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Topic: COMMENTARIES by S. Michael Craven

Responding to a "Gay" Christian

April 16, 2007
S. Michael Craven
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How do you respond to the person who on the one hand says they are gay and on the other says they are a follower of Christ? I quite often encounter this situation and the response, which seeks to be consistent with biblical Christianity, is not always as straightforward as one might think. For one, we all fall into sin from time to time, even to the point of being openly and stubbornly wanton in our rebellion against God’s law. Does this mean that during these periods of foolishness we are no longer to be considered “Christians” or we have, by our refusal to repent, revoked God’s saving grace in our lives? I find no biblical support for such a position, in fact, quite the contrary. Take King David, for example, who sinned egregiously against God committing murder and adultery. Was David considered “lost” during the time he was unrepentant?

Similarly, one has to be very careful in casting broad judgments upon those who claim to be “gay” Christians. Now, to be clear, homosexual behavior, or any other lifestyle, contrary to God’s law, is absolutely incompatible with the Christian life and constitutes disobedience and salvation dictates repentance. This would be no different than the Christian man who persists in adultery. In both instances, each could be truly saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ while at the same time openly rebelling against God. Some may say “yes but, if such a person were truly a Christian, they would come under conviction of the Holy Spirit.” I would agree, however, I cannot nor can anyone define a biblically “acceptable” period in which this conviction should be accomplished. We simply cannot know where a person may be in their relationship with the Lord or what the Lord is doing in response to their rebellion.

Therefore, these situations require a great deal of humility, caution and grace in our response out of fear that we might sin in our own words and deeds and cause harm to a brother or sister in Christ.

One such situation presented itself in one of the many responses to my recent article Freedom for All Except... A man, I will call “John,” from South Africa wrote:

As a Christian I stand in awe at God's extravagant love, His all encompassing and unconditional love for us all. I am amazed on a daily basis at how He takes us, blesses us, breaks us and uses us... but the work is always His! I know that God uses me in ways for which I feel I am not worthy - but He has deemed me worthy. EVEN though I am gay!

For the most part, I would agree with this statement. God does indeed love sinners, however to imply, in this sense, that God’s love is “unconditional” is to suggest that He overlooks or ignores our sin. This is a wholly unbiblical premise. The issue of our sin (or rebellion) is the very reason for God’s redemptive plan, which was accomplished in Christ, and His love alone is the impetus for that plan being put into action. This is why God’s grace is so amazing! As the apostle Paul wrote, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8)

While God does indeed offer mercy and forgiveness for our sin, He nonetheless commands us to repent or turn from our sin having been set free from the bondage to sin. (Romans 6:16)

Here is the second part of “John’s” response to my article:

Michael, when you realise that I am far more than my gayness, and that my sexuality is but a portion of my whole, you will realise that it is not MY sexuality that threatens you, or your family, or your community, or your country for that matter. It is the love of Christ which addresses YOUR pain… I am a member of a local where I and my partner are welcomed and are in active service as church members.  Our church follows the teachings of Jesus Christ – spreading a message of love, forgiveness and inclusion into the Kingdom community. We do not practice any form of exclusivity, once again taking our example from Jesus Himself… The church has to change as society moves on, evolves and changes and so our understanding of God’s word also changes.

The following is an edited version of my response to “John.”

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments. If I understand you correctly, you are stating that homosexual behavior and following Christ are not opposed to one another. While I cannot know your heart and I do indeed hope that you have experienced the saving grace of God, we can know that certain behaviors are expressly forbidden in Scripture. These behaviors include homosexual acts in the same way Scripture prohibits sex outside the covenantal commitment of marriage. (1 Cor. 6:9-11 and 6:18-20) The theology of sex given to us in Scripture conforms to a particular understanding that is compatible with nature, limited to monogamous couples of the opposite sex, and procreative in its intent. Nowhere do we find biblical support for engaging in homosexual acts and there are numerous passages where such behavior is expressly forbidden. As followers of Christ, we come to faith as sinners in need of redemption and while God does indeed love us, He also commands us to turn from our sin. Salvation demands repentance. We cannot continue in our sin and hope to justify this through agreement with the ever-changing culture. God’s truth transcends time and culture.

My dear brother, I am not in anyway “threatened” by your homosexual behavior; I grieve for my own sin as well as the sin of others. But, I am particularly grieved by efforts to legitimize that which God calls sin, and as followers of Christ we are called to speak the truth in order that our ‘brother may be saved,’ in the same way that Nathan confronted David. This is love! Secondly, I am grieved because sin inevitably and always hurts people, including you. I do not judge you, judgment is the Lord’s, but His word is clear on this matter, and therefore I exhort you to turn from your sin and stop deceiving yourself into believing that the Lord is unconcerned with your sin. He loves you, yes, but He died to atone for your sins and mine. It is our sin that we must turn from if we want to truly follow Christ.

While I have focused on the subject of homosexuality in this particular situation, we have a responsibility to call a brother or sister, who is under the domination of any sin, to repentance. (James 5:19-20) There are a multitude of sins which dominate us, and the challenge for those who truly love is to show grace and yet call the wayward to repentance, being open to this exhortation in our own lives.

© 2007 by S. Michael Craven


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Responses
Response from : Charity  

April 16, 2007 10:03 AM
 

Thank you so much for your balanced approach to this volatile issue! It seems that too many times homosexuality or some other specific sin is targeted by the Christian community as evil above and beyond all evils. Sometimes I think it is only to make ourselves feel better about whatever sin we happen to be struggling with that we elevate other sins to the place of "worst evil," while our own must surely rank far lower. Thank you for the reminder that "all have sinned and fall short..." no matter what that sin is. If we could communicate this loving message as the body of Christ to the world, we would truly be preaching the message of Christ! Then we would be the bride who calls out with the Spirit in Revelation "Come!" to all who are thirsty, not just to the thirsty ones we approve of.


 
Response from : Ed Roberts  

April 16, 2007 10:57 AM
 

Please unsubscribe me. Thanks.


 
Response from : David  

April 16, 2007 11:49 AM
 

Thank you Michael, for your careful and thorough consideration of this issue. I agree with your perspective that we are called to 'go and sin no more'. It would be just as wrong for me to indulge in alcoholic abuse and attempt to convince others this was wholly within the appropriate actions of a Christian. And for those who insist there is nothing wrong with the 'lifestyle', it would be wrong from the point of damaging the lives of others who follow that advice. The loss of lifespan is much greater than that of a lifetime of smoking, and we sue companies for their part in the lies and confusion. It would seem to me a matter which applies the reference Jesus gave to such people, 'it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.' Mt.18:7 Many young people will be easily enticed into this. It amazes me there are no public service announcements denouncing homosexuality. One commercial, concerning a syphilis treatment, shows no remorse, only that now they can 'carefully' continue their sexual relationships with the hopeful expectation the 'clean' partner will not be infected. The multitude of medical problems homosexuality causes makes me fear for them. My pity and compassion urges me to do something, but I am uncertain what can be done. They must know of these grave consequences, but many will not know until they have reprogrammed their brain chemistry into a dependent mode which is difficult to correct. They are told it is ok by their school, instead of being told the horrible truth. I am not afraid of homosexuals, but rather of the consequences of homosexuality, just as we should be for any other wanton self-destructive lifestyle. Thank God it is not impossible to receive help and leave it behind!


 
Response from : Debbie Williams  

April 16, 2007 12:05 PM
 

Good work, Michael!

http://www.InsuranceShoppingService.net

 
Response from : Bob Rinquest  

April 16, 2007 12:12 PM
 

Michael,

I am sure you receive many contradictive responses to your article on homosexuality. I wanted to take a moment and thank you for stating the truth and agree with your article completely. As the Savior loves us unconditionally, He has also provided us a plan to help us achieve peace in this life and the life after. This plan will benefit the entire human race - all of his children - and if followed, all humanity would experience more joy, less sorrow, more love and less hate. This is not a matter of social exclusion, but a clear direction of what is acceptable and what is not. All tendencies contrary to the commandments and direction listed in the scriptures can be overcome. Whether it be stealing, lusting, pride, lying, worshiping other gods (unknowingly), etc. Personally, I do not see a big difference between the sin of homosexuality (I do not use the word ‘gay’ because this another example of how satan has turned something beautiful into something dark. The true meaning of ‘gay’ is happy!) and any other sin. Many have deep engrained tendencies to desire to be with multiple women, or be kick their dog, or deceive in one form or another. As followers of Jesus Christ we seek to know more about his teachings, study and pray for forgiveness. We seek to become more like Him. True repentance means that we forsake our sins, correct our path, and sin no more. I have many tendencies that are contrary to the teachings of the Gospel, but I try to do my best to forsake them, but usually falling short.

