Homosexuality, Salvation

Throwback Thursday ~ God Loves Gays

Originally published May 8, 2015god loves gays

Last week, as I was mindlessly flipping through Facebook, this picture caught my eye. It was attached to a news article about the Supreme Court’s hearing on same sex “marriage”. I was already at my saturation point with the reporting on the day’s events, but this picture just reached out and grabbed my heart.

“God loves gays,” the young man’s sign says. Rarely, perhaps never, has a statement been so beautifully true and so painfully false all at the same time.

For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:7-8

It’s true. God does love gays. He doesn’t love them because He sees what they might someday become after leaving the lifestyle behind. He doesn’t love them because they’re great “fixer upper” projects. He doesn’t love them because He feels sorry for them. He just loves them. Right where they are. Not after they get cleaned up. Now.


 God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Have you ever really thought about the implications of that statement?

God loves the homosexual man while he is sodomizing his partner.

God loves the gang banger while he is pulling the trigger of his gun.

God loves the prostitute while she is servicing her client.

God loves the child molester while he is violating that precious little one.

God loves the atheist soldier in a godless country while he is torturing Christians.

In the deepest, blackest night of our sin, God loves each and every one of us. Only a profoundly, unfathomably good and kind God could, or would, do such a thing.

But the story doesn’t end there.

You see, as unbelievable as it is that God could love someone so drenched in evil, He takes things a step further. God’s love motivated Him to act.


while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Rescue. Redemption. Salvation. However you want to put it, God personally came down and sacrificed Himself so that even the most wretched sinner would have a way out. No more enslavement to evil. No more being pawns of the devil in his never-ending quest for revenge against the King. No more separation from God, now, or in eternity.

God drove a cross-shaped stake into the ground at Calvary and said, “No more.”

God does love gays. And murderers. And child rapists. And hookers. And even prideful, rebellious, good little Sunday School girls like me. But not like this young man’s sign implies. He thinks God shows love by approving of his homosexuality. But an all-powerful God who would say He loves sinners and yet leave them to rot in their sin without lifting a finger to help them isn’t loving. Isn’t all-powerful. Isn’t God.

God does love you, my young friend. You simply have no idea how much.

Basic Training, Homosexuality

Throwback Thursday ~ Basic Training: Homosexuality, Gender Identity, and Other Sexual Immorality

Originally published September 8, 2017

For more in the Basic Training series, click here.

Sexuality in Western culture is a mess. Within the last hundred years or so, we’ve devolved from a society that had, broadly speaking, a general understanding of, and compliance with, the Bible’s parameters for sex to today’s sexual mores that barely stop short of child molestation and bestiality, and permits – even encourages – nearly every other form of perversion.

It can be difficult to know how to approach these issues which have been suddenly thrust upon us, and with which the average person – Christian or not – has very little experience. How are Christians to think about, believe, and address these issues in our families, churches, and communities? Do we just go with the “live and let live” flow of modern society? No. As with every other issue in life, our thinking, our words, and our actions must be shaped by and in submission to the authority of Scripture. Not public opinion. Not political agendas. Not our own personal feelings, opinions, and experiences. Scripture.

The Bible makes sexuality and gender identity very simple for us. God created two sexes of people– male and female¹. God created marriage to be between one man and one woman. God created human sexuality and confined its use to a man and a woman who are married to each other. Every form of gender identity or human sexuality that falls outside these parameters is sin.

Bearing that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the sexual issues impacting the world, the church, and Christians today and how we can respond to them biblically.

Get the log out
The Bible is very clear that we’re not to be hypocritical when dealing with sin. Scripture’s parameters regarding sexual sin are extremely narrow and govern not only our actions, but our words and thoughts as well. That leaves me guilty. How about you? Where’s your mind when you’re reading that romance novel or watching that steamy movie? Are you using pornography? Flirting with that good looking co-worker even though you’re married? Using double entendres or other suggestive remarks? Exchanging inappropriate e-mails with another man? Fantasizing about sexual encounters with someone you’re not married to? Going farther than you should, physically, on a date? Before we start thinking about addressing the sins others commit, we first need to make sure our own hearts, hands, and mouths are clean by repenting from any sexual sin we’re participating in.

