Jesus’ Controversial Attitude On Homosexuality

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Did Jesus approve homosexuality? The LGBTQ community says He did. (1) They assert forcefully that Jesus never spoke against same sex marriage or homosexuality. Therefore, His silence proved His indifference, because He found these issues unimportant and irrelevant.

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Did Jesus approve homosexuality by His silence? The Bible exposes Jesus’ controversial attitude on homosexuality, but not as the LGBTQ community defines it.

Announcing: 5 Things Reveal Jesus’ Controversial Attitude On Homosexuality

Revelation #1: The Error Of Argument From Silence

The homosexual community argues that from Jesus’ alleged silence on homosexuality He saw homosexuality as irrelevant. Suppose that Jesus did not speak against homosexuality. Their conclusion from silence violates proper Biblical interpretation and the laws of logic.

The abuse of these fundamental rules eliminates conclusions on any theological doctrine because of the reliance upon silence. Argument from silence represents a logical fallacy. Many sides of an issue can claim that silence confirms their position. This rule forms the bottom line in Biblical interpretation: no one can prove anything from silence.

Contrary to LGBTQ’s opinion, Jesus spoke clearly against homosexuality. Jesus’ controversial attitude on homosexuality begins with His instructions on marriage.

Revelation #2: Jesus’ Teachings On Marriage

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about marriage and divorce. (2) Moses granted Israelites the right to divorce their spouses. (3) The children of Israel stretched the bounds of Moses’ decree. A man could divorce his wife for any reason: the original no-fault divorce.

Later, Jesus expanded his teaching on marriage and divorce beyond His comments in the Sermon on the Mount. They convey implications for our day as well. (4)

When Jesus taught further on these issues, He began with God’s created order, male and female. (5) After God created Eve from Adam’s rib, God brought her to Adam and put them together, male and female, in marriage.

He made the female to complement Adam. Note. God did not create another male to complete Adam, nor another female to enhance Eve. He created a woman for the man. God used this occasion to give His decree for all future marriages.

The man/husband and his female/wife would become one flesh in marriage. Note, again, the specific order for marriage, a man and a woman.

To say that Jesus never spoke about homosexuality or same sex marriage one must deliberately reject the clear teaching of Christ. In fact, Jesus confirmed God’s design for the sexual relationship between a husband and wife, male and female.

Jesus specifically ordered marriage between a man and a woman. Therefore, in Jesus controversial attitude on homosexuality, He specifically condemned not only homosexuality but also same sex marriage.

Revelation #3: Jesus’ Teaching On Sexual Immorality

When Jesus spoke about marriage and divorce, He described the evil that would destroy the marriage of a man and woman. Jesus granted divorce in a marriage for one cause only, fornication. (6)

In our day, we typically describe this as sexual intercourse between a man and a woman: one of them unmarried, or between two unmarried people. However, in that day, fornication carried a much broader meaning.

In Jesus’ day, fornication included every evil sexual relationship outside of marriage. Therefore, it included adultery, fornication (as we know it), prostitution, homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, and bestiality. (7)

When He used the word “fornication,” Jesus condemned all sexual activity outside of marriage except between a husband and his wife.

On another occasion, Jesus responded to the Pharisees who chided Him for not following their prescribed traditions. (8) They taught that eating food without using ceremoniously washed hands defiled the user. Like other occasions, Jesus used this setting to teach a truth.

Jesus taught that what goes into a person does not defile him/her. What comes out of the mouth defiles the person. In other words, He explained that the inward spiritual condition of a person reveals itself in outward behavior. The evil acts one performs fulfill inward evil desires and defile a person.

Jesus then provided a list of some of these wicked behaviors, which proceed from within humans. As expected, the list contains murder, theft, and false witness.

In addition, Jesus included a term that describes sexual perversion, fornication. Jesus used the same word that He used to explain the evil that destroyed marriage. Fornication in Christ’s time comprised all variations of sinful sexual practice. (9)

Contrary to the homosexual community’s claims, Jesus clearly condemned homosexuality and same sex marriage. He referred to God’s created order, male and female. He described God’s decree for sexual intimacy exclusively between a married man and his wife, a woman.

Further, Jesus denounced the evils of all sexual perversion, including homosexuality. He could not have stated it more clearly.

Revelation #4: Jesus’ Love For His Friends

The LBGTQ community also accuses Jesus of some sort of same sex love toward His friends. In particular, they describe Christ’s love for His disciple John in this vein. After all, John leaned upon Christ during the last supper that Jesus had with His disciples. (10)

At another time, a man came to Jesus and questioned how to obtain eternal life. Jesus loved him, too. (11) And how about Lazarus? (12)

Sadly, the homosexual community never lets the facts get in the way of their arguments. They follow the dictum, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, because I’ve already made up my mind.” This describes their accusations regarding Jesus’ love for His friends.

The word for “love” used to describe Christ’s love for His friends does not include any attributes of lust or sexual connotation. The original word that describes His love for His friends, agape, describes a love driven by a deliberate act of the will without any inherent feature in the object loved as the source or cause of love.

It differs from the two other Greek words commonly translated “love” in the New Testament, which describe either friendship or sensual love.

