Many of us can feel the noose drawing ever tighter. Two weeks ago Franklin Graham wrote of America's spiritual cliff.
"Since the recent election, we’ve seen same-sex couples lining up at courthouses in several states to receive their marriage licenses, and hundreds of people gathering in public places to light up marijuana cigarettes in the states where it has just been decriminalized. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The moral decline we see on television programs—blatant immorality, senseless violence, media-friendly gay and lesbian behavior—is just a reflection of the moral corruption that has infected our entire nation. These are indeed dark days ... but there is hope. ... “For far too long, as a nation we have neglected – and even rejected – the Word of God and His commands. Yet the Scriptures are mighty, able to penetrate even the most hardened and darkened hearts with convicting, life-giving power. This is the only cure for a sin-sickened country that is about to slip into a moral abyss, and it is why we must proclaim the Good News.”Graham was reacting to the news like this:
Gay Marriage Bills Introduced in Rhode Island General Assembly
Many weddings as gay marriage becomes legal in Md.
Maine same-sex couples marry in first few hours of law
Episcopal bishop expresses Christian support for Illinois same-sex marriage bill
This next article talks about the Caribbean island of Saba becoming a tourist destination for homosexual couples since legalizing same-sex marriage. I guess it's where they go to "honeymoon".
Small municipality legalizes same-sex unions and gains popularity
Or as this article from a homosexual magazine simply states:
Tiny Island Offers Big Gay Welcome
So feeling burdened with all this immorality, Mr Graham spoke up on December 27, 2012, and when 2013 came to pass a few days later the above articles show the homosexual lobby didn't waste time leaping onto the beast to cement their victories. Then Passion 2013 happened. I'd remarked at the time that analyzing the multi-day conference aimed at youth held in the Georgia Dome and organized by founder Louie Giglio had brought up in me personal grief and spiritual distress. Even more so than when usually analyzing a discernment conference or study, this one laid me low. I wrote about it four times. "This is a big one," I'd thought. I had no clue why. Only subsequent events revealed that this issue is still reverberating in the hellish halls of demonic doings.
God knew that one of the outcomes of the conference, which also focuses on solving cultural problems like human sex trafficking, would come to the attention of the man currently occupying the Oval Office, Barack Obama. Obama tapped founder and Passion City Church pastor Louie Giglio to pray the benediction at his inauguration. Giglio was not chosen because he is a conservative pastor, or that he is a preacher of the word, but because Giglio brought the issue of slavery to the forefront and had incited 60,000 youth to raise over 3M to stop it. Raising awareness of a cultural issue of slavery was the reason Giglio was asked, not because Obama was looking forward to being bathed in a joyful prayer issued from the lips of a man who preaches Jesus. As a matter of fact the person who he chose to deliver the prayer at Invocation was a woman and a layperson. Not Christian clergy.
The excitement of the evangelicals was short-lived anyway, those who believe Mr Giglio still preaches a solid Gospel message, that is. The next day Mr Giglio backed out because 20 years ago Mr Giglio said that homosexuality is a sin. ABC News reported it this way:
"Giglio’s mid-90s sermon uncovered by ThinkProgress"... Uncovered? Like, it was hiding? Even Giglio himself used shaming language by saying that "due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15-20 years ago," Surfaced? Like it was hidden under something? A basket maybe? (Matthew 5:15).
Anyway ThinkProgress "uncovered the sermon and titled their resulting news article this way- "Anti-Gay Preacher Tapped for Obama's Inaugural Benediction Withdraws After Firestorm of Public Outrage."
Apparently the homosexual lobby took issue with the remarks Mr Giglio made in his sermon from 1995, it caused a firestorm, and Mr Giglio quit, saying that he didn't want the firestorm to overshadow his message. Giglio wrote in a press release, "The prayer I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration".
As an aside, I won't comment specifically on Mr Giglio's decision, though I have many opinions on it. Mr Al Mohler and Mr Russell Moore and Ms Erin Benziger all wrote on the issue from various perspectives, and wrote quite well. I don't want to add to the general confusion by throwing in my 2 cents which would really be one cent. But I would like to say one thing: that the furor that results from preaching sin and redemption did not stop Paul from preaching where and when the Holy Spirit told him to. Even after getting stoned and left for dead, after being revived by the Holy Spirit, Paul got up and went back in to face actual mobs, (Acts 14:19-20) not just a day's worth of internet criticism.
