Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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  • Saturday, February 16, 2008

    Reproof of Homosexuality

    In Ephesians 5, it is written "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." The word "expose" literally means "reprove" them...reminding us that it is the duty of believers not only to walk in ways of holiness and righteousness ourselves, but to "reprove with conviction" those who are offenders of the law and authority of God.

    In reading this, I was reminded of the inconsistency being lived out in America these days in regard to homosexual behavior and the likes. On the one hand, many in America have not only not spoken out and condemned such thinking and behavior, but have unthinkingly bought into the lies and co-participated in the evil (of those who participate in or promote such immorality) by either actively approving or passively accepting their ways (or at least speaking of it as something should be perceived and/or embraced as acceptable). And yet on the other hand, the truth itself is both exposed and revealed when revulsion and objection is shown in response to clips and pictures of public expressions of such behavior and practices at such events as the gay parades in San Francisco where the shameful, unbecoming and filthy practices are brought to light...leaving many (and some of the same...) observers disgusted and with distaste for the things which are taking place, much of which is done today in secret, but these providing a glimpse into the darkness of their world of sin and evil.

    I stand apart and am not ashamed to take a stand and publicly condemn all such thinking, attitudes, practice and behavior as contrary to the holy and authoritative law of God, as opposed to nature, as that which is improper, immoral, impure, unbecoming and unfit for anyone to take part in to any degree. Those who do so and speak thus so should be ashamed beyond measure and deserve the disgrace that belongs to them (whether or not it comes to them) and that they bring upon themselves. The only right response from them is to stop, to start anew, and to proceed on the path which consists of repentance and then toward purity.

    It's time for God's people to speak out, for think of all those who will be drawn asunder because we have not spoken out, think of all the poor souls who need to be confronted and whose sin needs to hear words of conviction that they might turn and be saved, and think of all the extent of responsibility that lies with us in participating in all goodness, righteoueness and truth as we serve to shed light and truth in the name of God here in this world.

    I have no doubt such a post will draw great criticism and response; so be it. I submit it as a clarion call for truth and for repentance, in the spirit and as a bearer of light, truth, and of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who himself is the light, Savior, sanctifier, and ruler of the world.

    33 comments:

    the dank said...

    Aren't you not supposed to be passing judgment upon others? Isn't that God's job?

    What if your son or daughter were a homosexual? Would you then be so quick to condemn them as disgraceful?

    Steve Burri said...

    Dank,

    Stop passing judgment.

    the dank said...

    Burri,

    I posed questions, not judgment.

    But since you think I am doing so, I'll do it anyway.

    I think the message presented here is full of bigotry and hate. You would think with a message like "Love thy neighbor", Christians would be a beacon for tolerance instead of us wicked Atheists.

    Address the issue instead of making some off-hand comment that doesn't apply.

    Puritan Lad said...

    Dank,

    Regarding your question, Christians are supposed to judge the behavior of people (including their own.) This is especially true of those who profess the Christian faith. The Bible tells us to judge those who are inside the church (1 Cor. 5:12), and "not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler--not even to eat with such a one." (1 Corinthians 5:11).

    The problem that you have, as Steve has already alluded to, is that you have no standard by which to judge anyone (even though you still do). You would, I hope, pass judgment upon Hitler's behavior, even though you really can't explain what he did wrong in your worldview.

    Regarding "tolerance", it seems as those like yourself are tolerant of everything except for righteousness. You are no more "tolerant" than we are, you just want your own standard.

    SocietyVs said...

    “but have unthinkingly bought into the lies and co-participated in the evil (of those who participate in or promote such immorality) by either actively approving or passively accepting their ways (or at least speaking of it as something should be perceived and/or embraced as acceptable)” (swordbearer)

    I would ask quite simply – what should we do when we know gay people? What is more poignant God’s justice or God’s love? I read this and I almost think you are asking fellow Christian people to not even associate with gay people?

    Let’s use a scenario from John 8 for a second – what if someone brought a homosexual before you and was threatening to kill him/her (this is laws of God according to some) – what would you do?

    “I stand apart and am not ashamed to take a stand and publicly condemn all such thinking, attitudes, practice and behavior as contrary to the holy and authoritative law of God” (swordbearer)

    Condemn away – but let it be noted that you will be treated as you treat others. Now if your condemnation slips over into some type of practice of your views – how would that look? If someone hears your condemnation and ‘gay bashes’ someone – are you responsible for what you have said? There is problem with taking this hard line of a stance – it’s seems neither merciful and is inherently divisive – what is so godly about that? I see a Jesus who hangs around with people called ‘sinners’ and teachings that are about love for all people – at what point do we start condemning someone according to Jesus?

    “and think of all the extent of responsibility that lies with us in participating in all goodness, righteousness and truth as we serve to shed light and truth in the name of God here in this world” (swordbearer)

    There are a lot of concepts in there worth looking into – namely goodness and righteousness/justice. What is so good about your concept here – it’s an outright condemnation of people? Now if God is merciful – which is the most foundational concept of this faith – why does condemnation even enter our lips? And if God is love – which starts with acceptance – how can we not accept certain people?

    To me, it’s all very strange on some level – it’s like we should not even respect gay people yet the teachings within the gospel do not hint at treating someone like this whatsoever. What is so wrong with gay people that they cannot be accepted? They are not here to defend their perspective and I think we need to love them also (and speak up on their behalf) – and by love I mean how you love your friends and accept them irregardless of who they are or what they have done…I mean…isn’t this what God has done for us also?

    Steve Burri said...

    I'm happy to see this thread continuing.

    Dank,

    If you indeed were just asking questions, I apologize. The questions, as written, are laden with judgment, however. And I see that it just took three words to unmask it.

    Societyvs,

    Not once did Swordbearer condemn the person. However, he did attack thinking, attitudes, practice, and behavior.

    RE: John 8

    John 3:18 states, "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only son."

    John 8:10-12: "Jesus straightened up and asked her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?'

    'No one, sir (Lord),' she said.

    'Neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. 'Go now and LEAVE YOUR LIFE OF SIN.' (emphasis mine)

    Sounds to me like Jesus was condemning a way of thinking, attitude, practice, and behavior.

    the dank said...

    The problem that you have, as Steve has already alluded to, is that you have no standard by which to judge anyone (even though you still do). You would, I hope, pass judgment upon Hitler's behavior, even though you really can't explain what he did wrong in your worldview.

    People can do whatever they wish as long as it doesn't harm anyone or infringe upon someone else's rights. Kind of explains what Hitler did wrong doesn't it?

    Can you explain what moral code God was following in Numbers 31 (certainly wasn't his own!)? Do you think slavery is OK (your God sure does!)?

    Regarding "tolerance", it seems as those like yourself are tolerant of everything except for righteousness.

    No, what I am intolerant of is the assumption that it is your God-given right to spit venomous hate in the direction of people that don't share the same lifestyle as you. It certainly doesn't fit with "Love thy neighbor".

    Dank,

    If you indeed were just asking questions, I apologize. The questions, as written, are laden with judgment, however. And I see that it just took three words to unmask it.


    They were just questions, just wanted to see the response.

    You are correct, I made my own judgment after reading the blog entry. But I was under the assumption that judgment (for Christians) was left up to God. You'll have to forgive me, it gets confusing when so many Christians have their own ideas about their religion.

