It’s basic Christian theology, right? That was my immediate thought, and the way I’ve always been taught, both by pastors, family, the Bible, and yes, the Holy Spirit. Apparently, though, there are many of my fellow Christians out there that mouth these words yet never take them to heart, and quite frankly it’s driving me a bit insane. I don’t know if this is because pastors, teachers, and preachers out there are not teaching this, or if it has become such a pat phrase that we just nod right on by it. Honestly, how many of my fellow believers out there read the title “You’re a sinner, I’m a sinner,” and nod right along without really stopping to think what that means?
Two dialogues this week brought this to my attention, and it is actually one of the main reasons I started this blog when I did. The first conversation occurred on a Christian forum that I am a member of, in a thread discussing the death penalty from a Christian perspective. Here is a paraphrase of one of the comments that appeared in the thread, “Well, I would hope that if I did anything that deserved the death penalty, that they would catch me, and carry out the sentence.” I hate to break it to you, but we have all done things that deserve the death penalty according to the highest law in the land; God’s own law. Has anyone really studied the stoneable offenses in the Old Testament (OT)? There is a pretty big list including adultery, murder, not honoring your parents, etc… they earned the death penalty. “Well,” you say, “I’ve never killed anyone, I’ve never cheated on my spouse!” Any self-respecting Christian should have a ready comeback to that idea, straight from Christ’s own teachings, here’s a hint, see Matthew Chapter 5. Not enough? Many of my fellow Christians who like to push works, and even condemn others while trying to avoid condemnation themselves love the book of James, so let’s see what James tells us: James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Well, now, that changes a few things, or at least it should.
The second discussion that brought this to my attention was an interview done with John Barrowman (of Torchwood fame, go Captain Jack!) on a BBC show that I watched via youtube. One of the topics discussed was the fact that John is openly homosexual. Also, he made mention on this show (and elsewhere in other interviews as well), that he believes in God, and was brought up in the church. Now, this post isn’t to discuss homosexuality, but rather something more fundamental. John made the point that it was wrong for Christians, (or “other” Christians, perhaps) to say to him that he is evil, bad, and wrong. Not only that, but he then made the comment that he was a good man. Two things came to mind the first was that I’m sure there’ve been some “lovely” Christians that have indeed spat on Homosexuals, called them names, and pronounced damnation on them, calling them evil, bad and wrong just because of their homosexuality, and that’s a true shame. The second thing that came to mind, is “what theology has John, and all those condemning homosexuals for their sin without looking in a mirror been taught?”
The stance clearly presented in scripture, and by Jesus Himself, is that none of us are “good.” None of us. Yes, without Christ, John Barrowman is evil, bad, and wrong, and so am I, and so are you. That’s the whole point. There is none good but God, our righteousness is as filthy rags, no there are none that doeth good… “Yup, yup, yup, you’re right, none good, yup!” No! Don’t just agree with it, think about it. We are all a bunch of sinners, who, according to scripture, if we break one law, we get charged with ’em all! All of our hope, all of our faith rests solely on Christ; not on what sin we haven’t committed, because we’ve committed them all according to the word. There’s not one mere human better than any other.
Is this post a hidden message against the death penalty, or one saying homosexual acts are fine? By no means. Is it a message that supports sinning so that grace may abound? I join Paul in saying, “God forbid!” There is indeed right and wrong, and sin that we should actively try to avoid with the help and teaching of the scripture, and The Spirit. I’m just hoping this will help even one person soak this idea in and really think about it; it is fundamental theology, and is meant to get everyone’s eyes firmly on Christ, because He is indeed the source of our only true Righteousness. It is also meant to banish the foolish idea that any one of us is “better” or less deserving of death than any other human; our only means of escaping the death penalty in this life or the next is faith in Jesus Christ!