Some 3,500 people took part in the pride parade in Haifa last Friday. The participants marched along Moriah Boulevard to Gan Ha’Em, located in the center of the Carmel. The parade in Haifa joined a series of pride events in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities around the country to mark the month of pride.
About 200 people arrived on Thursday evening at the promenade in Tiberius and participated in the first gay pride event in the city’s history. At the same time, there was a protest against the event.
It is a sad fact that while Israel takes only a single day out of the year to commemorate our fallen soldiers, we take a full month to talk about, raise awareness of and celebrate gay pride. The LGBTQ+ activists are putting colossal efforts into spreading their agenda, and said efforts are bearing fruit. We are seeing more pride events in different parts of the country, same-sex attraction is being successfully normalized, and homosexual couples’ right to raise children trivialized.
I heard one time on a Christian radio show somebody saying: “I wish we would have the same fervor for spreading the gospel as the gay community has for spreading their ideas.” The community of believers in the land is small, and may not be as influential as the larger homosexual community, but do we have the same passion for the Truth as same-sex proponents have for their version of it? It is not a critique of the Body in Israel, but a personal question each of us has to ask himself/herself.
During this month of pride, we as believers ought to take our pride as followers of Yeshua and engage society; we need to join the conversation. It is indeed ironic that the LGBTQ+ uses the rainbow as its flag, as the rainbow was given to humankind as a sign of the covenant that never again will God wipe out living creatures in sight of their wickedness. It is as if the gay community waves the sign of the covenant in His face, celebrating their God-given freedom to disobey Him, knowing He isn’t going to smite them.
God extends an invitation of love and forgiveness, and He does so through us, His children, those who hear His voice. We have to show kindness to a sexually-broken people made imago dei, and do so with gentleness and compassion. I urge the body of believers to be active, but also to be sensitive, and don’t be in a hurry to dismiss their feelings, as many carry a lot of baggage, hurt and shame.
We are few, but the gospel has power to change human hearts, transform communities and impact the culture we’re living in. Israeli culture is far from holy, but like spies, we infiltrate our families, neighborhoods and workplaces, creating ripples of change and planting seeds of grace. Take pride this month in the God you serve.