Reverent Responses

Jesus Does Not Condone Sin!
Peter Padilla Responds


[Posted on November 23, 2000]

Friend:

Galatians 3:28 is indeed a favorite scripture of mine: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus." I love the idea that our differences no longer separate or isolate us, but rather in Christ we are joined. No one need be alone, for accepting the Son of God as our brother and savior.

I believe that the most important message to be received in the New Testament is that God loves us, Jesus loves us, and we are admonished to love one another as He has loved us. Every time somebody asked Jesus what was important, he returned to this message of love. Jesus' love, though, does not come through judgment or condemnation. He drew to his side the disenfranchised, and those viewed as sinful by the greater community. I've not ever seen hate attributed to Christ, and generally he taught lessons through parables and discussions, rather than with violence or judgment. Though certain behaviors are forbidden in the Old Testament, Jesus himself was silent on the point of homosexuality. We are left to interpret that fact that Jesus did not repeat any Old Testament condemnation against homosexuality, while he did remind us of behaviors that were unacceptable in the eyes of God.

There is so much text in scripture, and it was written over such a length of time, that it is difficult to cite the intended meaning of every word attributed to God. Scholars have disagreed for centuries about the source and lesson of each passage. As we each try to understand and interpret scripture, we apply our experience and reason to the text. I try to read every verse remembering that the underlying message is one of love. The action that is sinful, then, is causing harm to - or failing to love - another of God's children.

I've not been granted any specific authority by Christ, but you will be in my prayers. I pray, as I do for all of God's children, that your heart will be open to the love of God. Through that love, we will be guided to care for our brothers and sisters, rather than condemn them. Through His strength, may we become worthy of that love, which is granted to us without judgment or price.

I struggle, as always, to be driven by Christ's love,

Peter Padilla