Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"Will You Pray for Us?"

While preaching yesterday I got talking to a group of young people about their sin, the righteousness of God, judgment and freedom in Christ. After becoming very convicted, they all asked if I would pray for them. We actually held hands in a circle (these totally godless youth) and the guys took of their hats. One of them didn't want to pray, but when I said I was going to pray that God would show Himself to them and save them, he jumped up and joined the circle in a flash. Must of been an amazing sight, as we held hands there at the Tannery praying for God to save their souls. Glory!

Also got to talk at length with a dear victim of homosexuality and confusion. We talked at length about what God has to say about the subject, and what it means to love or to lust. He was very agreeable to talk to, but warned me that other homosexuals would not take the message as kindly, and would even resort to beating me up. I already knew this, but this is counting the cost in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No fear in man!

"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38)

38 comments:

Gramp said...

Bless you Eli
I believe God is pleased with your efforts, and just wanted you to know. That's why He is giving you favor with these young people!
Be encouraged!

ricky earle said...

Amen, amen!

Psalm 56:4, "In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me."

T.C. said...

wow! Eli that's amazing. Did the homosexual get converted??? And i completely agree with what Gramp said. God is very pleased with you!

-T

nicholas said...

So if a homosexual converts, he becomes heterosexual? It's that sudden huh? Now I really dont want to get into a discussion about this cause its one of those subjects that will go nowhere because scripture just gets thrown down and no other reasoning gets offered. I will leave it at this: I think homosexuality is a subject which Christians know far too little about. This isnt a direct response to your blog thing Eli, more a thought on a related subject. For the sake of argument I will call homosexuality a sin but the whole debate doesn't begin there although it may be hard to get past that with people who so dominantly focus on sin. The place to start is with the question of whether or not it is a choice. I know many homosexuals of both genders and I have never met one who has said they choose to be that way. Some spoke with regreat, others were happy as they were being truthful to who they were. Ah, there's the kicker my friends, "truthful to who they were", who they are. It cannot be a choice, if it is who they are. They are that way and cannot do anything about it. I life spent in hiding from who you really are would be shameful and painful. Akin to what many Christians would feel by purposefully not doing what they felt God bidding them to do.
Many of those scriptural phrases about homosexuality are cultural anyway and Jesus himself didnt speak out against it, if he is the guy to follow, and not all those prophets from back in the day, than THAT should mean something.

Christians have delt a terrible (terrible) blow to their reputations by approaching homosexuality the way it is. Whether it is a sin is beside the question. They have been kicked out of our churches, our ministry, and been made unwelcome in the santuaries of God, the places were those who are persecuted, depressed and tired are supposed to be welcomed. Is a sin not a sin? What would happen if we kicked out all the sinners? We'd have empty churches across the world. So, its something to think about when homosexuality gets thrown up on the board. TC asked if he convereted with three question marks. Good question, but equal emphasis must be put beside the question of 'did everyone else convert?'

Anyway, Ive said enough, its way too big a subject on such trivial things.

Logic said...

Consider this:

In response to the homosexual issue, I agree that Christians have historically handled homosexuals poorly.

For the moment, lets leave aside the moral questions.

First, I do not believe that the 'who' of a person can be defined by their sexual orientation. I believe homosexuals who claim they are living out 'who they are' have made a crucial error in ascribing sexual orientation to their personal identity. I think a comparison would be like saying 'by choosing to drink coke rather than pepsi i am being truthful to who i am.' Preferences are attributes of appetite and do not define the nature of 'who' a person is, but rather what they enjoy.

Second, Nick makes a good point in saying that if a person is born a homosexual (i.e. they are attracted to people of the same gender naturally and this is something that cannot change), they cannot be held morally responsible for this. Moral responsibility requires that a person willing chooses to do something other than that which is moral. If one has no choice in what gender they find attractive, one cannot be held responsible for this attraction.

That being said, my personal opinion is that there is not enough evidence to say conclusively that a person is homosexual by nature. But on the other hand, I do not think there is enough conclusive evidence against the possibility of being homosexual by nature. Testimony of those who claim to be homosexual by nature is good evidence, but not conclusive evidence since there is a possibility that they have developed a false consciousness.

The Moral Question:

Third, I believe the discussion of whether or not people are homosexual by nature clouds the true elements of the debate at hand. The Bible says that homosexual behavior is a sin, I do not think this can be subject to debate. There are many clear passages where homosexual behavior is prohibited. However, the Bible claims that homosexual behavior is wrong, but not the temptation to exercise a homosexual act. In light of this it is incorrect for people to argue that because homosexual activity is prohibited in Christianity, and if people are homosexual by nature, the Bible (and Christianity) is unreasonable and places unreasonable demands on 'homosexuals'.

A more proper application would be that if a person actually was homosexual by nature, and they converted to Christianity, they would be strongly encouraged to abstain from and renounce homosexual activity. However, the fact that they would still be attracted to homosexaul behavior remains unchanged. From here, it is often argued (by the homosexual) that this places unreasonable demands on the new convert. However, I believe this to be radically falacious.

A thought experiment:

To illustrate this point, consider a person who is heterosexual. Perhaps a heterosexual male, who is not Christian, enjoys sex with women. Now assume this person enjoys engaging in heterosexual behavior with at least 1 different woman each week and always has sexual intercourse. Assume for a moment that this person hears Eli preach and is converted. Since heterosexual activity outside of marriage is considered sinful in the Bible (and by most Christians) the person would be strongly encouraged to abstain from his active sex life since continuing such a lifestyle is sinful. Again, it is the heterosexual behavior outside of marriage that is prohibited, not the temptation to engage in such behavior. Is it cruel to ask such a person to abstain from such actions? Is it really too demanding?

Most of us would not say that it is unreasonable to ask a heterosexual to abstain from heterosexual behavior outside of marriage. Why then is it so unreasonable to ask the homosexual to abstain from homosexual behavior? While I agree it would be cruel to ask a homosexual to engage in heterosexual activity (if that person was homosexual by nature and simply could not be attracted to heterosexual relationships), however, it abstinence can certainly not be considered cruel.

Perhaps to add to this point, it is not considered cruel to say that we must abstain from killing people, or lying to people. Morality, by nature, requires abstaining from certain things.

Part of Christian ethics is that homosexual behavior is wrong; but not homosexual attraction.

