I had a heartfelt discussion this weekend with a very dear friend who happens to be gay, and who came to this country from Israel as a teenager. He told me that "it was the Constitution and Bill of Rights that inspired him to become a US citizen." His maternal grandparents survived the Holocaust camps, and his father fought in the Israeli War for Independence in 1948. Both his parents served in the Israeli military, fighting in the Six Day War in 1967 and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The spiritual war against God's chosen people has been imprinted on his DNA.
My friend told me that his grandparents' experiences in the camps, along with their survival and the tenacity and sacrifice of his parents (to give him a better life) has given him both strength and conviction regarding his faith and our freedoms. He told me that having survived Hitler's murderous regime, his grandfather "continuously warned that what happened with the policy of appeasement by governments, and that [the] hatred of Jews and Christians would happen again during my lifetime." And now, we see evidence of that in Orlando, Florida.
Coincidentally, you may have easily dismissed the killing of singer Christina Grimme in Orlando just one day prior to the travesty at the Pulse Club. Allegedly, police now suspect that her murderer traveled from St. Petersburg to Orlando, a distance of some 107 miles, with the specific intent to kill the contestant from NBC's 'The Voice" -- possibly because of her outspoken Christian views. Here is an excerpt from her webpage: In the western world, especially American civilization, when asking for a person's religious standing, the most common response you will encounter is simply "I'm a Christian." Most people subtly just think to themselves "Oh, okay good. I was worried for second." But as I have traveled to Israel recently, fervently prayed and studied Scripture, and examined the culture around me, I have found that when someone says "I'm a Christian," I should be more worried for their soul than if they said "I'm an atheist."
Before you stone me to death with your subconscious judgment, let me explain. If you will, come explore with me what it should look like when a person claims Christianity. Come with me, and let's take a look at the most overused word in the English language. What is this "Christian" stuff all about anyway?
Here was a young woman who obviously took her faith seriously, and was beginning to ask serious questions about what it means to be a Christian. I suspect that she was becoming outspoken and challenging her generation to start recognizing their position in the Kingdom of God. And the Enemy needed her silenced. So can her untimely death be associated in anyway with a jihadist terrorist who slaughtered so many of the gay community in Orlando? I think it can, and here is why. It is time that we Christians understand the reality of a single Bible verse. It is Revelation 12:7 and here is what it says: Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back.
I have heard news commentators saying that the nightclub murderer was "inspired by a foreign terrorist organization". The truth is that he was inspired by a spirit commanded by the devil -- one of the ranks of the Enemy's army that Paul refers to in Ephesians, Chapter 6. And being the Father of Lies, satan can use his influence to convince our leaders that this is a hate crime; or because of the easy availability of guns. There are those who will say that we are losing this war because of political correctness. That is only partially true. We are losing this war because of our spiritual ignorance!
As a nation, we are failing to connect the dots. We need to see that these active shooters -- the one who attacked at the Gay Center in Tel Aviv, Israel; or the two in Orlando; or the one who attempted to attack the Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles yesterday -- are soldiers in the army of satan. They are demonized followers of a false god. To get sidetracked with how to accurately "label" the atrocity is a distraction and part of the devil's strategy to keep us chasing our tails. When a shooter shouts "Allahu Akbar" before beginning his deadly rampage, then it is crystal clear that he is glorifying his satanic master, and worshipping a false god in his holy war.
As I said earlier, this spiritual war is attacking our faith on different levels. I would be insincere if I did not address the facts that these attacks are coming against the gay community. I'm sure there are those Christians who will determine that this is an act of God's judgment against the LGBTQ community. That is a verdict that I, personally, cannot make. God loves His creation, and desires that no one be lost. He "is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). I have no doubt that He is grieved over the loss of those men and women in Florida. And, as a Christian who has gay friends whom I love with a heart like Jesus's, I mourn those who have died because a false god is promoting "a month of conquest and jihad".
That being said, hear me clearly ... I am not saying that I approve of a sinful lifestyle -- anymore than I excuse the sinful lifestyle choices that I have made in my past. There is a common saying: Love the sinner; hate the sin. I know that the Bible does not say that in those precise words. But it does say: And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. I know that whoever does not love, does not know God, and I believe cannot show God to others. So it is my belief that I am to show mercy for the sinner, while maintaining a healthy hatred of sin and its effects on a person.
God, on the other hand, can perfectly love and hate a person at the same time. This means He can love him as someone He created and can redeem, as well as hate him for his unbelief and sinful lifestyle. Therefore, I leave it up to Him to work that out, while I try to continue to show others the benefit of my salvation and redemption.
But because our actions in this physical world (and the battles in the spiritual world) affect and influence each other, I am left wondering just how the flagrant defiance of those involved in the Gay Pride parade in LA will effect satan's allies in this world. Make no mistake! I do not believe God approves this rebellion against Him. But I also believe that this month of Ramadan has special significance for those wishing to sacrifice their lives to their false god. And demonic orders are being given in the spiritual realm to those responsible for carrying them out on the earth. Homosexuality is "illegal" in sharia law and according to Islamic law, homosexuals are subject to being thrown off the top of a building, then stoned. It has been reported that anti-gay messages, attributed to ISIS followers, are now appearing on Twitter and other social media sites.
So, as a final summation, my thoughts and emotions are still in turmoil. I deplore the loss of human life, and I believe God grieves for all His creation. But I see this heinous act from my spiritual consciousness. This is part of something much bigger than what we see before our eyes. It stretches beyond a single gunman in a nightclub in Florida. It extends all the way to the heavenly realms where a war is being waged between God's angels and satan's demonic followers. Jesus has defeated the devil, but the conquered enemy hates the presence of God, and will use his influence to command his generals and his soldiers to kill and destroy. In history, Christian warriors used their weapons of faith in God's Truth, and perseverance in battle to overcome the power of pagan idolatry. We must do the same today. But we must realize that we have access to the power that raised Jesus from the dead; and the Enemy's demonized soldiers are no match. There is a war being waged -- and we better recognize the purpose and goals of our enemy; those both in this physical world and in the spiritual realm! The war in heaven is being manifested on earth. Our enemy has declared his intentions and, as Christians, we can no longer ignore him or neglect our responsibilities in God's Kingdom on earth. Be courageous and stalwart!
Revelation 13:7 "The beast was permitted to go to war against the saints and conquer them. He was given ruling authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation,"