Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Born to it ... or ... A CHOICE?

I was at the grocery store yesterday afternoon. I approached the deli counter to ask for some potato salad and cole slaw. I heard a large, 50ish man talking with the young clerk behind the counter. Based on the content of the conversation, this man seemed to be a college professor. He spoke very loudly and had a slight lisp that reminded me of the way gay men sometimes talk. I don't automatically assume that just because someone talks this way they are homosexual, though. He was speaking very audibly and was a very friendly man. He even turned and said something to me about the potato salad. As he was ready to walk away, he asked the clerk a final question and then said, "We just moved here. We'll be back." Then he went to his cart and he and a smaller, more effeminate, 50ish man began making their way around the store.

I immediately deduced they were homosexuals. Judging by the looks on the young men's faces behind the counter, I could tell they had the same thought.

I again found myself in the proximity of these men when I arrived at the dairy case. They were huddled together very closely, examining a jar of hot pickles and peppers. I now felt sure they were homosexuals. It is not uncommon to see these couples around the Toledo area. We again exchanged a couple of friendly comments. As I went to the car, I began thinking about the two men.

My heart went out to them. While what they do is so very dreadful and disgusting, I thought, they must be so miserable in it. It is sad that otherwise nice people are found in this terrible, empty lifestyle. Then I had another thought that always follows when I start to think this way: "Why do they live that way? It is their decision to live such a lifestyle. They don't have to do this."

I firmly believe this. I don't believe men or women are "BORN GAY" as many different people assert these days. I think homosexuals are probably influenced to it by other people ... and after a series of wrong decisions, they wind up thinking there is no other option for them but the gay lifestyle of their choice. They then lie to themselves by telling themselves they were born this way.

I am reminded of this verse:

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (Romans 1:27)
I think they can find the mercy and grace of God in Jesus Christ also, just like any other sinner. Their particular sin is such a blight on our families, our societies and our world. I don't believe God foreordained that these men should live this way. I don't believe they were born to it.

What are your thoughts?

66 Comments:

  • Ahhh, Calvinism meets homosexual propoganda. That's sure to light some fires in the blogosphere! ;)

    Seriously, I'm with you on this. But then, I'm not a Calvinist, so that shouldn't be a surprise. I would really be interested to hear a Calvinistic response to the "I was born gay" argument.

    Hopefully one of your readers will oblige! :)

    steve :)

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 9/05/2006 10:04 AM  

  • I do not feel qualified to asses the scientific evidence presented for the genetic view of Homosexuality.

    If there is a Gay gen, it is a mutation that results from a fallen world.

    I am genetically disposed to want sex with women, but until I get married that remains sinful behaviour. Genetics cannot be used to justify sinful behaviour.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 9/05/2006 11:03 AM  

  • Hi Steve,
    I doubt if it will light any fires. The main point of the post wasn't to compare the idea of supralapsarianism with the "I was born gay" argument. However, as I am sure is evident in my concluding paragraph, the connection did cross my mind.

    I often see Calvinists, when defending "double predestination" refer to this passage:

    Romans 9:18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. 19One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? 22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—

    I do wonder, would they say that the specific condition of being a homosexual is because that one is "an object prepared for wrath" by God ... before they were ever born?

    My hunch is that most Calvinists would agree with me and that they do not take predestination that far as to God foreordaining that a specific person would be a homosexual. I may be wrong, though.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/05/2006 11:20 AM  

  • Matthew,
    You are right - we should never use genetics to justify sinful behavior. Even if there were a gay gene, the majority of gays today cannot claim to have it. Of that, I feel very sure.

    I know several gays who have turned around and gotten married to the opposite sex. It is trendy to be gay, perhaps.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/05/2006 11:23 AM  

  • I do not believe someone is born gay, but the lifestyle of many gay people is by CHOICE. Many are confused and believe they were born this way, but they are not. They are convinced that they are because the scientific community has deemed the cause to be biological, but this is an erroneous conclusion. I've done a lot of research on this subject.

    I have to run some errands right now. When I get back I will try to expound. Or at least provide some links on the subject.

    I'd be interested in the Calvinist's take on this subject.

    By Blogger Dawn, at 9/05/2006 12:08 PM  

  • Rose, trying to flush us Calvinists out of the closet on this, eh? :o)

    A Calvinist views that just as God foreknows every event in the universe, down to the smallest thing that exists, whether it be quarks or strings or whatever, so God has ordained all things, down to the minutest level, every stray quark, electron, etc., with everything else.

    Ordaining only means that God, being the ontologically prior being of everything, established the logical necessity for all things. However, God did not cause people to sin. Words are inadequate to describe this. The best that can be said is that in God's foreordaining, he permitted sin, but did not cause sin. God permitted people to exercise their free agency to sin.

    A classic example is Peter's denial of Christ. Jesus predicted it, and because of that it was absolutely certain that Peter would deny Jesus. In a certain sense, Peter could do nothing else but deny Jesus. However, even though it was a logical necessity that Peter would deny Jesus, God did not force Peter to do this, God did not cause Peter to do this, Peter did it out of his immediate desires in his core being. Peter was therefore responsible for his actions. This is the framework in understanding how people's sin works in God's forordaining everything.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/05/2006 12:44 PM  

  • 1) Does God have to foreordain everything just to know the future? Why would He need to foreordain that which he foreknows? And if He foreordains it implies activity and not the passivity that Earl seems to be expounding.

    2) I am wondering of the Calvinist if a homosexual can be saved or must he repent of being a homosexual? You know, move out of his partner's house, etc.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 9/05/2006 6:50 PM  

  • Hey Rose, et al,

    Here are some links to get you started on learning more about homosexuality.

    Homosexuality Part I

    Homosexuality Part II

    More On Homosexuality

    By Blogger Dawn, at 9/05/2006 8:06 PM  

  • Hi Antonio, you ask:

    Does God have to foreordain everything just to know the future?

    No.

    Why would He need to foreordain that which he foreknows?

    I am not sure what the question is. Let me answer it this way. Ontologically, God's existence is prior to everything else. If God merely foreknew, say what you and I are writing about at this moment, then you and I and what we are writing about has the same kind of eternality as God. However, God, by virtue of his aseity, his self existence and self sufficiency, is in some fundamental sense prior to us. His knowledge is also prior to us. As an implication, his knowledge indicates whatsoever will pass in the universe. We can't say that God ordains so that he will have foreknowledge. God's foreknowledge and foreordination is just is. You can't seperate one attribute of God from another in this way.

    And if He foreordains it implies activity and not the passivity that Earl seems to be expounding.

    In what way? Could you be explicit?

    I am wondering of the Calvinist if a homosexual can be saved or must he repent of being a homosexual? You know, move out of his partner's house, etc.

    Anybody can be saved right in their present circumstances.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/05/2006 8:28 PM  

  • Yes we are in a fallen world. We are not born gay but we are born into sin. Like Paul we act in ignorance and unbelief until the word of God and the Spirit of God moves.

    Question Rose?

    What do you do about the Hermaphrodites who get surgery at birth and the Doctors and nurses try to make the closest descision as to what they should call the baby...boy or girl?

