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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hatred, Murder, and Scripture

Another Guest Post ...but this time by a frequent visitor who wishes to remain anonymous. This post is about repentance (in the 'forsaking sin' sense) for the believer and doesn't get into the question of whether or not 'repentance' is necessary to come to Christ, so let's not get into that this time. :~) -Rose

Hatred, Murder, and Scripture by Anonymous (a regular visitor at RR)
21"You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell." - Matthew 5:21-22 [NASB]

15Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. - 1 John 3:15 [NASB]
Christ, in the sermon on the mount makes clear the thought that murder goes deeper than just the act itself. The Apostle John however makes it even more clear. John does not say that the sin of hatred is similar to the sin of murder, he says that the one who hates is a murderer.

Given this premise, what should we as a congregation do for a brother or a sister who grew up in our congregation and one day confessed that they although they have never acted upon it, they have had a compelling, "uncontrollable" desire to murder half the congregation - a desire that began at puberty.

Would we regard this homicidal compulsion as "okay" as long as the individual didn't act upon it? Or would we regard the hatred, just as John regards it? Would we call it murder, and bid that soul repent of their murderous desire?

What if the individual was personally convinced that he or she had no control over his or her murderous desire, and therefore refused to even entertain the possibility of repentance? What if he or she was willing to abstain from killing people, agreeing that murder was sinful, but being at the same time unwilling to address murderous desire as a sin to be repented of? Would we accommodate that? Would we reason that as long as they were abstaining from murder, and as long as they continued to regard murder as sinful, they wouldn't have to repent of their murderous desire, because, hey - its just a feeling right, and you can't help your feelings, right?
What of the unmarried man who burns in his lust for the pretty young ladies. Do we say to this man, that as long as he doesn't rape anyone, or commit fornication he can lust all he wants. Is that what Paul taught? No, we tell this young man that lust is a sin, and he must repent of it. If he believes he cannot, his problem is not merely lust, but unbelief.

I expect that some churches couldn't care less. Show up on Sunday, tithe, come to prayer meeting, and try to live clean so you don't make us all look like hypocrites or worse. If you do something really bad, we will kick you out, but as long as you keep your sin private, no one is going to care, because they are so busy nursing their own private sins, that they wouldn't dare talk to you about yours, lest someone drag their own skeletons out of the closet.

But not every church is worldly, deceived, and powerless. Not every congregation in bondage and weak. Some are actually Spirit filled, and Spirit led, and some more than others. Some exchange the Spirit for cheap imitations, but that is another post altogether. What is germane to this post is that some churches actually expect Christ to save you from your sin, and not just save you in spite of it. They expect you to repent, and if tell yourself you cannot repent they lovingly teach you that scripture says you can - but they don't stop there - they go on to teach you that unless you are willing to repent, you cannot be allowed to fellowship with them. They regard their congregation as an unleavened lump, and your sin as unwelcome leaven, and rather than coddle you in your sin, they would deliver you to Satan until you learn to get real with God, and stop nursing your sin.

That kind of expectation will no doubt seem over the top to some, or even many, but it quite biblical.

Now we speak about these things, not because any of us would actually be clueless in such situations. I think most of us would clearly see that hatred or lust are things that must be repented of, and not coddled. We wouldn't instruct anyone to simply repress/suppress their sinful desires, for even the heathen do that. Christians have much better tools than repression for tearing down strongholds! Grace and repentance. If the brother who hates is a murderer, and the brother who lusts an adulterer - then the one who hates, or the one who lusts must repent of their wicked desires - just as a "real" murderer must repent of the same hate, and a "real" adulterer must repent of his lust.

I say again, we ask these things not because we are concerned with murder, hatred, lust or adultery - but we ask such things in order to see clearly how we are to deal with them. We first look at what ought to be cut and dry, then move onto the more nuanced, more clouded, more debated, and more difficult.

Let's consider then the homosexual Christian.
Do we accept a homosexual into our congregation who, while willing to abstain from expressing outwardly his or her homosexual desires, is never the less convinced that he or she is in bondage to such desire, and therefore doesn't have to repent of it?
What are your thoughts, and ... be reasonable.
-Anonymous Regular Vistor at RR


  • a special prize goes to the first one who figures out who the person is who wrote this post. haha

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/25/2009 8:45 AM  

  • My comment: sometimes Christians keep their sinful thoughts and desires to themselves and it is because they would face all sorts of pressure and scorn from others in the church if they were to bring it out in the open. This is a very complex issue that "anon" brings up.

