Thank you!

I now have 50+ followers and I want to take the time to say a big, heart-felt THANK YOU!

I do not take your likes, comments, or follows lightly. With every new comment, like, or follow, I tell Daddy thanks for allowing you to find my blog. Thank you!

I love you! Blessings.

Did Jesus Heal a Centurion’s Same-Sex Partner?

So I had a lovely discussion with a young lady, she informed me that the Roman Centurion was gay and that Jesus supports homosexuality because He healed this gay man’s lover.  So I went to dig deeper. I read the article that supported her view and I read others that opposed it. The following is one such article. Enjoy reading.

 

A recent article on theHuffington Post was brought to my attention by a former Greek student who asked if I would comment on the Greek. In the article Jay Michaelson suggests that Matthew and Luke each record a story in which Jesus heals the same-sex partner of a Roman Centurion. Many will be familiar with the story (Matt 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10). As Jesus enters Capernaum a Roman Centurion asks Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus gets ready to go with the Centurion, but the man tells Jesus there is no need since he is accustomed to working under authority. Jesus merely needs to give the word and he knows his servant will be healed. Jesus agrees, the man goes home, his servant is healed.

But Michaelson want us to think about the story in a different way by focusing on the Greek term pais used in both Matthew and Luke. He argues that it does not mean “servant” here but “lover” and appeals, though not with any references, to the work of Thucydides, Plutarch and “countless other Greek sources.” He contends that translating pais as “servant” makes no sense since 1) one would not expect a Roman solider to beg on behalf of a slave, 2) although Luke calls the person in question a “slave” (doulos) the centurion calls him pais, 3) it was a common practice for Roman soldiers to have servants/lovers based on the Greek model. Michaelson acknowledges that the person in question was probably a servant, but also much more. He then views this story as Jesus extending an unhesitating, healing hand to a centurion and his homosexual lover just as he did to prostitutes.  You can read his whole post here.

Before I comment on Michaelson’s analysis I do want to say that in spite of Jesus’ silence on the topic of homosexuality and whether or not his interpretation is correct here, I do think Jesus would extend a hand to a gay person to heal him. I think Michaelson is 100% correct that given the opportunity Jesus would do that. But I don’t think that is what Jesus is doing here and this is why.

First, Michaelson is not the first to suggest that the person in question here be understood as the Roman Centurion’s homosexual servant rather than just servant, although it is a minority opinion. And he is correct that in some instances pais was used to describe the junior partner in a homosexual relationship. But that is not what it means here nor the rest of the New Testament. The Greek noun pais is used in the New Testament 24 times and has a range of meanings that include “adolescent,” “child” and “servant.”  In the LXX (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) it appears numerous times and it always refers to a “servant.” There are no occurrences of the term anywhere in the Bible that can be interpreted a referring to the junior partner in a homosexual relationship. With that in mind, we might be better off translating pais as “servant” here, which Michaelson favors.

Second, Michaelson acknowledges that in Luke’s version of the story the person in question is first called a “slave” in 7:2 (doulos) while the Centurion calls him a pais. He suggests that this distinction is important by which I assume he is suggesting that perhaps Luke got the terminology wrong but the Centurion got it correct. But Luke is writing all of this and would have been aware of the two terms which can in fact be used as synonyms. (See the first chapter in mySlavery Metaphors).

A better explanation for the difference in terminology in Luke might be that Matthew and Luke had a common source that identified the person in question as a pais, which could be taken as either “child” or “servant.” Matthew decided to leave the whole scene ambiguous by not introducing it with an explanation that the centurion had a sick slave (doulos). If you read Matthew’s version substituting “child” for “servant” (with the exception of 8:9 where the word isdoulos) the story could just as easily be about the centurion’s son and not his servant (Hagner alludes to this in his commentary, p. 204). Luke, on the other hand, recognized the ambiguity in the story engendered by pais, and decided to clear it up by calling the person in question a “slave” (doulos) because that is who Luke thought he was. Had Luke not made that addition  in 7:2 both stories could be read as the healing of the centurion’s “child.”

Third, it is true that pais could be used as a term of endearment for slaves. As bad as slavery was/is there were those cases when a slave and master did become close. But that does not automatically translate into homosexuality. For instance, we have a copy of a letter sent by Augustus to one Stephanos of Laodicea. In the letter Augustus says “you know how fond I am of my Zoilos.” This Zoilos was a former slave of Augustus who apparently became very close with the emperor. But no one is suggesting that the two were lovers in a same-sex relationship. Zoilos was apparently very valuable to Augustus and the emperor developed affection for him.

The problem is that Michaelson has invested too much in the meaning of pais. While it can be used to refer to the junior partner in a homosexual relationship, this would be the only such instance anywhere in the New Testament. As I pointed out, it is a somewhat ambiguous term. Nonetheless, I do think servant here is probably the best interpretation of pais, even though it could be child.

But simply assuming that this term means that the servant was the Centurion’s same-sex partner has no standing. There is not enough evidence. We cannot assume that because the centurion had some affection for the servant that they were, therefore, sexually involved. And we also cannot assume that just because the centurion implores Jesus to heal the servant that he feels anything for the servant. We know nothing about this slave and what role he fulfilled. But if he was a slave that managed the centurion’s house well and was in danger of dying, the centurion might have asked Jesus to heal him so that he didn’t lose his financial investment as well as a good manager. I am not saying this is the case, but this scenario is just as likely if not more so than suggesting that the two were somehow sexually involved. But in the end we don’t have enough evidence to spin either situation and the terminology is too ambiguous.

Michaelson reaches for this story to provide a way for gays and lesbians who are struggling with same-sex marriage as a religious act. I commend him for thinking through this topic and have voiced my own desire that the church actively engage the topic. But I don’t think the story of the centurion’s servant does that for him. It is a story about a servant and a master and we know nothing about how they interacted with one another in the bedroom or out.

By: John Byron
Retrieved from: The Biblical World

Ex-Gay Songwriter Believes You May Be Born Gay, but It Doesn’t Matter

He penned the words that many of us know by heart:

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame

Rising again I bless your name

You are my all in all 

When I fall down, You pick me up

When I am dry, You fill my cup

You are my all in all. 

What you may sing as a feel-good song to remind you of God’s grace represents the powerful journey songwriter Dennis Jernigan walks as he allows Jesus to give him a new identity from what the world wanted.

“I thought God hated me,” Jernigan says, explaining how he thought his sexual orientation was too much for even God to overcome. “Any sermon I heard, it was very clear I would go straight to hell, so it was built in me that the sin was already there.”

Decades later, Jernigan says the power of Jesus allows him to walk in freedom. The songwriter says he wants the church to know that it’s possible to embrace the gay community where they are and challenge them to meet God.

The answer, he says, is Jesus.

As someone who is now happily married to a woman and the father of nine children, Jernigan says the battle for his identity started in his mind and played out in the homes of believers who were willing to war with him.

“I never thought I’d be attracted to a woman, but everything changed because I changed the way I thought and put off thoughts until I didn’t think them anymore,” Jernigan says.

It’s renewing of the mind described in Romans 12 the church should consider as they approach the sensitive topic.

