Friends,

Homosexuals are continuing to push their agenda on the church, the body, of which Christ is the Head. I’ll pass you along to some other places in a moment, but first consider these words from Luke Timothy Johnson, Roman Catholic Scholar at Candler School of Theology at Emory University: (CLICK HERE FOR THE ESSAY)

Many of us who stand for the full recognition of gay and lesbian persons within the Christian communion find ourselves in a position similar to that of the early abolitionists-and of the early advocates for women’s full and equal roles in church and society. We are fully aware of the weight of scriptural evidence pointing away from our position, yet place our trust in the power of the living God to reveal as powerfully through personal experience and testimony as through written texts. To justify this trust, we invoke the basic Pauline principle that the Spirit gives life but the letter kills (2 Corinthians 3:6). And if the letter of Scripture cannot find room for the activity of the living God in the transformation of human lives, then trust and obedience must be paid to the living God rather than to the words of Scripture. (Emphasis added)

Then a paragraph or two later:

The challenge, therefore, is to discern what constitutes the positive and negative in sexual behavior. A start would be to adapt Galatians 3:28 and state that “in Christ there is neither gay nor straight”-and on that basis, to begin to ask serious questions concerning the holiness of the church, applying the same criteria on both sides. If porneia among heterosexuals includes promiscuity, violence, and exploitation, then the church must condemn similar forms of homosexual activity. If the church condemns the bath-house style of gay life, it must also condemn the playboy style of straight life. Similarly, if holiness among heterosexuals includes fidelity, chastity, modesty, and fruitfulness, we can ask whether and how the same elements are present in same-sex love.

What is left but to chuck the entire canon of Scripture into the garbage heap and burn it? If Scripture doesn’t mean anything, why bother at all? If Scripture can be re-written to say anything we like, why bother at all with the work of preaching, teaching, or learning Biblical languages? Johnson is right about one thing: This is about the threat to biblical authority. If the Scriptures are not authoritative, but somehow we regress to a simply man-made law, then what’s next: Church-wide acceptance of kidnapping, bestiality, pedophilia? Based on Johnson’s argument, and re-envisioning of Galatians, we might say, “…in Christ there is neither pedophilia nor rapists nor bestials nor kidnappers nor dog-fighters (insert favorite perversion or sin here).”

No, I’m afraid that Mr. Johnson has allowed his understanding of Scripture to be skewed and twisted. More commentary on Johnson’s essay can be found at Albert Mohler’s blog. Mohler makes a brilliant point about Johnson’s exegesis, writing,

This rejectionist approach means that Professor Johnson directly rejects what the Bible teaches on this issue, and does so with a boldness shared by few others in this debate. He accepts that “the Bible nowhere speaks positively or even neutrally about same-sex love.” Even as he argues that the church has “never lived in precise accord with the Scriptures,” he suggests that Christians pick and choose which biblical commands they will take seriously. Nevertheless, he straightforwardly acknowledges that the Bible condemns same-sex sexual acts.

He claims that the authority of Scripture and the tradition of the church are “scarcely trivial,” but criticizes those “who use the Bible as a buttress for rejecting forms of sexual love they fear or cannot understand.” In other words, he argues that those who believe that the Bible’s clear condemnations of homosexual behaviors are still authoritative for Christians do so only out of fear or a lack of understanding of homosexuality itself. As he explains later in his essay, he has grown by experience to overcome this fear and ignorance. He now believes that the Bible is simply wrong.

Well, how can one consider themselves even remotely Biblically astute when they are practicing such exegesis as Johnson is? Are we really supposed to start trusting ‘human experience’ over the Scripture? Really?

Here’s one last story for you to consider, from the Episcopal Church. Once again, they are pushing the issue of the homosexual agenda forward with the nomination of an openly lesbian for the post of bishop:

The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago recently announced that the openly gay Rev. Tracey Lind, dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, was included among five nominees for the vote to take place on Nov. 10. (CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY)

I’m not certain what the church is supposed to do about this anymore. When prominent scholars are declaring open season on the Scripture, when an entire denomination is promoting the agenda of homosexuals by making homosexuals leaders in the church, when those who think this is profoundly wrong are chastised as being somehow ‘too judgmental,’ and when church leaders are vowing to ‘enter into civil unions’ with their homosexual partners, what are we to do?

Mohler asks another very pertinent question concerning Johnson’s template for how to understand the current ‘debate’ that is raging in the church over homosexuality:

If we are to trust human experience as an authority superior to that of the Bible, whose experience are we to trust?  He can only mean his own experience and that of others whose experience he chooses to privilege.