    Another thought: it is very hard to "change" your desires and your thoughts. You might hate your desires and thoughts and in that sense we could say you repent of them, as you repudiate them, but how can you stop wicked thoughts completely just by a decision? Great topic of discussion, I believe.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/25/2009 8:49 AM  

  • Hi Rose/Anonymous:

    Good post. Re your statement:

    Do we accept a homosexual into our congregation who, while willing to abstain from expressing outwardly his or her homosexual desires, is never the less convinced that he or she is in bondage to such desire, and therefore doesn't have to repent of it?

    I think this part of the statement i.e. convinced that he or she is in bondage to such desire, and therefore doesn't have to repent of it? is greatly flawed.

    The bondage of sin (any sin) is self imposed, therefore culpable, and therefore to be repented of. There appears to be the Garden of Eden syndrome working here, whereby someone else is to blame for my sin and therefore I am not accountable. (I know that you are not arguing for this position, but taking the (supposed?)words of another.

    The church needs to be somewhat pragmatic and work i.e. get on with what she is called to do. We can't go round every last professing Christian in the congregation one by one and start trying to police their thoughts. The pulpit (and other mediums of propagating truth) can teach what the Bible requires of us as Christians and let the Holy Spirit work it in and work the sin out.

    Of course, if sin breaks out into the open, it needs to be dealt with. This isn't minimising the closet sins or excusing them, but we must let individuals deal with these things themselves and not hold back the whole church from her great work.

    Just my tuppence worth!


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 3/25/2009 10:39 AM  

  • P/s I don't know who wrote this article. I suspect that I should seeing that you put "haha" on it. All things are clear to him/her that knows.

    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 3/25/2009 10:42 AM  

  • Those scriptures saved my soul. I use them to remind myself, when I'm feeling a little too self righteous, that I am a Sinner. I am fairly certain that was the purpose of these statements in scripture.

    Technically, there should be no Church if applied the way this post is suggesting - for we are all guilty of harboring sinful desires at all times.

    By Blogger Missy, at 3/25/2009 12:56 PM  

  • Ugghh! I should be disfellowshipped -

    Good day, Rose! :)

    By Blogger Missy, at 3/25/2009 12:59 PM  

  • I was thinking something similar, Missy - what chaos there would be if we all brought out the thoughts of our minds into the open.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Missy! I agree completely.

    I hope everybody knows that I am not afraid to post something that I myself wouldn't write.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/25/2009 1:01 PM  

  • Colin,
    thank you for your thoughts also - I think this is very balanced:

    Of course, if sin breaks out into the open, it needs to be dealt with. This isn't minimising the closet sins or excusing them, but we must let individuals deal with these things themselves and not hold back the whole church from her great work.


    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/25/2009 1:03 PM  

  • Then again, if you have a person in your chruch going around saying "I am a homosexual, but by the grace of God, I am not practicing what I desire to do" - I would hope someone would shush him.

    The rest of us don't need to know this. In my opinion, it is better for the rest of us not to think of a brother in such a way.

    I mean, does an adultere go around saying "I really have the desire to commit adultery, but by the grace of God, I am holding myself back."

    Decently and in order, folks.

    This should be kept to himself. He should seek counseling to try and change his thinking.

    Just my "tuppence" worth :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/25/2009 1:07 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I'll go out on a limb and guess it's Antonio?

    Am I right?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 3/25/2009 1:08 PM  

  • Ten Cent,
    The one who wrote this may get a kick out of your guess.

    No, it was not Antonio. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/25/2009 1:10 PM  

  • Then again, if you have a person in your chruch going around saying "I am a homosexual, but by the grace of God, I am not practicing what I desire to do" - I would hope someone would shush him. etc.

    I agree. But at this stage, the matter ceases to be private and becomes public. The same point could be made without naming any sins - and particularly sins of this nature. It is one thing to confess that we have often had to bite our tongues on some occasions (which usually brings a knowing smile) but there are these other sins which are not to be once named among the saints.

    If we are going to do more harm thangood in what we say, then we would be better saying nothing.


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 3/25/2009 1:19 PM  

  • I understand that a sin is not something to be heralded - but I'm not sure that complete silence is the answer either. Openness amongst the saints is important, too. Exposing sin to the light is a part of healing from it. I do believe that a well thought confidant who is strong and wise is critical - a pastor, an elder?

    By Blogger Missy, at 3/25/2009 1:27 PM  

  • Hi Missy,

    Perhaps on a 1-1 basis (or maybe in the light of this particular sexual orientated sin) a 1-2 (at least) basis. With complete confidence assured.


    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 3/25/2009 1:47 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Yeah, it was a little tongue in cheek.

