Re: Mande Wilkes Jan. 12 column, “Why aren’t all sins treated the same?”
Ms. Wilkes’ column is intellectually, historically and theologically deficient. It is a clear endorsement of the invitation to her web page, “I like hearing myself speak… I don't take myself too seriously. I hope you won't …”
Discussion of vices and sin should be taken very seriously. Perhaps she should recuse herself from serious discussions. Christians have protested gambling, marijuana and pornography, her examples, visibly and vocally for my entire life. They have spoken out on abortion, strip clubs, adult book stores, Sunday alcohol sales, blue laws, video gambling and other issues with sound spiritual and social arguments.
Christian acceptance of the laws of a pluralistic, secular society has perhaps muted much Christian opposition in recent times. Christianity permeates our history and law. Any creditable pundit should be able to debunk the vapid sodomy/seafood argument. In the Old Testament Covenant, Israel was a theocracy with promised earthly benefits for adherence to the given laws in addition to any spiritual benefit.
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Adherence to the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of the law was their downfall repeatedly addressed by Old Testament prophets.
With Christ, the theocracy was abandoned and the new covenant opened God to the whole world, not just Israel. Now, it is not the letter of the law with earthly blessing Israel sought, but the condition of the heart with spiritual blessing of the individual. The Sermon on the Mount makes this exceptionally clear.
Adultery now includes lust and thoughts. Spiritual separation from God because of physical or mental sin is now our concern, rather than withdrawal of spiritual and physical blessing to Israel.
So, what of homosexuality and shellfish? The New Testament makes it very clear in Acts 10:9-16 that the dietary laws have been lifted. Other non-moral laws are addressed throughout the New Testament. So the Christian issue with shellfish has been defunct for 2000 years.
Ms. Wilkes raises a spiritual issue and a civil issue. The spiritual issue is not just homosexuality, but which if any sexual practices, are morally acceptable and pleasing to God? Heterosexual marriage is clearly endorsed in the New Testament. Sexual immorality is repeatedly condemned.
I Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV) mentions “Sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexual offenders, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers” all in one sentence.
These acts receive equal condemnation and are sins Christians speak out against. Any caution one would give to a homosexual regarding his sexual activity should be the same one would give to a heterosexual or a thief. Are your heart and behavior pleasing to God according to the scriptures and leading of the Holy Spirit? Do you dare split hairs with a Holy God?
The civil issue of homosexual marriage is another matter. Homosexuals raise legitimate civil issues due to governmental preferences. The appropriate response is to withdraw those preferences. Why should my heterosexual desire and marriage license bestow preferential treatment over anyone else, homosexual or not? But acceptance of “ homosexual marriage” redefines the term the world has used to convey legitimate sexuality for millennium.
Such a change raises the question. Does this argument include a case for moral equivalency in addition to civil equality? Abby replies to Minority, a homosexual, on 1.16.2014, “…if you had a spiritual ceremony, which some denominations offer”. What is sought in a spiritual ceremony if no civil benefits are granted?
Me: “ So Mande, how ‘bout them apples?”
Mande: “Blinking, uhhhh…”
Pastor Fowler: “ Like I was saying…”
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.