Born-againers Born that Way

It's amazing how the world has turned in a few years. The homosexual rights movement and its allies have convinced the broader culture that the homosexual lifestyle has nothing to do with choice but has everything to do with being born that way, being born gay. So, they say, anything less than a full embrace of gay everything and anything makes you a homophobic-bigoted-hater-troll-idiot, or something like that.

Born that way or not, what these people do not know is that devoted born-again followers of Jesus really are born that way and have no choice in the matter of following Christ. What they also do not know is that all real Christians are born-againers, as some derisively call us. And, as followers of Christ, we make it our aim to obey Him and cooperate with the way He has set up His world. Born-againers are born that way, actually born again that way. Those devoted to Him make it their aim to please Him (2 Corinthians 5:9; 2 Timothy 2:4). It’s rooted in who they are. Sure, as any critic of Christians knows, a self-proclaimed follower of Christ can rebel for a moment or for a season. But he’ll feel terrible about his rebellion and will self-correct, or the Lord will handle the correction through natural or supernatural consequences. The devoted follower of Christ has no real choice in the matter because Christ rules the born-again heart.

So, all the world’s disgust, punishment and reviling heaped upon the born-again baker who won’t bake a wedding cake or a born-again photographer won’t shoot photos at a so-called gay wedding really reflect a broad cultural rejection of Christ and His ways. The same holds true for the owners of Hobby Lobby stores, who refuse to pay employee insurance premiums for abortion-inducing drugs. The same goes for the head of Chick-fil-A restaurants, who faced a whirlwind of hate for simply saying that he believes marriage is only between a man and a woman.

You know the arguments: Christ never said a word against homosexual relationships and Christ accepts everyone and who are you to judge. The apostle Paul was just a homophobic bigot because of his words in Romans 1, the Old Testament’s condemnation of homosexual relationships is irrelevant because, after all and for example, crazy dietary laws of the Old Testament make the entire book entirely irrelevant for today. It doesn't take a brilliant theologian to turn those arguments aside. In Matthew 19:4-6, for example, Jesus affirmed the veracity of the Old Testament and the conviction that marriage is between a man and a woman and only between a man and a woman. Jesus’ clear conviction affirms the concept of marriage that consistently has been held for millennia before and after His life, death and resurrection. By extension, His argument for one woman, one man marriage also rejects all homosexual relationships.

An item on Bible.org offers a key observation: In the 1930s, British anthropologist J.D. Unwin studied 86 cultures that stretched across 5,000 years. He found, without exception, when they restricted sex to marriage, they thrived. Strong families headed by faithful spouses made for bold, prosperous societies. But not one culture survived more than three generations after turning sexually permissive. Noted Harvard sociologist Pitirim Sorokin found no culture surviving once it ceased to support marriage and monogamy. None. (If you want to read J.D. Unwin’s entire book, titled Sex and Culture, it’s available at this link.)

We are in deep danger here in the U.S. The haters of Christ do not seek our tolerance; they demand our compliance. But we should make no room for a Jesus formed in their preferred image of a pudgy, palatable man, all so soft and mild. He does not want or need soft and mild disciples.

Jeremiah 1:17 and Luke 18:8 are especially relevant. In Jeremiah 1, the Lord tells Jeremiah that the people of Judah have been evil in abandoning Him. They've made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands. But you (Jeremiah), dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. And then, the terrific second half of verse 17, Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. Am I so afraid of them that I do not speak of the Lord and His ways? The Lord’s admonishment to Jeremiah rings. If I am so afraid of them that I refuse to speak of Him, then the Lord will make me even more afraid of them so that I cannot speak of Him. The lack of courageous words reflects a cowardice that is the fruit of a less than devoted life.

At the end of it all, how many of us are sufficiently devoted to embrace ridicule, humiliation and physical loss as a cost of knowing Christ and living in His ways? As in Matthew 10:24-39, He demands that each of us acknowledge Him as proof of our relationship. It is expensive, in this life, to be a born-againer.