Problems with pro-gay theology

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Introduction

This post is long, but I think it is worthwhile and hope you read it all.

Many churches today are being torn apart by false teachings about human sexuality, so we can’t ignore this topic.  I am continuously disappointed that so many Christians who don’t get educated on this topic and stand up for the truth.  In addition, the rapid and radical changes in public schools are a serious issue and hate speech laws and activist judges are a blatant attempt to shut down debate and curtail religious freedoms.  Barely a week goes by without hearing about a business owner forced to cater to gay couples (e.g., bed-and-breakfasts, wedding photographers), LGBTQ indoctrination in elementary schools, religious organizations forced to hire LGBTQ people, people losing jobs for saying that skin color is morally neutral but sexual behavior is not, and so on.

Many people who hold the orthodox Christian view would love to move on to other issues, but the problem is that the pro-gay theologians aren’t giving up.  Therefore, we need to stand firm and do a better job of educating those in the middle ground.

While this issue isn’t an essential of the faith, such as Jesus’ divinity and exclusivity for salvation, those who take the pro-gay theology view typically have to deny the essential of the authority of scripture to arrive at their conclusions.  And that is a dangerous thing.

The general Biblical ignorance of many Christians on this topic isn’t helping things.  I know of people who have gone to church their whole lives and have been in multiple Bible studies but still ask questions like, “Does the New Testament say anything about homosexual behavior?”  (Short answer: Yes.)  And it goes downhill from there.

Before I dive in, let me state that while I firmly believe that homosexual behavior is a sin, I do not think it is something we should grandstand on.  We all have temptations and stumble and fall at times.  Romans 1 explains in no uncertain terms that homosexual behavior is an affront to God, but it also lists greed, gossip, deceit and other things as serious sins (anyone squirming yet?).

And we should act as suggested by a believer I am friends with who is tempted by same-sex attractions: Pray for them and be their friends.

Do homosexuals have a legitimate complaint when they point out how many Christians are softer on divorce, adultery and pre-marital sex than they are on homosexual behavior?  Yes.  Grandstanding on sins that aren’t a temptation for us and downplaying or ignoring sins that are a temptation is not a Christian thing to do.  But the lesson is to hold consistent Biblical views on all sins, not to water things down more.  We need to raise the bar back up on all these sins because they have huge consequences and, more importantly, because that is in line with what the Bible says.

But we shouldn’t call evil good and good evil.  I support the Methodist position on homosexuality, which regards the behavior as sinful but the people as having worth.  (Sadly, I left the Methodist in large part due to their lack of adherence to their own positions!)  I think it should be illegal to abort babies just because they might be homosexual (Ironically, that position puts me at odds with many liberals whose support for abortion is such that they think it should be legal under any circumstances).  I mention these things simply to pre-empt any nonsensical allegations that I am homophobic, a childish and false put-down designed to stifle debate.  The real homophobes are those who are so scared of being politically incorrect that they deny God, the Bible and common sense rather than state the obvious.

I also believe that homosexual behavior is a forgivable sin and can be overcome by the power of the Gospel.  When I meet gays I don’t view it as my job to change them.  I treat them like I would anyone else, developing relationships and hoping to be able to share the Gospel with them at some point.  The real work is the job of the Holy Spirit.

I was sharing the Gospel with a young man once who happened to be gay.  He was all over the place with his religious beliefs and questions.  At one point he asked, “Doesn’t the Bible say homosexual behavior is a sin?”  I could have glossed over it and said it was a debatable matter, but that wouldn’t have been true or loving.

I also could have spent an hour explaining all the verses around this topic, but that would have been overkill.  Instead I just confirmed that yes, the Bible does say it is a sin, despite how some try to twist it.  Then I just shifted back to the basic Gospel – namely, that we are all sinners in need of a Savior and Jesus is that Savior.  It was a great back-and-forth conversation on a lot of topics and I pray that it planted a seed and that the young man kept searching.

Pro-gay theology tends to fall into one of three categories.  They are all wrong, but for varying reasons.  Sometimes they overlap categories.

  1. The Bible is either not the Word of God, or most parts of it aren’t. This view claims that we can ignore the prohibitions against homosexual behavior because they were written by homophobic Jews.
  2. The Bible is the Word of God, but it doesn’t really say homosexual behavior is wrong. This view holds that people just aren’t reading the Bible properly, and that God’s Word is actually affirming of gay relationships.
  3. The Bible is the Word of God and does clearly and emphatically describe gay behavior as sinful.  However, the Holy Spirit has given additional revelations such that this behavior is now acceptable. This view holds that God has changed his mind on this moral issue and not only is it now acceptable, but it is sinful if you don’t affirm this behavior and same-sex relationships.

Category 1: The Bible is either not the Word of God, or most parts of it aren’t.

Regarding the first view, many liberal theologians deny that part or all of the Bible is the Word of God.  Unlike those in the second view, these folks seem to understand that the Bible does describe homosexual behavior as being sinful.  They just dismiss those parts.

Some appear to believe in Leopard Theology, the false notion that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots.  If God wasn’t capable of inspiring all of the original writings of the Bible to be error-free, then why should we trust him to communicate with such clarity to these people regarding what is inspired and what isn’t?

The problem is that this view is very hard to reconcile with the 2,000 year tradition of the church and, more importantly, of the clear text of the Bible itself.  People are certainly entitled to hold that view, but it doesn’t seem logical for them to refer to themselves as Christians.

The Bible claims to speak directly for God roughly 3,000 times, so if someone believes that all of those are mistakes then why on earth would he take this faith seriously?  Why would he want to be a leader in the Christian church?

Remember that Jesus validated the law and the Prophets, among other parts of the Old Testament, right down to the last little mark.  He unapologetically referred to the most controversial parts, too – Adam and Eve, Noah, Jonah and Sodom and Gomorrah.  Christians should strive to view the Bible in the same way that He did.

Note that many of these church “leaders” are liars: They either lied at their ordination vows about believing the essentials of the faith, or they changed their minds later and didn’t do the honest thing and resign.  Their views are usually not just a little different than historic Christianity, they are the opposite.  I believe in religious freedom, so they are entitled to their beliefs.  I also believe in honesty: HP salesman shouldn’t endorse Dell products, and Christians shouldn’t promote non-Christian beliefs about the Bible.  If either one breaks those rules they should be quickly fired.

It is challenging to argue with those who hold the first view, because you tend to go in circles.  They claim to be Christian, which should mean we can refer to the Bible as a “final court of arbitration” of sorts.  But whenever you find a passage they don’t like they’ll claim it was written just by men, not God, or they’ll pull out the false argument that you are being a Biblical literalist.

They may say things like, “But Jesus never said anything about homosexual behavior.”  That is called arguing from silence and it is poor reasoning.  Jesus inspired all scripture, He supported the Old Testament law to the last letter, the “red letters” weren’t silent on these topics in the sense that they reiterated what marriage and murder were, He emphasized many other important issues that these liberal theologians completely ignore (Hell, his divinity, his exclusivity, etc.), He was equally “silent” on issues that these folks treat as having the utmost importance (capital punishment, war, welfare, universal health care, etc.), abortion and homosexual behavior simply weren’t hot topics for 1st century Jews, and He did mention Sodom and Gomorrah.This view is also part of the 2nd type of theological error noted above.

They may jump through hoops trying to dismiss the plain reading of verses like Leviticus 18:22 (“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable”) yet gladly take other plain passages literally.  They may claim there were “only a few verses” but are quick to make all sorts of firm statements on other topics with less verses.  And just how many times does God have to clearly say something before we believe it?

They may try to dismiss passages like that by misreading other passages, such as saying that “God said that eating shellfish was an abomination, so why aren’t you opposed to that?”

To have a rational discussion on the verses referencing homosexuality you have to convince people in this group that the Bible is reliable and authoritative first.  And that may be impossible.

