By Scott Tibbs, October 23, 2004
The folks from the Old Paths Baptist Church returned to Bloomington today, waving signs such as "God hates fags" and "AIDS cures fags". As usual, they drew a crowd. I certainly believe the OPBC have the right to free speech. However, I wish they would stay away because of the extreme manner in which they spread their message.
Proclaiming the sinfulness of man is far from unimportant. We have all sinned and are deserving of eternal Hell Fire. We are all in need of a Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. When we recognize our sins and our hopelessness to save ourselves from our wickedness, we can turn to Jesus.
However, I believe that the goal of the folks from the OPBC is not to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe they are Pharisees, waving signs denouncing homosexuality in order to proclaim their own righteousness. When they get the confrontation they want, they can then proclaim, "look how I am being persecuted for my faith in Jesus!"
Ultimately, this is the sin of pride, which is idolatry. Instead of worshipping a figure of stone or wood, people who commit the sin of pride are worshipping themselves by putting themselves above God. It was pride that Satan appealed to in the Garden of Eden. Pride is an especially insidious sin, especially when it is cloaked in "righteousness" because it is then nearly invisible.
We all have this problem as Christians! I am especially bad at pointing out the sin of others in order to (by comparison) proclaim my own righteousness. May the Lord soften our prideful hearts and make us look up to Him instead of inward to ourselves.