Romans 1

rom-1.jpgGreetings!

I encourage you to read this chapter very closely.  I refer to often as it has such relevance to our culture and to contemporary issues.

Paul packs a lot into his opening. 

  • He was specifically called to be an apostle (one who saw Jesus and carried his message). 
  • He is Jesus’ servant. 
  • He is sharing the Gospel foretold in the Old Testament. 
  • Jesus has two natures: Human and divine.
  • Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
  • Jesus came for the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
  • More!

1     Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. 6 And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9 God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

Do we display the kind of faith that is worthy of being reported around the world, or even around the block?  Are we serving God with our whole hearts and spreading his Good News?

11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

No matter how strong our faith is, encouragement is vital.  There are many times when I’m weighed down and someone will come along with an encouraging word to pick me up.  When I see other people living out their faith it inspires me.  You are not alone!

14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.

16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

V. 16 is powerful.  In light of eternity, why should we be ashamed of the Gospel?  The world hates the Gospel, because it convicts them of sin.  The Gospel is for everyone.  There is no other path besides Jesus.

This next section, which I put in bold, speaks volumes about why everyone should know there is a God.  Note how it says that, “God has made it plain to them . . . God’s invisible qualities . . . have been clearly seen . . . so that men are without excuse.”

God has revealed himself to us in his creation.  He takes it very seriously when people mock that and completely ignore him.  Deep down even atheists know there is a God, but they “suppress the truth by their wickedness.”

Theologian R.C Sproul said, “Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward the One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself.”

God’s Wrath Against Mankind

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Note how is says that God “gave them over . . .” three times.  Consider how fully our society has turned sexual morality upside down.  It calls evil good and good evil.  Homosexual behavior is not only accepted but glorified. 

This is one of the clearest passages denouncing homosexual behavior as sinful.  Some will try to read something into the text that simply isn’t there and claim that this was only about temple prostitutes, but there are many reasons that is wrong.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Some pro-gay theologians try to spin verses 26-27 to mean that it is only a sin to act outside your “normal” preferences – that is, if you are naturally gay then the sin would be to have heterosexual sex.  If that sounds ridiculous to you, it should.  The original Greek means natural function, which of course would mean male/female relationships are the norm and homosexual relationships are sinful.  See Responding to Pro-Gay Theology for more information. 

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Before people grandstand on the sin of homosexual behavior, they should note the other things Paul listed as being seriously wicked: Envy, greed, deceit, arrogance, heartlessness, disobedience to parents, etc.  Trust me, if you re-read the list you’ll find yourself in there somewhere! 

People know better, yet they shake their fists at God anyway.  I thank God that He took me from rebellion against him to faith in him.  It is only by his grace that I am a believer.  I pray that many people will read his Word, be convicted and turn to him for forgiveness and salvation.

Please add your own thoughts as well.

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78 Responses

  1. Great post, as usual Neil!

    Linking to this at my blog today. I’ll be back with some thoughts later. Again, excellent points!

    In Christ,
    Christine

  2. 1:1 – “servant” The Greek for this word means (1) a “slave,” who completely belongs to his owner and has no freedom to leave, and (2) a “servant,” who willingly choses to serve his master.

    1:8 – Paul began a lot of his letters with thanks.

    1:12 – Paul’s genuine humility is seen in his desire to be ministered to by the believers at Rome as well as to minister to them. How often do we minister to our ministers? I can only speak from my own experience, but I find that people in my church body tend to only complain about the length of sermons, or find fault with the pastor when church programs don’t thrive (due to lack of participation from members) instead of building him up and encouraging him and thanking him for sharing the Gospel with us.

    1:16 – I believe it is the law that convicts and the Gospel that acquits. Unfortunately, for most unbelievers, the Gospel tells us what Christ has done for us to save us, without any doing on our part. Our society tells us that we make or break ourselves and to rely on no-one. The law is accepted because is tells us what to do and not do, but the Gospel offers a solution because we aren’t perfect. Who wants to admit they are a failure? Non-belivers think they can save themselves. Those who know Christ, know this is impossible.

    1:24,26,28 “God gave them over” – God didn’t cause the sin or condone it, but rather He allowed sin to run its course as an act of judgment.

  3. Good points. I think we should do more to encourage pastors. I try to be very selective about any complaining and I encourage them whenever I can.

  4. how is it that though paul says (romans7)”we serve in a new way of the spirit apart from the written code” and jesus says (john4)we now “worship in spirit and truth” and (galations 5) the fruit of the spirit is kindness,peace,love,joy,patience,gentlemness,self control,goodness,gentleness,faithfulness………………..you cannot differeniate relationships that are out of abandonment and shamebased lust, from those that are about human bonding. human bonding that are seeks to have a commited life with another and is motivated by mutual love, attraction, and respect.

  5. Hi John,

    I’m not sure I follow your point. Can you clarify it for me? Are you saying that the verses you mentioned would justify same-sex marriage?

  6. lust is a degenerated spirit which comes against the fruit of the spirit. the lust would diminish it and or supplant it.

    are you saying that homosexuals are less loving , kind, patient etc than heterosexuals. or that homosexuals believers are less kind, patient, loving than heterosexual believers.

    if homosexual couplimg was about lust how would they be able to provide loving nurturing homes for raising children equal to heterosexual married couples? not only that, but their shared sexual intimacy enhances that nurturing environment.

    have you fellowshipped with homosexual believers who names are written in the book of life, with whom you share the same inheritance, and have found their committed relationships are filled with shamebased lust.

  7. John, thanks for the clarification.

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here, but either deliberately or by accident you are putting words in my mouth. I never said homosexuals were less loving, kind, patient, etc. I have known many homosexuals and get along with them splendidly.

    But what you are doing is twisting the context of passages and extracting a meaning that isn’t there. The Bible is clear that homosexual behavior is sinful and that there is one ideal for marriage: One man and one woman. Your criteria of homosexual relationships being OK provided they aren’t filled with shame-based lust is completely manufactured and is not a Biblical motif.

    I just did a series that you might be interested in called problems with pro-gay theology.

  8. how am i twisting the context of the passage?

    Romans 1:26-27 (New International Version)

    romans1: 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    if the issue is about lust it has nothing to do with human bonding,. it is about a degeneration that is given to sexual pleasure and sexual obsession. human bonding is not about life style but about sharing a life with another. surely the two have no relationship with each.

    is heterosexual lust in anyway related heterosexual human bonding? does the former negate the later?

    the passage says that god gave them over to “shameful lusts”. if homosexuality is not about shameful lusts, then the passage is not addressing that orientation.

    is our battle against certain forms of expressing sexual intimacy or powers and principalities.

    what is the essence of spirit that is in the orientation of homosexuality, that would make it, come against the spirit of christ and the fruit of the spirit

    all law requires human interpretation, the interpretation is on based on reason. what is your reasoning?

  9. Hi John,

    The NIV loses a little bit in the translation when addressing this point. The men and women gave over their natural “functions” (per the Greek). That would be their sexual functions. The sin was exchanging natural functions for unnatural ones.

    Read v. 27 again. It makes it clear that the men exchanged the functions of the woman for unnatural lusts – i.e., with men.

    My reasoning is based on the plain reading of the text, a more detailed reading of the text, plus the 100% of verses that describe God’s ideal for marriage being one man and one woman, plus the 0% of verses saying anything positive or even benign about homosexual behavior, plus the 100% of verses that mention it denouncing it in the strongest possible terms. It is a very compelling, reason based argument.

  10. are you saying the spirit that motivated them was not lust. then what is the motivating spirit……..according to scripture?

  11. V. 26 starts with “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.” So I would read the verses that came before the “because” to see why God did that. They had sinful desires already and had no interest in following what God had commanded. So He gave them over to their desires.

  12. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    so you are saying that homosexuas created their same sex attraction in their own mind and worship and serve it. they are self deceivers and therefore are given over to lusting after each other.

    that would make homosexuality a sexual addiction. sexual addiction fosters self loathing and low self esteem.

    are you saying that the gay celebrations worldwide in june were a cover for this self loathing and low self esteem.

  13. possibility that the” truth of god” means the truth about the existence of god. they therefore created a god in their own minds fashioned after themselves………………and worshipped it.

    god gave them over to sexual obsession and obsession about sexual pleasure.

    in the the temple worship the priests encouraged uniting with temple prostitudes. one it was income for temple. also it was believed that in uniting with a temple prostitude you were uniting with the god. these practices would definitely foster sexual addiction. sexual addiction causes the abandonment of normal relations.

    im giving you an intepretation based on fact(truth), not belief. what facts do you know about homosexuality that supports your interpretation.

  14. Hi John,

    I don’t know what you mean about gay celebrations and loathing. What does that have to do with the clear commandments of the Bible against homosexual behavior?

    Re. temple prostitutes – once again you have introduced something to the text that just isn’t there. Please see Romans 1 and temple prostitutes.

    I know plenty about homosexuality from a secular perspective (i.e., common causes, the promiscuity, diseases, etc.). But that is just more evidence that sin has consequences.

    What we are discussing here is whether Romans 1 says homosexual behavior is a sin. I’m not sure what is so complicated about this passage to you. It clearly says that men and women abandoned their natural functions and did things very displeasing to God.

    Another good resource for you would be Responding to Pro-Gay Theology. It is very thorough yet readable. Let me know if it answers any of your questions.

  15. bringing the word commandment you are adding to the verses of romans.

    can it be agreed that the words of scripture were actualy writtten thru the holy spirit to point to the spirit of christ.
    so the question is not so much about whart paul wanted to tell us but what the holy spirit what to tell us? because like rest of us paul only saw in part.

    its interesting your method of interpretating scripture………you would have to say anyone who got remarried from divorce was an adulterer……………………and adulterer by choice. and would continue to remain an adulterer as long as they stayed remarried.

    to look on it any other way would be adding words?

