By Pastor Ken Hutcherson and Pastor James Hansen
A man named Christian went to the doctor because he was having anxiety attacks. His symptoms included mental fatigue, intestinal weakness and acute spinal flaccidity. In addition, when his attacks were most severe, he would experience tunnel vision and slurred speech. The frequency of such events was making Christian's life not only difficult, but almost unbearable. Because of the severity of the disorder, the doctor wanted to perform multiple tests to ensure the proper diagnosis.
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The first thing the physician did was to rule out any sort of genetic disorder. Unfortunately, a review of Christian's family history showed no contributing factors whatsoever. In fact, his father remains the picture of perfect health.
The doctor proceeded next with a visual examination of the patient. When Christian disrobed, the doctor noted that he appeared to be a relatively healthy individual, in good shape for a person his age. Other than some yellowish discoloration on his back, there was no visual indication of the patient's declining condition.
But then a CAT scan substantiated the doctor's suspicions as to the cause of this man's ailment. Christian was suffering from an anomalous disorder that enlarges a person's heart while simultaneously reducing its capacity to properly function. This was not the first time the doctor had seen these symptoms, though. It has risen to epidemic levels and is a communicable disorder that can affect even the healthiest of individuals. It is known as PTS, or Preferential Treatment Syndrome.
Maybe you're suffering with this disorder. From what we've been reading and hearing, a number of Christians are showing these symptoms across the country. Case in point, the Christian Post recently ran a three part series of articles suggesting ways in which the evangelical community should love homosexual couples who come into the church. What we would like to know, though, is why all the preferential treatment?
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If sin is sin, then why single out homosexuals as a special class of people? Duke Tabor, pastor of Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Pine Haven, Wyo., suggested that if he were to see a same-sex couple coming into his church, he would come down from the stage and welcome them with an embrace. Well, bravo.
Our first question is, "Wouldn't you give a hug to anyone who came into your church?" So why single them out? Have Christians become so fearful of being falsely labeled as "haters" that they have to trip all over themselves just to disprove a negative? If sin is sin, why not intentionally seek after the tax cheat, the kidnapper, the domestic abuser or the necrophiliac and give them a warm embrace? We'll tell you why: Because those sins don't have a lobby behind them that openly berates those who don't support their lifestyle choice. Our culture has an allergy to righteousness, and Christians are trying to give out spiritual Sudafed so people will listen.
Our second question is a little more controversial, but the aforementioned articles address it so much that it should be asked. Namely, "Who says there aren't gradations of sin?" While every sin is an affront to God, are we really to assume Scripture makes no distinctions between them? For instance, in John19:11, Jesus looked at Pilate and told him, "The one [meaning Caiaphas] who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin." He didn't speak to the issue of greater punishment. He didn't say, "You know, Pilate, you've sinned, the high priest sinned, Judas sinned, that guy who ate shellfish with unclean hands over there sinned … you've all sinned and I'm not happy with any of you." An honest reading of Scripture forces us to consider that the cliché "All sins are equal" might be nothing more than an excuse to do even greater evil.
Should homosexuals be singled out? Should they be given preferential treatment? They demand it. The media rally for it. And by listening to a lot of Christians you'd think that winning the homosexual over to Christ was the Holy Grail of evangelism. But is this God's perspective? We submit that God want us to love people. Period. Case closed. As in, "Stick a fork in it." When we start giving preferential treatment to people because of their background, we aren't giving a healthy picture of God's immeasurable and global love.
So what's the cure for PTS? How can this disorder be overcome? How can you get your stiff spine, clear voice and broader vision back again? We recommend that you consult your Physician, get a shot of Scripture, take two sinners to lunch, and then call them in the morning. Repeat these instructions daily and you'll be loving people for Jesus' sake instead of your own.