I still remember the day I found myself in a circle of broken men admitting that I needed God’s mercy. It was pretty much the most awkward and uncomfortable place to be—or so I told myself—yet here was a group of men like me. Not everyone was there for the same reasons, mind you, but most shared a similar look of shame and desperation.
In one corner sat Charlie—a weathered and worn looking fella whose pained-eyes revealed deep despair. “My name is Charlie and I, uh, can’t stop drinking. I’m an alcoholic. I wish I could say its been a year sober, but I was at the bar last night… well, came home drunk and my wife said she’s through.” Tears welled up in his eyes as he looked down and quietly murmured to the group, “I hate what I’ve become.”
In another corner was Tim whose gaunt appearance gave away most of what he was about to say. “Well, can’t believe I came in that door. Mus’ be God brought me here. I’m at the shelter cuz’ once you get out of jail ain’t no one there for you and I’m already shootin’ up again. God’s there though, which is why I came, to get right with him, you know?”
Eventually it was my turn to speak and if you know me you know that’s not something I like to do—especially in a group setting. My shifting eyes and shaking foot gave away my nervous energy. “I’m not here for just one thing. I was repeatedly abused by a family friend when I was a kid and also had a lot of trauma growing up. I struggle with despair, lust, doubt, and bitterness.”
One man after another shared how they were addicted to pornography or addicted to drugs or whose marriage fell apart because of adultery or how they felt far from God. Soon just one person was left to speak. Phil sat slumped down in his chair with his arms crossed. He wasn’t looking down like most, but was moving his eyes around the group and his face was noticeably red. “Someone suggested I come here because of a mild drinking problem, but after I walked in the door I found out this church thinks I’m a sinner because I’m gay and in a relationship. I don’t want to be in this hateful place!”
The coordinator tried to engage with him, curious why he was still here if he had already decided it wasn’t for him, but the answer became clear: Phil was here to argue. He was here to make a point. He was here to find validation for his belief that his alcoholism and all of the other things shared in the group were definitelywrong, but not his cherished homosexuality. That Charlie over there is a broken, alcoholic mess, and Gary a cynical pervert, but Phil—just a mild over-drinker. No deep dark secrets. No desperate and acknowledged need for a Savior. Certainly no shame.
He raised his voice as his face grew even more red. Finally, he made his penultimate point: “You know what, I WAS BORN THIS WAY! It’s who I am. How can that possibly be sinful? What kind of a God would make me like this and then judge me for it!? Bunch of hypocrites!”
To this day I still remember the awkward silence that fell over the group after Phil spoke. It was like taking a bunch of people already at their lowest point and then beating them down even further. In any case, Phil didn’t stay long after that. I’m sure he was able to then confidently report to whomever urged him to come that no one could help him and no one could understand. And thus Phil continued to be Phil—the proud, flamboyant gay, who does no wrong, except, well, for that mild drinking problem. Phil the homosexual.
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Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with mennor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
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The passage above is receiving an unprecedented level of textual criticism in light of the modern cultural shift. Never before in Church history would theologians argue that this passage does not refer to homosexuality. And how could they even if they tried? It is absolutely as plain as day—no assumptions or inference necessary. The Greek word used in 1 Corinthians 6 is arsenokoites and it is the word for homosexual.
1 Corinthians 6 doesn’t exist in a vacuum either. Numerous other passages unequivocally identify the sinful nature of homosexuality along with other gender-bending sexual practices like transgenderism and cross-dressing (Gen. 1:27–28; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Deut. 22:5; 23:1; Matt. 19:4–6; Rom. 1:26–28; 1 Cor. 11:14–15; 1 Tim. 1:10).
This absurd theological development is actually splitting the Church. Well, not the Church, but Christendom in general. It is severing unity and causing a much, much bigger problem: outright apostasy by denying the truth of the Gospel. But before we deal with the deeper issue, I want to first address a few things that need to be addressed because they are repeatedly coming up in inter- and intra-church debates about this topic.
The first point to be made is simply the unequivocal nature of Scripture’s treatment of homosexuality. It’s a sin, period. The fact that what GayChurch.org calls the “clobber passages” are even being debated in the Church is causing countless Christians to scratch their heads in confusion. The context doesn’t apply to us today? These passages don’t mean what they plainly say? Really?
The absurdity of this debate shows us just how depraved our world has become in these last of the last days (just as was foretold in Romans 1:26–32, 2 Timothy 3:1–9, and 2 Timothy 4:3–5).
