Is Homosexuality a Sin and Why Does it Matter? — Part 2

Westboro-Baptist-Church

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*There’s a lot to say on this whole subject, and it will take many posts. Whatever question you have, we’ll probably get to and if not, feel free to email me at FreedHearts@gmail.com.

Our family friend Nathanael (name used with permission) messaged me yesterday this summation of where we stand right now.

“The anticipation is pretty thick. I don’t know how easy either resolution can be. It seems to me that you have three options but only one can be true… 1. it’s sin, 2. it’s not sin, or 3. become a relativist. The last of these has far greater repercussions than the former two. Wherever you land, I’m sure God will use it for His glory, and I’m sure your love will come through.”

Great summation, Nathanael, and you got the options almost right. Let me just tweak it: 1. It’s a sin, 2. It’s not a sin, 3. It depends on the leading of the Holy Spirit. Now, this is not just wordplay but a serious distinction – and you’re right that option 3 has huge repercussions. Much of the church would also have stated option 3 as relativism, to do what is right in our own eyes. This is certainly scary – scary like someone saying, “To me, God is a tree” – and we like to think we must hold tight to black and white to prevent that kind of relativism, and unless we teach rules first and foremost, we are just asking for sin upon sin. But I’m not talking about doing what’s right in our own eyes (the very definition of sin); I’m talking about following the Holy Spirit. Completely different. For instance:

Worshipping false gods in the Bible is very serious. One of the Big Ten. Naturally, eating meat that has been sacrificed and dedicated in worship to idols is a serious breakage of that rule. Yet, Paul says, “If your conscience is not pricked about eating that meat, don’t worry about it.” What?? This is huge! Sounds like relativism, doesn’t it? But it’s not. It’s the Holy Spirit’s leading. Paul says the Holy Spirit will convict you or not, and he talks about these things in the context of disputable issues. That means that these issues are being disputed – not clearcut right or wrong. The issue of homosexuality is being disputed too – by sincere, God-honoring people on both sides. To people who are sure the Bible condemns homosexuality, to even look at it anew seems heretical. But we are talking about a very few verses in the Bible – 6 or 7 depending on the interpretation — which have a context around them of promiscuity, sex with children, and temple prostitution. Those are different from longterm committed same-sex relationships, which are not really listed as a concept in the Bible. On that distinctive the Bible is, in essence, silent.

Sorry, I didn’t make it up. I’m just telling you about it.

Idol worship is mentioned more than 100 times in the bible, compared to the 6 or 7 that mention any type of homosexuality. That is a radical difference. Radical. Yet, few people today stand around with signs saying, “God hates idol worshippers” and “Idol worshippers are going to hell.” You see what I mean?

This attention to hearing God’s leading instead of seeking clearcut rules is throughout the Bible. (More in another post.) Relativism means, “To me God is a tree.” Or, “To me, it’s okay to have an affair on my wife because I really want to.” The leading of the Holy Spirit means, “In this case, Moses, you should hit the rock to get water from it; in this case it’s a sin to hit the rock because I (God) told you only to speak to the rock.” Same God, same Moses, same action – one’s a sin and one’s not. The bible is all about the leading of the Holy Spirit We can hardly fathom the implications of Paul’s words: To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.” Titus 1:15. He is vehement about rules being the completely wrong way to go about godliness. “Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” Colossians 2:23.

Let’s look again at our three options: 1. It’s a sin. Many gay Christians feel convicted that homosexual behavior is a sin. They’ve read the verses, they’ve prayed, they’ve sought counsel – and they believe that to engage in homosexual activity is wrong. The options they see open to them are celibacy or for God to change their attractions. (Change in attraction is a topic for another post.) For Christians who are convicted that homosexuality is a sin, to them it is a sin. (NOTE: This is individual conviction, not license to “convict” others.) [To try to convince them it is not a sin would be to stumble a brother.]

2. It’s NOT a sin. Many gay Christians believe homosexual behavior is not a sin.  After careful study of relevant verses and prayer, they do not feel convicted about homosexual behavior. For Christians who are convicted that homosexuality is not a sin, to them it is not a sin. (How can we accept the Spirit’s leading on the 100-plus references to idol worship, but not the 6-7 references to homosexuality? In any authentic inquiry, you must go where the evidence leads.) [To tell them it is a sin is to judge another man’s servant.]

