From North Carolina comes this: Church supports apology to gays
A quote from the article says:
“The resolution, which is expected to go before the full Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina this morning, would also affirm homosexuals as “children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance and pastoral concern and care of the Church.” A similar resolution was passed this past summer by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, which has been racked with division since the affirmation of its first openly gay bishop.”
I will not expound on the motives. It is a decision that these church leaders will answer for one day to the One who called them.
But I do want to put this in context. And the context is that of sin. Sin, in Hebrew hatta’d or in Greek hamartia means a falling away from, or missing the right path. The right path has been revealed to us by God in His word.
There is a law, and a lawgiver. The lawgiver is God. Sin is that which is contrary to the revealed will of God.
Rom 3:20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
Rom 4:15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
Rom 7:7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”
Jam 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
God’s being and His law are perfectly harmonious in His love. Love is God’s essence, and the sum of His commandments is love. Love for God firstly, and then love for our fellow men.
Sin is the exact opposite of both of those. It is the love of self:
2Ti 3:2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,
2Ti 3:4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 2Ti 3:5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
2Th 2:10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
2Th 2:11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 2Th 2:12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Because if we, as servants of God really loved someone, we would not be quiet on the issue of their sin. If we really loved God, as He loves us, we will not be afraid to stand up against the world. Because pointing out someones sin as a Christian is not judging them, it is saving them. For we must not just point out someones sin, but also deliver the good news, that Jesus died for that sin. That Jesus already loves us, and that sin is turning away from that love. Knowing your sin is necessary to repent, or else what would you repent of?
Repentance means turning away from sin, and turning towards God. If we now start removing, as this church movement has done, the very sin from the revealed will of God, we remove the necessity to repent, and we subsequently forego the opportunity to speak meaningfully of God’s love. It leads to a slippery slope. It is the task of the church to teach, care for and discipline the community of believers, according to the standards of God’s will. If we corrupt, or even remove that standard, we are denying the mission of the church.
1Jo 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
1Jo 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1Jo 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jo 2:4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
1Jo 2:5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him:
This does not say that if we sin we are not children of God. It says that we must do our utmost to keep His word. That continuous sin denies our belief. Yes, we will sin occassionally. But we truly regret and ask for forgiveness for those sins. We know that we have sinned. That is impossible if sin is removed from the revealed will of God, and His church.
So then, is homosexuality a sin? I saw a guy on a financial TV channel last night, in a group discussion, laying into “fundamentalists”, and asserting that scientific research over the last 10 years have showed, “without any doubt”, that homosexuality is natural and genetic. Of course, that has nothing to do with the question, but is very often quoted as the answer. It assumes that we have no control, that we are simply slaves of our genetic encoding.
That much is true. It is simply that we are all born in sin, and with sin. It does not matter what the sin is. Therefore, we are all in need of salvation. Sexual immorality of any kind is a sin:
1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 1Th 4:4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,
A systematic study of the acts that make up sexual immorality throughout the Bible shows that adultery and homosexual acts are both seen as the same kind of sin. And we are tempted by our sinful nature:
“Jam 1:14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. “
The only way we can escape this is by being regenerated by the Spirit of God. It convicts us of our sin, and implores us to repent. It strengthens us and teaches us. It rebukes us when we sin. To deny sin, of any kind, and to act as if it is ok, is to slam the door of your soul shut to the Holy Spirit. It prevents you from answering when Jesus is knocking, because you will not know that you need Him.
This church movement, by denying the sins of sexual immorality, have closed the doors of many souls. They have removed the need to repent of sexual immorality by giving it recognition and status in the church.
Yes, the church is for sinners, but its mission is to teach about God’s love, and that what removes us from that love, namely sin. And that the only way we can be reconciled with that love is to repent, and turn away from our sin. Sin and the Holy Spirit cannot co-exist. Sin is the manifestation of evil and darkness, while the Holy Spirirt is the manifestation of love and light. It is one or the other. It is our sinful desire versus God’s desire.
To deny that is to deny God:
1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
1Co 6:10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
It is our duty to teach on both the problem and the solution. If we don’t get to the problem, we cannot get to the solution. What solution does this church movement want to teach?
So, I am sorry Elton. I apologise for not pointing out your sin, and the good news that accompanies that. I am sorry that you have not been told that the power of God can overcome any sin, by making you a new person. I am sorry that you may have encountered people along the way who did not love you enough to tell you this. I am sorry that if you have heard it, that you love yourself more than you love God.