The problem is that socially we do not know how to love the sinner and hate the sin. Homosexuality is clearly a chosen lifestyle that is contrary to the teachings of Christ. This does not mean that individuals with those tendencies can not call themselves Christian, but as a professed sinner, unwilling to forsake their sins, unable to appropriately serve in a church calling as a true follower of Christ.


 
Response from : Marilyn Lauber  

April 16, 2007 12:25 PM
 

Michael,

I think you did an awesome job on this. Keep up the good work.


 
Response from : Magye Starnes  

April 16, 2007 1:58 PM
 

I appreciate your obedience to God in your respond to "John". When witnessing and ministering to inmates at the prisons, I've counseled and prayed with inmates regarding their homosexual weaknesses. These women that come forward are not requesting justification for their homosexual weaknesses, but they deeply want to be rid of the sin and be strengthen against the temptation. Your article will further equip me to minister in this aspect of prison ministry, and also as I encounter christians that believe the lies that satan uses to twist the Word of God so society can be deceived into a false sense of security. Thank you.
I pray your book is going well, and I look forward to its publication.

http://www.chapelofhope.org

 
Response from : Liles Arnold  

April 16, 2007 3:18 PM
 

Michael,

Well put. In my practice as a counselor I interact with a number of men who profess faith in Christ, but also move ahead with their practice of homosexuality. Why individuals are attracted to members of the same sex is a complex issue, but the bottom line is that homosexual behavior is clearly identified as sin in Scripture. I think the church does need to interact with compassion and patience with those who are engaged in homosexual relations, but to do so without compromising the truth. I found your response to John to be a balanced combination of those components.


 
Response from :  

April 16, 2007 3:27 PM
 

Sorry but I'm gay and god didn't make no junk. Quit worrying about me and worry about the poor, the elderly, and the disabled. God said to help those that need it. I don't need your help. You need mine to understand how you have prostituted the bible to justify your bigotry.


 
Response from : phyllis whigham  

April 16, 2007 3:57 PM
 

Right on Michael, I have lots of gay male friends through the retail industry. I have spoken with one good friend in particular and told him that he could be healed from bondage if he would only ask Jesus to release him. My friend has aids now and feels that their is no turning back and is so tormented with justification to stay in this life style and one reason is he is diseased by his sin. I truly believe that Homosexuality is a bondage of behavior that Satan uses to torcher his subjects and God permits it so they will come to repent their sin and have Godly sorrow. I am not judging this person I too have sinned and feel that through spiritual bondage have suffered greatly and when I was shown the truth and asked for forgiveness of the sin it was the most freeing feeling and cleansing of my soul I have ever experienced. I encourage all to repent any sin and feel the Holy Spirit at work


 
Response from : Elizabeth  

April 16, 2007 6:00 PM
 

I think you did a beautiful job stating the truth in love.


 
Response from : E.B. Smith  

April 16, 2007 11:21 PM
 

This was the best explanation I have ever heard about this difficult subject.
God bless you and your ministry.


 
Response from : John  

April 16, 2007 11:40 PM
 

That was an excellent and helpful article on homosexuality. It is difficult to clearly explain the Biblical position in a loving and considerate way. I thought your approach was excellent. Keep up the good work communicating God's love and God's truth.


 
Response from : Mark Overton  

April 16, 2007 11:44 PM
 

While attending a major Christian university to complete a Master's degree, I had a chance to hear a gay pastor conduct a Q & A session for the students. First, he shared his testimony of how he had lived a homosexual lifestyle from his teen years into adulthood. He had a gay partner for 15 years, and then he accepted Christ as his Savior. At that point he broke off his relationship with his partner. He then felt the Lord calling him to a ministry in the homosexual community, so he completed a Master's of Divinity at a prominent Christian university. When asked about his sexuality today, he was very candid and said that his physical desires were still for men. It was his earnest hope and desire that the Lord would change his desires for women or remove his desires altogether. His response to the question of gay intimacy was on point. He would remain celibate unless and until the Lord changed his desires so that he could be intimate with a woman in marriage. Asked about what he did earlier in the day before speaking to the students, he said the following: "I spent two hours holding the hand of a gay man who died of AIDS at a hospital today. I spent some time sharing the Gospel in a gay bar, and the rest of the day was spent with my former partner of 15 years whom I had not spoken to until today."

Here was an individual who was gay but was in no way advocating sex between gay partners, nor was he trying to rationalize such sin. While his physical desires were still for men, it was his heart's desire to have the Lord change those desires so that he might enjoy the blessings of marriage. He also said he would be satisfied if the Lord chose not to heal him and called him to a life of celibacy.


 
Response from : Marshall  

April 16, 2007 11:55 PM
 

I read your article and, while I appreciate that your response suggests less of an attack than most Christian views, I have to respectfully disagree. I am a heterosexual male, as guilty of sin as any other person to have walked the earth. Where exactly, however, are these "numerous" passages which expressly forbid homosexuality? I have posed this question to countless theologians, and without fail they reply with the same two or three passages. Two or three cryptic passages which quite possibly have very different meanings than they did in biblical times. It has been determined, in fact, that the bible only makes 6 direct references to homosexuality in total! That's out of THOUSANDS of passages, folks.

Also, to the person who, in a previous post, referred to the "multitude of medical problems that homosexuality causes", i pray that you aren't as ignorant of science and medicine as you make yourself out to be. There is not a single medical condition known to man that is CAUSED by homosexuality. In fact, heterosexuals make up the fastest growing segment of the worlds population inflicted with the disease A.I.D.S.

Unfortunately, the biggest sinners of all are those who continue to manipulate the Word to suit their purposes and to wear it as a mask for their true, bigoted selves.


 
Response from : Charles McDowell  

April 17, 2007 7:00 AM
 

I have heard it said that in relation to sin one has to either chabge his theology or his behavior. He changed his theology and insists that others change their theology to accomodate his behavior.


 
Response from : Andy  

April 17, 2007 7:56 AM
 

Very well written article. I commend you for taking a stand. I appreciate the reminder that all sin displeases our savior. Not just the sin of homosexuality, but all that is contrary to the Word.
Sincerly in Christ
Andy
Keep the faith.


 
Response from : Fred Conwell  

April 17, 2007 8:29 AM
 

Jesus defines sin as lack of love. Name me a sin that is loving or a loving act that is sinful. What is unloving about homosexuality. Rom 2:1

http://CristianoGay.com

 
Response from :  

April 17, 2007 8:39 AM
 

Mr. Craven,
Unfortunately you must not read the whole bible as in Revelation chapters 21 and 22 it tells us who will not make it into the kingdom of heaven.5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me,[b] “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
6 And He said to me, “It is done![c] I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things,[d] and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving,[e] abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” This was from Revelation 21, and now here is from Revelation 22,14 Blessed are those who do His commandments,[g] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But[h] outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Note that in both of these it says the sexually unmoral. We are told to love the sinner, but not the sin.


 
Response from : Darryl Shafer  

April 17, 2007 8:42 AM
 

Mr. Craven,
Unfortunately you must not read the whole bible as in Revelation chapters 21 and 22 it tells us who will not make it into the kingdom of heaven.5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me,[b] “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
6 And He said to me, “It is done![c] I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things,[d] and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving,[e] abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” This was from Revelation 21, and now here is from Revelation 22,14 Blessed are those who do His commandments,[g] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But[h] outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Note that in both of these it says the sexually unmoral. We are told to love the sinner, but not the sin. This is not the only place it talks about it, in the old testament it talks about blotting out the names of those who do not follow christ, and in Revelation 3 it says if we overcome that we will not have our names blotted out of the book of life.