    But to address the post:

    "Let's consider then the homosexual Christian. Do we accept a homosexual into our congregation who, while willing to abstain from expressing outwardly his or her homosexual desires, is never the less convinced that he or she is in bondage to such desire, and therefore doesn't have to repent of it?"

    Are we talking about a thought life that is running rampant? Or is this person still claiming to be a homosexual, willing to promote and defend that lifestyle even though they themselves do not physically practice it?

    I guess I don't understand why the person would think they don't have to repent of sin? Unless they didn't think it was sin unless it was a physical manifestation of the sin.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 3/25/2009 2:10 PM  

  • Hey Rose:

    Your last special prize turned out to be some kind of food - if I remember right. What is it this time?

    P/s Will you do the graphics for my sadly nelgected Free Gracer's Dictionary? :o)

    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 3/25/2009 2:18 PM  

  • Rose, I keep coming back to this post, 'cause something's not settling right with me. I'm going to go out of character here, from my typical hit and run...

    Tell me if I am wrong, but between the post and the comments, it would seem that the proposed option against kicking all sinners out of church is silence. Never admit your sinful desires? I can't agree with either conclusion.

    Honestly, this does not fit any scripture I have ever read. Confession, openness, no record of wrongs, loving discipline applied - this is what I read in scripture regarding relationships in the Church.

    James 1:13-15 says this of desire and sin:

    "When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."

    Would you not agree that as baby Christians, we mature? Sin matures in the same way. I think that in many cases, intervention - if only prayer - is critical when sinful desires appear in our lives. Do we have to step up to the pulpit and announce it? No. But we should have brothers and sisters who love us and whom we trust to be open about these things with - not just a counseling relationship with the pastor. This is how God has supplied us means to overcome.

    The scriptures quoted in the article (Matthew 5:21-22 & 1 John 3:15) were used to make the point that we are all sinners - and that it is not the act that makes us so, but the desire. So we are all in the same boat, dead in our sins - even if we've had the discipline to keep from acting on our sinful desires. It's telling us that those who commit sin are not any guiltier than those that suppress the desire to do so. These scriptures explain that we all need salvation.

    I find it difficult to fathom that anyone who believes differently could exhort grace.

    By Blogger Missy, at 3/25/2009 6:10 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I resonate fairly deeply with Missy's comments.

    My contribution to the depicted scenario would be that it is all but futile to try to encourage such an individual to try harder not to sin, even if he believes it is sin. It would be like sweeping out the one demon and having seven worse come back, once "swept clean," and take its place.

    The only way to effectively displace a consuming passion is to replace it with an even more all-consuming passion; and I can think of nothing more consuming than joining the Father's "enterprise" of redeeming a fallen world.

    Having three registered sex offenders in my men's group of about 20 guys, I believe that most of these guys have been convinced that they are worthless to the Kingdom. The only "solution" is a more accurate understanding of their identity in Christ---so valuable to the Father in Christ that they have been called to actively participate in the Father's redemptive initiative in the lives of others...especially others just like themselves.

    These guys are a blessing to my soul every Saturday morning; but they have openly admitted that their passions are sinful and consuming, and I am now convinced that the biggest part of the battle is for them to show up every week to be reminded how valuable they are to the Kingdom. Two-thirds of our time is spent in prayer and share (this is guys, mind you!). And the best part is...I don't have to lie about their (true) identities.

    By Blogger agent4him, at 3/25/2009 10:48 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    I believe repentance is after you've kept going down the wrong road your called to repent. When we sin we need to learn how to take the thought captive by redirecting our thoughts. We need to be renewing our minds in God's word. It isn't until we have filled our minds with God's thought's that we even have a chance. Sometimes thought's will just come out of no where. Or you might have a dream and wake up and have to realize it wasn't real. The mind is where the battle is being fought, and your body has real desires. I believe one does not have to repent on every sin but confess by taking it captive to God. (Phil 4:8) When the believer learns how to do this, they see the victory can be won. Some of us have a lot more baggage. I remember when first trying to walk the walk and my thoughts were just too over whelming. I gave up I knew I couldn't live the life, so I didn't think it worked. It wasn't until I found out who I was in Christ, and He brought me to the end of myself so I cried out to Him or didn't want to live any longer it was my sin that pushed me to Him. Then He put a new desire within me to please Him. I've said before one of the greatest revelations is to know but for the grace of God there go I. How about if you were raped by your step father when you were a child. If these people are at Church and know that it's wrong they need help in knowing how to win the battle. And if their's ones there who have won the same battle they need to step up. My young people couldn't even hear me until they realized I went through a lot of the same things so they could relate to me, I wasn't any better then them. I just learnt how to win the battles, God had already won the war.