“I have a Christ-centered worldview, everything I believe comes from that point,” Jernigan says. “Find out who your Creator says you are, not who you feel you are. If we don’t think the way God designed us to think, we’re going to latch onto something. What we put into our minds is what we put out. I agree with that, I am brainwashed, you need to be transformed by renewing of your mind.”

Though gay marriage has hit the headlines this year, Jernigan says it is far from a new thing. Rather, the issue is coming to the forefront because of a progressive society.

“God has been setting people free from identity issues for thousands of years,” Jernigan says.

Despite the history of freedom, the American church, he says, is in dire straights, especially as political culture demands an acceptance of sin: 48 percent of religious congregations now allow practicing homosexuals to be full-fledged members, according to a Pew research study. The same study reveals 26 percent of congregations allow people with same-sex attraction to volunteer in leadership positions.

The majority of white mainline protestants (62 percent) now support same-sex marriage, with Catholics (57 percent) hovering close behind, according to a different Pew study. White evangelicals have the least support, with approximately 24 percent in favor of gay marriage.

It’s a fight the church needs to engage rather than cowering in fear, Jernigan says.

“(The church) just don’t know how to deal with it,” Jernigan says. “They don’t understand the Word of God. What I mean by that is answers are in the Word for how we respond to sin and sinners. We can judge what is right and what is wrong all day long, but we are never to condemn. Jesus basically said to judge what is right, but told those around the woman (in John 8), ‘No one condemns you, so neither do I.’ That makes it easy to walk in the culture.”

However, this doesn’t happen in the pulpit. For Jernigan and his family, ground zero of the fight against sin begins in their living room.

“Even to this day, my wife and I (host a) meeting every Wednesday night where people can come,” Jernigan says. “It’s just like Vegas: what happens in the living room, stays in the living room. People feel safe.”

If believers genuinely want to change the culture, here’s where the rubber meets the road, Jernigan says: “What if every believer in America saw their home and family as a conduit of healing? We’d change the culture overnight.

“Stop expecting church, church leadership to minister to people we’re involved with. Never once did we go to barn to get the harvest, but we went to the field. … We are all as new creations called to be ministers of reconciliation.”

By: Jessilyn Justice
Retrieved from: Charisma News

I Was a Lesbian … BUT God

A touching testimony

From that evening on I became a different person.

In about 2013, I was attracted to females, but was afraid to approach any. One day, at school, a friend approach me asking, “Could you sent me some credit please?”

I asked her for her number and that’s how it all started. We began to text often and started to know more about each other then she began to ask me some strange questions, like: do you like females? and have you ever been in to a relationship with a female? The answer I gave her was “no”. Because, as I said earlier, I was afraid to approach a female. Anyway, I asked her the same questions and I received the same response. From that time we began to date, till I was no more afraid to approach any female, and because of that I was with four female and still was seeking to find more.

One afternoon my friends and I decided to chill after school till we were ready to go home. We where talking and laughing, and enjoying ourselves. Suddenly, a man appeared asking us if any one of us lost a chain. So one of my friends answered saying no. Then he goes on to ask her if she liked men or women, she said, “both” with a loud laugh afterward. Instantly he slapped her right in the face, she and the others immediately ran without looking back, leaving me and my girlfriend behind. The man held one of my hands and said, “penis is what you should get.” My girlfriend was pleading to the man to let me go, but instead he pulled out a gun, putting it towards my head, my girlfriend started to cry and beg, ” please sir, don’t kill her.”

While he was holding my hand I was speaking to God in my head, asking Him to save us. At the same time, God gave me strength to sit the man down and talk to him. Without finishing my conversation with him, he immediately let me go and said to us, “run!!”

From that evening on I became a different person.

I can say now, that I am transformed into a child of the most high God, well blessed, am free, my spirit is renewed and God found favor in me.
Glory to God

Word of encouragement
No matter what the situation is God can come through for you, he loves and cares for you. Its not by might nor by power but it’s by the spirit of God.

I hope this testimony will change your life!

By: Anonymous (This young lady read my testimony, The Truth About Me, and was motivated to share hers, but desired to remain unnamed).

“Each one, reach one”

EX-HOMOSEXUAL PROSTITUTE FOUND GOD

I would like to thank God for working & being ever present in my life, even when I didn’t realize it, He was there. For a very long time I thought I was all alone in this world, I can remember it starting at the age of 19, when a friend of mine introduced me to the world of drag & making money on 79th St., this would continue for 10 yrs of my life. 79th St. is a famous main road for prostitution and drugs in Miami Florida. This is my story…

Shawn of One God United, met up with David and asked him to tell us his story without holding back.

SHAWN: So tell me a little more about your past life, I’d prefer not hearing about the glitters on the surface but real in-depth information about what happened.

DAVID: I’ll tell you, people can see me the way they want but God has changed me and is still at work with me. I hope my testimony can help someone else change.

I use to be a gay prostitute working the streets at night, getting paid and taking drugs. I started prostituting while I was living with a guy who was in the life and tried to get me in, I refused many times but when I lost my job at a fast food restaurant and needed money, I chose to get in the life of selling myself. I was the new “chick” on the block so a lot of the men was coming to me for sex, it’s like being the new fresh chick in a strip club. What I was making in two weeks working in fast food, I would make in one night of prostituting, drugs was also a way of life.  I remember one night I was almost raped by another male who came to the back of a house where I was having sex with another man, the guy came back there and saw us, then the guy I was having sex with took off. This guy grabbed my hand and told me to perform oral sex on him and that he was going to have sex with me. He took out a condom while I was performing oral sex on him, during that time I planned a way to escape. He didn’t want to let go of my hand so I told him to put the condom on himself, while he was putting it on I got up and ran. I was so lost & so deep in it that I couldn’t see my way out & I thought this would be my destiny for the rest of my life. The drugs I use to be on was crystal meth, I remembered being overdose about 3 times; One time I called 911 on myself thinking I was going to die.

SHAWN: You called 911 on yourself?

DAVID: Yes, I really thought I was going to die, when the cops came, I told them I was just going through some stuff. Another time I was so high I went in the bathroom because I didn’t want my auntie to see me like the way I became being high. I went into the bathroom and while on the floor saw a static-like thing behind the shower curtain, almost like a person in silhouette,  when I reach and grab the curtain, a shock went through my body, during that moment I plead to God to take me out of this sin because I hated it and to not let me die, I suddenly went blind for a moment… my auntie who is a minister came and held my arm and started praying, then everything went away. God has saved me so many times…  it was a battle within I wanted to give it up & walk away time after time but I just didn’t know how to, and then God showed up again by way of my friend Angel who didn’t judge me & who loved me enough to take me in and started taking me to church and although at times I would continue to sneak out of the house when everyone was sleeping to go back to the only life I had known for 10 long years, God NEVER gave up on me, and for that I am forever thankful, now I can proudly say that as of December 2014 He has completely delivered me, I have not been on 79th Street and prostituting in  seven months, I have also been clean.  Although it may not seem long to some of you, for me it is a great milestone for me.

SHAWN: What would you tell others that are going through similar struggles?

DAVID: I know that if He can bring me out after 10 years, he can surely bring you through whatever it is you may be struggling with. Be strong, keep the faith & NEVER give up on Him because he will NEVER give up on you… God is still perfecting me day by day, to Him be the Glory!

