Liberalism — An Introduction

Liberalism seldom comes to us in a systematic theology text book. That is likely one of the reasons that Liberalism has advanced so successfully. If Liberalism came to us as Liberalism from a theology textbook one would then be able to point to a Liberal Systematic theology textbook and say, “this is what Liberalism believes.” Instead liberalism advances by being amorphous. It seldom sets out its tenets explicitly, in a Systematic type style, knowing that doing so would mean a wider rejection of it as a belief system.  In point of fact, as we shall see, Liberalism, as a belief system, is merely the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit edition of Porn as compared to the Communism of porn magazine, “Hustler.”  Liberalism is Marlene Dietrich singing “Black Market” in a cabaret in 1920’s Berlin as compared to the Communism of Miley Cyrus singing “We Can’t Stop” on a M-TV video. Liberalism is the same thing as Communism only in smaller doses.  Liberalism suffocates with a pillow while Communism suffocates with a garrote.

One point of contact between Liberalism and Communism is the insistence that man’s nature is either good or at least malleable. Unlike Christianity, which teaches that man’s nature is fallen and so man is depraved through and through, Liberalism teaches that men are born tabulae rasae, blank slates to be written upon as any narrative that a ruling elite might desire.  Per J. Salwyn Shapiro in his book, “Liberalism; Its Meaning and History” Man, according to Liberalism is born ignorant, not wicked.” Liberalism, thus eschews the Christian doctrine of original sin holding instead that only the Christian doctrine of original sin could be construed as original sin.  It was this view of man that the French Philosophes championed as the guillotine was employed to help men embrace their perfectibility and discover their unlimited potentiality.

From this doctrine of the inherent goodness and perfectibility of man comes the Liberal doctrine of Social Engineering, Utopia, and the inevitability of progress. If men do not suffer from the tragic consequences of original sin, so that they can only be redeemed by the work of a Transcendent God, then these plastic men with inherently good natures can be shaped and fashioned, via social engineering programs, to create a better, if indeed not perfect world. String together enough good men and eventually one will arrive at Utopia. In point of fact, the denial of Original Sin requires Liberals to believe that men can be made better and better via the work of social engineering. This faith commitment was recently demonstrated by an Obama State Department Spokesman Marie Harf in answering questions on how Muslim Terrorists need to be stopped,
“… We  cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s a lack of opportunity for jobs.”

We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.”

Note here that the even Terrorists can be socially engineered out of their depraved ways. Terrorists are malleable and only need to have their environments changed in order for them to realize their inherent goodness. Terrorists are perfectible. And if terrorists are perfectible and capable of being redeemed by social engineering how much more so non terrorist Americans? Why, with Social Security, Welfare programs, and Obama-care Americans will be social engineered into a progress that will one day lead to Utopia.

The Liberal conviction of a Social Engineering that can bring us to Utopia leads us to another tenet of Liberalism and that is the conviction that man is what he is because of his environment.  Liberalism, refusing to find depravity or original sin in man, instead locates depravity and original sin in man’s conditioning environment. Man, considered singularly is perfectible, inherently good, or at worse ignorant. However, the cultures and institutions that men build are rife with that depravity which explains why men don’t automatically rise to their best selves. Because sin is found in environments that so keeps individual men down, what must happen is the employing of social engineering in order to change men’s environment. The conviction of Liberals is that if the environments of men are changed so that those environments ooze out the juice of Utopia the result will be the sanctified New Liberal Man. It is environment that makes man less then what he might be and it is only a changed environment that will make men all that Liberals are convinced that man inherently is. The Liberal seldom pauses to ask how it is that inherently good men ever built such awful environments.

