I Was Born This Way

I didn’t choose to be like this, I was born this way.  This is just who I am.  So how can it be wrong?

This morning I preached a message on homosexuality and our hope in Christ to change.  But many homosexuals say they were born that way, so how can it be wrong, or how can they hope to change?

In 1 CO 6.9-11 Paul says that homosexuals, the sexually immoral, adulterers, drunkards, the greedy, revilers and swindlers won’t go to heaven.  Then he makes a stunning statement:

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.

Did you catch that?  “And such were some of you.”  Past tense.  They “were” at one time, but weren’t any longer.  Some had been drunkards but were no longer.  Some had been adulterers, but were no longer. Some “were” homosexuals, but now they were no longer.  They had changed when Jesus washed, sanctified and justified them.

In a sense, homosexuals are born that way, because we are all born with a fallen nature which leads us into various kinds of sin. Some tend to lust after the opposite sex; others toward the same sex.  Some tend toward anger or drunkenness or greed.  In every case, it feels “natural” because it springs from our sin nature.

When I’m tempted to lust, it feels like I can’t help it.  When I’m angry, it just surges up from within me.  It’s not like I make a conscious decision: Hmmm, let’s see.  That person is really provoking me. Should I get angry? No, anger just “naturally” boils up within me.

Ephesians 2:3 says we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath.  These powerful sinful “passions” and “desires” feel “natural” because they spring from our fallen nature.  They truly are our desires.  But we must remember this truth:

God’s Word must be our standard of right and wrong, not our feelings or desires.

Because our feelings and desires are a poor barometer of the truth.

In fact, God commands us to do all kinds of things that run counter to our feelings: to rejoice in all things, to love our enemies, to be humble, to die to ourselves.  None of these are natural.

The whole Christian life is about trusting and obeying God’s Word by the power of the Spirit, and not trusting our feelings or our senses.  The “good fight of faith” is the fight to trust God’s word rather than our circumstances or emotions.

Jesus is the hope of homosexuals – and adulterers and slaves to pornography and alcohol and anger and money and pride.  If we ask, Jesus can change who we are to past tense – “And such were some of you.”

photo by Charlie Jobson (too busy!)

Comments

  1. says

    Indeed, we have the Word as a lamp shining in this dark place, and every one of us can hold on to it until light brightens our path. Thank you mark!

      • JackW says

        Oh, I’m sorry, I guess that is a rather vague reference unless like me you have been reading Zachariah (3:3&4) and wondering if Jesus had that in mind with the parable of the King’s Wedding Feast … “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?” We want the feast, but we want to keep the sins we are comfortable with for whatever reason. But they are really just filthy rags.

        • MarkAltrogge says

          I see what you mean, Jack. I like this: ” We want the feast, but we want to keep the sins we are comfortable with for whatever reason. But they are really just filthy rags." So true!

  2. Leslie says

    This is the best sermon I have heard preached on the subject. Tells where in the Bible that it says it is wrong, and offers hope for change and foregiveness.

  3. James Renruojos says

    While my main call for you to rethink this message is on the timing of the message being extremely insensitive, I think there are some theological issues as well. One of the problems with the preaching on this passage is that the translation is questionable at best.

    The word "Malakoi" literally means "soft" or "males who are soft". This word has been translated as "effeminate" (KJV), "homosexuals" (NKJV), "corrupt" (Lamsa), "perverts" (CEV), "catamites" which means call boys (JB), "those who are male prostitutes" (NCV), and "male prostitutes." (NIV, NRSV).

    Until the Reformation in the 16th century "malakoi" was thought to mean "masturbators." Only in the 20th century has it been understood as a reference to homosexuality. In 1522, Martin Luther translated this term "weichlinge" or "weaklings."

    Philo, a first century contemporary of Paul, applied the term to a man who had remarried his former wife. It commonly designated any male whose behavior was less than respectable. Many scholars argue that malakoi refers to moral weakness in general, with no specific connection to sodomy.

    So, again, my first call is on the timing of this message, but I also think the theological interpretation is highly morally relativistic (trying to address a contemporary issue with something that historically is not connected to the actual biblical meaning) – when put into historical context, the passage does not say what it is being interpreted as here.