    Please understand that I am not trying to justify gayness just throwing more info out there so that we all will become honest about how desperately hopeless we are and how much we need the Lord.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/05/2006 10:49 PM  

  • Earl, while attempting to say God ordains everything, but isn't the author of sin wrote: Words are inadequate to describe this.

    And for me, this is exactly where I want to say, "Then what's the point?" This feels like it amounts to little more than, "I know something you don't know, and I can't tell you what it is, but it's better than what you know."

    Maybe, just maybe, words are inadequate because the concept actually does go too far from what we have revealed.

    My frustration with Calvinism is that it seems like when Calvinism is taken to its logical conclusions, the Calvinist says, "Oh, but it doesn't really mean that!"

    In this topic of whether or not a gay person is born gay, it seems to me that it would be the logical conclusion of the Calvinist to say that yes, indeed, a gay person is born gay. It is not a choice they made. God predetermined that they would be born gay, and that's it. Of course, they're still responsible for being gay because God is not the author of homosexuality.......

    I'm sorry, but that seems to boil down to trying to have your cake and eat it, too.

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 9/05/2006 11:41 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I think the argument that a person is 'born gay' is naturally DOA. From where would that 'gay gene' come? From their obviously heterosexual parents? Their obviously heterosexual grandparents? The unbroken line goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. I say 'obviously', because they wouldn't even be here otherwise.

    Your remarks about it being 'trendy' hit very close to what's really going on. In our society, homosexuality has become the 'elite sin', which we may no longer even refer to as a 'sin'. Straight sex, maybe; but if they're gay it's a 'lifestyle choice' and we're close-minded unless we automatically accept and congratulate them -- and if they have their way, we're supposed to think of them as some sort of superior free-spirits, and maybe help promote them.

    Just remember, in our society homosexuality has a very political side to it. They cannot reproduce; they must recruit. And they need to turn the table on people who know it is sinful, to somehow make them feel like they are sinners instead, for ever doubting them.

    I feel sorry for those guys too, but not to the point of compromising the truth. It is still sin, and according to Romans 1, it is an advanced form of sin that emerges over time from a whole lifestyle of rebellion. And it is their choice to be there. They could repent and escape it. Others have done so before them.

    Anyway, try bringing up this subject on an emerging church blog sometime, if you really want to see a firestorm. So far, you've been speaking to a friendly audience!

    Loren

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 9/06/2006 8:15 AM  

  • Steve, thanks for your comments. In a way, I am saying I know something that you don't -- but I don't know it. It certainly does look like I am trying to have my cake and eat it too. I can understand your frustration.

    But let me also express a frustration. Often times Calvinists are attributed all sorts of beliefs that they don't have. We bring this upon ourselves in many ways, to be sure. But often times we look at each other unsympathetically, as if our "opponent" has green horns.

    I have this frustration with the issue of foreordination. If you read in the Calvinistic confessions, such as the Westminster Confession of Faith, the word foreordain itself conveys that God establishes the logical necessity for all that will happen. But many non-Calvinists think that we view that God, on a whim, takes joy in planning the torture of people, that people are forced into sin. These kinds of pictures are a distortion of the doctrine. Then when I explain the term foreordination, lots of non-Calvinists don't like it. I can understand if don't explain it adequately (which I'll admit I don't), but it also seems people want me to throw in the distortions, the caricatures that others have of Calvinism, and if I don't, then I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too.

    If you have a problem in how I, as a Calvinist, use or explain a particular word or concept, let me make this suggestion. Goggle the Westminster Confession of Faith (a Calvinist confession) and see what it says and compare it to what I say on a particular topic. Then point out the differences with that. This will give you specific ammunition to apply to my writing.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/06/2006 8:55 AM  

  • Cleopas, homosexuals are quite capable of reproducing. Lots of Gay people have several experiences with women, and sometimes even marriages, before coming to the conclusion that they are Homosexual.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 9/06/2006 12:08 PM  

  • Still will someone answer the Hermaphrodite question? Sometime the Doctors let them grow to a certain age and then they decide for themselves what sex they are going to be. Was this Gods intention and foreordination or was it the fall Steve Sensing? Can you explain or give us a logical conclusion maybe?

    BTW Steve...I realy appreciate you brother and know where your heart is. I guess I count myself to have the same perspectives Earl has on this though.

    Remember that we are BY NATURE (I put that their to make us think)...we are BY NATURE children of wrath.

    We run into a great difficulty and must be careful with the Arminian perspective that you, Rose, and Antonio share. We can point an inconsistancey here.

    Rose would say that she choose to turn away from the sin of homosexuality and pities the gay people that are the object of her compassion. I am glad she is compassionate toward them. Remember though that she also believes that she cannot turn away from sin.

    Antonio then challenges us in teaching works salvation when asking if we demand that the gay people turn from sin in order to be saved.

    The Bible however teaches that we are BY NATURE children of wrath. Rose believes that of her own volition she can turn from this sin and that it is the gays fault for not doing so. Their is a level of superior volition in her abilities. This is just an observation.

    Antonio is teaching that it is wrong for a person to be taught they must leave their lifestyle in order to be saved.

    We are BY NATURE objects of wrath. At the new birth we are given a new heart and a new life. The adulterous was confronted by her accusers and delivered from the punishment of her sin. Jesus then told her to leave this life of sin.

    "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away behold all things are become new."

    We do have a the power to make the right choices in the new birth.

    Please think about this and what is implied inthe Arminian perspective as well.

    God helps the helpless. Those Homosexuals cannot help themselves. They are hopeless until they are delivered from their accusers and set free by the Son of the living God.

    God does not help those who help themselves. He helps the helpless sin sick soul who is enslaved to his sin and does not have the power to choose righteousness.

    Again...the word of God and His Holy Spirit alone convicts and opens the heart to receiving the Son of God.

    "Of sin...because they believe not in me." John 16:9

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/06/2006 4:21 PM  

  • Brian, do you think a homosexual could repsond to the teachings of Islam or the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and come to the conclusion that he must turn away from homosexuality? Could he be sucessful in giving up such sinful behaviour through the influence of a false religion?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 9/06/2006 4:55 PM  

  • ABSOLUTELY and that is the great point(anyone can reform but not change their nature)...but you and Antonio as well as Rose in part seem to not believe that the new birth will make a radical change here. You seem to always argue against the dynamite power Jesus promises.

    Carefully read over again what I just said. You are making my point and well as reinforcing Roses point of turning away from that sin of her own volition and making the right choice to not be gay.

    All religions have a form of Godliness. Remember what Jesus said about cleaning a house but that without a strongman it will become worse later. If you do not gather with Christ...you are hopeless and even worse off than before you took up a form of a similar Christ type religion. Those are fig leaves but the compulsion always remains and can get worse and perhaps translate into the pedophilia found within Roman Catholicism and some of the thousands of dead murdered babies found in their basements in Spain covered up by that religion.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/06/2006 5:05 PM  

  • From what I can gather in the somewhat inexhaustive reading I have done on the topic, genetic homosexuality is theoretical at best. (Although Hollywood and the MSM would have us believe otherwise.)

    I do not believe that God foreordains anyone to be sinners. According to Romans 1, however, those who refuse to retain God in their knowledge will be given over to a reprobate mind, thus becoming unable to discern the truth.