The Liberal conviction of the absolute necessity to Socially engineer environments that are in their view “wicked” so that the basically good men can discover and embrace their perfectibility unto the building of Utopia explains why Liberalism, when consistently pursued, ends up in the French Revolution Guillotine, The American Civil War Revolution war on civilians, The Russian Revolution Gulag Archipelago, and the American Abortuary. If cultural and institutional environments are the only thing that stands between basically good men and their socially engineered Utopias then breaking a few human eggs to arrive at a Utopian omelette is a small price to pay. So, the Jacobins tortured and killed their Catholic enemies to arrive at Utopia, Northern Transcendentalist Jacobin abolitionists tortured and killed Southerners in order to arrive at Utopia, Jewish Bolsheviks tortured and killed Christian Kulaks and Christian members of the White Army in order to arrive at Utopia and today our Jacobin Government makes provision for Jacobin Mommies to torture and kill their children to the tune of 4000 per day. From the Liberal worldview and belief system all of this is the small price that one pays in order to arrive at Utopia. None of this would have happened or would happen apart from the tenets of  Liberalism, (sin in environment as fixed by Social Engineering, allowing man’s basically good nature to shine forth unto the building up of Utopia) being pursued. All of this explains why Liberalism should be thoroughly hated in any man or woman who call themselves “Christian.”

End Part 1

Part II — The Liberal tenets of Rationalism (Self-evident truths), Historical Optimism (Liberal postmillennialism) and Educationalism (Education as malleable man’s Savior).

 

Locate the Presuppositions and you know the Answer before the Question is Finished

Presuppositions

1.) Man (ISIS) is basically good
2.) If Man (ISIS) is not good then the problem is his environment
3.) Make his (ISIS) bad environment good  with jobs and man (Isis) will become good
4.) Hence the project is nation building and more social engineering

Mark 2:2-9 … Transfiguration

First Sunday of Epiphany — Baptism of Christ (Kingdom of God is @ hand)
Second & Third Sunday of Epiphany — Christ Shares in God’s Omniscience
Fourth Sunday of Epiphany — Christ Cast Out Demoniac
Fifth Sunday of Epiphany — Christ Brings Healing to the sick and diseased
Last Sunday of Epiphany — Transfiguration

All of this is communicating that the long anticipated Messiah that the covenant Fathers spoke of has arrived.  The age to come is Present in the person of the Lord Christ. In the words of both John the Baptist and the Lord Christ the Kingdom of God is at hand.

All of this is what is called Redemptive History. It is real History but it is the History of God’s redemptive work.

Why is a sermon series like this important for your faith?

1.) It requires you to see that the Kingdom of God is present.

— Remember the “Now — Not Yet” Hermeneutic that we emphasize here. What we’ve been looking at the past few weeks is the Now-ness of the Kingdom. This is important to realize because the majority of the Christians you meet have imbibed (often quite without know it) that the Kingdom of God is only Future. They look forward to some future day when Jesus returns and sets up His rule and Kingdom in Jerusalem. The Kingdom of God is totally future to them.  In this series we’ve been trying to teach, consistent with the Scripture accounts, that the Kingdom of God has arrived.

2.) It allows you to focus on Christ who is the Kingdom as opposed to focus on Israel today as somehow being wrapped up with Kingdom events as if Israel is more important than the King.

3.) It aids you in reading the Scripture in terms of the Scripture and not in terms of the Newspaper. I hope we have demonstrated here that when we read the Scripture we ask ourselves how does a knowledge of the unfolding and organic growth of the rest of the Scripture impact upon the blooming of the Kingdom in the Gospel Accounts. The Gospels are much like the point in the novel that is the crescendo to all that has been developed to date.

4.) Along the way we’ve tried to include the idea that as a people who have been swept up into this Kingdom of God we have the privilege and responsibility to live in terms of the present-ness of the Kingdom. For example, having been made citizens in the Kingdom of a King who is merciful and gentle we seek to demonstrate those virtues in our own lives. Being citizens in the Kingdom of God we resist evil because evil is inconsistent with this already present Kingdom.

Kingdom and Church debate

It is interesting where the Transfiguration is placed in Mark’s Gospel.  Before the exaltation of the Transfiguration is the prediction of Jesus death and resurrection. Just after the Transfiguration Jesus again predicts His death and resurrection. It is almost as if Mark is trying to squeeze in the idea that there is a realm into which the Lord Christ can be resurrected. Certainly resurrection can be easier to comprehend if there is a comprehension that there is another living realm beyond life.  Inherent in the story of the Transfiguration is the promise of a kind of life beyond what is apparent to earthly eyes most of the time. Hebrews 12 speaks of this other realm when it talks about being surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.  The Transfiguration reminds us again that there is a realm … a life beyond this life. Unlike the Academic Atheist who I once encountered in conversation, the Transfiguration reminds the Modern that it is not the case that when one dies there is just unconsciousness.

