If you haven't seen the video already, Southern Baptist Charles L. Worley called for for death to "queers and homosexuals." It is my prayer that this Open Letter reach Pastor Worley as a loving rebuke from one Christian to another. In that regard, I do hope you will help this letter on it's way to the Pastor that this loving rebuke might come to his eyes, as instructed by 1 Corinthinans 5:12.
Dear Pastor Worley:
I am writing this open letter as a fellow Christian, following what I believe is the requirements set forth for Christians to correct other Christians when they fail to live up to the high standards of Jesus Christ.
I found your statements calling for death to ""queers and homosexuals." As a Christian, I find this attitude appaling, not because I agree with homosexuality or gay marriage, but because I believe, as the old adage says, "Thus, but for the grace of God, go I," and so do you, my friend.
I know I am a repentant sinner, not a perfect person, and that I was guilty of sin but that I am no more, not because I am righteous but because of the spotless blood of Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord who took the penalty for my sin on the cross at Calvary so that I wouldn't have to pay my own penalty.
Your theology on sin is not wrong, my brother. But here is where you are wrong: You too are a sinner, one washed in the blood of the Lamb, as I am, and declared righteous by Christ through faith. I would like to remind you of what the Apostle Paul wrote:
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NKJV) (Emphasis Added)
Were you a thief before you were saved? Even once? Did you covet before you were saved, even once? Your speech alone qualifies you as a reviler, my friend. We were all lost sinners before we were saved by the Blood of Jesus, my friend. Or did you forget:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. - Romans 3:23-24 (NKJV) (Emphasis Added)
Do you recall the actions of our Lord Jesus with the woman caught in adultery?
3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, ent out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
- John 8:3-11 (New King James Version)
Pastor, I must say you are missing the entire point of our faith.
I understand your frustration in the way some Christians have failed. Certain of the more liberal elements of our faith focus on "Does no one condemn you...neither do I" and they are wrong for ignoring that Jesus did call people to repentance. I share in your frustration at this attitude among Christians, forgetting that important addition "Go and sin no more."
However, you failing to recall the mercy that our Lord showed this woman. Clearly, Jesus hated the sin. He did not say "keep committing adultery, that's just fine I accept you anyway." But, and this is important, if He followed your dictum, Christ himself would have cast that first stone at her. He did not.
Our God is a God who separates His love of a person from his anger at their actions. Christ saw people and He also saw sins. Separately. He hated the sins, but He loved the sinners...like you and me, for example. While we may not be guilty of one particular sin, it doesn't mean that the sins that we are tempted with are somehow worse. (I know of a pastor who has said to me on multiple occasions that he wishes that all sin was as unenticing to him as the sin of homosexuality...I share that sentiment with him.) I am, however, tempted with other sins.
Remember, I pray, the gift that you received...and that it is not your own righteousness, for only one who is righteous on his own can rail on PEOPLE with such visciousness. Until that day, I pray that you will remember that you were a beggar once too...one who was shown where to find bread...and then remember that your goal should be to show more beggars where the bread is, instead of demanding other beggars be killed.
Christopher C. Bastedo - Editor of Biblical Conservatism