    Puritan Lad said...

    Dank,

    Nice try, but no one is buying it. You pretend to have an “open” mind, and pass judgment on orthodox Christianity under the guise of “tolerance”. However, it is clear that you are not “tolerant”. Your moral superiority complex is quite obvious, and your “tolerance” is a farce. You create some vague moral standard that is completely at odds with God’s, and then label anyone who disagrees with you as “intolerant”. You have decided, on a whim, that homosexuality should be acceptable in society, and because you have spoken, it must be gospel. However, even your own standard of morality is quite arbitrarily applied. For example…

    "People can do whatever they wish as long as it doesn't harm anyone or infringe upon someone else's rights. Kind of explains what Hitler did wrong doesn't it?"

    Sounds rather arbitrary to me. Did you invent this standard on your own? What about the fact that homosexuality causes health problems that force me to pay higher health insurance rates? Does that not infringe upon my rights? How about the big government movement to increase taxes and federal funding for AIDS research (AIDS is a homosexual disease, despite attempts to twist it into something else)? Why should I be forced to pay for someone else’s lifestyle? How about it Dank? What particular rights are you willing to defend, or is this a farce also?

    The bigger problem, which your side has yet to address, is why one accidental sack of biocarbons should be concerned with the rights of another sack of biocarbons? Where did these rights come from anyway? Our alleged ancestors, the apes, practice murder, rape, theft, and gang violence, etc. Are they immoral for doing so? Do they have rights? If not, then on what basis will you invent these things for humans?

    Of course, if you are correct, the perhaps, I, as a result of evolution, simply have the “intolerance” gene. Why not? Would you have a better explanation?

    Yes, judgment is left up to God, and He has already assigned those who practice homosexuality to Hell (1 Cor. 6:9-10). If we truly love them, how can we not warn them of such a terrible judgment?

    Your personal objections to God’s law are just that, and nothing more. What do you think of the following statement?

    “Without absolutes revealed from without by God Himself, we are left rudderless in a sea of conflicting ideas about manners, justice and right and wrong, issuing from a multitude of self-opinionated thinkers.” - John Owen

    In the end Dank, you may profess to b an atheist, but you have shown that you are unable to live consistent with your worldview. For starters you seem to believe in right and wrong (despite having the wrong standard), yet you cannot account for these in atheism. You have simply proven the truth of Romans 2:14-15, though you would deny belief in this truth.

    swordbearer said...

    I thank my brothers for providing answers as I have been prevented due to a stomach virus. Their answers have been good.

    I would add "The spiritual man MAKES JUDGEMENTS ABOUT ALL THINGS, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment" (1 Cor 2:15) Here, the reference is not just to "judging" those within the church, but making "judgements" concerning all things. As Matthew Henry states "The spiritual man may judge of all things, natural and supernatural, human and divine...He that is spiritual can judge both of common things and things divine. He does not lose the power of reasoning by founding his religion on revelation....He who founds all his knowledge upon principles of science, and the mere light of reason, can never be a judge of the truth or falsehood of what is received by revelation. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him, that is , the spiritual man?" Dank, your argument fails even on the level of common reasoning. If we could not make judgments the way you describe, we could not examine and evaluate ourselves, train up our children, have law or other things necessary for order and discipline in society. While it is true that God himself is judge (the one to whom all creatures are fully accountable to), it is also true that God calls, equips and charges his people to make judgements, and both praise and regard the good, and at the same time to identify, distinguish, assess, and oppose that which is sinful and evil. Righteousness itself demands such.

    In regard to the question of whether something must hurt or harm others in order to be sinful or not, again you are mistaken. This is a false statement put forth but uncritically accepted by many in our day. The truth is that if something is sinful and wrong, it is sinful and wrong whether or not others are involved or not. For example, sloth is a sin, gluttony is a sin, lust is a sin, failure to love God with all one's heart is a sin, harming or descrating one's body is a sin, ... and so is participating in any behavior which is contrary to the holy purpose for which God has given us bodies and which violates his holy law. It's no different twisting, perverting abusing or misusing things other than our bodies in ways other than their intended purpose.

    Finally, let me state I'm not shocked at all that your "questions" not only dealt with the issue of whether others have the right to make judgments, but your questions go so far as to even suggest they don't. Such was the very first question (and accusation) that came out of the mouth of the woman at the well in John 4. You see the first response of sinners is to try to avoid the issue of sin and deny discussion of issues which raise questions in places where they may be weak, vulnerable, sinful and guilty by attacking the one who brings up the issue, by trying to divert discussion from the issue at hand to the question of the questioner's right to raise the issue, and even to suggest reasons (though ungrounded) why they do not have the right (and are even supposedly wrong) in doing the very thing they have done. ....Having followed links to discover your profile (where there's youth, profanity, a hint of pride (or more likely some insecurity ... in stating "I'm awesome!"... note most people who are do not have to try to convince others of the matter) along with your statement concerning atheism suggests that like the woman at the well, there may be good reasons behind your wanting to attack my right and responsibility to exercise such judgment, and perhaps even in the particular area of homosexuality (I often find the places where the conscience bothers people is where they do their most reading) Perhaps, like the lady at the well, this discussion my lead you (and others) to discover the forgiveness and freedom that comes from God through the one he has sent from heaven that humans might be delivered and disentangled from the sin(s) that feel we must protect or defend. She in time came to understand her practice resulted from a thirst which could only be quenched with Christ. Perhaps He is the solution to your needs as well.

    But now, for others, let me redirect attention back to the post itself, for the issue at hand is not the questioner's right, but the judgment itself, which not only stands, but is one that should be held by all.

    swordbearer said...

    "Sin and shame are inseparable companions."

    "A greater plague cannot befall a man in this life, than to sin and not to blush!"

    Thomas Brooks

    swordbearer said...

    Societyvs said: "...I would ask quite simply – what should we do when we know gay people?"

    Answer: We should speak the truth in love. (Note: whereas you seem to set love and justice as opposed to one another, love and justice should be seen as friends. If those we know are participating in unrighteousness that not only defiles them, leads to shame and to eternal condemnation, to deny the unrighteousness and their need to turn would not be love, but abandonment and perhaps encouragement. On the other hand, to speak so as to draw the greatest attention to the error and sinfulness of their ways is to do them the best service. As the writer of Ecclesiasties says "It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools. (Eccl 7:5)

    Societyvs said: "I read this and I almost think you are asking fellow Christian people to not even associate with gay people?"

    Answer: Not so. Did not Jesus himself associate with the unrighteous (out of true love and concern to see them repent and be saved)?

    Societyvs said: "Let’s use a scenario from John 8 for a second – what if someone brought a homosexual before you and was threatening to kill him/her (this is laws of God according to some) – what would you do?"

    Answer: Help them with their exegesis.

    Societyvs said: "...If someone hears your condemnation and ‘gay bashes’ someone – are you responsible for what you have said? There is problem with taking this hard line of a stance – it’s seems neither merciful and is inherently divisive..."

    Answer: There is a difference between passing judgment on one's practice and denying one's inherent dignity which exists due to one's creation/being. Distinguish between these and your question will be answered.

