Affirm Homosexuality as Sin
God’s Word is clear that homosexuality is wrong (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) and so we too should without compromise be clear that homosexuality is a blatant violation of God’s standards. Homosexuality (like every other sin) is inexcusable, and therefore, we ought not to excuse it.
With the Biblical understanding that the unrepentant practice of homosexuality excludes one from inheriting the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), to endorse homosexual practice, or even be silent on its sinfulness, is entirely unloving and contrary to an evangelistic effort.
And more so, we cannot, I repeat, cannot be ashamed of declaring that homosexuality is sin. All sin (i.e., homosexuality) is contrary to the character of God, and so when we compromise the sinfulness of sin, we compromise our ascription and declaration of God’s character.
Excursus: Some Apologetic Responses
Response to, “Jesus never condemned homosexuality.”
It’s true that the New Testament never records Jesus condemning homosexuality. But, the apostle Paul definitely did (Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:9-10). Are we to pose Paul, who is an apostle and servant of Jesus Christ, against His Lord? Besides, all scripture, which would include the part that Paul wrote condemning homosexuality, is God’s word (2 Tim 3:16).
And more so, are we to suppose that every word and teaching Christ spoke is recorded in the Bible? Certainly not. Therefore, it’s a weak argument from silence to suppose that Christ never condemned homosexuality.
But let’s say for the sake of argument that Christ never said a word about homosexuality. Okay, that actually wouldn’t be too shocking at all seeing that Christ’s ministry took place among Jews who knew full well that homosexuality was condemned in the law (Lev 18:22; 20:13).
And lastly, it is possible that Christ never addressed homosexuality directly, but nonetheless, He did address all sexual sins at their core–the heart–by condemning lust itself (Matthew 5:28). So, even if Christ never condemned homosexuality directly, He certainly raised the ethical bar and condemned all sexual sin, including homosexuality, when He condemned sexual lust.
Respond to, “The Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality was simply culturally bound.”
This argument would have us believe that the Bible only condemned homosexual practice among God’s people because homosexuality was a cultural taboo and was culturally unacceptable. And as such, some will argue, when we see homosexuality condemned in scripture, we should understand that this condemnation is not relevant to us as Americans who live in a culture where homosexual practice is accepted.
However, this argumentation is severely flawed for one primary reason—when Paul condemned homosexuality in Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, he did so in two cultures where homosexuality was very much accepted. His condemnation of homosexuality was as counter cultural then as ours is now, if not more so.
Respond to, “Homosexuality isn’t a choice. People are born homosexuals. How can you call something that is genetic sinful?”
First, whether there is actually a “gay gene” or not is up to debate. But either way, I’m not really concerned with that issue. Even if, for the sake of argument, homosexuality is genetic, this wouldn’t change the fact that homosexuality is still wrong.
In fact, this may surprise you, but the Bible actually says that every single person is born a sinner. Therefore, you might say that sinning is in our “theological genetics.” Now, the natural thing for sinners to do is sin. Doing wrong comes quite natural to us all; it’s our inclination. But just because something comes naturally does not mean its right or even okay. To say that homosexuality cannot be called sin because it’s “natural” (genetic) misses the point that for sinners (that’s all of us) every sin is natural. By nature of the fall (when humanity fell into sin as a result of Adam’s sin – Genesis 3: Romans 5), our bodies, minds, emotions—every aspect of who we are—are “disordered” with and bent towards sinful desires. And yet, the Bible still holds us unbelievably accountable for our sin, and interestingly enough so do we. For example, when a married man lusts after another woman other than his wife, we would rightly hold him responsible if he decides to “cheat” on his wife. We would say he did wrong despite the fact that it was his bent, desire, and inclination to do so. The same goes for homosexual desires.
But either way, the Bible calls homosexuality unnatural (Romans 1:26-27)—that is, contrary to way God created things to be (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:23)—and that affirmation is good enough for me.
Respond to, “But how can you call homosexual relationship and homosexual marriage wrong when the two people both love each other and make each other happy? Isn’t that what really matters?”