To imply a same sex love from Jesus toward His friends or even a heterosexual love for a woman denies the meaning of the word used to describe Christ’s love for people.

Revelation #5: Jesus And The Centurion’s Slave

In a further attempt to prove that Jesus did not speak against homosexuality, the LBGTQ community recites the story of Christ’s healing of a centurion’s slave. According to their interpretation, Jesus did not speak against homosexuality in this clear instance of a centurion and his homosexual slave. (13)

The homosexuals refer to the word “pais” used to describe the centurion’s slave. In their judgment, the word means “boy” with homosexual connotations. They assert that since Jesus did not mention nor condemn homosexuality in this clear instance of a homosexual relationship between the centurion and his slave, Jesus did not view it as evil.

The word “pais” can mean more than one sense. In fact, its semantic range can describe a boy or a girl from the age of 1 to 14. (14) The text does not provide any clue as to the sex or the age of the slave. Thus, the conclusions of the LBGTQ community fail again in their attempt support their beliefs. (See Revelation #1.)

Matthew and Luke record this incident, too. Luke used a different word to describe the servant than Matthew used. Luke used the word “doulos.” (15)

This word does not have any age or sexual connotation attached to it. It merely means slave or servant. Further, Luke’s record used both words, “pais” and “doulos,” in his comments regarding his servants.

None of the texts provide a clear evidence of the sex or age of the sick servant, directly contradicting the assumptions of homosexuals regarding this incident. (Again, see Revelation #1.)

Summary

“Freedom to disagree with the Bible is an illusory freedom; in reality it is bondage to falsehood.” (John Stott)

The homosexual community today arrives at conclusions, which they claim the Bible supports, which clearly contradict what the Bible teaches. Therefore, they believe and advocate fallacies.

Jesus condemned homosexuality:

  • when He confirmed God’s created order, male and female;
  • when He ratified God’s purpose for marriage between one man and one woman;
  • when He denounced all forms of sexual perversion, including homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, adultery, fornication, prostitution, and incest.

To declare otherwise, denies clear Biblical truth.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus gathered with sinners of all sorts of people, including those just described. He never condoned their sin. He continuously demanded repentance from their sin. Jesus called them to trust Him exclusively for salvation from their sin.

The Bible applies that same message for our day, too. God accepts only those who come to Him through repentance from their sin and faith in Jesus Christ, God’s provision for sinners. Jesus said it plainly in John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son; that whosoever believeth in him hath everlasting life.”

If you have heard, believed Christ’s message, and repented of your sin, as Christ demands, you know the reality of these promises in your life, have become a child of God, and a member of Christ’s kingdom.

Maybe you have not yet followed Christ’s requirements. He still calls people like you and me to join His kingdom. He said it like this: “Repent and believe the gospel…come unto me, all you who labor and are heaven laden, and I will give you rest.” (16)

I urge you to heed His call today. Everyone who responds to it, He accepts, regardless of past or present behavior. Trust Christ today.

References

  1. LGBTQ: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning
  2. Matthew 5.27-32
  3. Deuteronomy 29.1-4
  4. Matthew 19.1-12; Mark 10.1-10
  5. Genesis 1.27; 2.18-24
  6. Matthew 19.1-12
  7. Logos Bible Software, V. 4. “Strong’s Concordance.” “fornication.”
  8. Matthew 15.1-20
  9. Logos Bible Software, V. 4. “Strong’s Concordance.” “fornication.”
  10. John 14.23
  11. Mark 10.21
  12. John 11.5
  13. Matthew 8.5-13; Luke 7.1-10
  14. Logos Bible Software, V. 4. Brown, Colin. “New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology.”
  15. Strong, James. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Abington Press, Nashville, TN and New York, NY. 1890.
  16. Mark 1.15; Matthew 11.28.

© Thomas P Hill. Website: www.masterministries.org.

4 Insidious Timothy Keller Errors To Reject

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I have three items to accomplish with you: identify four crucial errors of Timothy Keller, a short correction for each one, and an invitation.

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Dr. Timothy Keller occupies a prominent position in the Christian world today. Many emulate him and his teachings.

Sadly, his writings frequently contain fundamental errors rarely identified by his readers. One such article, “Pascal’s Method For Presenting The Christian Faith,” epitomizes this condition. (1)

I first discovered it in the Redeemer Report at the web site for the Church he pastors. Later, The Gospel Coalition published it at their web site.

A review of comments to the posting at The Gospel Coalition‘s site reveals an overwhelming support for his commentary. (2) Few question it; even fewer reject it.

In his article, Tim Keller urged his readers to pursue Blaise Pascal’s method for presenting the Christian faith. Pascal said,

“Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true. The cure for this is first to show that religion is not contrary to reason, but worthy of reverence and respect. Next, make it attractive, make good men wish it were true, and then show that it is.” (3)

Dr. Keller explained how to implement Pascal’s method, which contains 4 errors.

Error #1: Rejection of Bible as Primary Belief

Tim Keller rejects Biblical authority as his primary basic belief. In its place, he relies upon human reason. God’s word should form the foundation of one’s primary basic beliefs.