    Societyvs said: "There are a lot of concepts in there worth looking into – namely goodness and righteousness/justice. What is so good about your concept here – it’s an outright condemnation of people? Now if God is merciful – which is the most foundational concept of this faith – why does condemnation even enter our lips? And if God is love – which starts with acceptance – how can we not accept certain people?"

    Answer: Again you confuse love so as to suggest that to love is equated with approving of all things, including unrighteousness. For example, I love my chidren, but that does not mean that if/when they lie, I must approve of their actions as acceptable. At the same time, if they lie, that does not mean I fail to love them, but at the same time, love for them calls for me to desire the best for them, which is to help them see they need to repent and turn from lying. It would be no different with homosexuality, or any other sin.

    Societyvs said: "To me, it’s all very strange on some level – it’s like we should not even respect gay people yet the teachings within the gospel do not hint at treating someone like this whatsoever. What is so wrong with gay people that they cannot be accepted? They are not here to defend their perspective and I think we need to love them also (and speak up on their behalf) – and by love I mean how you love your friends and accept them irregardless of who they are or what they have done…I mean…isn’t this what God has done for us also?"

    Answer: While God has accepted us, he has not done so by turning his eye to ... or approving of sin. The cross itself is the clearest example of how God at the same time showed his love for humanity but (rather than just accepting us as we were regardless of our sin) demonstrated how serious and necessary it was that at the same time our sin be dealt with, even to the point he called it what it was, showed the extent and degree necessary that it be dealt with and done away with, even pouring our divine wrath upon his Son, and in Christ bearing and paying the penalty for the iniquities of those of whom he stood in their place. Be careful that you are not deceived by those today who suggest that love means failing to distinguish or turning one's eye to unrighteousness. Love and truth, love and justice, love and faithfulness go together.

    the dank said...

    Let me start off by saying that I generally prefer face to face conversations, not only because they are more personal, but also because in a forum such as this people are more likely to behave much more rudely (myself included). I apologize if I have appeared as such, it was not my intent.

    On with the response:

    I will freely admit, as I have done so on other blogs, that I am a little out of my depth here. I am just trying to make sense of the world I find myself in.

    Nice try, but no one is buying it. You pretend to have an “open” mind, and pass judgment on orthodox Christianity under the guise of “tolerance”. However, it is clear that you are not “tolerant”. Your moral superiority complex is quite obvious, and your “tolerance” is a farce. You create some vague moral standard that is completely at odds with God’s, and then label anyone who disagrees with you as “intolerant”. You have decided, on a whim, that homosexuality should be acceptable in society, and because you have spoken, it must be gospel. However, even your own standard of morality is quite arbitrarily applied.

    I have not, on a whim as you suggest, decided that homosexuality should be acceptable in society. This is not a moral issue to me; it is a Constitutional one. I feel that the rights spoken of in the Constitution should be extended to them as well. I don't feel that it is right for you to impose YOUR religious beliefs upon them. And that is exactly what is happening with the outlaw of gay marriage. Whether or not I agree with homosexuality is irrelevant. If I am able to marry, they should be too.

    What about the fact that homosexuality causes health problems that force me to pay higher health insurance rates? Does that not infringe upon my rights? How about the big government movement to increase taxes and federal funding for AIDS research (AIDS is a homosexual disease, despite attempts to twist it into something else)? Why should I be forced to pay for someone else’s lifestyle? How about it Dank? What particular rights are you willing to defend, or is this a farce also?

    Heterosexual practices produce STD's as well, should we outlaw it too? Fast food has more than likely been a cause higher health insurance rates. AIDS is a homosexual disease? Heterosexuals can get AIDS too you know...

    The bigger problem, which your side has yet to address, is why one accidental sack of biocarbons should be concerned with the rights of another sack of biocarbons? Where did these rights come from anyway? Our alleged ancestors, the apes, practice murder, rape, theft, and gang violence, etc. Are they immoral for doing so? Do they have rights? If not, then on what basis will you invent these things for humans?

    Firstly, we did not come from apes; we shared a common ancestor.

    Secondly, humans over time have been able to observe what behaviors promote life and peace. That is where we get our ideas about what we should and should not do. There is nothing inherently wrong with murder. I find the act despicable; others, such as the BTK killer and Charles Manson, obviously do not. My point is that people are going to do whatever they want anyway. Most of the time the social rules we have set up work to deter criminals, other times they do not.

    Your personal objections to God’s law are just that, and nothing more. What do you think of the following statement?

    “Without absolutes revealed from without by God Himself, we are left rudderless in a sea of conflicting ideas about manners, justice and right and wrong, issuing from a multitude of self-opinionated thinkers.” - John Owen


    I think he's got it right.

    Having followed links to discover your profile (where there's youth, profanity, a hint of pride (or more likely some insecurity ... in stating "I'm awesome!"... note most people who are do not have to try to convince others of the matter)

    My public profile is a small representation of who I am, the key word being small. Indeed, I am young and I often use profanity. As far as the "In other words, I'm awesome" sentence is concerned. It is a joke, I'm sure you have never made one?

    I'm apologize for not having the time, or even desire to respond to everything. If there is something specific you would like me to answer I will try to do so.

    Puritan Lad said...

    First, a few corrections are in order.

    1.) There is no constitutional right to marriage. Marriage is supposed to be aa issue left to the states. The Constitution has nothing to say on the matter, and the states do have a Constitutional right to honor a religion (which it always used to do.)

    2.) Where is this common ancestor? The more we look for him, the more apparent it is that it never existed.

    In any case, you have all but admitted that there is no such thing as a moral standard. So why would you try to impose one for "intolerance"? Any moral argument that you come up with is, by your own admission, your own opinion. Therefore, there is no reason why any other person should consider any of them significant.

    You have told us that "There is nothing inherently wrong with murder". I hope you really don't believe that, but at least you are starting to be somewhat consistent. You add, "I find the act despicable." Again, why should any other person care about that?

    the dank said...

    Referring to the first point you made. Indeed, a gross oversight on my part. I misspoke. In any case, I don't see the harm in homosexuals marrying so I'm cool with it.

    Any moral argument that you come up with is, by your own admission, your own opinion. Therefore, there is no reason why any other person should consider any of them significant.

    Absolutely, we all form our own opinions based on what we observe. I observe that murder is bad, someone else may make another observation. I know that sounds awful, and it is. I cannot imagine wanting to take someone else's life, but others can and do so. They don't have to agree with me, but they do have to face the punishment that comes with their actions. This is the reality of the world we live in.

    You have told us that "There is nothing inherently wrong with murder". I hope you really don't believe that, but at least you are starting to be somewhat consistent. You add, "I find the act despicable." Again, why should any other person care about that?

    I think murder is wrong regardless of what another person thinks, including a God. You're only against murder if God is as well. That seems pretty arbitrary too, as God could deem murder OK, and you would find it OK too.

    Puritan Lad said...

    So, if someone commits murder and doesn't face any punishment, are they acting morally, immorally, or is it open for personal opinion?

    In the end, you have no basis for forming any sort of moral opinion that should be taken seriously by another person. That included your pet peeve "intolerance".

    "I think murder is wrong regardless of what another person thinks, including a God. You're only against murder if God is as well. That seems pretty arbitrary too, as God could deem murder OK, and you would find it OK too."