    • James Renruojos says

      When I posted this response – it eliminated a few lines of my response. Where the post says "Only in the 20th century has it been understood as a reference to homosexuality" – it was supposed to say, most protestants began believing this word to mean homosexuality in the 17th century, but Roman Catholics did not believe this until the 20th century.

      • James Renruojos says

        Also, John Calvin used the term "effeminate", not "homosexual" and explained it as such:

        "By effeminate persons I understand those who, although they do not openly abandon themselves to impurity, discover, nevertheless, their unchastity by blandishments of speech, by lightness of gesture and apparel, and other allurements."

        In other words, John Calvin did not take this passage as anything to do with homosexuality. So, to put homosexuality into this passage is to take away completely from its meaning and is a complete case of cultural relativism – reading it as if it has no history.

    • MarkAltrogge says

      Hi James,

      I appreciate you responding to my post, but I would like to respectfully disagree with you on some of the points you made.

      First of all, my heart goes out to anyone who is harassed or bullied, and in my message, I made it very clear that no Christian should ever hate, judge in a condemning way, or mock anyone for anything – ever. It is tragic that these teens committed suicide, and it is tragic that anyone would mock or bully them. Any Christian who would look down on or be unkind to a homosexual would be sinning. I could never look down on anyone for any sin, because I’m a sinner myself, accepted by God only on the basis of Jesus’ perfect life and atoning death.

      I know it is a sensitive subject and I acknowledged that in my teaching. Actually, a major thrust of my message was to offer hope to homosexuals through Jesus and his redeeming work on the cross. It is important that we talk about this because so many struggle with it, and we want to help people and care for people.

      Yet we must not shy away from proclaiming the truth in a gracious way, because Jesus said “the truth will set you free.” So even if the truth is painful or offensive, it is only the truth God’s word that will truly free people.

      James, there is not one single instance in Scripture of God commanding, condoning or approving of a single homosexual relationship. Rather, God consistently condemns homosexuality both in the Old Testament and the New Testament because it is a violation of his will for marriage and families.

      [27] So God created man in his own image,
      in the image of God he created him;
      male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

      [24] Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

      A man (male) shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife (female) and they (a man and a woman) shall become one flesh.

      The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality as wrong. It is God who equates homosexuality with adultery and drunkenness (1 CO 6.9-11). In fact in Leviticus, he lists homosexuality along with incest, adultery, child sacrifice, and bestiality. And God specifically calls homosexual behavior “an abomination:”

      [20] And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor's wife and so make yourself unclean with her. [21] You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. [22] You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. [23] And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion. (Leviticus 18:20-23)

      [11] If a man lies with his father's wife, he has uncovered his father's nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. [12] If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed perversion; their blood is upon them. [13] If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Leviticus 20:11-13)

      In Romans 1 God clearly condemns homosexual passions and actions:

      [24] Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, [25] because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. [26] For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; [27] and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:24-27 ESV)

      Here God says homosexuality is “impurity,” dishonors one’s body, is idolatry (serving the creature rather than the Creator), involves “dishonorable passions,” is “contrary to nature,” and that men commit “shameless acts with men”. All these things incur God’s wrath (RO 1.18).

      Jude 1.6-7 says that God judged Sodom and Gomorrah because they “indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire.”

      James, I’m sorry but there is just no way around these clear Scriptures. It doesn’t matter if thousands of homosexuals have had loving relationships for many years, it does not make it right. The Scriptures must be our final authority of right and wrong, not our feelings or what seems to work.

      • James Renruojos says

        Mark, can you please address my post – you say that "It is God who equates homosexuality with adultery and drunkenness (1 CO 6.9-11)", yet I showed clearly that this is a product of a modern translation and that previous translations did not indicate this – which is why John Calvin in his commentaries on this section does not take the word "Malakoi" to mean homosexuality – Calvin takes the word to mean week in moral character. Martin Luther also did not take it to mean homosexuality – he took the word to mean "weakling". Finally, Philo, a contemporary of Paul took it to mean a man who remarries their wife.

        So, how can you insist that this translation, which translates "Malakoi" as homosexuality, is God's infallible word, when some of the greatest theologians of all time (Luther and Calvin) translated it to mean "weak in moral character" and no one translated it to mean homosexuality until the last few hundred years?