    Ugly :~}

    Ugly :~}

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/25/2009 11:26 PM  

  • Also don't give up, some days you will blow it. Where sin abounded grace did much more abound. God knows your going to mess up, but if you believe in His grace confess it and go on. The blood was first and foremost for Him, He is completely satified concerning sin.

    Ugly :~}


    By Blogger alvin, at 3/25/2009 11:40 PM  

  • Hi Rose, have been away for some time; too many 16 hour days. Just noticed that your “Liver and Onion” link is dead. Really sad to lose tjp as a comrade; do you know the story?



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/26/2009 12:18 AM  

  • Chris

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/26/2009 12:24 AM  

  • Hi Friends,

    I would like to share a true victory story about this very subject.

    When 2 of my daughters were in a Christian School a number of years ago (9th and 12th grade), it came out that one of their teachers was living a lesbian life style. She was actually involved with one of her students AND another teacher.
    YES.... in a Christian School.

    When it came out, she was very angry. Of course she immediately lost her job. Her pastor asked her if she was really a Christian. She said that she was a Christian or she was not reading the same Bible he was. He challenged her to spend a lot of time in the Word. She did.

    Then about 3 weeks (or more???... can't remember) I received a phone call from her. She wanted to apologize for deceiving me. My daughter was a friend of the girl involved. This teacher and I had become friends through school activities. She asked if she could meet with me for lunch. I agreed. We met at a restaurant. I had just read Dr. McGee's teaching where he said something like this...... "You can wallow in a pig pen for a while, but if you're not a pig you won't like it and you'll get out eventually" (paraphrased). I shared that with her. Then she surprised me by saying something like this....... "That wasn't my experience. I liked what I was doing. I enjoyed it. I knew it was wrong. I knew it was sin. I liked the power it gave me. I hadn't been able to pray for a long time. I was angry when it was found out."
    I knew she was telling me the truth because if she wanted to deceive me and make me just THINK she was repentive, she would have agreed with me. She would have said something like...... "That is so right what Dr. McGee said!" But she didn't say that.
    (BTW...... I should let you know that she was married and had children at the time. Her husband stayed with her through all of this.)

    Then she shared something so wonderful about our Lord. She told me that the night before this all came out, she said one word. The word was "help." She told me that she didn't even say, "HELP, GOD!" Just "help!" She wouldn't even utter God's name.
    She told me that it was the *grace* of God that all of this came out. She didn't consciously want to stop what she was doing. She enjoyed her secret. But there was a small part in her that said "help."

    She started to spend hours in the Word. She was a quiet person by nature. Almost bashful. Then my husband and I went over to her house. Her husband was there and she was sitting on the couch. We talked. Then I saw something that was so obvious to me. I saw the glow that came on her face when she started sharing scripture with us. I knew that it wasn't just fake because I had experienced the same joy over those particular passages. She didn't say much, but when she did talk it was all glowing testimony of what God was showing her in His Word. She could pray again. She could learn from His Word again. She was filled with joy again. She lost her job. She lost her reputation. She hurt her family. But her fellowship with the Lord had been restored again. She was truly enjoying HIM~!!!

    She was in trouble with the law because she was involved with a minor. She was instructed to go to a court appointed psychiatrist, not being allowed to stay with her Christian psychologist. Her court appointed psychiatrist told her that what she did was not wrong, but it was wrong that she did it with a minor. She told him....... "No, what I did was sin. It was wrong!" She was given one week in jail and 5 years probation. I think the judge just wanted her to have a taste of jail. She was also instructed that she could not be around other children alone or teach again in a school.

    God was so gracious. Her little Bible church stood behind her and encouraged her in the Lord. One of the members gave her a part time secretarial job in his office. She and her husband stayed active in their church. She told me that she knew she needed to keep herself away from a school environment. She knew she still had a weakness.
    Five years later my husband and I sang at her church. She told me at that time......"I'm FREE!!! I mean REALLY FREE!" She suffered consequences of her actions, but she was rejoicing in Jesus for His abundant grace, and today she is still serving the Lord with gladness!!!

    God's grace reaches anybody who wants Him!!! She attributes her freedom from the hold this powerful sin had on her to the grace of God. One little word that she said the night before it all came out........ "help!" She says that was God's grace.

    Rejoicing in His grace always,
    P.S. Both the girl and other teacher involved are married now and living for the Lord. God's grace reaches everybody who calls out to Him.

