Apr 15 2012
Sex and Loneliness and Jesus

"Please tell me: What was the name of that book you were talking about, about the struggle to live a celibate life, even in the midst of loneliness...?"

I got a lot of calls like this.  I'd talked about the book, Washed and Waiting, and hoped many would read it. When they called, I felt like I needed to give a disclaimer, in case someone would be offended for whatever reason.

"Just so you know: This book is incredibly relevant for everyone, but the writer is writing about his homosexuality."

And no one seemed to blink.

"Well, that sounds like exactly what I need to read, and..."

------

A friend gave me this little book this week, and I read it in two sittings. Honestly, there's not much here I haven't already thought about, but I couldn't have written this book, for a simple reason: I don't have license to write it.

I'm married, sexually content, and have been since age 20. I barely remember singlehood. Sure, there are many struggles, and my own where-is-God? questions, but when I go to bed, my flesh-and-blood lover is there. So if I wrote this, you could critiicize it as mere theory. And preachy. And it might even sound like one of the recent spate of high-profile pastors, trying to out sex-talk each other to sell stuff and attract new customers. ("See?  Isn't married sex awesome, everyone? You should really have a super-sexy marriage like me, everyone!")

...yes, thanks, pastor. Problem: Most people aren't married. And many who are married can't have the awesome sex life you enjoy talking about. So there's that.

Oh, I could write this book... but I wouldn't be bleeding on the pages.

Wesley Hill did. And he wrote it in the midst of his loneliness, not on the far side of it, as though he applied three quick principles, and fixed it.

-----

"Faithfulness is never a gamble. It will be worth it. The joy then will be worth the struggle now. In the end, I think this is how I am learning to live faithfully as a homosexual Christian." - p. 79

Let's be honest: When most of us want something, REALLY want something, we'll rearrange our theology to get it. We'll develop new belief systems, no matter how gymnastic our thinking must become, to justify what we really want. This is one reason so many modern stories don't work: The writer presumes the evil people are the interesting ones.

That's exactly wrong. The most interesting people are the ones who align their behaviors with what they know to be true, rather than the other way around. Any great hero story involves someone doing something they don't want to do, rather than giving in, and taking the easy, or the obvious, way out. These are the stories that resonate over ages, because they are heroic.

And Hill strikes me as a hero.

He is not shying from the tough questions. He engages the relevant scriptures. He asks, how the Gospel could possibly restrict love? How could the church seriously expect people who are homosexual to abandon their deepest longings? How can these longings actually be met? Aren't the Biblical texts essentially cruel?

What is he to do, during his nights when his loneliness, and longing for sex, reaches the level of overwhelming? Why are heterosexual Christians allowed marriage, but he can't experience it, unless his orientation is reversed? How is this possibly consistent with the idea of a loving God?  

Those are just for starters. And any book on this topic that didn't address these things, for me, isn't worth recommending.

-----

So Wesley Hill shares his answers to these questions. No, it's not math, and it's not another "Christian" self-help book. Your struggles aren't neatly resolved at the end of the equation. But what he offers is Jesus-centric hope, for those who yearn so desperately for something that God is - I almost don't want to say it - denying them. It hurts. 

I'm not doing him justice, but these ideas are all fleshed out in a single chapter, if you want to read the book:

We all want things we can't have. Every one of us. 

God takes us very, very seriously. This is why there are consequences. Our lives matter.

In the New Testament, when the passages deal with homosexuality, the text very rapidly turns to his stunning redemptive effort for all of us.  He condemns homosexual behavior, and then, "amazingly, profligately, at great cost to himself, lavishes his love on homosexual persons."

We can't understand ANY of God's rules, apart from the greater story.

God simultaneously love us, and threatens what everyone wants, by nature. He wants to transform all of us, without exception. No one "naturally" forgives their enemies. It hurts.

Living with unfulfilled desires is not exceptional for humanity. Not even close. It's the rule. 

Even married people - perhaps most of them? - are living lives (in Thoreau's words) "of quiet regret."

God works through pain.

Having sex does not, contra our culture, make one "fully alive". Jesus is our God-example of the fully-lived life. And he was celibate. This destroys our reigning cultural lie.

-----

A last observation from this chapter, "A Story-Shaped Life", the one that struck me the most: If you are resigned to living a celibate life, a self-denying life, despite your loneliness, because you love God...

You WILL be rewarded.

Jesus makes it clear, for those willing to give up houses or family (and surely, Hill adds, something as profound as sex) for him.  You'll be rewarded a hundred times over for what you are doing.  And not only that, but God is actually praising YOU, and glorifying YOU.  That seems impossible, and doesn't fit our theology, for most of us, but Hill unpacks the scriptures that say so. It's a fact.

Homosexual, heterosexual, divorced, single, married and miserable, whatever: God sees you. And a heart that is turned to Him is incredibly pleasing to him. People don't tell you that enough, I'll bet. But after reading this book, I want to remind you: You will be rewarded. Your struggle against sin has a name: Faith.

I read this and thought of my friends who are gay, my friends who have left homosexual behavior behind but struggle with same-sex attraction, my friends who are heterosexual and desperately don't want to be single but are, my friends who are in marriages that are disasters, with so little seeming hope.  I know I can't relate to you on this particular struggle, not like Hill can. But reading him, I'm reminded I am part of your family, and honored to be part of it. It's a family that is transforming me, too. Meantime, you have a special status with a God who knows your name, your story, your struggle, your loneliness.  And your story is going to take a wonderful turn.

Hill:  

Slowly, ever so slowly, I am learning to do this. I am learning that my struggle to live faithfully before God in Christ with my homosexual orientation is pleasing to him. And I am waiting for the day when I receive the divine accolade, when my labor of trust and hope and self-denial will be crowned with his praise. 'Well done, good and faithful servant," the Lord Christ will say. "Enter into the joy of your master."

Comments (96) -

4/15/2012 4:11:50 PM
Joeli United States
Joeli
Oh my GOd!! I so needed to see this - and I HAVE to find this book!

I've been separated for 2 years now and expect divorce papers any time now. I have really just hit my lonely stage, but I'm missing the companionship more than the sex. But I'm so afraid that opening myself to male company would also open the door to sex - and I don't want sex outside of marriage. Does that mean I have to be completely alone for the rest of my life now?? That is a depressing thought.

But to think that God is proud of me, and would even reward me for my struggle...oh my!!

I would like to think that I could date and stay celibate, but in today's society, that seems so unreachable. Help me, Holy Spirit, to stay strong!!
4/15/2012 4:45:04 PM
brant United States
brant
Joeli, I think you'll resonate with every page.  

By the way, I'm honored you read the blog.

And if you want the book:  There's a link to it in the second paragraph.  It's only about $10.
4/15/2012 5:04:41 PM
Melissa A. United States
Melissa A.
He doesn't believe in God's power to deliver him from homosexual desires?  #honestquestion
4/15/2012 5:35:52 PM
Anne United States
Anne
Thank you so much for promoting this book.  I, like you, am happily married and my sex life is just fine. But I have been pondering this issue for awhile because I want to have a good, well reasoned answer for those I know who profess to be Christians but champion gay rights.  I can't back that.  I don't know which is worse - championing gay rights or hateful gay bashing. (I think championing gay rights ultimately does gays a huge dis-service, enabling something the Bible says is sin.)  I believe both are wrong. I don't hate gays and know a number of them, they are great people.  But the issue that has been rolling around in my head has to do with what you said Brant, about aligning your behaviors around what you know to be true or rearranging your theology to get what we want.  I've been thinking that when we value holiness (in the true sense of the word) over happiness we will end up the most fulfilled. (And thus happy.)  We live in a world where pleasure is paramount but those simply seeking pleasure are the ones deep down the most unfulfilled. Hill seems to get the big picture and can understand that living a sacrificial life will be rewarded in a bigger way than he can imagine.  And Jesus will be walking with him every step of the way.  This is a new must read for me.  Thank you so much.
4/15/2012 6:00:10 PM
brant United States
brant
Anne, C.S. Lewis made that same observation: Aim at earth, you wind up with nothing. Aim at heaven, you get both heaven AND earth.  That's a paraphrase.

Melissa, it's a great question.  He absolutely does believe in the power of God to change his sexual orientation. But God hasn't done that. And while some people do change, it's often a lifelong struggle for others.  He sees his same-sex attraction as a symptom of a world that is fallen, and he believes scripture is clear that homosexual behavior is sinful.  But he also, ultimately, sees his homosexuality as something that God is using in his life, to teach him about weakness, about God's strength, and God's goodness.

Down the line, I'd love to hear reactions from people who've read the book, too, once you get it.  It would be interesting to commiserate.  I hope it helps people see the love of God for all of us.

4/15/2012 6:22:26 PM
Brenda Van Camp United States
Brenda Van Camp
Brant,

Just speaking from my experience, growing in my relationship the Lord and falling in love with him put a stop to my loneliness. As the Bible says we are not all destine to marry. I'm content with that and I know that if the Lord wants me to have a partner he will send one. I'm happy just waiting on him and building that love relationship.
4/15/2012 6:22:38 PM
Peach United States
Peach
I definitely think this is a book whose time has come.  I have a very good friend that is a homosexual.  I've prayed and he's prayed fervently for God to deliver his heart/mind from homosexuality.  He did confess to someone that he was "delivered" from homosexuality but being attracted to another man is still his default setting.  He knows it's a sin to be intimate with another man but he's still not attracted to women.  So, he's in a dillema: the one that the writer of this book is in.  He wants to serve the Lord and loves God with all of his heart but he knows that he can't righteously fulfill his natural sexual desires for another man....so he's been celibate for about 5 years from homosexual sex.  A lot of people are quick to denounce homosexuals...and this is from the standpoint of someone who is happily married in a heterosexual, sexually fulfilling marriage.  What if I learned that - for argument's sake - in order to be saved and go to heaven I need to change my sexual orientation from heterosexual to homosexual.  Obviously this is completely theoretical because the God that we follow wouldn't ask such a thing, but that's what homosexual Christians or people who are Christians who struggle with homosexuality face: having to change their sexual orientation.  My friend's orientation has not changed but one thing is for certain: it's a cross that he is bearing.  Just like someone who is addicted to any vice/sin (alcoholism, drug abuse, sexaholics, shopaholics, etc.) this is a cross that we must bear and with the grace of God, Jesus will give us strength to bear that cross.
4/15/2012 6:54:29 PM
Cheese Doodle Bandit United States
Cheese Doodle Bandit
Sounds like this Wesley Hill guy might enjoy a movie called "Hidden Secrets" (with David A.R. White and John Schneider).  In it is a guy going through much of what Hill is.
4/15/2012 7:31:21 PM
Hope United States
Hope
I've been celibate for 15 years.  I came to this place by finally deciding that doing things "my way"...ie, sex outside of marriage(I had been divorced then for 10 years) was not making me happy, so I decided to go God's way, and asked Him to put me on a shelf.  So, He did.  And there I have sat ever since.  At first, I thought it would pass.  God had made me invisible so I could learn self-control.  But that's not what happened.  Instead, I learned contentment.  He led me, ever so slowly, to a place where He is more important than physical passion.  I am happy to belong to Him and Him alone.  We will never get over the desires of the flesh until we leave these bodies behind, but God wants to be more important.  Period.  Seek first the Kingdom of God AND his righteousness, and (everything you NEED for a good life in the body)will be given to you.  Food, clothing, shelter.  The basics.  The disires of the flesh in-and-of themselves, natural.  We all need food, shelter, clothing, love.  Putting them ahead of God, putting ANYTHING ahead of God, including doing things your way instead of His, is what is sinful.  I used to tell my kids that God did not write the rules to be mean...He wrote them to protect us, because He knows what will hurt us. And the bottom line is that all our pain comes from separation from Him. And that is why Jesus asks us to deny ourselves and follow Him. For in His presence is FULLNESS OF JOY.
4/15/2012 7:52:15 PM
Peach United States
Peach
Also, one of the things that the enemy will always use to tempt people of all orientations - heterosexual or homosexual - is dangling a certain man or woman in front of us and saying, "See! If you only could have him/her then you'd be happy, satisfied and fulfilled."  These thoughts run through the mind of the married or single person all the same.  It is a blessing to be content in one's marriage for "godliness with contentment is great gain." I think if a person has had multiple relationships in the past before their husband/wife or before they became celibate it's more difficult for them to be faithful to their present or future spouse. What I mean is, we were designed to be celibate until marriage and after marriage be faithful to that marriage partner.  If, for some reason, we have deviated from that design, being with a new person becomes a sort of "high". Inevitably, that high becomes a neutral or low as conflicts settle in. Then, the sex addict starts on his/her quest (or hopefully victorious conquest against at best and struggle against at least) for the next person who will give them that initial "high".  The only person who can satisfy that longing is Jesus.  If we fill that need with anyone or anything else, we will wind up empty.
4/15/2012 8:00:42 PM
Scott United States
Scott
TOTALLY AMAZING!  I really enjoy your blog, Brant! I can't wait to get my Kindle and find this book!  These are questions I've wondered, and I'm not even homosexual - I think the church as a whole would benefit from this!  Thanks for sharing!
4/15/2012 10:20:41 PM
D United States
D
It's so refreshing anymore to see someone actually live out their faith, denying themselves as Jesus tells us.  The book sounds like it isn't really about homosexual celibacy or even about sex.  It's about learning to be content to allow God to fulfill our every need and want.  You're right, we do all have desires that go unfufilled.  Things that we look around and see others enjoying, knowing we can't and maybe never will.  I wanted parents and a childhood.  Those are things that seem basic to every life, and yet I must learn to allow God to be my father and my mother and know that someday He'll make it all up to me times a million.  Thanks so much for sharing a book from a true hero of the faith. And thanks for your blog.  Beautifully written.  
4/15/2012 10:24:47 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
Homosexuallity is a gross sin. Therefore, no one is born with this as a natural. It is on God's list of abominations. We are all created in His image, equal, not adam and steve, but adam and eve. Anyone who thinks that God is pleased with this behavior has believed a lie of satan, and will not go to Heaven when they die. It IS a conscious choice. It doesn't matter how much you try to prove me wrong, I am not the one whom you must prove wrong. It is God Himself whom you must prove wrong, and we all know how that is going to turn out. Sex is the farthest thing from love. No matter what shape or form. Only true love comes from our Creator. Because He created us with love in His own image and set us above all things upon earth, He sent His only Son to die for us to save us from the mess of sin that we inherited from Adam and Eve.  You go ahead. Call me cruel and mean and a gay hater. They are not gay. They are abomination. Do I believe they can be saved? Yes. I most definitly do. But to be homosexual and Christian is NOT possible. It is a STENCH in God's nostrils, yet He still sent His Son for those people. But,they must repent if they want to see Heaven. I personally believe that it could even go as far as these people being possessed with a demon. It is DISGUSTING for anyone to believe that God smiles on such behaviour. So Brant, please tell me that air1 does not support homosexuallty. If so, you have lost a listener. Ruefully so.
4/15/2012 10:31:15 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
Oh, and we serve God because He created us and saved us from our sins. The other posts are right, if God is Not first in every way, then we are headed for disaster. Paul was a prime exaple of self denial.
4/16/2012 12:49:04 AM
brittney United States
brittney
I think Gerry missed the point and would benefit most from reading this book. I am sure judgement is sinful also. What right do you or I have to judge? My judge is the father in heaven, and I am a happily married christian woman with children. I applaud the writer of this book for making the right choice in such a difficult, judgemental environment. Where it would be so easy to fall to sin. Bravo!
4/16/2012 1:33:38 AM
Katie United States
Katie
Proverbs 6:16-19
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
This too is a list of abominations. I think I see myself there. I lie. I cause trouble. I am prideful. So, since sin is so gross, we obviously could never have been born with it, right? Yet “There is none righteous, no not one.” (It is 3am, forgive me for not looking up every verse I remember. I am also probably paraphrasing a bit.) So, I guess I am not going to Heaven when I die. Or, to put it more bluntly, I am going to hell. I am pretty sure that Satan has tricked us all on occasion. I bet most, if not all, people in this world are deceived in one way or another. I bet I will die while still believing lies and half-truths. Most sin is a conscious choice. You are conveniently leaving out the part that Jesus’s blood was spilled all over us to cover and cleanse those chosen evils that reside in us. I stink, yeah. Do I struggle with homosexuality? No—unless occasionally seeing a pretty girl and thinking about how pretty she is counts. I struggle with other things. Do I feel the need to list them here? No. I just don’t see where anyone can get off condemning someone else and leaving themselves out of it. EVERYONE messes up. Don’t go calling people abominations just because you can; but if you must, please feel free to throw me in the mix. I hate getting left out, and I definitely belong in that group. I don’t care about cracking down on sin. Let God deal with it. He knows souls far better than I ever can. Love them. Pray for them. Be a friend. Calling people names only drives them farther away. I might be wrong. I might be right. But, so long as God still loves me and I can still find ways to make him smile, I don’t think it matters quite so much. If it bothers Him, he will tell me. Just like He will tell them when the time is right. My Mom always would tell me that while we are nitpicking about the wrong things we see on the outside, God might very well be working on a part of them we cannot see, but is more important. So we can be complaining about how someone is dressing, or their sexual orientation, while God is mending their heart and preparing them for His purpose and will. /tickedoffsermon
4/16/2012 5:43:08 AM
Danielle United States
Danielle
Katie, you may be my new hero. Thank you for that post, that was so thoughtful. As a woman attracted to women, I'm extremely grateful.
Unfortunately, most of the response I get from Christians is a slightly watered-down version of Gerry's. The idea that I choose to be how I am, that I wake up in the morning and think, "Wow, I'm not nearly ostracized enough in my Christian community, I think I'll be gay!" is disheartening and damaging.

@Gerry
I try not to imagine what my pastor and his wife do in their free time, but, as they have 5 children, I doubt they would agree with your statement that "Sex is the farthest thing from love." However, I'm sure God could use you to do great things if you decide to remain celibate. You're passionate, which is a gift, and if you directed that towards loving the marginalized instead of spreading hate, I think you could do amazing things for God.
Also, I've never heard the "possessed by a demon" thing. That was amusing.
4/16/2012 5:53:35 AM
Peach United States
Peach
Right on, Katie! I agree with you 100%.  We are all an abominiation in God's sight without the blood of Christ shed for us and applied to us by believing.  While someone calls these people an abomination, isn't lust, pride, anger/unforgiveness, envy/covetousness, hatred, etc. also a sin too?  Should we highlight one sin and neglect the others?  God loves the sinner, but hates the sin.  Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.  I don't struggle with homosexuality and I am 120% heterosexual, but after you chat with and get to know Christians who also struggle with homosexuality, you realize it's a sin like every other sin that we all struggle with.  There have been homosexuals that have come to know Jesus and who have repented - definitely not due to a condemning, unloving attitude - but a loving, forgiving, accepting one.  The love of God brings us to repentance. God didn't send His son to condemn the world, but the world would be saved through him.  
4/16/2012 6:34:08 AM
Christina United States
Christina
Interesting post/review. I admit that I don't fully understand the idea of being a homosexual christian. The two terms seem to contradict themselves. But then again, as I look at myself- a person who has struggled with a bipolar personality for the vast majority of my 34 years, I wonder if we are more alike than not? I don't want to be this way, to 'practice' this despair and craziness. And I do my best not to give into it. Is this the same kind of fight? A fight for submission to God whether or not the desire for darkness, or same sex companionship as it may be, is removed? Ok, wow. I've never looked at like this before. And I know I'm rambling on about something that has absolutely nothing to do with the original topic....the struggle with sin really is a universal 'club'. It all comes down to who am I going to give in to? Myself or God?
4/16/2012 6:37:21 AM
Denise United States
Denise
Danielle, bby, have I told you today that you're the sweetest person I know? Because you are.

Oh my word, I don't even know where to start with Gerry. I could write my entire thesis on homophobia and religion using this one post. Every single sentence, my gosh. Oh, wait. "Call me cruel and mean and a gay hater." No problem with that sentence.

I love how in the first 5 sentences the Heaven-gatekeeping went from /People Who Engage In Homosexual Acts/ to /People Who Are Attracted To The Same Gender/ to /People Who Think God Loves Gay People/. Those crazy dogs, don't you know God only loves people just like ME.

Hear that, 'Yelle? You spend a distressing amount of time reading your Bible, you volunteer all over the place and drag your nonchristian friend with you, you've never engaged in sexual behavior of any kind (and probably never will), but because you have unintentional - no, sorry, consciously chosen - attraction toward women, you are an abomination and are going to hell, which of course means upstanding citizens like Gerry have very right to spit on you. And you're possessed by a demon. Please disregard my mad cackling.
4/16/2012 7:53:14 AM
Danielle United States
Danielle
Christine, I think what you're talking about is absolutely relevant to the original topic. We're all messed up, but God welcomes us anyway. And I think being bipolar is a very good analogy to being homosexual. I don't choose my desires, but I do choose how I respond to them. And some of my gay Christian friends ~are~ in relationships, and, though I do believe it's wrong, I don't think it makes them any less Christian, and I definitely don't think God loves them less. God takes us in, foibles and all. That's how we have homosexual Christians. And angry Christians. And lazy Christians. And back-biting Christians. And jealous Christians. And a whole plethora of other flawed, dirty Christians. And I believe God loves us all.

Denise, I don't even know how to respond to that, other than to congratulate you on not cursing. And thanks for having my back, love. I thought you would like the picture of me as being possessed Smile
4/16/2012 8:53:25 AM
brant h United States
brant h
Philip Yancey is right: Christians tend to angry at people who sin differently than they do.

Can there be such a thing as a same-sex attracted Christian?  I sure hope so,   I've got different sins, different temptations, and dare to call myself a Christian.

In this case, here is a man who is determined to submit his temptations to God, and try to live in fidelity to scripture, and - not a shocker, but still tragic - he'll be criticized for it.

Ironically, the criticism will come from both sides: Activists who wonder how DARE he allow that scripture rules homosexual behavior out-of-bounds, and then, amazingly, proud Christians who just object that his desire to sin remains.  (Even as theirs does, as well!)

That's why he's heroic to me. And so are the many who are somehow, in a culture that idolizes sex-above-everything, are willing to say, "For the sake of Christ, I am abandoning the rivals to his authority."

PLEASE:  Allow people to come to Jesus.  Let HIM, change people.  Picking out particular sins, and telling people, "You must clean yourself, first, of these temptations," is breathtakingly wrong, given our own experience, and, literally, dis-grace-ful.

Let people come to the Healer, and allow Jesus to work in all our lives, if you trust Him.



4/16/2012 8:56:44 AM
Gerry United States
Gerry
We all clearly desearve Hell. Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." I don't judge you. I'm merely stating Biblical facts. I don't hate the homosexuals. I feel very sorry for those souls who have fallen into that trap. I know that God loves them as much as He does me. Infact, I would think He loved me the less if not for the Bible stating that He is no respecter of persons. I am no saint. You say I'm being judgemental and mean. Please, beleive me, I mean only to tell the truth so that all may come to repentance.               2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.          Love does not allow someone to know the truth and not tell his fellow brothers and sisters about it, knowing that that truth will save them from a burning lake of fire. Love does exhort. Love does tell people when they are wrong. If anyone deserves Hell, it's me.       Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him,and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.      It is not my own understanding that homosexuals cannot be Christians. Like I said before. You don't argue with me, you argue with God. We are all born into sin. That is why we are freed from it by salvation. It is possible to live a sinless life. Regardless what men say. If this doesn't reach you, then I will pray that maybe there is someone else who can, through Christ Jesus, who strengthens all of us who have come to the knowledge of the truth. Christina, please do not let men (or women) tell you what is right and what is wrong. Read the Bible for yourself. It's not complicated. It's not mean. It is Jesus Christ who gave His life for all of us. Pray for this world, fellow Christians, for I fear it won't be around much longer.
4/16/2012 9:05:45 AM
brant h United States
brant h
"It is possible to live a sinless life."

Gerry, this explains much.  Respectfully, I don't believe you do it, and I don't believe the other folks who've told me as much, whose lives turn out to, in fact, be marred by sin.

Thankfully, for all of us, sin isn't the last word, Jesus is.