If nothing else, (and there is much more) the Transfiguration reminds that “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow w die” is not a true synopsis of life.

Let’s examine some of the symbolism and motifs (themes) that are attached to this passage and see what we can draw out from these as we read the rest of Scripture. In terms of the 6 days in Mark 9:2 (Now after six days) we find a consistency with another Mountain top in the Old Testament,

Exodus 24:15f

Exodus 24:15 Then Moses went up to the mount, and the cloud covered the mountain,16 And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered [o]it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.

It seems that the six day preparation period is connected to witnessing a vision of Divine glory. There is likely a connection here then between the Mosaic witnessing of the glory of God and the disciples witnessing the brightness of God’s glory here in Christ. If that is the case then this is one of those testimonies of Scripture where another Divine character quality of the Father is seen in the Son so that what is being subtly communicated is the Divine Nature of the Lord Christ.

That the disciples are witnessing the Glorified and Divine Christ, in a kind of “time before the time manifestation”, is confirmed by John’s record in his Apocalypse (Revelation) where John describes the ascended Christ.

Revelation 1:14 His head and hairs were white as white wool, and as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire,

Compare that with what is recorded here

Mark 9:3 And his raiment did [c]shine, and was very white as snow, so white as no fuller can make upon the earth.

The Whiteness here communicates the intense glory radiating from the Son. Snow was as close as they could come to this intense spectacle of God’s person. That the divinity of Christ is being pressed here is underscored by Daniel’s description of the “Ancient of Days in Daniel 7

Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the [r]thrones were set up, and the [s]Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels, as burning fire.

So, on the Mount of Transfiguration the post-Ascension divinity of Christ is put on display and what is communicated for those playing close attention when we read both what leads up to this event, where Christ predicts His death, and what follows this event where Christ predicts His death, is that He who is God  glorified is going to lay down His life for His people.

The paradox of the Kingdom is that it comes in with both glory and humility at the same time. During Epiphany we find the Lord Christ everywhere assaulting the Kingdom of Satan. We even see the proclamation here of His divinity and yet all this is wrapped in the enigma of His coming Humiliation — His death and burial.

This serves as analogy for the “Now … Not Yet” of the Kingdom. It has arrived in glory and yet it, more often than not, comes to us wrapped in humility. Paul was the great champion of the Kingdom … a champion given a thorn in the flesh. Peter does many great miracles in the context of Kingdom work and yet Stephen and James are recorded as martyred in the Scripture. We share in the glory of Christ and yet we do so around the Word broken and the humble elements of Bread and wine and Water. The Kingdom is present … the Mt. of Transfiguration tells us that. The Kingdom is yet to come … the fact that we are not yet transfigured tells us that.

Do not miss the significance that this is all taking place on a Mountain,

As we have seen before Mountatins are often associated with the place where concourse with God is held.

The entry for “Mountain” in Dictionary of Biblical Imagery reads:

“Almost from the beginning of the Bible, mountains are sites of transcendent spiritual experiences, encounters with God or appearances by God. Ezekiel 28:13-15 places the *Garden of Eden on a mountain. *Abraham shows his willingness to sacrifice Isaac and then encounters God on a mountain (Gen 22:1-14). God appears to Moses and speaks from the *burning bush on “Horeb the mountain of God” (Ex 3:1-2 NRSV), and he encounters Elijah on the same site (1 Kings 19:8-18). Most impressive of all is the experience of the Israelites at Mt. *Sinai (Ex 19), which *Moses ascends in a *cloud to meet God.

A similar picture emerges from the NT, where Jesus is associated with mountains. Jesus resorted to mountains to be alone (Jn 6:15), to *pray (Mt 14:23; Lk 6:12) and to teach his listeners (Mt 5:1; Mk 3:13). It was on a mountain that Jesus refuted Satan’s temptation (Mt 4:8; Lk 4:5). He was also transfigured on a mountain (Mt 17:1-8; Mk 9:2-8; Lk 9:28-36), and he ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:10-12).[4]

Jesus also designated a mountain in Galilee from which he gave the Great Commission to the eleven (Matthew 28:16). Jesus is both the tabernacle of God among men (John 1:14) and a temple (John 2:19-22) who builds the new temple (Ephesians 2:19-22 [his body, the church]). Hebrews 12:18-24 contrasts Mount Sinai and Mount Zion in the context of the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. God’s people have gone from one mountain to another. Surely these mountains are symbols of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant and have their foundation in the first mountain-temple, the Garden of Eden.”

