There is a lot of pressure in the public forum now for Christians to stop saying that homosexuality is a sin. The word sin apparently has a lot of power in the public eye. Two things about that fact are interesting to contemplate. On the one hand, for something to be a sin, there must be a god against whom one would sin, and fewer and fewer people acknowledge any such entity. On the other hand, since both the idea of a god and the idea of sin are alleged to be myths, why should anyone care what believers of myths say? In other words, if Christians are just a bunch of ignorant myth-believers, who cares if they say that their god teaches that homosexuality is a sin?
The answer is that God has written in the hearts of humans a message of his love and care for them, and he calls them all to relationship with him. When they arrogantly defy his love and reject his authority in their lives, they nonetheless must deal with that message. They are offended every time someone says, “but that’s a sin,” not because they accept the judgment, but rather, because they cannot really escape knowing that the external words mesh with God’s internal message that will not go away night or day. God never stops being the creator and the savior of every human being, and nobody can escape that still, small voice, the voice that is the silence inside a shell of a person who has given everything to Satan. Why do people become addicted to drugs and sex and thievery and vile speech and all the other obsessions that possess people? They succumb to the obsessions, because they believe that something somewhere somehow will finally drown out God’s message: “I love you. Come home.”
Secular thinkers would have us believe that unborn babies are not human and that they can be treated like trash, because they do not want to acknowledge that even in the womb, God is saying to the babies, “I love you. Come home.” They rip a baby out of the womb and dismember it the way a pack of hyenas might share in feasting on a gazelle, and they do not want to think that there is any consequence to the death of that tiny human being. They must believe that if they do it often enough they will stop hearing God call to them, “I love you. Come home.”
Yesterday I wrote about the fact that lust and homosexuality are equally sinful, and some readers may have felt I was being terribly judgmental. Please recognize that I have no authority or right to judge anyone. I am a sinner, too. I deal with sin every day. I suffer temptation, and I succumb to sinful desires or to sinful attitudes or to sinful obsessions just as anyone else does. Every day. When I identify lust and homosexuality as sin, I am using my head to read the Bible and opening my heart to listen to God’s guidance to help me understand the words. I am not the judge. God is. What the culture wants is for God to evolve along with human beings. The culture wants God to get on the right side of history and stop being so hateful about sin. Why do they act this way? They may say that they are mad at me for trying to be judge and jury by calling homosexuality a sin, but they are really trying to drown out God’s message inside each of them, “I love you. Come home.”
That is the real message of the Bible. When God points out our sins and shines his light on them so we cannot fail to see them, it is not for our destruction. God does not tell us about the punishment for sin in order to crush us. He does it in yet another attempt to help us stop covering our ears when he calls out, “I love you. Come home.”
Ancient Israel was no different from twenty-first century USA. The people liked sex in a thousand different forms. They did not like God’s expectation that they would enjoy sex in faithful marriages of one man and one woman as he had ordained at creation. They liked to have fun with sex and to experiment and to find out what they liked and then do it night and day with whomever. They were just like the LGBTQ advocates today, scorning all of God’s rules and hating God for presuming to make rules. They behaved with such promiscuity that God grieved deeply.
In the book of Isaiah it is recorded that God mourned what Israel had become, and he must just as surely mourn what the USA has become. He gave Isaiah a message to be written down for ancient Israel, and then by the power of the Holy Spirit, he preserved that message for thousands of years in order that it would be ready for the USA in this age. He said, “I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that was not called by my name” (Isaiah 65:1 ESV). God called sin sin in the days of ancient Israel, and he still calls a sin a sin today. He doesn’t do it to harm us; he does it to help us. When we recognize that we are sinners, then we can begin to recognize how much we need him.
In plain language that everyone can see in black and white, God wrote this ancient message that is the same message he writes upon every human being at the moment of conception, a message that every human hears, like it or not, “I love you. Come home.”
19 thoughts on “Naming Sin is Judgment that is Intended to Call Sinners to God”
There is a great deal of pressure on people, nowadays, to deny the clear support in the Bible for slavery. You don’t notice it, because you don’t support slavery.
Bigoted homophobes opposing equal marriage are driving people from Christ with a false message about God and a false understanding of the Bible. Repent!
The Bible does not ever encourage anyone to buy or sell slaves. It also does not deal with the kind of advocacy for social change that people are able to undertake in countries without despotic leaders. It is in nations where Christ’s people dominate the culture that slavery has been abandoned. That is because Christ’s people recognize that every human being is worth dying for.
The Bible does teach slaves to be obedient and masters to be godly. That is because we are already slaves of Christ. It is Christ’s slaves who have led and are leading campaigns to end slavery of all sorts. Humankind, including Christ’s slaves, are always still sinners, even when fighting slavery, so don’t expect perfection there. Nobody could read the Bible and conclude that he or she ought to engage in the slave trade or start buying slaves.