 
Response from : Chris  

April 17, 2007 11:54 AM
 

Have any of you considered the possibility that maybe John was right? What if God's love is unconditional? We love our children unconditionally, yes? Why should God have conditions on his love for us?

Forgive my questioning of the Bible, but I always keep in mind that men wrote it. Not God. And God cannot be encapsulated in any written work. Some things we'll have to discern for ourselves.


 
Response from : spirit connection  

April 17, 2007 12:02 PM
 

If I make it to paradise it will be interesting to see if homosexuals are there too. I hope so, I know some special people who are gay.


 
Response from : Valarie Jordan  

April 17, 2007 12:19 PM
 

Michael,
I thank you for the loving way in which you responded to "John's" response to your article about homosexuality. Too many Christians seem to think that we should accept any behavior as long as the affenders are nice and willing to go to church. We must face the hard reality that the church is the largest field for evangelism. We don't do any sinner , who is unwilling to repent, any justice when we treat there sinful behavior as if God is pleased with it. I would not want to belong to a church which overlook my sins, if I were overtaken by sin to the point of practicing a sinful behavior. We should love each other enough to exercise tough love. The bible says that love covers a multitude of sins, not overlooks a multitude of sins. We do a fallen christian the greatest good when we share the true word of God in love. Yours In Christ


 
Response from : Cole Whitney  

April 17, 2007 12:41 PM
 

Michael,

Thank you for showing Christ's love by telling the truth. One characteristic of love is protection according to 1 Cor 13. You are trying to protect us all from our behavior by telling the truth with words that THINK: thoughtful, helpful, inspiring, _____ and knowledgeable of the facts. But, did you give that man a practical next step? Did you challenge him by offering an alternative to his behavior other than saying it’s wrong.

As you know, I co-found and co-led a support group for men who wanted to recover from compulsive sexual behavior. While I'm not an expert or qualified from a university or board, I've experienced 10s, perhaps 100, men who struggle with homosexual and heterosexual behaviors that violate God's natural and moral laws. The percentage who "recover" or are restored to what I call the "garden experience" - God's created intent - are about 2% to 7% depending on many factors.

We have used a Biblical 12 step program modified for the unique nature of sexual behaviors versus other compulsive behaviors or so called "addictions." Step 4 is the toughest. It's called the Fearless Moral Inventory or "good, bad and ugly." A man will go back in time through family of origin issues and other issues to write down the good things he's done, the bad things he's done and the ugly things done to him. Every man in my experience who committed homosexual behaviors and has taken this courageous step has told me about an act that was done to him, shown to him or persuaded by someone for him to do - a so called "physical sexual abuse" that has occurred when he was very young (there are other types of abuse that are not physical but leave wounds it takes a life time to overcome). This journey is the most courageous travel a man will ever take. We think of the external world as man’s battlefield, his arena to display what the world defines as masculinity, but God searches the heart. It’s the heart that is “deep waters” – places where men fear to tread. Men who go there are extremely courageous because of the fear that exists and the shame, both of which you and I know is covered by the blood of Christ...there is no condemnation in Christ...but helping a man to come to this point where he can meet God and experience the indwelling of the Holy Ghost is something the church does not do well for some people. Many in church simply do not understand the heart like God, “but a man of understanding draws it out.” Sadly, men who have been abused are shunned by the church and go to the very community who abused them for acceptance, i.e., other men who practice homosexuality. Fortunately there are programs like Exodus who do God’s work in this community. Did you tell your man about such groups in addition to the theology? Did you give him a practical alternative?

Men who practice homosexuality or any other compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) have been running from the truth for so long they no longer recognize it when they hear it. They have "lost all sensitivity... and given themselves over to their fleshly desires with a continual lust for more." They are depraved. God may indeed have given them over to a depraved mind to experience what hell is really like. The internal struggle is immense. Men have told me they wanted to castrate themselves in hopes of removing the desire. They do experience hell – a life of emotional torment, but what better testimonies for God if they repent. Perhaps the church has a valid argument, “if God has given them over, how can we help.” But, that shows little faith. Perhaps God has given them over so when we who follow Christ try, God is glorified. While you and I are correct in our theology, did that man have a practical next step to grab hold of and hold fast?

Men who practice CSB look for loop holes and will do anything to avoid facing the truth unless there is an action step. Your man took love as acceptance and inclusion, but through out protection. You rebuked him correctly and with love in tone of writing. Go the extra mile and offer groups of men who have stopped CSB through faith in Jesus Christ and experienced God’s restoration of what the locusts have eaten.


 
Response from : Kenneth Lam  

April 17, 2007 1:32 PM
 

It was a great article. Thanks.


 
Response from : Kristin  

April 17, 2007 2:57 PM
 

Mr Craven,
While I applaud your efforts at reconciling the two topics at hand (Christianity & Homosexuality), you have taken the high road, and fallen back on the "it is not ours to judge his/her heart in this situation." This stance is troubling to me as a Christian.

It is my belief that one may have homosexual tendancies and be a Christian; however, one cannot practice homosexuality and make it to heaven. Much like I have heterosexual tendancies, I would be outside the will of God to practice those tendancies outside of a marital relationship.

Next time, take a stance please. Society is just longing for people to actually take a stand for something, as opposed to taking the high road. It is no wonder Christianity isn't embraced. Points of view like yours are making us look wishy-washy.


 
Response from : Kenneth Crews  

April 18, 2007 7:57 AM
 

I totally agree with your response to this comment that "John" sent to you. Homosexuality is one of the most abominable sins in the eyes of God. I do not believe anyone who claims to be gay can go to heaven, not can they have a true relationship with Jesus Christ. He that walks in darkness has no fellowship with the light, a concept we are explicitly taught in the Bible. I know that God can save from men and women out of this sin, but He will not save them while they are continuing in this sin. The Bible and our Lord shall last forever, as Christ said that the Word shall never pass away. We, as Christians, are to stand for the truth of the Holy Scriptures. God means the same thing in the verses in our Bibles today that He meant when He breathed the words to the prophets and apostles. God's Word does not change with society and culture. This is a truth that has been forgotten all over the world, and especially in our own country. I pray that God would show Himself as a Just, Holy, Loving, Jealous, and Redeeming Savior to all of those who do not know Him. This world, and a lot of members to some churches, think that God is all love. God is truly Love, but He is also Just. But in all of this, He is holy, holy, holy.


 
Response from : Marie Tison  

April 18, 2007 9:08 AM
 

Thank you so much for your article. Years ago I tried to witness to a childhood friend that was doing the exact same thing as your guy in this letter. But I messed things up and did not seek GOD's guidance and help. My friend in return threatened me and my son and so I have not contacted him since. I feel that I did more harm than good and have asked GOD's forgiveness for that. I pray from my friend and ask GOD not to give up on him but to send my friend someone more capable to witness to him.
Because of your article, I now know what to say. Although I will not contact my childhood friend again, I am not afraid if I encounter someone else. Thank you again.


 
Response from : Misty  

April 18, 2007 9:13 AM
 

It is so sad churhes are changing for the sinners. They are no longer preaching the truth. Allowing gays to work in the church is terrible. We are there to tell them that what they are doing is against the word of God. By allowing them to work in the church you are telling them their life style is o.k. In Hebrew's it says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today & forever. He does not change. What was worng then is wrong now. Any Pastor allowing this to happen in his church will be held accountable on the day of judgement. Not with just gay people but any sin. Sin is sin to God. We are just letting anyone work in the church these days. I am so thankful I have a Pator who will not change the word of God for anyone.


 
Response from : Pastor Russ  

April 18, 2007 10:13 AM
 

Funny, my thoughts exactly in the twilight of sleeping/waking about my upcoming sermon.
It's great to have the serendipitous moment of having this article be front and center at Crosswalk.
Thank you for your time, prayer, and work that obviously goes into your ministry.
In His abundant life,
russ

http://www.geocities.com/theharbor2001/TheHarborWorldview.html

 
Response from : Josh  

April 18, 2007 10:26 AM
 

In the article "John" mentions being Methodist and emphasizes that "his" church is "open" to everyone without exclusion. As a Methodist I'd like it to be clear to all where our doctrine truly stands. These are several excerpts from our Book of Discipline, our doctrinal standards, and our Social Principles:

"Homosexual persons no less than heterosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth. All persons need the ministry and guidance of the church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching. We affirm that God's grace is available to all, and we will seek to live together in Christian community. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons."

