To the beleaguered, the defeated. The Christians whose newsfeeds have been a disordered-rainbow-colored mess of gloating and rub-your-face-in-it celebration. To those who see this as new legislation, damning for our culture. To those who have the foresight to see that the Gay Gestapo will not stop at bakers and florists but will extend their reign to pastors, private school administrators, Facebook posters, to you.
What are our reasons for dismay, and what is our hope?
1. Dismay: The Gay Rights Movement has commandeered the rainbow symbol and raised it high in proud defiance of the God who chose the rainbow to be a symbol of his covenantal love.
Hope: Noah’s Ark is not a sweet little story suitable for nursery decorations. God saw the vast wickedness of disobedient men and decided to destroy the world. But God preserved Noah and his family. The flag reminds the world that God is faithful to keep his promises. He is a God of wrath and judgment, but he sent Jesus to take that wrath for those who repent and believe. Though we all deserve to die for our sins, the rainbow flag reminds us – and the world – that God is gracious and merciful.
2. Dismay: God has sent this as a judgment to us (Romans 1:22-32). It has been said that hell is when God says to people: “Thy Will Be Done.”
Hope: The Lord Most High subdues nations under his feet. “He reigns over the nations. God is seated on his holy throne” (Psalm 42). God ordained the ruling yesterday. He is not caught off guard. He will not level us to ruin us. God loves the world, and “His dominion will extend from sea to sea … to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:9-10). His purposes will stand.
3. Dismay: There will be people who think that getting “married” will be fulfilling. Just like anyone who seeks fulfillment outside of Christ, they will not find it.
Hope: Some of them, refugees of the lies that have been propagated, will be called out of their lifestyles to join the body of Christ. Lord willing, we will have a wave of new converts who have beautiful testimonies. Rosaria Butterfield is one such convert.
4. Dismay: #LoveWins has taken over Twitter and Facebook. Rob Bell already made a mockery of this phrase. Love by the world’s definition – a gooey, warm, happy feeling that may or may not involve puppy dogs and ice cream – will not win. This definition of love leads people in an endless chasing-their-tails, trying to catch a feeling. Sadly, romantic love alone will not satisfy any of us and is not ultimately sustainable.
Hope: Real love, as in “God is love,” will win. Jesus won the battle over death and darkness when he rose from the grave. Love wins, and love will continue to win as God’s glory spreads like the waters covering the earth.
5. Dismay: We fear the coming trials.
Hope: “The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials, and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment.” God rescued Noah, Lot, the Israelites, and the entire city of Nineveh. (2 Peter 2)
6. Dismay: The false teachers of this age are “springs without water and mists driven by a storm… speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh” (2 Peter 2:17-18).
Hope: You, O Christian, are “like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought for it does not cease to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17).
Some Christians hold out no hope that our nation will repent. But man’s heart is in the hands of the Lord – the Lord turns it wherever he will, like channeling a stream (Proverbs 21:1). God was going to destroy Nineveh, but he stayed his hand. Nineveh repented, and so should we. God is eager to show mercy, eager to give grace. Nineveh was spared, and so can we be!
We need to repent, not of the world’s definitions of “hate” and “homophobia.” Repent of sin, as defined in the Bible. Read the Ten Commandments. We should repent of loving sin, hanging on to sin like a security blanket. Repent of letting the world define sin and love and marriage. Repent of wanting to appear loving to the world more than wanting to be loving according to the Bible. Repent of subjecting our children to the lies of this age. Love others, and as one act of love, call them to repentance. God is eager to forgive.
So though our news feeds are full of celebration and praise for sin, we can stand firm in Christ. We need not be anxious in these years of drought brought on by politically vocal springs without water. We know that our roots are deep in the stream of God’s grace. And though things look bad for Christianity, we are promised that “of the increase of his government and his peace there shall be no end” (Is. 9:7). Though we have lost this battle, we are winning the war, and ultimately, #lovewins.