04 Apr 4-3-14 “An Open Letter to Brendan Eich; Pastor Says, “You Don’t Have to Apologize””
The Christian Post reported, “After less than a month on the job, Brendan Eich has stepped down as CEO of Mozilla, the company he co-founded, amid a firestorm of criticism he’s received for making a 2008 donation to support a California amendment that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.”
In his blog this week, Eich said, “I know some will be skeptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything. I can only ask for your support to have the time to ‘show, not tell;’ and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain.”
My hope is that readers will read the entire article before drawing any conclusions. I have nothing but compassion for those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle. Those who strongly believe in the Bible and God’s will regarding sexual behavior, also strongly believe in unconditional love and forgiveness. To say that authentic Christians hate, or fear, those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the principles of the Christian faith. To “speak the truth in love” simply comes from a desire to honor God, and to truly love and care for others.
The ability to relate to a person on their level, show genuine concern, and love them regardless of their lifestyle is the mark of true Christianity. Unfortunately, Christians often embrace one of two extremes. At one extreme are those who insult, or who are violent toward, those trapped in this lifestyle; homosexuality appears at the top of their sin list; there is very little love or compassion. The other extreme excuses this sin and looks the other way. Both extremes are wrong and offer a false impression of genuine Christianity—we must extend compassion but without compromise.
If warning, confronting, challenging, and advising can all be categorized as “hate-speech,” as many say, then, based on this definition, many parents hate their children. But of course the opposite is true: Parents love their children, so much so that they warn, confront, challenge, and advise daily.
Certain “rights” and “wrongs” called absolutes are given by God to save man from himself. In the same way that a foundation supports the entire structure—house or skyscraper—foundational biblical truths support the social structure. Nearly all of our social issues are related to the stability and structure of the God-ordained family.
Ironically, a postmodern leader recently made headlines by saying, “I believe that those who embrace the homosexual lifestyle can live in harmony with biblical Christianity.” Consider this, and please be sincere: Many say that we cannot take a position on homosexuality because all positions will hurt someone. Here’s my question: “Are those who defend homosexuality, or who say nothing, truly loving the homosexual, or are they simply seeking to avoid conflict?” If they are more worried about being liked than being truthful, do they really care for homosexuals more than the person who is willing to risk their reputation, and quite possibly their safety, in order to speak the truth in love? The answer is obvious: Authentic Christians love the truth, and others, so much so that they are willing to risk the consequences of confrontation in order to help others. This is genuine love, not hatred. “When we become so tolerant that we lead people into mental fog and spiritual darkness, we are not acting like Christians—we are acting like cowards” (A.W. Tozer).
Would we say, “I believe that those who embrace pornography can live in harmony with biblical Christianity?” Or, “I believe that those who embrace adultery can live in harmony with biblical Christianity?” Or course not. Unfortunately, one of the greatest mistakes in our culture today involves not being able to discern between right and wrong. The battle cry is focused on “individual rights,” instead of what does God’s Word say?
For example, pornography and other similar forms of so called “personal expression” that harm individuals, as well as society, do not fit within the perimeters of exercising personal rights—logically, biblically, or historically.
Ironically, many cases of sexual violence and adultery can be traced directly back to pornography. Personal rights were intended to operate freely, but only within the framework of God’s Word, and social responsibility. For example, few can dispute the significant relationship between STDs and promiscuous sex, AIDS and homosexuality, broken homes and adultery, and so on. But those in support of gay-marriage often claim that it’s about “rights.” However, when we speak of Constitutional rights, we are referring to “God-given” rights. God orchestrates these rights—the definition and the perimeters—they correspond with His nature, His will, and His Word. When we replace “God-given rights” with “man-given rights” we create an environment where there would be little recourse, and no end to what man could advocate.
Yes, we will always have the “freedom” to choose what we do, but no one has the “right” to do what is wrong. God’s Word is very clear on the dangers of homosexuality, adultery, pornography, and other sexual sins. If our sexual preferences run contrary to God’s Word we must change our preferences, not the other way around.
Gay-marriage is not about “rights”—it’s about sexual “choices.” But can we legislate morality? No, we cannot change a person’s heart by forcing a set of laws or rules upon them, but we can deter wrongdoing. You may say, “Times change.” And you are correct, but God’s standards do not. No matter how many laws are passed in favor of same-sex marriage, it will not change God’s mind. His principles are guardrails through the canyons of life. They don’t prevent us from enjoying life; they protect us from falling. We don’t need to apologize for God’s Word, we just need to lovingly proclaim it.
Related Sermon: Same-sex Attraction; Balancing Grace and Truth: http://vimeo.com/47460132
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, Ca., just North of Los Angeles. He just released his 7th book, Desperate for More of God. (The Trailer is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDZxrO6FbVI). Shane’s sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be found at www.WCFAV.org, Follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/confusedchurch.