    By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at 9/06/2006 5:10 PM  

  • Brian, if a believer may struggle with smaller sins after becoming a believer, such as smoking or being self-controlled with alcohol, do you not think that it is quite possible that a regenerate person might have difficulty breaking away from an homosexual lifestyle?

    Regeneration results in a new nature, but the fruits of that nature depend upon the believer being lead by the Spirit and putting to death the old nature.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 9/06/2006 5:13 PM  

  • Until political factions within the American Psychiatric Association got the organization to change its mind on the matter several years ago, homosexuality was identified as a mental disorder. I believe that in some cases, that is exactly what it is.

    Yet I cannot escape the notion that mostly, it is the direct result of a sin-sick soul.

    By Blogger Jeff H, at 9/06/2006 5:22 PM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    Well, you have a point. But may I, too, point out that under your scenario, they weren't 'born that way'. In fact, they started out otherwise and later made a choice about it, which reversed their initial impulse. The word that comes to mind is 'unnatural'.

    But having said that, homosexuality is still just one form of sin. Even if they forsake it, there may still be many other forms of sin in their lives that could send them to hell just as easily, so this is not an all-or-nothing sin (I say this, because many Christians seem to regard it as the crux of everything when it is present).

    Likewise, we all have areas of sin in our lives which may be otherwise, but they are just as capable of undoing us in the end. So my point was that there is nothing 'elite' about homosexuality, it is sin so let's call it that, and not excuse it or make concessions for it, any more than we would any other type of sin.

    Also, when someone becomes saved and escapes it, let's receive them just as readily as we would any other type of sinner who truly gives his life to the Lord. That, I think, is the part that most Christians would have the hardest time dealing with, and where the term 'homophobe' might be most rightly applied.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 9/06/2006 9:11 PM  

  • Rose,

    I have a brother who is homosexual. He lives the lifestyle. And he was the first person in our family to become a believer.

    Go figure that.

    But to ask the question of Romans 1:27 is to miss the point. Romans 1 is not dealing with the etiology of homosexuality. Rather, it is saying that homosexuality is God's retributive justice upon a society that refuses the knowledge of God.

    The widespread acceptance of a lifestyle which God condemns should be prima facie evidence that America is under God's divine discipline.

    While we're on it, I'd like to see a discussion of whether the passages in 1 Corinthians 6 and Galatians 5 declare that homosexuals cannot enter the kingdom.

    By Anonymous bud, at 9/06/2006 9:39 PM  

  • Wow, a lot of discussion.
    I have been away from these comments for a day.

    Earl,
    I think you are saying then, that yes, they are born to it, right?

    Hi Brian,
    I am a little confused by your comments. You mention:
    Roses point of turning away from that sin of her own volition and making the right choice to not be gay.

    I really don't see it that way. Here is what I think for a lot of gays ... and I did allude to this in my post ... I think they are influenced by someone, often when they are quite young. I think a lot of them are molested or they see two men together. They say that your first exposure to sex is that which you cling to and that which shapes your thoughts on it. I don't think I "made a choice not to be gay." I did make a choice to leave behind heterosaexual promiscuity when I was saved at the age of 20. It was because of the power of the Holy Spirit and a trust in the truth of God's Word that I was able ... or even wanted to do this. Does it surprise you that I would say this? I think it might, because you may have misinterpreted my thoughts here. I do feel very much sorrow for these people. I would not want to have been on the gay road because I think it would be a very hard place to be and that it would be hard to get away from. Much like my problems with alcohol that persisted even until a few years ago, although to a lesser degree than before I was saved. I am not meaning to bare my soul here, but I want you to know I don't think I am better than these folks because I [made] the right choice to not be gay.

    BTW I think there are other ways that people are recruited into the gay lifestyle besides the scenario I explained above. I think some try it because they are experimental by nature etc...

    Also, Brian, you said:
    Remember though that she also believes that she cannot turn away from sin.

    Whaddaya mean by that?

    Hermaphrodites? I would say they are an exception, wouldn't you? How sad. That is a result of the fall. None of us is sexually perfect and I did not mean to imply that I thought so.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/06/2006 9:41 PM  

  • Your not hearing me Matthew. That is not what I said. Remember I stated that the new birth gives you the power to make those Godly choices. Until then it is impossible. If anyone makes good choices then that is fine but God is not impressed. He wept(I said wept..he rejoices now) just as much for Rose as Rose weeps for the Homosexuals. And he wept for all of us until we turned to him in faith and were turned into new creations. We are not eternally punished for our sinful choices. We are eternaly punished for our nature that feeds on sinful choices. We Are BY NATURE children of wrath.

    That was my point. Essentially you guys are teaching a form of repentance without realizing it. I don't know how to get you to see it. In the same way I don't know how to get JMOOR to see that Piper teaches teaches an ecstatic form of worship. Nevertheless I believe you guys are my brothers and sisters in Christ as you have called on the name of the Lord in faith. He is working out the kinks in all of us. I am still learning. This is why I believe both those with Arminian ideas as well as Calvinist ideas are part of the body of Christ. We all just got to keep digging to learn more about him. Thanks for your input.

    Ironically Zane Hodges has a good understanding of this truth...yet he still misses the application of the need of the Holy Spirits conviction as well as the word of God to open eyes. Nevertheless we are all learning. I am still ignorant in many ways and ignorantly make stupid choices but thank God I have a new nature that has the power to feed on the word of God and make the right choices and break free from a life of sin.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/06/2006 9:47 PM  

  • Antonio,
    Thanks for visiting and feel free to engage more.

    Dawn,
    Thanks for the links.

    Cleopas,
    It is so good to see you here. Matthew says that they can reproduce, but when I saw that comment I thought, "Not by doing things the way they normally do."
    I have not spent any time on an emergent blog. It doesn't sound like my kinda place. Thanks for your input. I agree - it is not the elite sin, nor the be all end all sin that cannot find forgiveness.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/06/2006 9:52 PM  

  • Rose did you know that you inherit fat cells and some more than others because some of our ancestors would pig out in summer and starve in winter? It started a genetic cycle of its own through which the cromosones further pass on and then some kids are fatter than others. Some have a brain problem that makes them think they are hungry all of the time. It is a result of the fall.

    A fat person can add to the fat cells the fatter they get but they can never subtract from them no matter how tiny they get or how hard they work...they still are what they are.

    Am I implying God creates homosexuality. Absolutely Not. But we are not born Tabula rusa as sin continues to mutate in all of us. Some have a proclivity to greater temptation in other areas. I never had a problem with alcholics. In fact they were always so draining to me and I used to look down on them. Now my heart breaks as I realize that I could have been born in an environment or a family that was hard into alchohol.

    My former Pastor used to get angry anytime someone would mention that alcholism was in the genes in some way. His father was a lush and he boasted strongly about how he never touched a lick and resented how people implied that it passed through the genes.

    It did though. His son turned into the same lush his father did. It skipped a generation and he wrapped his truck around a tree and killed himself one night.

    The point is that God does not create sin. Man did when he disobeyed and our hearts are waxing worse and worse.

    Remember Paul quoted out of the O.T that unless God had left a Holy Seed we would have become like Sodom and Gamorra. There is a lot of significance in that verse.