Error #2: Reliance Upon Human Reason

Dr. Keller stated that one can present the gospel to an unbeliever by means of reason. He incorrectly assumes that an unbeliever possesses an inherent capability to evaluate truthfully any rational argument.

Keller spurns the Biblical description of a sinner’s true condition: dead in trespasses and sin, completely lacking all spiritual life, any interest in God, and any ability to change his condition by reason or any other means. (4)

As an enemy of God, the sinner cannot submit to God nor please him. (5) Further, the Bible says that no one seeks after God (6). In fact, those without Christ do not understand Biblical truth and view it as foolishness. (7)

Consequently, the depraved natures of sinners control every aspect of their lives, minds, and wills. Humanity’s sinful bias prevents the inherent capability to evaluate truthfully any rational Biblical argument.

Keller rejects this fundamental Biblical truth about humanity’s nature and presumes falsely that mankind possess this ability.

This error forms the foundation of Keller’s proposal, which contradicts the Bible’s declaration of the sinner’s true condition. To build upon the false foundation of a sinner’s supposed independent reason foolishly builds upon sand. (8)

Error #3: Reliance Upon Salesmanship

Further, Tim Keller proposes that those who present the Christian faith should rely upon salesmanship techniques.

In his article, Keller places significant stress upon making Christianity appealing and attractive to non-Christians. He suggests that one stress the benefits of the Christian faith and show how Christianity fulfills a person’s aspirations.

Such methodology, currently popular within the emergent Church and Church growth movements, fits what my late friend and mentor, Dr. James Grier, called “…sell Jesus through marketing with the emphasis upon the benefits of salvation…” (9)

Again, Keller’s proposition lacks Biblical authority, which presupposes falsely that someone can sell faith in Christ as someone sells a bar of soap.

Error #4: Absence of the Holy Spirit

The emphasis of Keller’s article relies upon the human abilities of the person who presents God’s redemption through faith in Christ.

In addition to reason and marketing, Tim Keller says that the person’s presentation of Christianity must make emotional and cultural sense. He concentrates upon the methodology of the presentation and its humanistic features.

Although God does use human instruments to proclaim the gospel, the instrument does not constitute the essential role in the process.

Significantly, Tim Keller does not address the role of the Holy Spirit in the presentation of the Christian faith.

In the article, he fails to mention the function of the Holy Spirit or suggest the need to rely upon the Spirit in the presentation of the gospel.

The message of the gospel meets supernatural resistance from the evil one, who blinds sinners to Biblical truth with supernatural blindness. This spiritual battle demands supernatural victory by the Holy Spirit over satan’s interference.

The advocate for the gospel needs the authority and ability of the Spirit to present it. In response to prayer, the Holy Spirit brings his presence and power to aid God’s messenger.

The advocate for the gospel needs the supernatural authority and ability that only the Holy Spirit can provide. The Spirit alone convicts a sinner of sin. He exclusively opens blinded eyes to understand Biblical truths and their requirements in a person’s life.

By the unique ministry of the Holy Spirit, an unbeliever receives the new birth, repents of sin, and trusts in Christ solely for salvation. Keller’s oversight, at best, or neglect, at worst, illustrates another example of how he rejects the authority of the Bible.

Necessity of Biblical Authority

The presentation of Christ and the defense of Christianity demand the unequivocal acceptance of the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of the Bible. These foundational truths must mold the manner in which we call people to faith in Christ.

We must believe its truths as revealed by the Holy Spirit, especially the statements of the total depravity of humanity and Christ’s provision for sinners.

These truths shape our understanding of a person’s sinful condition. They also form our understanding of the need for divine intervention in the life of a sinner. No human methodology will suffice.

  • Example of Ezekiel

Ezekiel, an Old Testament prophet, provides a vivid picture of implementing these truths. In Ezekiel 37.1-15, he recorded his vision of the valley of dry bones, more aptly dead bones, which pictured the spiritual condition of Israel.

God instructed him to do a humanly foolish thing: call upon the dead bones to hear the word of the Lord. Then, Ezekiel described the divine intervention that they needed to come to life.

Finally, the prophet prayed that God would send that divine intervention to the dead bones so that they might have life. God heard Ezekiel’s prayer. He sent life to the lifeless.

  • Example of Jesus

In his ministry, Jesus frequently called the spiritually dead to life. At the start of his ministry, Jesus called to the masses, “Repent and believe in the gospel.” (10)

In John 3, he told Nicodemous that he needed a new birth from above. Then, Christ explained the need of the work of the Holy Spirit to give him that new life.

To the woman at the well as recorded in John 4, he said she needed living water that only He could give her, if she but asked Him for it.

In His encounters with sinners, Christ recognized their total depravity and the need of supernatural power in their lives. Throughout His ministry, He told people of their need of new life from God, called regeneration. He called them to repent, to turn from their sinfulness, and to believe on Him.

Humanly speaking, none of those whom Christ encountered could take any of the steps that He commanded of them. Yet, God in His sovereign grace by the power of the Holy Spirit intervened in the lives of multitudes and enabled them to repent and believe upon Christ.

