Imagine for a moment that you lived, like Lot and his family, in ancient Sodom (Genesis 19). Unbeknownst to you, in five days your town would be reduced to a burning, sulfurous and uninhabitable ash heap.
Would it please God if you were to spend your last few days sharing Jesus with your fellow townsmen? Would your efforts at evangelizing these violent homosexuals be biblical?
I believe most Christians reading this post might be outraged that I would ask questions they consider bordering on blasphemy. After all, they might reason, does not God command us to share the Gospel with every creature on Earth (Mark 16:15)?
At one time I would have agreed with those holding to the position that God wants us to share the Gospel with every single human on Earth.
I don’t believe that any longer.
What changed my mind? 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.” (ESV)
Though I had read this verse many times over the decades that I have been a Christian and sharing the Gospel with whoever I could, it was not until I listened to a sermon by Rolfe Barnard several years ago that my mind was changed.
Barnard died in 1969. I have listened to many of his sermons online. The one that changed my thinking is here. And there is one particular story Barnard tells in this sermon that perhaps did more than anything to shape and mold the way I think today. It starts at 48:22 and goes to about 55:00.
I believe this is a “must listen to” sermon for everyone active in a soul-winning and evangelistic ministry. It will change your thinking if you are open to its message. But be prepared to be challenged in ways you might not expect.
Barnard can be difficult to listen to because he has an unfortunate quirk in his preaching: he often shouts, occasionally producing ear-splitting screams that might puncture your eardrums if you are wearing headphones.
Outside of this annoying defeat, I have learned much from this old saint and have been blessed by his teachings. Do I agree with everything Barnard teaches? No, but you don’t have to agree with everything someone teaches; he has more gold than chaff.
Believing as Barnard does is a revolutionary and seismic shift in the belief system of your typical Evangelical believer.
Which brings me back to the title of this post: “Should we share the Gospel at ‘Gay Pride’ parades?” I say “no.”
There are several reasons why I don’t believe we should share the gospel at LGBTQ events.
First, it is critical how you view the Gospel. Do you see it as a precious gem, something so infinitely fine and valuable that you would not dream of casting such a jewel into the muddy, filthy and disgusting mire of a pigsty?
Perhaps you are offended by my comparing a gay pride parade to a pigsty, but for anyone who has either attended your typical pride parade or seen pictures of what happens there, the reference is accurate.
I need to define what I mean by “sharing the Gospel.” In a nutshell, this is offering Jesus as follows:
“Friends, the Bible tells us that ‘God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’
“The Bible also tells us that there is none righteous, not even one, that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
“We are all sinners in the eyes of God, but because of what Jesus did on the cross two thousand years ago, shedding His holy and innocent blood for you and I, we can be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life.
“Come to Jesus, friends! He will give you new life, come into your heart and make it clean, wiping away all of your sins.”
I know there is infinitely more to the Gospel than this, but I’m trying to be brief. When we “preach the Gospel,” we are offering to sinners the the path of forgiveness through the shed blood of our Lord. And this is the message I believe we should not offer to unrepentant sodomites proudly parading themselves in their lusts and debauchery at your typical gay pride event.
Have you been to gay pride events or watched videos on Youtube about them? Have you seen two men or two women french kiss each other and/or engage in other types of lewd behavior? Or heard the hateful, vile and blasphemous language and curses out of their mouths against the very Jesus you are offering to them?
What did Jesus do when the people in a particular town asked Him to leave (Mark 5:1-20)? Did He stay, against their clearly stated wishes, because He knew they needed to receive the very message they had no interest in hearing? Why do we think we know better than what the Lord does?
When we do this, we are casting the precious pearl of the Gospel before the feet of pigs. This is in direct opposition to the clear commandment of Jesus not to do this, as Barnard so eloquently and forcibly presents in his convicting sermon.
You have heard, no doubt, this saying: “Law to the proud, grace to the humble.” If anything, those who feel led and compelled to preach at gay pride events should be giving these proud sinners the law and not the gospel. To share anything else except the fact that their horrific sin is leading them straight to hell and judgment is, in my opinion, doing the exact opposite of Matthew 7:6. And we will be held personally accountable for this disobedience.
But back to living in Sodom five days before the Lord rained fire and brimstone upon its inhabitants. Can you imagine what that wicked town must have looked like? A San Francisco Gay Pride event at its worst, but on steroids times a factor of 100.
Those people despised the God of the Bible, reveling in their wickedness and sexual perversion. No doubt Lot tried to tell these vile sodomites about the God he worshipped, but they were not interested in the least in his message.