The point of all this, if I have managed to retain your attention and concentration for such an extended period, is that the question of 'homosexual by nature' is irrelevant to the points Nick raises. Christians have failed in how they have responded to homosexuals. Homosexuals are people, they deserve to be treated with love, dignity, and respect. Their actions, while they may be wrong, do not diminish their personhood in any way. It is possible to be loving, yet not compromise Christian values. Certainly homosexual behavior is sinful; but so is the scathing hatred that Christians often exhibit toward homosexual people. It is possible to dislike the behavior without disliking the person.

Unfortunately, many homosexuals have not made this distinction between behavior and personal identity easy because they insist that part of their identity is their sexual orientation. As I mentioned above, I feel this ascription to be fundamentally misplaced. Orientation, preference, appetitive concerns, and even behaviors should not be part of a person's identity; but rather character, memories, creativity, personality, and a good will/heart/motive.

Conclusion:

I believe by separating the behavior from the person resolves the debate. Homosexual behavior is sinful. Nick makes an excellent point that homosexual behavior has warranted an overly hostile response from Christians. Homosexual behavior is sin; so is hating a person. But one can hate the sin without hating the person because (a) the temptation is separate from the behavior (b) the behavior is separate from the 'who' of the individual (c) the behavior is sin, not the temptation, and (d) asking a person to abstain from a sinful behavior in no way threatens their personal identity and is not cruel.

Final remarks:

Christians should not be unloving to homosexuals, or anyone else for that matter.

It is not unloving to ask that homosexual converts abstain from their homosexual behavior.

Homosexuals should not equate their behavior with their personal identity.

Converted homosexuals should not continue homosexual behavior.

I hope this brings some clarity to the discussion, and at the very least provokes thought.

-Logic

Paul West said...

If you ask a homosexual why he (or she) is a homosexual, they'll most likely tell you because that's how they "feel". "I've always FELT attracted to the opposite sex," or "I always KNEW I was gay, I just hid it well", etc.

Clearly, homosexuality is a choice. It may feel right (like premarital sex may feel right to a hetero couple in love), but it's still wrong because God's Word says it is. There are men who feel right about molesting little boys. Things like sodomy and pedophilia, pornography, drunkeness, gossip, theft and evil communication all come from the same source: Satan and his influence on the world and the minds of individual men and women.

I believe that when someone gets genuinely born-again of the Holy Spirit, he or she is set free from all that garbage. The temptations to return to that formal lifestyle and lusts of the flesh may haunt them daily, but the Christian now has a mighty arsenal to keep him or her from returning to Egypt, namely: 1. A new heart that loves God (and therefore relishes in obeying his commandments), and 2. The gift of the Holy Spirit that enables the believer to walk in holiness (without which you can't see the Lord).

I understand that these things don't all happen immediately upon conversion. When I repented and got born-again, God freed me on the spot from a 15-year tobacco addiction (with absolutely NO withdrwal symptoms) and alcoholism and a very filthy mouth (I was a drinking, fighting, womanizing soldier in the U.S. Army)...but I would still listen to secular rock and sleep with my girlfriend (who is now my wife).

But in the months to come, those things dropped away as well and I found myself persuing progressive holiness as led and convicted by the indwelling Spirit of God. And the exciting is, I found out that the more I obeyed the Spirit's gentle wooings, the sweeter the fellowship with my Father would become and the more the scriptures would open to my understanding and compassion for my neighbor flourish.

Logic said...

Paul West:

when you say "Clearly homosexuality is a choice", do you mean that people are not born homosexual by nature?

If this is the case, I would like to hear your argument for such a claim.

Also, it is obvious that an individual's feelings are not justification for an action. This would be the ethical theory of subjectivism. Obviously this ethical theory is useless because it makes ethics a matter of appetite, and I did not at any point advocate such a position.

A further question: do you really think it is Satan that is responsible for all the evil in the world? Is Satan even able to influence the minds of people?

One last question I have for you:

Is homosexuality wrong because God says it is wrong? Or does God say homosexuality is wrong because it is wrong for another reason?

For those of you with a keen intellect, you will notice this is the Euthyphro dilemma...

-Logic

Adam Wright said...

I have hesitated to comment on this subject but feel the need to do so. Homosexuality is quickly becomming a large issue for evangelical Christians. It's certainly prevalent in our society and seems to raise concerns about traditional, orthodox beliefs about the bible. As Christians, we need to be aware of the issues at hand and be able to give answer on the subject.

Logic has made some interesting points. There is no real biological evidense for either natural homosexuality or homosexuality as an aquired trait. However, there are some things we should think about.

I recently had a discussion with an evolutionist about homosexuality. I asked them if it were possible for homosexuality to be a dominate trait within the context of Darwinist evolution. There was some hesitation and I followed up with a comment as to whether it was possible at all. Simply put, in a biological system where procreation must exist to further the species, homosexuality would be a recessive trait and would perhaps die out because there is no procreation. Someone may argue that there are some species who are indeed homosexual, but that does not apply to humanity as it is impossible to bear children in a homosexual relationship. I am sure that there are many others who know about science than I do, perhaps those ones could expand on what I am saying.

In terms of what I have read from others. There is a dangerous thought pattern in our churches today. "accept the sinner and not the sin". This is a true statement. However, I find that it is also a method of justification. No matter how we as 21st century "enlightened" people see it, sin is sin. We do not define it. We do not have the capacity to define it. The OT laws did not allow homosexuality for at least two reasons: Firstly, homosexuality was often equated with ritualistic cults in other nations. To engage in homosexuality in a Hebrew context was to worship foreign gods. Secondly, God ordained heterosexual intercourse as the method for procreation. He did create a women to be with Adam. He did bless them and exhorted them to multiply. That is a beautiful and natural thing. I do also know that the penalty for homosexuality in Hebrew culture was death - and that came from God's mouth, not any human. Why would he require such a strict penalty? Something to think over.

In the NT, homosexuality is addressed. Much of the sexual immorality that Paul mentions addresses the temple cults in various Greek cities. Much like the OT, these cults would require homosexual activity for membership and worship of the gods. However, as much as we may like to attribute homosexuality to the Greeks, a lot of the culture thought it detestable and not necessary. This could also be said of the Romans. This is not giving mention to the many other cultures in the world who also detested homosexuality. So let's not blame this entirely on Christianity.