We could do much the same with the Biblical Motif of Clouds

Exodus 40:34-38 — Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. 35 So Moses could not enter into the Tabernacle of the Congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. 36 Now when the cloud ascended up from the Tabernacle, the children of Israel went forward in all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud ascended not, then they journeyed not till the day that it ascended. 38 For [a]the cloud of the Lord was upon the Tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

Staying with the Cloud motif

After the exodus from Egypt, when the Israelites wander in the wilderness for forty years, their journey is marked by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Ex 13:21, 22; 14:19, 20, 24, see later reflections in Neh 9:12, 19; Ps 78:14; 99:7; 105:39; and 1 Cor 10:1–2). Exodus 16:10 associates the cloud in the wilderness with the “ glory of the Lord.” The cloud and the fire represents God’ s presence with them

See, the Lord rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt within them. (Isaiah 19:1-2)

Jesus, like God in the OT , rides on a cloud (Acts 1:9). One of the most pervasive images of Christ’ s return is as one who rides his cloud chariot into battle (Mt 24:30; Mk 13:26; 14:62; Lk 21:27; Rev 1:7; cf. [cf. cf.. compare] Dan 7:13).

That takes care of some of the Imagery here. Now let’s turn our attention to the persons present.

Both Moses and Elijah, two figures whose passing’s were mysterious, were believed by many Jews to be God’s precursors of the end times. That this is at least some of the point in the text is seen in vs. 11-12

The reason for this end time expectation of these two was the mysterious end of each

Elijah — Chariot into Heaven (II Kings. 2:9-12)
Moses — Buried by God Himself (Ex. 34:4-7)

As such these two men were thought to be available for God to send back to prepare for the end. Their presence here reminds us that the Messianic end times was nigh. They also represent the idea of “the law and the prophets.” In Moses and Elijah God’s covenant people are present.  Luke’s account tells us that they speak of Christ’s Exodus … meaning his Death. This would have been a matter close to the interests of the OT Saints. The Messiah is their Champion as well as ours. His Exodus is there Exodus as well.

God Speaks — Tracks with Isaanic Servant passages

Messianic Sonship OT

Behold, [a]my servant: [b]I will stay upon him: mine elect, in whom my soul[c]delighteth: I have put my Spirit upon him: he shall bring forth [d]judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not [e]cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A [f]bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking [g]flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment in [h]truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have [i]set judgment in the earth: and the [j]isles shall wait for his Law.

Christ is the Isaanic Servant in whom God delight and in delighting in Him He God’s beloved Son.

_____________________

Peter — James — John

That Peter at least notes that the end is at hand he blurts out this bit about building Tabernacles or booths. We think Peter odd for saying that but Peter, though fearful (wouldn’t you be afraid if you were on the cusp of the end of the world?) connects some OT dots.

Zechariah 4:16 But it shall come to pass that everyone that is left of all the nations, which came against Jerusalem, shall go up from year to year to worship the King the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles.

So, this God-commanded festival kept by Jews for centuries, was considered a possible time for God’s taking control of God’s creation and beginning the age of shalom. Peter’s comments then were not “off the wall” but consistent with Jewish understanding.

Conclusion

Perhaps we would be well reminded that the Mt. of Transfiguration becomes an objective marker of the Truth of God’s Salvation narrative. Our belief in the presence of the Kingdom is not pinned upon our own personal experience, nor upon how we are feeling at any given moment, nor upon our sense of  utter dependence. Those are all subjective markers. Our belief in the presence of God’s Kingdom is based upon these Objective realities. It was for Peter.

16 [t]For we followed not deceivable fables, when we opened unto you the power, and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but with our eyes we saw his majesty: 17 For he received of God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from that excellent Glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice we heard when it came from heaven being with him in the holy mount.

