Barbed wire is an interesting thing. Of it’s own, it’s a good deterrent for cattle, to keep them fenced in. Its pricks are not friendly, but if a cow was determined he could probably get through one of these fences, and then have the whole world as his pasture.
In Romans 1, the Bible speaks of a different kind of fence, a restraint on this world against sin—and thereby against the consequences of sin.
Many have taken this passage and used it in the frame of the homosexual debate, and it does has some application there. But there’s a bigger application I think we miss if we limit this to a conversation on homosexuality.
The whole passage talks about God’s reaction to a people that continually want to go their own way:
You see, God is right now pouring out His wrath (1:18) upon America by allowing stubborn, sinful men and women who are dead set in their own ways and rebellion against Him to do whatever they want. Do they want to engage in homosexuality and lesbiansim (1:26-27)? No governor here. Do they want to live lives marked by “sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malciousness, envy, murder, strife, deceit, and evil-mindedness” (1:28-29)? God’s not yelling. Do they want to be “whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, and unmerciful?” God is sitting up in heaven and watching it happen without lifting a finger to stop it.
But how can God’s lack of action be classified as Him pouring out His wrath? It’s because He understands something that hardened, calloused rebels don’t: He understands that the rebel lifestyle, when carried out to its desired extreme, is a fire that ultimately gets so big and so hot that it consumes the rebel himself. The rebel truly believes that he is living the high life, but in reality he is only destroying himself. In this way, he virtually judges himself and pours out God’s wrath upon himself. And, make no mistake, this is exactly what is happening with millions of Americans. [Is God Judging America?]
The truth of the matter is that the Creator knows the rules by which this world operates. Sin will seem pleasant, for a season, and yet the result of sin is never something good—it ends in slavery, not freedom. It binds one tight, and escalates to keep one’s attention. It’s not forgiving, and will always demand more.
It’s not too late to turn it around, but this can’t come from Washington, and won’t come from elected leaders. It must come from the ground up, through people reaching other people.