What If? What if we do what Jesus did?

                                             James 4.8        

But Simon Peter answered [Jesus], “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68

Scripture Reading: Psalm 19:7-11  “ The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.10 More to be desired are they than gold,Yea, than much fine gold;Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned,And in keeping them there is great reward.”

COMMENTS:  This June I was privileged to be our church’s delegate to the Western Pennsylvania United Methodist Church Annual Conference.  I was one of 800 laity an 800 clergy, more or less, gathering for worship and praise and conferencing.  Much of time is pretty tedious with all debates and resolutions and amendments presented and voted and modified.  I have to say long hours of sitting and debating take a physical toll, but are necessary.  The biggest and most controversial issues were not about faulty doctrine or existing legislation already approved by past general conference but is constantly and increasingly under pressure to compromise and soften positions related to abortion and homosexuality.       

Well, the Western Pennsylvania Conference is one of the more conservative but not as conservative as the South Korean and African Conferences.  But truth is those conferences are experiencing dramatic growth in salvations and new members while other conferences, especially in USA, are experiencing dwindling memberships and salvations.  Result is a shift in influence and power   to vote their conscience and convictions, having even greater impact on General Conference decisions than the American church. 

Pressure from Planned Parenthood groups and LGBTQI groups for Church to accept both behavior and individuals into leadership roles in the United Methodist Church and remove or change all doctrine and legislation judging such behavior as sin. 

Today our annual conference voted on slate of representatives to Jurisdictional and General Conferences for 2020.  The stakes will be high next year and decisions will be made that will impact the denomination and local church alike.

So who is right and what should be the position of the church denomination and local church?

I believe the question has a different answer for the individual than for the organizations putting pressure on the church denominations because I believe their true motives are much different for one reason.  The other reason relates to focus of Jesus attention and response to individuals.

My personal discernment based on experience and interpretation of scripture brings me to my current position and thoughts.  Below is related scriptures follow by my personal position thoughts on these  topics:  

POSITION OF SCRIPTURE ON HOMOSEXUALITY:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” Romans 1:26-28

 “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Mark 10:6-9 

“The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” 1 Timothy 1:10-11 

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” Leviticus 20:13 

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Leviticus 18:22

POSITION OF CHRIST TO WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY:

JOHN 8:1-11 “Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”11 “No, Lord,” she said.And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.””

SCRIPTURES  ABOUT ABORTION OR KILLING A FETUS PRIOR TO BIRTH:

Job 10:8-9  “Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?”

 Psalms 22:9-10  “But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.”

 Psalms 139:13-15  “13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!”

 Isaiah 44:2  “Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.

Luke 1:41-44  “41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.’

EXODUS 20:13 & DEUTERONOMY 5:17  “Thou shall not kill.”

PROVERBS 6:16-2316 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.20 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

I have heard convincing arguments on both sides of both the abortion and the                                                                                              LGBTQI debates.  Society and newsmedia and movie business all are very progressive – liberal – pro-abortion and LGBTQI even to point of working hard to reach the goals of abortion even being legal for the fetus that is still alive after taken from the mother to be aborted or killed.      And goal is for it to be illegal to not approve of the lifestyle of those in the LGBTQI with severe consequences.

But what about the Bible’s position and Jesus’ position? Granted, the Bible doesn’t use the term abortion.  Instead the bible theme is the value and sacredness of human life even in the womb.  The physical evidence during abortion is the fetus does have a heart beat and feels pain by wk 24, but abortions are done by tearing the fetus apart piece by piece without any effort to sedate or stop his pain.  A partial birth abortion is pulling the fetus body breach and cut fetus’s head off at the neck when exposed.  15 years ago even the most liberal politicians would not condone or support late term abortions or abortions at full term.  But today they do and even middle road liberal politicians will not condemn such practices.   I believe the extremes are making the evidence that abortion is sinful to God more convincing. The rights of the mother do not justify killing a new born baby or her teenage or adult children either.  But trying to determine at what point a fetus goes from being inhuman to human with the right to life is not supported in scripture, so is not determinable humanly.  So for that reason,  I believe the Church should not favor abortion at any time and instead encourage every medical effort to save and sustain the life of the child if the child must be delivered early to save the life of the mother.  I believe human life begins at conception and believe this position is supported in scripoture,  but certainly is evident with the heat beat.

