Join the discussion below, or Read more at Los Angeles Times.
#58574 Aug 13, 2014
Pray for Biblical Balance
My prayer for both weeks is that we as a church, and I in particular as the preacher, will find a Biblical balance between clear conviction about the sinfulness of homosexual behavior, on the one hand, and patient compassion to come alongside those of you who have homosexual desires, and your friends and relatives, and seek your good. I have no desire to drive homosexual people away. On the contrary, I would like to be able to say of our congregation what Paul said to the church in Corinth: after mentioning "fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, swindlers," he says in 6:11, "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."
I would like us to be a church like that - justified sinners battling together to walk in purity, with all of our differing genetic, hormonal, environmental disorders that incline everyone of us, in varying ways, to do sinful things. We will talk more about that next week. It's a very important issue. But the point for now is simply this: we want to be a church where homosexual people can either overcome their sexual disorder, or find the faith and courage and help and love and power to live a triumphant, joyful, celibate life with the disorder.
#58576 Aug 13, 2014
Triple Repetition of Three-fold Sequence of Thought
Now we turn to the third reason for rejecting the interpretation of Romans 1:26-27 which says that Paul is not denouncing homosexuals who do what comes naturally, but rather he is denouncing promiscuous heterosexuals who act unnaturally by doing homosexual acts. The reason is that the overall argument of the passage assumes another viewpoint.
Let's look at it. Three times in this passage Paul repeats a three-fold sequence of thought. The three-fold sequence of thought goes like this:
Step 1 - Human beings exchange God for what God has made; we prefer the creature to the Creator.
Step 2 - God hands us over to what we prefer.
Step 3 - We act out externally and bodily in our sexual relations a dramatization of the internal, spiritual condition of the fallen human soul, namely, the horrendous exchange of God for man and the images of our power.
Walk with me through the text. I will show you the three times that Paul gives us this sequence of thought.
#58577 Aug 13, 2014
First time through the three-fold sequence - verses 23-34
Step 1 "They exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man ..." (verse 23).
Step 2 "Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity" (verse 24).
Step 3 "... so that their bodies would be dishonored among them" (end of verse 24). In response to the rejection of God's glory as their treasure, God wills that there be a disordering of their bodily life in dishonorable deeds. He hands them over to impurity "so that their bodies would be dishonored among them." The sexual disordering of the human race is a judgment of God for our exchanging him for the creature - all of us.
Second time through the same steps - verses 25-27
Step 1 "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen" (verse 25). This parallels verse 23: they exchanged the glory of God for images. The "truth of God" is that he is glorious and to be desired above all things. The "lie" preferred by us humans is that the creature is more desirable than God.
Step 2 "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions" (verse 26). That parallels verse 24: "God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity."
Step 3 "... for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts" (verses 26b-27). That corresponds to verse 24b: "... so that their bodies would be dishonored among them." So the dishonoring of the body that Paul had in mind in verse 24 is specifically homosexual behavior. And notice carefully, now we can say more specifically than in the first sequence of thought: The sexual disordering of the human race, especially homosexuality (but not only homosexuality) is a judgment of God for our exchanging the truth of God for a lie.
#58578 Aug 13, 2014
Third time through the same three-fold sequence - verse 28
Step 1 "They did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer" (verse 28). That corresponds to verses 23 and 25: they exchanged the glory of God for images and they exchanged the truth of God for a lie. Here: they simply don't want God in their knowledge any more.
Step 2 "God gave them over to a depraved mind" (verse 28b). That corresponds to verse 24, "God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity," and verse 26, "God gave them over to degrading passions." This was God's response to the universal exchange of God for the creature.
Step 3 "[He gave them over ...] to do those things which are not proper" (verse 28c). That corresponds to verse 24b: "...so that their bodies would be dishonored among them," and to verses 26b-27, where the women and the men are pursuing homosexual relations. So homosexual behavior is parallel with dishonoring the body and doing what is not proper.
Now let me close with four brief concluding statements:
1. The deepest problem of our lives, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is the terrible exchange of the glory of God for images (verse 23). The exchange of the truth of God for a lie (verse 25). The disapproval of having God in our knowledge (verse 28). Failed worship is our worst disorder. This is beneath all the maladies of the world. Repairing this, not first our disordered sexuality, is our main business in life.
