This is a re-working of a post from May 2012. With today’s Supreme Court ruling that apparently refuses to rule on Proposition 8 and strikes down sections of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), I thought about this post. I stated the following on Facebook this morning: “As we reflect on the state of marriage and what our government now recognizes as marriage, remember that long ago our government forsook a godly definition when divorce and remarriage for reasons other than what Jesus states in Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:4-12, and Mark 10:3-12.” This goes with what I said a year ago. Keep reading;
One valid observation homosexuals and others make is that many “Christians” who speak loudest against homosexual marriage (and many politicians who are using this agenda for political gain) are on their second, third, or even fourth marriage or they are guilty of violating the marriage covenant by having affairs. Some may also be guilty of having sexual relationships before marriage (which is also a sin according to God’s word). Folks, this is a serious matter. How can we expect others to listen to us, when we do not follow Christ’s teaching ourselves?
Now for my friend, I would remind him that just because others are sinners that does not give me (or him) license to sin where we want too. In an effort to make my point to all involved (my friend and to those promoting the protection heterosexual marriage even while they abuse it) I ask all of us to consider the following event from Jesus’ life as recorded in the John’s account of the Gospel.
Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (Joh 8:2-11 – ESV)
This story appears to be specific to heterosexual relationships outside of marriage. Jesus tells those who are about to stone her to look at themselves first and see if they meet the qualifications as judge. (BTW – if she was caught in the “very act” where is the man?) Then Jesus tells the woman that He is not condemning her and then to stop her sin. Here are some quick observations:
- She was guilty of sexual sin – specifically adultery – a sexual relationship outside of marriage.
- Jesus, in so many words, is telling those about to condemn her to death and to hell that she deserves a second (third or fourth) chance to do what is right.
- Jesus takes this opportunity to teach these men to think hard about how they would want to be treated if they were the one caught in this sin – (the Golden Rule).
- Jesus gives the guilty woman the opportunity to keep living – Jesus offered Grace when others would not.
- There is a difference between stating that an activity is sin and judging (condemning) the one who practices that sin.
- There is an important statement from Jesus we cannot over-look. He told her ”from now on sin no more.”
There is a question for all of us to consider: What if she were caught with another woman? What if? I believe that Jesus would have responded the same way. My point to Christians who pounce on the sin of homosexuality without considering the many sins of heterosexuals – THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE! Both are sin. If you speak against one, speak against both. If you are guilty of one, I would be very cautious about judging, lest I be just as harshly judged (Matt 7:1ff).
Admittedly, I do not have all the answers or even a good start on the answers. My goal, as I tried to communicate to my friend is to get all of us who are sinners (which is all of us – cf. Rom 3) to come to a realization that we need the forgiveness of our sins offered by God’s Grace found in the good news (the Gospel) of Christ (Rom 1:16; 2Th 1:7-9; 1Cor 15:1-4; Rom 6:1-6) . This is the ONLY hope any of us has (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/terra-trekking/6958036800/”>terratrekking</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>