Roused By Mercy
At the dawn of the new millennium, I noticed a growing darkness in the area of gender and sexuality. Powerless to overcome perversion, western culture used its power to justify all manner of sexual expression.
Around that time, I had a dream about a group of young people who were confused and seeking answers to their sexual identity questions. They were on a secular college campus. Older gay mentors began to confirm them as bona-fide gays and lesbians; as they laid hands on these young ones, the latter began to morph–their beings changed into an image that distorted their real humanity.
When I woke up, I began to pray that God would rouse us and make us like a warrior’s sword (Zech. 9:13); I prayed for a merciful authority with which to cut through lies that bound young people to false images and relationships. I prayed for the power to convey what the Heavenly Father had in store for them.
We trained our people to start running CrossCurrent groups—a shorter version of Living Waters aimed at encountering those in the valley of decision. Sure enough, God sent men and women to us who loved Jesus and yet were on the brink of leaving marriages, Christian colleges, and their own value systems for sexy new partnerships.
We functioned like a net: catching some and helping them resist the draw of the world by shoring up their real selves in Christ.
Not helping were two cultural phenomena. The first was the ordination of a gay bishop in the Episcopal Church USA. Having left his wife to explore homosexuality, W. Gene Robinson became the symbol of an apostate branch of the Church of Jesus Christ. The watered-down, worldly Gospel of liberal Protestantism concluded that Jesus wanted nothing more than to bless people in their sexual brokenness.
At that time, Jonathan Hunter had a dream of a large church in which a woman went up to the altar. Around the altar were large screens on which homosexual acts were being committed; on another, ‘gay marriages’ were being performed. She gasped and thought: ‘What is happening to my church?’ What had been a refuge for her became a nightmare. Disoriented, she walked out of the church.
The church that no longer believes in the transformational power of her Savior will fail to offer the sexually broken what they need: the love of Jesus’ body, repentance and a track for healing and restoration. The worldly church will give the broken what they want—the privileges accorded to responsible heterosexuals, like ordination, marriage, and kids.
The Episcopalians did just that. They made perversion ‘Christian’, their Savior, a toothless old father who winks at the rebellion of his children. When the Body loses her Head, she makes a way for all manner of evil in the land.
Is it any wonder that soon after Robinson’s ordination, the state of Massachusetts became the first state to legalize ‘gay marriage’? In the first few days of 2003 when we were all sleeping, the Mass. Supreme Court decided to redefine marriage, the first state in our union to do so.
God roused me that morning as one called to battle. I knew that our merciful authority would need to be expended in two directions: to rouse the Church to hold fast to the truth of Jesus’ transforming love for the broken, and for the Church to arise on behalf of marriage and to refuse its redefinition in the land.
In both cases–the restoring of the broken, and the upholding of marriage–nothing less than the image of God was at stake.
‘Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others, show mercy, mixed with fear, hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.’ (Jude 22, 23)
‘As You have shown us mercy, O God, in the desert places of our lives, would You show mercy to the beleaguered state of marriage in the USA? As the Perry vs. Schw. case wends its way to the National Supreme Court, prepare for Yourself a victory. We shall render to Caesar what is Caesar’s but we shall prayerfully fight for what is Yours, O God. Prepare the hearts of each justice, especially Justice Anthony Kennedy, to uphold marriage according to Your merciful design. Remember mercy, O God.’
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