    That sounds a little intolerant to me ;)

    However, you are correct. If God says that murder is OK, then it is OK. Surely you wouldn't object. In fact, you have already stated your agreement with John Owen on this point. In addition, you wrote...

    "There is nothing inherently wrong with murder"

    I'll applaud you on thinking consistently as an atheist on this point. However, I hold that you are unable to live in a way consistent with what you say you believe. In spite of what you have claimed to believe, you make moral judgments all the time, and have an expectation that those judgments should be shared by others. The fact that you consider murder to be repulsive is not an accident. Deep down inside, you know that there is a right and a wrong. It is a knowledge that goes well beyond individual rights or societal good. This is only one area where you have a knowledge of God. You may supress it, but you do have it.

    The reason why murder is wrong is because God has said so. He created man in His image, and man's life is valuable. This is another truth that you are instictively aware of, but cannot explain through your prison of naturalism. You can also include things like free will, love, hate, logic, etc. If your worldview is correct, than the items I have just mentioned have no value whatsoever. They are simply electric currents moving inside your skull, and that's all that they are. I would pray that you would consider these things as the God who gives us all treasures of knowledge and wisdom.

    The reason that it isn'

    swordbearer said...

    Great Points Puritan...

    And might I add that to take a position on homosexuality is to make a moral judgment as well, one for which there is right and wrong, and for which we are all accountable, or otherwise what difference does it make if we take one position while others take a different position, and how could they suggest there's a problem of our forcing "our beliefs" on others. As Puritan has pointed out, the atheist worldview has no basis for forming any sort of moral opinion that should be taken seriously by another person.

    But all this (in keeping with my original post) is still secondary to the fact that homosexual attitudes and practices are dishonorable and disgraceful and those who participate in or approve of such (to whatever degree) should be ashamed and brought under the scrutiny of reproof.

    While some may argue points like "Whether or not I agree with homosexuality is irrelevant...", I disagree. Homosexuality is unnatural and unrighteous, not to leave out the fact that it is an advanced degree of impurity, abomination and godlessness which is affirmed not only by God Himself in his sacred and authoritative Word but by the testimony of the overwhelming majority of people who have lived. The fact that some either refuse to or cannot see this points either to their conscience being so hardened and warped that they have lost sensitivity and the ability to make a right judgment, to their love and growing accustomed to but not being satisfied by sin continuing and increasing to the point of this extreme, to their having failed to learn to make right judgements, and/or to their having grown up with or taken upon themselves the mind and spirit of this age which not only fails to provide a basis for morality and judgment but opposes those who act in keeping with the truth while groundlessly justifying their own choices, positions and actions in approving not only the unrighteousness but the universal right to unrighteousness in others.

    The wrongful, dishonorable and deplorable nature and practices of homosexuality (and the likes) are evidenced in the occurences and extent of individuals from one gender attempting to deny their own gender and pretend the other (and the natural responses of others when this occurs); in the abnormal emphasis placed on the issue of sexuality among it's practicers, in occurances where individuals participate in activities "unnatural" to one's own body or the body of another, in the degrading use of one's own body, in the onset or high transmission of disease among the particular people group, in the distinctions between homosexual and heterosexual relationship and their contributions to society, the family, children, etc., not to mention the consequences of darkness, destruction and even death associated with it. In addition to these, it can be shown that arguments for homosexuality are often hard/impossible to defend against also allowing polygamy, beastiality or anything else imaginable by man.

    It's time that people begin looking beyond simply the individualism and it's related principles in our day to the greater and more comprehensive truth. I'm glad to see some of today's youth being challenged in these areas, which in this case has occurred even as the sinful practices and sentiments have been challenged.

    SocietyVs said...

    “Not once did Swordbearer condemn the person. However, he did attack thinking, attitudes, practice, and behavior.” (Steve)

    Then I have asked simply – what do you do with that kind of thinking? How does holding these views look in reality? Are we talking Fred Phelps type stuff here? Or are we talking just ignoring gay people as friends? I think to hold this position is to also act upon it.

    “Sounds to me like Jesus was condemning a way of thinking, attitude, practice, and behavior.” (Steve)

    Actually, Jesus never condemned anyone ‘'Neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared’. The problem I raise that Jesus forgave an adulterer – caught in the act nonetheless – and still forgave her. By law, he had all the right to let the rocks fly and condemn her (by condemn we would mean a ‘here and now’ price to pay):

    Lev 20:10 – “If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”

    He did not go the route of condemnation and neither should we. Even if there is a law describing how we have the right to do so:

    Lev 20:13 – “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.”

    I think you’re focusing on the ‘go and sin no more’ part but I see the focus on the mercy.

    SocietyVs said...

    “We should speak the truth in love” (Swordbearer)

    That’s it? Spoken word is all you would do? I would say telling someone they are wrong is doing pretty much nothing for them – no action is being taken whatsoever – except to judge someone vocally. I asked – what would you do not what would you say?

    “On the other hand, to speak so as to draw the greatest attention to the error and sinfulness of their ways is to do them the best service” (Swordbearer)

    I disagree. Pointing out someone’s flaws without offering to help them in any single way is not love – it’s just meaningless judgment. If I know someone that is living off of stolen items and I tell them they are wrong – that’s not love – since they don’t have an answer. If I offer to help them take the stuff back and subject them to the justice of the laws of the land – then we are entering accountability. Now, what should a gay person do and how have they broken the law?

    “Help them with their exegesis” (Swordbearer)

    Interesting – you do know that law in Leviticus 20:13 points out the right to kill the homosexual before the court of law? This same scenario is brought to Jesus’ attention in John 8 – except with adultery – and Jesus does nothing to harm the lady (oddly enough – she gets a free pass for her actions). How would you help with the exegesis and what would your perspective be?

    “There is a difference between passing judgment on one's practice and denying one's inherent dignity which exists due to one's creation/being. Distinguish between these and your question will be answered.” (Swordbearer)

    So being ‘gay’ denigrates one’s dignity? Interesting you talk about the creator in your reasoning – the person with no sexual identity (a Spirit) – why would God care about someone’s sexual identity? So if we are discussing the act of promiscuous sex I might tend to agree – but being ‘gay’ is what you are condemning.

    “Be careful that you are not deceived by those today who suggest that love means failing to distinguish or turning one's eye to unrighteousness.” (Swordbearer)

    I would also say be careful about the words you say about the people whom you are not willing to lift a burden from – might find this is not the path to God.

    As for love and responsibility – I actually do agree. However, I will love people that are gay because this is what I would want for me (the golden rule) – which does mean unconditional acceptance – of the same God has toward us.

    As for the whole gay issue – I think we need to accept them as are – and if they feel the need to change based on their study of the faith – then so be it. Condemning them is not going to help the whole thing out – it’s actually going to put a dividing line in the sand for the gay person so they do not enter into our faith. That is the true conundrum of this.

    the dank said...

    Puritan Lad,

    What about people that don't find murder wrong? Do they know deep down that what they are doing is wrong? Schizophrenics and others with mental health problems that commit immoral acts, do they know this moral code you speak of?

