This weekend, we discovered that my middle son's favorite movie franchise has decided to promote the gay agenda. Apparently, a character in How To Train Your Dragon 2 is going to come out as gay and the movie makers are planning on developing this story line in HTTYD3. My son, and our family is sadly disappointed, to say the least, as we will absolutely not support such a decision by paying to see this movie. Here is a link to the article: click here for article
My wife and middle son are huge HTTYD fans, since the first movie. They have gotten posters, stuffed animals, Wii games, dvds and even bedding. HTTYD2 has been highly anticipated since it was announced and plans to go to the theater to view the film have been well under way. When news of a character in the film coming out as gay reached our house, my son was crestfallen, and he fully supported our decision to skip this movie. He asked me why the gays had to take this away from him. If you have read this blog, you know that we recently left the Boy Scouts of America over it's decision to allow openly gay boys to join the program. Leaving Scouts was hard on my son as he felt it was taken from him by a group of people who were attempting to promote a lifestyle that the Bible clearly calls sinful. In his mind, he saw this as just another thing the gays have stolen from him and he expressed anger toward the gay community.
I believe that the current trend we are facing in America will lead to a marginalization of Christians and Christian values that can only end in out right persecution of people of faith. What we hold as Biblical values is being called hate speech and it is only a matter of time before legislation passes that makes such speech open to prosecution. For the past 1700 years or so, it has been relatively easy to follow Christ in Western civilization. Most of the western world built it's laws and mores on morals found in the Bible. That is all changing and the change is happening far more rapidly than anyone expected. I recently read an article in which the Anglican church was lamenting the slide into immorality England was experiencing due to the policies of the current prime minister. Much the same could be said about American culture and the influence of our current political leadership. Suddenly, many Christians are finding their faith challenged and I fear outright persecution will be upon us before we know it.
The point I wanted to get across to my son, and the point I want to make here is 3 fold. First and foremost, Jesus told us to count the cost of following Him. Second, no matter how difficult and unfair this life may seem, heaven will be worth it . Third, we need to direct our anger in the right direction, not at people, but at the spiritual forces behind the evil that people do.
When Jesus saw that multitudes were following Him, He knew they were expecting utopia. Jesus did not come to establish a Utopia, He came to save that which was lost. As Jesus began to explain to the people that following Him came with a cost, they mostly abandoned Him. The Christian life was not meant to be easy, just look at the life of the Apostle Paul. For the first time in hundreds of years, Christians in the Western world will have to count the cost of discipleship and will have their faith tested in ways they never expected.
The best part of our faith is the reward that awaits us in heaven. Romans 8:18 says, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Our lives here are but a shadow of what is to come. This life, this world we live in, is temporal and nothing we gain here materially can come with us when we cross over into eternity. Eternity will be so amazing that we cannot comprehend it. As we see our culture turn on us, we have to keep heaven in sight and know that the best is yet to come. We can battle discouragement by keeping eyes on the prize that awaits us and looking forward to one day standing in the presence of our loving almighty God.
The third point is directing our anger properly and not allowing our zeal for God to translate into hatred for the lost, who need to see God's love through us. As we see people forming groups to promote things that God condemns and that harms society in general, we have to remember that the Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12 " For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Our battle is not with the lost souls but the evil force directing them, Satan. As we recognize our enemy is a spirit being, bent on our destruction, that brings the battle into a spiritual realm with prayer being our primary weapon. The people who are working hard to thwart God are pawns of Satan and are entitled to see God's love through us.
As I saw my son's anger being directed to a group of people, I took the opportunity to explain to him that those people are loved by God and God desires them to come to salvation. I believe the enemy creates factions so we get distracted from the true battle. If the church is busy directing anger toward the homosexual community, Satan wins a two fold battle. The first thing is we are attacking people that Christ loves and died for rather than showing His love and compassion toward them as people. How can a person be led to repentance and salvation if we, who are tasked with presenting the truth, are busy directing hate and anger toward them. The second thing is we become distracted from the Great Commission by focusing all our energies on side issues. We become focused on the symptoms rather than the disease. Lost people are not going to Hell because of a specific sin in their lives, they are going to hell because they have rejected Christ. Sinners do not reject Christ because of a specific sin in their lives, they have specific sin because they reject Christ. Our job is to lovingly present Christ and the Holy Spirit brings conviction and repentance.
We cannot ignore sin, we cannot endorse sin by purchasing entertainment that promotes sin and we cannot allow sin in the congregation. We must stand up against sin and injustice but we cannot attack people or groups of people, we need to figure out a way to balance presenting truth with demonstrating God's love. Yes, the conversation needs to take place that addresses sin in an individual's life, but that conversation needs to take place between two people who have established a relationship in which the goal of presenting Christ's love is central. Within the church, sin needs to be confronted, addressed and corrected directly, with the lost, we need to address sin in the context of Christ's love and sacrifice and allow the prompting of the Holy Spirit to direct that conversation.
In so many ways, we have failed to stand for truth and allowed the culture to turn a very bad corner and in so many ways, we have stood for truth in anger and in a spirit or hatred. It is imperative that we stand for truth, but not at the cost of the souls of the lost. We must pray for guidance to stand firm in love and keep the goal of making disciples our primary objective.