Sunday, June 04, 2006


That's how much a church in Indianapolis is spending on an advertising campaign. Here is some of the ad copy:
"Do you know someone who is homosexual? Would you give your life for that person? Jesus did!"

Would Jesus discriminate?
A future ad will say this:
A Sunday edition of The Star will show a group of Klansmen around a burning cross with a headline, "Remember a time when a symbol of love was used as a symbol of hate?" The subtext: "The Bible shouldn't be misused to justify discrimination against any group, including gay people."


andy said...

We're a Church that's passionate about Jesus and the Bible, but not afraid of diversity or independent thought.
---What a Mission Statememt

Jim Pemberton said...

We shouldn't discriminate. No matter what the sin is, we should condemn it - that includes homosexuality. No matter how evil someone has been, no one is beyond the capacity of God to redeem him.

impossibleape said...

sounds like an excellent campaign

the issue of homosexuality is a weak point in evangelical theology

if Jesus was able to put aside the Old Testament permission for easy divorcement of women by saying it was provided for the hardness of your hearts and not for God's call to love and faithfulness then lets apply it to the broken relationships we have with broken people of all kinds.

of course I include you and me in the broken people clan

Do you?

Jeff A. Spry said...

Yet, Jesus did not put aside any such teaching on homosexuality. Actually, he didn't even mention it. However, his emissary Paul did and his words (the Word of God) calls the act of homosexuality a sin. Therefore, where God has spoken plainly, I dare not attempt to argue obliquely from acontextual issues.

impossibleape said...

I think we may be making a little more of Paul's Words than he did himself.
On at least one occasion he said that he didn't insist on his words being binding but that he thought he had the spirit.

His references to homosexuality have been variously interpreted and many would say they refer to temple practices of pagan rituals including homo and hetero sexual acts.

I prefer to say that when the issue is cloudy I'll go to Jesus and see what I can discern from Him.

I prefer to let tie (and competing) possilities be decided by Jesus' words.

Anonymous said...

I like awake at night wishing I had the nerve to ask: Why isn't there a legal campaign against liars being allowed to marry?

And if we want to take the "but the government's sanctioning a sinful relationship" tack, what about two fornicators? Why can they marry without a riot?

As a good Methodist, I'm all for condemning sin. It's one of my favorite pastimes. But I want to condemn it all equally.

We don't withhold marriage rights from any other sort of sinner. That, to me, makes us a discriminatory society -- and makes ad campaigns such as this a good idea.


Jim Pemberton said...

"...marriage rights..."?

It appears you're crossing the line from Biblical to governmental.

"lets apply it to the broken relationships we have with broken people of all kinds."

"We don't withhold marriage rights from any other sort of sinner."

So you both agree that homosexuality is a sin. For those who commit premarital heterosexual sin, marriage takes the sin and places it within the covenant of marriage. Otherwise, heterosexual adulterers are no better than homosexuals. (As it is, Jesus even said that adultery can be committed in the mind.)

On the other hand, marriage between homosexuals doesn't make homosexuality any less a sin.

From Paul's letter to the Ephesians, marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. Two of the same sex cannot portray this in marriage - in fact they distort the relationship between Christ and the church. This is not a "weak point in evangelical theology."

"of course I include you and me in the broken people clan. Do you?"

Oh my! I'm so convicted by this turn of a phrase! (typing facetiously)

For heaven's sake, the only way I truly know God's power to redeem is that He has forgiven me of levels of sin that would make you blush. "Broken people"? I'm the worst one!

For the record, I've never been homosexual, but I've had two homosexual roommates in my lifetime: one in the Marines and the other in college. I harbor no animosity toward homosexuals, and probably understand the lifestyle better than most heterosexuals. I value the friendships I have had with homosexuals, but recognizing that God's grace is worthless without the judgment of His law I cannot condone sin - mine nor anyone else's.

impossibleape said...

and if looking upon a woman with lust is equal to adultery how can you or I enter the kingdom?

the same way a person with a homosexual oientation will

this I trust is what Jesus taught

the eye of the needle is just as small for you and me as it is for the tranvestite on the corner of Broadway and 45th.

Grace plus our own righteousness can be less, not more

impossibleape said...

the issue of gay marriage is more difficult

I think we have social interest in preserving the instituion helps create and foster the next generation of citizens.
I would like to strenghten and improve marriage.
I would agree that making homo sexual unions equivalent to heterosexual parenting relationships is problematic.

But we have allowed the state of marriage to disintegrate to such a degree that it is hard to see how we can claim its sacredness as preacticed by our generation.

Jeff A. Spry said...

ImpossibleApe (love the name, by the way),

You wrote: I prefer to say that when the issue is cloudy I'll go to Jesus and see what I can discern from Him.
I prefer to let tie (and competing) possilities be decided by Jesus' words.

Your delination of your preferences betrays a possible misunderstanding of inspiration. I'll give the benefit of the doubt but at first reading it appears as though you think Paul and Jesus would "agree to disagree" on the subject of homosexual behavior. Are you really implying that there are competing ideologies regarding the same subject materials in the Scriptures?

impossibleape said...

Hi Jeff
I have to admit that a lot that I know is 'hearsay' and 'sayso' from people much more intelligent than I am.

But I have read that the New Testament's treatment of homosexual sin is ambiguous. The acts being condemned by Paul are thought to be religious and ritualistc in nature. This allows us to give the benefit of the doubt to grace as taught by Jesus. No one enters the kingdom by means of their doing or not doing, this or that. Only by humbly admitting our powerlessness and need and then trusting in the gift made possible by Jesus is salvation possible. In my opinion this is as accesible to sinners of all kinds. Some have made homosexuality an unpardonable condition and I think it is important for Christians to get past that.

Jim Pemberton said...

"and if looking upon a woman with lust is equal to adultery how can you or I enter the kingdom?

the same way a person with a homosexual oientation will

this I trust is what Jesus taught"

Jesus: "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more." John 8:11

Jesus: "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33

Jesus: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also." Matthew 23:25,26

Jesus: "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." Matthew 7:15

And how do we know who false prophets are?

Paul: "As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted." 1 Timothy 1:3-11

Permissiveness is not love. Deviation from God's law is not love. God's love is nothing aside from His righteousness. It is in love that I teach righteousness - not that we can "work our way into heaven", but that we can recognize in ourselves that for which Christ has bore the penalty with His blood. Repentance comes when the Holy Spirit quickens us and causes this realization to result in a desire to change. This is the difference between sinners who are saved and those who are not. A sinner who continues to deny that he is sinning is not a Christian, despite his claims to be so:

"This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, 'I have come to know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected." 1 John 1:5-2:5

impossibleape said...

Dueling Scriptures
is such an unpleasent blood sport but sometimes it is a temptation too great for this weak flesh

(I do appreciate bibilicists' desire to defend the faith but only so long as it doesn't offend against the 'royal law')

James 2

8If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself,"[a] you are doing right. 9But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11For he who said, "Do not commit adultery,"[b] also said, "Do not murder."[c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

Jim Pemberton said...

I don't know the point you are trying to make with the passage from James' letter. I agree fully with it and no scripture I have quoted disagrees with it. It must be understood that it is NOT merciful to fail to point out sin that needs mercy. Otherwise, no mercy is required.

What you have not said, and what I suspect you are accusing me of is that to point out the sin of homosexuality is to somehow be unmerciful to homosexuals. On the contrary, unless a sinner realizes his sin he will not accept God's grace. To lead a sinner to grace is the greatest mercy.