Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Gotcha Question

When Lauren Daigle recently "flunked" the gotcha question of whether homosexuality is sin, I was as disappointed with her evasive answer as any right wing zealot. We like quick, clear answers (and judgments) and we rain rocks on anyone who seems to have fallen out of line. But I talked to my Friend of Highest Regard who slowed me down a bit when he pointed to his own habit of evasive and vexing answers.

Let's start with the account of the woman caught in adultery, a close parallel to the homosexual sin question. The Pharisees asked the gotcha question, "The law says stone her. What do you say?" Christ - who in fact clarified that he was here to fulfill the law they were citing - responds by stooping to write on the ground before famously turning the moral question against the accusers, "Whichever of you is sinless throw the first stone." The extent of him calling out her sin was to privately release her with the instruction, "leave your life of sin." I'm left thinking a good trick answer would be, "Is Christ our judge?"

Sometimes, Jesus didn't even give a straight answer to close friends. In fear for his life and apparent doubt about how he had spent it, John the Baptist asked Jesus if he was the Messiah. Is there any more critical question to give a straight answer on? Jesus only answered that the evidence indicated he was, the same sort of maddening answer he gave Pilot for the question, "Are you king of the Jews?" Likewise, Christians the world over wish that, at least once, Jesus had said the words, "I am God." But we're limited to stating it as an obvious conclusion, I suspect by his own design.

Only in reference to Sodom did Christ more directly address homosexuality (one of Sodom's blatant offenses) and it wasn't to condemn it. It was to say even that's better than those who reject his kingdom. Boy, does that create some strange angles! Scriptures says I have enough sin of my own to worry about first. It also says Judge Jesus is currently exercising a lot of patience with the world before he lowers the final hammer. Besides that, I think me trying to judge Lauren's situation from the comfort of my anonymity is like a kid who thinks he's ready for the pros because he can dunk on a six foot rim. I'm not saying we shouldn't call sin, "sin". I'm just saying you might want to save your throwing arm for that stuffed animal at the carny booth.

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