Some of you have read or heard about a group wanting a LGBTQ Pride Parade in Starkville, Mississippi. Last week city aldermen voted down the petition to grant a parade permit to the group 4-3.
Starkville is one of the more politically progressive towns in the South, and the petition for permit is back on the agenda this week in light of the LGBTQ group’s suit against the city for failure to grant a parade permit.
American culture has moved dramatically and quickly to the left regarding social issues in the past 20 years or so, particularly regarding those issues related to gender identification and sexual practices. Moreover, courts and laws have moved along with these cultural shifts. Needless to say, many in the faith community have chafed at these cultural and legal shifts.
Even the most extreme progressive communities in America have not attained the moral community norms of 1st century Roman Empire. As the church age dawned, the rest of the world worshipped a wide variety of deities, many of which accommodated all kinds of what we might yet consider sexual deviancies.
Sexual norms included homosexuality, pederasty and beastiality. Worship routinely included use of drugs and alcohol during all kinds of sexual orgies. Some worshippers even sacrificed babies, killing the most innocent among them to accommodate gods and human needs.
I mention 1st century norms of the “civilized” world for a couple of reasons. First, social and political progressives believe shifts we’ve seen toward norms like those of 1st century Rome indicate our culture is advancing to new heights of reason and open-mindedness.
Second, questioning the authority or even the existence of one Almighty God is seen as the pinnacle of intellectual revelation and human thought. Along with Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, the most intellectual among us believe God is no longer needed to provide artificial parameters and paradigms. Simply put, we are not accountable to any higher power. We are the higher power.
What does this mean for those of us inside a community of faith, particularly those of us who believe the Bible is God’s word and authority for living, and Jesus is Almighty God in the flesh who created all that exists and who died to redeem creation and all who trust him for salvation?
The Bible says the world is at odds with God. We live in a fallen world. There have never been “good old days” when this world honored God. Nevertheless, in every age, God has always called on those who trust him to separate themselves from the world and to live holy lives unto him regardless of whatever the world demanded.
The world literally mocks God. How much more would the world mock one who professed to believe God and endeavored to live according to God’s word? Needless to say, no one can live up to the standards of the word of God. The world relentlessly points out the hypocrisy of those who profess faith in Jesus, but who fail to live up to his lofty standards. Then again, the world crucified Jesus himself when he lived the perfect life! Let that sink in: The world mocks, even today, the most perfect life ever lived.
If this temporal life is all there is, eat, drink and be merry! If there is more than what we can sense, we would be wise to seek what the natural heart cannot comprehend.