3. It depends on the leading of the Holy Spirit. I realize to some Christians this feels like throwing acid in their face. I didn’t make it up; the Bible is replete with this teaching. Also, I don’t apologize, because Jesus’ words felt like acid in the face too. We’ll talk about this more because it’s absolutely huge, but Paul clearly tells us that if our conscience is not pricked, then we are good to do what we believe is right. (Particularly in disputable issues.) “I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.” Romans 14:14.

CLICK HERE FOR PART 3

23 thoughts on “Is Homosexuality a Sin and Why Does it Matter? — Part 2

  1. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you
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  2. Pingback: Is Homosexuality a Sin and Why Does it Matter? – Part 1 | FreedHearts

  3. It’s so good to read another loving space on the web! Im struggling with some of the doctrinal points expressed here though.

    EG the claim that St Paul “is vehement about rules being the completely wrong way to go about godliness”, while citing Colossians 2:23. I see validity in the claim to some extent, but not to the extent proposed. Certainly Paul is seen in this chapter as saying that some rules about the supposed sins that he lists, are “based on merely human commands and teachings” (verse 22) and lack some value (verse 23). But elsewhere, St Paul seems to regard some other rules as being solid. For example, in Colossians 3:9-10, where he writes “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Here he seems to me to be saying that not lying, is just part of being a Christian, ie that it’s a rule. My conclusion then, is that some doctrines are up to an individual’s conscience (eg dietary doctrines – as per Romans 14) and some are hard and fast (eg not lying – as per Collosians 3:9). What do you think? I think this is important, because seeking to primarily follow the Holy Spirit, seems hit and miss. There are spiritual people alive today, who believe that God has told them all sorts of things, and the beliefs of many of these people contradict each other. For example, members of Westboro Baptist Church will apparently tell you that their church is the one authentically Christian church, and meanwhile there are others who say the same about their own church and that God has told them so. Im quite happy to accept that God’s Holy Spirit does guide and teach people, but my pastor told me that in order to avoid being led astray (2 Cor. 11:14, 1 Tim. 4:1), you should only trust a leading if it correlates with what the Bible teaches. IE if you feel the Holy Spirit is telling you to lie, then it’s probably not the Holy Spirit that you are hearing. Does that sound sensible?

    Another element I struggle with, is the advice that Christians should not judge or influence another’s behaviour. EG the bit that states “To tell them it is a sin is to judge another man’s servant” and the bit that states “… and it is His job alone to judge, instruct, and intervene” and the bit that states “Let us not add behavior to the mix when Jesus didn’t tell us to”. It seems to me that Jesus did care about behaviour. EG in John 8, he told the woman caught in adultery to leave her “life of sin”. And it seems to me that Jesus did tell his follows to instruct people. In the great commission of Matthew 19, he is quoted saying “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” And it seems to me that the Bible does call Christians to judge, although the doctrine of judgement is a tricky one, because on the one hand Jesus said “judge not …” (Mat. 7:1), but on the other hand he said to “judge correctly” (John 7:24). Also Christians are not supposed to judge non-Christians. But various Scriptures tell Christians to encourage other Christians to be holy (Gal 6:1-5, James 5:19-20, Titus 1:13) rather than ignoring the sin. Those who cite Matthew 7:1-4 to claim that Christians should not point out the sins of other Christians, tend to ignore verse 5, which encourages us to help other Christians avoid sin. So it seems to me that the Bible portrays our ‘judging’ as being a bad thing if it’s hypocritical or mean-spirited or directed at the sin of non-Christians, but portrays it as a good thing if it’s a well intended, helpful, loving encouragement of a fellow Christian to improve. What do you think?

    • You ask insightful questions in your authentic wrestle with this BIG concept I put out there! Let’s start with a word picture: say you’re a dad and you have rules around the house, such as: don’t leave messes, be kind to each other, come when I call you. Those rules are going to help the house run more smoothly and pleasantly. But rules without relationship will not work. Those rules lived out by kids you love, who love you, facilitate joy and peace but they don’t bring it, right? If the house with alcoholic parents had those rules, even if the kids kept them, there would be no joy and peace. And the house with loving parents without those rules could still have joy and peace, as the loving father would say, “Son, don’t take your sister’s toy – we want to be kind.” It would produce the result of the rule without the rule, so to speak. The rules can give a picture of what we’re going for – Paul uses them this way – but they’re not the point. The loving father’s guidance would have far better result than the alcoholic parent’s rules. See what I mean? The Holy Spirit does guide us, and He knows how to do it. But we don’t really trust Him fully! (Even if it’s our listening we don’t trust, He is still trustworthy to communicate.) We want the rules because they feel secure, but they’re not secure! Listen to any 6-year-old say, “But you said we’d go to the park.” “Yes, but it’s raining.” “But you said we could go!” Also, people break rules all the time. Everyone knows lying is wrong, yet everyone has lied. And we all know affairs are wrong, but affairs continue to happen. The purpose of the rules is to lead us to something greater than rules! (Galatians 3:23-26)

      I agree that we are to influence each other’s behavior, but more as encouragers than policemen. I have grown more as a mom from the two women who mentored me as a mom, just watching them, asking them questions, doing life together, than any list of what a good mom does. The Christian life is meant to be lived out in community. Paul wrote his letters to communities, not individuals. We like to apply them Lone Ranger-style, but they don’t really work that way; they were meant to be a fabric on which we live together, a picture of life as Christians – not like a police state. I’ll write more in an upcoming blog. 🙂

      You’re right that people wrongly claim God’s guidance, like Westboro Baptist Church. But that is where community is vital. (It IS a community.) Yes, but the larger community around it can see they’re whacked. Rules do not prevent this; aren’t they breaking rules, such as loving each other, honoring each other? Rules are a low-level motivator and they don’t work without relationship; Westboro Baptist Church lacks dynamic relationship with Christ or they wouldn’t do what they’re doing.

      We often say the Holy Spirit’s leading will not contradict the bible, as a safeguard. But consider this: the bible is clear about not consorting with harlots, that harlots are a danger and a trap, but God clearly tells Hosea to marry a harlot. The bible specifically instructs the Jews in dietary kosher laws. Yet, God tells Peter to eat non-kosher. (It was so startling to Peter, God had to instruct him, with a vision, three times. Many of us too, who are called out on a limb, ask God to confirm it several times – not from doubt but from wisdom.) God has shown us why He instructed Hosea and Peter thus, but you can bet they stepped out in faith to go against their complete understanding of scripture to follow God’s voice! (I will be writing more about this in upcoming posts: what is sin, and why the Holy Spirit is enough.)

      Jesus cares about behavior, but only as an outcropping of relationship; that is, behavior naturally follows relationship, not the reverse. Notice Jesus has scathing words for those who kept the rules as well as they could be kept (Matthew 23) but didn’t know or trust Him; but He has deep compassion for those who didn’t keep the rules but whose hearts sought Him (Luke 7:36-50). (Jesus tells the “sinful woman” (Luke 7:37), she is forgiven, that her faith has saved her (v. 7:48) with no reference to a change in behavior.) This should be hugely instructive to us!

      The woman caught in adultery is one of my favorite stories, as Jesus reveals His heart for us! He pours compassion out on her, shows her who His is, and LETS HER GO. All this before any mention of leaving her life of sin. I like your version too, because we often hear it as, “go and sin no more,” a poor translation (nobody “goes and sins no more”) because it does NOT include His power as a necessary part of leaving her life of sin. Without His life, she had no power to leave her life of sin! The way He said it includes the idea that only in knowing Him has she any chance at a different lifestyle. I do a whole teaching on this beautiful story — I’ll see if I have a video of it. Thank you for your excellent questions.

      • Thanks for your thoughtful response! I grasp more of your rationale now, and I see wisdom, eg in your parenting illustration, and I think you are spot on correct by writing that Christians “are to influence each other’s behavior, but more as encouragers than policemen.”

        I think there are times when acting as policemen is appropriate, eg following in the footsteps of Jesus throwing the retailers out of the temple (Mat. 21), but I think that policing is the exception and I agree that the church is not supposed to be an uncompassionate police state.

        Im still not entirely comfortable with the interpretation that St Paul is simply “vehement about rules being the completely wrong way to go about godliness”, and that it’s better to just follow to where we feel the Holy Spirit leads us. I do see your point that Jesus is presented (at least at times) as being more enthusiastic about a follower’s faith than about their following of rules (EG your Luke 7 illustration, and in regards to Pharisees), but I suggest that it’s also clear that he still considered rules to be important (Mat. 5). I suggest that Jesus criticism of the rule-following Pharisees was that they took godly principles, put specifics on them and made them legalistic, so that they ended up serving the rules rather than having the rules serve/help the people (Mark 2:27). But it still seems to me that Jesus still proclaimed and affirmed various rules, in the form of principles, which he expected his followers to obey. Would you agree with that?

        Yes we see that Westboro Baptist Church are whacked. But how is it that this is clear to us? I suggest that the reason it is clear to us is because they have broken some Biblical rules/principles (rules of love). The rules are indicative of when we are off track.

        I think you are right that when Peter was told to vary from his Jewish scriptures, that would have been quite challenging for him to know whether it was God speaking to him. But what Jesus said to Peter was simply in line with what Jesus had taught others previously (Mat 15:11), so Peter should have been able to verify the vision against what Jesus had taught in the flesh. Im not aware of reasons to believe that Hosea being told to marry a prostitute was necessarily a contradiction to Jewish doctrines. Certainly Jews were warned that prostitutes were a temptation (Proverbs 23:27-28), and a cause of the squandering of wealth (Proverbs 29:3), but surely that was about the sexual services on sale rather than about the person offering those services? And Hosea effectively married an ex-prostitute, rather than someone who was going to continue to offer those services (Hosea 3).

        We are free to hold our own interpretations of Scripture. But the more I read from you, the less distance I feel between our positions. So having written the above, are we even closer? Do you agree that God does expect Christians to follow the principles outlined in Scripture, and that departures from these, even if attributed to the Holy Spirit, are rather questionable?

        • Hello again! I’m so glad you answered and that you saw more of what I meant. Yes! I think we’re closer than before, and let’s try a couple things on for size to see if this makes even more sense! Re Matthew 5: I’m not sure what you refer to specifically, but I think it speaks even more to what I’m talking about. The religious leaders did their best to keep the rules, and they were pretty darn good at it. OCD, really. But Jesus pulls the rug out from under them. Rather than being tickled pink that they were so attentive to the law, He said, “No, you’ve heard ‘do not murder,’ but I say if you say ‘Raca’ [dumbhead!] to your brother, you’re guilty of murder in your heart. You’ve heard ‘do not commit adultery’ but if you lust after a woman you’ve committed adultery in your heart.” How can that be? Who hasn’t said ‘jerk’ about someone? All you have to do is drive on the freeway and you have ample opportunity! Then you’ve broken the rules. So what is He saying? He’s not saying, “Try harder, you’ve almost got it, I just raised the bar but keep trying!” No! He raises the bar to tell us it’s impossible to keep the rules without Him. Because we were meant to live dependent on Him. That’s when the fun really starts! Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Trying and trying to reach impossible standards is not easy or light. But when we rest in Him, then we naturally keep the rules much better than if we try hard to keep them! Jesus did not come to abolish the law (the rules), but to fulfill them (verses 17-18). But He fills them by living His life through us instead of trying to work hard to keep the rules. Do you see what I mean? Consider this: we have more rules on the books than ever before in history, and we have more lawlessness. Hm? Rules do not have any power to bring about goodness. I just remembered something that happened years ago. My husband and I were on a little weekend away together and we make some longterm goals. Then we put them away and promptly forgot about them! Years later we came across the paper and read it – we had met every single goal. Now, that doesn’t prove anything, but it illustrates that you can get there from here. Focusing on the goals and a 10-step plan to achieve them, and slogging away at it, I believe, would have distracted us from what was next in our lives to do! God was leading us, we were listening, and He took us where He wanted us to go. I have no doubt that if we look at the rules then put them away and just focus on our relationship with Jesus, we could look back and see that we’ve done a lot better than if we focused on the list of do’s and don’ts. I’m not saying don’t read the bible (where the rules are), but I am saying read it looking for Him instead of for the rules because He can keep the rules a lot better through you than you could do it yourself.

          Okay, I have one more illustration. Let’s say I volunteer to spend time with an elderly woman in her home. The rules say, 1. Serve her dinner, 2. Take out the trash, 3. Give her meds. If my goal is to achieve those rules, then as long as I will do those things, I’ll be satisfied to just sit there. I’ve done what I came to do. But if my focus is on her, the whole dynamic changes. Then I might read to her, or brush her hair. We might tell stories and laugh. Because instead of focusing on the list of things to serve her, my focus is on her. Caring for her will naturally include the rules and much more!

          You might be interested in some videos I have on the site, under Videos/Schedule Susan to Speak. The first one, WTF, talks a little about the Jesus’ light burden for us, though they all will give you a flavor of what we’re talking about. Best to you!

          • Nice videos!

            Yep, I think I get you. I think you are saying that the principles behind the rules (eg truly caring for the elderly woman) can be more important than the specifics of the rules (giving her dinner, meds etc), and that if we rest in him, he will help us achieve the intention behind the rules.

            Perhaps I just get confused by the emphasis of some of your phrasing, eg “Rules do not have any power to bring about goodness.” Do you really believe that they have no power to bring about goodness? Or are you exaggerating in order to make your point? I mean, serving the elderly lady dinner surely is an act of goodness. I recognise that as you say, the level of goodness could be much higher, but surely serving her dinner is more of an act of goodness than leaving her hungry?

          • Glad you liked the videos! Thanks.

            I’m glad this is making more sense. I see your question. Yes I said it for effect and no I didn’t exaggerate! Ha. Look at Romans 5:20-21. “20God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (RSV)

            The purpose of the law [rules] is to show us how sinful we are; the law does not make us obey, it just shows us whether we obey. The POWER to obey comes from “God’s wonderful grace” which gives us right standing. So to care for the older lady (in the example) from God’s power in me is much higher motivation — and ability — than to keep some rules.

            Romans 8: 6 says: “For to set the mind on the flesh [human ability] is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

            Wow! A focus on the rules, my ability, cannot please God! But then it continues: “9You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Ah! There we go. When I have accepted Christ and now the Spirit of God dwells in me, then I’ve got real power — His power! I can pretty much throw the rules away — really — because His power is life-giving and will accomplish the rules incidentally as it does so much more through me! We like to supplement His power with our power, don’t we? But He says, grab hold of Me, keep your hands and feet inside the car, and get ready for a joyride! It’s better if I don’t stick my foot out and try to help.

            I will continue to write about this — hang in there! I began this journey of understanding “Christ in me the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) (instead of ME in me the hope of glory!) some 13 years ago. It will make more and more sense. :)) If you comment again, please make a new comment, so it will give more room to write. Best to you!

  4. Pingback: Is Homosexuality a Sin and Why Does it Matter? — Part 3 | FreedHearts

  5. I want to tell you that I am so BLESSED and encouraged by your take on the homosexuality sin debate.
    I have long felt that it is morally a sin (in so far as what God has spoken to me) but that it was NEVER our place in government to legislate that sin away, or even as a Christian to judge. I have gone even further in my questions for God recently as I have felt (maybe God is preparing me because I have kids and one of them could come out as gay one day….who knows) that I can’t possibly KNOW the heart of God on every earthly issue…and since the Bible is relatively soft spoken on the issue, I feel that leaves room for the heart of God to move among His people. ALL of whom (male, female, straight, Gay…etc..) belong to Him and it is His job alone to judge, instruct, and intervene.
    I attempt to surrender to Jesus all areas of my life but of course fall short of Old Testament teachings and rest in the great and only commandments of the New. Love one another.
    There are so many LGBT people in our lives because of our participation in professional theater…that I love and I see real kindness and goodness in their lives. Many are believers…which according to some churches is not possible. I just struggle to be a part of the cultural Christian norm that preaches “abomination” and points fingers at the Gay community.
    So…I have struggled and prayed and asked the Lord to reveal to me what is the absolute truth and I believe He is not a God of confusion and believe that He has not revealed an absolute truth to me on this issue because maybe there isn’t one. ??
    I know that the Lord instructs us to be fishers of men and go forth and make disciples, I don’t recall ever reading in the Bible that it was my job to “clean up the fish” that I catch.
    Bring people to the Cross, the glorious, wonderful Cross. Love them right where they are. Let Jesus clean up the fish. He is far better at it than I am…and maybe His idea of “cleaning them up” and mine are different. In fact, if we profess the name of Jesus and believe in our hearts, then He sees us fully sanctified and justified…our sin does not exist when He looks upon us. Shouldn’t we strive to see that with each other? A blameless and spotless child of God?
    When did we go from “Come just as you are” to “Come and fit the mold or be shunned”
    Our Cross is an all access backstage pass to the throne of Jesus. Gay. Straight. And everything in between.
    I hope that the Lord continues to speak to you and also to others through you in this debate.
    God Bless!

  6. If you are curious about what the bible says specifically about homosexuality watch Matthew Vines’ The Gay Debate: Homosexuality and the Bible. It’s on Youtube, and yeah, it’s long but thoroughly researched. Matthew is a Harvard student who put in over 4000 hours of work on this project. He learned Greek and Latin so he could study the text better and has read hundreds of books and articles on the subject.

    • Thank you for posting this. (I was totally out-of-pocket yesterday.) It is really well done. It shows that this is indeed a disputable issue, it is not the clearcut issue many Christians think it is.

        • Yes, I’ve seen it, but I am not satisfied that he successfully unravelled the points Matthew Vines made, certainly not enough to say he is right and Matthew is wrong. But here’s the situation: we don’t have to determine who’s right and who’s wrong conclusively. We have to say, with all the doubt now cast on the “homosexuality-is-wrong” conclusion, are we in a position to say, “You people cannot do this thing that you do not feel convicted about re this subject which is arguably unclear from the bible. Yes there’s debate, but we know better and we say no”? I don’t feel comfortable dropping down that verdict. The burden of proof is on Christians to say beyond any doubt this is prohibited in scripture. Vines already gave us enough well researched and documented points that we should be saying, hm, I wonder if he could be right? In addition to this, we would still have to say this is wrong for all people all the time though we see so much biblical proof that God leads specifically in different situations. Do you see what I mean? If we’re going to send someone to prison for murder and there is much evidence that he didn’t do it, we need to pause. To say someone basically has to choose lifelong celibacy or be outside of God’s blessing is a steep price to ask for something you and I don’t even agree on, much less a whole segment of the population. Yes? We are at grave risk of becoming irrelevant if we won’t respect the scholarly work being done enough to consider it.

          • Susan, youre absolutely right that these things should be considered. God wants us to use our brains, to seek after knowledge (Pr. 18:15) and to reason things through (Is 1:18, 1 Pet. 3:15).

            But the exact opposite of being dismissive of new arguments, is to sit on the fence. Sitting on the fence is of course fine while investigating a matter. But it’s rare for it to be a good long term position for a serious matter. And the Bible suggests that the topic of gay sex is a serious matter. It’s not a matter that the Bible presents as being a controversial doctrine, where there is room to move. If most modern translations of 1 Timothy 1 are correct, then it would seem to state that like a variety of other specified sins, it’s a matter that can cost people salvation itself.

            Sure there is a small element of uncertainty in various relevant Scriptures. But that’s Christianity. There is a small element of uncertainty about whether God would affirm every single thing St Paul says in his epistles. There is a small element of uncertainty about whether the Catholic penchant for religious statues is a violation of the commandment against graven images. There is a small element of uncertainty about whether the average American Christian is too rich and materialistic compared with the majority of the world, to compliant with Jesus’ teachings about wealth. But we take these elements of uncertainty and weigh them up, and go with what’s likely. In terms of the question of whether gay sex is sinful, Id suggest the evidence is far from a murky 50/50. The collective weight of all the relevant scriptures, is quite high.

            PS – Im not claiming that it’s a particularly heinous sin, but rather just one of the many many sins presented in Scripture.

          • Haha. Everything you say proves what I’m saying! I’m telling you how disputable this is, and you continue to dispute it! I proved my point and you’re reproving it! Thanks for a great discussion.

  7. “It seems to me that you have three options but only one can be true… 1. it’s sin, 2. it’s not sin, or 3. become a relativist.”

    Is this only for Christians? If it is, then I have no comment. If it’s for everyone, I present #4: I don’t accept ‘sin’ as a valid concept. 🙂

    • Haha! Well, of all the comments I might have anticipated, this was not one of them! You ask a great question. Sin means missing the mark, as in, shooting an arrow and not making a bullseye. When the bible says all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, it means that none of us is living the full life God has in mind for us — not in our behavior but in fullness, abundance Jesus called it, of life dependent on Him. That’s His offer, a fully interactive life with God. Unfortunately, we usually interpret sin as not meeting His standard, not keeping the rules correctly — not at ALL what He meant. Those rules are only a yardstick to tell us that we can’t have the full life He offers without a rich, intimate relationship with Him. But that abundant life is available only to those who accept Jesus, the One He sent to us. So the answer is, yes, sin applies only to Christians (Roman 5:13), because the bullseye life comes only through relationship with Him. If you’re looking for an entry point, Jesus is it. Thanks for your comment.

      • In response to “not accepting sin as a valid concept”…there really is no discussion to be had on the topic of sin when there is no moral authority in Christ. Without recognizing the Bible and the person of Jesus as the moral authority in our lives….there is no standard with which to compare our lives to. No “bullseye” to even miss.

        • That’s exactly right. Nor should there be. The life, the possibility of a bullseye comes from the only one who can do it, through us. I will post about this this week. 🙂 Our trouble is trying to get nonChristians to behave like Christians, instead of pointing them to Christ.

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