Dan Popp
You can't take your sin to heaven, Mr. Campolo
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By Dan Popp
June 11, 2015

Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:14b, 15, NKJV)

For those determined to find Commandments and Laws in the New Testament, this comes pretty close. It's even in the "red letters." What is the positive response to the gospel? Repent, and believe. Not just "believe." Not, "believe, and then maybe think about repenting someday." Repent. And believe. Now. Now [God] commands all men everywhere to repent. (See Acts 17:30)

Enter Tony Campolo, presenting himself as a servant of the gospel – the gospel that demands our repentance – while spouting all of the postmodern propaganda we've heard about homosexuality for the last 30 years.

He writes, "As a social scientist, I have concluded that sexual orientation is almost never a choice...." Whether "social science" is a real science is a matter for others to debate. But if we're going to invoke SCIENCE! then we need to be honest about the science. And what we know scientifically as of this afternoon is that there seems to be no "gay gene." There is no empirical data that backs up the contention that some people are "born gay." That seems to leave choice, conditioning, or some combination of the two. That's the science, to date.

Notice that the Bible never talks about "sexual orientation." It talks about sex acts. This is one of the lies of the anti-Christian left: to shift the ground from behavior to identity.

Mr. Campolo continues, "...and I have seen how damaging it can be to try to 'cure' someone from being gay." Question:
    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. 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)
Not only does the Holy Spirit say that homosexuals (meaning people who engage in certain acts, not people who have certain impressions about their feelings) are not allowed into the Kingdom of God; the Lord says that such were [past tense] some of you. According to God, there are former homosexuals! They were not necessarily "'cured' of being gay," whatever that might mean, but they stopped sinning with their bodies. Men stopped going to bed with men. They repented and believed in Jesus and trusted Him to deliver them from their sins, and were saved. They were born again. They became Christians. If any homosexual person wants to become a Christian, that is how it's done.

Campolo writes: "As a Christian, my responsibility is not to condemn or reject gay people, but rather to love and embrace them, and to endeavor to draw them into the fellowship of the Church." This is a straw man. Except for the Westboro Baptist nuts, no one is condemning or rejecting people who have labeled themselves "gay" according to their impressions about their feelings. But neither can anyone be "[drawn] into the fellowship of the Church" while stubbornly continuing in sin – this sin, or any other. You can hold on to your thievery, your blasphemy, your fornication, your contempt for your parents, your drunkenness, even your murders, whatever sin you choose – or you can be a Christian. What you may not do is pretend to be a Christian atheist or a Christian kidnapper or a Christian sodomite.

As to Mr. Campolo's contention that he is motivated by "love:" If the bridge has fallen down ahead and a driver asks me whether the road is safe and I say, "Yes," am I acting out of love? Doesn't love warn another human being of danger? Forget love, doesn't bare human decency require me to confront, rather than comfort, someone who is hurtling headlong toward his own destruction?

No, you go ahead and drink that poison. Those anti-poison people are haters. Fooey on them! I love you, and I want you to drink as much poison as you want. It tastes good, doesn't it? So how could it hurt you? Drink up, my dear!

The gospel was motivated by love, but love is not the objective. The purpose of the gospel (and everything else) is righteousness – rightness. Any gospel that doesn't drive us uncomfortably toward rightness is a fake.

Campolo personifies a very dark heresy that has crept into Evangelicalism, which is that Jesus came to save us from our sins, but by "sins" these wolves mean guilt about our sins. He didn't actually come to, you know, make us holy or anything! Their false Christ came to save us from our bad feelings, not our bad actions or our bad souls.

Someone will accuse me of pretending to be sinless. No, I sin. Christians sin. The difference is that a Christian doesn't persist in open rebellion against God's Word; he doesn't take "pride" in his sin, parade it in public and call it his "right." He doesn't force other people to accept his sin as if it were something good. He doesn't demand that God remake ancient and divine institutions to accommodate his sin. What a comfort is 1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But conversely, if we do not confess our sins – if we refuse to agree with God that they are sins – then no forgiveness or cleansing is possible.

Tony Compolo concludes: "I hope what I have written here will help my fellow Christians to lovingly welcome all of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters into the Church."

All gays and lesbians, all sinners of all kinds, are welcome to the church building! They are welcome to the church service (though not to the communion table). But we humans cannot make anyone a part of the Church. That's something the Lord of the Church does, and which we can only recognize. And He has given us two main criteria for membership: Repent and believe.

Love...does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.... (1 Corinthians 13:6)

© Dan Popp

 

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