I write in response to Dan Rodricks' column, "Same-sex unions: What would Jesus do?" (Oct. 25). I more or less agree with his befuddlement with the "extravagant manifestations" of modern day religious Christianity. Nevertheless, his personal opinion concerning what Jesus would do in regard to homosexual marriage runs counter to Christian doctrine.
The Bible preaches repentance, not unconditional love to those in willful rebellion against God. Mr. Rodricks makes the common error of confusing God's unconditional love for those who have repented and turned to him in faith, as manifested in Christ's sacrificial death on the cross, with a generalized, sentimental acceptance of all behaviors that dismissed the evils of sin and the severity of God's response to it. This is a fatal mistake.
He quotes from the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Is he really trying to suggest that Christian opposition to homosexual marriage persecutes the righteous? The Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin, one of many, and it must be understood that all sin is worthy of death.
The expression "worthy of death" in Romans 1:32 isn't a reference to capital punishment or some form of misguided vigilante "justice," but rather an acknowledgment of their rebellion and that they are deserving of the physical death we all face because of sin. It should be noted that physical death isn't even the most severe punishment, eternity in hell is.
One of the reasons for the vehemence of orthodox Christian opposition to homosexuality and same-sex marriage is that the most radical of those involved in it are no longer just seeking tolerance of their lifestyle, but rather acceptance, approval and legal protection. Without a doubt, it would be good to hear more passionate Christian preaching rejecting fornication, adultery, hypocrisy and especially what many mistakenly consider "minor" sins, as the deadly offenses to God as well. And not just to the general public but also the church, for judgment and repentance must begin with the people of God.
In conclusion, it is clear from Biblical teaching that Jesus, if confronted by someone advocating same-sex marriage, would, while treating them with compassion, tell them to, "repent for the kingdom is at hand," and to "believe in me" and "go and sin no more."
Robert Gellert, Glen BurnieCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times