Better fat than gay

I recently heard a pastor open his sermon with a lighthearted comment about his sin of overeating at Thanksgiving. The crowd chuckled and nodded approvingly. Most had committed the same sin, but knew that their sin was ok because they are under grace and not under law. Later in the same sermon the pastor commented that when we buy coffee at Starbucks we are “supporting homosexual laws”. The crowd shook their heads in disgust. This was not a sin they had committed, and they knew the Bible is very clear about homosexuality. It is an abomination and must be stopped in its tracks. It doesn’t matter that gluttony makes the deadly sins Top Seven, nor that according to the CDC, 36% of Americans are obese, nor that “Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.” Gluttony is funny and understandable, homosexuality is evil and should be illegal.

I am not arguing for either gluttony or homosexuality. There are multiple scriptures about each, you can look it up for yourself. My question is how do we decide? How do we decide that “their” sin is evil while “our” sin is no big deal? As Scot McKnight says in The Blue Parakeet, we all pick and choose, the question is which sinner we choose to laugh off and which sinner we choose to condemn.

It is interesting how little time Jesus spent trying to change Roman law to deal with gluttons or homosexuals (both of which seemed to be rampant in Jesus’ day), and how much he focused on things like removing my eye-logs before picking a speck out of my neighbors eye. Would Jesus have reacted differently if the woman caught in adultery had been a man caught in bed with another man. (“He’s a homosexual? Well that’s different, hand me a stone.”)

We often quote the truism, “Hate the sin, but love the sinner”, but we seldom apply it evenly. Some sins, my sins, I hate just a little bit. Your sin I hate a little more. Other sins, the sins I will never commit, I hate enough that my hate spills out on the sinner, the sinner’s friends and anyone who associates with the sinner. We say we love the sinner but we continually do and say things that scream out to the one who commits the unacceptable sins, “You do not belong. You are vile and filthy and not worthy.” If we do not think that is the message we are sending maybe we should ask the sinner what they think.

Jesus seemed to come from a different angle. He did not shy away from calling out sin, but He loved sinners so much that religious people often accused him of being a sinner. He loved sinners so much that he ate with gluttons and drunks and prostitutes and maybe even homosexuals.  He loved sinners so much that he believed that love, extreme radical irrational love, covered a multitude of their sins. He loved sinners so much that he was willing to be beaten, ridiculed and nailed to a cross where he died for them.

He loved this arrogant, gluttonous, lust-filled sinner so much that he died for me. And for you. And for the sinner of whom you and I don’t approve.

Perhaps instead of making statements and passing laws and boycotting stores, the most potent way we can combat “their” sin is to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbor, our fat, gay, alcoholic, porn-addicted neighbor as ourself.

 

 

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46 Responses to “Better fat than gay”

  1. Geoffrey Mitchell November 27, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    This is why I love what you write. And they way the church has spoken about and to gay people disgusts me. And we wonder why they don’t see Jesus in us.

  2. Doris Sparks November 27, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    I think I caused the reaction to Starbucks…So sorry….I think pastor feels that he needs to take a stand against Gay rights because Mo. wants to legalize their rights also. He loves the Gay people & has asked us to help them find God.,

    • Doris Sparks November 27, 2012 at 8:37 am #

      Very good…comments…I am the worst of sinners sometimes…Like Paul…Proverbs 30:1 says I am too stupid to be human and lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom…probably never will. But I am forgiven…forgiven….thank you god.

  3. Jim November 27, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Great post. Spot on. Thanks Geoff.

  4. Dave K. November 27, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    100% correct – your last line is SO simple yet rarely done. As Gandhi said, I like your Christ but I don’t like your Christians, ouch that is true and hurts a bit. When the world see’s us living out your last line, we’ll need bigger churches! Well said and may we all love the sinner to our right, to our left as much as the one in the mirror.

  5. Jeff Poland November 27, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Your writing only gets better! Miss you in Charleston, Geoff…please tell Sherry HEY for me!