SHAWN: Are you looking to get married to a woman in the future and have kids?

DAVID: I am very open to it, my friend use to tell me that I’m going to have a wife and kids someday, I didn’t take her serious… now here I am, open to it. Whatever God has for me, if it’s in His will then I’m game!

SHAWN: We should do a video so you can tell it all-all, things that we won’t be able to add in the testimonial. A video in which you tell the stories of the extended version of your past life like the sex parties you use to be a part of and more…

DAVID: I’m down for that, I just want people to change their lives too. I am now ministering to my blood sister who is a stripper, would love for her to change.

SHAWN: Wow!! We thank God for you man, may God bless you tremendously!!!

DAVID: Thank you!!!

 

Retrieved from: One God United

GOD CHANGED MY LIFE (EX-LESBIAN)

DIAMOND H.

It all started at the age of seven when I found myself attracted to females, I was sneaking around and messing with my friends while playing house. I didn’t think much of it, I just thought I would grow out of whatever I was feeling. At the age of 15 I had my first real encounter with a female,  at that time I had a lot  going on in my life and messing around with different girls made me not think about anything that much.

At age 16 I started dressing like a boy, it’s not that I wanted to be one, it was just comfortable for me and I got more attention from girls. I grew up in Church so I knew it was wrong but I always told God to just wait, don’t give up on me, I’m coming back to You.

There were so many things going on in my life during that time, I took a leap of faith and moved, I left everything behind. Two months after, I took another leap of faith… one day I was sitting on my sofa and I came across a picture with a few men on it, the picture said, “My future husband is somewhere like this”, the men in the photo were all praising God. I liked the picture so much that I saved it on my phone. God then spoke to me and said, “you post everything else on Facebook, why won’t you post this?” At that moment, God searched my heart and after that, I didn’t want to be the same so I walked away from the lifestyle I was living, two weeks later I got baptized.

I’m now 23 years old, the past five years my soul has been crying Jesus but my mind, body and heart cried lust, depression and suicide. I was looking for love in all the wrong places and after running for five years, I allowed God to change me.

This may sound a bit cliche’.. but if God did it for me, He can surely do it for you. I truly hope that sharing my testimony will help bring change to someone who might be going through a similar situation. Go to the Throne of grace, seek God and allow Him to direct your path. God bless you!

You can also read other testimonies, watch spoken word videos and more on our website by clicking the link below.

Taken from: One God United

THE DRAG GOSPEL FESTIVAL — REALLY

This is not the kind of thing that you make up. A church in Sommerville, Massachusetts, just held a drag gospel festival – as in drag queen, gospel festival. In fact, this will mark the fifth straight year the church has held this event.

A public service announcement on the church’s website, provided by their “drag queen in residence, Serenity Jones,” states, “God is GOOD all the time! That means God is a DIVA … and girl … Jesus is FIERCE! Can I get a witness up in here!? Can I get an AMEN my sistahs and my brothahs!? For one weekend in October, First Church Somerville becomes FIERCE Church Somerville for two joyful days of Spirit in worship and praise, using our GOD-GIVEN musical and artistic talent, creativity and FASHION WITHOUT BORDERS, welcoming all God’s children to her FIERCE DIVA queen-dom. Hallelujah!”

Translated into “boring old English,” the announcement reads: “The brainchild of James Adams, aka Serenity Jones, Drag Gospel started in the fall of 2011 and has become a favorite annual event. It is our way of demonstrating the radical welcome that we believe Jesus offered to all kinds of people – especially people exiled to the margins just for being the people God made them to be: queer or straight or a little bit of each, male or female or a little bit of each.”

The congregation is First Church Sommerville UCC (United Church of Christ), and both the church website and Facebook page featured a drag queen Jesus in honor of the event.

But this should come as no surprise, since the UCC denomination in 2005 voted to adopt the resolution “Equal Marriage Rights for All,” noting even then that “many UCC pastors and congregations have held commitment services for gay and lesbian couples for some time, consistent with the call to loving, long-term committed relationships and to nurture family life.”

So, why not hold a drag queen and drag king gospel festival? It’s the next logical step into spiritual and moral apostasy.

The culture war is not over! Gain hope, courage and practical advice in Michael Brown’s latest book, “Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide”

And it’s in keeping with the larger, ultra-liberal approach to God and the Scriptures reflected elsewhere in the UCC, as exemplified by First Church Sommerville, which issues theological statements like this: “This morning at Drag Gospel church was a gorgeous expression of the totality of God’s love for all her children, people of all colors, all genders, all ages, and all theological persuasions.”

So, God is “she,” and regardless of your theological persuasion, you are one of “her children.”

As for the highlight of the weekend, “The main event is Sunday morning Festival Worship featuring Serenity in full drag (with costume changes), both performing and as the liturgist for the day, with our pastors (sometimes also in drag) bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ with a distinctly loving message for LGBTQ-add-your-letter-here. Our fabulous choir and in-house band raise the roof with gospel and soul music, both beloved standards and awesome music you may not have heard yet.”

As utterly bizarre as this sounds – and certainly must have been, in reality – the saddest part is the degree of deception these people are under, thinking that they can follow Jesus and be drag queens (and kings) at the same time, thinking that they can affirm their identity in the Lord while identifying as “LGBTQ-add-your-letter-here.”

Let’s not forget that transgender activists remind us that they are not gay men (or women) in drag but rather men trapped in women’s bodies (or vice versa), meaning that we must distinguish transgender from cross-dresser or drag queen or king.

In fact, according to one representative website, “A ‘Cross dresser’ is a general term for any person who routinely wears clothing typical of another gender, regardless of their reasons for doing so.”

In contrast, “A ‘Drag Queen’ is a campy and sometimes pejorative term for a person, typically a male, who cross-dresses as a form of performance art or theatre. Often this involves exaggeration or parody of gender differences through dress and behavior as a means of provoking audience reaction.”

And so, “while the public may lump anyone who cross dresses together under a typically pejorative stereotype, these forms of trans-gender behavior are completely distinct” (their emphasis).

And if you have a hard time with any of this, you are a transphobe. You might even be a dragaphobe. (OK. It’s a new word that I coined for this column, but you get the point. That being said, I spotted an article written by a gay dad who confessed to having an irrational fear of drag queens!)

Putting the silliness aside, though, I truly pity those trapped in this deception, believing that whoever they perceive themselves to be and whatever desires they have not only define them but also reflect God’s plan for them.

I can assure each of them that he has a much better and different way.

And for those wondering just how far apostasy can go, look no further.
By: Michael Brown
Retrieved from: WND

Dr. Michael Brown Has 40 Answers and 2 Questions for ‘Gay’ Christian, Matthew Vines

'Gay Christian' advocate Matthew Vines

‘Gay Christian’ advocate Matthew Vines (File)

I am answering the 40 questions put forward by “gay Christian” advocate Matthew Vines, after which I will put two simple questions to Matthew (and his allies). What is absolutely stunning, though, is that in these 40 questions, he failed to ask the only one that really matters, namely, “What does the Bible say about homosexual practice?” The reason for that is self-evident, namely, it is impossible to make a case for homosexual relationships using the Word of God alone.