Although happiness and satisfaction are valuable things, they are not to be the measure of morality–what is right and what is wrong. For example, Islamic suicide bombers kill many people out of love for Allah. This is an “act of love,” but it is certainly wrong. Or again, a rapist might find satisfaction in his crime, but again, that certainly does not make it right. So likewise in the case of homosexuality, the motivation does not justify the act nor does the end justify the means.
(Please understand, my purpose in using these extreme examples is not so much to equate a “loving, satisfying homosexual relationship” with these two evils, but to show you the false nature of an argument based in happiness and satisfaction.)
Respond to, “Aren’t you judging homosexuals by calling them ‘sinners’?”
I suppose I am. But I am also ready to admit that I too am guilty of sexual sin, as we all are (it only takes a lustful glance or impure thought to be an offender – Matthew 5:28).
Now on the other hand, aren’t you actually judging me now? If you say that I can’t believe in what God has said about homosexuality, aren’t you now judging me, my beliefs, and my standards? You’re basically saying that I can’t have a belief on the issue of homosexuality unless it is pro-homosexuality. Now, if anything, that’s intolerant.
Respond to, “But, who gives you the right to judge me?”
This is not my judgment but God’s. God is the creator and sustainer and He created you. In other words, He owns you and you are therefore accountable to Him whether you want to be or not. He is the judge of all. So, as a fellow human being who is also responsible to God, you are not ultimately responsible to me. But whether you’re responsible to me should be of minimal concern to you seeing that you are responsible to Him.
So no, I do not feel that I have the right to judge you (as if I’m your superior or something of that nature). But I do feel the obligation to love you by warning you of God’s right to judge you.
25 thoughts on “The Christian’s Proper Response to the Homosexuality Movement–Part 1”
Great post! Looking forward to the rest of the series.
Great work as always. In MN right now this is a huge issue. It is interesting watching it play out in the religious and political spheres.
Their was a huge outcry by both media and churches (on BOTH sides of the fence) over Pastor John’s message two weeks ago.
Both sides were quite adamant that he was either too weak on the issue or too much of a bigot.
And David, I think the current situation in MN, as you portrayed it, is very similar to the situation throughout the nation. The MN circumstance is obviously being provoked by their upcoming election. Personally, I thought Piper’s corresponding sermon (which I cite in this blog series) was well thought out and Biblical. I don’t believe he was too weak. He affirmed homosexuality as sin. He simply put that fact in a very important context. And unfortunately, anytime one affirms homosexuality as a sin now days, there will be someone to accuse him of being a bigot. It will be interesting to see how this MN vote turns out.
Thanks, Kate. I am glad you enjoyed this one. I am also looking forward to the release of the following three. I hope they prove to be helpful and thought provoking. This issue is certainly one that Christians MUST think through Biblically to determine the wise response. Too many Christians seem to error either to the “right” or the “left” of what is a proper handling of this sensitive issue.
Well written. However, as Christians, one of the best ways to reach the homosexual culture is to reach out in love. Yes, the Bible is very clear that homosexuality is wrong, but Jesus provided us with many example of loving sinners. There are many sins in our culture. This is just one of them. God must first change the heart before behavior is changed. (I realize you are writing a series, and maybe I jumped ahead of you.)
Mason – “(I realize you are writing a series, and maybe I jumped ahead of you.)”
Yes, Mason, you are did just that. 🙂 You’re one step ahead of this post. In fact, the points of part 2 in this series are:
~ Expect Sinners to Sin
~ Remember that Homosexuality Isn’t the Only Sin
~ Remember That You Are Also a Sinner
And of course, there’s still part 3 and 4.
Thanks for your thoughts though. As you will be able to tell from my “part 2,” I obviously think what you commented just now is of great significance.
This is the talk of our time! I have loved the past four discussions I’ve had with pastors and people as of late on homosexuality.
