That’s the question du jour being circulated by the Metropolitan Community Churches, a homosexual christian denomination based in California. The self promotional campaign will coincide with its 40th anniversary. According to the MCC website:
The Would Jesus Discriminate? campaign is a highly effective method of opening up dialogue with individuals who are practicing spiritual violence as a result of bigotry. Some of them are doing so consciously, but most are just following the example or message given to them by their parents and grandparents, pastors and Sunday school teachers.
Notice the buzz words: “dialogue”, “spiritual violence”? So, the MCC wants to dialogue with people who are committing “spiritual violence”? A brief digression: I wonder if they have contacted the Fred Phelps camp for a friendly turkey biscuit sitdown? This campaign/promotion is a redux of an odd campaign launched by an Indianpolis gay church several years ago.
So, would the Jesus we all know and love actually discriminate? Let’s put the question to a biblical test, although I suspect the MCC isn’t concerned at all about what’s actually in the Bible. This is all about the fake, manmade jesus they have propped up. The fake jesus MCC helped to create in their own image and likeness is about as worthless as a wooden nickel. But that’s their religious freedom right.
First, let’s get an understanding of the pivotal word being used here. Discrimination is defined (Merriam-Webster) as:
1 a: the act of discriminating b: the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently
2: the quality or power of finely distinguishing
3 a: the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually b: prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment.
Thus, in one aspect discrimination is good, perhaps even necessary. In the other aspect, it may be negative, perhaps even punitive. But who gets to determine which definition is appropriate to use in matters of the church? Whose standard are we required to use when deciding which is applicable? And just who made the MCC the sole authority in concluding that the negative definition is the only one that can be applied? How did they arrive at that conclusion without any input from the scriptures?
The bible’s counterpart definition to discrimination is called discernment. Such discernment and its application is best defined in Leviticus 10: 8-10:
The LORD then spoke to Aaron, saying, “Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die—it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations— and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them through Moses.”
Discernment means that we must evaluate not only a person’s actions, but their intentions and motivations. Then, based on scripture, make a judgment about whether they can be included in the kingdom of God. If they don’t meet those requirements we are to lovingly direct them to the right way. Sometimes, rebuke of someone’s intentions are in order. We’re not talking about physical church attendance. There exists no requirements for attending church. And clearly, homosexuals attend churches of every denomination, but church attendance was never the primary focus of the scripture.
However, this “Discrimination campaign” is really not about spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16). It’s not about spreading the love of Christ nor it is about leading people into a right relationship with God. It’s a selfish, shameless promotional stunt to draw attention to the MCC.
We’ve already heard MCC’s prejudicial slant on the issue. They contend that because the church refuses to change it’s position on the inherent sinfulness of homosexual conduct and allow the unrestricted celebration of all things gay in the church, then that equates to spiritual violence. The strawman hath spoken and thus it is so.
But are there clear cases of discrimination in the Bible and are they justified? To keep things in context, let’s only survey the New Testament.
(1) The apostles forcefully deny a man entrance into the church based on his illigetimate attempt to get a “seat at the table”. (Acts 8:9-24)
(2) Jesus blocks access to God except a person comes through him. He brands all other “paths” as thieves and robbers. (John 10:1,2)
(3) Jesus rebukes the Pharisees because they practice God-less religion of self promotion. (Matt 23:1-6)
(4) John the Baptist denies people water baptism until they have repented and shown proof of their repentance. (Matt 3:7-9)
(5) The Apostle Paul instructs the Corinthian Church to kick a man out of the church and turn him over to satan because the man refuses to repent of his sexual immorality. (1 Cor 5:1-5)
(6) Jesus declares unless there is a spritual rebirth, no one can enter into the kingdom of heaven. (John 3:5-7)
(7) Jesus tells the self-promoting pharisees that some sinners will enter heaven before them. This is because the sinners will admit their sin and repent of it, but the pharisees continue to blindly embrace their sin. (Matt 21:31,32)
(8] Jesus rebukes a syro-phoenician woman for asking him to heal her daughter. He relents only after her faith in him moves him. (Mark 7:26-30]
(9) Jesus declares that failure to accept him means a person will be condemned. (John 3:18]
(10) Paul tells Timothy not to consecrate men into the bishopric unless they meet certain qualifications. (1 Timothy 3)
Yes, Jesus would and did discriminate.
And so should we. In these references, we see that both individuals and whole groups of people were “discriminated” against by Christ and his apostles. Their sole purpose was to protect the integrity of the church and to clearly establish requirements for inclusion in the kingdom of God. Their discrimination was not people-based, but in response to illegitimate attempts to gain access to God’s kingdom. No one was denied if they entered in “at the door”. In focusing on the priority of the kingdom, their actions and words were justified.
Despite these clear examples of justified discerment, the MCC and other gay christian groups want us to believe that telling people to repent of sin and enter in through one door is to be discarded. The MCC wants us to believe that a desire to get a “seat at the table” is the only criteria the church should use in determining what is good and right. The MCC wants us to believe that love has no responsiblity or requirements. But to do so is to abandon the very foundations of right and wrong that has guided the church since it’s birth 2000 years ago.
And when you worship a false, manmade jesus, you invariably will get false, manmade conclusions.