When Sin Is Advocated
Source: Kevin Hardy, "After same-sex couple victory in Collegedale, church ousts gay detective's family," Chattanooga Times Free Press, 21 August 2013.
It was something bound to eventually happen. A church in Chattanooga withdrew from the mother, aunt and uncle for their support of their homosexual family member. The daughter, Kat Cooper, petitioned the town of Collegedale to extend benefits to her homosexual partner and the city council agreed. "Cooper's mother, Linda, stood by her side throughout the process. She held tight to her daughter's hand at a July meeting over the issue. And the two embraced after the City Council's 4-1 vote on Aug. 5."
Please note that this was not a devestating event for Ms. Cooper. She was demanding additional benefits simply because she chooses to have sex with another person. Her mother publically supported her desire to have the laws changed to her daughter's benefit. Yet the claim is that the mother was doing nothing more than showing love for her daughter. "Literally, they're exiling members for unconditionally loving their children -- and even extended family member." Of course, Ms. Cooper doesn't realize that while the Bible talks about God's enduring love, it doesn't say God's love is unconditional. "Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off" (Romans 11:22). Nor does God ask parents to support children while they are in sin. Love isn't an excuse to sin.
The leaders at the church met with the mother, aunt and uncle about their public support of a sinful practice. The father, "Hunt Cooper said his family rejects the notion that being gay is a lifestyle choice. And his wife, along with her brother and sister, believed repentance would be hypocritical. So the decision to leave, devastating as it was, was a simple one." In other words, the family believes Ms. Cooper doesn't have a choice in having homosexual relations. This view is in conflict with Paul's teaching: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11). Homosexuality, like any other sin, is a free-will choice. Like any other sin, it can be rejected and the person change.
But it is also a sin to give support to sin. After speaking about a long list of sins that included fornication and homosexuality, Paul concluded by saying, "who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:32). The type of death Paul is talking about is spiritual death and eternal condemnation by God (Romans 6:23).
Approving of sin has long been condemned by God. One of God's complaints against Israel was, "When you saw a thief, you consented with him" (Psalms 50:18). Advocating evil and calling it good is to stand against the very nature of God. "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isalah 5:20). God is without sin, so showing approval for sinners is a rejection of God. "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (I John 1:5-7).
Because this family snubs God and His laws, the church had a duty to take a stand against them. The church did this privately, but the family chose to further push their agenda to get homosexuality accepted by making the matter public and claiming they are victims because the church has stood with the truth. Much is made in the article about how the Coopers family helped start this particular congregation. It is a shame that the current generation has rejected the principles of their parents and grandparents. One doesn't ride into heaven on the coattails of past family members. Such is God's point in Ezekiel 18:1-20. "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20). Because this family has choosen sin, it doesn't mean the church has to accept it.
Other claims in the article are that the church is only doing this because it is traditional. In a way, one not meant by the author, it is the church's tradition to uphold truth and stand against error. "Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle" (II Thessalonians 2:15). "But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us" (II Thessalonians 3:6).
The article also claims it is was done out of fear of homosexuality. It was done in fear, not of these sinners or their sins, but out of a fear of God. "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?" (Deuteronomoy 10:12-13).
And finally the article called the church's stance extremism. ""I've never heard it extended to other family members like that," he said. "That is definitely an extreme case."" What is purposely being ignored is that the family was withdrawn from, not because they had family member who was in sin, but because they themselves sinned by publically claiming homosexuality wasn't wrong through their actions and words.
"Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner--not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person"" (I Corinthians 5:6-13).