I come from a more liberal standpoint on this and as of right now I am not rigorously attacking the sin of sodomy right now any more than I am the sin of gluttony. (And there’s a lot of fat Christians out there). Here’s the problems with just throwing out the scripture on the subject and not researching the people who are homosexual and what makes them who they are. (Yes, they are people) You mention how you are not just attacking this sin but many ohters as well but you’re mere making this into a THREE PART series shows the hypocrisy on your ultra-focus on the ISSUE of homosexuality in the church and abroad. This is unbalanced.
Your points are valid, especially that which says that ‘if the scriptures don’t say it then it must not matter’ point. That’s a great point! We base our points off of things the scriptures DON’T say as a means to justify it’s being okay or not. (i.e glossolalia, infant baptism, etc. etc.)
Note: the old law has been thrown out and we do not kill homosexuals anymore. We just forbid them from worshiping with us or taking positions of leadership in the church.
My main point here is that it is not a black/white yes/no issue, that of homosexuality. It’s not always a choice (hardly ever), it’s not usually something that we bring into the world at birth but is usually something a person is pushed into based on reasons like how a parent treated a son/daughter, how a person was treated sexually as a young person, and a whole host of other reasons. This does not make the person wrong. This is their sexual orientation and as many homosexuals that I have talked to and who are my friends tell me, they were pushed into this type of lifestyle.
I have a friend who told me he is contemplating, as a gay man, how he should go about life in the future. As a Christ follower he is committed to seeking how God’s will and has since been in no relationships with other men. This is confusing to me because he is so legitimate with his relationship but frustrated because his entire life, his homosexuality has not just been zapped away. It’s been something that he’s had all this time…(as is the story for many gays and lesbians). What do you think is the answer here?
The Bible talks about unnatural relationships at the time but in the days it was written, in Greco-Roman culture, men would have pedophilic relationships with boys. Also, it has been known for a servant (boy) to give sexual favors to his master or educator/instructor as a means of payment. Paul may have been directing our attention to this issue and not so much the issue of gay consensual relationships.
Also, consider the eunuchs at the time in the Bible and the book of Matthew talks about it a little more. They were told to do unnatural things with their bodies in an effort to protect the king…yet they were godly men. How is this compatible with the Westboro-like condemnation of the American church we live in today? If I live a homosexual lifestyle, I am unwelcome in the church (even if I am trying to give it up), for the most part and if I were a self-proclaimed eunuch for some cause (who knows what), then I would most likely be looked down by the Christian elites.
Sorry about all the thoughts, but let me know what you guys think/agree/disagree on because I want to know what you think.
Hey Zach, thanks for the comment. Allow me to respond…
You claim in your second paragraph that I am being inconsistent, hypocritical, and unbalanced by writing a series on homosexuality while affirming in that series that we ought to remember that homosexuality isn’t the only sin. (I believe I am understanding your second paragraph correctly when I say this.) However, the reason I am writing a series on homosexuality is, as you yourself noted in your opening remarks, “This is the talk of our time!” Therefore, my writing on homosexuality is not unbalanced by appropriate seeing that it is an issue that needs to be addressed. Ironically, I was actually motivated to write this series because of the improper response many Christians seem to have towards homosexuals–namely, the “unbalanced” approach you seemed to have referenced (depending on your idea of “balanced”).
And you should note, I am not writing a four part series on why homosexuality is wrong. (This is why I suggest you read the following three parts, which will likely clear up some confusion you may have on my position.) So, “why do I begin by condemning homosexuality?” you may ask. Because I needed to establish what is fundamental to any discussion on homosexuality from a Biblical worldview–that homosexuality is sin. That has to be identified from the start. But that’s not to say it’s the end of “The Christian’s Proper Response to the Homosexuality Movement.” Just keep reading. 🙂
In regards to your third paragraph, I don’t understand what “argument of mine” to which you are referring.
In regards to your fourth paragraph, you’re right that the Mosaic Law has been abolished. In fact, as Gentiles, we were never technically under it anyways. But since my goal wasn’t to emphasis that “homosexuality is a sin” (again, that balanced view you referenced), I refrained from engaging in deep theological and exegetical arguments. My point was to be more practical and stick to “real life” apologetic responses. Nonetheless, the two New Testament passages are clear and definitely binding.