Here’s a sample quote from a person in this camp:

A 21st century [Martin] Luther would surely recognize that the few biblical proscriptions against “sodomy”-shaky in themselves as condemnations of same-sex love and rooted in a worldview vastly different from our own-should not bar the loving union of two gay or lesbian persons. Equally, a 21st century Luther would affirm the ordination of such persons, as in line with his theology of the ‘priesthood of all believers.’

Mary Zeiss Stange, professor of women’s studies and religion at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, responding to the recent decsion by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to expel a minister who admitted to a physical homosexual relationship-a violation of the denominations “Visions and Expectations” statement.

She really tips her hand with the “worldview vastly different from our own” comment.  The worldview she is referring to is that of Middle East Jews and Christians a couple thousand years ago or more.  But she misses the obvious: The Biblical commands weren’t always the Jews’ worldview – they rebelled against that view over and over!  The worldview is God’s, and Ms. Stange is absolutely right that it is vastly different from hers.  She apparently doesn’t believe the Bible is the Word of God.  And if she ends up in Heaven I think Martin Luther will have a few things to clarify with her.

The verses aren’t “shaky,” and there are plenty showing God’s plan for human sexuality and his disapproval of homosexual behavior.  Some (but not all) people in this category may be predisposed to only consider verses that affirm their views, and they typically don’t have a problem drawing all sorts of conclusions from less clear passages.  Therefore, they won’t like these facts:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

Category 2: The Bible is the Word of God, but it doesn’t really say homosexual behavior is wrong.

The second view is generally better than the first (“the Bible is not the Word of God”) with respect to being able to guide people towards the truth, because you have a common authority to appeal to.

The problem with this view is that it is just plain incorrect.  As hard as pro-gay theologians try, the truth is that the Bible is overwhelmingly clear.  Pro-gay theologians are good at casting doubt about certain passages but they never seem to pay attention when someone points out how their reasoning is flawed.

Even some pro-gay theologians agree that the Bible has straightforward commands, but they appeal to “experience” over Scripture.  The heretic John Shelby Spong denies the authority of the Bible at every turn, he at least admits that:

The Bible can certainly be read as condemnatory of homosexual practice. Both sides admit that.

Luke Timothy Johnson, a more orthodox theologian said:

I think it important to state clearly that we do, in fact, reject the straightforward commands of Scripture, and appeal instead to another authority when we declare that same-sex unions can be holy and good.

As noted previously, here is a summary of the Biblical view:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

I find those figures to be unambiguous and very compelling based on plain readings of the text and even more so when delving further into the context and the original languages.  I think it is important to consider all those points because some people try to dismiss the traditional Biblical view because it “only” has a few passages about homosexuality.  It only takes one clear passage to make a point, but there are many more than that in the Bible.  These folks also don’t seem to mind making broad conclusions on verses that really do just have one verse behind them.

I have written on a couple specific mistakes pro-gay theologians make regarding Leviticus 18 (“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”), another article on the shellfish argument and another on Romans 1.

There are many other resources dealing with particular verses.  Here’s a terrific outline on Romans 1 that explodes the myth that the real sin is acting outside your desires (as if anyone does that!).

My favorite resource is Responding to Pro-Gay Theology by Joe Dallas.  I highly encourage everyone to read it.  It is very thorough but readable.  I don’t have time to cover all the passages here but if people have questions on specific verses we can cover them in the comments section.

There are solid answers for any question you can come up with, provided people want to really discuss the issue.  I saw this commentary on an ex-ex-gay blog (i.e., someone who tried to leave the homosexual lifestyle and returned).  She is commenting on Mel White, a leading pro-gay theologian.

Mel White is a passionate and articulate man who makes it clear from the beginning of the workshop that he has absolutely no desire whatsoever to discuss the biblical passages on homosexuality. Over the years he has suffered a barrage of debates on the issue and he is thoroughly burnt out. He refuses to engage in the discussion any longer. Instead, he passes out a booklet he has written on the subject and tells us to read it. Then, he encourages us to refrain from discussing the Bible with conservative Christians because fundamentalists have no interest in sincere dialogue. Mel also encourages us not to engage in the debate for another reason. By having the conversation, we expose ourselves over and over again to the “lie” that homosexuality is wrong, and when heard repeatedly, “deep down inside you will wonder if they are right.”

That is a clever dodge on Mel’s part.  But I’ll be glad to have a sincere dialogue even if he won’t.

If you examine all the facts, I think you’ll find that the case is overwhelming: God considers homosexual behavior to be sinful and his ideal for marriage is one man and one woman.

So why do people twist the scriptures so blatantly? I generally don’t speculate on the motives of individuals, as only God knows their hearts. But I have seen some themes and evidence in various cases.

Some believe the lies out of ignorance or laziness. They may be sincere Christians who just haven’t fully examined the issue. There are issues I haven’t fully explored and may have the wrong views on, so we should approach things with humility.  We should do the hard work to understand important issues.

Some believe them out of political correctness. It is much easier to go with the views of the culture. Have they noticed the the liberal theologians came to the conclusion that abortion, homosexual behavior, easy divorce and fornication were acceptable just after the culture did?  What a coincidence.  They should remember 1 John 2:15-16: Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world.

I won’t name specifics here, but I am aware of those in the pro-gay theology camp that pretend to be otherwise-orthodox Christians.  But if you follow their own blogs, for example, you discover how thoroughly fraudulent they are.  You need to watch out for those who use a veneer of Christianity to justify their preferences.  They desparately want everyone’s approval – even though it will still leave them unfulfilled – and they especially want the church’s approval — or at least its silence.

There is also the passive-aggressive stance where some confidently claim that the Bible does or doesn’t say something about homosexual behavior, then when you go to analyze the verses they “humbly” say they don’t know that much (as if the subject were just too complicated or it is so gray we just can’t reach a conclusion).

False teachers aren’t necessarily gay themselves.  They may have other motives for spreading their lies.  Jesus warned that there would be false teachers in the church and Paul did as well.  What better way to accomplish this than to infiltrate the church and bring it down from the inside?

2 Corinthians 11:13-15  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Of course, there are frauds at the other end of the spectrum as well, such as Ted Haggard, or hateful false teachers like Democrat Fred Phelps.  Those aren’t Biblical models, either.

Some people have a “revelation” about the lack of sinfulness of homosexuality when a loved one is involved. Perhaps this is due to new information and a fresh look at the Bible, but perhaps it is due to major league rationalization. It is similar to pro-life Christians who change their minds when their child is pregnant and encourage the destruction of their grandchildren. Did they really change their views on the morality of abortion based on new information, or did their fear of embarrassment and/or inconvenience trump their moral views?

Some people just want to believe the lies. It is a strong delusion. And Satan’s oldest trick is still used today: “Did God really say . . .?”  Hint: Yes.  Yes, He did.

Category 3 – The Bible is the Word of God and does clearly and emphatically describe gay behavior as sinful.  However, the Holy Spirit has given additional revelations such that this behavior is now acceptable.

This view holds that God has changed his mind on this moral issue and not only is it now acceptable, but it is sinful if you don’t affirm this behavior and same-sex relationships.

The third view attempts to affirm scripture but makes a major theological mistake afterwards.  Think about the premise: God is allegedly overturning a moral law and simultaneously making it immoral to quote the Bible.

One denomination has a slogan that “God is still speaking.”  This would be true provided that it meant that God still speaks through his Word.  However, liberal theologians tend to use this phrase to mean that God is changing his moral laws.

Some people appear to believe in Leopard Theology, the false notion that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots.  That is the first error above.  However, those in this third category appear to hold to Advanced Leopard Theology, where God is also changing spots and adding/removing spots, and, oddly enough, He is only telling theological liberals and progressives.

