Jesus for President, part 2


On page 233, Shane and Chris talk about “the issues.”

They write,

I can remember ripping liberals up in debates on homosexuality. But I didn’t know anyone who was gay or who felt like talking to me about it (which is understandable). Years later I met a fellow in college who shared with me that he was attracted to other men and that he had grown to feel that God had made a mistake when God created him.

Notice that they do not deny the claim of the homosexual that God created him that way. They continue,

Far from finding any sense of community or intimacy in the church, he was alone and confessed that he wanted to kill himself. I thought that if this brother cannot find a home in the church, who have we become? I marveled at the complexity of the struggle to understand our sexuality, a complexity I couldn’t understand until the issue took on a face and had a story and cried tears. We would do much better to create communities in the church in which people can find intimacy and love than to split congregations over issues.

Over issues? Is that we call sin now – just “issues?” Why would we cause division in a church over little issues like sexuality? What was Paul thinking in the 1st century when he told the Corinthians that those committing incest should be put out of the church? Ah, the audacity to cause division at Corinth by saying that a man shouldn’t have his father’s wife! And not only that, did you hear what Paul told the church at Rome? He told them that homosexuality is contrary to nature and that homosexual sex was indecent and even shameful. The church must move beyond this hatred and bigotry; we must come to a place where we can just accept everybody, regardless of behavior.

They continue,

Christians should stick to replicating the sacrificial love of Jesus toward gay people and trust that this loving service will do more to transform people than laws every could. Besides, the contradictions in evangelicalism are clear. Take divorce, for example, a sin Jesus spoke clearly about. The divorce rate of evangelical Christians now surpasses that of the rest of the population in the United States. Evangelicals are getting divorced, and gay folks are wanting to get married, and religionists keep accusing homosexuals of destroying the family. Yikes, if we truly had a church in which people could love and be loved, we would transcend so many divisive issues and be free to become the people God has created us to be.

Since heterosexuals are messing the family up so badly, hey, we should be willing to think outside the box. Let’s give homosexuals a chance at this whole marriage thing!

Okay, sarcasm aside for a moment. It is sad that we live in a day when paragraphs like these even need running commentary. Every Christian 6th grader in our country should see right through this propaganda!

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  1. #1 by Raquelamisto on April 21, 2008 - 7:42 am

    I am of the belief that we’re all prone to a particular sin (this is my running theory) more than any other. One might call it a thorn. Of course, we all sin in all sorts of ways but there’s that one that we REALLY struggle with (or ought to, anyway). I also beleive that we’re born sinful, born weak to that particular sin (as well as the others).

    And so when people say, ‘I’ve been this way since I was born,’ I’m sure they’re right! Born prone to sin… not a surprise. I have to agree with the author a bit, though, in that a lot of preachers POUND on homosexuality while turning their heads from other sins like gluttony or pride or divorce. They all deserve equal attention from the pulpit – which is where I disagree with the author.

    And of course accepting people prone to homosexuality into our churches is good. Kind of redundant for the author to say that (although I’m sure there’s an audience somewhere who needs to hear that). But preaching from the Bible and calling it law? Come on, dude.

    I pray that the preachers will preach it like it is, no matter what the topic, and that the congregation will go out and allow God’s transforming power to take over their lives, no matter what the sin.

  2. #2 by clearly on April 21, 2008 - 9:24 am

    “And of course accepting people prone to homosexuality into our churches is good.”

    Raquel, how do you square this with the biblical teachings on church discipline? At what point is this grounds for such action?

  3. #3 by Phil Miller on April 21, 2008 - 10:34 am

    There’s a difference between homosexual orientation and someone engaging in homosexual sex. I do think it is possible for someone to be completely delivered from homosexual temptation, but I also think that other people will continue to struggle with it all their lives. It’s not a simple issue.

    We certainly don’t treat other sins the same way in the church. Shane talks about divorce, but another statistic is premarital and extra-marital sex. The rate of it is practically the same in churches as it is outside. We certainly don’t go ostracizing people in the same way who struggle in these areas. Yet, if someone admits he or she is a homosexual or has those tendencies, how would we react?

    The church is certainly not made up of perfect people, nor is it meant to be. It seems we’re willing to work through all sorts of issues with people, but homosexuality seems to be the thing that we get hung up on. Why can’t we trust the Holy Spirit to actually do His job and convict people and not take that burden on ourselves?

    Now obviously, I think there are times when things need dealt with. The issue in Corinth was something that Paul thought had the potential to cause real damage to the congregation. So it seems there are times when pastors do need to confront people. I think this has to be a case by case basis, though.

  4. #4 by Raquelamisto on April 21, 2008 - 11:20 am

    Clearly,

    Sorry… maybe I wasn’t being clear. When I wrote “accepting” I meant emotionally so. As in, my husband is flawed in numerous ways (most of which I bring to his attention more than he would prefer 😉 and yet I love and accept him.

    By no means am I suggesting that people who are engaging their sin ought to be in position of leadership. Loving and accepting an alcoholic is quite different than asking them to teach that alcoholism is acceptable as a Christian. Does that make sense?

    I also FIRMLY beleive that discipline is an integral part of love. Easy example is our kids. If I let them be greedy, will that stop their greed? I love them enough to let them know that it’s not okay in our house to hide your favorite polly pocket. And if they continue doing it, they don’t get polly pockets for a week. I do this because I love them.

    I hope I did a better job explaining myself this time.

  5. #5 by Jeremy on April 22, 2008 - 4:18 am

    I would tend to agree with Raquel about being prone to a certain sin. I know that is true of me. There are some sins that are very easy for me to fall into, but there are some sins which are not difficult to resist. For instance, I really struggle with my tongue, but I have little temptation to abuse alcohol. I am naturally inclined towards misuse of the tongue and pride. I don’t know if I was born that way or grew that way because of external influences. I consider Dave one of my best friends, but I am not attracted to him. Thankfully EmilEy has taken care of that 🙂 That doesn’t mean that some people don’t struggle with homosexuality. It’s a real struggle. For some people it’s a major temptation which they need God’s grace to pass through. I think we can encourage them in the Lord without endorsing their sin. Just like I can encourage my brother with an anger problem to allow the spirit to control him. A natural bent towards a specific sin is not horrible. The commission of that sin (in word, deed, or thought) is where the line must be drawn.

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