The issue of this essay is that with that Inauguration brouhaha, it is plain to see that the homosexual lobby has morphed into our state church. And we must all worship or die. Mr Moore wrote that the Inauguration Committee's bowing to the Homosexual lobby indicate a new State Church is being born. It is. It surely is. It may as well be called The Church of Perpetual Perversion. Moore wrote,
"the new state church requires a “license” of embracing sexual liberation in all its forms."
This new day of bowing to the small minority's insistence that homosexual behavior and other sexual sin in all its forms must be worshiped, embraced and exalted was akin to the immorality in Seneca's time.
Seneca the Roman philosopher and statesman lived from 4BC to 65AD, overlapping in adulthood with Jesus's time and when the Church was born. He was adviser to Caligula and Nero. The depths of licentiousness and homosexuality had reached alarming levels, alarming even a veteran Roman. Seneca wrote,
"All is full of criminality and vice; indeed much more of these is committed than can be remedied by force. A monstrous contest of abandoned wickedness is carried on. The lust of sin increases daily; and shame is daily more and more extinguished. Discarding respect for all that is good and sacred, lust rushes on wherever it will. Vice no longer hides itself. It stalks forth before all eyes. So public has abandoned wickedness become, and so openly does it flame up in the minds of all, that innocence is no longer seldom, but has wholly ceased to exist."
It seems that the abandonment of moral behavior listed by Seneca are the same ones today. The Holy Spirit warned us that this day would come. Every society since Paul penned the famous words in Romans has been at risk for this deadly trajectory. We are in it now, at the end of it really, barely hanging on to the period punctuating the final word in the verses which spell our doom. Here they are:
"Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." (Romans 1:32)
Paul had just finished outlining what happens to a society that allows sexual sin to run rampant. Here is the progression from Romans 1:18-31,
1. They knew God but denied Him, therefore their thinking became futile & their hearts were darkened. No outward behavior yet.
2. They claimed to be wise, going against God's standards. God made them fools.
3. They exchanged things of God for things of nature and worshiped the creation. Still inward, secret sins.
4. So God gave them over to their sexual desires in impurity. Those would be fornication and adultery. Now the behavior is following the heart's evil desires.
5. Their passions became dishonorable- women with women and men with men. So, it gets worse.
6. They still won't acknowledge God, so He gave them a debased mind. What it is saying here is that the act of homosexuality should be so shocking to the person, that it should jolt them senseless and they should be repenting about now. Acting on unholy desires should have been an indicator to them as to the deepening of their perversions. But still, they persist in it.
7. And then they are filled with all manner of other unrighteousness, which the verse goes on to list. The list is long. (Romans 1:29-31).
8. Finally, they not only approve of their actions but encourage others to do it also.
Augustus Tholuck's "Nature and Moral Influence of Heathenism" studied the influence of heathenism upon the lives of heathens, particularly Rome and Greece. He wrote that in breaking loose from the Holy God of Christians, not in their wildest intoxications would they imagine the excesses that sexual sin would go. The most unbridled, indiscriminate, and disgusting licentiousness rose up, and were not only openly practiced but specifically encouraged. (As Romans 1:32 said they would). Further, these practices were facilitated by the customs and institutions of heathenism, such as government. Tholuck wrote that this almost inevitably led to the grossest of superstitions on the part of the people. In Rome, as sexual sin and perversions increased, the number of deities increased dramatically. It also led to unbelief, disgust and contempt for Christianity on the part of the educated. Worst, the more that licentiousness and perversion arose, the more men yielded themselves up. (Source, "Elements of moral philosophy" by Jasper Adams and August Tholuck's "Nature and moral Influence of Heathenism").
The more they sin, the more they want, and the more they want, the more that men yield themselves. This speaks to me of a trajectory that has a tipping point. At some point the snowball can't be stopped from rolling faster and faster down the hill and the bundle of sexual perversions endemic in society becomes an avalanche. Seneca wrote, 'much more of these is committed than can be remedied by force...' evoking to my mind a tidal wave of immorality that sweeps away all in its path. We're there now.
In seeing how far homosexuality, incest, pederasty and other such sins would go, Tholuck recorded that the Emperors of Rome, who themselves considered themselves deity, practiced such licentiousness as the world had hardly seen:
Caligula- established a brothel in the palace and caused a toll to be paid to himself,
Nero: drove through Roman streets with his naked mistress,
Messalina (Claudius's wife) commended herself to all men for pay, and entered into a contest with the highest paid prostitute in the city (and won),
Commodus- lay with his sister and killed her.
