God’s gag reflex

Jesus-Reaching-Out

photo: iStock

Does God have a gag reflex? 

A few days ago, Thabiti wrote about how our discomfort (what you might call the “yuck” factor) should cause us to examine what we believe about homosexuality. Naturally, this cheesed off our friends in the “progressive” camp. Reading one response in particular was fascinating. The author asks the question: “what if Jesus had a gag reflex?

  • What if Jesus had felt revulsion instead of compassion for the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years?
  • What if he had been repulsed by lepers instead of embracing them?
  • What if he had been disgusted by the putrid smell of Lazarus’ corpse, instead of raising his friend from the dead?

In many ways, I appreciate where the author’s coming from. Who among us doesn’t praise God for His compassion and mercy? Woe to us if we overlook this essential quality of our great God and Savior…

And yet, a question remains:

Does God have a gag reflex?

The Lord is merciful and compassionate; He is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love—we cannot hope to reach the end of His great love for His people!

And yet…

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him,” writes Solomon (Proverbs 6:16). What are these things? What could be so offensive to the Lord?

Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 6:17-19)

What trigger’s God’s gag reflex? Prideful, malicious, schemers; liars who sow discord and encourage disunity… these the Lord hates. They are an abomination to Him.

And these are not the only things the Lord declares repugnant:

  • idolatry (Deut. 27:15)
  • the devious person (Prov. 3:32)
  • the ways and thoughts of the wicked (Prov. 15:9, 26)
  • arrogance (Prov. 16:5)
  • those who justify wickedness (Prov. 17:15)
  • scoffers (24:19), adultery and sexual immorality (Ezekiel 22:11)
  • homosexuality (Rom. 1:26-27)
  • evildoers (Psalm 5:5)
  • robbery and wrong-doing (Isa. 61:8)
  • disobedience to parents (Rom. 1:30)

All this, and much more, is disgusting to the Lord.

God hates sin.

All sin. 

All the time.

Under all circumstances.

He does not take sin lightly. Remember what Jude wrote our Lord’s response to unbelief and rebellion:

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 5-7)

Jesus, Jude tells us, led the Israelites out of Egypt—and then destroyed those who did not believe. The rebellious angels were imprisoned by Jesus. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by Jesus.  The hell prepared for the Devil and his angels (Matt 25:41) was prepared by Jesus!

Jesus really, really hates sin.

Think on that for a moment. Really let it sink in.

God—the One who made the world and everything in it, the One who holds all things together with but a word—has declared what is right and what is wrong.

Our opinions on the issue don’t matter one bit.

Woe to us, therefore, if we ever call anything “good” which God has called “evil.” Shame on us if we ever call anything “evil” which God has declared “good.”

Jesus hates sin. 

He hates it so much that He became it so those who would believe should not have to suffer its consequences.

Be compassionate, yes. Without question, embrace those who are burdened by their sin. Absolutely, shower the homosexual community with great love and affection in the name of Christ.

But do not use “compassion” as an excuse for failing to call all who sin to “repent, for the kingdom of heaven at hand” (Matt. 4:17).

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  • Kim Shay

    Thanks for this, Aaron.

  • hannah anderson

    I’ve been wrestling with this too over the last several days. I don’t quite understand how some reject Anyabwile’s attempt to condemn ss relationships on physical realities and then themselves try to condemn it based on spiritual ones. Sin is the ultimate “yuck” factor. When you say that these actions are sinful, you are saying that they are against the laws of God and nature. Curious about that disconnect.

    I do understand how it is wrong to selectively apply the “gag reflex” to certain sins–this is Pharisaical and must be condemned. But the idea of a repulsion against sin isn’t intrinsically flawed. Jesus Himself in Revelation 3 talks about spewing lukewarm believers out of his mouth.

    • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

      Absolutely. That’s why I appreciated what Thabiti was saying about the “gag reflex”—not to use it to determine your stance, but an opportunity to examine why you feel that way, which most importantly means searching the Scriptures for what God has to say on the subject (either in particulars or principles).

      Good call on pointing out Revelation 3!

  • Doug

    Spot on Aaron! Great post. Thank you.

    • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

      Thanks Doug!