Posted Jun 15, 2022 by Michael L. Brown

American culture has changed dramatically in the last thirty years. Before that time, Christianity was generally respected by the society while homosexuality was disdained. Today, the tables have turned to the point that almost anything LGBTQ+ is celebrated while the Church is largely denigrated. In short, if gay is good, the Church is bad. This is another reason why many have left the Church, especially among the younger generation.

Consider American views on same-sex “marriage.”

Gallup first began polling American views on this in 1996, at which point 27 percent of the public supported legalizing same-sex unions. In 2022, the number rose to 72 percent.

This is an unprecedented shift in public opinion. But it is not surprising in light of the fact that: 1) so many Americans have friends, relatives, or loved ones who identify as gay; 2) President Obama endorsed gay “marriage” in 2012; 3) the Supreme Court redefined marriage in 2015; 4) the media has been bombarding us with gay-positive stories for the last few decades.

Had the Gallup poll been conducted in 1986, let alone in 1976 or 1966, support for same-sex “marriage” would have been a fraction of what it is today. But even dating back to 1996, the shift in opinion has been absolutely dramatic, from 27 percent support to 72 percent.

And what, according to Gallup, is the one group of people still opposing same-sex “marriage”? It is “Americans who report that they attend church weekly” who “remain the primary demographic holdout against gay marriage, with 40% in favor and 58% opposed.”

We are now the bad guys, the opposition, the ones standing in the way of progress, the small-minded, Bible-thumping bigots, the people who say Yes to religion and No to love.

That is how much of the world perceives us today, especially the younger generation which has grown up in a very different world than did previous generations.

In the not-too-distant past, Americans were proud to identify as Christians and ashamed to identify as gays or lesbians. How the tables have turned!

Today, Christians and Christian beliefs are openly mocked and ridiculed, while day in and day out, we hear about gay and lesbian and bi and trans pride, sometimes for weeks on end, almost wherever we turn – especially in June!

Back in 1997, there was lots of controversy when Ellen Degeneres, playing a TV character named Ellen, came out as lesbian, first as the character and then in real life. Ellen? Really? Today, you would be hard pressed to find a major TV show that doesn’t have an LGBTQ+ character, while Ellen herself reigned for years as queen of daytime TV.

Even cartoons and children’s shows feature LGBTQ+ characters and themes, while the number of gay or bi or trans superheroes grows every year. Talk about a massive cultural shift. America has never seen anything like it before.

In the past, being pro-Christian and pro-natural marriage meant swimming with the tide. Today, it is the exact opposite.

And make no mistake about it: this is an intensely personal issue, not just a theoretical issue.

After all, we’re talking about someone’s child. Or their best friend at school. Or their favorite media personality. “You’re telling me that they’re going to hell because of who they love? You’re telling me they can’t serve in your church? If so, I want nothing to do with your religion or your God.”

Writing for Religion News August 6, 2021, Yonat Shimron noted that, “Amid widespread acceptance of LGBTQ people, evangelical church attitudes toward the group have not budged, and the consequences have been dire.

“A study last month by the Public Religion Research Institute found the number of Americans who identify as white evangelicals has declined dramatically, from 23% in 2006 to 14.5% in 2020. Those leaving in the greatest numbers are younger evangelicals whose attitudes toward sexual minorities are starkly at odds with their elders. Take same-sex marriage: While only one-third (34%) of white evangelicals age 50 and over favor same-sex marriage, 51% of younger white evangelicals ages 18-49 now favor it — a majority, another PRRI study found.” (My emphasis)

But this is nothing new.

Writing on the MSNBC website on February 26, 2014, Jane Timm stated that “One third of young people who left organized religion did so because of anti-gay teachings or treatment within their churches, according to a new study.” Yes, “A full 31% of young people (ages 18 to 33) who left organized religion said ‘negative teachings’ or ‘negative treatment’ of gay people was a ‘somewhat important’ or ‘very important’ factor in their departure, as surveyed by the Public Religion Research Institute.”

The problem for true followers of Jesus is that the Bible hasn’t changed, which means that God is still against homosexual practice and identity. And so, if we want to be in solidarity with the Lord, we will find ourselves at odds with the prevailing culture.

At the same time, we do not want to drive people away from the Lord by making opposition to LGBTQ+ activism our primary cause (as opposed to the Great Commission being our primary cause). Nor do we ever want to appear (or be) mean-spirited, judgmental, or hypocritical.

What, then, do we do?

First, we ask God to fill our hearts with His love for those who identify as LGBTQ+, then we seek to share that love with them face to face.

Second, we make clear in our messages that all of us are fundamentally flawed, which is why all of us need a Redeemer.

Third, we make a distinction between an aggressive agenda and individual people.

Fourth, we determine to hold to biblical standards regardless of public opinion (and regardless of how much these standards challenge our own lives too).

Fifth, we give ourselves to prayer, also believing that those with anti-biblical values will continue to overplay their hand, further exposing the wrongness of their position.

Sixth, we share the testimonies of those who have been transformed through the gospel, making clear that our message is filled with hope and life.