I appreciate, sincerely, you explaining your position on this.
4/16/2012 9:07:52 AM
Christina United States
Christina
RE: Gerry-

I assure you that I do not allow other people's opinions and interpretations of scripture to be my only resource on the authority and love of God. I read the Bible for myself and pray that God will make clear to me what is not. If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask, and God will provide. That, my friend, is my prayer for you.
4/16/2012 11:26:03 AM
Beth United States
Beth
@ Gerry "It is possible to live a sinless life. Regardless what men say."
Really? Because my understanding of what the Bible teaches and this statement are 'as far as the east is from the west'. What happened to "There is none righteous, no not one". I must have missed the part of the verse that said "except for the Gerry's of the world". I am pretty sure in God's eyes all sin is equal. It ALL separates us from Him. In the proverbs passage above I do not see the sin of homosexuality listed, but many others are, like lying, pride, and contention.  
This is a topic that has been on my mind since yesterday. I started a new job recently and there are a couple of openly gay people who I work with. I had the radio on listening to Christian music. At break someone brought up the subject of how could Christians condemn her and say she was going to hell? So as I contemplated this, who is to say that my sin of  telling a white lie is worse than her sin? In God's eyes, all sin is equal, in that it only takes 1 sin to separate us from Him.
Brant, I have never heard the quote you posted before, but I agree wholeheartedly. So much so I will repost it. "Philip Yancey is right: Christians tend to angry at people who sin differently than they do."
4/16/2012 11:37:58 AM
Melissa A. United States
Melissa A.
I just want to state for the record that I have personally witnessed people (plural) being delivered from homosexual desires and leave that struggle completely behind.  I just wanted to say that, because it seems as though some have given up hope that this can happen for them.  Just as God can deliver the alcoholic, heal the cancer-stricken, make whole the broken-hearted, He can do this for you, too.  Why hasn't He then, you might ask?  I don't know, I'm too busy asking that same question about my own issues.  But, don't lose hope.
4/16/2012 11:40:40 AM
brant h United States
brant h
Thanks! I should've written "get angry", but I get to typin' too fast.

If it's true that homosexual temptation either disappears at conversion to Christ, or that those with said temptations should get over the temptations BEFORE coming to Christ, it truly is a class of sin without equal.

If it's true that one can live sinlessly, my whole understanding of why Jesus died in our place falls apart.  So it is a pretty big issue, there.

I'd LOVE to hear from more people who are grappling with the same thing that Hill is, the struggle to be celibate in the face of loneliness and a culture that preaches, non-stop, that sex will ultimately satisfy.


4/16/2012 12:23:47 PM
andy h United States
andy h
What about Lust in general, be it heterosexual or homosexual? The bible talks about homosexuality as an abomination for sexual sin but it also talks about adultery explicitly.

"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[a] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:27-28 NIV

I'd dare to say most men suffer from lustful desires. We all have our battles to fight. It's worth every sacrifice we can make to try to win those battles with God's help. I would call having sex with a person of the same gender a sin and don't think we should twist the meaning of the words in the bible to think it is anything other then a sin. People argue the bible is translated wrong and it was only talking about homosexual raping as was a custom of roman soldiers back in that time. Seems like a fine line to walk of you want to perceive it that way and also seems like we're trying to make the bible say what we want it to say when it comes to sins we are committing.

All that being said it is a sin, just like any other. We all commit them on a daily basis. It's a sin that is a little hardier to keep a dirty little secret like so many other sins are attempted to be kept. In the end, every thing we do will come to light before our maker.

"For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open." Luke 8:17 NIV

We can't win anyone to Christ by beating them down for their sins. I think the answer to "Who will throw the first stone..." would still have the same answer today.
4/16/2012 1:55:37 PM
Erek United States
Erek
Gerry - "Sex is the farthest thing from love. No matter what shape or form. Only true love comes from our Creator. "

I'm a little late to this discussion, but I do believe your opinion of sex to be totally wrong.

God gave us sex. It's our way of perpetuating life. The VERY first thing God told Adam and Eve to do is to "be fruitful and multiply." That, in and of itself, is about sex. Surely He meant spreading God's love and whatnot, but being the first people of the earth that naturally means PROCREATE.

Also, having listened to Ed and Lisa Young, I know that sex is totally God's gift to mankind. It's meant to me pleasurable and meant to be enjoyed. Sure it's a means to procreate, but that's not all it's meant for. Ed and Lisa Young's book "Sexperiment" is eye opening for both married people and single people. My wife and I are going to read it soon, and I'm quite excited about the closeness that it's going to bring (and the other stuff, I'm a guy after all ;) ).

That's my $.02
4/16/2012 5:30:31 PM
sccd39 United States
sccd39
Ok, could someone help me with this? A lot of Christians say we're born in sin and that homosexuality is a sin, BUT they say you absolutely cannot be born gay. This confuses me, and id really like to hear some verses, comments, opinions on it.
4/16/2012 6:53:56 PM
D United States
D
@sccd39,
There are different thoughts about homosexuality within the Christian community.  Some believe a person cannot be born with homosexual feelings  and some believe that we are all born with sinful temptations and homosexual feelings are but one of those temptations.  I believe the issue is not as cut and dried as that, and that it is a very complicated issue.  I believe that some may very well be born with certain physical, hormonal and/or chemical aspects to their make-up that could lead them to feeling attraction to the same sex.  I also believe that there can be certain developmental issues that can create those feelings.  The fact is, none of knows.  And we certainly don't know the kind of life that another person has lived.  Many would not understand some of the difficulties I have as a result of sexual abuse because they simply have not gone through it. But there is a difference between having the temptation to sin (which homosexual sex is, or any other kind of sex outside of marriage, for that matter) and giving in to that temptation.  Temptation is not a sin.  I think that's where a lot of Christians get tripped up.  A person having the feelings is not sin, only engaging in the act is.  

Some people who were caught in alcoholism or drug abuse, for instance, before they accepted Christ as their Savior are delivered from those temptations the minute they're saved.  Others struggle with those temptations for a long time and maybe even the rest of their lives.  

God said He loves the world.  And if He loves the world then we are to, as well. It is the people who are lost and hurting and caught in sin that need a Savior.  And those are the people we are to show the love of Jesus to.  Unbelievers will never get saved if they feel God hates them because of the actions and attitudes of those who claim to follow and love Him.  The Bible says that they will know we are Christians by our love.  

We don't have to point a judging finger toward a "sinner" to make ourselves look pious.  We are all in the same boat together, but our struggles just take on different forms.  

And the man who wrote this book is a man who is boldly and courageously admitting his temptations and sayign he is willing to forgo them in order to be obedient to Christ.  That is not something a lot of Christians are willing to do anymore.  The norm seems to be giving into sinful thoughts and desires.  We really don't look much different from the world anymore.  We all really need to get our eyes off each other and focus on Jesus and how He wants to change us.    
4/16/2012 6:54:43 PM
Debby United States
Debby
If only Gerry had been around to set him straight, the Apostle Paul  could have saved himself some time and embarrassment before writing that whole uneccessary Romans chapter 7.
4/16/2012 9:18:02 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
sigh...you have not understood a word I have written...explaining this is like trying to hang onto ten thousand ballons in a high wind. I'm am not angry. I am only concerned that you have all decieved yourselves into thinking homosexuallity is ok. Is murder ok? Is theivery ok? Is rape ok? They are all abominations just like homosexuallity, yet unless those who commit these sins shall not see the Kingdom of God, yet you insist that homosexuallity is ok. We have all sinned and come short of the Kingdom of God. Paul is right in Romans 7,yet he still lived a sinless life. I ,by no means, will ever say that I live a sinless life. I am only human, just like the rest of you. I can never say it enough. But for salvation,we are all doomed to spend an eternity in hell. That fact alone is my whole reason for writing on this blog. My decisions in life have taught me so much, because they have not been good decisions but failiors, and if I can help some one get to heaven,just one person, then my life would not be in vain. I would like to see the whole world saved, but I realize that is not a reality. Just as I am experiencing on this blog. Brant, I am struggling to be celibate in the face of loneliness and a culture that blasts you in the face with the lifestyle of sex every cotten picking time you turn around. I am 23 years old. Married at 19. Wife leaves at 21. Devorced on the day I got married. It took some time, but I finally came down out of the clouds and understood what had happened and how a God who loves me dearly has always looked out for me even as far away as I had strayed. Erek, I was wrong to say that sex was not love. I guess that was the influence of my own situation. Sex is good and right inside the confines of marriage between a man and a woman. But, you see? Lean not unto thine own understanding. As I quoted earlier in Proverbs. I am not immune to mistakes any more than any one else is. Its realizing that you made a mistake that counts and speaks loud to those who are unbelievers. Thats the whole point of being a Christain, to deny ones self and live a holy and pure life before God so that others may see the Light and come to repentance and be saved, too. Jesus said that we must strive to be perfect like Him, no matter how many times we fall. For God's grace and mercy endureth forever. But we can only obtain mercy and grace with a willing and repentant heart. Most of you think that I'm just being mean and hatefull and judgemental. Ok. Believe that if you wish. You are all entitled to your own opinion. If I did not persuade you with my earlier posts, then I couldn't persuade you in a thousand years. no matter how much I tried to explain that I'm only concerned with the false doctrine that is being preached. 2 Timothy chapter three explains this exactly, with verse 7 saying the most I beleive.   2 Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.        But, back to the subject, homosexuallity is wrong according to God's Holy Bible. If you have a problem with homosexuallity and truely want to be free from it, then bare you heart to God, pray earnstly for forgiveness and deliverance with a meek, humble, and truely broken heart. God loves you, too, and wants to save you from this sin. Now the devil knows your weekness, and he will tempt the fire out of you. But as long as you resist temptation, and not fall to it, then you will be tiumphant over it and will truelly make God's heart swell with pride because you stood for Him no matter the cost. And allways remember, God will NOT allow you to be burdened or tempted more than you can bare. There is hope for you all, if only you would accept it. So please, I beg of you, give you heart to Jesus. He is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. I know. I have two very close brothers. Yet he is closer than they could ever be. Prayer is a powerfull thing. And you will all allways be in my prayers.
4/16/2012 9:19:04 PM
Jeff Canada
Jeff
Everyone just remember to take the plank out of their eye first Smile

Thanks for this post Brant.
4/16/2012 9:21:15 PM
Hope United States
Hope
Hi, Gerry.  In your first post, you said to be a homosexual and an Christian is NOT possible.  OK.  That's the first thing that excludes someone from being a part of the world, as in, "God so loved THE WORLD, that WHOSOEVER believes, etc".  So homosexuals are also excluded from WHOSOEVER.  I saw a bumpersticker the other night that said "You can't be a Christian and be pro-choice".  WOW!  GO FIGURE!  Now the list has 2 exclusions from whosoever.  Now, if you follow that same train of thought, maybe, you can't be a Christian and be a liar.  That makes sense.  What about, you can't be slothful and be a Christian.  Make your bed this morning and wash all the dishes, Gerry?  How about, you can't make wrong interpretations of God's word and be a Christian.  How many did that add to the list, Gerry?  What about, you can't be a prostitute and be a Christian.  That just left Mary Magdelene lying in the street to be stoned.  If that's true, the Bible lied.  But it didn't.  Mary received grace.  We all come to Christ as liars, sloths, sluts, pigs, sexually messed up in some way or another, and Jesus starts to change us, a little at a time, until we are made over into his image.  The work is not completed until we die.  We die imperfect.  Gerry, you need to get a really good grip on the reality of GRACE!!!  And on just WHO WhoSoEver is.  Whosoever is you!  Whosoever is me!  Whosoever is, dare I say it, George Zimmerman.  Whosoever is who-so-ever.  Meditate on that word.  Let it be absorbed into every fiber of your being.  God gave his son to the WHOLE WORLD.  That includes every evil person you can think of.  The notorious rejected Him.  But whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal live.  You have eternal life, Gerry.  Not because you are straight, but because you believe.  Rejoice, and go tell the world how much he loves you, and I bet you probably have a great testimony about how he's changed you.  You may think you've have outgrown the story, but you ARE the story.  
4/16/2012 9:56:28 PM
Cheese Doodle Bandit United States
Cheese Doodle Bandit
Question:  Is judgement not a sin??

These comments are giving me a headache.
4/16/2012 9:58:30 PM
Cheese Doodle Bandit United States
Cheese Doodle Bandit
Gerry, please watch "Hidden Secrets" (the one with john Schneider and David A.R. White).  It is supported by the Bible.  Before you immediately denounce it for any reason, please just watch it.
4/16/2012 10:44:06 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.    

