Recently you wrote an article about how evangelicals need to lay off LGBTQ people. It lays out, with a fervor, how evangelicals are simply wrong and without any grounds to stand when they critique or stand up against the rising cultural tide of homosexual acceptance (and that which will naturally follow – transgender and that so far undetermined).
I have read a number of your articles over the years, and written a response once myself. Here again, I feel the need to stand up straight, and lovingly disagree.
You must understand (and that is both a plea and a gesture to your sensibilities) that there is a huge difference between condemning someone and simply disagreeing with their choices. Especially from a faith standpoint.
Today people are far too quick to assume disagreement means you condemn them and wish they were actually just like you (which is a two way street that many progressives seem to forget). This many times becomes an all out social media mob attack before the facts are even straight. Disagreement and condemnation are dramatically different actions. Both find precedent in Scripture too.
Jesus absolutely called sin out. Whether explicitly (the woman caught in adultery was told to go and sin no more) or implicitly (calling the Pharisees a broke of vipers) Jesus denounced sexual immorality in his sermon on the mount (to beware lusting after another person), and He defines marriage as God does in Genesis (Matt19 when he’s speaking of marriage, creation, and defending Gods place in those things against Pharisees).
To try and say that because something isn’t explicitly mentioned means it isn’t directly connected to the theme and nuance of Scripture is being belligerently obtuse about it.
Your MO is to speak from the heart, under the guise of a “faithful Christian.” A pastor even. But wolves can wear sheep’s clothing, and snakes can hide out where you least expect them. You can disagree with 2000 year old orthodox beliefs all you want. It’s your prerogative; many have come before you, and you won’t be the last. But to twist, and pervert, and bastardize Christ’s actual words or intentions to fit a modern cultural sin obsession is essentially the definition of using the Lords Name in vain.
God will judge this world. Not man. But it is still our calling as the church to live authentically faithful lives in service to Christ. That does, in fact, look like love. Contrary to “straw man views” of evangelicals. It means loving someone and pointing them TO Christ. It means carrying your own cross, while in a community of those carrying theirs, all the while moving to grow closer to the Cross of Christ.
It means being willing to give and receive accountability on your sin. Which means seeing sin as the Bible sees sin. And seeing sin in context (before anyone tries to pown me with some Leviticus passage…).
I am the first to admit that the American church has truly sucked at being the Hands and the Feet of Christ for generations. But Christ hasn’t changed. He won’t change. And to claim that He would look at those with same sex attraction and would:
A) be totally fine with it, think it’s super grand, and applaud them for living authentic to themselves and their truth…
B) grab His closest Torah and beat them to death with it while singing an ancient hymn…
… you’re wrong on both counts.
He spoke tenderly to Jairus, to Mary & Martha, to the Samaritan woman, to the rich young ruler, to the prodigal & elder son (through His parable), to John the Baptist, to the criminal on the cross, and to so many more. BUT He also could be direct when confronted with an affront to the Father. As in the zealous episode at the temple, or when He literally told Peter “get behind me Satan.”
Christians ARE called to love. Love God first and foremost. Then also your neighbor. Your spouse. Your family. Your coworker. Your customer. Your senators. Your president. Your neighbor. Because each of them bears the image of your God.
Now when you have created a loving relationship with your neighbor, and especially if they are a supposed brother or sister in Christ – YOU ARE TO HOLD EACH OTHER ACCOUNTABLE. That means lovingly. With caring words. Humbly. But still with the strength of the Truth on God.
Pavlovitz, you are just another voice riding the sea of modern culture. Wherever it leads you in the future, I suspect you will willingly follow. But as an orthodox, reformed, biblically sound follower of Christ I feel it is just as pertinent to point out such wolves, snakes, & anyone else seeking to point away from Christ.
I welcome discussion on this topic, or others he has written on. Heretical thinking and preaching can only be overcome by exposing it to the light, and wrestling with it. It’s how we got away from Gnostic teaching. Away from papal errors. From prosperity “gospels” and more. So please feel free to comment, or message me. I would be glad to do some back and forth on it.
Additionally, be on the lookout for a potential podcast I will be hosting diving into the context surrounding Scripture and how we can better understand it for our lives.
Thank you for reading, and God bless.