This category overlaps a bit with those who don’t think He communicated his laws in a discernable way in the first place (i.e., in the Bible), but they now think He is communicating with Swiss-watch precision to them.

Here’s an example: A Methodist pastor named Laurie Hays Coffman did a pro-gay theology piece that made the argument that she wants to “unfurl our corporate sails to catch today’s winds as the Spirit blows afresh.”  She said she was challenged by the vision God gave to Peter in Acts 10-11 where God makes it clear that the Gospel is for the Gentiles, too, and that the Israelites’ ceremonial dietary laws are no longer in force.

Her reasoning is that in the same way that God overturned those laws that He is now overturning the prohibitions against homosexual behavior.

The problem is her poor Biblical analysis.  There are at least nine things wrong with this view:

  1. The person with the revelation was Peter, one of Jesus’ inner circle and a key leader in the early church.  It wasn’t made to you, me or someone like Ms. Coffman.  That doesn’t mean God couldn’t reveal something important like this to us, just that it is highly unlikely.
  2. The visions were clear and emphatic.  Peter was given the vision three times.
  3. Peter was inclined to reject the meaning of the vision, whereas these pro-gay theologians have views on human sexuality that are virtually indistinguishable from the prevailing culture and they are glad to accept this “new revelation.”
  4. There was external validation for Peter from the Roman centurion.
  5. This lesson showed up in the Bible, not outside it.  I’m not saying miracles don’t happen outside the Bible.  It is just that things appear in the Bible for a reason.  God communicating that the ceremonial laws had been fulfilled was one of those “big deals.”
  6. This vision overturned a ceremonial law, not a moral law.  There are zero examples in the Bible of God reversing his moral laws.  In fact, the more Jesus talked the stricter the laws seemed to get, because He emphasized the spirit of the law and not just the letter (i.e., lust was akin to committing adultery, anger was akin to murder, etc.).  The dietary laws never applied to Gentiles.
  7. The “God has changed his mind view” is primarily being “revealed” to theologically liberal Christians in the U.S. . . . the very ones who often deny his Word to begin with!  So we can’t trust the accurate transmission of the original writings but we can trust their new revelations?  Go figure.
  8. If God is revealing a change, why is it necessarily more liberal?  Why couldn’t God make his laws more stringent?
  9. The Bible gives strong warnings not to add or take away from its teachings.

And as noted above, even some pro-gay theologians agree that the Bible has straightforward commands, but they appeal to “experience” over Scripture.  Again, Luke Timothy Johnson said:

I think it important to state clearly that we do, in fact, reject the straightforward commands of Scripture, and appeal instead to another authority when we declare that same-sex unions can be holy and good.

There are simply no good reasons to believe that God is changing his moral laws (dropping those against homosexual behavior and adding those saying not to preach against it) and only informing selected people — as opposed to the Apostles and their direct followers — through revelation or “experience.”

Summary – Pro-gay theological principles in action

I have addressed the three commons ways pro-gay theologians make errors, namely by believing that:

  1. The Bible is either not the Word of God, or most parts of it aren’t.
  2. The Bible is the Word of God, but it doesn’t really say homosexual behavior is wrong.
  3. The Bible is the Word of God and does clearly and emphatically describe gay behavior as sinful.  However, the Holy Spirit has given additional revelations such that this behavior is now acceptable and the “new” sin is saying that homosexual behavior is sinful.

Now I am taking the pro-gay theological reasoning out for a test drive, so to speak, to see how it applies to other passages.  After all, if their principles are sound they should work in other situations as well.

We’ve addressed Leviticus 18:22 (Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.) and some of the improper interpretations of it here and here. But I wondered how their reasoning would apply to a verse in the same passage, such as Leviticus 18:8 – Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father. After all, the context of Leviticus 18 is abundantly clear because it starts and ends with the same admonitions: Don’t be like the pagan Canaanites and do the detestable things listed in the middle of the text, or you will be vomited out of the land like they were.  These were obviously not ceremonial laws just for the Israelites.

You can use any verse from Leviticus 18 to make the same points (bestiality, child sacrifice, etc.).  I chose this one because it happened to be addressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 5.  Especially note how Paul chides them for being proud and boastful about this man’s behavior.  Read it once, then read it again and replace the descriptions of incest with homosexual behavior.  That is how I view the pro-gay theology community (especially the heterosexuals): Proud and boastful for ignoring God’s Word.

1 Corinthians 5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.

I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

Now let’s apply the various lines of pro-gay theological reasoning to Leviticus 18:8 and 1 Corinthians 5 and see how well they work. I realize that not all pro-gay theologians hold all these views.  I tried to convey their reasoning as accurately as possible.  Using their logic, we could conclude that:

  • Jesus didn’t specifically say not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife, so it couldn’t have been very important and probably wasn’t even a sin (the argument from silence).  We should err on the side of saying it isn’t a sin.  We ignore the fact that Jesus, as God, authored the Old Testament and that He fully supported it.
  • The man was born that way (i.e., with the desire to have sex with females).  It was his natural desire and function.
  • He and his father’s wife love each other!  Who are you to say that is wrong?  Gene Robinson, a Bishop in the Episcopal church, left his wife and kids so he could be with his gay lover.  Pro-gay theologians usually affirm and applaud this behavior.  Living up to marriage commitments made before God isn’t nearly as important as indulging your sexual preferences.
  • How do you know he and his father’s wife didn’t pray about it?  Maybe God gave them a personal revelation permitting them to have sex and/or get married.  That would make it acceptable.
  • Maybe the couple says that Jesus told them it was OK.  Who are you to argue with Jesus?
  • Leviticus 18:8 was a ceremonial law.  It was only for the Jews.  It obviously doesn’t apply to Gentiles.  If you eat shellfish then you obviously are a hypocrite if you don’t condone incest.
  • The Bible never actually uses the word incest.
  • There are only a few verses saying not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife [probably less than there are describing homosexual behavior as sinful].Therefore, how can we be sure about it?  And they are kinda obscure as well.
  • The man or the father’s wife was a temple prostitute or this was part of some pagan temple worship, and that is what made it wrong [even though the text doesn't even hint at that].
  • Paul was an ignorant prude.  He didn’t understand sexual behavior or have the advantage of all the knowledge we do.  [This assumes that the Holy Spirit wasn't inspiring his writings, of course].
  • You are just using the “yuck” factor and saying “Eeewww” because a man having sex with his father’s wife seems gross to you.  There is really nothing wrong with it, though – you were just made differently.
  • Judge not, lest ye be judged.  Paul must be sinning here because he is clearly making moral judgments.  [Please ignore the fact that I'm judging Paul for judging and that I've taken Matthew 7:1-5 out of context].
  • You are just an incest-o-phobe.  You need therapy for your irrational hatred.  In fact, speech like that should be prohibited because it will incite violence against those who practice incest.
  • You just don’t love the man and his father’s wife!  If you did, you’d want them to be happy.  Hater!  Hate speech!
  • Other parts of the Bible portray God acting in ways that don’t appear to be in line with his moral laws, so they obviously aren’t really from him.  Therefore, Leviticus 18:8 may not be his Word either.  When in doubt, we should ignore Scripture, because God’s revelation to my heart trumps anything in the Bible.
  • Some parts of the Bible aren’t clear to us [even though this part is] so we can ignore it.

If that sounds like an unsound line of reasoning that’s because it is an unsound line of reasoning. These principles don’t work on the passages they are designed to dismiss, and they completely self-destruct when applied to other passages.  Pro-gay theology is flawed, sinful and destructive and should be abandoned by any Christians who hold those views.

Once again, note that:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

Remember, if homosexual behavior is a sin – and the Bible clearly identifies it as such – then affirming and encouraging that behavior is also a sin and providing the orthodox Biblical view is the loving thing to do.  God is perfectly holy, but He is also perfectly gracious and merciful and will forgive those who repent and believe in Jesus.  Hear the Good News:

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Comments are welcome, but please stick to the topic.  We aren’t debating secular views, we aren’t demonizing anyone (pro-gay or orthodox) and we don’t need straw-man arguments (“You just don’t love them,” etc.).

Love LGBTQ people, be friends with them and pray for them.  If they need to develop a friendship with you so they can see what normal relationships should look like, then do so.  But don’t encourage them to participate in sinful behavior.  If you do, then you are loving yourself, not them.

And remember, God catches his fish and then He cleans them.  You don’t have to convert their sexuality before sharing the Good News that God adopts, completely forgives and eternally blesses everyone who repents and trusts in Jesus.

51 thoughts on “Problems with pro-gay theology

  1. From the few studies I have read by you, I am confident that you do not need my approval of your understanding of the Truth. Still, it is my feeling that it helps to know that God has someone else in this battle that shares my understanding of the Truth
    I would like to go on record as being in agreement with everything you make reference to here.
    Just between you and I… Don’t you find the greatest truths in little passages, such as Proverbs 14:12. : )
    Finally, what is it that allows us to violate the order and wonder of our bodies? Who can disregard the purpose of and specific design of our orgins. Anyway, great article! Thank you.

  2. Howdy, Neil.

    You left out a major sector: Those of us who consider the Bible as a record of Jewish and then Jewish-Christian and then Christian encounters with God, inspired in the encounterers’ experience, less so, as a whole, not in this part or that part, in the recording. And who regard the Bible less as the “final aribiter” and more “the best place to start” in deciding how we’re to live our lives now. Unorthodox by historical standards? Yes. Heretical? Maybe. Outside the overall experience of Christianity in history? No.

  3. Man, yer right. I get tired and I can’t read. And I drove from OKC to Denver yesterday and spent 10 hours at work today. Ugh. On the other hand, as I said, we don’t pick and choose this part or that part as “inspired.” The whole thing is inspired. Just in a different way than you mean.

    Carry on.

  4. Very thorough. Thanks. I would like to comment on one small point made early on regarding grandstanding on this sin.

    I believe it is perceived as grandstanding, sure enough. But unlike the other sins that you listed, this one comprises perpetrators and their supporters who are trying to both distort civil law on their behalf, as well as Scripture itself. Not so with the other sins. I haven’t heard of activist gossipers seeker state sanctioning. If that were the case, we’d likely see “grandstanding” against gossip as well.

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  6. Hello again, Neil.

    It’s been awhile, eh? Long enough for me to calm down and think after your vicious assault from part 4 of your blog.

    I needed to find help, for I am no theologian. Here is what I came up with.

    First of all, you know the whole ‘If you are against gays, why do you eat pork’ debate? That actually has some Biblical base to it. Allow me to quote what I found…

    14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

    15″We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

    17″If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:14-21)

    If you are following the Law against homosexuals, are you saying that Jesus/Yeshua Christ died for nothing? Well, do you believe Christ died for our sins or not?

    I do. I also believe only faith alone can forgive us our sins.

    Furthermore, listen to what Paul had written:

    2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? (Galatians 3:2-5)

    So not only would you run the risk of denying Christ’s sacrifice by following the Levitical Law, you also run an even greater risk.

    10All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”[c] 11Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.”[d] 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.”[e] 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”[f] 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (Galatians 3:10-14)

    You run the risk of being forced to be under the curse of the Law, and may be tried by God concerning it in the Final Judgement.

    This is but one part of my huge argument. Expect another part soon enough.

  7. Hi KT,

    Thanks for returning. I sincerely hope you are doing well.

    If you are going to accuse me of a “vicious assault,” perhaps you could be a little more specific and explain what you mean?

    Re. the pork argument — I addressed that in a fairly thorough fashion here — http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2007/11/24/favorite-dish-of-liberal-theologians-skeptics-shellfish/ and here – http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/three-of-a-kind-jack-black-newsweek-and-theologically-liberal-christians/ .

    If you have specific questions about my responses feel feel free to comment here or at those posts.

    In short, some parts of Leviticus were Israelite-specific and were done away with after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Others are universal moral commands that should still be followed by all. By studying Leviticus and noting the context of the passages we find that it really isn’t that hard to discern which is which.

    Also, the New Testament did not leave us guessing, with sections like Acts 10 making the cessation of the dietary restrictions abundantly clear.

    However, things like, “Love your neighbor as yourself” and other moral commands from Leviticus did not go away. Neither did the sexual prohibitions (see Acts 15), restrictions against sacrificing your children to idols, etc.

    If you are following the Law against homosexuals, are you saying that Jesus/Yeshua Christ died for nothing? Well, do you believe Christ died for our sins or not?

    I do. I also believe only faith alone can forgive us our sins.

    I’m not sure I follow your comment. I agree that Jesus died for our sins and that we need to have faith in Christ to be forgiven (we must repent as well). So if you hold those same views that is a positive sign. But are you agreeing with me that homosexual behavior is a sin? Are you saying that calling anything sinful somehow implies that Jesus died for nothing?

    Hope that helps.

    Peace,
    Neil

  8. Now for your whole argument on Part 4. I do believe that you said something about someone having sex with their father’s wife. Isn’t that ADULTERY? And isn’t adultery one of God’s Ten Commandments?

    Just because something is a social more doesn’t mean it’s God’s law.

    Now I’m going to pick apart your bulleted ‘analysis’ of gay theology. Expect some wise-arse remarks, which are to be expected. One, I AM being a bit of a wise-arse, and two, so were you, IMHO. My comments will be in parenthesis.

    Jesus didn’t specifically say not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife, so it couldn’t have been very important and probably wasn’t even a sin (the argument from silence). We should err on the side of saying it isn’t a sin. We ignore the fact that Jesus, as God, authored the Old Testament and that He fully supported it.
    (You may be true about the whole ‘silence’ thing. Yet take a look at a little case of someone Jesus healed — the slave of a centurion. Or is it a ‘slave’? From what I researched, apparently the word was translated as ‘slave’ but was really a word for a very ‘special’ slave… a male one whom the centurion used for sex.)

    The man was born that way (i.e., with the desire to have sex with females). It was his natural desire and function.
    (Okay, the whole ‘sex with females’ thing is just silly. A desire to love females and a desire to commit incest/adultery are seperate. I mean, if that was the case, would you want to ‘make love’ with your own mother? No? Then shaddap.)

    He and his father’s wife love each other! Who are you to say that is wrong? Gene Robinson, a Bishop in the Episcopal church, left his wife and kids so he could be with his gay lover. Pro-gay theologians usually affirm and applaud this behavior. Living up to marriage commitments made before God isn’t nearly as important as indulging your sexual preferences.
    (I’m not saying it’s okay to divorce. I don’t feel the leaving of one’s family for another is okay. I have a friend of mine who has two families because his mom is gay. Divorce hurts, and it may be sinful to do. So I really don’t know, but divorce is a no-no for me.)

    How do you know he and his father’s wife didn’t pray about it? Maybe God gave them a personal revelation permitting them to have sex and/or get married. That would make it acceptable.
    (Ya know what? I won’t comment this time.)

    Maybe the couple says that Jesus told them it was OK. Who are you to argue with Jesus?
    (I have not seen anywhere in the Bible about Jesus telling anyone to marry specifically from my memory. If you have a New Testament scripture specifically concerning what Christ said regarding marriage FROM Jesus, then please share it. I mean it. I’m not being sarcastic….)

    Leviticus 18:8 was a ceremonial law. It was only for the Jews. It obviously doesn’t apply to Gentiles.
    (You betcha.)

    The Bible never actually uses the word incest.
    (Neither does it use homosexuality, but it DOES use adultery.)

    There are only a few verses saying not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife (probably less than there are describing homosexual behavior as sinful). Therefore, how can we be sure about it? And they are kinda obscure as well.
    ([mocking voice] ‘and they are kinda obscure as well’. No they are not. See THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.)

    The man or the father’s wife was a temple prostitute or this was part of some pagan temple worship, and that is what made it wrong (even though the text doesn’t even hint at that).
    (Temple prostitution/pagan temple worship? Yeah, that’s sinful. So is, yet again, good ol’ fashioned adultery. And the text does not need to hint at it; the original translation does, however.)

    Paul was an ignorant prude. He didn’t understand sexual behavior or have the advantage of all the knowledge we do. (This assumes that the Holy Spirit wasn’t inspiring his writings, of course).
    (The Holy Spirit DID inspire his writings. Still, people back then probably DIDN’T understand homosexuality, though.)

    You are just using the “yuck” factor and saying “Eeewww” because a man having sex with his father’s wife seems gross to you. There is really nothing wrong with it, though – you were just made differently.
    (This is almost funny now that I think about it. People are naturally against anything different. I went to this one museum or something once, and saw a display of a white baby doll and a black baby doll. Apparently, most kids wanted to play with the white doll. Does that mean we can enslave black people like we Americans used to many years ago. Hahahaha-NO.)

    Judge not, lest ye be judged. Paul must be sinning here because he is clearly making moral judgments. (Please ignore the fact that I’m judging Paul for judging and that I’ve taken Matthew 7:1-5 out of context).
    (Well, I forget where in the Bible it is written, but those who are Christians can make judgments against other Christians.)

    You are just an incest-o-phobe. You need therapy for your irrational hatred. In fact, speech like that should be prohibited because it will incite violence against those who practice incest.
    (Don’t you mean adultery-o-phobe?)

    You just don’t love the man and his father’s wife! If you did, you’d want them to be happy. Hater! Hate speech!
    (Abrasive! Very much!)

    Other parts of the Bible portray God acting in ways that don’t appear to be in line with his moral laws, so they obviously aren’t really from him. Therefore, Leviticus 18:8 may not be his Word either. When in doubt, we should ignore Scripture, because God’s revelation to my heart trumps anything in the Bible.
    Some parts of the Bible aren’t clear to us – even though this part is – so we can ignore it.
    (NEVER skip God’s word.)

    I’ve argued with fundies like you, Neil. And many times they either refuse to listen or keep fighting.

    Why the heck does everyone refuse to be wrong? I know I refuse to be wrong in this case.

    Have you ever known a nice, earnest gay person? Or just flaming, perverted homosexuals? Heck, do you know any perverted heterosexuals? Gay people typically have no interest or deep sexual love or feeling for the opposite gender. If you do, then you are bisexual if you can love both males and females. And if not, you are straight.

    Genetics can be a funny thing. I know that they screwed me over by giving me very blasphemous OCD thoughts. Yet it’s just how God was forced to make me. It’s like God works at a pizzaria and doesn’t like the orders he gets. He’s forced to make them, even if he dislikes them.

    Sometimes God is forced to make future serial killers, people who are into incest, or would want to commit adultery, or put the new souls into pagan areas. It’s all genetics’ fault, as well as the fault of what people believe in the areas new people are born into with the whole pagan thing.

    Sometimes God is forced to make homosexuals, and fundamentalist Christians, and people who you’d never consider to be a Christian (like me).

    Don’t you dare call me an atheist. I believe in the Holy Trinity. Don’t you dare call me a Gnostic. I believe that worshipping Sophia instead of the Holy Spirit is not only paganism but also very close to the Unpardonable Sin as one can get without actually commiting it.

    All I know is that I probably cannot pursuade you to change your beliefs with my counterattacks, and even if my theology is known to blow in the wind due to fundies like you, know that in the end, you cannot change me, either.

    I am what I am, and I care about I AM THAT I AM.

  9. Man, you replied quickly.

    I also wish not to bother arguing or fighting any further. Here is what I wrote, and I intend to read your response. That is it. If one of us is not hearing the truth, we will find out when we are dead.

    Fare thee well.

  10. I just wanted to write one more reply. I am sorry if I was writing in a cocky, arrogant, or any other negative way. It wasn’t right of me if I did. My apologizes.

  11. Hi KT,

    No problem. I had some fun with that section and don’t mind the return sarcasm. My biggest beef is with the heteros who use such bad reasoning, and they use lines like that all the time. They should know better.

    Feel free to comment again if you like. You are welcome here. But I understand if you don’t want to. These things can be wearying.

    Or perhaps you’ll enjoy commenting on a non-sex related thread. If things aren’t so personal you may be surprised to find a lot of opinions around here.

    I’ll address several of your comments at once here: Your dismissal of various points because of the adultery distinction doesn’t seem to apply. First, it appears that the man was committing fornication, not adultery (it was adultery for the woman, but she isn’t the one being disciplined). Perhaps he was married but it doesn’t say so. Even if he was married, the description is just the same as in Leviticus 18, so why didn’t God just use adultery there?

    Just because something is a social more doesn’t mean it’s God’s law.

    Agreed, but I’m not sure how that applies here.

    Now I’m going to pick apart your bulleted ‘analysis’ of gay theology. Expect some wise-arse remarks, which are to be expected. One, I AM being a bit of a wise-arse, and two, so were you, IMHO. My comments will be in parenthesis.

    Fair enough.

    Jesus didn’t specifically say not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife, so it couldn’t have been very important and probably wasn’t even a sin (the argument from silence). We should err on the side of saying it isn’t a sin. We ignore the fact that Jesus, as God, authored the Old Testament and that He fully supported it.
    (You may be true about the whole ’silence’ thing. Yet take a look at a little case of someone Jesus healed — the slave of a centurion. Or is it a ’slave’? From what I researched, apparently the word was translated as ’slave’ but was really a word for a very ’special’ slave… a male one whom the centurion used for sex.)

    I heard someone use that “sex slave” argument before and it completely fell apart upon further review. If you have some solid support for that please share it.

    The man was born that way (i.e., with the desire to have sex with females). It was his natural desire and function.
    (Okay, the whole ’sex with females’ thing is just silly. A desire to love females and a desire to commit incest/adultery are seperate. I mean, if that was the case, would you want to ‘make love’ with your own mother? No? Then shaddap.)

    Sorry if that one wasn’t clear. I was pointing out the error of saying that if we are born with a desire (even if it hasn’t been scientifically proven that we really were born with it) then that doesn’t mean it isn’t sinful.

    He and his father’s wife love each other! Who are you to say that is wrong? Gene Robinson, a Bishop in the Episcopal church, left his wife and kids so he could be with his gay lover. Pro-gay theologians usually affirm and applaud this behavior. Living up to marriage commitments made before God isn’t nearly as important as indulging your sexual preferences.
    (I’m not saying it’s okay to divorce. I don’t feel the leaving of one’s family for another is okay. I have a friend of mine who has two families because his mom is gay. Divorce hurts, and it may be sinful to do. So I really don’t know, but divorce is a no-no for me.)

    We strongly agree on that. I think I conceded in the original post that I can see how gay folks would be irritated at how the church has gone soft on divorce and heterosexual sins. My point is simply that we should get back to the Bible on all of these topics.

    How do you know he and his father’s wife didn’t pray about it? Maybe God gave them a personal revelation permitting them to have sex and/or get married. That would make it acceptable.
    (Ya know what? I won’t comment this time.)

    Not sure if that means you saw my point or that you thought I was extra-wrong here. Just for the record, I was addressing those who claim special revelation to excuse their beliefs or behavior (whether sexual sins or not).

    Maybe the couple says that Jesus told them it was OK. Who are you to argue with Jesus?
    (I have not seen anywhere in the Bible about Jesus telling anyone to marry specifically from my memory. If you have a New Testament scripture specifically concerning what Christ said regarding marriage FROM Jesus, then please share it. I mean it. I’m not being sarcastic….)