    Murder is usually the most common act people refer to when demonstrating innate morality. But what about smaller "sins". Allow me to explain, I get drunk on the weekends with my friends routinely, I also smoke marijuana often and engage in premarital sex. You might consider these acts as immoral and thus part of our innate moral code. Yet, I feel no guilt about doing any of them, none whatsoever. Would you say that deep down I really know they are wrong? I think you would presume too much to say that I do.

    You are correct that I make moral judgments. We all do based on what we think is OK. Of course I would hope that people would agree with me. This doesn't mean that I assume they are going to.

    So, if someone commits murder and doesn't face any punishment, are they acting morally, immorally, or is it open for personal opinion?

    Depends who you ask. If you asked me, I'd say it's still immoral. In fact, I'd say murder is always immoral. If you asked the murderer, you might get a different answer.

    Puritan Lad said...

    Dank,

    You're digging a deeper hole for yourself. "What about people that don't find murder wrong? Do they know deep down that what they are doing is wrong? Schizophrenics and others with mental health problems that commit immoral acts, do they know this moral code you speak of?"

    Yes they do. The failure to live up to what is morally right is not the same as a lack of knowledge. Even people who commits these acts usually try to cover them up.

    "But what about smaller "sins". Allow me to explain, I get drunk on the weekends with my friends routinely, I also smoke marijuana often and engage in premarital sex. You might consider these acts as immoral and thus part of our innate moral code. Yet, I feel no guilt about doing any of them, none whatsoever. Would you say that deep down I really know they are wrong? I think you would presume too much to say that I do."

    Yes, you know that they are wrong. Otherwise, you would have never brought them up.

    Of course, there are some are so invested in their sinfulness that their consciences become dulled. This is one of the harshest judgments that God will inflict in this lifetime.

    "[Morality] Depends who you ask. If you asked me, I'd say it's still immoral. In fact, I'd say murder is always immoral. If you asked the murderer, you might get a different answer."

    I seriously doubt that you'll find many murderers who will find their own actions morally acceptable. In any case, your answer is that morality is a personal opinion. In such cases, there is no such thing as immorality. You cannot call Hitler immoral. Instead, you would just have to accept that he had a different opinion.

    The problem, as I have already posed, is that you cannot live according to what you say you believe. No atheist really can. They pass moral judgments as if they really believed in moral absolutes. Theyconstantly use science to boister their arguments, as if they really believed in absolute unchanging physical laws that govern our universe. They appeal to logic and reason, as if they truly believe that these items consists of more then just random impulses inside of our skulls. They instinctively value human life above all other life, yet cannot explain why. In short, they must accept the very foundations of a Christian worldview in order to argue against it, because an atheist cannot account for any of the items I just listed.

    So Dank, you do have a knowledge of God the Creator. I pray that you will come to know Him as Savior as well.

    swordbearer said...

    Puritan Lad,

    You hit the mark when stating (in response to Dank's statements...

    "In any case, your answer is that morality is a personal opinion. In such cases, there is no such thing as immorality."

    This is probably the reason Dank fails to admit to his own sins as wrong, for while he knows them to be wrong, he seeks to redefine the standard of morality for himself such that nothing he decides to be acceptable is wrong.

    swordbearer said...

    Societyvs

    You stated "That’s it? Spoken word is all you would do? I would say telling someone they are wrong is doing pretty much nothing for them – no action is being taken whatsoever – except to judge someone vocally. I asked – what would you do not what would you say?"

    to which I responded...
    “On the other hand, to speak so as to draw the greatest attention to the error and sinfulness of their ways is to do them the best service” (Swordbearer)

    to which you said: "Pointing out someone’s flaws without offering to help them in any single way is not love – it’s just meaningless judgment. If I know someone that is living off of stolen items and I tell them they are wrong – that’s not love – since they don’t have an answer. If I offer to help them take the stuff back and subject them to the justice of the laws of the land – then we are entering accountability. Now, what should a gay person do and how have they broken the law?"

    Answer: You are quick to accuse of judgement on the part of believers who choose to speak truth without understanding it is better to point out sin (rather than turning one's head to it, or approving of it) in first confronting the sin and helping them first see and come to admit to the waywardness and guilt of their ways that they might then receive help in looking outside of themselves to a savior who can provide salvation and deliverence from guilt and cleansing from their sin.

    Your response does not surprise me, for with experience in dealing with unbelievers, I've often seen and said that "The very thing they accuse others of is the very sin they struggle with the most." Here, you ACCUSE believers who speak the truth of simply standing in JUDGMENT, ... and by doing so, you commit the VERY SIN you try to accuse others of. The apostle Paul speaks of this very thing in affirming the righteous judgment of God upon unbelievers who though they deny his law act this way, saying: "YOU, THEREFORE, HAVE NO EXCUSE, YOU WHO PASS JUDGMENT on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, YOU are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment DO THE SAME THINGS. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. SO WHEN YOU, A MERE MAN, PASS JUDGMENT ON HTEM AND YET DO THE SAME THINGS, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" (Rom 2:1-4)

    You stated: "Interesting – you do know that law in Leviticus 20:13 points out the right to kill the homosexual before the court of law? This same scenario is brought to Jesus’ attention in John 8 – except with adultery – and Jesus does nothing to harm the lady (oddly enough – she gets a free pass for her actions). How would you help with the exegesis and what would your perspective be?"

    Answer: You fail to miss (1) the context, (2) the covenant distinctions betweens God relations with his people in the O.T. & N.T., and (3) Jesus' command to the woman.

    Let me simply deal with the latter. In verse 11, Jeses declared "Then neither do I condemn you... Go now and leave your life of sin." While Jesus, who is the Judge has a right to forgive her sins, he does not "give her a pass" in the sense of turning his head to her sin or acting as if he approves of it. Rather, he recognizes her sin to be sinful (and even deserving of death on one level), but while he condemns the self-righteousness of the others, he not only forgives her sin, but commands her to "Go NOW, and LEAVE her life OF SIN." That is no "FREE PASS". That is divine recognition of SIN and the need for forgiveness, divine forgiveness, and then divine command to put such practice away!

    "FREE PASS"... Obviously, you've been influenced by those who seek to justify any and everything by shifting the focus and trying to blame on others of "judging" others. Instead, learn to understand that all recognition of sin is not judgment, but can lead to forgiveness from Christ and new life in him!

    You stated: So being ‘gay’ denigrates one’s dignity?"

    Answer: One possesses the dignity of being created in the image of God whether or not they are gay. Participation in gay practices smears and stains that image, or put another way defiles it.

    You stated: "I would also say be careful about the words you say about the people whom you are not willing to lift a burden from – might find this is not the path to God."

    Answer: I will do all I can for them in pointing them to Christ (even speaking in love to the truth of their sin); but it is Christ they ultimately need help from, for only he can provide forgiveness, redemption, and sanctification.

    You stated: "As for love and responsibility – I actually do agree. However, I will love people that are gay because this is what I would want for me (the golden rule) – which does mean unconditional acceptance – of the same God has toward us.

    Answer: You confuse God's unconditional grace with unconditional acceptance.

    You stated: As for the whole gay issue – I think we need to accept them as are – and if they feel the need to change based on their study of the faith – then so be it. Condemning them is not going to help the whole thing out – it’s actually going to put a dividing line in the sand for the gay person so they do not enter into our faith. That is the true conundrum of this.

