Let me preface what I say by stating that Iím not homophobic, as 99 %
of the homosexual people Iíve corresponded with say I am. Iím not
addressing the gay issue in this article, only the way certain Christians
have responded to the issue. If you want to know my thinking on
homosexuality, you can visit my web site.
In the last couple of days Iíve heard three people say that Jesus
"accepted everyone" that came to Him, proving that oneís
sexual preference doesnít really matter to Jesus. Well, to say
"Jesus accepted everyone" is a pretty vague statement and I
don't think it's all that relevant to the context in which these words were said.
Two of the three people who said these words were pastors. One was a
Canadian Anglican pastor and the other a U.S. Evangelical mega-church
pastor. The context of this "Jesus accepted everyone" statement
was in relation to the recent gay pride weekend that was celebrated across
North America. As a side note, this yearís celebration brought 80
million dollars into the Toronto economy, making it the biggest money
maker in Torontoís economic yearly calendar in the last few years.
CNN interviewed the U.S. pastor who said that he changed his thinking
on the gay lifestyle when a well respected and close Christian friend
"came out" and acknowledged that he was gay. Once learning that
his friend was gay this pastor could no longer believe that Jesus might
not be so accommodating to his friendís lifestyle. I have one question
for this pastor. "Who dictates and defines what you believe, your
friend or the Bible"?
Thereís problems with a Christian saying "Jesus accepted
everyone who came to Him", no matter what context itís said in. One
problem is the use of the past tense in this statement. When you say that
Jesus "accepted" everyone, youíre speaking in the past tense
which means youíre speaking of Jesusí three year term of ministry on
earth. The fact of the matter is that thereís more to who Jesus is and
how He thinks than what can be seen in those three short years. Read the
book of Revelation and youíll see that Jesus has certain strong opinions
today on such issues of morality, and Iím not just speaking of the gay
issue. Those who claim Jesus accepted everyone while he was on earth
ignore the things He said once He physically left this planet.
Another problem is that these people misunderstand how Jesus accepted
people when they approached Him while He was on earth. Did Jesus really
accept everyone who came to Him in those three years? Well, it depends on
what you mean by "accept". I donít believe Jesus ever turned
anyone away who wanted to talk with Him. He talked with prostitutes, tax
collectors, lepers, and even Pharisees, something He probably wasnít too
thrilled about. So in this sense of the word, Jesus didnít turn anyone
away, but engaged them in conversation.
If you look at some of these conversations that Jesus had with the
above people youíll soon learn that even though He accepted them into
conversation, He did not accept some of the things they did. He told the
prostitute to stop committing adultery. He certainly rebuked the Pharisees
for their lifestyle. So accepting people into conversation and accepting
them in the totality of who they are and what they do are two different
Iím sure youíve read a few verses where Jesus told the ones He
accepted into conversation to repent. Such repentance would lead to real
faith and subsequent salvation. Telling people to repent clearly shows
that Jesus did not accept everyoneís way of living. Any passive reader
of Scripture should understand that.
Itís clear that Jesus does not accept everyoneís way of living.
Thereís no logic in thinking He does. If He did, then He wasted His time
on earth and He suffered in vain. To teach anything different is to teach
something outside the pages of the Bible, and such teaching is not
Christian, so donít call it Christian.