"Why? Why? Why?"
We are constantly being told (by the media) to blame God for serious crimes.
But God is not responsible for these crimes.
We do them to each other of our own free will.
God is blameless.
We are constantly being told (by the media) to seek justice in the form of severe punishments.
"Lock them up and throw away the key."
"Make them suffer."
"Burn in hell forever."
But Jesus said to forgive those who wrong you.
God does not punish sinners.
He loves them also.
He does not condone what they do.
But He does not hate sin.
This does not make evil O.K..
God transcends worldly things.
One definition of holiness is without evil or sin.
The reason for suffering is sin.
The reason for sin is fear.
Fear is forgiven.
Rehabilitation, re-education, reconciliation.
These are God's ways.
Jesus does this when he tells the man healed of an evil spirit to go and tell the Pharisees he has been made clean and can be reconciled with society.
We are constantly told (by the media) to throw rocks at sinners, especially sex offenders.
This recalls the woman taken in adultery.
Jesus says, "'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'" John 8:7b (NRSV)
After they have all left he says to her, "'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?'" John 8:10b.
Then, "'Neither do I condemn you. Go your way and from now on do not sin again.'" John 8:11b (NRSV)
It has been pointed out that Jesus tells her not to sin again.
But it depends what you call sin.
Many of those opposed to homosexuality say that this applies to us.
That homosexuality is a sin.
But I disagree.
Homosexuality is no more a sin than heterosexuality.
Most people who commit serious crimes do not want to do what they are doing.
If they knew that they could appeal to God and be relieved of their sin they would be overjoyed.
But they do not.
We can pray for them to understand and be relieved of their demons.
Some say that homosexuality is a demon.
It is not.
Homosexuality is love - love for someone of the same sex.
Those who oppose homosexuality are gripped with fear - fear of transgression, fear of hell.
But there is no hell.
Homosexuality is love - love for a person of the same sex.
(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.)