    We are sinners...BY NATURE. Our natures are totaly alien to God. The good news?

    BUT GOD! who is rich in mercy.
    Does this make an exuse for sin? Absolutely not and we cannot make the argument..Why doth he find fault. Because he is God and it is rebellious to pose that Question. We simply must accept that we are sinners not by choice...but by Adams nature and that because of that nature we make terrible choices. If we admit that we are guilty and deserve the wrath of God asking his forgiveness and believing on His Son then we will be given a perfect nature and the old one dies at the cross with the dead flesh remaining until our day of complete redemption when we go to be with Him. If a person turn not to Christ at the cross then that person will go on living in that dreadful state forever and it will only get worse.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/06/2006 10:03 PM  

  • Gordon,
    Your comment is very well put. Thanks for inputting your paraphrase of that passage from Romans.

    Jeff H.,
    Hello and thanks for speaking up!
    I agree, it does seem like a mental illness, I am not surprised that the APA had labeled it such. I agree it is a sin-sick soul that finds this attractive. But then, there are other sins that other sin sick souls find attractive too.

    Brian,
    Now that comment was not so confusing and I prit much agree with all of it. Does that surprise you?

    We are sinners...BY NATURE. Our natures are totaly alien to God.

    Here is my point with the gays, though: Don't miss it - I am not necessarily talking about being attracted to those of the same sex. I am talking about acting on those attractions! Acting on them makes them grow and worsen. This is how people find their way into the debauchery. Must it be presented as an inborn desire that must be lived out? That was my point in the post. What is wrong with celibacy? Those two men at Sautter's don't have to LIVE that way. This is all I was getting at. Yes, they can reform and it is good for society for them to do so. It doesn't save their souls or change their sinful nature, but I think they can reprogram their thinking if they want to and leave these actions behind. They can abstain from sex. I have heard reports of people who have who are not Christians, although it is hard. Then less young people will be recruited into this particular painful and destructive sin. Of course, only being born again in Christ can give a person eternal life which will not be tainted by any sinful desires. Thanks, Brian for the conversation. :~)

    Hi Bud,
    Thanks for the visit. I personally don't think anyone must give up any particular sin to receive God's gift. I do think that usually they will want to if they get into the Word and have a little godly influence. The Holy Spirit will then help them as they yield. It would be very hard for sure if one was not saved, but hard as well for a Christian if he was engulfed in the lifestle. Just my two cents.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/06/2006 10:26 PM  

  • I finally kicked Rosie off the computer so I could post this comment I composed in MS Word a couple of hours ago. Phew! ;-)

    EC adding to the mix…

    I think homosexual behavior is linked to making a series of wrong choices that can lead one into a pattern of life. Finding no escape from this horrendous lifestyle (in and of themselves) men and women who become trapped, and double-crossed by pleasure, are frightened by the possibility of not being able to control their actions and even their own thoughts. That is why they mount up the excuses and try to rationalize the sins they know are so harmful to themselves and others.

    Being thus convinced, I usually let my friends who happen to be queer state what they believe (i.e. choices or birth). Usually they excuse their lifestyle by asserting, “I was born this way, I’ve known it since before puberty.” Then I explain that the Bible says we are all born in sin, we have all gone our own way by birth, orientation, propensity, and choice. This puts us all on the same level, gay or straight.

    Then I ask if they would like the solution God has provided to be truly free from sin and having the power to make healthy decisions. If I get a negative response which is more often than not I let them know that God loves them, knows how they feel, and wants them to know Him anyway. When I have gotten a positive response I present the gospel to them and I even prayed with some.

    It is a deceptive and trapping lifestyle and I think many in the gay community want to be free. They can, but only trusting in Christ alone, embracing Him in His death burial and resurrection.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 9/06/2006 10:27 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You ask: I think you are saying then, that yes, they are born to it, right?

    I'll answer your question with a question for you (hey, Jesus would do this, I'm trying to be a follower of Jesus :o): Was Peter born to be a denier of Christ when Jesus told him with absolute certainty that Peter would deny him three times?

    From our previous discussions, I think how you might answer the latter question would provide a sketch for how to answer the former.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/07/2006 12:06 AM  

  • Rose, the reason I answered your question with a question about Peter's denial of Christ is because analyzing it provides interesting insights into the whole topic. My blog post on responsibility looks at the "Peter Principle" (pun intended :o). It is a different way of looking at the issue, but I think it is a way for non-Calvinists to get a flavor of the reasoning in this area.

    When Jesus told Peter he would deny him three times, did Peter have a choice not to deny him? Absolutely he had a choice. In the same way, a homosexual has a choice in the matter. Was Peter born in sin? Absolutely, Peter was born in sin. Is a homosexual born in sin? Absolutely, it is the common human condition after the fall.

    The question, as asked, is not a simple yes or no question. The terms are too ambigous. It is also phrased in a way of the infamous, "When did you stop beating your husband?" :o) -- say John, when did Rose stop beating you? :o)

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/07/2006 12:25 AM  

  • Rose , have to say and thank Dawn for the info on this one that it is a choice ..

    By Blogger pgadreamer, at 9/07/2006 8:15 AM  

  • Genesis 1-2,Leviticus 18 and 20,
    Romans 1:18-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 , as true Christian's The Bible is the word of God we must follow what is written There is never no lead way true we sin but as Rose and Brain and John has written when we except Jesus our life should change with the Holy Spirit being by your side leading the way.. Follow in His way's. Read the Bible and Study.. Know what's right from wrong...Being gay is a sin and it is a worldly thing.

    By Blogger pgadreamer, at 9/07/2006 8:50 AM  

  • Wish I had been able to get back here before now. The conversation has already gone in several different directions with a couple of comments aimed at me, and I haven't had time to come here and respond.

    Let's see if I can respond to the ones sent my way:

    Earl, there are two problems I see with your response to me.

    1) I never said that God takes any joy in doing these things, or does them on a whim. The issue here is not whether or not God takes joy in it, but whether or not He actually does decree that it should happen.

    2) You are starting with some very major presuppositions (not originally yours, I understand) by putting so much weight on "foreordain".

    And a bonus:

    3) I'm not very interested in comparing what you say to the WCF. It's much more appropriate and beneficial if we talk about what the Scriptures themselves say. I don't mean that to sound flippant or obnoxious, but there are an awful lot of Scriptures that talk about the choices man makes (and Gordon Cloud did a superb job of very briefly saying what I would have taken 1,000 words to say!) and the consequences of those choices. To ignore all of those in favor of a word like "foreordain" which we don't fully have the capability of even understanding is to miss the point of what God chose to communicate to us.

    Bhedr, I appreciate you, too, brother, even if we differ (and even if you misspell my last name!)!! My response to your question is that I believe it is a result of the fall.

    On the general topic again, to bounce off my good friend Gordon, if Romans 1 says that a choice leads to being given over to a reprobate mind, then there is something that does happen in response to man's choices.

    Brian, you keep emphasizing "by nature". However, Romans 1:27 talks about our nature in a way that actually undermines your point. It says, in part:

    men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another (NASB)

    In other words, if you want to talk about what we are "by nature", one would have to conclude from this that man is by nature heterosexual. It is the abandoning of that natural creation for the unnatural that is homosexuality.

