Friday, June 10, 2022

Stand Up...The Right Way!

In the most recent Wednesday Thought, I mentioned that five Tampa Bay Rays (a Major League Baseball team) players refused to wear a hat and patch with logos that celebrate "Gay Pride" month. I also mentioned that the players have been ostracized and called bigots for their action. Such behavior, unfortunately, is all too common when it comes to our current state of affairs. As long as you're on the "right" side of the ideological divide, everything is okay and tolerance will be showered on you for whatever sins you may commit. Once you cross that line, however, you will be lucky to keep your physical safety, even for the minutest of infractions.

There's is a greater issue here which can be missed if we don't pay attention. It is essential that believers stand for the truth. It is also essential, however, that we not only stand for the truth, but that we do so the right way. What I mean is that we not only have to resist the forces that are intent on forcing us to celebrate depravity. We also have to do so in a way that clearly, unmistakably, and unashamedly does so and proclaim that we belong to Christ and that is why we do what we do.

I commend the players that refused to give in to the spirit of the age. At the same time, however, they serve as a very good example of how good intentions can go in the wrong direction in a rather unperceived way. Notice what the players said as they received push back from the liberal establishment: 

“It’s just what we believe the lifestyle he’s (Jesus) encouraged us to live, for our good, not to withhold,” Adam previously told the Tampa Bay Times. “But again, we love these men and women [presumably homosexual individuals], we care about them and we want them to feel safe and welcome here.” He further stated that "this is a lifestyle that maybe we don't want to live."

You may have heard one of several messages (or maybe all of them) where Voddie Baucham speaks about homosexual issues and the approach that many preachers take when addressing the matter. Usually, Baucham says, such preachers will go out of their way to say something similar to what the players above said. Before the message the preacher believes will be controversial, he has to provide a plethora of qualifiers lest he be "misunderstood."

The lesson for us here is that it is important to stand for the truth of Scripture and to defend the gospel. It is also important to make it clear why we stand for that truth. It is not just because we think that such "lifestyle" is incompatible with the life that Jesus wants us to live..."maybe." It is also, and even more importantly, because those who do such a thing will "not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9ff). If we say that we love those who engage in perverse behaviors without making it clear that what they are doing is sinful and they must repent, we make it all too easy for others to hear the wrong message.

By all means, let us love all people regardless of who they are or what they do. Let us also love them enough to tell them that they are in sin and that, if they persist in that sin they will inherit condemnation and punishment. If you make such individuals believe that they are "welcome here" they will think that you believe that their lifestyle is okay for them, it's just not good for you. In a world that is increasingly blurring the line between good and evil, it falls to the believer to clearly delineate that line once again. If we don't do it, no one else will!


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