11 My Friend’s Scriptural Reply to Me

It, good and evil, certainly is true that you cannot build without a foundation as the host of the NPR show noted.  The fact that this guest didn’t find his answer satisfying is not the appropriate measure of whether it was true or not.  I didn’t see the show, I don’t know what was said or in what context, just wanted to note that truth matters, and ultimate truth matters ultimately.  So yes, I believe the foundation we build on is critical and it is obvious that you do as well, thus your emphasis first to cast doubt on Scripture so that we have to base our conversation on a different authority that fits us better – not so demanding.

I see that you “recognize the authority of ‘love your neighbor,” “do not judge,” and “show mercy”, but I’m curious how, for instance you can see an authority in “do not judge” without making an effort to understand what Jesus meant by that, beginning with the immediate context.  In the parallel passage in Matt 7 He goes on to say “first take the log out of your own eye, then you can see clearly to take the spec out of your brother’s eye”. Note that you have to be discerning of good & evil, seeing your own sin and dealing with it and are responsible then to help your brother with the spec in his eye, not leave the spec there – all of it requires recognition of right and wrong – judgement in the sense of being discerning but not in the sense of condemning since that belongs to God alone.  Jesus also says in the verses that follow to not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine – commanding us to judge what is a “dog” or “swine” based on some objective standard.

You reference what you call “conflicts” in Scripture that I “would seem to have to acknowledge.”  But there is no “black is white” contradiction or inconsistency in the Lord’s commands and I see none in those passages. It is easy enough to see that God has the authority to judge and to use His chosen people Israel to bring that judgement (or natural disasters or any other means He chooses).  The fact is that the people of Canaan got what we all deserve.  The root of the problem is that when we reject God’s authority over us and declare our own wisdom supreme, then His wisdom looks foolish and even illogical to us.  When Jesus was asked about the people whose blood was shed by the Romans while bringing their sacrifices, and about the people on whom the tower of Siloam fell, He responded that “the same will happen to you if you do not repent.”  Not really a very satisfying or solace giving comment, but a comment the King has the right to make and does so with the full authority to back it up.

In reference to idolatry you gave some food for thought – let’s say I’m standing before the throne of God and  I say, “Lord, I think you should commend me for doing as I felt was right, because I was being very careful not to turn You into an idol.  In fact, Lord, I heard Your voice but knew I was in danger of making Your voice an idol if I listened to it.  I think far to much of You to believe that you meant what it sounded like and I know that since I was made in Your image You must be pleased with my creativity to invent a righteousness of my own doing.”  Do you see the absurdity of charging that believing God is idolatry against Him?  How did you handle your children when they played that game?  Would you have bought that argument as a defense when you were judge?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  The antithesis to that statement is found in Is 8:20 “…if they do not speak according to this, they have no dawn in them”

You are wondering if the river we arrive at is that same.  I believe the answer is “no.”  Homosexuality is sin – period.  So is adultery, hatred, lying, even failing to do what we know is right for the Scripture says “he who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”  What I am saying is that we ALL have sinned against a just and holy God.  What I am saying is that we ALL need to be delivered from the condemnation and guilt of our sin, delivered from its power in our lives, and given new life and a secure hope in Christ.  Julian’s problem is not sexual orientation or mixed up genome, it is sin.  Sexual perversion is a result of the sin in us, not the cause of it.  My hope is in Christ, He is my righteousness, He is my guarantee, His power brings about a desire for holy living in me….and it is unloving to look at another’s sin and say “but it works well for you.”  No, love demands that we reach out to others to warn them of judgement to come and point them to reconciliation in Christ.

So, is Julian welcome?  Yes.  Is Robert welcome?  Yes…through the gate of repentance and faith in the finished work of the Son of God.  The Gospel calls out that there is redemption by Christ’s own payment for all who repent and bow before Him.  It is for those who know their sin and hate it and know that they cannot save themselves.  He calls us to abandon our own will and submit ourselves to Him as Lord.  Jesus went to the people of the lowest reputation, lost, hopeless, and imprisoned in sin, and He rescued them out of it.  He did not leave them in it and try to make them feel better about it.  But for those who stubbornly cling to and justify their sin there can only be the dreadful anticipation of judgement to come.

