Should Pastors Conduct SSM Ceremonies?
Countries legislating for same-sex marriages have created a quandary for Pastors, Christian celebrants, Christian businesses involved in the wedding industry like cake makers—and every believer.
Recently, while in Israel, the Lord spoke to me in a dream. It contained a serious message for the Church. Like other western countries have done, during October 2017, Australians were asked to “vote” yes, or no, for same sex marriage. Bigotry towards Christians became blatant. Our sports loving country even turned on Margret Court, former Wimbledon champion, now pastor. Friends have spoken of their dilemma to join social media discussion because of family members caught in the lifestyle.
Simultaneous to the vote in Australia, we were on worship tour in Israel. Specifically our tour was about decreeing “From Saul to David.”
Believers are crying out for revival and desperately want the “Ark” of His Glory to be manifested again. Yet, historically, the Ark could only come back to the heart of Israel after Saul was dead and David became King. Saul is a type of the flesh, and David a type of the Spirit. The Spirit of God is really highlighting the shift needed in all our hearts. During our tour, the Holy Spirit revealed to all of us, areas where “Saul” attitudes were still in our hearts. (Ouch!)
So in the midst of this context, I had this confronting dream, which is a serious word to the whole Church—but especially leaders and those who have a marriage license.
In the dream I was asked to conduct a marriage ceremony for a lady involved in our ministry, and her female partner, who in the natural is involved in the New Age / witchcraft. (FYI - no such relationship in the natural!)
I was to conduct the marriage ceremony on a particular Friday night at 10:30 pm. In my dream, at the time the arrangements were made I was unaware that it was actually a “same sex marriage”—until I went to prayer! While in prayer, clarity came and I had a horrid realization that this was a same sex marriage. The Lord then thundered—NO! And gave me the severest warning. He said if I conducted the ceremony we would lose the vote in the land and I would also lose my ministry. I then was trying to work out how to communicate my decision to the lady in our ministry. I wanted her to hear what I had to say but also didn’t want to create any unnecessary harm.
Derek Prince said; “all homosexuality is spiritual”. If it’s a spiritual problem then it needs a spiritual answer! Therefore we need God’s voice, wisdom and counsel to navigate through the tricky minefield that now exists for the church! So what is the Lord saying to us? In unpacking this dream, there is obviously much more wisdom and counsel beyond this one article!
First, in the dream I was “unaware” of the reality of what was happening, even though I knew the “facts” that two women were about to be “married”. Satan creates delusion to deceive and hoodwink “even the very elect”. Like he did to Adam and Eve, the devil is always trying to undermine God’s authority: “Did God really say?”
Even though I have stood strongly and publicly with the Word of God regarding SSM, yet at the start of my dream I was “unaware” of the true nature of the marriage request. This is a picture of deception.
The debate and results in Australia revealed too many Christians and too many clergy are unaware of the true nature of issues around SSM. Deception, seduction and delusion whitewash sin with emotion charged one-liners: “equality”, “love is love”.
Some believers become frustrated or saddened by believers who openly agreed with or practice SSM. If all homosexuality is spiritual, as said by Derek Prince, then in the heat of debate, we should remember Ephesians 6:12 and take our angst out on spiritual powers rather than people!
Second, the two people seeking to be married were women. As a metaphor a woman generally represents the Church. A picture of His Bride! He is jealous for His Bride. His heart aches for her. Warnings are from His heart of love.
The spiritual condition of the two women in the dream is important for the Church. In the natural, one woman is a Christian, and the other is involved in New Age / witchcraft. In the dream the Christian lady represents the Church body. The other lady represents the world, the flesh and the devil. The dream is first a warning to the Church about SSM. it is also a warning to the Church about ungodly alignments. We must not be in any agreement or unity with the mindset of our culture, or the devil. Paul is very clear about this.
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” (Romans 12:2 TPT)
Third, both the day and time for the SSM ceremony to take place are significant.
Friday evening is the start of Shabbat—the day of the week the Lord has said is holy and to be consecrated to Him. For God’s Bride to be aligning with perversion instead of being set apart for Him, is a deliberate violation of God’s call, His holy nature but also His timing.
Daniel had a vision of a time when an enemy of God will; “…persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law.”
(Daniel 7:25 NKJV)
The purpose for God’s times and seasons are to bless and prosper us. His Word provides wisdom and guidance to live life to the full. They are for our benefit. The enemy’s purpose is to circumvent the season of revival harvest, of glory and blessing. The enemy desperately wants us to get out of God’s alignment and timing. Only then can he activate the curses to destroy us!
The time of the wedding is significant. It is most unusual for a wedding to be at 10.30 at night! It reveals something that is clandestine. Hidden. It is an activity of the night and of darkness!
