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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sins and Sinners

Recently I posted a status on Facebook that suggested the Christians should be more concerned with the 18,000 kids that starve to death every day than with fighting gay marriage.

Hoo boy. I got hammered. Christians, it would seem - at least by the FB response - believe that God hates homosexuality, but doesn't mind starving kids.

Obviously, this is lunacy, and I'm sure it doesn't represent the views of most American Christians, but it's still kind of stunning.

Stunning because it flies in the face of something Jesus said. Something about removing the 2 x 4 from our own eye before bugging someone else about the bit of dirt in his.

I'm not saying that God approves of homosexuality. Like adultery, it's a sin.

But from what I understand, all Christians are living in the squalor of sin, every day. We fight it, and fail. We fight harder, and fall further.

Most of us aren't gay.

Many of us are adulterers, by Jesus' definition.

And nearly all of us cheerfully adopt the devil's favorite sin, the sin of pride.

It's pride that allows us to sit in judgement of gays, and look down on them, hating them as God's little hired assassins (for did not Jesus say that he who hates his brother is a murderer?).

But the sin of the gay or lesbian is a sin of the flesh. Something like gluttony.

And our pride is a sin of the soul. What is it they say? Beauty is skin=deep, but ugly goes clear down to the bone?

God help us.


  1. I definitely think the greater evil is the starving children. But I am very concerned that America is headed for a Sodom and Gommorah-type destruction because of the gay rights movement. When God made a companion for Adam he made Eve a woman. Marriage is between one man and woman. I support that notion. When I lived in San Francisco I had a neighbor who was gay and was a tortured soul. But I just worry what the gay rights agenda is doing to the morals of our country.

    1. It's possible, but we may be closer to the Roman model in which homosexuality was accepted...which is still not good!

      Remember that Sodom and Gomorrah were almost totally wicked...Lot couldn't find anyone! America isn't there, by a long shot, and God did promise to spare the cities if Lot could find even a small number of thr righteous.

      We have to hold onto that promise, because the alternative is quite terrifying.

  2. AMEN. Very well said.

    A Christian hymn that was popular in the 1970s, "They'll Know We Are Christians (By Our Love)," was inspired by a verse in the Bible, John 13:35: "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Has anyone ever been won to Christ by ANGRY, HOSTILE WORDS? I doubt it.

    My dad was a fundamentalist minister of a small nondenominational church. He was also mentally ill and, at times, brutally violent. As a small child, I believed in the Lord Jesus because I believed in my daddy. But after my dad renounced Christianity and then had a horrifically terrifying mental breakdown, I also renounced my faith.

    For many years I was agnostic. When it came to Christianity, I figured that I had been there, done that, and found it wanting. Those Christians who practically beat me over the head with their Bibles, shouting hellfire and damnation at me, only drove me further and more firmly away. I lived according to my own lights, and I thought I was a good person. For me, that was enough.... until the year I turned 50, when I finally reached the end of myself and my puny wisdom.

    Then I met a group of Christians who literally glowed with non-judgmental, compassionate, and respectful love. They seemed to intuitively understand that if God Himself will not FORCE belief on anyone, then who are we to disregard the God-given free will of our fellow mortals?

    When I saw that their Christian love was genuine and unconditional, I was once again able and willing to open my mind and heart to the reality of the LOVE that is the personification of my Savior and Lord.

    That was ten and a half years ago. My life is still not perfect by any means, and I am still far from perfect, but I have never been the same since March 2003, when I made the decision to believe in and receive Jesus Christ as my Savior, and allow Him to be the Lord of my life.

    Today, as surely as I know my own name, I also know and believe that God is, and that God is Love.

    But the word "love" has been misused and abused until we scarcely know what it means. Turning again to the Bible, 2 Corinthians 13 tells us that love is kind. So-called "tough love," with its arrogance, pride, and lack of gentleness, patience, mercy, forgiveness, meekness, and kindness, is not love at all.

    After my insane childhood introduction to "Christianity," if the only Christians I had ever met were the judgmental holier-than-thou damnation-spewers, I have no doubt that I would not be alive today... and I almost certainly would not be residing in heaven, either.

    Thank God for those rare and wonderful souls who are able to love the unlovely!

    1. I mean, 1 Corinthians 13 explains the meaning of love, NOT 2 Cor. (Of all the things I miss since I became a 60-year-old great-grandmother, I miss my mind the most.)

    2. Y'all just made me spray diet Orange Crush on the monitor, through my nose.

      I miss my mind, too. I think one of the dogs used it as a chew toy.

    3. Orange Crush through the nose! That had to hurt.

  3. Excuse me, I did not know that a comment had already been posted before my comment. It now appears that my first words in my comment may be directed at the comment above mine, but when I wrote "AMEN. Very well said." I was talking about Andrew's post, not Roselle's comment. I really do not have anything to say in response to Roselle's comment, other than I believe that sin is sin, and I also believe that all sin, left unchecked, will ultimately lead to destruction. My own life is a testament to that, and I never was gay or lesbian.

    1. No worries - I think you're clear in the context, Lynda.

      Your story is compelling, and I'm honored that you chose to write it here. I hope you'll develop it further, because it can be a valuable testimony to add to Christian literature.

      I departed Christianity for broadly similar reason, and went East, into Zen Buddhism. I don't regret that digression - it taught me patience, and control of my mind. It also places a strong emphasis on compassion, which, like you, I have found many Christians sorely need!