    That was a similar point to the one I made just above.

    Leviticus 18:8 was a ceremonial law. It was only for the Jews. It obviously doesn’t apply to Gentiles.
    (You betcha.)

    Please see flaws of the shellfish argument where I address Leviticus 18 in detail. The context is universal. The moral commands are bookended by admonitions not to be like the pagan Canaanites who are being “vomited” out of the land for these sins. That doesn’t sound like God was punishing these people for not adhering to Jewish ceremonial laws.

    The Bible never actually uses the word incest.
    (Neither does it use homosexuality, but it DOES use adultery.)

    Right. My point was that people use the “it doesn’t use the word homosexuality” argument as if that proved something. It describes the behavior, just as it describes incestuous behavior.

    Paul was an ignorant prude. He didn’t understand sexual behavior or have the advantage of all the knowledge we do. (This assumes that the Holy Spirit wasn’t inspiring his writings, of course).
    (The Holy Spirit DID inspire his writings. Still, people back then probably DIDN’T understand homosexuality, though.)

    Do you think God didn’t understand it?

    You just don’t love the man and his father’s wife! If you did, you’d want them to be happy. Hater! Hate speech!
    (Abrasive! Very much!)

    Touche. Sorry, but I just get so tired of the Jack Black-types who lead with the “hate” argument. Yes, it is very, very abrasive and illogical as well. I only used it here as a parody.

    Other parts of the Bible portray God acting in ways that don’t appear to be in line with his moral laws, so they obviously aren’t really from him. Therefore, Leviticus 18:8 may not be his Word either. When in doubt, we should ignore Scripture, because God’s revelation to my heart trumps anything in the Bible.
    Some parts of the Bible aren’t clear to us – even though this part is – so we can ignore it.
    (NEVER skip God’s word.)

    Amen to that!

    I’ve argued with fundies like you, Neil. And many times they either refuse to listen or keep fighting.

    That’s possible. I really do think I’ve listened to you here.

    Why the heck does everyone refuse to be wrong? I know I refuse to be wrong in this case.

    OK.

    Have you ever known a nice, earnest gay person? Or just flaming, perverted homosexuals? Heck, do you know any perverted heterosexuals? Gay people typically have no interest or deep sexual love or feeling for the opposite gender. If you do, then you are bisexual if you can love both males and females. And if not, you are straight.

    I’ve known lots of gay people. We really get along well. It is just that when I write about what the Bible actually says then people automatically go into “you must be a hater” mode.

    I just shared a dressing room with a bunch of guys for a local production of the Nutcracker (see recent post). Three of them were gay. We all got along great. We talked about family, jobs, background, etc. I didn’t try to convert them from being gay. I did do what I do with everyone, gay or straight: Treat them as well as I can and try to establish a relationship. Hopefully I may get a chance to share the Gospel with them someday.

    Here’s an example of how I would witness to a gay person – http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2008/05/27/evangelism-experiences-1/ .

    But having said all that, the question isn’t about what we desire, it is about what God desires. And the Bible is very, very clear.

    Genetics can be a funny thing. I know that they screwed me over by giving me very blasphemous OCD thoughts. Yet it’s just how God was forced to make me. It’s like God works at a pizzaria and doesn’t like the orders he gets. He’s forced to make them, even if he dislikes them.

    Sometimes God is forced to make future serial killers, people who are into incest, or would want to commit adultery, or put the new souls into pagan areas. It’s all genetics’ fault, as well as the fault of what people believe in the areas new people are born into with the whole pagan thing.

    Sometimes God is forced to make homosexuals, and fundamentalist Christians, and people who you’d never consider to be a Christian (like me).

    I won’t comment on that other than to say I’m not sure how all the pre-wiring works. I will say that we are accountable for our actions and sinners in need of a Savior, even if we had no sexual sins of any kind. But as a follower of Christ I refuse to encourage or “affirm” people in sinful behavior. That would be un-loving.

    Don’t you dare call me an atheist. I believe in the Holy Trinity. Don’t you dare call me a Gnostic. I believe that worshipping Sophia instead of the Holy Spirit is not only paganism but also very close to the Unpardonable Sin as one can get without actually commiting it.

    I wasn’t planning on doing either.

    All I know is that I probably cannot pursuade you to change your beliefs with my counterattacks, and even if my theology is known to blow in the wind due to fundies like you, know that in the end, you cannot change me, either.

    OK. I’ll pray that you keep searching for the truth and that the Holy Spirit will reveal it to you.

    Peace,

    Neil

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  13. Hello. I am an observant Conservative Jew who is also a lesbian. I am in betrothal and will be having a traditional Jewish wedding to my blessed wife to be. I do not dislike people who disagree with homosexuality, but I sometimes feel they do not know me, my wife to be, my father and mother, my brother and sister in law, my cousins, my community, and my congregation. I am obligated to a very exacting standard of conduct in my marriage persuant to Jewish halachah (law), and I will say I find my religion, my laws, and my morality a source of joy, comfort, affirmation, and belonging. D’or va dor–as we say–generation after generation. We keep a kosher house, give charity, study Torah, refrain from gossip, observe Shabbat, and have shalom in our house. Blessed be the great goodness of our Creator and my family and children to come!

    • Hi Corinne,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting and for your polite tone.

      Please know that you have made a god in your own image and rationalized that by following some rules you can change others you don’t like. You could have just as easily said that you are following God’s ideals for sexual relations (e.g., one man / one woman marriage, no sex outside of marriage), then gone on to say that you don’t give to charity, that you gossip, etc., as if by following some commands closely we get a bye on others.

      God’s commands aren’t a buffet to choose from. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. We can trust in what Jesus did for us and accept a pardon from God along with all the grace that comes with that, or we can face God and take the punishment for our sins for eternity. I’d focus on getting right with Jesus. He is your Messiah and rejecting him is an eternally bad idea.

  14. Dear Neil,

    A polite tone would be just the smallest and most obvious thing that would be owing to you, my dear Christian brother, Neil. I grasp your point about the problems with choosing among the laws as if they were a buffet. I apologize that I have not adequately explained myself to suggest why I would have no such thing in mind. However, please–I have hoped that we were beyond suggesting to the House of Israel that it is wrong in its stance, and that we should accept Jesus as the Messiah. Do not do this offense, Neil. This matter has been the cause of horrendous suffering and destruction that, as you know, destroys the integrity of any halachkic integrity that we might be intending to advance. There are some matters that Ha-Shem has reserved for Himself as mysteries, and so, no, please do not do this central offense to Israel. If we respect Jesus but differ over his status as Messiah, let this be so and let us wrok together in goodness and righteousness. I pray you hear this prayer.

  15. Hi Corinne,

    I realize that proclaiming Jesus as Messiah is offensive to many. I seek to proclaim that without adding to the offense, but I can’t stop making the truth known.

    I am as pro-Jewish as they come. I grew up with many Jewish friends and have enjoyed re-connecting with them on Facebook. And I concede that many wrongs have been done to Jewish people.

    But to deliberately keep the Gospel from Jews would be the ultimate anti-semitism. Being a Gospel-denier is even worse than the evil of being a Holocaust denier. Eternity is a mighty long time. You need a Savior, and Jesus is the only option.

    I appreciate your desire to respect Jesus but not accept his Messiah-ship, but I don’t see how one can do that. He claimed to be God and the Messiah, so how could you respect him if He claimed that falsely?

    I pray that you will take this very seriously. I encourage you to get Lee Strobel’s book The Case for the Real Jesus and read it all, and especially the chapter about Jesus as Messiah. Don’t be afraid. Facts are your friends.