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world:but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

To be saved by Jesus Christ and washed completely and made whole and a fresh new person means, that though we may have been murderers, theives, sloths, liers, given to lusts, homosexuals, and gluttonous, we are made into a new person. No longer are we those things that we were before. This is the whole point of salvation. Hope, you want to say that I'm changing the Bible, yet you only used a fraction of a verse to prove me wrong. You can prove me wrong all day if you like. My word is dirt. But God's word is an entirely differant story. So please, read the whole book before you start using it to bring down others.And I'm being hatefull? I am being raked over the coals because I refuse to agree to false doctrine.

4/17/2012 12:52:41 AM
Cheese Doodle Bandit United States
Cheese Doodle Bandit
Watch the movie, Gerry.  You won't regret it.  I'm not trying to force you to change your view on this.  I just think you'll enjoy the movie.  Actually, ALL of us here could stand to watch it.  Not necessarily for the entertainment (though I do like it), but for the message.
4/17/2012 2:07:10 AM
LoveWorks United States
LoveWorks

@ Gerry

"It is possible to live a sinless life. Regardless what men say."

John 5:14 and John 8:11, Jesus gives a command of "Go and sin no more."

Matt 5:48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Matt 16:24-26 "Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"

This weight is too much for us!

Please read all of the following Scripture: Romans 7:14-8:17.

The Spirit is working in us. It is a work in progress. Romans 8:13b "but if by the Spirit, you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Present tense)

We see two ways! "NO SIN" and "WORKING ON NO SIN"
Which is it????????????????????????????

Antinomy is the word we are looking for here.

Jesus (when on earth) was infact 100% God as well as 100% Man. But which was He??????????????

He was both. So also in this situation it is both. The power of God has made us sinless. We are healed and whole thanks to Jesus! He did what the law could never do. We were fallen and doomed for destruction. But Jesus took ALL of sin and took it to Hell. That is why every knee will bow to Him on that day. If we choose Jesus as our Savior, then we are saved. The Holy Spirit then work as our Counselor. It is a relationship.

4/17/2012 2:09:06 AM
LoveWorks United States
LoveWorks

@ Cheese Doodle Bandit

****Judgement****

Read 1 Cor 5:9-13
4/17/2012 2:21:48 AM
D United States
D
Gerry,
You're right, we are new creations at the moment of salvation.  We are seen by God as washed and forgiven and pure and sinless because He sees us through the filter of His Son.  That does not mean we never sin again. A person who had issues with say, gluttony, may very well still struggle with overeating after salvation. But they work on it in the power of Jesus' strength. The same with people who lust and hate (murder in their heart), are lazy, steal (time at work, etc).  We are no longer to practice these things.  

But we're still wrapped in human skin with human frailties and we still mess up. It's the same with homosexuality.  A person who comes to Christ may still have the feelings, but they're not to practice the sin--the act of homosexual sex.  Having the feelings is not a sin, only giving in to them and performing the act is.  

That's what makes this author so brave and so faithful to our Lord.  He is willing to say that even though he has the feelings He will no longer betray Christ by following through with them.  

Sanctification--the renewing of our minds--takes a lifetime.  The Holy Spirit shapes and molds us as we are obedient to Him.  It doesn't all happen overnight.  

For instance, I was raped before I was saved.  After I was saved, I knew I needed to forgive the man instead of harboring feelings of bitterness and unforgiveness, which are as bad as any other sin.  I had no right to hold onto those attitudes. But I just didn't feel like forgiving Him.  So I did it out of obedience.  I chose to forgive over and over until one day God gave me the feeling.  I felt forgiveness toward Him and it was done.  Forgiveness doesn't mean that we he did was okay. It wasn't.  He sinned against me and against God. But I let Him go into God's hands and pray for his salvation.  

We don't all feel like obeying, but when we do it anyway, it's an act of courageous obedience and a powerful show of faith. And then we begin to grow up.  

Let's take the woman in the Bible caught in adultery.  She was flung at the feet of Christ (where the man was who was committing adultery with her, I don't know).  Jesus forgave her and told her to sin no more.  Presumably, she didn't.  That doesn't mean she was never tempted to again, but hopefully, she remained obedient.  Do you see the difference between being tempted to do something and not doing it?  Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are, but He remained sinless.  Now, He was also God so it was a little easier for Him.  Smile  Because of His blood, though, we are seen as sinless and do our best to live accordingly.  

Do not ever discount or minimize God's grace in your own life or in anothers.  It is big enough to cover us though we are so weak.  We should never cheapen God's grace by sinning when we know better. But be careful not to believe satan's lie that homosexual sin is some worse sin than say, adultery, or being judgmental.  

Please try to understand the context of God's Word.  No, we are not to practice sin any longer, but you will mess up, and I will and others will. We must pray for one another and love one another. That is the greatest commandment behind loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength...loving one another.  We love others in and through their struggles.  We're to visit those in prison--people who have sinned to the point of committing a crime.  

My guess is you were brought up in a religion and some churches teach a strict religious adherence to the law with no room for grace.  See the beauty in this man's obedience despite his feelings and pray for him.  In praying for him you just may begin to have feelings of empathy and compassion and love.  God bless you.  
4/17/2012 7:24:59 AM
Gerry United States
Gerry
yes , d , i said all of that in a shorter sence. and i agree with you completly. i'm sorry that i didn't write that down and just assumed it was common knowledge. We can all backslide, that is why I said His grace and mercy endureth forever. So long as we are willing to accept it with a humbled and contrite heart. And if the man who wrote the book was really saved and wanted to please God, he would not try to tell the whole world how he was gay and Christian. He may still have the feelings and temptations but it should be something that only he and God know about. Everyone has something like that, including Paul. He has a thorn in his side. who knows? it might have been a temptation to homosexuallity. but he didn't go public with it as he shouldnt have.
4/17/2012 7:49:37 AM
D United States
D
@Gerry,
Paul confessed his weaknesses to the entire church in Rome.  He said "For that which I do, I know not. For what I desire, that I do not do; but what I hate, that I do." Romans 7:15

This is probably different than what Paul prayed for deliverance from 3 times, which many believe may have been some sort of eye disease that kept him humble amidst all the revelations God would give to him.  

As long as we're in these bodies we are all still living with a sinful nature, yet now we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us to give us the strength to refrain from sin.  We now understand and are convicted by sin.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone confessing their weaknesses or sins to another.  In fact, we're told to in James 5:16.  "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."

And yet the author of this book is showing us how he is NOT sinning.  How he is living with a weakness and not falling prey to it.  That is a bold and courageous testimony that I need.  I need encouragement to live this life and not give in to my flesh, whatever form that may take.  

It is satan who wants us to be ashamed of our weaknesses and keep quiet about them.  Because when we do we have no accountability to anyone and satan can continue to tempt us and whisper in our ears things like we can do it just this once.  It won't hurt us.  It's a natural feeling and we can't help it.

Sin is most powerful when we keep it to ourselves.

Paul also said "But (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Cor. 12:9-10

Paul knew he was weak and he admitted it.  And it is in that admission that he gained strength from God to overcome and continue to be a bold witness for Christ.  


4/17/2012 2:25:00 PM
One Who Tries United States
One Who Tries
Did anyone NOT get that Hill is trying his hardest, and that he wants to be closer to God, and that he doesn't want to go against the Word of God?
4/17/2012 2:33:42 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
Dear d; Please listen to what i write. I did not say to hid your sin. Your right, the Bible is clear on that subject. I was saying that you shouldnt boast. This Wesley Hill seems to be saying, "Look at me, I'm gay and I'm a Christian."
That, ma'am is blasphemy.( i assume you are female). Please re-read my earlier posts. I said nothing of what you are suggesting. I agree whole heartedly. Why? Because it is God's word. The truth shall set you free. You attempt to make homosexuality acceptible is like trying to make murder acceptible. Please don't think I am angry with you. I only feel heartache for you. You know so much. Yet you refuse to accept all of it.It is a saddening situation.
4/17/2012 4:23:24 PM
D United States
D
@Gerry,
Yes, you did say to hide your sin.  You said he shouldn't tell anyone.  That would be hiding it.

And who said he was boasting?  To say he's boasting is a judgment call when you haven't even read the book.  And if he were boasting about it why would he refrain from living the lifestyle because he knows it's wrong?  That makes no sense.

Look, a lot of people who consider themselves Christian have somehow gotten it into their heads that homosexuality is somehow worse than any other sin.  

All of us have a laundry list of things that we can say "Look at me, I (fill in the blank) and I'm a Christian."  

I judge and I'm a Christian.
I have a temper and I'm a Christian.  
I don't trust God as much as I should and I'm a Christian.
I don't love others as much as I should and I'm a Christian.
I struggle with drugs or alcohol and I'm a Christian.    

That's not boasting.  It's simply admitting our weaknesses so that we can 1. ask God for strength to change and live godly lives; and 2. so that we can encourage one another to keep going, keep trying, keep giving it over to the Lord.  It's letting others know they're not alone and that gives us strength to go on for another day.

Admitting it, talking about, working through it doesn't mean it's acceptable.  

But you're missing the whole point.  Again, He Is SAYING the act is unacceptable and so he's chosen not to do it.  The act is separate from the feeling, and he just can't just turn off the feelings.  Don't you get that?  

Just like when we all become saved we're not perfect.  We struggle with our issues and he struggles with his.  Only how many of us identify the struggles as sin and make a conscious choice not to do it?  Like choosing not to judge.  Like choosing to love another even when they are caught in sin, just like Jesus loves us.

Don't feel sorry for me. I understand things just fine.  I understand that sin is sin no matter what form it takes.  I understand because I've been there and needed someone to care about me and love me even when I was struggling.  I needed someone to be helped rather than judged.  I needed to be loved rather than rejected.  

Re-read God's Word.  Read about grace and love and mercy.  Read about how God showed those to us first so that we can then show them to another.  Read about being humble.  Read about repentence. Read about sanctification.  Read about the difference between temptation, an act of sin, and a lifestyle of sin.  

Anyone who can admit their weaknesses and die to them to live for Christ will always be a hero in my book.    

  
4/17/2012 4:37:22 PM
Jon United States
Jon
After reading through the majority of the posts, I think I want to finally interject my thoughts. I don't usually do this, but I think it'd be appropriate.

I actually struggle with same-sex attractions, and have since I was in my early teen years. I'm currently in college and since coming to college, have been mostly freed from this type of lust. I have considered myself a Christian since the age of 6, but still struggled with this since finding my first porn site on the internet. Since coming to college and getting plugged into a college ministry and a Gospel-preaching church, I have truly started to find the freedom from this (as well as other sins I’ve struggled with) through Christ. It’s ONLY through my growth in my walk and fellowship with the Lord and other Christians that this has happened.

One thing about this "debate" and this book in general is the author's use of the term "homosexual Christian". I’d like to know a little more what you mean by that. In my opinion, in the category of people who don’t solely have attractions to people of the opposite sex, there are people who struggle with and (hopefully) fight same-sex attractions and there are people who have embraced and act out on those same-sex attractions. So I think that the terminology that has taken grip in the media of “heterosexuality” and “homosexuality” is perhaps destructive to the way that God views all this. He clearly has designed marriage and sex for a relationship between one man and one woman. Genesis 2 says, “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." Marriage and sex is supposed to be an image of the relationship that Christ has with the church. For those who are in Christ, we are made one with him (Romans 12:5). God has wonderfully and clearly designed man and woman to work together for this purpose. Anything outside of this purpose is sinful. Read John Piper’s “Sex and the Supremacy of Christ” if you want more on this idea.

What I've been told and encouraged by in this struggle is that the "goal" if you will, is not to go from having homosexual desires to heterosexual desires, but it is to go from having lustful, sinful desires (in this case, which just so happen to be focused on people of the same sex) to having holy, pure desires. After truly becoming a Christian, your affections become stirred for the Lord, not for some temporary worldly desire (Romans 8:5). Obviously this will look different for everyone and while most people (myself included) will probably still struggle at times with these types of lustful desires, we need to be striving after affection for the Lord, not for a clearly heterosexual lifestyle or even a completely celibate lifestyle. Both of those things are good, yes, but neither are the ultimate goal of living in the reality that Christ has died and risen and washed our sins away. We have to find our identity 100% in Christ, and nothing else. Whether that "other identity" is our sexuality or the sports team we follow, it is solely and completely in Christ, and Christ alone.

