Thursday, December 19, 2013

When Actual Sin Meets Real Love

Why do we expect others to have the same exact ideas of morality as we do? 
Why are we surprised when a person who believes something different than us makes decisions that we don’t agree with? 

If we believe that what we stand for is the best way to go through life, what are we doing to try to convince others of this? 
  • Get angry when their actions are different? 
  • Make broad statements about their actions without addressing their belief system? 
  • Sit in our cozy holy huddle and thank God we are not like them?
  • Love them with the love of Jesus, never compromising truth, knowing that God, not us, is the one what changes hearts and minds?

I vote for the last one and my guess would be that Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty would to.  Mr. Robertson was recently fired by the A&E Network for stating his view that homosexuality is sin.  Though his choice of words could have been better, his words, when taken in context of the whole article, make two things very clear about his beliefs:
1.     ALL sin is wrong, whether it’s homosexuality, bestiality, or adultery.
2.     All people deserve to be loved and cared for and spoken to with honesty.

Here’s where a little biblical clarification needs to happen.  God does not equate sin with someone who has homosexual leanings – temptation is not the same as sin.  Rather, just like any desire that I might have to lie on my taxes or watch pornography, the desire to be with someone of the same sex is not a sin until you act on it.  Allow the Bible to explain this (from James 1:13-15):
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

When desire turns to action, whether mental action or physical action, we have crossed that line, said, “NO!” to God, and chosen to go our own way, which leads to death.  If you don’t care how the Bible defines sin that is your right.  At the same time, your belief doesn’t change what God thinks of sin, plus your belief communicates who your authority really is.

A&E had a perfectly legitimate case for doing what they’re doing.  If their authority is public opinion and money, then they should act accordingly.  Similarly, who or what our authority is will drive what we do.  What we do DOES affect others, no matter how we’ve chosen to spin it.  How we’ve chosen to spin it reveals where our loyalty lies.

Where is your loyalty?  Where do you get your right and wrong from?  What is sin and is it a big deal?  We need to each land somewhere.  Phil Robertson has landed somewhere, even if he hasn’t communicated it the way he could have.  The trick is using the whole of Scripture to guide our opinions on issues as well as drive our compassion for people.  This is why I’ll always stand for Jesus, because He did this perfectly.