  16. Hi Connie.
    Would praying to God and asking Him if Jesus is the Messiah be offensive to you? If not, I hope you will do that. Sincerity is essential. I believe God directs us to truth if we are sincere and persistent.
    God Bless,
    Bill

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  20. Hey Neil,

    Itching to read this but it’s too darn late up north. I’ll try tomorrow and hopefully by then I’ll have thought of a delightful barb to share with you all. :)

    BTW, Neil, my status update on FB deals in part with sexual sin, when you log in check it out and tell me what you think.

    Love in the Truth,

    David

    • Hi David — yes, it is a long one. It was originally a 5 part series. I was pleased without it turned out.

      I’ll try to catch up on FB as well. Looking forward to the barb!

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  27. Wow, I just discovered this new post while checking FB. Excellent!!! I have to agree with your assessment of the proper attitude towards those who get wrapped up in homosexuality. They are just sinful people.

    One thing they like to do is get all up about divorce, adultery, etc, as to why we don’t concentrate on those, in their defense of same-sex “marriage.” My point is that these other sexual sins don’t redefine what marriage is, while SSM attempts to do so.

  28. Excellent post! Long, but well worth the read.

    This morning, I read Jer. 23, and was struck by how “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” The warnings to the false prophets of Israel in Jeremiah’s time could be given practically word-for-word to the modern false prophets (i.e., liberal theologians) of Christianity today. As Solomon said, There is really nothing new under the sun.

  29. Neil,

    This is all really good. Another point that I was considering over the weekend involves the idea you bring up where pro-gay theology teaches that all relationships, by virtue of the people in them, are inherently good. In Numbers 16, Korath’s primary argument was that the entire congregation of Israel was holy, because he was basing his estimation of holiness on man’s opinion of himself instead of God’s standard of holiness. God’s judgment on Korath and his entire household, it seems to me, have massive implications for that particular argument and approach.

    Great work!

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  31. I dont think you would actually think the 3rd category is wrong. There are plenty of changes of mind of God in the Bible.
    People were stonned (as God wanted) for breaking the Sabbat, but Jesus broke the Sabbat himself.
    In Matthew 15:21-28, a canaanite woman ask Jesus for a blessing. For being a foreigner (or for being of one of the nations filled with idolatry), Jesus told her to sod off, saying he would only bless jews, but he changes his mind when she proves her absolute submission to God.
    The 3rd category are the majority of theologians. It is the only way of reconcile the old testament, the new testament, and morality.
    PS: I am not a Christian. For me, I am discussing literatury (but in the terms of internal coherence, so my opinions are still valid).

    • I think you are conflating some things. Jesus knew all about how the story with the woman would play out and made a point with it. But He didn’t change a moral law.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. And while I disagree with your conclusions I agree that you are free to question internal coherence while not being a Christian.

  32. Hey Neil,

    I found your site when I googled “anti-gay Theology.” Reading your first paragraph made me say “Oh no.” Your first link is to the group “Mass Resistance.” A hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Before you accuse the SPLC of being “liberal” or “pro-gay/anti-Christian,” the reason why they are listed as a hate group is because the have been caught in provable lie after lie against the gay community. They bare false witness on a continual bases and no Christian should take their fringe rhetoric seriously.

    You said; “LGBTQ indoctrination in elementary schools.” You can’t be serious with that. Or that; “Barely a week goes by without hearing about a business owner forced to cater to gay couples.” Where are all these countless pushy gays forcing themselves on everyone you talk about every week? Your elementary school comment is just plain out offensive and a spurious lie. As for the “activist judges” who are attempting to “shut down debate and curtail religious freedoms.” The reason why these judges are giving the verdicts they are giving, that are making you so unhappy apparently, with turning over anti-gay legislation is because the found these legislation un-Constitutional. That’s why we appointed these judges, to make a righteous judgment not as Christians in a Christian Nation, but as fair judges in a secular country where no religious view should trump Constitutional rights. How would you like to live under the Muslim Sharia Law? When it comes to ALL people, thank GOD we live in a secular society where we can live peacefully with our neighbors and visa versa.

    • The truth sounds like hate to those that hate the truth.

      Your timing couldn’t be worse. The SPLC is the real hate group. They are just some Liberal, anti-Christian extremists who proclaimed themselves to be the arbiters of hate. Because of their hate speech a pro-gay person tried to kill someone with the FRC (and probably would have killed many if he hadn’t been stopped). The blind men of Sodom live on.

      If you say you don’t know about what the LGBTQX lobby does and plans to do with elementary schools, then you are ignorant or lying.

      Please stop claiming to speak for Jesus when you mock him at every turn.

      • I’m sorry if you think I’m ignorant or lying and mocking Jesus at every turn. I sense the spirit you’re coming from and I leave you to your state. I grieve for you and God forgive.

    • In addition to Neil’s response, If you haven’t read somewhere either in the daily news or on line where virtually weekly someone loses their freedoms by being forced to enter business with homosexuals against their own belief systems, then you need to get out of your closet more. Either that or you are being intentionally blind and don’t want to see the persecution. I have quite a collection of articles on the subject which I would be more than happy to link you to.

      Indeed the judges are activists. Laws which define marriage as only between one man and one woman are not unconstitutional, because THAT is the definition of marriage. Judges have to redefine what marriage is to find a constitutional defense for such perversion as same-sex fake marriage.

    • Neil’s points are very accurate. When Massachusetts legalized gay marriage by judicial fiat, the schools there made books like “Heather Has Two Mommies” and “Harry Finds a Prince” mandatory reading on elementary school. When parents complained, they were told they had no say because it was the law of the.land. The rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit should trump any political agenda.

      As for Christian businesses being forced to cater to homosexuals, there is the case of a photographer in California, a family bakery in New Hampshire and a family restaurant in Michigan, all of which are being sued by homosexual couples under equal access laws because they don’t want to violate their faith. These are real cases, and pretending they don’t exist won’t make them any less real.

      The reality is that the SPLC has become home for a rabidly anti-Christian point of view, trying to enforce that view through judicial activism. In that regard, they are exceeded only by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The job of the courts is to interpret law, not make it. Today’s courts are abusing the law to justify their own predetermined ideological point of view. That approach is inconsistent with our legal tradition and simple common sense.

  33. I just think it’s very sad…all of the theological bickering..back and forth yet…no one I’ve sought out who takes the traditional Christian view on being gay could ever help me find the ‘switch’. I didn’t ask for the desires (not merely lust, but actually desiring to LOVe and be COMMITTED to a man…ONE man)…I didn’t ask to have those feelings as I was married heterosexually 22 years and helped raise two beautiful children….my children. I DID ask many, many times for God/Jesus to change me….to help me…make me the ‘husband and father’ I SHOULD be (based on traditional Christian standards by which my father [pastor] and mother raised me). I DID seem counsil and counceling many times…. I DID attempt to take my own life because I couldn’t face the shame and disappointment, the feelings of being trapped without any ablity to change….the grief over a disappointing relationship with a God who condemned me to hell, but would NOT change me…would not make me ‘normal’..as I so longed to be. I don’t know anyone who has experienced this type of journey who would CHOOSE to be gay… I do know….still yet, the church over all fails in its’ ability, vision and understanding toward those of us who struggle with accepting ourselves, reconciling our faith…or simply giving up under the weight of this journey. I was raised in the church, I love the church….what I have found, overall is ….the church -as I was raised in- does not love me….it loves its laws, regulations, power, and its ability to accept and water down certain ‘sins’, but be so hateful and discriminating concerning other ‘sins’…..as it views them. I know so many closeted Christian gays who know they will not be accepted if they come out of the closet, not because they are living the steriotypically portrayed, lustful, indulgent gay lifestyle, but because they simply are gay and they know no one in their very well organized, traditional and conventional church ‘family’ who can deal with them. They know, to be gay, they must be outcasts. So, they stay silent…which further perptuates secret indulgences when a loving, committed relationship would not be tolerated. How many stories are there of failed attempts to ‘de-gay’ someone…failed programs (usually church programs gone awry)? While some seem successful at the front, so many fall apart when it’s all said and done because….they simply do not work…because….none of us asked to be this way. And before someone says something like “I didn’t ask to be tempted with lust toward women/men either…” or “I didn’t ask for this addiciton to drugs…” or “I didn’t ask to be tempted with adultery…” or some other ill attempt to compare same sex attractions with other ‘temptations’, let me just say…if you’re straight….just try to be gay and see if it’s as easy as turning on/off a desire or trying to subdue a ‘temptation’ and keep it under check. Loving someone of the same sex and desiring to be with them physically, emotionally and spiritually is NOT the same as ‘struggling with a temptation’….and IT IS NOT just about the physicality. I am sad, disappointed and very turned off by the church of today, overall….. I find hatefulness and too much division on both sides of the argument….both civil and theological. The letter of the law (theological) as so many want to quote to justify anti-gay or homosexual theology kills….how sad, I see very little of the Spirit of the law.

