Letter to the Editor: Talking about a sin

Published 9:02 am Saturday, June 29, 2019

Editor’s Note: The following addresses J. Robin Whitley’s column in the June 22-23 edition.

I read through your recent column and would like to respond as a minister of Jesus Christ who takes Scripture to be the Word of God.

You are correct that Jesus indeed says that Christians are to “love your enemies and do good to those who hate you” (Lk 6:27) and to “pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44).

Through Scripture, God shows a concern for the poor, the orphaned, the widow and the needy (Deuteronomy 10:18, Zechariah 7:10, James 1:27, Matthew 5:31-40).

This same Jesus also condemned “sexual immorality” (Matthew 15:19) as sinful and evil alongside other sins such as “slander,” “pride” and “coveting” (Mark 7:21).

Jesus also upheld that God-ordained marriage is between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-6), while calling most divorce a sin (Matthew 19:9).

Ms. Whitley, as a Christian, I do not hate you because you are a lesbian. I do not hate you at all. In fact, I love you as a person created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), deserving to be treated with dignity and respect as a human being.

However, I do not only affirm the easy or “nice” parts of Scripture that I like, but I affirm all of Scripture as God’s Word.

Therefore, it is out of love that I also preach that Jesus commands all people everywhere to repent of their sins (Psalm 7:12, Matthew 3:2, Mark 1:15, Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38, Acts 17:30, et. al.) and believe in Him as the Son of God (Matthew 1:23, 8:29, 14:33, 16:16, 26:63-65, et. al.). All people are to repent of all sins, not just homosexuality, but also greed, lust, envy, slander, impure thoughts, etc.

Imagine I was a doctor and you were a patient with a curable disease. For me to withhold treatment from you would be a hateful act and violation of the Hippocratic Oath.

However, for me to prescribe the treatment you need for you to be made well, would be what I am supposed to do and an act of love and kindness.

So it is with preaching Jesus Christ and turning from sin and turning to Him by faith.

It is a loving act for Christians to call non-Christians to repentance.

We evangelize because we love. We evangelize because we know that our sins have been forgiven in Christ Jesus.

If I can be forgiven of my sins, then you, Ms. Whitley and whoever else may be reading this, can also be forgiven of your sins. That is not hate, but love.

I do not fear you. I’m sorry that you feel ostracized. I would invite you into my home for a meal and treat you as a person. I’m sorry that some people out there give a bad name to Christians by only showing hate and damnation without holding out the hope of the Gospel in Jesus Christ.

To treat you as a person while also calling homosexuality (and anything else that breaks God’s law) sin, is the proper Christian path. If a Christian shares with you the forgiveness, mercy and grace that is in Jesus Christ, I encourage you to turn from your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

I write this letter to you because you matter and so do all humans created in God’s image. Repent and believe the good news. That is love and I hold out hope that one day you and others will repent and believe.

The Rev. G. Mark James,