Sweep around your church’s front door
It’s been pointed out by many lost people, that the church is oh so willing to take a strong stand against news-making sexual issues, but sexual sin inside the church is sometimes swept under the rug. They’re right. How does your church deal with an unmarried couple who are cohabiting? A pastor who uses pornography? A church member who is having an affair? A youth director who’s molesting children? A deacon who uses foul language and makes sexual jokes? Does your church practice biblical church discipline when there’s sin in the camp and comply with sexual predation laws? Do you have screening processes in place to protect the children of your church? Does your church teach against all forms of sexual sin?

Be kind
It should go without saying, but since this is a “back to basics” series it bears repeating: Christ expects Christians to be kind to people – all people – and to treat them with human dignity, respect, and biblical love. Not just in the way we talk to people, but in the way we talk to each other about people. People who live in sexual sin are still made in the image of God and deeply loved by Him. Remember, it was God’s kindness that led us to repentance.

There’s no such thing as a “gay Christian
Or a transgender Christian, or a stripper Christian, or a bank robbing Christian, or liar Christian. Qualifying someone’s Christianity by their pet sin is an oxymoron. Christians, by definition, are people who sorrowfully turn from their sin and become completely new sin-hating creations through the power of the shed blood of Christ. Christians are characterized by lifelong repentance and the desire not to sin out of love for their Savior.

and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:15-17

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Are there people who are genuinely saved but still struggle against sexual sin? Of course. Every truly born again person struggles against sin for the duration of her natural life. But the Bible knows nothing of a willfully unrepentant conversion to Christ or life in Christ (regardless of a previous “decision” for Christ, participation in baptism, etc.). It is a contradiction in terms and simply does not exist. Nobody gets to carry her sin with her past the cross.

Tell the good news
People enslaved by sexual sin, especially those who think they’re Christians, need the good news of the gospel just like people enslaved to any other sin. God can and does save people out of homosexuality, transgenderism, promiscuity, and all other forms of sexual immorality, as the 1 Corinthians 6 passage above makes abundantly clear. His arm is not too short to save anyone.

Withholding church membership, ordinances, and leadership
Local church membership, ordinances (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and leadership positions within the church are restricted to Christians, because the church is, by definition, the body of Christ: regenerated believers. It’s certainly fine for any non-believer to attend services, classes, or events at your church as long as she isn’t being disruptive or pushing unbiblical beliefs, but people who are living unrepentantly in any sin are not Christians and should not be invited to become members of the church, participate in baptism or the Lord’s Supper, and certainly should not be given any position of service or leadership in the church.

Going to the chapel if they’re going to get “married”
Christians should not attend same sex weddings (or receptions, showers, bachelor parties, housewarmings, etc.) for any reason. (When it becomes legal, this will also apply to plural marriages (polygamy) and other unbiblical forms of “marriage”.) Regardless of your motives for attending, it appears to others and to the same sex couple as though you approve of their sin.

Often, the reason Christians will give for feeling they should attend a same sex wedding is that they are afraid declining to attend will cause the couple to cut off the relationship with them, closing the door to any future opportunity to share the gospel. But if you’re close enough to the couple to be invited to the wedding, shouldn’t you have already shared the gospel with them? Do you not trust that God can save someone, either immediately or in the future, from one instance of sharing the gospel? This person’s salvation does not rest on your shoulders. It can only be accomplished by the Holy Spirit, and only in His timing. And whether you have or haven’t yet shared the gospel with the couple, what could your attendance at the wedding accomplish other than creating confusion? How can you support their “marriage” by attending the wedding and then turn around later and tell them they need to repent of this sin?

Additionally, attending the wedding sends the message to your children, family, church, friends, co-workers and others that you approve of the sin of homosexuality. We all have people watching us to see whether we stand with Christ or with the world. It’s imperative that we set a godly example.

Yes, if you decline to attend the wedding, you might lose your relationship with that homosexual friend or loved one. But Christ calls us to separate ourselves from the world and be loyal to Him even if it costs us everything- including those we love the most:

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:37

The gospel divides. And Christians are always called to stand on Christ’s side of the divide.

The Wedding Singer
For many of the same reasons Christians should not attend same sex weddings (or other unbiblical forms of “marriage”), Christian wedding service providers (singers, photographers, bakers, wedding consultants, venues, etc.) – and certainly churches – should decline to provide services for same sex weddings. Doing so facilitates sin, is unloving to the couple (who needs to hear the gospel and repent), and is disloyal to Christ. Christ died for this sin. How can someone who calls herself a Christian play any part in helping people celebrate a sin that nailed her Savior to the cross? Yes, you might lose your business. Is Christ worth that to you?