The Bible is, however, quite clear about the sin of homosexual behavior. It isn’t worse than any other sin, but it is a sin. The temptation to engage in it is from Satan, and Christ died because of that sin among others. We who claim his name call on him when we are tempted to sin in that manner or any other. The best way to deal with any sin is to give it to Christ who is able to defend us. That is the way I would recommend you or anyone else deal with the temptation to engage in homosexual behavior.
Yes, but you see people did. People read the story of Noah’s sons, and used it to justify the slavery of Africans. They used “Slaves obey your masters” to find slavery God-ordained. You know that they argue falsely from the Bible- congratulations!- yet imagine your condemnation of LGBT folk is of God. It is not. Your translations are wrong, for a start: have a look for articles on the Internet. Matthew Vines is a good start.
Stop obsessing over what you imagine to be the sins of others. Then you might stop writing articles like this, which encourage bigots and make gay people unhappy, and are part of the weight of intolerance and hatred which drive people to suicide. Yours is not a particularly much-read article- I doubt you have personally been the main cause of a death- but words like yours kill.
My words do not kill. My words are words of hope and truth. My words point readers to God who loves all people and desires them to turn away from Satan and receive forgiveness, love, and the strength to reject Satan’s lies.
The problem with your logic is that, just as you accuse my words of truth and hope of being words that kill, you are accusing God and the Bible of being responsible for the way people misuse and disobey the Bible. God is not responsible for that. People are responsible for their own choices. The Bible is plain language, and the plain meaning is something anyone can understand.
That is why I don’t spend a lot of time reading convoluted explanations of why the plain clear meaning of the admonition against homosexuality is not correct. Don’t feel bad about being susceptible to lies and confusion. We all are. However, this teaching is quite clear, and no theologian or biblical archeologist is required for one to understand it. God abhors homosexuality and considers it an abomination. However, any victim of Satan’s lies who has succumbed to the temptation to engage in this behavior can be forgiven and cleansed and strengthened against future temptations. I recommend you read “First Steps Out” by Christy McFerren. She had that experience, and her message is clear and encouraging.
I write about sin as well as forgiveness, because both are part of life for everyone. We all sin, and we all need forgiveness. In fact, as I wrote in this post, the reason God names sins in Scripture is to drive us to Christ. Christ gave his life for us, because God wants everyone to be free from Satan’s clutches. May God bless you and enrich your life today with Christ’s presence and power.
Not God and the Bible!!
You, and haters like you!!
Do not blame God for your hate. You blaspheme!
God loves you, Clare. God loves homosexuals. Christ died for homosexual sin among all the other sins he died for. I don’t hate you or anyone. So, I don’t blame God for something that is not true. Blasphemy is the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things, and I am certainly not guilty of doing such a thing. I fear I can’t help you by continuing this conversation, so I recommend you read the book I suggested and get some perspective on the truth about homosexuality. May God grant you peace and healing.
I have not read that particular book, but know the genre. Some bisexuals make a great deal of money from gullible conservatives, pretending to be “ex-gay”; some gays try very hard, and marry, and give their wives a dreadful time before they revert. I am well aware of the phenomenon.
I know God’s love. I have experienced God’s love and healing, leading me to self-acceptance. I hope you come to know God.
I understand that you are upset that I continue to hold fast to God’s truth in the Bible. Many people have worked very hard to convince you that the Bible just wants everybody to have fun and feel good. That is not what the Bible is about.
As for Christy’s book, if you have not read it, you do not know her story. You should read it, because she confirms biblical truth in the plain reading of the text. That is the way to read the Bible. If it takes a seminary degree to be able to manipulate the language and setting before you can understand the words, then that interpretation is not the right one. God did not give us the Bible to be a puzzle only the insiders can understand. He gave us the Bible as a guide for every person’s faith and life, and you don’t need a string of degrees in order to get the message.
God loves you Clare, but he will tell you the same thing he tells me and everyone. If we want a good life, we give ourselves and all our sins to him. He forgives our sins and teaches us to amend our lives and live differently going forward. God bless you and give you rest this evening.
You are blind, or you would turn, and Christ would heal you. I do not wish you ill, and you could hardly upset me, though I do find the shrinking band of homophobes depressing. God’s work proceeds, acceptance proceeds, but so slowly!
Clare, I am not a homophobe. I have no unreasonable fear of a person who suffers from homosexual attraction. I have no fear at all of a person who suffers from homosexual attraction. I pity that person and all others who suffer from enslavement by Satan. I have my own problems with Satanic temptations, and I know how hard it is to reject them and overcome them. I, therefore, have sympathy and empathy for people who suffer from homosexual attractions. However, I accept the plain teaching of Scripture that God condemns homosexual behavior. God forbid I should condemn someone with that problem. It isn’t up to me. It is God’s judgment, not mine. I cannot accept what God forbids, and if I did accept it, my acceptance would not change God’s judgment.
