So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Romans 1:24-27 (NASB)
We have been observing the "Occupy" events with some curiosity. While this is not going to be a political statement of any kind (although I assure you I have an opinion) I wanted to comment on some of the things I see taking place in the theater of the Occupy movement.
Sexual assaults, theft, vandalism, homicide, graffiti, public urination and defecation, destruction of private and personal property are just some of the reported incidents taking place among those who are occupying these tent cities that have sprung up all over the country.
However, this weekend something I saw really put me over the edge. It was an article about how the pornography folks are capitalizing on this by pitching a tent in the middle of a protest camp and filming a gay porn flick. Combining this most recent event with other reports of promiscuity in these camps I was compelled to reflect on the Romans 1 passage above.
The passage is evidence of the downward spiral of society when God turns people over to the wicked desires of the heart. The phrase "God abandoned them" strikes terror in my heart, for I cannot imagine anything more frightening than that. This phrase is actually a judicial term that means that "God gave them up"- He surrenders them to their lust and desires of the heart to do what it is they want to do. He removes any desire for restraint, He counts them as loss.
It is clear to me that there are those in our society who have become filled with every kind of wickedness and depravity in their heart, and are now acting out in ways that once upon a time would have been abhorrent to the average American. There is no new sin under the sun of course, but what continues to astonish me is the acceptance of depravity in the public realm.
Women who are adulteresses, strippers and common whores used to be secretive about their harlotry. They would hide their faces in shame from the general public. These days it is another "community." Homosexuals and so-called transgendered persons are also lauded as brave and courageous for their activities. There are reality television programs where men and women select their mate from a house full of "dates" and promote gross immorality as each "date" is given a trial run sexually before a decision is made to pledge their "love" for that person in a prime time event.
What Scripture says about us as a people is frightening:
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful... Romans 1:28-32 (NASB)
Where is the outcry against such immoral activities? Where are those with common decency in the media? Instead of condemning such filth they applaud and promote it and society eats it up like poisoned plums. More to the point, where is the church? Several religions have come out in support of all these activities and lifestyle choices. There have been denominational splits over the position some church leaders have taken.
and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:32 (NASB)
Where is the outcry of the Reformed and Regenerated? The silence from the people of God is in most cases deafening. Have we lost our collective voice or are we too intimidated by their rage to confront their sin? Has the Church gone soft on sin and determined to be passive and neither approve or disapprove in order to keep its members? Perhaps if we call it "a mistake" or an "error in judgement" we can fool ourselves into thinking God doesn't care if we are involved in this fight or not. If so, the Church is only fooling herself.
Those to claim to be the Church had better represent Jesus Christ, and represent Him righteously.
For we (Elder's) are God’s fellow workers; you (Church) are God’s field, God’s building...each man’s (Elder's) work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 1 Cor. 3:9,13 (NASB)
In other words, how have the Elders of the Church built up the church? Have they built with truth and righteousness or have they built with mealy mouthed doctrines of men? It is one or the other...it cannot be both...Despite any protestations to the contrary, when your shame is your honor there is no place for God in your life or in your church.