It amazed me to read a front page article in The Madera Tribune on Tuesday about Pope Francis saying “who am I to judge?” of [chaste and celibate] gay priests.
If he is saying “who am I to judge” who goes to heaven or hell, he is right to not judge, but it seems he could have said “it is written” that God will judge the sexually immoral to the second death, the death of the soul.
It seems the work of the Pope should be to love people by speaking God’s truth and encouraging the reading and studying of the Bible, which can bring conviction, strength, and courage to the sincere to change. A renewal of the mind that changes the heart is the need. We have to think right about things before we can change; it does not matter the sin, if we can “see” the sinfulness of sin and how much it offends God, it helps to resist the temptation to sin.
When a Christian sins and confesses, God does forgive, and it is written that He remembers the sin no more. My understanding is that God will not hold the sin against the Christian, but he does not forget. He is Omniscient, how can he forget?
As humans, when we are offended, we can forgive, but we don’t forget the offense. True forgiveness will not hold the offense against the offender or keep the one offended in bondage to the emotional burden of unforgiveness.
The Pope wants the emphasis of the church to be inclusive and merciful, which it should be, but not by disregarding what God says is right or wrong.
A professing Christian who is living in habitual active sin that God will judge to the second death, is to be disciplined by the church for the sake of the sinner. There is a saying; a rotten apple will eventually spoil the whole barrel. If someone is unwilling to forsake a sin that leads to the second death, for the sake of the church, they must be removed so the whole church is not corrupted by condoning or taking up the same sin.
We need to remember, God is love, but also holy. God’s love and holiness is hugely misunderstood. God loved His Son, but caused Him to be put to death to satisfy His holiness. It would be nice if church leaders would focus on God’s love and how it relates to His holiness.