In summary, from my own experience with this issue, what has gotten me through those lonely, sleepless nights where I may want to give up seeking after the Lord and embrace the same-sex attractions that have so long plagued me is the TRUTH found in 1 Corinthians 6: “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 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 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.” Same-sex attractions are just one in a list of many sins that God does not approve of, so no, struggling with homosexuality is not the worst sin out there, but neither is it the least sin out there. It should be treated with the utmost care as any other sin, “for the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). But for those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have the COMPLETE assurance that we will continue to be sanctified until the day He returns, when (and only at this point) our sanctification will be complete and we will be with our Lord in every ounce of His glory for all eternity. Until that day, however, we just need to keep fighting every sin and every temptation as lies from Satan and keep looking to the promises we have through Christ.
4/17/2012 4:47:57 PM
D United States
D
@Jon, Amen.  

@Gerry,
Just one more thing:

In the verse that you quoted and that Jon just quoted in 1 Cor. 6:9, the word "homosexual" is translated as a catamite, a male who is in a sexual relationship with a male.  It's the practice of sin (that and all the other sins listed) that God judges.  
4/17/2012 4:50:44 PM
JC United States
JC
@Gerry:  If I stood up and said "Look at me, I'm a sinner and I'm a Christian", is that blasphemy?

You're so focused on the word "homosexuality" that you've completely missed the entire point of the book.  We all face the same dilemma that the author faces:  A temptation in our lives that dogs our every step.  Anyone who says they don't struggle with temptation is a liar.  Period.  We all sin every day.  Some of us have little sins nobody knows about, and some of us fail in spectacular, public ways.  But we all sin.  And, before we do, there is a moment when we wrestle with the temptation.

And, admitting that we are tempted (and detailing the struggle to RESIST that TEMPTATION) is far from blasphemous in my book.

And, one last thing:  Ephesians 4:15  "Instead, speaking the truth in love..."  I think you mean well, you're (in my opinion) wielding the Bible as a sword rather than a light to one's path.

Never once did Jesus "put down" someone for their sin.  He came along beside them, shined His light on their sin, and sent them out in His Love.  Jesus was vilified for hanging out with the people whom you label "abominations".

In spite of several specific instances of Jesus pointing out the sins of people around him, he never does so in anger.  He never does so with vitriol.  He always does it with love and compassion.

Might I humbly suggest that even if you disagree 100% with the author, or with the posters who have voiced their support of the author, that you take a lesson from the Savior you profess to follow, and speak your mind with the love and compassion that He would have spoken with.
4/17/2012 5:32:27 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
Ok. I'm tired of trying to explain this and repeating myself. It's obvious no one wants to listen to the truth so I wiil try and find some one who will. I hope you are all right about this. Because that means that no matter what I do I'm going to Heaven. In fact, If you all are right, then no one is going to Hell. Which actually is really good news, because I don't want to see any one go to Hell. But it also means that living a christian life is pointless. Paul's life was in vain. Peter's life was in vain. All of there lives were in vain according to you people. But I'm not willing to take that gamble. And no, it's not a sin to judge. Just don't judge if you don't want to be judged. Jesus said that in Matthew 7:1. Paul also talked about not judging. But I ask this. How do I tell you there is a child molester in your home if I'm not to be judging. I think you have all misunderstood what Jesus and the apostles meant by what they said on the subject. But anyway, I'm outa here. Its no use anyway, no one is going to listen to me. Even though I'm trying very hard to warn you people of the giant snake behind you. But, I digress.
4/17/2012 6:02:21 PM
D United States
D
I'm sorry, Gerry, I didn't mean to upset you.  Look, we could all use more wisdom. Maybe we just need to pray and ask the Lord to give us His wisdom on the subject.  God bless.
4/17/2012 6:54:07 PM
One Who Tries United States
One Who Tries
"Love your neighbor as yourself."  I'm not seeing a whole lot of that here.  I admit, I have had thoughts about this subject and some commenters that are not fit to be spoken.  I think I should bow out so as not to speak them.  God bless you ALL, and may He give us all the wisdom that we need.
4/17/2012 7:45:01 PM
Shula United States
Shula
I am experiencing actual chest pain reading this post. Sometimes heartache actually physically hurts.

By the grace of God (and I am staggered by this) I have been celibate for 3 years.

After I walked through a swamp of sexual brokenness caused by childhood sexual abuse, as a married woman I made friends with  my sexuality. After I had surgery to correct a birth injury, sex was no longer physically painful. Years into our marriage, I finally got it. I realized how powerful and good sex can be. My joy could not be contained. So I started a blog to help other wives enjoy the freedom I had found.

Then my husband had sex with another woman. He was not repentant. It got ugly. In order to prevent my son from growing up internalizing this model as normal, and knowing I had Biblical grounds, I divorced my husband.

That was three years ago.

I cannot tell you the agony I feel. I worked so hard for 17 years to finally walk in sexual wholeness and freedom as a married woman. And to be forced into early retirement. It's a killer. My excellent libido did not disappear when my husband chose to sin. The libido I carefully nurtured with counseling and prayer when I was married did not vanish when the judge declared me divorced. It is not only a longing for physical relief, although there is plenty of that and that is valid. It is a deep longing of the soul to be safe and intimate and loved and connected with a man who loves me and is committed to me. My sexuality is such a precious aspect of who I am and not being able to fully connect on that level and share myself fully is just agony.

I turn down inappropriate sex on average of once a week. I'm talking unsolicited invitations. I am a godly woman in her forties who lives in the suburbs and works in corporate America.

It is so difficult to find godly men to date who will honor my desire to remain celibate till remarriage. The Christian dating world is rampant with promiscuity. A huge majority of the Christian men I have dated fully expect some kind of sexual behavior by date 2.

I felt such outrage toward God that after I worked so hard to learn how to embrace healthy sex, I had to give it up because of someone else's sin. I live with longing and it is not my fault. I know this book will resonate with  me. I am currently writing the heterosexual version of that book.

My desert experience has forced me to get brutally honest with God and a few safe close friends. I have come to the conclusion that if you're not willing to go to the ugly cry, you will never make it as a celibate.

I cannot tell you how risky it is as a Christian woman to admit that sex is important to you. People are eager to write you off as a slut or a shallow Christian. I am neither. So many people want to write off sexual desire as evil "the lusts of the flesh". But I know from experience that healthy sexual desire for healthy married sex is not lusting to just use someone's body in a dehumanizing way. I don't want sinful sex. I want hot holy married sex. I turn down hookups all the time because my heart craves the real thing-healthy married intimacy. So many Christian singles fall into one of two ditches on the sexual road. One extreme is to try to wall off their sexuality, cut it off, deny it. The other extreme is to just succumb to the culture of promiscuity. It took me 17 years to fully connect my heart and my body. I don't want to risk them splitting apart if I engage in cheap meaningless sex. So I haven't.

I long for the real thing I have experienced before. I know it's real. I know that Biblically I am a young widow who needs to remarry so as to not burn. So at great sacrifice I am searching for a mate by wading through the sea of promiscuity looking for a godly husband. It's not easy. Holiness is very very lonely.

I have a dynamic spiritual life. I have a healthy emotional life with good connection with godly friends. I have hobbies and interests and a ministry I find fulfilling. It's not enough. I am not meant to sleep alone. I am meant to be a wife. My exhusband's sin did not cancel my vocation to marriage. So I am brutually honest with a few safe friends and I am doing my very best to be faithful in this season. Hardly a day goes by that I don't weep. I am not depressed. Those 20 minutes of appropriate sadness do not ruin the rest of my day. I am simply lonely in my sweet inner self. There is no pretending otherwise.

I want to be a wife again.
4/17/2012 8:22:24 PM
Hope United States
Hope
"For now we see through a glass, darkly;  but then, face to face".  Somehow I suspect, dear brothers and sisters, that we are ALL right, and that we are ALL wrong.  I heard a great preacher say once that we will all be surprised at who we run into in Heaven, and by who is not there.

Love to all, especially you, Gerry.  You seem like a fine young man.  May you grow in grace and understanding.

Jon, keep leaning on Jesus...he's got your back, little bro.

Good night, family.  
4/18/2012 12:37:07 PM
Milton Gray United States
Milton Gray
Gerry,
You are standing in your own righteousness. You're pointing to the fact that you sin"less" than before and therefore that "proves" you have faith in Jesus. NOTHING external proves you have faith in Jesus. The fact that you point to your own righteousness rather than the righteousness imputed by Christ would indicate that your faith is in your perceived "better" behavior. As such, YOU would be in greater jeopardy to be damned than a homosexual who knows they wouldn't have salvation if it weren't for God's mercy and grace. Gerry YOU need to repent of the sin of self-righteousness and works based salvation. YOU have a form of Godliness but deny it's power. BIBLICAL repentance in not behavior modification away from sin, it is changing your mind about your sinning self in light of God. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind or you will be judged on your own righteousness and be damned to hell...
4/18/2012 2:54:13 PM
Christina United States
Christina
Gerry,
I can see your heart and passion for others behind your words.  I do not believe that you're being judgemental.  I believe that your motives are pure.  I believe that your zeal and passion is for Truth.  After reading ALL of your post with an understanding heart... I, do, see what your trying to say.  That sin separates us all from God.  Praise Jesus for his redeeming blood!  Once we are truly saved, even though we still struggle with sin, we are seen spotless in the eyes of God AND our attitude towards sin changes.  We should detest test.  We should flee from sin.  We must put on the armor of God and use Scripture to resist temptaions.  My number one sin?  Pride.  Have I been forgiven?  You betcha!  Praise Jesus.  But... I can not go on living in pride.  Everyday, sometimes 100 times, I have to confess this sin, name the sin, and ask Jesus for forgiveness.  Now... If I made excuses to go on living in pride saying: Well... Noones perfect.  I was born this way.  I'm a sinner.  I'm a prideful Christian... showing no signs of true repentance, but only signs of justifying my sin... I WOULD expect a brother/sister to come to me in love and try to bring me into a place of restoration.  Is this what you were trying to say?
Love your heart, Gerry!  Press on, Brother.  Keep your eyes on the prize.  Continue passionately seeking after Jesus.  Continue searching His words for complete wisdom and direction. (Psalm 119, love that passage!)  Only Jesus truly satisfies...

To the others who have condemned Gerry words w/o truly listening to his heart... Shame.  YOU are the judgemental ones.  In your words I see pride and piousness.  That's what Jesus scolded the Pharisees for.  Their motives behind wanting stone Mary were driven out of believing that they were superior and wanting stump Jesus.  Sound familar?

Per restoring a brother, Matthew 18.  Per judging, 1 Corinthians 5... It's not up to us to correct/judge those who outside of the body.  But... It IS our duty, out of love, to bring to light the sins of those who call themselves believers.

Praying for the Body of Christ.
Come.  Lord Jesus, Come.
4/18/2012 4:15:42 PM
Christina United States
Christina
Jon:  God bless you, Brother!  It's a privilige to stand before his throne with you.  I can't wait until that day when all these earthly struggles will be gone and we can savor His glory in all it's fullness... for HE alone IS satisfaction. In the meantime, may we keep pressing...keeping our eyes on the "prize", Jesus Christ.
4/18/2012 4:45:27 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
Thank you,Chrstina. I am truly humbled by your praise, because I cannot see how anyone is less worthy than I am to be called a child of God. Thank you for listening. It greives my heart so to see a world headed in the opposite direction of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Please, pray for me that I may stay on the staight and narrow keeping my mind transform. And if it helps everyone else to know, the number one sin that I am tempted with everyday is in fact sex. It litterally drives me nuts. Christina, I will remember you in my prayers, as well as jon and D, and all the rest of you. God bless you all.
4/18/2012 5:46:42 PM
JC United States
JC
@Christina -  I think your last post hits on why Gerry's words sparked so much controversy.  You said "But... It IS our duty, out of love, to bring to light the sins of those who call themselves believers."

Problem.  The author of the book is not sinning.  I haven't read the book, but Brant earlier posted that the author "believes scripture is clear that homosexual behavior is sinful".  The book details his struggle with the fact that he is tempted to a homosexual lifestyle but knows that such a lifestyle would be a sin, and so lives a celibate lifestyle.

