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Rev Julian Mann: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone


Modus, the Swedish crime drama currently running on BBC 4, presents a crude caricature in linking the central symbol of Christianity, the Cross of Christ, with murderous violence against homosexuals. But its portrayal nonetheless represents a vital challenge orthodox Christians in the West need to meet.

The crudity of Modus’s politically correct agenda is particularly glaring in the scene when the sinister church leader in the United States, who incites a former Marine to murder homosexuals in Sweden, is shown standing in front of a large wooden cross denouncing the sins of Scandinavia.

Christians should never apologise for the traditional biblical teaching that the expression of sexual love should be reserved exclusively for the God-created institution of heterosexual marriage. There are actually powerful socio-political arguments for the recovery of this ethic in Western countries but it is not the purpose of this piece to advance them.

The pressing issue Modus raises is the need for orthodox Christians clearly to dissociate themselves from hatred against a targeted group of transgressors. The reason we need to do this is because the self-righteous focus on one particular sin fundamentally undermines the essential message of salvation we should be proclaiming.

That message as set forth in the Christian Bible teaches that every person is a sinner in desperate need of the redemption that God’s Incarnate Son, Jesus Christ, achieved through his sin-bearing death on the Cross. Christian people, being sinful, are no less in need of Christ’s redemption than anybody else. To target one group of sinners as meriting special condemnation thus undermines the loving message we Christians should be humbly cherishing in our own souls and communicating to the world.

Modus may be crude in linking the central symbol of God’s saving love with violent hatred against one group of transgressors. But unless we Christians are careful to explain the biblical message that all sin is deserving of God’s condemnation and that Jesus Christ is the Saviour all people need, whatever they have done, and to dissociate ourselves from the fanatics obsessed with one particular sexual sin, then the Modus caricature could gain currency to the detriment of public Christianity in the West.

(Image: Chocolate Mudshake)

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Julian Mann
Julian Mann
Julian Mann is a former Church of England vicar, now an evangelical journalist based in Heysham, Lancashire.

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