  6. Patrick Lightfoot November 27, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Gluttony is not funny or understandable. Like homosexuality, gluttony is a choice and shows a lack of self-control as does every sin man falls to. 2 Timothy 1:7, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and SELF-CONTROL.” It saddens me today so many children are obese and it is because the food choices parents are providing for their kids. Parents need to provide better food options to their children. Kids need to spend less time playing video games and get outside to play and use their imagination. Sorry for the rant, however I agree with the rest of your post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Vickie November 28, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      I am a bisexual Christian and I can tell you categorically I did not choose to be bisexual. Will you sit there and tell me that you know my heart and mind better than I do? Will you tell the hundreds of GLBT Christians I know who didn’t choose to be gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgendered that?

      • Chris Price November 28, 2012 at 8:49 am #

        You have a very good point and we certainly can be arrogant in our assumptions. We all have choices and are not forced to do anything but I didn’t choose to like marzipan and fortunately that doesn’t present me with any difficulties, morally or otherwise. But there is a question in my mind: is our permissive society influencing the choice of a LGTB lifestyle especially when people are exposed to the choice when their sexuality is in flux.

      • Kerry November 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

        Vickie –

        I understand and believe you when you say that your bisexual thoughts/tendancies are natural – that you didn’t choose them, they just happened to you. I would like to point out that sin is sin and it stems from temptation. Nobody actually picks their temptations; we don’t get to choose what tempts us whether it be food, porn, drugs, bisexual or homosexual feelings or tendancies.

        It’s not our ‘tendancies’ or our temptations that get us in trouble, it’s our reactions and the actions we take regarding those temptations that causes our sin.

        • Jim November 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

          I am a straight ordained minister and have been married for 34 years. I come from a family of 4 boys. We grew up together and were treated the same way and lo and behold, one of my brothers is gay. I know this was not a choice. The son of a good friend (one of their 5 children, all male) also is gay, again, I know how they were raised and he did not chose to be this. I have come to know many people that are LGBT and not a one of them CHOSE to be this. In fact most of them fought the feelings and were depressed and some because of the way they were looked down upon and told they were abnormal, would cut themselves or consider suicide. More and more scientific evidence shows that there are genetic and biological factors that set one’s orientation. So it is not so easy to simply equate homosexuality with other forms of temptation. Could the sin be in the way young boys were abused sexually by grown men in temple rituals in much of the ancient world? If God made each person and there is a genetic and biological determination, then can’t we then say that God made the person with that same sex orientation. Might a monogamous relationship between 2 lesbians or 2 gays be just as God meant as between 2 heterosexuals? I don’t have a hard and fast answer to these questions and as more and more scholarly research is done by ancient language scholars that raise questions about what the ancient texts really say, there are more questions. All I do know is that as a human being, God is much more than I could ever imagine and I will not try to put God in a box based on texts written more than 2,000 years ago by human beings, men.

          • Joel Stapley December 1, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

            Jim.

            # 1 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. You incorrectly stated “on texts written more than 2,000 years ago by human beings, men”. That is incorrect and contrary to what the Bible teaches.

            # 2 – You stated “Might a monogamous relationship between 2 lesbians or 2 gays be just as God meant as between 2 heterosexuals? I don’t have a hard and fast answer to these questions.” There is an easy solution. Read God’s Word. In it He clearly speaks against homosexuality as a sin.

            Are people born with sinful desires in their hearts? Yes. Are people accountable for choosing whether or not to come to Christ for forgiveness? Yes. Are people accountable for choosing whether or not to engage their sinful desires? Yes.

            The Word of God is quite clear on these points. There is no need for you to remain unclear on these teachings.

  7. Geoff Surratt November 27, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    Thanks for the comments. My blog has several types of posts, some are things I see amusing, some are things I’m learning and some are things that boil over inside me and I need an outlet. This post is a boil over. The pastor’s comment was not the cause of the my frustration, it was just the final degree that caused the pot to boil over.

    Doris: Rest assured my rant is not your fault nor your pastor’s fault. These are just things I’m thinking and I thought I’d share with my friends in the blog world. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Dave K: I think loving my neighbor as myself is the hardest challenge of the Christian life. Once I get that right I may be ready to move on to the rest.

