“Is it a Sin or Not?”

A reader sent me the following response to the post titled, “Clobber Passage: I Corinthians 6:9–All Blade, No Handle.”

“I get the positive point pushed of not judging because we all sin but I’m confused, my assumption was that the stance of the writer is that homosexuality is not a sin but the homosexually aspect in that passage was not addressed in a way as to defend homosexuality, so has the writer changed their view on it? Does the writer believe homosexuality is sin according to that scripture or not?”

First I thanked him for his reply, then continued.

“Let me direct your attention back to one of the Scriptures I quoted. ‘Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others.’

“If your question concerns your own action, and not the actions of others, then I assume you are dealing with your own same-sex attractions. Right now I am evaluating my own actions. I just remarried, after 3-1/2 years of being a widower. I’m learning what a second marriage means, what it means to love someone so new to me in so many ways. I am trying to figure out how important my writing is, its importance to others, and its importance to me.

“So I’m evaluating my own actions, as Paul recommended. Loving my new wife, loving my adult children, loving my bride’s family and her circle of acquaintances, these are all taking up my energy and attention.

“If you are dealing with same-sex attractions, or same-sex activity, and are asking me if I believe that the Scriptures condemn your same-sex concerns as sin, let me answer you this way. You already know you don’t measure up to the images of perfection described in the Bible. You may successfully hide this embarrassment from your friends and acquaintances, even from yourself, and that’s normal. I have one big question. Does your personal embarrassment prevent you from loving the people around you? Does it interfere with your ability to do right by your family and friends and colleagues? If you are able to love the people around you, then you have succeeded spiritually. Your imperfections and stumblings may not be great and wonderful, but if you are still able to love people, able to edify and encourage people, then you are fulfilling the Royal Law of Love.

“Would achieving the kind of perfection you aim at, would the time and energy you would have to devote to that endeavor interfere with your ability to love your family, friends, and colleagues? Putting your own ‘perfection’ ahead of their need for love, thoughtfulness and compassion would be a greater sin. But that’s just my opinion. You need to evaluate your own actions. The person who needs the glass of water you’re holding doesn’t care if you just made an extra trip to the refrigerator.”

About Ron Goetz

My first wife used to say, "There's nothing so sacred that Ron won't pick it apart." My desire to be a pastor -- that was a temperamental mismatch. She was so patient. If my birth mother had lived somewhere else, maybe I would've become a cold case detective. But I would have had to be J instead of a P, I think. And that mid-life reevaluation, starting adolescence as a GARB fundamentalist and transitioning to a non-theist, that gave me an unusual skill set.
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