Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Sodomite Christians - Oxymoron?

Tim Challies has a recent blog item (link to item) in which he discusses Christians who struggle with the sin of desiring to engage in fornication with members of the same sex.

He writes (among other things):
Hill is a Christian and he is gay. Now I know many will get no further than this phrase: gay Christian. Hill uses that phrase as a kind of shorthand to express that he is a Christian—an evangelical who holds to the tenets of the Chrisitan faith, but he is also a man who is homosexual in what seems to be his natural orientation or inclination. He has always been attracted to men and only men. He has remained celibate through all his life, convicted and enabled by the Holy Spirit not to act out his sexuality. But hope and pray as he might, he cannot change his inability to be attracted to women.
First, I want to point out that there is really no need for men to be attracted to women. A complete absence of sexual attraction is a great gift from God, something that can permit a Christian to spend more time serving God.

Second, being attracted to "women," isn't particularly sanctified. In a perfect marriage, a man is attracted to a single a woman, his wife. Perfect marriages may or may not exist, but being attracted to women other than one's wife is not a good thing. Being attracted to a plurality of women is not in itself a good thing.

Third, while sodomy is a serious sin, so are all kinds of fornication. I'm not sure how much of the subjective experience of struggling against sin can be compared between people, but a man who struggles with opposite sex fornication may be experiencing a very similar struggle to a man who struggles with same sex fornication. I think this is important for people to realize - particularly because it seems that some contemporary folks treat the sin of sodomy as abomination but wink at the sins of pre-marital sex, adultery, or lust. Sodomy may be worse, but there's nothing at all good about adultery or any other kind of fornication. Those who struggle with sexual sins need our encouragement to put that sin to death.

Fourth, I don't see any wisdom in using the label "gay Christian" (unless you mean happy) or "Sodomite Christian," unless you are trying to make an oxymoron. Christians are supposed to be holy people. We all struggle with various sins, but we don't go around calling ourselves "Murderous Christians," or "Thieving Christians," and so also it is not wise to call oneself by any label that involves sin. I understand that sexual sins are particularly strong, but sin is a shameful thing. Encouraging people to combine "Christian" with some designation for any sin is not a good idea, as far as I can see.

Anyhow, those are my comments. Feel free to disagree, as I am sure many will.

-TurretinFan

20 comments:

Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"We all struggle with various sins, but we don't go around calling ourselves "Murderous Christians," or "Thieving Christians," and so also it is not wise to call oneself by any label that involves sin. I understand that sexual sins are particularly strong, but sin is a shameful thing. Encouraging people to combine "Christian" with some designation for any sin is not a good idea, as far as I can see."

I agree.

But with regards to that excerpt from Challies, I do give credit that that fellow did not engage in same-sex behavior.

natamllc said...

Talking about oxymorons, how about this one?

Now I know many will get no further than this phrase: gay Christian. Hill uses that phrase as a kind of shorthand to express that he is a Christian—an evangelical who holds to the tenets of the Chrisitan faith, but he is also a man who is homosexual in what seems to be his natural orientation or inclination. He has always been attracted to men and only men.

Ok, what does that give up?

"Truth", that's all.

There are no "natural orientations" but those God created when He created our kind "male and female". There were perfectly natural orientations then. Since then, the death of Adam's race, all bets are off.

Now we have this seeming oxymoron:

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.
Rom 7:15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
Rom 7:16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.
Rom 7:17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.


Well, "good", I say to those who finally come to their senses and understand what Paul was teaching us through the hand of Tertius. He taught that no one has the ability to carry out any good righteousness, no, not one, just as God said and he emphasized here:

Rom 3:9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin,
Rom 3:10 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
Rom 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
Rom 3:12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
Rom 3:13 "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
Rom 3:14 "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
Rom 3:15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Rom 3:16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
Rom 3:17 and the way of peace they have not known."
Rom 3:18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."


Well, "good" again. Only the Elect need the Elected Savior! The Elect Angels marvel at this "Truth" :)

For me the question is the one that produces one who asks:

Act 2:37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

Sin is sin and we should not give any more weight to the consequences of any particular sin.

Salvation is salvation for sinners, period.

God sends a convicting Word to a sinner.

When that happens one should expect the sinner to ask the same!

And as an aside, what business is it of ours to bring a person to ask the question in the first place?

No one takes this honor to them self. God Himself raises up and sends forth His Preachers!!

For each of us, God's Elected and Adopted child, at a minimum, this is where we ought to be alive, rejoicing in the Glory of the Lord for His mercies, grace and Peace, now that repentance and the forgiveness for our sins comes upon us daily by imputation not infusion:

Rom 14:4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

...