Invitation

Today, God’s true children must rely upon Biblical authority in their presentations of the gospel of Christ. They must reject popular methodologies, which contradict the Bible, even though recommended by popular leaders.

The sinfulness of sinners prevents their response to mere humanistic attempts of reason and marketing of benefits. Sinners stand separated from God by their sin: spiritually dead, and condemned under God’s judgment – the real reason they need Christ.

He alone saves sinners and reconciles them to God. Jesus paid the penalty of the sins of people like them and promises to reconcile to God all who trust Him.

Like Ezekiel and Jesus, we, as Christ followers, must identify the true condition of those to whom we present the gospel. In faith and reliance upon the Holy Spirit, we call them to repent from their sin and to trust Christ.

As we do, we pray for God’s divine work in their lives by the Spirit. He alone imparts new life and brings sinners to faith in Christ.

Perhaps you, dead in your trespasses and sins, have never learned of your true condition before God. You stand condemned before God under his judgment, and you cannot please him.

You need new life that only He gives by his Holy Spirit. As Ezekiel and Jesus did centuries ago, I call upon you to repent of your sin and to trust Christ.

I pray that the Holy Spirit will come to you today and enable you to call upon Jesus, Who cleanses from sin and changes lives

References

01. You can read the article by Dr. Keller, “Pascal’s Method For Presenting The Christian Faith,” at this link: http://www.redeemer.com/redeemer-report/article/pascals_method_for_presenting_the_christian_faith (Accessed 5/14/15).

02. Web site for The Gospel Coalition: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/pascals-method-for-presenting-the-christian-faith/?comments#comments (Accessed 5/14/15).

03. As quoted in “Pascal’s Method For Presenting The Christian Faith,” Redeemer Report, January 2014.

04. Ephesians 2.1-3

05. Romans 8.7-8

06. Romans 3.9-18

07. 1 Corinthians 2.14

08. Bahnsen, Greg L., edited by Joel McDurmon. Presuppositional Apologetics. American Vision Press, Powder Springs, GA and Covenant Media Press, Nacogdoches, TX. 2008. p. 268.

09. Grier, James M. “The Emergent Church: Responding to Postmodernity”. Seminar at Heritage Seminary. 2006.

10. John 3.3

11. Mark 1.14

© Thomas P Hill. Website: www.masterministries.org.

10 Monumental Errors in Culture’s Opposition to Exclusive Truth

 

Do you know these hidden errors in the culture’s war on truth? Want a revealing perspective on unconditional truth? It’s here, a brief examination of global opposition to exclusive truth and its dangers.

It starts with an understanding of how our culture attacks the truth, specifically exclusive Biblical truth.

Deconstructionism

Textual critics assume that every literary text contains contradictions. These flaws arise because everyone belongs to multiple social groups with differing attitudes and opinions. Writers merely reveal the beliefs of their associations. Therefore, authors express a conflicting variety of ideas in their writings, i. e., contradictions, formed from their various social sympathies. (01)

The literary critic examines a text to identify the suspected conflicts within the text, a process called deconstructionism. Currently, most if not all cultures follow this process in their interpretations of the Bible. Thus, according to unbelieving literary critics, every Biblical text includes contradictions: a mixture of thoughts, outlooks, and views.

Sadly, the professing church embraces this approach, too. In fact, Bible study materials, teachers, and study leaders repeatedly encourage this error with their unaware, misguided suggestion to boost group participation: “What does this text mean to you?”

This approach fails to distinguish between the interpretation of the meaning of the text and its application in life. Before applying any text to life’s circumstances, one must first interpret its meaning. Then, the correct explanation of a text may have many applications.

Such confusion leads to the errors which the methods of Biblical criticism create.

Errors of Biblical Deconstructionism

At first blush, you might respond, “Why does it matter? At least we have people studying the Bible.” It does matter and leads to unintended yet significant results in the understanding of God and the Bible, God’s message to people. It puts

The following list identifies some of the consequences of Biblical deconstructionism, the criticism of Biblical texts prevalent in most cultures today. A brief summary for each one follows it.

  1. All Biblical texts contain multiple “truths.” Some longer texts may in fact declare more than one truth, but they do not contradict each other. Literary critics of the Bible propose that all Biblical texts do contain more than one truth, which contradict each other. This gives rise to the error of “your truth and my truth” vs. the exclusive truth which the Bible text proclaims.
  2. It eliminates the infallibility of the Bible. Since every text contains contradictions, all texts, especially Biblical texts, become imperfect.
  3. It refuses to acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s inspiration of the Bible. They view it simply as a book written by human authors.
  4. Those who deconstruct the Bible discard the inerrancy of the Bible. They believe it contains scores of errors, especially the texts that they do not like.
  5. It rejects the role of the Holy Spirit in the illumination of the Bible. Jesus received the Holy Spirit from the Father Whom He sent to indwell believers and reveal the truth to them. (02)
  6. Unbelievers do not have the Holy Spirit to aid them in discovery of the truth, therefore Biblical truth(s) appears foolish to them. (03) They cannot comprehend the meaning of God’s word and thus interpret it according to their darkened minds.
  7. It removes the force of Biblical texts and rejects their importance and influence upon beliefs and actions.
  8. It discards the meaning of any text. The multitude of meanings that arise from using the question, “What does this text mean to you?” makes all meanings equal and valid. Therefore, no text provides any absolute authority or truth. No ultimate objective interpretation exists for any Biblical text.
  9. It gives rise to the fallacy, “Doctrine doesn’t matter.” The belief and practice of this form of literary criticism, deconstructionism, when applied to the Bible, permits any one to eliminate any Biblical doctrine with a new one.
  10. Humans, then, become the judge of truth, which permits everyone to do what is right in their own eyes.

