Saturday, June 27, 2015

In View of the SCOTUS Decision on Marriage Equality

When Jesus confronted the Pharisees who caught a woman in her adultery and then brought her before Him to test Him (John 8:1-11), they quoted the Law of Moses which required that she be stoned. Unmoved, Jesus (knowing their thoughts) began writing in the sand. We don't know what he scribbled there. Maybe he was biding time before responding to them. Yet, He replied to her accusers, "You who have no sin cast the first stone," then returned to his scribbling. Eventually, one by one from oldest to youngest, her male accusers dropped their rocks/stones and went away until there were none. Jesus then turned to the adulterous woman and asked her, "Where are your accusers, those who condemned you?" She replied to Him "There are none Lord." 

"Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more."

In view of the SCOTUS decision on marriage equality, some of my dear brothers and sisters in Christ have made themselves into Pharisees. They've made themselves the moral authorities when to be honest they are not. Christ is the moral authority and we are flawed at best in our own moral standards.

However, many of my 'neighbors' in the LGBT community refuse to acknowledge that we've all stumbled in our attempts to create our own standards around sex and human sexuality rather than follow God's standard. Jesus simply desires that we confess our sin and he will be faithful and just to forgive our sin and to restore us from all unrighteousness; to restore us toward his standard. Jesus restored this woman, and he wants to restore us by his love and mercy: his moral authority. He gave her life when according to the Law she was deserving of death. We, too, are deserving of death, but Jesus offers us life in his name.

Jesus also confronts our sin w/o accusation. It is our responsibility to acknowledge our sin. He also wants us to sin no more, which is the task before us. Though we may fail at times, he still commands us, "Sin no more." In Christ and Christ in me there is no sin. Yet if I refuse to acknowledge my faults, I call God a liar. However, Father forgive me for when I fail. Lord thank you for your love and mercy towards me. Thank you for forgiveness. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for life in your name through the power of the resurrection. 

Many will ask, though, "Whose God?" This is also the metaphorical crux. If people refuse to believe Jesus, then they themselves are their own moral authority and do not acknowledge their nature as sinful in the face of challenges to their lifestyle choices, decisions and behaviors. For without faith it is impossible to please God, for one must acknowledge that he exists in order to pursue greater revealed knowledge of he truly is.

All this to say: as Christ followers, refuse to be hypocrites. Refuse to be Pharisees in your own eyes, in your own condemnation of others as a moral authority. Understand the motives of your hearts. Be like Jesus who, not lacking in compassion, confronted this woman with love, mercy and grace. Sinner — acknowledge your sin. Accept God's love and sin no more. If you stumble or fail, acknowledge it. You have an Advocate before the Father, Christ Jesus the Righteous, who is the propitiation for our sins. 

I love all of you and wish only the best that God has to offer each and every one of us.

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