I have been prompted to make this entry in my blog because of the debate about Christianity and homosexuality. Note that this was the prompt, but I am not going to focus on gay issues as my main point in this post.
There is a difficult, and at times un-Christianly bitter, debate within the Church between those who stand on Biblical principles in moral behaviour and those who suggest that the grace of God and the requirement to love all means that all or any behaviour is acceptable, providing it conforms to the World’s standards of morality.
For example, the liberals would say that a homosexual priest is fine, but a serial murderer priest is not. The Bible, in fact, and in the New Testament, classes both sins as equal. The liberals dispute this.
Yet to move beyond the homosexual debate is, I believe, important. The conflict over gay rights is currently to the fore, prompted by moves in the UK to prohibit Christian principles in the workplace and by moves in the US ordaining openly homosexual bishops. But the charge is now often brought that the Church is obsessed with “gay bashing”. Although the debate wasn’t started by conservative Christians, we have risen to the bait and it seems that much campaigning has been focused on this.
But it is important, I believe, to move the debate forward. The UK, and the world, are being swamped by sinful behaviours, and they are not exclusively to do with sexual behaviour.
My own particular struggle, with drink and drugs, needs to be brought to attention. I would take the same approach to heavy drinkers and drug users as I would to homosexual practice, for the Bible treats them as equal sins. Show love, offer help, but do not shy away from saying such behaviour is sinful. I have a deep sorrow at my past drink and drug use, and now I would not thank those who said “never mind, roll around on the floor dribbling, God doesn’t mind”. The truth is: God does mind, He calls it sin.
There are other issues too, such as the oppression and exploitation of the poor. The degree to which this happens in the UK, from the human trafficking to the exploitation by clothes shops in using overseas sweatshops, is appalling. Christians need to speak on these issues.
I want to say one more thing: there has been a growing move in the UK to make Church “fashionable”. To make Jesus attractive. Sometimes this borders on attempting to con people into becoming Christians. It is done in the name of “making Church relevant”. Yet, the Bible is clear that we should “speak the truth”. We cannot accept the “fluffy God” or the “it’s okay Jesus”. God, Jesus, is Holy.
We must be clear. A refusal to obey God will result in judgement. But God is so loving that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, that whosoever should believe on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
If we Christians truly live, breathe, and then speak the Truth, believe me we shall soon find, and rejoice in, the fact that Jesus Christ and His Cross are most offensive to those who refuse to believe.