Rom 14:7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.
Rom 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.
Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

qm said...

Living with a desire to cut up babies and eat them, but not acting out them is also a sin. Also, I'm going to assume that when he says that he did not engage in sexual activity with another man, he didn't do it in his mind given Jesus' teaching on the fact that if you do it in your mind, you already committed the sin. In other words, the ACT isn't the only thing that's sinful; it's also the thoughts. This dude needs to repent immediately.

Yahya Snow said...

Dear TF

I do wish you would include a search engine on your blog. I recall you posting on Catholic worship of Mary a few months back...I'm having a job in finding it :(

Just a suggestion

Peace

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Rachel writes:

I wish that the Christian community would take such a serious stand against other sins, like gossip.

Or divorce, which seems strangely absent from our political "culture wars." Good marriages present a vivid example of the Gospel for onlookers, Christian or otherwise. A commitment to evangelism would suggest we take more time to focus on divorce than we currently do.

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Snow:

It's next to the "B" in the top left corner of the main page of the blog - at the very top of the screen.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Rachel:

Agreed. Gossip is a dangerous sin, and it's especially dangerous for women in this age of easy private and semi-private communications.

-TurretinFan

mennoknight said...

I'm unclear as to how someone who is continually tempted sexually by men (without enacting or entertaining that temptation) is "gay" in any way.

Isn't that somewhat like saying that I'm a real violent man...well, I'm TEMPTED to punch people in the lips from time to time...which I've never ACTUALLY done...and likely will never ACTUALLY do...?!?

If I'm tempted to be violent but I respond biblically to that temptation and walk in obedience to the Lord, how am I accurate in describing myself as a violent man?

I'd guess that there's more to Challies' quote than I suspect. I wonder if the person uses the line "I'm a gay Christian" to make excuses for being inappropriately feminine or something else?

gayandevangelical said...

I understand the hesitancy of many to allow for a designation such as "gay Christian." However, I think Wes makes it clear why he uses that terminology. Please read his book. It's not a terribly long book and it's an interesting read.

Wrestling with a desire to do something is not called 'sinning'; if that were so, then Christ could not have been tempted and been simultaneously without sin.

Additionally, there are LYING Christians. The difference is that their sin is covered by the righteousness of Christ and their old nature is still rearing its ugly head every day. Never mind that that's the boat we're all in to some degree or another.

Turretinfan said...

Christ didn't wrestle with lust, because Christ didn't have a sinful nature.

zog said...

TF,

I have never pondered the wrestling/tempted difference.

But in the garden Christ "wrestled" with the upcoming cross and asked that the cup be removed.

I know Christ didn't sin but could you explain the difference for me.

Thanks,

Bill

natamllc said...

To anyone struggling with their own fleshly desires, whatever they are, [they are] and this response by TF is a winning home run ball struck clear out of the ballpark when all the bases are loaded; and we would all do well to ponder deeply the meaning:

"TF:

Christ didn't wrestle with lust, because Christ didn't have a sinful nature.
"

Christ came into His flesh through a virgin woman with a sinful nature. Yet, being the Son of God He came into this world through His own creation, that flesh nature of Adam; but His was not sinful flesh. His Divine Nature rules all creation, even His Adamic nature. He is clearly the Eternal Son of God and created a body to use as the Son of Adam's race, simultaneously sinless in His Eternal Divine and human Nature!

This distinction can only come into our understanding "after" the Sinless Law of Righteousness "comes" alive within us so that we can see and understand the distinction being made between the Sinless Nature of Christ and ourselves, sinful members of Adam's fallen nature. You must be born again to understand the things of the Divine Nature.

Adam, it says of him, was the second to the firstborn of all creation:

Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.


Satan missed that fact because his focus was blinded by the nature of his own willful corrupt fallen angelic being. After he conquered Adam and gained, by deceit, authority over Adam and Eve, he was permitted to usurp God's authority over everyone born from Eve. His own experiences with mankind from that moment onward began to deceive him so much so he, by his own self-deceit, inspired godless man to kill Christ. "Oooops!" He fell into his own deceitful trap and missed the fact that Christ came into human flesh as his Creator, who, by Him, came into his own personal existence before he fell from Grace himself, the disgraced fallen Lucifer, son of the morning worship, now known as the Devil and the deceiver and accuser of all of God's Elect angels and man. Had he realized the trajectory he was on, he never would have allowed Jesus Christ to be crucified!

