|Perspectives on Homosexuality|
|How Do People Become Gay?|
|Gay Christian - Oxymoron?|
|Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin?|
|Calling Sin by its Right Name|
|What Is an Abomination to God?|
|Sins of Sodom|
|On Being Right|
|Change Ministries Revisited|
Conscientious Christians frequently issue reminders that we are "to call sin by its right name."
Since this seems to be an important issue in some minds, I thought I should make an effort to "call sin by its right name" even though I have no natural predilection for the task.
First of all, it seems to me, we need to define sin. We all recognize the classic definition that "sin is the transgression of the law." The question arises regarding which law is here meant, as only "the law" is mentioned. If we read further we discover that the Beloved Apostle inextricably ties law-keeping with love, saying that "we know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren." He goes on to say that "this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His son Jesus Christ, and love one another" This is in keeping with Apostle Paul's conclusion "love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law." (Romans 13:10)
For me, the best definition of the Law of God that has been from eternity is the one given by a godly little woman in these words: "In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven." (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, p. 20)
Therefore I conclude that anything out of harmony with the principle of self-sacrificing love as demonstrated by Christ is sin.
Therefore it is sin to . . .
. . . and one could go on and on and on . . . (compare 1 Corinthians 13 with the list above)
"But," you may say, "you haven't yet mentioned the really bad sins!" And I would assume that you would be speaking of sexual sins -- though I'm not at all sure that God considers them worse than any of the sins listed above.
In order to call sexual sins by their right name, we must consider if we can understand what God's original intention for the gift of sex was. Since I don't have the space or inclination to write a book on the subject, let me say that it is my conviction that God invented sex for the purpose of providing an especially pleasurable bond between a man and a woman pledged to each other in life-long union with the intention of forming a family. Any sexual activity outside the parameters of demonstrating love to one's marriage partner is, by this definition, sin. And Jesus made clear that God considers the thoughts of the heart as important as the acts of body.
Therefore it is sin to . . .
. . . and there's much more, I'm sure . . .
Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. . .
And even when we are righteously ready to begin casting rocks, let us consider Paul's admonition, "Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things." (Romans 2:1) Paul hear validates the psychological truth that we most harshly judge in another the very sins of which we are guilty ourselves -- though they may be in a different form. James's admonitions give further pause: "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:17) Have we insight into another's heart to judge what s/he knows? James further warns that "there is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?" (James 4:12) Instead of judging our fellow travelers on life's journey, let us witness to them of the One "altogether lovely," the Lord of our life, so that they may be drawn to Him in whom only lies salvation. We can trust Him to lead them safely and deal patiently with their souls, giving them power to discard the sins that would keep them bound.
To close, I would like to quote from Sanctified Life, by Ellen White, p. 55: