Rockport Sermon

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Enduring the Ridiculous

Sadly, the Westboro Baptist "Church" has come to town again , spreading their vindictive non-Gospel of hatred and bigotry at a local High School that dared hold a funeral service for one of our brave, fallen warriors. As you might imagine, such visits put most of us historic, biblical Christians on edge, who understand that the Bible is to be read and believed, not waved around and wielded like a blunt instrument to savage and belittle those with whom we disagree.

I get embarrassed enough when genuine Christians do such ridiculous things. But it's worse when, what is clearly a cult in both it's belief and practice, puts itself in the headlines in a way that makes it easy for those outside of Christ to identify us with their hate-filled propaganda. How do we make it clear to the world that just because they've taken upon themselves the names "baptist" and "church," these folks have nothing to do with those who legitimately gather under those banners? How can we make it clear that they do not represent historic, biblical Christianity?

For one thing, we can make sure we don't engage our debates using their same tactics. Do we believe that homosexuality is sin? Yes, but it is not the unforgivable sin. It is sin like adultery is sin, and pornography. It must be repented of. It certainly invites God's wrath upon those who practice it. But let's be clear. So does hypocrisy and envy, selfishness and lying (see Romans 1:18-32 for the whole list!). The problem is not that one type of sin is more heinous than the rest. The problem is that we are all sinners in desperate need of God's grace through Christ. What does the Bible say?

As it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good, not even one."
Romans 3:10-12

Sin is a problem that touches and taints all humans, not just some. All of us have acted out or a rebellion against God that makes us worthy of death. Some by the misuse of their sexuality, others by the misuse of their tongues, but both sin. And both stand in need of the grace of God to be forgiven and reconciled to the God their sins have offended. That's why I'm so grateful for the many passages of Scripture that offer hope to sinners, rather than condemnation. Here is just a small sampling:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.
John 3:17

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
Romans 10:9

Repent, then, and turn to God,
so that your sins may be wiped out,
that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
Acts 3:19

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8-9

This is the message the world needs to hear, that anyone who comes to see their sin so that they turn from it to take hold of Christ by faith, believing that His death on the cross counts for them and that by trusting in His righteousness, they can receive as a free gift all that they need to be forever accepted by God. They need to understand that there is hope for any sinner who repents and embraces Christ and all He has done by faith. This is the promise of God, not for those who protest the sins of others, but for those who come to see in themselves, the worst of all sins and are thus moved to humbly bow before Him to receive what His grace alone can give.

My prayer is that those who gather at today's protest will hear that message, and not the arsenic-laced hatred that spews from the mouths of those who claim to speak for God, but in reality have never known Him. I ask God to help sinners -- heterosexual sinners as well as homosexual sinners and non-sexual sinners of every kind -- see their need for a Savior in Christ, and learn that they will be accepted by Him with open arms when they turn and come to Him by faith.

For that matter, if you are struggling with sin and wonder if you would be loved by our church if you showed up this Sunday, let me assure you that the answer is yes. We believe there is no sin from which God cannot cleanse the man or woman who comes to Him by repentance and faith in Christ

May God grant mercy,

S Scott Lee
Pastor, Rockport Baptist Church


M.A.C. said...


I hope you don't mind answering a couple of questions I am asking all believers everywhere;

Do you believe that God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to start a new religion called Christianity?

And if yes. Where is the text in the bible that supports the popular Christian belief that God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to start a new religion called Christianity?

Bob said...

no we don't

Scott said...

A religion? No, Jesus came to lay down His life for His sheep, to save His people from their sins and to form them into His church. It is He who has promised to build His church by the preaching of His Gospel. Yes, the church is important and the New Testament gives clear directives to how it ought to function, but much that passes for "christian religion" is far from the faith that is centered upon Christ.

M.A.C. said...


That is so true in fact I believe that denominational divergence is sectarianism and that it is sin.

Salvation is promised only to the repentant believer. If we do not turn from our sin we may be judged accordingly at the judgment seat of Christ on that final and fateful day.

Consider; Matthew 7

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Sounds like Jesus is talking about church folk here.