#58579 Aug 13, 2014
2. The sexual disordering of our lives, most vividly seen in homosexuality (though not only there), is the judgment of God upon the human race because we have exchanged the glory of God for other things. Sometimes people ask, "Is AIDS the judgment of God on homosexuality?" The answer from this text is: homosexuality itself is a judgment on the human race, because we have exchanged the glory of God for the creature - and so is AIDS and cancer and arthritis and Alzheimer's and every other disease and every other futility and misery in the world, including death. That's the point of Romans 5:15-18 and Romans 8:20-23, which we looked at when talking about Romans 1:18.
And what we saw there was that those who believe in Jesus Christ and are justified by faith and become the children of God are not taken out of this world of woe, but are given the grace to experience the very judgments of God on the human race as the merciful pathway to holiness and heaven rather than sin and hell.
3. The reason Paul focuses on homosexuality in these verses is because it is the most vivid dramatization in life of the profoundest connection between the disordering of heart-worship and the disordering of our sexual lives. I'll try to say it simply, though it is weighty beyond words.
We learn from Paul in Ephesians 5:31-32 that, from the beginning, manhood and womanhood existed to represent or dramatize God's relation to his people and then Christ's relation to his bride, the church. In this drama, the man represents God or Christ and is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. The woman represents God's people or the church. And sexual union in the covenant of marriage represents pure, undefiled, intense heart-worship. That is, God means for the beauty of worship to be dramatized in the right ordering of our sexual lives.
#58580 Aug 13, 2014
But instead, we have exchanged the glory of God for images, especially of ourselves. The beauty of heart-worship has been destroyed. Therefore, in judgment, God decrees that this disordering of our relation to him be dramatized in the disordering of our sexual relations with each other. And since the right ordering of our relationship to God in heart-worship was dramatized by heterosexual union in the covenant of marriage, the disordering of our relationship to God is dramatized by the breakdown of that heterosexual union.
Homosexuality is the most vivid form of that breakdown. God and man in covenant worship are represented by male and female in covenant sexual union. Therefore, when man turns from God to images of himself, God hands us over to what we have chosen and dramatizes it by male and female turning to images of themselves for sexual union, namely their own sex. Homosexuality is the judgment of God dramatizing the exchange of the glory of God for images of ourselves.(See the parallel uses of "exchange" in verses 25 and 26.)
4. Which leads us to one last word: The healing of the homosexual soul, as with every other soul, will be the return of the glory God to its rightful place in our affections.
30 minute break
DVD's, autographed T-shirts, hats and other collectibles
available at the concession stand.
NEXT :: >> BROTHER BUBBA
#58581 Aug 13, 2014
ALL RIGHT EVERYBODY S T F U
DRUM ROLL , TRUMPETS TA DA
#58583 Aug 13, 2014
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of 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 over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
Seeing God at the Center
I confess that my main aim in these two messages is not to persuade you that homosexual behavior is wrong. It is wrong. But you can believe that and not be a Christian. So what does it profit a man if he knows everything that's wrong, and loses his own soul? My aim is much higher than to persuade you that there are many sexual disorders in the world - both homosexual and heterosexual. My aim is to transform the way you see Reality, and to put the glory of God back at the center, like the sun in the solar system of sexuality (and everything else) that holds all the planets of our passions in their proper order. When you exchange the sun for a man-made satellite all the planets leave their orbit and head for oblivion.
Since: Apr 11
#58584 Aug 13, 2014
Just like the bible tells him to.
1 Peter 4:15
“It's a bathroom”
Since: Jul 07
Get over it, already
#58585 Aug 13, 2014
You need to do a little Bible research. All of the things I've mentioned are in the Bible, Greg.
“A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES”
Since: Aug 08
MUST BEGIN WITH A SINGLE STEP!
#58586 Aug 13, 2014
Should have read SPOTS instead of sport.......lol!!!
#58587 Aug 13, 2014
The murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming, was committed by men who had exchanged the centrality of God's glory for the satellite of self-exaltation. And self-exaltation or self-determination over against God cannot hold the planets of passion in their orbit. I learned this from verses 28 and 29. Look at them with me. Romans 1:28-29a: "And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,(29) being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder ..."
There it is. Where does murder come from? It comes from this: "They did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer." Or as verse 23 says, "They exchanged the glory of God for images" - in this case money and hateful power. Or as verse 25 says, "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie."
The Root of all Our Disorders, and God's Judgment
We saw this in the text last week. The root of all our disorders - sexual and social and physical and emotional - is the exchange of the glory of God for other things. The solar system of our soul and our society was made to orbit around the glory of God as its all-controlling sun. And the entire human race has exchanged the glory of God for weightless, substitute satellites that have no gravity and can hold nothing in its proper orbit. Therefore all the world is disordered and decaying and moving toward destruction.
