God Has Given Us Over.
Three years ago, when President Obama stated that he approved of same sex marriage, I got on my soapbox and wrote an article entitled “God is giving us over.” In light of the recent rainbow on everything from the White House to my WordPress dashboard, I revisited that post. I have tweaked it and edited it and retitled it, “God has given us over,” in light of the fact I cannot go on the computer without seeing this topic everywhere.
As you likely know, history was made on Friday as the US supreme court ruled in favour of legalizing same sex marriages nation wide. This should not come as a surprise, to anyone, and it is old news to those of us in Canada. in fact, it has been this way for a while here.
And it’s ok America, you won’t blow up…Canada is still here…for now…
There are Christians who claim that God is going to judge our society for this and for the selfish, hedonistic lifestyles we as western culture and society live. True, he will judge us, but there will be no war to wipe us out, there will be no comet hurtling to earth, there will be no plague, no tsunami, no earthquake or nuclear events to punish us for the sins of society. Yes, these things may still happen, and they are a result of the fall, but they are not the punishment for our temporal sins and shortcomings.
What we are witnessing in our world and in our society, with the US Supreme courts decision, with abortion being seen as a “medical procedure,” with euthanasia being legalized around the world, the ease of access to pornography, with the tolerant views of the world, with our societal love of violence, rape, and sex, with the “everything is permissible” attitude of the world…all of this is God’s “judgement” on our societal sins.
God has given us over to what we value – and what we value as a culture and as a society is simply this – ourselves.
We, as a society, value our own individualism, our own feelings, our own comfort, and our own pleasure, our own selfish desires above God. In the name of equality we indulge our sins. We indulge in sexual liberty. We indulge in addiction. We have told God to leave us alone. The “punishment” for this is that God is giving us over and letting us live in our “values” as a society. God is giving us over to ourselves as it says in Romans over and over:
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
When we live in sin, when we adopt a sinful worldview, when we turn our back on God, when we say to God, “We do not want your law. We do not want you. Leave us alone.” He will say, “As you wish.” He will give us over to these things.
As Christians we do not approve of sexual impurity, abortion, porn, addictions, abuse, and so on. In some instances we should push back against it, for example, in the case of abortion which we view as murder, but there will be no divine judgement on these people in this temporal life. Sure, there will be consequences for sin, but God is not going to smite the lot of us. No. Each of us will be held accountable when we stand before the Lord on the day of judgement. This goes for you and me, the heterosexual and the homosexual, the mother of 6 children and the mother of the aborted child. The issue in the end will be simply this…are your sins covered through faith alone in Christ alone? Where are your values? In Christ or in yourself?
So how should we proceed as Christian’s on this issue of same sex marriage that is not only tolerated and accepted, but celebrated in our society? As Christians we have to realize that this is not an isolated issue. Neither is abortion or the host of other societal issues we Christians see as wrong. Each is simply a symptom of a much larger problem. The real problem is that our society has abandoned God as it says in Romans 1:28
“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
Attacking the symptoms will do nothing; we need to address the cause. Personal attacks on a homosexual person will do nothing to show them the love of Christ. Debating whether their lifestyle is right will get you nowhere. Posting rainbows on Facebook and saying that it is God’s sign won’t accomplish anything, unless you like debates that go nowhere.
So, how are we to proceed? Well, it is simple.
We are to present the Gospel in love.
Out of compassion.
We are to live as salt and light.
We are to treat all people as they are – that is, as image bearers of the almighty God. We are all sinners. So love the homosexual; love the girl who had an abortion, love everyone and show them the love of Christ – Why? Because God has commanded us to Love. What is the greatest commandment? Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind, and the second is like it… LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF. Be compassionate. It is not our place to judge those outside of the Church, but it is our place to present to them the cure. What is the cure for the current state of the world?
The cure is simply, yet profoundly, the gospel of Christ crucified and resurrected. Remember that it is much easier to judge someone from behind your computer, than it is to show them the love of Christ in person.
So, present the cure, the gospel of Jesus Christ, in love and to God’s Glory.
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood —to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.