The Official Writing Challenge
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09/23/11
Bullying is indeed a big problem. Sin is sin, as you point out, and I for one would like to see pastors address the whole topic of divorce. You've addressed quite a touchy issue here, a number of issues in fact.

It's quite a mountain and might be better broken up into smaller pieces.
I admire your courage in writing about such a difficult topic. Bullying has gotten out of hand and there are too many Jameys in this world. People do have to have an open mind and love the person, but be aware of the sin.

With that said, I'm not sure I agree with all of your points. First, I believe God doesn't consider divorce in all situations a sin. If a person is being abused for instance, I don't think it is a sin to get a divorce. Also, it may just be your wording, but it seems like you are saying Pastors should invite gay and divorced ministers to preach. However, I think your real point is that it's not okay to overlook one sin, but allow another. The point I think you're making is simply put, don't be a hypocrite.

I can tell you are very passionate about your beliefs and I think your message needs to be told.
09/26/11
Wow.

I totally get the idea behind your passionate plea against hypocrisy. I know a young Christian man who struggles with being gay and wholeheartedly believe we need to love anyone struggling with homosexuality, just as we love those struggling with any sin.

However, I too, am not sure I agree with a few of your points and, to be honest, I felt like I was being bullied!
09/27/11
I personally felt more anger in this than love when I read it, even as you were preaching against that very thing! But I donít think you meant that, but it does come across that way.

You seem to be trying to compare homosexual behavior to divorce and I think it is difficult. Yes, both deserve Godís grace but divorce has exceptions that homosexuality does not. For instance, many divorced have had that divorce occur in their unsaved past, and when saved, that was forgiven with all the other sins and thrown into Godís sea of forgetfulness. Also, adultery allows biblical grounds for divorce and like Shann, I would never believe that God would want anyone remaining in a dangerous and abusive marriage. But homosexuality has no exception except repentance and a change in the behavior. And I think most churches and ministers would accept a repentant homosexual that has turned from that lifestyle or that had that in their unsaved past, but no longer practice it.

The problem does not seem to be churches accepting any repentant homosexual, but that many homosexuals refuse to repent and want accepted while practicing homosexuality. Even wanting the churches to accept their gay relationships as marriage. But, I would agree with you that a practicing homosexual is no worse than any heterosexual living in or committing sexual sin. For all their souls, their sins should be stated as unacceptable to God!

I do agree sin is sin and one should not be condemned as greater than the other. Likewise there is no sin God will not forgive, but for blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. The key for all sin is repentance and turning from the sin.

I would personally be leery calling ministers that oppose homosexuals hypocrites, because I do not know what God has laid on their hearts to preach.

But in no instance is bullying Godly, God wants His message brought in love! 1 Corinthians 13:1 But the truth is, many homosexuals consider even telling them they are wrong practicing homosexuality, as bullying. I donít know the all the facts of the fourteen year old you sight in your article, and it is truly sad, but donít whitewash the fact that it was also his sin that condemned him.

And the people that picket the funerals of fallen soldiers, compounding the grief of the families, are more than bullies, they are far from Christian and they are disgusting. They themselves need much prayer for their eyes to be opened!

You write well and with great passion but maybe making your points in a less hostile voice would be something you could consider praying about.
God Bless
You came across as very hostile. Sin is sin and I go with God's Holy Living Word. He points out the various sins clearly. If a person is yoked to a non-believer in a marriage and he or she is abusive or unfaithful then divorce yes. If a person is homosexual or a murderer they must repent of their sins and turn from them. SIN IS SIN regardless of what it is.
The prophet Malachi added his two cents worth, as God scolded the church leadership of his day about divorce. From that secret place of intimacy with God, the final prophet of the Old Testament prophesied,

ďYou fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don't get what you want from God. Do you know why? Simple. Because God was there as a witness when you spoke your marriage vows to your young bride, and now you've broken those vows, broken the faith-bond with your vowed companion, your covenant wife. God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage.Ē

God called homosexuality an abomination, which the dictionary defines as, ďdisgusting, vicious, or vile,Ē something to avoid. But when addressing divorce, the God of todayís mainstream, divorce-laden Christian pulpits gave a stern and strident response. God emphatically declared through the prophet,
ďI hate divorce.Ē (Malachi 2:13-15-MSG)

So, if you were Christ, who would you discipline with the rod of Godís chastisement first? Would you first channel your inflamed recompense toward those who are supposed to know better or toward the confused that put their trust in those who are supposed to know better?
I feel bad because some of your comments felt harsh. I think it's great that you continue to express your opinion. It opens up discussion and opens our mind. I truly believe if Jesus was walking the earth today instead of eating with tax collectors he would eat with homosexuals. Love the person, not the sin. You do sound like you have been hurt in the past and I think this comes across as anger to some. I think you may have reasons to be angry, but you might reach more people with your message if you can tone that down some. That is the most important thing to spread the truth as God puts it in your heart. Don't get discouraged and keep writing!
09/30/11
Having read this a couple of times, I sense your anger. Whether you personally knew Jamey or not is less relevant than what I see as a disappointing approach to members of your FW family, which appears to slip into a similar bullying style to those you seek to decry for their inconsistency.

Homosexuality is a vexed issue: whether it is an inclination or a chosen lifestyle. If people recognise their inclination and learn to deal with it - with support from Christians who should be open vessels of God's grace - then there should be no problem.
A chosen lifestyle is a different matter since it may well lead to to sexual activity which scripture views very darkly.

Yet as you say, the rest of us are not without sin.
The issue of divorce is not one to be singled out; any more than that of heterosexuals who demean and exploit those who are entrusted to their care.
Abusive elders who steal the vision of creative pastors; embezzling pastors and treasurers; manipulative deacons and pastors who so need to be needed that they drain their people of any legitimate life outside their churches. I could go on, but I won't...
Blessings to you.