Monday, 14 February 2011

Wedding Clothes

The gulf between, for the sake of terminology, orthodox and liberal churches can nowhere be more made apparent than by the comments Here..., notably by commenter Dale Sparkes.

For example;
Sexual relations are unnatural when they are contrary to the nature of the person—whether that nature be celibate, homosexual, or heterosexual. Homosexual relations... are not unnatural, they are, as with heterosexuals, just different between different people.

It is my opinion consolidated from various readings, thematic understandings of the Bible, and relationships with people who have a variety of lifestyles. I myself am heterosexual, happily married. I see the sin in sexuality not in the act but in the condition of the act: exploitive, dominating, violent, degrading, or unfaithful, etc. towards the other... ... I see sin as estrangement from the other in relationship.

Note the repetetive use of phrases such as, 'I see,' and 'in my opinion'; purely subjective feelings on the subject, rather than firm Biblical support, which, if we claim to be Christians, should be our first refernce, as it often was for Jesus. Also, apropos of whatever, note the newest liberal cliche, 'the other,' referring to, I gather, anyone different than ourselves.

More quotes;
Anti same gender relations are not sound Christian expressions, they are simply cultural prejudices founded in fear of difference and the need for a comparison to elevate view of self. Some people pick Semites, others pick aboriginals or dark skinned peoples, some select women, still others pick homosexuals. In time all such views are proven false by God. The fact is God loves them all in their natural condition.

This liberal attitude brings to mind the parable of the wedding banquet in Matthew 22:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Without having to go into too much detail regarding this parable, the original invitees represent unfaithful Israel, the people gathered by the servants represent the gentiles, and the weding clothes represent the righteousness of Christ, given by God through faith in him. The one who entered without wedding clothes represents someone trying to enter the kingdom of heaven on his own terms, not meeting God's requirements. Those requirements include a total surrender of oneself to God and His will, and a complete trust in His plan for one's salvation. That plan is that one can only be saved and enter His kingdom through the sacrificial death and resurrection of God the Son, Jesus Christ.

But who was responsible for bringing this person in? One of the servants, of course. One of the servants let him in. That servant must have known that the person was not clothed properly, but would have said something like, "It's OK. You can come in, because the King will accept you just the way you are. You don't need to change a thing. He will accept you.

But does this parable illustrate a loving teddy bear kind of God? No! The last sentence of the parable shows it. The king requires us to be properly clothed. But here's the wonderful thing -- He supplies the clothes -- to anyone who asks. He will not refuse these clothes to anyone who truly wants them. God is indeed slow to anger, abounding in love to those who call out to Him. But he will not leave the guilty unpunished. And the blood of that ill-prepared guest is on the head of whichever servant assured him he could come in without meeting the conditions set by the king.

So will it be with all today who assure their followers that they can enter the kingdom on their own terms. And so will it be for those who believe them.

Take Care

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