Leave Je­sus’ name out of it

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Opinion - – TREVOR SHEP­HERD

In the Sun­day Ad­vo­cate of July 1, 2018, Fr. Clif­ford Hall lam­basts Rev. Vin­cent Wood and John God­dard for their re­cent stand against same-sex mar­riage and gen­er­ally op­pos­ing the cur­rent trend to­wards ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity. Noth­ing wrong with that. A man should de­fend his opin­ion.

In con­clud­ing his piece Time To Live Free From Shame, Fr Hall en­cour­ages the lo­cal LGBT group to “as­sert your­selves un­apolo­get­i­cally. Write your let­ters…hold pub­lic Chris­tian ser­vices…don’t be afraid. There are those who will sup­port you – in the name of Je­sus”.

That stumped me – the fi­nal phrase “in the name of Je­sus”. Sure, do your weird stuff, but in the name of Je­sus? Which Je­sus? Not the one who de­clared pub­licly that “I and my Fa­ther are one”, mean­ing that He and God shared the same val­ues, ideas and thoughts.

So it couldn’t be the same Je­sus who was one with the God when He or­dered the de­struc­tion of Sodom be­cause “the men of the city were wicked and sin­ners be­fore the Lord ex­ceed­ingly”. The sin? Ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity that was ram­pant, vi­o­lent and bound­less. Any­one pass­ing through Sodom was likely to be a vic­tim of un­bri­dled gang-rape.

Abom­i­na­tion

Nor could it be the Je­sus who was one with God when through Moses He di­rected the Is­raelites not to “lie with mankind as with wom­ankind – it is an abom­i­na­tion”. Abom­i­na­tion? Ex­cep­tion­ally loath­some, sin­ful, wicked or vile. So vile, that in those bad old days it got you stoned to death.

So, which Je­sus? Not the one who, with His fin­ger squarely on the pulse of the fu­ture, ac­cu­rately pre­dicted that “many will come in My name… and shall de­ceive many.” Je­sus was warn­ing us about de­lib­er­ate de­cep­tion by peo­ple who should know bet­ter.

Hall is not con­vinced that God will pun­ish any­body for not fol­low­ing com­mon sense laws. He is “still wait­ing for the divine tsunami to hit the 26 na­tions that have so far adopted (same­sex mar­riage)”. He should read the Bi­ble and his­tory. Some con­se­quences take gen­er­a­tions.

Noah warned his sim­i­larly cyn­i­cal gen­er­a­tion for over 100 years be­fore the tsunami came. Var­i­ous prophets urged Is­rael to straighten up their cor­rupted life­style (in­clud­ing ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity) for hun­dreds of years be­fore they went into slav­ery. It has taken us 100 years to be­gin see­ing the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects of the in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion. God, in His good­ness, usu­ally gives us am­ple time to see the fool­ish­ness of our ways. He works over­time to get us back on track.

But tsunamis are odd beasts. They start way out in the ocean as a mi­nor dis­tur­bance, a mere rip­ple on the sur­face. God help you when they reach the shore.

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