“HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill asked Carter on Tuesday whether he believes Jesus would approve of gay marriage, and Carter said he does.

‘I believe Jesus would. I don’t have any verse in scripture. … I believe Jesus would approve gay marriage, but that’s just my own personal belief. I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else, and I don’t see that gay marriage damages anyone else,’ he said.”

President Carter’s remarks (June 30, 2015) reported on Huffington Post’s website reflects a growing influence among professing Christians to simply ignore plain scripture on social and moral problems, or have no interest whatsoever in them, just as long as their belly is full, cable sitcoms work and Starbucks is open.

After all, social and moral situations have been around since ‘Heck was a pup’ and no judgments have been wanting. Christians have no right to judge any man’s faith or salvation on a private whim, but Christians do have a responsibility to “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24) and believe what God says above any man’s opinion—including mine. Furthermore, whether a person ‘marries’ a goat, human, or alien is his/her/its business, not mine—just as long as they don’t require me to foot the bill for the reception dinner.

The former President says, “I don’t have any verse in scripture…” Of course he doesn’t! We should ask Jimmy Carter, where and how did he get this omniscient opinion of Jesus’ view on gay marriage? Did Jesus appear privately to him and tell him Deity’s views on gay marriage? From a Chinese fortune cookie? From little blue creatures in flying saucers? Out of a Georgia peanut shell? No. The printing press was obviously abused simply because Jimmy Carter was elected to the office of President once upon a time. A man’s opinion is just a man’s opinion and he has a perfect right to express it, as others have a right to totally repudiate it. Huffington Post evidently thought Carter’s opinion was very critical to our spiritual, mental and moral progress. Throw in practiced political mumbo-jumbo and make sure ‘love’ is thoroughly mixed into it…Voila! An idiotic statement that says nothing, means nothing, changes nothing. A beautiful cloud without water in a dry and thirsty land.

Actually, Huffington Post should receive a dumbo award for making one man’s ‘opinion’ a news item. Too many news agencies habitually report when a dog bites a man and never report when a man bites off a dog’s leg. Now that would be news!

Politicians, preachers and all others, regardless of titles, achievements, or flops have no authority apart from the word of God to say what Jesus would or would not do. All of our knowledge of the Person of Christ comes from the Bible. Without the word of God, mindless Christians shift into endless, silly debates and disputations, all on whether this or that is what Jesus would do (WWJD).

At the same time, we readily admit there are some divine “gray areas” on personal beliefs and practices by a Christian. God doesn’t tell anyone how to lace their shoes or whether they can wear ‘Crocs’ or even if they must wear a white wedding dress. ‘White’ is not seen at a Chinese wedding simply because white in China is the color representing death. Some punctilious Baptists might even wonder after a few years if they had the right colors when “I do” was pronounced. In fact, the word of God allows a great deal of personal liberty on how or where a ‘wedding ceremony’ is to be held. In various cultures there are wide differences in what constitutes a ‘proper marriage’. Some of us that attempt to get the word of God into remote areas are faced with hard decisions. We had established a church where there had never been a church or sustained Bible witness. I ‘officiated’ a multiple wedding ceremony in the remote jungle village where 13 couples were married at once—each man to his ‘favorite’ wife—his other ‘wives’ looked on with disinterest. The village insisted on a ‘Western marriage ceremony”. When I gave the words, “You may kiss your bride” gasps of surprise went up from the crowded church, every face turned a blushing red glow even under the brown skin—they never displayed in public such shameful, blatant immorality!  The polygamist culture was forced by the government to have a ceremony in order to establish an official record of who was married to whom. The culture had been polygamist for centuries. Had I demanded the other wives to be cast out, they along with their children would have starved to death in the jungle for there was nowhere else they could go. Perhaps there was a wiser choice, but we wanted to continue our work there, preaching the gospel, and gradually teaching the precepts of the word of God in that devil worshipping culture. Later, when some accepted the gospel and understood that God intended one woman to one man, the polygamy stopped in many of the families. After pastoring in USA churches for over 20 years and knowing what goes on in some ‘marriages’ I know that many certificates on the wall are meaningless paper because some ‘Christian’ scoundrels sit in church on Sunday with their ‘certificate’ wife beside them, while their other wife–or wives—sit on the other side of the church, waiting until their Monday night tryst. I don’t see much difference in one pagan and another.

The Bible covers major doctrines in clear words in many places, so that no question remains on these basic principles, while lessor matters allow personal liberty in life. The Bible differs from all other ‘books of religion’ in this regard. True Christianity allows for great latitude in certain beliefs, different cultures, and also states in no uncertain terms, definite doctrine and practice on critical matters that are beneficial to mankind.

Does this mean I agree that gender is no issue in marriage? By no means! Common horse sense knows that had God created all horses male, there would be no horses beyond that first generation. As one preacher said, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”.

Whether a person chooses to be in a “gay” or “straight” relationship-call it marriage-call it partnership-call it whatever you may-it matters not; if there is no belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. What a person has or does in this short present life means nothing compared to possessing eternal life. 1John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. There are too many well meaning, but ignorant Christians, who spend all their efforts trying to force the Kingdom of God upon an unconverted world. It is also true that since salvation is not based upon our good or bad works, a “gay” “child abuser” “drunkard” “whore” “drug addict” “Bible corrector” “adulterer” “church hopper” “pew warmer” “pornographer” “negligent father” “liberal” “conservative” etc., etc., can also be saved. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Otherwise, would not any sin (by commission or omission of works) eliminate all salvation? There is no such thing as a $5, $50, or $100 sin before God according to Romans 3:23. Before we accuse others of whatever ‘evil’ and ‘wicked’ thing they do, we should take a long, hard look at ourselves. That might make us temper our judgments on others with grace and mercy.

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:23-26)

It is very easy to point our index finger at others’ sins and forget there are three on the same hand pointing back at us. Paul, God’s selection to be the “apostle and teacher of the Gentiles” was not ashamed to also lay title to “chief of sinners” and make this confession:

Rom. 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 

Rom. 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 

It is an easy matter to preach that a Christian should “live right” but how a Christian does that is not possible when an old man (the flesh) nags, haggles and hangs on until we drop in the ground. How can we judge a ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ and charge them with a ‘$100 sin’ while allowing our own sins to be only a “$1.00 sin”? Where is the man or woman who will deny that a battle against carnality (of whatever kind or kinds) does not also rage within them? If they can be found, their own denial condemns them, for the word of God also says:

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)

It would indeed be “a wonderful world” to some if everybody followed the word of God, rightly interpreted, as long as it was what they believed—then there would be no bad marriages, poverty, political crooks, divorces, sexual dysfunctions and thousands of other sins they could catalog. But when God closed the Garden gate on Adam and Eve, they walked out into a sordid, sweaty, grimy, short life, dying world where the death rate for its mortal inhabitants has been one a piece for at least 6,000 years. I would love to be very optimistic about man’s future rise to ‘superman’ by his own bootstraps, but when everything man has put his hand to for over 6000 years had a fatal flaw built into it…Well, it’s hard to think the prospect of human perfection is realistic. A biblical phrase runs through my mind every time a ‘new’ cure for our ills trumpets a bombastic blast of positivity: “vanity of vanities…all is vanity…all is vanity…vanity of vanities.”

God does promise to make it what it should be at some future date. We are also told that until that Day, we may be assured it will get much worse down here “under the sun”. From my little corner of this unfathomable universe it seems the only hope of having earthly joy and real peace, is to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and learn what future blessings are promised you “above the sun”. Then, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, giving all others “a little slack” while realizing that but for the grace of God I would be without any hope.