For those of you that didn’t see this morning’s The Today Show, Meredith Baxter Birney, who played Mrs. Keaton on the 80’s sitcom Family Ties and several other fine roles on Lifetime movies, admitted that she is a lesbian and has been living the life for several years.
My original thought was what I tried to say on my Facebook status this morning. I was shocked. The women who played the great TV moms of that era are about the last people you expect to come jumping out of the closet. You just don’t think it’s possible that Michael J. Fox’s TV mom is gay. It leads you to ask the question, could this happen to Marion Cunningham, Carol Brady or Claire Huxtable?
Several of you asked the question, “Does it really matter?” It depends on your philosophy. Knowing the Hollywood world, you might say no. Adam Lambert showed the world in his American Music Awards performance recently. If there’s ever been anyone to say “I’m proud to be a gay man,” he might get the honor. His kiss of his keyboardist stunned America, leading to thousands of phone calls in outrage. That’s right, outrage.
The gay response is that people that are speaking out are obviously homophobes and have no business to be in theirs. Somewhat, I might even agree with them. It is their business and if people choose to be gay, they’ve put on their big girl or boy panties and made their decision.
Truthfully, I don’t think people that are stunned and call television stations are homophobes. Here’s why. Remember the Super Bowl where Janet Jackson “accidently” popped out a nipple. It was only for a second. More Americans called that night to complain and ask how this could happen on television. I do believe that there are good intended people who are not scared or ashamed to call sin what it is, SIN!
Before you start sending me emails, let me finish. I’ve had and continue to have friends who are either openly gay or still hiding it. If you know any of them, feel free to ask them if I have judged their lifestyle. While I was in college, I hung out with a few gay guys and people asked me where I was on the issue. My opinion at the time was simple, “As long as I am not being asked to partake in their festivities, we don’t have a problem.” That was a guy who hadn’t been saved by the grace and power of Jesus.
As I have grown in the Lord, my view has changed. I still don’t want to participate, but my feelings on the lifestyle have changed. Let me explain by first telling you what God says.
The first instance that we see of homosexuality is in Genesis 19. Two angels had come to Sodom and Lot encouraged them to go to his house with him. He wanted them off the streets for safety. Before retiring for the night, all the men of the city came to demand that the angels be presented to them to sleep with. Lot realized this was wrong and even pleaded with the men in verse 6 not to do such a wicked thing. He offered up his daughters as replacements for the angels. I’ll say here that there should have been no counteroffer, but when a town full of angry, horny men are at your doorstep, I’m not sure how you’d react either. The men refused the girls and still wanted the men. Before they grabbed Lot, the angels pulled him back in his home. The angels convinced Lot and his family to leave and pleaded with them to not look back. God destroyed the city. I know you may say here, “Come on, the angels weren’t exactly willing choosers of this decision,” and I would say that you are correct. But let’s be honest here, if they were choosing angels over women on that day, that choice was being made before that day.
As Moses was dictating for God, Leviticus 18 gives us rules for sexual morality. Verse 22 tells us plainly, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” Let’s define detestable. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “arousing or meriting intense dislike.” It is something so bad that it causes a strong hate. There are 15 other examples before and one after verse 22 and none of them are called detestable. Five of them share the idea that they would dishonor you or someone else, but none are detestable. In Exodus 20:13, the Lord repeats that the act is detestable and that they must be put to death. He even lets us know that their blood will be on their own head. I might say that most that are living the gay and lesbian lifestyle are probably glad that rule isn’t enforced now. Remember, I didn’t write or say this. These are God’s words, not mine.
You may ask at this point, “OK Frank, I understand the Mosaic laws of the Old Testament and that’s the law. But we are now under the blood of Jesus in the New Testament. That’s just old law. Jesus still loves me.” Before I jump into what the New Testament, I will agree that Jesus does love you.
