Archive for the ‘welcoming but not affirming’ Tag

Does Jesus Practice “Welcoming, but Not Affirming”?

Jesus met up with lots of sins he couldn’t affirm–especially lifestyle sins.  But we only use the phrase “welcoming but not affirming” when we talk about gays and lesbians, not when we talk about sinners in general.  We’ve already seen that the phrase itself is murky, at best. Surely, there must be a Biblical precedent for how to welcome but not affirm gays and lesbians.  The church can’t possibly be using a method that Jesus himself would not endorse, and practice.  Since there are no visible gays and lesbians in the Bible, we’re going to have to expand to those other sins that Jesus encountered.  What did He do when He met up with greedy tax collectors, two adulteresses, a prostitute, the Pharisees as a group and as an individual, and rambunctious, argumentative disciples?

Jesus must be against greed. It’s a sin.  Now Zaccheus was a greedy little man, but Jesus went over to his house.  He eats there, accepts his food and family. He makes a public show of his acceptance to the whole crowd both outside and inside the house.  He doesn’t say anything against Zaccheus, neither privately or publically that we can find.  In fact, it is Zaccheus who repents because of this outpouring of acceptance.  So Jesus never affirmed greed, but he also never displayed any disgust, any judgment, any reprimand, any opinion against greed.  How do we know he didn’t affirm it?  We know Jesus. Oh, wait, he did have a tax collector as his disciple, Matthew.  We don’t know if Jesus ever publically rebuked Matthew.  But the words we know he said to this sinner, of whose sin he didn’t approve or affirm, “come follow me.”

Jesus can’t have approved of sexual sin. But he does meet up with an adulterous woman, a promiscuous woman, and a prostitute.

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