As Adams and Tholuck wrote, heathenism's sway allowed the vices and sufferings of humankind to continually increase. "Heathenism profanes the image of God in man." (A. Tholuck). After its tipping point, the only way to stop it is Jesus. This was evidenced in the flood in Genesis, with the warning that man's inclinations had become evil all the time. (Genesis 6:5). It was evidenced in the excesses of Rome occurred during a period just before and during and just after Jesus's coming, when He spent a great deal of His ministry casting out demons. And we have the warning that in the future (now?) that the coming of the Son of Man will be when the days once again become like the Days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39).
"For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man."
But here's the thing-- The people of Genesis 6 were sinning so badly, yet were so unaware of impending wrath in the Flood, that they were all surprised when it occurred. It will be like that again, when Jesus comes again.
The days are like the ancient Roman days, it seems to me. Public prostitution, licentiousness galore (The homosexual festivals at various cities around the nation are worse than Nero just driving around with his naked mistress...), homosexuality taught in schools and accepted and promoted by the
I wrote up above that "Only subsequent events revealed that this issue is still reverberating in the hellish halls of demonic doings." I believe this is why those in the discernment ministry felt so deeply that passion 2013 was something deeper, with more going on than the eye or ear could detect. In hindsight we now can connect some dots. The progression went like so: From the Democrat platform affirming deep immorality, to the election win of Obama, to the passage of gay marriage laws in many states, Passion 2013's focus on slavery, which caught the President's attention and caused him to issue an invitation to give the benediction at the inauguration, to the LGBT Two Minutes Hate, to the backing down of the pastor in the face of gay fury, finally revealing the new state church of homosexuality.
I wrote last October that Dr. John MacArthur was shocked at what he saw at the Democratic convention. He said in his sermon "Homosexuality and the Campaign for Immorality", "the very things that God hates and that bring down God’s judgment were affirmed as part of the Democratic Party platform. Open sex with government-provided contraception, murder of babies in wombs, God left out of the platform, and homosexual behavior even, advocating homosexual marriage--an oxymoron, since that’s impossible. ... I don’t know how much time America has left, I really don’t. But we’re on a course described here as God casting us out. The land has become defiled."
This is more true today than in October, by a mile. Things are happening so fast now.
Preachers and other Christians strive to be measured when preaching homosexuality as a sin. They try to qualify it by repeating that homosexuality is 'one of many sins', 'we all sin', 'we all have something to repent of'. While all that is surely true, and the bible makes it clear that all sins will keep an unrepentant person from heaven, and that homosexuality itself isn't a greater sin than any other, I do believe homosexuality is a special case.
Rev. Matt Slick wrote,
"Unlike other sins, this sexual sin has a judgment administered by God Himself: He gives them over to their passions (Romans 1:26-28). This means that their hearts are allowed to be hardened by their sins. As a result, they can no longer see the error of what they are doing. Without an awareness of their sinfulness, there will be no repentance. Without repentance, there will be no forgiveness. Without forgiveness, there is no salvation."The Romans passage shows us that after they are filled with perverse lusts, then all manner of other unrighteousness comes in. (Not that people who are not homosexual aren't sinners). But Paul spent almost an entire chapter outlining what happens when a society caves into perverse lust. That, plus the example of Sodom's destruction (Genesis 19), plus the subsequent mentions of Sodom as being judged specifically as a reminder (Jude 1:7; Deuteronomy 29:23; Jeremiah 50:40 ), do indicate that when a society passes a tipping point with regard to perverse lusts, it is a symptom that is greater and has more impact than when other sins reach epidemic proportions. Remember Seneca's shock at his own countrymen's behavior.
If anything else, the 'Giglio imbroglio' as Mohler termed it, shows us that the State Church of Homosexuality, Lesbianism, Transgender, and Just Plain Weird (LGBT for short) is now open, and its members will expect you to worship in it at their convenience. Pick up a rainbow pin at the lobby, and don't forget to bow to the Idolater in Chief as you pass his statue. It is a small church, but mighty in voice. Its clamor has caused many a good fellow to cover their ears to the din, thereby also shutting out the Good Voice. Their members will welcome you with open arms- as long as you approve of all that goes on. They are very good at the Two Minutes Hate.
[The Two Minutes Hate from George Orwell's dystopian book 1984, is an assembly during which Party orators whip the populace into a frenzy of hatred against their enemies and to preserve their version of cultural unity.]
When a society descends to the levels which Seneca described, and we are there today, can judgment be far behind?