The message of the Church needs to be one of healing.

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Woke up this morning thinking about an article I wrote in the local paper about eleven years ago. Here it is:

I remember the thrill of playground rides that I experienced as a child. My favorite was the giant slide. Though it was scary to climb the ladder to the top and peer over the edge, the joy of sliding down was worth it all. Today, however, our culture is sliding down a pathway that is devoid of any real joy and threatens the fabric of our civilized society. Consider, for instance, the recent debates and law changes regarding same-sex marriages. 

On page three of the Monday, May 17, (2004) edition of The Daily Jeffersonian, an article was presented describing the new regulations in Massachusetts allowing gays to marry. To feature this article, a picture was placed above it showcasing protesters of this activity. In bold letters it resorted to name-calling and proclaimed, among other things, that “God hates fags,” and those who enable them.

As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am greatly disturbed at not only society’s acceptance of homosexual marriage, but also at the incredibly insensitive and hate-filled opposition to it that is also emerging. This is a time for reasonable, honest discussion and an opportunity for the church to lovingly present truth. The issue is not as simple as being for or against. Though I am definitely against the legalization of same-sex marriage, I refuse to be lumped in with those who carry a message of hate. God doesn’t hate anyone. You can’t find this teaching in the scripture. Rather, the Bible instructs us that God is love. He even loves those who hate Him and hate His ways (Romans 5:6-11). However, the Lord does hate certain things and specific actions, and these include more than homosexual behavior.   

Proverbs 6:16-19 actually lists things that the Lord hates. These include haughty eyes, a lying tongue, killing those that are innocent, wicked scheming, an eagerness to do wrong, a false witness and the stirring up of dissension and discord. It would be interesting to see protest signs against these activities. Yes, the Lord holds people accountable to their actions. He also gives strength and power to those who turn to Him to rise above the traps into which they otherwise would fall.

The message of the Church in this hour needs to be one of healing. The American dream is found in embracing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But real fulfillment is never found by chasing after personal interests. Jesus calls people to leave their old lives and follow Him, only then is joy ultimately found.  He is the provision for the promiscuous, the light for the liar, healer for the helpless, the answer for the addicted, the Savior for the sinner and the hope for the homosexual. He makes people new again.

Rise up church! This is a message we should all be able to stand behind. What a ride that could be!

Original online link: http://daily-jeff.com/…/guest-column-chasing-personal-inter…

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