Monday, 25 May 2015

Lifting my eyes to God in these wicked days

I have been greatly grieved by events of the past week. The judge ruled against Ashers bakery and then Ireland voted 'Yes' in the referendum to allow same sex marriage. 

I have been following the Ashers case and I support them in their stand. Right throughout the case they have maintained that the message they were asked to put on the cake, and not the customer, was the problem. I listened to the news. I have watched video clips online. I went to the Waterfront Hall on 24th March 2015 to show my support for the MacArthur family but was one of the hundreds of people outside unable to get in. I heard Daniel MacArthur speak briefly to those who remained outside that night, to thank us for our support. At no time did I see him incite hate towards the gay community. Rather, I saw him conduct himself with dignity and with respect to those who did not agree with his stance. So, my heart was saddened when the judge ruled against Ashers bakery, saying they had discriminated against a gay customer. But I do believe that God will honour them for their stand.
The LORD says, Them that honour Me I will honour. (1 Samuel 2v30 KJV)
Then, Ireland voted 'Yes'' to allow same sex marriage, with a greater majority than I expected. Yes, this is Catholic Ireland that was known across the world for its more conservative views on marriage. Current opinions, especially of young people, are changing. Sadly, they not turning in favour of Biblical principles. However, I do praise God that there are those in Ireland from many different backgrounds, Christian and non-Christian, who voted 'No'. But in all this, I wonder where this leaves those who sincerely hold religious views. Must they be forced to act against their conscience? I do feel that there does need to be some sort conscience clause or legal ruling to protect their rights, too.

Why am I so sad? Well, when people give witness in the courts of this country they are asked to swear by the Bible that they will tell the truth, the whole, truth and nothing but the truth. I have read that Book many times and in it I see very clearly:
  • God ordained marriage in Genesis between one man and one woman to procreate and raise children.  God our Creator defined marriage and, therefore, no one has the right to redefine it.
  • The Lord Jesus Christ upheld marriage to be between one man and one woman (Matthew 19v4-5)
  • Nowhere does the Bible say that God is pleased with homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
  • Throughout the pages of the Bible homosexuality is shown to be a sin. Irrespective of what arguments are raised, the bottom line is: homosexuality is a sin against God and needs to be repented of as sin....just like every other sin.
  • In the Old Testament homosexuality was punishable by death but Christ has taken the punishment for ALL sin when He died on the cross. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from ALL sin (1 John 1v7).
  • Some New Testament Christians had been guilty of homosexuality and were forgiven by the Lord (1 Corinthians 6v9-11).
  • We are not to hate homosexuals. 
So in the light of this, I ask, 'Why swear by a Book in a court of law if you do not accept what it teaches?' But, also, knowing that the Bible is God's standard of faith and practice for our lives, I'm saddened when it is legislated against. Take the Bible, read it for yourself, asking God to show you what is truth.

Another thing that saddened me was some comments I read about the rainbow in the sky seen over Dublin on Saturday. It was suggested that Jesus was approving the 'Yes' result in the referendum. But may I point out to you, firstly, that Jesus does not act contrary to His Word. Secondly, the rainbow was given by God to show to the world that He will never send another worldwide flood (Genesis 9v8-17). Thirdly, God judged the great sinfulness of people in Noah's day by destroying the whole world with a worldwide flood (Genesis chapters 6-9). May I suggest that God was reminding people that He does judge sin.

So what should I do because of these sad events? Be downcast, looking at all the darkness of sin around, thinking everything is hopeless? Sit and moan and grumble and complain? Show animosity to those I disagree with? No! No! No! I will lift my eyes far above all these sad events unto the Almighty Creator who is Sovereign over all. Just as the psalmist said,
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121v1-2 KJV)

What do we need to lift our eyes to the LORD for?
  • He is grieved far more than any of us can imagine at sin but we can trust Him to work for His glory.
  • God blesses obedience and punishes disobedience. It is not for me to presume how or when God will judge Ireland. But we need to cry to Him for mercy upon Ireland.
  • Wisdom for parents raising young children
  • Young people will get to know the Word of God and the God of the Bible, and stand for Him with conviction.
  • Ashers and anyone else who finds themselves in the position of being forced to do something inconsistent with their religious beliefs.
  • That God would move in a mighty way throughout all of this island saving souls from all walks of life, irrespective of their background or sexuality

May I point out: I do not write this blog out of hate in my heart for anyone in the gay community or to incite hatred of them.