Can people actually “withhold” the grace of God? Is God so powerless that people can commandeer his grace and then refuse it to other people?
One cannot help but ask these questions as you listen to the strange claims of Bishop Yvette Flunder, the lesbian bishop of San Francisco.
On a parallel plain, withholding grace would be the same as claiming the church can withhold salvation, or the Holy Spirit. The church has been given a lot of authority in the earth by Christ, but there is nothing in scripture that says it has the authority —or the ability— to withhold grace.
Granted the church should demonstrate the graciousness of God, but IF that demonstration were indeed withheld, an individual is not at the mercy of the church. Grace needs no mediator. Then too, one cannot demand grace the reacher and despise grace the teacher.
Flunder, like many of the gay christian movement, seek to make the fight about homosexuality a fight with the church. But it is God who established the truth and standards about sexual behavior, not the church. Its like fighting with the police because you don’t like stop signs. Of course, they would never admit that they are fighting against God, but instead have crafted a red herring religion.
Flunder’s speech to the black gay church conference in Atlanta (2006) begins at 5:41 on the video.The conference was held at Timothy McDonald’s First Iconium Baptist Church on Moreland Ave.
Here are some the more stranger remarks coming out of her mouth:
1. Its the church’s fault that homosexuals cannot answer God’s call. Its like being pregnant and not being able to give birth, she says.
2. Homosexuals have cried and prayed for God to take it [their homosexuality] away, but a look in the mirror the next morning proves that he hasn’t.
3. Religious gays are “prophetic” martyrs
4.You have to pretend to be straight to survive in the church
What any of this has to do with grace is a mystery. Grace, the bible teaches, is freely given from God to everyone. Because it is so freely given we are strongly cautioned not to take it for granted and continue sinning. Romans 6:1. In fact, God himself forbids that we do it.
The real motivation for Bishop Flunder’s speech isnt to somehow open the floodgates of grace to homosexuals in her movement, but to broker a seat at the table. Such motives however are clearly foreign to a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Although there is no possibility that grace can be withheld by people from people, the Bible is clear that truth can and is withheld by people from people.
For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness,because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shown it unto them. Romans 1:18,19
The appropriation of God’s grace is not a function of the church and has never been, but to keep her selfish agenda alive, Bishop Yvette Flunder suppresses that truth to her followers.
For more on the transitions of grace read this.