Ultimately, it makes the Bible a book of cultural stories instead of God’s self-revelation and word to mankind. Without question, all of these consequences exist not just in the world but also in the worldwide professing Church today.

An Illustration of Its Application

In his significant book, Time For Truth, Os Guiness clarified the conflicts over truth claims in cultures today. He lamented the loss of objective, absolute, and independent truth. He commented that cultures today describe all claims of truth as relative and open to interpretation. (04)

According to common beliefs, these statements of truth arise only from social influences. These declarations, mere human resolutions, reveal only the beliefs of these communities, which establish and empower them as “truth.” (05)

Guiness used a simple, common example from baseball that illustrates this conflict in our day. (06)

  • Umpire #1: “There’s balls and there’s strikes. I call them the way they are.”
  • Umpire #2: “There’s balls and there’s strikes. I call them the way I see them.”
  • Umpire #3: “There’s balls and there’s strikes. They ain’t nothing ‘till I call them.”

Umpire #1 illustrates the traditional view of truth: objective, independent, and discovered. Umpire #2 demonstrates the moderate relativism of our day: truth depends upon the view of each person who sees it and open to each person’s interpretation. Umpire #3 reflects radical relativism: truth that results from personal creation. (07)

Umpire #1 shows the Church’s traditional and accurate position on Biblical truth. Umpire #2 mirrors the common slant on truth today. Umpire #3 illustrates the more radical sections of societies now.

Modern societies attack (deconstruct) the Bible like all other truth claims with questions that arise from the opinions depicted by Umpires #2 and #3. (08)

  • “Is the truth claim actually true?”
  • “Whose truth is it?”
  • “Which power stands to gain by it?”

In this way, cultures attempt to prove the creation of “truth” and its basis exclusively within a given group, whose “truth” surpasses no others. (09) Therefore, Biblical truth MAY apply to a certain religious segment(s) of society, but it does not reveal objective, absolute, independent truth for everyone.

Conclusion

Cultures use this form of literary criticism (deconstructionism) to nullify Biblical truth and restrict its use only to a part of whole society. Since they believe that all claims of truth arise solely from within a certain subpart(s) of society, they restrict the application of these statements of truth only to those who propose them. In this way, these Biblical critics (deconstructionists) exclude Biblical truth declarations from universal acceptance. No universal truth claims exist, they say.

However, deconstructionism contains within it the seeds of its own destruction. Those who criticize literary texts, especially the Bible, demand universal approval for their statements of truth and their descriptions of the nature of truth.

Conversely, those advocating deconstructionism refuse to restrict their truth claims only to their separate entities. But, they, too, must apply to their truth assertions the same demands that they place upon everyone else’s declarations.

Then, according to their own definitions, their claims become relative, open to interpretation, and dependent upon and restricted to their crowd(s) that promotes them.

Only the Bible delivers objective, independent, absolute truth. Followers of Christ need not blush in shame over their reliance upon it nor upon their proclamation of it. It gives the self-revelation of God and His life giving word to mankind. It alone describes the truth of mankind’s sinful condition and humanity’s need of reconciliation with God.

God’s word pronounces the means of that reconciliation for sinners like you and me: personal trust in God’s provision for us in Jesus Christ, the savior of everyone who trusts Him. I pray that God by His Holy Spirit will enable you to trust His provision in Christ for you as He has enabled me to trust Him.

References

  1. Pearcey, Nancy. “Hegel’s Deity: How Evolution Gave Us Postmodernism, Deconstructionism, and Political Correctness.” Available at this link: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/03/hegels_deity_ho094761.html  (Accessed 4.28/15)
  2. John 16.13.
  3. 1 Corinthians 2.11-14.
  4. Guiness, Os. Time For Truth. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI 49516; 2000. P. 10.
  5. Guiness, Ibid. p. 10-11.
  6. Guiness, Ibid. p. 11.
  7. Guiness, Ibid. p. 11.
  8. Guiness, Ibid. p. 11.
  9. Guiness, Ibid. p. 11.
  10. I want to recognize the contribution of many discussions that I had with Dr. James Grier whose comments and notes on these issues greatly influenced me.

© Thomas P Hill. Website: www.masterministries.org.

 

The Great Awakening

By JonathanEdwards

 

“…And then it was, in the latter part of December (1734), that the Spirit of God began

extraordinarily to set in and wonderfully to work amongst us. And there were, very suddenly,

one after another, five or six persons who were to appearance savingly converted,

and some of them wrought upon in a very remarkable manner.