Boys will be BOYS
It is neither loving nor compassionate to help people participating in transgender or other gender identity sin pretend to be the opposite sex or several sexes or no sex at all. While it’s not a good idea to go around speculating about the biological sex of perfect strangers, if you know a person well enough to know that he was born male or she was born female, you should not be using referent terminology that indicates otherwise. A biological male is a “him” not a “her” or a “them.” A biological female is a “her” not a “ze” or “fae”. Christians should also not be participating in other activities that further gender identity sins such as helping a biological male shop for female clothing, attending “coming out” parties, referring to “pregnant men” when the pregnant person is biologically female, etc.

Policy and Procedure
One of the main ways the sexual immorality agenda is being advanced is through lawsuits. If your church won’t allow a same sex wedding in its facilities, the church could be sued. We’ve already seen many instances of wedding service providers who have been sued for declining to provide services for same sex weddings. Laws are now in effect which attempt to force businesses to use the preferred pronouns of those in gender identity sin. It’s a good idea for churches, Christian businesses and other Christian organizations to study up on the legislation surrounding sexual sin, and put in place any possible legal protections. Does your church, business, or organization have the proper written policies in place? You might want to take a look at the Nashville Statement as an example or template.

Sexual sin, whatever form it may take, is just that: sin. People who participate in sexual sin are not a special sect of society. They are sinners just like everybody else. They need love and the gospel just like everybody else. As Christians, we must stand firm on what the Bible says about sexual sin and call those who are enslaved by it out of darkness and into His glorious light. We must offer them the peace, the hope, and the cleansing from sin that only Christ can give.


¹Yes, I’m aware that the Fall brought with it genetic disorders and congenital defects that can cause abnormalities in human genitalia. These are extremely rare and require correction and treatment by medical professionals. It is also beyond the scope of this article, which refers to the overwhelming majority of those who choose to participate in sexual immorality or the mutilation of their bodies.


Additional Resources

Should Christians Attend Homosexual Weddings?

Preventative Measures: 6 Steps SBC Churches Can Take to Prevent Sexual Abuse

A Review of Single, Gay, Christian by Gabe Hughes


Please remember to read the comment parameters
in the “Welcome” tab before commenting.

Basic Training, Homosexuality

Basic Training: Homosexuality, Gender Identity, and Other Sexual Immorality

For more in the Basic Training series, click here.

Sexuality in Western culture is a mess. Within the last hundred years or so, we’ve devolved from a society that had, broadly speaking, a general understanding of, and compliance with, the Bible’s parameters for sex to today’s sexual mores that barely stop short of child molestation and bestiality and permits – even encourages – nearly every other form of perversion.

It can be difficult to know how to approach these issues which have been suddenly thrust upon us, and with which the average person – Christian or not – has very little experience. How are Christians to think about, believe, and address these issues in our families, churches, and communities? Do we just go with the “live and let live” flow of modern society? No. As with every other issue in life, our thinking, our words, and our actions must be shaped by and in submission to the authority of Scripture. Not public opinion. Not political agendas. Not our own personal feelings, opinions, and experiences. Scripture.

The Bible makes sexuality and gender identity very simple for us. God created two sexes of people– male and female¹. God created marriage to be between one man and one woman. God created human sexuality and confined its use to a man and a woman who are married to each other. Every form of gender identity or human sexuality that falls outside these parameters is sin.

Bearing that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the sexual issues impacting the world, the church, and Christians today and how we can respond to them biblically.

Get the log out
The Bible is very clear that we’re not to be hypocritical when dealing with sin. Scripture’s parameters regarding sexual sin are extremely narrow and govern not only our actions, but our words and thoughts as well. That leaves me guilty. How about you? Where’s your mind when you’re reading that romance novel or watching that steamy movie? Are you using pornography? Flirting with that good looking co-worker even though you’re married? Using double entendres or other suggestive remarks? Exchanging inappropriate e-mails with another man? Fantasizing about sexual encounters with someone you’re not married to? Going farther than you should, physically, on a date? Before we start thinking about addressing the sins others commit, we first need to make sure our own hearts, hands, and mouths are clean by repenting from any sexual sin we’re participating in.

