A small group of people in Topeka, Kansas have become infamous for their hate of homosexuals. They call themselves a church but consist mainly of the members of the founder’s family (I am torn here between naming the offenders to expose them and not naming them so as to not give them more publicity. I chose the latter.) These misguided, twisted sinners* travel the country and protest all things homosexual by holding up signs reading, “God Hates Fags,” and screaming vile slogans.
Romans 1:18-32 is one of the biblical passages they use to justify their hate. After reading it myself, I wonder: if they feel these verses give them permission to protest homosexuality, why don’t they also attend church prayer meetings with signs reading, “God Hates Gossips,” or protest outside of their own meeting hall with signs saying, “God Hates Slanderers,” and “God Hates the Heartless and the Senseless”?
If I haven’t made you too angry or nervous, read on and ask with me, “Is homosexuality the unforgivable sin?”
(*Note: I too am a misguided, twisted sinner in need of God’s undeserving mercy.)
Eugene C. Scott joins Mike in writing A Daily Bible Conversation twice a week.
TODAY’S READING(click here to view today’s reading online)
1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36
INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS
1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36: When we last saw David, he was angry with God over (1 Chron. 14:11) the death of Uzzah. It seems David has reconsidered and has actually asked God about the ark and it’s treatment. David shows once again he is a “man after God’s own heart” by repenting of his actions and learning from his mistakes. Yet he still exhibits very human behavior in that he seems to blame the Levites for “not bringing it up the first time.” I wonder if this is the first time the phrase “ignorance of the Law is no excuse.”
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THE WORD MADE FRESH
Still with me? I hope so.
“Hate” is a strong word and in humans an even stronger emotion. The word “hate” occurs about 128 times in the English Bible, and only a dozen or so times in reference to God hating (The word “love” crops up nearly 700 times). And most often “hate” doesn’t describe an emotion but rather an enemy. The sense is that God generally “hates” things that are destructive to us humans, but not an emotion God feels toward humans. God views them as our enemies. The list of destructive actions God hates includes “robbery and iniquity,” “wrong doing,” “violence,” “idol worship,” and “religious feasts.” Proverb 6:16-19 says,
“There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”
In short, because God loves us so much, God hates sin, which means any minor or major human action that hurts or destroys us spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, socially, or physically. We could spend 24/7 protesting such things and not exhaust the list.
And God seems to hate all of this self–and others–destructive behavior equally. No one enemy to humanity rises above the other.
Jesus equates anger with murder and declares calling someone a fool an eternally punishable offense (Mtt. 5:22). This confuses us because, to us, there are obviously sins worse than others. But Jesus is simply pointing out that anger eventually kills a relationship and possibly even a life, though in a less drastic way than murder. The destruction of the relationship and life are what seem to matter to God not the severity of the destruction. The earth-bound consequences differ, but both kill.
God views homosexuality and idol worship through the same loving eyes. To God worshiping a tree, money, success, or a god that does not exist is as “unnatural” (something we were not created to do) and soul-destroying as is misuse of the great gift of our sexuality. One is a fatal misunderstanding of who God is and the other a misunderstanding of who we are. Both may be love misapplied.
Is homosexuality an unforgivable sin? Some seem to act so. But Scripture, and God’s nature, belie that view.
- Do these readings connect in any way?
- If so, in what way?
- What enemies of God do you still harbor in your heart and life?
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Eugene co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, CO and writes a blog eugenesgodsightings.blogspot.com