That’s why, for the last decade (and until this moment), I have offered to debate the issue of the Bible and homosexual practice with any qualified representative of the “gay Christian” position, yet I have had no takers. (Matthew and I did engage in a brief debate hosted by Moody radio, but as is well known, Matthew agreed to do the broadcast before realizing he would be debating me, after which he felt it would be worse publicity to drop out rather than do the show. Those interested can watch the debate here. (For a relevant follow-up article, go here.) I also address many of the questions Matthew raises in my book Can You Be Gay and Christian?, but for the benefit of those who don’t have the book, and so as to answer all the questions conveniently in one place, I’ve responded to each of them here.

Before addressing the questions, it’s important to address Matthew’s premise, namely, those of us who uphold Scripture “oppose marriage equality.” Actually, we oppose redefining marriage; as for so-called “marriage equality,” as I have pointed out, advocates of “same-sex marriage” represent just one group clamoring for changes in marriage laws, including polygamists, polyamorists, and adult incestuous couples. That’s why the Marriage Equality Blogspot calls for “Full Marriage Equality,” specifically, “for the right of consenting adults to share and enjoy love, sex, residence and marriage without limits on the gender, number or relation of participants.” So, from that point of view, Matthew also opposes “marriage equality.”

To answer the 40 questions:

1. Do you accept that sexual orientation is not a choice? Sexual orientation is a relatively modern construct, but if you mean is it true that, generally speaking, homosexual men and women did not choose to be attracted to the same sex, the answer would be yes, it is not a conscious choice they made, any more than someone who struggles with angry desires, violent desires, or adulterous desires consciously chose to have those desires.

2. Do you accept that sexual orientation is highly resistant to attempts to change it? Again, using your definition, in the majority of cases, certainly. However, we must not downplay the many successful stories of change through counseling and, more importantly, the possibility of change through the gospel. Cannot Almighty God change a homosexual into a heterosexual if it so pleases Him? Has the church really devoted itself to seeking God to help men and women who struggle with same-sex attractions?

3. How many meaningful relationships with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people do you have? My first organ teacher, when I was barely 7-years old, was openly gay, and he and his partner would come to our home and have dinner with our family. Over the years, I’ve had good friends who came out of homosexuality (including someone very close to my family), and I interact as often I can in as much depth as I can with those who identify as LGBT.

4. How many openly LGBT people would say you are one of their closest friends? None that I know of, but that is not because of my rejection of them. I have never turned away from a person because of their sexual brokenness or sexual desires. If, however, they openly scorned God’s Word and God’s ways, I’m afraid it would be hard for us to be close friends. That being said, I have close friends who are very religious Jews, yet they still believe my faith in Jesus is wrong and I still believe they are lost without Him. In other words, friendship with people (or lack thereof) has absolutely nothing to do with determining the truth of God’s Word.

5. How much time have you spent in one-on-one conversation with LGBT Christians about their faith and sexuality? Many hours, and many more hours reading their stories prayerfully, sometimes having to put down the book I’m reading and get on my knees in prayer, even with tears and a heavy burden. I hurt deeply over the pain they have experienced and I long to see them find wholeness in the Lord.

6. Do you accept that heterosexual marriage is not a realistic option for most gay people? Probably so—again, with God, all things are possible—but this too has nothing to do with what God has to say about homosexual practice. It calls for great compassion from the church, but not for rewriting the Bible. Also, unless we get caught up with the spirit of the age, it’s important to realize that “heterosexual marriage” is the only marriage God acknowledges.

7. Do you accept that lifelong celibacy is the only valid option for most gay people if all same-sex relationships are sinful? I accept that our Father knows best, that His ways are ways of life, and that if He does not enable someone to enter into a heterosexual relationship then He will give grace to that person to be celibate, just as He gives grace to a believer suffering decades of imprisonment and torture, just as He gives grace to a drug addict to get free from addictions, and just as He gives grace to many heterosexuals to live in lifelong, non-chosen celibacy.

8. How many gay brothers and sisters in Christ have you walked with on the path of mandatory celibacy, and for how long? Less than 10, and not more than 10 years so far, but the term “mandatory celibacy” is misleading, since I’ve walked with heterosexual believers for decades who did not choose celibacy but never met their mate, and they found Jesus to be more than enough to carry them through. Plus, Jesus requires all of us to deny ourselves and take up the cross and follow Him, and He does not promise any of us a spouse. I also have close friends whose spouses divorced them and who believe they cannot remarry as long as their spouse is alive, and they too have survived and even thrived by God’s grace despite years of singleness imposed on them by their convictions.

9. What is your answer for gay Christians who struggled for years to live out a celibacy mandate but were driven to suicidal despair in the process? This is a heartrending issue that I do not take lightly, but my answer is that anyone who says, “I will kill myself unless I can have sex and be intimate with another human being” is not taking hold of what God has for them. Generally speaking, it’s also true that people who commit suicide are struggling with other emotional issues; otherwise, no matter how acute their problems, they would not take their own lives. Ultimately, though, I cannot see our Father responding positively to the threat of, “Unless you let me have a relationship that satisfies me, I will kill myself.”

10. Has mandatory celibacy produced good fruit in the lives of most gay Christians you know? Again, I object to the term “mandatory celibacy,” and I believe the term “gay Christian” is misleading and unhelpful, but yes, the single Christians I know who are still same-sex attracted are enjoying the Lord, enjoying healthy friendships, and are really quite vibrant. Others have seen a shift (or complete change) in their attractions, and they are happily married to their heterosexual partner. I’ve been quite close with some of them over the years.

11. How many married same-sex couples do you know? Only a few on a fairly personal level, but I’ve read as many stories as I can to try to hear their hearts and enter into their worlds. When I have spent time with them, the wrongness of the relationship was underscored to me, along with the depth of my love for them.

12. Do you believe that same-sex couples’ relationships can show the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? I believe that humanly speaking, some of these couples are probably exemplary, similar to some religious Jewish couples I know (and probably similar to some atheist couples, Muslim couples, Mormon couples, and others). Do I believe they are being supernaturally empowered by the Spirit to walk in a same-sex relationship? Certainly not. The Spirit would not back or empower that.

13. Do you believe that it is possible to be a Christian and support same-sex marriage in the church? Not a Christian that is walking fully in the light of God’s Word and God’s Spirit. Only a Christian walking in some level of ignorance could support something that is a fundamental violation of God’s heart and intent for marriage, and there are certainly well meaning, misinformed Christians that do that very thing.

14. Do you believe that it is possible to be Christian and support slavery? In Old Testament times, it was right for faithful believers to support the God-ordered system under the Torah, which was closer to that of indentured servants than to the modern slave trade, but it was never proper for a Christian walking fully in the Word and Spirit to support the barbaric African slave trade (or other related forms).

15. If not, do you believe that Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards were not actually Christians because they supported slavery? They were Christians with blind spots, some very serious, to the point that Luther’s words were used verbatim by Adolph Hitler in his violent against the Jews, beginning November 9th-10th, 1938). Do we therefore support murderous Jew-hatred today because of Luther’s virulent anti-Semitic writings?