Whose experience shall we trust? Mine? Yours? I think this is another reason why we must stick with Scripture as our only rule of faith and practice (in keeping with recognized orthodoxy). If the Scripture is the very Words of God to us, then we don’t have a right to challenge. We must persist in the truth. This is a matter of the authority of God’s Word. The question now is whether or not the church is going to continue to be bowled over by those who have no authority from Scripture or whether the church will continue to preach what is in accord with the ‘faith once delivered,’ and ‘sound doctrine.’

jerry

PS–Here’s one last story about a lesbian ‘pastor’ who is, evidently, in some sort of ‘trouble’ from her denomination for ‘marrying’ homosexual couples. But I’m having trouble understanding the problem: She, the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr, is a lesbian herself. Why would they (the church) care what a lesbian does when the tolerate a lesbian in the pulpit in the first place? I think that is the height of hypocrisy. Shame on the Presbyterian Church (USA)! If they are going to tolerate lesbian ‘pastors’ and ‘revs.’, then they ought to tolerate lesbian weddings. (I’m only being a little sarcastic; no, a lot.)

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  1. john

    how does the sins depicted in same sex practices have any more to do with homosexual human bonding than orgies, promiscuous sex and rape have to do with heterosexual human bonding.

    if heterosexuals are applauded for bonding with another out of mutual respect,attraction, respect, and trust, for the purpose of having a committed life together, why should homosexual couples who do the same receive any less?

    if we are to serve the spirit in a new way(“not in the old way to the written code”) ,how can one continue to stand on an interpretation of the law thru which we receive no salvation without making any discernment of the spirit of the essence of homosexuality, and homosexual bonding.

    the discernment would ask does the homosexual bonding one has witnessed thru fellowship with ones gay brothers in christ resemble more the fruit of the spirit of galatians or the shame based lust of romans.

    if so, in what way?

  2. John,

    We have had this discussion before. I do not ‘applaud’ the sins of heterosexual misconduct, sins such as orgies, rape, and fornication are sins. And those who persist in them, who practice them, are sinners. I applaud only those relationships that involve a husband (man) and a wife (woman), united for life in the bond of the Holy Spirit, exemplifying the relationship between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5).

    I have said this to you before: There is no such thing as ‘homosexual bonding’ in Christ. There is no compatibility between Christ and the practicing homosexual. Your question has nothing to do with the fruit of the Spirit–which also includes self-control. Let me say it plainly: Homosexuality is a sin and the practice of homosexuality is the perpetuation of sin. And those who persiste in unrepentant sin are not abiding in Christ or His grace. I didn’t say that, but Scripture did.

    The Scripture’s point about ‘serving in a new way’ does not mean continuing in the old way but adding different lingo to it. The Bible also says we have ‘taking off the old self with its practices and put on the new self.’ So, I’ll give you some other passages to consider:

    From Romans 6:

    1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

    5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

    From Ephesians 4:

    17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

    20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

    From Colossians 3:

    1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

    5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

    12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

    Now, I’ll ask you to show me one single passage from the Scripture which says we are permitted to persist in any sin, whether homosexuality or heterosexual rape or orgies. One verse is all that it will take to persuade me. One verse is all that I am asking for you to show: Where does the Scripture, not human experience, say that it is permissible to practice homosexuality?

    Where is the one passage of Scripture that says homosexuality is not a sin? Funny that of all the sins that could have been mentioned, homosexuality is mentioned specifically, more than once, in Scripture (in the Old and New Testaments). Strange that.

    Neither your argument, nor Luke Timothy Johnson’s argument, will finally stand up to the test of Scripture. Nor do I suspect they will stand up at the last judgment either. Just so you understand, I’m not your judge. Scripture is.

    jerry

  3. john

    you speak as if you knew the mind of christ. why wouldnt there be humanbonding among homosexuals.
    because scripture honors human bonding among heterosexuals does not mean that he doesnt honor it among homosexuals as well. surely there is no scripture that is prefaced with “only” in regards to bonding among humans

  4. john

    lev sexual practice

    gen gang rape

    romans sexual addiction(shame based lust

    itim icor pederasty

    there is no reference to homosexual human bonding, and its absence doesnt mean it is condemned. anyone who says otherwise is presupposing they know the mind of god. which scripture begs to differ.

  5. John,

    You are not making any sense whatsoever in your replies.

    Homosexuality is a sin. There is no such thing as ‘homosexual human bonding.’ The very fact that, “In the Beginning God…made them male and female…” is against you and all who promote the justification of sinful practice as a legitimate expression of sexuality.

    It is a sin. It is condemned. And those who practice it will in no way inherit the Kingdom of God. That’s from Scripture. Not me. In order to justify your position you must contradict Scripture. Which is what Luke Timothy Johnson, and every other defender of homosexual practice does.

    Try to make a little better sense if you wish to communicate with me.

    jerry

  6. john

    the fact that scripture says it made male and female does not mean that he didnt make any other possibilities. it is not prefaced with “only”. to say that anything not mentioned in scripture is against god, presumes the to know the mind of god………which scripture says otherwise.

    your understanding of romans is because they exchanged the truth of god for a lie and worshipped the created he gave them over to homosexuality,

    how about the millions that who were raised in the church believed in christ, and in puberty discovered they were gay. how could they been given over to the orientation because of their lack of faith.

