June 7, 2024

With the arrival of summer in 2024, comes a new-norm and celebrated tradition in our “One nation under God,” known as Pride Month. While this month has been in place since 1999 under President Bill Clinton, it has only become more prevalent, loud, and widely accepted in our recent culture. NBC News describes the month: 

LGBTQ Pride Month is a commemoration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community that is part celebration and part protest. It is often associated with massive parades and parties that honor the community’s joys and accomplishments. But the rallies, marches and political actions can be just as important to draw attention to the issues still facing the community.

It’s rather regular anymore to walk into your local grocery stores, or your favorite restaurant or shopping location only to see it decked out with rainbows and messages telling you to “celebrate pride,” “take pride,” and preaching a message of tolerance and acceptance concerning the LGBTQ+ agenda. 

But what are we to do as believers in Christ? How are we to navigate these days and times as people who are to reflect the love of Christ and people who are to stand boldly on the truth of God’s Word? First, I think we have to look at the issues of our day from a biblical point of view. 

In Genesis chapter 1, we see that God is a God for people. God intended the world to be filled with people because as people spread across planet earth, so would His glory! Every human being has been created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), but when sin came into the world it massively marred God’s reflection of His glory in mankind. 

Part of reflecting and spreading the glory of God in our humanness is living humbly surrendered to the creator as the created being. 

During the Fall in Genesis 3, this humility was challenged. Satan, in the form of a serpent, tempted Eve with the idea of not simply reflecting her creator, but being as powerful as her creator. As the object of her desire shifted from God to the tree of knowledge of good and evil, her pride quickly took over — and so did Adam’s, from whom all of our pride is traced back to. 

Pride is always a subtle, but potent attack on God’s authority and glory. Satan challenged Eve’s humility to trust God with the words, “Did God actually say? (Gen 3:1),” and every form of pride since questions the same thing. 

After Genesis 3 in the Bible, once sin had entered the world, it’s as if the first domino of destruction had fallen. By Genesis 6, God regrets ever making humanity (Genesis 6:6). By Genesis 11, mankind is laboring to make a name for themselves. Rather than spread the glory of God across the earth, they were interested in their own names spreading across the earth (Genesis 11:4)

So on, and so forth our world has done what is right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6; 21:25), and we have continued to glorify ourselves rather than the creator. Humanity lives for self-gratification, temporal pleasure, and cultural acceptance which the Bible defines as the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16). P-R-I-D-E has been our problem since the fall of humanity! 

Proverbs 16:8 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” This verse always comes into my mind when I walk into my local Target during the month of June and see the blaring messages to “take” and “celebrate pride.” All I can think is, “No, No, No!  Pride will not get us anything but more dysfunction, more dissatisfaction, and ultimately destruction!” 

Just as Satan appealed to Eve’s pride in the garden, He is still prying open the doors of pride in our society today! Pride got Satan kicked out of heaven, and His greatest aim in life is to keep you out of heaven by spreading lies that “steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10)!” He doesn’t want you living in freedom and humble surrender to a God who can restore His image in you through His Son! He wants you to be true to yourself, and die that way — so he appeals to your pride! 

The toll that the sexual revolution has had on America and the next generation can already be described as destruction, but I believe it will only become more complicated and more twisted. Romans chapter 1 is almost painfully clear in diagnosing the day and age we find ourselves in after the fall into pride. It’s as if it was written to America in the 21st century, describing the “dishonorable passions,” the “unnatural relations contrary to nature,” and the “shameless” sexual acts that are being celebrated and fought for in our day and age . . .  

Because pride causes us to honor ourselves rather than God, our culture has become “futile in their thinking (Rom 1:21),” we’ve “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator (Rom 1:25),” and we are being given over “to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done (Rom 1:28).” 

Rather than trying to define what’s happening in culture by looking at it, getting angry at it, or fixing it, we need to look at the Gospel and ask why we as believers have been placed in such a time as this. 

We were not saved to escape the culture. 
You can’t escape the world you’re living in. You can’t escape culture, anymore than a fish can escape water. Likewise, you were not saved for isolation, for comfort, or for a sterilized community where you hide from everyone and everything that you disagree with. If the earliest believers aimed to escape the culture and times that they found themselves in, none of us would be here today! We weren’t saved to escape the culture, but equally as important – 

We were not saved to accommodate the culture. 
There should be a difference between believers in Christ, and everyone else! I have met so many people who believe the best way to win people to Jesus is to join them in their worldly activities. Many aim to “love others” by being like them, by accepting sin over truth, or by claiming the culture has shifted from the Bible and so should we. This is confusing at best, and condemning for many at worst! 

I think Jesus loved everyone! He went to the physically challenged, the racially hated, the sexually broken, the rich, the poor, the religious, the pagan . . . Jesus went to all the places the self-righteous people would not go. So much so that they scoffed, “Look at Him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! (Matthew 11:19)’” But Jesus did not accommodate the culture, nor the sins of the day! Jesus helped people, healed people, taught people, called people, and died for people, but at the core of everything Jesus did was an invitation to follow Him and leave this world behind! To “sin no more (John 5:14; 8:11).

1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” If we stand redeemed as blood-bought believers, we have been collected, cleansed, and sealed for heaven, all while dwelling in the wicked kingdom of man! 

So believers aren’t called to escape the culture, nor are we called to accommodate the culture. 

We were saved for restoration! 
The Gospel restores our humility that turns our face back to our creator!

The Gospel restores God’s image stamped into the fabric of our being! 

The Gospel restores our purpose of worshiping God and reflecting His glory! 

The Gospel restores our identity as a child of God, “fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14)” 

Jesus came into our world and didn’t escape it or accommodate it, but he brought a ministry of reconciliation to it! In salvation, every believer becomes “an ambassador for Christ – God making his appeal through us (2 Corinthians 5:20).” Our separate, holy, image-bearing lives ought to be like a beacon of light to a dark and dreary sky! 

You can’t shine if you hide! 

You can’t shine if you blend in! 

You must go and be where sinners are, open your mouth, and share the message of restoration with one person at a time! As Paul says, “We implore [others] on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18).” 

Your place of employment may be bending toward the culture, your favorite stores may be celebrating the culture, your local grocery may be flying the pride flag proud — but the believer goes boldly into the kingdom of man carrying the distinctives of the kingdom of heaven! 

Romans 10:14, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” The key to living this out starts with seeing people the way Jesus sees people. Like at the beginning of creation, God is for people and we need to be the same! We don’t view people as gross, wicked, or not worth our time. We don’t need to define people how they define themselves. We must view people as lost, hopeless, and deceived, just as we were. Only then, will we be able to model the kindness, respect, humility, and patience of Christ in a perverse and hostile generation. Only then will we look like the kind of people who’ve been changed by the kind of Savior that we preach! 

You will need to pray and trust the Holy Spirit concerning the situations you find yourself in in our culture.  Perhaps you’re being forced to endorse or participate in the affairs of pride month at your work, regardless of how you’ve vocalized your convictions or concerns. There are times when our environments and our message are so opposing that it proves unfruitful. Even Jesus warns in Matthew 7:6, “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” 

The point is, sometimes you’ve done all that you can do to open your mouth and share the truth gently and lovingly, and it’s now to the point where it’s unfruitful and unhelpful. It’s in these difficult situations where we as believers have to pray, ask for the Spirit’s help in directing our conscience, and trust that “my God shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

The Lord may lead you to a new job, or to a new place to shop or get coffee – but we can trust that His Spirit is with us and that if we trust in the Lord, He will “make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).” 


You Are Loved!
—Pastor Micah