  16. Hi John,

    I agree that the Holy Spirit is the author through Paul. Hey, we agree on something! But Paul understood what he was writing, and the words had a specific meaning.

    Re. adultery due to marrying after an un-Biblical divorce – I’d have to look into the Greek to say for sure. I guess I don’t see the connection to these Romans 1 passages. All I’m saying is that if you look at the context and the plain meaning of the words it is saying that God considers homosexual behavior to be a serious sin. It isn’t like that is the only passage making that case, and there are dozens of passages pointing to his ideal for marriage being one man and one woman.

  17. scripture says that only holy spirit knows the mind of god, it says nothing about paul.

    John, I have no idea what your point is here. We agree that the Holy Spirit inspired the text, so that is a good thing.

    i find it amazing your understanding………that if scripture talks about about lust in homosexual acts that its saying that the orientation is a sin . when scripture talks about heterosexuals acts of lust that it is merely about the spirit of the act and not about the orientation. and you see no contradiction.

    Scripture is really quite clear. Sexual acts outside of a one man / one woman marriage are sinful. Lust is also a sin. You are trying to spin it as if someone’s “orientation” is to be a homosexual then that behavior is ok. But the Bible doesn’t even hint at that through 41,173 verses. You have invented it to support your worldview. That is not a good place to be.

    you acknowledge the holy spirit is the author of scripture and and even agree that our battle is against powers and principalities. you ackknowledge that scripture points to the spirit of of christ. but you refuse to answer my question as to the essence of the spirit of homosexuality that it would come against the fruit of the spirit and the spirit of christ.

    John, I’m not dodging your question. I just don’t understand your question or how it is relevant to the discussion. The “spirit of homosexuality” (whatever that is!) is simply sin. God designed us a certain way. Acting outside that sexually is like shaking our fist at him.

    1 thess 5:21 says test EVERYTHING. keep the good.

    you have no test for your belief……….therefore your belief remains unsubstantiated.

    I have no idea what you mean by that. I put a lot of thought into what the Scriptures say and have often changed my views when confronted with new information.

    for romans 1 :26-27 is about abandonment. to abandon something you have to have it. yet there are consistent testimonies of people who discovered orientation because they have none of the sexual interests of their heterosexual friends from 6- to the end of adolescence. how can they abandon something they dont have?

    Yes, it is about abandoning your natural FUNCTION. Not your desires, your function. Read v. 27 again: “men abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.” And how many 6 yr. olds have sexual feelings? Countless kids suffer from sexual abuse and/or bad relationships with loved ones. That may influence their “orientation” but it doesn’t make the behavior OK. The loving thing to do is to help them and discourage them from behavior that is physically, spiritually and emotionally destructive.

    there is a very specific mention of shamebased lust. in spite of acknowledging scripture is a ook about spirit. you make no diffrentiation between a spirit given to sexual obsession and sexual pleasure and a spirit whose intent is share a life with another embracing the fruit of the spirit.

    It isn’t that “I” don’t make that differentiation. The text doesn’t make that differentiation, and you are trying to add it.

    you refuse to discuss your understanding in the context of spirit. even though romans says that all the laws can be summed up in the commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself.

    And you refuse to acknowledge that you are desparate to twist the Bible to make homosexual behavior acceptable. And you just can’t take God’s Word seriously and get to that point. It just isn’t there. 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms. 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman. 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children). 0% of 41,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

  18. scripture says that only the holy spirit knows the mind of god, it says nothing about paul.

    John, I have no idea what your point is here. We agree that the Holy Spirit inspired the text, so that is a good thing.

    IM USING CAPITAOL LETTERS, NOT FOR EMPHASIS, BUT SO YOU CAN EASILY SEE MY RESPONSE.

    THE POINT IM MAKING IS THAT PAUL IS LIKE THE REST OF US, HE SAW IN PART. AND I FIND THAT ANY SCRIPTURE HAS MULTIPLE MEANINGS……………NONE OF THEM CONTRADICTING EACH OTHER.

    Neil said: I have no objection to the fact that a particular scripture covers different topics. I’m just saying that this one is rather clear in saying homosexual behavior, among other things, is sinful in the eyes of God.

    2 Timothy 3:16
    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

    i find it amazing your understanding………that if scripture talks about about lust in homosexual acts that its saying that the orientation is a sin . when scripture talks about heterosexuals acts of lust that it is merely about the spirit of the act and not about the orientation. and you see no contradiction.

    Scripture is really quite clear. Sexual acts outside of a one man / one woman marriage are sinful. Lust is also a sin. You are trying to spin it as if someone’s “orientation” is to be a homosexual then that behavior is ok. But the Bible doesn’t even hint at that through 41,173 verses. You have invented it to support your worldview. That is not a good place to be.

    HOW IS SCRIPTURE CLEAR. WAS SCRIPTURE WAS SO CLEAR ABOUT SLAVERY THAT IT CONTINUED FOR 1800 YEARS. AND EVEN THEN IT TOOK A WAR THAT KILLED MILLIONS TO SETTLE THE ISSUE. IT WAS AMONG GOD FEARING PEOPLE…………CHRISTIANS, PEOPLE WHO BELIEVED THEIR NAME WAS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE AND WHO SHARED THE SAME INHERITANCE.

    Neil said: People are sinful, so SOME people abused scripture to support U.S. style slavery. In the same way, people are twisting scripture today to ignore the clear teachings against homosexual behavior.

    SLAVERY AT ONE POINT IN HISTORY, WAS A LEGITIMATE MEANS FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH AND POWER………………………RIGHT UP TO PHILEMON. SOME WHERE AFTER THAT PERIOD IT WAS TESTED. FIRST FOR EUROPEAN WHITES…………..THEN EVENTUALLY FOR ALL.

    THE TEST WAS NOT THRU BELIEF WHICH IS NOT A TEST, BUT THRU WITNESS ACCOMPANIED BY REASON.

    THERE WAS WITNESS TO THE HORRORS OF THE PAIN AND SUFFERING OF OTHERS IN SPITE OF THEIR ETHNIC DIFFERENCE. A WORLDWIDE AWARENESS EVOLVED THAT ALL HUMANS WERE THE SAME IN SPITE OF THIS ETHNIC DIFFERENCE.

    NOW THE TEACHING ON HOMOSEXUALITY BEING A SIN IS BEING TESTED AS IDIRECTED IN I THESS 5:21. THE TEST IS THRU WITNESS AND AS WITH SLAVERY, IT IS A TEST THRU WITNESS ACCOMPANIED BY REASON.

    WITNESS FOR A BELIEVER INVOLVES FELLOWSHIP..

    7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin.

    IN ROMANS 7 PAUL SAYS “WE SERVE THE SPIRIT IN A NEW WAY APART FROM THE WRITTEN CODE” …………………….. SALVATION CANNNOT COME THRU FOLLOWING THE LAW…………BUT THRU GRACE THRU FAITH EPHESIANS 2

    TO SAY” THE BIBLE SAYS” IT IS A STATEMENT OF BELIEF NOT FACT…….. AND BELIEF IS ABOUT THE CONCEPT OF “I”…………… I BELIEVE,……. I DONT BELIEVE,………. I BELIEVE THIS TRUE.THIS NOT TRUE…………….THERE IS NO FELLOWSHIP IN IT. AND THERE IS NO TEST.

    HERE IS A SUMMARY OF MY BELIEF.

    LEV……. NOT ALL THE PROHIBITIONS WERE OF THEMSELVES SINS………..EATING SHELLFISH, DOING HOUSEHOLD CHORES ON THE SABBATH.

    Neil said: Please click on Leviticus to the left and read about ch. 18 and 21. Lev. 18:22 is another very clear verse that was not a ceremonial law like eating shellfish. You can tell by its context, among other things.

    NUM 15:32 While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, 34 and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. 35 Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” 36 So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses.

    GEN…….GANG RAPE

    ROM …….. ABANDONMENT OF RELATIONSHIP, MOTIVATED BY A SPIRIT OF SHAME BASED LUST FOR SEXUAL PLEASURE AND OBSESSION HAS NO CORRELATION TO HUMAN BONDING THAT IS MOTIVATED BY MUTUAL LOVE, RESPECT, AND ATTRACTION.

    TIM AND COR………..THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION (KJ) “DEFILEMENT OF ONESELF WITH MANKIND” THERE IS NO CORRELATIOON BETWEEN DEFILEMENT AND AFFIRMATION.OUT OF MUTUAL LOVE, RESPECT, AND ATTRACTION.

    ROMANS 12:1 1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

    CAN WE SAY WE RENEW OUR MINDS BY REPEATING OVER AND OVER OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE LAW.. OUR HOMOSEXUAL BROTHERS IN CHRIST SAY IN THEIR HEARTS THAT THEY BELIEVE THEY ARE ATTRACTED TO THE SAME SEX AND IT IS OF GOD.

    Neil said: Sorry, but I don’t buy that it is of God. God was abundantly clear in his Word.

    WE RENEW OF OUR MINDS THRU TESTING AND EXAMINATION. TESTING THE SPIRIT OF THEIR HEARTS IN THIS ATTRACTION. IF HOMOSEXUALITY EMBRACES ACT AND SPIRIT OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT LOVE, JOY,PEACE,KINDNESS,PATIENCE,GOODNESS,FAITHFULNESS,GENTLENESS, AND SELF CONTROL., THEN IT IS OF GOD. IF EMBRACES ACTS AND SPIRIT OF sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. IT IS OF THE SIN NATURE.

    IF IT EMBRACES BOTH THEN IN AND OF ITSELF IT IS NOT A SIN. BUT INSTEAD IS AN ORIENTATION THRU WHICH FREE WILL WILL DETERMINE WHAT IS EMBRACED.

    Neil said: John, I’m sorry to be so blunt, but that is just gibberish to me. You are rationalizing away sin and twisting the Word to suit your desires.

    .