I think many of us are affected by a 21st century, post-modern mindframe. We, perhaps, have never seen such a politically correct culture. We are afraid to call sin, sin. We are afraid to offend someone because it is their right to live the way they choose. And so we have comments like "hate the sin and not the sinner" or " it's just the way I am, and that's natural". If I can remind everyone, we are naturally sinful. Our society trains us to live for ourselves, which if I may remind everyone, is not how Christ lived. Nick made a comment on how we should be listening to Jesus. This begs the question as to what Jesus would really think of our culture. I doubt that Jesus would go on any anti-homosexual marches, but he would live out his faith for all to see. This would include avoiding sin. Comments have been made about homosexuals not magically becomming heterosexual at conversion. I think it is completely possible for a practising homosexual not to practise it any longer. Temptation will still be there. But in regards to temptation not being sin, if someone has gone as far as to defining him or herself as homosexual would it not be possible that sin has already occured? Since all sin begins in the heart, if a person has outwardly admitted homosexuality (Even though they may not be practising) the sin already exists. That is something to think about as well.

In conclusion, Christians should not settle to the point where they accept homosexuality as normal. Much of what we hear and experience comes from a 21st century "liberalism" that is based in pride. Authority may exist, but we have every right to question it and if we don't like it we dont have to live by it. I call everyone to consider whether this is Christ-like and will let you judge the times for yourselves. There is also no real scientific evidense for or against natural homosexualty, but I raise the question as to whether it is possible for homosexuality to exist within a Darwinist context. There is no doubt that heterosexuality is the cradle of our civilization (pun can be taken or not) and without it we would not be able to procreate. To me, it does not seem logical for homosexuality to even have evolved (if one were to argue from that perspective). The other perspective, of course, is that God created humans and we know that God did not create humans as homosexual originally. It could be said then, that sin warped the minds of sinful people and taught them to live for themselves. An interesting thought that homosexuality may actully be rooted in pride. I have many tendencies to have sex with many women premaritally, does this mean I should because it's how I have been made? I want to make myself my own god many days, does this mean I should feel bad about making myself submissive to God's word? It's how I feel? Why shouldn't I be what "God has created me to be"? Well, I think our impressions of sin have become dulled to the point that we hardly even recognize it anymore. What a sad state we are in! How dare we allow our culture interpret our morality.

Paul West said...

Dear Logic,

I see that you're looking for another debate. I think it's sad that practically every single post of yours seems to be contention masquerading behind "logic" and wisdom. Time and time again, you discourage Eli's efforts in ministry; in a previous post you alluded to the fact that he was a fool and God was using you to "set him straight" rather than let him remain in his folly. He has been so loving and patient with your nit-picking antics (which is more than I could do), yet you spurn his gracious replies and continuously call HIM arrogant and misguided.

Needless to say, I will not debate this topic with you; it is futile. Christians are not supposed to debate, it grieves the Spirit and generates strife within the Body of Christ. Can't we all just celebrate Jesus and serve within our God-given functions in the Body?

The things that you are wanting me to explain...well...startle me, actually. In truth, I would expect a confrontation on these topics to come from someone devoid of the Holy Spirit and antagonistic to the gospel. Not by a true brother who has been regenerated and given a new heart that loathes sin and loves God and his neighbor as himself. Please accept this rebuke with love, and if I am wrong, God will deal with me accordingly! Pray that he does, friend!

But, to answer your question, yes, I really think Satan is to blame for all the evil in the world. Does this make me gullible and simple-minded? It is not beneath my dignity to believe the devil is the culprit, and that he has perverted the good things of God (namely, sex between a hetero married couple only). All other variations are not of God, but are wrought by men and women blinded by Satan and in bondage to do HIS will. If you need to argue this, Logic, go to the Word of God. Knowledge of the things of God is not demonstrated by using big, fancy words on a blog, but rather by God's Spirit. Everything in this world is spiritually-controlled; nothing happens in the physical unless it's been foreordained in the spiritual. And in the spiritual it's either God or Satan. No gray area.

Controlling spirits of wickedness in high places are the influencers - we are the influencees. Satan's demons ruthlessly attack our minds daily. They're the masterminds behind the terrorism in the Middle East, the drug trafficking in Mexico and the proliferation of porn on the internet. Every homosexual act is fathered by Satan...just like every lie spawns from him. He can't PHYSICALLY make us do anything, but the propensity to sin is so strong that by the time a person is at the age of accountability, the unregenerate boy or girl happily complies. So, be truthful: What other options are there? Is God the one who encourages men to have intercourse with other men? Or rape their own children? Or is it merely a genetic misfire like Down's Syndrome? Every sin wrought by man is by his own volition. The Bible says that God has given us over to our lusts. Men can't understand this, and so they shake their fists and say judgment is unfair because "God made us like this!"

I don't know what Euphro-whatever means; it sounds like a bunch of humanistic poppycock to me. Homo sex is sin because God says it is, and that's good enough for me. I don't feel a need to investigate "why". Fornication is also a sin because God says it is. Period. Thousands and thousands of "good people" die and go to hell daily...not because they were born homosexuals or lesbians, but because they didn't get rid of it at the cross.

T.C. said...

yes! applause to Paul! And all this homosexuality topic is covered in Romans 1 starting at verse 18.

God Bless

-T

Adam Wright said...

Rev Paul West,
I think you are misunderstanding Logic's posts. From what I can tell, he is raising questions
about certain topics that are being discussed here in the forum. I do not take it as argumentative but simply questioning and answering. I think this is more than essential. Christians must argue and debate over issues in order to maintain a level of orthodoxy. Though there are differences of opinion, we must hold true to some aspects of the faith together. If we can't talk together about hard issues or face one another, how are we to give account sucessfully to the world? Consider the various councils over the years. Without debate and questioning, where would we be? Pure chaos.

Logic said...

In Defense of myself:

I believe Adam has understood me correctly.

I ask questions because I believe it is important to have a faith that is rational. I find it interesting how Paul West responds with such hostility to a few simple questions.

Since when is debating futile? Does debating really grieve the Spirit? Funny, I don't see a scriptural reference for that. I suppose the apostle Paul grieved the Spirit when he debated with the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in Acts 17. Yet some were converted. Interesting.

I suppose questions have spurned on much ridicule for centuries. Socrates himself was executed for his rampant questioning. Jesus also asked many questions. I guess I'm confused at Paul West's strong opposition to questions. If he is so secure in what he believes, he should be ready to give answer.

I also would like to know where he gets the insight into my relationship with God. For asking questions, he said "I would expect a confrontation on these topics to come from someone devoid of the Holy Spirit and antagonistic to the gospel. Not by a true brother who has been regenerated and given a new heart that loathes sin and loves God and his neighbor as himself." I am certainly not devoid of the Holy Spirit, and I see no way that asking a few questions, regardless of the topic, means that a person is devoid of the Holy Spirt. I have not once been antagonistic toward the gospel message, but rather to the unloving fashion that it could be presented in. I find Paul West's claims to be disturbing. How does accusing a Christian of being devoid of the Holy Spirit not grieve the Holy Spirit? To me, Paul West's comments seem fueled with bitterness, anger, and malice - and I believe, according to Ephesians 4:31, that these things grieve the Holy Spirit.

