Reverent Responses

Jesus Does Not Condone Sin!
Rev. Vera I. Bourne Responds

[Posted on November 23, 2000]

Dear VanQuartermain,

Your letter puzzles me. Are you suggesting that Paul's words to the church at Galatia, as recorded in Galatians 3: 28, have been misinterpreted? To me the passage seems very clear, that in Christ all humanly contrived differences are resolved and that we are but one people. There is no suggestion of condoning any sin in these verses, or of attributing sin to Jesus the Christ. As far as verses which "tell you that homosexuality is a sin," I fear you are in error. There is no verse of scripture in which the word homosexuality is used.

There are verses in scripture that condemn any sexual act which is unloving, manipulative and which contravenes the natural sexuality of any person. There are verses which condemn Temple prostitution which occurred not only in New Testament times, but was also evident in the worship rituals of many of the nations which surrounded Israel throughout her history. There are also many verses, in fact a sizable amount of verses, that deal with heterosexual sexual acts, in fact while Jesus never spoke about homosexuality, he certainly had a lot to say about heterosexual relationships. Look at the gentle manner in which he approached the Samaritan woman by the well at Shiloh. Though he challenged her about her "marital" status, his words were gentled by the non-judgemental love of God. To the woman taken in the act of adultery he acted as arbitrator and shield. He defied any of her accusers to first examine their own lives seeking any stain of sin before they passed sentence on her. Have you ever wondered about the man who was found with her, what happened to him?

Jesus does not condone sin; in fact it was sin, your sin and mine combined with the sins of the entire world, which cost Jesus his life. To be our Redeemer and bridge back to God our Parent, Jesus allowed his crucifixion to proceed; when with a word he could have called hosts of angels to protect himself. But Jesus knew, as do all who serve him, that love for others often costs us dearly. I agree that in the last days there will be those who condone and practise immoral acts - we see evidence of this in our courts even now. Jesus warned, as did many of the prophets, of the collapse of the moral code of world society and of the rise of many so-called "messiahs" as Christ's second advent approached. Our doctrine, rather than being based on Galatians 3: 28, is based on the very words of Jesus, as recorded in John's Gospel chapter three verse sixteen: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." I would go further and say that for us the words of verse twenty-one of the same chapter could be used to describe our lives: "But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what he has done has been done through God."

Though it may be helpful for you to pray for the binding of lust and homosexual desire and for our freedom from sin, I believe that you are confusing a sexual act with a sexual identity. For many homosexuals sexual fulfilment is not an option. I know of couples who have lived a life-time together which does not involve any sexual contact. To my understanding, lust is unbridled passion, and I do not know any homosexual people who are driven by lust, but perhaps you have met some. Indeed, it is lust in heterosexual contacts, including lust that involves young children in sexual acts, which the Bible soundly condemns. Statistics prove that it is not the lurking homosexual who is the predator to be feared, but family members or friends who lustfully violate children's bodies. Thank you for the concern you have shown in your letter; it may be that in reading this response you are challenged and allow God to open your heart to the full meaning of the verses you have quoted.