Paul opens the book of Romans (after his introduction) with the back half of the first chapter telling how God has revealed himself and how since man has chosen not to give God glory or thanks and make idols of other images, God is handing these people over to sin. In verse 24, Paul writes, “Therefore God gave them over in sexual desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.” This verse isn’t just against homosexuality, but against prostitution and other types of sexual sins.
But Paul continues in verse 26. “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” Paul is telling us here that the acts are unnatural and that eventually, the penalty comes due.
I’ll skip down to verse 32 and share the result. “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.” There has always been a part of me that wondered why the gay and lesbian community always rings so loud when someone comes out. It is the showing of approval of their sin and the good feeling of having others join them.
Before I continue on, I will give some good news to gay people. If you keep reading in Romans 2, you’ll see this in the first three verses of the chapter, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment.” Pretty strong words right there. The number one complaint I hear from the homosexual lifestyle is that you the non-gay community is judging you. So in your comfort, while you are waiting at God’s judgment seat, be assured that those that judge you will be in line right with you to be judged. Sure they didn’t have sex with the same sex, but you’ll get to see all their little dirty secrets. Isn’t that comforting?
Here’s some more comfort in 1 Corinthians 6, starting in verse 9. “Do you know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” Paul lists this among several other different sins. This tells us that homosexuality is not the only big deal sin in town. All sin is big deal.
But Paul wants us to have hope in verse 11. “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” Notice, Paul states this in past tense. Change can happen, if you choose to do so. God is not giving you a pass to stay in the homosexual lifestyle. Nor if you are doing some of the other things in verses 9-10.
Like I said earlier, these are words from God, not my opinions. My opinions don’t matter. God is telling you to turn from sin. ALL SIN! One of my gay friends told me a few years ago that he believed that he could live how he wants and then have a deathbed experience with God. “I’ll get saved in my deathbed, I’ll have had all my fun and I’ll be standing with you in heaven.” That kind of thinking scares me. Suppose he dies instantly. No deathbed experience and he is done. The flipside of that is that he gets his deathbed experience. The scary thing about an all-knowing God is that He knows if you are being sincere or not. Honestly, I’m not sure I would want to take that kind of gamble with eternity.
Let me give you two final thoughts to ponder. 1 John 1:6 tells us that “If we claim to have fellowship with him (God) yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” I know of churches that openly accept gays and tells them the lie that it’s OK. I won’t lie to you. God calls it sin. It is. It’s as simple as this: He said it, I believe it, that settles it. If you are in a church that is permitting sin, whether it be homosexuality or anything else, run!
Finally, three verses later, John gives us these words. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” What that means is this: If you confess the sin, God will take that desire from you. I also won’t lie to you and tell you that Satan won’t keep coming and enticing you. Because he will. Again, it inevitably is your choice.
I want to close with this. Writing this is very hard for me personally. I have at least half a dozen friends that participate in the gay lifestyle. Honestly, I’ve had bad relationships, so I can say that I want people to find a partner that gives them that happiness. However, I also know how God feels about the gay and lesbian lifestyle by reading His Word. I know that at some point in time, all of us will have to stand before the Father at the Great Throne Judgment. The last thing I want to see is friends and family being dragged off to the Lake of Fire. In the book of Revelation 21:4, John tells us that God will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more pain, no more crying.
I know I will cry on that day for someone I couldn’t reach. As a teacher of the Gospel, it is a burden that I carry. I won’t save them all. Every man has to be accountable to himself just as I have to be accountable to myself. This is why I wrote this today. I have a responsibility to tell you the truth. Truth can set people free, but you have to choose truth. I can’t make that decision for you.
God has been prodding me for a few months to write this piece. It’s very hard to call people you love out. I have no tie to Meredith Baxter Birney other than being a fan, but there are a few of my friends that I would pray desperately to at least understand my concern for your eternity. I still love my friends, but I also cannot lie and say I support their actions. Does sin feel so good that costing you heaven is worth it? I pray that anyone that is feeling the urgency to break from this lifestyle to find someone or a local church that will help them and give them the hope, peace and salvation of eternity.
I love you guys!