The Little Rainbow That Could
Do you ever feel completely lost in the world? Like some outside source has pressed pause on your life, as the rest of the world races about. I am in a Starbucks in Toronto. From Toronto to Orlando, it appears that Rainbow flag manufacturers have been working overtime. This part of Toronto is steeped in gay culture. While some folks are completely at home in such a place, I'm a little apprehensive and to be honest, a little hopeless. There are Canadian, rainbow flags, bank advertisements, businesses and even governmental organizations all proclaiming alliance with the gay community by the simple juxtaposition of their logos with rainbow flags. One ATM stop sported a rainbow bulls-eye painted on the sidewalk and bank building. In order to get cash you had to stand in the center of the rainbow. I thought, how prophetic, every human stands in the epicenter of rainbow-ic influence. It is all around us.
Almost overnight, LGBT influence grew exponentially, after the mass shooting in Orlando. The message of freedom from homosexuality that I preach, was shunned before, but most politely disagreed. Now any word spoken in opposition to the LGBTQ ideology stands a good chance of facing outright, religious persecution. When banks and businesses invest in promoting the gay agenda, they have power to negatively impact the lives of anyone who has an unfavorable opinion of the proliferation of gay influence. Can you imagine the power or the persecution if a bank or business tried to use it’s influence to proclaim the name of Jesus?
What might have initially started out as a push for equal rights has now festered into an all out push for influence, dominance, and ultimately power in the marketplace. Those influencing public opinion from gay circles aren't out to equalize culture. They are out to become the dominate voice in all rhetoric regarding sex, sexuality and religion, stifling all dissenting opinions by whatever means necessary.
Toronto has been eye opening. Yesterday in one part of the city there was a Jesus-fest and in another, people celebrating gay Pride. Interestingly enough, a group of influential people in the city tried to stop the Jesus event, but many petitioned and Jesus won. Imagine the backlash if Christian leaders had attempted to squelch the Pride event?
We are facing a time, not only in our country, but in the world where Christians need to be doing two things simultaneously. We need to be on our knees in prayer for the lost, not just for those in the gay community, but the lost in general. We must also continue to speak the name of Jesus and share our testimonies, despite the persecution. Hebrews 13:6 says "...so that I may say with confidence, the Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man can do to me." Every human needs Jesus. Not allah. Not Buddha. Not Love, Light and positive energy, for goodness sakes that sounds like a description for a new Microwave, anyway. Just Jesus. If we, as Christians presented a more approachable demeanor, maybe the lost would leave their false gods and flock to the voice of the One True God.
Not so many years ago, it was Christians proclaiming their faith in the public sector, while gay men and women celebrated quietly and cautiously in silence. I should know. I was one of those men, scared and afraid of Christians and suffering in silence. Now, many Christians share their faith with great trepidation, as the world proclaims allegiance and alliance with the LGBT gods. No person should cower in fear from another. Neither should the gay community call the stifling of Christian beliefs, tolerance, when their actions are more indicative of a dictatorship.
Christians must bring Jesus to the world in an effective way. The bible says that an effective, fervent prayer will accomplish much. It’s presumptuous to expect the world to come find Jesus where we are. Some of them have been to our churches and for whatever reason have left. Those who haven't been to our churches base their opinions off conversations with unsatisfied, church customers.
Whatever the case, someone has got to swallow their pride and reach over the burgeoning wall that's been under construction for decades. They may steeped in Pride, but we are seasoned with the Holy Spirit. Greater is He is that is in us people, than he that is in the world. Remember? The word calls us to leave the 99 and search for the one. Jesus says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” He never said, fight to prove you are right.
I think of the scripture in Ephesians 6:12 that says "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Satan is the enemy. Humans are affected by the spiritual influences whether they believe in it or not. We believe, so we know how to fight for the lost, even as they hate and disagree with us. They are still beloved by God and so talented and gifted by God.
Even though I feel deep love and pity for my gay friends, I am troubled to see Orlando synonymous with the rainbow flag. It is a Godly symbol that has been hijacked by the gay community and promotes oppression and rebellion, not freedom. My heart aches as a banner of brokenness flies over Orlando. Yet, I am reminded that the hurting and lost need our prayers, not resentment and cold shoulders. My church and others have stepped up to embrace the needs of those affected by the tragedy. A tragedy committed against a community I used to call home. I am grateful that churches are placing value on individual lives. I still have friends in the gay community. I would mourn their loss if they were senselessly taken from this world.
Satan uses every angle to drive a wedge between God and the God’s creation. He uses death and destruction. He occasionally dabbles in emotional manipulation. Ministry to the LGBTQ+ community will look different in Orlando going forward. As a Christian man who walked away from the sin of homosexuality, I am called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. That gospel calls people to repent of their sin, not tolerate it. For sure I will offend with tales of my journey, though not my intention. The gospel is offensive, because it points out our carnal nature and commands us to live better. When Oprah says live better everyone cheers. Let Jesus speak the same words and people start reaching for their stones. Yet, the gospel can be preached with love and compassion more effectively than with anger and vengeance.
I believe that a time of persecution is coming for Christians in America who speak the truth in regards to all sin. If they would begin to speak the truth rather than slink into silence. God is our fortress in times of trouble. The enemy of God seeks to destroy lives and attack anyone who lives according to the gospel of Christ. God does not leave us hopeless and lost. He sent Jesus as the answer to the question of our sin. He also gave us commandments in his word.
“If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14