Posted by: The Simple Guy | December 17, 2009

Scribbling in the sand (repost)

This has been a hot topic lately – especially in light of the Manhattan Declaration.  Was perusing some of my old posts and thought this seemed relevant, so here is a re-post from early in 2009:

I have been listening on the outskirts of a conversation lately about homosexuality. The “red letter” sort have been saying that Jesus did not address the topic, so it must not be too important.

I for one think that any sinful behavior is a serious topic, while sinful tendencies are something we all struggle with. Who is to say we can’t be born with homosexual tendencies? We are born liars, we are born selfish (which is idolatry – worshiping ourselves rather than God). I have never had to teach our children (of which there are 5) to hit, or fight, or take things from a sibling. I have never had to teach them to scream when they don’t get their way. We are born sinners. So the tendency to sin is innate in fallen mankind.

But to get back to the “red letter” claim, Jesus did not in fact mention homosexual behavior. Is that a problem? I think not. Here is why:
First:

Matthew 5:17-19
(17) “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.
(18) For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
(19) Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus said he did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. This includes the old testament laws about homosexual behavior.
Second:

John 3:16-21
(16) For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
(17) For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
(18) He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
(19) And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
(20) For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
(21) But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.

Jesus said that he did not come to condemn the world (verse 17) but to save them. He says that he who does not believe is condemned already. (verse 18)

Then He goes on to point out the ultimate sinfulness. Loving darkness rather than light. This is what I find illustrated so well in this story from John chapter 8.

John 8:2-12
(2) Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.
(3) The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst
(4) they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.
(5) Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?”
(6) This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.
(7) And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
(8) And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.
(9) But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.
(10) Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
(11) She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.”
(12) Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

I think we would do well to point ourselves and others toward true righteousness, loving God first, not only in how we talk, but in what we do. How many times are we caught arguing about man to man issues while we ignore the man to God connection in our own lives? This selfishness (idolatry) becomes evident to all around, and then we do not have the light to point others to Christ. At this point, we become like the Pharisees who wanted to bring death rather than redemption. Certainly the sin is awful, but the answer to the sin is awesome! Do we really believe that the God of heaven set everything aside to come down and save US? As I relate with sinners, (of which I am one) am I bringing them to Jesus like the Pharisees did, or am I coming as another beggar who has found the answer to the problem? Do I truly desire Christ above all else? Am I walking in the light? No outward legalism will substitute for this true righteousness.

Craig

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Responses

  1. I’m still amazed at the connection in Romans concerning the pridefylly thankless attitude of wanting to “be god” leads down the road to all of the wrong stuff we do. I continue to be amazed at how well this chapter parallels the account of the fall in Eden and the subsequent plunge of humanity into depravity.

    “Because knowing God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful. But they became vain in their reasonings, and their undiscerning heart was darkened.
    Professing to be wise, they became foolish
    and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into a likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things.” Romans 1:21-23

    The active sins (plural) are bad but are simply evidence of a foolish heart that needs to be continually humbled before and purified by the Lord. Just my understanding, anyway.

  2. Since the fall, man is truly a rebel at heart. We, by nature want our way above all else. Only the miraculous work of regeneration can change the heart desires of an alienated sinner and cause them to hate what they once loved, and love what they once hated!
    Amazing grace that taught my heart to fear and then my fear relieved!

  3. Well said, Craig.


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