NOTICE: If you do not believe in marriage as between a man and a woman, you may not want to read this. You have been warned that the information here is based on traditional marriage and does not approve of same-sex marriage.
And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord. And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them. Josh 9:14-15
In the 9th chapter of the book of Joshua we read where Israel is continuing their campaign to posses the Land of Canaan. They are about to make war on six nations that the LORD has commanded to be destroyed for their immorality and idolatry. The wickedness of these six nations had exceeded the mercy of the LORD. The problem was the enemy they were facing was more deceitful than they realized and they would soon pay the price for their failure to consult the LORD on this matter.
The six nations got together to form an alliance against Israel, however, the people of Gibeon made the decision to opt out of the alliance and try to save their skin by using a more subtle method. They planned to deceive the Israelites into making a peace treaty with them and their plan was based on information they had somehow gleaned about Israel’s military policy in relation to nations that were not part of the nearby nations of Canaan. According to Deuteronomy the Israelites were to destroy all these six nations, sparing none, however, according to Deut 20:10-20 Israel were allowed to offer peace treaties with other nations who lived ‘at a distance from them’. And so the leaders of Gibeon decided to deceive the Israelites into thinking that they represented the people of a nation from ‘a distant land’ and on that basis to seek to negotiate peace terms. And so in verses 3-13 you have the record of how they went about this deception. They got together a delegation of men and made them up in such a way as to appear as though they had been travelling for a long time from a distant country. They put the oldest, most worn out sacks they could find over their donkeys and filled the sacks with dry moldy old bread. They gave them old cracked wineskins and made the men in the delegation wear old worn out clothes. Then they worked out a convincing little story that they would tell the Israelites, about how they came from a country far away and how they had heard about the mighty things their God had done in Egypt and to the Kings on the other side of the Jordan and because of what they had heard about them and about their great God they wanted to make a peace treaty with them. It was a great idea. But would it work?
Well as we read through the narrative we discover that it did work. Joshua and the leaders were somewhat cautious at first as we see from v 7. Responding to their initial request for peace by saying ‘but perhaps you live near us. How then can we make a treaty with you?’ They were nevertheless taken in both by what they heard and by what they saw. The men from Gibeon had a story that sounded so convincing. And there was plenty of evidence to back up what they were saying. It appeared that they had indeed come from a distant country and this being the case they could and should make a peace treaty with them. And so Joshua and the leaders of the people took the decision to do so. The problem of course was that things were not what they appeared. Joshua and the leaders had been taken in. They had been deceived. And the reason they had been deceived was because they took this decision without consulting the Lord. They worked solely on the basis of human wisdom, of carnal reasoning. They thought, ‘well the story sounds very plausible, we have no reason to doubt the honesty of these people and after all the evidence was there for all to see’ This seemed the sensible thing to do. But no matter how sensible and right their reasoning and their subsequent decision seemed to be to them, the fact of the matter was it was a wrong decision and a wrong course of action. It wasn’t that Joshua and the leaders failed to use their brains, they asked questions, they looked at the evidence, they weighed up the situation and so on. But what they didn’t do was bring the matter to God and seek his guidance. Look at those words in v 14 “the men of Israel…did not inquire of the Lord.” Maybe they thought, ‘there is no need to inquire of the Lord about this matter, it’s so obvious that these people are telling the truth. It’s obvious what we should do. No need to take this to the Lord.
As a result of this impetuous decision that was based solely on faulty reasoning they in effect not only allowed an enemy that should have been destroyed off the hook, but also allowed the enemy into their camp. It was a mistake, a foolish mistake, and Joshua and the people had to live with the consequences of their mistake and all because they didn’t seek guidance from God on the matter. They took a hasty decision about an important matter, based solely upon their own powers of human reasoning and without seeking clear guidance from God, and they got it wrong. If only they had taken the time to bring the matter before God.
Christians must beware of falling into the same trap into which Joshua and his fellow leaders fell. We need to guard against making decisions in our life without first seeking God’s guidance and God’s will in the matter. To make hasty decisions based solely upon the fruit of our own reasoning - logical, and sensible as that reasoning may indeed appear at the time will bring us misery down the road.
One area in which the Church has for several years now allowed the enemy to enter into the camp of the Church and an enemy that is proving as deceitful as the men of Gibeon and is out to destroy the Church is the LGBT community.
Evangelical leaders are trying to make a “treaty” with the enemy. After the U.S. Supreme Court gave federal recognition to gay marriages, several evangelicals responded by urging like-minded Christians to be more sensitive towards the gay and lesbian community. For those outside conservative Christianity, this may not seem significant, but it's a notable change for Christians who believe their faith requires them to challenge same-sex relationships. The enemy will not show tolerance toward the Church when they gain acceptance of the leadership of the church. This has been proven by the actions of the mayor of Houston.
The Mayor of Houston (a lesbian) tramples the U.S. Constitution by demanding five pastors turn over their sermons and private communication between the pastor and the congregation. And so begins the day of battle, where the institutions of this world have plagued the minds of this generation and trampled everything the Church holds true.
We like to believe the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment is at the top of the Bill of Rights because the freedoms it protects are the most important. It says, rather bluntly, that the government can't interfere with freedom of speech or religion. Apparently, when it comes to violating the Constitution, the city of Houston decided to try for a two for one. Why violate one constitutional right listed in the First Amendment when you can violate two at the same time?
