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FIRST-PERSON: Glad I’m a Baptist

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (BP)–If there is one sin greater than all the rest, surely it is when man attempts to convince others that his sin isn’t.

Is this a bizarre time we live in or what? A bishop of a major denomination declares that not only is homosexuality not a sin, but it is actually a blessing from God. After hearing that absurdity, I found myself asking, “What Bible is he reading?” How does he interpret “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders …will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9) as “Hey gang, this is a blessing from the Most High God.”

This guy shouldn’t have been a priest; he should have run for political office. For in a time when right is wrong and wrong is right, this man is of the school, “It all depends on your definition of ‘IS.'” He’s learned that if you say it in a grand enough forum, there are those who will accept anything.

I’m glad to be a Baptist. Although I have learned much and grown close to our Lord throughout my life by delving into the teachings of men of different denominations, and although I may take issue at one time or another about how we corporately put into policy or practice the witness of our faith, I am proud that those leading our denomination doggedly maintain a position that the Word of God is both God-breathed and inerrant. No matter what debates come up within our leadership, you can bet those heading the argument won’t be attempting to rewrite the scriptures in order to meet the desires of the flesh.

There will be far wiser men than I offering up articles concerning the deterioration of a church. But I wanted to warn those who attend movies or who occasionally turn on a TV set that Hollywood supports the contention that all’s well with a world that accepts the rights of man over the commands of God.

Hollywood has taken upon itself to set us straight (ahemmm) when it comes to homosexuality and lesbianism. In the Video Hound’s Golden Movie Retriever Book, which contains a film genre list, I counted more than 250 films with gay or lesbian themes. Film after film encourages us to believe that it is an alternative and accepted lifestyle. And now there are sitcoms and TV dramas galore weaving gay themes unabashedly into their programs.

A society needs boundaries. It requires standards. A populace can’t survive when 300 million people each have a unique concept of morality. There must be a criterion if we are to maintain a commonwealth. But where do we find the correct standard? If there truly is a God, and the Bible really is His word, don’t you think the standard will be found there? And what other standard can rival His?

As for the acceptance of homosexuality, God says it is an abomination (1 Corinthians 6:9). But we must guard against false superiority. Upon reexamination of that verse, it becomes apparent homosexuality is not all that’s abhorrent to the Heavenly Father. Indeed, we are all blameworthy of some infraction. However, those developing a spiritual awareness soon find themselves ashamed of the natural man’s disobedience to God. We don’t parade our peccadilloes. We are not proud of our transgressions, nor do we try to convince society to accept them. With God’s help we will conquer these faults. With His mercy, we will be forgiven them.

So be careful how you allow the cinema to influence you. And if someone reading this article struggles with a sexual problem, please don’t consider this writer antagonistic. This commentary is simply trying to point out that no matter what seems right to Hollywood, if it counters biblical principles, Christians are commanded to speak up: “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome” (Acts 23:11). “We all fall short of the Glory of the Lord” (Romans 3:23). “God will forgive us, but not until we give up justifying our failings” (1 John 1:8-10).

And if this sexual behavior is a battle for you, know that guilt has its place only in that it reminds us to behave. All too often, however, guilt is used by the world, Satan or our earthly comprehension to separate us from Christ. Remember, He doesn’t seek our shame, just our gratitude.
Phil Boatwright is the editor and film reviewer for The Movie Reporter, a monthly film guide from a Christian perspective. His website is www.moviereporter.com.

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  • Phil Boatwright