16. Do you think supporting same-sex marriage is a more serious problem than supporting slavery? They are both very serious problems. In fact, because of Old Testament laws concerning slavery and New Testament guidelines for dealing with slavery, misguided Christians actually had verses to use when they argued wrongly for barbaric slavery practices. In contrast, there is not a single verse in the Bible supporting same-sex “marriage” while the entire, positive testimony of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation opposes homosexual relationships. Moreover, while the Bible clearly points to liberation of slavery as a good thing and even a fruit of the gospel, advocates of same-sex “marriage” can point to no such themes or texts in Scripture to support their position.

17. Did you spend any time studying the Bible’s passages about slavery before you felt comfortable believing that slavery is wrong? Being raised in the second half of the 20th century (and in New York, for that matter), I grew up believing that slavery and segregation were wrong. But as an Old Testament scholar, it was important for me to work through the biblical passages on slavery and to conclude that it was right for us to oppose slavery today.

18. Does it cause you any concern that Christians throughout most of church history would have disagreed with you? That is certainly a broad statement that is not easily documented, but even if it were true, we must recognize that there have been various forms of slavery in history, that it was Christians, using the Bible, who successfully fought for the liberation of slavery, that in American history, there was constant debate about slavery in the church, and, in stark contrast with homosexual practice, of which there is not a single supporting syllable in the Scriptures and which has been universally condemned in church history, the Bible is a book of liberation from slavery and bondage.

19. Did you know that, for most of church history, Christians believed that the Bible taught the earth stood still at the center of the universe? Biblical authors used descriptive language, just as we speak of the sun rising and setting, and, more importantly, the Bible is not here primarily to teach us science. It is God’s Word to teach about who He is, what He requires, and how we can live lives that are pleasing to Him. You could believe that the earth is made of ice cream and still go to heaven, but Paul (and others) teach that those who practice willful, unrepentant, and habitual sin—be it adultery, fornication, homosexual practice, or drunkenness—will not inherit the kingdom of God.

20. Does it cause you any concern that you disagree with their interpretation of the Bible? Of course not, for the reasons just stated. Questions like this, sad to say, underscore the paucity of your arguments and the complete absence of Scripture in support of your view.

21. Did you spend any time studying the Bible’s verses on the topic before you felt comfortable believing that the earth revolves around the sun? This is not a point of biblical faith or morality and so it did not concern me in the least. However, again, as an Old Testament scholar, I have devoted decades to understanding the Bible in its ancient Near Eastern (and later Mediterranean and Jewish context) so as to rightly interpret and apply it to today.

22. Do you know of any Christian writers before the 20th century who acknowledged that gay people must be celibate for life due to the church’s rejection of same-sex relationships? The question is itself misleading and self-defeating. What Scripture and the church have always addressed is the question of behavior, not just feelings, since every human being is broken and sinful outside of Jesus and many human beings have all kinds of sinful sexual thoughts and desires, including every kind of sexual perversion known to man. What has been universally called for is holiness of heart and life, meaning sexual purity while single and sexual purity within marriage (which has always and only been male-female in God’s sight, and which remains so today, regardless of what any court rules). Some of the greatest leaders in the church have been single, and it’s possible that not a few of them, like the Catholic leader Henri Nouwen, wrestled with same-sex attraction.

23. If not, might it be fair to say that mandating celibacy for gay Christians is not a traditional position? Absolutely false. What is emphatically not a traditional position is the idea that two men or two women could enter into a blessed, romantic and sexual relationship. That is not just unbiblical and untraditional; it is diametrically opposed to everything Scripture teaches (and the church has taught) about sexual and marital intimacy. Anyone who could not marry someone of the opposite sex—to repeat, the only marital option before God—or who chose not to marry would be celibate.

24. Do you believe that the Bible explicitly teaches that all gay Christians must be single and celibate for life? First, I reject the category of “gay Christians,” as if someone’s sexual desires and romantic attractions defined their entire being. Many researchers today believe that pedophilia is innate and immutable, but would we dare call someone a “pedophilic Christian,” even if that person renounced those feelings and was living a holy life? Why then speak of “gay Christians”? That is embracing the spirit and mindset of the world rather than that of the Lord. That being said, without possible question, Christians who are same-sex attracted can seek the Lord for His grace to change (and many, thank God, have been helped in that way) or, one day at a time, seek His grace to be celibate. Those are the only options, and the church must stand with them in faith, love, friendship, and support. Theirs is a very holy calling.

25. If not, do you feel comfortable affirming something that is not explicitly affirmed in the Bible? Again, your question is based on a false premise. What is explicitly affirmed over and again in the Bible is that God requires holiness of all His people and that the only outlet for sexual intimacy is in the confines of marriage, which, to repeat, can only be the union of a man and woman. This is as explicit as anything in the Word.

26. Do you believe that the moral distinction between lust and love matters for LGBT people’s romantic relationships? Not anymore than the distinction holds in matters of fornication and adultery, meaning, many fornicating couples love each other, but their relationship is still sinful, and many adulterers truly fall in love with their adulterous partner, yet their relationship is still sinful. It’s the same with homosexual couples, even if they love each other.

27. Do you think that loving same-sex relationships should be assessed in the same way as the same-sex behavior Paul explicitly describes as lustful in Romans 1? Absolutely, in terms of being contrary to what God intended. The fundamental issue, as the Greek text indicates, especially when compared to the Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation) of Genesis 1, is that such behavior is contrary to the Creator’s design for His creation—it really is self-evident that God designed a man to be with a woman, on many levels, and that He did not design a man to be with a man or a woman to be with a woman—which is also why, on average, there is far more homosexual and bisexual promiscuity than heterosexual promiscuity, not to mention a greater percentage of sexually transmitted diseases. I realize there are committed homosexual couples (although, in many cases, their definition of monogamy is hardly traditional), but the Word never says that an inherently sinful act somehow becomes sanctified by repeating it with the same person.

28. Do you believe that Paul’s use of the terms “shameful” and “unnatural” in Romans 1:26-27 means that all same-sex relationships are sinful? Without a doubt, based on the consistent testimony of Scripture, which Paul reaffirms in Romans 1, which is why numerous gay and lesbian scholars have stated that Paul explicitly opposed all forms of homoeroticism.

29. Would you say the same about Paul’s description of long hair in men as “shameful” and against “nature” in 1 Corinthians 11:14, or would you say he was describing cultural norms of his time? Actually, you cannot possibly compare Paul’s condemnation of homosexual practice in Romans 1 with his teaching about long hair (and or veiling of the hair) in 1 Corinthians 11, nor does he ever make the latter a matter of salvation, whereas he clearly does of the former (as in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). As to “nature” in 1 Corinthians 11, actually, women by nature have longer and fuller hair than men, and to this day, it is a much more serious issue for a woman to lose her hair than a man. And in the culture of the day, for a married woman to go outside her house unveiled would be immodest, so the question was raised as to what conduct was proper in a house church meeting. How can this be compared to the radical redefining of marriage and to the attempt to sanctify something that God says is detestable?