In defense of my method:

I believe firmly that it is important to have a rationally coherent faith. If our faith contains contradictions, this needs to be sorted out. It is not fruitless, nor futile, to explore the reasons we believe anything. This is how people learn. It may surprise many people to know that God is a rational God. It is important to know what we believe, as well as WHY we believe it. If we do not have good reasons, we should not immediately reject our beliefs, but rather find reasons to believe. Paul West seems to have an aversion to apologetics.

Rather than succomb to the stereotype that Christians are unintelligent and irrational, I have chosen to go a different route. At the very least, my faith is not built on blind dogmatism that is blatantly self-contradictory. My faith is rational, built on knowledge, God's Word, and the Holy Spirit.

In opposition to what Paul West has claimed:

I do not fee like going into a detailed criticism on why I believe Paul to be mistaken when he attributes all evil to Satan, but I will ask a few questions. Please, if you are going to label me a heretic for asking such questions that may challenge your faith, and the way you've traditionally understood things, stop reading now. This should be a good example of my "nit-picking" antics, but I believe these questions are necessary to expose the potential falacies in Paul West's claims about evil, Satan, spiritual realms, moral responsibility and God.

Questions:

"All other variations are not of God, but are wrought by men and women blinded by Satan and in bondage to do HIS will."

Why is it that Satan is to be attributed, directly, for the blindness people experience? If man is fallen, do we really NEED Satan to blind us in order to come up with sin?

If we posit Satan as the one responsible for our sin, does this not excuse man of moral responsibility for his actions?

Could one not claim: 'Satan made me do it!'? (hmm...sounds familiar... Eve perhaps?)

"Everything in this world is spiritually-controlled"

If this claim is true, does that mean that each letter I type on this keyboard is somehow "controlled" by something spiritual?

Where is this claim found in the Bible?

"nothing happens in the physical unless it's been foreordained in the spiritual"

Where does Paul West gain this insight?

"in the spiritual it's either God or Satan. No gray area."

How do you know? Have you been there? Have you read this in the Bible?

Does that mean there are no angels? Does that mean angels do not have free will? Does that mean demons do not exist? Does that mean demons do not have free will?

"Controlling spirits of wickedness in high places are the influencers - we are the influencees."

If the spirits "control" us, how is it that we can do other than what they command? What kind of control/influence is being referred to here?

"They're [the controlling spirits] the masterminds behind the terrorism in the Middle East, the drug trafficking in Mexico and the proliferation of porn on the internet."

I believe this type of statement not only excuses the people responsible from blame?

Does this really have to be the case?

"He can't PHYSICALLY make us do anything"

Finally, a good point.

"Every sin wrought by man is by his own volition. "

And yet another good point. I do not believe I have ever suggested otherwise. And genetic predisposition, nor the homosexual by nature issue, does not contradict this in any way.

"Homo sex is sin because God says it is, and that's good enough for me."

This is the ethical theory of Divine Command Theory. It is similar to Kantian ethics, but the unsophisticated way in which it is stated here makes it subject to several objections. I will only point to three because I have ranted far to long as it is.

First, it makes morality competely subject to God's will (here I mean will in the sense of Free will, or agency), and thus subject to change. It is not an objective standard.

Second, if it is a sin to lie, is a lie ever justified? What if you could save a thousand lives by lying about what you had for breakfast... would it make the lie immoral?

While I agree that homosexual acts are always wrong, (although in some really odd exception they may be the lesser of two evils) I do not believe the divine command theory advocated here is sufficient to explain all cases.

Thirdly, the Euthyphro dilemma. That is, as I stated before:

"I would certainly say that the pious is what all the gods love, and the opposite, what all the gods hate, is the impious"
(Plato, Euthyphro, 9e)

I think the objection is self-evident and does not require further explanation. Perhaps Paul West should not jump to such rash conclusions calling it "humanistic poppycock", especially since the objection was raised by one of the greatest thinkers of all time.

Final Remarks:

I find it unfortunate that questioning is met with such hostility. I also find it unfortunate that reason, logic, and rational thinking is looked upon by some people with such contempt. Surely Socrates was executed for such things! Come to think of it, Jesus was too!

And if my questions and arguments are so blatantly unbiblical, and unchristian, why do they not get easily refuted?

-Logic

Logic said...

A quick word on Darwinism:

Adam's argument, that homosexuality woudl be selected against in Darwinian evolutionary theory, is an excellent point!

However, there is one possible problem that should be addressed. Darwin evolution only selects for or against traits that are reproductively siginificant. For instance, if men were born with no genetalia due to a disorder, this would be selected against because they could never pass on the trait.

Homosexuality would continue to be passed on unless all homosexuals were purely homosexual and never reproduced. Unfortunately, this is often not the case since many homosexuals are actually bisexual.

One final possibility is that homosexual tendencies could be inherent, yet not dependent on genetics, and therefore not selected against based on genetic evolution. It is logically possible that something within the non-material element of humans, i.e. their conscious being, could cause a tendency or prefence for same gender sexual behavior. This would avoid all references to genetics if the development of the conscious mind is not dependent on genes.

However, I believe the argument against homosexual by nature is a good one, as represented by Adam, but it does not appear to have the deductive power to eliminate all possibility of 'homosexual by nature'. At best, the genetic argument could probably be stated as: to the degree that homosexuality is associated with reproductive potential, it will be selected against; and to the degree that homosexuality is dependent upon genetics.

But the knife cuts both ways: to the degree homosexuality is dependent upon genetics, human responsibility for the attraction (not action) is excused.

Good argument Adam.

-Logic

Paul West said...

Dear Logic,

The very men you align your "great" thinking with (i.e. Socrates and the like), were utter fools in God's eyes. This was the very "wisdom" that fueled the mockery of the Stoics and Epicureans when Paul spoke of the resurrection. It disturbs me that you praise the "wisdom" of these ancient Greek philosophers (many of which were homosexuals, by the way).

It's funny you use Mars Hill as a free-for-all for Christians to debate and argue. Paul wasn't arguing with Christians on Mars Hill. He was evangelizing these "great thinkers" and men of colossal intellect you seem to hold so reverently. Despite their great oratorical skills and philisophical insights, Paul was basically telling them they were utter fools, worshipping dead gods of stone.

