photo via flickr-procom kelly

by  C. Aaron Russell,  author of Lessons In Faith—learned the hard way

Since the President’s endorsement of same sex marriage in May, we’ve been under a barrage of attack from all news and media outlets with homosexual related headlines. In secular and Christian media alike, not only are we seeing headlines regarding SSM marriage, but also every angle of every issue involving homosexuals is being documented and debated.

Based on the amount of attention being paid to the debate, it would appear that right now SSM is the most important issue in politics, religion, and the upcoming Presidential election. That’s a trap the Christian Church needs to avoid falling into.

First, let’s define our primary purpose as Christians. It is not to try and put a stop to sin. That is a battle Christians cannot win, nor should we try to. Christ was not sent to create a perfect world. He was sent to us as a sacrifice, that we may repent for our sins and be forgiven. He did that for us because we serve a loving and merciful God, and the lone authority justified to weigh our sins. As sinners all, it is not our place to point fingers at other sinners, and preach how to live by the law and say, “don’t do this and don’t do that.” That’s what the Pharisees did.

According to James 4:12 (NKJV), “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?”

As believers, we come to the Lord with faith and love. Once saved, we are renewed in Spirit, in His time and for His purpose. As we grow and draw closer to God, He deals with each of us on our own sins and cleanses us. Our purpose as Christian is to do as Paul said and spread the Good News. We seek out the lost and share the joy of the Lord and His salvation, the same way we were called, with faith and love. If those lost come with an open heart and seek truth, the Lord is the potter that will form the clay to His vessel (Romans 9:21).

Next, let’s look at homosexuality for what it is. Although some Christians and religious leaders have come out in defense of homosexuality, the bible is clear that it is a sin in the eyes of God. However, homosexuality is just one of a multitude of sins, sexual or otherwise, that can keep us from the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Homosexuality is not the most rampant sexual sin in our society or the church today. We cannot spend so much of our efforts condemning one sin, while so little time unconcerned with the rest. In today’s wired world, we’re blasted daily with images and messages of all sorts of sexual immorality through the internet, television, movies and countless other ways. How many of us, including those sitting in the pews, are or have been guilty of unmarried sex and promiscuity, pornography, masturbation, unfaithfulness and adultery, etc..?

Jesus tells us in Mathew 7:3 (NKJV), “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?”

We are almost all guilty, whether now or at some point in our lives, of sexual sin. Again, let’s not concentrate all our efforts on the sin itself, but with the love of the Lord reach out to the heart of the sinner. If we focus on sin, we must focus on ourselves.

Lastly, there are many important issues for Christians, other than just same sex marriage, worthy of attention. Does that mean SSM should not be a concern or a political issue for Christians? Of course not. One could certainly argue it erodes the institution of marriage. One could also counter argue, with the divorce rate what it is, that’s been happening tragically already for some time. Even if SSM is legalized in our country, that doesn’t’ make it a marriage recognized by God. It may be a sign that our nation is continuing to turn further away from God. However, let’s put things in perspective and weigh in on some other sexual and reproduction related issues Christians should be concerned about as well:

1. Abortion– We are still in a nation that allows legalized abortion (around 1.3 million per year in the U.S., 43 million worldwide.) 70% of abortion clinics are in minority communities. There are African American communities in the U. S. where a child has a greater chance to be aborted than born. In China, there are 13 million abortions per year, where due to their one child law, many women are forced into abortion or sterilization.

2. Human Trafficking– Up to 4 million women and children are victims each year of human trafficking (up to 300,000 in U.S. alone), the vast majority for sex. 99% are never rescued. It’s the largest growing illegal trade ( estimated $7 billion annual revenue), expected to surpass drug trafficking within 2 years.

3. Religious freedom and the HHS mandate– The recent Health and Human Resource mandate, a part of the new healthcare regulations, requires the health care plan of almost all employers, including church and religious organizations, to cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. At stake for Americans is the right of the government to force onto its citizens, practices that go against our core principles and beliefs.