So what about LGBTQI issues?  Well, there are plenty of scriptures calling such sinful or an abomination.  But, for one, Jesus treated the adulterous woman with compassion and respect, as He did the adulterous Samaritan woman at the well.  He forgave them and showed love and respect but did also tell the adulterous woman condemned to be stoned to go   in peace and SIN NO MORE!! Those struggling with temptations judged sin in the bible need deliverance and forgiveness, not approval.  Approval does not bring transformation nor redemption either. It only creates a barrier and ineffectiveness of  personal witness and ability of the Holy Spirit to bring redemption and transformation and eternal life. Stoning the  adulterous woman was not the right answer.  Nor was approving her actions.  Jesus gave a better – a redemptive answer not only for her but for her accusers because He wanted both her and her accusers to experience forgiveness and transformation into being God-like, Christ-like.

Does God give us salvation and eternal life while we still struggle with weakness to habitual temptations and sin?  Well, then can a person be save and still struggle with homosexuality and even yield to such temptations.  Yes to both but not without God’s influence and abiding presence offering to help us overcome those weaknesses can victory and redemption be achieved.  So, that is different from convincing ourselves and our church people that homosexuality behavior is not sinful when God says it is. To do so causes us to walk in disobedience and loose fellowship with Him as a result.  It also deprives those enduring such no hope of redemption because we are  silent to sharing Christ’s path to life.

So consider this.  Condoning any sinful behavior by calling it good or as good as what God calls righteous behavior, creates a wall between those who believe that and God.  So a homosexual can do damage to church people by tempting  them to do just that .   I don’t believe that is the desire or intent of most gays.  They just want more love and understanding and acceptance from the church than they are getting.  They need us to accept them without accepting  their behavior. 

By contrast, I believe LGBTQI organizations have a goal to destroy churches and individuals unwilling to fully accept and condone homosexual behavior, to the point of destroying their lives and businesses and families. Is declining to make a cake for a homosexual wedding due to convictions of owner worthy of destroying his business and life and family?  Should it be a crime worthy of such punishment?  For simply not making a cake and asking client to go to another bakery?

Lets take a step back and see as Christ sees.  He loves and desires to forgive, to             give eternal life, and giving them freedom from enslavement of  sin –  any and all sin!  That puts us on in the same boat and not only in need for the same Savior but a responsibility to both share the same Good News and identify a common enemy.  Not those in the LGBTQI community but satan and his committed demons. 

So is the solution to bring peace and harmony to force acceptance of sin or accept the sinner and share a way to a better and eternal life?

Is the solution encouraging mothers to kill any and all unwanted pre-born babies or give them other options, including adopting couples or ways to empower mother to raise her child?  Options to preserve and enrich life instead of pro-death.

WWJD “What would Jesus do?”  Maybe it is time we all starting wondering and pondering this question and expect our church leaders and even politicians do the same. Now wouldn’t it be a much better world if we did that?  It became a better world during worst of Roman rule when Christians started acting like Him.

When the adulterous woman was about to be stoned for her sin, he reminded those ready to stone her of their sins by saying, “let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”  He desired for them to repent of pride and self-righteousness but also to repent of other hidden sins that were keeping them from fellowship with God.  When the accusers all left due to personal guilt of their own consciences, Jesus then asked her where her accusers were.  She said they left.   He then told her He forgave her  but didn’t stop there.  Jesus did not condone nor settled for encouraging her to continue in her sins.  She accepted His forgiveness, so she admitted her sin.  Jesus then told her to go and sin no more.  Jesus wanted her to live on a higher plane, a better level, a level He designed for her.  

