Writer misunderstood Christianity
Janice Walz’s May 11 letter, “Don’t use religion as excuse to be hateful,” showed a deep misunderstanding of Christian theology.
In criticizing a previous May 7 Gazette letter from Fred Barney, “Most AIDS patients die of bad choices,” she asserted, as if she somehow knew, that Mr. Barney’s purpose was to “condemn victims of AIDS as being against the word of God.”
Mr. Barney, at least in his letter, did not do that. He said, in essence, that many AIDS victims were suffering from two kinds of behavior, homosexual intercourse and drug abuse, that are condemned by “traditional religion.” By that term, I assume he was referring to Biblical teachings.
He did not, himself, “condemn.” A Christian knows that it is not in our power to condemn; it is only within God’s power. Mr. Barney did not even “judge,” in the sense of judging that any AIDS victims, by immorality, are condemning themselves to Hell. That too is solely God’s prerogative.
But does the Bible instruct us that we are all commanded by God to judge sin in ourselves and others? Absolutely. Jesus tells us to judge “with a righteousness judgment.” Where is that righteousness revealed?
Surely in nothing spoken or written by man. It is in the perfect law of God, of which Jesus said he would not change one jot or tittle, and anyone trying to do so or convince others to do so would be judged least in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Ms. Walz says we can’t condemn sins because we can’t understand the mind of God. Biblically, that’s a false conclusion. We can’t fully comprehend God’s ways or intents, but God definitely intended us to know His righteousness, and so he gave us His law. Within His moral laws are condemnations — God’s condemnations — against homosexuality and all forms of drunkenness. Regarding homosexuality, even homosexual Biblical scholars, such as Louis Crompton, Pim Pronk and Bernadette Brooten, have had the intellectual integrity to affirm this.
Unless it was a complete non-sequitur, Ms. Walz seems to suggest that Mr. Barney was using a “belief in God to hate others.” Mr. Barney expressed no hate. In fact, he may have shown the greatest love we can show — a love of God — by upholding his laws.
More and more today, and sadly in many church denominations, the law of God is taking a back seat to the libertarian mandates of secular humanism, particularly in regard to homosexuality and the perversion of marriage associated with it. To simply allude to Biblical teachings that these absolute transgressions from the law of God are “sins” is being judged by secular society as “hateful.” But, from a true Christian perspective, it is distinctly the opposite.
In love, to honor God, we uphold His word and pray for all sinners, including ourselves, that we will come to Christ, and emulate Jesus’s perfect adherence to His Father’s law.
Ms. Walz may have revealed a confusion on this point when she said that the “greatest commandment,” supposedly uttered by Jesus, “is to love your God and your neighbor as yourself.” No. Jesus gave us two great commandments. The first was to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. The second was to love our neighbor, because in doing so we showed our obedience to the first, and therefore, once more our love of God.
To love God only as we love ourselves would be a pathetic love for God indeed, and give license to placing man-invented laws on par with or above His. This is now becoming, more and more, the case in Western societies.
Categories: Letters to the Editor