Recently, within the span of a few days, I was faced with several stories in the news that really bothered me. They all just happened to revolve around the “homosexual agenda”, but that was only coincidental.
The first story involved Ted Haggard, former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, who left the ministry some time ago after it was revealed that he had engaged a male prostitute and purchased methamphetamine. He’s still in the news, and still making the speaking circuit.
The second story was about Rick Warren, the megachurch pastor who has become the current “media evangelical” of choice, and his statement during an interview that “the issue of homosexual marriage simply wasn’t important” to him. Many christians have “concerns” about some of the things Rick Warren has said and done recently, but he remains one of the biggest money makers in the religious business.
The third story, also old news, involved Ray Boltz, author of several moving Christian songs. Some time ago Ray left the Christian ministry, divorced his wife, announced he was gay, and joined the Metropolitan Community Church.
All of this is old news; for one reason or another each of these things crossed my path, though, within a short time span. I was surprised by my own reaction.
First, I felt sad. Homosexuality is not THE sin, nor is it the unpardonable sin. That’s not what got to me. What really got to me is that here are three men who had incredible platforms to reach the world and impact it, and what did they do with it? They chose political correctness and self indulgence over “fighting the good fight”.
Second, I felt betrayed. I felt like “my side” took another hit. Of course the media have had a field day with each of these events. Many confused people in the world (as evidenced by postings in the blogosphere) are being led to question their faith (again) in light of the fact that, to them, there does not appear to be any real power in the name of Jesus; He does not seem to “keep His own”, He seems powerless to stop the downward spiral of mankind, and even his most “notable” followers seem to fall more often than follow. I felt a little war weary.
Third, I felt angry. I thought of that scene in the movie “Independence Day” where the President finally understands the real goal of the aliens and he says “Nuke the b—-“. I felt tired of being merciful, tired of trying to get anyone to see the light. I just wanted to go home.
I was quickly reminded of how many times God has forgiven me. Over and over and over again.
I was reminded how many different ways God has provided for me, covered for me, got me out of impossible situations.
I was reminded that none of the things that are going on in the world are surprising to God. He’s still in control, He knows the end from the beginning, and He’s not losing the battle. The wheat and the tares grow up together, but they will be separated at the harvest.
As a friend of mine commented “We know that these things are going to happen (2 Thessalonians 2), but I did not realize how painful it would be to watch.” How true.
I am thankful for the mercies of God, and I am thankful that I know the end of the story. I started out discouraged, but ended up encouraged.
“Let not your hearts be troubled…”