30. Do you believe that the capacity for procreation is essential to marriage? Procreation is essential to the design of marriage, which means only a man and woman can marry because only they are designed to procreate. That is self-evident from the creation accounts in Genesis 1-2, where human beings are commanded to be fruitful and multiply, and where Adam needs a suitable helper (not just companion) because he and his wife must produce offspring for the future of humanity, and they are the paradigm emphasized throughout Scripture, reinforced by Jesus in Matthew 19 and Paul in Ephesians 5.

31. If so, what does that mean for infertile heterosexual couples? Heterosexual couples who are infertile have not violated the design of marriage; rather, they have a disability within the designed parameters of marriage, just like a bird with a broken wing. But to compare a homosexual couple to an infertile heterosexual couple is to compare a fish to a bird with a broken wing.

32. How much time have you spent engaging with the writings of LGBT-affirming Christians like Justin Lee, James Brownson, and Rachel Murr? I have spent countless hours studying these writings, amassing a large library of pro-LGBT books, even praying as I read them for God to show me any blind spots in my own understanding. I can safely say that not one of them makes the slightest, genuinely biblical, positive case for homosexual practice and that not one of them adequately refutes the clear teaching of Scripture prohibiting all forms of homosexual practice. (On the sociological end of things, readers can work through the 1,500 endnotes in A Queer Thing Happened to America or consult the bibliography here. On the biblical end of things, readers can work through the 15-page select bibliography in Can You Be Gay and Christian? or the 518 endnotes to that book, in which I quote extensively from those who differ with my position.)

33. What relationship recognition rights short of marriage do you support for same-sex couples? I support their treatment as fellow-human beings and to be protected from acts of hatred and violence, like everyone else is entitled. I support no special recognition of their relationship.

34. What are you doing to advocate for those rights? I have often spoken against gay bashing and bullying, and I follow the principle of “reach out and resist,” meaning, reach out to LGBT people with compassion, resist gay activism with courage. Because of this emphasis, when gay protesters came to my home church several years ago, they quickly apologized to our people once they began to interact, with the organizer calling my radio show the next day to apologize to me personally (I was not there when the protest occurred), stating, “Once we got there Sunday morning we were greeted with absolutely perfect love. I mean, it was fantastic.” This proves that you can oppose homosexual practice as sinful yet do so full of God’s love.

35. Do you know who Tyler Clementi, Leelah Alcorn, and Blake Brockington are, and did your church offer any kind of prayer for them when their deaths made national news? Yes, of course I know about these tragic stories, as my article on the suicide of Joshua Alcorn, written with sensitivity and pain, indicates. As for my congregation specially focusing on them, to be candid, while we care deeply about the wellbeing of those who identify as LGBT, there are millions of people dying around the world, with unspeakable tragedies taking place day and night across America and in other countries. It would be very strange for us to focus on these few tragedies as opposed to the tragic deaths of these countless others. (May I ask, in turn, how much time you spend fighting against human trafficking in the Third World—our ministry school grads are actively engaged there, as well as in America—or how much humanitarian work you actively support in war-torn Muslim countries—our grads are serving there as I speak, at the risk of their own lives—or how much time you invest in stopping the slaughter of the unborn—again, our grads are fighting for life every day.)

36. Do you know that LGBT youth whose families reject them are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide than LGBT youth whose families support them? I teach Christian parents to demonstrate unconditional love to their kids who come out as gay, telling them, “You know what we believe, but you are our child and we love you and care about you just the same, and we are here for you.” To my joy, I have received testimonies from both parents and older children who have come through these struggles, with those children now serving the Lord and living holy lives. What I also know is that adult homosexuals, even in gay-affirming environments, continue to have higher instances of depression, suicide, substance abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases. Why would I want to “support” that?

37. Have you vocally objected when church leaders and other Christians have compared same-sex relationships to things like bestiality, incest, and pedophilia? I have clearly and emphatically distinguished between consensual adult sexual behaviors and, say, sexual abuse of children, also openly correcting those who use unhelpful rhetoric. At the same time, you must protest against Leviticus 18, which group’s homosexual practice together with incest and bestiality—in other words, these are serious violations of God’s intent for His people—and if you eliminate Leviticus 18 from your canon of relevant Scripture, on what basis should incest be forbidden?

38. How certain are you that God’s will for all gay Christians is lifelong celibacy?Once more, I object to your “gay Christian” moniker as a term of self-identification, but am I sure that people who cannot marry (meaning, male-female marriage) must be celibate? Yes, 100 percent sure. The Scriptures are unequivocal on this.

39. What do you think the result would be if we told all straight teenagers in the church that if they ever dated someone they liked, held someone’s hand, kissed someone or got married, they would be rebelling against God? That is an irrelevant question. Instead, we should teach all teenagers (whose sexual desires and attractions are also known to fluctuate more than adults) that God requires holiness of heart and life, that by His grace, He will empower them to live overcoming lives, forgiving them when they fall short and come to Him in repentance, that as long as they are single, He will be more than enough for them, and that if it His will that they marry, He will provide a spouse for them and help them to be ready. Interestingly, a guest on my radio show who works in the Muslim world told me that when a Muslim comes to faith in Jesus, they are asked two questions: Are you willing to suffer for Him? Are you willing to die for Him? I would say that those are far more sobering questions than the ones you posit here. Similarly, every year when we baptize believers in India, my dear Indian colleague asks them, “Are you willing to follow Jesus to your last breath, to your last drop of blood?” I’m sure this is a weightier question than, “Are you willing to be single if God called you to be?” I don’t deny the weight of the question. I simply say your emphasis is all wrong. In fact, it’s the common theme through your questions, namely, “Surely God wouldn’t want me to live without sex and intimacy, therefore I must reinterpret the Bible in that light.”

40. Are you willing to be in fellowship with Christians who disagree with you on this topic? I do my best to interact with believers who differ with me by every means at my disposal, both privately and publicly, and my open invitation to sit with professing “gay Christians” and simply hear their stories—without me debating them—remains valid. However, if someone claimed to be a follower of Jesus and was openly advocating same-sex relationships, thereby misleading people as a false teacher, if that person would not repent, I would have to break fellowship with them.

Now, my two questions to Matthew Vines, since I noticed in our brief debate that he did not quote a single Scripture in clear support of homosexual relationships.

1. Can you give me a single, unambiguous biblical example of a God-blessed homosexual relationship?

2. Do you agree that every reference to homosexual practice in the Bible is decidedly negative?

I appeal to everyone reading this article to read with heart and mind, to search the Word carefully and prayerfully, to listen to followers of Jesus who have renounced homosexual practice, and to be moved by what our God says more than what our (often fickle and misleading) emotions might say. It is the truth alone that will set us free and, to repeat, Jesus is enough for all of us.

Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire and is the president of FIRE School of Ministry. His newest book (September, 2015) is Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide. Connect with him on Facebook at AskDrBrown or on Twitter @drmichaellbrown

Retrieved from: Charisma News
By: Michael Brown

I Begged God to Make Me Straight and He Never Answered. Here’s Why.

By

I knew I was attracted to the same sex when I was seven — in some capacity, anyway. I don’t think it’s physiologically possible to truly feel sexual attraction at such a young age. But I knew there was a drawing in me toward the same gender – and drawing that was more than what some would say is “natural” or “normal.”

