By Scott Tibbs, May 26, 2006
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." -- Matthew 3:19-20
Mark Carpenter responded to my letter in yesterday's paper.
The fact that a self-professed "liberal Democrat" is "greatly encouraged" that a Republican (David Sabbagh) and a Democrat co-sponsored Bloomington's "gender identity" ordinance reinforces my point about why I am disappointed in Sabbagh. I don't expect Republicans to follow the party line on all issues. In fact, if I were elected to a higher position such as state legislature, I am sure some of my positions on issues would be opposed by many (if not most) in my party.
What I do not expect is that Republicans will be out there advancing a Leftist social agenda and carrying the Democrats' water for them. I certainly do not support Republicans who advance an agenda in opposition to the firmly held beliefs of the Christian conservative base of the Republican Party. That is what Sabbagh did last month.
Carpenter makes two claims about my beliefs. The first is fairly accurate: the moral laws set forth in the Old Testament never change. Many of these moral laws (such as prohibition on sodomy) are reinforced in the New Testament, especially in Paul's writings. In Matthew 5:18, Jesus says "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (Emphasis mine.)
Carpenter goes on to state that I believe that "only 'the elect' (his group) have any right to receive the grace of God." That is not true.
I have said nothing about "the elect" being the only ones who are eligible for salvation by grace through faith. It is pure speculation on Carpenter's part as to what I believe on this matter. Zaltsberg, by the very standards he has personally applied to many letters to the editor in the past, should have spiked this particular statement as there is no evidence to back it up.
(For the record, I believe that everyone has been offered the grace of Jesus Christ to receive Him as Savior.)
Carpenter cites John 3:17, but should have continues reading the rest of the chapter. God did not need to send His Son into the world to condemn the world, because the world was already condemned. What Jesus represented was a Redeemer from the condemnation we have brought upon ourselves through sin.
Carpenter has it right when he says we are "justified by grace through faith", citing the Scriptures written by Paul. That does not mean that we are to continue in sin. Paul himself rebukes this false view of grace in Romans 6. Being saved is not a license to sin, it is freedom from sin and freedom to serve Jesus Christ.