So, asking again how this relates to battles going on in many or most mainstream protestant denominations, including the United Methodist Church over LBGTQI issues and existing church doctrine, how can agreement and compatible resolution be realized?   Well, God has the answer to that, and I believe His answer is not clear to you and me until it unfolds to us.  But what I do know is that His answer will not compromise His standards for righteous living and objection to sinful behavior.  He will not condone or ignore or be indifferent to  homosexual behavior or adulterous behavior.  To hidden sins like lying or stealing or a sharp tongue or hatred or pride or any sin so identified in His Law only keeps us from Christ’s mercy and healing and vulnerable to God’s judgment.  So the solution is not condoning sinful behavior.  But the solution does lie in revealing and healing sin of all kinds in all people.  The solution lies in all repenting and accepting His redemption at His cross and allowing Him to transform and heal.  Jesus desired for a relationship with all on both sides.  That means both sides must repent of their sins and look to Him for healing.  ONLY JESUS CAN BRING PERMANENT PEACE AND LIFE AND HEALING.  ONLY JESUS HAS THE AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE AND POWER TO ENFORCE RESULTING HEALING! 

Jesus demonstrated a life standard infinitely above our ability to achieve and live.  That means we still are sinners and commit sin.  We still need His redemption and further transformation.  No one has arrived at being Christ-like this side of the grave.  That doesn’t mean giving up or denying failure to overcome sin.  Truth is we simply cannot comprehend “Good” or “Perfect” as God defines such.  But since He loves and understands us, He does not asks us to focus on sin we are not aware of, but deal with sin He does reveal and want us to focus on.  Growing in grace means becoming more like Him as we get closer to our death and entry into heaven.  There we will be like Him because we will be free of the temptations and satan’s influence drowning us here.  We will no longer be battling the enemy of our soul and enemy of our family and friends and our church.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Thank God today for the written Word of God that is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105).

The Bible is God’s book, not man’s book.
J. Gresham Machen

If you wish, you can access my blog at “https://donsdevotions.wordpress.com“. There you will find 478 blog posts I have made plus a link to my devotional journal material archives from 2013 to present.

You may also access my Facebook page and request to be my friend and automatically receive my daily journal publications daily.  My Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/Dondevotionals/ Many thanks to a pastor and dear brother in Christ in Nepal who set up the above Facebook page to help and encourage and give opportunity for more to   explore and use my devotional blog materials.

My hope and prayer are, my blog and devotional materials will become a source of encouragement and tools in ministry for you.

 

                                                    

But Simon Peter answered [Jesus], “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68

Scripture Reading: Psalm 19:7-11  “ The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.10 More to be desired are they than gold,Yea, than much fine gold;Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned,And in keeping them there is great reward.”

COMMENTS:  This June I was privileged to be our church’s delegate to the Western Pennsylvania United Methodist Church Annual Conference.  I was one of 800 laity an 800 clergy, more or less, gathering for worship and praise and conferencing.  Much of time is pretty tedious with all debates and resolutions and amendments presented and voted and modified.  I have to say long hours of sitting and debating take a physical toll, but are necessary.  The biggest and most controversial issues were not about faulty doctrine or existing legislation already approved by past general conference but is constantly and increasingly under pressure to compromise and soften positions related to abortion and homosexuality.       

Well, the Western Pennsylvania Conference is one of the more conservative but not as conservative as the South Korean and African Conferences.  But truth is those conferences are experiencing dramatic growth in salvations and new members while other conferences, especially in USA, are experiencing dwindling memberships and salvations.  Result is a shift in influence and power   to vote their conscience and convictions, having even greater impact on General Conference decisions than the American church. 

Pressure from Planned Parenthood groups and LGBTQI groups for Church to accept both behavior and individuals into leadership roles in the United Methodist Church and remove or change all doctrine and legislation judging such behavior as sin. 

Today our annual conference voted on slate of representatives to Jurisdictional and General Conferences for 2020.  The stakes will be high next year and decisions will be made that will impact the denomination and local church alike.

So who is right and what should be the position of the church denomination and local church?

I believe the question has a different answer for the individual than for the organizations putting pressure on the church denominations because I believe their true motives are much different for one reason.  The other reason relates to focus of Jesus attention and response to individuals.

My personal discernment based on experience and interpretation of scripture brings me to my current position and thoughts.  Below is related scriptures follow by my personal position thoughts on these  topics:  

POSITION OF SCRIPTURE ON HOMOSEXUALITY:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” Romans 1:26-28

 “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Mark 10:6-9 

“The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” 1 Timothy 1:10-11 

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” Leviticus 20:13 

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Leviticus 18:22

POSITION OF CHRIST TO WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY:

JOHN 8:1-11 “Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”11 “No, Lord,” she said.And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.””

SCRIPTURES  ABOUT ABORTION OR KILLING A FETUS PRIOR TO BIRTH:

Job 10:8-9  “Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?”

 Psalms 22:9-10  “But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.”

 Psalms 139:13-15  “13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!”

 Isaiah 44:2  “Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.

Luke 1:41-44  “41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.’

EXODUS 20:13 & DEUTERONOMY 5:17  “Thou shall not kill.”

PROVERBS 6:16-2316 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.20 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

I have heard convincing arguments on both sides of both the abortion and the                                                                                              LGBTQI debates.  Society and newsmedia and movie business all are very progressive – liberal – pro-abortion and LGBTQI even to point of working hard to reach the goals of abortion even being legal for the fetus that is still alive after taken from the mother to be aborted or killed.      And goal is for it to be illegal to not approve of the lifestyle of those in the LGBTQI with severe consequences.

But what about the Bible’s position and Jesus’ position? Granted, the Bible doesn’t use the term abortion.  Instead the bible theme is the value and sacredness of human life even in the womb.  The physical evidence during abortion is the fetus does have a heart beat and feels pain by wk 24, but abortions are done by tearing the fetus apart piece by piece without any effort to sedate or stop his pain.  A partial birth abortion is pulling the fetus body breach and cut fetus’s head off at the neck when exposed.  15 years ago even the most liberal politicians would not condone or support late term abortions or abortions at full term.  But today they do and even middle road liberal politicians will not condemn such practices.   I believe the extremes are making the evidence that abortion is sinful to God more convincing. The rights of the mother do not justify killing a new born baby or her teenage or adult children either.  But trying to determine at what point a fetus goes from being inhuman to human with the right to life is not supported in scripture, so is not determinable humanly.  So for that reason,  I believe the Church should not favor abortion at any time and instead encourage every medical effort to save and sustain the life of the child if the child must be delivered early to save the life of the mother.  I believe human life begins at conception and believe this position is supported in scripoture,  but certainly is evident with the heat beat.

So what about LGBTQI issues?  Well, there are plenty of scriptures calling such sinful or an abomination.  But, for one, Jesus treated the adulterous woman with compassion and respect, as He did the adulterous Samaritan woman at the well.  He forgave them and showed love and respect but did also tell the adulterous woman condemned to be stoned to go   in peace and SIN NO MORE!! Those struggling with temptations judged sin in the bible need deliverance and forgiveness, not approval.  Approval does not bring transformation nor redemption either. It only creates a barrier and ineffectiveness of  personal witness and ability of the Holy Spirit to bring redemption and transformation and eternal life. Stoning the  adulterous woman was not the right answer.  Nor was approving her actions.  Jesus gave a better – a redemptive answer not only for her but for her accusers because He wanted both her and her accusers to experience forgiveness and transformation into being God-like, Christ-like.

Does God give us salvation and eternal life while we still struggle with weakness to habitual temptations and sin?  Well, then can a person be save and still struggle with homosexuality and even yield to such temptations.  Yes to both but not without God’s influence and abiding presence offering to help us overcome those weaknesses can victory and redemption be achieved.  So, that is different from convincing ourselves and our church people that homosexuality behavior is not sinful when God says it is. To do so causes us to walk in disobedience and loose fellowship with Him as a result.  It also deprives those enduring such no hope of redemption because we are  silent to sharing Christ’s path to life.

So consider this.  Condoning any sinful behavior by calling it good or as good as what God calls righteous behavior, creates a wall between those who believe that and God.  So a homosexual can do damage to church people by tempting  them to do just that .   I don’t believe that is the desire or intent of most gays.  They just want more love and understanding and acceptance from the church than they are getting.  They need us to accept them without accepting  their behavior. 

By contrast, I believe LGBTQI organizations have a goal to destroy churches and individuals unwilling to fully accept and condone homosexual behavior, to the point of destroying their lives and businesses and families. Is declining to make a cake for a homosexual wedding due to convictions of owner worthy of destroying his business and life and family?  Should it be a crime worthy of such punishment?  For simply not making a cake and asking client to go to another bakery?

