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Joined: 2005/11/1
Posts: 9

 Affirmation or Transformation?

Affirmation or Transformation?

Ordination of openingly homosexual persons and same sex marriages are again in the news. Several mainline denominations have had open dialog on these matters and are trying to put this issue to rest by coming up with compromises. It seems this issue will just not go away. I can understand corporations having to deal with issues like this in the workplace but I can't seem to understand why denominations based on the Bible are even considering these things.
I recently heard a very interesting segment on NPR's Morning Edition that seemed to put this issue into a better perspective. They interviewed people on both sides of the issue from a very well-known denomination. But the statement that seemed to be most significant was the statement from one of their theologians. He said that his church was divided over what he called "two competing gospels". One was the "gospel of transformation" that changed people's lives. The other gospel is the "gospel of affirmation"; that instead of changing people, God simply affirms people how He finds them. This seemed to make the issue very clear to me.
If the "gospel of affirmation" is true, then we don't want to change the people in jail, we just want to affirm them just the way they are. "We all know you are a thief but that's okay. You were probably born that way". The concept of "sin" (breaking the law) has been left behind with the new concepts concerning tolerance and acceptance of wrong being preached. All of us come into this world with a tendancy to do wrong but we are capable of doing right. We make choices every day. If we are not capable of doing right, then we are not responsible for the wrong we do. If fact, this puts the concept of "wrong" in question. Can there be wrong if we can only do what we are doing? I do believe that we can resist sin to a point but if we are not changed from within we do not have the power to consistently resist sin. A sinner may try to not sin, but eventually he will. He lacks that power to consistently overcome sinning.
That's why I believe in the Gospel of Transformation. I believe that as bad as we are when we arrive on planet earth (and we get even worse as be continue without remedy), we can change through a relationship with the Almighty God. Through repentance and surrender to the Lordship of God, we are provided with a power to resist the evil we used submit to. We first find forgivness for our past and then we realize the potential for deliverance from the bondage of sin.
If I didn't believe that a person, any person, could really change for the better, I would not be a jail chaplain. I have seen people with my own eyes that been transformed by establishing a relationship with Almighty God. Through repentance and confession, these people have started out in a new direction for their lives. Where once they had no hope, now they walk with a new way of thinking and acting. It is only through the Gospel of Transformation that this change can happen.

Dennis Marks

 2006/4/3 12:30Profile
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    Re: Affirmation or Transformation?habakkuk32006/5/9 16:38:48
        Re:2006/5/9 18:22:24
            Re:Tears_of_joy2006/5/9 19:54:26
                Re:2006/5/10 7:31:33
                    Re:2006/5/10 7:38:18
                        Re:Tears_of_joy2006/5/10 18:02:43
                            Re:2006/5/11 6:47:57

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