October 21, 2013

Isaiah 56:7 “My house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations.”

This whole passage, verses 1-8, is a strong expression of the inclusiveness of God’s grace. This particular line is especially famous because Jesus Himself quoted it when He drove the merchants out of the Court of the Gentiles in Herod’s temple. (Matthew 21:12-13) However, it is not saying that God includes those who willfully rebel against Him. Foreigners and eunuchs were two groups that were specifically excluded by popular interpretation of Levitical Law, and God is saying, “Not so fast.” God has never excluded anyone for something that was beyond their control, such as the color of their skin (foreigners) or injury done to them by others (eunuchs). However, some are claiming today that sexual orientation is genetic, and therefore not a basis for exclusion. There is no valid science to back that up. The closest you could come to justifying deviant sexual orientation would be to focus on the psychological injury that is often connected with it. However, even there it is a matter of the individual’s response to the injury. There is no definite, “This childhood circumstance will result in this sexual orientation” that can be pointed to. Also, there is a big difference between sexual attraction and sexual activity. It I had “indulged” with everyone to whom I have been sexually attracted over the years, I would hardly be the happily married grandfather that I am, much less the pastor and counselor God has called me to be.

This is an issue specifically on this trip, when I will be seeing friends and relatives who live lifestyles that are rebellious toward God – and not just in the matter of sexual orientation. I am not to be holier-than-thou, but I am never to back down from the truth of God. That said, every expression of that truth, either in word or in action, must be in love or it does neither me nor the other person any good. (1 Corinthians 13:1-4) I am not to be judgmental, but neither am I to be neutral. Rather, by the grace of God I am to express His character under the guidance and power of His Spirit, so that people may be healed and delivered and the deceptions of the enemy demolished, for the blessing of individuals and the glory of God.

Father, thank You for bringing us this far on the trip successfully. I ask for clear guidance step by step, so that all of Your plans for us, not just for this trip but for the years to come, may be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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