    • Hi G.M.,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. I think you’ve made several logical and theological errors.

      I just think it’s very sad…all of the theological bickering..back and forth yet…no one I’ve sought out who takes the traditional Christian view on being gay could ever help me find the ‘switch’.

      If your side doesn’t like the bickering, they are welcome to stop trying to destroy the church and our religious freedoms any time they like.

      They couldn’t help you find the “switch” because there isn’t one, just like there isn’t a switch to turn off any other temptations.

      “I didn’t ask for the desires (not merely lust, but actually desiring to LOVe and be COMMITTED to a man…ONE man)”

      None of us asked for original sin. Adding “love” and commitment to a sin doesn’t sanitize it.

      I don’t know anyone who has experienced this type of journey who would CHOOSE to be gay…

      But there is no requirement for you to act on your temptations. I encourage you to take an eternal perspective on this.

      I do know….still yet, the church over all fails in its’ ability, vision and understanding toward those of us who struggle with accepting ourselves, reconciling our faith…or simply giving up under the weight of this journey.

      I think the church could do a better job of meeting the needs of people with LGBTQ temptations provided those people aren’t wolves trying to change the church’s teachings. We should meet people where they are, with whatever sins and baggage they have, provided they are interested in meeting God on his terms.

      I was raised in the church, I love the church….what I have found, overall is ….the church -as I was raised in- does not love me….it loves its laws, regulations, power, and its ability to accept and water down certain ‘sins’, but be so hateful and discriminating concerning other ‘sins’…..as it views them.

      That is possible. Lots of sinners in every church.

      So, they stay silent…which further perptuates secret indulgences when a loving, committed relationship would not be tolerated.

      “Loving, committed” gay relationships are sinful just as the secret indulgences are — and just as sinful as p*rn, adultery, etc. done by heterosexuals.

      How many stories are there of failed attempts to ‘de-gay’ someone…failed programs (usually church programs gone awry)? While some seem successful at the front, so many fall apart when it’s all said and done because….they simply do not work…because….none of us asked to be this way.

      Perhaps the programs could be more effective, but I don’t know any programs that work all the time. Some show lots of results — check out http://www.gcmwatch.com/

      And before someone says something like “I didn’t ask to be tempted with lust toward women/men either…” or “I didn’t ask for this addiciton to drugs…” or “I didn’t ask to be tempted with adultery…” or some other ill attempt to compare same sex attractions with other ‘temptations’, let me just say…if you’re straight….just try to be gay and see if it’s as easy as turning on/off a desire or trying to subdue a ‘temptation’ and keep it under check.

      I feel for those with strong temptations, but I think that argument is irrelevant to the discussion of whether it is a sin or not.

      “Loving someone of the same sex and desiring to be with them physically, emotionally and spiritually is NOT the same as ‘struggling with a temptation’….and IT IS NOT just about the physicality. I am sad, disappointed and very turned off by the church of today, overall….. I find hatefulness and too much division on both sides of the argument….both civil and theological. The letter of the law (theological) as so many want to quote to justify anti-gay or homosexual theology kills….how sad, I see very little of the Spirit of the law.”

      You can say it isn’t the same, but the question is whether the behavior is sinful. And God’s word couldn’t be more clear. The spirit of the law is to share that truth in love. If someone tells you otherwise they are loving themselves, not you.

      Peace.

    • “no one I’ve sought out who takes the traditional Christian view on being gay could ever help me find the ‘switch’.”

      As Neil pointed out in his comment, there may be no “switch” to instantaneously convert you from your sinful lust and desires (whether homosexual or other sin), though some former homosexuals (and others) do describe an immediate release from such. God has not promised that there would be such a switch, and indeed Paul laments his state of living death, in which he says that he does what he doesn’t want to do, but can’t do what he really wants.

      What God has promised is that you will not be tempted above that which Jesus was tempted (yet without sin), and that you will not be tempted above that which is common to every man. And that He has made a way of escape; the following verse says, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, flee from idolatry.” The context is (1 Cor. 10) sexual sinning with or without idolatry; but we must remember that idolatry in former days was often if not always accompanied by sexual sin.

      I think there is a reason why Satan so frequently uses sexual sin and temptation to waylay people, especially Christians. 1 Cor. 6:13 says to “flee fornication” (which most broadly defined includes every sexual perversion and sin; it is the same root word from which we get our word “pornography”; and Jesus said that whoever looks lustfully at a woman has committed mental adultery with her, so equates mental and physical sexual sins) with the accompanying reasoning: “Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” So, sexual sins are different from all other sins, in that they are sinning against your own body.

      The Bible also says that to whomever you yield yourself, you become his servant, whether of sin unto death, or of righteousness unto life. Now come some uncomfortable questions (you don’t have to answer them to me; just to yourself) — do you and have you yielded yourself to sin and enslaved yourself to sin and Satan? When you are tempted to sin sexually, do you give into that sin or do you flee temptation and run to Christ? Have you kept pornography, specifically male pornography, around, keeping your homosexual sin and lust alive, even while you claimed to want to be free from the sin? In short, did you feed your sin while expecting God to free you from your sin, thus being double-minded and unstable, as per James? I don’t ask these questions from a stance of condemnation but from a position of, “Yeah, I know, me too.” Not that I was homosexual/lesbian at all, but just because I condemn myself with my own particular sins when I ask these questions of you. The specific type of sin is different, but the pathway is the same.

      Recently I watched a video on YouTube from a man who noted a spiritual-demonic aspect to his sexual sin. He was molested at age 4, and when he became of age, he became promiscuous with both males and females. Eventually he became a Christian, but still struggled with sexual sin, until finally he had an experience that was either a very vivid dream, or was a reality, in which he saw and fought against a demon, who then turned tail and ran, and after that, he experienced release from his sexual sin. It is his belief that that demon entered him from the molestation he experienced as a child, and overshadowed his life, tempting him to the various sexual sins he committed.

      Most of the time, we consider demonic possession, or being invaded by evil spirits as being some horrific thing like out of “The Exorcist”; and it is certain that in the Gospels, Jesus healed many people who were most horribly possessed. But Acts 16 records the story of a girl who did not throw herself in the fire or anything really bad, like the possessed people in the Gospels — she did not seem to be negatively affected by a demonic spirit, but was able to prophesy (that’s a good thing, right?); she had a “spirit of divination”, and brought a lot of money to her master. “But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.”

      I would counsel you to meet with some true Christians [take Acts 19:15 as a warning] and ask them to command any evil spirits of a sexual nature to come out of you and leave you alone, in the name of Jesus Christ. [The book "Alien Intrusion" notes that every researcher into extra-terrestrial/alien activities has had people give them first-hand accounts of alien encounters ending when the person invoked the name of Jesus Christ, thus proving to me that these "aliens" are nothing more than demons; there is power in the Name; at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.] I do firmly believe that if you do this, you will see the release from temptation that you desire.

So, what do you think?

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