    Hope that helps the conversation some. Again, I apologize for the delay in responding.

    steve :)

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 9/07/2006 9:58 AM  

  • Steve, with respect to your 3 points:

    1) I never said that God takes any joy in doing these things

    Then mia culpa, I misread your previous comments. It's a common problem I have. Please forgive me.

    2) You are starting with some very major presuppositions (not originally yours, I understand) by putting so much weight on "foreordain".

    Could you explicitly state the presuppositions you see? Often I'm blind to my presuppositions and here is where you can be helpful to me.

    3) I'm not very interested in comparing what you say to the WCF. ...

    I had thought you were saying I was not presenting the Calvinist viewpoint. I claim I am (well, a Calvinist viewpoint, since there are many "Calvinist viewpoints"). If you think I'm not presenting a Calvinist viewpoint, you can prove it by showing where I differ from the WCF. That's all I was saying.

    ...but there are an awful lot of Scriptures that talk about the choices man makes ... and the consequences of those choices. To ignore all of those in favor of a word like "foreordain" which we don't fully have the capability of even understanding is to miss the point of what God chose to communicate to us.

    I am using the word choice. Humans have the power to choose. Calvinists believe that humans have the power to choose. It's non-Calvinists that think that Calvinists don't believe that humans can choose. It is compounding by a misunderstanding of the word foreordain and decree as used in the Calvinist sense (as discussed in the WCF). So, where am I saying that humans don't have the power to choose?

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/07/2006 12:49 PM  

  • Hey Rose,

    Wow! I am glad we agree in theory but I still seek to chip away at you point.

    >It doesn't save their souls or change their sinful nature, but I think they can reprogram their thinking if they want to and leave these actions behind. They can abstain from sex<

    Remember ol J Vernon McGee said God didn't call me to clean up the pond but to fish out of it? This is where I tend to drift from your view. I was trying to show how this actually works against helping them see the hope in the gospel and instead calling them to reform and repentance. Calling society to pick themselves up by their boot straps and do right instead when we Christians should be leading them to the light that changes them.

    You may be surprised to know that I am not a theonomist. I don't believe in driving our efforts to clean up society. I think this is where we are trying to make our upside down kindgom(vossed world)...right side up and the lost homosexual sanctifies himself with his own reasoning within the umbrella of a good society and joins in to argue that he must be accepted. It has lead us to embrace the republicans and rationalize the goodness and progress of homosexuality and grow closer to it than the democrates via the vice presidents daughter all the while sweeping it under the rug. The liberals and other homosexuals see right through the double standard and then the gospel always takes the back seat.

    We should first and foremost be streetpreachers bringing the weight of the law and the judgment of God to their front doors so that they see their hopelessness and turn to Christ.

    Thanks for agreeing with part of what I think anyway and may God bless you today.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/07/2006 8:15 PM  

  • BTW,

    Many homosexuals are very disciplined and are quite an asset to our society. I have a distant family member who works in a trauma center and is very compassionate and keeps everyones spirits up in there. It is a horrible place to work, but he shines there. He also took very good care of an alchoholic that refuses to get a job, but is very conservative. he told me it was very draining. I have an alchoholic friend around the corner who drains the whole neighborhood.

    My point. Every sin has a horrible affect on society, but we tend to sanctify our sin and offer our good deeds and our contributions to society as being better than the others. The homosexuals are dead targets in society therefore they sanctify their sin and work hard to make fig leaves and shine in doing so.

    No cleaning up society doesn't open eyes to the gospel in my opinion. It only teaches others that God helps those who help themselves.

    I hope you see what I am trying to say.

    Anyway...thanks again

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/07/2006 8:21 PM  

  • >I finally kicked Rosie off the computer so I could post this comment I composed in MS Word a couple of hours ago. Phew! ;-)
    <

    Take charge John. You know your role. Adam was first then Eve:-)

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/07/2006 8:27 PM  

  • John,

    Excellent comment and I agree with how you handle that. If your ever on the light side and they argue I was born this way...then you can say well we are all born into sin, but God did create Adam and Eve...not Adam and Steve:-)

    I'm sure you've never heard that one before.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/07/2006 8:31 PM  

  • and Steve Sensenig(got it)

    I was not refering to you.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/07/2006 8:32 PM  

  • Cornelius is a classic example of an unregenerate man repenting of his idolatry, fearing and seeking God, and working righteousness. Now none of this merited eternal salvation. But that is not the point...

    By Blogger Antonio, at 9/07/2006 9:24 PM  

  • Hey Steve you said:

    >In other words, if you want to talk about what we are "by nature", one would have to conclude from this that man is by nature heterosexual. It is the abandoning of that natural creation for the unnatural that is homosexuality.<

    Good point but this is still describing sinful man who hides from God. God suffers with all men and draws but he gives up and leaves men to their sinful desires which are always against God's original design. At what point he continues to work or stop is his choice.

    I agree homosexuality is unatural. Amen.

    Antonio,

    Go back and read many other accounts with Gentiles. Many of them were in the synagogues and feared God. The word of God and His Spirit alone stirs man to respond to God. Cornelius is not an exeption..but is living proof of that. I will agree that a mystery is their between human response and God's sovereignty but God always initiates. All men hide like Adam and Eve in the Garden and God has to come and seek first. We cannot put the cart before the horse.

    Fish do not jump in the Boat. We have to be fishers of men. Pray and evangelize so that God's Spirit moves.

    Our old nature does not desire what the new nature does. Case and point. It is illustrated all throughout the the New Testement.

    Earls use of Peter was in fact Gods illustration to us in trying to help us see ourselves.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/07/2006 9:34 PM  

  • God did create Adam and Eve...not Adam and Steve:-)...and Steve Sensenig(got it) I was not refering to you.

    Whew! I was about to write, "Hey, leave me out of this!" ;)

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 9/08/2006 12:01 AM  

  • Earl, you wrote: Could you explicitly state the presuppositions you see [with regard to the word "foreordain"]? Often I'm blind to my presuppositions and here is where you can be helpful to me.

    Sure thing. The word "foreordain" or "foreknow" is used very little in Scripture. In fact, it's only used 4 or 5 times, I believe, by three different authors. And several of those occurances don't have to do with God's foreknowledge of anything. (One has to do with people who knew Paul before he was saved, and one has to do with things that we already know.) In the usages that have to do with God's foreknowledge (most notably Rom 8:29), there frankly isn't a whole lot of explanation given by Paul.

    So, in your initial comment, you wrote: A Calvinist views that just as God foreknows every event in the universe, down to the smallest thing that exists, whether it be quarks or strings or whatever, so God has ordained all things, down to the minutest level, every stray quark, electron, etc., with everything else.

    Can you not see how this goes so far beyond what we have specifically revealed to us in Scripture? The above quote from your first comment cannot be substantiated from Scripture to the specificity you gave.

    However, you then build on that in your thinking to determine what this must mean with regard to sin. You go on to state:

    Ordaining only means that God, being the ontologically prior being of everything, established the logical necessity for all things. However, God did not cause people to sin. Words are inadequate to describe this. The best that can be said is that in God's foreordaining, he permitted sin, but did not cause sin. God permitted people to exercise their free agency to sin.