In subpoenaing sermons and emails from five ministers in the city's church, Houston decided to violate the ministers' rights to both speech and religion. It issued the subpoenas over a lawsuit filed to force a referendum on the city's new nondiscrimination ordinance.
The enemies of the Church have been fond of pointing to the "separation of church and state" invoked by the U.S. Supreme Court when it banned prayer in public schools. That separation should exist, but not as much to keep the church out of the state's business as to keep the state out of the church's business.
A civil authority compelling religious leaders to turn over the contents of their sermons is a violation of religious liberty. The Constitution clearly prohibits it. Would the people of in your church feel comfortable with your pastor sending some government official private communications between you and your pastor? If city officials want to know what's said from the pulpit, then attend services. These days, most likely, they could even watch the sermons streaming online.
Of course, that's really not the crux of what's going on here. Subpoenaing political speech pointed at a government action or criticizing a government official is clearly an intimidation tactic intended to have a chilling effect on that speech. That is nothing short of tyranny.
What is disconcerting is the fact that Christians endorsed Parker for mayor. Why would any Christian support Parker? They were making a “treaty” that would later bring misery to them, just as the men from Gibeon brought misery to Joshua.
Let me be clear before you think I am picking and choosing what sins are not acceptable and those that are acceptable. I am opposed to brother and sister marrying- incest it is wrong. I am opposed to older men marrying a child as allowed by Islam-it is wrong. I am opposed to a man marrying more than one wife- as allowed by some branches of the Mormon Church. I am opposed to same sex couples marrying which is opposed by the Bible. I am opposed to adultery and premarital sex which is plaguing the Church. I find these sins of immorality just as evil and destructive to the Church as the LGBT community. It was the total of all these sins that brought judgment on the Canaanites.
Do not make yourselves unclean in any of these ways because that is how the nations that I am throwing out before you became unclean. 25 That is also how the land became unclean, and I held it liable for punishment, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But all of you must keep my rules and my regulations. You must not do any of these detestable things, neither citizen nor immigrant who lives with you (27 because the people who had the land before you did all of these detestable things and the land became unclean), 28 so that the land does not vomit you out because you have made it unclean, just as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 Anyone who does any of these detestable things will be cut off from their people. 30 You must keep my requirement of not doing any of the detestable practices that were done before you arrived so that you don’t make yourselves unclean by them; I am the Lord your God.
For years I have heard the gay community ask the question, If we want to marry, how does it hurt you? Let me ask the same question to the LGBT community, If Christians don’t approve of your behavior, how does it hurt you? I have never advocated the beheading of gays and lesbians as carried out by Islam or advocated violence, name-calling or putting all gays and lesbians in prison, or denying them the freedom to speak. I have never advocated the firing of a gay or lesbian, nor have I tried to destroy their businesses. It is this simple, I oppose sin of any nature, not just the LGBT community. I oppose drug abuse, sex abuse, child abuse, elder abuse and feel they are just as evil as the LGBT community. My problem is that the LGBT community wants me to accept their actions and life-style without allowing me the same consideration. They bring law suits against those who will not perform same sex marriages, they try to destroy the business of those who refuse to condone their life-style, they force their belief on those who disagree with them, and they use corrupt judges to change the law to allow them to practice their immorality.
Christians have failed to see that the LGBT community has hijacked marriage and is now forcing the Church to accept and condone same sex marriage as legitimate, even though marriage between a man and woman has traditionally been the only spiritual ceremony in the Church for thousands of years.
The same standard that the LGBT community is insistent on to be respected and they are demanding from Christians, is not given to Christians who oppose their life-style. The LGBT community opposes Christian’s freedom to speak out against a life-style that we feel is immoral. They have no problem encroaching on our freedom of speech and religion as shown by the lesbian mayor of Houston when she demanded that the five pastors who spoke against her ordinance. Where is the tolerance in her actions?
The American people have supported traditional marriage in every electoral battle over same-sex marriage. The gay community has won it victories in the courtroom by corrupt judges who twist the words of the state constitutions and the U.S. Constitution. The tolerance of the Christian community towards the gay community has not been reciprocal in nature. Yes, I am aware there are those on both sides of this issue that have no problem resorting to violence to prove their point of view, just because you feel you are right dose not justify violence. Often, the violence against a LGBT individual is carried out by non-Christians and then associated with the Christian community. Any one restoring to violence against those who do not accept the teaching Jesus Christ cannot be called a Christian. These individuals are as wrong as the sin they protest against.
The gay community has every right to oppose those who speak against them and Christians have every right to speak out against the actions of the gay community. That's freedom of religion and freedom of speech. But let's stop pretending that the Christians are intolerant while the gay community is not. Every week you can find where a same sex couple has sued those who will not accept their way of life. Maybe Christians should start suing those who infringe upon our rights and freedom.
The church has allowed the world to make a treaty with those who are out to destroy not only the message of the Gospel but the Church as an institution against the moral decline of this nation. When will Christians realize that you cannot make deals with the devil and not become like him? The tolerance of sin leads to the acceptance of sin which leads to condoning the sin and the final stage is openly practicing that sin. This is apostasy and is the very direction our country is head. This is the reason the LORD commanded Israel not to become as the nations around them.
I do not hate or wish to bring misery on those who have accepted a life-style that is different than mine, I pray that they may find the way to salvation and accept the gift of that Jesus Christ died to give them—freedom from the bondage of sin. I pray that the Church understands that we are in war against evil and that we cannot make treaties with the devil or allow our own reasoning to override the wisdom of the LORD.