    By Blogger Diane, at 3/26/2009 1:23 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose/Diane

    Wonderful story Diane!!!! Praise the Lord!!!!!
    Romans 1:24,26,28 "God gave them up" I believe so their sin would cause them to say "HELP!"

    Alvin :)

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/26/2009 7:15 AM  

  • The original article here has some very valid points. Indulging in sins of the mind is the same, in God's sight, as actually acting it out. This is true of murder and all forms of sexual immorality.

    What is the original context of this article, and why is it focussing on one particular group of sinners (ie. homosexuals)?

    The term "homosexual Christian" is not helpful. There is no such thing as a "homosexual", just men and women who are created in the image of God and fallen sinners.

    Every one of us has evil tendencies within us. It is a symptom of the fall and an evidence that we are sinners by nature. The passage quoted in James about each one having "his own evil desire" and in 1 Peter it says "abstain from fleshly lusts" - which imply that they exist and war against us. A homosexual "orientation" is just one of the manifestations of this.

    If we are to demand that "homosexual Christians" are to be free of this temptation, then we all have a responsibility to place the same demand upon ourselves and the sins which we have a weakness with. We all experience various temptations and we all have different weak areas. We should repent for being weak and promise God never be tempted again. How many are willing to lay that burden on themselves?

    The controversy is also attributable to pro-gay propaganda. There is a new law within Britain now against "homophobic hatred", so why not the burglars of this world create a new identity and community for themselves. They could then accuse anybody who criticised of their lifestyle of being hateful towards them. I wonder what reaction that would get.

    In any case, Jesus showed grace and we talk about it. Let's show it.

    By Blogger Chris, at 3/26/2009 1:06 PM  

  • Diane,

    God's redemptive purposes in us only begin when we are first saved.

    I just came back from a Whataburger in Euless, Texas (where I am visiting my daughter) and was preparing my GES talk. A truck driver named Bodie, 53, came up to me and asked what my star of David with a cross around my neck meant. I told him my father was a Jew but I was a Christian, and he said he was interested in changing religions. He was profoundly discouraged with his hand-to-mouth existence and had all but given up the night before. He has been attending a Southern Baptist Church in the area and has felt like one false move, and God would abandon him.

    He started asking all the questions he had been piling up for the longest time, because the pastor didn't have time. He had the impression he had to pray separately to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and had all but given up praying. Had no assurance. Was apparently taught that there are sins for which God will not forgive you. People avoided him at church.

    The night before he asked for some sign of hope, and when his next scheduled trucking run was canceled this morning, he was compelled to turn into Whataburger (kind of like Cornelius, who was also saved ;-). I began showing him assurance in the Bible and answered his questions, but most importantly he understood how incredibly valuable he is in God's eyes, so valuable that God would direct him to a retired, fanatic Doc from Colorado Springs who had all day to talk with him at exactly his hour of need. He was afraid I too would reject him when he first came up to my booth.

    Boys and girls, we are called to keep our eyes and ears open every day and follow the Father's invitation. He is in the business of redeeming wrecked lives 24/7, and only asks us to be ready to roll when he plops a wrecked life down on our own own territory or he moves us 700+ miles to invade enemy territory.

    I am pumped...my daughter called, and I had her come over to meet this guy, Bodie, at Whataburger so she could invite him to her church in Dallas in person. Then she hugged him, and that did it; he almost lost it. I prayed for him twice...just him...and gave him the Living Water gospel and a GES tract for which he was immensely grateful. Pray for Bodie. His dream is to bring joy to hospitalized children and I recommended that he read The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson.

    By Blogger agent4him, at 3/26/2009 5:10 PM  

  • Hi Jim,

    Praise the Lord Jim!!!!!

    Wonderful story!!!!

    I've seen the Lord work like that over and over, it's really exciting to see God use you in others lives and orchestrate everything. If your willing to let Him use you He will, you don't have to have it all together either.

    It's just one sinner showing another where to find water :)

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/26/2009 10:29 PM  

  • Even a blind dog can find a bone once in awhile.

    See, Ugly, doctors and theologians can actually turn out to be useful sometimes.

    'Specially when we got our "radar" on.

    By Blogger agent4him, at 3/26/2009 10:55 PM  

  • Hi Rose . . .woops :)

    Jim that guy probably had to wake you up from your nap or trip over yah . . . heeheeee

    you was probably a sleepin like a hound dog....yah know you be gettin pretty old :)

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/26/2009 11:08 PM  

  • Jim....

    WOW! What a wonderful story!!!!! I rejoice with you, and I am praying for Bodie tonight!!!