If you admit you've never truly known God (apart from your philisophical and "logical" musings with scripture thrown in as back-up), then I'll be more than happy to "reason" with you. The problem is that your motive seems to be argument for the sake of argument. This is terrible.

Unfortunatley for you, God is not logical. He doesn't operate by the logic of dead Greek sinners. He uses illogical things to ridicule logical things and weak things to confound the mighty. He reveals His wisdom and glory to the weak, poor, humble, and rejected. Not to men of colossal intellect with doctorates in literature, science, and philosophy (though He'll reveal Himself to them if they repent and become like newborn babes).

Logic, you must throw your "logic" out the door; God cannot use you if you operate by worldy logic. The first step is to be like the Apostle Paul and admit that you know absolutely nothing, that you're the chief of sinners, and you're willing to count all your intelligence and Platoesque logic as dung to win the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

The things of God are spiritually discerned, and cannot be found in secular textbooks - or even reading the Bible - if it's void of the Holy Spirit. Philosophical inight, human reason, and logic cannot be added to interpret scripture either, to somehow try to "make sense" of the things of God. God has delineated everything in the Word, and His children need no outside sources - especially sources birthed in the minds of unregenerate men and women.

Logic, you say you're a Christian. But how do you know? Do you merely cast your vote to the Jesus party, and give a mental flip like Nicodemus did - or are you born-again and bringing forth fruit meet of repentance? You're saved not because you say you're saved; you're saved when God sovereignly grants you repentance (see 2 Tim. 2). Does the fullness of the Godhead live in you? If so, does your behaviour, speech and lifestyle demonstrate this? How in the world can you discourage Eli's ministerial efforts...and then venerate the "great thinkers" who were enemies of God in their minds?

Friend, I notice you didn't say anything about my testimony, or about how God freed me from the vices of sin, and how the Holy Spirit steadily moves a believer into holiness to enable us to magnify Christ in our bodies. Not a comment, not a praise, not an encouragement. Nothing. No, instead you went straight to the nit-picky stuff to engage in debate. This very thing concerns me. But does it concern you?

Let's stop this. I'd love to get to know you in a different way, to discuss things that really matter without a constant fight and having to "prove by argument" everything I type.

I think I speak for many people.

Bible said...

Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord;

Adam O said...

I think it is absolutely awesome that a group of young people asked Eli to pray for them. I find more and more that people,especially young people, are becoming more receptive to the Gospel message. I believe that God wants to pour out revival on this area of Canada. I beleve that God wants to raise up the young generation, to serve as His army. You see dry bones? I see an army!
Eli, continue to spread the Good News. Continue to preach Christ in the streets. Revival will come brother.

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,

I thought you said SEVERAL posts ago that you weren't going to be posting any more. Interesting...

Anonymous said...

PS:

Who is the "debate seeker" now?

Adam Wright said...

Paul West,

Please stop posting, or at least in response to Logic. You are making me sad with your comments. Do you even realize that much of the church foundations (ie middle ages) was founded on a type of philosophy called "scholasticism", that is, an Aristotelian philosophy? Have you considered, like many many many historians, Platonic philosophy to be an enlightenment to the Greeks for when Paul arrived later? Many have also suggested that Socrates views on God the God Apollo were very similar to how Christians viewed Yahweh.

Paul didn't use his knowledge of Greek philosophy to make those people completely turn away from their thinking. He used it to help them see that Christ was the missing link to many of their thoughts.

To say that God isn't logical? Are you saying that we somehow created for ourselves our common intellect? What about theology, should we not think deeply about God?

To say to Logic that "if you admit that you've never truly known God and if you do I'll be more than happy to reason with you" is absolutely petty. You should actully feel ashamed of that. It sounds to me that you want to feed your own pride.

What about guys like Jonathan Edwards or CS Lewis? Would you try to tell them to prove their salvation to you? These guys were very MUCH philosophers. They wrote about pagan philosophy all throughout the ages.

If I might say it, you have chosen a lonely road. You have placed yourself above Logic and have attempted to speak as if you somehow know when I'm not sure you really do. So far, if my opinion is worth anything (at this point I'm not even sure you would bother reading it), is that you have failed in being a loving brother and have joined the all too populated "holier than thou" crowd. I'm sorry, but man, I have to say it. The arrogance is astronomical. I've meet too many people like you who, when someone doesn't agree with what you have to say, label them as a non Christian. Please don't talk to me about "telling a tree from it's fruit" because you couldn't possibly know and from I can remember it applies to you also.

I don't like to say the obvious, but stop posting things like that. We're having a discussion and if you can't say something without questioning another's salvation... PLEASE DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL.

Adam wright said...

Logic,

Good comments on Darwinism. Sadly, if it were that easy to refute homosexuality in genes, it would have been done by much greater minds than mine long ago. Still worth throwing the argument out there for discussion, though.

I would like to know how prevalent homosexuality is in non-north american societies or perhaps non-culturally dominant societies. I can't help but noticing that many young adults have the feeling that "bi-sexuality is in". It would be an interesting sociological study.

nicholas said...

Well well well, looks like Ive started a debate. Rev West, good to see youre back again. How's the ol' army barracks treating you?

Now, I had a whole post written but realised that I dont really care enough to get into this deeply. I began by stating that Im embarrassed as a Christian for how my faith as spoken about and treated people who are gay. Its a disgrace to a religion built upon love and the embrace of a man we all call our role model.

To those who have been able to discuss, regardless of personal conviction, the topic, I say kudos. To those stuck in the box put upon them by their teachers, I say I pray and hope you find a way to come out of the closet. But you cant do that, for people might think your gay and a child of Satan. Just kidding, kind of.

Adam, I would say that university students and youth who are thinking that "bi is in" are not necessarily feeling serious sexual orientation changes, although some are for sure. But rather are just open to experimentation, just as they have been since the 60s. Its a feeling, I think, of independence, rebellion, and excitment rolled into one.

Anyway, like I said, I didnt mean to begin a debate. Enjoy it, I'll check in every now and again.

Paul West said...

This is reminding me of a typical open-air session on a Friday or Saturday night where all the loving and tolerant "Christians" coming from the bars start to get mad and tell me to shut up and stop judging them. C'mon guys.

I see I've been put in the same same "arrogant" and "spiritual-elite" category as Eli's now in. Well, so be it.

Adam, yes, I HAVE chosen a very lonely road. Anyone who is called to preach repentance and holiness had better pledge their head to heaven. Rejection is nothing new to me (though it's always painful). John the Baptist only lasted 6 months. Part of the reason for that was he didn't just accept an oral confession of repentance. He challenged people to prove it by their lifestyles. And that's all I'm saying - don't just "say" you're saved. Show it, demonstrate it. Live it.

