It’s said the Bible is a living testimony to God’s relationship with the people of his creation. Over the ages, guidance has been found in its writings originating in different lands and times by those who faithfully reported their observations, experiences, and received wisdom.

With the passage of time, the Bible has been translated from language to language, based on conflicting accounts of the disciples, clerical errors, and various political persuasions, all influencing the different editions we read today.

So, it’s with great interest I read that the Rev. Brad Hill, of Grace Downtown in Winchester, is seeking to more greatly guide his church toward “God’s words and his standards.” As a recovering addict who boldly declared his own history of sins, Hill has evidently chosen to close the door behind him on today’s chosen few, supposed sexual sinners (homosexuals, married and unmarried, and cohabitating heterosexual couples) in his flock.

I found a couple of points in the article perplexing. If he has “no business imposing (our) beliefs on the innocent children,” what is youth ministry all about?

If it’s Biblical that “man shall not lay down with man,” why was a married female couple with a strong commitment to ministry fired from their work?

If Hill is “not judging them,” what does he mean when Jesus had nothing to say about homosexuality and refused to judge a known adulteress? The New Testament affirms that Jesus dined with sinners, loved them, and healed them. We’re all sinners. See the Ten Commandments for a short list if you’re unsure.

Why are unmarried couples any less fit to work with children than others? Jesus mentioned sexual immorality in a list of unclean behavior including evil thoughts, murder, adultery, theft, false testimony (lying) and slander (speaking ill of others). Are any of us clean?

The Lord’s Prayer, a foundation of Christian belief with its tender praise for our Maker, asks that we be fed and led. Our only requirement is that we forgive one another as we are forgiven. Unforgettably, the final words attributed to Jesus who died for our sins were “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Reverend, thankfully, we’re assured that you’re forgiven, as we all are, for your well-intentioned but misguided efforts to follow God’s plan even when it means tearing apart the Body of Christ.

Deborah Bauserman is a resident of Winchester.

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