    God be praised!


    By Blogger Diane, at 3/26/2009 11:12 PM  

  • Bodie be in our prayers, that for sure!

    Ugly :~}


    By Blogger alvin, at 3/26/2009 11:54 PM  

  • I should be sleepin' like a hound dog now, Ugly. I rode around in Dallas on a frontage road and got lost this evening for 2 hours...they had to come pick me up :-(

    Thanks for prayin'!

    By Blogger agent4him, at 3/26/2009 11:57 PM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    Jim, it sounds like your just having way too much fun :)

    Sleep good my friend :)

    Me I can't stay in one place to long, Bad be looking to get a bead on me :) if'n he didn't fall a sleep in his rock'n chair

    Ugly :~}

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/27/2009 10:17 AM  

  • Hi Rose, Anon, et al.

    I clicked through to the linked article (“A Few Like You”: Will the Church be the Church for Homosexual Christians?
    BY: Wesley Hill) and this paragraph was telling:

    "'There’s something I’d like you to know about me….' I began weakly. I told him that I knew I was gay. I had known since puberty or soon after and had probably experienced some foretastes of my sexual orientation even as a child. I told him I had prayed for healing. I said I just wanted Christian friends who would be there for me, who would help me figure out how to live with a tension and confusion that felt overwhelming."

    If I understand the point Anon is making (corrrect me if I am wrong), he or she is suggesting that the idea of having a homosexual orientation is about as valid as the idea of having a murderous or adulterous orientation. That labeling a perversion as an "orientation" muddies the water enough that both the homosexual sinner, and the congregation that receives that sinner expect this particular sin to be dealt with differently than other sins.

    If that is his (or her) point, then I agree. Sin is sin, and identifying one particular flavor of sin as an "orientation" only serves to confuse the matter when it comes to repentance.

    Yet Anon should have made some distinction between the temptation which is not sinful and the lust which is. For we all recognize that while it is one thing to be tempted to murder or lust, yet it is quite another to give into that temptation and entertain murderous or lustful thoughts - whether we carry them out or not.

    The man or woman who gives into an homosexual temptation, and entertains lustful thoughts, and expects his or her congregation to accept that as part of his "orientation" - this one (and any congregation that winks at that sort of sinful behavior) is definitely in the wrong.

    Someone else pointed this out already, but it bears repeating: we cannot police each others's thought life, nor should we. That is the work of the Holy Spirit, and not the holier-than-thou. We can (should) pray for one another, and we ought to be discerning so that we do not "coddle" sin (Anon's word), but when we confess our sins to one another it is not meant to furnish us with a forum by which we excommunicate those who are struggling in sin - for all who are in Christ are struggling under sin. The point of our confession is to know what we ought to pray for one another, and again, to offer encouragement in the struggle, whether it is mutual, or something the Lord has given us victory in.

    I think Anon has overstated his or her point, and failed to make a proper distinction between temptation and sin - but if I understand him or her correctly, I agree with the main point.

    Diane - awesome testimony! I have personally received testimonies from people who were so bound in their sin they believed with all their heart that there was no way they could ever be out from under their sinful desires - that they had even imagined the desires themselves to be beyond their control - only to hear their testimony years later - delivered in full. I myself have been so delivered from a multitude of horrible sinful things - things I truly believed could never change - but God, by his grace, showed mercy upon me. I love to hear the old, old story. ;)

    By Blogger Daniel, at 3/27/2009 10:30 AM  

  • Right on Daniel!!!!!!

    The initial thought is not sin (Janes 1:14,15), and that is where we need to learn to stop it :) by redirecting our mind (Phil 4:8) is what I use ALL the time, and singing songs to the Lord! Also calling God by all His wonderful names, praising Him. If that doesn't redirect your mind I don't know what will. Ha!Ha!

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/27/2009 11:35 AM  

  • Excellent post Daniel.

    By Blogger Chris, at 3/27/2009 1:54 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 3/27/2009 6:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    This is obviously the reason for the absence of a call to repentance in 1 John. The church, or churches, addressed (perhaps the leaders are chiefly in view) are in excellent spiritual condition (cf. 1 JN 2:12-14,21) and need simply to "remain" (="abide")in the truth and in fellowship with their Lord (2:24,28). The same may be said of the church addressed in 2 John and of Gaius, who is addressed in 3 John.
    As John's use of repentance in Revelation 2 and 3 makes clear, repentance is for those Christians who have in some way gone astray. The issue is not some failing which is immediately addressed by confession (1 Jn 1:9). The issue is always some prolonged attitude or practice.
    "Harmony with God" Zane Hodges page 18 (emphasis mine)

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/27/2009 8:09 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 3/27/2009 9:40 PM  

  • "Let's consider then the homosexual Christian.
    Do we accept a homosexual into our congregation who, while willing to abstain from expressing outwardly his or her homosexual desires, is never the less convinced that he or she is in bondage to such desire, and therefore doesn't have to repent of it?"