    HOWEVER,THERE IS NO SCRIPTURE THAT SAYS WE ARE IN CHRIST IF WE STAND ON OUR UNDERSTANDINGS OF THE LAW AND PLACE BELIEF OVER FELLOWSHIP.

    1JOHN1 GIVES A BLUEPRINT FOR TESTING. 1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

    STANDING ON THE SIN BELIEF HAS FOSTERED. HOMOSEXUALS BEING ABANDONED BY FRIENDS AND FAMILY, REJECTED BY SOCIETY AND THE CHURCH, AND SUBJECT TO ASSAULT, INCARCERATION AND MURDER..

    Neil said: And I think we agree that those are all bad things. Seriously. I don’t condone harrassing or bullying of gays at any time for any reason. But that doesn’t mean the behavior isn’t sinful.

    IT WASNT THE CHURCH THAT RESCUED THEM, BUT THE COURTS…………………. BECAUSE THE COURTS DEALT WITH TESTING…………….TESTING THRU WHAT EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS AND REASONING…………..NOT THRU ACCOUNTS OF BELIEF.

    John, I’m not dodging your question. I just don’t understand your question or how it is relevant to the discussion. The “spirit of homosexuality” (whatever that is!) is simply sin. God designed us a certain way. Acting outside that sexually is like shaking our fist at him.

    YOU ARE STILL DOING BELIEF…………………………….WHAT IS YOUR TEST FOR YOUR DESIGN THEORY. SURELY YOU ARE NOT SUGGESTING THAT YOU KNOW THE MIND OF GOD.

    Neil said: John, you claim to know the mind of God and that He approves of homosexual behavior. I know quite a bit about God based on what He has revealed to me through his Word.

    DOESNT IT SEEM THAT YOU ARE LIMITING GOD BY SAYING , WITH ALL THE VARIETIIES OF BIOLOGICAL EXISTANCE, WITH HUMANS, GOD ORDAINS ONLY THIS FORM OF HUMAN BONDING. WHERE IN SCRIPTURE DOES GOD IS LIMIT HIMSELF TO A PARTICULAR FORM TO MANIFEST HIS SPIRIT OF LIFE.

    Neil said: I’m not limiting anyone, let alone God. He “limited” himself by his creation of men and women and by how He revealed himself in his Word.

    “HOW DOES OUR SERVING THE SPIRIT IN A NEW WAY APART FROM THE WRITTEN CODE” EXEMPLIFY YOUR IDEA ABOUT FORM. ISNT LIFTING UP SPIRIT IN OPPOSITION TO LIFTING UP FORM.

    HERE AGAIN WHERE IS YOUR TEST YOU HAVE NO TEST………..JUST REPETITON OF BELIEF

    thess 5:21 says test EVERYTHING. keep the good.

    you have no test for your belief……….therefore your belief remains unsubstantiated.

    I have no idea what you mean by that. I put a lot of thought into what the Scriptures say and have often changed my views when confronted with new information.

    JOHN 5:39You diligently study[c] the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

    HOW DO WE COME TO CHRIST……………..THRU FELLOWSHIP, WHERE RATHER THAN OURSELVES BEING THE CENTER, OUR SHARED RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM BECOMES THE CENTER.

    Neil said: Huh? We come to Christ through faith in him. Fellowship is swell but I don’t see how that pertains to the topic.

    IF I ASKED YOU ABOUT ANY HOMOSEXUAL. WERE YOU THERE WHEN HE WAS 6 AND WAS MAKING CHOICES DIFFERENT FROM HIS HETEROSEXUAL FRIENDS? WERE YOU THERE WHEN HE WAS BEING RAISED AND INTERACTING WITH HIS FATHER AND MOTHER? WERE YOU THERE WHEN IN ADOLESENCE HE HAD NO INTEREST IN THE OPPOSITE SEX LIKE HIS HETEROSEXUAL FRIENDS? WERE YOU THERE WHEN HE TRIED TO MAKE HIMSELF HAVE THAT INTEREST TO BE LIKE HIS FRIENDS? WERE YOU THERE WHEN HE EXPERIENCED HIS FIRST LONGING FOR SOMEONE OF THE SAME SEX?

    IF YOU HAVENT THEN YOU HAVE NEVER FELLOWSHIPPED WITH HIM.

    Neil said: I’ve fellowshipped with plenty of gays. I don’t have to know everything about someone’s challenges in life to be able to say that adultery is sinful for them. In the same way, I don’t have to know everything about them to say homosexual behavior is sinful. God made that clear to us.

    THE POINT BEING ,THAT FELLOWSHIP IS NOT ABOUT RELIGIOUS NICETIES, BUT IS ABOUT VERY INTIMATE SHARING OF THE SOUL.

    for romans 1 :26-27 is about abandonment. to abandon something you have to have it. yet there are consistent testimonies of people who discovered orientation because they have none of the sexual interests of their heterosexual friends from 6- to the end of adolescence. how can they abandon something they dont have?

    Yes, it is about abandoning your natural FUNCTION. Not your desires, your function. Read v. 27 again: “men abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.” And how many 6 yr. olds have sexual feelings? Countless kids suffer from sexual abuse and/or bad relationships with loved ones. That may influence their “orientation” but it doesn’t make the behavior OK. The loving thing to do is to help them and discourage them from behavior that is physically, spiritually and emotionally destructive.

    DOES SCIENCE DICTATE YOUR THEOLOGY? IF SCIENCE SUDDENLY SAID THERE WAS A RESPONSIBLE GENE, OR THAT RELATIONSHIP WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE

    OF PEOPLE BEING GAY, WOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR THEOLOGY ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY.

    WE CANT RELY ON SCIENCE BUT WE CAN RELY ON TESTING OF THE SPIRIT THRU FELLOWSHIP IN CHRIST.

    Neil said: No, I don’t rely on science to determine what is sinful and what is not, but I do see in natural law that homosexual behavior is wrong. People have predispositions to all sorts of sins. By the time I was 6 it was easy for me to lie or even steal. Whether it was genetic or not it was still a sin.

    BY THE NUMBERS THERE ARE 12 MILLION GAYS IN THIS COUNTRY……………320 MILLION WORLDWIDE………….MILLIONS IN COUNTRIES THAT ARE MORE ACCEPTING THAN US.

    ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT YOUR UNTESTED THEORY, ACCOUNTS FOR THE 320 MILLION. IF NOT, WHAT PERCENTAGE. HOW DO YOU ACCOUNT FOR THE REST?

    Neil said: That theory is well-tested and backs up my point, but it is irrelevant to what God’s Word says anyway. Even if it were genetic it would still be sinful.

    IF YOUR THEORY WAS CORRECT, BECAUSE THE CONCEPT OF PARENTING IS RELATIVELY RECENT, THERE WOULD HAVE HAD TO BEEN AN EPIDEMIC OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE LAST 1900 YEARS.

    AND HERE AGAIN WHAT IS THE TEST FOR THIS THEORY.

    there is a very specific mention of shamebased lust. in spite of acknowledging scripture is a ook about spirit. you make no diffrentiation between a spirit given to sexual obsession and sexual pleasure and a spirit whose intent is share a life with another embracing the fruit of the spirit.

    It isn’t that “I” don’t make that differentiation. The text doesn’t make that differentiation, and you are trying to add it.

    HERE AGAIN I REFER BACK TO SLAVERY BEING TODAY, AN EVIL AND AGAINST GOD, WHICH IS ALSO NOT IN SCRIPTURE

    THEIR WAS NO CONCEPT OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN THAT DAY. THERE WAS NO UNDERSTANDING OF 2 PEOPLE HAVING THE SAME FEELINGS AND DEVOTION AND WANTING TO MAKE A LIFETIME COMITMENT LIKE WITH HETEROSEXUALS. HOW COULD IT HAVE POSSIBLYHAVE BEEN PUT IN SCRIPTURE?.

    Neil said: John, that is a baseless argument. There were tons of homosexual relationships then. And your notion that Almighty God didn’t know about this behavior is simply untrue.

    SLAVERY BEING EVIL WASNT.

    JOHN 16: 12″I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come”.

    you refuse to discuss your understanding in the context of spirit. even though romans says

    that all the laws can be summed up in the commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself.

    And you refuse to acknowledge that you are desparate to twist the Bible to make homosexual behavior acceptable. And you just can’t take God’s Word seriously and get to that point. It just isn’t there. 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms. 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman. 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children). 0% of 41,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

    AT THE TIME SCRIPTURE WAS WRITTEN IT WAS WAY AHEAD OF ITS TIME ,COMPARED TO THE SURROUNDING CULTURES. TREATING A WIFE LIKE ANYTHING OTHER THAN A PIECE OF PROPERTY, AND HAVING A ONE FLESH RELATIUONSHIP.

    EVENTUALLY LIMITING ONESELF TO ONE WIFE.

    IN WHAT PERIOD COULD ANYTHING HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY…………….SHARING A LIFE………..TWO PEOPLE OF THE SAME SEX COMMITED TO EACH OTHER……………………………LOOK AT HOW DIFFICULT THAT UNDERSTANDING IS FOR YOU AND OTHERS IN 2007, APART FROM ANYTHING WRITTEN IN SCRIPTURE.

    Neil said: Now you are contradicting yourself. The message of the Bible was radical for its time. If you think God was too shy or uninformed to address your “loving” homosexual relationships then that is baseless. If they are genetic and productive as you say then of course they would have had those same desires then.

    Have you read Responding to Pro-Gay Theology? I really encourage it.

  19. the tragedy of romans 1 is, that heterosexual christians have passed it off as the homosexual sin chapter. by doing so have become unaware of its true power. why would the holy spirit after verse 18, about gods”eternal presence and divine power” so that none have an” excuse”, launch into a concept of homosexual sin. what would be the point?