    By taking what you claim to be the correct definition of "foreordain" (or "foreknew"), you have posited what I believe is accurate viz. Calvinism. My concern is not that you are teaching something counter to Calvinism, but with Calvinism itself.

    In just two statements that I have quoted above, you have 1) not based anything presented on Scriptural evidence, and 2) gone far beyond what the Scripture teaches in assertions with regard to something that we probably have no capability of understanding or grasping.

    Later, in responding to me, you wrote: If you read in the Calvinistic confessions, such as the Westminster Confession of Faith, the word foreordain itself conveys that God establishes the logical necessity for all that will happen.

    Please, go back to what the Scripture actually reveals. This definition of foreordain is not based on Scripture, but on derived doctrines. And the danger always with derived doctrine is that we go too far, and then base other beliefs on those derived doctrines.

    To base our theology on a system such as that is to erect a house built on sand, ultimately, and it is not secure.

    If "God has ordained all things, down to the minutest level", then He ordained that a gay person be born gay. In the same way, He ordained that Adam and Eve should sin. You cannot on the one hand say that God ordains all things down to the minutest level, and then allow for something to happen by man's choice.

    Here's something for people to consider: Scripture records some things that God does, indeed, orchestrate and plan out. However, is it possible that God orchestrates some, but not all things in this way?

    In other words, God may have known that man would sin and need redemption, and therefore He could plan out the sacrifice of Jesus from before the foundations of the world. However, this does not necessitate that He actually ordained that man would sin.

    I dunno. I just don't want to say that I have God figured out, and that I know exactly what He was doing before He ever created us. He hasn't revealed that detail, and He hasn't revealed an exact, full definition of "foreordain". So let's do Him a favor and stop acting like He has! ;)

    steve :)

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 9/08/2006 12:25 AM  

  • Steve, thank you for your lengthy response. That was very helpful in understanding what you are saying.

    I think the crux of our discussion is this: "By taking what you claim to be the correct definition of "foreordain" (or "foreknew"), you have posited what I believe is accurate viz. Calvinism. My concern is not that you are teaching something counter to Calvinism, but with Calvinism itself."

    The reason I have not quoted the Bible is because I think you and I are in agreement on definition, as used in the Bible, of the word foreordain. So we don't need to quote Scripture passages to get either of us to agree on our common agreement of the definition of foreordain. The question in your mind is whether it is a Calvinistic definition of foreordain. Now that is why mention the WCF -- not to "prove" the Biblical definition of foreordain, but to show that in a Calvinistic confession, the definition of foreordain is the same as the Biblical definition that you and I agree to.

    Now, there are all sorts of Calvinists out there. There are some really whacky ones. Some will disagree with the Biblical definition of foreordain, that both you and I agree with. I argue with those guys. I'm not using foreordain the way those guys use it. I am using it the way another group of Calvinists use it, those who subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith. Remember, you and I agree to the definition of foreordain. The question is whether other Calvinists also agree to this definition. I am an elder in the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), a conservative Presbyterian denomination. To become an elder, you've got to study the Bible (of course), but also study the WCF, and face an exam on the WCF. Now, I agree with you, the WCF is not the Bible, and we do not spend most of our time studying the WCF, because that is a man-made document subject to error while the Bible is inerrant. I am not urging people to study the WCF. All I am saying is that the WCF is a "quality control" document that elders in the PCA have to know. It is a Calvinist confession, and it presents the definition of foreordain the way that you and I think is a Biblical definition.

    This is a long winded explanation to say that many Calvinists are not as far off in this topic as you might think. Sure, there are what I'd call hyper Calvinists that take foreordain a different direction. I disagree with them. The other thing I want to say is that it is easy for us to misunderstand each other. I do it with Antonio. I've messed up and corrupted what he really believes in things that I write. I'm trying to clean up my act on that. What I'm asking is that we all be careful with each other. Don't assume that all Calvinists believe a certain way. You've probably run into some nasty Calvinists, who really pervert this topic. Don't assume that all Calvinists believe that way.

    So, in summary, I don't use the WCF in place of the Bible, you and I agree on the definition of foreordination, and so do some Calvinists who hold to the WCF.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/08/2006 1:21 AM  

  • Earl: Careful there, brother! You stated repeatedly phrases like "Remember, you and I agree to the definition of foreordain."

    Actually, the point of my last (and lengthy) comment to you was that I was not convinced of the definition of foreordain that you put forth!!!

    I'm not sure how you came away with you and I being in agreement on that definition!!! I must really be communicating horribly on this if that's what you got! ;)

    When I said that you had communicated something that was "accurate viz. Calvinism", I meant simply that you appeared to accurately present the Calvinistic (i.e., WCF) definition and interpretation of foreordain. I did not mean to imply that I thought it was accurate in and of itself! I believe it to be something that cannot be derived from Scripture, and therefore should not be held to very tightly. And certainly not something that should then be foundational to other doctrines.

    steve :)

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 9/08/2006 2:01 AM  

  • Steve, I see I misread. Oops. I'll reread your reply. Please forgive me.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/08/2006 11:42 AM  

  • Steve, thanks for your patience and interaction.

    Rose, thank you for your forbearance. If this is going in a direction you don't want, let me know. This is your house, I want to be a good guest. Sometimes I overstay my welcome in discussing minute detail.

    Steve, given my track record of misunderstanding you (my fault, not yours), I'm not sure we'll make much progress (again due to me, not you). You say: "If 'God has ordained all things, down to the minutest level', then He ordained that a gay person be born gay. In the same way, He ordained that Adam and Eve should sin. You cannot on the one hand say that God ordains all things down to the minutest level, and then allow for something to happen by man's choice."

    This is the usual roadblock between non-Calvinists interacting with Calvinists. Let me ask this. When Jesus told Peter he would deny him, did Peter have a choice? Why did Peter have a choice since what he would do has been predicted with absolute certainty?

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/08/2006 1:12 PM  

  • Earl, please know that this conversation is a very pleasant one for me. Just in case there was any question as to how I was reading you or perceiving your tone. I like the gentle, balanced way you are interacting, and especially your willingness to acknowledge when you have misread.

    With regard to Peter and your question about his freedom to act in a way different from what Jesus prophecied: This is, indeed, a very interesting example. It was partially in response to your comment about it earlier that I made my comments about whether God ordains some, but not all. I think it is something to be careful of when extrapolating a particular action of God out to every single minute detail of life.

    But perhaps another way of looking at it is that Jesus' prophecy of how Peter would respond to the temptation to deny was not so much causal as simply predictive. In other words, Jesus wasn't commanding Peter to deny Him, and He wasn't causing Peter to deny Him. In the same way as all of prophecy works, it is basically the nature of prophecy to tell what will happen. It is as if Jesus is saying, "Peter, I know what you are going to choose when you are given the opportunity, and when given the choice, you're going to deny me."

    Notice that when Peter is embroiled in the midst of the temptation, he isn't saying things that aren't of his own volition. He isn't saying things, and then looking horrified as if someone else had spoken words out of his mouth. No. It is not until the rooster crows that he realizes, "Jesus was right. Given the opportunity, I chose to deny Him", and he is grieved over his own sin.