819px-Jonathan_Edwards

“Particularly, I was surprised with the relation of a young woman, who had been one of

the greatest company-keepers in the whole town. When she came to me, I had never

heard that she was become in any wise serious.

But by the conversation I then had with her, it appeared to me, that what she gave an account

of, was a glorious work of God’s infinite power and sovereign grace…God had

given her a new heart, truly broken and sanctified.”

 

“Presently upon this, a great and earnest concern about the great things of religion and the

eternal world became universal in all parts of the town, and among persons of all degrees

and all ages. The noise amongst the dry bones waxed louder and louder; all other talk but

about spiritual and eternal things was soon thrown by.

 

“All the conversation, in all companies and upon all occasions, was upon these things

only, unless so much as was necessary for people carrying on their ordinary secular business.

Other discourse than of the things of religion would scarcely be tolerated in any

company. The minds of people were wonderfully taken off from the world. It was treated

amongst us as a thing of very little consequence.”

 

“This work of God, as it was carried on and the number of true saints multiplied, soon

made a glorious alteration in the town. So that in the spring and summer following

(1735), the town seemed to be full of the presence of God. It never was so full of love,

nor joy, and yet so full of distress, as it was then.

 

“There were remarkable tokens of God’s presence in almost every house. It was a time of

joy in families on account of salvation being brought unto them. Parents rejoiced over

their children as new born, and husbands over their wives and wives over their husbands.

 

“The goings of God were then seen in His sanctuary. God’s day was a delight, and his

tabernacles were amiable. Our public assemblies were then beautiful. The congregation

was alive in God’s service, every one earnestly intent on the public worship, every hearer

eager to drink in the words of the minister as they came from his mouth.

 

“The assemblies in general were, from time to time, in tears while the word was

preached. Some (were) weeping with sorrow and distress, others with joy and love, others

with pity and concern for the souls of their neighbors.

 

“Our public praises were then greatly enlivened. God was then served in our psalmody, in

some measure, in the beauty of holiness. It has been observable, that there has been

scarce any part of divine worship wherein good men amongst us have had grace so drawn

forth and their hearts so lifted up in the ways of God as in singing his praises.”

 

(These selections come from The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 1, p. 348, and gives a

partial description of the Holy Spirit’s work in his ministry.)

How to Unlock Christian – Homosexual Destiny

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6 Urgent Proposals

In recent years, society’s attitudes on homosexuality have changed. Previously, people regarded it as an unmentionable topic, seldom, if ever, discussed among Christians or in the Christian Church. Even today, with increased awareness, many Christians refuse to discuss it. They respond with hatred or indifference toward homosexuals, who strive for full acceptance from Christians and the Christian church.

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Because of the discord between homosexuals and the Christian Church, Christians must reassess their beliefs and practices. They must endeavor to recognize God’s design for humanity. At the same time, Christians and the Church need to respond in a loving, Biblical manner to those who suffer same-sex attractions. (1)

Christians and the Church of Jesus Christ must love and welcome homosexuals.

Jesus did not offer his followers an option whom they could love or reject. He taught them to love their neighbors and their enemies. (2) Sadly, the world frequently interprets this love as tolerance, and blind acceptance and approval. The Bible does not teach love in this fashion. Nor did Jesus show love in this fashion.

In fact, in love Jesus confronted people with their sin throughout his ministry. The gospel records provide ample evidence of it. Every time he interacted with the Scribes and the Pharisees Jesus identified their sins. Not even his disciples escaped his rebukes for their unbelief.

In this vein, Jesus spoke against homosexuality and sexual perversions of all kinds as well as the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. (3) The example of Jesus confirms that true love confronts wrong and seeks to correct it for the protection and enhancement of the one loved.

In every day life, people exhibit love this way. Parents prevent their children from dangerous behavior. Teachers correct their students’ incorrect knowledge or skills. Doctors warn their patients of health hazards and point them to improvement.

Christians and the Church of Jesus Christ need to follow the example of Christ. We must speak the truth to homosexuals in love. Further, we ought to demonstrate Christ’s love to them just as we should show it to any other person who needs to know His love.

We must teach them the Biblical attitude toward their behavior and the victory that repentance and faith in Jesus Christ brings to those who trust him. Further, the Church needs to support and encourage those who face same-sex attractions in loving compassion bearing one another’s burdens. (4)

However, the Bible condemns homosexuality in all of its forms and practices, calling it sin.

Homosexual activists, along with consent from some professing Christians, assert its interpretations of the Bible regarding this volatile topic. Their explanations appear to provide Biblical support for same-sex practices.

However, gay apologists attempt to justify their beliefs upon flawed and speculative interpretations of key Biblical references. Their arguments fail to prove their assertions.

Sadly, “…those who plead for tolerance and acceptance of homosexuals by accepting their behavior as biblically justified…” actually display a lack of love and concern for those who desperately need help. (5) Guenther Haas states it this way.