    Neil said: If people only use Romans 1 to address homosexuality then I agree that is wrong. There is so much more to it than that. It says a lot about atheists and how they are without excuse. It also lists lots of sins besides homosexual behavior (as I pointed out in the original post).

    But the fact is that he does use homosexual behavior as a clear example of denying what God has revealed to us in creation and worshipping the wrong things.

    what it launches into is an explanation of our sin nature. so that in romans 2 when the holy spirit says that those” who judge others are guilty of the same things”…………….he is speaking the truth.

    but romans not only speaks of our sin nature, but the wrong choices that give us over to that sin nature.

    we daily chose not to glorifiy god and give thanks for all that is in our lives. we look at our suffering and our bane of need with shame and denial. and are given over to foolish thinking

    we exchange the the glory of god for images of the haves, the powerful, the celebrity and are given over to sinful desires of hearts. desires for acquistion, coveting,and envy,etc along with every physical excess

    we exchange the truth of god, his divine presence aand eternal power and worship and serve our own thinkings and our own understandings(halocaust, antisemitism,world imperialism, homophobia.) instead of our creator.. we are given over to shameful lusts. we abandon normal relationships of loving our neighbor for shame based lusts of ethnic purity, worldwide control, and erradication of anything that threatens us.

    we do not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of god and his ways, and are given over to a complete freedom to do whatever comes to mind and thus are filled with every kind of evil.

    and even though we know that to do all these things brings death,we continue to do them and approve of those who do likewise.

    what could be a greater case for our need for a savior, a declaration that is the purpose of romans

  20. Neil said: Now you are contradicting yourself. The message of the Bible was radical for its time. If you think God was too shy or uninformed to address your “loving” homosexual relationships then that is baseless. If they are genetic and productive as you say then of course they would have had those same desires then.

    then why………..

    john16:12″I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.

    John, that is a good question. The answer lies in the context. Who is Jesus talking to here? The Disciples. He was saying that He would send the Holy Spirit to them. He did so at Pentecost. He guided them into all truth. They or their close followers documented it in the New Testament.

    It did not result in any moral laws being changed.

    It did not mean that God would change his moral law in the late 20th / early 21st century and only reveal it to liberal theologians in the West.

  21. please explain “natural law” i find no reference to this in scripture.

    Hi John – my point was that the natural law concept is outside scripture (generally speaking). As one writer defined it, natural law represents moral things that “we can’t not know.” That is, everyone knows them intuitively (e.g., don’t murder). Romans 1 alludes to it by saying how God revealed himself to us in his creation so that “men are without excuse.” A crude way to put it with respect to homosexual behavior is that the parts don’t fit, so we intuitively know there is something wrong with it.

  22. you are right. for either of us to say that what is or is not in scripture is indicative of a particular thinking of god has no basis of the truth. because no one accept the holy spirit knows the mind of god.

    We have some long threads going here so I can’t recall the exact context or what I said. I would agree that we can’t know the mind of God 100% (He tells us that various times – e.g., “My ways are not your ways” plus places like the end of Job).

    But the Holy Spirit revealed what we do need to know about God and He did so in the Bible.

  23. i attempt to use context in romans and you say that im adding something to the language. i hold up what is clearly said in john 16 and you add context. is this not a contradiction? one requires context , but context is not acceptable for the other.

    Neil said: Context always counts. But you weren’t noting the context, you were adding the prostitution angle which was not in the context at all.

  24. Neil said: I’ve fellowshipped with plenty of gays. I don’t have to know everything about someone’s challenges in life to be able to say that adultery is sinful for them. In the same way, I don’t have to know everything about them to say homosexual behavior is sinful. God made that clear to us.

    when i was part of kairos for 7 years(prison cursillo)
    no inmate, who was my fellow believer and brother in christ ever stood up and said being a robber, rapist, or murderer affirmed me and the motivation to do it was from god.

    Neil said: You did Kairos prison ministry? Very cool. I just started this year and am really enjoying it. I go again this Saturday for our monthly visit.

    that is what i find incredible. that when a brother in christ, who thru living his life he comes to the understanding that his orientation affirms him and is of of god. (this is a brother who shares the same inheritance and whose name is also written in the book of life) the response from another brother is to tell him he is the same as an adulterer………………without testing or 1john1 fellowship. is this how one “serves the spirit in a new way apart from the written code?”

    People are good at deceiving themselves. We all do it. And Satan is all too glad to help. People have rationalized divorce and adultery, among other things, and tried to put God’s seal on it.

    Claiming to speak for God is a serious matter (Deut. 18). If God’s Word says something and someone insists that God told them otherwise, I’m sticking with the Bible. I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic to these folks, but they will be much better off being celibate.

    Also, I have known people who claimed to be Christians but were not.

    Your argument that God gave them special revelation simply proves too much. One could use that to rationalize all sorts of things. Please read Problems with pro-gay theology where I illustrate this in more detail.

  25. are you saying that context doesnt include that in rome where this letter was addressed, during the peiod it was being received, the shrines of pagan worship involved patronizing male and female prostitutes. how is that possible?

    i told you before all scripture has more than one meaning and inference…………………….none contradicting each other. i thought you agreed with me.

    John, I think I see what you are trying to say now. If Paul’s text gave reason to believe that the context was prostitution you might have an argument. But the context doesn’t. Please read Romans 1 and Temple Prostitutes before commenting on the prostitute thing again. I write about it and link to another site giving 15 (count ’em) reasons why that is a poor argument.

  26. Hi John – my point was that the natural law concept is outside scripture (generally speaking). As one writer defined it, natural law represents moral things that “we can’t not know.” That is, everyone knows them intuitively (e.g., don’t murder). Romans 1 alludes to it by saying how God revealed himself to us in his creation so that “men are without excuse.” A crude way to put it with respect to homosexual behavior is that the parts don’t fit, so we intuitively know there is something wrong with it.

    the parts dont fit is not necessarily true. (1) the anus is an erroganous zone(2)10-15 % heterosexual married couples have been practicing some form of anal penetration. which means that as many heterosexuals are practicing anal sex as homosexuals if not more(3) the body is capable of anal orgasms. (4) i have never heard of message from the pulpit that said this expression of sexuality among heterosexual couples was against christ.

    as far as procreation goes anyone can procreate…………without even trying to. but what is important who can provide a loving nurturing environment for raising children………….which is evident by the number of gay couples who are adopting unwanted children from heterosexual unions.

    John, exceptions make bad rules. If you are appealing to nature as your reason why gays should be recognized for their “marriages” then you would have to concede that by nature they shouldn’t be parents. It is simply not natural (get it? natural law?)

    surely these couples in order to adopt, have to show evidence of a relationship of mutual love , respect ,and devotion.

    if homosexuals are not found wanting in any sector of society compared to heterosexuals why would they fall short in the area of adoption and marriage.

    if they dont fall short in all these areas, how could they be considered to be against christ. surely there has to be some evidence besides scriptural belief.

    if there is no evidence apart from scriptural belief then the massachussetts supreme court was correct in allowing them to marry.

    if the only evidence is scriptural belief then in this seperation of church and state country. the church will eventually be the only place where homosexuality will not be given full equality.

    and because the church is the culture and the culture is the church it will happen even in the church or most churches.

    John, please stop bringing in random points that have nothing to do with the clear teachings of the Bible. <== my apologies for this last comment – it was too snippy.

  27. i have seen the power of the spirit in miraculous healngs and testimonies but never as powerfully as i have witnessed it in kairos.

    its a mystery how so healing power is unleashed in such a short amount of time.

    i’ve heard spiritual counselors remark after attending a weekend, that what has taken normally ten years to accomplish they have seen being acomplished in one weekend.

    the recitivism of prison enmates was 85%. for those who attended the weekend, even if they did that and nothing else the was 15%.

  28. Yes, isn’t that amazing? What else could cause such dramatic changes in recidivism?

    How did you discover the ministry? I learned about it from some friends at church.

    I especially enjoy the follow-ups, as you can keep up with them and meet new inmates.

    I’m sure some of them may be faking it, but there are dozens who are so passionate about the Word and have such dramatically changed lives.

    I wrote about Kairos here.

  29. my understanding about marriage is that it is about vows to each other. i know of no vows that bring up procreation. in essence, its about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. that 2 people married is greater than two living seperate lives. also the vows are spiritual. they are of spirit apart from biological circumstance, though they are lived out in the flesh. what physical circumstance can limit the love, devotion, and commitment that two people can have for each other.

    in community i have seen couples of the same sex living together in a devoted way that rivals some marriages. why would the inclusion of intimate attraction that embraces that same devotion suddenly transform that relationship from blessing to sin.

    Hi John – some of Bible passages repeated most often are about marriage being for one man and one woman, such as Mark 10:6-9 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

    Over and over the ideal is defined for marriage and parenting.

    With all due respect, you are looking things backwards by saying the relationship is being transformed from “blessing to sin.” Since homosexual behavior is considered a sin, there is no way for the relationships to be considered a blessing in God’s eyes in the first place.

    There is nothing wrong with gay people loving each other. There is something wrong with adding sexual relations to any relationship that isn’t a Biblical marriage. I realize they find that answer to be lacking, but there are countless relationships where adding sex does not improve them – minors/adults, parents/children, in-laws, teacher/students, etc.

  30. .do you understand that you continue to place belief above witness of the spirit. when witness of the spirit runs thru the entire bible.

    if peter had held onto your concept of belief he would never have been able to give witness to the spirit among the gentiles at the house of cornelius.

    surely that same witness of spirit is experienced daily, among believers who share the spirit of christ.

    please show me in scripture where belief takes precedence over…………..”which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched”(1john1)

    if romans 1 says that god has given man the capacity to know his divine power and eternal presence thru what was created, how can witness of the spirit be disregarded?

    where in scripture does it say that belief takes precedent over this?

  31. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

    Over and over the ideal is defined for marriage and parenting.