Lets take a step back and see as Christ sees.  He loves and desires to forgive, to             give eternal life, and giving them freedom from enslavement of  sin –  any and all sin!  That puts us on in the same boat and not only in need for the same Savior but a responsibility to both share the same Good News and identify a common enemy.  Not those in the LGBTQI community but satan and his committed demons. 

So is the solution to bring peace and harmony to force acceptance of sin or accept the sinner and share a way to a better and eternal life?

Is the solution encouraging mothers to kill any and all unwanted pre-born babies or give them other options, including adopting couples or ways to empower mother to raise her child?  Options to preserve and enrich life instead of pro-death.

WWJD “What would Jesus do?”  Maybe it is time we all starting wondering and pondering this question and expect our church leaders and even politicians do the same. Now wouldn’t it be a much better world if we did that?  It became a better world during worst of Roman rule when Christians started acting like Him.

When the adulterous woman was about to be stoned for her sin, he reminded those ready to stone her of their sins by saying, “let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”  He desired for them to repent of pride and self-righteousness but also to repent of other hidden sins that were keeping them from fellowship with God.  When the accusers all left due to personal guilt of their own consciences, Jesus then asked her where her accusers were.  She said they left.   He then told her He forgave her  but didn’t stop there.  Jesus did not condone nor settled for encouraging her to continue in her sins.  She accepted His forgiveness, so she admitted her sin.  Jesus then told her to go and sin no more.  Jesus wanted her to live on a higher plane, a better level, a level He designed for her.  

So, asking again how this relates to battles going on in many or most mainstream protestant denominations, including the United Methodist Church over LBGTQI issues and existing church doctrine, how can agreement and compatible resolution be realized?   Well, God has the answer to that, and I believe His answer is not clear to you and me until it unfolds to us.  But what I do know is that His answer will not compromise His standards for righteous living and objection to sinful behavior.  He will not condone or ignore or be indifferent to  homosexual behavior or adulterous behavior.  To hidden sins like lying or stealing or a sharp tongue or hatred or pride or any sin so identified in His Law only keeps us from Christ’s mercy and healing and vulnerable to God’s judgment.  So the solution is not condoning sinful behavior.  But the solution does lie in revealing and healing sin of all kinds in all people.  The solution lies in all repenting and accepting His redemption at His cross and allowing Him to transform and heal.  Jesus desired for a relationship with all on both sides.  That means both sides must repent of their sins and look to Him for healing.  ONLY JESUS CAN BRING PERMANENT PEACE AND LIFE AND HEALING.  ONLY JESUS HAS THE AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE AND POWER TO ENFORCE RESULTING HEALING! 

Jesus demonstrated a life standard infinitely above our ability to achieve and live.  That means we still are sinners and commit sin.  We still need His redemption and further transformation.  No one has arrived at being Christ-like this side of the grave.  That doesn’t mean giving up or denying failure to overcome sin.  Truth is we simply cannot comprehend “Good” or “Perfect” as God defines such.  But since He loves and understands us, He does not asks us to focus on sin we are not aware of, but deal with sin He does reveal and want us to focus on.  Growing in grace means becoming more like Him as we get closer to our death and entry into heaven.  There we will be like Him because we will be free of the temptations and satan’s influence drowning us here.  We will no longer be battling the enemy of our soul and enemy of our family and friends and our church.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Thank God today for the written Word of God that is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105).

The Bible is God’s book, not man’s book.
J. Gresham Machen

If you wish, you can access my blog at “https://donsdevotions.wordpress.com“. There you will find 453 blog posts I have made plus a link to my devotional journal material archives from 2013 to present.

You may also access my Facebook page and request to be my friend and automatically receive my daily journal publications daily.  My Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/Dondevotionals/ Many thanks to a pastor and dear brother in Christ in Nepal who set up the above Facebook page to help and encourage and give opportunity for more to   explore and use my devotional blog materials.

My hope and prayer are, my blog and devotional materials will become a source of encouragement and tools in ministry for you.

 

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s