Summary: An examination of what the Bible says should be the response of the Church to sinful acts and sinful people.
Title: The Church’s Response To Ungodliness
Series: Living Godly Lives (Sermon # 5)
Text: 1 Cor 16:13; Eph 4:15
Date Preached: July 13, 2008
COPYRIGHT © Joe La Rue, 2008 (All Rights Reserved)
A. I doubt that anyone here this morning will be surprised that I would say that we live in the midst of a sinful society. Ours is a society in which “tolerance” and “acceptance” of practically any and every activity has become commonplace. We have a “live and let live” approach to life these days, and that includes allowing each person to decide for himself or herself what is right and what is wrong.
1. When President Clinton committed his infidelity, many people said that it was nobody’s business, and not something that the public should be concerned about. More recently, when Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana was implicated as a customer of a call-girl ring, he described it as a private matter between him and his family, and many of his Republican colleagues came to his defense proclaiming that his private life should not be anyone’s concern.
2. Perhaps that’s true; perhaps it isn’t. Regardless, we have come a long way from the day that cheating on one’s spouse ruined a political career. Just ask former Sen. Gary Hart about that. He was the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president back in 1988, but was forced to step aside when he was caught cheating on his wife on a boat appropriately named “Monkey Business.” His political career wfias ruined, because the public would not accept the notion that his unfaithfulness to his wife was none of their business. We live in a different day.
a. And it’s not just in politics. This live and let live attitude permeates our society such that our young people are growing up believing that there is no right, but that all that matters is what’s right for you. There is no wrong, all that matters is what’s wrong for you.
b. Perhaps the natural conclusion of this attitude is laws such as the one recently passed in Colorado which has made it a criminal offense to discriminate against someone based on his or her lifestyle or gender perception. Now, I’m against discrimination, but that isn’t really what this law is about. Rather, this law is about silencing criticism of sinful lifestyles. And what it does, among other things, is make all criticism of alternate lifestyles a possible crime. A perhaps unintended result of this is that now all restrooms, locker rooms and fitness centers in the State of Colorado are open to both sexes. Thus, if a man considers himself a woman, he is now welcome to enter a women’s restroom, and if anyone tries to stop him, they are subject to arrest for a hate crime. Of course, this puts every woman and girl in the state of Colorado at risk of sexual predators—for, who is to know for sure that a man really considers himself a woman?
i. One concerned resident has said, “Now, as I stand outside of a movie theater bathroom or a swimming pool shower room door and guard the most precious thing in my life: my wife and daughter’s safety, modesty and privacy, I can no longer stop a man from entering a woman’s domain” without being subject to civil and criminal penalties, up to a year in jail.(See http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.
view&pageId=68060, last visited July 9, 2008).
ii. And, business owners can be prosecuted as well. For instance, if a gay couple attempts to hire a photographer to photograph their commitment ceremony and the photographer refuses, he is subject to prosecution and a sentence of up to a year in jail, even if photographing their ceremony would violate his faith, because under this law he has discriminated against the couple because of their orientation.
iii. The concerned citizen who talked about not being able to stop a man from entering a women’s bathroom closed his comments with these words: “An act that once was criminal is now legitimate, and what was taught to me as a virtue is now a vice.” But God does not approve when a society legitimizes what God says is wrong. In fact, the Bible says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.” (Isaiah 5:20, NASB).
B. Well, such is the world in which we live. Now, what should the Church do? We are concluding our series on “Living Godly Lives” today. We’ve talked about the importance of living a godly life, and doing so when no one is looking, and also doing so when everyone is looking. And we talked about what we need to do when we fail to live godly lives. Now, as we conclude the series, I want to share with you what the Church’s response should be to the ungodliness in which we live. Take out your Sermon Notes page and fill in this blank. First, the Church must refuse to compromise.