“For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  1 Cor 1:18

God is clear that there are two classes of people in the world – those who trust Him and put no confidence in themselves, and all the rest.

The call is not one of condemnation, but of warning to turn from the wrath to come and run to Christ.

I hope that gives a little better clarification of what the Christian issues are – just what Scripture says they are.

My Friend

 

12 My Response to My Friendhttps://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/351

11 My Friend’s Scriptural Reply to Me

4 Georgia’s Reply

Hi Robert,

I always appreciate your thoughts on life, you are a deep thinker, and a loving person.  Reflection is an important part of life.   As much as I do appreciate your thoughts, I find some I disagree with.  I have worked with several lesbians/homosexuals at the hospital, and we’ve had  fine working relationships.  I was fortunate that they didn’t feel the need to make a “statement” and it wasn’t something that was discussed.

These people also never professed to be Christians, and don’t believe the two I worked fairly closely with even attended church.  I do know there are people who profess to be Christians and also say they are homosexual, and apparently proud of it.    I would question the validity of that, but I also know many people say they are Christians just because they attend church, or they feel they live morally good lives, or they believe in a God.  None of those things makes them Christian.  Many are into being “spiritual,”  and really don’t have a faith in the God of the Bible, nor believe the Bible is the Word of God.  Any religion that believes there is any way to salvation other than through the blood of Jesus Christ, is just a religion, not Christianity.

One thing the Bible teaches is that God never changes.  There was a reason God had to give the Israelites a bunch of rules….they need guidance.  I don’t understand the mind of God, but for some reason certain foods were not to be eaten, etc….and we’re told in the New Testatment that we no longer are bound by that old Covenant;  we are under a new covenant, our sins paid for through the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ.  Moral sins, lieing, cheating, killing, immoral living, were different.  God hated those sorts of sins in OT times, and he hates them now.  God does not change.  That is one of the things I find strength in.  So much has changed through time, but God is my constant.  Homosexuality was a sin then and still is;  this is confirmed in the New Testament, also.  That does not stop me from loving that person, however.  Am I supposed to turn a blind eye and say “whatever is right for them is right for them?”  Jesus didn’t ask us to do that, in fact we are to be discerning.  When Jesus said “judge not lest ye be judged,” I believe that was where the Pharisees were judging a woman in adultery and going to stone her.  If I’m remembering correctly they were told, “let he without sin cast the first stone.”  That is a little different judging than recognizing sin.

One of the marks of a Christian is that they recognize their sin, though it might take them a while at times to do so, and then strive to remove that sin from their life.  Any person who claims to be a Christian, but harbors a sin, whether it be pornography, adultry, sexual immorality, being dishonest in any way, but continues in that sin without remorse…..I’d have to wonder whether God is truly alive in their lives.  Also, we are commanded, as Christians, to hold each other accountable.  God’s Word sets the standard.  If I have a Christian friend, relative, or acquaintance who is continually living a sinful life, it is my responsibility as a Christian to point their sin out to them lovingly.  I am commanded to do that.  That isn’t me judging them.  If point out where God’s Word is clear that they are sinning, I am to do that in love.

Well, that was a long response to your New Year’s letter.  I should have typed it out and edited and rewritten to make more sense, but I think you may be used to my rambling and can make some sense of it.  I just think it is really wrong for Christians to downplay or water-down the Biblical Standards.  Anything goes, anything is accepted, doing what makes you feel good…..all those things will destroy us.

By the way, I read that book by C. S. Lewis a few years ago and loved it.  This will sound strange, but I loved that he went to the Pub and had beers with his buddies and discussed doctrinal issues and theology–how cool is that?!

I love you, Rob,

Georgia

 

5 My Response to Georges Replyhttps://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/319

4 Georgia’s Reply