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Christians need not cast stones

THE EPISTLES

By Ashton Roberts
On January 29, 2001

I am writing this to you to encourage you in the Christian faith and that I might warn you of a prevalent sin that may impair your work for our Lord and may cause the unbelievers to be lost forever.
I have noticed those among you who would speak of the eternal, unconditional love of our God and also condemn homosexuals as though they had blasphemed the name of our Lord and that salvation was unattainable to them.
It is true that the Bible forbids this type of behavior, but the Bible also says: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
And again: " Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matthew 7:1). And our Lord said (when addressing a crowd that was pursuing a woman in order to stone her to death for adultery): "He that is without sin let him first cast a stone at her." (John 8:7).
You yourselves are sinning by judging them and thinking that because you are not guilty of this sin that you are better than they. Because we have sinned, we are the same as homosexuals and our only difference is that we have repented of our sins.
You must rebuke these spirits of pride and hypocrisy and show them the love that our God has shown you by dying for you and making you his children.
Did Christ not also die for their sins and does our Father not also want them to repent and become his children? In the Gospel of Matthew, Christ called Levi (also known as Matthew) to be his disciple, though he was a tax collector, and Roman tax collectors were notorious for their thievery.
One of the women who followed Christ was a prostitute. Once, as Christ was eating with his disciples, many publicans and sinners came to eat with him. The Jewish leaders asked his disciples why he associated with men and women of such depravity. Christ responded: "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick . For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Matthew 9:12).
As spoken in the second chapter of the epistle of James, verses 8-12, sin has no degree. All sin is an abomination in the sight of our Righteous God. We are reminded that if we do not love our neighbor and are exclusionary in our presentation of the Gospel, then we are sinning.
We are also reminded of the equality of all sin and, by that, the sins of pride, exclusionary thinking and lack of love for our fellow man are, in the sight of Almighty God, as damnable and appalling as murder, homosexuality and adultery. And because of the supreme sacrifice of our Lord, all sin is forgiven of those who believe.
We must pray for the salvation of our fellow man, that he would come to know our God and we must pray for ourselves that we should not be full of pride and live a lie.
I now encourage you to continue in your good works, by which you display your faith, because faith without works is dead. Attend your churches and small gatherings and encourage one another that all might grow in faith. Keep the commandments of our Lord so that your love for him can be seen.


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