorality
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. (NLT)
Galatians 5: 19-21
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (NLT)
1 Thessalonians 4:3 – Sexual Sins
God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. (NLT)
1 Timothy 1: 8-11 – Law, Sexual Immorality, Homosexuality
We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God. (NLT)
2 Timothy 2:19 – Need for Repentance
But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.” (NLT)
2 Timothy 3: 1-5 – Warning to Us
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! (NLT)
Hebrews 2:18 – Jesus was tempted and can help us being tempted
For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. (NASB)
Hebrews 10: 26-17 – Deliberate sin and Backsliding after Committing to Jesus
Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. (NLT)
Hebrews 13:4 – Honor marriage
Give honor to marriage and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. (NLT)
But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (NLT)
Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie. (NLT)
Platt, D. (2015). Counter Culture. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Based on the ChristiansEngage.com article "To read part 1, click here. To read part 2, click here. To read part 3, click here.
About Pastor Ric
Ric is the President and Director of the Center for Christian Civic Engagement (C3E). His passion is to see Christians once again influence the world and culture by applying a biblical worldview to the pressing issues of the day. He has a unique background that qualifies him for C3Es mission. He is a licensed Pastor, he has previously held an elected office, and has served in a senior administrative position on a legislative council providing him behind the scenes knowledge of policy making. He is a retired Air Force veteran, holds an MBA. Most proudly he is a husband, father, and grandfather.
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Publication date: July 12, 2018