As I grew up in a rural Louisiana town and teenage hormones began to surge throughout my body, my drawing toward the same gender intensified — sexually and emotionally. While I was definitely not engulfed in the life of a church during my adolescence, I was raised in close enough proximity to religious things – and religious people – that I knew the Bible referenced homosexuality as an abominable thing.

The Bible referenced to me as an abominable thing. That was my understanding anyway. And not only did the Bible paint people like me in the light of all that is grotesque, but so did the people around me. Family, friends, football coaches. Everyone. To be gay was to be gross. To be gay was to be wicked. To be gay was to be scum.

So I prayed. Oh. How. I. Prayed.

“God, make me normal.”

 “God, make me straight.”

 “God, make me like everyone else.”

But God didn’t answer those prayers. Why?

I hear my experience repeated by others all the time. Just yesterday, actually. A Christian friend of mine was conversing with a guy who is living a homosexual lifestyle. He pleaded with her to believe that he had prayed for years for God to make him straight…. to no avail. She was speechless. She didn’t know how to respond.

 “Matt, why didn’t God answer his prayer? I mean, he prayed God’s will? Why was there no answer?”

I’m not God, so I can’t know all the reasons why He wouldn’t have answered this guy’s prayers to be made attracted to women. But, I do know what He’s revealed in the Bible and I  do know what I now, as a believer in Jesus, believe to be true of my own “unanswered prayers” experience.

Firstly, when I grew up pleading with God to make me straight, I had no real interest in GodHimself. I wasn’t praying for God to do this because I loved Him or wanted to live my life for Him. I was actually pretty unconcerned about Him, to be honest. I wanted God to take away my same-sex desires for my own benefit – so that I could fit in, be normal, be one of the guys, and even so that I could just have sex with girls like all of my friends were. < — So I obviously wasn’t worried about being sexually moral. I just wanted to be sexually normal.

My desire to be made straight was all about me. I had no interest in being reconciled to God or having a relationship with Christ.

Which brings me to by second point. From what I see in the Bible, God is far more concerned with first fixing our hearts than he is with fixing other things in our lives. Same sex attraction included. Yes, it’s true that God hates homosexuality. But more than that, He hates that our hearts are opposed to Him and that we long to live our lives separated from Him. God’s foremost desire is that we would come to Him through Christ to receive new hearts that love and adore Him.

In fact, nothing can even begin to be done as far as the untangling of our sexualities until we receive new hearts that love and adore God. How do I know that? Because Romans 1 says that the whole reason homosexual desire even exists is due to our rejection of God’s loving rule and authority over our lives.

Don’t skip over this passage of Scripture I’m about to paste under here. It’s vital that you read it.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”- Romans 1:18-26.

Homosexual desire – and all other sinful desire — exists in the hearts of people because worship of God doesn’t.

In Adam, we corporately rejected the good rule of God over our lives. And in each of our hearts, we have all individually rejected the good rule of God over our lives. And what has been the result? God has given us over to ourselves. He gave us up to our sinful desire, and has allowed us to revel and further deteriorate in it.

So why didn’t God answer my prayer to rid me of my homosexual desires? Because homosexual desires were not my main problem. They were a problem, for sure. But the root of my problem was that I didn’t love God or worship Him, and my homosexual desires were just fruit of that, so to speak. God’s desire was to fix the root of my issues.

And in 2010, He did just that. He opened my eyes to see all that Jesus Christ is for those who will believe. I finally really saw Jesus as the Son of God who took on flesh and who in humility andincredible graciousness laid His life down for mine. He offered up His life to pay for my guilt in order that I could draw near to God and be given me a new heart; a new heart that loves, adores and worships the one true and incredibly good God.

Am I now straight? Am I now normal? Am I now free from same sex desires and attracted solely to women?

No, no and no.

My heart was changed instantaneously when I trusted in Christ and began to follow Him, but my mind was not. I now have a heart that genuinely loves God and desires to worship Him, but at the same time, I’m still utterly messed up and damaged by sin. The Lord is working in me and renewing my mind day by day, shaping me more and more into the reflection of Him that I was created to be. But it’s been a process. And it will continue to be a process until I receive a new, perfect and sinless body in the age to come. When that day comes, the fullness of what Jesus purchased for me will be given to me: full freedom from every sinful thing that restrains my enjoyment and worship of God.

But even now, in this messed up damaged flesh, I have experienced some change in my sexuality over the past four years. I can’t deny that. And the shifting in my sexual desires is a direct result of my grace-given love for God. I’ve grown in my disgust of homosexual relations because I see what a twisting and perversion it is of the image of God. And I’ve grown in my desire for women (specifically, one woman.… I wrote about it here), and maybe even in my desire for marriage, because I see how a one man + one woman marital covenant so beautifully reflects the image of God.

My growing desire for women is the overflow of a growing desire to see God’s glory manifested in my life. Plain and simple. I’m not saying that I’m definitely going to get married one day. I might not. I may be single and celibate for the remainder of my sojourning in this world.But either way I will be fine and I will be joyful because my main problem has been fixed. I might not be “straight” or “normal”, but I have a new heart, I have Jesus, and I have the Father. And that’s all I really need.

Matt Moore is a 25 year old writer who has spent the last few years engaging the culture in discussions about sexuality and faith. In 2010, Matt converted to Christianity from a lifestyle of homosexuality. He greatly desires, through his writing, to help the gay community see the world and themselves from a biblical perspective and to know the hope that is available to them in Christ. Matt lives in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in Tennessee. He blogs at MooreMatt.org and you can follow him on Facebook.

How to Treat Homosexuals and the Trans-gendered?

Today I am being vocal about homosexuality’s rise and what God thinks. You know, we must get our theology right before we go out the front door/into the world.

I was driving through Half Way Tree, Jamaica one day and I saw the unthinkable. I saw men running after an effeminate man with a machete. I cried because the victim was somebody’s son. I prayed that day for the man, and one night in a roadside Holy Ghost street meeting in a gay/cross-dressing stronghold, I was ‘scraping up souls for my Father’s Kingdom’ and one of those who repented was this same young man. We got him a job, food and some rent money and sent him back to life. He still follows our ministry today.

Some of these people are the kindest and most hard working folks you could meet, don’t hurt them but at the same time you must tell them that goodness is not a qualifier for a relationship with God (Ephesians 2:8). Man must change so he can please God and Jesus is the source of that change (Romans 5).

Some believe because in the Old Testament we were able to put them to death deviant men,we can now. We cannot do so.

In the Old Testament mankind could not be regenerated by the Holy Spirit or changed from within. In the New Testament Jesus Christ takes the SIN AND THE SINNER, out of the man. That’s right, not just the sin but the SINNER (see 2 Corinthians 5:17) In Old Testament what appears as genocide/ethnic cleansing was not. It had to be to stem sin’s epidemic in the land. Now man has HOPE, JESUS CHRIST IS HERE, and not just to save but to deliver you from the hordes of Hell. Deliverance is a real and long lasting solution.

