Pastors: Do You Feel Pressured to Conform?
One day you are sitting in church and your pastor allows a speaker from the LGBTQ community to mount the pulpit and promote an event that brings awareness to alternative sexual lifestyles. You listen attentively because you have been in the church for years. You trust your pastor’s judgment.
The LGBTQ representative shares literature that clearly teaches children’s right to choose their gender, and that God wants us all to live the life that makes us happy. You hear “Amens” echoing across the sanctuary.
After the speech, many people get up and clap in agreement — along with the pastor — for the speech. Some eyes shift to you as a youth leader. They are looking to see your response. The pastor takes the podium and urges the church to show love and to support the LGBTQ event. What do you do? The pastor can’t be wrong — or can he?
Others who are pillars in the church could have corrected him, but they, too, are standing and applauding in agreement. Some of the youth are standing. What do you do? Do you submit to the pressure? Do you conform? (You can always repent later, right?) Or instead of standing up do you stand out, going against the church by not supporting their agenda?
Crossing Blurred Lines
The account is fictitious, but it couldn’t be a more realistic scenario of situations so many Christians are faced with. We want to win them over, so we compromise our beliefs. The lines are blurry, yet we cross them anyway — causing confusion and discouragement for all parties.
The pressure is growing moment by moment for churches to forsake foundational biblical principles to prevent offense to the gay community. Laws are being made to condemn any pastor or organization that even tries to speak against the gay lifestyle. The hope is that homosexuality and gay “pride” would become acceptable, the norm, in society.
How Far Do We Go?
Do we bow to their will, in fear of repercussions? Do we remove sections of the Bible so that they are not offended? Do we add to the Bible so that they feel comfortable, and not discriminated against? To what extent must the church compromise so they will feel accepted? More importantly, how far are we willing to go?
Obeying God Rather Than Man
The Word of God clearly states that we ought to obey God rather than man. (Acts 5:29) It is human nature to not willingly surrender our will to God. Human nature seeks to gratify self and to live out fleshly desires. That is just who we are without Christ. It has nothing to do with being gay. The old fleshly nature is totally opposed to the holiness of God. In Christ, though, we must choose to obey God no matter how the world entices us. The Bible says, “Love not the world neither the things in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them.” (I John 2:15)
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My first responsibility must be to God. If I am a lover of God, I must be obedient and willing to deny myself and anything that goes against my Heavenly Father. A child of God knows that the world and the devil seek to discredit Christ. The pressure is on to make us compromise and give in to sin. When we do, the world will laugh at us in mockery. How can we show the world He is real and a keeper if we are not willing to be kept? If God is as valuable to us as we declare, why do we so quickly give up on Him and compromise our sanctification?
Fight the Good Fight
There will always be pressure to conform. There will always be something that will try us to see if we really believe what we confess. We must recognize it as a plan of the enemy and fight the good fight of faith. Don’t conform. Don’t give in to the pressure to sin. It may be hard, but we have the power of God within to fight and to win. Be transformed and allow Christ to lead. You can do this. We can do it together.
Janet Boynes founded Janet Boynes Ministries in Maple Grove, MN in 2006. She authored the books: Called Out: A Former Lesbian’s Discovery of Freedom, God & Sexuality and her latest book God & The LGBT Community. She challenges individuals and the church to reach out with a message of hope and restoration to those who struggle with identity issues. Her life is proof that the love of God has the power to heal and restore the brokenness in our lives. It’s been over twenty years since she was called out of the lesbian lifestyle. Janet is an ordained minister Under the Assemblies of God and travels the U.S and overseas sharing a message of redemption. Her desire is to bring hope through the power of Jesus Christ.