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Archive for the ‘Homosexuality’ Category

From my sermon on Responding to Gay Marriage:

Here’s the gospel message, as the church has understood it for thousands of years. There is one, true God, who is a perfect, intelligent being, good, wise, just, holy, loving, etc. He created man to bear his image and hold dominion over all the earth for the glory of God and for the good of the world. But man fell and in so doing corrupted the earth as he himself is corrupted. We are now born with fallen desires. But God, rather than casting off mankind, sent his only Son to live the life we could not live and pay the penalty we could not pay by dying on the cross and rising again. He now invites us to receive eternal life, God’s life in us, by turning from our sin and self (self-rule) and trusting in Christ for the cleansing of our sins. If we will do that we shall be declared righteous and thus be saved. Now, if the gospel message includes that response, that to be saved from your sins, you must repent or turn from your sin and self and trust in Christ to be your Savior – If the right response is like the apostles preached in Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,” [note that without turning from sin there is no forgiveness; it’s repent and be forgiven; Peter never says, “Just believe these things and God will forgive you.] And if repentance means what Paul preached in Acts 26:20, that we should “repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.” If repentance means what John the Baptist said was true, “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance.” [Luke 3:8] If Jesus was serious with this statement: And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. [Luke 9:23] If such a denial looks like what Paul said in Php 3:7-9 “7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.” If following Jesus means I have to give up my sin and my life and whatever I might treasure more than Christ, which might mean my desire to have sex with whomever I want to, then to affirm gay marriage is to put the gospel message at risk.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “When Christ bids a man come, he bids him come and die.” That’s what Jesus meant when he said in Luke 14:33, “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” The call to follow Jesus is the call to take the former self (with all his sinful desires and actions and the practice of being our own boss) and put him to death so that a new person can live. Yet that call to give up all is sweetened by this promise from Jesus who said in no uncertain terms in Mark 10 that whatever we give up to follow Jesus he will replace with something better 100 times over.

Let me be very direct with you about this. One problem we have in the modern church is that when we preach to gay people that they must be willing to give up their desire to practice homosexuality, that’s it going to cost them their orientation, they don’t in turn look at us and see us giving up near what they have to give up in order to follow Jesus. Don’t be surprised to hear them say: “I have to give up my identity or my orientation to follow Jesus. Do you see what that costs me? What has it cost you to follow Jesus?” And, listen, do you have an answer? What would you say? Can you point to something in your life and say, “This is the price I pay to follow Jesus.” If you can, you might need to do something costly for Jesus in order to prove not only to others that you are a follower of Christ but to prove it to yourself.

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From my sermon yesterday:

But I would have you look at 1 Cor 6:9-11 once more. 1 Cor 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Look at that list. Look at those words – “shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” I can’t imagine harder words than those. But do you know what Paul wrote next: 11 And such were some of you. 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. “And such were some of you.” I can’t imagine sweeter words than those. Look, I’m sure all of us here have committed sins on that list at one time or another. I’ve been an idolater. I’ve been greedy. I’ve lusted in my heart. But the gospel tells me that was what I was, not what I am now. Once those sins were my identity. Not now. Once those sins were my life. Not now. It’s not that I don’t ever do those things but they aren’t who I am.

And who am I? I am a washed, sanctified, justified sinner and that’s a world of difference than just being a sinner. I’m in Christ and God does not recognize me as those things I formerly were, he recognizes me by his own son. Why? Because Jesus’ blood covers my sin and his righteousness covers my sin. I can imagine that some of you have sins in your past, perhaps sexual sins, and you still feel so dirty and guilty, but you are trusting in Christ … these are God’s Word’s to you: “And such WERE some of you” … not are. Live in the freedom that Jesus has won for you. You have been washed and you are clean. Live like it.

Friends, this is the gospel of Jesus Christ and it is a trustworthy saying, that Jesus came into this world to save sinners of whom we are the foremost. There is not one person here who is not a sinner, of whom it cannot be said that the wages for their sin is eternal death, God’s judgment. But the gift of God is eternal life for all who will repent and believe. So, the call to turn from your sin, whether gay or straight, is not hate or hate speech but love … love compels you to turn from your sin (whatever sin that is) and come to Christ, just as love would compel someone not to make a decision that would ruin their financial future or to step away from a dangerous pit or to marry someone that will destroy their lives. If you ARE one of those persons, lost in your sin, living in your sin, not trusting in Christ, holding on to your sin and not onto Jesus, then why not be moved from ARE to WERE. Why not be washed today? Why not ask Jesus to cleanse you by his precious blood?

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Here we go. When the ruling of the Supreme Court on DOMA came out earlier this year, I thought this would eventually happen. Didn’t take long, even if this particular case preceded DOMA or had nothing specifically to do with it. The point is the culture of tolerance that tells us to compromise but will not compromise on its core values. The irrationality of all of this is astounding. And I believe that eventually all churches will be required to extend rights to gays as well. You may say, “It’ll never happen.” Yep, and that’s what we said about gay marriage years ago. 

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You all have probably heard by now that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of homosexual marriage – Big shocker there! Note the sarcasm please. Here’s the first article written by Al Mohler.

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Here’s a few helpful reminders from Mark Dever about how Christians can survive the current cultural slide we find ourselves in.

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Sometimes if you want to see the culture’s values, just look at the church (I use that last word loosely). This is quite possibly the worst case of interpretational gymnastics that I have ever seen. It’s one of those things where I just don’t know where to begin: conforming to culture, hypertolerance, academic dishonesty, logical inconsistency (I mean, if you can make the text say what she made it say, then how would she have any basis of disputing any interpretation I had. If there is no fixed meaning in the text, no authorial intent, you can make it say anything you want. And then, you can’t possibly disagree with my disagreement of your interpretation. Plus, from a purely philosophical standpoint, she claims that the embracing of differences is salvation and that different does not mean wrong. What if different means intolerance? What if my disagreement with her is a difference? What if being different means rejecting homosexuality as a morally acceptable lifestyle? Will she and others like her embrace my difference and call it salvation? The intolerance of tolerance is one of the most intellectually dishonest positions one can find and the only way it has received so much acceptation is because it simply allows a person the freedom they desire to do with their lives as they want. That’s the only way you can hold to such a position. Don’t call it virtue. Call it selfish desire.), salvation by works, gospel-less Christianity, etc.

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It seems so, at least in one, major aspect or institution. Read on.

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