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Frankly, I am a little surprised. On Monday, March 15, 2021, the Pope decreed that Roman Catholic priests could not bless same-sex marriages. In the past, he has gone out of his way to invite LGBT advocates to the Vatican, and he has spoken favorably about the place of gay people in the church. In fact, he has gone so far as to call for national laws that would legalize same-sex civil unions. But apparently, there is a limit to how far he is willing to go regarding this subject.
I was particularly shocked at the way he made his pronouncement. He stated that same-sex unions are “not ordered to the Creator’s plan,” he called those unions “illicit,” and he said that “God cannot bless sin.” Wow, just wow! Who knew?
Of course, this has certain segments of the world population quite up in arms, particularly homosexuals who consider themselves Catholic. I have been reading all kinds of articles written by Catholics, some of them life-long church members, who are leaving the Roman church for more “welcoming” congregations. And it also seems that there is a significant contingent within the church leadership that are really ticked off.
In fact, the Pope’s statement could possibly even lead to a schism within the church. It seems that a majority of German bishops and priests are currently holding a Synod (an assembly of the clergy), partly for the purpose of advancing the homosexual agenda. It is not at all clear that the Pope nor the German contingent will back down.
Since this whole thing has to do with the Pope calling homosexual behavior sin, this does lead us to a very interesting question: Who determines what sin is? For those who take the Bible seriously, and who are understand the biblical revelation, we recognize holiness to be an expression of the very person of God. Thus, sin becomes any thought or act that is in contradiction to that.
According to the progressive church hierarchy in Germany, however (and all other so called progressive Christians – whether Catholic or Protestant), moral authority is not found in God and His revelation of Himself. Progressivism, all forms, are based on naturalistic philosophy. While self-identified “Progressive Christians” may claim to believe in God, they really do not – at least not the God of the Bible. They do not believe that there is such a thing as objectively true or real morality, but that their own personal beliefs about morality are superior to the teachings of the Bible. As a result, for them, it is perfectly okay to determine morality for themselves.
"...the Bible is a revelation of Himself and His ways to mankind"
God is real, however, and the Bible is a revelation of Himself and His ways to mankind. Those who choose a moral path that is contrary to that revelation will find themselves in a situation where they are in opposition to God.
Let me make something plain, though; this is not my personal judgment on their salvation. I am not in a position to make that kind of judgment. However, it is legitimate to inspect the fruit of individuals’ lives to see how they match up with what God has revealed. You see, when a person enters into a genuine personal relationship with God, their life is changed – and with a changed life comes changed beliefs, values, and actions. When you see a person who believes, thinks, and acts in ways that run contrary to what God has revealed in Scripture, it is a clear indication that that person’s life has never been changed in the first place, or that they have drifted far away from Him.
No church or individual determines sin. God has revealed it Himself.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
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