So I’ve seen a lot of people debating back and forth about homosexuals and whether God loves them or not (Prgrph 4). Some people have said that you can’t be homosexual and be a Christian, (Prgrph 8) others have said that God doesn’t love homosexuals (Prgrph 4) and others go to the other side of the spectrum and say that homosexuality is acceptable as long as you love the person. (Prgrph 8)
Scripture clearly informs us that God hates workers of iniquity (Psalm 5:5). This hatred of God for workers of iniquity must be read in keeping with the whole of Scripture as meaning that God hates those who are outside of Christ and are opposed to God.
It is true that as Christians we are all sinners, and that we all sin every day in word thought or deed. It is not true that God hates His people because our sin is forgiven in Christ. We are righteous with the righteousness of Jesus.
Now because God loves us He will discipline us when we pursue sin but even that discipline is born of love for His people. However, when God gives good to the wicked He hates, even that good is judgment against reprobate workers of iniquity that are outside of Christ.
These truths must be understood if anything else that follows is to be understood.
I have my own opinion on this, one that I believe to be right. If there is any disagreement, I appreciate and would like to be influenced by the teachings of the Bible in this discussion, not logic. I believe the Bible to be the infallible source of wisdom that it is the road map of life. If you disagree with me on this, please let me know on a separate column. Although I believe this to be a crucial part of the Christian faith, it is not the topic I am stressing now. For myself personally, I believe I can talk with more understanding than a few others, as I have been struggling with homosexuality for the past couple years. It’s a part of me that I am, with God’s help, slowly overcoming. What I say here is probably going to be public suicide, but I believe I need to say this
We’ve already talked about the contradiction in the request to talk about this apart from logic. Hence, I’ll leave that alone.
At this point Reuben needs to be applauded for his transparency and he needs to be assured of God’s deep and abiding love for him. It takes a real man to make the admission that he has made here.
I agree with Reuben that the Bible is God’s wisdom to man. As such I am hopeful that we can come to some agreement.
“I have stated this before, and for those of you who didn’t read it, I believe there are two types of homosexuals, bisexuals, lesbians etc. The first are the homosexuals that are decidedly homosexual, or, those that have forsaken God and decided to live a life outside of God’s boundaries. These people are not saved, or if they were, have given up on God and turned their back on him. The second groups of people are the one’s that is largely ignored and unfairly given the stereotype of the first group. The second groups are people that are Christians, wanting to glorify God with their actions and with their bodies, but find themselves feeling urges that aren’t of God, but that wedge into their heart. It’s basically a different kind of lust. Nobody wants to have lust, but it creeps into your heart and before you know it, it’s a part of you. These group of people don’t want it in their lives, but stumble and fall just like everyone else. They “Lose [their] way, but they get back up again…it’s never too late, to get back up again. You’re maybe knocked down but not out forever” (TobyMac, Lose Our Way) Sadly though, since they have these feelings, even they don’t want them and fight to defeat them, the world considers them to be like the first group, who are fighting to be free of God.”
Reuben has given us a necessary distinction between the two groups of people. However, the mistake Reuben is making is by self identifying as a homosexual. There is no difference between Reuben and any other Christian who has been saved from sin. We all have our besetting sins. However, the Scriptures teach that in Christ we are a new Creation. Scripture teaches that the old has past and the new has come. Because Scripture teaches this it is wrong for any of us to self identify with our previous sins to the point that we refer to ourselves as “Homosexual Christians,” or “Stealing Christians,” or “Angry Christians.” Now it may be the case that we sometimes are those things as we struggle against those besetting sins but to self identify with the sins that we have been set free from is not a wise course of action. We may want to be honest with people about our besetting sins and regarding our struggles but we should not self identify, to ourselves or to others that upon being united to Christ we are what we once were in Adam.
So, I agree with Reuben’s distinction between the two groups that exist. (Though because I believe in the preserving power of God to Keep His people I don’t believe it is possible to lose one’s salvation.) However, I do not agree that God’s people should self identify with their sins.
These are two types of homosexuals. But Does God love them? There have been numerous answers to that questions, with different degrees of opinions. I’m going to use scripture to back up what I say, and I will list the verse before and the verse after so that I will not take the verse out of context, that way, there can be no argument about context. John 3:15-17 starts at the top of the list by saying “that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.16″For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[b] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Now, God didn’t love the birds or trees of the world so much that he sent his son, but he loved us, the people, his creation, so much that he gave his only begotten son. God loved the WHOLE world, not the whole world minus homosexuals.
Reuben makes the mistake with John 3:16 to make it read that God loves each and every individual that has ever lived. This is simply not true. The word “world” in John 3:16 is used in order to reveal that God’s program of redemption was not merely for the Jewish tribe. We know this because John’s Gospel is perhaps the most Calvinistic of all the Gospels. In John’s Gospel we chapters 6, 10, and 17 we find Jesus repeatedly making distinctions between people he came to save and people He didn’t come to save.
6:39″And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Here John, quoting Jesus, clearly makes a distinction between people whom the Father has given to Jesus and people whom the Father has not given to Jesus. Why didn’t the Father give everyone to Jesus? The answer is because the Father does not love everyone.