    I am always a bit baffled by this question.

    It seems obvious to me that there is a huge difference between being a bit confused about one's sexuality and wickedness and self-inflamed lust.

    I don't see why I would not welcome such a person.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 3/28/2009 4:09 AM  

  • Hi Rose - hope all is well this fine Saturday.

    Matthew, I think the part about "...and therefore doesn't have to repent of it..." may be the reason.

    If a person continues to sinfully entertain lust, and thinks God is okay with that because he imagines that God has given him a "lusty orientation" - that is just the sort of quackery that ought never to insinuate itself into any congregation.

    I hope I understood your question.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 3/28/2009 11:54 AM  

  • What is lust?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 3/29/2009 7:49 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    My Webster New World Dictionary says:
    Sexual senses only in Eng.

    So this only seems to happen in England . . . Heeheee

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/29/2009 10:08 AM  

  • sexual senses only in Eng.< rendering Vulgate concupiscentia carnis (1 John 2:16) as lusts of the flesh),
    1. a desire to gratify the senses; bodlily appetite.
    2. a) sexual desire. b)excessive sexual desire, epecially as seeking unrestrained gratification.
    3. overmastering desire; as, a lust for power.
    4. a0 pleasure. b0 incination. to feel intense desire, especially sexual desire (often with after or for).

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/29/2009 10:19 AM  

  • My Pastor be telling me there is a difference between Evil and Sin.

    Evil is looking to destroy while sin can be confessed.

    just a tid~bit

    Ugly :~}

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/29/2009 9:43 PM  

  • Good day, Rose! Just venturing - does the author's name begin with "G"??

    By Blogger Missy, at 3/31/2009 1:10 PM  

  • Missy,

    It might be some "G", but not this "G". Not that I think you are referring to me, but I want to avoid any confusion, since I am a frequent visitor here.

    By Blogger goe, at 3/31/2009 2:02 PM  

  • I was mistaken for another "G" over at Antonio's blog not long ago, so I have to keep a watch! :~)

    By Blogger goe, at 3/31/2009 2:21 PM  

  • No, Gary, you were not who I had in mind. :)

    By Blogger Missy, at 3/31/2009 2:39 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    You never gave me a word if "Chris" was right . . . .the Chris that believes the law is binding on the believer . . . and I notice he has the "tithe" in his article also?

    alvin :)

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/31/2009 10:30 PM  

  • Hey Ugly--I be waitin fer ya under the moon lite! Step in them waters agin i dar ya!! I show ya I be trained to subterfuge!!

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Ugly dead varmint


    By Blogger goe, at 4/01/2009 12:08 AM  

  • Actually, Rose, is it a "T" instead? :)

    By Blogger Missy, at 4/01/2009 11:08 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I think the magic letter should be "J" :0)

    Maybe you should do one of those wee puzzles for us:

    My first is in Jacob but not in Mark...


    P/s We've got away a fair bit from the thought of boys with homosexual tendancies in the fellowship, haven't we?

    By Blogger Colin Maxwell, at 4/01/2009 11:26 AM  

  • "...boys with homosexual tendancies in the fellowship..."

    Colin, initially it did not cross my mind that this was the emphasis of the post - simply a point. But now, I consider it might have been. Interesting how we ended up having a far more mature conversation on the principles of openness in fellowship and the disctinction between temptation & lust (thanks, Daniel!).