    Patrick: I don’t mean to make light of gluttony. I think we (I) way underestimate the impact gluttony has on us personally and our society at large. It is ironic that it is also the one sin we choose to overlook.

    • Chris Karpus November 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

      Ironically, I believe gluttony is taken as seriously as fasting in much of the church. Perhaps when we completely understand the spiritual necessity of fasting, we will be capable of understanding the spiritual impact of gluttony and where God falls in our priorities.

  8. Scott Bond November 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I agree with your general point but am compelled to ask,”Does Fat = Glutton?” If one considers only the New Testament Greek behind the word gluttony (phagos I think)then gluttony is about over eating. However, if one examines the Hebrew words that are translated gluttony as well, there is the idea of wastefulness and extravagance.
    There are people who eat a lot but are not fat. Are they gluttons? There are people who eat very little but are obese. Are they gluttons merely as a byproduct of a slow metabolism? Skinny or Fat, are foodies gluttons? They like extravagant food.
    Over the years I have seen a tremendous number of skinny gluttons lined up at church potlucks, piling their plates high with food that they will not be able to finish with absolutely no consideration for the people in line behind them. And what of the extravagance of our churches? We build castles and state of the art facilities while our brothers and sisters around the world starve, their children die of preventable illnesses, and the persecuted saint long only to have a Bible of their own.

    • Scott Bond November 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      (I hit “enter” on accident) So are our churches gluttonous? Bottom Line: Making the association that Fat = Glutton is cheap theology that misses the heart of the matter.

      • Patrick Lightfoot November 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

        People become fat by over eating and lack of exercise. Gluttony means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or wealth items to the point of extravagance or waste. My point was lack of self-control whether someone is skinny or fat. So yes skinny people can waste food and over eat, my point was we have an obesity problem and consumption problem in this country and it saddens me we have so many overweight children in America. I think it would be safe to say that our churches are gluttonous. If we are taking a really honest look at our churches I think it can be safe to say we over eat, over spend, and over indulge in things we should not.

  9. Chris Price November 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Wow. I never thought that Jesus could have dined with homosexuals (though in that culture they would probably be secret). I’m sure if he was here in the flesh he would. Its no wonder our debates are polarised because its assumed that if you love the Bible you hate gays. I even feel uncomfortable talking about [them] homosexuals like some Americans assume Muslims are foreigners. I say ‘they’ because I’m not gay not because they are sinners.

    I’ve long hated the phrase ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’. Its a bit like saying ‘hate the French, love French people.’ I know they are different but the sanctimonious sentiment is generally there.

  10. Lynn Richardson November 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    I look at it in relation to anatomy versus behavior. Violating God’s Spiritual Laws effects us spiritually & physically.

  11. Chris November 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    I will have to admit, I never understood why many Christians would be fine and accepting of gluttony, yet would condemn and demand gays leave their gayness before they come to church. Sin is still sin, and there are no ‘bigger’ sins than others. Both are equally condemn-able in God’s eyes (big enough to have us separated from God and need Jesus as savior.

  12. George W Black November 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    @GeoffSurratt I get where ur coming from & admire the effort, but the logic is flawed, which can be interpreted that we should do nothing to be salt & light to preserve our society & that doing anything is casting stones. I submit that a failure to hold a standard for the next generation is not loving at all.

    • Jamie Duke November 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      George, does that mean that we must stop supporting any business that advocates for LGBT causes (i.e. Starbucks, Home Depot, etc). Because I fear that kind of activity only serves to make us to look foolish or worse. I believe that what Geoff is advocating is a more thoughtful approach to being “salt and light”. I too believe that we should hold a standard for the next generation. That’s why I teach my children right from wrong and teach those that I disciple the biblical truth of sin (as it applies to ALL sin). But, I believe that we will truly set a standard of love and grace (allowing for the work of the Holy Spirit through us) when we engage our culture on a relational level rather than at an activist level. I truly believe that boycotting/protesting/etc. is lazy Christianity. It’s easier to cast a stone than to build a relationship and share truth.