"We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman."

"While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals1 are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church."

"Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches."

This is where we stand, though there are those who wish to distort our doctrine to include the support of homosexuality.

Mr. Craven, and other authors, when you write these articles feel free to investigate such claims - that is, please make clear to your audience that this main is SURELY mistaken about the Methodist church's core beliefs.


 
Response from : HizPrecChild  

April 18, 2007 10:31 AM
 

I commend you on your response sir. I believe you addressed the issue in Truth and Love. So many don't understand that it is a sexual sin issue and nothing more. It is a trick of the enemy to distract, confuse and divide the world and God's people. Homosexuality, just as adultery and fornication are clearly addressed by God. We, as His ambassadors', are to walk in Love with all, knowing that it is nothing but the grace of God that we do not have the struggle of ANY sexual sinful lifestyle, no matter what it is! I believe Jesus would tell us the same He told the group who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery. He that is without sin, cast the first stone. Before we pompously talk about the sin of homosexuality, let's check our own closets. It may not be a sexual sin issue but believe me we have sin God wants us to deal with or we wouldn't be here on earth anymore! It is our assignment to be continuing examples of Light and Truth, not condoning any sinful lifestyle. Each day God gifts me I appreciate, understanding just as God's grace saved me by faith not merit, salvation is yet available to all.

http://www.myspace.com/christinetrcy

 
Response from : Minister Ghia Alvis  

April 18, 2007 11:39 AM
 

Well said! You stated biblical facts without condemnation. I think that we have to learn how to show the love of Christ but without compromising the truth. Well said!


 
Response from : Dianne  

April 18, 2007 1:19 PM
 

Thank you SOOOO much for writing this article. My husband and I are pastors and are currently dealing with a man in our church who openly professes to be gay. At times we have wondered if our counsel to him was too harsh and your publication served as a peaceful confirmation that we are on course and hopefully steering him in the right direction. Thanks again!


 
Response from : Tamara Clopton  

April 18, 2007 1:25 PM
 

Michael (I love you, Brother!)...thanks for allowing the Holy Spirit to direct you in addressing this matter to all Christians with clarity and love. I am praying that debauchery will submit to sexual purity in the hearts of ALL God's chosen. Thanks again! II Timothy 2:15


 
Response from : Tamara Clopton  

April 18, 2007 1:36 PM
 

I was reading some of the other posts about not allowing gays to work in the church. If we ban a person or group of people engaging in "one certain type of sin" from working in the church or attending church, then we need to ban everyone. Actually, there would be no one in church at all : ) We have to be like Jesus...they all wanted to condemn the woman caught in adultery (the other party to the sin was never addressed in the Scriptures), but Jesus came up and offered the person without sin to CAST THE FIRST STONE at her (John 8:7). So, if gays can't work in the church or are unable to attend church, then all the fornicators and adulterers (EVEN those who lust in their hearts) who profess salvation, should be banned. I really don't believe that's God's plan for His Church.


 
Response from : kathy  

April 18, 2007 2:04 PM
 

I go to a non denominational church in NC.The pastors sister is gay and is an active member of our church as well as her mate.I agree with you but how should I handle the situation?should I just find another church?My pastor won't listen to the congrgation about our concerns.He says "that's my sister if you accept me you have to accept her"


 
Response from : RC  

April 18, 2007 2:20 PM
 

It is refreshing to see a truly loving, truly Biblical response to this prevalent dilemma. It is my ongoing prayer that the church will become a place that homosexuals find welcoming and healing, AND a home of Biblical truth and Christ's victory. They so often feel unwelcome in Bible-based churches, and sadly, among churchgoers, homosexuality is often a subject people feel free to joke about - I suspect out of a belief that there are no homosexuals present. We as the church need God's help to truly be his body in the face of this dilemma - and these wonderful people.


 
Response from : Stephen Keiser  

April 18, 2007 2:21 PM
 

Dear Mr. Craven,

If you cut off your hand or pluck out you eye, as per Jesus command, I will give up my homosexuality. Otherwise, please be more circumspect in your application of Biblical morality to the lives of other people.

Thank you,

Stephen Keiser


 
Response from : Jency Kelly  

April 18, 2007 2:59 PM
 

Regarding habitual, deliberate and consistent rebellion against God . Those who do so are herein referred to as "them", "they" "rebel", etc.

After our all too brief conversation last night regarding "acceptance" vs.. "Acceptance Into The Body" , triggered by our rejection of membership applicants because they live in a sinful relationship day by day, I began my day today by studying 1 Cor Chapters 5 and 6.
I have pondered and sought guidance in my belief. There has to be something that the Spirit wants me to learn from this issue.

My understanding of the teachings of Christ is that we are to reach the lost, and that requires that we accept the lost where they are and how they are, just as Jesus did when he walked the earth in visible form. If we go to the lost condemning them (as opposed to rejection of a behavior) it will be difficult or impossible to reach them. On the other hand, they are, in fact across the Chasm separating them from membership into the dearest of fraternaties, the body of Christ(ian believers).

Why are they seperated? I believe you have to obey the Word - not just the "convenient" or "easy" teachings (honor your Father and Mother, Do Not Steal, etc.). Failure to submit oneself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit is a dominant cause. If the failure is out of ignorance or lack of hearing, shame on brothers and sisters who don't take the time to mentor and guide them ( James 5: 19-10). (Romans 6:1-6)

If disobedience is a deliberate day to day way of life, it is not acceptable to Christ (he said it in so many ways) or His body. We can still gently minister to and try to help them, but having them as a part of the body would make a sick body, in need of purging. Paul's teachings were clear. If a member of the body is in rebellion and unrepentant, remove him from the body until he repents, then restore him. If he is teachable, he will return. If he fails to repent, give him over to Satan.

Of course the Word is as relevant today as it ever was, and, without regard to society's "normal" way of doing business, gayness and cohabitation are forbidden by the Bible. So what are we to do when someone living that life comes to us and wants to be a part of our body? Ignore the Word of God, accept them as members, and in that way condone disobedience? I don't believe in that. We CAN accept the person without accepting the behavior, but it falls short of membership into the body. "Adjust" our beliefs to societies way of thinking? Never! Pray for guidance and LISTEN? I believe that the only way we can truly understand the living word is through study, prayer for guidance, and listening to that most holy voice within us. We have to be willing to turn away from our preferences or our agenda and listen to His agenda.

How can we even concieve of a Christian taking a stand that is in direct opposition to God? Only if he is convincingly decieved. Can Lust so decieve us? I don't believe so. If I take a stand consistently and knowingly opposing God, could I expect my God to consider me his posession? Probably not. Does God still love me? With unlimited love and affection. In truth, unless I lose my mind, I could not knowingly oppose my Master. Yes, I can and do sin. For those failures I beg forgiveness and allow the Spirit to make adjustments in me.

I once rebelled because the "Church" failed me. In fact my rebellion was fueled by a Satanic attack through a respected church member and Foolish Stubboness on my part. I wasn't living a bad life, I just didn't care for God or His people. Did God leave me alone in those seventeen years? Not for a day. Do I believe that a "Christian" stubbornly living in sin is still a Christian? Yes. Should they be a part of the body (membership)? I do not believe so. Should they be in close communion with other Christians? Yes, for their own good.. MY "ex" pastor never abandoned me. I believe we should try to keep them close enough to gently correct them and give the Spiritual support they need.

BUT, do I believe that once I confess and take Jesus as my Savior that I am forever his? Yes I do! Can I rebel to the point that I make him sick? Yes I believe it is possible. He will spit me out and condemn me? I believe so. (Galatians 6: 7-8)

Heaven forbid that Christs body is in league with rebellion against Him. If a rebellion (not to be confused with an armed rebellion) occurs within the body , the Word is clear as to how we are to handle it. Clearly we are directed to confront rebellion, and when the rebel is unrepentant we are to expel the rebel from the body until they repent. Can we still love them and minister to them when they are cut off? We are directed to do that too.

