The THEOLOGY OF THE BODY & MEDIA LITERACY blog of Sr. Helena Burns, fsp, media nun.
Dear Sister Helena,Another minor correction to the video is required. The term “children of God” is used imprecisely. One may argue that since God is our creator, and we are each created in His image and likeness, that we all are in some sense His children. But Sacred Scripture makes clear that our status as sons and daughters (i.e., children) comes through adoption by believing and being baptized. St. Paul in Ephesians 2:3 uses the term “children of wrath” for those who are not believers. Here follow a few pertinent verses of Scripture:Mark 16:16 – "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."John 3:5 – "Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'"Romans 8:14-17 – "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, 'Abba! Father!' it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him."1st Corinthians 6:9-10 - "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God."Ephesians 2:1-3 – "And you he made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. Among these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of body and mind, and so we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."
PS, sorry about the inaccuracy in the translation I used for 1st Corinthians 6:9-10. The phrase "nor homosexuals" should be substituted by what the original Greek really says: "nor μαλακός (those receiving penetration), nor ἀρσενοκοίτης (penetrators)." Those with same sex attraction - that is to say, homosexuals - are not denied the Kingdom of God merely because of a predisposition to same sex attraction any more than an alcoholic who has a predisposition for drinking alcohol addictively is denied. Rather, it is the insistence on willful engagement in proscribed sinful activity that sends one to hell. That is why St. Paul was very precise in the terms he used: μαλακός and ἀρσενοκοίτης.Hope the Greek fonts come out all right!
True, baptism makes us children of God in a much closer, deeper way, but we can still say in a general way that all people are "children of God" because He has created them, loves them and they belong to Him (whether they know Him or not)! And it's not even our sins that "send us to hell," but our rejection of God's mercy. All sin can be forgiven.
It's true that acceptance of God's mercy is what allows God to bring us to heaven (loving union with God), and that all sin can be forgiven. However, I must acknowledge my sin as sin, ask for forgiveness, and make an honest effort to change my sinful behavior. Sin is not forgiven if I refuse to acknowledge it for what it is, and have no willingness to make an honest effort to avoid it in the future.