When the Devil Dances in Your Parade
As my wife, daughter, and I are cruising at 30,000 feet heading back to Dallas, TX from Miami, I couldn’t help but to take a moment and reflect on what occurred during our family vacation this past week.
After spending five days on a cruise we had it in our itinerary to spend a night in Miami, Florida. So on yesterday, we landed at Miami International Airport and hailed a taxi to our hotel, which was a couple of blocks away from the renown Ocean Drive. After checking in, we decided to take a stroll on SOBE (South Beach). The beach and overall scenery was cool, and the weather was sunny and warm.
As we proceeded down the street, we saw signs that some type of event was scheduled to take place: tents, sponsors, music, police cars, and barricades. Of course we wanted to know what we had unknowingly stumbled into, so that we could possibly take part in the festivities. It didn’t take long for us to figure it out because there was rainbow paraphernalia everywhere. It was Miami’s Gay Pride parade. Considering all the things that were going on around the parade, and even in it, we decided it was best to not stick around too long and move away from all of the activity.
While we were doing so, the wife discreetly said, “When I tell you, please turn Desirae around to your right. One, two, three…now.” As I did an about-face, I understood why she requested I do so. There was a man with his face painted red, fully dressed in a folk art costume depiction of the Devil: a red body suit and horns. I thought he was just there as a part of the crowd. But as the parade commenced, I actually saw him dancing in the parade.
Shortly thereafter, we saw two street preachers walking among the bystanders with signs and preaching to them about Jesus’ redemption from sin, God’s love and truth, repentance, and eternal judgment. Almost immediately they were confronted and castigated by a handful of attendees.
To be honest, after seeing all of that, I had mixed emotions. But I was mainly grieved. Grieved by our sinful human condition. Yes, I said our. The Scripture tells us in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” It just so happened that homosexuality and lesbianism were being paraded around on public display that day. (By the way, this statement is not in any way an attempt by me to equalize sin. There are some sins that have more far-reaching and devastating effects and consequences than others.)
And, no, I didn’t say I was grieved by the street preachers. Whereas I would more than likely not have employed some of their methods, I unequivocally agreed with their message, our message, God’s message – the gospel of Jesus – and the accompanying need for us to place our trust in Christ to be saved from and forgiven of sin and to be reconciled back to a right relationship with God.
I must say that I was also grieved by the pride that many people exhibited on that Sunday morning. Anyone who takes an honest, cursory read through the Scriptures will notice that God requires us to humbly turn from our sin to be saved, not to pridefully revel in it. To do the latter, resembles what Jesus said in John 3:19, “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” We will do whatever it takes to keep our thoughts and actions from being exposed as sinful, even if it means redefining bad as good and saying Jesus authorized it. And the truth is there is someone who actively comes alongside to enable us in this twisted endeavor, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4). His name is satan.
I found it ironic to see a man dressed in a devil’s folklore get-up attending this festival. It was, for me, a natural picture of what the devil does spiritually. He keeps us blind to the gospel, deceiving us with false religions and teachings that tickle our ears, and dances with us in our rebellious parades, all the while knowing that unless we trust in Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross and resurrection from the dead, we will face the music of God’s righteous judgment against our sin one day; a tune that he goes to great lengths to change the notes to, so that we will continue to dance straight to our own damnation.
But thanks be to God that Jesus has destroyed the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), rendering his deception ineffective by the conviction of the Holy Spirit through the faithful proclamation of the Good News (and the Bible overall), and securing deliverance from sin and judgment through his redemptive work for all those who believe.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)