Does it really get better?
I was watching American Idol. There really wasn’t anything else on last night, and watching AmIdol gave me fodder for conversation with Susan later (since she was watching it with her girl friends in LA). Then a commercial I believe sponsored by Google Chrome came on. My heart cried, and I’m pretty sure God’s heart cried, too.
“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:24-32 ESV).
It is incredibly politically incorrect to say so, but the world is telling a lie. They “have exchanged the truth about God for a lie.” When women exchange “natural relations for those that are contrary to nature” and men give up “natural relations with women” and are “consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men” and say it is “okay” and suggest that while there may be hard times in it at first it really will get better, those women and men are living and telling a lie.
At the core of this lie is a greater lie. Despite the fact that there is not a shred of evidence that sexual orientation is genetic, the world and the father of all lies continue to tell us, to tell our children, that “gay” and “lesbian” and “transexual” are how some people are born. They continue to tell the lie that being being homosexual has nothing to do with choices and is all about how we are wired. They continue to tell us that our sexual orientation is chosen for us by our genetics and the only natural thing to do is live out that orientation.
The Bible does not see us that way. While it is true that we are all sinners, separated from God from conception, it is also true that our moral labels come from how we behave and not how we are wired. I am not a murderer because I was born that way. I become a murderer when I choose to take a life. I am not an adulterer because I was born that way or even because I am heterosexual and desire to have sexual relationships with a woman. I become an adulterer when I, as Jesus said, lust after a woman to whom I am not married or have sexual relations with a woman to whom I am not married. I am not a thief because I want to take something that is not mine. I become a thief when I steal something.
The same is true, from a Biblical perspective with homosexuality. Homosexuality is not an inborn quality any more than murder or adultery or thievery is. I am not a homosexual because I like men or because I hate women. I become a homosexual when I engage in sexual activity with someone of my same gender whether that becomes a life style or not. We buy into the lie about homosexuality when we agree with the world and the father of lies that people are or are not “gay” or “lesbian” because of their inner nature. Besides the fact that we are all by nature sinful, the specific sin is not in the nature but in the act of disobedience.
Like any act of disobedience, the homosexual act finds its roots in a rejection of God and the Word of God that brought all things into being. When we reject the Creator and begin to worship the creature instead of the Creator, God the Creator abandons us to our perversions. When we replace the truth of God with our lies, it becomes completely “natural” to do as we please even to either practice our sexuality our of God’s context or to condone it when others practice their sexuality our of God’s context. In either case, the offense is the same. It should grieve our hearts as certainly it grieves the heart of God that His creature has rejected Him.
While it may be true that over time the one who lives apart from God’s plan will eventually become more and more comfortable with that life, it is also true that such a life results in only greater separation from God. In this life, apart for any assent to a life to follow, things may indeed “get better.” But if we are to deal honestly with the Biblical truth that there is more than this life, then we must be haunted by that truth. If we are to deal honestly with the Biblical reality of eternal separation from God, then we must seek for a different kind of getting better. What we will find from God is that the only getting better is made possible for us in the unconditional forgiveness for our disobedience that is made possible for us by the gracious death of Jesus and proven for us by His resurrection from the dead. Apart from this gift there is no getting better for any of us no matter what our condition may be. God calls us to repent of our rejection, to confess our desperate need for Him, and to be changed to His likeness by the restorative power of forgiveness.
Yes, it does really get better.