Sweep around your church’s front door
It’s been pointed out by many lost people, that the church is oh so willing to take a strong stand against news-making sexual issues, but sexual sin inside the church is sometimes swept under the rug. They’re right. How does your church deal with an unmarried couple who are cohabiting? A pastor who uses pornography? A church member who is having an affair? A youth director who’s molesting children? A deacon who uses foul language and makes sexual jokes? Does your church practice biblical church discipline when there’s sin in the camp and comply with sexual predation laws? Do you have screening processes in place to protect the children of your church? Does your church teach against all forms of sexual sin?

Be kind
It should go without saying, but since this is a “back to basics” series it bears repeating: Christ expects Christians to be kind to people – all people – and to treat them with human dignity, respect, and biblical love. Not just in the way we talk to people, but in the way we talk to each other about people. People who live in sexual sin are still made in the image of God and deeply loved by Him. Remember, it was God’s kindness that led us to repentance.

There’s no such thing as a “gay Christian
Or a transgender Christian, or a stripper Christian, or a bank robbing Christian, or liar Christian. Qualifying someone’s Christianity by their pet sin is an oxymoron. Christians, by definition, are people who sorrowfully turn from their sin and become completely new sin-hating creations through the power of the shed blood of Christ. Christians are characterized by lifelong repentance and the desire not to sin out of love for their Savior.

and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:15-17

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Are there people who are genuinely saved but still struggle against sexual sin? Of course. Every truly born again person struggles against sin for the duration of her natural life. But the Bible knows nothing of a willfully unrepentant conversion to Christ or life in Christ (regardless of a previous “decision” for Christ, participation in baptism, etc.). It is a contradiction in terms and simply does not exist. Nobody gets to carry her sin with her past the cross.

Tell the good news
People enslaved by sexual sin, especially those who think they’re Christians, need the good news of the gospel just like people enslaved to any other sin. God can and does save people out of homosexuality, transgenderism, promiscuity, and all other forms of sexual immorality, as the 1 Corinthians 6 passage above makes abundantly clear. His arm is not too short to save anyone.

Withholding church membership, ordinances, and leadership
Local church membership, ordinances (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and leadership positions within the church are restricted to Christians, because the church is, by definition, the body of Christ: regenerated believers. It’s certainly fine for any non-believer to attend services, classes, or events at your church as long as she isn’t being disruptive or pushing unbiblical beliefs, but people who are living unrepentantly in any sin are not Christians and should not be invited to become members of the church, participate in baptism or the Lord’s Supper, and certainly should not be given any position of service or leadership in the church.

Going to the chapel if they’re going to get “married”
Christians should not attend same sex weddings (or receptions, showers, bachelor parties, housewarmings, etc.) for any reason. (When it becomes legal, this will also apply to plural marriages (polygamy) and other unbiblical forms of “marriage”.) Regardless of your motives for attending, it appears to others and to the same sex couple as though you approve of their sin.

Often, the reason Christians will give for feeling they should attend a same sex wedding is that they are afraid declining to attend will cause the couple to cut off the relationship with them, closing the door to any future opportunity to share the gospel. But if you’re close enough to the couple to be invited to the wedding, shouldn’t you have already shared the gospel with them? Do you not trust that God can save someone, either immediately or in the future, from one instance of sharing the gospel? This person’s salvation does not rest on your shoulders. It can only be accomplished by the Holy Spirit, and only in His timing. And whether you have or haven’t yet shared the gospel with the couple, what could your attendance at the wedding accomplish other than creating confusion? How can you support their “marriage” by attending the wedding and then turn around later and tell them they need to repent of this sin?

Additionally, attending the wedding sends the message to your children, family, church, friends, co-workers and others that you approve of the sin of homosexuality. We all have people watching us to see whether we stand with Christ or with the world. It’s imperative that we set a godly example.

Yes, if you decline to attend the wedding, you might lose your relationship with that homosexual friend or loved one. But Christ calls us to separate ourselves from the world and be loyal to Him even if it costs us everything- including those we love the most:

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:37

The gospel divides. And Christians are always called to stand on Christ’s side of the divide.

The Wedding Singer
For many of the same reasons Christians should not attend same sex weddings (or other unbiblical forms of “marriage”), Christian wedding service providers (singers, photographers, bakers, wedding consultants, venues, etc.) – and certainly churches – should decline to provide services for same sex weddings. Doing so facilitates sin, is unloving to the couple (who needs to hear the gospel and repent), and is disloyal to Christ. Christ died for this sin. How can someone who calls herself a Christian play any part in helping people celebrate a sin that nailed her Savior to the cross? Yes, you might lose your business. Is Christ worth that to you?

