10/7/18 – Don’t Condemn Others

Posted on : Oct 4th, 2018 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

The scripture for this Sunday is one of the most loved and often quoted scriptures in the Bible.  It’s John 3: 16 – For God so loved the world that God gave God’s only Child, that whoever believes in that Child should not perish but have eternal life.”  To me, that scripture makes no sense without the next verse:  “For God sent that Child into the world, not to condemn the world, but that through that Child, the world might be saved.”

That first verse of scripture, John 3: 16, has been used by just about every Evangelist to convince people to become Christians.  BUT – and this is a big BUT – John 3:16 is not about individuals who do not accept Christ perishing, it is about God’s magnificent love for everyone.  No exceptions.

Fifteen years ago, one of the dear Saints of the Christian Community, Rev. Howard B. Warren, entered God’s eternal presence after a life filled with truth-telling and advocacy.  Whenever Christians tried to condemn gay or lesbian people, Howard would open his Bible and say, “What are you talking about?  There’s no asterisk in my Bible!  It says, God loves everybody – no exceptions.  You’re reading the Bible as if there is an asterisk above “all” that says “Except women, gays, lesbians, trans folks, feminists, and anybody else you don’t like.  That’s your reading of the text, not God’s!” 

He’s was so right.  John 3: 16-17 is not about God condemning people, its’ about God’s unimaginable love for everyone – even those we don’t like!

This Sunday we’re going to do a little exploration of just what the words of this text that we translate in English as “the world” mean.  The original Greek in this New Testament story is not about what God loves, it’s about who God loves.  And it is a very fitting teaching for the Sunday on which we celebrate World Communion.

More on Sunday.

Blessings,

Dan

John 3: 16-17


For God so loved the world that God gave God’s only Child, that whoever believes in that Child should not perish but have eternal life.  For God sent that Child into the world, not to condemn the world, but that through that Child, the world might be saved.”

 

Leave a Reply