Read Ezekiel Chapter 20
Eze 20:42 Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your fathers. 43 There you will remember your conduct and all the actions by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evil you have done. 44 You will know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for My name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ”
Do we know that we are not supposed to feel good about our sins? The prevailing attitude in many of our churches today is a need to make congregations feel good about themselves. The gay churches today have made that a foundation of their teachings. It doesn’t “feel good” to believe that same-sex actions are offensive to God. It doesn’t feel good to think about having to spend the rest of one’s life celibate, or married to an opposite-gender partner. None of that sounds like a feel-good life. God wants us to feel good; to be happy.
Well, guess what! Our churches were never designed by God to make us feel good about ourselves. There are many good reasons for the existence of church gatherings today, and some of those reasons do in fact make us feel good. But none of them involve allowing us to feel good about our sinful ways. When is the last time anyone heard “repentance” in our churches? I haven’t heard it in a long time, even though I attend a really great congregation full of super-wonderful Christian friends and a God-fearing/loving pastor. When was the last time any of us heard anything remotely resembling repentance?
If the world finds itself comfortable in our congregations, maybe WE shouldn’t be comfortable there. No, it even gets worse. If WE are comfortable when we hear sermons in our churches, maybe our church isn’t doing all it was supposed to do. One of the missions of the church is to spur members on to bigger and better things. If we are comfortable with our current level of righteousness, we aren’t hearing everything that the word is supposed to teach us. None of us have “arrived.” None of us have the Christian life down pat, able to coast on into eternity without any improvement in our spiritual lives.
One of the purposes of God’s word is to show us the error of our ways. In this passage from Ezekiel, God brought His people to a point where they loathed themselves for all the evil they had done. By no means am I suggesting that we should hate ourselves. Jesus came to show us that God loved us even while we were sinners. His death on the cross was the ultimate demonstration of that love.
SSA men and women, those who have set out on a journey away from same-sex actions, have spent a lot of time loathing themselves. I believe that is a part of the journey toward Christ, holiness, purity, and righteousness. The final goal in that journey is to move beyond loathing ourselves, and replace that with loathing our sinfulness. There is a huge difference. As we accept God’s love for us, we can begin loving ourselves – all the while increasing our hatred toward our sins.
We can feel good because we are destined for eternity with God. We can feel good because Christ died for us. We can feel good because we are surrounded by loving, Christian friends. We have more reason to feel good living a life for Christ than any amount of feel-good that comes through living a gay lifestyle. Allowing ourselves to continue a practice which God tells us is destructive should never, ever, make us feel good about ourselves.
Prayer: Lord, continue to show us more of the destructiveness of same-sex actions. We have seen it, but sometimes we forget. We forget the loneliness that inevitably comes after our actions. We forget how many barriers You have set in place that we must cross in order to indulge ourselves. We forget the prevalence of disease and the almost nonexistence of monogamy within the gay community. When we are in our right minds, we do loathe our sins. Thank You, Father, for loving us too much to let us remain comfortable in our sins.