“An examination of the Biblical passages from linguistic, historical and ethical-theological perspectives fails to support the revisionist ethic and reinforces the traditional Christian teaching that homosexual practice is morally wrong.” (6)

In addition, non-Biblical historical and literary evidence contradicts the interpretations offered by homosexuals of the actual conditions of society in Biblical times. Same-sex enthusiasts attempt to prove the nonexistence of sexual inversion and homosexual relationships established upon love before modern times. (7)

Instead, these sources reveal the pervasiveness of homosexual practice during Biblical eras as far back as Noah. They confirm the prior existence of the current emphases of homosexuality based upon sexual orientation and love relationships. (8)

These further evidences strengthen the Biblical condemnation of homosexuality by confirming the Bible’s relevance not only to societies in Biblical times but also to today’s emphases.

This description of homosexuality appears harsh. All of us initially respond adversely to hear our attitudes and behaviors described as sin. However, further reflection reveals that it contains the seed for relief from oppression.

The Bible commands those overwhelmed by homosexuality to repent of their sin.

All humanity descends from the originally created humans, Adam and Eve. God placed them in the Garden in Eden to fulfill his purposes for them. As part of his commands to them, he told them not to eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden.

They ate the forbidden fruit and became the progenitors of sinful mankind. (9) Every human being inherits their sinful natures from Adam and Eve, who willfully disobeyed God’s command to them.

When God confronted Adam and Eve after their sin, he promised a champion, born of a woman, who would come and defeat the one who tempted them into sin, the devil. (10) In the process of time, God sent forth his son, Jesus Christ, as the promised champion.

In his life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus crushed the power of the serpent-tempter, the devil. (11) That same tempter, in combination with a person’s sinful nature, leads one into the tyranny of all sinful practices, including homosexuality.

Gay activists frequently describe their acceptance of their same-sex desires, which God calls sin, as the beginning of freedom. However, the Bible presents a different description. The indulgence of sinful lusts results in bondage to those lusts. (12) In addition, the practice of homosexuality results in physical harm to the bodies of those who practice it. (13)

Contrary to their beliefs, homosexuals will find true freedom only when they turn from their sinful same-sex practices. When sinners repent from their sins and trust Christ, God’s provision for sinners, they experience freedom from guilt, hopelessness, and despair. In addition, homosexuals can find supernatural power from God to enable them to reject their sinful, same-sex desires and practices.

The Bible provides an example of this kind of victory. The Apostle Paul wrote to his friends in Corinth and warned them that those who practiced sexual immorality, including homosexuality, would not inherit eternal life. He, then, explained that some of them had found relief from these sins through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. (14)

God provided a remedy for those trapped by sinful lusts, including persons with same-sex desires and practices. When appropriate, Christians and the Church of Jesus Christ must present to homosexuals the message of God’s provision for them in Christ. Christians and the Church of Jesus Christ need to speak this truth in love and compassion.

All who repent of their sins, even homosexuality, and trust Christ to save them from their sins, become new creatures in Jesus Christ.

The Bible clearly presents this certainty. It describes the one in sin before repentance and faith in Christ as the old person. All who come to trust Christ no longer live under the rule and reign of the old person. (15) They become new creatures in Christ. (16) God transfers the child of God from the powers of darkness into the kingdom of his Son. (17)

Homosexuals need not suffer the bondage of sin, guilt, hopelessness, or despair. They can experience victory over their sinful same-sex desires and practices by the power of the Holy Spirit resident within them. God will enable them to walk in newness of life, not according to their old lifestyles. (18)

This newness of life in Jesus Christ does not mean the absence of temptation. Every child of God faces sinful desires every day. The presence of temptation does not make one a failure. (19) However, God promised his presence and power to enable his children to resist temptation and live in victory over it. (20)

Christians and the Church of Jesus Christ must uphold Biblical directives regarding the Church.

Churches apply discipline only occasionally. Sometimes they exhibit irregular attitudes toward certain sins. The Church’s inconsistency results in deserved attacks of hypocrisy. All too often, the Church chooses leaders who fail to meet the specific requirements for church leadership as outlined in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus.

For example, Christians frequently select pastors and other Church leaders with children to young to prove themselves as followers of Christ. Others have older children, who fail to demonstrate by their lives a firm faith in Christ. Many of these leaders’ children live sinful lives, contrary to God’s commands. These practices violate God’s commands for church leadership. (21) Further, many rise to responsible positions in the Church whose lack of personal holiness disqualifies them.

Sadly, Church discipline applies only occasionally and targets irregular sins. Some churches practice no Church discipline at all, even for flagrant transgressions. Such behavior further exposes the Church legitimately to the charge of hypocrisy.

The Church correctly denies Church leadership and membership to practicing homosexuals. No one who commits sexual immorality of any kind qualifies for pastor, elder, deacon, or other leadership roles.

Throughout the New Testament, and even the Old Testament, God expresses his demands for personal holiness from his followers, especially of leaders. The Apostle Paul then adds to these requirements with specific qualifications for Church leaders. (22)

The Church errs gravely when it fails to follow God’s directives in these selections. The Church cannot bar homosexuals from Church leadership and membership for Biblical reasons and simultaneously fail to exclude others who also do not qualify Biblically. The Church and Christians must repent of their hypocrisy and disobedience and meet God’s prerequisites for their leaders.