THE BIBLE AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: 6 COMMON BUT MISTAKEN CLAIMS

Retrieved from: The Gospel Coalition

By: Darrell Bock

I’ve been hearing a lot in the public square about trajectories. In these conversations God’s Word is used to argue that the church needs to change its view on same-sex marriage, even though Scripture seems uniformly against it. This comes not only from newspaper columnists, such as Steve Blow in the Dallas Morning News, but also from evangelical commentators who claim the direction of the Bible takes them there. I understand this desire to love well, taken from the great commandment (Matt. 22:39), and I also see that one can ask such questions not out of a desire to rebel, clear a new path, or conform to culture, but out of sincerity.

Sincere questions deserve sincere responses. This article is designed to engage those who say the real thrust of the Bible is to joyously enter our brave new world with open arms and hearts. I’ll discuss various claims arguing that Scripture either doesn’t clearly address our specific contemporary situation or that Scripture is open and inconsistent enough to allow room for a category previously rejected.

Claim 1: Jesus didn’t speak about same-sex marriage, so he’s at least neutral if not open to it. What Jesus doesn’t condemn, we shouldn’t condemn. 

This is an argument from silence, but the silence doesn’t take place in a vacuum. Jesus addresses and defines marriage in Matthew 19:4–6 and Mark 10:6–9using both Genesis 1:26–27 and Genesis 2:24 to parse it out. Here Jesus defines and affirms marriage as between a man and a woman, a reflection of the fact that God made us male and female to care for creation together. With this definition, same-sex marriage is excluded. Had Jesus wished to extend the right of marriage beyond this definition, here was his opportunity. But he didn’t take it.

Jesus never discussed same-sex marriage because the way he defined marriage already excluded it. He was not as silent on the topic as some claim.

Claim 2: The Old Testament (OT) allows all sorts of “prohibited” marriage, including polygamy and what would today qualify as incest. If those were permitted, surely monogamous same-sex relationships should be allowed.

Here’s where a look at trajectory helps us. If we observe what Scripture actually teaches, we see that (1) such past marriages are consistently portrayed as resulting in social chaos and aren’t so much prescribed as described; and that (2) Scripture’s expansion into the New Testament (NT) narrows down the scope of options to the standard of one monogamous union between a man and woman in which the marriage bed is to be honored but porneia—sexual infidelity in all its manifestations—is to be avoided (Heb. 13:4). Additionally, elders are to show the community what it looks like to be the husband of one wife (1 Tim. 3:2, 12).

So opening up marriage to a new category actually works against Scripture’s trajectory on marriage.

Claim 3: The move to prohibit recognition of same-sex marriage is like the church’s past blindness on slavery, women’s rights, and a geocentric universe—where what was “clearly” taught in Scripture is now seen as wrong.

It’s fair to point out that some views that used to be considered clear in Scripture have actually turned out to not be so clear—and even wrong. Hermeneutical humility for all is not a bad thing. But it cuts both ways. Whereas with creation/slavery/women one can point to passages where counter-tensions existed with what was clear (such as the way Paul asks Philemon to treat Onesimus, or how Mary sat as Jesus’s disciple, or how the Spirit is said to indwell all women), no OT or NT text is even neutral on same-sex issues. Every single text that mentions the topic does so negatively.

So here also trajectory helps us, since with same-sex passages there is no trajectory. The reading is consistent. That should count for something.

Claim 4: We don’t follow all sorts of OT laws today (try laws on having sex while a woman is menstruating, or eating certain types of food), so why should we accept what the OT says about same-sex relationships?

We already set the trajectory for this answer when we noted that all the biblical texts on homosexuality, both in the OT and NT, are negative. Yet one other observation needs to be made. Some OT laws deal with the issue of uncleanness tied to the temple and worship, which aren’t categories of sin but of appropriateness tied to worship. These aren’t moral laws, but restrictions that distinguished Israel from the surrounding polytheistic nations who were morally loose and sacrificed certain types of animals (and in some cases, children) as part of their worship. This claim shows no sensitivity to these biblical distinctions. In some cases, it ends up comparing apples to oranges since issues of uncleanness were set aside in the NT when Gentiles came into the fold (Acts 10:9–29; Eph. 2:11–22; Col. 2:13–15).

We don’t read the Bible as a flat text. It progresses, even along certain trajectories, so that with the arrival of the promise certain parts of the law are set aside (Gal. 3; Heb. 8–10).

Claim 5: Same-sex marriage doesn’t harm anyone, so it’s morally acceptable and people should have the right to choose what to do.

This is one argument that’s not so much biblical as it is logical. Often the church’s response has been that human design reveals the wrongness of homosexuality because of childbearing. A same-sex couple cannot produce a child. But what does that say about singles or couples who do not or cannot bear children? That rebuttal is fair. Marriage isn’t just about providing children, nor is sex merely for procreation. The Song of Songs lifts up love in marriage as having its own merit, as do many psalms and proverbs.

But here’s another place where surfacing gender in its distinction matters. In Genesis 1 and 2, God’s creation of male and female as a complementary pair—a pairing of another in person but not gender, both made in God’s image—is seen as part of God’s design. That image involves both male and female. Marriage depicts their mutual cooperation in a designed diversity to steward God’s creation. This is seen as creation’s pinnacle since it is the context in which God calls us to manage the world well. Part of that creation design is about the nurturing of future people, where respect for each gender is entailed and appreciated.

I ask a hard question now sincerely: how is respect and appreciation for both genders enhanced, affirmed, and modeled in same-sex marriage? It doesn’t even have the potential for showing it. In a somewhat ironic sense given our desire to be politically correct, same-sex marriage is discriminatory, for only one gender counts in the relationship.

Nevertheless, people do have the right to choose whom they live with and are morally responsible before God for their choices. In the end he will judge us—heterosexual or homosexual—for how we’ve lived in these areas, regardless of our national laws. The church’s plea has been motivated not by hate or fear, but out of a genuine belief that how we choose to live in this most basic of relationships affects our society for good or ill. So we should choose wisely, both individually and as a people. For those who trust Scripture, this means walking in line with the design and standards God says are best for love and flourishing.

Claim 6: The ancient world didn’t understand genuine same-sex love, so this is a new category to consider.

Apparently neither Jesus nor Paul nor even God the Father—who inspired Scripture—recognized this potential category. But this claim ignores how widespread same-sex relationships were in the ancient world. Not all of them were abusive or exercises of raw social power. This is a classic example of “chronological snobbery,” which C. S. Lewis described as “the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited” (Surprised by Joy, 206), and which his friend Owen Barfield explained as the belief that, intellectually, humanity “languished for countless generations in the most childish errors on all sorts of crucial subjects until it was redeemed by some simple scientific dictum of the last century” (History in English Words, 154).

Such a claim drastically underestimates the options ancient life presented, and it ignores the fact that ancient culture fairly uniformly rejected the idea of same-sex marriage. This point is important for understanding Paul’s inclusion of such relationships in the category of porneia (Matt. 15:19). The infidelity in view isn’t just to another person, but to the complementary divine design of man and woman in God’s image.

Something Sacred and Profound 

Paying serious attention the trajectory of Scripture—even if it aims to be monogamous and loving—doesn’t open the door to affirming same-sex marriage. In fact, it does the opposite.

Divine revelation gives us every indication there is something sacred about God’s image being male and female, and something profound about marriage between a man and a woman (Eph. 5:32)—something that makes marriage unique among all human relationships.