Boys will be BOYS
It is neither loving nor compassionate to help people participating in transgender or other gender identity sin pretend to be the opposite sex or several sexes or no sex at all. While it’s not a good idea to go around speculating about the biological sex of perfect strangers, if you know a person well enough to know that he was born male or she was born female, you should not be using referent terminology that indicates otherwise. A biological male is a “him” not a “her” or a “them.” A biological female is a “her” not a “ze” or “fae”. Christians should also not be participating in other activities that further gender identity sins such as helping a biological male shop for female clothing, attending “coming out” parties, referring to “pregnant men” when the pregnant person is biologically female, etc.

Policy and Procedure
One of the main ways the sexual immorality agenda is being advanced is through lawsuits. If your church won’t allow a same sex wedding in its facilities, the church could be sued. We’ve already seen many instances of wedding service providers who have been sued for declining to provide services for same sex weddings. Laws are now in effect which attempt to force businesses to use the preferred pronouns of those in gender identity sin. It’s a good idea for churches, Christian businesses and other Christian organizations to study up on the legislation surrounding sexual sin, and put in place any possible legal protections. Does your church, business, or organization have the proper written policies in place? You might want to take a look at the Nashville Statement as an example or template.

Sexual sin, whatever form it may take, is just that: sin. People who participate in sexual sin are not a special sect of society. They are sinners just like everybody else. They need love and the gospel just like everybody else. As Christians, we must stand firm on what the Bible says about sexual sin and call those who are enslaved by it out of darkness and into His glorious light. We must offer them the peace, the hope, and the cleansing from sin that only Christ can give.


¹Yes, I’m aware that the Fall brought with it genetic disorders and congenital defects that can cause abnormalities in human genitalia. These are extremely rare and require correction and treatment by medical professionals. It is also beyond the scope of this article, which refers to the overwhelming majority of those who choose to participate in sexual immorality or the mutilation of their bodies.


Additional Resources

Should Christians Attend Homosexual Weddings?

Preventative Measures: 6 Steps SBC Churches Can Take to Prevent Sexual Abuse

A Review of Single, Gay, Christian by Gabe Hughes


Please remember to read the comment parameters
in the “Welcome” tab before commenting.

Homosexuality, Salvation

God Loves Gays

god loves gays

Last week, as I was mindlessly flipping through Facebook, this picture caught my eye. It was attached to a news article about the Supreme Court’s hearing on same sex “marriage”. I was already at my saturation point with the reporting on the day’s events, but this picture just reached out and grabbed my heart.

“God loves gays,” the young man’s sign says. Rarely, perhaps never, has a statement been so beautifully true and so painfully false all at the same time.

For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:7-8

It’s true. God does love gays. He doesn’t love them because He sees what they might someday become after leaving the lifestyle behind. He doesn’t love them because they’re great “fixer upper” projects. He doesn’t love them because He feels sorry for them. He just loves them. Right where they are. Not after they get cleaned up. Now.


 God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Have you ever really thought about the implications of that statement?

God loves the homosexual man while he is sodomizing his partner.

God loves the gang banger while he is pulling the trigger of his gun.

God loves the prostitute while she is servicing her client.

God loves the child molester while he is violating that precious little one.

God loves the atheist soldier in a godless country while he is torturing Christians.

In the deepest, blackest night of our sin, God loves each and every one of us. Only a profoundly, unfathomably good and kind God could, or would, do such a thing.

But the story doesn’t end there.

You see, as unbelievable as it is that God could love someone so drenched in evil, He takes things a step further. God’s love motivated Him to act.


while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Rescue. Redemption. Salvation. However you want to put it, God personally came down and sacrificed Himself so that even the most wretched sinner would have a way out. No more enslavement to evil. No more being pawns of the devil in his never-ending quest for revenge against the King. No more separation from God, now, or in eternity.

God drove a cross-shaped stake into the ground at Calvary and said, “No more.”

God does love gays. And murderers. And child rapists. And hookers. And even prideful, rebellious, good little Sunday School girls like me. But not like this young man’s sign implies. He thinks God shows love by approving of his homosexuality. But an all-powerful God who would say He loves sinners and yet leave them to rot in their sin without lifting a finger to help them isn’t loving. Isn’t all-powerful. Isn’t God.

