Posts Tagged ‘homosexuality’

At the recent 2014 National Ligonier Conference, men like R. C. Sproul, Al Mohler, Steve Lawson and Voddie Baucham (among others) fielded some tough questions relating to political involvement, hell, Christian theme movies, homeschooling, marriage and homosexuality.  Those are some pretty big and important questions.  Here are a few of the more than 30 questions posed:

  1. I have a son who has entered into a homosexual lifestyle. How do I handle this, how do I act, what do I say?
  2. I have many Christian friends who are libertarians and say the state should not be involved in marriage at all. Is this a correct position?
  3. I have a relative who is constantly trying to say that if I try to say something is false or sinful I am “condemning” the person or the thing and am not being loving. What do I say in response?
  4. Dr. Mohler, is homeschooling a retreat from the world? Can we put children in school and expect them to engage the world?
  5. What is the biblical way we should think about movies such as, Son of GodNoahGod’s Not Dead, and Heaven is for Real?
  6. How do we deal with knowing some of our loved ones may be headed to perdition?
  7. I am trying to reconcile the death of my son. How do I deal with my anger against God experienced as I am in this dark time?
  8. Given that we are not of the world, but sent into the world, what should our political involvement be, particularly for moral issues?

You can watch their answers to these and more questions here.  (Note: There are times associated with each question so you don’t have to spend an hour waiting for them to answer the ones you are interested in.

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Rosaria Butterfield has an article worth your time.  She shares her life before and after Christ and she challenges us regarding modern day heresies regarding homosexuality and the prosperity gospel.  I still want to read her book–especially if her writing in it is as good as in this article.  

Worldview matters. And if we don’t reach back before the 19th century, back to the Bible itself, the Westminster divines, and the Puritans, we will limp along, defeated. Yes, the Holy Spirit gives you a heart of flesh and the mind to understand and love the Lord and his Word. But without good reading practices even this redeemed heart grows flabby, weak, shaky, and ill. You cannot lose your salvation, but you can lose everything else.

Enter John Owen. Thomas Watson. Richard Baxter. Thomas Brooks. Jeremiah Burroughs. William Gurnall. The Puritans. They didn’t live in a world more pure than ours, but they helped create one that valued biblical literacy. Owen’s work on indwelling sin is the most liberating balm to someone who feels owned by sexual sin. You are what (and how) you read. J. C. Ryle said it takes the whole Bible to make a whole Christian. Why does sin lurk in the minds of believers as a law, demanding to be obeyed? How do we have victory if sin’s tentacles go so deep, if Satan knows our names and addresses? We stand on the ordinary means of grace: Scripture reading, prayer, worship, and the sacraments. We embrace the covenant of church membership for real accountability and community, knowing that left to our own devices we’ll either be led astray or become a danger to those we love most. We read our Bibles daily and in great chunks. We surround ourselves with a great cloud of witnesses who don’t fall prey to the same worldview snares we and our post-19th century cohorts do.

In short, we honor God with our reading diligence. We honor God with our reading sacrifice. If you watch two hours of TV and surf the internet for three, what would happen if you abandoned these habits for reading the Bible and the Puritans? For real. Could the best solution to the sin that enslaves us be just that simple and difficult all at the same time? We create Christian communities that are safe places to struggle because we know sin is also “lurking at [our] door.” God tells us that sin’s “desire is for you, but you shall have mastery over it” (Gen. 4:7). Sin isn’t a matter of knowing better, it isn’t (only) a series of bad choices—and if it were, we wouldn’t need a Savior, just need a new app on our iPhone.

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From an article by Jason Helopolous which states some hard things with winsomeness.

Homosexuality is a matter of  extreme importance to us. Make no mistake, this is a gospel issue. When our culture embraces something that sends people to hell (1 Cor. 6:9-101 Tim. 1:10) then it must matter to us. . . .

We must be bold and courageous in our day. Not rabble rousers, but valiant and resolute according to our convictions. . . . We are not decrying the sins of others and ignoring our own, but neither are we willing to sit silently when our culture calls that which is evil “good.”

Let us resolve, that as we continue to speak against homosexuality and its acceptance in our culture, we will do so winsomely and lovingly; yet, we are also committed to doing so clearly. In our pulpits, in our conversations around the water cooler, with our children, or in simple talks over the fence with our neighbors, we will be clear that homosexual practice is a sin. We will not attempt to separate love and truth. A careful guard against the subtle language of “gay” and “gay marriage” should be in place.  Neither one of those terms should be used in our discourse about the homosexual lifestyle or homosexual union. There is nothing “gay” or God-honoring about the homosexual lifestyle, and it is not a God-ordained marriage when two homosexuals join together in a “state approved marriage,” even if it is a monogamous and committed relationship. We, as a people of the Word, know the importance of language and words, and it is crucial we give clear articulation of God’s purpose and plan for sex and marriage.

Even as we exercise our voice, we need a generation of Christians who are willing to do even more; willing to be courageous enough to minister with compassion and truth to the homosexual community. . . .

