Saint Paul with a Scroll and a Sword. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Traveling around last night I got to listen to a Christian AM station for a while. It was a “Bible answer man” show. They were talking about two men who had married each other and had two children in their house. These two men attended a Methodist Church in which the caller also was a member. And the question was, “What should we do with these men?” Their presence among the congregation was beginning to cause some serious divisions. And something was about to be brought up regarding them.
The host bantered the Scriptures which dealt with the issue of homosexuality. And settled on the remembrance that we are commanded to love without judging. In the end, the caller was quite sure this situation wasn’t going to end well for the congregation. It seems that these men are quite likeable. So there was certainly going to be a split in the congregation as the problem was dealt with. The host mentioned that “likeable” has nothing to do with salvation from sin.
I drove for the next hour talking the issue over out loud. And fell on the following:
One sin is not any worse than another. Though there are severities of involvement to be considered. A man might fall into a sin once in a while (that besetting sin). But another might be completely immersed in that same sin. Now there is a difference in that, obviously. The deeper we are caught in a sin the harder it will be to wrench ourselves from it.
These men are so immersed in their sin that they have chosen to make it entirely public, even to the point of raising two boys. Now their sin is marked on absolutely everything they are. To break with this is going to be a horrendous problem.
That said, I came to the conclusion that these men were doing something rather different from most who practise homosexuality. They had come to present themselves to the body of Christ as if there were nothing wrong with their chosen sin. They expected full acceptance regardless their standing with Christ. Everyone in the congregation would surely know that they were having sexual intercourse together. After all, isn’t that what homosexuality means?
Now I set their situation against another sin to see what people would do. What if I were completely immersed in porn? What if I decided that the Church had to accept me like that and not require that I lay that sin away from me? What if I, like those men, paraded my sin before them? Suppose I wore a t-shirt to Church which had the faces of a number of my favorite pornstars on it. Do you think I would be asked to cover it up, or go home and change it? Why? If those two men can appear in person and flaunt their sin before the entire congregation, why can’t I go there and flaunt porn? And if I were a “likeable” sort, do you think it would make a difference?
There is a distinct difference between being caught in a sin and flaunting it. If those men really served Christ they would at least be aware of offending others with their sins. As it is they are a division as they walk into the midst of these people. How is that Christ like? It would be better for them to remain separate as they worship God. Then they would not be the cause of such a difficult choice, as the Church comes to the point where they need to make some decision regarding their presence.
I won’t go into the Church leader’s failure to preach a fine enough line to have hindered this problem in the first place. Now that it is a problem among them, they’re going to have to deal with it. I conclude that the congregation will experience a horrible split as they deal with these men.
It would be better for all of them (provided the men really want to worship the Living and Holy God) if these men would stay home and study the Bible, pray, and seek the face of God. As it is they are also guilty now of causing division in the Body of Christ. I remembered that the Apostle Paul said that if eating meat offended his brother he would eat meat no more. If that is how crucial Paul saw an individual’s responsibility toward unity in Christ, what of these men?
I don’t condemn them for their sins. I simply point out that flaunting our sins in the Body of Christ is the worst thing we can do. Obviously, these men don’t consider their “brothers” in Christ to be more important than their flaunting of sin in their faces. Along with the aboration of homosexuality, they now count to themselves the destruction of unity in the Body of Christ. And all this for the sake of selfish gain.