23rd March 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Only one without sin (Jeremy Sansom)

Picking up on some recent letters to The Shetland Times, let’s be unequivocal about the Bible’s counsel with regard to homosexuals: they all deserve to die!

To adulterers? Stone them! To fornicators? Away with them! To murderers, thieves, rapists, paedophiles, liars, hypocrites, deceivers, cheats, slanderers, gossips, drunkards, perjurers, perverts, human traffickers, lovers of money, law-breakers? Death!

And the same to those given to disobedience to parents, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, impurity, orgies, envy, hatred, discord, fits of rage, dissensions, lust, malice, greed, filthy language, treachery. And also the corrupt, boastful, proud, abusive …

If you are still alive you’re probably dishonest, so you also should die!

Throughout history there has only ever been one who, in God’s eyes, did not deserve to die, because he alone was without sin. Yet this Jesus we nailed to a cross and subjected to the most cruel, painful and humiliating death imaginable.

This is Good Friday. God’s justice: my punishment borne by the Innocent One.

To fully grasp the implications of the biblical concept of sin, getting beyond its superficial meaning of mere wrong-doing, can be utterly liberating, as those of us who confess our sin before Christ can testify. Forgiveness and mercy and grace are deeply satisfying.

“I have come to give you life and life to the full,” says Jesus. “For freedom Christ has set us free,” says the Apostle Paul.

This paraphrase of words apparently attributed to Ghandi, quoted by Alan Crowe in one of his recent letters, might be helpful: “It’s folly to follow the followers (we’re all deficient). Follow the Master!”

Only sinners can fully appreciate the wonder and joy of Easter Sunday.

Oh, incidentally, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Jeremy Sansom
Stove Buildings,


  1. JohnTulloch

    “Love thy neighbour as thyself”……..provided he isn’t one of those on your list for “getting the chop”?

  2. David Spence

    I am surprised you can say anything nowadays without the PC lobby clamping down on you because you have offended somebody, used the wrong language, not expressed yourself in a manner which is the softly softly approach……….. I mean, if I said ‘ Having a person that homosexual is perfectly natural ‘, everybody would say ‘ Hooray, this person is being kind and acknowledging that such people in society do exist and deserved to be treated like everybody else ‘.

    However though, if I said ‘ I saw 2 men walking down the street, kissing, holding hands and behaving in a sensual manner of exhibitionism ‘ would you also say that this is ‘ natural ‘ and ‘ normal ‘ in a society that is predominantly a male and female based relationship for the purposes of procreation as well as love ?

    No doubt I would be lambasted for being homophobic, may be even sexist, but to be given no option of expression other than ‘ see it our way ‘ does seem, at best, not very democratic and at worst tyrannical and oppressive.

    Why should a person not have the right to express themselves in a manner they feel is not right. I am sure if nature thought that 2 men or 2 women going out with each other was ‘ normal ‘, she would have done something about it millions of years ago. I am sure a man kissing a man (or a man committing sodomy onto another man ) some people may say is ‘ normal ‘ and we should let them live their lives as they see fit…….may be so…….but don’t preach to me or ram it down my throat due to political correctness that such acts are normal.

  3. Martyn Fisher

    I often feel that when people choose to follow some sort of a God they are committing an act of violence against others. Like a sect, my God is the real God therefore your God is not, like i am better than you. It always leads to fear and usually war.
    So hear is what i think about it best forget about all this garbage. “The God that you go on about is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction; jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously maleovolent bully”

  4. David Spence

    My previous comments were not based on being homophobic, although some may interpret it as such. It was highlighting the constraints in which Political Correctness (using homosexuality as a controversial subject) limits any form of expression, whether it be verbal, art, music or any other form of media or other means of expression.

    I am not a religious person, I am agnostic.

    Martyn, have you been reading from Richard Dawkins ? Those words you have said, in terms of describing religion, seem very familiar lol

  5. Martyn Fisher

    Yes i have been reading Richard Dawkins. I should have credited him. However it is what i think is the truth. Guess i am a sinner…

  6. Erik Smith

    I’ve always found the whole Christian deal to be a bit creepy:-

    Believe or burn, that’s not love, that’s extortion.

  7. Sandy McDonald

    Although an atheist I do not particularly approve of Dawkins approach which is “in your face” to put it mildly. He is the closest thing you can get to a fundamentalist atheist. I can almost imagine him running into a church shouting “praise be to the random nature of the universe!” before blowing himself up.

    I remember a quote from a Terry Pratchett book where someone was saying if you truly didn’t believe in a god you wouldn’t even bother to deny the existence of one.

  8. Peter Jamieson

    Sandy, I have raised that point a hundred times. If you truly didn’t believe in something why would you waste even a second of your time trying to convince anyone of what you supposedly ‘don’t believe in’.

    And for that reason I very much doubt that you, or any one else who contributes to these discussions, can actually call themselves an out and out atheist.

  9. Jeremy Sansom

    My letter was not about homosexuality, but about the need to grapple with some difficult stuff – like sin – if we are ever to lay hold of life in all its fullness. But David is quite correct when he identifies PC as being one of several pressures stifling open and informed debate. I also will be castigated as homophobic, but my friends who are gay would not recognise that label.

    As followers of Jesus we have no choice but to love our neighbour, as difficult as that sometimes is. In my own strength I am unable for this, but thank God for his grace that enables and empowers me to do so. I had hoped, John, that each one of us would find ourselves on that list I presented in my letter. It was obviously not exhaustive enough! Shortly after finding refuge in God, I remember,coming to the shattering and sobering realisation that I had broken every one of the Ten Commandments, in spirit if not actually in deed. Sorry John, but unless you have the stature of Christ, you are for the chop too! (This is where that irritating Christian claim “I’m saved!” comes from). Be anxious, lose sleep – but there is always hope in the one who made us in his image.

    That list of titles given to God by Mr Dawkins in his book the God Delusion, quoted by Martyn, are amusing to those of us who have been foolish enough to accept God’s offer of eternal life. I am quite sure God is not the least bit concerned about Dawkin’s – or any one elses – views of him. But a caution to you Martyn: don’t hide behind another man’s thinking, however highly regarded he may in the scientific or any other community. God (sorry for this inconvenient truth) has given you a brain and charged you with the responsibility of using it. But good that you are at least considering that you may be a sinner; a significant first step. Well done!

    And Eric, I am not saying believe or burn. ‘The Christian deal’ was creepy to me for many years, until the flames of my own self-made hell became intolerable. Then I believed. And then the love of God became tangible. ‘God is love’ is quite simply true – but we’ll only realise that on the faith side of the decision. On the other side, I must confess, it looks bleak….

    Thank you all for your responses.

  10. Sandy McDonald

    Peter, you could also say if you truly believed in something why would you waste your time trying to convincing others of your belief! One wonders whom you are trying to convince… Also I note even when offered a conciliatory hand you still attempt to turn it on the one offering it.

    But of course if you are challenged as to your belief you are going to defend it, whether you are religious or not. Otherwise there would never be any debate!

    Which is why these threads tend to drag on and on and on….

    P.S. thanks to my father getting hold of the last census forms I am actually offically a Jedi.

  11. Johan Adamson

    Jeremy, I thought your letter was great. Explaining the position of the church better than others have. Surely the church must become more inclusive to survive. One of my daughters, aged 5, said about Easter ‘ … he died on a Friday – but I dont know why they said it was good?’ She is still a very logical child. Maybe it should be black Friday and good monday?


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