10:26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[d]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.”
Here the inspired Apostle clearly records Jesus saying that there is a distinction between those who hear His voice and those who don’t and goes on to say that the reason that they do not believe is because those who do not believe are not His sheep.
Why are they not His sheep we might ask? The answer is clearly because the Father does not love them.
Note also here the verse that teaches that those who belong to Jesus can’t not fall away.
17:9I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.
Jesus here prays for His people and decidedly not for those who are not His people. Jesus makes a distinction between those who are His and those who are not His.
Why are some His and some not His? The answer is that the Father does not love all people.
These are only 3 instances from John that overturns Reuben’s reasoning. God does not love everybody. Jesus did not come to die for everybody.
This is because there are a few that are like Esau whom God hates (See Romans 9). These were hated before they were born or did anything good or bad.
Now, one more word on this section. Clearly there are people who have been involved in the sin of homosexuality that God loves. We know this because Christ has saves and continues to save people out of the bondage of that particular sin. But no sinner, regardless of their sin of choice, has any reason to think that God loves them absent of their looking to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. All those who are outside of Christ need to be told that God hates their sin.
This is what we find the inspired Apostle saying in Ephesians 2 when speaking to Christians.
“1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”
Note that the truth about all of us prior to being in Christ is that we are by nature children of wrath. God hates workers of iniquity.
However, as the Apostle goes on to say, God reveals His love by raising us in Christ.
“4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Concluding this subsection what might we say then?
We would say that God’s disposition towards sinners is one of wrath. God, through His Holy Ministers communicates to sinners that God is opposed to sinners every day. The beginning of the Gospel is that God does not tolerate rebellion and rebellion is what all those outside of Christ are in. The word goes out to lost men and women regarding this reality and the prayer is that Rebel sinners will see their peril and cry out, “What must we do to be saved.”
The answer to that question that is given is that they who are labor and are heavy laden with sin may come unto Jesus to find rest for their souls and in order to escape God’s just wrath against them. God provides the solution to His just wrath by commanding all men everywhere to repent.
John 15:12 says that “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” God was speaking to everyone, not those he loves. Now, the part where people get sidetracked is this part, and I think this is… crucial. God loves all of us (John 3:16) but only the believers are his chosen people, or those that will go to be with Jesus when they die. Ok, so you may be wondering, What about 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 where it says that “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” I believe the Bible to be true when it says this. Homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. But before you say “Aha! I told you so” let me finish. 1 Corinthians goes on to say in verse 11 that “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” We have all been sanctified through Christ, no matter our sin, and that includes homosexuals. And I am grateful to God that he provides sanctification for homosexuals, because otherwise, millions of others just like me who are fighting temptation would be lost. Where Jesus draws the line is when he sees his child, not his child’s sin. There is an expression called “Love the sinner, hate the sin” and I think this is important. When Jesus died on the cross, he died so that we might be washed white as snow. During His ministry, Jesus associated with Sinners, Tax collectors and prostitutes. People that he was quite fond of were prostitutes (Mary Magdalene) and he loved them very much. Jesus loved these people. Now that isn’t to say that Jesus didn’t love their sin. He didn’t. But God came to save the sinners from their sin, not those already saved (Luke 5:32 “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”)
First, Reuben is wrong about John 15:12. In this passage Jesus is not speaking to everyone but is speaking to the Church. Christians are to love one another.
Now, I think all of our actions towards people should be born out of love but you have to go elsewhere than John 15:12 to find that.
We’ve already dealt with John 3:16. God does not love all men.
Second, we have not all been sanctified through Jesus Christ. When Paul writes what He writes in I Cor. 6 he is writing to the believing community. The unbelieving have not been washed and sanctified and they remain, by nature, children of God’s wrath.
We should associate with sinners has what Reuben has written implies but out of love for them we must keep putting before them the reality that the Sovereign of all the Universe is their Judge and unless they close with Christ all they can know of this sovereign of the Universe is His dread anger.
“If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed.” (I Cor. 16:22)
This is what we must tell those who are outside of Christ. We must plead with them to repent. We must insist that God will allow them to make peace with Him if they repent. We must weep over them and weep for them before God’s throne. But we must not fail of commanding them to Repent and reminding them that until they Repent and trust Christ and hate their sins, God is their just Judge and because of His Holiness He anger is upon them every day and that they are building up judgment for themselves for the great day of judgment.
God hates both sinners and sin.
“Now we know that there are two types of homosexuals and that Jesus really does love homosexuals, but hates the sin they commit, it is also important to ask, how should we respond to homosexuality as Christians? I realize some of you may consider me biased on this next section because of my struggle that I am overcoming with God’s help, but I believe that I can relate from my own thoughts how I think homosexuals should be treated, and how scripture tells us to treat them.
First and foremost, I disapprove of bullying of any kind. There is nothing biblically moral about bullying. This not only pertains to homosexuals, but also everyone else that is being bullied today. Now, some people have been reluctant to denounce suicides because of bullying because they think that they will become affiliated with homosexuals. This is wrong. If we believe in your heart that bullying of any kind is wrong, then why can’t we all stand up for what we believe, regardless of who is being bullied? So, (and I know you English Buffs are screaming at me not to start my sentence with so) if bullying is the Christian way to treat homosexuals, then what is? Well, let’s look at the Bible. When you have any questions, always look to God and the Bible first and foremost. Psalm 145:7-9 says that “7 they will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love. 9 The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” The bible says that the Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. While in this context, David is not referring directly to homosexuals, he is describing the character of God. We are told that “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21) To walk in Christ, and follow in his example of love is something that we should pass on to everyone, including homosexuals.
Here we must speak about love.
Love for the homosexual can not be reduce to loving them in the way they want to be loved. For the Christian love for the homosexual (or any sinner) is tell them they must repent. Love for any sinner is to tell them that God hates workers of iniquity. Now, we may not be that explicit in the way we say it but we must tell people, as God opens the door, that they are in eternal peril and they must turn from their wicked ways. To show love to sinners we must proclaim that “Now is the appointed time for salvation.”
And in order to do that sinners are not going to be pleased because we will be coming across, to them, as being self righteous prigs. But of course we shouldn’t be surprised at this for Scripture teaches that we are the smell of death to those who are perishing.
Now as to the whole bullying thing.
We can not accept homosexuality in our culture or as a culture for to accept it would be to invite the death of our culture. Neither can we do anything that communicates our approval of the homosexual lifestyle. We must recognize the fact that when a certain behavior is marked out for scorn and ridicule that is one way that a culture’s auto-immune system is fighting that disease that seeks to infect the culture as a whole. This is not to say that we should encourage bullying or mocking or teasing of homosexuals but it is to say that this is one means by which a unsavory element of a healthy culture uses to ward off social disease. The vilification of the behavior works to keep homosexuals in the closet AND to prevent other people from going homosexual for fear being met with scorn.
However there are more subtle ways to ostracize homosexuality then by putting a camera in someone’s dorm room and then streaming their homosexual encounter live over the internet. Also there are more and better ways to discourage homosexuality then by insults that convey brutal behavior towards homosexuals. If Christians would just speak out against it and if they would plead with homosexuals to repent that would be all it would take to vilify the behavior.
However, keep in mind if we even did only that much it would still be considered “bullying.”
We must understand that this anti-bullying campaign is really more about accepting homosexuality in our midst. Anyone who does not accept homosexuality will be accused of bullying.
Can you be homosexual, and a Christian? That is the question of the hour! If you are a person who has accepted Christ and have trusted in His word, and are struggling with overcoming homosexuality, then yes, you can be a Christian I believe. If, you disagree with that, let me put it in another example. Since God all sins are equally punishable by death in God’s eyes, this works perfectly. Can you struggle with pride, or lying, or hypocrisy and still be a Christian? Yes, I believe you can. Anyone who says that you cannot is defying Jesus’ death on the cross. Everyone struggles with areas of sin for their whole life. It is a part of us, it is the reason Jesus sanctified us. We will never be free of our struggle with sin until we get to heaven and Jesus pardons our sins and gives us a white robe of forgiveness (Revelation 21:27 and Revelation 6:11) Therefore, a person’s struggle to overcome homosexuality does not void their relationship and salvation through Christ, the opposite is true. By overcoming what Christ has put on our plate, we are becoming more like Christ. There is a flip side though. If you have embraced homosexuality and are living a lifestyle of homosexuality, then I believe that that you are not a Christian. For example, I do not believe that gay couples are Christians, because they are directly violating what God has explicitly said not to do in the Bible.
Better to ask …
Can you struggle against the sin of homosexuality and be a Christian?
The answer is clearly … YES YES YES.
Anybody who says anything to the contrary is stupid.
The rest of Reuben’s paragraph here I find quite good.
I know this is a widely debated topic, and I can respect those with a different opinion than I. My purpose is not to argue or make snide comments, but to show biblically, the views on homosexuality. I know that I am going to …get a lot of criticism on this article, and in my life now, as I am a person who is in the process of overcoming homosexuality, but I feel that someone has to stand up for the truth, even if it means being rejected by the world and those I hold dear. Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and if I’m not proud of my Jesus to stand up for what’s right, and to defend the Word of Truth, then I would be ashamed to call myself a Christian. When I meet Christ in heaven, I want to say that I have “have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 2:7) My troubles in this world are but a moment and I, with the help of Jesus Christ and my fellow Christians, will seek to “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)
I will leave with this. Britt Nicole’s song “Walk on the Water” has some touching lyrics that applies to all of us. It goes like this: “What are you waiting for? What do you have to lose” Your insecurity, they try to hold to you. But you know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to lose.”
Reuben, if you ever get bullied in your fight to overcome homosexuality you call me. I’ll stand with you and I’m the kind of guy you want on your side.
However, if you give up on putting off the old man and putting on the new I’ll be your worst enemy and best friend out of love for you, for you have been United to Christ in His death and resurrection therefore you, like all of us, must walk in newness of life.
There are some areas in your theology that must be thought through more carefully Reuben and I pray that God will put someone in your life to help you think more carefully about these matters.