    With all due respect, you are looking things backwards by saying the relationship is being transformed from “blessing to sin.” Since homosexual behavior is considered a sin, there is no way for the relationships to be considered a blessing in God’s eyes in the first place.

    There is nothing wrong with gay people loving each other. There is something wrong with adding sexual relations to any relationship that isn’t a Biblical marriage. I realize they find that answer to be lacking, but there are countless relationships where adding sex does not improve them – minors/adults, parents/children, in-laws, teacher/students, etc.

    john roberts Says: many relationships that eventually embrace sexual intimacy, start out as deeply committed friendships. iin fact people are encouraged to have devoted friendships with each other before they consider sexual intimacy.

    thats why i say again(this involves a spiritual witness) how does the eventual embracing of sexual intimacy by a couple that has a devotion that rivals some marriages, that embraces that same devotion, transform what was a blessing into a sin.

    John, I addressed the “spiritual witness” problems in the next comment. The fact that you can find a few gay couples who are very devoted is irrelevant to the question of whether the Bible describes homosexual behavior as a sin. I’m not sure how many other ways to say that. You are taking a sin and trying to transform it into a blessing, and claiming that God gave special individualized revelations to do so.

  32. John, I addressed the “witness of the spirit” piece in this post. Please read it as I think it answers your questions. God does not give individualized moral messages to his followers. Your argument is somewhat circular as well, using the alleged witness of the spirit – which you say is shown in the Bible – to trump the Bible.

    Among other things, I addressed 8 reasons that the Peter example doesn’t apply:

    1. The person with the revelation was Peter, one of Jesus’ inner circle and a key leader in the early church. It wasn’t made to you, me or someone like Ms. Coffman. That doesn’t mean God couldn’t reveal something important like this to us, just that it is highly unlikely.

    2. The visions were clear and emphatic. Peter was given the vision three times.

    3. Peter was inclined to reject the meaning of the vision, whereas these pro-gay theologians have views on human sexuality that are virtually indistinguishable from the prevailing culture and they are glad to accept this “new revelation.”

    4. There was external validation for Peter from the Roman centurion.

    5. This lesson showed up in the Bible, not outside it. I’m not saying miracles don’t happen outside the Bible. It is just that things appear in the Bible for a reason. God changing his ceremonial laws was one of those “big deals.”

    6. This vision overturned a ceremonial law, not a moral law. There are zero examples in the Bible of God reversing his moral laws. In fact, the more Jesus talked the stricter the laws seemed to get, because He emphasized the spirit of the law and not just the letter (i.e., lust was akin to committing adultery, anger was akin to murder, etc.). The dietary laws never applied to Gentiles.

    7. The “God has changed his mind view” is primarily being “revealed” to theologically liberal Christians in the U.S. . . . the very ones who often deny his Word to being with! Go figure.

    8. The Bible gives strong warnings not to add or take away from its teachings.

  33. 1. The person with the revelation was Peter, one of Jesus’ inner circle and a key leader in the early church. It wasn’t made to you, me or someone like Ms. Coffman. That doesn’t mean God couldn’t reveal something important like this to us, just that it is highly unlikely.

    you indicating that you know the mind of god.

    And so are you! That argument is a tiresome straw man, John. Please give it up. I’m just referring to his Word, which seems a pretty logical place to go since it claims to speak for him 3,000 times or so. You are claiming to know the mind of God because He allegedly told some gay people that their “marriage” and behavior were ok – even though that is a concept completely foreign to the Bible.

    Consider Acts 17:11 (“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”). God tells us to test things in light of scripture. That is what I am doing.

    2. The visions were clear and emphatic. Peter was given the vision three times.

    god gives a vision to one, another a conviction of sadness(2cor7:10) another something else. you cannot limit god with a system of rules for revealing himself

    2 Cor 7:10 isn’t about individual revelations of God’s moral laws. It is about Godly sorrow and true repentance over sins that were outlined in the Bible. I’m not limiting God. He “limits” himself in his Word.

    3. Peter was inclined to reject the meaning of the vision, whereas these pro-gay theologians have views on human sexuality that are virtually indistinguishable from the prevailing culture and they are glad to accept this “new revelation.”

    here again you are saying you know the mind of god. if you check your history you will see that many times secular society has lead the church. which is quite possible for god todo. here again there are no limits on what god will use to show his will. here again you are asserting you know the mind of god.

    Please provide examples of where God changed moral laws in the Bible. Then explain to me why I should trust these liberal theologians who typically deny all sorts of essentials of the faith. They claim to have direct revelation of the mind of God, and you claim to believe them. And you keep insisting that I am wrong because I trust the clear teachings of the Bible rather than their revelations.

    4. There was external validation for Peter from the Roman centurion.

    5. This lesson showed up in the Bible, not outside it. I’m not saying miracles don’t happen outside the Bible. It is just that things appear in the Bible for a reason. God changing his ceremonial laws was one of those “big deals.”

    like in our discussion before you are assuming you know that if something literally isnt written in scripture it isnt of god. you are assuming you know the mind of god. why something is in scripture why it is not.

    6. This vision overturned a ceremonial law, not a moral law. There are zero examples in the Bible of God reversing his moral laws. In fact, the more Jesus talked the stricter the laws seemed to get, because He emphasized the spirit of the law and not just the letter (i.e., lust was akin to committing adultery, anger was akin to murder, etc.). The dietary laws never applied to Gentiles.

    what about the issue of slavery did christ condemn it did peter condemn it.

    you continue to cling your understanding of the law when paul says our salvation does not come from following the law (romans 7)
    This is a straw man argument. We aren’t talking about salvation. We are talking about God’s moral laws which He wants Christians to follow. See John 14:21.

    And there are plenty of explanations on the slavery thing. Let’s not get off track with a red herring.

    7. The “God has changed his mind view” is primarily being “revealed” to theologically liberal Christians in the U.S. . . . the very ones who often deny his Word to being with! Go figure.

    why would you try to create division with your brothers in christ(galations 5). how can you possibly consider making a blanket statement when scripture requires an eye witness of each indivdual violation.

    the people who voted for bishop robinson gave testimony of their prayer and seeking christ’s counsel before voting.

    John, that is an ad homimen argument (attacking the messenger, not the message). You are accusing me of creating division, which is hugely ironic and a joke. Are you saying that the orthodox view of the church was that homosexual behavior was acceptable and now I am coming along and trying to change that?

    There are countless false teachers in the church. The people supporting Bishop Robinson and pushing the gay marriage thing in general are apostates. Seriously. They typically deny the divinity and exclusivity of Jesus, the authority of the Bible, etc. They are the ones causing division.

    2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

    but you dont believe in a spirit witness so you cant go them for testimony as to how the spirit of christ in them compelled them to vote for robinson

    Right. I think they are listening to Satan, not God, because what they say contradicts the Word.

    8. The Bible gives strong warnings not to add or take away from its teachings.

    apart from revelation, which is about what the holy spirit is revealing, where in scripture does it say this.

    I’ll be glad to share the verses if you’ll agree to concede my point once I do so.

  34. John, I addressed the “spiritual witness” problems in the next comment. The fact that you can find a few gay couples who are very devoted is irrelevant to the question of whether the Bible describes homosexual behavior as a sin. I’m not sure how many other ways to say that. You are taking a sin and trying to transform it into a blessing, and claiming that God gave special individualized revelations to do so.

    a few gay out of 12 million and 320 million worldwide…………. how is that possible.

    you misrepresent what scripture says………….its not about what scripture says………………its about what you believe scripture says

    Huh? God is not the author of confusion. We don’t get our own personalized message from the text. Adultery is wrong, period -even if God “tells” you that it is ok.

  35. i know you addressed peter’s vision., but i dont think you addressed the below points.

    please show me in scripture where belief takes precedence over…………..”which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched”(1john1)

    if romans 1 says that god has given man the capacity to know his divine power and eternal presence thru what was created, how can witness of the spirit be disregarded?

    where in scripture does it say that belief takes precedent over this?

    John, I find your whole line of reasoning here to be confusing and un-Biblical. Scripture trumps your feelings. End of story. I’m not saying belief takes precedence, I’m saying scripture does.

    Your quote from John is out of context. Consider who is writing to us: The Apostle John! Do you think the feelings of a 21st century liberal theologian take precedence over what was clearly handed down to the Apostles?

  36. what scripture says this?

  37. John, what are you referring to – with all the comments I wasn’t sure!

  38. excuse me im being unclear. there is no such thing as just scripture…………….but what one BELIEVES scripture says.

    because the scripture is written thru the eastern mind and eastern culture it speaks thru metaphor and inference among other things.

    and nothing can be seen in scripture accept thru the grace of the holy spirit.

    it is interesting that you cannot have discussion without aspersions to your brothers in christ who you consider to have liberal ways of thinking whatever that means. my own understanding is that there is no lliberal and no conservative only christ.

    recently had it explained to me that liberal and conservative has to do with the way one approaches the gospel. conservative being about literalism and liberal is about humanism. however regardless, both should eventually come to the same conclusions.

    im an evangelical, charasmatic, who believes in the inerrancy of scripture. it is important for me to acknowledge what is written…………………..regardless whether, i understand it or can agree with it. for instance i acknowledge the passages about there being no forgiveness for those who blastpheme the holy spirit. i know it is written but i dont understand it.

  39. Hi John,

    I wouldn’t classify you as a liberal theologian given your generally high view of scripture.

    When I speak of those who are liberal theologians and those who supported Robinson I am thinking of people like Bishop Shelby Spong who says thing like, “The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed.”

    In that one statement Spong flatly denies the atonement, scriptural authority, the divinity of Jesus, the nature of sin, most of the Bible, and who knows what else. For someone to believe the opposite of the essentials of the faith and to call themselves Christian is just wrong. You are not in that camp, but many of those who share your view on homosexuality are.