4. Pornography– Internet porn has become a world-wide addiction and cancer. It is constantly becoming more graphic, violent, degrading and humiliating. It helps fuel the worst crimes of our society such as abuse of women and children, rape, kidnap, human trafficking, slavery, etc… We need true internet reform. Here are some startling statistics:

• Sex is the #1 search on the Internet
• There are 68 million porn search engine requests daily
• There are over 420 million pornographic internet pages
• 42.7% of Internet users view pornography
• 1/3 of children 10 years and younger have seen internet porn
• 4 out of 5 children16 and older admit to regularly watching porn
• 12 to 17 year olds are the largest consumers of internet pornography
• Porn has approximately $100 billion annual revenue worldwide
• The pornography industry is larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix and EarthLink

It is not the intent of this article to defend or belittle the same sex marriage issue or excuse the homosexual lifestyle. Simply, it is to provoke critical thinking, understanding and consider that it may not be in the best interest of Christians to take the bait from secular society.  We shouldn’t let ourselves be lured into an ugly fight, put too much emphasis on this issue and too little on other important ones, or give homosexual activists and their cause more of what they’re after, publicity. The secular media, left-wing political interests, and groups with an anti-Christian agenda can use this debate to villanize religion, stereotype Christians as bigots, exalt themselves as heroes of Citizens rights and forward more anti-faith related regulations.

According to Skye Jethani, pastor and author, “ If conservatives, including those in the church, want to make same sex marriage the defining issue of 2012, I’m sure the Obama campaign will be happy to comply. Anything to ensure the focus isn’t about how to revive the economy–a battle that is still far from settled.”

This story adapted and published as part of the new book, Lessons In Faith—learned the hard way, by  C. Aaron Russell, Christian writer, author, speaker and missionary with MenofMind.com

This article also published at The Christian Post and Examiner.com.

 

2 Comments for this entry

  • Annie Law says:

    This is a good article. We need to be reminded from time to time of how to choose our battles. Freedom of religion needs to be on top. Abortion, human trafficking, and the massacre of many Christians for their faith. We must be educated about the Sharia Law and not allow it to be voted in. We must also remember not all Muslims are radical Islamists. I personally think many muslims do not want the Sharia Law and this is how we will know them, whether they side with the radicals, or do not. I think whether they are for the Sharia Law or against it, will determine their status. This issue will effect whether we have freedom of religion or not. It must be alongside the first priority of freedom of religion.

    We Christians need to remember we are in a major spiritual warfare and must fight the spiritual forces of darkness on our knees with the Sword of the Spirit. At the same time, we must let our voices be heard in regards to the top priorities such as the abuses and killings of the unborn and others for the sake of Christ, and to be able to worship in freedom and not to be coerced against our conscience. Learn what the Sharia Law is and vote against it.

    We also must become more deeply grounded in the Word, prayer, and walking by the Spirit in love for Christ and others. We must not let hate grab hold of us for what we are seeing, hearing and experiencing, for as Christ Jesus said as He was being nailed to the cross, “Father, forgive them for them do not know what they do.” This is not a fleshly battle. They are influenced by Satan, and Satan hates Christ Jesus and would like to destroy Him and His followers. This is a spiritual battle. Ephesians 6:10-18.

  • I thought this was a very good article and I throughly enjoyed reading this writer’s point of view. It gave me another perspective I had not thought about. I hate the sin of homosexuality and what it does to man, but as the writer brought out this is not the only sin we are dealing with in our society. I agree that we are not going to be able to stop all of this because this is the course the world must go to fulfill all before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. These things must happen and must come to pass and nothing is going to stop these individuals. Only salvation can turn the heart of a man or woman around, but I feel this sin can and will destroy a nation. It is such a distortion of what God created man to be, but all sin is going to be judged and that’s where all this is headed. God’s final judgement on it all and only he can have the final say and conclusion on all the matters that concern the people on the planet earth. Only He can conquer these powers that rule and negatively influence man at this time. All these things must run it’s course and no one is going to stop it but God.

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