Grace and truth are two vital components when addressing the topic of homosexuality. Think of a train track. Both tracks are needed for the train to move forward. If one is lacking or in poor condition, (for instance, when we hold back the truth in silence), it actually has the potential to cause a train wreck!
I remain in deep concern for the church of Jesus Christ and in writing this I have the Body of Christ in mind.
Another very prominent leader “broke his silence”, announcing his approval of same-sex marriage a week ago. I say “broke his silence”, because he never really took a stand before. He was sitting on the fence. He was probably too scared, so silence was the best way out of it for awhile. And then suddenly the announcement came out of the blue.
“If we don’t stand for something, we will fall for anything.” This is very true when it comes to the topic of homosexuality. People keep silent and when pressure comes; BOOM! They can’t handle it and fall off the wrong side of the fence. This sudden announcement creates confusion and it misleads people. This is a train wreck, believe it or not! Many times when this news hits the media, it creates such a stir that the leader will occasionally reverse his/her decision, creating even more confusion (which happened last week too!) A bigger train wreck, I’d say. Unless there is true repentance, who can trust a person who says one thing today, and another the next? This has been happening to so many leaders and church denominations. It is a pattern that must not continue. It is a dilemma our churches face. And it won’t be stopped through silence! I hope to bring insight and not condemnation. Please read with an open mind.
Many people keep silent about their stance against same-sex marriage for several reasons. Here are just a few that crossed my mind as I was thinking about it:
We keep silent for fear of offending anyone.
In our culture, especially in Canada, we are very polite. We don’t want to offend others. Addressing the topic of homosexuality has great potential to offend. It is a challenging topic, especially when you want grace and truth to flow in harmony. Someone will get upset. So we opt to keep silent.
We keep silent when we are not adequately educated and equipped on the topic.
Many of us are not well educated and equipped in regards to the topic of homosexuality. We don’t understand or have a clue what persons go through who journey with same-sex attractions. We don’t know the right language or terminology, we don’t know how to speak gracefully AND with authority, sharing biblical truth. So we’d rather keep silent and pretend as if it does not exist.
We keep silent when our own hearts are not right towards those persons who experience same-sex attractions.
We judge those who journey with same-sex attractions, thus lacking compassion. We have pride, we think less of them and more of ourselves. We point fingers. In our minds we can’t believe a person can feel attracted to the same sex. It is too “weird”. We are not willing to examine our own hearts. We think we are better, and silence is the best way to avoid dealing with our own hard hearts and wrong attitudes.
We keep silent because we fear man instead of God.
We are terrified to voice our opinion because we are afraid what others may say or think of us. We fear men more than we fear the Lord. Silence feels safe.
We keep silent when we fear financial loss.
When we talk about the topic of homosexuality, we may offend people and they will leave our church. Thus it may create less income and our paychecks may be less. We keep silent to avoid losing money.
We keep silent when we want to please people.
Hot topics stir the water. We want to be popular and please people, therefore we keep silent and do not take a stand.
These points represent some of the reasons why people may keep silent and stay on the fence. If you did not find yourself in these reasons, then great! Praise the Lord!
The reality is, if we are not taking a stand for something, it will cause us to fall for anything. When we keep silent in our churches and avoid the topic of homosexuality, a tragedy actually happens – I call it a train wreck! Our churches are not equipped in the way they are supposed to be. People then don’t get the help they need. It has been happening all over and it breaks my heart. We fail to fulfill our calling as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers!
His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church)”... (Ephesians 4:12)
When we address the topic of homosexuality we need to keep two things in a very close and a harmonious line: grace and truth. Remember the track? The train needs both lines to move forward. If one is out of balance or when one is broken or incomplete, there will be a train wreck! I googled train accidents and I found this: “Accidents involving trains are often the result of mechanical failures and human error, and often it’s a combination of both. There are a variety of different reasons that these railroad accidents occur, and some of these include: Train conductor negligence… Improper maintenance of the train tracks”.
If we don’t pay attention and attempt to change things, our silence and sitting on the fence will continue to cause major train wrecks. Our lack of voice prevents freedom, help and wholeness from coming to those who need it! Can’t you see it? God is going to keep us accountable one day! The church is supposed to be a safe place where people can come for healing, restoration and redemption. What happened? Why don’t we function in that role any more? Our silence and fence sitting creates the opposite. Here is what we need:
When we address the topic, we need lots of grace.
