Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hypocrisy, Judgment, and Homosexuality

One Christian blogger noted that the church is confronted with these two recurrent charges:

  • “1) The church should stop harping on the sin of homosexuality, treating it as worse than all others.
  • 2) Because of rampant divorce in the church, the church has lost its moral authority to speak to the issue of gay marriage, and to continue to do so is the height of hypocrisy.”

The blogger responded:

  • First, is the church “harping” on the sin of homosexuality? Maybe some churches are. I’m not aware of them, but it’s possible… when the subject comes up in such churches or synods—say at a national convention or something—those who speak the most are often preaching for the acceptance of homosexuality not the sin of it. Thus, if the church is indeed “harping” on the issue, it’s harping out of both sides of its mouth.

  • Even so, is the church driving and framing our national conversation about homosexuality? I don’t believe it is… At best the church is attempting to be responsive. But make no mistake, the driving and framing forces of our societal obsession with homosexuality are the institutions of media… government… and education. The church isn’t controlling the conversation.

This blogger’s observations match my own. The Bible-believing church, for the most part, has been reduced to silence on the critical issue of sexuality, while our teens are left to glean the “wisdom” of the media, schools, and universities. In the absence of a prophetic word from the church, there is nothing to counteract what they are being fed elsewhere.

In regards to his faithfulness to biblical teaching, the Apostle Paul declared his innocence:

  • I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you.  For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. (Acts 20:26-27)

Had he not taught the “whole will of God,” he would not have been able to declare himself innocent. I don’t think that many churches today would be able to declare their innocence. Studiously, so as not to give offense and to lose attendees, churches are avoiding certain unpopular teachings. Has it now become better to please man than to please God!

Instead, God warned Ezekiel that he should not place God’s warnings in a padlocked drawer:

  • “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.  When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.  But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.” (Ezek. 33:7-9)

And what about the second charge? Is it hypocritical to judge if we too commit sins? Indeed, we have no right to call others to repent of their sins if we are unwilling to repent of ours. That’s hypocrisy! Well, what if we do the hard work of self-examination and confess and repent of all our known sins? Jesus addressed this issue:

  • “Do not judge, or you too will be judged… Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5; Gal. 6:1-3; James 5:19-20)

The blind cannot perform surgery. However, if we first embrace the light by confronting our own sins, we then can shed light for others.

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