Regarding your fifth paragraph, I respond to this sort of argumentation in my third apologetic response. In sum, I would question your doctrinal understanding of man’s sinfulness. Man’s desires are by nature evil. Therefore, man’s desires and inclinations cannot be the measure of morality. We need an outside source.
Regarding you sixth paragraph, unfortunately I cannot make a comment regarding an individual I do not know. I do know that all Christians will continue to struggle with sin, often times a particularly troubling sin, until they day they die. I also know, on the other hand, that Paul says unrepentant homosexuality excludes one from the kingdom of God. That is all I can say on the matter.
Regarding your seventh paragraph, Paul’s exact wording has been examined in great detail by scholars and it is clear that he is condemning homosexuality. I would recommend you to their findings.
Regarding your eighth, I don’t believe I understanding what you’re saying.
Thanks Zach, always a good time discussing with you! Stay in touch.
“Man’s desires are by nature evil.”
Better be careful with blanket statements. Supposedly God created humanity exactly how he wanted it – perfection. Humans are born with a lot of normal, natural, healthy desires. If God created them as such then it’s not the desires themselves that are problematic, it’s how humanity chooses acts on those desires.
Also, your examples of a suicide bomber and a rapist are extreme/ridiculous to the point of hurting the point you are trying to make. Blowing yourself and others up or raping someone are both non-consensual actions that cause harm to others – homosexuality, like any truly consensual act, harms no-one. I get that you’re trying to use logic here… but, really? To quote a friend: “Morality is merely the construct of what the majority of society finds acceptable.” Many of the social norms during the times of both the OT and NT have been abandoned by most people, including Christians. This would include things Paul clearly stated, like woman covering their heads during prayer, women remaining silent in church, and a woman’s place being in the home, etc. Why are those “clear” commandments from Paul now ignored while others are upheld with vehemence? Jesus was not recorded (that I’m aware of) as specifically referencing gender roles or homosexuality, or a great many things Paul staunchly preached about. It seems logical to put the most emphasis on the recorded words of Christ himself rather than the (often highly opinionated) words of one of his servants.
I think the one difference between you and Kirk is that you don’t seem to believe in original sin. As a result of this you make several statements that make sense through your “filter” (for lack of a better term), but Romans 5:12-21 seems to be teaching original sin– the fact that because of Adam we are no longer born into a world of “creature holiness” but from the get go are dead in “trespasses and sin.”
On sinful desires as the root of sin, see James 1:13-15; 4:1-2.
My point with the example of the rapist and suicide bomber is simply to show that love and happiness are not to be the measure of morality. That’s all.
“…homosexuality, like any truly consensual act, harms no-one.” On the contrary, I would disagree. Consensual does not equal unharmful. Even outside the realm of physical harm, their is the more significant fact of spiritual harm.
Also, you have to understand that I come at this topic with the presupposition that all of the Bible is GOD’S word (2 Tim 3:16), which means two things in relation to what you commented. First, I would highly object to your statement about culturally based morality. And second, I believe that what Paul said is not just some crazy opinion contrary to God’s, but God’s word itself.
Regarding you comments on “social norms,” see my second response under “Apologetic Responses.”
Also, I highly suggest you continue reading beyond this post and read the rest of my series for better clarity on my position. This first post does not touch on what is really my main point. It, however, is fundamental to this discussion and needed to be established at the beginning.
“Many of the social norms during the times of both the OT and NT have been abandoned by most people, including Christians. This would include things Paul clearly stated, like woman covering their heads during prayer, women remaining silent in church, and a woman’s place being in the home, etc. Why are those “clear” commandments from Paul now ignored while others are upheld with vehemence? Jesus was not recorded (that I’m aware of) as specifically referencing gender roles or homosexuality, or a great many things Paul staunchly preached about.”
Nobody chose to address that, which, sadly, doesn’t surprise me. If the entire Bible – every single word – is God-breathed and to be followed, why leave out certain parts? Is it all to be considered applicable to modern living, or are there parts that were valid to the times but no longer literally applicable? Are only certain parts to be completely adhered to while other parts are “forgotten” or read over quickly because they don’t seem quite right or are confusing? You can’t shoot down the concept of this (homosexuality) particular command being cultural while choosing to excuse other commands as being cultural and no longer applicable.
