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Posts Tagged ‘condemnation’


Where I live now isn’t like where I lived immediately before this. It isn’t about geography, or the population. There are many differences between here and there. One significant difference is its view of homosexuality.

There homosexuality was still in the closet. We knew someone whose son is a homosexual in a long term relationship with another man. Everyone pretty much knew, but they were considered “friends” for the sake of other family members. I really don’t recall seeing any homosexual couples expressing affection while I lived there.

Where I live now is known, so I’m told, as a popular place for lesbians to live. In the last month I’ve seen 2 different couples expressing affection. First, I was picking my family up at the airport and 2 reunited women had a few kisses. I was hoping my kids didn’t notice because I’m not sure I’m ready to have that conversation that HGTV wants to make me have. Last night 2 younger women made out briefly in the restaurant I went to.

Love Into Light: The Gospel, the Homosexual and the Church cover image

In some communities, particular lifestyles are still closeted. In others, people are quite open. In the church, some sins are still closeted. Peter Hubbard considers this question after realizing that in all the years of testimonies he’d heard, he couldn’t remember anyone including SSA as part of that testimony.

Hubbard has a few theories in the first chapter of Love Into Light: The Homosexual and the Church. He also refutes each of these theories with the gospel.

Possibility #1: Homosexuals are not like us; they are “abnormal.” The church has often made this argument. We shouldn’t wonder why people don’t want to confess this particular sin in our congregations. They are (often for good reason) afraid they will be rejected.

“He couldn’t wait any longer for me to reject him, so he rejected himself for me.”

I’ve had people admit to having an abortion, giving up a child to adoption and addiction to pornography. Not homosexual porn however. I’ve had women admit to me that they’d been sexually abused. But no men (at least with me as their pastor).

I have had a few people admit to profound sins. One recognized at the end of our counseling session that they had crossed the Tiber so to speak. Fearing I’d never look at them the same way, and always have questions about them, they left the church. Right there, right then. One hung around for awhile, but I wonder if they were trying to get me to reject them in the months that came. Or perhaps they assumed I was rejecting them as a result of that confession when other issues were in play. People expect to be rejected and create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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I’m currently preparing a sermon on Psalm 1 for a trip to PA this weekend.  I’ve preached on Psalm 1 a few times.  After putting together my outline, I looked back at previous sermons on this text.  I was a bit surprised at how different they were, and the different emphases.  I think they show how my own heart has changed, and therefore how my preaching has changed.

The first is from 2001.  I delivered it at a chapel for a Christian school.  Here it is.

Intro:  “You don’t stop playing because you grow old.  You grow old because you stop playing.”

I. Godliness starts with a heart commitment (vv. 1-2).  Psalms and Proverbs begin with same idea.  Our top priority gives shape to the rest of our lives.  Paul picks up on this in Colossians 3.  Commitment to Christ doesn’t just alter what we do, but why we do it.  If God is not first in our lives something will fill that gap.  Our spouses, our children, our jobs, retirement or ourselves become of exaggerated importance and warp our lives.  We live for those things and Christ and His will are squeezed out.  Commitment to pursue God and to pursue sin cannot co-exist.  We must forsake one or the other.  Ill. Max and Huck.  What does this heart commitment to God look like?

A. Godly people desire God’s blessing.  The Psalmist is using covenant language here.  He recognizes that true blessing does not come from being committed to anything less than God.  Hebrew poetry uses these parallel statements to describe a life separated from God.  Such people go about their business without regard for God and His revealed will.  The godly person, though among them, does not join them in living that way.  He realizes their ways are cursed by God.  His heart is set on pleasing God, and being blessed by God.  I’m NOT talking about health, wealth and earthly success.  I’m talking about walking with God regardless of our circumstances.   Ill. Joni Tada.

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