Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bono challenges the Church

Don't let his lack of precision with Scripture hinder a right sense of conviction that should come upon us as Christians regarding the issue of AIDS (particularly in Africa).

This interview is, at very least, extremely interesting.


Hough said...

Just 5 minutes ago I answered, "U2" to the question, "What is the most overrated band of all time?"

Reepicheep said...

This from a man who thinks Owl City is the greatest band of all time...

I'm not a big U2 fan..that's not the point of this.

Woody Woodward said...

Wow, what a powerful while disturbing interview. I don’t know where Bono stands in his personal walk with the Lord but quite obvious he has a much better grasp on the teachings and commands of Christ than most pew sitters. Bono’s personal interpretation of Matthew 25 was very convicting. The body of Christ has done a horrible job in reaching out to “those we have deemed” dirty or unworthy to enter our doors. Saturday night Cheri and I had the opportunity to go to a party where we were the minority. Meaning gays. We went out of our way to introduce ourselves, reaching out with a smile, sharing the love of Jesus by being kind, showing interest, asking questions and not condemning. You know ole’ Will Rogers once said, “I seldom met a man I didn’t like!” I will add to that “I have never met a gay person who wasn’t warm and caring.” Why can’t the church be warm and caring? We have repulsed the gay community by the trite touting of “love the sinner, hate the sin.” How is a gay person supposed to see the Love of Christ in that? All they see is hate and rejection. The Great Commission begins with sharing the Good News, but it also means getting involved and helping those in need. Putting into play the deeds and actions of Acts 2 is good place to begin.

Roger Mann said...

We have repulsed the gay community by the trite touting of “love the sinner, hate the sin.” How is a gay person supposed to see the Love of Christ in that? All they see is hate and rejection. The Great Commission begins with sharing the Good News, but it also means getting involved and helping those in need.

While I certainly don't disagree that "getting involved and helping those in need" is part of the Christian's mandate (and that I'm woefully neglectful of), I don't agree with the rest of your post. An unrepentant "gay person" (or "sinner" in general for that matter) is not supposed to see the "love of Jesus" in his current condition. He's supposed to see that the "wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18). The "love of Jesus" is held out to those who "labor and are heavy laden" (Matthew 11:28) under the conscious guilt of their sin, not to those who flaunt their sin, participate in gay pride parades, and push for the legalization of gay marriage! That's the crucial aspect of the Christian gospel that Bono despises and repudiates as "judgmental." I'm afraid too many people are being deceived through this type of crass sentimentalism.

As far as the trite phrase "love the sinner, hate the sin" is concerned, I'm afraid the problem is more bad theology than simply overuse. How can the "sin" logically be separated from the "sinner" who commits the sin? Where does Scripture teach such nonsense? It doesn't, plain and simple. Rather, Scripture plainly teaches:

"The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man." (Psalm 5:5)

"The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup. For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright." (Psalm 11:5-7)

"As it is written, 'Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.'" (Romans 9:13)

As these passages make clear, the Lord only "loves" (in a salvific sense) His elect people -- those who are redeemed by Christ, who repent of their sin, and place their faith in Christ alone for salvation. He doesn't love unrepentant reprobates -- those who continue in their sin and rebellion unabated throughout their life. Scripture records these words for a reason:

"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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

Yes, indeed, we must "not be deceived" in our attempt to be compassionate and accepting of sinners in this current evil age.

Reepicheep said...

As far as Bono's comments are concerned, I like his analogy about coming upon a car crash with victims in need of help. The scene smells of alcohol, but you still try to help.

The AIDS seen smells of all sorts of immorality, but we should still try to help. Indeed, any extra-marital sex is immoral (this includes homosexual practice). There can be no denying this. Sometimes the way God reaches people with the gospel is by the Church showing compassion and love to the sick and dying, no matter how they came to be in that situation. Of course, myriads of children are orphaned because of HIV and myriads more are infected with the virus through no fault of their own. The Church should do her best to minister to all those affected.

That's what I took from Bono's challenge.

Roger Mann said...

That's what I took from Bono's challenge.

"That" part, I agree with. But that basic point is often quite easily distorted. That's all I was trying to get at.

Reepicheep said...

Your point is good Roger. Thanks.

Brenda said...

Tony..I have homosexual friends both male and female. I have presented them with Christ and talked to them about their souls. I do love and care for these friends and I would not snub them because they are in such a lifestyle. I have to be who I am in Christ, as that's all I know how to be. The bottom line is..It's all Christ and none of me. Whatever Christ does is His business. My job (so to speak) it to just BE by living out Christ the best I can, and even at that I fall very short. BUT...NOW GOD..He truly has used me to show my homosexual friends and other friends living sexual immorality lifestyles, the character of Christ. I can give you example after example of such situations God has used me to show them they do matter. It's very rewarding and humbling at the same time. As I look at all my sin, past and present, I am in awe how God would use me in such a wonderful way. I too deserve God's wrath, but because of Christ, I get his Grace. You just never know who God, our loving Father, will draw to himself. Just BE who you are in Christ and live to glorify His name. God will do as he pleases, my responsibility is keep striving to live in Christ and walk in obedience.