My personal experience with Christians, namely Baptists, has shown that all Christians will embrace certain mindsets and the Scriptures that back them up whilst conveniently ignoring other parts that contradict their views. I am of the opinion that it is impossible to live in such a way that the entire Bible is adhered to; naturally you gentleman will disagree with me. My point is, why aren’t you making a series out of, say, commandment’s Paul gave about the roles of women? Is it sinful to no longer adhere to those commandments as well?
Also, in regards to whether it’s the desires themselves that are problematic or the humans who act on them – the Bible makes it clear that Adam and Eve had, at the least, the desire to eat, since God told them what to eat and what not to eat of the garden… BEFORE they sinned. It stands to reason that Adam and Eve also desired each other sexually, particularly in light of the teachings of Paul in which he makes it clear that the sexual desires of a married couple are pure. See, it’s the context of said desires, not the desires themselves. Once you start vilifying desires, you end up with a whole lot of problems. I know a lot of Baptists, grew up Baptist, and came up with the view that sex was somehow a bad thing, because nobody talked about it in a good way, it was almost always spoken of as something sinful. How many Christian couples (women especially seem to have suffered here) go into their marriage feeling guilty about their sexual desires for their spouse, let alone happily acting on them and feeling pure about it all. People would greatly benefit from an education that promotes a healthy understanding and view of their body’s desires while also teaching how to control them and when to properly act on them.
There are many things that we agree on in this post. I only want to address a few things.
First, sex is a beautiful and God-ordained act within the confines of marriage and the church has done a poor job in the past several years at educating its people Biblically. I agree with you there and I feel that evangelicalism (on a national level at least) is beginning to address that.
Second, you say “Why don’t you write a series on…” Well, to be honest complementarianism is probably something that you will see quite frequently on this blog. In fact, Kate Finman will be publishing her article sometime soon on the “Freedom of Submission.” My point is that we just started and so there are several asking the same question. We want to be clear that we are not singling out homosexuality. But we also can’t write 10,000 posts all at once. I know that you are understanding of that.
Third, I will not deny the fact that the cultural vs. timeless truth statements of Scripture are difficult and sometimes even maddening! Yet, there are principles of hermeneutics that help one to cautiously figure out these things. Are we infallible? No. Are our principles? No. But on some level I am not sure how this can be considered a cultural issue anyway. Scripture clearly condemns it in both the OT and the NT… What would your argument be for it being cultural (sorry if I missed it!)
Sarah, you again bring up a great issue–how do we apply the Bible to our contemporary setting and how do we determine if something applies to us or not? (You stated I didn’t respond to this. However, I believe I did. But, nonetheless, I will make further comment for you.)
Now as David noted, this is a difficult issue. And more so, it is important to understand, that not every text can be handled the same way. It’s not as if there is a “one size fits all” solution to every text. The reason we don’t follow many Mosaic Laws is different than the reason we don’t make woman wear head coverings in worship services. Every text has to be handled in light of it’s unique situation. Therefore, I can’t really answer your hermeneutical question just like “that.”
But in regards to homosexuality, which is what this post is about, I have provided an answer to your question in the post–see apologetic response 2.
To that response I could add further reasons why the condemnation of homosexuality in Paul’s writings wasn’t based in cultural norms but is binding today. For example, Paul calls homosexuality unnatural. In other words, he does not root it in culture but in creation–it is opposed to that which is natural. Also in Romans 1, he uses homosexuality as an example in his argument for the sinfulness of humanity (in all cultures). Homosexuality would be a poor choice for such an argument if the condemnation of homosexuality was simply culturally based. Or again, in 1 Corinthians 6, Paul attaches his condemnation of homosexuality to the concept of the kingdom, not culture.