      BTW - I think you've walked a pretty heroic road.

    2. Thank you, Andrew. That means a lot.

      I am the one who left a comment on Rachelle Gardner's site that you replied to, about how my Vietnam Veteran hubby, me, and our rescued Cattle dog, all have severe PTSD... and one night we 3 put the FUN in dysfunction by devouring an entire box of Twinkies in just a couple of hours.

      I do have a memoir in the works. My husband and I feel very strongly like this is my calling at this time. His calling is the Chaplaincy at the local American Legion Riders club he belongs to. It must be so, because since he accepted the Chaplain's position and I began writing my book, we seem to have come under one big spiritual attack after another.

      The latest thing is that my hubby was prescribed Tramadol for his arthritic pain about two months ago, after being assured it was non-addictive. Non-addictive my foot! That drug is evil. His personality and cognitive ability got all messed up,. Once we figured out that the Tram was the culprit, he tried going off it all at once and now he is suffering horrific withdrawals. Plus there are the never-ending dramas with our adult kids and grandchildren... oh my. And writing my memoir, delving deep into the ancient pus-filled wounds of my past, is very hard at times! It is also healing, like surgery to remove a deadly tumor. But unlike with surgery, I don't get to be unconscious while I write.

      My hubby and I keep having to stop and remind ourselves that ultimately our Lord is in control, even when it seems like all H-E-L-L is breaking loose right here in eastern New Mexico! Speaking of which, we for sure don't want to miss Bible study at our church tonight, so I'd better get off of this here laptop. God bless, and thank you so much for all that you share with your writing.

    3. About to feed the dogs...all 26 of them...and I'll come back to this, but ye, I remember your story. And yes, Tramadol is horrible.

      Been there, done that, never again!

    4. Yes, the withdrawal from Tramadol is awful. I am so sorry!

      I was on heavy doses of narcotic pain relievers for several years for a pancreatic 'issue' (which may be a slow-growing cancer). At the beginning of summer they stopped working, and indeed caused more pain.

      I weaned myself off then over a period of about a week, and the withdrawal was awful. My pain doctor showed no interest in helping me through that, or in looking at alternative methods of pain control. I deal with it through meditation, and exercising to achieve a baseline score of 275 or more on the 'old' military PFT. I figure the fitter I am, the farther I have to fall. But it HURTS. (I don't age-adjust, and I'm 52.)

      We can relate to attacks from the forces of evil. My academic career went up in smoke a few years ago. We also had some financial reverses, culminating in our bank accounts being hacked and drained.

      My hat is off to you, for the courage to write a memoir. I couldn't. There are boxes in my soul that should never be opened.

  4. Hey Andrew! Hope your having a good evening. I appreciate your thoughts on this, and I have to say one thing: the sin of homosexuality is a LIFESTYLE sin, and a part of a list of lifestyle sins that will keep one from being right with God and ultimately going to heaven. Pride is a sin, but it is something we all struggle with in the flesh. God makes provision for that sin through the blood of Jesus when one comes to faith in Christ, and it is not a part of the list of lifestyle sins that will keep one from heaven. Your right--they are all sins, and God doesn't grade sin like people have a tendency to do. But homosexuality is listed as a lifestyle sin that will keep one from God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Revelation 21:8)

    And yes, I completely agree that God wants us to feed those that are starving and hungry. It is sad that there are so many suffering. Sin has brought death and disease and starvation to His beloved creation, and it breaks His heart.

    1. Very good point, Gwendolyn! And thanks for stopping by!

      I think what I was trying to say is that the effort expended toward opposing gay marriage would be better spent in addressing the needs of the poor and starving. We can't fight every sin on every front, and I was haunted by the thought that lives were being lost, while we attended to other things.

      Homosexuality's certainly a lifestyle choice, but I think we may be in a position similar to that of first-century Christians living under Roman rule, in that we can only lead through example and humility. If we can show the community of sinners that there is a better way, their lifestyles will melt under the love that grows between them and Christ.

  5. Hey Andrew, I tried commenting yesterday, but I may have clicked off the window before the comment fully registered. I don't remember what I said either. Maybe that's a good thing. ;)

    I appreciate your post here. It seems like it's so easy to focus on a sin outside ourselves. Yes, homosexuality is spoken against in the Bible. But, we are still called to love, as you mentioned.

    Sometimes it's easier to spout off against those who live in outright defiance of God's word than it is to take time to feed and clothe the poor. To care for the orphan and widow. Sometimes it's "inconvenient" to step out of the busy-ness of our agenda'd days and minister to someone in need. God's heartbeat is for His children to minister to the orphan and widow, to provide, as He enables us for those we can—to be His hands and feet.

    And yes, pride. One of the most difficult sins to pinpoint and to overcome. It's what keeps me running back to Jesus, begging for His grace when I know I've blown it in the "pride department" yet again.

    Thanks for the great post!

  6. I'm late to this post but good to see some familiar names here, like Gwyndolyn.
    My home church teaches us that before we do any gospel sharing, we need to earn the right to be heard. It echoes your thoughts, Andrew. I'm an eclectic music lover and a song I love deeply is Dear Mr. Christian. Worth a listen.

    1. Earning the right to be heard...I like that.

      I'll look for Dear Mr. Christian...thanks!