commentary: The Continuing Slide Into Liberalism
The Homosexual Surge Into Churches
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 24-Aug-13; 11 minutes
I received confirmation from an unexpected source regarding something that I mentioned in last week's commentary. The confirmation was, I believe, from an article from Focus on the Family. My last week's comment was taken from the author of a book comparing the real and possible results of the red state/blue state voting alignments. One of those alignments clearly revealed that city people are very strongly liberal in their voting patterns, contrasting strongly with country folk, who are almost overwhelmingly more conservative in their voting patterns.
So strong are these patterns that in many states virtually every county in a state may vote red—that is, conservative or Republican—while the big city counties vote blue—that is, liberal or Democratic— and the state as a whole will be won by the blue, liberal votes in just a few counties.
One of the author's conclusions, which was not dwelled upon but nonetheless mentioned, is that the spirit in cities converts people to social liberality, at least partly because the city dwellers moved into the cities from the overwhelmingly conservative country farm areas of the state. In other words, they were conservative when they came, but they converted to liberalism.
What I read this past week that appears to confirm the author's suggestion was formed from the result of a group of Mexican immigrants—a large number; both legal and illegal—living in the Southern California area. Apparently, they were surveyed at random without respect to whether they were legal or illegal. But I believe that the article stated that their estimate was that most of those surveyed were legal. This was not the first time that this survey was conducted, and the purpose of the second survey was to know whether any changes had occurred when compared with the first survey. I do not know how many years passed between surveys, but the second survey clearly showed that changes had indeed occurred.
One part of the survey focused on questions concerning religious beliefs and practices and clearly showed that the longer the immigrant lived in the United States, and mostly in the heavily populated Los Angeles area, the more liberal they became in beliefs and practices.
Mexico has a long history of being solidly Orthodox Catholic, and the people solidly conservative in their practice of Catholic church doctrines. However, after a fairly short period of time in the United States—perhaps as short as 5-10 years—the people have become—catch this—non-practicing Catholic. That is quite a change. Though they claim that they are Catholic, they are no longer actively practicing it as a way of life. You see, the liberality has set in since being in Los Angeles.
I want to move on to a related subject that was emailed to me early this past week. It was an article from Atlantic magazine titled, "The Quiet Gay Rights Revolution in American Churches." The article concerns the vast change of attitude of American Christian churches toward homosexuality. It very clearly shows how liberal—that is, accepting toward homosexuality—they have become. The article shows me that the churches of God almost stand alone as organizations uniformly against the sin. Now there are still individuals in other religious organizations who will not accept homosexuality as being acceptable to God or themselves as Christian behavior. But the organizations they fellowship with are gradually backing away and their support against it is weakening.
Now what I'm going to give you here is, to me, very interesting. Catch this. The momentum for this massive change of attitude has not come from the church leadership, but from the lay membership persuading the leadership. The author of this article, a woman named Molly Ball, calls these people—the ones who persuaded the leadership—"religious Americans."
A man named Delman Coates is the pastor of one of those huge megachurches. He was quoted by Molly Ball as saying, "The people in the pews are further along on this issue than those of us in the pulpit." Yes, the lay membership has bought into homosexuality almost lock, stock and barrel. They have been won over.
Miss Ball began another paragraph saying, "This change from most religious Americans [there is that term again] opposing gay rights to many of them supporting it did not happen by accident. It is the fruit of an aggressive campaign by a determined gay rights movement."
We are seeing the same thing that happened when abortion became legal in the United States. So now you can legally kill someone as long as there are baby and they haven't been born yet.
This tells us a great deal. First, it did not—despite the claims to the contrary—come from belief in God Himself or God's Word. This change came as a result of leadership caving in to membership pressure within the church and political pressure from non-members outside the church. Who's running those denominations?
What else does this tell us? It tells us that the membership do not believe God's very plain words. They do not really believe God's very plain words. In order to use God's word as they claim they have, it requires confusing and convoluted arguments that result in overlooking what the Bible clearly and distinctly says.
The second part of the strategy of the pro-homosexual crowd is misusing the sin/love/judging/repentance issues. They have no more of a true grasp of the fact that anyone involved in homosexuality is sinning than the Pharisees did in Jesus' day in the John 9 record. The Pharisees we more seriously, spiritually blind than the blind man Jesus healed. The homosexuals are as seriously spiritually blind as those who love killing the unborn. And despite their homosexuality, they want to be accepted on their terms, which is, as they are. They accuse the churches of unfairly judging them, but they will not repent because they do not really fear God. They do not respect the Bible as God's word, and have absolutely no understanding of the calling of God. They believe that all one must do is join the church.
So, the culture around us is becoming ever more liberal. This trend will continue until those who are truly God's are pretty much distinguished from all others and stand out like a sore thumb. And brethren, that's what God wants.