Blessing Unrepentant Sinners

blessings sinners

The Roman Catholic Church has recently given permission to its clergy to bless individuals who they know are involved in same sex relationships. To bless someone is to ask God’s favor on that person. However, homosexuality is a sin that is condemned throughout the Bible as an abomination before God (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27). And despite the Vatican’s mild description of gay sex as “intrinsically disordered”1, those who commit such sin face certain judgement unless they repent and turn to Christ (Revelation 21:8). It is therefore impossible to reconcile our holy God showing favor toward someone who is already condemned unless the person repents of that specific sin and confesses faith in Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ blessed many people by teaching and healing them. However, He always dealt with the question of their sin as a matter of priority (Mark 2:5; John 5:17-18). Jesus never overlooked sin in the lives of those who came to Him. Can you imagine the leader of a murderous gang asking a priest to bless him on behalf of Jesus as he goes out to murder people? Can you imagine a thief asking a priest to bless him on behalf of Jesus as he prepares to go out and break into a home? Can you imagine a group of robbers praying together that God would bless and protect them as they go out and rob people?  We can be sure that God would not show favor to such wicked persons (Psalm 34:16).  Yet, we are being asked to believe that God would bless sexually immoral people because the Pope says so!!!

In John 4, we read of a Samaritan woman who was blessed during an encounter with Jesus at Jacob’s well. Jesus ensured that He pointed out the woman’s sin of sexual immorality during their discussion. No doubt, this woman repented of her sins because she went on to testify to the people of her city about her belief in Jesus as the Messiah (John 4:29; 39).  All true believers in Christ are called to confront sin in their own lives first and then in the lives of other sinners we meet. Only then can we truly preach the good news (gospel) of God’s salvation through Christ. Then those who believe the biblical gospel of Christ and confess their faith in Him are saved from God’s wrath (Romans 10:9). This salvation of sinners is the ultimate blessing.

Anyone who attempts to bless participants in a same sex relationship is encouraging sin and will have to give an account before God for misleading those who are lost. If the blind leads the blind both will fall into the ditch (Luke 6:39). Several weird reasons have been given for normalizing same sex relationships. The most ridiculous one is simply that we are now living in the twenty-first century! This seems to imply that the laws of God have become outdated!  But the excuse that I tend to hear most frequently is the citing of respectable, outstanding citizens who are daily making valuable contributions to society. It is argued that we should not deny them their basic ‘right’ to a blessing from God. It is appropriate to turn to the Bible for the answer to that argument. Let God be true but every man a liar (Romans 3:4).

The Bible tells of a rich young man who approached Jesus Christ seeking an assurance of eternal life (Mark 10:17). This young man had tried hard to live a remarkably good life to gain God’s favor. Mark even records that Jesus loved this young man for his admirable conduct and desire for eternal life. And yet, the Lord Jesus focused on the one thing that he lacked the most. Mark used a Greek word for ‘lacked’ that gives the sense of the young man being inferior or falling short of God’s standard. Certainly, he had lived an outwardly admirable life but his love for his possessions exceeded his love for God. Jesus, who is the Light of the world, shone into this young man’s heart and exposed his sins of covetousness and idolatry. He needed to urgently repent and follow Jesus. However, we read that the young man was sad “and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:22). This Biblical account ended sadly because the rich young man refused to repent of his sins as commanded by Jesus.

It is to be noted that the Gentile nations were marked by gross sexual immorality, including homosexuality. Such sins defiled both the people and the land (Leviticus 18:24-25). However, we have examples of Gentiles who heard the gospel and repented of the specific sin of homosexuality. They found strength in Christ to abandon that lifestyle. The Greek city of Corinth was a large international metropolis that was notorious for its sexual immorality in the first century when the Apostle Paul preached the gospel there. In his first letter to the Corinthian Church, Paul reminded them how they were redeemed from sexual immorality through the power of the Holy Spirit: “Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites…..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 God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). 

This is proof that so-called gay people can be redeemed from this lifestyle. “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). This should be the message and mission of the Church – to preach forgiveness of sins and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. However, the Roman Catholic Church seems determined to proceed along the dangerous path of blessing homosexuals. In the face of some internal resistance to the new move the Vatican has doubled down on its position, stating: “there is no room to distance ourselves doctrinally … or to consider it heretical, contrary to the Tradition of the Church or blasphemous.”1

We should not be too surprised. Five centuries ago, the Roman Catholic Church doubled down on all the major points of contention raised by the Protestant Reformation regarding rampant corruption (indulgences) and false doctrines in the church. For example, the Council of Trent (1545-63) issued a strong decree condemning the Reformers insistence that the Bible clearly teaches justification is by faith alone (Latin, sola fide; Ephesians 2:8-9). The Council overruled the Holy Scriptures by stating defiantly: “If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema”.

Nothing has changed since then.2


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