11 January 2010

Tragedy, Faith, and Love.

In an attempt to write more this year, I will post an old writing..hahaha.

Last year, I viewed the documentary "For the Bible Tells Me So," and overall it was OK, as the main theme (to me) was the misuse of a few verses by extreme conservative Christians used to express hatred towards the gay and lesbian community. I agree with this and feel it is a great injustice to turn people away because of their sins and a travesty and a sin to hate and judge others because of their sins.

Sadly, it seemed those who were gay, lesbian, or advocating the correctness of the actions of the community were misusing Scripture "intellectually" to claim that homosexuality is not sinful or under eternal punishment from God; which Biblically, there is outstanding evidence that it is. But that evidence does not give people the right to misuse the Holy Word, either way: to wrongfully attack or to wrongfully defend. The law is to make us holy, to sanctify us, to separate us from the world so much that the glory of God is seen by and through us, His people. It appears (through the arguments of this film) that the gay and lesbian community (and advocates) is doing all things possible to hear "what you are doing is OK."

Let me pose a question, devoid of any particular sin. Would God create someone who has tendencies to sin? I encourage you to stop and contemplate this question before progressing. Well, He created you and me; and I know I have the tendency to sin, and I am assuming that you would agree with me that you do as well. You may, if you want, define this as "the human condition." We are all born with one or more tendencies (iniquities). Iniquity (as used in Isaiah 53:5) has a meaning of perversity or guilt, as of a condition. So could one be born with an iniquity of homosexuality? I would say just as much as one could claim being born with a tendency to be an alcoholic or a have a demented murderous tendency.(1) But someone with a murderous streak cannot be justified before God because he was possibly born with those thoughts (or that those thoughts were created due to his surrounding environments). If that analogy is too extreme, then how about a person with the tendency towards excessive alcohol intake seeking to be justified by their genes; similarly, neither can a gay or lesbian claim rightness of action because of his or her potentially innate nature.

Isaiah 53:5 "...He was crushed for our iniquities." Here, crushed holds meanings of broken, shattered, or bruised. So these things happen underneath the skin; the things no one can normally see, or things that are easily hidden in our thoughts and desires. Christ suffered for our personal bents toward sin. The beginning of Isaiah 53:5 reads "He was pierced for our transgressions." Pierced means to wound, bore through; it holds the picture of an open gashing wound. This represents our sins, our acts that everyone can see. The wounds are open and are in noticeable need of healing. Christ was pierced for our sins, our transgressions (meaning a crossing over, a rebellious act). So for the times we allow our iniquities and our selfish desires to go to a point of crossing over in to sin, Christ suffered, died, and rose to forgive and make us right with the Father.

As Paul penned in Romans 5:20-6:2, "The Law came in so that transgression would increase, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?"

So could someone call themselves a "gay Christian?" I think, maybe, dependent upon if their combined terminology refers to the iniquity or to the transgression. I personally would be just as wary of someone using this descriptive term for his or herself as I would ascribe to be a "lying Christian," no matter how often I do wear the "lying Christian" name tag. Some claim people are truly born homosexual, while others believe it is due to lack of father figures, overbearing mothers, and/or other environmental circumstances; but what is important to remember is that no matter the name tag one dons (alcoholic Christian, porn-addicted Christian, etc.), we are called to deny ourselves. This may mean the person with pornographic tendencies stays off the internet and television, the alcoholic stays out of bars and liquor stores, the homosexual stays out of hindering surroundings and strays away from a push for the right to be married, etc. We are called to give up who we are in our sin nature so that we can be like Him; followship was never promised to be easy.

But there is hope for all of us wallowing in our iniquities, seeking to be holy like our Father is holy, but fail due to our transgressions. Colossians 2:13-14 reads "When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile towards us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

Now returning to what I wrote at the beginning of this note: it is a tragedy to hate and judge others because of the sin they are in, no matter what sin it is. Let us remember that as Paul wrote, the only thing that matters is "...faith expressing itself through love" (Galatians 5:6).

**Just a note to those who have not seen the movie...paragraph 3 on (including Scripture references) is not covered in the film, but it is my response to what I feel was misuse of Scripture in the film.**

(1) I am in no way trying to say equate sex with murder. Murder is an action that is always wrong, sex is not.

Keep seeking.

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