Above all, we need to pray. We need to pray for those in our churches who struggle with same-sex attraction, for those who have given into this temptation and sin, and for the salvation of those who are trapped in a lifestyle that leads to death. We need to pray that our society would alter its present course on this issue and never look back.

It may be an uphill battle, but our God moves mountains. We serve a God who can change things in an instant. Does it seem impossible? Our God majors in the impossible. May it take a miracle? There is good news, we serve a God who performs miracles. We cannot roll over and play dead on this issue. It is too important. It is an issue with eternal implications for the souls of men and women. We believe in the power of the gospel, so let us believe it is good news even in the midst of this debate, and declare it without shrinking. May God turn the tide and do a mighty work of change in our generation, for His praise and His glory. He can do it. Never lose hope.

This is a significant excerpt but I would encourage you to read the whole thing here.

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Denny Burk, as usual, has some of the most cogent commentary  on the Jason Collins and Chris Broussard.  He begins:

After the news broke earlier today that Jason Collins has come out as the first openly gay player in the NBA, I didn’t really plan to comment. But that all changed after watching Chris Broussard’s commentary for ESPN (see above).

After Collins’ announcement appeared, all the sports shows were abuzz with the news. ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” hosted a discussion between two sportswriters: the openly gay LZ Granderson and the Christian Chris Broussard.

The long and short of it is this. Jason Collins still claims to be a Christian even though he is openly gay. ESPN asked Broussard to comment on Collins’ claim that one can be both gay and Christian. Broussard answered the question politely and boldly, and he did so as a Christian. In fact, I think he said pretty much what I would have said if I had been asked such a question.

Read the rest here  and recognize that it is not going to get any easier to stand on the Word of God and with Christ in this culture.

Pastor Erik Raymond (full article) also nails it in my opinion:

The news firestorm provides a perfect screenshot of our cultural forecast. We have two professionals who are highly respected in their field and by their peers. They are both commenting on the same issue and boldly making statements about their personal convictions and lifestyle. However, one is being largely labeled a hero and a progressive champion while the other is being labeled a bigot and a conservative caveman. The cultural temperature is clearly seen on the issue of homosexuality.

But why the polemics? Why do the same people who get sore arms from waving the flags of progressive tolerance also go hoarse yelling that anyone who disagrees with them is unacceptable? The answer is simple: in so far as people march according to the cadence of what is popularly sanctioned as culturally “in tune” then they are fine. If they go off script then they are an impediment, a conservative stench amid the parade and pageantry of pluralism.

Collins is embraced because he is a powerful gust of wind into the secularist sails. Broussard is impugned because his statements (regardless of their personal conviction or tact) are a contrary wind at these same sails.

The popular American culture is like the frustrated, overworked, and overmatched Dad driving the family on long road-trip vacation. He wants to have fun and keeps telling everyone to have fun but he flies off the handle and yells at everyone all the time for not keeping in line. We say we are tolerant and accepting but if you don’t line up with popular opinion….well, “Don’t make me pull this car over!”

Everyone is talking about how far we have come as a country. Really? We can’t even have convictions or disagree. This seems like a step back to me.


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I have been saying this for a little while but found one of my seminary professors, Bill Combs agreeing,

I first taught a seminary class on the book of Romans in 1985. I said then, as we discussed Rom 1:24–27, that I thought one day Christians in America would eventually face some sort of persecution for their views on homosexuality. It is easier to see now, many years later, how this could come about. Today, the public schools are teaching the normalcy of homosexuality, and the popular media is totally given over to its promotion. The military has now accepted “gays,” which, ultimately I think, will be the end for evangelical chaplains. Surely, the time will come, when only those new chaplains who accept the rightness of homosexuality will be admitted into the services. And the Boy Scouts have just caved. All of this means that Christians who do not affirm, not just a grudging acceptance of homosexuality, but a positive belief in its rightness—even goodness, will not only be ostracized by society, but actually persecuted by the government. Surely, the first thing to go will be the tax-exempt status of many institutions. What comes next is difficult to determine. Maybe persecution is too strong a word, but the consequences of opposing the homosexual tidal wave will not be pleasant.

Another professor David Murray writes that in addition to praying, preaching and continuing to campaign against same-sex marriage, we should prepare in the following ways (read a brief explanation of each point here)
  1. Prepare our children
  2. Prepare to love
  3. Prepare for jail
  4. Prepare for betrayal
  5. Prepare for a refuge
  6. Prepare for eternity

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Albert Mohler has some chilling words:

A new chapter in America’s moral revolution came today as Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio withdrew from giving the benediction at President Obama’s second inaugural ceremony. In a statement released to the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Giglio said that he withdrew because of the furor that emerged yesterday after a liberal watchdog group revealed that almost twenty years ago he had preached a sermon in which he had stated that homosexuality is a sin and that the “only way out of a homosexual lifestyle … is through the healing power of Jesus.”