God does love you, my young friend. You simply have no idea how much.

Gospel, Homosexuality, Salvation, Sin

An Apology, A Request for Forgiveness, and Some Clarifications

Dear Readers-

I need to say I’m sorry for something, ask forgiveness from some of you, and clarify a few things.

I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from the article I wrote yesterday on World Vision’s announcement/reversal along with my commentary about unrepentant homosexuality (and other sins) precluding salvation. And when I say “good feedback,” I don’t mean that it was all positive and affirming. In fact, nearly all of it was negative. I got called a lot of names and accused of a lot of things, and it’s never a viscerally pleasant experience when that happens.

But It’s good when that happens, because I always want to take the time to pray about it and consider whether the observations people have made about what I wrote are right, biblically speaking. Because I want everything I write to line up with God’s word. And it doesn’t always line up, and sometimes I need other people to help me see that. Hey, I’m a sinful human being. I mess up. Often.

So here’s where I need to say I’m sorry to some of you and ask your forgiveness.

First, I’d like to clarify what I am apologizing for:

1. Anything I said that was not in line with Scripture. I have read and re-read my article and do not see anything that is in conflict with Scripture, but if anyone can point me to any Scripture I have violated, I would be most grateful. As I said, I want everything I write to line up with God’s word.

2. My tone. I am deeply and sincerely sorry that my tone was offensive to some of you. I know that many of you, as do I, have friends and loved ones being held captive by Satan in the sin of homosexuality. When you’re walking through the pain of losing someone you love to Satan’s clutches, even the gentlest reminder of that loss can be excruciating. Please believe me when I tell you I know how that feels from personal experience. It hurts. A lot. However, my tone was not nearly as gentle, sensitive, or compassionate as it should have been to those of you who are grieving over your homosexual loved ones. Where I perceived that I was simply being direct, I came off as unkind and unloving. That was not my intent at all, and I am sincerely sorry.

3. My lack of clarity. I am extremely sorry for my failure to be completely clear in what I wrote in yesterday’s article. I did not communicate clearly enough on two points: a.) Whether or not people who are homosexuals can be saved, and, b) whether or not people who are genuinely saved can continue to struggle with homosexual temptation and sin. Let me take another shot at it.

a) Let me state unequivocally that any unbeliever who repents of (turns away from, abandons) his sin (all sin, not just homosexuality), asks God to forgive his sin, believes in the physical death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for his sin, and trusts that in that death, burial, and resurrection Christ paid the penalty for his sin, may be saved. Anyone. Homosexual or heterosexual. There is no sin a person can commit, physically or mentally, that prevents him from repenting and being saved.

What cannot happen is for a person to be saved apart from repentance. Scripture is very clear about this. Just a few examples:

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand… Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” Matthew 3:2,8

John the Baptist said that, and Jesus said of him, “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.” (Matthew 11:11)

 “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15

Jesus himself said that. Repent and believe in the gospel.

To the woman caught in adultery,

“Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” John 8:10-11

 

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,

but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 1:6,10, 2:4-6

This was written by John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23, etc.), one of Jesus’ “inner circle” of disciples.

The Bible knows nothing of a willfully unrepentant conversion to Christ or life in Christ (what we used to call a ‘carnal Christian’ in the old days). It is a contradiction in terms and simply does not exist. Every time I have ever heard or read the term “gay Christian,” (including in the announcement by World Vision) it has been in reference to people who stubbornly, proudly, and unrepentantly continue to practice homosexual behavior despite knowing that the Bible says it is sin. That is why I said “there is no such thing as a ‘gay Christian,’ because that is the way the term is most commonly used. If people are using the term “gay Christian” to mean someone who used to be a homosexual and God graciously saved them out of homosexuality, or if they are using that term to mean someone who is truly saved but is tempted by, and sometimes even falls into homosexual sin, but then genuinely repents and strives to live a Christlike life, there’s a more accurate term for that: Christian. That is not the group of people to whom I was referring when I said, “there is no such thing as a ‘gay Christian’,” because that is not how the term is commonly used. I apologize for not explaining that issue more clearly.

b) I thought that when I said, “There are people who repent of those things, are graciously saved by God, and who may continue to struggle against those sins” (in my original article) I was being clear that, yes, people who are genuinely saved can be tempted by, and even give in to, any number of sins, including homosexual sin, and then repent of those sins and be forgiven. But I think I was wrong in not expanding on that thought, because it caused some misunderstandings. That’s my fault, and I’m sorry.

