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November 18, 2018, 6:00 AM

"Torn" Session 10: Chapter 15


Torn Chapter 15

Synopsis:

            As Christians, by definition, we are followers of Christ.  Christ devoted his life to the service of others.  He ate and blessed social outcasts and sinners.  He had compassion for those in need.  He preached about God’s grace, humility, and forgiveness.  We, as followers of Christ are called to do likewise.  Lee notes that when we, as the church, get that right, we make the world a brighter place.  When we fail, we can destroy lives.  Those are huge stakes, and tragically, the church’s treatment of LGBTQ people is a place where the church has repeatedly failed.

            Lee again points out that the phrase, “love the sinner, hate the sin,” has within it an underlying truth, what is communicated with said phrase is often condescending and dehumanizing.  And, quoting Tony Campolo, Lee tells us that the phrase is not the message we hear from Christ: “I always am uptight when somebody says, “I love the sinner, but I hate the sin.” …Because that’s just the opposite of what Jesus says.  Jesus never says, ‘Love the sinner, but hat the sin.’ Jesus says, ‘Love the sinner, and hate your own sin” (p 228).  Jesus was known for his grace and mercy.  In scripture, that grace and mercy is set over and against the legalism of the Pharisees.  And when we disagree, we can learn from the Apostle Paul in Romans 14: “Therefore stop passing judgment on one another.  Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister… So whatever you believe about these things keep them between yourself and God” (Romans 14: 12, 22).  When everyone was in agreement, Paul encouraged the church to take action.  But when there was serious disagreement within the Body of Christ, Paul encouraged people to follow their consciences and allow other believers to do likewise (p 247).

            Lee says, as the church, we must do seven things: 1. Christians must show grace, especially in the midst of disagreement.  2. We must educate Christians.  3. We must move away from an “ex-gay” approach.  4. Celibacy must be a viable option.  5. We must shatter the myth that the Bible is anti-gay.  6. Openly gay Christians must find their place throughout the church.  7. We must learn to effectively dialogue.

 

Questions to consider:

            How can we better dialogue with people we disagree with?

            How can we better reveal Christ’s light to the world and love our neighbor as ourselves?

            What does it mean to you to love the sinner and hate your own sin?  

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