On October 6, 2014, I posted a Request to NAMB Trustees regarding our partnerships with non-Southern Baptist organizations in church planting. The Trustees were kind enough to offer their Prompt Reply, in which I discovered new information about our church planting process. Listed below are my comments and observations in light of their recent correspondence.
Does God hate sinners? Certain biblical texts in the poetic sections contain those statements. For example Proverbs 6:16-19, “There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.”
It is common to hear the LGBT community say the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. This is especially prevalent among those who claim to be Christians. “Nowhere does Jesus address homosexuality” is a constant refrain. Of course, nowhere does Jesus say anything about mainlining heroin either.
The enemy has always lied about our Heavenly Father from Genesis, where he convinced Adam and Eve they really didn’t matter to God, down to your life and mine. Today, I’m looking for that eighth word so you will know you matter to God. He knows where you are and is working on your behalf. But I also know you need something while you’re waiting: not rocks or a horse, but confidence.
Obviously, none of these uses of the word “dead” in Scripture imply “total inability.” Quite to the contrary, we often find that after people are described as being “dead” in one of the ways listed above, they are then invited in the following context to turn from death and practice life. So in passages like James 2:14-26 and Revelation 3:1-6, people are called to reverse their state of death by energizing their faith or repenting and returning to the way they used to live.