    I don't know if that answers your question or not, but I think it's a little bit of an apples/oranges scenario to equate prophecy with foreordaining. In that sense, those who hold to a position that God foreknew, and therefore planned His actions around the choices that would be made would be equally supported by your position with regard to Peter. But the existence of prophecy need not lead to a full-out "foreordaining" of "every minute detail", as you have posited above.

    By the way, my beef with what you have presented (i.e., my original comment to you about having your cake and eating it, too) does apply equally to the WCF. The WCF goes way beyond Scripture, and the footnotes (are they part of the original document, or were they added in later?) in the link you gave frequently make use of proof-texts that are out of context and/or not nearly as definitive as the WCF document itself.

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 9/08/2006 5:35 PM  

  • Steve,

    How bout those Hermaphrodites?

    How about Jesus' mentioning of Eunuchs?

    How about Downs Syndrome?

    Is this a result of the fall?

    Now how about the disciples asking if sin was the reason for the man being born blind?

    He replied that it was for the glory of God.

    Earl and I would argue that all of these things are under his control and he can exercise his will in anything He desires.

    Why did God put Satan in the garden?

    He didn't sneak in there. God ordained it but he did not tempt man. He tested man as he allowed Job to be tested and the Son of God to be tempted.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/08/2006 8:39 PM  

  • The important thing that I remember is that God's hands are always clean and He alone has the authority to grant or withhold any requests and those requests granted will have an adverse affect on other things such as the demons requesting to go into the pigs and out of the maniac of Gadara. the Pigs ran into the ocean and made things hard on the farmers. There are just so many things under his control and he impliments his hand or witholds it at his sovereign will.

    He knew those pigs would go into the ocean, yet he cast them out at the demons request and did it anyway. Who can know the mind of God?

    So Earl and I would argue that our definition of "foreordain" is written throughout the whole Bible in every situation.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/08/2006 11:05 PM  

  • Steve, thank you for your gracious, forgiving spirit. I am amazed how you've hung in their with me where I've misunderstood you. This is a most enjoyable conversation.

    First, let me say a hearty AMEN to those Scripture proofs in the WCF. Here is where I play the wizard in Oz in saying pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. They're abominable, aren't they? Here is a little history on it. The Westminster divines wrangled out the final draft of the Confession and presented it to the English Parliament. The MP's asked where's the proof for all this, and returned the WCF to the divines and asked for Scripture proofs for each section. The divines did a half-hearted job, and these proofs have followed into various Systematic Theologies. It is an embarrassment. I actually thought about referring you to a WCF site that didn’t have Scripture proofs, but you might as well see the warts and all.

    You're taking a prudent approach in consider that God ordains some but perhaps not all. I have come nowhere close in establishing that God ordains everything. I’m not out to win an argument, but rather to explore what we might have in common, and to give and take on my view. Here is what I find interesting. Your description of choosing and volition is very much my view (but I might be misreading you again :o). I have used the language of choosing to act out of a “dispositional complex”. Rose has described it as, “every thought, every experience, every influence, every intention, and every demonic and satanic whisper. etc...”. About Peter you say, “he isn't saying things that aren't of his own volition.” I think that is the key to understanding the word “choose.” Let me propose this definition for choose and see what you think about it: Choosing is a person volitionally deciding from the myriad mix of competing desires and acting upon their decision. The deciding may involve deep thought, or be an instant, snap decision. It is done without coercion from an outside source. In this definition, Peter acted choose to deny Jesus, even though Jesus predicted it with absolute certainty meaning Peter is guaranteed to deny Christ. This captures the essence of foreordination. I’m willing, for the sake of this discussion, to forgo assuming God foreordains every single thing. God ordaining just Peter’s denial sometime that night is enough to consider one example of foreordaining and the ramifications of that. In this limited circumstance, where it appears that God foreordained Peter’s denial, Peter was still free to choose whether he would deny Jesus or not. But even if we consider this infallible prophecy, we still have similar issues we are dealing with and the definition of choosing still applies.

    So, Steve, others, what do your think? Am I missing your point again? :o)

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/08/2006 11:26 PM  

  • Earl, your last comment does, indeed, indicate a fair amount of common ground on this. It sounds a bit more open than your initial comments in this thread.

    I do appreciate the dialogue, and I especially appreciate your input on the WCF proof-texts. I do feel that there are many statements in the WCF that go further than Scripture itself goes, but that's a whole nother topic, and not one that I'll take up Rose's space with! ;) I'm gonna probably talk about that on my blog later today, though, and will let you know if you care to discuss that more with me.

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 9/09/2006 9:27 AM  

  • Brian, you're obsessed with Hermaphrodites! ;) (just kidding) But seriously, I did already answer that I believe that's a result of the fall.

    I believe all of those things you mentioned are a result of the fall. But here's the bottom line (to try to keep on Rose's topic [although admittedly not her main point] here): From what I can see, your argument leads to the conclusion that God has created homosexuals as homosexuals intentionally and for His glory. I don't think that is easily defensible.

    I will mention something related to your reference to the man born blind, however. And I think this is a very critical distinction to be made. Jesus did not say that he was born blind so that God would be glorified in his blindness. God was glorified in the healing.

    To use this passage as a defense of God creating deformities and mutations is shaky at best, completely wrong at worst. I'm not willing to say it's completely wrong, but I find it bothersome.

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 9/09/2006 9:47 AM  

  • >your argument leads to the conclusion that God has created homosexuals as homosexuals intentionally and for His glory. I don't think that is easily defensible.<

    Please understand that this is not my point. My point is the comfort Joseph consoled his brethren with. What you meant for evil...God meant for good. This is always the case. We are all on a spiraling vortex downward and God intercepts as superman does that airplane...when he desires. When he does act in his choice he is righteous. When he allows the plane to crash he is also righteous. He may have something else evil he must use for good. We do not have his timetable nor see what he sees. Eve made a choice once to do evil in such a seemingly innocent way and yet wars have been faught and houlacousts have occorred and little children have been molested as a result of her choice.

    Peter told Jesus that he would choose to do right even if the others chose to do wrong. God assured him that he could not do what he thought he could choose to do. Yet God took that evil choice and used it for good.

    Also what I am trying to argue is that as a result of the fall many horrible things have occured outside of peoples choice. There are some people born without that inhibitor near the Thalamus in their brain...I forget what it is called. Anyway the pituary gland usually secrets in all of us to tell us we are not hungry anymore and are finished eating.

    Some peoples brains send the message that they are constantly starving...are they gluttons by choice? No but as a result of Eve's choice they commit the sin of gluttony and are responsible for this abomination and they will be eternally judged for it if they do not turn to the Lord and receive the free gift from his finished work at the cross that makes everything better and new and puts the old nature that is useless to death.

    The man born blind was born blind as a result of the fall but not as a result of his parents sin or his own but for the glory of God. It was not Gods will for us to be blind or live a life in these sorrows...but God uses evil for his glory and to reveal his love for us.