But we saw something even more stunning last week from this text. This disorder and decay in our lives and in our society and in our universe is the judgment of God, and is meant by him to be seen as a terrible drama of a horrific underlying spiritual evil. We saw this three times. After each statement that we have exchanged God for other things (verses 23, 25, 28), it says, God therefore hands us over to our depravity so that our soul and our society disintegrates into all sorts of evil deeds and dreadful diseases and death and destruction.
#58588 Aug 13, 2014
For example, verse 24: "Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them." Verse 26: "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions." And here in verses 26-27 he details homosexual behavior as one outworking of these degrading disorders. Then verse 28b: "God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper." And here in the following three verses (29-31), he details twenty-one other outworkings of a depraved mind. No one escapes here. Homosexual, heterosexual, male, female, old, young, religious, irreligious - all of us are under the sway of a depraved mind. As Romans 3:9-10 says, "Both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, "There is none righteous, not even one."
The root of all our problems in this world is that the human race has exchanged the glory of God for other things and that God has handed us over to bear the fruit of this exchange in ten thousand troubles - all of which should call us to repentance and worship rather than rebellion and atheism. And when I say all our problems, I really mean all. I mentioned last week that even our physical diseases and our natural calamities are owing to God's judgment on creation for our exchange of his glory for other things.
#58589 Aug 13, 2014
What if there Were Genetic Origins for Sexual Disorder?
This is crucial for dealing with the origins of homosexuality. I don't think anyone knows for sure what the physical components of homosexuality are. But what if genetic origins were found? What would this imply about the morality and fitness of the behavior? Very little, if nature itself is disordered and in need of redemption. So let's look at this matter more closely this morning.
Consider Romans 8:20-23, "The creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope." Notice that all of creation has been subjected to futility: things don't work the way they were originally designed to work. Winds, rains, rivers, volcanoes, bacteria, viruses, Swiss Air jet electrical wiring, brake linings, heart-attacks of 86-year-old men driving through a crosswalk while a blind student crosses the street, wild white blood cells, trisomy of the 21st chromosome, and ten-thousand heartaches from a fallen world - the creation was subjected to futility.
By whom? Verse 20 says, "By Him who subjected it in hope." That's not man and not Satan, but God. God subjected the world to futility "in hope." All the futility of this world is meant to waken us to the horrors of exchanging the glory of God for other things and to make us rely not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:8-9) and restores the glory (Romans 8:18-19).
#58591 Aug 13, 2014
Keep reading. Verses 21-22: "... that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption (= futility) into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now." Paul pictures the miseries and futilities and pains of creation as childbirth before the resurrection when all the pain of our disordered bodies and sexuality will be replaced with glory of God among his people.
And Paul even addresses the crying question that we raised last week: But surely, if all this misery and disorder and dysfunction in the world is owing to God's judgment - his handing us over to the outworking of our ungodliness -then would he not lift the misery and the disorder and the dysfunction and the pain from his children who repent and believe the gospel? He gives his answer in verse 23: "And not only this [that is, not only does the "whole creation groan"] but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our body."
The answer is: No, God does not deliver his people all at once from the futility of this fallen, judged creation. He turns the effects of judgment into the means of grace for his people (Romans 8:28). And he saves us in stages. "Having been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved" (Romans 5: 9-10). We have forgiveness for sin now; we will have freedom from all sinning later. We have reconciliation with God now; we will have complete intimacy later. We have the firstfruits and the downpayment of the Holy Spirit now; we will have the full harvest of his power and presence later. We have some healing now (from our sexual disorders!); we will have full wholeness later. We see his beauty through a glass darkly now, later we will see face to face. We have peace with God now; we will have perfection later. That's the meaning of Romans 8:23.
Since: Apr 11
#58592 Aug 13, 2014
Humans are tribal animals. Human children are uniquely dangerous and resource intensive to raise. A tribe with a certain percentage of members who don't end up reproducing has an advantage.
#58593 Aug 13, 2014
What is "Natural"? The point of all this is that, whatever the physical or social or personal origins of the homosexual disordering of our sexuality, none of that would define it as good or "natural" or "normal." In a world where God is the Creator and Designer of life, "natural" means in sync with God's purpose and design, not just anything that has physical causes. Having a physical root makes nothing right. Physically-based, aggressive tendencies may lead to violent behavior, but we don't condone it. Physically-based lethargic tendencies may lead to laziness and neglect, but we don't condone it. Frenetic tendencies may lead to disruption and workaholism. A gloomy bent may lead to suicidal thoughts. An anxious bent may lead to paranoia. Addictive tendencies may lead to alcoholism or bondage to gambling or deadly smoking. A low frustration threshold may lead to outbursts of rage. Strong sexual desires may lead to lust or pornography or fornication or adultery or polygamy.
