Immaturity

This is certainly the most difficult thing for me to write. If I say that someone needs humility, that sounds awfully proud doesn’t it?  If I say that someone has immature faith that sounds even worse. After all, I’m young yet; I shouldn’t lecture anyone on anything other than Chemistry, the thing I know best. Perhaps that would be good advice for writers, movie stars, and celebrities of every sort. When these people are new Christians whose time and energy is spent on their primary work, I think we can forgive a little Spiritual immaturity. However, there is one type of spiritual immaturity that I must comment on. I am reminded of it every time I read Andrew Klavan talking about homosexuality. He is an author I admire, and he deserves it; he tells gripping stories with real insight into the nature of man. But there seems to be a disconnect on this topic. He argues quite persuasively that Christians should not participate in censorship, using persuasion instead, and here I couldn’t agree more. However, he displays his lack of discernment, or his lack of understanding in articles like this one:  Is Jesus Against Kooky Gay Guys?

It seems in this case that Klavan is demanding that Christians who think homosexuality is a sin shut up. He wants us to censor ourselves because (if I gather correctly over several articles like the one linked, where this exact topic is slightly tangential.): ‘From my reading and studying of the Bible, Jesus is concerned with re-directing your soul through him back toward its creator. Your soul, not someone else’s. He’s very specific about that. If you’re passing judgment on another guy’s soul, you’re thinking about the wrong thing.’ And because he has nice gay friends who are really happy together and he doesn’t think God forbids it, or at least, it isn’t that bad.

For the first, immature Christians are very obsessed by the ‘Do not judge’ passages. (In the article above, Klavan refers to the parable about the speck in your neighbor’s eye.) I find this also fairly prevalent in the Christian Novel Contest I help judge … 🙂 … Here is the problem. If we ‘do not judge’ as Mr. Klavan seems to mean, then are we to never say something is a sin? Are we never to say to someone: This or That is a sin? I certainly don’t suggest that we incessantly tell non-Christians that this specific thing is a sin. They must be first convinced that sin is real and that it is a threat to their eternity before they can even care what specific things might also be sins. But if, as Christians, we cannot point to behaviors, actions, or thoughts of our own, or of others, and say ‘This is certainly a sin.’ Then how, should sanctification proceed? If a Christian who through study of scripture and consultation with those who know more than himself becomes convinced that God abhors homosexual behavior then should he  censor himself? Or should he speak up?

And here is where a level of maturity is required. Simply because I believe that homosexuality is sinful does NOT imply that I find it the only sin, or the worst sin. Strangely enough, I hold to the traditional merciful Lutheran teaching that homosexuality is no worse a sin than adultery. They are both sexual perversions, and, without repentance and faith in Christ, they both lead to damnation. It is harder to have one sin be worse than another when they both lead the soul to damnation. But guess what: other sins known to lead to damnation include pride, avarice, sloth… the 7 deadly sins certainly. And since I am not a Catholic, I do not see anywhere any distinction between mortal and venial sins. I see it nowhere in Scripture, so I do believe that gossiping and the desire to commit a sin, even if never acted upon is worthy of damnation. (If those aren’t venial sins, my Catholic friends will correct me, but the point remains the same.)

But here is the thing, if all sins lead to damnation, then when a Christian points out that homosexuals are sinning, especially ones who are open to the message of Christ and Him crucified, showing someone their sin is the first step to sharing the Gospel. As for the people who speak specifically stridently about homosexuality, (Some of them are obviously, horrifically wrong: Westboro Baptist jumps into the mind). many people single out this sin since it is currently the one that is on a campaign to be normalized as ‘acceptable’ not just throughout  the secular culture, but in the church as well. And on this front, Mr. Klavan is on the wrong side. Jesus does stand against normalized sin in his Church.

And this brings up the other immaturity so rampant among the newly Christian, and the denominations that have deserted their heritage; forgetting to hate the sin. Being a follower of Christ, an imitator of Christ, means to do your very best to love what Christ loves and reject what He rejects. Christ certainly loves the sinner, but you cannot love the sinner without rejecting the sin. Christ, the only one who was qualified to cast the first stone and does not, certainly loves the sinner. Then what happens?

Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

He doesn’t just stop at ‘Neither do I condemn you.’ He also commands her to go and sin no more. He never says that her adultery was acceptable, or not that bad. He forgives her sin, and tells her not to do it again.

And that, that is the other side of the coin. We must search out what God himself despises as sinful behavior, and recognize it as such. And if we find ourselves in disagreement with God, well, that too is sinful and we must repent and learn to submit our opinions to the knowledge of God. So, for the many Christians who find themselves in disagreement with traditional church teaching about what constitutes a sin should do something about it. I do not suggest that they must automatically accept the traditional teaching, (again, I’m not a Catholic) but they absolutely must take it into consideration. This is especially true if for almost two thousand years, every Christian group taught something was sinful. This includes those that are schismatic, even those considered to be heretical amongst each other. In this case, the weight of that consensus should demand a careful, prayerful consideration of what the Scriptures do indeed say on the topic. And if you find that you disagree with the Scriptures, remember that you are the one that is wrong.

The belief that God permits homosexuality, so popular in many modern denominations, is a few decades old aberration out of almost two hundred decades of Church history. It also happens to be most popular in denominations that have just as recently abandoned the teaching or doctrine that the Scripture is the inerrant Word of God, and also, frequently the teaching or doctrine that there is only one path to God. It seems from my point of view that these churches are confounded by heresy, and their acceptance of homosexuality is perhaps the least of their problems.

There, I hope that I don’t come across as prideful, but the scriptures say that:

 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’

So just between you, reader, and me  🙂

Advertisements

8 responses to “Immaturity

  1. Well, here are the conditions for mortal sin: 1) Grave matter; 2) Full Knowledge; and 3) Full Consent of the Will. Gossip can be a mortal sin in certain cases, especially if it leads to the person being made an outcast from society or coming to some other kind of serious harm. But, I would say that there must be a distinction between mortal and venial sin–if only because God does not want to send people to eternal flames for light matters or sins committed with a level of ignorance or constraint.

    Anyway, that was a great article on this topic. Christians can only listen to secular society so much and would be better served by ignoring it completely than giving it much credence.

  2. 31“To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like?32“They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’33“For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’34“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’35“Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” Luke ch7.

    You can sing your dirge, and we will not weep. Have a look at some 19th century Evangelical arguments in favour of slavery, if you want to see how wrong your interpretation of the Bible really is.

    • Your quotation of Luke is out of place to say the least. Also, your example of the 19th defenders of slavery could not be more off. The evangelicals that you malign were the ones who formed the abolitionist movement worldwide. It was the scriptural revisionists who defended slavery on those terms. This is clear from the whole history of the Christian church which incessantly and in every age has fought against slavery, with wins and losses certainly, but consistently. Now I also don’t see how any of that confirms that my interpretation of scripture is wrong.

    • But, there is plenty of evidence to show that the New Testament would advocate the abolition of slavery, but there is no evidence that it would support homosexuality. Concerning slavery, we have Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” indicating the equality of all of people. Also, Colossians 4:1: “Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.” And to this Master, it does not matter whether one is a king or a slave, all are equal in His eyes. Then, we have St. Paul’s plea that Philemon accept his former slave, Onesimus, as a brother, which is indeed the right relationship for fellow men to have concerning each other.

      Against homosexuality, we have Romans 1:26-27: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due.” That St. Paul understood that homosexuality was a sin is further bolstered by the Old Testament’s condemnation of it in the Mosaic Law. Also, the Christian Church has always had the understanding that marriage was between one man and one woman and that any sexual acts committed outside of marriage were sins. There is no such thing as a marriage between two men or two women.

      So, anyone who tries to ignore these things is simply placing secularism above the teachings of Christ and His Church, as Dylan aptly wrote. Even if one does this out of compassion for homosexuals, they still come under the condemnation of Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”

  3. “Do not judge” is an act of judging in itself. When Klavan says, “Do not judge homosexuals for being so, because judging others is not Christian.” One is so permitted to say, “Do not be homosexual because it is not Christian to be.” They are one and the same.

  4. Pingback: Being Authentic | life of a female bible warrior

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s