So I am led to believe that a rebel is not to be allowed to become a member of the body (our local church) while they are clearly in rebellion. That can only bring far more trouble than the hurt that comes to that person who is so out of tune with the Holy Spirit. They have no eyes and no ears. If we, the body of Christ, bring rebels in as members of the body, what does that say about our belief in the truth of Gods Word? AND what are we opening ourselves up for?


 
Response from : Dawn Squire  

April 18, 2007 4:46 PM
 

I was moved to contact my national representation after reading your article and the following is my response:
Mahalo for your representation of our little slice of paradise. I am contacting you to voice an opinion on the question of "hate crimes". As a Christian, military spouse and mom to 5 amazing children. Two of whom were adopted from South Africa. Several concerns: #1) My heroic husbands serves a country founded on a premise of free speech. He fights valiantly for it here and abroad. It pains me beyond expression that he and our family may loose that right to express our religious convictions if reading from the Holy Bible Scriptures becomes an act of “hate”. This has already occurred in some states and countries where a dissenting view of accepting homosexuality has been considered as a hate crime. #2) In these same instances where an expression of religious conviction means a belief system in sin and sin is universal in all of us, adoptive parents have been denied services because of their convictions. This flabbergasts me! To deny Christian, loving, heterosexual couples adoption services because their belief system is not accepting of homosexuality is such a perversity of the natural order of life. Had our family been denied the blessing our two youngest children bring to our lives, I cannot even imagine where we would be. In as much it would have been a death sentence for our two children due to the fact their illnesses were such that had we not been there, they would have perished. Please, please, please consider carefully all actions taken when lumping our expression of a belief in a loving God who sacrificed so we could live eternally and be free from sin with those who express hate and act upon it. The truth is every Christian does hate sin and my actions toward this end are to pray for repentance of my sin and accept the forgiveness Jesus offers and seek Holy Spirit help to change from future sinning. If my government were to outlaw my hate of sin, I’d be worshipping a golden calf, gluttonous because I’d make food an idol, be cursing day and night, not take time to worship the Lord on the Sabbath, neglect my parents, be a murderer, commit adultery (any sex act outside of marriage), be a thief and a liar and lastly be so filled with jealousy of others my time would be consumed.
I cannot imagine a functioning society where all (or even any) were encouraged to pursue the above activities. To consider hating sin a “hate crime” is simply ludicrous. Thank you for your time. Dawn Squire.


 
Response from : Tamara Clopton  

April 18, 2007 4:56 PM
 

Jency...you made some good points backed up by scripture. I certainly do not want to be in rebellion against God, for any reason! My concern is that some rebels (as with sin), are more OBVIOUS than others. If you have folks that are constantly having pre-marital sex or adulterous affairs on the "down low" (which I believe occurs quite frequently in our churches), then driving rebels away based on the conspicuousness of their behavior, is not the answer. As Michael stated in his article, if they are saved, then the Holy Spirit's conviction will deal with them accordingly. I believe that as long as we're not condoning any type of sinful behavior (or caving to THEIR agenda) and teaching AGAINST sin, as the Bible does, then if the "sick" want to come, then they should be allowed in the Body to receive their "healing". James 5:14-16


 
Response from : Rodney  

April 18, 2007 9:17 PM
 

This article was an awesome picture of love and honesty. Presented with patience, trust and most of all truth! My I have God's grace to handle sin issues that I encounter with the same finess and love shown here. Thanks!

http://NONE

 
Response from :  

April 19, 2007 1:40 PM
 

Good article and appropriate for today
as most of us know people who are lovly
and gay but choose a belief that frees them from taking any further reponsibility for acknowledging or deneying the exhistence of God.


 
Response from : lil sis in Jesus  

April 19, 2007 2:26 PM
 

Amen Brother Michael.If you love Jesus and God obey his commandments.Obeying the word and sinning not.Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is Perfect.We don't judge you but the very Word of God judges you Go and Sin NO MORE.


 
Response from : Nathan D Stratton  

April 19, 2007 4:01 PM
 

Michael, the biggest problem that I had with "John's" response was when he said "The church has to change as society moves on, evolves and changes and so our understanding of God’s word also changes." The reason society is "moving on" is because we stopped calling on the Lord to fix our problems and started listening to ourselves or others around us. Do you really think that He didn't think of the fact that human's would evolve when he gave us these rules to live by? The fact is that we as a society have decided to veer off of the road he wants us to travel in favor of a much easier more self-fulfilling road. The further we travel that road the further away from God's plan we get. If He wanted His Word to be revised, trust me, He would find a way to do it. The fact is that our “evolvement” is nothing more than disobedience. Is it “evolving” when a man and woman chose to live together and have sex before they are married? Or is it disobedience?

The bible is God’s Word to us. It is what we should strive for on a daily basis. It is not a book full of general suggestions that only pertain to some. It would be ridiculous for us to say “Well, since in today’s society fathers are not around much and not who they should be we are going to edit the seventh commandment to honor only the mother.” This sounds a bit far fetched, but isn’t that what we are suggesting when we say the church has to change as society moves on? Who has the right to edit or make revisions to God’s Word? For anyone who follows the Lord and his teachings knows the answer to that is simple. Only He has the power to revise His Word, and to suggest that the church should change because society is moving on is saying that society knows better than God.

To comment briefly on “John” and his comments about being “gay“, I would like to say, yes….Jesus does love you, and I do too. However that does not change the fact that what you are doing, according to God’s Word is a sin and wrong. Does a father or mother hate their child because he or she disobeys the law? No, they love their child unconditionally, but that love will not keep them from jail time or whatever their punishment may be according to the law. Let’s say though that Jesus is your father, and he comes down to bail you out. All he wants from you is to admit to breaking the law, and not to continue what got you there and He will get you out. But what you are doing in a way is saying to Him, “I want you to bail me out, but I did not break the law, I do not care if the court says it was wrong or not. I will continue to break it when released.” The good news is that His offer will always stand, however the bad news is that you have to meet that requirement to be set free. You have to be able to admit that you are living in a way that God does not approve and by continuing to live that way is you telling Him that you know better than He does. He is willing to forgive you if you repent, but you saying, “I’m sorry, but I will continue to live this way no matter what you say.” , is not really repenting at all.

“John”, if you read this, please do not take this as me judging you. Thankfully, it is not for me to judge who get’s into heaven and who does not, all I know is if you believe in Jesus you believe in God, and if you believe in God you believe that the bible is God’s Word to us. In that word He is clear about homosexuality (Among other things).

Does you being gay make you a bad person? NO WAY!! That just means you are a sinner just like the rest of us. I do love your passion for Jesus and His teachings, and as far as me or anyone else goes that is all we should be concerned about, and that is all you should expect out of us. The rest is between you and God.

In His Glorious Name,

Nathan


 
Response from : Lou  

April 19, 2007 8:21 PM
 

I so agree with your comments. As a Christian, we cannot judge another for we do notknow what God is doing in their life at a particular moment. However, as you stated, as a Christian we must call sin, sin if that is what the Bible states. It is not an option. The Word declares homosexuality is wrong. Therefore, it is not up to us to study or try to rationalize, the matter is settled. It is not what we think or feel. The Word has the final say. God does not need our approval. Wonderful post.


 
Response from : Maurice  

April 20, 2007 3:35 AM
 

Hi. I enjoyed your thought provoking arguments on responding to a 'gay' brothe or a lesbian sister, for that matter. Though you want to be firm, you seem to hide behind being civil and cultured in your article today. If we were to spur with John the Baptist on our repsonse to the 'gay' brother, he would defeated hands down.

I find a situation where one day we shall be responding to a 'murderer' christian, a 'prostitute' christian, a 'drug dealer' christian. I hope you get my drift. At what point will we stop?

