A Message from Pastor Hale

A Message from Pastor Hale

Everyone basically agrees that we should love and care for the weakest members of society. Even the atheist has a conscience and doesn't believe in hurting others for fun. He might even use Christian language concerning the dignity of life, but he probably sees an animal as deserving of more love than a child.

One actress made a valid statement recently: “I can’t wait for all of this, and for the change to come, as we use what we’ve been given to protect those who can’t protect themselves.” Great, except we must define who are the weak. We shouldn't have to, but sin has made it necessary, because of the hatred of God swimming all around us and in the sinful nature which all have.

The “weak” she referred to and said needed immediate protection are not babies, the elderly, or the infirm. She meant those who practice homosexual acts and those imitating the gender and body that God did not give them. In other words the “weak” are those who are strong enough to consciously reject the body and what it was created for. These people who parade under the name of love cannot let God determine what is good. To them “weakness” has to be an active rebellion, a conscious choice of an individual's will. It is a celebration of sin, unbelief, and the rejection of the glorious Gospel of Christ. The world wants to protect people's ability to sin, to determine right and wrong for themselves.

But who are the weakest among us? Who should we love? Scripture reminds us to visit and look after windows and orphans. The weakest have no choice, they depend on others to live. A baby in the womb cannot rebel, he receives all his nutrients and life from his mother through a delicate umbilical cord. We should not compare an unborn child to a 200 pound man his 40's wearing a dress and high heels, simply because he wants to feel pretty.

Why the hatred for the truly weak? What about the woman in her 90's who cannot get out of bed or talk? Instead of loving her and treating her body redeemed by Jesus with respect, the world speaks of her as an economic drain, as if money trumps the life Christ created. But godly love is not easy for sinners. “Love is patient and kind; it does not insist on its own way; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13).

The world worships man's will and denies God's. They celebrate misusing the body and doing unnatural things, if one so chooses. Freedom from God's law, disobedience to Christ, is paramount to the modern, enlightened person, who thinks of his own will as god-like. This is why the personal right to murder is celebrated, because children let an outside influence determine so much about our lives. They do take away physical freedom to some extent. But we know that Jesus does the creating of life and He does not make mistakes. No one chooses to conceive a baby, yes we talk like that, but our will does not change reality or open the womb. The problem is that we all want to be like God, but creating a child is not up to us. Neither does anyone get to choose to be male or female. Jesus chooses that for us, as the Creator. And He meant babies to go along with the marital uniting, to be fruitful and multiply, so there would be more people to hear the Gospel. So a homosexual act, despite the world's emphasis on “sexual orientations” or feelings of love, that cannot lead to children is unnatural and a terrible sin against the Lord. But now babies are considered harmful to the world, unless they are deliberately “planned,” because of the suffering they inflict. To not have the right and ability to stop life and murder is considered slavery and most unloving. The strongest and loudest enemies of Christ's sacrifice define worldly love, not God's Scriptures.

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error (Rom 1:25-27).

But we must confess that even we do not love life, no one does. This is why God's will is so unattractive. It is also why we must repent every day. Who to love is not ours to choose. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are told by our Lord to love all our neighbors who need us, not just the ones least annoying or least likely to wake us up at night. Only in this way does the Lord choose our neighbors, that is, who to love, not our rebellious minds. “They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one” (Ps. 53:3).

A rock band released a statement that their concerts “will always be a safe place for people of all colors, all genders, all sexual orientations and all beliefs.” So the ones who are strong enough to rebel against God's created order and make lots of noise are heard, but those easily disposed of, the truly weak who cannot even choose to live without another's help, are ignored. This is unloving. But true love is difficult, it makes sinners squirm. A hatred of life is a hatred of the author of life. All should confess their sin before Christ and seek His forgiving Gospel. No one is exempt from the failure to love the neighbors we have been given.

Woe to those who speak of their holiness and love and do not repent daily of their sin against the Father. Before the public scandal of his adultery, sexual molestation, and confession of being addicted to internet pornography, Joshua Duggar claimed to have been sexually “pure” before marriage. That is an offensive denial of sin and a lowering of the 6th commandment, which demands total sexual purity in mind and words before the holy Lord, not just avoiding physical fornication. He is actually better off now, because he and the world knows he is not holy, he is a real sinner. No one is pure before God, so to claim so is pure hypocrisy and the opposite of relying on Christ the sin-bearer. “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt. 5). Thankfully, Christ died for sexual sin too, but we cannot continue to be ruled by it and be free in Christ at the same time.

Christianity has the important teaching of sin. Our original corruption, from the moment of conception, means we cannot love as God wills. All our talk of love and doing God's will accomplishes nothing. Who gladly suffers for loving the neighbors that God chooses to give us against our will? Only by perverting the word “love” can it be claimed by man. But the teaching of sin actually preserves God's love. What we do not deserve, God the Son did out of love for unloving mankind. His love is the only true, pure love. He loved us before we could, by putting away sin. So we live not by our own purity, but by the pure righteousness of the Son of God who died for us.

Renewed in Christ we know and choose to love, as a conscious action. But this spiritual love is never without the Spirit, given us in Baptism, or the neighbors He gives. Without Christ the Lord, there is no love. But now we know exactly who to love: the weakest the Lord puts in our path. In Christ there is love for us and all people. Amen.