  7. John,

    Even if I conceded for a moment that there were people who were ‘raised in the church and in puberty discovered they were gay’ it doesn’t change the fact that homosexuality is sinful, abominable, and condemned in Scripture. It doesn’t change the fact that those people are still called to repent of their sin. And it doesn’t change the fact that Scripture says what Scripture says and we have no right to alter it by adding to or deleting from its content.

    You cannot argue from silence that just because it ‘does not mean that he didn’t made any other possibilities’ that there are, in fact, other possibilities. The only argument we can make is the one that is present: God made them, male and female, in the image of God He made them. And, for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife.

    There are no other possibilities. There are no other expressions of the sexual argument that glorify the God of Scripture.

    You can argue with me all day long, but I didn’t make up the rules. The Scripture did. I’m not going to contradict Scripture just so that the homosexual population can feel safe and justified before a Holy God. It is wrong. And those who practice it will not, the Scripture says, inherit the Kingdom of God. You have to argue with the Lord Jesus on this one my friend.

    jerry

    ps–how does one ‘discover’ they are a homosexual? I suspect it’s no different than when one ‘discovers’ they like killing people or stealing from people or raping people or lying. However, it is certainly in no way justified just because they ‘discover’ it. And, to be sure, there are plenty of preachers and teachers who are telling homosexuals that they need to repent of their sin.

    None of your arguments hold up under scrutiny.

  8. john

    you say there are no other possibilities, scripture doesnt. god has never limited himself to form, for the embodiment of his spirit.

    from your understanding of homosexuality being a sin is based on romans.

    does that mean that all unbelievers are homosexuals. does it mean that most of those who attended pagan temples in paul’s time in rome were homosexuals.

    is paul saying that everyone that he has witnessed as a nonbeliever has same sex relations.

    wouldnt that mean that atheists and agnostics should be struggling with homosexuality.

    your understanding raises a whle bunch od questions?

    if disbelief in god and serving the created equals homosexuality why are only 2 references throughout the entire bible. the entire world outside of isreal was intrinsically an unbelieving world. in countries where are large portions of unbelievers why arent there more homosexuals

    i would think that in hindu cultures,homosexuality would be rampid. but instead it is severely punished. wickipedia “homosexuality in india”

    the truth is, aside from your own intepretation of scripture you have no evidence to support your claim.

  9. John,

    I have pasted Romans 1 (most of it) below. After you have read it, I’ll point out your error:

    18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    * * * * *

    Now, what Paul says here is, pay attention, this: God ‘gave them over…’

    1) in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity (24) (it’s not specified here what that means but at minimum he is suggesting that there is a form of sexual expression that is ‘pure’) for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They thus exchanged the truth of God for a lie and served the creation instead of the Creator.

    2) to shameful lusts and even women and men exchanged their natural relations for unnatural relations–and received in themselves the due penalty for their sin. (Here he is clearly referring to homosexuality and suggests, at minimum, that there is such a thing as a ‘natural’ sexual relationship of which homosexuality is not one.)

    3) to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have thus become filled with every sort of depravity.

    So, actually God gave them over to many things. Sexual immorality. Homosexuality. Depraved minds. Thus, Paul does not limit the results of rejecting the Creator to homosexuality, but extends it all the to our very thoughts.

    Furthermore, you’ll notice that the list includes greed, insolence, envy, murder, gossip and so on and so forth.

    The very paganism you call to our attention (in this case Hinduism) is a by product of the rejection of the True God and punishment in itself. There is nothing moral about Hinduism, nothing godly about it, and nothing salvific about it. It is condemned just as homosexuality is condemned.

    So, nothing that I have said depends on ‘my interpretation.’ The Scripture is evidence enough. If homosexuality is condemned once, twice or a hundredfold, it makes no difference. Murder is murder. Homosexuality is homosexuality. Rape is rape. There is no difference whatsoever. Sin is sin. And all of your twisting of Scripture to justify it will not change what Scripture says. Romans 1 also says this:

    “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

    I hope you get some help so that you can turn your life around and give it over to Christ. As of right now, though, I fear you are far more interested in justifying yourself. Scripture will not stand for it at all.

    jerry

  10. beelzebub

    hey man jerry, are you another self-hating homo?
    just like your master ted haggard

  11. Beel,

    Thanks for stopping by. I have to admit, your reply is creative, inventive, and original. It must have taken you many hours to come up with such a humorous invective. I applaud your efforts and I certainly hope that your friends know just how creative, and smart, you are. Good job! Stop by anytime.

    your friend,
    jerry

  12. Jerry, your replies to John were excellent…

    I’ve met John on my own blog recently. My hope is he will some day have his understanding opened to the truth: which is God’s word concerning this issue, is exactly what God says it is…sin.

    No amount of trying to ‘make it’ say differently is going to change that truth.

    God bless..

    pj

  13. Its unfortunate that people like John simply create out of thin air “approvals” that do not exist in scripture. There is no more approval of any form of homosexual pairing in scripture than there is a grocery store with ice cream in it on the sun.

    There is not one single instance of approval. There is not one single case where it is encouraged. There is not one time where it is noted in a positive way.

    I hope that was clear.

    Anyone who claims differently is a church magician.




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