Our weaknesses not withstanding, a child of God does not live in sin. falling in sin is normal as even Solomon on dedicating the temple attested that there is none who is righteous who does not sin. But wilfully going against the word of God and living in wickedness, and yet you say you are a christian! That is the world talking through humanism.

http://www.wur.nl

 
Response from : R Kevin Dodge  

April 20, 2007 4:54 AM
 

One of the great dangers we have in todays is the making of a God in our own image. A God who accepts our views and morality, In such a cae we dictate to God was is acceptable or not, sin or not. The bible clearly condemns sexual sin of any kind. In Romans we are told that God not only does not approve of Homosexuality but even judges those who are not but stand in its approval. The Bible also enlightens us to the fact that a person who continually " willfully " sins ( lives in such a life style ) has no truth in them. And is the spirit is the spirit of truth and we live in open sin can we be assured of saving graces for our lives while living in open sin. The Bible does not teach that we can. I used to be a criminal , when I had an encounter with Christ my criminal behavior had to stop. I did not have the option of making a God of My own image who would accept my sinful behavior


 
Response from : Ali  

April 20, 2007 7:22 AM
 

I have a son who is gay. He has never had a relationship and I don't think he ever will. He is very matter of fact that he doesn't feel good about being gay. I also see him as an individual who is seeking Christ. He is very interested in the Bible and in my personal resurrection. How does one address this with a young person who is looking to live a celibate life? Is he indeed turning against his sin? He hates the fact that homosexuality has become a political agenda. He thinks that is ridiculous. He bristles at feminine men, as he is just the opposite. He doesn't really hate himself, but hates the homosexual in himself. I have told him that I hate the sin that is in me and that I have worked very hard to overcome my sins, i.e. deceit. He understands this. He also says that he recognizes in the Bible that there are many sins that are itemized and homosexuality is just one of them. He asked me, and I really didn't know how to answer it, if there were bigger sins than others. I told him that all sin is bad. We are to live obedient to demonstrate our love for Christ. We are to put on our "new selves" as Paul says in Ephesians. We are to become new - resurrected - by the blood of Christ through God's sacrifice of his only Son. I think he is getting it. I also told him that he can be a Christian, but that he will fight his homosexuality. In the sanctification process, as I believe it to be and as I told him, there are three major supports. The first is the Bible, the second the Church and the third is suffering. Becoming sancitified or holy is a life long process. He seems to understand, but he is not coming to Christ and I really think it has to do with the fact that so many Christians are very negative and center their negativity on homosexuals. There are many sins and many sinners. I do believe that God does not ignore sin, as you said, but I wonder, does he forgive those who are homosexual and do not practice it? Because my son is what he is, does that mean that he cannot be a Christian? If you have a moment, could you answer this email? I have no one really to talk about this with, as he won't let me tell people and I have been very respectful of that. He is 19 years old, very humble, very unmaterialistic, studious and kind. He is a very hard-working young man and he takes very good card of his sister and his mother. He is very supportive of his friends (all straight). He loves people with all his heart and yet, he is shy. I think this is because of his being gay. Will my son be forgiven for being a homosexual? Of, does God see homosexuals as THE sin, not just the act of homosexuality. All I read, I cannot really say that God will not forgive his homosexuality, just the act of homosexuality. What do you think?


 
Response from : Ronald Welsh  

April 20, 2007 7:31 AM
 

Thank you for your article. Although God does love us unconditionally and we can use that arguement to justify our sins, we need to be reminded of our responsibility as Christians to stand firm and be able to bring brothers and sisters back to true repentance using the love and grace that God has given each of us.


 
Response from : Gregory T. Gaston-Wilcox  

April 20, 2007 7:51 AM
 

My Brother...
I must say that there could not have been a more thorough and loving response. Thank you so much for allowing us to witness your very competent and complete use of God's word. I will definitely be using this as a witnessing tool. - Again, Thanks


 
Response from : shelly  

April 20, 2007 8:35 AM
 

I am not very good with words so I'll go straight to the point. I am with total agreement with S.Micheal Craven's response to "John". You were right and not only that your response came directly from the God's Word and I can tell your letter was written in
God's love. May the Lord richly bless you, and this ministry. Let's keep our heads high, proclaiming the Truth in Christ's love.


 
Response from : jose hernandez  

April 20, 2007 8:44 AM
 

i believe in what God says in rev.21:7-8. true repentance is not only turning away from your sins but also returning to God for salvation. new creation!


 
Response from : Chad  

April 20, 2007 9:05 AM
 

This article is puzzling. It would seem to indicate belief in being saved without repentance, and while still living in sinful lifestyles.

Without repentance no one is saved. Jesus said He came to call sinners to repentance, that unless we repent we will perish.

Acts 3:19 shows repentance is a criteria for having our sins forgiven and is part of conversion.

Withous our sins forgiven, we are not saved. Period.

And scripture says if we continue in sin we have never known God, in 1 John 3:16.

Paul says in Romans 6, the whole chapter, that as christians we have a choice to make, whether to live in sin and DIE or obey righeousness and live (6:16)

I talked to a gay so called christian and found he would not accept that repentance from ANY sin is required to be saved.

They are locking onto the OSAS beliefs about being saved merely by believing, totally without repentance or a changed life, from what I have seen.

Its a sad situration. They are deceived.

And this article seems to indicate a belief that a person can get saved without repentance, or be saved and then fall into sin and yet remain saved uuntil maybe, someday, God will coax them to repent.

1 John 3:16 totally and completely, beyond any possibility of misunderstanding, that this is not so.


 
Response from : KEN Bowen  

April 20, 2007 9:16 AM
 

Bro. Michael,
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ.

I wish more people could read this amazing article you wrote about "Gay Christian". I always found that statement alone to be a contradiction in christian character.
Your article helped to open up my mind and my heart to the TRUTH which in the Word promises one to be set free of sin,if one chooses repentance. It also helped me not to become so judgemental of persons who embrace the homosexual lifestyle. We know and understand that God is not a respecter of persons, and all have sin and fallen short of HIS GLORY.
The article also helped me to see that we all fall into divers temptations in life and that sin can even overwhelm us as believers. I am coming out of a adulterous situation as I write you. It has been a rather dark period in my life but, I truly praise God for His grace and mercy to see me through it all and to come to repentance.
I like "John" agree that I too "..stand in awe of God's extravagant love, His all encompassing and unconditional love for us all." Yet I have enough respect for God to know that He commands us to turn from our {mine} wicked ways(repentance) and seek his face and in return He promises me forgivenss and freedom from Satan's bondage to sin.
Truth has to be told in LOVE. The problem in all that is can one handle it, or like the quote from the movie "A Few Good Men","You Can't Handle the Truth!!!"

God bless you Michael and I look forward to hearing from you. Pray my strength in Lord as I continue my road to repentance.

Your Brother in Christ:
Ken


 
Response from : Ben  

April 20, 2007 10:10 AM
 

Excellent article. Just last night I was talking to a gentleman who has come to know the Lord, was living a gay lifestyle, now knows it as a sin, and has decided, that even though he still has an attraction to man, that he will not pursue relationships with them. Anyways, all that to say that it was great to read this article the very next day after having this conversation. It definantly was a conformation in how I handled it - with love, care, and a firm stand for Truth.

What is interesting is the fight with the gay community over the idea that God gave us "sexual orientation." When in reality, God never created "sexual orientation." He created man and woman, and He created them for each other. That's it. There should be no arguement.
One thing I brought up to my new friend is that for thousands of years people have tried pushing the envelope and expirement. Which is why we have those that are into S&M, bondage, incest, rape, prostitution, sex with children, and sex slaves. Are we going to characterize each one of these minority groups into sexual orientation status, as well to be "politically correct" (I hate these two words, it is so pathetic, that we Americans don't have a backbone anymore).

I then mentioned to my friend that not only does it say that a homosexual lifetsyle is a sin, but also beastiality. So, are we going to classify this horrific deed as "sexual orientation," as well? After all, this minority group only has an attraction for animals.

Why has the Christian community watered down the Scriptures? That is probably the biggest problem. Most "Christians" today worship their own made up god, instead of the God of Scripture. God, I'm sure, is grieved.


 
Response from : Kevin  

April 20, 2007 10:16 AM
 

I praise God for Michael giving correction there. And we are to judge. We are not to judge until we are walking upright and don't have problems with similar sin but, we are to judge. (False Doctrine, Open Immorality and disagreement between believers.)- 1 Corinthians 5. Truth is truth and we give it in love. We must prompt others to change..when they want to hear it or they don't. 2 Tim 4:2.

