The debate and controversy surrounding homosexual marriage is extremely heated today, especially with the present possibility of legalization granting homosexual marriage through the Supreme Court of the United States. Both sides seem extremely angry with each other, even to the point of hatred. Christians point a finger at homosexuals and their supporters, and amplify this specific sin, all while ignoring other sins that are also extremely prevalent in Christianity and society today. Many homosexuals and their supporters in turn disregard the bible as outdated and irrelevant, because of this hypocritical hatred and anger coming from the Christian community. In the end, hatred breeds hatred and no one becomes edified. No one sees the error of their own way, as many are quick to point out the error in their brother or sister. If we all will take a close look at ourselves, I’m sure that we will all realize how much each of us as individuals fall short of the requirements of the Father in heaven. This realization only comes with self reflection, and speaking for myself I’ve realized that my sins have been greater than those of many.
“For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” ~ 1 Corinthians 11:31
In my journey I’ve realized that I’ve had to give up many of the things that I at one time cherished. Things that brought me temporary happiness, but at the end of the day left me feeling sad and disconnected from purpose in this life. In giving up these things, I’ve found a joy that I’ve never experienced before in Jesus, my savior and redeemer. He asks us only to believe in Him, to become baptized and to obey Him and the Father and gives us the promise of eternal life, a life that cannot be taken away. His promise is greater than mansions, riches, status, marriage, sexuality or anything that this world has to offer. I pray that Christians everywhere can look to the bible, this same bible that is being used to condemn the homosexual, and find true and loving self correction in the Word spoken and inspired by our Creator himself for all of mankind. The victim in this debate isn’t the homosexual, and it isn’t the Christian ideal- rather it is the bible, the living Word of God. The bible is losing its significance because many today use it divisively, rather than for the purpose of ‘personally’ considering the word of God entirely as a guide to life and making a change within. The bible in turn is being used by many only to the convenience of the individual, rather than as the true guide to life eternal. The Word of God is like a two-edged sword, and those that carefully consider it’s testimony will feel the pain of that sword often, yet we can change and become obedient to God only through Jesus Christ.
Do you really think that one day we will be judged in Heaven based upon the laws of the United States of America? This debate is over a potential law of man, yet in the end all of mankind and all leaders of worldly governments will be judged according to the word of God alone.
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” ~ Ecclesiastes 12:14
We will all stand before the Father naked with nothing hidden. All of our inner-most evil desires and sins will be completely exposed. Our anger (murder according to Jesus) will be seen, our hypocritical judgment will be exposed, and for those that haven’t repented in time, the shame of being sent to the second death will be experienced. It is interesting, we do our best to present the truth of the bible to Christians (as flawed and erred as we may be), pointing out what sin means according to the bible and identifying where traditional Christianity today has left behind the bible as the source of truth, and many times Christians become offended at hearing these things even when they are presented without judgment. We in no way can judge or condemn any individual, as we fall short of the law of God in so many ways and I personally am a fool dependent upon God and His Word for constant correction. As Christians we cannot condemn others, but we certainly can condemn ourselves by our actions, anger, judgment and blindness. We can present biblical truth to both Christians and non-Christians, but we can’t force someone’s heart to be open to it. How do we present truth responsibly? I believe it is only possible to present truth when we ourselves have been reborn and cleansed in the blood of Jesus, and are able to bring truth along with the forgiving love that only Jesus is capable of by His Spirit that lives within our hearts. What is sin? The scriptures tell us exactly what sin is:
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” ~ 1 John 3:4
“… I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” ~ Romans 7:7
You can see here that sin simply put is to disobey the commandments or ‘law’ of God. These commandments can be found in the first five books of the OT, and additional commandments can be found in the New Testament coming from Jesus himself. Is homosexuality a sin? The answer is yes according to the bible OT and NT account. Is idolatry sin? Again the answer is yes according to the bible, yet this idolatry can be found throughout Christianity today in worship at altars and in ‘holy’ temples and buildings, and in prayer to saints, statues, images and false gods. Is failure to honor the Sabbath a sin? Yes as this violates the commandment of God, yet many Christians today worship on a day called Sunday (the 1st day of the Gregorian week) instituted by Emporer Constantine. Is sexual immorality a sin? Yes of course it is according to the bible, yet in Christianity today, premarital and extramarital sex is rampant. In my own experience and to my own ignorance- as a young person premarital sex was thought to be ‘not so bad’ and normal even in circles of Christian church friends, yet all along this was a terrible sin against God. Is disrespect for parents a sin? Yes, yet this too is rampant not only in children, but for grown Christian adults who view their parents as a burden. Is the desire to possess what others have a sin? Yes- this is coveting and by the commandment of God we are told ‘thou shalt not covet’, yet today the very essence of our culture thrives on having what our neighbor has and acquiring more stuff, wealth, cars, homes, better food etc. The list goes on and on- and every man, woman and child that ever existed (except for Jesus) is guilty of sin against the Creator in some form or fashion. Given all of these sins that are clearly outlined in the bible, I nor anyone else in the flesh can condemn a single individual, as we all stand guilty of sin, and one sin is no greater than another sin. They all lead to death. Let every man convict himself, and reflect upon himself as we are all guilty, and repent. In realizing our own guilt, we will find it much harder to condemn another and much easier to extend truth, love and mercy where it is appropriate. Also in realizing our own guilt, we are more likely to repent of our own sins, as repentance and change is required for forgiveness and entrance into the Kingdom.
“From that time on Jesus began to preach, and to say “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”” ~ Matthew 4:17
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at: but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” ~ Acts 17:30
“Testifying both to the Jews, and also the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ Acts 19:4
“But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” ~ Acts 26:20
Some use the example from Paul as giving the right to judge all men while in the flesh, yet what is Paul really saying?:
“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:1-6
Paul is speaking to a group of gentile Christians in Corinth and scolding them, where some of the flock were taking matters they had with each other before the courts of the unbelievers, rather than resolving these with sound scriptural judgement among themselves in the Christian group. Here he does not indicate Christians have a “right” to judge in general, rather that they have a duty to make judgements on cases between Christian brothers and sisters keeping them within the Christian community/group rather than going to the courts of government. We are taught not to judge those that disagree with the doctrine of the bible, but rather to avoid, or separate from them.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?” ~ Matthew 7:1-4
“There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” ~ James 4:12
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” ~ Romans 16:17
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:17
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Paul also explained to the Corinthians to judge nothing before the time:
“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 4:3-5
There is a big difference between judgment/condemnation, and avoidance/separation. If one is truly trying to become obedient to God and His Word (The Bible), they separate from the things and people that may clearly contradict it (as many Christian churches today even contradict the doctrines found in the bible). They don’t parade around as God’s current judge for those on earth, rather they realize their own sin and in attempts to overcome them, separate themselves from the things of the world. The time of finger pointing is quickly coming to a close, and the time available for us to reflect on our own lives, our sins/disobedience to God’s law, and shortcomings is very short. I can only speak for myself, and I know my sins have been great and there remains much work, reflection, repentance and change to be done. In the end those that belong to God will cleanse themselves completely of sin, and walk in the commandments of God carrying the testimony of Jesus Christ. Uphold the truth that is found in the bible in its entirety and not selectively, and use it personally as the true guide to eternal life to the best of your human ability. Please pray for me, and I will pray for you that we can all come to repentance and return to complete obedience in love to the Creator of all things before the end comes.
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” ~ Revelation 14:12
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” ~ Revelation 22:14