“Jesus didn’t turn anyone away… Neither Do We.”
This is the catch phrase from the Pro-homosexual United Church of Christ’s controversial ad the networks are refusing to air. The ad features two men holding hands being turned away from night-club style bouncers outside a church. The ad also shows two women (a couple you can presume) arm in arm as part of the people welcomed by the UCC.
While it’s a true statement on its own, Jesus did not turn anyone away. There is a huge difference between what Jesus taught and what the UCC is teaching. In a word, repentance. As a church, we should welcome everyone to the church and to follow Christ. But that requires you to Repent. Matthew cites Jesus’ first sermon as “Repent! For the Kingdom of God is near.” Same for John the Baptist. Luke has Peter calling for repentance, as part of his first sermon at Pentecost, as well.
Back to Christ. Look at how he treated the rich man in Luke 18:18-24
A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'”
“All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
While Christ, didn’t turn him a way, he sure made it clear he must be willing to repent of his sin (in this case love of money) before he could be welcomed.
If we were really concerned with the souls of men, rather than gaining their approval, we the church would be clearly stating that message. It’s not hatred that puts us at odds with homosexuality. It’s love.
I truly love my fellow human beings and get incredible joy out of seeing someone realize they don’t have to go to Hell. They can be saved. It grieves me and should grieve us all, as it did Paul:
…and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged. (2 Cor 12:21)
There is a judgement to come. And you (gay or straight) will have to give an account for what you did or did not do. So, I pray that all will repent of their sin, no matter how small you think your sin might be. Repent. To not do so, and to teach others that it’s okay to live in your sin in horrific to me.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
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