Our Flavor of Sin

Baskin-Robbins-31-flavors

3/16/17

 

If this title wasn’t intriguing enough, here’s a question to trump it: is it possible for a homosexual to be a Christian?

I’m going to let that one marinate and come back to it.

Let’s look at some scripture.

Galatians 5:19-21 Living Bible (TLB)

19 But when you follow your own wrong inclinations, your lives will produce these evil results: impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, spiritism (that is, encouraging the activity of demons), hatred and fighting, jealousy and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticisms, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group—and there will be wrong doctrine, 21 envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Amplified Bible (AMP)

 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [by perversion], nor those who participate in homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers [whose words are used as weapons to abuse, insult, humiliate, intimidate, or slander], nor swindlers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you [before you believed]. But you were washed [by the atoning sacrifice of Christ], you were sanctified [set apart for God, and made holy], you were justified [declared free of guilt] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God [the source of the believer’s new life and changed behavior].

This first passage of scripture is commonly referred to as the Works of the Flesh. The second passage is typically used when discussing homosexuality. They both are lists of barriers to the Kingdom of God.

These lists remind me of Baskin Robbins. You know how they have 31 flavors of ice cream? Well, here are a couple lists of differing sins that keeps us from the Kingdom of God. Each of them can be seen as a different flavor. Just as some prefer chocolate to strawberry ice cream, we each have our own flavor of sin we are most tempted with.

Ignoring for a moment the first question I asked, let’s replace it with a new one; considering these two lists, do you find anything on either of these lists that you have dealt with or are still dealing with?

I’m sure none of us have ever had impure thoughts before, right? Or eagerness of lustful indulgence. None of us have ever been jealous or envious before, right? We never strive for the best for ourselves, do we? We never complain or criticize (presidential elections, getting cut off in traffic, coworker not pulling their own weight). We never thought of our small group as right and every other group as wrong (how many denominations of Christianity are there?).

But aren’t you a Christian?

Is it possible to have impure thoughts and still be a Christian? What about experiencing an eagerness for lustful indulgence? Can you deal with that and still be a Christian? I remember being a teenaged boy. Is it possible to be jealous or envious or complain or criticize and still be a Christian? Indeed, criticism seems to be the most dominate trait of Christianity, according to the media.

If it is not possible, doesn’t that disqualify most, if not all, who claim to be Christian?

But don’t these two passages of scripture talk about actions that disqualify people from inheriting the Kingdom of God? So, which is it—are we a bunch of hypocrites that hold others to a higher standard than we hold ourselves, or maybe have we erroneously attributed the inheritance of Kingdom of God with whether or not someone is a Christian?

What is the determining factor of being a Christian? Is it works based or faith based? Indeed, it is both; but on the finished work of Jesus Christ and the faith in Him as being such.

So, I’ll ask again; is it possible for a homosexual to be a Christian?

Yes, it is.

Just as it is possible to be dealing with anything else in these two lists and still be a Christian.

Now, don’t get me wrong; sin is still sin. I am not at all stating that homosexuality, or anything else on these lists, should be “acceptable” in the eyes of Christianity. And any one thing on each of these lists can, and do, disqualify us from the Kingdom of God.

As such, maybe instead of filtering other’s actions through these lists to determine if they can join our club, we such use these lists to filter our own actions so we are not disqualified ourselves from the Kingdom.

For we should not disqualify someone else’s walk because their flavor of sin differs from ours.

 

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