Satan took the bait he himself created by deceit and being blinded he destroyed his opportunity to continue on exercising his own rebellious authority over the created heavens and earth. Now things suddenly changed and the Saints began to turn against him in the Spirit of Christ! The time of the Apostles came to pass! In that fact, the Elect, Adopted and Chosen Children of God, who are born first of flesh and blood are reborn and continue to be conjoined to Christ through the preached Word. We can rejoice in Eternal Redemption gaining the Eternal Inheritnance exercising ordained authority over the god of this world by the Eternal Purpose!!

Now Satan is reduced to slavery. He must obey God. Part of the mystery is the fact that God uses Satan to develop our character while saving us and bringing us out of this world of corruption by conforming us to Christ by the abundance of Grace and the gift of Righteousness through the gift of Faith in obedience to the Promises of God!

Satan and his fallen followers have belief and tremble!

Christ's Body, in every generation, when restored to the Faith in His Divine Nature have belief and tremble and rejoice daily in repentance from dead works exercising faith in God who gives to us all the forgiveness for our sins!

The only reason one wants the designation gay Christian is simply because they don't want the "TRUTH" to set them free from their Adamic nature and truly enter into that liberty Christ gives all who call upon His Name.

donsands said...

I have conversed with a blogging friend who ia attracted to men, and yet loves our Lord. He loves the Word of God as well.

He refers to himself as SSA(same sex attraction) Christian.

I also have a good friend who was a homosexual, but sreves the Lord now. He is still single. I have had some good conversations with him as well.

I'm very interested in this sin, because I have a brother who died from AIDS.

This post was excellent. Well done; and even spot on.
Thanks for sharing.

Turretinfan said...

Zog,

I think the distinction is between fearing pain and suffering (the agony Christ experienced) and dealing with indwelling sin (something that Christ did not experience). Does that make sense?

- TurretinFan

zog said...

Yes it does, thanks for clarifying for me.

natamllc said...

For me, another agony Christ "experienced" in the Garden as He looked ahead to the time of His crucifixion, being The Prophet, being The Alpha and Omega, was the once for all time suffering reality He was soon to suffer.

What suffering might the sufferings be that the Great and Glorious I Am would be suffering on our behalf?

Well, sin is "separation" from God.

Salvation is "separation" from this world, our flesh and the devils by Christ's authority. We have been given His Name!

Christ, 2 Corinthians teaches, was "made"/ποιέω
poieō to be "sin"/ἁμαρτία
hamartia. On the other hand, by the mercies of God, "in Him" we are "made"/γίνομαι ginomai to be the Righteousness of God. It is in Him and His Name alone that we have a right standing to boldly come before the Throne of God to obtain His mercies, now in this life; and in the "Life" to come. This is the Eternal Inheritance.

2Co 5:21 For our sake he made/ποιέω poieō him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become/γίνομαι ginomai the righteousness of God.

Christ is Eternal. God Our Heavenly Father is Eternal. The Holy Spirit is Eternal.

Now, not one time during this created world, these present heavens and earth was Christ ever "separated" from either Our Heavenly Father or the Holy Spirit, except during that time when He hung on the Cross "alone" and God the Father in full agreement with God the Holy Spirit put upon Him, Jesus Christ, the complete and utter chastisement of those He was sent to save, excising them out of this world by His blood sacrifice. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities and the chastisement of us all was put upon Him for our Peace and by His stripes we are healed! YEAH!

That agony, I submit, was an agony He had to suffer on our behalf. He had to experience the full justice of our crimes and sins that we have done or ever will do in this lifetime. The full curse for our violations of His Righteous Law was put on Him!

That, in my estimation was what produced this effect, the sweating of great drops of blood affecting His troubled Soul and Body and Flesh:

Luk 22:43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.
Luk 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.


I do not believe, as some, that Jesus ever sinned or became sin. I believe He remained sinless and pure and holy the whole time of this experience of great sorrow, suffering and agony in the Garden and on the Cross of Our Redemption. What I believe is the full wrath of God and the curse fell upon His Soul and Spiritual Being as He hung there "separated" from God, consciously experiencing what every sinner experiences who God turns away from when they die in their sins. The fullness of the Wrath of God He endured for our sake! The Eternal Son of God, once He suffered, He rose up and began the final warfare against His Father's enemies and against the Holy Spirit's enemies and against Himself and His Bride's enemies.

Joh 12:28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
Joh 12:29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Joh 12:30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine.
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
Joh 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."
Joh 12:33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

trey said...

well it seems like the phrase Gay-Christian could be kind of like a "Reformed Baptist"

Turretinfan said...

I'm sure R. Scott Clark would agree with you, Trey.

Trisha said...

Thank you! Well said, TF!