So, I enjoy many of George Takei’s posts on his Facebook page like many people do. Sure, he and I have different views on some things but that doesn’t mean he’s not funny, thought provoking, and interesting. However, there is a new one he put out that many people are sharing around that made me take notice. While it makes his point, I also see some concerns as it is laid out to appear to be an excerpt from a sermon given by a pastor. It seems many are drawn to it because (at face value) it ties into a heart many Christians have that the “church” in the past has overly beaten up on people in the GLBT community and have stayed blind to other sins we have grown comfortable with. This is a real concern but that doesn’t mean this post is without problems. First, let me say that I do believe the church in many areas have treated people in the GLBT community very poorly in the past and in the present. I have a huge heart for those who have been hurt before and the continuing conversation around this emotional and personal topic. This post is not to trash on people in the GLBT community, it is to explore concerns I have in how this one piece chooses to categorize a certain view and a misrepresentation of Scripture to paint a picture more than be a healthy two way dialogue that we need more of. Also, this post is more for those within the church than it is those outside the church. Second, let me share with you what he put out…. Third, let me share random thoughts as you consider the post…. 1 – It is my impression that there is a good shot this dialogue is fake. If it is not, it is one example of a caricature version of conservatives. 2 – The pastor says that a few verses in the Bible say that homosexuality is a sin. – Same gender sex is a sin according to the Bible – If you take out two stories of same gender attempted rape… It is discussed as a sin in 2 Old Testament areas and 3 New Testament areas as a sin 3 – Older Men say Amen. – just gives me a fictional picture of trying to stereotype the church …. they have to be the older generation, it has to be men, it has to be judgmental ….. including the uncomfortable silence that follows the next part … but ok 4 – Pastor says “You know what else is a sin? Divorce.” He then says there are “countless verses” on divorce – A quick search showed 4 direct instructional verses in the Old Testament on divorce…. 2 had to do with priests not marrying divorced women….. one had to do with permitting divorce with a certificate of divorce – Jesus was more vocal as there are two times he talked about not divorcing outside of marital infidelity. If you did outside of this condition, not to get remarried. One of these talks was also listed in Mark and Luke. – Paul talked about divorce in I Corinthians 17 – It’s an important topic and depending on the circumstances can surely be sin … however, I think the word countless is a little vague though it doesn’t matter. The amount of times a sin is listed does not change if it is or is not a sin 5 – The pastor claims that these “countless” verses also talk about the consequences of divorce including stoning the wife – I thought I was going nuts for a moment as I do not remember any Scripture talking about stoning a woman because of divorce. I do, in the law, remember such things in the area on adultery or fornication but not divorce. A quick search confirmed that I’m still not finding any. Please let me know if I’m missing something you have reference to. – But since we are on it…. stoning still seems harsh in the area of the sin of adultery does it not? Thankfully, that does not apply any longer but it’s not due to what the pastor claims…. 6 – “We choose to overlook the consequences of divorce because time has proven that they are inhumane and cruel.” This one fires me up a tad. That is a false statement that not only applies that we pick and choose what we want to follow in the Bible but that we are right to do so because human logic and time have proven the Scripture wrong. We do not follow the Old Testament ways of living because it is the Old Covenant. Christ tells us that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. We look in the NT to find what still stand from the OT. The best example of this is Jesus when they brought to Him the woman who was caught in adultery and asked if they should stone her (trying to trap Jesus). When He said “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone”, He showed we are all sinners and we should not prioritize sin or trash on others because of their sin being different than ours…… absolutely. However, when they left, He came to her and asked “Who accuses you?” She said “No one” He said “Neither do I…… go and sin no more.” We see the incredible grace we should have for one another in any sin area but that we do not ignore that any sin is a sin and should move forward into holiness more and more. Move forward and sin no more….. I hate the statement the pastor supposedly said just because I hear more and more people (including Christians) embracing this kind of thought and starting to pick and choose things from a heart perspective instead of really learning God’s ways and Word to understand the full truth. 7 – “The Bible doesn’t say anything about the consequences of the homosexual lifestyle” I’m not sure how they are defining “consequences” here but it appears to be that divorced women get stoned but nothing for the homosexual offender, like one is worse than the other. If it’s from that stand point, the Bible does talk about a consequences for the homosexual lifestyle in 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 when it says they will not “inherit the Kingdom of God”. Then again, in the same sentence it says the same for adulterers, idolaters, thieves, greedy people, and more. In other words, those who live in sin (instead of struggling in sin which we can talk more another time) and do not turn their lives over to Christ and follow Him as we grow in holiness….. the outlook is not good. However, for those who accept His grace, mercy, and Lordship, we move forward into the Kingdom not by our own accord but by Him. See the Bible talks a lot about consequences… the consequences of sin….all sin. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23) We are all in the same boat. We should not prioritize any one sin over another, for sure. We should also not water down sin because we have before. We all need Jesus to be forgiven of our sin and our motives to others should not be being “right” but leading others to the Lord as well. 8 – “We seem to be spearheading a campaign to ruin the lives of people we don’t even know.” This seems to be taking the conversation from “Is same gender sex a sin” to ” Should same gender marriage be legal” That is a shift from the spiritual conversation to how this should impact the law. I know people who believe same gender sex is a sin and they should vote against same gender marriage because we vote our conscience. They believe in a national conscientiousness. I know people who believe same gender sex is a sin but that it shouldn’t be illegal because we do not use the law to force people to morality. Yes, we do to one extent in the areas of murder, stealing and the like but not others like making adultery or divorce illegal. Some have moved to campaigning in the way this pastor speaks of but for many, it’s not that cut and dry (or automatic bigotry). 9 – “The Bible states to love thy neighbor. That’s it. There are no other rules or restrictions to that passage.” Just a side note that we do not live by one passage and no one passage stands alone. We stand by the Word in it’s context of the Scripture. The way this is stated can be taken so far that we ignore all sin to love our neighbor. Jesus said in the Word “Love as I have loved you.” Jesus has skipped several “stonings” that I have deserved and loved me greatly but He also has not ignored sin in my life. He works in and through me to lead me towards getting freedom from sin to live in freedom in Him. 10 – “So, we as a church family have to support equality with a smile on our face. THAT is the true Christian way.” There are a few words in that sentence that can be defined different ways and the way I am guessing they are meant are simply not true. First, I get concerned when someone comes up with a personal deduction and presents it as the “true Christian way” or “Jesus would agree with me” if it’s not Scripture. I believe in equality but that is not the same as I have to agree with you 100% and you have to agree with me 100%. Nationally, it means people share the same rights. Spiritually, it means we need the same Lord and freedom from sin through Jesus Christ. Finally, let me sum up this LONG post by saying again that I understand why many would share this post quickly due to their hearts cry to love on people in the GLBT community since they have been so wronged in the past in many areas. At the same time, let’s make sure we pray through the fullness of what we use to communicate those emotions and make sure they line up to the Word.