      • James Renruojos says

        Mark, also, you write: "In fact in Leviticus, he lists homosexuality along with incest, adultery, child sacrifice, and bestiality. And God specifically calls homosexual behavior "an abomination:'"

        The Hebrew word that is used for "Abomination" is "toevah," which is the same word to refer to eating shrimp or wearing clothing of mixed fabric as "abominations". They were thought to be ritually unclean, not the modern definition of abomination.

        In contrast, a different Hebrew word is used for absolute sin, "zimah". This word is used for prostitution in the temple, which is more than unclean, it is a major affront to God.

        When Leviticus calls man laying with man an abomination, it is the same Hebraic word used for shrimp and wearing clothing of blended fabric (which we all commonly do today), not the stronger "zimah", which is the affront to God.

  4. Aaron Armstrong says

    Great post Mark, I really appreciate what you've written, especially the reminder that our feelings are a poor barometer for truth. I look forward to listening to your message later this week.

    Out of curiosity, have you had a chance to check out Wesley Hill's book on this subject, Washed & Waiting?

  5. mogilnert says

    Mark-
    I have a couple of questions for you and some observations.

    John Piper talked about a man named Jim Hallet who has taught him how we should look at someone who has homosexual tendencies. I think this is really a very good observation:

    =="I would encourage them to be careful not to define themselves as "homosexual." Don't say, "I am gay," or "I am a homosexual." Say, rather, "I struggle with homosexual desires." That's a very small—and huge—distinction….

    He, Joe, said to me: "Don't ever let any man tell you he is a homosexual. Always correct his vocabulary, because in Christ Jesus that is not who I am. In Christ Jesus I am a new creature."== http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/ask-p

    I think we need to be careful not define people by there sexual orientation.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Do you feel the church at times demonize homosexuality worse than other sins? Is there a difference between hetro sexual immorality and homosexual immorality?

    2. How would you minister to a friend, a parishioner who is struggling with homosexuality? How do we treat them, how do we minister to them?

    3. How do we interact with those people who are homosexual who love the life style and does not like the church?

    .I ask these questions not to question the truth of the bible, but to question our hearts.

    • MarkAltrogge says

      Hey moglinert, thanks for your comments – I agree with Piper – If someone is born again, they are new creations – the old has gone, the new has come. That's why Paul says in 1 Co 6.9-11 and such "were" some of you…

      I do feel that the church at times demonizes homosexuality worse than other sins, and we should not – again 1 Co 6.9-11 lists adultery, greed, drunkenness, right along with homosexuality.

      I would lovingly relate to a friend or someone in my church as a fellow sinner, and seek to patiently help them understand all the truths of the gospel – that Jesus' blood covers our sins, that we are justified in God's sight through Christ, and that we have the power of the Holy Spirit to change. In all this I would seek to be loving and non-condemning. If you have a chance listen to my message, for I elaborate more on the hope we all have for change.

      I think we must reach out to homosexuals, try to befriend them outside the church, and pray for an opportunity to share the gospel with them. By befriending them, we don't participate with them in anything wrong obviously. And we could not act like we approve of anything wrong they mention. So if someone wanted to tell us about a new partner they just met, we might have to find a tactful way to tell them where we stand, though we certainly don't reject them as a person.

      Tough questions! Thanks!

  6. STruth says

    While I appreciate the heart behind this well-intentioned original post, for me, it rings hollow to hear messages on gray translational areas brought by non-homosexual Christians. It is very easy to condemn and broadly dismiss things that we have never part of. I have never had any desire to engage in a heterosexual relationship…yet you won't see me preaching about heterosexual morality. Show me one person who has a gay sexual orientation, and successfully removed all traces of homosexual attraction. Not acting on it isn't good enough. It doesn't address anything. Anyone can abstain from something for a period of time. It doesn't prove anything. When you have found such a person, let THEM deliver a message on how it's a choice.

    Here are a few thoughts. Minus the ever controversial Scriptural "gymnastics" as our humble search for answers is referred to by fundamentalists.

    1. Jesus never referred to homosexuality. It was quite common in Greco-Roman culture. It would have warranted mention, I dare to postulate, if it was that important.

