MORE CONTROVERSY AND THEOLOGY. SKIP IT IF NEED BE.
I have a hard time with folks who single out homosexuality as a peculiar evil, quite literally demonizing it as responsible for everything from 9/11, to KIAs in Iraq/Afghanistan, to the national debt. Why? Because it is included in the 1 Cor.6:9-11 list, along with numerous other types of conduct/attitudes of heart, that are all unacceptable to God.
I also have a hard time with people who deny homosexuality is sinful or displeasing to God… because it is included in a list (1 Cor6:9-11) along with numerous other types of conduct/attitudes of heart that are all unacceptable to God.
Some Christians seem to delight in pointing out sin; others seem afraid to call it what it is.
“I want to love people. Not judge them.”
Fine, except the Jesus who said “Judge not lest ye be judged” also said “Judge a righteous judgment.” The first referred to not jumping to conclusions, the second to examining the evidence. Christians are commanded concerning both.
LOVE DOES NOT EQUAL SALVATION
There is confusion in Christian circles as to what “Love” and “Salvation” are. Lines are getting blurry.
According to John 3:16 and Romans 5:6-11 God loves you before you’re saved. That is a tremendous comfort, but notice you’re not saved because He loves you, rather He loves you and made a way (Jesus) for you to be saved. There’s a Hell of a difference there.
God’s Love for us stems from His very nature, despite our hostile heart and sinful conduct. Salvation is a specific gift accessed by personal repentance (turning away from sin) and putting faith in Jesus’ Death, Burial and Resurrection. (turning towards God) The distinction is crystal clear throughout the entire New Testament.
The entire Gospel Story is God coming down and saying to sinful man – “You’re wrong. In fact, you’re making yourself my enemy, and are utterly unable to save yourself, but I love you so much I’m going to pay for your crimes with my life. This will provide you not only with a way to escape Divine Justice, but complete transformation and adoption into an Eternal Family as well. Choose which road you’ll take.”
C.S. Lewis summed up the Mankind’s dilemma when he said we aren’t simply broken creatures who need mending, but rebels who must lay down their arms. God offers a full and complete pardon in the Son, Jesus. This is free to any who confess their crimes and want to leave the ranks of the traitorous. God Loves you and offers Salvation in Jesus Christ.
Even Pardoned, we’re subject to the struggles, flaws, foibles common to all Humanity. We still wrestle with the Frankenstein of our fallen nature, an imperfect life in a broken world. Yet we are redeemed in our imperfection.
However, the fuzzy theology of Moral Equivalency insists anger/adultery/duplicity is the same as sexual immorality, then demands that grace either writes us all a pass, or none of us see Glory.
That’s correct – in a way. Sin is sin, and Grace does indeed cover our imperfections. But if I persist in lying, or adultery, or stealing, or whatever, then rationalize sinful behavior with some brand of mental gymnastics that helps me evade the conviction of the Holy Spirit, I’m kidding myself to think I can use Jesus as my “Get out of Jail” free card.
That isn’t some legalistic tightrope salvation-by-moral-perfection theology. It’s salvation-by-transforming-faith theology.
What Gospel are we preaching, believing in, if not the Gospel that forgives and transforms? What happened to 2 Cor: 5:17-21?
I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. – Ezekiel 36:23
I’m puzzled and not a little concerned when Christians – ministers included – mince around the issue of same-sex sexual immorality these days. It isn’t ‘hatred’ to call the liar, the thief, the adulterer, the proud, the murderer, to repent and believe God to forgive and transform their particular sinful inclinations or addictions. Yet how is it we succumb to the accusation in this one area? Do we expect good intentions or sincerity will compensate for deliberate trespass over a very clear Scriptural boundary?
Christians do a tremendous disservice to their Savior, to the Gospel, and to the Holy Spirit when they neglect to point out the tragic, eternal consequences of deliberately continuing in behavior symptomatic of a sinful, rebellious nature. Like the ones mentioned in 1 Cor 6:9-11. To paraphrase the Apostle, he’s telling believers not to kid themselves; a person cannot deliberately continue to engage in such conduct and go to Heaven. The unregenerate past is under the Blood, but the verse “Love covers a multitude of sins” doesn’t apply here.
God’s heart is always toward redemption, but salvation is for those who admit their sin – not those who deny it.
This next statement will cause problems too, but here it is: The mission of the church of Jesus Christ is not to love people. It’s to preach the Gospel of Repentance and Salvation through Faith in Jesus Christ. Loving people is the heart, the posture in which we carry out that task, but Jesus said if it comes down choosing between to Him or someone else, we must pick up our cross and stand with Him. We are commanded not to be ashamed of Him and His words in a sinful and adulterous generation. Like Peter said in Acts 4:12 – “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Standing with Jesus isn’t hatred, it’s love. And He’s the only hope for broken, sinful Humanity.
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.” Ezekiel 3:17-19