A poll conducted by MSNBC and Wall Street Journal showed that the majority of the public overall now backs same-sex marriage for the first time. A democrat pollster Joel Benenson then said that favoring same-sex marriage is rapidly becoming a prerequisite for any serious presidential candidate – of either party.
Moreover, former Mars Hill Bible Church founder and controversial Love Wins author Rob Bell told Odyssey Networks in an interview published last Wednesday that “I believe God [is] pulling us ahead into greater and greater affirmation and acceptance of our gay brothers and sisters and pastors and friends and neighbors and coworkers.”
Bell said that many people are “realizing that God makes some of us one way and some of us another, and it can be a beautiful thing.” When asked about his stance on same-sex marriage, he explained that he was “for marriage.”
“I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think that the church needs to just… this is the world that we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are,” he responded.
However, Dan Delzell, pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska, addressed Bell’s comments, “What makes Rob’s teaching on heaven, hell, and sexuality so popular is that his views represent the natural flow of man’s heart. There is no divine revelation in it, but just feelings and wishful thinking. It’s warm. It’s fuzzy. And it’s popular.”
Delzell said, “If I went with my heart, I would teach that “good people” in every religion (or even without religion) will go to heaven. If I were to abandon the Bible, I could quickly find myself becoming a universalist.”
“Likewise, if I were to abandon the Bible, I would probably hold a view on sexual ethics that leaves it up to the individual to determine what sexual relationship is right, and which ones are wrong. Without the Scriptures, all we have are personal opinions and personal preferences,” he wrote.
Delzell wrote, “How can I place full confidence in my heart, or in anyone’s feelings, when the Scriptures declare that ‘the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’ (Jeremiah 17:9)”
Delzell said that those in favor of same-sex marriage tend to believe that most people will go to heaven. On the other hand, those who believe Jesus is the only way to heaven tend to believe that homosexuality is just as sinful as fornication and adultery.
Jesus said many things that profoundly challenge our natural way of thinking, he wrote. One of them was this: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13, 14)
“So is the road to heaven narrow, or wide? Was Jesus telling the truth, or is Rob Bell smarter than Jesus? And did Rob Bell ascend up to heaven and bring back these popular teachings about heaven, hell, and homosexuality, or did he in essence accidentally descend into hell and acquire these messages there?”
“God's Word states, ‘Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.’ (1 Cor. 6:18) Therefore, it is imperative that we get sexual ethics right. If we don't, we inadvertently end up leading people down the path to destruction. And let's face it. For every one person who struggles with homosexual tendencies and temptation, there are probably at least 20 heterosexuals who are struggling with tendencies and temptation to commit fornication or adultery.”
“God's forgiveness is available to all. God's Word commands all people everywhere to repent of sin, (see Acts 17:30) and the Gospel message invites all repentant sinners to trust in Christ alone for salvation. (see Luke 24:47; John 3:16; Eph. 2:8,9) The first sermon Jesus ever preached was simply, ‘Repent and believe the good news.’” (Mark 1:15)
Delzell asked if we can truly trust our hearts the same way we can trust God’s Word. He said that our hearts are fallible and prone to go in various directions based on emotions, reactions, preferences and circumstances.
He said that the “only way we can trust what is in our heart is when our heart has been filled with the power of God’s love and the truth of God’s Word. Apart from the Scriptures, how could anyone ever truly know what is right and what is wrong in any area of life?”
“And it’s His love which will compel you to keep going even in the midst of unpopularity. He is not calling you to be popular. He is calling you to be faithful.”
“There is a saying, ‘Don't believe everything you think.’ I would add, ‘Don't believe everything you feel.’ Your heart is not as reliable as God's Word, and neither is mine. The sooner we come to grips with that fact, the sooner we will start building our life upon a solid foundation rather than sinking sand," he concluded.