It details his struggle to come to grips with the fact that unless God changes his desires, he won't experience the intimacy & companionship of sex that God intended us to experience.

Jesus was tempted, and yet did not sin.  So we cannot condemn the writer for simply being tempted to that lifestyle.  If he chooses to live that lifestyle and then justify his position, then it is, as you pointed out, our duty to IN LOVE point out his sins.

I don't believe that God's commandment that we admonish a brother IN LOVE means that we can do so in whatever manner we see fit simply because it's driven by love.  That's the second problem with Gerry's posts.. His words came across as hurtful and driven by self-righteousness.  That may not be the case, but especially in a medium like an internet blog, one must choose their words carefully.  Without a face to face interaction, we're left to try and determine his heart based solely on his words, which didn't portray a loving admonition.
4/18/2012 7:41:10 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
Wesley Hill described himself as a homosexual Christian according to Brant's quote. So does that mean I can describe myself as a whore monger Christian? I know I said I was done posting. But, this really bothers me. Calling anyone a ( fill in the blank ) Christian is what you call, " trying to have it both ways." Maybe this man is doing that, maybe he isn't. I not condemning him to anywhere. I'm simply trying to say," Hey, dude, you might want to be careful about how you go about wording things." Because all it takes is one little sin to keep us from Heaven. And I do not know this man. I do not know if he's trying to make homosexuallity not a sin. He may not even realize what he is doing by saying," homosexual Christian." All I'm saying is, if I see someone stepping a little off the straight and narrow, what will happen if I don't say anything about it. Will somebody else say something? And then be beat over the head because he did so? Because he was just being "mean and hatful and judging?" Because of that mentality most people will not say anything, because they are afraid of the nay sayers. I am not that way. I, obviously, will say something. Because, you know what? They are a soul , too. God created them, too. Jesus died for them, too. And yet, I don't "love" them because I speak up? It seems you are the ones who do'nt love them. I can not stand here and let you "shush" me, when my fellow man is falling into the devil's snare. If Wesley Hill chooses not to listen to me, then there is nothing I can do for him, except pray. I wish that he were reading this blog. I wonder if he would accept my reproof and fix the error, or would he reject all that has been lain before him, not by me, mind you, but by God. Because if it were not for God's tender grace and mercy, I would be in much worse shape than this man is right now. I want to stress ,urgently, that I am nothing but dirt. A servant of our Lord Jesus Christ. NOT righteous, but forgiven. Not self made, but God made. Just as everyone in this world is God made. I do not consider myself any higher than the worm. But that does not mean that I ca'nt be a warning signal to those who are misstepping. And If I keep my silence, when I stand before the God Allmighty, trembling in my skin, unable to speak a single word, for fear of His wrath, what am I going to do when he points at all the people who didn't pass the test and says," why didn't you warn them?" Why didn't you tell them they were messing up? You were the only one how could have reached them. and you didn't lift a finger. Now they must die for eternity. Depart from me, ye worker of iniquity, I never knew you."   That is a very frighten thought to me. But, I know that I cannot reach those who are lost without the love of God burning in my soul. And it would be extreme hatred towards my fellow man if I refuse to share that love with them. So, please, do not through your life away trying to justify everything. Just accept God's love and salvation and change into a completely new person. One who in whom God delights. Because you know what? A real Christian life is an infinity times better than a life void of God's love.

   Psalms 37:23
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
4/19/2012 12:24:49 AM
D United States
D
Hi Gerry.  
I know that a lot of God's Word can be confusing and could seem to contradict itself.  But when you look closely at it, you realize it doesn't.

You said, "Because all it takes is one little sin to keep us from Heaven."

I think that's the thought process that is tripping you up.  It is not sin that keeps us from heaven.  Everyone who goes to heaven is a sinner.  The difference is they've asked for forgiveness for their sins and received Christ as their Savior.  So the thing that keeps a person out of heaven is simply never asking Jesus into your life and not having your sins forgiven through the shed blood of Christ.

Once we're saved, try as we might, we will still sin sometimes. So even though people who are saved still sin, they will still go to heaven, not because of anything they have or have not done, but solely based on Christ's death on the cross and that person accepting that free gift of forgiveness.  

When it says in 1 Cor. 6 that the unrighteous will not go to heaven, the unrighteous are those who have never received Christ as their Savior, not people who do not sin. It is Jesus Who makes us righteous, not our works.

Then it goes on to list the people who will not inherit the kingdom of God--fornicators, idolators, adulterers, abusers, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers and  extortioners. This is talking about people who practice these sins.  

Since there is nothing we can do to earn salvation, there is nothing we can do to unearn salvation.  Again, it's a free gift.  All we have to do is ask. At that moment, the Holy Spirit indwells us to minister to us, to purify our hearts, to teach us, to comfort us, and an infinite number of other things.  

One of the things He does is convict us of sin.  So if a Christian commits a sin, the Holy Spirit will convict him or her and they will likely not practice these sins.  There are Christians who have, unfortunately, committed adultery, or are covetous, etc.  But again, because we sin, we will not have our salvaton revoked. That doesn't mean that we should take our salvation for granted and cheapen God's grace.  Committing these sins with no repentance will distance ourselves from God, but not take away salvation.

What it's saying, as far as I understand it, is that those who are truly saved, the righteous in Christ, will be convicted not to practice these sins, and that those who do, with no conscience, are not saved.
  
Paul goes on to say that those in the church in Corinth used to practice these sins.  But now they are washed by Jesus' blood, and he was admonishing them to no longer behave as they once did.  

We also have to understand the meanings of each of the words listed.  It's helpful to have a concordance to look up the actual meanings of the words.  Again, the word homosexual here means a person who practices sex with a member of the same sex.  Our feelings are not sins.  It is what we choose to do with those feelings that can make them a sin.  

For instance, the Bible says to be angry and sin not.  It is not a sin to be angry.  But if I allow that anger to follow through to say, punching someone in the face, that would be a sin.  

So, having the feeling of attraction to the same sex is not (necessarily) a sin.  But if someone followed through with that feeling and engaged in a sexual relationship with a member of the same sex, that would be sin.  God does say we are not to lust after anything or anyone, though, which would be focusing on the feelings and allowing them to take our over thoughtlife to the point of replacing our focus and passion and love that should be on God on someone or something else.  

Again, we have the Holy Spirit to convict us of those things.  We cannot judge what is in someone else's heart.  We don't even really know what's in our own hearts (they are desperately wicked, who can know them) until God reveals it to us.  

It's a little confusing, I know.  And someone calling themselves a homosexual Christian may be confusing to a lot of people.  But the point that we can't miss is that the author is refusing to give in to those feelings so that he can remain obedient to Christ. We all have feelings from time to time to do something we shouldn't. Sometimes we let those feelings rule and we sin. But when we choose not to, we acknowledge Christ as our Lord rather than that thing we want to do.  

I hope I made at least a little bit of sense.  Sorry it was so long.  I get a little verbose sometimes.  Smile  

  

4/19/2012 6:34:35 AM
Christina United States
Christina
JC,
You and I will have to agree to disagree on Gerry's supposed self-righteousness.  I will say that many who have "rebuked" Gerry have displayed self-rigteousness and have come off with a prideful arrogance... much more than what I saw displayed in Gerry's words.  This saddens me.  For in the "rebukes", I did not read any compassion.  Per my comment that was directed towards Gerry that you have decided to correct, I will not defend.  As I believe that my words have also been misread and that also saddens me.  This is why I never comment on posts or blogs.

D,
You are spot on!  Your words were full of truth, well-said, and a great basket full of morning encouragement.  I do believe that you hit the nail on the head and eloquently addressed Gerry's concerns... and did so in love.  I couldn't help but want to shout "amen" a gazillion times!

Gerry,
I hope that through this experience God has revealed even more of himself to you.  He is a God of grace, mercy, truth, and love.  Gerry, I have no doubt that you are saved.  Your passion for Jesus is very evident and your gratefullness of his forgiveness is humbling. Just remember that his gift of salvation is a gift.  Jesus says that what the Father has given him can not be taken away.  That's what makes this gift so amazing!  Brother, Ephesians 2 rocks on this! May you come to the realization that you are unconditionally loved.  May you live in this love as an assured believer.  Can't wait to meet you in Heaven, Brother.

Per the Author,
I almost wonder if it would be better to emial him or write hin if there are concerns.  Not out of a tone that might appear condemning... but more of a "Q&A" style.  Just asking him the dierct questions that might be concerning some.  I dunno... I just know that it's so easy to misinterpret writings, as is obvious through reading these comments.

In Jesus...
4/19/2012 7:03:14 AM
Christina United States
Christina
Brother Gerry,
I'd love to share a few verse with you and encourage you to read them.  Devour them.  Let them marinade in your heart.  I, too, have often struggled with this because I am so unworthy, but... even though His gift is incomprehensible with our finite conditional minds, our infinite God is much, much bigger.  I pray that today you will live a life in conviction, not condemnation.  A life assured in Jesus.  (This is NOT dealing with the controversaries read above.  This is strictly on my heart to share with you.)

John 10:27-29
Romans 8:35-39

I also encourage you to read:
"The Relationship of Marriage" by Charles Spurgeon
Just google it.  I have read it 5 times and each time I am overcome with tears.  God is so good.

Have a blessed day...
4/19/2012 7:23:33 AM
Christina United States
Christina
Gerry,

A few more "reads" to bring thought and encouragement to your soul:
www.gospeloutreach.net/...rance_of_the_saints.html
http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols13-15/chs872.pdf
4/19/2012 8:07:32 AM
JC United States
JC
I was going to type up another long winded response, but I think D hit on most of what I was going to say.

@Gerry - I get where you're coming from with the "homosexual Christian" identification.  Too many people label themselves as "XYZ Christian" and attempt to justify their sinful behavior as being "OK".

I think that a comparison to alcoholism is apropos.  You never hear someone say "I'm a former alcoholic".  They're always "alcoholic" or "recovering alcoholic".  Why?  Because for most, the desire to take that next drink never leaves them.  I think the author is labeling himself as a homosexual in the same way.  He readily admits that the lifestyle is sinful, but the desires have not been removed from him, so in that way he still identifies as homosexual.

@Christina - We can certainly agree to disagree.  It's one of the problems with this type of communication.  Without any relationship with the writers, we're left to our own inferences as to what people mean, and so you can I can read Gerry's earlier posts and come away with completely different feelings on them.

In this case, this topic is something that is already a bit of a pet peeve to me.  I happen to think that "the church" (in a broad sense, not necessarily individual churches or Christians) have elevated homosexuality above so many other sins.  They have made it the sin of all sins, and completely alienated that community, and it ticks me off!  I don't want to see my homosexual friends spend their eternity in hell - my heart aches at the thought.  And yet, I feel that "the church" has largely written those friends off because of their lifestyle.

So, coming from that frame of reference, I read Gerry's comments differently than you did...

One last thought directed at both you and Gerry.  Don't stop posting simply because some of us disagreed with you or you think we misinterpreted your thoughts.  Disagreement is OK.  In fact, I'd say it's good - as long as we can all respectfully disagree.  That conflict spurs growth in all of us.  So don't let a few of us who may have been boisterous in our disagreement with you keep you from speaking your minds. Smile
4/19/2012 10:54:23 AM
Milton Gray United States
Milton Gray
It is only the responsibility of someone who is willing to be in RELATIONSHIP with said "brother" that can wound him with truth. When the Bible says "The wounds of a friend are faithful..." it implies friendship relationship. It is NOT your responsibility to WOUND ANYONE into corrective behavior. That would be God's responsibility via The Holy Spirit and willing FRIEND vessels that love that person and are as willing to live with, have relationship with, be seen with, cry with, laugh with, lend money to, forgive each other with. When YOU are willing to do ALL that and MORE than talk to me about how you want to HELP that person with "truth."

The problem is you believe this lie of "Love the sinner, hate the sin." Hate your OWN SIN first, and when you do you'll have greater compassion on other sinner and THEN be able to love them.

By the way, Jesus was snide, harsh, and even sarcastic to the religious establishment.
4/19/2012 11:49:07 AM
Christina United States
Christina
JC, Smile

Brant, I humbly apologize for "butting my nose in".  I respect, Brother, and praise Jesus for your ministry.  Per the author, I appreciate his honesty and eagerness to share.  I also plan on reading his book for further insight into his heart and ministry.  Thanks for sharing.

Milton, Not sure what to say to you.  We agree on issues, but there are some things in your comment that do not settle well with me.  I will say one last thing and then I will be silent, as Jesus was also silent before the Pharisees... In the words of Martin Luther:  "Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures or by evident reason-for I can believe neither pope nor councils alone, as it is clear that they have erred repeatedly and contradicted themselves-I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one's conscience is neither safe nor sound. God help me. Amen."
4/19/2012 11:55:31 AM
Milton Gray United States
Milton Gray
Hey Christina,
Sorry I didn't clarify. My post was not directed towards you but to Gerry. Who although well intentioned doesn't realize the place of arrogant self-righteousness that he's coming from. It sounds so pious to be so concerned about everyone else's sin sending them to Hell that you just HAVE to say something. It's not his place EVER unless he's willing to have RELATIONSHIP with that person. Sorry for the confusion.
4/19/2012 12:08:49 PM
Christina United States
Christina
Milton, Thank you.  It just saddens me that what has been done to Gerry is exactly what others have accused him of doing.  May we ALL learn from this.  May we ALL be slow to speak and quick to listen.  May we ALL who profess to be in the body, seek to understand one another, desire unity in Spirt, and have a burning passion for the lost.  In Jesus...
4/19/2012 12:44:44 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
   Christina,
Thank you for the encouraging words and references. I will most definitely indulge. I agree with both you and JC. Posting does not come across like it was meant. That Is something I have learned quickly, since this is my first time to really indulge in internet blogging.

   D,
You are correct about being angry and not sinning. Even Jesus was angered and ran people out of the synagoge. But we must remember that He is in fact the Son of God, and is perfect. We are not perfect so I would strongly caution you before you ran anyone out of the synagoge.
    Matthew 7:5  
        Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote of thy brother's eye.

Now I know clearly that some of you are saying that that is exactly what I need to do. I'm am totally aware of that and practice it everyday. And the picture that I see hasn't changed. Some of you won't believe me an say that I am still being a hypocrite. So be it. I digress.
  
   D, you are right, but I have one small disagreement. Your basis for Chistianity seems to be based around the doctrine that once you are saved you are allways saved. I cannot see how that is truth. Yes we sin after we are saved. That is why we must have a daily walk with God, asking for forgiveness for a comitted sin a hundred times a day if we half to like Christina mentioned earlier. Only God's grace and mercy allows Him to forgive us everyime we ask for forgiveness. Because He loves us.

     Milton Gray,
Not really sure how to respond. You seem to be contradictng yourself over an over. Maybe its just as Christina and JC were saying about blogs.
I do know my own sins, hate them with a vicious passion and complete discust for the one who started sin.

    Brant,
I want to also echo Christina. Thankyou for your blog and willingness and courage to bring this sort of issue to it. My experiance here has been invigorating.

  God bless you all.
4/19/2012 12:48:43 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
  Chrstina,
Thank you for your support and encouragement. I consider myself friends with everyone here and anyone else I happen across, even those who would claim to be my enemy. But,it is still a nice feeling when some one else wants to be friends back. Keep up the good work and faith, sister. May we meet in Heaven.
4/19/2012 2:29:37 PM
Milton Gray United States
Milton Gray
Gerry,
God WATCHES YOU DAILY sin. But He LOVES YOU! He does NOT hold your sins against because you believe in His son. In layman's terms you're getting away with sin EVERY DAY! God is neither guilty you, shaming you, or condemning you for the fact that you HAVEN'T CHANGED your DAILY sinful behavior.

BUT you have the TEMERITY to look at someone ELSE who's doing THE SAME THING YOU ARE, but you call in to question his salvation!

If you TRULY HATED YOUR SIN more than the sin Homosexuality it would manifest itself in compassion, understanding, grace and in layman's terms "you couldn't possibly hope that God shames, imposes, guilts or forces that gay man to change" because THEN YOU WOULD HAVE TO AS WELL.

If that gay man who hopes in the fact that Jesus said he would go to heaven if he simply BELIEVED in him is judged for HIS sinning lifestyle and goes to Hell for it, than YOU CAN EXPECT TO GO TO HELL AS WELL!
4/19/2012 5:13:57 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
  Romans 12:1,2
I beseech you therefore,brethren,by the mercies of God,that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,holy,acceptable unto God,which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,that ye may prove what is that good ,and acceptable,an perfect,will of God.

  We are expected, by Crist, to live a separated life style void of all sin, because we are washed by the blood of Jesus Crist.
  It would seem that you are convicted, severly. Why else for the out rage? You are just as ready to condemn me to hell as much as you claim that I am condemning to hell. How do you expect me to listen to you at all?
4/20/2012 6:01:12 AM
Daniel United States
Daniel
Hi I know im a little late in this conversation but I have read all the posts and would like to say my piece                                        Let me first say that i am not judging anyone or trying to condem. I dont know your situation and lord knows im not better or more rightious  than anyone im a recovering addict who was once bisexual untill god diliverd me from that sin unfortionatly I turned away from God and went to drugs. By the grace and wonderful mercy of God he gave me another chane recently and saved my soul. I say all that not to gloryfy the sin or lift myself up I hate the sin and if anyone deserves hellfire and damnation its me i only tell it so you know where im coming from.          @D I disagree with you about the once saved always saved yes we all sin but evn a little white lie is enuf to keep you (or me) from entering heaven it is only through a daily walk with god and the redeming blood of jesus christ that makes it possible to make it to heaven  i encourage you to ask for forgiveness every time you sin the bible says that jesus will forgive you 70 times 7 in a day ( forgive my ignorance for not knowing the verse). Not to say that we shouldnt strive to resist temptation and not sin for i belive it is possible to live a mostly sinless life with the lords help                  
4/20/2012 8:53:22 AM
Milton Gray United States
Milton Gray
Gerry,
I'm not condemning you to Hell, I'm saying the opposite. I'm saying that because someone like YOU who sins EVERYDAY gets to go to Heaven, so will the gay man who believes in Jesus get to go to heaven even if he can never completely overcomes his sexual immorality. You haven't overcome YOUR sexual immorality and you get to go to Heaven. HE may never overcome HIS sexual immorality either and guess what? He gets to go to Heaven as well.

YOU'RE the one that called into question the man's salvation because he's still gay. The good news is Gerry, that he may never change but He's still going to Heaven. That should be cause for you and me to rejoice! Because YOU may never change and YOU still get to go to Heaven.

I don't disagree with the verse you quoted. But you think that is a call to perfect behavior when in fact it's a call to faith. You can NEVER present yourself perfect before God UNLESS you have placed your faith in Jesus. YOU ARE ALREADY PERFECT in Christ. That's how He sees you. THAT'S THE ONLY WAY YOU'LL be able to accomplish that verse. You can NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH to present yourself perfect before God!

You may think that this will lead to MORE sinning. And it MAY at first. But ultimately, on God's watch not yours or mine, something beautiful happens. You begin to want to please God rather than yourself. And I've NEVER met anyone who actually encountered the true and living God that didn't make some kind of change for the better.

The biblical formula God uses is "The love of God brings men to repentance." It's like telling a homeless man he shouldn't eat out of a garbage can because its bad for him. The garbage can is all he has. It actually fills his belly. He may get sick but at least he's full. Now tell that man that you've discovered his Father is a multi millionaire and he's inherited $50 million dollars. Guess what? It may take him a moment to adjust, but eventually he'll not eat out of that garbage can. He just needs to actually believe His father has left him an unlimited inheritance!

And I'm not raging against you brother, I'm treating you harshly like Jesus treated religious people who should know better because they bathe in the Grace that God bestowed upon them but do not treat others the way God has treated them.

But I would love to treat you kindly if you would just admit that you are as fallen as a "gay" christian. Blessings to you.
4/20/2012 9:44:56 AM
D United States
D
Brant, please forgive me for going off-topic for a moment.  I know this isn’t a once-saved-always-saved subject, but I want to give some food for thought in response to the concerns raised and then I’ll leave the subject alone.  I hate to see believers live in daily fear of having their salvation revoked.  That’s just not the way God would have us live.

@Gerry and Daniel, first, I'd like to know what scripture you use as a basis for your belief that once a person is saved they can lose their salvation.  There is none.  On the contrary.

“In Him we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins, ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE, which He caused to abound toward us in all wisdom and understanding; having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, for an administration of the fullness of times, to head up all things in Christ, both the things in Heaven, and the things on earth, even in Him, in whom also we have been chosen to an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His own will, for us to be to the praise of His glory, who previously had trusted in Christ;  in whom also you, hearing the Word of Truth, the gospel of our salvation, in whom also believing, YOU WERE SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE who is the earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Eph. 1:7-14

We are saved through the blood of Christ, not through anything we do, and nothing about that changes after we’re saved.  When we receive Christ’s gift we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, Who, God says, is a promise from Him to us that we are secure in our salvation until the day we meet Him.

The word “sealed” means to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation.  I’m sure you know how back in the day, when kings sent a letter with a courier for delivery, they would seal it with their personal wax seal.  That would ensure that no one would open it and alter it until it was delivered to its rightful owner.  

The King of kings has sealed us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to ensure that we are delivered to our rightful owner, Himself.  

When we allow Him into our life, God gives us a promise through His Holy Spirit.  And with God a promise is a promise.  

Also, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption.” Eph. 4:30

This verse shows that while we can grieve the Holy Spirit when we sin (though we are admonished not to) we are still sealed until the day our spirits join Him in heaven.  

That is precisely why Christ died—to forgive us when we sin.  If we could lose our salvation, what good was Christ’s death?  It was for all sin for all time.  “It is finished.” All we have to do is receive it.  We can never deceive ourselves into believing that we keep our salvation by anything we do.   That is works and that is pride and that is sin.  But God forgives us by the blood of His Son.  

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom. 5:1

I could go on and on.  Or rather, God does in His Word.  We don’t have to live in fear that the next sin we commit God will say, “That’s enough! You are no longer my son or daughter.”  He loves us.  And the more we love Him the more we’ll see that, and the more we’ll allow Him to live His life in and thorough us.  And as we do that, we will sin less and less.  That is called sanctification.  God knows we’re learning.  He is a good and faithful Father Who does not cast out His children, but teaches us all things as we live the lives He’s given us.  

Also, read Galatians 3.

That is all.  

Blessing and peace to you.  



4/20/2012 10:26:27 AM
Christina United States
Christina
John 10:27-29
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and   they will never perish, and   no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father,   who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of   the Father's hand.

Romans 8:30-39 is another great promise of security in Jesus.

Per "believing"... Let us remember that simply believing is not enough.  Satan believed... and knew Scripture.  :o). One must also confess on the Lord Jesus Christ and acknowledge that they are a sinner in need of his gift and cleansing.  One must humbly cry out to God for forgivness and turn from their ways.

Praying for the Holy Spirit to keep our hearts humble as we devour His Word in search of His truth.  May He illuminate the Scripture as we read and open our hearts to receive.
4/20/2012 10:55:27 AM
Christina United States
Christina
Milton,

To Gerry's defense, if you read all of his comments... He did admit what you are asking.  He also admitted that there might have been areas that he jumped to quickly on.  He apologized.  There were also areas where he expressed his sincere conviction.  But... In every post of his, I saw intense concern for the souls of all.  I implore you to read all of his comments, twice... once for the head and twice for the heart.

You said: "But I would love to treat you kindly if you would just admit that you are as fallen as a "gay" christian. Blessings to you."  So... You will be kind to him if.........?  That sounds so conditional and manipulative. I'm sure that you mean well, but this does not sit well with me and does not feel at all Christlike.
4/20/2012 11:01:38 AM
Christina United States
Christina
D, I could not have written it any better.  God is good and His mercy endures forever.  His love is unending.  His gift is free and not based on works or conditions.  We ARE sealed.  When I finally came to understand this, my appreciation for this gift grew tremendously.  Blessed assurance...
4/20/2012 11:44:40 AM
Milton Gray United States
Milton Gray
Christina, with all due respect it IS Jesus-like to treat the pharisee harshly. We're not called to unconditional kindness. And it isn't that I get any kind of fulfillment in doing it. I hope that Gerry is shaken out of his pharisaical spirit. And I do believe Gerry is sincere in his concern. Most hypocrites ARE sincere. But he has a blind spot that I hope he's challenged in.

