Sunday, June 15, 2014

Grace, just not to you

John MacArthur, you've really missed the boat on this one.

MacArthur, well known both for his books and for his daily radio program "Grace to You," recently took a question from a follower who wanted to know how to respond now that an adult child has revealed himself to be gay. MacArthur's take? Shun them, that they may learn the error of their ways. Alienate them, don't have meals with them. Keep them at arm's length until they have repented.

MacArthur is advocating this position because of a flawed understanding of what holiness is, a view that a holy God cannot abide the presence of sin, and thereby removes himself. I say this is flawed because the story of the Christian Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation is that of a God who pursues a relationship with those who sin.

Adam eats forbidden fruit and hides; God comes looking for him in the garden, and calls out to him, "Where are you?"

Israel turns away, and so God sends judges, kings and prophets to call them back to him. The people continue to sin, but God sends a deliverer anyway, or even offers to give them everything he promised, even though he won't go with them.

Humans commit acts of great wickedness; and yet God sends the rain upon the just and the unjust; and at the heart of the Christian gospel is a message that God has begun the redemption of the world by raising one man from the dead and appointing him as savior of us all.

Holiness pursues and seeks to restore; holier-than-thou shuns and rebukes.

It's God's kindness that leads to repentance. (Romans 2:4)

No disrespect to John MacArthur, but come on; we're better than shunning our family members.

Copyright © 2014 by David Learn. Used with permission.

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