“ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN…?”

“ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN…?”

Journalists in the 1950’s called it the “Red Scare.”  Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy led the charge to root out communist sympathizers during the days of the Cold War. Government employees, educators, union leaders and entertainers were especially targeted. Stories of excessive zeal, false accusations of treason, and ruined reputations abound.

In the hearings conducted by McCarthy’s “House Un-American Activities Committee,” it was not unusual to hear the question:  “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”  People had good reason to fear the subversive infiltration of communism in those days.  But things went too far.  Such attacks on people came be called “McCarthyism.”

Albert Mohler sees an ironic twist in how things are going in our country today. He writes that Americans have entered “the Moral McCarthyism” era.

In other words, instead of asking if people are members of the Communist Party, the questions will be:  ‘Are you now or have you ever been a Christian who takes the Bible at face value?  Are you or have you ever been one who believes that homosexuality is morally wrong?”

Example:  Pastor Louie Giglio was scheduled to offer the benediction at the last Inaugural.  Someone dug up one of his sermons from 20 years ago when he preached against homosexuality.  The pastor was promptly uninvited.  Some might call that discrimination.  But with official endorsements of gay marriage pouring down like snow in Duluth, we ought not be surprised.

Bible students know why Sodom and Gomorrah were incinerated by God.  Fifteen books of the Bible refer specifically to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The New Testament book of Jude says :  “Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion.  They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul says:  “Neither the sexually immoral …nor homosexual offenders will inherit the kingdom of God.”  God says in Leviticus:  “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, for that is detestable to the Lord.”  Romans 1 spells out God’s anger against such sins. God loves us enough to tell us this.  Jesus said:  “God made them male and female.”   Politicians, educators and entertainers engage in an evangelism of evil, preaching that Adam & Steve are as valid as Adam & Eve.

What about biological and environmental influences?  Listen.  Who does not grow up in an environment? We are all born enemies of God in general and prone to certain sins in particular – one person to drunkenness, another to greed, another to stealing or lying, another to cursing or spousal abuse, another to grudge bearing and another to faithless worry.  Every person’s sinful nature takes its own distinct detours into sin’s dark laboratory.  But get real here.  The bank robber is prone to steal.  Should we declare robbery an alternate lifestyle because the robber was born that way?  He’s not greedy.  He just has a loving, committed and caring relationship with money!

God is not surprised by your sins or mine – whatever they might be. But He does summon us to call sin by its right name and take it to Jesus. After listing all those persistent and unrepented sins which close the door to heaven – homosexuality being only one of them – Paul says:  “That’s what some of you were, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  You were those things, but you don’t have to be that anymore. In a world that says “You can’t change,” a world that steals hope from the hearts of those taken prisoner by sin, let us say:  “There is no chain Jesus cannot break.  There is no label Jesus cannot erase.  There is no past Jesus cannot forgive. There is no long-term struggle with which He does not pledge His help.  He died to do it and to prove it.”   Let us speak the truth in love.  “If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed!”