    2. The word "homosexual" did not exist before the 1800s. It is a constructed word. It is not found in the Bible. When an artificially constructed word is inserted in a Biblical passage, I tend to take it with a grain of salt. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. Biblical scholars and translators are human.

    3. Grace

    4. The overarching theme of the Gospel. That God uses those the Church deems unworthy. The harlots. The tax collectors. The poor. The weak. The oppressed.

    5. Fruit. A bad tree bears bad fruit. A gay Christian is bearing good fruit. How is this possible?

    6. Homosexual relationships occur in both the animal and human kingdoms. Animals can't sin, right?

    I appreciate any comments you can add. Nothing will shake me. I know that God deeply loves and cares for me. I pray every day that I will have no rest unless I am in the center of His will. My personal relationship with God has never been stronger or more vital. My life is bearing fruit. I may not have an answer for every gray area, but I have the Holy Spirit, and the peace that compels me.

    I want everyone reading this to take a moment and think about how your words, actions, and so-called "love" for gay people gets in the way of their salvation. Empty words are just that, empty. Love us. Pray for us. Support us in our spiritual journey. But above all, please do not stand between us, and our Savior.

    • James Renruojos says

      Thank you so much STruth, you wrote it more eloquently than I ever could. As you wrote, homosexuality was not even defined until the 1800's and NOT found in the Bible. Just because one translation has the word homosexuality in it does not mean that that translation is infallible. The Bible is infallible (in my belief), but not every translation is. These versions of the Bible reflect a prejudice in modern society, not the actual word of God.

      Besides, the timing of this message is just awful with the 13 teen suicides in the last month. To compare homosexuality to adultery, pornography, and drunkenness to the Church while families are suffering from the loss of their loved ones is not compassionate at all.

      Imagine if your loved one had taken their life, then you went to Church and the pastor referred to them as equivalent to adulterers and drunks the following week – (and to be clear – Paul did not make this equivalency, nor did God – the original Greek word mean nothing of the sort.).

      While I love and respect Mark and the Church (I have met their pastors on numerous occasions), for those of us that have lost loved ones, this is an extremely insensitive and painful message. Please continue to pray on this.

    • James Renruojos says

      Also, STruth – I just want to say you are a wonderful reflection of God's will – do not let anyone ever tell you otherwise. You have millions of Christians that see that reflection and do not care about your sexual preference. Keep seeking our savior (as you clearly are) and someday Christians will come around – just as they turned against slavery and inter-racial marriage (both of which similar biblical argument were used to denigrate people).

      Think of this – across America for over a hundred years of our founding the majority of pastors preached pro-slavery messages because the Bible "condoned" it. For over a century beyond that the majority of churches in America preached against inter-racial marriage because the Bible "condemned" it. For over 150 years the majority of American churches were against women voting and having jobs – I actually have a original copy of a sermon from about 100 years ago on a common sermon that debated "Should women Learn the Alphabet?". So, the Church has strayed throughout history, but as MLK said, the Arch of the moral universe is long and bends towards justice – I believe that one day they will come around to accept and love you in the same way that Churches have come around on these other issues.

      Until then, I will pray for you until justice rains down from the heavens as it has done in these other areas. God bless you – and thanks for having the courage to speak up!

      • Joyce says

        it will not be raining in your favor, I am sorry, it does not say that people who do not take slaves will not enter into the kingdom of heaven, nor does it say if you let your women take jobs outside the home. No, you are comparing Apples to…carpet. Read Romans1:26-27, in fact read the whole chapter. Homosexual was in the KJV 1611 Bible. Maybe you should read the Hebrew/Greek before you condone this. Or better yet, offer me proof of why the book of Romans should not have been cannonized, and that it is not the inspired Word of God. That is the only arguement you should be giving, also, you should give proof of why the Torah (where Leviticus is) is not God's Word, either, the Jews have used that for thousands of years.

    • says

      Hi STruth,

      Thanks so much for taking time to respond. I'm grateful for that. I do feel, however, that on the basis of God's word, I must lovingly disagree. Most of the arguments you list fail to take into account the simple truth of God's word.