In other words, in a world where the effect of sin permeates to the roots of nature and disorders all of life, we cannot define as good and natural whatever has physical roots. There must be a higher norm than fallen nature. There are many physically-based abnormalities in the world. Therefore having a physical base or root is not sufficient reason for condoning anything as natural or good.
How then shall we live and love in this disordered world? At the risk of oversimplification and selectivity, let me try to give some brief biblical counsel concerning the personal, family and social dimensions of homosexuality.
#58594 Aug 13, 2014
Biblical Counsel for Someone with Homosexual Desires
First, a few words to those among us who have homosexual desires.
1. Acknowledge the presence and pain of a disordered sexuality, with all the ambiguity of where it came from - much like other disorders and disabilities -and do not define your God-given personhood by your disordered sexuality.
2. Put your faith in Christ alone for the forgiveness of all your sins and for the gift of God's righteousness and for the fulfillment of all his promises to you (Romans 1:16-17). The only sinner who can successfully battle his sins is a justified sinner. In other words, you fight against sexual sins from relationship, not for a relationship.
3. Begin to reorder your entire life around the centrality of the glory of God as your highest treasure. Homosexual sinning, like all other sinning, is an echo of exchanging the glory of God for other things. So restore the sun of God's glory to its place at the center of your soul and all the planets of your desires will begin to return to their God-given orbit.
4. Resolve to live a chaste and, if necessary, celibate life by the power of God's Spirit, with the confidence that if God does not heal now, he will in the age to come; and all the patience of purity of will be worth it (Romans 8:18). May God grant all the single people (and married!) at Bethlehem a passion for purity.
#58595 Aug 13, 2014
5. Seek wholesome friendships with both sexes, especially in groups. Here the burden lies heavily on the church to be a place where this can happen. We don't do very well at this. And so I call on us - especially families - to go out of our way to have people (especially single people) over for meals and other gatherings. The more we do things in groups rather than pairs, the more opportunities we create for wholesome non-sexual relationships.
6. I probably don't need to tell you that there are ministries like Outposts here in our cities that have insights and experience and encouragement and Biblical counsel from a depth of awareness that goes beyond what most of us can bring. This may be something God would use in your life.
7. Take a bold and compassionate stand for truth the way Joe Hallett did, and hold up God's purposes for human sexuality, namely, as an expression of Christ's love for the Church dramatized in the covenant love of marriage between one man and one woman.
“don't tell me how”
Since: May 14
to live my life
#58596 Aug 13, 2014
Poor wttle fella is the gay man being mean to you? My faith, has nothing to do with this thread, Gays and Lesbians , I don't force it on them, never have and never will. Un like your self I don't feel the need to force any thing down anyone's throat, if in your small mind you think that you will somehow affect my faith you're even more delusional than I thought. As it has been said, don't start no crap wont be no crap. You chose to go after me, based on what your little puppet Frankie told you. Had you taken the time, you would know just how far off base you really are. Now piss off putz
Add your comments below
|BARACK OBAMA BIRTH CERTIFICATE: Suit contesting... (Jan '09)||3 min||Dr Guru||227,953|
|'You are fascinated with sex': Newt Gingrich un...||5 min||Synque||2|
|These Latina Sisters Trolled Eric Trump With A ...||6 min||openmind693||1|
|Sorry, Democrats: The GOP isn't dead yet :0||8 min||Philosophic||83|
|Ballots missing medical-marijuana question - Br...||9 min||openmind693||1|
|If Donald Trump Was President, Here's What Woul... (Oct '15)||13 min||Politics the eter...||11,700|
|Jay Z to headline free Cleveland show in suppor...||15 min||Synque||3|
|'Fox News Sunday' to Host Kentucky Senate Debate (Oct '10)||25 min||Cornelius Scudmister||247,912|
|Trump Isn't Bluffing, He'll Deport 11 Million P...||49 min||Bob_Mak||11,803|
|The President has failed us (Jun '12)||2 hr||taletha||399,355|
|Barack Obama, our next President (Nov '08)||2 hr||the deplorable Jo...||1,442,559|
|Trump denounces 'lies and smears' as more women...||3 hr||ima-Ilis Myka Ash...||1,440|
Find what you want!
Search US Politics Forum Now
Copyright © 2016 Topix LLC