Second we can be reminded that God’s glory comes in God’s time and according to God’s movement. There is nothing so foolish as to think that we can seize God’s glory somehow. God’s glory comes to us in God’s time and if Scripture is any indication the glory of God is never far removed, in this life, with a theology of the Cross. Everyone wants the glory … nobody wants the humiliation. Everyone wants to go to heaven. Nobody wants to die.

Third, we are reminded of how the presence of the Kingdom is wrapped up in the death of Christ. Our hope for the Kingdom is anchored in the fact that we are united to Christ in His death, resurrection and ascension. The victory of Christ is our victory. But this victory is not only a spiritual victory (though it is that) without any corporeal repercussions. The Kingdom has come. Christ has conquered and so we move in that victory understanding that the Gates of Hell can not resist the assault of the Church upon the defense mechanisms of Satan.

Appendix — After thought

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J. R. R. Tolkien was a Roman Catholic Christian. One wonders if some of his understanding in his majestic work was somewhat based upon what he learned of the Transfiguration.   Tolkien speaks of the Elvin Lords “who have dwelt in the Blessed Realm and who live at once in both worlds. Of them Tolkien says that “against both the Seen and the Unseen they have great power.”

Tolkien’s lesser story steals from the Greater story. In the Transfiguration the Lord Christ is manifested as one who walks between two worlds. Further, the Gospel record clearly demonstrates that Christ has great power against both the seen and unseen. After the Transfiguration the Lord Christ descends to do battle against the Kingdom that opposes Him (Mark 9:25f).

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Bowsma on John Calvin’s Passion For Distinctions

“But the notion that what ails the world [inseparably from sin] is confusion had much practical value for Calvin … Thus, when Calvin associated disorder with obscurity, he could conceive of correcting it by sharpening the contours of the various entities composing the world; once one thing has been clearly distinguished, physically or conceptually, from others, it can be assigned its proper place in the order of things … Thus he abominated ‘mixture,’ one of the most pejorative terms in his vocabulary; mixture in any area of experience suggested to him disorder and unintelligibility. He had absorbed deeply not only the traditional concern for cosmic purity of a culture that had restricted mixture to the sublunary realm but also various Old Testament prohibitions. Mixture, for Calvin, connoted ‘adulteration’ or ‘promiscuity,’ but it also set off in him deep emotional and metaphysical reverberations. He repeatedly warned against ‘mixing together things totally different.’ …

The positive corollary of Calvin’s loathing of mixture was his approval of boundaries, which separate one thing from another. He attributed boundaries to God Himself: God had established the boundaries between peoples, which should therefore remain within the space assigned to them … ‘Just as there are in a military camp separate lines for each platoon and section,’ Calvin observed, ‘men are placed on the earth so that each nation may be content with its own boundaries.’”

W.J. Bouwsma
John Calvin: A Sixteenth Century Portrait — p.34-35

Why is it so hard to talk about why it is so hard to talk about homosexuality — II

Continuing, in this second entry, to examine this article

seeking to respectfully point out the errant thinking, inconsistencies, contradictions, and misinformation contained therein.

When we left off last time we began to deal with the accusations of “homophobia” which Rev. Nydam said was “so present in our gay-unfriendly culture.” Rev. Nydam in the same context raises an implicit objection to patriarchy. It seems that Rev. Nydam is convinced that as a culture we value the masculine above the feminine. Rev. Nydam offers no facts to support this bald assertion. The good pastor goes on to lament how our culture condemns men with feminine traits. And yet we must keep in mind that the Scripture teaches,

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

Now, perhaps the Pastor is correct in saying that we shouldn’t condemn those with feminine traits but surely given the teaching of God’s word we should meet Christian men who are overwhelmed with feminine traits with some disapproval.

We already mentioned, but it bears mentioning again, that Rev. Nydam is not up to date concerning the false narrative of the Matthew Shepherd case. In the last entry we pointed out an investigation which has been done in this case which demonstrates that Shepherd was not murdered because of his homosexuality but rather Shepherd was murdered in the context of a meth drug deal gone bad. In point of fact the man convicted for Shepherd’s murder had previously had sodomite relations with Shepherd. Like the Roe. vs. Wade false narrative from 1973, the Matthew Shepherd narrative was completely contrived in order to gain legislative sympathy for the sodomite agenda. Rev. Nydam completely missed this in his article. With this article by Rev. Nydam I have to conclude that Rev. Nydam may have a severe case of Hetero-phobia as seen by his symptomatically high egalitarian fever.

