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Compassion

University of California at Santa Cruz isn't a typical college. Recently they made the national news when their students started protesting the administration's decision to start giving letter grades. Their bathrooms are co-ed., and their politics are liberal.

A few weeks ago, a resident assistant at one of the dorms invited Dan Kimball, Pastor of Graceland Church, "a church within a church" of the Santa Cruz Bible Church, to be a part of an open forum on Christianity. Maybe it was because of the publicity generated by proposition 22, a ballot measure that defined marriage as "between a man and a woman" or the simple fact that the University has a large gay population, but homosexuality was the issue.

"But people have these feelings," one participant said, "why would God give us these feelings, and not expect us to act on them?" Gently, Kimball commented, "Some people have violent tendencies too, but that doesn't mean violence is OK."

In response to the questions, Kimball read passages out of Leviticus and Romans that made it clear that homosexuality was a sin, not just an alternative lifestyle, but he didn't bring his message with a condescending tone, "hitting them with Biblical facts." Kimball didn't just quote scripture, he talked about some homosexual friends he's had a man he toured Israel with, one of his roommates when he was playing with a rock-a-billy punk band in England, a former employer. 

In reflecting on the exchange, Kimball said, "I hope the participants will say, 'you know, this guy absolutely said that homosexuality is a sin, but he had heart and he wasn't yelling at us. He had some friends that were gay and maybe he understands us.'" Kimball is going back, and when he returns, he will be careful to demonstrate the love of Christ as he proclaims the message of Christianity.

Read Extreme Compassion, the sermon that corresponds to this devotional..

Read an interview with Dan Kimball about preaching in this postmodern age.


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