Observations and Affirmations #3

Observation: God’s Word is irrefutable: a) homosexual behaviour is a sin, b) desiring obedience to God’s Word is a necessity for those who wish to be in a covenantal relationship to Him. As Carmen Laberge recently reminded us, “The issue is never the issue – but God”.

Psalt is aware that our recent emergence in the PCC is an offence to some of our members and clergy. Are we just a bunch of “naysayers” impeding progress by reminding the church what God’s Word says about homosexual behaviour? (The reasons for it being nowhere endorsed, or even referred to in a neutral way, will be outlined in Bulletin #4). Psalt has appeared because we believe that this issue is “the canary in the coal mine” for the PCC. We want to shout an enthusiastic ‘YES!’ to all of God’s Word lest what Jesus said to the religious leaders of his day comes true, “You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29 ESV). An issue more significant than sexual behaviour and gender identity has been exposed because the “issue is never the issue – but God” and specifically, God’s Word. So we are asking:

How much of God’s Word do we have to believe to be a Christian, to please God, to get to heaven, or to be able to say, “I preach the Bible”? Is it enough just to believe that Jesus loves us and died for us? Any who are seriously asking this, might need to change the seed in the parable of the sower for “The seed is the Word of God” (Luke 8:11). Is there also risk in being like Eve in the Garden who chose to ignore God’s Word and trust her senses when she “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise”? (Genesis 3:6 ESV). What words of Moses had Aaron ignored at the base of Sinai that made it easy for him to point to the golden calf and shout, “This is the god who led you out of Egypt!”?

Asking “How much?” makes the focus of faith more about me, my friends, and my feelings. It is to “surrender to the music of the night” to quote Andrew Lloyd Webber. The loving “No” that we occasionally find in God’s Word is offensive to some, but to bend our wills to it in loving obedience is life-giving. If we dare to reduce faith or to redefine what is sin or not sin, we become our own priests in charge of our own salvation.

The issue is God, and apart from creation, it is God’s Word that reveals who He is, what He loves and what He hates. There are things in creation that God, our loving parent, protects us from; things that we are not to pursue (Genesis 3:3), and the evil that we were never designed to overcome. Is Scripture just another window inviting me to click on my “likes”, “dislikes” and “deletes”? If so, “In self centred religion, theology becomes therapy designed to bring us happiness…and feel good.” (C. Plantinga, A Breviary of Sin, p.81.) God has better. All of God’s Word is life-giving.

God is so loving and so wise in His choice of a medium for His covenant with us. “God has chosen Word over image as it implies relationship.” (Jaques Ellul, “On Being Rich and Poor”, p.70). Words give us opportunity to be in personal relationship and conversation with our creator God.

Psalt invites the PCC to heed the apostle John’s caution (Revelation 22:18-19) not to add to or delete from the Word of God and to affirm the truth of what Pilate unwittingly wrote on the cross and to reflect his stubbornness when he said, “What I have written, stays written.” (John 19:19, 22)