    • Chris Price November 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      Preserve what society? God doesn’t ask us to preserve society he asks us to redeem it. Salt is an antiseptic and what what was septic in Jesus’ society? It was the Pharisees who were putrid bones in whitewashed tombs. A society where 1% own most of the wealth, where fat preachers feed off the gullible, where greed and hatred is tolerated yet misdirected love is held as the worst possible sin – that society knows nothing of God’s kingdom. There’s only one standard and that is Christ who went out of his way to identify with ‘sinners.’

      • George W Black November 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

        Thx Jamie. As I mentioned in my response to Geoff, I admire his effort and agree with his basic premise. I accept that your comments are how God has led you, but isn’t it hypocritical to throw rocks at people who feel they should do more than be a pacifist about the moral climate of their nation? I am glad u want to engage the lost relationally. I do to, and I do. So how many have u led to repent of their sins & follow Christ this year? Are your efforts working for you? Not a criticism. Just think opinions dont matter if they are not affecting the world around us. I am glad that you teach your children right from wrong, but in a post 10 Commandments & prayer in school society, isn’t that selfish to only think of yours? Work your plan Jamie, but don’t fault others who have a different plan. God bless.

      • George W Black November 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

        Your preaching to the choir Chris. America has a false religion of self, of that there is no doubt. But the only standard is not your standard, it is God’s Word. Perhaps we both mean the same thing with “preserve” and “redeem” society. The bottom line is that Jesus did not go out of His way to identify with sinners, but rather to convert them. He never compromised truth to do so. It was this very truth that they were truly hungry for. If the Christian church in America does not hold up the standards of God’s Word, & say no to culture shift, we have no moral authority to convert the lost. I proudly do not drink Starbucks or spend my money at Home Depot, not because I am mad at them for supporting LGBT but because my convictions necessitate that I not support them. Be the light Chris. God bless.

        • Chris Price November 28, 2012 at 1:24 am #

          Respectfully, George, I think you’re still missing the main point. Jesus didn’t go around pointing out people’s sins to them, he exposed everyone’s sinful heart and always looked to a higher way. You won’t convince LBGT groups that they are wrong by either loving or petitioning them. Neither did Jesus confront the revolutionaries of his day or attempt to change the society from within. He went to the people who struggled with sin and who were condemned by the moralisers. He didn’t say to them “I love you but hate your sin”, he said “follow me”. It was his invitation to live a life of love and holiness which challenged them in a way that the law could never do.

          I don’t believe Jesus would be concerned with a shift from ‘wicked hetro’ to ‘wicked homo’. I think he would be more concerned with Christians turning his message upside down and closing it to those who really need to hear it. We need to be clear here: if we convince a gay person that God’s door is closed to them so that they cannot receive Jesus we have committed a more serious offence than they are ever likely to commit.

          • George W Black November 28, 2012 at 7:34 am #

            Chris I am clueless as to your response. “We need to be clear hear. If we convince a gay person Gods door is closed to them…” You must have read someone else’s post. There is nothing I have said that remotely entertains your response. My point is that we should do both, reach the lost thru friendship evangelism AND be proactive about holding up God’s standard to our generation. Anything less breeds confusion. God is not the author of confusion. Back to Geoff’s blog which was excellent as far as it went…get the splinter out of your own eye first…stops short of reminding us that Jesus did not say don’t try to remove the beam from someone else’s eye. Jesus was a revolutionary that never stepped back from the truth with anyone. He just spoke the truth in love, which my Bible says is what sets us free. Perhaps the larger problem of reaching gays for Christ is not truth but love. Can’t have one without the other. The Beatles theology is All We Need Is Love, not Jesus. The most unloving thing a Christian can ever do is affirm a lost person in their lostness, which helps to condemn their soul to hell. I say again, Jesus never “identified” with a lost persons lostness, he exposed it by His foundness. God bless.

