1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,
To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
2 Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.
For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
5 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
8 In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings.
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.
11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.
12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Now we deal with sides. I rather think Rodney King had an important message. And I wept with him, too. Still.
Let me tell you of one of the best days of my life.
I went to Easter at a soon to be relative's house. And I won't give you his name because - only because - he wouldn't want me to. I was an awkward youth going to the Most Beautiful House you've ever encountered in your life. It was a mansion, fully stocked with cook, maid and full time gardener. I was Nervous. And the Door Flung Open and this WONDERFUL Man threw open his arms and he wrapped me in his arms and he kissed me on the forehead and said "Call me "Nickname"!"
I am privileged to have known "Wonderful Man". He raised two daughters and never forgot their children. We had Santa for Christmas and the children never noticed his 50 year employed Butler and Handyman was African American. Santa gave heirloom, antique, rocking horses and Forts that would arrive with names on them. "Wonderful Man" gave his grandchildren cars when they graduated from college because he'd been without a car after his Ivy League education bottomed, rock bottomed, out at the start in the Great Depression.
"Wonderful Man" said he'd been without a car and knew the hardship, so his family would not be without cars.
Of course, "Wonderful Man" was indeed a Great Uncle and not a biological Grandfather.
I was privileged to see "W.M." raise holy cow anger tantrums, and hold my hand when my Daddy died. His Secretary worked for him for 50 years. Probably the Gardener, too. He talked about being out of work and going door to door to find a job. And usually, there was a girl friend.
When"W.M." was close to ninety years of age, he came out of the closet very privately. Because, seriously, it was very private. Because "W.M." didn't need our permission. And "W.M." didn't need people to discuss his private matters.
"W.M." did require respect and love. And when he died at age 94, we wept for months. He is very missed. "W.M." didn't run off with his friends. He was a Paterfamilias to his family. He didn't have biological children, but his children well remember his legacy of generosity, intelligent discourse, loyalty and love. We all recall seeing "W.M." see Paradise the week we sat by his side, knowing that the Hawaii he was telling us about, was his new Home.
Beloved, let us love one anther. Love is of God. Love covers a multitude of sins.
"W.M." was cremated, placed in his extensive family cemetery and his children, grand-children and great-grand children Wept. The Priest had on a white as snow vestment and when "W.M." was placed on the earth, the Good Priest wiped his hands with "W.M." ashes down his pristine vestments and said, "Jesus Christ displays this better. Jesus Christ makes us white as snow. His Love washes our sins away and makes us clean. He draws us into His Heaven."
Why did "W.M." keep us separate from his gay friends?
I grew up next door to two men who were gay in the Big City. For 15 years. Hal was the nicest man you'd ever meet. His partner was Not. The Partner growled at small children and I was afraid of him. He was not pleasant to my father or my brother. My mother took a pot roast to Hal one Friday night, behind their second wooden fence. My father asked her not to go as they were entertaining their regular Friday evening group. Let's say. She shouldn't have gone. My mom wishes to this day she hadn't gone.
We had two lesbians move onto our street in Dallas when I had young, young children. The neighbors were divided. The consensus was don't bother them, be polite, just be nice. That was ok. Until the children started screaming from their back yard during parties. Behind the 12 foot fence. And the police started arriving every Sunday afternoon until we were all relieved to see that the other part of the couple did move away.
I was in the Galleria with a friend and we were walking down a fairly isolated corridor and two very affectionate -to each other- men were spooning, as they walked. I had a 12 year old boy in front of me and he was aghast to see the spooning. He started to edge over to the side away from them. They bent over and ran, as if to get him. He CRIED OUT IN FEAR. They were pleased. We rebuked them and they laughed more.
I was in a Bible Study. I began to realize the interest from the woman next to me was not platonic. And then I realized she hadn't wanted me to notice, but now that I had noticed and was worried, she was rather enjoying the cat and mouse game. I have the unique experience of being asked to participate in a three way with two lesbians, who didn't think that I'd comment. One didn't think I caught on. Yes, she invited a lover to Bible Study. And I began to pray this would be revealed and it was. To the proper authority. Cloak and dagger Bible Study ended. Surely, no one thinks this is appropriate in Bible Study.
I volunteer at a Pregnancy Assistance Center. We had a lesbian client and our area experience and statistics say lesbianism is a wife with a husband who begins to be introduced to her hobbies and her friends and then back to the man. We were discussing this, and the Psychologist who works there, did agree, and said her fifty year old husband was invited to his co-workers lesbian household for dinner. He had to leave after dinner, it turned into a group spend the night - adults only - slumber party.
So what would I say to Perez Hilton?
I would say Jesus knew of what He spoke. The focus of the Gospel is Love. There is One who is Good and He Loves. I cannot cast the first stone. But I believe Jesus is right and Jesus loves.
I value what Jesus said and He said all of mankind falls short of His glory. Jesus did not cast His Children aside.
Father God! Thank you for the blessing of the love shown in My Loved One. Let us love one another for love is of You. We want You to be our Joy. Bring Love to be the highest calling in the land You would call Your own. Speak Joy, Love, Healing, Faith, Peace and we will reply "The Mouth of the Lord has Spoken!"
Guide us when we have stumbled, in Your Forgiveness we will live in Your Glory.
Be merciful to us when we doubt. Strengthen us in You, Lord Jesus. Let Your Great Love save us from fire of unbelief and the absence of Your Love. Teach us wisdom and mercy.
Only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †