Archives For Homosexuality

My friend Jim Decke and I recently did a sermon at Crossroads about homosexuality.  Jim shared his testimony of discovering he was gay at a very young age and the ups and downs of trying to get rid of this orientation.  Jim eventually gave up and just did as his sexual desires pleased, until eventually deciding to follow God in a path of singleness and celibacy.  Jim has a powerful and remarkable quote at the beginning of our talk:

Much of my time in this sermon is spent showing that the Bible indeed does say homosexual sex is a sin, regardless of the context it is in.  There are several ways to view the Bible, which I spell out in my part of the sermon but also have blogged about previously here.  I also make sure to point out the Bible never says that homosexual orientation or same sex attraction is a sin, only the behavior, something I’ve also blogged about previously.

If you want an easy to understand explanation of what the Bible says about homosexuality in its original languages (Greek and Hebrew), as well as its original context, I highly recommend What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality by Kevin DeYoung, which is the source I used for almost all of the biblical content of my portion of the sermon.  Pastor Kevin has also recently posted a very helpful blog about the debate (in response to Jen Hatmaker and Nicholas Wolterstorff recently saying homosexual sex within marriage is okay biblically), which you can read here.

I say this at the beginning of the sermon, but the point here is not to debate a point or to try to harp on homosexuals, it is that this has become a major biblical issue in today’s society and it’s important we are honest and clear about what the Bible says, and what people are saying the Bible says that it doesn’t actually say.  The Bible is the source of authoritative truth for our faith so it’s not something to be taken lightly.  In the process, we want to help people who struggle with homosexuality and same sex attraction in real, authentic, loving and compassion ways.

Please email Jim Decke if you struggle with homosexuality and want some support.  Also know he is hosting a support small group for people who are homosexual / have same sex attraction and are interesting in committing to abstaining from homosexual romantic relationships.

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Audio Only (Podcast):

Simply saying that being transgender or transitioning genders is wrong is a 2 cent answer to a million (billion) dollar question.

Like many issues, a person who has no personal experience with the struggle should not go around making cavalier, black and white statements about those who do.  This doesn’t mean the Bible doesn’t apply, but it’s hypocritical and judgmental to conclude that your experience with a specific struggle is the same as someone else’s and thus, their response to it should come as simply and easily as yours does.

It is incorrect and unhelpful to assume that a transgender person has chosen to feel the way they do about their gender identity or that they can simply choose to identify in line with their biological body parts.

I was recently talking to a Christian parent whose child transitioned genders.  Their child was developing bad body odor and they couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t take showers.  Their child explained to them that they were so disturbed with seeing their own genitalia, feeling so much that it didn’t belong there, that they would rather smell bad than have to see this and be reminded of it.

If you are a man, imagine you step in the shower tomorrow morning and see you have breasts and a vagina.

If you are a woman, imagine stepping in the shower tomorrow morning and seeing you have a penis.

(And then being mocked, bullied and shamed for it)

That’s a small taste of how it feels to be transgender.  Continue Reading…

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase grace filled sexuality?  I know I have Jesus’s grace, so if I live sexually in a way that is different than God’s design/commands, I’m okay and I’ll be forgiven.

The Christian whose sexual desires differ from God’s design for sex often find themselves in quite a quandary.  God says sex is meant for a lifetime covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20).  He goes on to say that fantasizing about sex outside of his design for marriage is as much a sin as the act itself (Matthew 5:27-28).  This is an extremely high standard to live up to, contrasting pretty much the entire gamut of sexual desire.  Whether we’re talking about those who look at pornography, are having premarital sex, are cheating on their spouse, are in homosexual relationships (including transgender transitions), are divorced and remarried, or those who lust, there are very few who live up to God’s holy standard for sexuality.

But we know that grace is offered to all who will receive it.

So then, how will we live?

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 4.33.10 PMThere’s a lot of valid talk nowadays about nature vs. nurture and about how a person is wired sexually.  Many have wrestled with the question, “Why did God make me this way?”  I’m heterosexual and married and I often ask God the same question!  While I don’t like to admit it, I am definitely wired to be attracted to multiple women.  It is the way I am wired.  I’ve battled it for many years, cried out to God for healing in it, and nothing has taken it away.  I promise I am not speaking facetiously here.  There’s nothing worse than wanting to be faithful to the wife you love and being constantly drawn like a magnet toward other women.  Random women.  Women you know.  Women you’ve never met.  It’s never ending and at times, is downright torture. Continue Reading…

orlando

Police investigate the back of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on Sunday, June 12. At least 49 people were killed there by Omar Mateen, who was shot and killed by Orlando police. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Photo credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP

49 people were gunned down and killed in an Orlando gay bar early Sunday morning, with another 53 wounded.  You can read more about the gut-wrenching story here (CNN).  The Orlando Sentinel is compiling a page where you can read a short tribute about each of the victims.