    Answer: We are to love them, but just as with a wayward child, while we communicate our continuing love, we must also help them see the error of their ways. Do not confuse strong statements such as my original post (made in a day when many are being deceived and buying into the lie that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality (a statement made with the intent of encouraging God's people to not buy into the lie)) as meaning that we are to simply look with disdain upon homosexuals. That is not the case. Rather than "reject them fully" or "receive them and approve of their sin", we are to both "love them but help them deal with their sin"... just as we do with all other sins. The difference here is, you don't have a national movement trying to convince people that greed, or adultery, or stealing is "natural and should be accepted", whereas you do for homosexuality.

    swordbearer said...

    Societyvs,

    I just noticed your reference to "our faith".

    Perhaps to some degree I've misunderstood you and the position you are arguing from. Perhaps rather than being a believer who simply has misunderstood God unconditional grace as meaning unconditional acceptance (& therefore you suggest we should at the same time accept everyone and simultaneously not refer to anyone's practices as sin ... and therefore you falsely look upon the practice of believing brothers as judgmental) ...perhaps instead I have mistaken you for an unbeliever who argues "judgmentalism" in the sense that is typically cast upon believers by those who set to throw off all aspects of the faith.

    If so, I apologize, and our discussion can move toward the difference between God's unconditional grace and what you suggest as God's unconditional acceptance... two thing which are significantly different, and beliefs which significantly affect our practice.

    the dank said...

    Yes, you know that they are wrong. Otherwise, you would have never brought them up.

    I brought them up to explain that I feel no guilt about doing them. I realize that to stay consistent in your worldview, you must say that I know they are wrong.

    The fact that people hide their crimes has more to do with the punishment that follows rather than guilt. (This of course is my opinion)

    I hide my marijuana use from the police not because I feel guilty, but because I could get into legal trouble.

    I seriously doubt that you'll find many murderers who will find their own actions morally acceptable. In any case, your answer is that morality is a personal opinion. In such cases, there is no such thing as immorality. You cannot call Hitler immoral. Instead, you would just have to accept that he had a different opinion.

    How about Charles Manson and Hitler? And why can't I call Hitler immoral? I find him immoral, so of course I call him immoral. That doesn't make what I say the truth to anyone else, it is the truth to me and others that agree with me. It certainly wasn't true to Hitler, or his followers.

    A final thought, if you assume that we are born with an innate moral code, then why bother to teach morals to your children? Wouldn't they just "know" right from wrong? We teach our children right from wrong because they have no concept of it until they are taught. Morals are learned; we are not born with them.

    In any case, this is my last post on this blog entry, you can have the last word.

    SocietyVs said...

    “You are quick to accuse of judgment on the part of believers who choose to speak truth without understanding” (Swordbearer)

    See here’s the problem – I am not judging you. I have placed no verdict down – I have condemned no one – if anything my questioning is leading towards a verdict but none has been made by me. So how can you proclaim ‘I am judging you’ when I am entering into dialogue? I seen you also make this claim to someone else who was appropriating questions about the blog – and I thought that person was not judging either. And I would even say up to this point you have not judged me – what’s so wrong with discourse?

    As for the Romans 2:1-4 passage – funny you should use that – isn’t your use of that like the ‘pot calling the kettle black’? I was not the one using the word ‘condemn’ in anything I wrote – if some outside observer was to look at that – they would see by the very wording we choose who is passing some sort of judgment. But I didn’t come here to discuss or be accused of judgment – something I am neither doing nor will do – I came to discuss the issue at hand.

    “You fail to miss (1) the context, (2) the covenant distinctions betweens God relations with his people in the O.T. & N.T., and (3) Jesus' command to the woman” (Swordbearer)

    Context – the law of the Torah (Tanakh)
    Covenant distinctions – we are under the law of faith? So the law is no longer is needed?
    Jesus commands to the woman – “I do not condemn you either; Go from now on sin no more."
    Jesus commands to the crowd – “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

    I would resonate with Jesus on this one ‘he that is without sin – let him be the first one to cast the stone’. I personally get no pleasure from passing judgment upon someone’s sin.

    You focus on that last line ‘go and sin no more’ but it is coming from the mouth of Jesus –as you have even shown (and have considered it divine). However, you are not in the position to offer divine forgiveness but you are in the position to not throw rocks. I think this is a distinction you need to draw based on your interpretation of this passage.

    “Obviously, you've been influenced by those who seek to justify any and everything by shifting the focus and trying to blame on others of "judging" others” (Swordbearer)

    This is (a) an assumption on your part and (b) misleading – since I am not judging you nor am I judging anyone – so to make this claim I am not sure what you are using as proof. But again you call my very ‘character’ into question – that’s twice now.

    “One possesses the dignity of being created in the image of God whether or not they are gay” (Swordbearer)

    Which still makes me wonder – if God is neither male nor female – then why do we care about someone’s sexuality so much?

    “You confuse God's unconditional grace with unconditional acceptance” (Swordbearer)

    Perhaps – it is a mistake I am willing to live with. However, I am not sure I am making a difference between acceptance and love – since to me – acceptance is the first step in love – and it is clear as day that Jesus loves sinners (which would include us). Now we want to start making dividing lines and rules concerning grace and love – which are God’s – we were in the same spot as everyone else. We are neither higher nor lower – we are all neighbors (equals).

    I would also ask how strong is God’s grace and love? Can God only forgive a little? Work with someone for a little while? Love them until there is no love back? We are discussing the gay issue and I can honestly say – I can forgive them and love them – irregardless of their faults. Is God’s love and grace bigger than my characteristics? I would hope so! But this is another problem with arguing from a set of rules about God – it places the Almighty under the rules of the creation – and in this regard – makes the creation mold the creator.

    Homosexuality – is that even a sin? The bible uses this term a handful of times but to be honest – this term did not exist at the time (I think it was sodomy that was used) and was not used in the Tanakh. Yet we are so sure this is an evil thing? I would look into studies on this issue to be absolutely sure – and maybe you have – but I have studied it from both aspects and I am not sure being gay is a sin.

    (a) Jesus never mentions it even once in any of the gospels
    (b) The word ‘sodomy’ is not definitively about being ‘gay’ – it’s actually taken from the event in Sodom – and this is not a reference to being ‘gay’ but sexual promiscuity or something even worse – depravity of another which at it’s height is no care for the rights of another (including sexual indecencies like rape).
    (c) Paul in Romans 1 does mention this idea also – however he uses it in light of temple prostitutes and their actions + many of other deeds they let slip by (not isolating the one).

    This is a basic over-view of what I have studied on the issue – and more needs to be done. However, I am all for working with that community and getting them to the ideas of the faith. Even if we come to see being gay as a sin – I really could care less – we need to accept them in order for that community to enter into our churches. And sin is sin anyways – and we all have aspects of sin to deal with – what makes being gay any worse or any better?

    “therefore you suggest we should at the same time accept everyone and simultaneously not refer to anyone's practices as sin ... and therefore you falsely look upon the practice of believing brothers as judgmental” (Swordbearer)

    Whoa…hold it. I did say we should accept everyone – and I know I am right about this. As for the (a) refer to anyone’s practices not as sin and (b) falsely look upon the practice of believing brothers as judgmental – these are both assumptions – and this for the 3rd time. I would ask – you go by what I say – not what you assume I am saying.

