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Volume 16, Issue 2: Doctrine 101

The Rainbow

Patch Blakey

I was speaking with a Christian father a while back, and he commented that his children had come home with some rainbow-colored book covers. However, given our current perverted cultural climate, he wasn't too certain whether it would be appropriate for his children to use these book covers on their school books. After all, we are always sending a "message" of some sort by how we speak, dress, and act in public, and he was concerned for his children to be sending a clear, strong biblical message.

I agree with this father's commitment to have his children manifest a Christian message to the world around them, and we, as God's children, certainly don't want to compromise with the world. Although I believe that the issue of the rainbow book covers merited some honest consideration by this father, I think that he represents a more serious concern than he may have recognized.
In our current God-hating culture, the rainbow has come to represent sexual issues of a grave nature. While I gladly recognize that other cultural lifestyles do exist and that it is well for others to be proud of their ethnic backgrounds, there is also an aspect of inclusiveness that transgresses biblical standards of righteousness. In this sense, the rainbow has also come to symbolize all forms of sexual perversion and deviation by some organizations that exist to promote the lifestyles of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transexuals. The apparent implication in the use of the rainbow symbol is that there are many different colors that go into forming the rainbow, and they are all good. While I agree with the premise, I am in strong opposition to the inference that such a symbol is equally applicable to sexual perversion.
What is worse, the rainbow is a Christian symbol. By it, God set a universal sign of His covenant between Himself and every living creature. This symbol reminds God that He will never flood the whole earth again, destroying all living flesh, including mankind. "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. . . and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh" (Gen. 9:13,15).
In the New Testament, the rainbow is used to remind Christians of God's heavenly throne and of the crown on Christ's head. "And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. . . . And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire" (Rev. 4:3; 10:1).
These are clearly biblical references that demonstrate God's majesty, beauty, sovereignty, and goodness to mankind. Christians should not be too eager to relinquish this glorious God-given symbol. To the contrary, Christians should actively take steps to proclaim the Christian origin and meaning of the rainbow to such a degree that those who would seek to usurp it would shudder at the mere sight of it and be appalled at the thought of ever having sought to claim it as their own.
Was it not because of the wickedness in the hearts of men that God destroyed the earth in the flood? "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, `I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth'"(Gen. 6:5-7a).
Since the rainbow also reminds us, as well as God, of His promise not to destroy the earth with a flood again, should it not be just as effective in reminding us of the reason He destroyed it in the first place? The rainbow, therefore, also serves as a reminder of God's wrath and judgment. The fact that the rainbow is closely associated with the heavenly throne and Christ's crown should be an indication that God will ultimately judge men through Christ for their wickedness.
If we as Christians are to be faithful witnesses, we will glory in the rainbow, just as we do the cross. We should claim the rainbow as our own and joyously proclaim the gospel message that it represents, as well as the eternal judgment that it portends for those who reject Jesus as King. The rainbow is not a nice logo for those who use it to symbolize their devious and perverse conduct. Instead, it is a sign of God's condemnation against them for their sin, as well as God's promise of hope for them in Christ. When they use it, they heap burning coals upon their own heads, for God is not mocked.
And as for us as God's children, let's not be too quick to give away our symbolic heritage. We should not shy away too easily from the glorious symbol of the rainbow as though we were ashamed to be associated with it. Instead, we should be the first to incorporate the symbol of the rainbow or have our children use it to cover their school books.

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