Shame on parade – August 12, 2018
The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.
A cloud hovers over America today. Years ago, we saw only some wisps of fog. Now, a dark thunderhead threatens to break over our heads. It is a cloud of shame.
It gives little comfort to know that much of the earth is covered by this cloud. Perhaps we knew it was coming here. But it is still startling to look out of the windows of our life to see this cloud growing over the country that we love.
Sexual perversion is not a new sin. It grew out of the rebellion that began in heaven and spread to the Garden of Eden. It is the spawn of demons.
This does not mean that lying or cursing or stealing or murder are smaller sins. All are deadly.
This does not mean that only the worst or weakest of people are inclined toward such sin. Everyone is born with lying and cursing and killing and sexual perversion in his heart. The lesbian who says, “I was born this way!” has a point. We all were born that way. But that is no excuse. And God is not to blame.
Jesus points to the source of evil: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19).
God makes it clear that homosexuality is not just an alternate lifestyle. From the billowing fire and smoke on Mount Sinai he issued the order: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable” (Leviticus 18:22).
He had already shown that he was serious about this: “Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens” (Genesis 19:24). Only three people survived—people who had not approved of this lifestyle.
Often people are ashamed of sin. Their conscience condemns them. They try to hide it. But when insurrection against the Holy One has been stoked with the flames of hell, pretense is discarded, and the fist of defiance is thrust into the air.
It’s not out of ignorance. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (Romans 1:20).
No excuse, but there is an explanation: “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:28).
“So God gave them over to a depraved mind…” Some of the saddest words ever written. They explain so much. “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32).
Isaiah wrote, “The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.”
Is there no hope for such people? Have they no choice but to parade their sin down to the grave and then through the gates of hell?
Where there is life, there may be hope. Sin is an equal-opportunity destroyer. But the Son of God paid for the very last sin of the very last sinner.
The Apostle writes: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16).
God offers salvation! We believe it. We live it. We offer it to others.
Shame is not something to boast of. It’s time to put faith on parade.
Prayer: God of infinite glory, we rejoice that you are also the God of grace. Hear our plea for those who rebel against you, as we once did. Send the Holy Spirit to convert hearts and minds. Send him to bolster our faith. Send him to empower us to speak the truth in love. Preserve our nation. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Belle Plaine, Minnesota.
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