• Am I justifying my sin?

    January 27, 2012

    Maybe I shouldn’t post when I’m angry, but I think the anger is under my control at the moment, and I think the anger is fair and worth sharing. I just received a message from an old college friend:

    “You can delete this if you want. You’re trying really hard to justify your sin using Scripture. When you’re done, please tell me how I can justify my lust because that’s easier than repenting.”

    I didn’t know that’s what I was doing, justifying my sin. I thought I was asking some fair, legitimate questions, none of which my friend has offered to answer. This is so typical of the hyper-conservative church background I once swam in. When someone challenges dearly held convictions, do not attempt to respond rationally, intelligently, and gently. Just attack, attack, attack. Make accusations that the weak of heart will crumble under. Tell them they’re sinning. Tell them they’re justifying their sin. And of course, do not question your own motives and positions, for surely you are on the side of righteousness.

    I can get angry about this stuff, but I cannot judge, for I used to do the same thing. Until it was done to me.

    Many years ago I was wrestling with the idea of predesitination. Some friends told me that I was depending on human good works for salvation because I believed that human beings had to choose to follow Christ, that we weren’t simply zapped by sovereignty into faith. I said, “No, I believe we are saved by grace through faith alone, not by our good works.” I was then told that even the choice to have faith in Christ was a work, and therefore I was counting on good works to get me to heaven. One guy even said, “Only an unregenerate heart could believe such a thing.” I was depressed at the time and full of questions about my faith, so of course hearing that I might be hell-bound sent me spiraling. I’m wise enough now, and I’ve experienced these people enough by now, that my intellect kicks in when the accusations start. I’m able to say, “Objectively, is that really true?” (This is something my old therapist taught me to do, for which I am grateful.)

    Is it true that I’m just trying really hard to justify my sin, or is it more likely that I’m trying to honestly understand the Scriptures and what they say to gay people like me? I think the latter is more likely. Nonethess, when the accusations start, I’m gripped with a moment of paralyzing fear. What if they’re right? What if I am only justifying my sin? What if I’m using God’s holy word to do so? What if God’s really, really angry with me right now? But if that were true, would I even consider the possibility? Would I even analyze my motives to see if they are upright?

    My friend, in judging my motives in writing these posts on homosexuality, has reminded me of song lyrics I heard years ago. I hope he’ll ponder them. I suspect he won’t.

    You find this situation just a bit uncomfortable;
    You’d rather stay far away from reality.
    For you to understand would be clearly impossible;
    So you shut your eyes and swear you can see.
    Claiming there is a god, but does that mean anything?
    So condescending to those that you don’t understand;
    Just too easy to make them your enemies.
    Like an ostrich, you bury your head in the sand,
    And then shout about all the things you believe.
    But if there is a god, don’t you think he can see
    What you really mean? what you’re doing?

    You can’t find the answers
    Till you learn to question;
    You won’t appear stupid
    Just ask for direction.
    You’re insecure and it clouds your perception
    So stop and listen
    And learn a lesson in love without condition.

    So place all the souls that you know
    In their own little box;
    Quite convenient to handle them that way;
    You’re the only one you know who carries a cross
    You don’t care what they care about anyway.
    You talk to your god,
    Prayin’ for those who sin,
    For their eyes to be opened.

    – Ginny Owens “Without Condition”

    Posted in: The Gay Posts

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