      1. The fact that Jesus didn't speak on homosexuality does not mean he embraced it. In fact, silence on an issue would seem to mean that he agreed with the generally held ideas of Jewish culture, and Jewish culture clearly thought that homosexuality was wrong. In addition, many of the apostles did speak against homosexuality, and what they wrote is just as much the word of God. We must embrace the entire word of God, not just part.

      2. The fact that the word 'homosexual' was not invented until the 1800's (not sure if that's true) doesn't mean that the practice didn't exist until the 1800's. Paul was clearly speaking against it in Romans 1 when he described men desiring men and women desiring women.

      3. I agree, God is very gracious, but his grace always leads us to pursue righteousness. Grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness. God is gracious and patient, but that is intended to lead us to put away sin.

      4. Jesus always welcomed the tax collectors and prostitutes, and I'm so grateful for that. It gives me hope. But Jesus always welcomed them and invited to turn from wickedness. When the woman wiped Jesus' feet with her hair, it was because she had been forgiven much, implying that she had turned from an ungodly life. Zacchaeus the tax collector gave away his money and repented of greed. Jesus always invites us to be repent and be forgiven.

      5. To say that someone is bearing good fruit is not the issue. The issue is whether homosexuality is a sin. If it is, God calls for repentance.

      6. Animal behavior can't be our barometer for truth. Animals also steal and kill each other, but that never makes it right for humans to do so.

      I really do love gay people and want to see them following Jesus. My concern is that you would be placing your own opinions above the word of God, which all of us, myself included are capable of doing. Please take the word of God seriously. Our culture is doing everything in it's power to turn us away from the word of God.

      Thanks,

      Stephen

    • Joyce says

      God said the Serpent sinned. Yes, it was the devil, but he was a serpent when he deceived Eve. You also are being deceived. The KJV had the word homosexual in there back when it was made in 1611. You cannot deny the words of Romans 1:26-27 where God clearly calls this "affection" for the opposite sex "unnatural" committing indecent acts with eachother, he cannot call it sex, because it truly is not natural sex, however, indecent is a very good word to describe it…and you are listed as those that have rejected God and so He gave you over to a reprobate mind, receiving in yourself the recompense of your error. You glorified the creature more than the creator-that's right, the human body has become your idol (not to say a heterosexual couldn't do the same thing, I am just as much against that as I am this).

    • Joyce says

      God said the Serpent sinned. Yes, it was the devil, but he was a serpent when he deceived Eve. You also are being deceived. The KJV had the word homosexual in there back when it was made in 1611. You cannot deny the words of Romans 1:26-27 where God clearly calls this "affection" for the opposite sex "unnatural" committing indecent acts with eachother, he cannot call it sex, because it truly is not natural sex, however, indecent is a very good word to describe it…and you are listed as those that have rejected God and so He gave you over to a reprobate mind, receiving in yourself the recompense of your error. You glorified the creature more than the creator-that's right, the human body has become your idol (not to say a heterosexual couldn't do the same thing, I am just as much against that as I am this).

    • Joyce says

      If you choose to ignore this scripture than you are the same as the heathen that ignores pieces of the Bible he does not like, there are NO grey areas on this subject. You have a false peace at this time. Your peace is rooted in the satisfaction you get from your lover, not from your God. What if you could not have your lover? Think about it. Where would your peace be, then?

    • Joyce says

      25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

      26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

      27 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.

    • Joyce says

      28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

      29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
      KJV

  7. MarkAltrogge says

    James, in response to your comments about the terms in 1 CO 6 – Alex Kostenberger writes:

    “Malakoi and arsenokoitai…both expressions have to do with homosexuality and are at times conflated into one English phrase in translation, such as the ESV’s “men who practice homosexuality” (though keeping them as two separate terms seems preferable: cf. the NIV’s ‘male prostitutes…homosexual offenders’ and the TNIV’s ‘male prostitutes…practicing homosexuals’). The first term, malakos, means literally ‘soft’…and in Paul’s day served as an epithet for the ‘soft’ or effeminate (i.e., passive partner) in a homosexual (pederastic) relationship. Importantly, malachoi (as well as arsenokoitai) refers to behavior and not mere orientation, as is implied by Paul’s comment in 1 Co 6.11, “And such were some of you.”