So, in general, you bring up a great issue–the hermeneutical question about how we apply different texts of scripture. However, my point is this question will be handled differently for different texts. Therefore, by pointing out that my wife doesn’t wear a head covering to corporate worship, you will not have disproven my hermeneutical argument for the condemnation of homosexuality. Again, it’s not a one size fits all thing. So your case made is essentially a false dilemma.
And regarding your reference to the roles of women, as David indicated, we are complementarians (see our creed in the “about” page). So, actually, we would believe in and practice gender roles and distinctions. (Just a side note.)
Finally, regarding your last paragraph, I think you make an excellent point that people can often abuse the ideas of desires. You even gave a great example. But, you may have missed my point slightly. What I am arguing is simply that desires cannot be our “morality measuring stick.” When Jesus says in Matthew 15:19 that out of my heart comes all wickedness, I certainly don’t want to suppose that just because I am inclined to do something that it must be moral. Granted, we may desire right things. But it is not our desiring them that determines them as morally right. Please note, I am speaking axiologically here.
Thanks for your discussion.
“the unrepentant practice of homosexuality excludes one from inheriting the kingdom of God.”
This statement is misleading. If a homosexual “repents” of loving other men, he does not then inherit the kingdom. He must repent of all sin AND accept Christ as Lord and Savior. Likewise, a Christian homosexual need not repent of his homosexuality to gain entrance to heaven, for his eternal destiny is assured whether he lives in “sin” or in holiness.
“And lastly, it is possible that Christ never addressed homosexuality directly, but nonetheless, He did address all sexual sins at their core–the heart–by condemning lust itself (Matthew 5:28). So, even if Christ never condemned homosexuality directly, He certainly raised the ethical bar and condemned all sexual sin, including homosexuality, when He condemned sexual lust.”
In the matter of lust, a loving, committed homosexual relationship differs not a whit from a loving, committed, married heterosexual relationship. To say that by condemning lust Christ condemned homosexuality is to condemn all sexual relationships, married, unmarried, heterosexual or homosexual.
“For example, Islamic suicide bombers kill many people out of love for Allah. This is an “act of love,” but it is certainly wrong. Or again, a rapist might find satisfaction in his crime, but again, that certainly does not make it right. So likewise in the case of homosexuality, the motivation does not justify the act nor does the end justify the means.”
I don’t even have words to express how very messed up that analogy is. Suffice it to say that I hardly thing any correlation can be drawn between a loving homosexual relationship and rape or murder. It doesn’t matter if murder makes a murderer happy, it is still wrong. It doesn’t matter if rape makes a rapist feel powerful (the true motive of rape, not sexual satisfaction), it is still wrong. Why? Because these things cause physical, mental, and emotional harm to other people. I dare say you would be up in arms if I equated your marriage to terrorism but that is exactly what you have just done to gay and lesbian couples everywhere.
“You’re basically saying that I can’t have a belief on the issue of homosexuality unless it is pro-homosexuality. Now, if anything, that’s intolerant.”
It isn’t the fact that YOU find homosexuality wrong that we find issue with. It’s the fact that you try to therefore say that your beliefs ought to belong to everyone, that because YOU believe it so ought everyone else. We do not have a problem with your beliefs, it is when you attempt to force your religious beliefs on others that the problem arises.
“I don’t even have words to express how very messed up that analogy is. Suffice it to say that I hardly thing any correlation can be drawn between a loving homosexual relationship and rape or murder. It doesn’t matter if murder makes a murderer happy, it is still wrong. It doesn’t matter if rape makes a rapist feel powerful (the true motive of rape, not sexual satisfaction), it is still wrong. Why? Because these things cause physical, mental, and emotional harm to other people. I dare say you would be up in arms if I equated your marriage to terrorism but that is exactly what you have just done to gay and lesbian couples everywhere.”
Threnody-The analogy is in some sense a poor one but in another sense it makes sense. Analogies always possess limits. It does however, expose the foundation by which one chooses what is good and evil. You are correct that it does not matter how a rapist feels when he rapes…because it is still wrong. The question is why? Why is it wrong? Is it wrong because it hurts someone? That seems to be your answer as you say, “it is still wrong. Why? Because these things cause physical, mental, and emotional harm to other people.” Is that your standard for morality? Is there more to it than that? If so, your foundation or presupposition of morality differs greatly from the author, who’s sole foundation is the Bible.
