Response to Christian nursery nurse sacked for saying marriage is between a man and a woman
According to Christian Concern, Sarah Mbuyi who worked at Newpark Childcare in Shepherd’s Bush London was dismissed in January 2014 after a colleague raised the issue of what the Bible teaches on homosexuality. The colleague felt unhappy that she could not marry her female partner because of the Church, and said that she thought God condoned homosexuality.
Sarah explained: “When I said ‘No, God does not condone the practice of homosexuality, but does love you and says you should come to Him as you are’, she became emotional and went off to report me to my manager.”
At an internal disciplinary hearing on 8th January 2014, Sarah was confronted with her colleague’s allegations including that her colleague had taken offence at being given a bible as a gift by Sarah.
On 9 January 2014, the nursery directors dismissed Sarah for gross misconduct for having breached the equality policy of the nursery. Sarah had previously discussed matters of faith and religion without any offence being taken.
An application was made on 2nd March by Sarah Mbuyi’s former employer for her case to be heard in private with no media or public presence. However, the application was refused at 3pm that same afternoon, with the Judge ruling that the case will be heard in open court.
Andrea Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre said:
This application sought to shut down open justice in this case and was a highly concerning development. If this application had succeeded, it would have had serious ramifications for other matters of this kind where expressing biblical views on sexual ethics is viewed as misconduct. “Extraordinarily, the Judge has asked Counsel in the case whether evidence will be given regarding the percentage of Christians who hold an orthodox biblical view on sexual ethics.”Increasingly, we are being put to proof on what the bible says about once clearly accepted truths. This should be a warning to the Church to make her voice heard on these matters and to make a clear clarion call.
In light of this case and other growing sophisticated totalitarian systems rising today, we need to be reminded that Sodom was not destroyed because of homosexuality. Why was it destroyed? The prophet Ezekiel gives a very interesting account of the basic moral and social conditions that produced the decline of Sodom:
Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, overabundance of food, prosperous ease, and idleness were hers and her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. (Ezekiel 16:49 AMP)
Sodom was applied to a form of sexual perversion called “sodomy,” which is homosexuality. The real sin of Sodom was not homosexuality, however. Ezekiel doesn’t mention homosexuality at all when referring to Sodom. This doesn’t mean that God was indifferent toward this sin. So what were the sins of Sodom?
The Lord specifies five basic causes of Sodom’s decline: pride (which is overestimating yourself and underestimating others), overabundance of food, prosperous ease (self-indulgence and carnality), idleness (which is laziness), and lack of concern for the poor and orphans (selfishness) —a “me, myself, and I” attitude. We are all guilty of these sins which will always produce homosexuality and adultery. We cannot strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy if we are selfish, self-indulgent, and indifferent to others.
Selfishness is the root cause of all other abominations. They tell us we are in a recession, no jobs, yet the rich are getting richer and richer and the poor are getting poorer, yet wealth is not destroyed but it is just transferred to the richest. Greed, over abundance of food, and pride will always lead to perversion and then destruction. Remember that the people in Sodom were not very different than us today. Those who say Jesus never said anything about homosexuality should remember that He reiterated that the issue is the heart which is wicked and deceptive:
For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech. These are what make a man unclean and defile him; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean or defile him. (Matthew 15:19)
Jesus condemned the Roman culture because He also understood the culture of His time. He had firsthand knowledge of the Roman brothels. There is nothing new under the sun. Homosexuality was as widespread in Rome as it is in our society. In fact out of the first 15 Roman emperors, 14 were practising homosexuals.
Therefore when He uses the word “sexual vice or “fornication”, He means all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and woman is sinful. But He also says, He hates my evil thoughts of pride, self-righteousness, murder, unforgiveness, anger, bitterness…..you name it. So in a nutshell, we are all sinners.
Paul’s Epistle to the Romans
When the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, he also knew many of them oppressed the poor and used their laws and power to support their lavish and self-indulgent lifestyles. Sounds familiar!