There are lots of heavy elements to this story:  the shooter’s ISIS allegiance, a hate crime against the LGBT community, guns, an act of domestic terrorism, the pain the LGBT community is feeling, the pain the Latino community is feeling, and even the confusion some Evangelical Christians might feel about their (our) view that acts of homosexuality are sinful.

Well one of those heavy elements can be cleared up here and now:  there need be no confusion whatsoever about how Evangelical Christians are to react to the Orlando massacre.  Our reaction is to be an outpouring of love, mourning, prayer and solidarity.  Period.  Can we get over the fact that people are sinful and remember that people are people?  Every person on the planet is sinful, yours truly leading the charge.  The people in that nightclub were no more or less sinful than me or you.  While most don’t want to hear it, the same goes for the shooter.  Sin is sin and we all desperately need Jesus and thank God our (my) sexual sins don’t define us (me).  Sin doesn’t negate the fact that we are all image bearers of our Creator (Genesis 1:27).  We are all people who hold incredible dignity and value.  Every person in that nightclub who was gunned down was an image bearer of God and God mourns with those who mourn.  We are to do the same, Romans 12:14-18 makes this clear as day:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

My emotions went from gut-wrenched to infuriated when I saw what was trending on Facebook Sunday afternoon: Westboro Baptist Church says “God Sent the Shooter,” celebrates the Orlando shooting.

For those unfamiliar with Westboro Baptist, they are a “church” made up of a handful of people in Topeka, Kansas, almost all of whom are related to one another.  They are most known for picketing at funerals and their “God Hates Fags” signs that they hold up seemingly everywhere.  If you follow their activities, their message is pretty much that “God Hates Everyone and Everything.”  Somehow this small family of rag tag hateful lunatics get more press coverage than the New York Yankees, and often as representatives of Christianity!  I really don’t want to write much more about them.

The only group of people it is difficult for me to apply Romans 12:14-18 to is Westboro and their ilk.  Not the LGBT community; not ISIS; Westboro.  They take my Jesus and prostitute him for their gain.  They lie about my Jesus.  They paint my Jesus as a fraud, and people then associate my Jesus with the fraud they’ve painted.

Pray for my heart that I will love Westboro and not repay their evil with evil of my own.

Let’s all come together and bless and not curse, mourn with those who mourn, live in harmony with one another, not be proud or conceited, not repay anyone evil for evil and as far as it depends on us, live at peace with everyone.

I don’t think I could have said it better myself.

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Trending on Facebook this week is the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend hashtag, a campaign lobbying to give Disney’s Frozen star a female love interest in the upcoming sequel.  Idina Menzel, the actress who plays Elsa’s voice, made headlines when asked in an Entertainment Weekly interview about the campaign,

“I think it’s great,” she told ET on Sunday of the online campaign. “Disney’s just gotta contend with that. I’ll let them figure that out.”

While the quote was taken a little out of context (click to view the actual video below, you’ll be directed to Entertainment Tonight’s website), it was an answer expected of any Hollywood star with a live camera shoved in front of their face, and it certainly gave #GiveElsaAGirlfriend all the fuel needed to push their campaign more and more into the public spotlight.

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I have 2-year-old and 4-year-old daughters, both who love the Frozen movie (and yes, I have every word of every song memorized).  Almost every young girl in America loves the Frozen movie, and almost every girl’s favorite character is Elsa.

Here’s what I find so interesting about Elsa and the new #GiveElsaAGirlfriend campaign.  Elsa is single; she has no love interest in Frozen, yet she is still beloved by little girls everywhere.  A lack of a love interest didn’t slow Elsa down, nor did it slow down Frozen‘s huge box office rake.  The campaign to give Elsa a love interest at all speaks so loudly most don’t hear it because we’re already deaf.

What is so wrong with being single?

Or celibate? 

If someone isn’t interested in the opposite sex, why must it be campaigned by their friends and their society that they must find a same sex love interest in order to be whole and happy? Continue Reading…