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2.21.2005    |    "I'm a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?"
In the Gospel of John, Jesus makes crystal clear that we are all sinners. When the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery before Jesus, they meant to entrap Him in the Mosaic law. Jesus, as the only one without sin in this hard crowd, simply states (John 1:7):

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Well, it's a good thing that these scribes and Pharisees were honest enough to admit that they were also sinners...because they walked away, not carrying out the harsh punishment that God had given to Moses.

Then Jesus tells the woman (John 8:11) that, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." Fast forward to today's contentious and sin-soaked environs. We now have a sin, homosexuality, being presented on the Simpsons as something that is merely another choice, something to flavor of the American stew. Well, last night's episode cause a bit of a stir, insofar as it showed Homer performing same-sex marriages to increase Springfield's tourism, and brought Marge's sister Patty out of the closet. Despite the rush by the mainstream media to embrace this as cutting edge social commentary (see, for example, this New York Times story).

For all of that, relax, people. "The Simpsons" is just a show, and one that is wickedly funny. I don't take its social commentary seriously, and I know that the point of view is both snarky and irreverant. As for pushing the gay agenda, they are hardly alone, and my approach is to state the truth, that homosexuality is a sin, but that we (that's thee and me, brother) are not in any position to throw stones.

It turns out our president, derided as a knuckle-dragging troglodyte by the left, would agree. From some secret taping of Mr. Bush's conversations, as reported by the Times (how they would dearly would have loved to hear Bush say, "stone the faggots!"):
Early on, though, Mr. Bush appeared most worried that Christian conservatives would object to his determination not to criticize gay people. "I think he wants me to attack homosexuals," Mr. Bush said after meeting James Robison, a prominent evangelical minister in Texas.

But Mr. Bush said he did not intend to change his position. He said he told Mr. Robison: "Look, James, I got to tell you two things right off the bat. One, I'm not going to kick gays, because I'm a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?"
Well, he's correct. Of course. Is he blind to sin? Doubtful. Just too good a politician to label anyone as a sinner. At least in public, or, even in private when talking with someone who is not a member of his inner circle.

Mr. Bush does it by supporting family values and by promoting a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman. For this he is vilified as a gay-basher, homophobe, etc. etc. We all know the drill.

The fact is, one need not throw stones to simply state that something is a sin. Jesus certainly told the woman that she should "sin no more." Failing that, Jesus, and we, would, and should, forgive the sinner -- as many times as forgiveness is asked for.

Shows that celebrate sin, however trivial they may seem, are but a symptom of our fallen world. Certainly not its cause.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.