The numbers themselves contain a message. Analogue time. Biblically, ten represents completion of a trial, a test, or judgment, e.g. 10 plagues. Eleven is disorder or disintegration.
10:30 would therefore be a time between when the trial is completed and a time when disorder and disintegration commences. Hence it is a time of rapid decline toward chaos. The slippery slope of compromise with the world’s ways ends with disintegration of society. Chaos. Darkness.
In some other recent dreams the Lord has spoken to me about Genesis 1:2. At creation there was darkness, no form, and an abyss. But into that darkness and chaos the Spirit of God hovered, brooded in preparation for a creative miracle. In the darkness around us we can be decreeing the sound of the Spirit brooding!
A few days after having this dream, our Israel tour happened to be at the Dead Sea. We stopped at the place believed to be Sodom, where Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt. At the very same time we were there, Lyle Shelton (CEO of Australian Christian Lobby and a strong voice for marriage between a man and a woman) was speaking in our hometown of Bendigo. This was not something “planned”, but nevertheless a poignant reminder.
As we stood at Sodom, it was a grim reminder that God will not be mocked. A previously fertile region is now rocks and salt. The great empires of Rome and Greece were also destroyed by the same lifestyle as Sodom. I do not pretend to know how this (the choice to legislate SSM) will play out in our nation or western society, but when we choose to disregard the maker’s instructions, the “guarantee” is no longer valid.
Fourth, in the dream I was only made aware of the true nature of the situation when I was in prayer.
For the most part, the most significant push back against SSM that took place within the Christian community, has arisen from those connected to, or in someway affected by, the prayer movement. The priority of prayer and worship is what ultimately “awakens” us to truth and reality.
In these perilous times, time in the Lord’s Presence through prayer and worship, are keys to stay in truth and reality, rather being misled by lies. It is also the place where we are strengthened and filled with courage to stand and resist the devil. In my dream, from the place of prayer and worship I knew the truth. No longer was I in deception, but now the reality of the situation became clear. Furthermore, I had clarity about what I needed to do. And I had the strength to act on the conviction.
In these days the houses of prayer will increase in importance and numerically, as people need places of refuge.
Fifth, this specific warning from the Lord is severe, particularly for Church leaders, and those with a marriage license. In the dream I represent church leaders.
It is possible in the future, that Christian leaders could go to jail if they refuse to marry those requesting a same sex union. Or they could go to jail for teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman.
While the challenge is for those conducting marriage ceremonies, every believer is also being faced with a decision. What to do if a relative invites you to their SSM? What about parents of school age children, if they are in conflict with their school re male and female “fluidity” and SSM marriage? While such issues should not be presented to young children, nevertheless, if schools do, how do parents respond? In conversations around kitchen tables, and coffee shops, how do we respond when standards liberal standards of marriage and morality are pushed?
Christians are facing serious challenges not encountered before. What to do? Will we be faithful to God or compromise? Will we obey God or man? Will we falter or be loyal to the Lord even if it costs us?
Self-preservation, acceptance and even popularity are pressure points of compromise. A severe shift has already taken place. Society and the western Church is on a contentious tipping point, with severe persecution a real possibility.
In 1993 after releasing my book “Restoring True Worship”, we travelled Australia sharing the message. At the end of our tour I was quite shocked at the general apathy we encountered—not from the remnant of course! I said then, and often since…”I hope it will not take persecution to wake the Church in Australia.” Sadly, that seems to be where we are headed.
However, it is not all gloom, for in the midst of great darkness…the glory of the Lord shines. (Isa 60:1-2) Those who know God do great exploits.
First lets consider, the strong warning in the dream. The Lord specifically said that if I, a picture of Church leaders, conducted the wedding, then the vote would be lost and I would lose my own ministry. This is huge. And a serious warning.
Statistically, more than 60% of Australians said “yes” to SSM, while just under 40% said “no” vote. Bill Muehlenberg lamented on FB on 15th November, “The percentage of those who voted “yes” is basically the same percentage of Christians in Australia. Had all Christians voted, and voted no, we would have won handsomely. Tells you a lot about the appalling state of the church in Australia today!”
In 2016, Lance Wallnau had a word from the Lord that Donald Trump was God’s choice as President to be a wrecking ball of political correctness. The prophetic words from Lance and others, was the reason believers were mobilized to seriously pray and vote in the U.S. elections. The difference in Donald Trump becoming President was the awakened Christian vote.
Winning or losing the vote, is one thing. But it is also about our voice being heard, and our ability to impact our culture. I believe the Lord is saying that if we compromise we will firstly lose our voice and authority in the land and then we will also lose our ministry.
