No fine print
No fine print
By Pastor Rasheed Z. Baaith
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)
Pastor Sterling Clowers, a mentor and teacher of mine and who for my money is one of the greatest exegetists of this era, says there is no fine print in the Bible. Fine print is used, he said, when someone doesn’t really want you to know the full truth of a particular thing. That’s why excluding footnotes, there is no fine print in the Bible. God wants us to know the truth. Amen to that.
The current debate in the Church is one in which those who have decided to support gay marriage are looking for Biblical underpinnings and they have none. The Word of God is clear when it comes to homosexuality, homosexual practices and marriage. That some pastors may not like what the Bible says about those subjects is clear from what many of them are teaching their people and what they are saying publically. Sadly, it is in most cases a deliberate misunderstanding of the Bible.
God does not call us to be comfortable with His Word; He calls us to obey His Word. We cannot pick and choose what commands in the Bible we will obey and those we will not. We cannot decide that because of personal experience or family a particular expectation of God is unreasonable or out of time. If God is an unchanging God and He is, then so is His Word.
Two arguments I hear most often for the support of gay marriage are we are under grace, not law and Jesus never spoke of homosexuality in a direct manner. I think both are specious theologically and intellectually dishonest. In the first, living under grace is applicable only if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior, if you truly have a regenerated spirit and a transformed heart. Proclaiming Christ and living Christ are two different things. No law applies if you live right and just as importantly, a true Christian recognizes sin when they see it, especially as it applies to themselves. We all, Christian or not, know when we are doing wrong.
Two, while Jesus does not mention homosexuality and gay marriage by name, He does in St. Matthew, chapter 5, explain moral law in its fullness, not diminishing it in the least. And included in this history is Jesus saying, “Do not think I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law until all is ful-filled.” It is clear Jesus is affirming the inerrancy and absolute authority of the Old Testament. All of it.
Even more, Christ does not speak of the evil of pornography or pedophilia or crack addition or child abuse either. Are we then to believe that because there is no specific reference in His Words that Jesus condones such behavior? I think not. And while Jesus was not specific about homosexuality, other New Testament writers most assuredly were.
Those pastors and Christians who are supporting homosexuality and gay marriage are better off saying they are doing what they are doing because they have chosen to do so for their own reasons. Further they should discipline themselves to not use Scriptures or lack of Scriptures to support what they are doing. Primarily because the Scriptures they should adhere to they have rejected.
Finally there is this, the Father and the Son are love but that has never meant that there will not be a Judgment, “The Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and He shall reward every man according to his works.” (St. Matthew 16:27)
There is no fine print in the Scriptures, either we believe what we say we do or we do not.