As one who holds the bible to be the guide that we have, I agree with Pastor Bohanon.
I admit I have reservations about calling same-sex sexual relations sin, but the bible is clear. I also agree with the orthodox teachings and arguments from natural law.
What I see is that the nuclear family of a husband and wife and their natural children is key and essential to modern culture. Our world is good, and better than it could be otherwise, because of the traditional family. That observation gives weight to the assertion that a lifelong, committed, loving relationship between one man and one women is best. It is generally reasonable to define sin as that which is less than best.
I also see that there is room for a great deal of accommodation. Specifically, there are no threats to culture and society from any sin or deviation from tradition and what can be reasonably argued as best.
I’ll ask: Cannot those of us who hold up the ideal carry on in the face of indifference? Can we not hold to our ideals and live as examples even in adversity?
Yes, we can. We are not threatened. I think that is the key.
So many see any sin or opposition to tradition as threat. It is not. There are reasons for our moral standards and for our traditions. Paramount, these standards and traditions work. Keep working them. Hold up the standard, and good people will follow.
That is not to say there are not many good people who will find it necessary to do otherwise.
That is conscience.
People are free, and they are free because God made them that way. Free will is no illusion. It is the divine right of every soul. It is not mine to judge another soul. God alone, Jesus, is the judge, and until that last day, each of us must pursue the right, the good, as best we can. Each of us must allow for the freedom of the other, and not condemn, nor look askance. Each of us is wrong to some extent. Each of us must trust God to improve and move toward the good. Jesus promises us to finish the good work He began in us. Trust Him. We must trust him for ourselves and for every other soul.
The fact is, none of us is without sin. There are, of course, many sins we should all do better at. The one I see as most outwardly obvious is gluttony. I find it impossible to explain the acceptance of gluttony by so many in all walks of life and all faiths. It simply is not possible to justify any sin. We must hold to the highest standards and ideals, yet we all fall short. We all fail when it comes to sin.
Except for obvious rebellion, I don’t except the notion of “living in sin.”
No one intentionally lives short of the best, excepting intentional rebellion. We all try to live our lives best we know how, acknowledging good and trying. The old euphemism of “living in sin” used to say that a couple was living together for sexual relations without marriage; well, it really isn’t descriptive. I think we like to say things like that to help us feel better about the situation. The fact is, the couple may think they are meeting God’s requirements. They may believe they have fulfilled all moral requirements. They may have reasons for not getting a piece of paper or a ceremony. Maybe they are right. Maybe not. Regardless, it is not mine to judge. Restating my point here, they may be sinning (maybe not), but they are not living in sin. If they are not intentionally living in open rebellion, they certainly are not trying to live sinfully. We are all sinners. We must ever trust in Jesus’ grace and salvation. The power of the Holy Spirit helps us overcome sin, but it is continuous and ever renewing, because we are ever tempted and often fail.
Revisiting the sin of gluttony, is the 450-pound person living in sin such that redemption is not possible? Of course not.
I think it is important to accept all as sinners trying to make their way in grace. Obviously there are exceptions, but I am enjoined, under the command to love, to think the best, and, as much as in me is, to live peaceably with all. We must refuse to single out one sin over another. We must be careful not to consider some sin or other as threat. God’s grace is sufficient, and we always overcome in Him. The gates of hell cannot prevail. Thus, love. Never fear. It is much easier to accept a sinner when standing in love, perfect love that casts out fear. Never let fear motivate you. Trust God and walk in love.
Closing, I find it necessary to write. I often write just to see what I think. ;-)
It is important to write. Pastor Bohanon is doing good work. This new blog of his is a worthwhile addition to the good work.