To believers whom he addressed as God’s beloved ones in Rome, called to be saints and designated for a consecrated life, he deals with the sin and judgment of unbelievers in Roman society. He says, they had abandoned God, so He had given up to them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. (See Romans 1:18-32)
But in the middle of all this Paul says that even the saints in Rome are guilty of hypocrisy, they were condemning the wickedness all around them while secretly indulging in exactly the same sins. (See Romans 2:1)
The same sin that was being committed by unbelievers was also in believers. This is confirmed by the repeated use of the word you….you….you….. in the text. He assures them that being a believer as such people think does not confer immunity from judgment. God has no favourites. Read carefully what Paul writes next in the next verses:
And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Paul was stressing that even the Roman church had fallen into the same sin, therefore those who were still practicing the same sins were just as bad, and they had no excuse. So he called for repentance to avoid the consequences of God’s wrath since God does not show favouritism or as another translation calls it undue favour or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another….. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. (See Romans 2:5-11)
Later in the same letter, Paul has the occasion to remind these saints that the wages of sin is death. Although this verse often quoted out of context and applied to unbelievers, especially to gospel tracts and sermons; the context, however is to us believers who choose to continue sinning. How do we know? In Romans 6:1-4, Paul reminds us that we’ve been freed from sin’s grasp and the power of sin is broken over our lives. Well then, he asks,
Should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
Paul explains that we as believers are free from sin’s control. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. (Romans 6:14) But then in chapter 7 he deals with legalism and relates his own difficulties in keeping the Law, especially not to covet.
Paul did not undermine the continuing struggle believers have with sin; in fact his testimony in Romans 7 confirms that the one commandment of the ten that he found difficult to keep was the tenth, “Thou shalt not covet…..” We can tell from Paul’s background as a Pharisee that his weakness was the love of money. He says first of all that it was the law that showed him that sin. He would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said,”You must not covet.” But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. (See Romans 7:7-8)
So he tells us that the struggle is not with the Law, for its good. The trouble is with us, for we are humans, slaves to sin…..He loves God’s law with all his heart just as most us do….. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. And that sin was the love of money.
The Pharisees were covetous and lovers of money. So they were very religious and rich at the same time. That’s why Jesus told them that “No servant is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Luke 16:13)
The Pharisees sneered, ridiculed and scoffed at Him but He said to them You are the ones who declare yourselves just and upright before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted and highly thought of among men is detestable and abhorrent (an abomination) in the sight of God. (Luke 16:15) So the context in which Paul uses the words, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” means he was able to get along or be content in any circumstances he faced throughout his lifetime. He learned the secret of facing every situation, whether well fed or while going hungry.
In modern terms he was saying, “I can manage with whatever income I have, whether its small or large. He concluded by saying, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11–13).
He concludes again by saying that though he loves God’s law with his heart; there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (Romans 7:22-25)
The wages of sin, whether persisted in as unbelievers or returned to as believers, is always death. Then in chapter 8 Paul writes about the life and liberty in the Spirit and explains how it unites both Jew and Gentile. He assures us that:
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The Law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)
This is confirmed in Romans 8:13-14 where again Paul tells us that:
If you live according to the dictates of the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you are habitually putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the evil deeds prompted by the body, you shall really and genuinely live forever. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
It’s important to note that in verse 14 Paul uses a continuing present tense: “as many as are (being regularly) led by the Spirit of God” are the sons of God. It’s an ongoing way of life to not a onetime experience.
In order to live daily as a Christian, a person must be led by the Spirit. The new birth from the Spirit transforms us sinners into children of God where we call God “Abba Father” but we are required to be led continually of the Holy Spirit to make us mature sons. The only way to achieve spiritual maturity and avoid sin in daily Christian living is to depend upon the Spirit for moment-by-moment direction in every aspect of life.
Remember every man or woman carries a wound in his her soul. The devil knows each of our wounded souls and so he targets the damaged places. No matter how good your life may seem to you or others, you have a virus called sin and live in a broken world full of broken and wounded people. It’s only Jesus Christ Who frees us from this life that is dominated by sin and death.
As believers we have to choose to have our minds set on the desires of the Spirit or of the flesh, but we cannot avoid the consequences which is a matter of life and death. Paul makes same the point in his letter to the Galatians that those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
Even if you become a Christian, it doesn’t necessarily fix things. We have to take the cross, crucify our selfish desires, and follow Christ every day to withstand temptation. To die once is not sufficient because the spirit of the world, with all its carnality and temptations loosed upon this generation is so strong.
No matter how much money you make or what accolades you get in life, all these things will never heal your wound or tell you who are. It’s only Jesus Christ that will validate you, not your pay check. And the three main areas in our relationship with God that the devil will always challenge are the will of God, the Word of God, and the worship of God. (See 1 John 2:15-17)
Every temptation that Satan throws at us will challenge these basic values. But we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning (Hebrews 4:15). And we assured that:
No temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. (1 Corinthians 10:13 AMP)
Jesus knows what we are experiencing, and He is willing and able to sympathize with our struggles if we turn to Him when we are tempted. When we finally let the Holy Spirit into our innermost sanctuary, we allow Him break down these barriers as we surrender ourselves to health and wholeness.