Bless those who stand for Christ and share the truth even when it is unpopular in today's culture. Also, the gentlemen mentions our understanding of God's word should change with society! Wow! That is so far from the truth....the grass withers, the flower fades by the word of God will stand forever!!! God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

I pray that God's word will not return unto Him void in this situation. I pray that he will touch his heart and open his mind to the truth.


 
Response from : D. Gregory  

April 20, 2007 10:47 AM
 

Thank you for this article. I found it very interesting and appreciate your response. It does seem as though they are trying to legitimize their sin in saying that society has changed. Though some of society has changed, the Bible, which is God's Word, does not, has not, and will not change for anybody's convenience as some seem to think. Thanks again for your good response and may God Bless you and your ministry.


 
Response from : Andrew Lee  

April 20, 2007 10:49 AM
 

I cannot find anything in the Bible that says that God's love is unconditional or even that God is Love. The only places that says God is love is to the redeemed, not the unbeliever. John 3:16 is for the redeemed, not the unbeliever. I cannot find any reference in ACTS that tells of any Apostle preaching that God is love or that the church should change with the times! The only thing I can really pinpoint on is the God is Righteous. And it is righteousness that will gain us heaven. However, like Paul says in Romans, we can't do it ourself. Therefore God imputed Jesus' righteousness on us so that we can attain righteousness. I can only find in the bible that says homosexuality is an 'abomination' in God's eyes. And unfortunately, no amount of justification can change that. 'John' would have to make his bed and sleep in it!


 
Response from : Nosa Idahosa  

April 20, 2007 11:07 AM
 

I read this article with concern and and a deep sense of responsibility. While I see with Bro John on his position, I also want him to know that sin is not defined by a legislative fiat or by a law passed in the congress but by the word of God. Also I want John to know that the fact that our habit has gotten hold of us does not justify that habit as good. He wrote that 'church has to change as society moves on, evolves and changes and so our understanding of God’s word also changes'. Unfortunately I want to say to him that the only thing that is ever stable is the word of God; Matt 24:35, Mark 13:31. The word of God is based on God's principle and not on the dynamics of the world. If heaven was to lack principles, one day the devil would return and live there. We know by the word of God that it is impossible for the devil to return and live in heaven. The sin committed by a homosexual is not different from the sin committed by a thief or an adulterer. Is bro John saying that if someday the world now accepts stealing or adultery as a virtues, the church should follow the world?

I understand where Bro John Stands but I plead wth him that he should let the word of God define his thoughts and not the dynamics of the world. Bro. Michael made this clear when he wrote 'We cannot continue in our sin and hope to justify this through agreement with the ever-changing culture. God’s truth transcends time and culture'.

Lastly I want Bro John to note that had David remained in His sin and tried to justify it by the dictates of the time, he might never have receieved forgiveness. He repented immediately and he made such repentance clear both before the prophet Nathan and in his Psalms. I do not want to stand as been judgemental and in an attitude of condemnation but I do not think there is actually any person like 'a Gay Christian' I believe that you are either a Christian which means you are fully obedient to the word of God or you are not' May God help us.

Nosa


 
Response from : Janet Moore  

April 20, 2007 11:23 AM
 

Michael, I really appreciate your article. As we struggle in different societies with the matter of homosexuality, we run the risk of being seen as intolerant, if we dare to say that homosexuality, like any other sin,is wrong in the sight of God.
John's response is typical of many homosexuals. They pontificate about God's all inclusive love and failed to realized that it is that very love which should constraint any action on our part to engage in sinful behaviours.

Janet


 
Response from : micaela  

April 20, 2007 11:30 AM
 

Yes thanks for the opportunity, i want to comment on the fact that David was in sin but he cried out to God saying "please give me back the joy of my Salvation" that to me means he knew it was no longer in him,he needed it back!


 
Response from : Tamara Clopton  

April 20, 2007 12:03 PM
 

To Andrew Lee: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 AND John 3:15-17 says "...that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him." -- While I certainly don't condone the practice of homosexuality by anyone, it is certainly NOT right to say that God's love, which is AGAPE, is ONLY for the redeemed or saved. God's love for us is incomprehensible. Jesus didn't wait until everyone "got saved" to die on the cross and THEN show His love. He died, asking God to forgive the very ones that wronged Him and that were blinded by their own sin. Please don't be confused His love.


 
Response from : Gary A. Cech  

April 20, 2007 12:36 PM
 

Well said Michael. Your response was loving and non-judgmental (which is not easy in today's world). You were correct to add in the perspective that ANY sin that holds us and that we PRACTICE is contrary to our walk - but that alone cannot condemn us; a lack of relationship with Christ will cause that separation to be sealed for all eternity.
I find it interesting and wondered as I read your article and response, what would we say if we substituted a differnt 'sin' spoken of in Scripture and how that would be recieved. A Lying Christian, a pedifile Christian, A murderous Christian, an adulterous Christian - would we not hold the mirror of Scripture and plead the contradiction?
We are not to isolate ourselves from the world but to invade it with the Light of Truth, yet with humility and grace. Thank you for your words, they will be an encouragement as we seek to 'hold fast' and 'stand firm' for a Gospel that NEVER changes in an ever changing world.

Your Co-Laborer in Christ
Pastor Gary

http://www.Grace247.org

 
Response from : Pam  

April 20, 2007 1:01 PM
 

John in South Africa is living under the delusion of anti-nomianism--the idea that he can separate his body from his spirit. He thinks that God is overlooking what he does with his body parts.
But Jesus is either Lord of ALL of us, or He will have NO PART of us. He has made that very clear!
When we fall to sin AND THEN REPENT, God forgives wholeheartedly, just as He did King David. But, He cannot attach Himself to unrepentant sin disguised as an "alternative lifestyle".
Is God also overlooking adultery, child-molesting, kidnapping, murder, thievery, betrayal and every other sin? Are they all not so bad after all? Of course not.
John is being deceived by his enemy, Satan, but God isn't fooled.
C.S. Lewis said that we're so easily satisfied with drink and sex and money; when [instead] infinite JOY waits for us!


 
Response from : Dr. Olu Abiodun  

April 20, 2007 1:54 PM
 

Thank you for your article that seeks to soften down the word of God. Is a gay person willing to repent and forsake that practice. The Scripture says that we cannot continue in sin and ask that the grace of God should abound. The problem with us today is that we are always seeking ways to bend and soften the word of God to adapt it to our life styles. God is not deceived. Whatsoever a man sows that he will also reap. I can sympathize with a gay person who is really wrestling and struggling to get out of it and he or she is asking God to have mercy. But I have no sympathy for any person who blatantly goes contrary to God's word and seeks for ways to justify the position, as many do today. God is not flowing with the majority. The Scripture says that narrow is the way that leads to eternal life and few will go by it. Are we therefore surprised that only few are willing to follow the word of God without seeking to bend and twist it to justify personal failures and sins. God says that if you love Me keep My commandments, which means that if we love Him we will make obedience to His word paramount in our lives. Let us approach God with sincerity. He is aware of our weaknesses and He is not unsympathetic. But we must be willing to agree with Him that we are as we are and ask Him to change us to conform to Christ. The writer of the article was giving example of David's sins of adultery and murder. It was cited out of context. David regretted and confessed his sins after prophet Nathan brought them to his attention. He was convicted and he repented. His confession is in Psalm 51. He was restored after confession. You see, our confessions tell God that He is right and we are wrong. But when we continue in our sin, we have chosen to go our own way, failing to embrace the grace of God. The Scripture says that we cannot continue in sin and want the grace of God to continue in our lives. It won't. No one does not sin but if we are truly children of God, when we recognize that we are in a sinful way, we will go to Him and make amend and forsake the evil way. I sympathize with gay people but we must let them know the truth and we must stand on the truth. I have counselled gay church-goers and some of them have forsaken the practice after seeking the face of God. May God have mercy upon us all....Dr O. Abiodun is an evangelist and pastor with doctorate degrees in engineering and in biblical studies.


