This week, my United Methodist Church voted and that vote hurt many people that I love. It wasn’t my local church, or even the wider American church, but the global church, so as with most politics, it’s complicated. But, that doesn’t change the pain the decision caused to so many and I am so sorry for that.
Some of you, feel this vote was a victory for traditional values and even “biblical” Christianity. I must question whether anything that turns people away from Jesus can be a victory.
But, I am left with the question at the center of the debate:
Is it a sin?
“Teacher is it lawful…?” asked the Pharisees over and over again.
If you profess Jesus as the Messiah, as the Word of God made flesh, as the author and perfecter of your faith… then it’s a dumb question. And yes, there is such a thing as a dumb question.
If you view the Bible as the Messiah, then I would respectfully suggest that you reconsider your theology.
But if you’re going to insist on asking the dumb question, then yes, it is a sin.
It is a sin to own a home or rent an apartment; to own or lease a car. It is a sin to have food in your pantry or cupboard. It is a sin to go on vacation and to spend a single penny on entertainment or sports or music or dance or private school for your kids. It is a sin to have a closet full of coats and more than one pair of shoes. It is a sin to have a retirement account, a pension and a rainy-day fund.
As long as there is a single person in this world who does not survive the day because they lack food, water or shelter and you have those simple necessities, then your lifestyle is incompatible with the Christian faith.
If your church has a multi-million-dollar facility and a state of the art anything and a single person in your community lacks any basic need, then your church is in violation of the most fundamental of Christian teachings.
And about human sexuality… it is better to be a eunuch for the kingdom of God. If you’re (of any orientation) not willing to surgically remove parts of your anatomy to avoid temptation, then your lifestyle is not good enough.
As long as you are a human being, you are not worthy of the kingdom of heaven. We are all sinners – not because of what we do or don’t do – but because it is our state of being. We are only saved because of God’s grace.
So repent, stop asking dumb questions and get on with the mission:
preach good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, and set at liberty those who are oppressed.
Heal the sick, feed the hungry, and eat with sinners.
Love your neighbor as yourself.