Sunday, October 18, 2015
The Jesus who celebrates sin
Or would He?
I weary of people saying Jesus would do this or that, when He may not do what they say He would do. There are people who seem to think by trotting out the "Jesus would do it" argument, that they have won the debate hands down, and everyone should just shut up and do as they do...... for after all, they have the personal knowledge of what Jesus would or would not do, and if you disagree..... you are just wrong.
When you go to a wedding, you are there to celebrate the couple's happy day and to congratulate them on the joining of their lives together. Now I am going to throw out a few facts here:
1)) Homosexuality is a sin. God calls it an abomination in the Old Testament, and the New Testament is very plain on it still being a sin. God didn't change His mind on any sexual sin in between the two Testaments.
2) Gay marriage is wrong. It is marrying two people of the same sex who are going against everything God said about sex and marriage.
3) To go to or participate in any wedding is to indicate you are OK with the marriage, and that you are celebrating the occasion with the couple.
Think about that last statement I made: you are celebrating the occasion with the couple. Now can you imagine Jesus - the same Jesus who says homosexuality is a sin, an abomination, and whose Word says that homosexuals will go to hell - can you really imagine Jesus going to a wedding of two people whose very marriage is based on what He calls sinful and an abomination? Is He going to go and celebrate their rebellion, their sin, their defiance of God? Would He smile and laugh and applaud their decision to ignore what the Bible says about their sin? Would He give them a gift and card to congratulate their sin and their further steps away from serving Him and doing His will?
Jesus DID hang out with sinners, but He never celebrated or approved of their sin. He never left them the way He found them.
He went to visit Zacchaeus, and left him a changed man.
He met the woman at the well, and changed her life and the lives of many people in her city.
He called Matthew the tax collector to follow Him, and he did.
He cast demons out of Mary Magdalene and she followed Him for the rest of her life.
He forgave the woman caught in adultery and told her to go and sin no more.
He called out sin and forgave it, but He never, ever approved of it nor celebrated sin.
And He wouldn't do it today either.
We somehow have this idea that God wants us to be happy and feel good about ourselves no matter what we do, and that no matter what we do, He will be there to cheer us on and make us feel happy about what we are doing. That even if we are living in sin and in defiance of what He commands, that He still wants us to be happy and to feel good about ourselves.
Even if it is homosexuality and gay marriage.
The evangelical church in general has messed up on the gay issue. The majority of Bible-believing Christians have made it into the worst sin out there, and look on it as almost an unpardonable sin and anyone who is gay as a pariah and evil person. And yes, there are some gay people out there who want to force their lifestyle on Christians and would love it to be a crime to say they are wrong. They have an agenda and do not want tolerance, but total acceptance and indoctrination from Kindergarten to the pulpit. And I firmly believe that all of these cases of bakers, photographers, and others who have been sued and fined for not doing a service for a gay wedding have been instigated by gay couples to make an example and try to force Christians to do what the gay community wants.
The church needs to do better. No man, woman, boy, or girl should have to sit in the church pew struggling with attractions to the same sex and be afraid to tell someone from their own church. We have failed as a church and as Christians if that is the case...... and in too many churches, that is exactly the case. It is no picnic to sit in the pew struggling with that issue, and hearing people request prayer for their problems and issues, and know if you requested prayer for yours that it would be similar to setting of a bomb in the church. It isn't easy going against what feels natural and living for God instead of your own sexual desires and attractions. And it is made more difficult by your Christian brothers and sisters not understanding it, not wanting to talk about it, and some ostracizing those who they know struggle with it.
It is wrong to hate or fear gay people, though it is smart to fear and fight their agenda.... but it is also wrong to give approval of their sin and lifestyle and possibly help damn their souls to hell. It is wrong not to give hope to those caught up in that lifestyle and point out that they are in a list of sins God condemns, yet the same verse says "as such were some of you"...... that there is hope for change and it is possible to walk away from even that sin.
If I had a gay son who was rejecting God and living the gay lifestyle, here is what I'd do.... even with my own experiences influencing me:
I wouldn't harp on his sin constantly. We don't do that with other sins.
I would let him know right up front that I didn't approve of his sin, but that I loved him and he was welcome in my home.
His boyfriend(s) would be welcome in my home, but I'd ask that they'd refrain from public displays of affection, and if they ever spent the night, it would be separate rooms.... but then I'd expect the same out of a boy and girl relationship.
I would let it be known long before any possibility of a wedding, that I would not be in attendance.
There would be other issues and things to work out, but it all comes down to these basic points, and it applies to all relationships in life, not just our children:
We must love those in our lives and make them feel we care, even if we don't approve of everything they do.
While loving them, we must not do anything to encourage or put approval on their sin, whatever sin it may be.
Some people may feel they should go to the wedding of a gay son or daughter, and that is their choice and between them and God.. however, I think it would be difficult to be a wedding and not look like you are celebrating it and congratulating the couple on taking another step away from God and further towards their sinful lifestyle.
I have been to weddings, though I don't like to go to them and haven't been to one since my little sister got married 15 years ago... but I do know this: it is a time of joy and celebration, and it is next to impossible to go to one and not join in celebrating. So I don't care if the pope himself says Jesus would go to a gay wedding, I cannot by any stretch of the imagination believe that He would.
But if He went, He would not celebrate. He would say "follow me, leave your sin behind and sin no more." But join in a celebration of a sinful lifestyle.. no, the Jesus I serve and know doesn't celebrate sin, He forgives it and changes lives.
The same Jesus who wept over Jerusalem because they rejected Him, would not celebrate two men or two women's rejection of Him. He would weep.
So go ahead and go to a gay wedding, or bake the cake, or do the photographs - and use whatever reasoning you want to use, but don't use Jesus. Don't say He would go to one, so we also should.... and if you dare try that reasoning, then you, like Him, should leave the sinners different than you find them. You should invite them to follow Jesus and leave their sin behind them. For if you use Jesus as the reason for going, then you should truly be Jesus to the gay couple and their friends.
The gay lifestyle isn't gay. Gay means happy, but if you really look at homosexuality and those caught in it, there isn't true happiness. Gay men pass up the average heterosexual man in promiscuity. There are more risks of disease and death in the gay lifestyle than the heterosexual one. The relationships are more shallow, for gay men go after the outward, how guys look. And the end of that lifestyle is an eternity in hell, which is for anyone who rejects Jesus and goes their own way.
Homosexuality is and is not just another sin, but it is one that the Jesus I serve would not celebrate or join in any way to show He approved of a union based on sin.
A friend of mine who lived the gay lifestyle for several years made an interesting point in a discussion about Jesus going to gay weddings, or doing anything similar. He said He could not see Jesus celebrating gay weddings or going to a gay pride parade to show love for gay people, but He could see Him at a gay pride parade weeping. Weeping for those caught up in a sinful lifestyle that will destroy them and their souls. That is the Jesus who may show up at a gay wedding.... a weeping Jesus, not one who celebrates sin.