Now it is time for me to bring things into balance. Morality is significant as is an outward indicator of inward realities. The morality of a culture is significant because it can be used as a barometer of the people. Yes, there are times and places where we have to take a stand on moral issues. I have prayed in front of abortion clinics and spoken before a city council concerning public displays of homosexual promiscuity. I honestly have no desire to belittle anyone or act as though morality in the church or the culture is not significant. And yes, the rage against morality is, ultimately, a rage against the One from whom all morality flows. For those who say, “You can’t legislate morality” the appropriate answer is that “morality is the only thing you can legislate.” The conflict comes over which morals are enforced and to what extent they are enforced.
What I hope we as a people grasp though, is that morality is not our banner. God did not call us to be a moral people, He called us to be a Spirit endued people having been born into another kingdom and living in a daily expression of that kingdom upon the earth. If we are living that way, we will automatically display the morality of our God. Yes, moral failures in the church must be dealt with, but let us go to the root and remove the cancer there rather than reacting to behavior.
The expression that God desires the church to be transcends morality. When we are that expression we will find ourselves in the unique situation Jesus did. While He was the height of holiness, He was necessarily in conflict with both the sinner and the religious. This is because He was demonstrating an eternal kingdom and religious men, us included, can far too easily put down roots in this age and time and preach morality rather than live as a stranger and wanderer in the land. His message not only cries repent to the homosexual, it first cries repent to the American protestant living the American, right-wing conservative dream. Why? Because those who claim to hold God’s truth are responsible for being an expression of Him. He does not expect such an expression from the pagan not claiming regeneration.
Therefore, He cries repent first to His own people. Can you not hear His words, “Woe to you Capernaum, for if the things done among you were done in Sodom they would have repented!” We claim to have the work of regeneration and enduement of the Spirit. We have the written words of life in Scripture. He looks to us first, having those demonstrations and requires of us first to be that demonstration of His body on the earth.
Deep down I have a feeling that if we are that demonstration that we just might be amazed at how many of those we now consider enemies might genuinely be converted. The most immoral men and women have proven their willingness to oppose society. God needs just such revolutionaries. Once they see within us the presence of the Divine God they too might just bow the knee at a demonstration so other worldly that they are forced to cry out, “truly this is the Son of God!”
Please hear what I have said in context. There will always be conflict between the church and the world in the area of morality. The core issue is that the conflict should be at a much deeper level. It should be a conflict of kingdoms. That we have not yet seen, and yet that is what God is pre-eminently concerned for. If you are fighting in the battle for the culture, do not stop fighting if God has called to your post. Just make sure that in your struggle against the onslaught of wickedness and immorality, and it is very real, that your primary battlefield is the conflict of an eternal kingdom not made with hands that is, at its essence, even in conflict with the very government you are seeking to utilize to stem the flow of evil in this place and time.
The fundamental issue then is not morality, it is God and when we make God or core pursuit and He begins the defining element among His people we will find a conflict, not just with the immoral, but with the religious as well. The core problem among us is that, while we appreciate His sacrifice, and want to “be better” I wonder if we really want to deal with the uncreated One. This is the adventure to which we are called. It is both a terror and a thrill. See to it that you settle for nothing less.