Psalm 51, Updated Edition

Photo on 7-23-15 at 2.31 PM

Jesus was wrong. But just sometimes. Specifically when it comes to gay marriage. That’s what Brandon Ambrosino informed us of on Wednesday.

Who knew? The Church, and apparently Jesus, has gotten it wrong for all of these years. Thankfully, we have the Internet to help us.

Jesus never was wrong (John 14:6). Quite frequently, people are (see: Internet). And they’ll go to great lengths to make their wrongness feel right (see also: Internet, evening news, Washington D.C.). Even if it means rewriting the Bible or making their own little image of a god that is more approving of their lifestyle.

We’ve come a long way since David. You remember him, right? He sinned. He committed adultery, he abused his power and he killed a man in order to cover it all up. But rather than trying to build his identity around these sins or take his eraser and red pen to the Bible in an effort to feel better about his sin, David did something really countercultural.

He confessed his sin.

And he repented of it.

Followers of Jesus are different from everyone else. That difference doesn’t exist because we don’t sin and they do. No, what separates Christians from everyone else is what we do with our sin. Unbelievers, even the deeply religious ones, tend to build their house on their sin. It becomes the flag that they wave and the badge that they carry. Everyone else, including God, must deal accordingly.

Believers are different because they ask Jesus to tear down their house of sin. Daily. Our identity in Christ supersedes our sexual, racial or societal identity.

After being confronted with his sin, David didn’t sue Nathan the Prophet for daring to not mind his own business. No, David’s eyes were suddenly opened to the depth of his depravity.

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Psalm 51:3-6 (ESV)

Sadly, today’s Psalmists sing a different song.

For I have no transgression, and my sin does not exist. God, since you are not concerned with justice and truth, you have no right to judge me. I was brought forth in iniquity. So that makes my so-called problem my parent’s fault. Or biology’s fault. Or yours. Anyone’s but mine. I delight in ignoring my inner being and I rely on the faulty wisdom of my own heart.

When David was made aware of the dangerous construction job going on in his heart, he asked God to destroy it.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:10-12 (ESV)

But why bother with a new heart when the old one feels oh so right?

My heart is pure, O God, and my spirit is strong, wild and free. Cast me not away from my passions and take not ecstasy from me. Accept my conditions for salvation, and affirm me in my sin. 

All men are created in the image of God. But Brandon Ambrosino has created a god in his own image. A god who, as he puts it, “Might someday find himself being asked to create wine at a gay wedding.”

The Bible presents a very different picture of Jesus. And it’s not a Jesus who shows up to gay weddings to turn their water into wine. Instead, it is a Jesus who condemns homosexuality and any other sin with the wine of his wrath.

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Revelation 14:9-11 (ESV)

It’s a dangerous business, changing the Bible and the God who wrote it in order to fit your desires. And it comes with eternal consequences.