    We sort of agree on the importance of scripture. And while some things are complicated I have found that many aren’t complicated at all. So why don’t we stick to the thing that we agree would be the final court of arbitration – the Bible?

    I am not a literalist (I’ve written about that on my other blog). I do believe the Bible is the Word of God and I seek to understand and follow it as clearly as possible.

    I have tried to use that as the source for my reasoning here but I am continually accused of claiming to “know the mind of God.” Since you believe in inerrancy as well I’m surprised we haven’t made more progress on this topic.

  40. are you saying that when your words are “god is doing this” “god’s intent is this” or “god thinks this a sin” or because “it is in scripture god thinks this ” or because” it isnt in scripture this is god’s attitude about this” you are not claiming to know the mind of god?

    Sigh. How else would you like me to say it? The Bible reveals the parts of the mind of God that He wants us to know.

    When the Bible says “Do not murder,” do you think it is safe to quote that as “Do not murder?”

    John, you’ll need to move onto something else. You have brought up this “mind of God” thing countless times and have yet to demonstrate why 1) it is a bad thing and 2) what it has to do with this issue.

    Your premise just seems incoherent to me. You claim to believe the Bible is inerrant. Then you have a problem with me explaining my views based on the Bible as if that is some sort of sin. Yet you draw your own conclusions from the Bible, including this apparently clear and unassailable view that God will speak to us outside the Bible and change his moral laws.

    If you don’t think the Bible is understandable when it is God’s inerrant Word, why would I possibly place reliance on what people claim God is telling them – especially when it is the opposite of what the Bible says and when it hasn’t undergone the scrutiny the Bible has? Please answer that.

    Are you saying that Paul isn’t understandable but God’s “revelations” to your friends are?

  41. Huh? God is not the author of confusion. We don’t get our own personalized message from the text. Adultery is wrong, period -even if God “tells” you that it is ok.

    why are you trying to be so simplistic? jesus said that if you had a lustful thought you committed adultry. so when does sex fantascy becpome adultry. it is no longer an act question but a spirit question. of what spirit were you a part of when you entertained the thought.

    “thou shalt not kill” one says it is only about murder another says i cannot go into battle lest i break the commandment.

    how can you anything is cut and dried in scripture. there have been wars because the two sides had different understandings of scripture. the french catholics slaughtered the protestants over a creed………………whose meaning came from scriptural interruptation

    If you are trying to make the point that there are moral dilemmas or that it is possible to misinterpret scripture then welcome to the club. But to say we can never make claims on anything is to go too far. You have made all sorts of truth claims.

    You continue to make the claim that the Bible is just impossible to understand and that God’s alleged revelations to your friends – which I think we agree contradict scripture – are plenty clear. Yet you have offered nothing to support that view. In fact, you have sawed off the branch you are sitting on, so to speak, because you can no longer appeal to scripture once you have claimed it is indiscernable. Even if you tried to make a Biblical case that God changes his moral laws via personal revelation you have no authority to appeal to.

    Once again, let me point out the following and note that you have done nothing to refute this: 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms. 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman. 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children). 0% of 41,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

    If you want to contend that the Bible is just too unclear and unreliable on this topic and that your friends’ revelations are clear and reliable, then I don’t know what else to say.

  42. you have still not answered my question about putting belief above the spirit witness of 1john1 and romans 1.

    You might have missed this, but I answered it below: “Your quote from John is out of context. Consider who is writing to us: The Apostle John! Do you think the feelings of a 21st century liberal theologian take precedence over what was clearly handed down to the Apostles?”

    which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—

    20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    to know his presence, is to know his spirit, is to know what is of his spirit.

    belief centering around the concept of “i” and over which man has control, “i chose not to believe” while witness is acknowledges that which has absolutely no comtrol.

    spirit witness being throughout the bible.

    First, I think you are seriously misinterpreting that verse and you have yet to show how this “spirit witness” as you have defined it is supported Biblically. The Romans 1 passage you cited is mainly saying that atheists won’t be able to claim ignorance of the law. It isn’t saying that God is making special moral revelations to each person. He has one set of moral laws.

    But why should I listen to your interpretation of any Bible verse? You have already deemed that the Bible isn’t understandable or reliable and that your friends’ “revelations” from God supercede scripture.

    See, I don’t play the “that’s just your interpretation” game. I try to explain my views and why I think the other view is wrong.

    Whether you realize it or not, you are doing a passive-aggressive trick where you use the Bible to support your views then say it isn’t understandable when you don’t like what it says.

  43. If you are trying to make the point that there are moral dilemmas or that it is possible to misinterpret scripture then welcome to the club. But to say we can never make claims on anything is to go too far. You have made all sorts of truth claims.

    You continue to make the claim that the Bible is just impossible to understand and that God’s alleged revelations to your friends – which I think we agree contradict scripture – are plenty clear. Yet you have offered nothing to support that view. In fact, you have sawed off the branch you are sitting on, so to speak, because you can no longer appeal to scripture once you have claimed it is indiscernable. Even if you tried to make a Biblical case that God changes his moral laws via personal revelation you have no authority to appeal to.

    Once again, let me point out the following and note that you have done nothing to refute this: 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms. 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman. 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children). 0% of 41,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

    If you want to contend that the Bible is just too unclear and unreliable on this topic and that your friends’ revelations are clear and reliable, then I don’t know what else to say.

    the bible points to the spirit of god . knowing what is his spirit ………but then i only see in part and a poor reflection. it does not credit me with knowing the mind of god.

    why god did this and why he did that?

    i cant aggree that the scriptures refer to homosexuality but i can agree they are about same sex relations. same sex relations being merely for the purpose of sex or certain sexual practices such as pederasty………homosexuality on the other hand is about human bonding, sharing a life with another. i cant agree that all references to marriage refer to heterosexual relationships because i dont know the all the scriptures or the ones you are referring to.

    the same thing for ideal marriage. like ive said before, god has never limited himself to any form for manifesting his spirit.

    you keep trying to make the issue an either, or. either we trust spirit witness or we trust scripture. no…..we trust in them both…………….because they are both of the same spirit so there is no conflict there is no contradiction. both the witness and scriptural understanding embrace love, joy.peace kindness, goodness,patience,gentleness,faithfulness, self control and goodness. both embrace the three commandments love god, love your neighbor, and love one another.

    specifically it may difficult to determine exactly may be difficult but galations 5 gives us the essence of what is of christ and what is not.

  44. Hi John,

    But why should I trust Galatians 5? I do trust it, of course, and find it to be rather clear. But using your reasoning we just can’t be sure what it says. And if we claim to know what it says we’d be claiming to know the mind of God, which you think is a bad thing.

    And even if I trust Gal. 5, it has nothing to say about homosexual behavior or the Holy Spirit giving personal revelations about changing God’s moral laws.

    You claim that this “spirit witness” is equal to scripture but have yet to back that up. The 1 John 1 passage doesn’t say that at all.

    You are making strong claims about homosexual “marriage” being legitimate but don’t appear to have fully researched the Biblical support (or lack thereof) for it. Seems to me that the person taking the unorthodox view should have the burden of proof or have at least addressed the pertinent verses.

    I don’t see your distinction between the “spirit of God” and the “mind of God.”

    “like ive said before, god has never limited himself to any form for manifesting his spirit.”

    You’ve said that, but haven’t proven why alleged revelations outside the Bible would trump scripture.

  45. if you want to test your understanding, i invite you to attend the services of the metropolitan christian churh on tc jester and 11th street. they have both 9 and 11 oclock services. the 400 person congregation is basically 100% gay and mostly couples. they support the orientation and are devoted in their worship as christ as their savior.

  46. I’m sure I would find some very nice people there. But I don’t see how that will affect my understanding of the Bible. Maybe they are authentic believers, or maybe they are fakes. I don’t pretend to judge people’s hearts. That is God’s job.

    I’ll ask again: If you don’t think the Bible is understandable when it is God’s inerrant Word, why would I possibly place reliance on what people claim God is telling them – especially when it is the opposite of what the Bible says and when it hasn’t undergone the scrutiny the Bible has?

  47. when the bishop was elected, i took it upon my self to study scripture to decide what i really believed the holy spirit was saying thru scripture. when i decided i believed that scripture supported homosexuality. i started attending mcc church to test my understanding.

    what i witnessed was genuine love betwenn committed couples. and listening to testamonies i heard genuine concern and caring of pardners for each other. any inferences of sexual intamacy were accompanied by a spirit devotion and commitment and an inclusion of christ. i was looking for self deception and denial, sexual obsession,and a spirit of deceit i found none.

  48. what i did find was a beautiful gentle spirit of inclusion. a zealous spirit of worship, a hunger for the truth, a commiment to christ, a belief in his salvation, and a desire for community.

  49. I don’t mean this in a smarmy way, but when I hear things like that all I can think is, “That’s nice, but what does the Bible say?” People are really, really good at rationalizing things.

    Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

    I’d still like an answer to this question: If you don’t think the Bible is understandable when it is God’s inerrant Word, why would I possibly place reliance on what people claim God is telling them – especially when it is the opposite of what the Bible says and when it hasn’t undergone the scrutiny the Bible has?