    “First, in light of the discussion of the teaching of the Old Testament and the book of Romans above, it appears very unlikely that what is universally condemned in the Hebrew Scriptures, might in New Testament times as well as in ours, be acceptable.”

    “Second, it appears likely that the term arsenokoites, which does not seem to occur in the extant literature prior to the present reference, was coined by Paul or someone else in Hellenistic Judaism from the Levitical prohibition against males “lying or sleeping with males”…This suggests that the term, as in the Levitical Holiness Code, is broad and general in nature and encompasses homosexuality as a whole rather than merely specific aberrant subsets of homosexual behavior. As Gordon Wenham rightly notes, “Lying with a male” relates to “every kind of male-male intercourse,” including that between mutually consenting adults.”

    –from God, Marriage and Family by Andreas J. Kostenberger with David W. Jones

    James, I don't know where you get your interpretation of "abomination" but even if you overlook that term, a male lying with a male is clearly listed with terrible sins and is clearly condemned as sin in Leviticus.

    Respectfully, neither you nor STruth have any answer to Leviticus or Romans which clearly show homosexuality to be sin. Even if we don't consider the 1 CO 6 words, Leviticus and Romans are clear.

    How we treat homosexuals is a separate issue. As I've said, we must love them. And because we love them, we will seek to graciously speak the truth, and compassionately help them when they desire to repent and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

    If a grieving parent of a teen who committed suicide came to me, I would try to comfort them and sympathize with them – I wouldn't preach to them about homosexuality. My own brother committed suicide, so I know the pain of losing someone that way.

  8. Joyce says

    Rom 1:18-32

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

  9. Joyce says

    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    27 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.

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

  10. Joyce says

    29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

    30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

    31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

    32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
    KJV

  11. Joyce says

    OK people who say you are christians/homosexuals, you pretend that the word "homosexual" does not really mean what you are. Well it does and this passage is proof. I wish the guy who preached this message would have inserted this series of verses. This is actually giving DETAIL of what EXACTLY God condemns. Don't get us wrong. We love you, but we love you enough to let you know that what you are doing is wrong and you need to repent and turn from your wicked ways. God DOES say that those who practice such things will not enter into the kingdom of heaven, no, if you have desires and tendancies towards such things, it is NOT the same as PRACTICING them (as in LIVING OUT YOUR DESIRE ON A DAILY BASIS) God can clean you and make you new and give you NEW desires. There are PLENTY of ex-homosexuals that can attest to the power that God has to do this for you.

  12. MarkAltrogge says

    Hi James,

    Thank you for praying for me, and I will pray for you. I'm so sorry you have lost loved ones and experienced obvious pain and sadness. I want you to know that I respect you for examining the Scriptures on these things.

    Without studying each of the passages you mentioned, I might not be able to give a satisfactory answer, but I'll try to give a couple quick responses.

    In the New Testament, Jesus declared all foods clean, but he didn't declare adultery or homosexuality or greed to be ok. I'd have to check the Isaiah reference about sacrifice in context – it may have been that while Israel was in rebellion, their sacrifices weren't pleasing to God. The New Testament doesn't really address women wearing pants. I believe that Jesus would still be opposed to usury, which is loaning money at exorbitant rates, at least Christians should not do that.

    All I can say is that it is clear from Leviticus and Romans that homosexuality is sin. We must begin with the clear and move to the unclear. We can't say that because we don't understand why these other things aren't called sin in the New Testament, then homosexuality can't be.

    At one time in my life I didn't feel that drunkenness was wrong, but then I saw it was wrong in the New Testament. Eventually, God brought me to the place where I decided that if the Bible said it I would believe it even if it cut across the grain of my feelings.

    I appreciate your thoughtfulness on all these issues, James, and I respect you.

  13. STruth says

    Hi Joyce.

    There are not "plenty of ex-homosexuals." There are plenty of "homosexuals" who stopped having same-sex relationships. They still have same-sex attraction. Not one "ex-gay" I've ever heard interviewed has denied having thoughts about members of the same sex.

    I have to chuckle a little when fellow Christians copy/paste large blocks of Biblical text into comment sections, as if we've never seen these "clobber passages' before. Trust me, we have. We've also taken the time to pray, read other parts of scripture, examine them in cultural context, and taken the time to read other opinions and interpretations.