The second point is the claim of being born gay. Christians who rightly believe homosexuality is a sin are often making a key mistake in their arguments by suggesting this is merely a choice and not an orientation or predisposition. It’s not. It’s sin nature and we are all born with a sin nature. And when you are predisposed to something it can feel like everything in the world is urging you on—pushing you to do the very thing the Bible says not to do.
When you try every conceivable method to overcome the sin and still find yourself falling back into it you can quickly and easily become convinced that this isn’t a sin, it’s “just who I am.” And you’d be right about the “just who I am” part, but “just who you are” is a sinner from birth and homosexuals aren’t excused from the universal deathtrap that all sons and daughter of Adam and Eve find themselves in. We are all sinners. We were all born in iniquity, predisposed to rebel against God and His rightful commands. As infants we didn’t have the guilt of sin, but we definitely contained in our tiny frames the sin nature and the continual acting out of our selfish desires.
The third point follows the second: by excusing one’s own “pet sin” as an uncontrollable predisposition—even a God-given quality—you necessarily become 1. Defiant against God’s holy nature, 2. Perverse/corrupted in interpreting God’s Word, and 3. Self-righteous in judgment against others’ sins. That’s a very bad situation to find yourself in. When the drug-abuser and alcoholic who was predisposed towards substance abuse from birth has been battling his sin for 40 years and readily acknowledges the sinful nature of his actions, is it fair for a self-proclaimed homosexual Christian to acknowledge the sinful nature of that, but deny the reality of his own sin?
What about the heterosexual sinner? Many homosexual Christians are ready and willing to condemn that adulterer and declare that pornography and adultery are (rightfully) sinful and for that matter all other manner of sexual immorality. But not so much homosexuality. “That’s different.” “That’s just who I am.” The Bible plainly and in no uncertain terms declares adultery, fornication, and other forms of sexual immorality to be sinful behaviors. Homosexuality isn’t unique and it doesn’t earn you a get out of jail free card where you can condemn everyone else, but not yourself.
My fourth and final point about these debates deals with this question posed by many who see little wrong with homosexuality or other unnatural sexual behaviors: Why do Christians focus on homosexuality above other sins? Isn’t that hypocritical? The answer is straightforward and simple: Because the sinful nature of other evil behaviors is not being questioned. For the most part, Christians are not arguing that adultery, lying, or stealing are ok with God. As long as some Christians continue to claim that a (repeatedly) biblically-defined sin is not a sin, there will continue to be a debate and mark my words: the acceptance being sought will never be found.
Churches are filled with all manner of sins and hypocrisy—adultery, lying, theft, and all the rest, but, for the most part, there is not a movement within Christianity pushing for these things to be removed from the vice list. However, homosexuality and transgenderism are being justified and afforded special protection. This isn’t an issue of judgmentalism, but of righteousness, truth, and love. What our culture calls love is absolutely not love.
Love is not an emotion or a desire. Neither is love toleration or merely being kind. Love is gut-wrenching, painful, faithful commitment in the face of all manner of adversity—even when it means doing what feels unnatural and uncomfortable. Love is surrendering one’s own wants and desires to care for another.
Did Christ want to suffer a bloody execution on the Cross? No. And in fact, He asked His Father to deliver Him out of the situation, but what He chose was love (Lk. 22:42). Because of His love for His Father and for His flock He chose death over His own will. How many practicing, self-avowed, homosexual Christians are doing likewise?
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Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
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This brings me to the most important concern: The modern, anti-biblical movement that is teaching that God wants us to welcome/celebrate/embrace homosexuality is not only blasphemous and self-righteous, it is also apostate. The truth of the Gospel is at stake and that’s why practicing/self-avowed/proud gay Christians are causing spiritual damage beyond comprehension.
My readers know full well that I am a stalwart defender of the Gospel and salvation by grace through faith alone. I’ve written extensively on how our works play no role in our salvation itself. We are saved through faith in Christ and His atoning blood—nothing more, nothing less. Anything less than faith alone is faith in something other than Christ. GayChurch.org seems to teach similarly, but it’s just a deceptive bromide. Salvation doesn’t come from faith in any Christ, but faith in the Christ—the Messiah who had to die on the Cross in order for those who’ve committed homosexual acts to make it to Heaven (or adulterers, liars, and haters, for that matter). Homosexuality is sinful and it cost Christ His life when He chose to love homosexuals by dying for them.
|The cost of homosexuality
What comes to your mind when you read the Scripture’s admonishment that homosexuals, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers will not inherit the Kingdom of God? There’s three reactions that can result:
1. “That’s true, but that’s not me. I’m going to Heaven because I’m not one of those.” These are the self-righteous legalists. They reject the Gospel because they reject their need for atonement. They still don’t understand the purpose of Christ’s sacrifice.