The Challenge

Sadly, many Christians and Christian churches target the homosexual community. In the absence of Christian love and concern, they reject them. Yet, they openly accept others whom the Bible equally describes as sinners. This unchristian behavior grieves God and quenches the Holy Spirit’s work.

Christians must reassess their beliefs and practices and repent of their sin. They must seek God’s direction by the Holy Spirit on how to respond in a loving, Biblical manner to those who suffer same-sex attractions.

References

  1. Strauss, Mark L. and Vogt, Peter T. “A Biblical Perspective on Homosexuality”; available at this link: http://people.bethel.edu/~pferris/ot101/a-Biblical-perspective-booklet.pdf (Accessed 4/28/15)
  2. Matthew 22.39; 5.43-48.
  3. Matthew 15.10-20; Mark 10.6-9.
  4. Galatians 6.1-5.
  5. “Homosexuality.” Available at this link: creationworldview.org/articles_view.asp?id=14 (Access 4/28/15)
  6. Haas, Guenther. “Hermeneutical Issues In The Use Of The Bible To Justify The Acceptance Of Homosexual Practice.” Available at this link: http://www.phc.edu/gj_haas_hermen.php (Accessed 4/28/15)
  7. Gagnon, Robert A. J. “Why We Know That The Story Of Sodom Indicts Homosexual Practice Per Se.” Available online at this link: http://www.robgagnon.net/homosex7thDayAdvArticleSodom.htm (Accessed 4/28/15)
  8. Hill, Thomas P. The reader can find articles, including references, which discuss these issues at the following link: masterministries.org.
  9. Romans 5.12
  10. Genesis 3.15
  11. Hebrews 2.14; 1 John 3.8; Revelation 20.2
  12. Romans 6.12
  13. Romans 1.26-27
  14. 1 Corinthians 6.9-11
  15. Romans 6.6
  16. 2 Corinthians 5.17-18
  17. Colossians 1.13-14
  18. Schreiner, Thomas. “A New Testament Perspective on Homosexuality.” Available at this link: http://d3pi8hptl0qhh4.cloudfront.net/documents/tschreiner/Homosexuality.pdf (Accessed 4/29/15)
  19. Schreiner, Ibid.
  20. 1 Corinthians 10.13; Galatians 5.16-24
  21. 1 Timothy 3.4-5; Titus 1.6
  22. 1 & 2 Timothy; Titus

© Thomas P Hill. Website: www.masterministries.org.

 

Homosexuality: Abomination or Orientation?

(Portions of this article excerpted from the book, Homosexuality, Christians, and the Church, available at this link.)

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World War II, the second war to end all wars, launched a monumental revolution. I do not refer to international politics and economics and their influence upon nations. Nor do I suggest the racial tensions that arose during that time. I describe instead the homosexual revolution.

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During that era, San Francisco historian Chris Carlsson described how many soldiers, discharged from the military because of their homosexuality, formed a gay community in San Francisco. This marked the modern day emergence of homosexuality and its influence upon society. (1)

Because of the determination of a small yet purposeful homosexual community and its impact upon society, the distinction of homosexuality as an orientation or an abomination has emerged as the key question in the movement.

The issue references two Biblical texts from Leviticus:

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind (male with a male), as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Leviticus 18.22)

“If a man also lie with mankind (a male), as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…”(Leviticus 20:13)

Here’s three things you should know about this dilemma that will help unlock this emerging challenge.

Explanation of Leviticus 18.22 and 20.13

Each verse states the normal sexual relationship: a man and a woman. However, they do not describe just any man and any woman. From the beginning of the creation of mankind, God created them male and female. Then He established marriage between a man and a woman, not between same sex people. (2) Same sex intercourse violates God’s created order.

Next, God described abnormal, same sex intercourse. A man shall not perform sexual intercourse with another man as he would with a woman. The description given illustrates unrestrained, unforced, “loving” consensual homosexual behavior, which today’s homosexual advocates promote today.

All of the surrounding nations approved unrestrained homosexuality. God rejected it, even though none of the surrounding nations did. His law as given to the Israelites became the first such law against homosexuality. He did not condone in Israel the same kind of homosexuality flaunted by neighboring nations and by our current culture.

He still rejects it as an abomination, which he called it in these texts. (3) Clearly, the attempts of the LBGTQ society (4) fail to sustain their assertions that these texts, which clearly condemn homosexuality, do not apply to current homosexual practice. They do.

Deceit from satan

Sadly, many professing Christians and nonChristians have accepted the errors of the LBGTQ as true. They have fallen for the lies of the enemy, satan, who seeks their destruction. (5) The devil bases his strategy upon deceit and distortion of God’s plan and purpose for mankind.

The devil lies to people when he tells them that God did not say what he clearly said. He distorts God’s purposes for mankind and blames God for withholding pleasure from them.

Perhaps you can recognize these tactics as the same ones he used in the Garden In Eden upon Eve. She, too, wanted to satisfy her own desires in contradiction to God’s clear command. (6) The disobedience of Adam and Eve plunged them and their posterity, including you and me, into sin and rebellion against God.

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