    “If so, I apologize, and our discussion can move toward the difference between God's unconditional grace and what you suggest as God's unconditional acceptance” (Swordbearer)

    Apology accepted (thanks for the kind words) and I am willing to move towards that discussion – I think this something worth delving into.

    swordbearer said...

    the dank stated: "... And why can't I call Hitler immoral? I find him immoral, so of course I call him immoral. That doesn't make what I say the truth to anyone else, it is the truth to me and others that agree with me. It certainly wasn't true to Hitler, or his followers."


    WOW! Not just Relative perspective, but Relative Truth and Relative Standards. How could society ever deal with such individuals?

    This shows why the thinking of those who oppose absolutes is not only baseless and inconsistent, but dangerous as well. All the more reason for truthbearers to confront such thinking before its results become manifest more greatly!

    (Interesting how when one seeks to cover and justify their own sin, the path they take opens the door to justifying other or all sin.)

    swordbearer said...

    societvs,

    We can argue all day whether you have judged me and others (when you say things " "Pointing out someone’s flaws without offering to help them in any single way is not love – it’s just meaningless judgment", etc.) or whether I have judged you, and this could go in circles forever, ... but the issue here is whether believers have a responsibility to call voice opposition to sin, in this case homosexuality, ... rather than sit idly by by while the world seeks to approve, justify, and pursuade others of its supposed acceptability.

    For the purpose of discussion, I'm not interested in debated distinctions in "homosexuality" vs. whatever other definitions you seek to define or assign. (This subject is commonly understood not only in areas of scholarship but in the blogosphere as well.)

    It will be hard on one level the issue with you until you come to a conviction and position as to whether homosexuality is a sin or not. (At one place you refer to it perhaps as a "fault", then you go on to suggest "Homosexuality – is that even a sin?" You're lack of conviction would naturally confuse the argument and discussion, and perhaps until you get that issue under control, that debate may better be handled elsewhere, so as not to belabor and compound discussion here.

    In regard to the issue of the difference between God's unconditional grace and your suggestion of God's unconditional acceptance, note that your argument already begins to shift the discussion to God's unconditional love. God's unconditional love and grace go together but have nothing to do with unconditional acceptance.

    While you state "...Perhaps – it is a mistake I am willing to live with.", let me encourage you to reconsider, as our understanding and relation to sin is nothing to take lightly... even as the cross reveals.

    You state "it is clear as day that Jesus loves sinners..." but that is different than to suggest he therefore fails to address their sin, or that his people have a responsibility to "expose" the "fruitless deeds of darkness."

    You go on to confuse the issue of whether God's love and grace is sufficient to deal with peoples sins ... with the issue of whether that necessitates his acceptance of their sins.

    swordbearer said...

    (RESTATED without as many typos and some clarification)

    societvs,

    We can argue all day whether you have judged me and others (when you say things like " "Pointing out someone’s flaws without offering to help them in any single way IS NOT LOVE - IT'S JUST MEANINGLESS JUDGEMENT, (CAPS, my emphasis, etc.) or whether I have judged you, and this could go in circles forever, ... but the issue here is whether believers have a responsibility to voice opposition to sin, in this case homosexuality, ... rather than sit idly by by while the world seeks to approve, justify, and pursuade others of its supposed acceptability.

    For the purpose of discussion, I'm not interested in debating "homosexuality" vs. whatever other definitions or distinctions you wish to assign or define. (This subject - homosexuality - is commonly understood not only in areas of scholarship but in the blogosphere as well.)

    It will be hard on one level to debate the issue at hand with you until you first come to a conviction and position as to whether homosexuality is a sin or not. (At one place you refer to it perhaps as a "fault", then you go on to ask "Homosexuality – is that even a sin?" You're lack of conviction would naturally confuse the argument and discussion, and perhaps until you get that issue settled in your own mind and take a position on it, perhaps that issue of debate may better be handled elsewhere, so as not to belabor and compound discussion here.

    In regard to the issue of the difference between God's unconditional grace and your suggestion of God's unconditional acceptance, note that your argument already begins to shift the discussion to God's unconditional love. God's unconditional love and grace go together but have nothing to do with unconditional acceptance.

    You state: "...Perhaps – it is a mistake I am willing to live with." My response: let me encourage you to reconsider, as our understanding and relation to sin is nothing to take lightly... even as the cross reveals.

    You state "it is clear as day that Jesus loves sinners..." but that is different than to suggest he therefore fails to address their sin, or that his people have a responsibility to "expose" the "fruitless deeds of darkness."

    You go on to confuse the issue of (a) whether God's love and grace is sufficient to deal with people's sins ... with (b) whether that necessitates his acceptance of their sins.

    SocietyVs said...

    “rather than sit idly by while the world seeks to approve, justify, and pursuade others of its supposed acceptability.” (Swordbearer)

    Then that truly is the bigger question – are we willing to accept gay people as they are to come and join us in our churches? I think the answer is ‘yes’. To me, it matters very little about what we think of their lifestyle and how we think God is going to approach them about sin – what does matter is how we treat them. I think we are all responsible for the way treat others – irregardless of sexual orientation or not.

    “You're lack of conviction would naturally confuse the argument and discussion, and perhaps until you get that issue under control” (Swordbearer)

    To me the issue has little to do with homosexuality but with the underlying problems of setting out a course to judge them by – namely the problem of not accepting people that are gay if we should be approached by them. I am not sure calling light to their sin is going to help them develop friendships with us that allow for such discussion. My lack of conviction (as you say) is the same thing that brought me here to discuss the issue – and look into the aspects of acceptance and judgment. Judgment does not lead to acceptance.

    “God's unconditional love and grace go together but have nothing to do with unconditional acceptance.” (Swordbearer)

    Acceptance is conditional but love isn’t? You brought up the parent analogy once about you and your child. If you love your child is there a level at some point where you will no longer accept him? How strong is your grace towards your own child? Do you think your love or grace would be deeper than God’s to humanity?

    Love is not conditional, grace is not conditional, but accepting someone is? How can someone know love or grace without acceptance first? That is the crux of the argument.

    “let me encourage you to reconsider, as our understanding and relation to sin is nothing to take lightly... even as the cross reveals.” (Swordbearer)

    I will not take sin lightly and I will love my fellow human being – both Christian or not. However, when dealing with sin we can only address our short-comings and deal with those. We can definitely point out another’s sin – but we cannot deal with (as in change) their behaviors/actions – which brings me back to my point – we still need accept the person gay or not and let them work through their issues.

    “but that is different than to suggest he therefore fails to address their sin, or that his people have a responsibility to "expose" the "fruitless deeds of darkness."” (Swordbearer)

    Jesus ‘loved’ us while we were yet ‘sinners’ – that’s pretty straightforward if you ask me – Jesus did address sin – and he met it head on with love/sacrifice. We have a duty to ‘expose the fruitless deeds of darkness’ but that has to be weighted with the idea ‘to treat others how you want to be treated or love your neighbor’. Here is the full passage:

    “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret”
    We see ‘expose’ them (agreed) – but we also not to speak about them. I think Paul is encouraging the believers to expose them by living contrary to those ideals namely the ideas of immorality – which includes language used, covetousness/greed, and idolatry. Paul is asking the people to live out ideas of light so as to reflect the ideas of darkness as they truly are – not worth emulating.
    “with the issue of whether that necessitates his acceptance of their sins.” (Swordbearer)
    I never said anything about the acceptance of their sins – but the acceptance of the people irregardless of their sins – kind of like how you and I were accepted to this faith by no merit of our own. No we can discuss the issue of dealing with the sin afterwards – but nonetheless – we were accepted not b merit, but by the grace of God – so that neither you or I should boast about it. All I am saying is let’s do that for others also.