    • Dayle December 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

      who are we to believe WE can hold a standard for anything or anyone? our righteousness is only in Jesus. to be salt and light is to allow the holy spirit to “be” the holy spirit, and us the vessel. jesus loved and he wants all to accept and believe in the finished work of the cross. you have to catch a fish before you can clean it….peace

      • Dayle December 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

        and what in the world are you accomplishing by proudly not drinking at starbucks or spending your money at home depot? do tell…

  13. Jay November 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Starbucks is making us Fat and Gay, one white Choc Mocha=628 calories and one crrot cake is 600 calories TOTAL=1228 Calories
    A very thought provoking Blog Topic

    On January 24th, 2012, Starbucks did issue a memorandum declaring that same-sex marriage ‘is core to who we are and what we value as a company. Starbucks also used its resources to participate in a legal case seeking to overturn a federal law declaring marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

    Perhaps the pastor didn’t deliver his true message in a biblical manner. As Mature Christians that are to eat meat and not drink milk we should often times need to ask how the things we are doing will or could affect the Kingdom et al. Would we rather our children listen to and invest in some satanic Death Metal Band?
    No, we would rather them investigate how their favorite contemporary “christian” band is really living their life and then buy their music. Everything we do these days has consequences. Or “Perhaps” it doesn’t matter because they cannot be without sin either.

    The bottom line is that I do drink Starbucks Coffee but it grieves me that they have chosen to assault something that God invented, ordained, and created. This is a full frontal assault on Judea Christian Values, not people over eating.

  14. Geoff Surratt November 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Glad to see the discussion today, but let’s be sure to stay on topic. The blog post isn’t really about the definition of gluttony or the fat content of certain foods, though I’m sure both would be great topics for another blog. The point I’m trying to make is the danger of demonizing one sin while excusing another. Feel free to substitute your favorite sins in place of gluttony and homosexuality.

    Here are the questions I wrestle with: What is the proper response to sin? What sins did Jesus address specifically and how does that apply to our context? What is the perception and impact of how we respond to sin on those we want to share the Gospel with? Are we distorting the central message of the cross by focusing on societal change rather than personal response to grace?

    • Charles November 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

      Hello Geoff,

      Thought provoking piece. But here’s the rub: As far as I know there is no group wanting the church to teach that gluttony is permissible. I have never encountered a single individual who insists that the church teach that gluttony is a lifestyle that can be pleasing to God. I’m sure that many people in the congregation did giggle at the thought of their overeating. That’s because most all of them likely share the belief that it is wrong Yes, gluttony hinders life in the Spirit. Gluttony is of the flesh; self-control is of the Spirit. Few will argue with that premise. Not everyone begins with the same premise regarding homosexuality, however. In short, so many Christians have such heated reactions to homosexuality because so many people in our culture (in our churches) insist that it is a lifestyle that is not sinful.

    • Caryn December 2, 2012 at 1:54 am #

      Jesus’ frequent directive to “sinners” was to go and sin no more. When we are convicted of sin we are to STOP. We are to repent (turn away from the sin) and don’t do it again. Sure we may slip up. But when we do we should correctly grieve, confess, repent and determine again to sin no more. There is no such thing as a Christian who is content in his gay/obese/adulterous/pickyoursin lifestyle. Makes no difference which sex you lust after. STOP. I appreciate the difficulty here, but while the desire may remain, the action must be controlled. I’m sorry for people who desire members of their own sex, just as I’m sorry for married people who desire someone who is not their spouse. It happens. But it is just as wrong to pursue a gay/bisexual lifestyle as it is to dump your spouse just because you love someone else. Comes a time when you just have to suck it up in the name of righteousness. If you want to be a disciple of Jesus the first step is to “deny yourself.” Not a popular thing in this society, but the rules haven’t changed. You cannot love sin and righteousness simultaneously. If you are engaging in any activity the Bible condemns, STOP. If you refuse to stop because you just love your sin too much, you might want to review your commitment to God. Nobody said it was easy.