However grace without truth can become false grace. False grace will sugar coat and affirm lifestyles which are not pleasing to the Lord. And real grace is NOT the green light or the go-ahead to live life only the way we want, according to what pleases our flesh. (Galatians 5:13 “…do not let your freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse for selfishness…“)
When we address the topic we need the whole truth.
However truth apart from grace looks alot like the religious leaders in the time that Jesus walked the earth. He called them “whitewashed tombs”. “For you are like whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. (Matthew 23:27) He actually called them “dead”.
Grace and truth flowing in harmony create the perfect track – and there is no chance a train wreck can occur! We need both of these (and not silence) when we speak on these hard topics!
Prominent leaders who keep silent and then cave in to the pressure of the world (affirming agreement with same-sex marriage) create a lot of confusion and will mislead many. Galatians 5:9 says: “A little leaven (a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump [it perverts the whole concept of faith or misleads the whole church.]”
Satan is behind it all. Can you see? Satan loves train wrecks. He loves confusion. He loves to hurt people. He loves division in churches. If he can get humans to help him do this, it makes him very happy. After all, he came to kill, steal and to destroy. Keeping silent on the topic of homosexuality and sitting on the fence is not the purpose of the church. We miss the mark. We miss the opportunity to minister to those in need. We fail people, miserably. This is a train wreck.
- Silence and sitting on the fence will not get our congregations educated and equipped. And we must. When we are well educated we will be able to gracefully come alongside those who need our support, extending our hands and not our pointy fingers. A pointy finger is not the purpose of a church. It should be place where people come to receive acceptance, healing and restoration. Silence and sitting on the fence will not create this type of space. This is a train wreck!
- Our congregations are full of persons who experience same-sex attractions. They hurt deeply and they are trying to make sense out of it. Silence on the topic won’t get them the love, acceptance and the support they need. We must not ignore them. We must be there to take their hands and journey with them. If we don’t, they will go someplace else and it is usually a place of destruction. This too is a train wreck!
- Our churches are full of parents who have homosexual loved ones. Silence on the topic will not provide them with the help and the support they need. If we fail to help them this too is train wreck!
- Silence is a tactic of Satan. If he can get pastors to not address the topic truthfully and courageously, people are not warned about a lifestyle that will not bring them closer to God. There will be a lack of intimacy with God (which is Satan’s aim). He wants to drive people as far away from God as he possibly can. This creates another a train wreck!
- Silence and sitting on the fence will not bring revelation that healing and restoration is possible. Same-sex attractions have many root causes, which are redeemable when brought under the Lordship of Christ. Silence will not offer this opportunity. Many persons will go away, thinking “God made me this way” and follow a path that is not God’s will. This is a huge train wreck!
- Silence and sitting on the fence about the topic won’t institute accountability. People who journey with same-sex attractions will want to follow their sexual desires and there will be nobody to help them. When they fall, we must be there to help them up and back on the right track. The lack of accountability will cause a train wreck!
We must wake up. The writing is on the wall. Get educated and equipped. Get up and make a stand. Get on the right side of the fence. Start to take a stand now. There is a time to speak and a time to be silent. Now is not the time to be silent on the topic of homosexuality. Families are at stake. Lives are at stake. Souls are at stake.
Please don’t be part of the trend. Do it now. Get of the fence and refuse to be silent any longer. As leaders/teachers/parents, “we will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity than other people” (James 3:3). We don’t want to be caught on the wrong side of the fence. It will have eternal consequences not only for you and I, but for those whom we influence and lead as well. I know these are hard words, but when we keep silent and sit on the fence, we are actually playing into the hands of Satan. I urge you to line up those two vital necessities: grace and truth. They will get your train where it needs to go. If they are in perfect harmony, there won’t be a wreck. Please take this to heart before your silence cause you to create a train wreck. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light. Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:14-17)
Silence has the potential to cause a train wreck. Speaking up has the potential for Grace and Truth to flow, not only equipping the Saints but it can lead to salvation! And THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD!