Friday, March 11, 2011

Wisdom Brings Change

Proverbs 29:8
Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger.”

I have devoted my life and ministry to bringing hope, deliverance, and, yes, change to broken lives. Every article I write and each time I speak, it is the desire of my heart to reveal the truth behind certain strongholds that have remained unchanged (for the most part) in the 2000 year history of Christianity. At the top of this list looms the most polarizing argument before us today: “The Christian and the Homosexual”

I am frequently confronted by angry, evangelical Christians who suggest that it is “high time” for Christians to stand up against the massive movement infiltrating this nation among the organized, homosexual community that continues to push homosexuality into the same civil rights status that African-Americans demanded in the 1960’s to secure their civil liberties. I often ask if this outrage is over homosexuality in general or just among Christians who seek freedom from the homosexual stronghold? The response is most always the same. “There is no such thing as a Christian homosexual.”

That statement reminds me of the time I attended a mega-church in Atlanta where the pastor declared that he needed to clarify how his church handled requests from parishioners seeking financial assistance. He made it clear that “his” church had over 3,000 members (at the time), and therefore, could not assist “non-members” with such matters. He further explained that any “members” of the church who requested financial assistance would be subjected to a review of their tithing records. The church would not help those who did not tithe because the Bible makes it clear that they are under a curse – therefore, the church would not join itself with someone who was already under a curse by offering them financial assistance.

This puzzled me, especially since this same pastor loved to quote from the Book of Malachi regarding tithing and say, “Try the Lord, and see if He will not open the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing so big you will not even be able to contain it.” My simple mind summed it up this way: Those who tithe are blessed to the point that they can’t even count all of their money, so obviously, they won’t be asking for your help. This would leave only those who do not tithe to ask for financial assistance (the same bunch you declare to be cursed), rendering them disqualified to receive help. He could have saved the sermon and summed it all up by simply saying, “We don’t help anybody.”

Likewise, if the religious man believes that there is no such thing as a Christian homosexual, why are these same people so angry and ready to argue with those involved in or who support homosexuality? Why would a lost person care whether he finds freedom from the stronghold of homosexuality or not? And better yet…why would we care as Christians? It seems to me, if one is lost and bound for Hell, his sexual identity is the least of his worries.

The fact that so very few people have found freedom from the stronghold
of homosexuality across the past 2,000 years is not the responsibility or accountability of the lost, the government, or the advocacy groups who have risen up to say, “No more!”, regarding the shame, humiliation and judgment suffered by those who identify themselves as homosexual. This movement has grown to a fever pitch as a result of a judgment that offers no true wisdom or plan for freedom from the stronghold. As Christians and Ambassadors of our Father’s heart, that responsibility is ours to bear. If these arguments had ever offered freedom from homosexuality, thousands would stand up in the church to shout praises for their deliverance today. The deafening silence testifies “loud and clear” to the futility of these arguments. This is the enemy’s finest work. While our “righteous indignation” provides the lock on the very door of Satan’s most cruel stronghold, the enemy kicks back to take a rest, content to watch us do the work for him.

I asked many people who follow me on Facebook to tune in to the OWN cable television network on March 8, 2011, at 10 o’clock p.m. EST to watch “Our America” with host Lisa Ling. The one-hour documentary was devoted to the question, “Can you pray the gay away?” Lisa interviewed Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International, a Christian based organization dedicated to offering hope and support to those who seek freedom from the stronghold of homosexuality. She also spoke with various Christians who embrace their homosexuality – also visiting a Christian youth camp dedicated to helping Christian teens accept and love themselves as God loves them. The camp is led by a Lutheran minister who is homosexual.

Lisa Ling made a comment near the end of the documentary that I both understand and support. She said that although each group was taking a different path to get there, it appeared to her they were all seeking the same thing. I believe that “thing” is acceptance. I don’t think most people really care so much about whether or not someone accepts their personal choices, beliefs, or lifestyle, as much as they each long to be accepted as a person who was molded by the hands of God himself. In fact, I believe that is what each person who has ever lived or died desires. We each just need to know that we matter. One fact is certain: When a person is declared “worthless” long enough, he will likely join with others, like himself, and rise up to demand he be reckoned with. And in the end, I “reckon” each person deserves that much.

Most evangelicals are as uneducated and uncaring regarding the issue of homosexuality as they have ever been. Our careless judgments have ignited a firestorm in this nation that will not be quenched any time soon. I say with confidence that if it is your passion to deny equal rights and eventual marriage rights to those who are secure and content in their homosexuality, you are about to be gravely disappointed. I only wish we had concerned ourselves as much with heterosexual relationships before Evangelical Christians reached the point of divorcing at a greater rate than any other group in this nation. If we had been this concerned with loving our spouses until death do us part, we would have closed the door to the stronghold of homosexuality long ago. Instead, we have left our children broken and plagued with feelings of abandonment, prime targets of the enemy for this particular stronghold. In the meantime, we have been duped into entering the useless arguments and judgments surrounding the “right or wrong” of homosexuality, while accepting no responsibility for leaving the door wide open by our own disobedience regarding the sanctity of our own marriages or the judgment of others. Yes, I reckon the firestorm is coming. I’m just wondering how long it will take Christians to realize that it is we who have poured the gas and thrown the match?

Do with this warning what you will. I speak it with much love, knowing the righteous anger will come, but that’s OK with me. I survived abuse beyond your wildest imagination to accept the mantle God has placed upon the remainder of my life. If these words will open the eyes of just one caring heart, many will be spared this terrible stronghold in the generations to come. This is the warning:

If we continue to point a finger of judgment at those bound in homosexuality and devote our time to the useless civil and religious arguments surrounding the pros and cons of this issue, there will be no freedom found from homosexuality. Likewise, if we men continue down the path of abandoning our heterosexual marriages and the responsibility we hold as fathers, teachers, and guardians over our wives and our precious children, we leave the door open for this stronghold to grow stronger and deeper than Sodom and Gomorrah ever witnessed in the generations to come. In fact, it will pale by comparison. And finally, if we don’t wake up and recognize what fools, hypocrites, and self-righteous judges the enemy has made of us in all that I stated above, the firestorm of homosexuality that is coming to our children and our children’s children is our responsibility. Government will not help us, arguing will not help us, and the horrors within the ultimate manifestation of this stronghold will be beyond anything we have ever witnessed in the history of this nation.

So what do we do? We begin by reducing the entire law of the Prophets, as well as our religious arguments to the wisdom our Lord gave us. We begin to treat ALL people the way we would like to be treated. It is a fool who continues to do the same things, expecting different results. Therefore, we begin immediately to educate ourselves and the church, regarding “how” the stronghold of homosexuality begins and “one-by-one” we move to close that door of opportunity in the young lives within our circumference of influence. It is an individual change that we need. People are changed “one person at a time.” Therefore, I suggest that we begin to truly love, embrace, and pray for homosexuals and reserve finger-pointing and judgment for ourselves. If each of us will take on this mantle of responsibility, the generations to come will not be burdened with the stronghold of homosexuality that “we” have participated in perfecting within our own.

Arguments are for fools. Love heals a multitude of sins, homosexuality included. Continuing to garment ourselves in “immoveable” religiosity regarding this issue will only continue to enrage the arguments and cause a hurting world to believe that, “since we act like fools, we must follow one.” However, wisdom brings change, and I submit to you that “change” is exactly what we need.

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