  15. Erin November 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Very thoughtful blog post, and something I’ve often thought about myself. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Jon Nutter November 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    I appreciate you post… I like your refocus and I want to respond to that with this question. Are we sure we haven’t distorted the central message of the cross into being a personal response to grace? Isn’t the work of redemption beyond singular human responses? I’m no universalist and I certainly believe every salvivic response is personal but the Kingdom is grander than the sum of individuals doing the will of God, and it beyond a single society and the change we might affect in it. I think we’ve reduced morality down to the personal level, cheapened grace, and forfeited any communal witness of Christianity. They will know we are Christians by our love. Our witness should transform the culture we live in… even as we are not conformed to it.

  17. Bruce Huggins November 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Geoff good topic and no debate about the seriousness of the issue. I think it probably starts with some thinking one sin is more egregious than another. Or as I was raised varying degrees of sin ie: white lie or black lie. Not only varying degrees of sin but varying consequences. One sin I would get my mouth washed out with soap and another reported to my father and yet another deserve spanking. It seems that Jesus would surround himself with the worst sinners but why not for it is us He came to save. We all need to get a WWJD check and really take it to heart. Lord Bless!

    • Jennifer November 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      Love your thoughts and totally agree!!

  18. Bill Baldwin November 28, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Geoff,
    Every time I read your blog I want to leave the same response:
    “I love you for being so darn REAL.”

    Keep it up.

    Bill Baldwin, a sinner

  19. Chuck Bagby, Ph.D. November 28, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Well said Geoff.

  20. Geoff Surratt November 28, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    I’m going to leave the comments open a little longer, but let’s keep the conversation civil and positive. It is ok to post your thoughts, but it is not ok to belittle or attack another commenter. We don’t all agree and we never will, but we can disagree agreeably.

    • Sarah November 28, 2012 at 8:49 am #

      These two sin issues I have been wrestling for so many years. I have
      noticed a huge increase in the waist lines of our local pastors as I
      have begun to understand healthy living and free will more deeply. On
      the flip side I have seen some local pastors that are too fit and even
      try to make a profit off their diet and exercise programs through the
      church. I am a believer that God has laid out proper diet and exercise
      in the Bible and Christians should be following these guidelines more
      closely. We are soldiers for Christ yet we can barely run and the end
      times are near. I met a pastor at Liberty not long ago who noticed my
      Biblical eating and advised me that his family roots showed the men all
      die of heart attacks and that he was not going to worry about it, in
      fact he was going to eat all the junk he wanted and maybe he could get
      out of here sooner. He said this as he ate a burger and fries from some
      fast food place. This was appalling to me, what kind of example was
      that? We should care for the temple God gave us and be prepared to run
      with endurance to those who need our love and guidance so they may see
      the light not our pathetic ailments that we created from our gluttony.
      Homosexuality issues and religious practices (Catholics, Muslims, Jews
      etc..) preached from the pulpit in a derogatory way I have always found
      unsettling. Recently I was talking with my daughter Karah, who has
      walked away from the church, and she shared with me her struggle in the
      pew. She said that she recognized how the church was pointing fingers
      at sinners and they were condemning them while in the same speech they
      would explain we have to love each others as Christ loved us. She
      could not accept this hypocrisy as how God would intend us to live. We
      then began to discuss gay marriage and she explained to me that I nor
      anyone else had the right to determine if two people love each other
      and want to commit to each other in a marriage relationship with or
      without children. I was saddened that I fell into a judgmental category
      in her mind and I reflected on the recent Chick-Fil-a politics
      revolving around gay protests in Chicago. I had a similar feeling then
      as I recognized Christians were using fast food gluttony to fight gay
      principles. I refused to participate, thinking of my friends that are
      gay and how this must make them feel as well as the horrible example we
      were setting for our children regarding healthy eating and the problem
      we have with the gay couple kissing in line before us. Not my idea of a
      fun family activity. I felt sick and confused then and at the moment I
      was talking to my daughter I felt the same shame and ill feeling. God
      made everything and instituted marriage yet people all over the world
      get married that do not even practice a faith and we do not condemn
      them. Christians claim marriage as made for procreation between a man
      and a women yet we tell our children it is about love and a commitment
      to God. We point out the gays and create laws against them when we
      don’t bring to light all the other people who are legally married yet
      not under God because they are not believers. My daughter is right and
      seems to be growing in her faith of which I was not sure existed
      anymore. I praise God for that moment and will continue in my
      reflections regarding my own hypocrisy regarding such issues. I am not
      perfect but I feel a passion inside me that wants to stand on a soap
      box and scream out hypocrite. I know this is not a loving Christ
      centered approach so I will continue to sort these thoughts and see
      what it is God would have me to do.
      One slice,
      Sarah