Does Gerry believe Wesley Hill is going to Hell because he struggles with leaving the only place that filled him, validated him and gave him love? If you believe he's our brother because he's trying to refrain from the act, what if he falls into the arms of a homosexual lover now? Does that INVALIDATE his claim on Christ's salvation? Guess what? We DON'T fall into sin, we fall into GRACE.

I hope you get it Gerry...take care. I do love your heart though Christina, it's the naiveté of pure love...and that's not a bad thing.

4/20/2012 12:31:41 PM
Christina United States
Christina
Milton, But Christ could see into the "Pharisee's" heart.  You can't.  (Cf. 2 Samuel 16:7) But... You do decide that you must be unkind and cast judgement on Gerry.  One could falsely see you, too, as a behaving as a Pharisee.  And, yes.  We are to be kind in words. (Cf. Eph 4:29,  If there was a rebuke needed, do you honestly believe that harsh words and scolding is the same and gently restoring as God spoke about in 1st Timothy and Galations? (Cf 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Galations 6:1)

I do not believe that Gerry is a hypocrite.  This also is a very Pharaseeish statement, said in anger and out of a superior spirit.  He's admitting his flaws.  He's admitted that he, too, is a sinner and that his sins were no better than any others.  He's admitted that he has a thorn that he has to contend with.  It also sounds like he's striving to practice what he preaches and is eager to learn, constantly seeking forgiveness, and be molded to be more like Christ.  In reading Scripture, the Pharisees did not even except Christ let alone recognize their flaw.

This entire conversation saddens me.
God help us all...
4/20/2012 12:36:58 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
  Dear D,
I know you mean well, but we can, in fact, brake that seal you spoke of. If we sin, we simply recognize that, humble ourselves before God and ask forgiveness. The Word clearly states that if we bahave so, with a sincere heart and every intention to correct the wrong, that He will be quick to forgive us. But, that being said,we can get out from under the saving power of the blood. If we have an unrepentant heart and show ourselves to be rebelious, then we have most certaintly backslidden and are far from going to Heaven. 2 Peter Chapter 2, deals with this subject most brilliantly. Please, don't take any chances. I would that you were right. But, I cannot see how it is so. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God. And it is much better to be safe than sorry. Love your challenges, though. All of you. If anything, it has sharpened my faith. I'll keep yuo in my prayers, D.

   Dear Milton,
In spite of your attempts to portray me as a Pharisee, I cannot help but think the same thing about you. This is a subject that we are just going to have to agree to disagree. Though I'm not sure that is possible on your part, since it is difficult for Pharisees to agree to that sort of agreement.

   Dear Christina,
Thankyou for sticking up for me. Smile

   Dear Daniel,
Hang in there, man. God will deliever if you really make it clear to Him that you will no turn back no matter the circumstance. You are in my prayers, also.

  Remember, folks, Jesus loves us all.

4/20/2012 4:58:32 PM
D United States
D
@Gerry,
I don't just mean well.  I am quoting scripture.  And there is no scripture that says that once a person is saved they can "break the seal."  We don't conform the Word to our beliefs, we conform our beliefs to line up with the Word.  And we have to understand the Word in context rather than picking out verses and making them fit with what we believe.  

2 Peter 2 is a warning against false teachers--teachers of a form of religion but who were never saved.  The discussion begins in the first verse and goes on throughout the chapter.  It talks about the deeds of false teachers so that true believers could be alert and aware and know what to look for if they encountered them so that they didn't become lured away from the truth and follow ungodly ways.

Verse 20 refers to people who have heard the truth of the gospel and had begun to live like a believer, but who never put their faith in Christ and eventually walked away from the truth.  Jesus talked about this in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13.  Not everyone who hears the truth will be saved because they'd rather continue to live by their own works and a law of religion rather than a faith in Christ. It is not enough to just believe that Jesus is.  The demons believe, and shudder. (James 2:19)  We must go further than just knowledge of God, we must put our faith in God through Jesus Christ for salvation.  False teachers live by a knowledge of God, and for a while they may very well look like Christians, but they are not saved.  And that's evidenced by the things they teach which are contrary to God's Word. That's what the chapter is about.          
4/20/2012 8:22:13 PM
Gerry United States
Gerry
...ugh...I havn't the energy to go through all of this agian. It was nice talking to all of you. Hope you all keep pressing toward that Heavenly goal. I know I won't let up for anything. Christina, D, Milton, and all the rest of you, to God let your praise allways be directed. God bless you all, and may we all find peace and rest in Him. Amen.
4/21/2012 5:57:55 PM
Milton Gray United States
Milton Gray
Christina,
Gerry is acting like the Apostle Peter in the book of Acts who was also being a sincere hypocrite. Look at how Paul "restored" Peter and it was for his own good. Gerry totally believes he can be righteous enough to fulfill the requirements of God's perfect standard. That is a sure sign of someone that hasn't grasped what Jesus has done for them. And if he intends to continue to believe that his brother Wesley Hill is going to Hell because he struggles with sexual immorality than Jesus said Gerry will be judged the same way. I DO LOVE HIM & that's why I'm trying to shake him out of his pharisaical spirit. It will end in his damnation if he doesn't repent of it!

A Pharisee is not someone who simply judges. A pharisee is not someone who is unkind. A Pharisee is someone who thinks they can behave in accordance to a perfect standard of morality and be in a right standing with God because of it. The hypocrisy is that they are NOT behaving perfectly, yet expect others to do so.

Gerry in one of your posts you asked "How can I even listen to you when you're so quick to condemn me to hell?" That's EXACTLY how most people feel about the church because you are quick to judge EVEN THOSE THAT CLAIM salvation because according to you the have NOT repented. YOU have a misunderstanding of repentance. Repentance is NOT a pledge to refrain from bad behavior. It is simply a change of mind in regard to your sinning self.

Wherever it is, or whoever it is that is attempting to give you an understanding of God's word is complicating it for you. I would recommend you listen to someone else. The Gospel of Grace IS MUCH BIGGER THAN WE AS THE CHURCH HAVE ADVERTISED IT TO BE. And it IS simple. Though you & I are BAD, if we agree with God (REPENTANCE) that we ARE BAD & deserve to be punished than we get to go to HEAVEN even though we are BAD.

It is unnecessary to qualify Grace, because Jesus never did. BUT I will for the sake our discussion. Once you agree with God (REPENTANCE) you WILL ENCOUNTER the TRUE and LIVING God, you will begin to desire to please Him & very likely your behavior will improve MORALLY. But this will happen as a bi-product of your relationship with Jesus NOT because you afraid to be "bad." You & me will attain some semblance of "goodness" but it will NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH to get you to HEAVEN but the amazing good news is in CHRIST you will NEVER BE BAD ENOUGH to be condemned either.

PLEASE embrace this reality. If you need some reference material I can recommend some reading or some Bible teaching that will help! Gerry, believe it or not I love you even in my unkindness and I wish you would be free of such condemnation for yourself & others. The reason you're having a hard time giving Grace is because it seems you haven't or haven't realized the Grace that was purchased for you at Calvary's Cross.
4/24/2012 10:26:55 AM
Andi United States
Andi
Wow!  I have tears in my eyes.  All I know is that God loves us extravagantly!  
5/23/2012 8:55:26 PM
Denise United States
Denise
Very thought-provoking subject.Thanks, Brant,for living on the edge and broaching difficult subjects. What comes to my mind is Jesus with the woman who was about to be stoned. Jesus did not cast any stones at her, though he was the only one who could have. He chose mercy over judgement.

God bless you all. May he have mercy on us all!!
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6/14/2012 5:50:43 AM
Sue United States
Sue
This has been very interesting reading all the comments. This is a subject that's been on my mind for quite awhile, where I work there are some gay workers, my neice is gay and a good friend of mine, just left her husband for a woman. My heart breaks for them because all they are really looking for is love, companionship, acceptence. I'm not saying I think it's okay, because I'm not, but I never knew how I should handle the situation. I know God loves them just as much as everyone else, but honestly didn't know how to show Gods love to them. I think part of the problem Gerry and some of the others are having, is the focus is on the sin, not Christ. Maybe instead of calling himself a homosexual Christian, he should call himself a Christian struggling with homosexual feelings. The focus should be on Christ, not the sin. God may choose to health the person right away, walk them through the changes or not change them but help them deal with it. I used to be a Stephens minister, that was trained to counsel people, some of our leaders told us they had been contacted by some gays that were wanting to change their lifestyles, I was excited that I might be able to help, but instead the leaders thought this was funny and wouldn't even consider getting us the training we would need. I was shocked and really upset, that experience has stayed with me for many years. Jesus has called us to love those around us, if you were struggling with a sin and wanted help, who would you turn to: someone who keeps throwing Bible verses at you and telling you that you will go to hell, or someone who will listen to you, show they care about you and are willing to be there for you, letting you see Gods love for you. That you are so totally, radically loved by a God that gave his life for you and is there for you through all your faults. I know which person I'd turn to to get help.
6/26/2012 7:56:00 AM
Stacy United States
Stacy
Brant,
I know you posted this awhile ago but I just wanted to say that after reading your blog, I actually paid money to buy the book for my Kindle (typically I only "buy" free books for my Kindle - see how inspiring you are? lol). I'm happily married so that's not why I read it. I read it because I care deeply for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling, feeling like an outcast, and so incredibly broken by what they're tempted by. We are responsible for one another. Wesley talks about that saying that if we're all in the Body of Christ together then what one person struggles with affects everyone. We are all so broken and it is only because of what Christ has done do we have hope for wholeness. I read a lot of the comments up above - I'm assuming most haven't read the book and got all wrapped up in the term "Christian gay" - it appears to me that the cynical ones don't really understand the depths of sin. If we could just "stop it" and it was really that easy to just walk away then we wouldn't have needed a Savior. I was also moved enough by the book to recommend it to a not-so-happily single and nearing 30 friend of mine. Thanks for the suggestion, it really opened up my heart and eyes.

Grace & Peace,
Stacy
8/22/2012 1:19:48 PM
P United States
P
I'm late to the party, but here are my two cents worth:
Perhaps some of us are struggling with the difference between homosexuality (sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one's own sex)and homosexualism (sexual relations with persons of the same sex).
(When he was two years old, my husband and I suspected that our son was gay.  He came out 14 years later.  We are Christ-followers, he is not.)  I believe that same-sex attraction is innate, but one can choose whether or not to act on that attraction.  Hence, one can be a Christian and be a homosexual, but if celibate, not sinning in that area.  No different than a Christian (recovered) addict who would be sinning by using their drug of choice, but instead, forgoes the temporal pleasures of the here and now, to bring glory to God, and enjoy His eternal reward.  
There is a difference between our natural bent towards sin, and the active engagement and cultivation, without repentance, of what God calls sin.
For the record, homosexuality is no different than the gluttony, pride, and unkindness that I regularly fall into.
8/25/2012 1:09:05 AM
caroline United States
caroline
Brant, thank you for including this author and his book on your blog. I have been reading all the posts/comments. This entry gave me a new perspective towards anyone who struggles to live faithfully unto God (which is every believer), and also gave me insight into the topic of homosexuality. I was wondering if you were aware that in terms of sexual orientation, asexuality also exists? It is not unlike celibacy; however, it the lack of sexual attraction towards either sex. An asexual also may or may not experience romantic attraction, but as far the physical intimacy, they simply do not have any desire for it, or it is so low that they consider sex nothing more than like doing the dishes-a chore. As a romantic asexual, I desire a relationship with someone that mirrors my walk with Christ-deep, loving, and growing with every moment. I pray for this and especially for the woman who longs for the physical intimacy she has not had since she divorced. My mother divorced my father for similar reasons, although drugs were highly involved. Although I cannot relate to the pain she feels at not being able to fulfill sexual desire, I empathize with the loss of a deep emotional and spiritual bond, for this is what I seek, based on the example of Christ. May God bless everyone. Thank you again, Brant, for writing this entry on your blog. I am humbled by the author and his courage to live by faith not by sight (or in this case, desires). We all fall, but God always gives us his hands so we may rise again in His love.
8/25/2012 1:16:45 AM
caroline United States
caroline
Brant, I forgot to include the website that was founded by David Jay which started the whole awareness of asexuality 10 years ago. Please check it out, there is an FAQ page as well as a more in-depth definition of asexuality.
www.asexuality.org

God bless!
Comments are closed