  50. as a believer we have responsiblity to acknowledge what we witness in our hearts.

    if that wasnt the case, then 1john1 witness would be invalid for proof for the word of life. and romans 1:20 would be invalid.

    it doesnt mean i dont rely on scripture i do. i trust it deeply. otherwise how could i believe in its in errancy. but without the grace of the holy spirit it is merely a book of words. and the purpose of the words are to point to the spirit of the triune god.

    fulfillment of the law is love. but as believers we are to embrace what there is no law for. as paul said in romans the law was written for conscious……..but being in christ we serve the spirit in a new way, apart from the law. paul says the law is sacred and it is. but it is the spirit of the law that is sacred not human understanding . all law requires interpretation……………….that is why we have the courts. they dont always get it right. thank god that we have the holy spirit to be our court for interpretation.
    we enter that court thru prayer and fellowship with the body, each bringing his part to be shared with all.

    god speaks to us thru scripture. but not only do we not hear perfectly,we hav e the world, theflesh , and satan to contend with. that is why the need for testing.

    if it is the truth of john 4 ” in spirit and in truth” its spirit welcomes testing. if it is truth it will withstand all testing.

    if you believe that your understanding of romans is the truth you should welcome testing. if you are committed to the truth, the testing process brings you closer to christ

    because we are human and cultural, living with the truth is not always pleasant,

  51. remember concerning our ability to witnesswhat is of the holy spirit(1) at creation god deemed our essence to be very good. in spite of our sin he has never withdrawn that.(2) we were created thru the spirit of christ(3) he gave us a heart of flesh(4)he wrote the spirIt of his laws on our hearts(5)the triune god lives in us.

  52. John, what happens when you say the Holy Spirit tells you “A” and I say the Holy Spirit tells me the “opposite of A?”

    My answer would be to consult the Bible and work from there.

  53. the one thing i dont hear from you is personal witness. i hear impressions and understandings but no personal witness. i would like to hear your personal witness regardless of what it supports.

  54. Do you mean my personal witness of homosexuals?

  55. that or the spirit.

  56. God has not given me any special revelation about the morality of homosexual behavior. If I did have such a revelation, I would compare it to scripture and then let the Biblical view decide. Satan is the father of lies, and he has deceived many on this issue. From the beginning he would say, “Did God really say that . . .?”

    I have known many gays and the behavior typically is self-destructive. They were usually wounded souls. You could see it in their eyes.

    Those that support pro-gay theology usually deny all sorts of essentials of the faith. That dramatically reduces their credibility with me (I’m not saying you are in that camp).

    I played on a volleyball team with one guy for a few years. He died of AIDS. I wish he had made better choices.

    If the Bible didn’t say so clearly that sex is for one man and one woman in a marriage then I could care less if gays married. I’m just being true to God’s Word.

    When I see that people feel the need to campaign to encourage gays to use condoms for sex I think it is symptomatic of their pathology. Does someone really have to persuade them to use them?

    I have also experienced people who pretended to be gay Christians. But after a while they admitted to being atheists. But they still went to church and played the game.

    I also know of a gay Christian who pretends to be quite orthodox in his beliefs and hangs out at a lot of conservative Christian blogs. Yet on his own blog he wrote of “gay camping” and being naked in a pool of dozens of guys. Monogamous or not, that is pretty bizarre behavior – hanging out naked with someone of the sex you are attracted to.

    I’m not saying all gay Christians are fakes like this, but please don’t expect me to get all choked up just because some people put on a veneer of holiness.

    Here are some thoughts I posted in a recent series.
    —-
    While I firmly believe that homosexual behavior is a sin, I do not think it is something we should grandstand on. We all have temptations and stumble and fall at times. Romans 1 explains in no uncertain terms that homosexual behavior is an affront to God, but it also lists greed, gossip, deceit and other things as serious sins.

    Do homosexuals have a legitimate complaint when they point out how many Christians are softer on divorce, adultery and pre-marital sex than they are on homosexual behavior? Yes. Grandstanding on sins that aren’t a temptation for us and downplaying or ignoring sins that are a temptation is not a Christian thing to do. But the lesson is to hold consistent Biblical views on all sins, not to water things down more. We need to raise the bar back up on all these sins because they have huge consequences and, more importantly, because that is in line with what the Bible says.

    We shouldn’t call evil good and good evil. I support the Methodist position on homosexuality, which regards the behavior as sinful but the people as having worth. I think it should be illegal to abort babies just because they might be homosexual (Ironically, that position puts me at odds with many liberals whose support for abortion is such that they think it should be legal under any circumstances). I mention these things simply to pre-empt any nonsensical allegations that I am homophobic.

    I also believe that it is a forgivable sin and can be overcome by the power of the Gospel. When I meet gays I don’t view it as my job to change them. I treat them like I would anyone else, developing relationships and hoping to be able to share the Gospel with them at some point. The real work is the job of the Holy Spirit.

    I was sharing the Gospel with a young man once who happened to be gay. He was all over the place with his religious beliefs and questions. At one point he asked, “Doesn’t the Bible say homosexual behavior is a sin?” I could have glossed over it and said it was a debatable matter, but that wouldn’t have been true or loving.

    I also could have spent an hour explaining all the verses around this topic, but that would have been overkill. Instead I just confirmed that yes, the Bible does say it is a sin despite how some try to twist it. Then I just shifted back to the basic Gospel – namely, that we are all sinners in need of a Savior and Jesus is that Savior. It was a great back-and-forth conversation on a lot of topics and I pray that it planted a seed and that the young man kept searching.

  57. i wasnt clear about where your interactions took place. was it as a congregate of the same church, being part of some ministry at where you work., or as a neighbor.

  58. Lots of places – work, CareNet, church (The choir director lived with his boyfriend, among others. We got along well.), blogging, the gym, general public, etc.

  59. I was sharing the Gospel with a young man once who happened to be gay. He was all over the place with his religious beliefs and questions. At one point he asked, “Doesn’t the Bible say homosexual behavior is a sin?” I could have glossed over it and said it was a debatable matter, but that wouldn’t have been true or loving.

    what was he sharing with you?

  60. the concept of fellowship isnt just that we have something to share with another but that the other person has something to share with us as well and that both sharings are god breathed.

  61. He was sharing his perspective, which was very confused (he was in high school). I had zero reason to think his sharings were God breathed. In fact, the Bible claims that all scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. But it never even hints that everything anyone says – and especially not non-Christians – is God breathed. Even Peter got things wrong post-Pentecost.

  62. i guess i was asking, did have any fellowship in any of those interactions?

  63. Hi John,

    In this sense of being friendly and having some similar interests, yes.

    What does that have to do with what the Bible says about homosexual behavior? Do you have to have fellowship with adulterers before assessing whether that behavior is sinful?

  64. i guess there is a disagreement between us. i wouldn’t attempt to bring up the issue of a sin to a brother in christ, unless i had first established fellowship relationship between us………………..mutual love and trust.

    if i wasnt going to bring it up, i would fellowship with him like it was non existent.

    to fellowship with him i have to look at him as god created him, speak to and interact with that essence and that person

    i cant possibly do that if i remain focused on a perceived sin.

    im looking at what god created, im looking thru any sin ……….. i no longer see it.

    because 1john1 says that in fellloowship we are protected by the blood of christ, i dont have to be defensive.

  65. John, thanks for the clarification. For the record, I don’t bring up particular sins with anyone I witness to. In fact, I’ve never brought up the topic to a gay person. When sharing the Gospel I take the approach that we all have countless sins against a perfect and Holy God and that no amount of good deeds can earn our way back to him. It is by repenting and believing that we are saved.

    But if I really care about people I won’t lie to them about what is sinful. And I definitely won’t “affirm” others to defy clear Biblical teachings.

  66. i dont know if i got an answer to this. 1thess 5:21 test everything keep the good. what is your test or testing process.

    we know that all law requires interpretation………….that is why we have the courts. in jesus time women and children were property and there was no concept about the individual or individual opinion, and slavery was an acceptable method for the distribution of wealth. if you spoke the wrong thing before the wrong group you could be killed on the spot(the attempt’s that were made to stone christ…… stoning of steven)

    in regards to understanding the “more” that jesus has to tell us(john16), holy spirit is our court……………….john16: 12″I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.

    romans12:2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

    one goes to court to challenge the old understanding of a particular law. the new challenge offers reason and facts or evidence. the court weighs these things. sometimes the old understanding will continue to stand. at other times the old understanding is considered unconstitutional and deemed come against the spirit of the understanding of the constitution.

    what is your understanding about testing? do you test? what is the court, that you take your test to?

  67. Hi John,

    I addressed the John 16 passage above but I’ll repeat it here: The answer lies in the context. Who is Jesus talking to here? The Disciples. He was saying that He would send the Holy Spirit to them. He did so at Pentecost. He guided them into all truth. They or their close followers documented it in the New Testament. It did not result in any moral laws being changed. It did not mean that God would change his moral law in the late 20th / early 21st century and only reveal it to liberal theologians in the West.

    Re. my testing process: I compare things to the Word of God, just as the Bereans were lauded for doing in Acts 17:11: “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

    That is my test. The Bible is the “final court of arbitration,” so to speak.

    Romans 12:2 is one of my favorite verses. But how does God transform us? Through his Word. Jesus said in John 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” And 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    Please read those passages carefully.

  68. you did tell me this before and i apologize for your having to repeat it.

    my next question would be?

    what other scripture validates that jesus is only speaking to the apostles and not to us as believers as well? what other scripture says that our relationship with the holy spirit is not direct, but thru the knowledge passed down thru the apostles

    what is your understanding of paul in romans in regard to your understanding of john 16?

    romans 7:6But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

  69. Hi John,

    No problem, these comments start to run together sometimes and I can’t remember what has or hasn’t been said.

    Re. Romans 7:6 – Here are my notes from my post on Romans 7 (currently at the top of this blog): There is big difference between trying to win God’s approval by doing good things (a hopeless plan) and doing good things out of our love and thankfulness for him – not to mention our faith that what He says in his law is best for us.

    When read in context Romans 7:6 isn’t saying we shouldn’t follow the law. We are freed from the punishment of the law and now have the ability as Christians to overcome sin. To read anything Paul said as a license to sin would be a serious error. In John 14:21 Jesus said, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

    John, even if Jesus wasn’t just speaking to the Apostles in John 16, which I think the context shows, it would be a misreading of the text and the NT to conclude that the Holy Spirit will give us individual revelations of alleged changes in his moral laws.

    Let me turn this around and ask you something. What examples do you have of God giving special revelation to people that any of his moral laws have been done away with? I am not aware of a single one. If you can find one, how was it communicated? To whom? What was the context?

