Whose Glory Is Their Shame

We find ourselves at the beginning of June, which, in recent years, means that we are about to be bombarded by all manner of sexual perversion along with even more social pressure seeking to normalize that sexual perversion. There has been a fringe "gay pride" movement since the onset of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, but it has slowly become more widely recognized in the last 20+ years. Presidents Clinton, Obama, and Biden have all officially designated June as the month for celebrating sexual sin, but it was the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling in June 2015 that really mainstreamed "Pride Month". When that decision was handed down, President Obama lit up the White House in rainbow colors, and many major governmental departments (including the US Dept. of Education) celebrated on their social media pages. That was a major turning point in our culture and the neon red warning sign that Christian parents should quickly gather up their children and head for the exits.

So, as we endure the onslaught of advertisements and marketing by every organization trying to prove that they are woke enough not to get canceled, we would do well to remember the exhortations and warnings of Paul in Philippians 3:17-21.

"Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself."

Notice a few important points:
--Paul's great humility (see Phil. 3:1-14) didn't stop him from saying, "Follow my example." Paul was not perfect, but he lived a life that was worthy of imitating and he confidently called others to do just that.
--There should be a noticeable difference between the lifestyles of believers and unbelievers. Jesus died to save us from our sin, and so Christians ought to live in a way that shows the evidence that we've been delivered from sin (see Rom. 6 & 1 John 3).
--Paul makes it clear that there is no such thing as neutrality in God's world. Every person is either a citizen of heaven or an enemy of the cross of Christ. Followers of Jesus are striving for holiness because they are hoping for Christ's return and the renewal of the world. On the other hand, unbelievers are only seeking to gratify their selfish desires and win the approval of men.
--Paul's phrase, "whose glory is in their shame" perfectly describes the "pride" movement's celebration of rebellion against the Lord. (see Rom. 1:24-32). Because we are created in God's image, we all some ability to feel guilt and shame when we sin. The "pride" movement is attempting to drown out the massive guilt and shame that sexual sin entails.
--In all of this, Paul's heart was broken for the lost. Paul wept for the enemies of Christ and the destruction to which they were headed. We should imitate Paul's compassion as we look for ways to extend the love of Christ to those who've been blinded and led astray.
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