“Oh, I just want them to love Jesus,…that (‘pride’) flag is not important,”….but I would have a problem with it if this had been recommended by the ministerial.” ….said ‘John’, one of the team leaders of a large church in Abbotsford, as we were talking about the decision by his fellow Mennonites on council to promote a gay ‘pride’ flag atop our communal city hall.

Which Jesus does John want people to love? …….. Can it possibly be the same Jesus we read about in Scripture?

Why was this decision so hastily and rather sneakily made, in a city filled with many Bible-believing churches?

Are the streets of Abbotsford teeming with wild-eyed, gay-bashing thugs, that a severe corrective has become necessary?  If so the thugs have managed to keep a very low profile.  The Abbotsford News never informed us that there was rampant homophobic hate playing out all over this Bible-belt of B.C.  Actually, the News thought the councils decision so boring they didn’t even report on it, at first.

There was no virulent gay-bashing here.  There are people who believe that nature shows men and women were designed for each other.  There are people here who know the creator of the universe has given mankind his rules for sexual behaviour, and that God, who created us in his own image, tells us we are to rule the earth.  He wrote the handbook for humanity, by which we live on a higher plane than the animals.

If Richard hadn’t been at the public council meeting he’d likely not have known that 8 of our 9 leaders voted to raise a gay pride flag, over all of this city they lead.

Raising a flag over a government building denotes enormous respect, honour, dignity, worthiness.  It symbolizes something or someone who has achieved something to be honoured or celebrated across the broad spectrum of the citizens of that city, province or land.  Something high, and lofty.  Something we can all share, in a collective joy, or in mourning the death of a significant person.

Adherents of gay pride are comparable to people who join a club, a group who meet because they share similar interests.  I belong to several clubs.  In every way gay people are like everyone else in society.

What sets this ‘club’, (comprised of ordinary human beings with diverse skills and interests), so apart that their peculiar shared interests are this worthy of exaltation,…….so worthy that a flag must be raised in honour of their club?   What dignifies this group so much that all other citizens must gaze up at their flag in awe?

Well according to Mayor Henry Braun, he voted for a big ‘Pride’ flag atop city hall because, “we need to reach out a community that feels very discriminated against.”

So that’s it!  Just got to feel hurt, or not appreciated enough, or slighted, or not promoted enough,……or whatever.  Any perceived slight can apparently get you a flag raised in your honour.

But is this relentless mantra of discrimination even true?  I do not believe it to be anymore true than the untold billions of hurts fallen human beings have inflicted on each other since man’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden. If people who self-identify as any of the categories under LGBTQ+ are being genuinely mistreated, …… then deal with that, in the same way that authorities should stop and punish anyone who molests a child, beats on women, steals from others, cheats employees of their wages.  When justice is perverted the land mourns.

In my 70 years of life I have seen people bullied, insulted, denigrated, ostracized and even physically hurt for any number of things.  They were too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, red hair, freckles, big-feet.  Their mother wore army boots.  Whatever!

Any excuse will do for one nasty person to hurt others.  But those sorts of things abound, and happen to almost every person who ever lived.  The governing authorities cannot be there to protect us from insults and hurt feelings.  But when we are transformed in our hearts and minds and souls, then we start growing into a different sort of person.  We change when the Lord of life lives within our being, so that our lower nature starts being replaced by his divine nature.  That change is only complete when we die.  Till then even Christians will stumble and sin, though they are saints, in that it is Jesus blood and righteousness, not our own goodness that saves us.

I know that God IS, and that he made the handbook for life.  I know that life lived in the light of his word, by the power of the Holy Spirit is a life infinitely better than trying to make it in this sinful world without him.  I know that I was the beggar who found the bread of life, and I want to tell others about the only Saviour of their souls too.

Militant ‘gay pride’ who demand that we “accept, celebrate, endorse and embrace,” – their views on sexual acts, want to frame the debate by calling people (like me) ignorant, hateful and hurtful.

I CALL IT LOVE – that Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem, knowing the terrible cross that awaited him there.

I CALL IT LOVE – that even when Jesus could have called down all the angels of heaven to rescue him, he stayed on the cross of agony, and bore on his sinless body the price of all the sins of the world that had rejected their God.

I CALL IT LOVE  – that compelled Christians to leave the comfort and affluence of their homes to travel to poor, often dangerous places to share the love of God, shown to us in Christ.

I CALL IT LOVE –  when the people of God speak the truth even to their own hurt, because they love God and their fellow man too much to be silent about truth of our lost condition.

I CALL IT LOVE  – when a doctor tells the truth about our condition and prescribes the cure, difficult though it may be to take.

Sin separates us from God.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father, but through him.  There is no other name in heaven or on earth by which we can be saved.  Salvation is the free gift of God, extended – offered to all who come to Christ by faith.

Love for God and for our fellow man compels Christians to speak the truth about God.  It’s wonderful that we can know the love of God, here below, and know we’ll live with him through all eternity, but that is an eternity offered to everyone who will receive, by faith, the salvation Jesus died to purchase for us all.

God knows our weaknesses and he is a merciful God, but wilful disobedience to him is foolish, self-destructive. Ultimately, rejection of his word will lead us to everlasting separation from the God of all love. Hell is a place reserved for the Devil and his angels, it should not be the destination of any humans because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins.

Had our council been made up of unbelievers,  atheists or pagans,…..it would not have been so sad, to hear of the decision made by them last week to raise,…..  in honour,……. a flag that symbolizes deviance and rebellion against the clearly expressed will of God for human sexuality.  

We don’t raise flags in honour of divorce, though a lot of people suffer the pain of divorce.  We don’t raise a flag to exalt alcoholism,  though a lot of us struggle with addictions.

A flag denotes a huge honour.  Lets raise government flags for the things that unite us, and are worthy of respect, celebration and honour, not issues that are so divisive.

God has a great deal to say to leaders and warns them not to lead his people astray.

” Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”  –  Proverbs 14

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