Hello Fellow Cobbers!
Recently, my attention was drawn to the Concordian because of an article regarding Faith for Life, a quarterly publication put out by Fargo Baptist Church. In this article, the author spoke of how Fargo Baptist Church offended him through one of their articles, “The Bible and Sex.” He understood certain scripture used in this article to be both “homophobic and sexist.” Attaching these labels to anyone or anything is a serious claim. I was very concerned and hurt because I affiliate myself with Fargo Baptist Church. Primarily, I was concerned that others would understand my God and my faith to be hateful. Also, I was hurt that some of my friends who know me to be a gracious and loving person would consider my church to be “homophobic and sexist.” I cannot change what happened, but hopefully I can bring my friends to a better understanding of Fargo Baptist’s perspective through this article.
Fargo Baptist Church is a fundamental, conservative church. I am a fundamental, conservative Christian. What does this mean? This means that I apply basic Bible principles to my life in a literal way. If God’s word says it, I try to do it. The Bible teaches all people have gone their own way. “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to His own way…”(Isaiah 53:6). Not only liars and prideful people have gone their own way. All humans have gone astray from God. According to the Bible, we all are in the same condition. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”(Romans 3:23). I do not judge others to be beneath me because I am only a human being like everyone else.
According to God, I also fall short of God’s glory. In fact, I believe that I am the worst sinner I know. The apostle Paul so accurately worded this idea by saying, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (I Timothy 1:15). As a fundamental, conservative Christian, I believe that everyone needs God. Everyone? Yes, everyone needs God. I consider myself to be the most needy. At one point in my life, I cried out to God because I knew that I could never measure up to His standards without His help. I ask you to understand that Fargo Baptist Church is not being hateful. They are merely trying to draw attention to the sinful human condition. They do not single out one particular people group. They merely talk of sin because it causes us to call to God for help.
Do you know what the Bible says about people that call to God? “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”(Isaiah 55:7). God has mercy on all that call on Him. As a fundamental Christian I know that God is against evil. However, I also know God has infinite mercy. He says in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me and I will answer thee…” In verse eight of the same passage He says, “I will cleanse them from all their iniquities.” In Isaiah 1:18, God lovingly beckons the human race, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” The God of the Bible is just as loving as He is holy. Do not allow yourself to think that He is evil or hateful. He loves you. He wants you to belong to Him. Faith for Life has not neglected to tell people the good news of the Savior. There are other articles in this publication that explain God’s atoning sacrifice and great mercy. If you take the time to read the whole paper, you will understand that this is not a homophobic or sexist message.
I maintain that Fargo Baptist speaks the Word of God out of love. Did you know that one of the signs of a true Christian is that they love others? “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God…He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him…Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” (I John 4:7-11). This is exactly the reason I am hurt to be called homophobic and sexist. I have experienced God’s love, and I wish to share it with those around me. I know that my God loved the whole world so much that he “gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Please realize that Fargo Baptist Church’s message is a message of love and life. Christ came to the world to save us. There is no hate in the saving love of God. Thank you for sacrificing your time to reading this article. Please remember that I care about you and love you deeply. No matter who you are or what you do, I want to be there for you. God calls His children to love, and I love to follow His call.