2. “This doesn’t mean what it plainly says (or was meant for a different time, context, etc).” These are those who promote themselves as the loving, tolerant, welcoming disciples of Jesus, but they’re in the same boat as the legalists. They are also rejecting the atonement because they reject their personal need for it. That’s the key. And that’s the cliff GayChurch.org finds itself standing on even though they claim forgiveness and justification through faith alone. They don’t realize that they need atonement because of their pet sin and therefore they don’t understand or believe the Gospel. The message of the Gospel contains three essential parts—remove any one of the three and it is no longer the Gospel: 1. Christ died, 2. for our sins, 3. and rose again (see 1 Cor. 15:3–4). Unbelievers outside of Christianity reject the third part, but unbelievers inside of Christianity reject/twist/malign the second. Both are in an equally dire situation having a desperate need for Christ’s atoning blood, but not realizing that it applies to them in their personal situation. You can’t honestly claim to be forgiven by Christ’s blood through faith alone if you simultaneously deny your personal need for forgiveness.
3. The third reaction is different and it comes from humility rather than pride. It’s simple trust in God’s words and involves the sobering acknowledgement that “this is talking about me. I have sinned against God and there is nothing I can do to save myself.”
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Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
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If, by God’s grace, you find yourself reacting like #3, then take heart dear friend because your reaction is exactly as God intended it. You are fulfilling the very purpose of the law, which was given to show us that we are broken, sinful, and in desperate need of what only God can provide.
Only one thing now remains for you:
He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’
They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.’
It’s fitting that the homosexuality-is-ok-with-God movement has attached itself to the sin of pride because that’s exactly what it is: pride in sinning, pride in twisting Scripture, pride in being self-righteous.
Here’s the ironic thing about that night at a Christian recovery program: there was another guy in the group who also was predisposed towards homosexual sin. Yet he was there for that very reason. He was contrite and broken in spirit and desperate to be right with the God he loves. Ian, like the Prodigal Son, came with a remorseful heart and a new-found disposition towards obedience. “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you and am unworthy to be called your son.” God embraces and forgives sinners such as these and washes all of their sins away. Through faith alone.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.
If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.
A woman must not wear men’s clothing [literally – armor], nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.
No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the Lord.
‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? ‘So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.
We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
If you are just now escaping from the sinful snares of the world, the legalists will attack you and claim that you must be perfect. In so doing, they will cause you to abandon your faith in Christ’s blood if you believe them. Don’t listen to them. Listen to Christ. I know numerous ex-homosexuals who are now faithfully following the LORD and when I say “ex-” I don’t mean that they are free from temptation and never sin. I mean that they have acknowledged their sin and the sinful nature of homosexuality and now trust in Christ. And as an incidental product of that trust, some of them are now even married with children and rescuing others from what they themselves had once been trapped in.
I don’t personally know him, but a particularly famous example is none other than Dennis Jernigan whose powerful testimony of fleeing homosexuality has brought thousands out of that lifestyle and led tens of thousands to faith in Christ. Though temptation is still very real, he no longer identifies as gay. When he came to the end of himself he found God—the only one who could ultimately satisfy him.
His music is sentimental to me, because it was some of his songs that God used to work redemption in my own family and for that I will be forever grateful.
Lastly, it is important to remember that all Christians stumble from time to time and the one who says otherwise is a liar (1 Kgs. 8:46; Eccl. 7:20; Rm. 3:9; 3:23; Jas. 3:2; 1 Jn. 1:8–2:2), but true Christians must not identify themselves by their sin for Scripture says, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” In the eyes of God, there is no such thing as a homosexual Christian or an adulterous Christian or a lying Christian. True Christians have acknowledged their sin, believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and received the Holy Spirit. They are born again and destined for resurrection into perfect, immortal, sinless bodies. They stumble and struggle, but they never give up, having made a lifelong, unchangeable commitment to the truth of the Gospel. (Click to Source)
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[Out of respect, names have been changed above to protect identities.]