Seventh, we let the chips fall where they may, determined to preach Jesus and live for Jesus no matter what, always remembering that this world is not our eternal home.

It is true, that, for many reasons, people are leaving the church. It is also true that many others are meeting Jesus powerful.

That’s because, what the world so desperately needs, we have in the fullness of the gospel.

Let us not be ashamed to live it and proclaim it.

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Comments

OT posted a comment · Jun 26, 2022
The hypocrisy of lgbtq activism calling groups who push back! reviler’s “ She received a vitriolic response from the gay community on social media, with comments calling her “stupid”, “confused”, and “an awful human being”. One reader comment. Lgbtq activism It really is equivalent to forcing people to like that purple house deemed an eye sore ! Morality is inexplicably connected for some.
OT posted a comment · Jun 24, 2022
Satan and Sodomy Understated and Inflammatory Words. John Piper ___________________________ https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/satan-and-sodomy
OT posted a comment · Jun 24, 2022
“Failure to name the dreadfulness of the darkness is an abdication of truth and love.” John Piper
OT posted a comment · Jun 24, 2022
“Satan is a lion who devours — partly by pain, partly by pleasure, but always by deception.” John Piper.
OT posted a comment · Jun 23, 2022
1 Peter 1:23-25 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, And the flower falls off, But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word which was preached to you.
OT posted a comment · Jun 23, 2022
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8). “His laws and commandments don’t change. God does not take opinion polls. He stands firm, generation to generation.“
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Really now posted a comment · Jun 20, 2022
So orange, this means that for hundreds of years, ‘God’s word’ was followed…and then ‘changed’ or re-understood in relation to the messiah?? Makes sense to me, but other rabid Mikey brown followers here have said things like ‘God’s word NEVER changes’, and that it’s the same ‘yesterday, today, and forever’. Hmmm so confusing this is.
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OrangeHunter posted a comment · Jun 20, 2022
"Accepting God's law in its entirety" includes understanding of the relation between the two Testaments. One has to make distinction between laws that were supposed to discipline the Jewish people and to ensure their survival (like the ones you cited) and the new Law, brought by the Messiah. These are basic Christian truths, and you must know them.
Swkh310 posted a comment · Jun 17, 2022
Entirety? My brother and his wife have three lovely daughters. We don’t live together, but our homes share a back yard. If —God forbid — anything should happen to my brother, am I off the hook? “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her.“
Swkh310 posted a comment · Jun 17, 2022
In its entirety? Really? How about this little gem: “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother ... all the men of the city shall stone him with stones, that he die” (Dt. 21:18, 21)
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OrangeHunter posted a comment · Jun 17, 2022
It is not up to me to decide which sin list is more egregious than others. I'm simply pointing out that homosexualism is sinful according to Christianity. This has always being the case, right from the start. If one wants to be Christian, he/she must accept God's law in its ENTIRETY. There is no "eenie meenie miny moe, this belief I like, but that belief has got to go". Yes, we should be open to gays in the sense of helping them overcome their sin, but NOT in the sense of helping them sinning. Given how homosexualism and transgenderism grow rapidly among the younger generation, it's utterly irresponsible to take the position "Huh, big deal, so what?" This is just not how the Christian is supposed to be thinking. "With the exception of homosexuality and murder, I have probably broken every single sin."- so homosexualism is a sin after all? Then why are even arguing?
Swkh310 posted a comment · Jun 17, 2022
How do you explain that, Orange? I meet your requirements: I have faith in God, and try every day to follow his law. I am guilty of succumbing to what you call my "vain desires." And I "persist in my sin," and I have probably "encouraged sin," again -- all your words. With the exception of homosexuality and murder, I have probably broken every single sin. Are you asking me to believe that -- just because I am straight -- my endless list of sins are somehow less egregious than those of our gay brothers and sisters? Kindly explain.
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OrangeHunter posted a comment · Jun 17, 2022
Christ died for all people, true, but they have to have faith in God and follow His law, not persisting in their sin. Which is exactly what most gays do. Normal Christians are the ones who obey God and fight sin, not the ones who encourage sin and follow their own vain desires. Yes, in the end we'll all reap what we sow.
OT posted a comment · Jun 16, 2022
Quote “The challenge is living in the tension that exists in the middle of both grace and truth. Yet that is exactly where we are called to live if we are going to speak truth to our loved ones.” - Caleb Kaltenbach ___________________________ He continues “When we wrestle with the tension of grace and truth, we typically either go all the way to the grace side, where everything is deemed acceptable, or we go all the way to the truth side, where we speak truth and have no love”……. the accusations will only escalate, worsening as time marches on. All people who stand on the truth of Scripture, who believe and pray to the Lord! Intercede with intercession ! Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us" (Heb.7:25).
Swkh310 posted a comment · Jun 16, 2022
We all reap what we sow. Only Evangelicals, Born Agains, and Christian Nationalists are realizing the well-deserved results of their decades of gay bashing. We Normal Christians, who understand that Christ died for ALL sinners, welcome our gay brothers and sisters.