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Pastor Chris' Blog

Arizona Bill 1062

Chris Woodard

            I have been very delighted to see our recent updates to our online presence. Our website looks fantastic and our ability to use social media platforms to reach the world for Christ is truly a blessing. In addition to what we already have in place, I would like to add to our online presence by offering my thoughts about life and ministry through my new blog hosted here at our website, fbcboulougne.org. I freely admit that I have never blogged before, so please bear with me as I adjust to writing out my thoughts. Although my goal is to write about a variety of issues, my heart is burdened to write about a recent matter that has been in the news: Arizona Bill 1062.

            The bill, as presented before the Arizona House of Legislature, would basically give individual citizens the right to refuse service on the grounds of religious beliefs.[1]  However, the news media outlets seemed to focus only on the homosexual agenda as the exclusive target of this particular bill. Since I was not a part of any creation of this bill (and I doubt that you were as well), I can only comment on the submitted bill. I have read both the introduced version as well as the Senate Engrossed version. Not once did I come across the words “gay” or “homosexual” as the primary targets of this proposed legislation. As a matter of fact, those words are not mentioned once in either version of the once proposed bills.

            While I am not writing a response to the bill itself, I would rather focus on what I believe to be a greater theological issue at stake: the great ease at which the homosexual agenda is the first example of immorality without any mentioning of other sins. For many homosexuality is an issue...the only issue. For me, however, it is not. Why do you ask? Because the Bible is quite clear about what sin is. While the scriptures describe homosexuality as a sin (Romans 1:26-27),[2] other scriptures seem to widen the net. Consider these texts:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, ESV) and, 

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21, ESV) and,

For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5, ESV)

            I see a trend emerging; don’t you? There is a lot of stuff that God will not tolerate and will never permit into the Kingdom of God. The “stuff” is not just the sin, but the one who sins; and the scriptures tell us that there is a lot that qualifies as “sin.” In other words, while the arenas of politics and pulpits banter about the homosexual agenda, I wonder how many of us have ever considered our struggles with greed, drunkenness, deception, jealousy, anger and all of the other issues mentioned in the above texts? Have we not considered the fact that God will not allow any sin or sinner into Heaven without first having been regenerated by the blood of Christ?

          The issue at stake, so far as I believe the scriptures are concerned, is that we should be more concerned about all sin and the fact that God will not allow any of it into His eternal Kingdom. When we get selective about the sins we attack, we can easily slip into a mindset that if a person is not committing the “really bad” sins, then they will be ok. This, of course, is a total lie. May our prayer Luke 18:13: “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’” And He will.

 

[1] This link will take you to the actual version introduced to legislation: http://www.azleg.gov//Format Document.asp?inDoc=/legtext/51leg/2r/bills/sb1062p.htm&Session_ID=112

[2] I chose to include only one biblical reference because of my conviction that no sin must have to meet a minimum number of references to be considered sinful. Once is enough for me.