Friday, December 20, 2013

Response to Yesterday's Post:

There has been some good follow-up to this post over on facebook.  A lot of it spurred these initial spur-of-the-moment-thoughts of mine on to more spontaneous clarifications.  Hopefully these snippets of conversations help to clarify my idea.  I am not trying to be harsh against Mr. Robertson, nor am I building an argument in favor of homosexuality.  I am simply making a case for doing the task Jesus charged us with in a way I think He would want it to be done.  I think most people would have zero problems with this whole discussion if it were about any other sin.  Even in some of the comments below we see that, for some reason, homosexuality short circuits people like no other sin.  Others' comments are in quote form, my responses are blocked normally:

well the guy did ask him what sin was.....what kind of answer would he expect? I think he expected the answer he got, that he was provoking it in fact so that he could jump all over the guy. Just my thoughts.... -C 

What is sin? That terrible condition with which I struggle every day, that threatens to ruin relationships and lives all over the world, for which God was willing to sacrifice His only Son so that we could have the opportunity to be forgiven and see what life is potentially like as it was intended to be lived. If you press me for examples I would have to list: pride in all of its forms, judgmental attitudes, hatred, selfishness and greed, unfaithfulness, and generally any attitude or conceit that says I know what is best. As a follower of Jesus, I am aware that I am just as bad as anyone if not worse than many, and I am eternally grateful for the love and forgiveness I have received. I wish everyone could know that love the way I have experienced it. How's that for an answer?

it's a great answer. Sin is "falling short" (Romas 3:23) so we know we ALL fit in that category...sinners. But that doesn't make his answer wrong, just harsh sounding. Just saying I think that is what the interviewer was asking for...and of course if we don't know what things harm our relationship with God, whether it's pride, gossiping or whatever, how does that help us? It's like not knowing you have a curable illness....unless you know that you are sick you may not seek the cure. It is not wrong to point out things God has told us that have the potential to harm our relationship with Him and others....it's not always pleasant but not wrong. -C 

Right or wrong, from a communication standpoint it was a terrible answer. We need to be wise about our number one task, which is communicating a truth that is very hard for people to understand. Our position has been framed as "hate" by the world, and we are so hung up on being right that we forget there are tons of ways to be right about details and still dead wrong in the overall task. The reason we have been so easy to silence and ostracize is because we don't just see homosexuality as another sin. A majority of Christians are truly homophobic. Ask yourself, why don't we get as up in arms about other sins like gluttony or greed. We aren't scared of those sins. We have found a way to justify them in our own lives.

and we can be so hung up on the "right" way to communicate that we water everything down and communicate nothing. Mostly we just need to communicate on a face to face basis with people because they don't know our heart when they only hear or see our words...even these here on facebook. -C 

Jason, I agree with your thesis that we should show love and not hate. One issue I am conflicted about is whether all sins are equal or not. The books of the law have different punishments for various sins; blood sacrifices for some but death to the offender of other sins, including, but not limited to, homosexual acts. -S 

S, I think all sin is equal in as far as it impacts eternity. Theologically, a mass murderer and a rebellious two-year-old have both sinned themselves out of a relationship with their creator. On the other hand, temporally speaking sins have different levels of impact and therefore are not completely "equal." What you have to ask yourself then is: which sins have the greater impact? Lusting after a woman in one's mind is damaging but not to the level of committing murder for example. The question then becomes, how damaging is sin committed between two adults in private? Is heterosexual sex outside of marriage better than homosexual? How? I think people even treat lesbian sex and male homosexual sex differently. How is that logical? It all goes to a level of disturbance (or the homophobia angle). We judge most harshly that which disturbs us the most. And it all goes back to the fact that we are concerning ourselves with that which is outside of our task. We are to share the story of God's love to everyone we meet; God can handle the judging.

Homosexuality can separate us from God just like any other sin can. However, homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible as an "abomination to the Lord". God's forgiveness extends to homosexuals just like it does to liars and thieves, the difference is that the US and the world want us to accept or tolerate sins... including homosexuality. If a homosexual has no desire to repent, then he or she will die in their sins. It would be unloving to tell a homosexual that, "its ok, we love you anyway and will accept you as you continue in your life of sin", when we know that the truth is they will burn in hell with all the other sinners that do not repent! -D 

Pretty sure, that when Christ BECAME my heterosexual sin on the cross, it was an "abomination to The Lord!" I'm just not sure what causes believers to assume the responsibility for conviction of sin. It is The Holy Spirit's role, and He's much better at it. Our role is to introduce the character of God which leads one, to intimate relationship. The character of God is displayed for us in Hosea. Immeasurable grace and endless love. -M 

Does not your pastor convict you of sin as well? Are not church members to exhort each other to good works? Should we encourage/accept sin that grace may abound? "God forbid". And if you say you can willingly choose to live a lifestyle of sin (and I said: any sin... not just homosexuality) and still be saved, are we not liars and the truth is not in us. The Bible says the contrary. If I know that the bridge is out ahead if you go to the left and I warn those going left that that is the wrong way and plead with them to go to the right where the bridge (Jesus) is in place, am I wrong to do so? By the way, I do agree with you that heterosexual out of marriage sex is equally a problem in the US. And the Bible also says that fornicators will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (obviously I am speaking of the unrepentant). -D 

Disciples do hold each other accountable and spur each other on to be more Christlike. Especially where we have blind spots in our walk. I do find however, that the biggest source of conviction in my life comes from the Spirit as I regularly read the Word. As to outsiders, I find two things to be true: (A) they are highly aware of their own sin that they try to mask and cover. God's message of love and forgiveness is what makes those capable of faith open up to that feeling of guilt that they deny and repent. (B) All of my attempts to accuse people of sin, and make them repent (or for that matter, convince people of other religions that their faith is wrong) have only served to close down conversations and make communication impossible. I help people deal with individual sins once they have made the step to embrace faith. Or, to put it another way, I don't require holiness as a prerequisite for salvation. General repentance to Sin is an adequate first step. It is on their journey with God that they address each and every individual sin in their lives.

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