You have become weak, so make yourselves strong again. Keep on the right path, so the weak will not stumble but rather be strengthened.
Try to live in peace with all people, and try to live free from sin. Anyone whose life is not holy will never see the Lord. Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace and begins to cause trouble among you. A person like that can ruin many of you. Be careful that no one takes part in sexual sin or is like Esau and never thinks about God. ~ Hebrews 12:12-16
I try to keep politics out of my blog because any opinion I have is strong and I prefer to keep my posts focused on God’s developing of me as an individual. But today’s political hot topic crosses directly into the territory I am led to write about – relationships.
Last night, before bed, I saw on my FB feed a comment by a pastor suggesting many Christians were about to get angry over President Barack Obama’s recently declared stance on same-gender marriage. This morning I woke up and saw another pastor’s outraged claim that it is a “sad day in America” because Obama has made an “anti-God decision” when he announced to the world, “I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.” This pastor went on to claim that this country has gone far afield of our “founding father” Christopher Columbus’s Holy Spirit-led vision for America. The reference to Columbus as being Holy Spirit led had me dismissing his whole statement with an incredulous laugh. Which must be how others see and respond to Christians when we raise ourselves so far above the world that we can no longer see the road we took to God.
Even as I contemplated the above two response examples of congregation leadership here in the United States, a quiet voice was whispering to me, “Let he without sin cast the first stone….”
Christians are so “good” at judging others. So “good” at trying to control the world. So “good” at telling others how to live and how to please God. But these are the same “Christians” that aren’t all that great at believing and trusting God in their own lives. They aren’t so great at allowing God to be God in their own environment and homes. The Bible has a word for that – hypocrite. Your sin is no less egregious than the sin you’re condemning with all you vitriolic energy.
If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us.But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.If we say we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and we do not accept God’s teaching. ~ 1 John 1:8-10, NCV
Christians do not have the right to dictate how other people live. We have the edict to show the Christ in us through the way we choose to live. We are exhorted to set ourselves apart and be living examples and testimonies of Jesus Christ. From this perspective, it doesn’t matter what the world does, because our assignment is to present Christ to the world and help world-dwellers find their way to Christ. We can’t do this if we’re angry and disgusted and thinking the people we should be serving are getting more than they deserve. Remember – the sin you confess is not a better caliber sin than homosexuality.
Surely you know that the people who do wrong will not inherit God’s kingdom. Do not be fooled. Those who sin sexually, worship idols, take part in adultery, those who are male prostitutes, or men who have sexual relations with other men, those who steal, are greedy, get drunk, lie about others, or rob—these people will not inherit God’s kingdom In the past, some of you were like that, but you were washed clean. You were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Though none of my sins seem exceptionally big to me, any spot or blemish I allow in my life is an affront to God. My not-so-big-sin is the same as the next person’s HUMONGOUS sin – in God’s eyes. Homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God – and neither will liars. How often have you neglected to speak the unvarnished truth? Adulterers are listed as those who will never attain the Kingdom of Heaven either… as are people who get drunk. When’s the last time you got a bit tipsy? First Corinthians 6:9-11 is not a list of sins that’s meant to condemn people, it’s a list that’s meant to offer hope to those who still live in darkness. As long as we breathe, we all will fall short of God’s glory. Those of us who have exited the darkness, repent quickly when needed and bring ourselves forcefully under the dominion of Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to share our experience of God with those who are still in darkness (i.e. still sinning). But if we’re condemning them and insisting that they are less than we are in God’s sight, they aren’t going to heed us, and worst, we’ve forfeited our commission before we’ve even gotten started.
Remember the verse that pulled so strongly at your heart, John 3:16, God loved the WORLD so much that He gave His only begotten Son. It doesn’t say that God loved those who loved Him, or that God loved those who set themselves above others, or that God loved those who believe on His Son…. No. The word says that God loved those who were in darkness so much… He loved those without hope so much… He loved those who did not know that they were dead so much that He sacrificed Himself so that those wretchedly lost people will know life.
So if we say we have fellowship with God, but we continue living in darkness, we are liars and do not follow the truth.But if we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other. Then the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from every sin. ~ 1 John 1:6-7
Before you and I confessed Christ, we were one of those wretched souls dying in darkness. Remember that – it will keep you humble when you encounter those who are just trying to get by with their knowledge of the world. And remembrance will keep you prayerful when you are called to minister to these same people.
I do believe homosexuality is a sin. God’s word says so. But I also believe that a homosexual person has the right to choose their life-path and live how they choose to live. From the beginning of time to this day, God has not stripped one person of the responsibility of choosing between life and death. Nor has He burdened anyone but Jesus Christ with another person’s sin. We all will stand accountable for our own choices in life; therefore we have the right to decide how we live our life. If a person chooses to spend their life with a person of the same gender, it is their God-given right to make that decision.
Governments should not make personal decisions for anyone – however, I do appreciate that a government may take steps to protect people’s right to make personal choices.
Church’s cannot make this decision for anyone – though congregations of the Body of Christ throughout the world should be beacons of light, love, mercy and grace actively urging everyone in the world, not just homosexuals, to seek God for themselves.
I do believe that the marriage of the Bible is between one man and one woman. That’s how God defines it (Genesis 2:22-24). But because God did not stop Adam and Eve from sinning at the beginning, I also believe that no person has the right to impose their will and preferences on another person.
Marriage should be honored by everyone, and husband and wife should keep their marriage pure. God will judge as guilty those who take part in sexual sins. ~ Hebrews 13:4
Yes, marriage is an honorable institution and it should be honored by everyone, but it’s important to keep in mind that a marriage isn’t holy simply because it’s a man and a woman. It’s holy because God makes it holy – when He’s in the center of it and guiding it. I have known many heterosexuals that have had abominable marriages – marriages centered on selfishness, abuse, adultery, abandonment, division, abortions, putting everything and everybody before one’s spouse and family, etc.
If you’re standing on God’s word, fine, continue to stand on the word and love your neighbor – treat others as you would be treated.
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They forced her to stand before the people. They said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught having sexual relations with a man who is not her husband.The law of Moses commands that we stone to death every woman who does this. What do you say we should do?” They were asking this to trick Jesus so that they could have some charge against him.
But Jesus bent over and started writing on the ground with his finger. When they continued to ask Jesus their question, he raised up and said, “Anyone here who has never sinned can throw the first stone at her.” Then Jesus bent over again and wrote on the ground.
Those who heard Jesus began to leave one by one, first the older men and then the others. Jesus was left there alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus raised up again and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one judged you guilty?”
She answered, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “I also don’t judge you guilty. You may go now, but don’t sin anymore.” ~ John 8:3-11