Celebrating the Rainbow - Genesis 9
In 1978, Gilbert Baker decided to implement the symbol of a rainbow to represent the gay and lesbian ideology. He states, "the rainbow came to mind almost instantly as an obvious expression of diversity and acceptance. The rainbow is a part of nature and you have to be in the right place to see it. It's beautiful, all of the colors, even the colors you can't see. That really fit us as a people because we are all of the colors. Our sexuality is all of the colors. We are all the genders, races and ages."
The LGBT desires to have their lifestyle accepted culturally. When their flag was created, Baker spent time studying the rainbow's placement in Biblical teaching. However, Baker did not adequately represent a Biblical understanding of diversity and acceptance, nor did he have a full grasp of the meaning behind the rainbow in Biblical teaching. A Biblical perspective on diversity shows that all men are made in the image of God and therefore are created with value and allow the infinite qualities of God to be on display. A Biblical perspective on acceptance never condones accepting someone who is living a lifestyle counter to God and allowing them to comfortably remain in that lifestyle. Christianity invites one who once was caught up in sin and allowing something to consume their identity other than God to realize their misdirected way and seek to repent and turn to God, recalibrating their attention to that which glorifies God, not self.
A Christian is one who claims to follow Christ. Meaning, their life is centered around trying to learn more of who Christ is and striving to be more like Jesus. Repentance involves "behavioural change that entails turning from behaviour harmful to the relationship between Yahweh and the people to behaviour conducive to the relationship." (Boda, 2015, p. 146). We see Jesus referencing the Scriptures in pointing to Himself in Luke 24, and we also see the apostle Paul using Scriptures to be profitable for teaching in 2 Timothy 3. Though the Holy Spirit has been given to the Christian to help gauge what is right and what is wrong, God has also provided us with His Holy Word that we might be able to discern what is actually the Holy Spirit speaking to us and what is just an inclination of a feeling that may be of God or may just be our desire to justify a vice.
Returning to the idea of the rainbow in the Bible, we see in Genesis 6, "And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, 'I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land...for I am sorry that I have made them" (Genesis 6:6-7). But in the very next verse, "Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD" (Genesis 6:8). God is a righteous God and must separate Himself from sin. The very passage of Scripture selected to represent the LGBT lifestyle also affirms that moral relativism cannot exist and that there is an absolute right and absolute wrong (which the Bible addresses their lifestyle as being). In Genesis 6, God lamented knowing that His creation had separated themselves fully from Him, but was gracious to find that Noah remained righteous in His eyes. Because of this, God did not destroy all of creation from the earth with the flood. As a sign to Noah and his family, after the flood of judgment was done, God put his bow in the clouds as a sign of a covenant between God and man that He will never again destroy the earth by flood. This rainbow was God providing a sign of peace and a sign of hope for reconciliation and a rescuer that will one day save us from a world full of sin. Though sin has entered into the world and is all around us, there is still a hope of restoration and being rescued.
The rainbow is not a sign of diversity and acceptance, the rainbow is a sign of repentance and hope in a rescuer that will one day free us from the bondage of sin and idolatry (i.e., anything in our lives that we prioritize more than God and place our identity in). Christians, may we cling to the hope of the Gospel and proudly rest ourselves in an identity found in giving God the glory in all we do and pointing people to Christ. Though the LGBT community has a misunderstanding of Biblical principal, may we show them that we love them as people and recognize their value in being made in the image of God, but we love them too much to allow them to continue to celebrate something that the Scriptures profess as sin and thus keep them separated from experiencing the fullness of a life lived in Christ.
Last week marked a significant week for our country. I pray that Christians recognize that they should be well-informed and Christ-honoring in their interaction with the topic of same-sex marriage among believers and unbelievers, supporters and dissenters.
In a Christianity Today article by Ed Stetzer, he states, "As always, the ever-changing world around us does not change who God is and what He calls us to do.
Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on same-sex marriage, abortion, immigration, or any other issues, God remains sovereign and this ruling was no surprise to Him.
I know that seems simplistic, and the issues that surround us today are complex, but I think before we dive into a discussion about living in a culture moving in a different direction than Christian views, we need to remind ourselves that God is still God, and God is still good.
After acknowledging that reality, here are three basic steps we can take to live in a culture in which Christianity continues to lose its 'home field advantage'":
1. Pray for Guidance
2. Love Your Neighbors
3. Show and Share the Love of Jesus
In addition, Russell Moore, the President of the SBC's ERLC states, "We have a God who is sovereign. The Supreme Court can do many things, but the Supreme Court cannot get Jesus Christ back in the grave."
Let us rejoice in the power of Christ's redemptive work, and look toward our new mission field with confidence and faithfulness knowing that our mission field may have just changed, but our mission has not...nor has the ending.