You and Logic would tear John the Baptist to shreds if he posted something on here. You would debate Jesus' "repent or perish" singlemindedness, because you wouldn't be able to fit it into Plato's poisonous humanism.

Undoubtedly, Paul the Apostle would offend you worse than I have. You would have a problem with Wesley's standard of holiness too...and you would probably tell Amos and Jeremiah to shut up as well (that is, if they didn't have anything "logical and loving" to say).

What about the great Puritan preachers' wisdom of God that has yet to be surpassed in 300 years? No Greek influence there (except, of course, the NT manuscripts). What do you do with Jonathan Edward's "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", which basically reduces unregenerate man to a loathsome insect, despised by God? You would tear him to pieces on this blog if he suggested such a thing.

Adam, I'm going to say it despite how you feel (and I am a loving brother, I assure you): You DO tell a tree by its fruit. I've never posted ANYTHING here that contradicts God's Word. I've always been as honest as possible with you guys. I never wanted a debate. I only wanted honest to goodness fellowship with Christians that can appreciate the deep, majestic things of God. I wanted to share stuff and learn from you as well. But you can't even type anything on here without being thrown up against a theological wall and manhandled. First it was the Rev. thing that brought mocking and disrespect, and now this. And it's always by the same people.

Yes, I'm frustrated. The Bible says to be angry, but sin not. I'm tired of you putting Eli down with all your satanic discouragements (no, it is NOT well meaning advice when you nag on and on); you don't care about whether or not these people are plugged into church. You're in the flesh and this gives you an occasion to be contentious and strut your intelligence. If Eli would post that 50 people were genuinely converted and drug dealers and prostitutes were weeping on the streets and beating their breasts in repentance, you would say something like "Whatever. Are they in church?" or "How do you know they were prostitues and drug dealers, Eli? That's arrogant and judgmental, etc..." You wicked and contentious hypocrites. Your posts are full of sarcasm and empty theology, they're not honest and humble and bathed in a spirit of charity.

And Mr. Anonymous, yes, I said I wouldn't post anymore on the OTHER topic. And now (you can rejoice now, Adam), I will not post on Eli's blog anymore, period. What's the use, when everything you say is going to be debated just for the sake of debate. This complaint isn't for everyone here; most of you guys are genuine. It's the same re-occuring people that constantly belittle and criticise that this post pertains to.

Hi, Nicholas Coates! Good to hear from you! The army barracks are full, actually...but the battlefield is empty! (except for the enemy's shouts of triumph).

p.s. Sorry about the mess, brother Eli! I love you. Keep doing what God has called you to do. My prayers are with you. Come say hi every now and then!

With love for all true brothers and sisters in Christ,

Paul West

Graham said...

I'm sorry to see that this has been a cause for you to fall out with eachother. I am the first to admit that I am not all that wise, and I know I still have alot to be desired concerning my faith. But am I the only one who sees that we are fighting over foolish and useless things.

I am not suggesting that to discuss and debate theology is unimportant, nor am I saying that we should not be living out our faith unimpeded by the world's standards. But can't you see? In this case we can have our cake and eat it too(if that is an appropriate analogy).

Paul: I think you miss understand the hearts of these men. I can say this because I know them well enough to see that they are living out their faith and not just leaving it at words. There is nothing wrong with debating and trying to understand God's creation. God is more than happy to reveal it too us. Besides I don't think that He'd create the world and give us such great curiosity if He didn't want us to follow through with it. I don't think they mean anything malice in this, they were only presenting views on a topic that, while we all agree on it's core(homosexuality is a sin), the smaller details are not so clear. Yes I agree that overemphasis on worldly theology is dangerous (Pharasees), but so is complete rejection of that knowledge, just look at what happened to those who made claims against the doctrin of the medieval church (earth revolves around the sun etc.) people being burned as heritics for trying to understand the world is not the Love of Christ.

Logic/Adam/Nick: Becareful how you word things. You all have a vocabulary that is well beyond me, however with such a medium as this blog, the intended tone is almost always lost. I'm fairley certain none of you mean to be taken as angry or selfrighteous but it is so easy to interprit what you say as that. I don't think any of you disagree with the fact that Eli is trying to spread the Word (if you do than that's an internal issue, not one that has anything to do with Eli) but when all that is pumped out is "constructive" critisim, it tends to take on a negative tone. Adam I liked your post that offered encouragement. There has been very little positive words for Eli, who is striving to be in God's will like no one I have ever met. So stop for a minute and ask whether you could possibly listen to some one who offers critisism towards all you ever do, but never offers a kind word.

I hope that as Christians, we can put aside pride and not pass judgement on eachother. This is only a blog, it only represents a fraction of what a person is all about. With everything going on behind the scenes being missed. We are all united under one God, Who desires us to live out the full potential He has planned for our lives. Not everyone can be a Peter, just as not everyone can be an Andrew, but we can all, with certainty call ourselves children of God, and Brothers in Christ.

Graham

p.S. I'm sorry if this is horribly mispelled or does not make any coherant sense. the just of it is: We are in this boat together, some are rowing, some are in the crows nest, and some are swabbing the deck, but it all necisary to keep the boat afloat.

Graham said...

Sorry I should have specified. The useless and foolish things are really more the personal attacks and sides taken. Not really things that are debated, but things that are coming out of the debates is what I am attempting to point out.

Graham

Adam wright said...

The most rediculous thing about it is: we have never told anyone to shut up. This is a prime example of a person who can't give account for their faith and can only rip off bible verses (usually out of context). Pride is a sick thing.

jedd said...

Well then...

Nick, I think your point that homosexuality is a much-misunderstood subject within the body of Christ is a very good one. I must say that, until the salvation of some posters was brought into question, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the posts in this thread. To those of us that are left who have the maturity and sensibility to carry out fruitful, God-honouring debate (yes, I very deliberatley say "God-honouring debate," for this is NO oxymoron), I now throw in my two cents on the issue of Christianity and homosexuality in an effort to get this once-enjoyable discussion back on track.

Since philosophy is not one of my strengths, this post will be mostly based on scripture (although I find arguments based on philosophy, sociology, psychology, and biology very interesting and very much applicable to this debate).

My own view on homosexuality is that it is a choice. But when I say 'choice', I do not mean a choice such as: "I'm feeling rather thirsty right now. I think I'll go to the kitchen and pour myself a glass of cold iced-tea." Rather, I think it is a choice that issues from a sort of subconscious deception. Allow me to explain.

