Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Overcoming Sin: Qualifying Premises

In the last post, I made what many would consider a politically incorrect statement; and likely in the view of some, by claiming committed, homosexual unions are sinful I entered into an openly inflammatory statement which ought to be characterized as "hate" speech. The last post is intended as the opening of a discussion on sin in the lives of believers or those who would consider themselves disciples of Jesus Christ. Today, I qualify the context of the statement further, as well as, the thoughts that follow in the larger discussion of dealing with sin as Christians.

My position on homosexuality is just that, a position. I offer that position based on an interpretation of Scripture--an interpretation not fully accepted even within all groups labeled "Christian." Further, I do not offer my opinions here as statements on the development or practice of the larger culture. I am not an advocate of a secular/sacred divide within the lives of believers. I do, however, accept that the Scriptures are not a mandate whatsoever for anyone who chooses to live outside the boundaries established therein.

I think Paul speaks clearly to that issue in 1 Corinthians 5:12 & 13a in which he says, "For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges."

I have no desire to hate anyone, nor do I. I do not single out homosexuality as a sin greater than any other or as requiring a separate response from the members of the Body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11, Paul lists homosexuality* among many sinful behaviors including fornication which is then followed by an inclusive statement of all believers who have lived within the listed sins, as being sanctified and justified in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, if you are reading and do not claim Christ as Lord, I speak no condemnation for your choices of belief or practice. I believe you will eventually face God as judge with all humanity. He will bring to that meeting His perfect love and law in its fullness.

If you are reading and claim Christ but accept homosexual marriage as different from homosexual promiscuity or prostitution, I do not expect you will find much in my words to endorse or by which be encouraged.

The following set of posts is about overcoming sin and is addressed to those who are interested in developing the spiritual understanding, both individually and corporately, which undergirds overcoming the rebellion in the our hearts. I offer only that which I have learned from God about standing apart from something dark in my heart. I am but one voice, and others need to be heard on the topic of overcoming, as well.

*The word in the Greek which reads "homosexual" is a disputed term in its applicable meaning among those who contend that same-gender unions are acceptable Christian behavior. I do not enter the debate about the word at this time. I accept the word as used in the Scripture to mean all same-gender sexual relations. With this premise, the translated word in question as used in 1 Cor. 6 construes--both hermeneutically and in the spirit of the whole of Biblical revelation--all homosexuality as sinful behavior before a Holy God.

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