I can live in a culture alongside homosexuals. I can be friends with homosexuals and transgenders and all other manner of sinners, because I am a sinner, too, saved by God’s grace and submitting to his teaching and guidance. But if someone asks me if homosexuality is a sin, I must say yes. If someone offers me a homosexual kiss, I must reject it.
I could accept belligerence and lies from a child, but that would not be a blessing for the child. I could defend a child who stole from others and claim that he had such a great inner need for the object stolen that he should be accepted without judgment. My attitude would not change the fact that the child was engaging in sinful behavior. My attitude would be a great disservice to the child, because he or she would never be driven to learn to do better.
I could decide to “accept” homosexuality, but that would not change God’s judgement on that behavior. I don’t “accept” it but I don’t feel called to take on myself the judgement and punishment of homosexuals. I do feel called to stand apart from the behavior in all its manifestations.
I don’t know why you have such an issue with my writing on this subject, Clare, but I do pray you will see it God’s way.
Indeed. You do not realise.
The sins of the fathers are visited on the children, and you bear the sin of generations of soi-disant “evangelicals”, the bearers of bad falsehood rather than good news.
You thoughtlessly parrot the evil rubbish you have been taught, the irrational fear of harmless people; but you are not guiltless. You should engage your own moral sense. You should endeavour to see gay people with Christ’s eyes, you who call yourself a Christian. Then the sin of homophobia would fall away from you, and you would be cleansed.
Nobody is responsible for the facts I see. I look for truth in the Bible, and I find it. I did not even know what a homosexual was when I first found the truth of God’s judgment on them. I had never heard of such a classification. I had to look it up. So I found God’s teaching first, and I had to do research in order to find out to whom this judgment applied.
I do not and never have feared homosexuals. Since I do not fear them, I cannot be a homophobe. The definition does not fit.
What I say is not evil rubbish. It is what I have learned from God’s own revelation of truth.
I have not learned to hate people enslaved by homosexuality. God doesn’t even do that. He punishes disobedience to his righteous expectations, but when anyone repents and gives his sin to Christ, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to him, and God forgives it all. God loved homosexuals so much that he sent his only begotten Son in order that whoever believes in Him may be saved and receive everlasting life. I write in order that they, and all other sinners, may be reminded of this truth.
If you bothered to look into the matter, you would see that the translations are wrong. But you do not bother. You like your hate, though you deny it. You have only confirmed your own wrongness.
If you did not hate, you would try to understand, you would see us as we are, you would stop your lies about God and the Bible. Do not blame God for your hate.
Since I don’t hate anyone, I need not blame God for hate. I am not sure what translations you think are wrong. Can you please provide me the version names of the translations that are wrong, and explain to me what is supposedly wrong about them? I am quite familiar with many translations, and also with background of the original languages. I will be glad to read your detailed explanations. However, you need to be aware that most of the translations are cooperative ventures of scholars whose credentials far exceed even the combined weight of yours and mine added together.
I am quite positive that the official teams and the people who provided unique, specialized input to those teams on select elements of the translations were not only careful in the scholarship they applied, but careful to make even their choices among synonyms and synonymous phrases subject to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. With that in mind, I await your information about your allegation of errors in the translations.
You won’t read it with an open mind, though. You will come back claiming it is all wrong, because you are so attached to the hate you have inherited.
Clare, I am sure you know that I can’t skim the amount of material you suggest I read. I won’t ignore it, but I would promise when I can finish reading it. Please be patient while I give it the attention you know you want me to apply.
I don’t hate anyone. I don’t hate you. l love the Lord Jesus and try to be like him. So please allow me the time to give appropriate attention to the material in your blog post.
I pray it may save you. Take all the time you need. God bless you.
While you are at it, you could look at this: https://clareflourish.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/bible-supports-slavery/ about Theodore Stringfellow. His Bible knowledge is impressive, and his way of arguing from it exemplary. You disagree, because you loathe the thought of slavery; yet you do the same, because you do not loathe the thought of heterosexism.
I have read and thought about a great deal of the material you recommended. I did not read it all.
I remain unconvinced. The Bible is for everyone, not just the intellectual elite. The plain meaning of Scripture is the best message yet.
As for the law, the ceremonial and ritual law is fulfilled in Christ. The moral law stands.
You already know all of this, so I am telling you nothing new.
I read the material respectfully, because you asked. I simply cannot read all of it, but I can see there is a lot of repetition, so I think I got the gist of it. I contend that if a message isn’t there unless people with theology degrees and archeology degrees get it, then it probably is not there. The plain message of Scripture is that God instituted marriage as the union of one man and one woman. He created humans male and female, and he created DNA to make that distinction. We don’t choose a gender. We are born with gender. Natural sex attraction occurs between male and female. Other version of sexual attraction are unnatural. It isn’t necessary for God to list every possible perversion we sinful humans may imagine. God asserts the male/female model throughout the Bible, from Genesis ritht through Revelation.
Thank you for a gracious discussion and a respectful parting with our differences intact. I pray blessings and insight for you.
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