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Wiping the Shame from Christ’s Face

When sinners flaunt their sin, it is to be expected.  The heathen rage, Psalm 2 tells us, “against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,  Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”  So the image of a mostly naked man painted in rainbow colors above a headline saying that hell will be fun, which came out after the sorry Supreme Court Ruling on marriage, is not a surprise.  The heathen rage.

What is not to be expected is the support the heathen garner from those who claim the name of Christ.  Tony Compolo, famous for the sermon, “It’s Friday, Sunday’s Comin’” has come out in open support of gay marriage.   David Neff, former chief editor of Christianity Today, and Jim Wallis of Sojourners have also come out in support. The Episcopal Church (U.S.) has officially accepted gay marriage.  And now we have Jimmy Carter saying, “Jesus would approve gay marriage.”

This is not the first time that those who profess to be Christians follow the lead of the heathen.  Following is a brief excerpt from Richard Wurmbrand’s story in Tortured for Christ:

“The Communists convened a congress of all Christian bodies in our Parliament building. There were four thousand priests, pastors, and ministers of all denominations-and these men of God chose Joseph Stalin as honorary president of this congress. At the same time he was president of the World Movement of the Godless and a mass murderer of Christians. One after another, bishops and pastors arose and declared that communism and Christianity are fundamentally the same and could coexist. One minister after another said words of praise toward communism and assured the new government of the loyalty of the Church.

“My wife and I were present at this congress. Sabina told me, ‘Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ! They are spitting in His face.’  I said to her, ‘If I do so, you lose your husband.” She replied, “I don’t wish to have a coward as a husband.’

“Then I arose and spoke to this congress, praising not the murderers of Christians, but Jesus Christ, stating that our loyalty is due first to Him.”

If those Romanian churchmen were spitting on Christ, what can be said of the churchmen and professing evangelicals in our day who with vain words endeavor to sanctify what is hateful to God?  How can the name of Christ be invoked to sanction that which will consign men and women to an eternity where “the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched?”

When years ago Dan Rather, then anchor of CBS evening news, nodded and smiled in approval of a gay men’s chorus that the news was promoting in their long cultural agenda against the LORD and his anointed, it was disturbing but not unexpected.  It was the exhibition of those “who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Rom. 1:32).

But now we have denominations who are approving the abominable.  We have professing evangelicals who are accepting that which is unseemly.  Worse, we have the statement that Jesus himself would approve of that which violates what he stated was from the beginning was to be between a man and his wife.

Jesus absolutely does not approve gay marriage.  Jesus Christ is the sinless Son of God, who is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Heb. 7:26). Those who bring him down to the level of some radical reformer merely challenging the power structure of the time are demeaning the most pure, the most holy, the most spotless One who ever walked on earth.

These perverted statements about Christ are not merely differences of opinion about how to interpret scripture.  They are an outright denial of the forthright truth of God’s word.  Yet, like Judas of old, these perverters of the truth would have us believe that they plant a kiss on the cheek of Jesus.  Instead, they are spitting in his face.

But cannot we allow that some good people will have legitimate differences of opinion on this?  They may read the Bible and come up with conclusions that are different.  Can we give them some leeway, here?  In a word, No.  If there are differences here, they are the differences between light and darkness.  If the conclusions are at variance, then it is the variance of Christ and the devil.

In the past I have given a lot of benefit of the doubt to those who have viewed scriptural applications differently.  But the idea that perversion is holy is a “bridge too far.”  This is beyond the pale.  This does not even qualify for a serious discussion.

The problems are twofold:  First, to defend sin is to demean Christ, who came to die for our sins.  If sin is no longer sin, then the sacrifice of Christ is no longer necessary.  The whole Gospel becomes irrelevant.  Second, it destroys any hope for those in the clutches of sin to find deliverance.  If they still have any hope for forgiveness, if they hold a flicker of desire that perhaps they can really be saved from the bondage of the flesh, if they hope that there may be a holy Savior who can set them free, this idea that their sin is now holy and acceptable will dash their inner longing for salvation.

When Jesus went to the cross, those responsible said that Christ was not who He claimed to be.  They particularly denied His deity and thus His holiness. So they crucified Him. Those who now place Jesus with those who accept sin as normal are in grave danger.  They are coming close to those warned of in Hebrews who wandered from the right path into error and left themselves without  a Savior, “seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Heb. 6:6).

The Christ of the Bible is the holy Son of God come in the flesh who never sinned but who died for the sins of men as the only perfect and acceptable sacrifice before the Father.  It is in that Christ and in Him alone that we have hope that our sins can be forgiven and that we can be saved “to the uttermost.”

So we lift up Christ to His rightful place.  The shame is on those who have gone away from the way of truth.

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