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The Parable of the Boiling Frog

You have probably heard the parable of the boiling frog.  No, it is not a parable the Lord taught, but it is an illustrative story that teaches a spiritual lesson.  In case you have not heard it, I will repeat it.  A man dropped a frog into a pot of boiling water, and immediately the frog leaped out of the pot because of the heat.  After this, the man took the same frog a placed it into a pot of room-temperature water, and the frog was content to stay there.  Then, the man placed the pot with the water and the frog onto a stove and slowly heated the water until it finally began to boil.  This time, even though the water was boiling, the frog never jumped out.  Instead, the frog remained in the pot and was killed because it could not detect the gradual increase in heat.

The lesson of this parable is not about frogs and boiling water, but it is about the dangerous way that sin progresses.  Fifty years ago, our society was like the frog that jumped from the first pot of boiling water.  Back then, we recognized the wickedness of many of the sins that we widely accept today, and we turned away from those sins.  What has happened in those fifty years to change the way we tolerate sin?  The truth is that the slow and steady influence of wickedness has crept in virtually unnoticed.  Just as the gradual change in water temperature was not sudden enough to alert the frog, so also the trickle of sin was not strong enough to disturb us.  Before the frog realized it, the undetected danger of the heat took his life.  What will the undetected danger of sin take from us?

This parable has many specific applications, but let us presently see its application in the topic of homosexuality.  The practice of homosexuality has always been an abomination to God (Gen. 13:13; 19:5-7; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; 1Ki. 14:24; Rom. 1:24-27; 1Cor. 6:9; Jude 7).  The sinfulness of homosexuality is not honestly debatable from a Scriptural standpoint.  However, homosexuality is currently tolerated, accepted, and in many ways celebrated as an alternative lifestyle throughout most of the western world.  This was not true fifty years ago, but a slow and steady homosexual agenda has led us to this current state.  This change has been facilitated by small things, such as the use of the word “gay” instead of homosexual (to imply that homosexuals are happy), the inclusion of homosexual characters in movies and television shows (to get us accustomed to the idea), the revelation of certain celebrities’ homosexuality (to give us homosexual role models), and the suggestion that homosexuality is a biological condition (to give this sin a scientific excuse).  Little by little, these influences have affected successive generations so that a person’s “sexual orientation” is now viewed in the same terms as his ethnicity or his gender rather than in terms of his choice to sin.  Thus, what was rejected as sin fifty years ago is now considered mainstream.

In terms of our parable and the topic of homosexuality, the pot of water may not quite be boiling yet.  The latest movement is an attempt to further legitimize homosexuality by legalizing homosexual marriage.  The current battleground is the state of California, where the state’s supreme court ruled to allow same-sex marriages to begin on June 17 of this year (2008), overturning an earlier ban that was approved by voters.  In November, California voters will determine if the state’s constitution will be amended to permanently ban homosexual marriage.  As the two sides of the issue fight it out, homosexual advocates see California as one step in their larger agenda.  Nine major homosexual rights groups recently issued a memo (called “Make Change, Not Lawsuits”) urging their members to win the issue one state at a time before approaching the federal level.  They say, “Marriage in California will transform the national debate on the freedom to marry.  It will do that because California is an American trendsetter.”  According to our parable, each state won by the homosexuals will bring the water one step closer to the boiling point.

Let us understand that just as the boiling water is always dangerous to the frog, so also sin is always sinful to the sinner.  Sin is no less offensive to God today than it was fifty years ago.  The only difference between then and now is in the way man perceives sin and not in the way God perceives it.  Recognizing homosexuality through civil laws will not make it right anymore than rewriting the science books will change the boiling point of water.  Boiling water kills the frog, and sin kills the soul.  Therefore, let us be as sensitive to creeping, subtle sins as we are to sudden sins so that we may escape from the danger.

Stacey E. Durham
Click here to read the follow-up article: The Water Is Getting Hotter



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