We read in Gen. 1:26, 27 (and echoed in 5:1, 9:6; 1 Cor. 11:7; James 3:9) that man is made in the image of God. The Hebrew word used for 'man' is 'adam' (which, of course, becomes the proper name Adam). This word is the generic term for mankind; it does not refer to Adam only. Therefore, I think that all mankind, and not just Adam, is made in the image of God. I think we can safely say that the image of God is one of heterosexuality. Therefore, I do not believe that any person, whether past, present, or future, is born with an innate homosexual orientation. Rather, I think that Satan (and however he does this, I do not know) comes alongside a person and decieves, tricks, and fools the person into thinking that he/she is homosexual and that this is 'just the way they are.' Thus homosexuality is a choice, but not a choice made in the usual way (that is, nobody wakes up on a given morning and says: "Hmmmm. Recently I have been finding myself attracted to people of my own gender. I am now officially choosing to be a homosexual.").

I readily welcome any and all comments and criticism. I will do my best to answer. I look forward to a refocused debate on an issue that is increasignly manifest in our society and in our churches. Let us all, in the words of Jesus himself, love the Lord our God with ALL of our MINDS (Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27).

[Footnote: In these three verses Jesus is quoting Deut. 6:5, which reads: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your might." Interesting...where is the 'mind'? If God is neither logical himself nor concerned with human logic, why does Jesus add the command that we love God with ALL our minds? Who said God is not logical???].

jedd

Logic said...

Paul West:

I find it confusing that you are so hostile toward other Christians. I do not believe anyone has been hostile and judged your salvation.

It is true, I made a remark about getting your degree off the internet mainly becuase something you said was incompetent. It was obvious, at least to me, that if you had a divinity degree you wouldn't have said it.

But what disturbs me most is this "lonely road" you claim you've taken. If you do not love other Christians, and if you do not see the value in being involved in a local church, perhaps you should pray and keep an open mind. Christians are not called to walk a lonely road where they condemn all the other Christians; rather we are to reach the world together.

As for my incessant questioning of your comments, well... if you said things that were (a) theologically acurate (b) taken in proper context and (c) not logical contradictions, I would probably complement you on your brilliance instead of question your sanity.

Example:

You said "Unfortunatley for you, God is not logical."

This is an absurd statement. IF it is true, God could both exist and not exist, be evil and not evil, violate his own nature, etc. IF God were not logical, all logical axioms such as the law of non-contradiction, the law of identity, and the law of modus ponens would all be meaningless.

Has it not occurred to you that logic is part of God's essence? You seem to enjoy using words such as 'worldly logic or wisdom'; unfortunately your claims are falacious. Logic is simply true; it is a framework used to evaluate reasoning, argument, and assertions. Trying to differentiate between worldly logic and Godly knowledge is like saying mathmatics can be evil. This is absurd.

I believe you are confused between knowledge that leads to repentance and salvation, which is obviously supernaturally revealed by the Holy Spirit, and futile knowledge that does not lead to God but rather to a God-denying pride.

Logic, reason, mathmatics, and rational arguments are in no way mutually exclusive with God's Word, God's love, God's character, or God's salvation by faith that he has granted to us in Jesus Christ. Apologetics is based on presenting the Christian faith as rational.

You ask how I know I am a Christian? Well, I know because I love God, and I love my Christian brothers. According to 1 John 2:10, this is evidence that I am walking in the light. Add to that the love I have for all Christians, and the righteous way in which I live. I do not say this to boast, but rather to rejoice that I have overcome the flesh on so many occasions. Ultimately my righteousness is in Christ; and because of this I can reign in life (Romans 5:17).

I do not understand why you have called adam and myself hipocrites. Your hostility and blatant disrespect for having a rational faith, something which God designed, makes me wonder why you respond with such contempt. How can you say to Adam and I, who are both solid Christians, and have been for many years, that we are so awful!? This reminds me of 1 John 2:11, which states "But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going becuase the darkness has blinded him." Your words directed toward me were certainly not seasoned with love, I felt as though you vomited on me. How discomforting.

As for my responses, and incessant nit-picking and criticism: well, I may nit-pick people's arguments, and their methodology; but I have never suggested someone lacked the Holy Spirt, Salvation, or any other thing that God grants. I have never tried to accuse someone of having a life filled with sin. Simply because I do not worship you for your dramatic conversion seems to enrage you. God deserves the glory for the good things that have been done in your life, not you.

To set the record straight:

I am fully convinced that Eli does good by sharing the gospel with people. I am not convinced that his methodology is the best. But even I concede that "The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice." (Philippians 1:18). You may perceive my comments to be an attack against Eli, but you are incorrect. Yes, I have been confrontational toward some things that I disagree with, but this is only so that Eli can be further effective in his sharing of the gospel. Eli is not above reproach, and neither am I. I sincerly hope that Eli has not been discouraged by the challenges I have posted to him, but rather I hope he heeds the advice and grows. I worry sometimes that people think that simply by questioning Eli's method or exegetical skills that I am in some way trying to terminate his ministry. I can assure you this is not the case. I would be very disappointed if Eli discontinued his Christian witness; but I would rejoice if he took some of our advice and combined his impressive zeal with a Spirit filled wisdom - this would truly change Fredericton, especially if he teamed up with others who shared similar passions and trained and discipled the people who were saved through his evangelism. Eli can not do it all on his own, no one can. That is why I challenge more church involvement and accountability. Add to this that Eli has less education than some, which only adds to his need for other Christians to surround him and help with his exegesis and hermenutics. Sometimes he is somewhat resistant to people's help, but other times I believe he heeds what is being said.


One final thing, Paul,

you would do well to avoid putting words in our mouths. Saying that we would stand against a bunch of Christians who you have idolized as being above reproach is simply an unrealistic cliam used to make us something that we are not. This is a type of ad hominem (attack the man) argument that is notably fallacious.

you would also do well not to be so costic, hostile, and contemptful. Try using words seasoned with love rather than trying to prove that we are not saved.

I do not stand on my own works, but rather on Christ. My righteousness is Christ's, I am in him; I have the Holy Spirit, the deposit that guarantees my inheretance. Certainly this is sufficient for salvation.

-Logic

Logic said...

Adam,

I've been thinking more about the Darwin debate over the origins of homosexuality.

Genetics do not tend to have a very strong effect on psychological states or desires. The one acception to this that I can think of would be a type-A personality; but i'm not entirely sure thats genetic.