    And even if there were Biblical examples, how would we decide today if there are differences of opinion? How do we know who is guided by the Holy Spirit and who is guided by the father of lies? Again, I say we go back to scripture as Acts 17:11 and other passages recommend.

    Have you read the Book of Jude lately? It is only about a page long but deals with a lot of the issues we have discussed.

    If you haven’t already, please read adding to the Bible where I addressed the problems with that view.

    Peace,
    Neil

  70. im still processing jude.

    as far as john 16 goes we know not only does the holy spirit live in us but he father and son as well.

    that being the case why would we not believe that the holy spirit communicates with us directly.

    how are to pick up our cross And follow christ daily accept thru a one on one personal relationship.

    how are we to be bound to his easy yoke if have do not have a one on one personal relationship.

    isnt that, what we bring to the body to serve each other?

    yes in his worldwide church he has given us anointed teachers……………………..we know they are anointed teachers because in fellowship they affirm everything that we have in our one on one relationship with christ.
    im reading “under the banner of heaven” by krakauer its about utah’s LDS. part of the history of mormonism(esp fundamental mormonism) is that individuals declare themselves as agents from god….and the start postulating all kinds of prophesies……… from his 14 year old person is to be my wife, to this person needs to be excommunicated from the group, to in extreme cases god wants us to execute this person…………… and if you aren’t in complete obedience to these and to me, you will go to hell.

    totally unscriptural.

    but in every incidence of violation, they were without embracing the fruit of the spirit and without any spirit of fellowship. rather than embracing romans 12,………… 3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you………….and 9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves……………………………..THEY WERE FILLED WITH NARCISSISM.

    on the other hand, my gay brothers in christ who say that their orientation is from god …………………..,lift up the gospel, worship and serve christ by living out romans 12, and embrace the fruit of the spirit of galatians.

    like i said before i never heard a inmate stand up in fellowship say my raping and stealing affirmed me.

    or an adulterous brother say that violation of my vows affirms me.

  71. Hi John,

    I think there are two errors at work here.

    1. Pro-gay theologians invented a trait of the Holy Spirit that is not in the Bible. You have supplied zero examples of the Holy Spirit reversing a moral law and making it a sin to teach the repealed law. The Holy Spirit does many things but that is not one of them.

    2. They also invented a concept of “affirming” that somehow not only sanitizes sin but makes it holy. That is also nowhere to be found in Scripture.

    Read Leviticus 18 and consider how many of those sins could be rationalized away by tossing the word “affirming” in.

    Thanks for checking out Jude. It is a short book but full of wisdom on false teachings.

  72. 1. Pro-gay theologians invented a trait of the Holy Spirit that is not in the Bible. You have supplied zero examples of the Holy Spirit reversing a moral law and making it a sin to teach the repealed law. The Holy Spirit does many things but that is not one of them.

    you are absolutely right. how could the holy spirit say that murder wasnt a sin. or that stealing wasnt a sin.

    your contention is that, at some time homosexuality was a mortal sin because of gen and lev. i’ve already mentioned that in lev., not all that was prohibited was of itself a sin.

    Hi John – I don’t think I said it was a “mortal” sin, but a sin. It was serious in the sense that the theocratic punishment was quite severe. It was a moral sin, if that is what you mean. Look at the rest of the sins in Lev. 18. Or try Leviticus 19:18 – is that not a moral law? (“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”)

    and rape is a mortal sin, regardless of the orientation.

    but in lev if it is a mortal sin, then the essence of the spirit of homosexuality has to come against the spirit of christ and the fruit of the spirit. what is that essence?

    I’m not sure where you are getting this distinction about “essence.” What is unclear about the command? I suppose it helps to understand why God said not to commit this sin, but even if we don’t understand we should obey.

    we know that murder is premeditatively taking of another man’s life for personal gain. stealing is taking something owned by another. for homosexuality to be mortal sin it has to be violation of another human being. that’s a mortal sin. what is the violation, where there is mutual attraction, love, and respect between two people.

    Adding sex to a loving relationship doesn’t improve it, except in the case of a marrige man and woman.

    many of my brothers in christ believe two men exposing themselves to each other’s fecal matter(inspite of the fact that heterosexual sex involves the similar exposure) and anal penetration are evidence enough. the problem with this is that heterosexual couples practice anal sex, without condemnation. and however unhealthy as homosexual sex may appear, whatever health issue may arise, it can be dealt with, through safe sex practices.

    If the invention of condoms is one of your proof points that this behavior is no longer sinful then you may want to reconsider your views. Are you saying that God only considered it a sin if protection wasn’t used? Is heterosexual adultery not sinful if condoms and pills are used? Perhaps I am misunderstanding your point here.

    mark 7:14Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’

    what comes out of a brother in christ because he is a practicing homosexual that makes him unclean.

    I’m not sure how you drew the conclusion that this verse had anything to do with sanitizing homosexual behavior. Are you talking about oral / anal sex? Go back to the beginning of the chapter to pick up the context. Jesus is talking about how sins come from within, not without.

    2. They also invented a concept of “affirming” that somehow not only sanitizes sin but makes it holy. That is also nowhere to be found in Scripture.

    the point is, homosexuality cant be affirming if it is of the sin nature. how can the spirit be against itself. if a brother in christ says that something brings him peace and thru it he experiences christ’s love , then it is of god.

    i have witnessed these testimonies. i believe they are speaking the truth. it does affirm them.

    John, you are trusting in men and not God. You have made up a new rule that puts more faith in man’s “interpretation” of a message from God than in God’s Word. Your “evidence” is that people are comfortable with their sin. People are experts at rationalizing sin. Original sin started with Satan saying, “Did God really say that . . .” and that pattern continues today.

    I say this gently but firmly, but people like you who “affirm” them are part of the problem.

    yes, paul is speaking of sins committed through the expression of same sex, sexual relations, but that no more condemns the orientation than rape condemns heterosexuality. this becomes apparent when one examines terms in the verses of “abandonment”, “shame”, and “lust”. to say that romans is about condemning homosexuality is to say that the essence of homosexuality is “shame,abandonment,and lust”. its not. its about mutual attraction, love, and respect as witnessed by the trend in the lutherran church last weekend.

    John, that is nowhere to be found in the text. Please go back to the passage. I’ve mentioned it above so I won’t rehash it here other than to say they gave up the natural functions of women and had sex with men. Nothing was said about prostitutes or that it is ok if there is mutual love and respect. Leviticus, Romans, Genesis, etc. are crystal clear, as are all the passages about God’s ideal for marriage and parenting. It is only by inserting all sorts of distortions that one can justify pro-gay theology.

    this examination is no attempt to undermine a law. it is a testing process, the same way that a judge breaks down the written phrasing of a law to understand the spirit of the law’s intent.

    the overriding understanding about homosexuality, regardless if you are a believer or unbeliever is in the spirit of its essence……………………….. as explained in romans 1:20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, BEING UNDERSTOOD BY WHAT HAS BEEN MADE, so that men are without excuse.

    what is the spirit of that essence?

    what is it that comes out of a brother in christ because he is a practicing homosexual that makes him unclean?

    I give up trying to understand what you mean by “essence.” That verse is primarily saying that God reveals himself to us in creation. Men and women are created for each other. Men having sex with men is like shaking one’s fist at God.

    Re. “what comes out” is merely that he is breaking the commands of God and of natural law. When we break God’s laws we sin. Telling something that sin is not sin is a sin itself, regardless of how well the person has rationalized their sin.

  73. i give up trying to understand what you mean by “essence.” That verse is primarily saying that God reveals himself to us in creation. Men and women are created for each other. Men having sex with men is like shaking one’s fist at God.”

    i would not expect otherwise. if you understood about the essence of the spirit of sin or the spirit of christ, you would abandon your homosexuality being a sin concept.

    the thing about spirit is, that this is what we battle against(powers and principalities) and not flesh and blood.

    John, your reference to Ephesians 6:10-12 is out of context. He is saying that our ultimate adversary is Satan, but it is not saying we don’t still have a sinful nature. Either way, how does this eliminate homosexuality from being a sin? What other things does your “essence” reasoning take from being sinful to being positive?

    paul says we are led by the spirit and we are to serve it in a new way.

    romans 8:
    13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are LED BYl the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.[a] And by him we cry, “Abba,[b] Father.”

    “not in the old way of the written code.”

    it would be hard for me to understand sin, without understanding the essence of the spirit of sin. romans 1 and galatians 5 explains this.

    it is my opinion that you limit romans 1. what paul is doing is describing the essence of all sin. it is so inclusively descriptive of human kind, that it obviates that we need of a savior, because we are so lost.

    that’s why in romans 2 paul says our judgement of others condemns us, because we do the very same things.

    I’m not sure I follow. Are you saying that nothing is sinful, so therefore homosexual behavior is not sinful? How does Romans 8 say we don’t still sin? Living according to the spirit can give us power over sin . . . but note that it is still sinful if we do those acts.

  74. 1john1:8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

    WHEN we thru grace allow ourselves to be lead by the spirit as opposed to by our sin nature we do not sin.

  75. I’m OK with that. Then by definition, if someone is sinning then they are not being led by the Spirit.

    Just because someone says they are being led by the Spirit doesn’t mean they really are.

  76. matt 7:16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

  77. Do you mean to imply that Christians never sin? I don’t see where you are going with this . . .

  78. im not going anywhere by my own intent im being led by your questions

    that’s what romans one explains that in relationship our sin evolves.
    romans 1 21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
    the book of eccl is a good example. rather than give thanks for all the elements of life, the author tries to get meaning from it.

    we struggle daily to give thanks for all the aspects of our lives .but instead thru our own understanding, say this of god, this isnt depending on whether it causes suffering and discomfort. to merely say the words has little bearing as does, thru grace and faith, living in a relationship of thanks. and glorification of god.

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