Some commentary regarding integrity, marriage, homosexuality, and World Vision

1 Corinthians 7
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inthebalance

The reading today touches on a handful of highly sensitive subjects, all controversial in nature. Be prepared.

Before reading this, you need to read the chapter in question, which is always linked at the beginning of my pieces.  My commentary is always in the context of the Bible. If you disagree with the text, it’s not my problem anymore.

Marriage is defined in the Bible (v. 2)

And not just in Leviticus. Or Genesis. Here it is, in all of it’s New Testament glory.

People’s problem is not with the Christian’s interpretation of marriage, but with the content of the Bible.  It’s pretty clear what the Bible says about marriage.  It’s not up to interpretation — God doesn’t allow for it here.

Definitively, a Christian should abide by the tenets of the Bible. And inherently, those who do not call themselves Christians are going to be indifferent. We should not hold the standards of a sanctified marriage to other parties, and likewise, we shouldn’t waffle with our own standards.

 

 

Don’t depart (v. 10)

I’ve been married for a mere five years. This makes me a rookie in the marriage department.

But it makes the truth no less true. Let not the wife depart, and let not the husband put away his wife. What I find astounding is how many Christians decide to ignore this truth, making divorce “okay” if it’s just not working out, or whatever reason they can come up with. This is compromise, and it ruins our credibility as people who purpose to preserve the definition of marriage.

 

This discussion is irrelevant to unbelievers (v. 15)

The Bible warns about great moral decline in what it calls the “last days.” Moral decline is nothing new.  We used to have propriety, but we’ve prostituted decency for cash, calling it archaic to not “let it all hang out.”

The pro-homosexual front is determined to get same-sex marriage legally recognized. It’s going to happen, and Christians will be able to do very little about it. In fact, any protest or picketing will only be interpreted as bigotry.

We’d love to control the outcome of all this, but we’re not supposed to. Our job as Christians is to love others and live the standard the Bible has established. Our lifestyle and actions towards others is our greatest testimony. If we profess belief in Jesus, we shall stand firm, while the rest of the world wavers. It’s always been this way, and it will continue. Expecting unbelievers to adhere to our principles is futile.

 

The servants of men (v. 23)

Many churches across America have hired women and homosexuals to preach from the pulpit and have called it “progress,” even though the Bible is quite clear about not allowing this. Indeed, the American church is subscribing to progressive thought; it’s riding the trend of the world’s moral compass and thought pattern, and we’ll garner the respect of communities and, inevitably, churches will get bigger.

But their whole motive is likability and relevance.  Churches are afraid to lose membership, reputation, and they fear looking old-fashioned (really, what church today doesn’t want to be “hip”?); and hey, science already disproved much of the Bible, so let’s just go with it, man. What’s the big deal?

My wife and I had a discussion about World Vision’s recent decision to begin hiring homosexuals. Why would a Christian organization do this? The LGBT community has celebrated this, while a fringe staunch group of Christian organizations have called them out for it. Their statement is documented here and here the best.

The key word is compromise.  Imagine you’re an organization that depends on funding from church groups across the country, and progressive thought has pinned you against the wall on the homosexual topic.  Churches find out you’re not jiving with the times and they threaten to pull their support.  What do you do?

You’re forced to choose between two principles in the Word: abstaining from homosexual practices or feeding the hungry and poor.  And World Vision chose the latter.

I have no problem with this decision.  What bothers me is their willingness to compromise integrity for money.

The progressive might see this hardened stance as ridiculous: “for God’s sake, they’re trying to feed the hungry! What’s wrong with you?”

People have also made comments about the whole homosexual argument that historically churches once (mistakenly) condemned mixed marriages, which is no big deal today, and that churches need to get on board with modern day civil rights. Because really, it’s about civil rights, the Constitution, and freedom! We were built on diversity — why do homosexuals have to be on the fringe?

Did God condemn mixed marriages?  He sure did — but the context makes the reason obvious.  In the Bible, God directly addresses the nation of Israel several times about not associating with women from other nations, but not just to keep their genetics intact.

The issue is not mixed races, but idolatry. In the Bible, God is keen on Israel’s inclination to worship the false gods of other nations, and He wants Israel to keep away from foreign women for that very reason. This is precisely why the throne is taken away from Solomon at the height of his fame — not because he had 700 wives and 300 concubines (who has time for that anyway?), which is egregious sin in itself, but because his heart turned from the Lord.

I am not bothered that World Vision is hiring homosexuals at all. Good for them — more churches will fund them again, and they’ll be able to feed more hungry people.  My concern is that they’ve given themselves over to money, and they’re pushing aside inconvenient principles to do it. This is not a Christian move.  This is a politically-correct move.

We are not called to serve men, or PC motives, or money, or progress.  We’re called to serve the Lord, who does not change.  This will definitely mean criticism, great condemnation, and in some cases even death. But we should not waver.

Had Jesus compromised — which He had several opportunities to do — He would never have ended up on the cross, and our way to salvation would have been lost.  Our own fate will be much less severe than the Lord’s, but we must be willing to hold on for whatever may come, even if it means taking a significant financial hit. If we intend to serve the Lord, He will see to it that the resources are available, and that He will bless us for it.

Have your say!

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1 Comment

  1. “Let not the wife depart, and let not the husband put away his wife. What I find astounding is how many Christians decide to ignore this truth, making divorce “okay” if it’s just not working out, or whatever reason they can come up with”

    After I was faced with the realization I was going to be divorced, I spend a lot of time dealing with this “putting away” – I researched it to understand what it meant. I was devastated to be divorcing and devastated to hear the constant refrain, “God hates divorce” and “let not the husband put away his wife”.

    In my research, I learned what “put away” meant. The husbands being referred to were leaving their wives – without benefit of legal divorce – and marrying other women. Their first wives, left alone but not legally divorced, were not free to marry; they had been “put away”. The Bible tells how God commands husband not to do this, but to set their wives free with legal divorce – allow them to be able to move on.

    This is a commonly misinterpreted passage that causes great heartache to those of us who are divorced without ever wanting to be divorced.

    Reply

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