Christians sin. I sin. You sin. Everybody sins. Daily. Hourly. Minute-ly. Being a sinner, one thing I’ve learned is that Satan is not terribly creative with temptation, but he is efficient. Once he’s successful in getting me to commit a particular sin, he continues to come at me with temptation to that particular sin because he knows that’s where I’m weak. (Why bother experimenting with other temptations when he already has one (or several) that works, right?) So, while I’ve heard of people who were saved out of homosexuality or drugs or thievery or whatever, and from the moment of conversion were never again tempted to do those things, I think it’s far more common for Satan to continue to tempt people in their weakest areas, particularly a sin as powerful and consequential as homosexuality.

The difference between a “gay Christian,” (as I described above in point a) and a genuinely regenerated Christian who is tempted by and might give in to homosexual sin is, again, repentance. One of the hallmarks of people who are genuinely saved is that they hate their sin. They don’t want to sin. They do their best to avoid sin. They look at it with disgust and are disgusted with themselves when they give in to it. And when they do sin, they confess it to God and ask for His forgiveness, which He kindly and lovingly pours out. Yes, genuinely saved Christians, especially brand new ones, may fall into even a “big” sin, like homosexual sin, many times, but as God continues to work in their lives, they grow up into Christ, and they begin to look and act more like Him. They, and people who have known them over a long period of time can see the progress God is making in their lives little by little.

There are many, many people who claim to be Christians. I think the most recent statistic I read was that over 80% of Americans claim to be Christians. I think if that were true, America would look very different. It is not what people say with their mouths that shows or determines whether or not they are actually born again. It is the fruit of their lives that is the evidence. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

And in John 3:36:

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

If we have friends or loved ones who claim to be Christians, but have shown little or no progression towards Christlikeness, proudly embrace their sin, and show no signs of repentance over a long period of time, it may be time, as painful as it might be, to consider that, while they may have prayed a “sinner’s prayer,” made a profession of faith, or been baptized, it’s possible they were never genuinely saved. It might be time to begin praying for their salvation and offering them the hope and forgiveness that can only be found through true repentance and faith in Christ.

So, again, I am sincerely sorry for anything I said that conflicts with Scripture, for coming off as harsh or unloving instead of using a more compassionate tone, and for not explaining things clearly enough. If I offended you in any of those ways, would you please forgive me?
For the sake of clarity, though, I need to make sure I explain what I am not apologizing for, because I don’t want anyone to think I am apologizing for biblical truth. (And, in fairness and appreciation to the Christians who wrote to me, none of them asked me to, and all of them agreed with what the Bible says on this subject.)

I am not apologizing for the Bible’s stance that homosexual thoughts and behavior are sins that require repentance, nor for my agreement with the Bible about that, nor for writing about it.

I am not apologizing for sharing the gospel in a “law, first; gospel, second” format. This is the proper format for sharing the gospel. Repentance is required for salvation, but in order to repent, people must first understand why they need to repent and what they need to repent from. We cannot just assume that people already know this.

I am not apologizing for the content of any of the remarks I made which are in line with Scripture, though, again, I do apologize for any instance in which the way I made those remarks was unnecessarily offensive.

I am not apologizing for temporarily holding off on taking World Vision’s reversal decision at face value. While I rejoice that they quickly changed their policy back to one that conforms to biblical standards, and I was glad to read the statements they made in the reversal decision, there are still major problems with Richard Stearns’ theology as evidenced by his remarks in the original announcement. Problems that major don’t change overnight, and Richard Stearns is still at the helm. Furthermore, in subsequent information that has come to light, there is a question about whether or not World Vision actively and verbally shares the gospel with the people they serve. If you’d like to read an excellent article about why it can be prudent to watch for the fruit of repentance for a period of time, click here.

 

Finally, if you are reading this and you are a homosexual (interestingly, the people I usually hear from on these types of articles are heterosexuals), please know that there is hope. If you call out to Christ in repentance and faith, He has promised to set you free from your sin. All of your sin, not just homosexuality. You can find freedom, cleansing, peace, forgiveness, comfort, and a brand new life in Him. I hope you’ll trust Him today.

Thanks to all of you faithful readers who bear with me, a sinner saved by grace.

Michelle