Monday, April 16, 2012

Born This Way

An Edmonton pastor who is now running for public office is being attacked for blog post he wrote a while back. It was a reflection on the song Born This Way. The controversy is being handled in the normal terrible way. No reflection on what the man said. Just name calling. People are so sure they have reason on their side they feel justified in behaving irrationally. So what is so offensive? Here is what appears to be the worst line:
You see, you can live the way you were born, and if you die the way you were born then you will suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire, hell, a place of eternal suffering
I guess it is bad because it talks about hell. Gays often say Christians believe they are all going to hell. We don't but this might feed into that fear. He hints at it here. The question is not how you were born but where or not you become a new creation in Christ Jesus. But there is another distinction he needs to draw. Humans have desires to do good and desires to do evil. Both types of desires can be there at birth or acquired later. So whether a person was born with a given desire is not the right question to be asking. The question is whether or not a desire is good or evil. We all have both. Gay people don't have more evil desires than straight people. We are all made in God's image and we are all born with original sin. Both truths run very deep. The good news is that our identity as image bearers of God and children of God is the deepest and most profound truth about us.

The real question is do we want to be good? Do we want to surrender our evil desires to Jesus and let Him fulfill our good desires? That is the grace He offered us at the cross. But part of that is we need to accept His definition of what is evil and what is good. Not what we makes us feel good. Not what society tells us is good. What Jesus, through His church, tells us is truly good. Guess what? That is hard for everyone. Gays can feel that Catholic sexual  morality is impossible for them and easy for everyone else. It just isn't so. Celibacy is difficult. Marriage without artificial contraception is difficult. But by the grace of God we are all capable of chastity. Gays are only different in the particular distortion of sex they are tempted towards.

So what is offensive? It is more the assertion that society's moral judgement about homosexuality is wrong. That is not something unique to same sex attracted people. If we tell people something is good when it is evil that is no small thing. It is injecting our own judgement where only God has the right to judge. Secularists convince themselves they never do that but it is unavoidable. They think that if they just permit everything then they haven't judged anyone but they have. Judging people innocent when they are not is just as big a problem. Saying that such false judgement could cause people to go to hell is something that is going to make the elites angry. I know much of it is feigned anger for political points but some people may actually be bothered by their conscience and getting angry is one way people react to that. Still if we give them a pass we commit the same sin they do. We can take the sin of declaring some sin to be a non-sin. Then we can declare that sin to be a non-sin.

Not judging really means not judging at all. Just try and discern the moral principles of God but don't try and apply them to anyone's personal life but your own. Certainly you can communicate these moral truths but we can't take the next step of finding our neighbor guilty. Each person needs to worry about his own sin. Only when we convict ourselves of sin can we do anything good with it. Convicting someone else does not do anyone any good. But finding someone else innocent of sin does not help either.

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