I agree with Rev. Nydam and that is the necessity to come alongside and support those Christians who are struggling with the temptation of homosexuality.  I agree that we have need to confess our sin so that we do not come across as self righteous prigs to those who are genuinely struggling to put off the old man of homosexuality and put on the new man of heterosexuality or who are seeking to be celibate in the context of what they recognize as sinful appetites. At the same time we need to enter careful self-examination to make sure we are not watering down the word of the Lord Christ in order to be able to fit into the zeitgeist. We have need to name the sin of compromise with this present wicked age in order to help those who are struggling. This is a very difficult spiritual challenge.

I also agree with Rev. Nydam that we must be friendly with those who are struggling against the sin of sodomy and lesbianism. We must come alongside them and encourage them to honor our Lord Christ by remaining chaste. We must advocate for before God’s throne in prayer asking that increasingly they will be able to quit finding their identity in their sexuality and instead find their identity in Christ. We must never push away repentant people who were once LGBT but now are in Christ. We must remind them though they were once Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and  Transgender they have been  washed, and sanctified, and justified, in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. By coming alongside them and encouraging them in their new identity in Christ we can together rejoice over the Grace that has delivered each one of us from our sin and misery. In just such a manner the love of God gets to them just as God intended.

So as the CRC continues in the conversation concerning pastoral ministry among those redeemed out of the LGBT lifestyle, those struggling with the sin of LGBT-ism and the sin of continuing to identify as a LGBT person even after they’ve embraced Christ how can we best prepare ourselves for this conversation?  Several recommendations come to mind.

1.) As Rev. Nydam said, “we must continue our commitment, once again together, to a careful, thoughtful hearing of the biblical text. Scripture must speak to us.” This means guarding ourselves against novel readings of the Scripture that conclude what nobody in 2000 years of Church history have concluded. It’s possible that for 2000 years the Church has gotten something this significant wrong but extraordinarily unlikely.   So,  as Rev. Nydam offers, “we must not give in to the temptation, the exegetical error, of reading our wishes or beliefs into the text.”  
2,) We must affirm a biblical definition for human sexuality. This means, in terms of marriage, that one boy goes with one girl. It also means understanding that given the way our sexuality is tied up with how we are God’s image bearers that it only makes sense that Lucifer is going to seek to overthrow God’s design at just this point. This also means that we have need to be sensitive to the fact that this kind of sinful behavior could well be a sign of God turning people over to their reprobate desires (Romans 1:18-32). Becoming more comfortable with the way God speaks about sexuality will give biblical wisdom to our responses.

3.) We need to allow the Scriptures to shape our understanding of gender roles. Scripture teaches that men are to  love their wives, and wives are to submit to their husbands. Scriptures teaches that men are to lead and women are to be silent in the Church. Scripture teaches that we all have the fruit of the Spirit as that fruit demonstrates itself in the roles God has assigned to men and women.

4.) We must learn more about homosexuality in general. For example, repeated studies demonstrate that in a overwhelming percentage of cases where boys become homosexual it is due to some kind of molestation or Father-Son dysfunction in early development. If this is true then it is likely also true that people do not choose aberrant sexuality the way they might choose what flavor of ice cream to have. This is a fallen world and people can be fallen quite apart from self consciously deciding how their fallen-ness is going to manifest itself. Studies have given us very little evidence that LGBT-ism is a genetic predisposition.

5.) We must be sympathetic and empathetic. This sympathy and empathy must be for both God and His authoritative word and for those struggling with LGBT-ism. We must be tender where there is a spirit of repentance or anguish on their part. We must sincerely care about those who want to give this lifestyle up to follow Christ. Let it never be said of Christians that we added burdens of hatred upon and for those who are already bearing the terrible burden of a self-loathing because of the sin they struggle so mightily against.  Let it never be said that we failed to encourage those who have been redeemed from this lifestyle to remember their identity in Christ.

6.) For those of us who have friends who have come out of the homosexual lifestyle we must continue to show ourselves kind and generous. This means having them over for a meal and making them welcome. This means taking their phone calls at midnight in order to help them past temptation.

 

 

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