I think the root of my question is: how much bearing on behavior or impulses/desires does one's genetic makeup have?

Any thoughts?

-Logic

Logic said...

Jedd,

about your comment:

Excellent insight. However, I do have one question. You claim all people are made in the image of God. I believe you have given good scriptural foundation for this argument.

In what sense is the 'image' or 'likeness' of God one of heterosexuality. If God is asexual by nature, how can sexual orientation be part of the 'image of God' that is imparted to man?

But even in light of this I believe your argument is a strong one against homosexuality being inherent because even if heterosexuality is not part of the 'image of God' that is imparted to man, we can be certain that homosexuality is in no way part of God's image due to the sinfulness it represents. This would be logically contradictory to God's righteous nature.

Nevertheless, the question can still be asked, what exactly is the 'image of God' and what elements of our being fall under this description?

-Logic

Adam wright said...

Logic,
This is interesting because I recently heard a debate entitled "Theology and Biology". One of the major phrases that I remember is that "your brain makes your reality". It would appear that through neurology, we have been able to located ertain centres of the brain that become active in certain situations (sexuality, music, memory, etc). I know that you know these things. His point was that or brain often dictates how we perceive spiritual experiences. Interesting notion! Of course, I can't remember every point of his lecture, I can't help but think that this applies to our current topic. Genetics does play a major role in our personality development and perceptions. Now, we're kind of in danger of saying that homosexuality is genetic (I'm not entirely sure it is). So I think our genetics have a GREAT influence on our thoughts.

To answer your question in the order you mentioned it (ie. Do our thoughts have influence over our genetics), I have no idea. I do know that our actions to affect our neurology. For example, certain continuous patterns can create faster neurological paths which, in essence, create habits. I don't know if we can carry our debate into that theory or not.

I wish I knew more about the brain and genetics. That would involve me taking a course or two and I just dont have the time! haha.

Peace.

Logic said...

Adam,

Your point about the brain having a causal effect on the consciousness is a good one. However, without getting to deeply into philosophy of mind - a topic that I am certainly no expert in, I believe limiting the 'conscious experience' or 'conscious reality' to the 1 to 1 mapping of neurological event to psychological event may lead to unwanted consequences. (and I do realize you did not argue this, but your point could be taken in this direction, and is by many psychologists as you know)

But I think that to claim the brain perceives all of our experiences may employ a false notion of consciousness. While it is certainly clear that our consciousness is causally effected by nurological events, it is not so clear that this is an exhaustive explanation for all conscious experience. So in addition to your point that the brain acts causally on the consciousness, I think we need to be open to the possibility of the consciousness causally effecting the brain, which would be an instance of free will. While it seems, at first glance, an inconceivable event, it could be likened to how the immaterial God acts on the material universe. Applied to the mind, I submit an immaterial consciousness could act on a material brain, causing an action to occur.

This seems to be straying from the topic, but I believe it is relevant to the homosexual debate. It is possible, at least in principle, that the potential for 'homosexual by nature' could be in the nature of the consciousness, independent of the brian and genetics.

I also believe it is possible for our consciousness to be directly effected by God, bypassing the brain entirely.

So while you are correct, at least as far as I can see, that what occurs in the brain effects the consciousness, I do not believe (and you did not really argue this) that this is an exhaustive account of all conscious activity.

I still think this question has yet to be answered fully:

How much influence does genetics have on our behavior, tendencies, and desires?

Anyone have any further thoughts on these topics?

-Logic

Eli said...

Dear brothers,

I have been away for ten days and what I find here upon my return is very sad. There is going to be some changes starting now:

-First of all, I will be the first to apologize for my commenting so far since this blog opened.

-It's funny, but I can understand where both Paul and Logic & company are coming from. I know with all certainty that Paul is well saved as well as Adam, Jedd, etc... so this makes the situation much worse. As brothers in Christ we should discern where each other are coming from, be patient and forebearing with one another, and always speaking in kindness. Even if we do not see eye to eye on certain matters, there is no excuse to accuse, condemn or ridicule a fellow brother. There have been words exchanged by both sides, we ought to be ashamed... all of us. I am not against hard words and rebukes, but I am adamently opposed to this unloving hostility that has permeated these threads.

-This blog is for the equipping and edifying of the believers, as well as a witness to the unbeliever. Bear in mind we have unbelievers viewing this blog! I say this very strongly.

-I'm going to post commenting rules on the blog and will enforce them by deleting any post that does not abide by them. I pray this will bring order.

-Beloved, I strongly encourage us to use this board to edify one another. I am happy to see Christians talking about these issues and becoming more aware about the Bible and our world. Please continue to post: thank you for your input Nick, Adam, Paul, Logic, Jedd, Graham, etc. I pray we will grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus.

-Again, I apologize for my past comments on this blog. May every one seriously consider these remarks.

Gramp said...

Well spoken Eli!
I too have been quite grieved with the tone of the debate on this delicate subject. I agree with the idea that your blog was meant to be a forum for the edification of believers in Jesus, and should certainly reflect His character.

Some of the many comments registered on this subject failed to do that,in my opinion

Eli said...

I believe the Biblical definition of a homosexual is a reprobate mind:

"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: 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. 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." (Romans 1:26-28)

Biblically, God has actually GIVEN THEM OVER to a reprobate mind. Something to think about anyway.

jedd said...

Eli,

Nice thought about God actually giving them over to these desires.


Logic,

Good question about the sexual orientation of God's nature. Know that I'm not avoiding responding. I'm been mulling it over in my own mind (that, and I have about a million things on the go right now!). Look for an answer in the (hopefully) not-to-distant future. I continue to enjoy reading your posts.

jedd

Logic said...

In light of Eli's useful insight about the mind, I think it actually supports homosexuality being inherent in some people due to the Fallen Nature of man. God would not have created pre-Fall people (Adam and Eve, and perhaps others) with inherent homosexual tendencies. However, it is possible that since we are born 'fallen', certain elements of the 'image' and 'likeness' of God have become corrupt.

The point is, based on Romans 1, that homosexuality may be inherent in some people due to the Fall; and this would not, in any way, be contrary to scripture.

Anyone care to argue the contrary? I'm starting to feel like Aquinas! haha (hopefully those of you who have read Aquinas will find this funny)

-Logic

jedd said...

The following is a link to amn article on homosexuality from Desiring God (resources from John Piper's ministry).

http://www.desiringgod.org/library/topics/homosexuality/beliefs.html

To quote one sentence:

"We believe that a homosexual orientation is a result of the fall of humanity into a sinful condition that pervades every person."


jedd

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