    I like to compare it to depression. I don't experience depression. I know people that do. Some would call depression a side effect of sin. I haven't experienced it, don't know what causes some of it, but I don't pretend to understand what it's like to have it. I don't vomit out paragraphs of Scripture that I seem to remember hearing applying to that situation. So I try to understand, support, permit grace and the Holy Spirit to work.

    I fully believe that God has the power to change someone's sexual orientation. 15 years of prayer and introspection didn't change me. It's God's will that I am this way. It is through Christ that I am made perfect.

    I did not choose to be gay. I didn't make a conscious decision at any point to be gay. Why would I? It's a hard life, fraught with rejection and hardship. It's also a great life, fulfilling and full of love.

    So, when did you choose to be straight?

    • Todd Mogilner says

      Struth-
      It is interesting you bring up depression in this discussion. I do suffer from depression and I struggle with it everyday. After my reading and studying (which most likely is far less than you) I definitely see a connection between depression and sin. I definitely see my thoughts and my response to my depression can definitely be sinful. There is definitely behavior within depression is sinful. Pride is the one that comes first to my mind. I am not thoroughly convinced that depression is ONLY a side effect of sin, but that certainly is in the mix and maybe even a big part of the mix. Depression certainly seems to be of the devil, that is for sure! Paraphrasing what you said. I did not choose to be depressed.

      I have a question for you. How do you identify yourself? If I asked you, who are you? What would you say? For a long time I identified myself as a depressed Christian. One of the things I am beginning to realize is when I do that is that I am creating an idol out of my depression. The depression started becoming more important than my relationship with Jesus Christ. I think that is one of the problems with depression is that it takes over everything and becomes an idol in, of it self. Does that ever happen with being gay? The sin of making my depression an idol over my relationship with God certainly angers God.

      I remember looking at the original text that Mark preached about and was thinking to myself, wow I am in trouble. I am not gay, but I spent most of my life as liar, a thief and struggle with lusting (adultery) and purity. I certainly have enough sins of my own to worry about.

      I think you and I have far more in common than differences, even though I am attracted to the opposite sex and you are attracted to the same sex. You and I both have sin problems. You and I both have been elected by His grace. We both need to go to the same source to solve that sin problem and we both have to do it through faith, prayer, study, discipline, worship, obedience and glorifying Jesus Christ.

      In your closing paragraph I don't think you just described the gay life, I think you described life "It's a hard life, fraught with rejection and hardship. It's also a great life, fulfilling and full of love."

      By our faith, trust and obedience in God, we day by day can be transformed more into His image and isn't that what both our goals are?

  14. James Renruojos says

    I have been meditating on this issue all week and I have one last thing that I would ask the pastors to pray about. According to most pastors and definitely Sovereign Grace teachings – people who are Jewish are going to hell. However, if anti-semitism was at a fevered pitch – to the point that children were being beaten up and verbally abused in schools across the country – and in one month 13 Jewish children committed suicide because of this abuse. Would you preach an anti-Jewish sermon as that was happening?

    I do not think you would – because our society is very sensitive about anti-semitism. Unfortunately, bigotry against gay people in our society is widely accepted, so it seems to me that it is because of societal bigotry that at such a sensitive time, when so many children are dying, a sermon like this can be accepted. So, please, for those of us that have lost loved ones, please rethink this message – rethink raising one translation of the Bible to infallibility (out of 48 that I know of only two refer to this passage that you preached on as homosexuality) – and really pray heavily on this issue.

    I respect you very much – I met you a couple times and have enjoyed your music for a long time, but honestly, this message has caused me great pain, especially at a time when mass suicides are occuring – and I do know that some people in your congregation have expressed the same emotions as I am, they have just been afraid to speak about it within the church. So, please pray and meditate about this.

  15. crosstobear says

    I'm afraid to even comment on this topic because of all the other posts. But, here it goes…I have "struggled" with homosexuality my entire life. I realized I had an attraction to the same sex when I was 10, I am now 32. I used the word "struggle" because it is exactly that. God has stayed with me through this because it is my cross to bear on this earth. I have gone through complete darkness in this lifestyle and only received peace when I started praying for god's help. i was born this way so that i could be close to god. We cannot appreciate the light unless we have gone through the darkness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>