By fall 2017, the debate over same-sex marriage was front and center in Australia. Despite the opposition raging against them there, many Christians refused to hide during this cultural storm. These Australian believers can teach us much about how to respond with grace and Truth during a societal storm.
Many churches across Australia got involved in the national conversation over same-sex marriage, including one near Sydney that convened a panel discussion designed to equip members to discuss this issue with friends, family, and coworkers. The panel emphasized the importance of "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15)—making a firm and uncompromised stand for the Truth, yet doing so not out of anger or stubbornness or hate, but out of genuine Christian love for all people.
When we speak the Truth in love, we are serving our culture.
This church emphasized Truths we must all take hold of: We must speak the Truth in love—even to those who reject the Truth. We must speak the Truth in love—even at the risk of our lives, our livelihood, and our reputations. We must speak the Truth in love—because that is what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
When we speak the Truth in love, we are serving our culture. Like the Good Samaritan, we are reaching out to our wounded enemy, an enemy who has been beaten and bloodied by sin, an enemy who does not want to be helped, an enemy who does not want our Gospel or our Savior. It's risky business to offer aid to a wounded enemy. But that enemy is our neighbor, and Jesus calls us to serve our enemies, love our enemies, and be salt and light in a decaying and darkened culture.
God's design for families, for marriage, and for salvation leads to healing and hope for anyone who will receive it. Our Gospel may fall on deaf ears. Our love may seem wasted on cold hearts. That's okay. God is responsible for the results—not us. Our only duty is to be faithful.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the example of my Australian brothers and sisters who are standing boldly for Your Truth. Grant me the courage and wisdom to do the same today that I might win souls for Your Kingdom by Your Holy Spirit. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ" (Ephesians 4:15).
*This devotional adapted from The Hidden Enemy by Michael Youssef © 2018. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, IL. Used by permission.