In other words, a Christian pastor has been effectively disinvited from delivering an inaugural prayer because he believes and teaches Christian truth. . .  .

The imbroglio over Louie Giglio is the clearest evidence of the new Moral McCarthyism of our sexually “tolerant” age. During the infamous McCarthy hearings, witnesses would be asked, “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”

In the version now to be employed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the question will be: “Are you now or have you ever been one who believes that homosexuality (or bisexuality, or transsexualism, etc.) is anything less than morally acceptable and worthy of celebration?”. . . .

The Presidential Inaugural Committee and the White House have now declared historic, biblical Christianity to be out of bounds, casting it off the inaugural program as an embarrassment. By its newly articulated standard, any preacher who holds to the faith of the church for the last 2,000 years is persona non grata. By this standard, no Roman Catholic prelate or priest can participate in the ceremony. No Evangelical who holds to biblical orthodoxy is welcome. The vast majority of Christians around the world have been disinvited. Mormons, and the rabbis of Orthodox Judaism are out. Any Muslim imam who could walk freely in Cairo would be denied a place on the inaugural program. Billy Graham, who participated in at least ten presidential inaugurations is welcome no more. Rick Warren, who incited a similar controversy when he prayed at President Obama’s first inauguration, is way out of bounds. In the span of just four years, the rules are fully changed.

The gauntlet was thrown down yesterday, and the axe fell today. Wayne Besen, founder of the activist group Truth Wins Out, told The New York Timesyesterday: “It is imperative that Giglio clarify his remarks and explain whether he has evolved on gay rights, like so many other faith and political leaders. It would be a shame to select a preacher with backward views on LBGT people at a moment when the nation is rapidly moving forward on our issues.”. . . 

We now see the new Moral McCarthyism in its undisguised and unvarnished reality. If you are a Christian, get ready for the question you will now undoubtedly face: “Do you now or have you ever believed that homosexuality is a sin?” There is nowhere to hide.”

Read all of “The Giglio Imbroglio: The Public Inauguration of a New Moral McCarthyism”

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Joel Osteen appeared on CNN again this week with Soledad O’Brien.  He was joined by Deepak Chopra, the New Age positive thinking speaker.  Chopra and Osteen basically teach the same positive thinking philosophy–one from the word of faith perspective and the other from Eastern spirituality.

The conversation then turned to the issue of homosexuality and Joel Osteen continued his practice of not addressing that issue or as he calls it “staying in his lane.”

Albert Mohler has a great analysis. At the end you of his article you can watch the video clip from this segment.

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Cripplegate has two good posts in light of the firestorm surrounding Chick-Fil-A and Christians who oppose same-sex marriage on the basis of biblical truth.

Objection #1:  “There are plenty other commands in Scripture that Christians don’t follow today, like the prohibition against mixing fabrics (Lev 19:19) or eating shellfish (Lev 11:10–12) and pork (Lev 11:7–8). So why not one more?” Response

Objection #2:  “In the midst of all of your attention to details of various Bible verses, you’ve lost the big picture. The cardinal virtue that Jesus taught His followers was love. If you value love, what’s the problem with two consenting adults making a commitment to each other out of love? Love is love. To insist that homosexuality is sinful and to deny them the right to get married is simply not loving, and therefore not Christian.”  Response


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“There is no way, short of a miraculous and full-scale changing of hearts and minds, for North American denominations to survive the homosexuality crisis. Denominations like the PCUSA, ELCA, RCA, UMC, and Episcopal Church will continue. They won’t fold their tents and join the Southern Baptists (though wouldn’t that be interesting!). I’m not suggesting most of our old, mainline denominations will disappear. But I do not see how any of these once flourishing denominations will make it through the present crisis intact.”

Kevin DeYoung in “Why No Denomination Will Survive the Homosexuality Crisis”

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Sobering but a true assessment.

John Piper:

We have entered one of the most difficult challenges to a gospel-centered approach to evangelism. The reason is not that the center of the Christian gospel has changed, but the center of the cultural gospel has changed. That center for many is the freedom to be GLBT and to be approved.

Which means that whether we want to make this a frontline issue or not, increasingly it is. As one of the panelists said, “There is no demilitarized zone in the homosexual debate.” Pastors must address it. In fact, virtually everyone who communicates with mainstream cultural folk must address it.

The argument against Christianity today is not epistemological but moral. Christianity is rejected not because it is badly argued, or untrue, but because it is evil. And it is evil because it opposes homosexual practice. The panelists agreed that, at least in major metropolitan areas, the issue of homosexuality ranks near the top of the reasons people reject Christianity, along with the problem of suffering and the exclusive claim that Jesus is the only way of salvation.

It is almost impossible to express a compassionate disapproval of homosexual practice without being demonized. But this is not an entirely new situation for the church. On the one hand the state of our culture seems to have changed with lightening speed. On the other hand it may not be as new as it seems.

Keep reading to find out why  this is not new but what it means for the church.

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