No matter how aesthetically pleasing a
worship service may be, if it's premise contradicts the clear
teaching of the Bible, then how could God be pleased?
While I enjoy a variety of Christian worship styles, I find
particularly beautiful high church Anglican (Episcopalian) worship.
I've been enthralled worshiping Christ at St. Paul's in London, at
Westminster Abbey, Christ Church in Oxford, and at the National
Cathedral in DC. The music, the liturgy, the majesty and beauty of
the buildings combine to provide an extraordinary experience.
I was privileged to attend Chuck Colson's memorial service at
the National Cathedral last year; the somber dignity of the program
in that holy sanctuary honored him richly.
So my heart sank last week when I saw the news -- that now our
will begin performing same-sex weddings.
What happens at the National Cathedral is a reflection of the
nation's spiritual state. In his First Inaugural address, George
Washington said: "…we ought to be no less persuaded that the
propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that
disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself
What is he saying? The father of our country (also an
Anglican/Episcopalian) was saying that we can't expect God to bless
us as a nation if we openly defy God's own laws.
We say God bless America -- but we're defying God's laws left
The Bible is very clear that homosexual behavior is wrong, as
are adultery and pre-marital sex.
The Bible is also clear that we're all sinners and can find
forgiveness and redemption through Christ. But this begins with
recognizing we are all sinners and need a Savior to forgive us and
transform our lives. A same-sex wedding begins with the premise
that repentance is not needed. People may approve of that, but does
God? If the Bible is no longer the source and authority for the
church, what is?
Suppose the National Cathedral were to have special services to
consecrate swingers -- to put their imprimatur on adultery. It
would be wrong. Even if a majority of Americans approved it, the
Lord would not. (I saw a recent headline that said the number of
Americans who see homosexual behavior as wrong shrank recently from
44 percent to 37 percent.)
The good news is that God's love reaches people in a variety of
situations, and redemption is happening (under the radar, in many
cases). In my work as a TV producer for Christian television and as
a radio talk host, I've had the privilege of interviewing a couple
dozen ex-homosexuals and lesbians. These are great men and women
who have had the courage to share their testimony of how Christ
changed them from the inside out. They represent thousands of
Americans alive today who have been so transformed.
I remember one of them said to me: "On Sunday I was in church,
looking all prim and proper, directing the choir. On Monday, I was
at park restrooms, looking for sexual hits."
He also said, "People in our culture do not know that
homosexuals and lesbians can change. It is a critical message, an
important message, and must be spoken."
But, of course, we're becoming so politically correct in our
society that soon it could be viewed as a hate crime for an
ex-homosexual to share his story of how Jesus changed him or
The spouse of one of the ex-homosexuals said to me, "If anybody
says that you cannot change from homosexual orientation to
heterosexual orientation, they're either ignorant or they're
Another man told our viewers: "I never dreamed that the
orientation would go away, that it would change, that it would get
me to the point in my life where it's not a temptation anymore."
His experience is apparently not the case of all ex-homosexuals,
but it was true for him.
Putting this in the larger context, the Bible prohibits all
sexual relationships outside of marriage. God's idea is one man and
one woman, as stated in Genesis 2:24: "Therefore a man shall leave
his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall
become one flesh." God's commands are for our good and
Today people sometimes say that Jesus never condemned homosexual
behavior. This only shows their ignorance of the Bible. When He
condemned pornea, He certainly condemned homosexuality to
His first century Jewish audience. Jesus condemned pornea
in Matthew 15:19 and Mark 7:21, from which our modern word
"pornography" is derived.
This word pornea is translated as "sexual immorality"
in some of our English translations, but it really stands for a
multitude of sexual sins -- condemned in the Old Testament law:
pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexuality, incest, and bestiality.
To say Jesus approved of homosexual behavior is an argument by
silence, and it falls short of the facts.
Our society can embrace the unrepentant, practicing homosexual
lifestyle all we want, but we're only fooling ourselves if we think
No matter how beautiful and aesthetically pleasing a worship
service may be, if it's premise contradicts the clear teaching of
the Bible, then how could God be pleased?
May God bless America -- with repentance and a Third Great
Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., with Truth in
Action Ministries, is co-host of and spokesman for "Truth that
Transforms with D. James Kennedy" (formerly "The Coral Ridge
Hour"). He has also written or co-written 23 books, including "The
Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed Our Nation" and
"Answers from the Founding Fathers." Jerry co-wrote (with Dr. Peter
Lillback) the bestselling "George Washington's Sacred
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