August 2002 – For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decrees that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them. – Romans 1:26-32
Forgiveness is one of the grand words in human language. Those who have gone before the Father in humility and repentance know that. Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
It is not the role of the Church to justify sin, regardless of the sin. It is the role of the Church, in the name of Christ, to confront and remind sinners that God forgives when there is humility and repentance.
We are engaged in a battle within the Church today over the sin of homosexuality. Many, especially those in positions of leadership, want us to rewrite the Scripture so that homosexuality is not only condoned, but blessed by the Church.
If we are going to condone homosexuality, why stop there? Why not do the same with adultery? Stealing? Lying? Greed? You fill in the blank.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the agnostic better known as Mark Twain, once said it wasn’t the parts of the Bible he didn’t understand which concerned him, it was the parts he did understand. There are spiritual descendants of Mark Twain still around. They understand the Scriptures, they just don’t like certain parts. So, they reason, “Let us change those parts we don’t like and thus we can change the nature of God.” Foolish thinking, but foolish thinking has been a trait of humans since they were created.
One thing I know. I don’t just believe this, I know it. Our universe was created by a Creator. It did not come into existence by accident. It was created! It was created by an intelligent mind far beyond our ability to comprehend. And the Creator put certain order and logic into His creation. He made plain that if we follow His order, it is good. If we deviate from His order, we suffer. It certainly doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.
He made male and female different. And He did so for a reason.
We don’t help people – no, the statement should be stronger: we don’t love people – when we approve, bless or condone a destructive, harmful, sinful lifestyle – be it homosexuality, adultery, stealing, lying, greed, or any other sin.
Jesus once warned, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.”
I wonder who He was talking about.