Exactly CB! You got it.
Threnody, thanks for your comment. Allow me to respond.
In regards to your first paragraph, you say, “If a homosexual ‘repents’ of loving other men, he does not then inherit the kingdom. He must repent of all sin AND accept Christ as Lord and Savior.” I apologize for any confusion in which may choice of words may have resulted. But at the same time, and no offense is intended when I say this, I believe it is safe to say you are nit picking. You should realize that I was specifically referring to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6 which state that homosexuality excludes one from the kingdom. Consequently, those who do not repent of homosexuality are excluded from the kingdom.
You also say, “a Christian homosexual need not repent of his homosexuality to gain entrance to heaven, for his eternal destiny is assured whether he lives in ‘sin’ or in holiness.” On the contrary, I would certainly disagree. This is a grave misunderstanding of the broader concept of salvation. Scripture is clear that those who turn from their sin (i.e., homosexuality) and trust in Christ and His saving work are made right with God, and in that sense “saved.” But salvation is much more than that. Salvation continues in the inevitable process of spiritual growth and my main objection to you remark concerns that “inevitable process of spiritual growth,” which in theology we call sanctification. This is a broad topic that I cannot address here in full, but I will say briefly that scripture is clear that those who are genuine believers will produce spiritual fruit and good works and will progressively do battle with sin–continual and ongoing repentance. 1 John 3:6, 8a, and 9 will suffice for sake of brevity: “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. … Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil … No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”
Regarding your second paragraph–it depends on your definition of “lust.” If you presuppose that homosexual relationships are moral, than of course desire for one’s homosexual partner is not wrong; it’s not lust. But seeing that my source of morality is the character of God, I would call this lust. And since Jesus was God, He would to. That was my argument in apologetic response 1, which you cited.
In your third paragraph you quoted my illustrations. Now, as CB rightly identified, my point was axiological–what is the basis of morality? My analogies argue that happiness and love are poor “moral measuring sticks.” CB is also right in noting that my basis of morality is God’s character, which would include what He has revealed of Himself in His Word. Your argument supposes you hold to a consequentialistic view of morality–that consequences determine what is right and wrong. I would strongly question this position for many reasons, but that is not our point in this post so I will not go down that road.
Lastly, regarding your final paragraph, I would simply make this response–I am in no way trying to force my beliefs on others–namely non-Christians. Not once do I say others (non-Christians) have to believe what I do. In fact, the title of the post clearly says, “THE CHRISTIAN’S Proper Response…” As a Christian, my authority of belief and practice is the Bible. And so, obviously the Biblical view is what I promoted in this series to the best of my ability and understanding.
Now, again, I would argue that you are in fact being intolerant of my beliefs. You say that you have no problem with my beliefs, in that I myself believe may them. Thank you. But, what if I told you that my beliefs include the belief that what God says matters not only for me but for you. I believe that He created you and therefore He owns you and is your judge. Therefore, although I do not force you to believe God’s Word, I believe that His Word is binding on you.
And that is my belief–that my beliefs matter to you whether you think they do or not. Therefore, if you argue that I cannot believe God’s Word is binding on you, then you are intolerant of my belief that God’s Word is binding on you.
These posts have been extremely helpful in putting structure to my scattered thoughts on this issue. Thanks so much guys and gals. Hope to contribute to discussions in the future!
Thanks, John. I appreciate hearing that.
We hope you do too John! 🙂
I would also like to point out to everyone engaging in this discussion that this post is purposefully titled, “THE CHRISTIAN’S Proper Response to the Homosexuality Movement.” In other words, I do not EXPECT this to be everyone’s response nor would I ever force this to be anyone’s response. I simply attempted to write a series on what I feel is the Biblical response, seeing that the Bible is the authority of the believer’s beliefs and practice.
Keep that in mind as you discuss. It is the proper context for what is said.
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