new perspective

Last time I was in DC I picked up the newest copy of Relevant Magazine, http://www.relevantmagazine.com/. The article which really stuck out to me was the "7 Burning Issues." Which spoke about how the church should respond to such issues as war, social issues, politics, homosexuality etc.... The last one, homosexuality really stood out to me.
For a long time this issue in and of itself has been on my heart and how the church (typically) approaches it.

So, please, indulge me for a moment.

I used to have a quite negative and biased look on the homosexual community/lifestyle. Thinking that in no way shape or form they could be Christian or have any idea as to who God is, I now feel that I was very wrong. I know believe that a man or woman who is tempted in this can be a Christian. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 lays it out clearly. The trick is to not indulge (Romans 13:14) in these things that we struggle with or that we are tempted by. Temptation is not sin, its when we entertain these temptations with our thoughts or actions. Now I want to make it very clear that I don't condone homosexuality. I believe that it is wrong and not natural. Just like I believe that getting drunk, looking at pornography and having sex before marriage is wrong and not natural. It's all sin, simple as that. So for the duration of this we will call "homosexuality" what it really is, sin.

I firmly believe that people who are sinners should be able to freely enter into a church. My Bible tells me that Christ died for ALL sinners to be saved. We read all throughout the book of Romans where the Apostle Paul tells us that the grace of God is in no way a license to sin. (Ref. Romans chapters 6, 7, 8) Once someone steps into a relationship with God they ought to abstain from a sinful lifestyle. I believe that we have to approach all sinners with love and with the knowledge that all have sinned (Romans 3:9-20) and fallen very short of the Glory of God.

There is no "sin scale" in Heaven that God is using to compare our sins amongst each other. Sin is sin. We are born into this. Just as God is love we are sin. So its when we grasp this concept that we can look at anyone, regardless of the severity of there sin, and realize that we are all in the same boat.


Billy said...

The issue of homosexuality seems to highlight a biblical contradiction - a contradiction between grace and deeds concerning the concept salvation.

I have never heard a good explanation as to why homosexuality is wrong - most believers ultimately have to resort to claiming because god says it is. So, how do you know that homosexuality is wrong? If your only argument is from the bible, then is that not dangerous if the bible is wrong?

ryan said...


in the Bible the relaionship between Christ and man is described in the context of a marriage, a groom and bride. we are the bride and Christ is the groom.

in Jewish tradition the groom would have to go away and prepare a home to live in before he could take his wife. during this time the bride was told to be ready, for at any moment the groom could return.

in that context, the way it was intended to be, there is one groom and one bride. marriage is intended to be between one man and one woman, this is how we we're created. logically, physically, mentally etc.... it makes sense.

Tim Smith said...

"Temptation is not sin, its when we entertain these temptations with our thoughts or actions."

this isn't the same thing, however I was reminded me of a good book "Almighty Over All" by Sproul Jr. There is a chapter about how Jesus was tempted, but he wasn't tempted. Really interesting perspective.

also, homosexuals can absolutely be Christians, but still hold onto their sin... tell me of another Christian who hasn't done this. it isn't right, but does happen.

and the marriage analogy is the reason why I believe it is wrong. homosexuality is a perversion of truth.

Epeeist said...

So why are some 1500 species of animals known to exhibit homosexual behaviour?


Why is human homosexuality demonstrably biologically based?

Berenbaum, S., & Hines, M. (1992). Early androgens are related to childhood sex-typed toy preferences. Psychological Science, 3(3), 203-206.

Camperio-Ciani, A., Corna, F., & Capiluppi, C. (2004). Evidence for maternally inherited factors favouring male homosexuality and promoting female fecundity. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 271, 2217-2221.

Kenrick, D. T., Keefe, R. C., Bryan, A., Barr, A., & Brown, S. (1995). Age Preferences and Mate Choice Among Homosexuals and Heterosexuals: A Case for Modular Psychological Mechanisms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(6), 1166-1172.

Muscarella, F. (2002). Preferred partner characteristics in homosexual men in relation to speculated patterns of brain differentiation. Neuroendocrinology Letters, 23, 299-302.

Rahman, Q., & Wilson, G. D. (2003). Born gay? The psychobiology of human sexual orientation. Personality and Individual Differences, 34, 1337-1382.

Schmitt, D. P. (2006). Sexual Strategies Across Sexual Orientations: How Personality Traits and Culture Relate to Sociosexuality Among Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Heterosexuals. In M. R. Kauth (Ed.), Handbook of the Evolution of Human Sexuality (pp. 183-214). Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press.

Silverthorne, Z. A., & Quinsey, V. L. (2000). Sexual Partner Age Preferences of Homosexual and Heterosexual Men and Women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 29(1), 67-76.

Why does your god create people whose sexuality stems from their biology and then condemn them for it?

ryan said...

our God doesn't create these things. i'll have to get back to you later, i have to run right now.

have a great new year.

Billy said...

Hi Ryan and happy new year.

My main point is that there is a contradictin between the doctrines of salvation by grace and salvation through deeds here. Tim points out the problem a bit more by highlighting the idea of being a sinning christian.

However, I dont accept the bible is true and dont consider that as evidence that homosexuality is wrong. By contrast you could make a bible free arguement as to why murder is "wrong" Can you do that with homosexuality and then demonstrate that this is a rule that requires a god?

If you accept Epeeists point about homosexuality being biological (as I do) then you cant blame someone for their actions (assuming that it were wrong in the first place).

Does god not have the power to prevent biological homosexuality"?

This raises a few dammaging problems for those who condemn homosexual behaviour

1. it is not a willful violation of a law

2. If god can prevent it and doesn't, then he is not loving - especially if he condemns homosexuals to hell.



ryan said...

"Tim points out the problem a bit more by highlighting the idea of being a sinning christian."

isn't there such thing as a failing student?

Epeeist said...

Incidentally - in that list of animals that exhibit homosexual behaviour follow the link to Bonobos.

They are close cousins of ours and their sexual behaviour is, shall we say, interesting.

ryan said...

isn't there such thing as a failing student?

Billy said...

isn't there such thing as a failing student?

That's not quite the same analogy, however my point is to highlight that there is one group who think you must strive to be perfect, and another group who thing you should be what you are.
Homosexuality highlights these differences. One group (legalistic) targets them (ignoring the fact that they themselves commit other sins) and another group (grace) accept that every one sins and dont specifically target the issue.

Imagine you have two lots of "sinners". One group says - "hey I do other things that are bad, so I'm no better than you". The other lot says "what you do is disgusting and you must change - I wont stop you being a leader if you occasionally tell lies, but I will stop you if you are gay"

Two very different bible based theologies. That's the point Im making

ryan said...


would i be spinning my wheels if i took the time to tell you my beliefs on this issue?

no offense to you, but i'd rather not waste our time if it will not have any bearing on the topic at hand.

take it easy.

Billy said...


I dont think your views are necessary. The point I am making is that the issue highlights problem in theology

ryan said...

so, if you think my views are not necessary please re-explain your thoughts on this.

i think i have a pretty solid grasp on what your saying. your problem is the misalocation of grace in man. but please expound.

Havok said...

Ryan: Temptation is not sin, its when we entertain these temptations with our thoughts or actions.

Isn't this a thought crime? How do we know something is a temptation unless we entertain thoughts of it?

There is no "sin scale" in Heaven that God is using to compare our sins amongst each other.

Why do you think it is that homosexuality get all the "press" from Christians, whereas lying, dishonouring your parents, worship of other gods etc, all which appear to be pretty serious sins (appearing in the list of 10 commandments Yahweh supposedly wrote himself, and in which homosexuality doesn't get a look in) do not elicit the same response?

Ryan: Sin is sin.

What is sin? Simply anything against the will of God?

Ryan: We are born into this.

Is this possible without a literal Adam and Eve?

Ryan: Just as God is love we are sin.

This seems to be using God as a definition of love (in the same way "good" was used in the athiest thread").

When used in this fashion is becomes meaningless. "Love" doesn't have anything to do with ordering genocide, or infinite torment for finite transgression. Better to use the term "shmingle", as in "God is Shmingle", it's less confusing and we can then talk about what you mean by
"shmingle" without the linguistic baggage :-)

ryan said...

Evening Havok.

tomorrow is my day off and i'll jump on this then. have a great night.