      • Kerry November 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

        Sarah –

        Like your daughter, I’ve struggled with similar issues within and surrounding the church my entire life, it seems. I grew up in a “Southern Baptist Bible Belt” church and did not thrive. I always felt misunderstood because in my head and in my heart I could not comprehend or condone some of the things that I’ve always been able to plainly see (that others apparently cannot).

        It breaks my heart to see people I’ve known my whole life, people I love and who love me, fall down at the face of God and worship Him, repent of their sins and then stand up and walk back to their pews to ‘Amen’ and ‘preach it brother’ as the pastor fills the place with, very specific anti-this or anti-that sermons and messages rather than general ‘anti-sin’ messages. I’ve never understood how people can’t see what they’re doing and how they’re representing the followers of Christ.

        We know God loves us and accepts us as we are, as sinners, but we also know that He will judge us and He will either punish us or He will redeem us. God’s left this up to us; it will be our choice and He will judge and then either punish or redeem us based upon the ways in which we’ve treated others: did we judge and condemn or did we love and accept other sinners?

        Rather than judge and punish the people around me, I’ve chosen to love and accept them for who they are. I don’t want others judging me and I’ve decided to leave the judging of others to God.

        • Dayle December 1, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

          for the born again believer, the punishment of sin has already been placed upon jesus. we will not be punished. we have already been redeemed, praise his name. it has nothing to do with how we’ve treated others. it has to do with did we put our faith in what jesus did. the finished work of the cross. he died for the sins of all mankind. if you believe and put your faith in him, you are born again. if you don’t, you are not born again.

  21. Lance White December 1, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    I’ve just completed an in-depth study on homosexuality, history and the bible.

    So that I won’t steal my own thunder for an article I’m preparing, I’ll just give some brief pointers to aspects of history and the bible that I think pastors should be spending more time Googling before they open their mouth.

    - Stoicism
    - Romans 1 – people abandoning the natural (para-physin)
    - Romans 11 – God Himself abandoning the natural to graft Gentiles into the vine (para-physin)
    - Unnatural long hair on men

    Those are your clues.

  22. Dayle December 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    you’re right. it isn’t about gluttony or same sex whatever. is it that the church, or predominately the church focuses on the sin of those we are or should be sharing the good news of the gospel with? and the answer must be yes. goodness, i’m more scared of the people inside the church than outside. make a mistake in church and you’re removed from position. if we’re suppose to be family, then what happened to loving someone and supporting them back into right standing. not just throwing them away. if they are truly sorry and it was an error in judgment, etc. no one is perfect. and may be when the church stops pretending to be perfect, unbelievers won’t be staying away by the herds. let’s get real and let’s tell the truth. is what we really want to be doing is not getting a coffee or not shopping at a store? we have no idea of 99% of the places we frequent stand for. and we don’t care. it’s only when we can do something to be noticed that we get on the band wagon. we make things about us. we are to be witnesses, which means we are to share the good news. what has happened in our lives, the truth of what jesus has done for us. not be immediately talking about sin. sin has already been dealt with anyway. let someone know how much god truly loves them, then he’s taken care of their sin, and all they have to do is put their trust and faith in jesus and HIS righteousness, and they’ll come running to learn more. you live better by grace than you ever could by works. it’s out of a grateful heart….

  23. Geoff Surratt December 2, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Thanks for all the comments and discussion on this post. Like anyone else who has read the thread I agree with some of you, disagree with some of you, and am concerned that some of you may be off your meds, you know who you are :) My goal in writing this post wasn’t to discuss the merits of either overeating or homosexuality, but rather how we respond to what we consider sin. I’ll close the comments now before we wonder too far off track.