    By Blogger Missy, at 4/01/2009 11:53 AM  

  • Mornin Rose

    It be yur favorite patron, an i be dry as a bone :) I left the ole houndog at the door . . . i know yah don't like him lickin all yur patrons . . . . i do declare ole Bad was here . . . just hold yur taters thar Bad . . . . anyways I be tellin yah a big tale this mornin about them Israelite boys . . . yah no thim boys didn't have a lick of sense . . . . they be bring'n all them hurtin critters to the Lord as thar tithe, an He end-up puttin a curse on them boys . . . .yah can read about it over thar in OT somewhere around Malachi 1:8; 3:6-12 . . . . anyways that tithin be from that other covenant . . . . Paul tell about it in Galtians 4:21-5. . .the gist of it be'n Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage . . . well that be where the law came from and the tithe even though that Abram give a tithe to that fella by the name of Melchizedek . . . of course of his own free-will . . . well the law of the tithe came later as part of the law yah can read about it here Leviticus 27:30-34 but notice where the command was given vrs. 34 These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.
    Hey that be right anything thing commin from that thar hill brings bondage and a curse on them thar Israelite boys :( goodnews . . . goodnews . . . .that be a little song of mine . . .i be dancin about when i sing that tune :) because we be from the Jerusalem above . . . .heeheeeee..in fact we be already thar just read about it over here Eph 2:4-7 . . . . does that mean we don't give? No! we just not be goin by law to give . . . God owns all we have not just 10 percent, and we give like Abram did from his heart because . . . .Ready for this . . . .WE BE FREE . . .heeeheee . . .Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage Gal 5:1
    So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor 9:7
    Paul could have never said this if he was under any part of the law: All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful 1 Cor 6:12
    The world thinks all we want is their money, and when they come into the professing church that is what they here . . . .law . . . .but we be free an not put people under the curse if they do not pay

    Ugly was here :~}

    By Blogger alvin, at 4/01/2009 12:09 PM  

  • I believe this type of mentality would have fit right in to John Calvin’s “City of God” which they thought they were in the Millennium. Jesus when He said do not think I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Matt 5:17,18
    Jesus said “do not think” for a reason! Jesus never once mentioned the need to keep the law when offering the free gift of eternal life. To the Jews He must have sounded like an Antinomian. Jesus said the law would not pass away “till heaven and earth pass away” we know that will happen after the Millennium (Rev 21:1). Jesus is speaking about Kingdom living in Matthew 5 and during the Millennium reign of Christ on David’s throne the law will be fully enforced (Zech 14:16-21), and not just the act of murder but if someone is angry with his brother he will be in danger of judgment. Zane Hodges has pointed out here that there is different levels of crimes here (judgment,council,hell fire) judgment would be like a misdemeanor and the council would be like a felony and then hellfire would be like a capital crime. During the Millennium it will be a perfect environment the curse will be lifted, it will be like the garden of Eden. The King will be on His throne and there will be perfect justice. But even then there will be sin in Eden, and many will not want Jesus reigning over them with a rod of iron (Rev 19:15). Satan will be released out of the bottomless pit and multitudes will follow him (Rev 20:6-10). I believe this is to show that even in a perfect environment man will still rebel against God.

    Remember the man that was turned over to Satan in Corinthians was not thinking about having sex with his fathers concubine but was doing it. If were honest with one another we know we all struggle with our thought life, but it only becomes sin when we take the thought further. This can be confessed between you and God, and your fellowship restored. The one who says he has no sin is a liar and the truth is not in him, but if we confess our sin He is just and righteous to forgive us.

    We can see from the past that John Calvin had taken Scripture out of context and used it to rule with a rod of iron, throwing people in prison for their hairdo or not believing in Child baptism putting them to death. The same thing can happen again by people meaning well but taking Scripture out of context thinking that “the sermon on the mount” is to be enforced now, putting people under the law.

    Remember Jesus said to the women caught in adultery go and sin no more. He asked her where her accuser’s were. Well you know the story.


    By Blogger alvin, at 4/02/2009 10:39 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Also, the NT church was believers ONLY coming together around the Lord’s supper (meal) and was led by the elders of the church on the first day of the week. Many were made up of slaves who were getting their only good meal of the week, Sunday being a regular work day. The elders knew all the people that they had believed in Jesus for His gift of eternal life. (Acts 20:7)
    Today church is really ONLY a public bible study with open communion which any tom dick or harry can take.


    By Blogger alvin, at 4/03/2009 12:32 AM  

  • Alvin said, "If we're honest with one another we know we all struggle with our thought life, but it only becomes sin when we take the thought further. "

    Actually we sin just as much when we hate as when that same hatred is expressed in murder. We sin just as much when we lust as when that lust is expressed in adultery, or fornication.

    It becomes a sin the moment we are give into the temptation to entertain it - which happens far sooner than when we act it out.

    I think this is probably what you meant, but that sort of thing ought to be clear.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 4/03/2009 2:17 PM  

  • And Hi Rose. ;)

    By Blogger Daniel, at 4/03/2009 2:17 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Daniel

    Yes Daniel the thought isn't sin it's only if you entertain it, that is why we need to stop it and take it captive. I do it by Scripture redirecting my mind over and over through the day :)

    thanks for the clarification :)

    alvin :)

    By Blogger alvin, at 4/04/2009 7:17 AM  

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