A Response to ATLAH Missionary Church on Stoning Homosexuals

I was recently reading the news and came across an article that featured an anti-homosexual sign that was put up by ATLAH World Missionary Church. As a Christian it was very upsetting to see that a supposed “Christian” church who claims to follow Jesus Christ would have such hateful words put up on their sign.

It is actions like these that give Christianity a bad name. The words on the sign which use Biblical references is nothing more than a twist of scripture that has been taken out of context. I would like to as a true believer in Jesus Christ, respond to these claims.

First and foremost Jesus would not and does not want to stone homosexuals, in fact Jesus loves them and this includes all sinners. Jesus in fact loved all of us (even though sinners) so much that he willingly gave up His own life to save us. This can be seen in John 3:16:.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life

We can also see that according to the Word of God, Jesus doesn’t want anybody to perish, but want all to repent and come to him. This can be seen clearly in 2 Peter 3:9 -

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent

If Jesus Christ truly wanted to stone homosexuals, then He would want to do the same to each and everyone of us who have sinned against Him in any other way. This would of course mean everybody in existence today. The death of Jesus Christ would have been completely in vain, and would mean nothing if Jesus wanted to stone sinners. What is the point of dying for a people you want to destroy anyway?

Jesus Christ is a God of love, compassion, grace and mercy, and He does not want any of His creation to die, He loves everybody no matter how bad or evil they are.  Jesus hates the sin, not the sinner.

Now to address the scripture verses that were put up on the sign in order to support your claims of Jesus Christ wanting to or being in favor of stoning homosexuals.

A Closer look at their “Supporting” Bible Verses

Lets begin with:

VERSE#1 – Matthew 5:17 which says:

Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.  So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

What Jesus Christ is trying to get across here is that He didn’t come to get rid of the law, but he came to accomplish their purpose.

So what was the purpose of the law?

The purpose of the law was to make the Israelites aware of their sins, and to show them their need for a Savior.  In fact the law was only given as a temporary thing until Jesus Christ came along to fulfill its purpose.  This can be seen in Galatians 3:19:

Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people.”

When Jesus died on the cross He took all of the punishment for our sins upon Himself and therefore fulfilled the requirements of the old law. The old law while the concepts and ideas still exist, the acts and practices of that law have been replaced by the blood of Jesus Christ’s death.  This is the benefit of the new covenant that was made to us.  We are no longer bound by the old law.  We can see this in Romans 7:4-6:

So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God. 

When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death.  But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.”

VERSE #2 – John 8:1-11

“Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.   As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery.   The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.  They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”  Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.  Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”“No, Lord,” she said.  And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

It’s a bit odd that this scripture would be included as a “Supportive Verse” for Jesus Christ condoning the stoning homosexuals, because while the story here does deal with stoning it deals with the stoning of  an adulterous woman.  However, that aside, I guess the point that ATLAH is trying to make is that Jesus did not attempt to rebuke the teachers of the law and the Pharisees when they asked if it was okay to stone the woman.  Thus Jesus is for stoning of sinners in this particular case, homosexuals.

What this scripture is showing is actually the opposite, the Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus and asked if it was alright to stone this woman just as it had been so in the law of Moses.  Jesus instead of rebuking it out rightly uses this situation to teach the crowd a lesson.  Basically Jesus said “Sure go ahead and stone this women, but let the first person without sin cast the first stone.”

Obviously nobody but Jesus Christ is without sin, and Jesus knew this, and when He was the only one left, the only one who had the right to condemn and stone her, He says something remarkable, which shows He is not for the stoning of homosexuals or any sinners.  He asks where are all you accusers? Did not one of them condemn you?,  the woman answers “No” and then Jesus answers and neither will I, go and sin no more.

Had Jesus Christ wanted to stone her or any other sinners, do you not think He would have jumped at the opportunity?  Or do you think Jesus would have kept quiet and just agreed to her being stoned by the accusers?  Clearly Jesus died that we all may find Him, and live.

VERSE#3 & 4 – Leviticus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 17: 5-7 (verses below respectively)

“If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense”

“then the man or woman who has committed such an evil act must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death.  But never put a person to death on the testimony of only one witness. There must always be two or three witnesses.  The witnesses must throw the first stones, and then all the people may join in. In this way, you will purge the evil from among you”

These verses are part of the old testament law that was accomplished when Christ came and the new covenant was made with all people, as proven and stated above.  These verses while important because they give us a foundation of God’s character and His overall view of sin and what He regards as sinful.    The old testament should not be forgotten or disregarded, however, we have to remember the work that was done on the cross by Jesus Christ, and that it took the way that that sin was originally dealt with and changed it.

As Christians it is crucial that we remember that we are not perfect, we are sinful just like any other person on earth.  We may not sin in the way others do, or we may live more righteously through the help of Jesus Christ, but we are not better or more holy than anybody else.  The bottom line is that we are called to love our enemies, and to share the love of Christ to unbelievers so that they will be drawn to and accept the good news of Jesus Christ.

A CHANGE IS NEEDED

We need to stop hating and judging others for what they are doing wrong.  Is that not the job of our Lord Jesus Christ?  Have we come to a place where we believe that we have the right to take the spot of Jesus Christ and judge others, instead of obeying Christ and loving others? Since when do we have the authority to rise above the words and teachings of  Jesus Christ?  Jesus tells us as clear as day in Matthew 7:1-5

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others.  The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

Don’t get me wrong there is a time that speaking out to individuals in the church who are living in sin is necessary in order to keep sinful ideas and actions from infiltrating and ruining the rest of the church body, but in those times the Bible tells us to speak the truth in love Ephesians 4:15

“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”

THE WHOLE POINT TO CHRISTIANITY

The whole point of Christianity; our whole mandate is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to others so that they may too be saved.  If we as Christians are spreading hate, and condemning sinners, and throwing their sins back in their faces, how then are we showing them anything different than what the world offers?  How do we expect the lost to embrace Christianity.  How do we expect to win the lost to Christ, if we don’t show them the love of Christ, and how much better we as people can be when we have Christ as our Lord and Savior?

 

 

 

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