After my commentary last month about same-sex benefits, Collegedale’s City Council changed course. For the worst. And as Chattanooga considers same-sex benefits, a “crazy man” shows up at its city council meeting this week. I wonder if God wants to know where the rest of them were.
By way of background, last month the cozy, predominately Christian community of Collegedale, outside Chattanooga, decided to redefine marriage for purposes of the city’s employee health insurance plan to include same-sex marriages. Giving recognition to same-sex marriages violates Tennessee’s constitution.
So, this week Collegedale’s council was forced to choose again which among the myriad kinds of committed, loving relationships it would give its imprimatur of ethical and moral legitimacy. And make no mistake about it; every law codifies some moral or ethical value. It is nonsense to say otherwise. And I do not say that pejoratively but because it literally makes no sense to say otherwise.
However, rather than retract and recognize only lawfully entered into natural marriages (male-female), the council decided to recognize any two people in a loving and “committed” relationship. Having decided they would recognize relationships based on love and commitment rather than marriage, I don’t know upon what moral principle they limited their approval to only two people. But I digress.
Chattanooga is now considering similar action, and other cities no doubt will, too.
That’s why Charlie Wysong, a resident of Chattanooga, showed up at its city council meeting this week and began reminding council members of what God’s Word says about marriage and homosexual sex acts.
I don’t know how he went about saying what he did, but they warned him that calling same-sex relationships “wicked” was disrespectful and cut him off when he persisted. Knowing Mr. Wysong, I doubt he was speaking in a disrespectful tone, but “wicked” is a wicked word in today’s tolerant society.
But any Christian serving as a “minister of God” in public office, as the apostle Paul described such persons, might find the words of King Solomon worth pondering: “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.”1
Christians holding public office need to think on that verse before they say, straight up, that sex outside of marriage is okay before God and should therefore receive approval by means of the authority He has entrusted to them. That to which they lend their approval is what they are saying is righteous. After all, no one votes for laws they believe are “unrighteous.”
But today, even many within the church think men like Mr. Wysong are crazy, and don’t really want them around. That kind of thinking is not new. There were those in Jesus’s day who said they believed in him, but they wouldn’t admit to it publicly because they knew those in the synagogue would kick them out.2
There are many in the American church today that are threatened and made uncomfortable by those who take Jesus and the Bible too seriously, including some preachers. To them such people are a bit fanatical, crazy.
Those who think that way have unwittingly indicted the apostle Paul who, in speaking before King Agrippa and Festus, the Roman governor of Judea, was accused of “being mad.”
Leonard Ravenhill, in his classic work, Why Revival Tarries, wrote this about God’s need for more “mad men” like the apostle Paul in our pulpits:
But tell me, today when we preach the everlasting gospel, does anybody think that we are “raving” or going “insane”? On the contrary, we have our love-offerings in view, our big name to defend, our crowds to consider, and our extent of days to think over, don’t we?
God is looking for a few good “crazy men” in our cities who will speak to those in power, even as Paul did. If He can find them, then perhaps the revival that many in the church long for may tarry no longer.