A Journey Through John | Timing | John 7.6-9 | Movementministriesblog.com

by | Mar 5, 2019

“Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. 8 You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.” John 7.6-9

The world hates Jesus. It’s hard to understand why until we realize just how much the world loves sin. Even in the recent theological debate in the United Methodist Church, of which I am a part, the battle rages between whether or not homosexuality and same sex marriage is s sin (see https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/new-global-orthdox-identity-united-methodists-surprises-many/).

Of course, from a conservative point of view, it is a sin. Conservatives look at the obvious passages in Scripture (1 Corinthians 6.9-11, Romans 1.26-27, Leviticus 18.22, Genesis 19.5, Ephesians 5.3) and are able to draw straight forward arguments that this action is against God’s design. We also look at teachings on marriage in Genesis and in Matthew and determine that biblical marriage is between one man and one woman. I unashamedly agree with these positions.

However, my liberal-progressive brothers and sisters draw passionate arguments by looking at the same Scriptures and wondering why some other “sins” aren’t enforced like homosexuality. These might include divorce and adultery, polygamy in the Old Testament, and some of the dietary restrictions. I believe the difference comes down to upholding the authority of Scripture.

This being said, I wonder if the recent United Methodist Church decision to remain under a traditional understanding of marriage and homosexuality is going to split the church. I also wonder if the hate garnished by this decision of the traditionalists by some liberals is similar to the hate Jesus spoke of when he proclaimed his message of God and rejecting sin.

Jesus spoke of how the world cannot hate the disciples but it hates Jesus because he “testifies that its works are evil.” Would a liberal-progressive define evil differently than I would on this subject? In addition, how can two radically different perspectives be drawn from the same text? The conservative view takes a plain account of the Scriptures whiles the liberal view overlays Scriptures with progressive culture and theological which they consider evolves in its beliefs.

I am admittingly biased and in my bias believe I am correct! I can’t equate what some of the liberals claim as non-sins to be holy when the Bible clearly says they are. Yet still I am intrigued with the argument. The results of the United Methodist Church vote, being the largest mainline denomination to take an orthodox stance on marriage and homosexuality, has produced much hate among my fellow brothers and sisters and the culture in which we live.

How then shall we who believe in a traditional side of these issues respond to the hate generated by what we believe are Jesus’ teachings? With love, patience, kindness, justice and grace. We can not compromise on our beliefs but we can love those who oppose us. 

Let us love like Jesus loved — the sinner but not the sin (as we deal with our own sin and the sins of others). Let us walk in step with the Spirit by holding on to the truth while showing compassion to those who differ in their theology and opinion.

“O Lord God, you are gracious to me. I believe in your Scripture and that the words written in your book transcends time and space, culture and comfort. I thank you Lord for loving all people and wanting none to perish. I do not claim to be a great theologian, Lord, or a great defender of the faith. However, I believe I know the truth and believe in your word. Reveal your Presence to me! Help me eradicate unholy habits in my own life while abiding in you and in the Son. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen