‘Prayer is the first and greatest work of love we can do for our brothers and sisters.’ (JPll)
As we begin our 40-days of prayer together, King David grants us a way forward.
David is distressed by son Absalom’s murderous pursuit of him. We share a similar distress when we consider the aggressive and barely resisted move to normalize homosexuality in our day. At stake is the dignity of young people, and the God who made them in His image, male and female.
I caught a talk show the other day featuring a Christian lesbian’, model-perfect in appearance, who was advocating for a very confused girl/boy (gender unrecognizable) on the grounds that our public schools must accommodate ‘degendered’ persons. No-one in the audience protested. As the charming ‘lesbian’ claimed Christ as her guide, it was fair game for any Christian in the audience to share the truth about God’s image and redemption. No-one did.
The church is asleep, afraid of the kickback for taking a stand on gender wholeness. So ‘gay marriage’ advances, therapies helping people change are outlawed, and charming deceivers parade in the public square without resistance.
A new low involves Brian McLaren, seminal leader of the ‘emergent’ church movement. For years, Brian kept all in the dark on his views of homosexuality; last week he performed a same-sex commitment ceremony for his son and ‘spouse.’
With David, we cry out, aching for the truth that sets willing hearts free. ‘Give us release from our distress; be merciful and hear our cry.’ (PS 4:1) For the next 5 days, we shall meditate together on that verse.
God gave us all release from our distress through the inaugural gathering of the Restored Hope Network last week in CA. We set our hope on Him, and spoke freely of the gender shame and brokenness that He assumed for us. In turn, He is raising up a people whose very clarity as men and women, and commitment to one another, is founded on Mercy.
Jesus is gathering a humble people who rely upon His redeeming love. Pray that our light will shine in the darkness and make a way for many to come home.
September 28, 2012 (Psalm 4:1)
‘Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous, saving God.
Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.’ (Ps. 4:1)
David is in trouble. The righteous king seduced Bathsheba then murdered her husband, which incited a series of betrayals that came back to haunt him. Now one of his sons, Absalom, wants David’s blood. (2Sam. 11-18)
David is clean. His sins are washed, his heart turned to the God who had shown him mercy. Still he must face the kickback of familiar sins.
He is no different than us amid the sexual idolatry of our day. Though we don’t face the immensity of David’s challenges, we can agree that sexual sin is an equal opportunity offender. Whether porn, romantic obsession, same-gender sensuality, premarital sex, or any number of ways we try to meet our needs in defiance of our Maker, we have all sinned and fallen short of Someone glorious. (Rom. 3:23) And something glorious—the dignity to live uprightly, valuing others fully clothed because they are worthy of value, not because they turn us on.
In the shameless, naked mess we’ve made our sexuality, we the forgiven must admit: our sins have been passed down to a generation more disoriented than we are. How else to explain our stammering response to ‘gay marriage’, as if we must apologize for defining marriage as male and female and thus oriented toward new life?
During the next 40 days, we will indeed cry out for the four states that have ‘gay marriage’ votes in November—Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, and Washington. But first things first: we will simply ask God to have mercy on us for our sexual sin.
‘Like David, we acknowledge our sins as consequential, seeds sown that now reap a whirlwind. (Hos. 8:7) In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.’ ‘