    Puritan Lad said...

    "The fact that people hide their crimes has more to do with the punishment that follows rather than guilt. (This of course is my opinion)"

    What about those who are serving life without parole? On what basis will think condemn their own behavior, as most do? They are already suffering the punishment.

    You may call Hitler "immoral" all you want to, but based on your own view of morality, it is a meaningless statement. It simply means that you and he disagree on certain issues.

    And you didn't even address the other items in my list. Perhaps it is because you clearly see the emptiness and futility of the atheist worldview. You want to make moral judgments, logical arguments, and so forth, yet cannot find any basis for doing so in atheism.

    I feel sorry for you Dank. If you truly believe the stuff that you have written, then you are an object to be pitied. Perhaps God has used this discussion to plant His seed in you. I pray it brings forth fruit.

    swordbearer said...

    Societyvs,

    1. You set up a false dichotomy in setting relationship against truth. The Scripture calls us to both be holy in the one as well as to uphold the other.

    2. You continue to set up a false premise in suggesting that to accept an individual means one must also overlook all their behavior. It's possible to accept a person on one level and yet disagree with their beliefs and behavior.

    3. You state: " I am not sure calling light to their sin is going to help them develop friendships with us that allow for such discussion." I would argue that approving of their sin does not allow for the discussion. (Note - there's also a difference between establishing friendships with those who are unrepentant and and establishing ecclesiastical ties.) Don't get me wrong, I am not against developing friendships, in fact I encourage them, and have ongoing friendships with several who are gay, ... the point of my post was not "Stand back and cast spears" but a call to for believers to quit caving in to the culture and stand up for the truth. There's a significant difference and the context must be taken into account.

    4. Your analogy on acceptance and my child falls short in that there's a difference in my accepting "him" and equating that with accepting all his practices as righteous.

    5. You state "How can someone know love or grace without acceptance first?" Does not God love the world, but that does not mean he "accepts" all.

    (I imagine what you are asking is should we not accept all into the church based simply on their profession of Christ and then allow them to deal with the doctrines and commands individually as the H.S. leads them.... On one level you are right and one could argue our practice is to do this (particularly with other sins). Yet, on another level there is a difference. For example, if a notorious unrepentant murderer or thief came and wanted to join the church, there's something so basic about the sins of murder and stealing that one would feel compelled to confront these particular issues and discuss the clear of God's Word on these issues. Perhaps as a layman you may not give thought to these things but those in the clery would certainly feel responsibility to do so... for to not address these issues up front would be neglectful, etc., especially in light of known and notorious sin. The same could be said concerning homosexuality or any other sin, especially publicly charged ones, especially when in many cases failure or opposition to repent in this area goes beyond lack of knowledge but to the question of the authority of God and his Word, in addition to the question of the nature of the particular sin. Note - I'm not suggesting the church is to single out any particular sin and use that as a litmus test; however given the climate we live in today, such positions and particularly ardent and outspoken ones raise other legitimate questions.)

    .... Take for example a person who says they love Jesus, but argue that killing is right, stealing is right, there's nothing wrong with adultery, etc. I don't think you would suggest the church should move quickly to enjoin membership without first discussing these issues and even setting forth the biblical teaching on them.

    Note this is as far as I desire to discuss this issue at this time, see #7 below.


    6. My argument is that to "live out ideas of light" (your wording) INCLUDES speaking truth concerning morality, rather than approving of deeds of unrighteousness or tacitly acting as though it does not matter.

    7. You stated "I never said anything about the acceptance of their sins – but the acceptance of the people irregardless of their sins ... No we can discuss the issue of dealing with the sin afterwards.

    Response: Here is where our whole argument differs. You have tried to make this whole thing an issue of whether we accept gays into the church or not. MY ORIGINAL POST had nothing to do with that (though though your comments, we've begun to discuss that). My post had nothing to do with whether or not gays should or should not be accepted into the church. My post dealt with the believers position on homosexuality, and apparent present refusal to stand on it and speak to it.

    zoegirl said...

    Christ did not come to ACCEPT sin or CONDONE sin. He came to pay the cost of sin....

    IF all that was needed was for HIm to simply say "OK guys, I guess I'll just accept you, I love you" then why the need for His death on the cross?

    Nowhere in scripture do you find Christ accepting sin. If fact, Christ revealed to many just HOW much they fall from the mark. For axample, it's not enough to not have sex with another woman....Christ stated that simply looking at another woman with lust was "adulterous". He revealed just how sinful we are. No, Christ was very clear on sin....after all, that was the reason he came.

    Even as a Christian, we are not called to ever rest in our desire and serach to get rid of sin in our lives. We don't get a free pass once we are given Christ's righteousness. The sanctification process continually calls for growth and a desire to become more like Christ. So even in the relationship with Christ, we are called to renounce sinful thougts and behavior.

    I know other have said this, but your grand philosophical talk of accepting sin really is just that.

    Do you *really* accept murderers?

    Do you *really* accept rapists?

    Do you really *accept* child molesters?

    And on what grounds? You seem to think that a desire validates the practice. After all, we should allow homosexuality on these grounds, right? That is is simply their orientation? But at what point do you say this argument doesn't wash? Those from NAMBLA and other child molesters could claim this desire isn't sinful. (you could say that it must be consensual....but at what age? )

    Hey, a rapist is simply fulfilling his desire for rage and power...guess he should just get a free pass, after all, should we love and accept him?

    ultimately there *are* behaviors and thoughts that are considered unacceptable.

    And at a more personal level, do you really accept liars? Would you be willing to accept someone as a friend who consistently lies to you? A girfriend who refuses to not cheat and sleeps with everyone who is willing? (notice I am not asking if you would love that person, or even forgive that person, but would you continue in that relationship and accept that behavior as ok?) How about someone who continually steals from you? And demands that you accept that as ok?

    BTW, the heterosexual practices are fair game as well. As a single Christian woman, I am called to a life of abstinence. Those married who have posted here are called to a life of of commitment, no adultery.

    I do not pretend to understand the struggle of living with a desire for the same gender. I do understand sexual temptation, however, and this temptation in and of itself does NOT validate sexual promiscuity. My heterosexual temptations do not validate or make acceptable a life of heterosexual sin (or sinful thoughts).

    And our refusing to accept homsexuality as anything other than sin does not negate our responsiblility as Christians to love and minister to them, just as we are caleld to love and minister to those in prison, those locked in the grip of drug abuse, or those who struggle with anger, or those who struggle with heterozexual lust....and so on but this love does not mean that we say to those who murder "well, gee, go out and kill some more, it doesn't matter, Christ ACCEPTS you", not do we accept anger, lying, cheating, or lust.

    swordbearer said...

    Well stated.