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Saturday, February 27, 2016

When Discrimination Is Right

I was having discussions this past week on a news story where a counsel was voting on whether or not to stand up against the Supreme Court's decision on "marriage.".  (Sadly that counsel did not stand up against the Court's decision, though another local counsel did.)

More than one person seemed to think that God wouldn't want discrimination against people.
That might sound good, but hang on a minute...
Is that true? Does God dislike discrimination of every sort?

Part of my response to one individual was this:

God not only would approve of discriminating against participating in someone else's sin, but it would be a sin against God to celebrate sin (like participating in a so-called "wedding" or providing a room for people to be immoral matter if it's heterosexual or homosexual immorality). 

Certainly I see in the Bible that discriminating against sinful behavior is not wrong.
So, when is it wrong to discriminate?

It's wrong to be mean to people for how they look, or if they are physically unable to do things, or if they might be mentally slow.   Christians should have love for all people (including the immoral), but love doesn't mean affirming sin.

Participating in sin is always wrong, but loving your enemies and praying for them is right.
There are many things that are acceptable to do for people who are immoral.
In fact, it is actually the people who call themselves Christians and are immoral that are the only immoral people we are to avoid - rather than the immoral of the world (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).
That is so that they might repent.
Of course, we are also not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.  We also know that bad company corrupts good morals, so we must be cautious while still proclaiming the Gospel and being kind.

Selling an ice cream cone to an immoral person is fine, of course.
Intentionally helping that person with their sin, or helping them to validate their sin is not fine.  This isn't about us judging their eternal destiny ourselves.  God will judge, but we must obey God by not participating.  We don't know, but that person may have been chosen by God.  They need to hear about God's Law and the Gospel.
John the Baptist spoke up about the immorality of Herod, though he died for it.  I did not read in the Bible that he was condemned as wrong to point out the sin.
Showing people God's moral law is needed for people, as that is a tutor to show them their need for a Savior, repentance, mercy, and forgiveness.

While the incident is from a disputed passage of Scripture (it may not have been in the original text), when Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more after the hypocrites had left, He didn't validate her sinful behavior.   He wasn't even saying that the sin wasn't worthy of death according to the the Mosaic Law.  He is able to forgive as God the Son, but He doesn't forgive so that a person might continue in their sin.

Now, we are to make right judgment calls on what is sin and what is not.  We learn what is sin and what isn't from God's Word.  We do need to be discerning.  We don't desire laws that encourage the validation of sin.  That doesn't make us unloving.  In fact, it would be unloving to stay silent.
Sadly, the person who speaks up with the truth is the one who is treated as evil.
This week online I've been called nuts, I've been accused of "verbal diarrhea",  told I was forcing my religion on people, and told I was going to hell.
I've just read the account of Jesus being put to death (though willingly).
He was perfectly innocent, yet they hated Him without a cause, and they wanted Him dead.
He only spoke the truth.  He is the Son of God.
Why should I expect better treatment?   He is infinity times better than I am, and He deserves worship.  I'm not even the best communicator, but I desire to be used by Him.

People today would rather make up a phony Jesus who is comfortable with whatever their sin is (as well as they like laws that validate their licentious behaviors), but sadly they don't want to believe that the reason Jesus died was because justice demands that their sin be punished.  The punishment for their sin will either be experienced by them in Hell for eternity, or for those who repent and trust in Jesus Christ...the punishment we deserve was experienced by Jesus the perfect Lamb of God upon a cross many years ago.

So, as a Christian, I want to be discriminating enough to discriminate against participating in sin and to discern truth from error, but indiscriminate enough to care about everybody and their eternal soul....even if they hate me and discriminate against me.

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