The Tulip Driven Life Podcast

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Christians, Tony Dungy's Persecution is On Us

By: Thomas F. Booher

I don't think enough Christian bloggers are blogging about the Christian contribution to the state of affairs in the United States today, Matt Walsh notwithstanding. I would say American Christians as a whole are apathetic, even though we like to talk  about being on fire for Jesus. That fire is usually outside the United Sates, one or two weeks a year on a "mission's trip" that largely consists of taking selfies with starving children to ensure God doesn't forget the good deeds we did there. 

We are more concerned about silly things that may or may not be biblical like social justice, AIDS, Israel, invisible children, warring around the world, or sex trafficking than we are about the much larger and directly biblical social concerns of abortion and, yes, gay marriage. Or just gay sex in general. Not that I care to know or interfere with the preference of two dudes and what they do in their shared bed. But what I do care about is their souls, and that requires that I detest homosexuality. That requires that I hate what God hates, and love what God loves (Ps. 97:10). That requires that I speak truth, and know how to speak truth into the world and to gay people concerning their being gay. That means that I call them to repent and show them how being gay is sin, not because we might find it icky, but rather because it is a violation of the way in which God has created man and woman, which is a reflection of His own glory. Yes, being gay speaks lies about the nature of God, and it overthrows his authority and will. That's why God hates it. And we must make that clear.  

But we are in a bad way as American Christians. We love getting divorces, having affairs, fornicating, viewing pornography. And we are ambivalent toward children. We don't like abortion, but we don't hate it like we should, and we don't speak against it as much as we ought. Further, while we don't want others aborting their babies, we don't care to start our own families. We put it off until our late 20's or early 30's, for the sake of financial stability supposedly. We may not even be aware that God says that children are a blessing, our heritage and reward from God (Psalm 127:3). While this reminds us of God's sovereignty over the womb, it also teaches us that we should love children, and love having bunches of them! Where else in Scripture is there such a clear and attainable blessing from God than right here within the confines of heterosexual marriage (and yes, that's being redundant).

Children are a blessing because God has made covenant with us and our children. We proclaim the gospel to our children, teach them and raise them in the ways of the Lord as we lie down and as we rise up (Deut. 6:1-9), and we trust that God will bring our children to faith through our teaching them about Christ, because He has covenanted with our family. 

Yes, you see, homosexuality is an abomination because it destroys the family. It sterilizes it. Man's helpmeet is woman, not another man. And woman is suited to help man, not another helpmeet. But today marriages, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are often not really about love anyways. They are about selfishness, about using one another for pleasure, and nothing more. 

Our job as Christians is to proclaim the gospel in the spheres we have been called. This is harder I believe than street evangelism, because when you start evangelizing your co-worker or boss, you have to see them again the next day. There is real accountability. That is the kind of cross-bearing that all Christians are called to, and some will be called to preach on the streets. But firstly we all are called, if we desire marriage, to be fruitful and multiply, and in so doing we fill the earth and can subdue it. Truly, God's first plan for growing His kingdom has been and always will be through the family, from generation to generation. 

Now I saw where some people were saying that the reason Tony Dungy's son committed suicide must have been because he was gay. What a horrible thing to say. But what if it was? Does that change anything? No, homosexuality is still sin. If Tony Dungy lovingly rebuked his son and told him it was sin, and that resulted in his son killing himself, so what? So what? It's sad and awful, but should Dungy have not done so? Should Dungy have lied or blurred his position on the distraction that Michael Sam would be due to his homosexuality? No, but because Dungy is a known Christian and didn't say that men liking other men is worthy of taking a chance on and embracing, he is now a bigot and hater of all gay people. The stakes are raised, but Christians, we let them get this high by our silence and hypocritical lifestyle! 

I think the most fundamental doctrine that American Christians need to recover is this: That God desires His own glory more than our salvation. American Christians have an awfully hard time accepting this. It is because we think that we have the willpower to choose Christ ourselves, and that God desperately wants our decision, our vote if you will. If we elected Christ rather than He electing us, then of course we get to retain our individualism. After all, we enlisted Christ, He didn't enlist us. He meets our needs; we don't meet His desire for us to glorify Him above all else. Because if we did, we would glorify Him for giving us saving faith since we could never produce it without first being given the heart to do so. 

Speaking out against abortion and homosexuality glorifies God, assuming we do it within a Christian framework and armed with the true gospel. The true gospel proclaims that God glorifies Himself by saving His elect through the death of the Son, and that He will glorify Himself through the damnation of the reprobate, and all who have faith in Christ are freely justified and forgiven and bring God glory through their salvation. That is the message the world needs, that America needs. 

In the end we American Christians suffer from the same thing the homosexuals do: sin. We are sinners, so we are selfish and think that our desire is right and good and God's will doesn't matter. So while they are gay, we are adulterers. While they have abortions (and sadly so do we), we refuse to even believe that children are blessing enough to sacrifice for them (and as Americans we are richer than about 99% of people who have ever lived). In our straight marriages it's more about us, the self, than it is about our spouse. And in their gay marriages, by the very virtue of their demand we call it a "marriage", they proclaim that it is more about themselves than the one they share the bed with. 

Tony Dungy's days are numbered. Either he must backtrack and say that being gay is not only okay, but a wonderful thing and not sin, or he must lose his job (and maybe one day, his freedom). In short, the demands will be not merely the tolerance of homosexuality, but the celebration of it. And we will be asked to do the same, or suffer the consequences. 

We must not call good evil and evil good. We must stand on the Bible, the Word of God. We must preach the gospel to the world and live before them as godly Christians. We must have children, love them and teach them about Jesus so that the future generation will be more faithful and bold than ours, by God's grace, for His glory. 

Until we do this we will only continue to see more Tony Dungy's getting crucified in the public square.