Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fighting the wrong war

You may have heard of or seen the video of the Christian protestor at a recent gay pride march in Seattle being attacked by sympathizers. Some believers are saying that the incident proves "intolerance" toward Christian witness.

I have a different view; however. For openers, spouting Bible verses or holding up signs denouncing homosexuality in such at atmosphere is akin to a Ku Klux Klansman hassling African-Americans -- it's just not a smart move. And while I don't personally countenance such a violent reaction, I understand it.

As often happens, the anti-gay demonstrators actually go beyond the parameters of Scripture by insisting that "God's judgment is imminent" because of homosexuality. In other words, their singling out gays as particularly deserving of His wrath is unbiblical in its own right.

Bottom line, they're fighting the wrong war -- they have confused spiritual warfare, which God tells us to fight, with cultural warfare, which He doesn't. The reason is simple -- when you're focused primarily on real or perceived sin you're not focused on Jesus, and when you're not focused on Jesus more sin is inevitable.

The devil gets this, believe me. One of his favorite tactics is to "play both ends against the middle"; he starts something on one side that might be clearly wrong but then often influences a reaction that potentially causes more damage to the cause of Christ than the original issue. Now, the only way this can work is if the reactionaries don't recognize the Enemy's involvement. (Most don't.) That's why "culture wars" always fail -- they try to make the culture "safe" for Christians to live in and thus eliminate the idea of trusting in God to preserve His people in a dark world.

I know what you might be thinking: Doesn't the Word of God speak about His judgment against gays? Yes and no. The Scripture identifies homosexual conduct as belonging to the "world system," which is on its way out anyway. Besides, telling gays that they're in danger of judgment is something that, according to Philip Yancey's book "What's So Amazing About Grace?", just about every gay person has heard already so the words simply aren't convicting.

Specifically denouncing homosexuality may raise funds and bring out demonstrators; however, it's a distraction from real spiritual issues. Bottom line, we need to our -- and God's -- priorities straight.

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