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Perspective: Here I stand

The news on this day has been filled with stories related to the homosexual agenda. I am not stunned by the things I read. There is an aggressive agenda at work in America to not only make homosexual behavior acceptable, but also to discredit anyone who takes a different view as intolerant at best and totally ignorant and mean at worst. Consider three clear examples.

Greg Laurie is a very successful evangelical pastor and evangelist from the West Coast. He has been chosen to be honorary chair of the events for the National Day of Prayer. Homosexual groups have called for his dismissal as the chairman because his views are “out of step with what the majority of people of faith across this country believe.”

Pastor Laurie’s views, by the way, are simply accurate biblical views on the subject. This is just another clear evidence that all views are to be tolerated, except those that are conservative and biblical.

The Oklahoman reported that same-gender blessing ceremonies will now take place in some Oklahoma Episcopalian diocese. Scott Hamilton, who leads the Cimarron Alliance (a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender group) and who serves as associate pastor of the Church of the Open Arms in Oklahoma City, applauded the move: “We need to recognize all people of God and celebrate love between two people who love each other. It is especially important in Oklahoma when we have such intolerance voiced from the state Capitol, for a mainline denomination to stand up against that intolerance and say, ‘No. We believe that love is a gift from God and that it is a love to be celebrated in the Church.’”

I would suggest that when the Bible does not dictate church practice, the church practice is wrong. No amount of study or committee votes can rewrite the truth of Scripture. If Oklahoma Baptists cease to stand on the truth of God’s Word, I will cease to be an Oklahoma Baptist, and I suggest you leave with me. Don’t hold your breath—I know Oklahoma Baptists.

The last example is the coming out of a little-known and much-travelled basketball player named Jason Collins. The surprise is not that he exposed his homosexuality, but that the press and politicians fell into a swoon because of it. Some compared him to Jackie Robinson, who was the first black major league baseball player. Most egregious of all were the words of President Obama who called him a “hero.”

I do not reject Collins, but that does not mean I must approve of his lifestyle. If the president wants to call him a hero, that is his business, but I do not have to agree with him. As for me and my house, I would choose others as heroes. I would suggest that my friend who landed on Normandy Beach under a flurry of bullets and waded through dead comrades to attack the hill is a real hero. I would suggest that Robinson, who endured much because of the color of his skin, which he could not change, was a hero. When I think of heroes, I think of Karen Watson who died seeking to love the Iraqi people and share Jesus with them. Somehow, I just do not think of a hero as a person who finds pride in living a sinful lifestyle.

While I wish our nation would live by the truth of the Bible, I am not defeated when it chooses another way. My task, as a follower of Christ, is to live in the light of the Word of God and love all people. If the Word comes into conflict with cultural philosophies and practices, then I must and will stand on the Word. The consequences may mean I am misunderstood, marginalized and ridiculed. So be it—here I stand.

Anthony L. Jordan

Author: Anthony L. Jordan

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  • Amen!

  • Jim Lockhart

    Dr. Jordan:
    In your comments in the March 25, 2013, issue of the Baptist Messenger, you made a powerful statement about what Christians must do as the world changes around us, especially as it turns in favor of gay marriage. You wrote:
    “We must commit ourselves to walk in the Light as He is in the Light. Our walk must be measured by a fervent love for Christ and unswerving commitment to His truth. We must be willing to stand unflinchingly on the clear teaching of the Word of God whether popular or unpopular, whether received or rejected.

    We must speak the truth in love and accept with grace the consequences. We must find ways to serve and love those who find our positions repulsive. We can never forget that the Truth is not used as a hammer to crush, but as a chisel to transform a hard marble soul into the image of His Son, Jesus.”

    I was encouraged by your words because I believe we Southern Baptists, as well as the larger community of Evangelical Christians, have spent too much time venting our anger at a culture that has dramatically changed around us, bemoaning our loss of influence, and telling ourselves that we are entering a new age of persecution. I was encouraged by your words because they seemed like a call to a recollection of what it means to be a Christian in a hostile world, just like the world facing the first Christians. I thought perhaps now we can stop just being angry at the madness of the world and get on with being beacons of love and humility that will illuminate a crucified, resurrected, and ascended Jesus to a world gone mad in order to draw them toward an encounter with Jesus and the Word that will, in fact, be used not “as a hammer to crush, but as a chisel to transform a hard marble soul into the image of His Son, Jesus”.

    I agreed with you that we are going to have to “find ways to serve and love those who find our positions repulsive”. I was encouraged because it meant we might begin to consider the ways we can become a loving, righteous, and holy people, grounded in the Word and compelled to love by and through the Holy Spirit, so that we will see Jason Collins not as a little-known and much-travelled basketball player who has declared himself homosexual but as a man created in the image of God who, like us, desperately needs Jesus. I was hopeful that we could turn our attention to finding new ways to be loving, hospitable, and kind so that we would powerfully draw a lost world to Jesus in order to allow those who struggle with any worldly affliction (and I see same-sex attraction as a creational affliction) the opportunity to encounter the Truth that will set them free.

    Yes, the world has changed during our lifetime and our culture and fellow Christians are doing things we once thought unthinkable. We know what is wrong with the world but I believe now is the time to devote ourselves to something more than calling out what is wrong with the world; instead, we ought to endeavor to find the ways where we can encourage each other so that we, as a community of those in Christ, can find and strengthen the humility, love, and will necessary to draw a hurting and mistaken world to our communities of faith in order that they may truly see the rightness and love of Jesus.

    Your brother in Christ,
    Jim Lockhart
    Bethel Baptist, Norman

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