Granted, there hasn’t been much traffic to my blog, but in case there ever is, I figure I ought to put this out there, not so much as a disclaimer (although I supposed it is, is some way), but an explanation of perspective.
A number of my posts in the past, and I’m sure many more in the future, will revolve around the church and homosexuality. I’m not deliberately picking on homosexuality, or homosexuals, but on the current political, social, and religious focus of the time, which just so happens to be homosexuality. Homosexuality, for better, or worse, has become a major issue. For better, because I don’t want people to live in fear, for worse, because I still don’t agree with the behavior, and I have grave concerns regarding a greater acceptance, and even encouragement of the behavior.
The last two significant issues that were prominent in all three spheres (politics, society, religion) were divorce and gender equality, which are both topics I will leave for other times. If I were living in those times, and the internet were in existence then, I would be blogging about that.
I know people, whom I do call friends, that are homosexual. Do I love them as I love my fellow man? Of course. Do I agree with that love-challenged church in wherever that “God Hates F***”? Absolutely NOT!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
What part of “loved the world” do folks like those not understand? Does that mean I seek to give homosexuality a pass? I would much rather just love and accept homosexuals as they are. It certainly would be easier. However, I don’t have that luxury. For, you see, a behavior that is unacceptable does not suddenly become okay if you love and “accept” a person. I love my children very much, but throwing things in the house is not a positive behavior, and as much as I love and accept my children, I will not accept their behavior. I will forgive, however.
That is how I see God looking at us. We are his creation, his children. That is not to say we are perfect. By giving us free will, God freed us to make mistakes. REALLY BIG ONES. I could start with Original Sin, but that is for others to speak more intelligently on. What I can speak on, only somewhat intelligently, is everyday sin–the things we’ve done and left undone (as the Lutheran confession states).
In an article publish in Christian Week (26 August 1997), John H. Redekop (in a piece titled “Revisitng Homosexuality”) states:
…when Christians respond to homosexuals that Jesus modeled such responses for us, we must be extremely careful not to compromise the clear biblical condemnation of such behavior. … The real point is that all of us are born into sin with strong proclivities to sin. Some, it seems, have a strong and innate desire to steal, some to lie, some to cheat, some to indulge in adultery, some to overeat, some to intoxicate themselves, perhaps some to practice homosexuality, and some to practice pedophilia. The fact that these tendencies may appear to be innate does not make them acceptable.
Redekop discusses two other salient points. The first is that Christians, if anyone, should understand people surrendering to innate desires. We ALL sin. The second is that Christians should respond to everyone with love.
What’s funny, or actually not so funny, is that an easy Commandment to understand (“Love your neighbor as yourself”) is very hard for a fallen, sinful humanity, to implement, even for we Christians, who truly understand just how fallen and sinful we are.
The most frustrating part of the whole shoutfest (why bother calling it a dialogue) is the redefining of the vocabulary. In the english language, tolerance is not a synonym for acceptance. For example, when one of my children throws a temper tantrum before bed, the major contributing factor is exhaustian. I will tolerate the tantrum (not letting it get out of hand, but not trying to stop it quickly either). However, if we are at the store, and one of them throws a tantrum, I will not accept that behavior, and put a stop to it quickly.
The truth is “hate the sin, love the sinner” has to be the modus operandi. If I truly love someone, and I believe that their behavior will cause them to be literally hellbound, why would I not try to help them sin no more. What is love? Is it allowing someone to self-destruct (yes, I understand that sometimes that is the only human course), or should I do what I can to guide them (not force them) onto the path where I can spend eternity with them in the loving grace and presence of God?