This would be a double loss of authority—in the nation and also in the Church! Influence, calling and destiny would be lost. Not just of the individuals, but also, nations lose their moral compass. And if any of us lose our ministry, it is not only a loss to us, but the whole body suffers. A needed gift that was put in place by God is no longer available or operating. Society loses, the Church loses—and the individual loses. The only winner is Satan.
Sixth, I was then seeking the Lord’s wisdom to communicate His commands. The debate in Australia highlighted the difficulties in conveying truth with love. Such communications are akin to walking a tight rope! Only the wisdom of God can safely navigate the territory. It is never our intention to offend individuals with truth. Nor is it easy to communicate truth when it is interpreted as being as “unloving”.
The rampaging spirit of Leviathan is eager to twist communications and cause all kinds of division. To navigate this minefield, we really do need the seven Spirit of the Lord, especially understanding, wisdom and counsel.
So how do we respond to such a dream? First we must hear what the Spirit is saying, and especially heed the warning. Secondly be motivated to be faithful to God’s Word about marriage. While the dream contains a huge warning, there is also a promise. Where compromise lost authority in the nation and in ministry, obedience and faithfulness to God keeps and increases authority and influence!
Our choice is to lose our influence or be among the world changers! As spiritual people, we are the only ones who can really deal with the spiritual condition.
SEVEN KEYS TO BE WORLD CHANGERS!
- Our protection from deception is to be a ‘lover of the truth’. Satan uses “every form of evil deception in order to deceive those who are perishing because they rejected the love of the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10 TPT)
Make truth a priority. Pray without ceasing to be in alignment with the Lord’s plumb line. His Word is eternal. It is truth. It is established and trustworthy in heaven and earth.
- Pray to be in the plumb line of the Lord. Align with godly people. Stay humble. Leviathan the twister of communications is also the “king of pride”.
- Make prayer and worship the #1 priority. Intimacy to hear His voice is not just a nice idea, but imperative in this season. Intimacy with Him is needed to receive strength and courage. Intimacy to resist spirits of rejection. I do not believe God’s people will survive outside of the gatherings where worship and prayer are the main activities.
- Pray for the Spirit of God to brood over the darkness. The Lord is still on His throne…and declaring his light into the darkness partners with heaven to shift the nations into God’s plumbline.
- Shift from the heart of Saul to David. Saul lost his throne because he compromised with God’s enemies. God’s enemies must become our enemies! David destroyed God’s enemies.
Saul became remorseful but not repentant… he was trying to save face before the people! When sexual sin weakened David, he repented because God was the offended party. A key to the heart of David, and bringing in the glory Ark is true repentance—not for appearances, but sorrow that we broke God’s heart. Like David, the Church needs to own its failures in regards to all sexual sin—adultery and fornication included.
- Pray for leaders. Pray for all Christians. But especially pray for leaders—and those with a marriage license. Pray for courage and strength. Pray they will remain strong and faithful. Ask the Lord to send angelic reinforcements and needed encouragement to stand.
- Seven Spirits of God. Because homosexuality is spiritual, we should ask for the seven Spirits of God (Isaiah 11:1-2). Deal with Leviathan so communications are not twisted. Leviathan is not a spirit that can be cast out. Only God can take off its head. But we can through humility and repentance close access to it.
While the dream is a warning, in reverse there is also a great promise. Where compromise led to lost authority in the nation and in ministry—so too, obedience to God maintains and even increases authority and influence.
“So who are the world conquerors, defeating its power [the world’s power]? Those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” (I John 5:4,5 TPT)
Believers in Yeshua, we are “world conquerors”! And we have been given powerful keys if we implement them. One of the most powerful is found in Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him (the great dragon, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
However, most of us only quote the first two steps and thus miss the fullness of the promise. But to overcome we must include the vital third key. It’s a threefold strand that cannot be broken! Therefore we need all three keys. The verse finishes; “They triumphed because they did not love and clingto their own lives, even when faced with death.” (TPT)
Willingness to surrender our comfort, security, and future to Yeshua is key to keeping our voice and our ministry! Yeshua told us, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
We are being tested, warned and challenged. But believing in Yeshua and His words are world changing!
“So who are the world conquerors, defeating its power [the world’s power]? Those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” (I John 5:4,5 TPT)
God is not surprised at the events in the nations. He is the one shaking them! And notice what He is shaking.
“The earth was rocked at the sound of his voice from the mountain, but now he has promised, “… I will not only shake the systems of the world, but also the unseen powers in the heavenly realm!”(Hebrews 12: 26 TPT)
It is the systems of the world and the powers of darkness that are being shaken in this amazing time in history.