    If God turned us loose to the curse and the natural laws in his creation and did not intercept things as Superman does the plane then our situation would be more dreadful than it is with everything. WE would all become like Sodom and Gommora.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/09/2006 10:52 AM  

  • Steve,

    Also consider why God told Saul to put to death every living person including infants among the Amalekites for a sin that they did not commit but that their ancestors committed hundreds of years earlier.

    If we understand that we fell from what is natural when Eve made her choice then we can understand that we are a nest of snakes that God in his mercy choice to live among to redeem. What a horrifying thing to do. What an incredible God He is to love us in spite of what we are and not judge us as he chose to do with the Amalekites.

    Some of us because of our ancestory have a proclivity towards some specific deviant behaviour I believe as Jeffery Dahmer...but all of us in general are completely depraved as a result of Eve's choice.

    Paul said that nothing good was in his flesh but we also know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

    How can this be? Well God told Gideon that he was a mighty man of valour when he was cowering in the winepress threshing wheat afraid of the Middianites. God always sees and proclaims the wonderful work that he is going to do and he has done a most incredible and wonderous thing in the new creation.

    Remember Paul said he would not boast in himself and would glory in insults and his thorn...but he would boast in that man that was caught up into the 3rd heaven. Why? Because he was a glorious reflection of Christ as a new creation. A wonderful work of God. What a blessing we are to him now as saved believers and oh what mighty works he desires to do in us. My believe is that we need to let that old nature go and stop defending it or anything else for that matter but help men see that God's wrath burns against it understanding that new hope exists in the finished work of Christ.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/09/2006 11:09 AM  

  • BTW,

    Here is where we must make our boast:

    2 Corinthians 12:5

    I want to know this man more and boast in him...don't you. He is trapped in my flesh, but the more I put to death the desires of my flesh the more he will surface and the more I will know my Lord.

    The more we feed and grow him the more we will put to death whatever sinful choices that dead abominable ghost/man desires and is inclined to make.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/09/2006 11:18 AM  

  • Brian, if you don't mind, I'm just gonna leave your comments there as the last word in this discussion (as far as my involvement in it goes). I think we've gone as far as we can on this topic for now, and I would rather just leave it with that. Thanks for the conversation! It's good to see you again, by the way. Never interacted with you other than at Campi's site, I think. Be blessed, my brother! You and I do have a lot in common, as your last couple of comments (some of which showed up while I was previewing this comment) have shown, whether or not we agree on how definite we should be about things that are beyond our finite minds!

    steve :)

    By Blogger Steve Sensenig, at 9/09/2006 11:51 AM  

  • Brother Steve,

    You are a tremendous blessing. Your "Blogging with love" article is seared in my mind and has ministered to me. I pray many will go to your archives and read and meditate upon the good work the Lord placed in your heart to write.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/09/2006 12:46 PM  

  • I am still learning by the way...and a lesser blogger would never have stood unless he had the last word:-)

    Ha ha.

    Am I indicting myself?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/09/2006 12:48 PM  

  • Rose,

    Homosexuality, bisexuality is all a product of a fallen and then cursed world. Thereby our bodies and our minds our subject to every form of failure and abnormality.

    Why, in my experience of not being able to have a female partner, given a huge heterosexual appetite, have I not chosen to resort to men for that pleasure? Has it been the fear of sin? Not at all. It's because I cannot view a man as a sexual object. And I have to believe this difficulty(or blessing) is from being born that way.

    The Lord does not shun homosexuals in any way. He doesn't put them on any different plane than a slanderer or gossiper. He simply demands that they not practice the sin which they are prone to.

    As a result of the curse the human flesh is capable of every kind of deformity which includes being born both physicaly male and female. I don't see the problem understanding that people are born with unique physical (and the mind is simply another organ in the body) issues that God asks them to live above through His Word.

    I don't have to chose not to be a homosexual but the next guy might because I was born the way I am and he was born the way he is.

    What if these two effeminate men you saw were two God loving homosexuals just out enjoying each others company and then returning to each to their own separate home in a disciplined way to honor God? In reality, we don't know much about men such as you saw in the store that arouse our suspicion and our judgement simply by the way they look and talk, and it's possible that those two guys could give us all a seminar on living above our powerful fleshly desires and have a much more powerful testimony than any of us in that area.

    I can't relate to the homosexual issue quite the same as most of you, because not being a homosexual is a choice I've never had to make, presumably having something to do with the way I was born. Good luck.

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 9/09/2006 1:56 PM  

  • One of my girlfriends from years ago thought I was a born womanizer.

    I have had to make a choice to keep my eyes for the Lord and have asked him to give me strength.

    Pray for me that I will feed my new nature so that it will continue to over power my corrupt nature. I know that this will disgust some for admitting this, but I say that to not think myself above the homosexual and my youthful sins disgust me now. Please pray for me that it will stay that way and that I will keep my eyes only for my wife.

    Thankfully I have not comitted adultery against her in any physical way since the day I met her. There were times when my old girlfriends tried to link back up with me...but I had to send them away fleeing like Joseph. Praise God for his help.

    I wish I could say that I kept my eyes pure...but God is giving me the strength to do that. Oh praise his name and may God help all of us to deal honorable with our wives and not treacherously.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 9/09/2006 2:32 PM  

  • Steve, here I though you Brian and I were the only ones left at the party, but I see the conversation is still going on.

    Steve, I appreciate our dialoge too. As with you, I am going to close off my comments and go home and get some sleep. :o)

    One of the things I wanted to show was that God's perfect prophecy about a person, even God's ordaining something in a person's life does not necessarily indicate that person has no choice in the matter. That's the principle we see with Peter's denial.

    All the other things, about how much God ordains, etc., that is a topic for another time and elsewhere.

    Thanks Steve, Rose, Brian, and others for the delightful discussion. I'm going home now. Good night. :o)

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/09/2006 11:02 PM  

  • Hey Todd,
    Thanks for your thoughts. I had thought of this temptation also as not so different from whatever temptation that others face. You and I are not thinking all too differently.

    Earl, Brian, Steve,
    I really enjoyed reading the exchanges between the three of you. Thanks for your thoughts. I have been not feeling well at all, but I still read every word you typed and was brought to think by your comments. Thanks again!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/12/2006 10:13 AM  

  • There are many documented cases of identical twins (that is twins who have identical dna) where one became gay and the other did not. Many of these were separately adopted.

    If we had no other information than this, we would still have enough to make a case for the idea that no one is born gay - that this particular sin is as much a choice as any sin.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 9/14/2006 7:32 AM  

  • Hi Daniel,
    It was good to see you around here again. I had not heard of the nature/nurture case of the twins. ;~)
    Thanks for telling me about it!

    Whenever I see your avatar, I think of this eighties song: "I wear my sunglasses at night..."
    Do you remember that one?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/14/2006 10:34 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I came across this post after reading Steve's comments in one of his blogs. I do not want to open up discussion on this again, seeing as how it is probably closed, but only to recommend a good resource, and a close friend. Tim Wilkins is a repentant homosexual who has a ministry to homosexual men. His web address is www.crossministry.org. I hope you might take time to look at it and check out some of his articles. GREAT STUFF!

    Wow, you have a great blog!

    Blessings,
    Tony

    By Blogger Tony, at 9/15/2006 11:27 PM  

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