 
Response from : Amy  

April 20, 2007 2:01 PM
 

Michael,

Thank you and God Bless you for sharing this subject and having the boldness that God has given you to help those that are committing this act to come forth to call out to Jesus Christ to free them from this sin.
My husband and I always talk about this situation because it is a tough subject and the society is so use to seeing it that they automatically think its okay and that its okay for these people to live together and live a homosexual life.
God made man in his own image and he also made him a helper from Adam's own rib and he called her Eve. So God's plan in the beginning was a Man and Woman to be united as one in marriage. But we all know that sin was brought into the world by Eve, then Adam was also decieved. So God inspired the word of God as instructions to us and we either accept it and live it or we decieve ourselves.
God is the same yesterday today and forever and his word never changes. In 1 Corin. 6:9-10 it clearly states "Do you not know that the unrighteous willnot inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators,nor idolaters,nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." and also in Leviticus chapter 18:22 "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination."
Also Leviticus 20:13 "If a man lies with a male as he lies iwth a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them." And by God you cannot change those verses or make them what you want them to be; they are as is. I truly believe God can deliver a person out of this sin and its all about crucifiying your old sinful nature and being reborn into a new creature in Christ. I know people want to dispute about this issue because they want it to be alright and its not alright; God loves us all and i know he is saddened to know that people don't make that full repentence and honor and obey God. We all fall short, but we should be growing as we serve and live for God and truly the Holy Spirit will convict us and help us get better and we shouldn't have major sins in our lives, but we should get rid of those and gives our whole lives and bodies to the Lord because our bodies are the temple of the holy spirit and we don't want the temple to be filthy and dirty in God's sight. God Bless you Michael and I encourage you to keep pressing on.


 
Response from : Eric Coggins  

April 20, 2007 2:35 PM
 

Michael's approach to this situation is right on. Homosexuality is clearly regarded as sin and any gay person who wishes to be a follower of Christ must repent of such behavior, just as any one who is addicted to pornography or trapped in an affair must repent of their behavior. The idea that society is evolving and that the church and ultimately God has to adapt to the whims of man is a bit backward I think. This does not mean we should not love those who are gay or lesbian. We should love them and reach out to them as fellow strugglers in the journey of life, even if we cannot condone their lifestyles.


 
Response from : sandra c.  

April 20, 2007 8:39 PM
 

God was there as you were writing to Michael, as Truth and as Compassion.I forwarded your article to nephew who is very gay and had changed himself even her name, to assert his disobedience. Im remiss too for "going with the flow" inorder not to upset him and get into heated arguments.


 
Response from : Sammy G. Seagroves  

April 20, 2007 11:36 PM
 

Hello Michael,
I read your message on responding to a gay "Christian", and find it both very balanced and sensitive to the person's spiritual level of growth. I would, however, like to add some comments.
While I am not homosexual myself, my wife has a cousin who is, and who found acceptance in a Catholic church for him and his partner. The one thing that he could never grasp was that persistent, unrepentent sin cannot under any circumstances be acceptable to God, or to His representative Kingdom on earth, the Church. While all sinners ought to be received into our midst, we must not sugarcoat the Truth. I John 3:8 and 9 states: "He that committeth sin is of the devil..." and "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his (Christ's) seed remaineth in him: and he CANNOT sin, because he IS born of God." If these clear statements are not the foundation of a church's presentation of the Plan of Redemption, then they are just playing at religion, and no one benefits.
Just one preacher's views, but Truth cannot be watered down.

Sammy

http://home.thirdage.com/Religion/sam75766/index.html

 
Response from : Jennifer Pearl  

April 21, 2007 7:27 AM
 

Thank you for making your point so clearly. I have known and loved many people including an uncle, who have chosen this walk of life. I also see many teenagers experimenting with homosexuality. Earlier in my life while believing that I was a christian, dabbled in it a bit. I fear for them due to their rebellion. God has changed my heart about this matter years ago and I am so happy to have read your response to the issue. Thank you for your straight forward honest approach.

Your sister in Christ

http://www.myspace.com/artist1970

 
Response from : Carol Bellanti  

April 21, 2007 2:26 PM
 

I just want to say thank you for this recent article on homosexuality. My daughter was married 1 1/2 years ago and her husband's father left his mother when he was 13 to live a homosexual lifestyle. It has done so much damage to the whole family. My daughter has not known what to say, and quite honestly, neither have her dad and I. We all know the word of God is very much against it, but her husband and his sister have had a hard time with confronting him and what they should say. They want desperately to confront him and maybe now they will be better equipt on how to approach him and what to say when they finally confront their dad. Your explanation is wonderful. Thank you I am sure this will help them and all of us a great deal.


 
Response from : tina  

April 22, 2007 12:08 PM
 

Dear Micheal, I was impressed by the love for John, God's word and God you expressed in the article. On a personal not I was faced with the same delema. Using different words I stated the same to my friend. He is a dear man but believe if God's made him gay how can it be wrong. I dont argue birth or emvironment with people. I had a cousin who acted femine all is lif. What I know is homosexuality is contray to the scriptures. And, the main way to defeat sin is Love.
yours in Christ
Tina


 
Response from : cinner  

April 23, 2007 9:26 AM
 

pride and rebellion are only tactics to keep us from the real job God has for us.the gay might be the one to get to Heaven and his antic would keep someone else out.we have to work on our own salvation and if God and only God calls you to help someone else then you do His calling.


 
Response from : Paul Hussey  

April 23, 2007 9:41 AM
 

Thank you for your thoughts on homosexuality. I have several friends who are homosexuals and profess to be Christians. When one sked me why I seemed to have no problem associating with gays when I believe the Bible to be "literally" true, I told him that all of us were created in the image of God and all of us stood in the need of God's saving grace because we are all sinners. The fact that he engages in a lifestyle that I believe the Bible clearly repudiates will not stop me from loving him or associating with him. I am glad your response to John pointed out his behavior as sin. Unfortunately, many Bible-believing Christians stop at this point. I am equally glad that you exhorted John not to try to legitimize his homosexuality. Clearly stating the truth of God's Word with an attitude of love is, in my opinion, the only response that has a chance of penetrating the heart and mind of someone who changes his understanding of God's Word with the ever-changing culture. Thank you for adopting this approach.


 
Response from : Carol Stence  

April 23, 2007 9:44 AM
 

I think your response was good........
I do have a question about the intent of sex being described as procreative. Are you saying it is solely procreative? I don't see that written in scripture. Doesn't Paul teach that God made all things for us to enjoy?..I would think that the reality of pleasure to the five senses is proof of God's design for pleasurable experiences including sex. What better way to insure the physical context of "one flesh" necessary for the emotional bond of unity, comfort, companionship?

With all respect and appreciation,
Carol Stence


 
Response from : Josefina Chamberlin  

April 23, 2007 9:46 AM
 

Yes, finally someone who will not water down God's truth to conform to today's culture. Yet, are we still do not know what the Lord is doing in response to their rebellion. All situations require humility, caution and grace. We must remember only God in his redemptive plan can judge all sin. We are all sinners! Learn the word, love the word, live the word. Your loving example helps the sinner! I know it helps me live for Jesus Christ. Go Jesus Go!


 
Response from : vanessa buckley  

April 23, 2007 10:02 AM
 

the scriptures reprove, instructs,rebukes and convicts and this leads us to repentance. Be bless


 
Response from : Scott Tovey  

April 23, 2007 10:28 AM
 

Regardless the sin, God expects us to turn from it and cease to do it. Some of the things that Gays and those who support the exception of homosexuals in the church do not understand is that while Christ died for us and while He loves us, He expects us to keep His words.

First: Jesus reaffirmed the creation story and thereby reaffirmed that God's plan for couples is male and female, not male and male:

Matthew 19:4
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

Mark 10:6
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

Second: Jesus expects us to go and sin no more:

John 5:14
Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

John 8:11
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Third, Jesus basis the measure of our love for Him on our obedience to His words:

John 8:42
Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

John 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:23
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

When we out of ignorance practice sin, God’s grace covers it. When we however practice sin that it point bluntly for bidden in scripture, God's grace does not cover it.

Leviticus 18:22
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Leviticus 20:13
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Some would say of me that I am being judgmental and unloving. My response to that is saying, it is less loving and unkind to not point out the truth of God’s word thereby allowing your loved one to continue in sin.

Some would say that we are not under the law. Yet Jesus said that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it.

Matthew 5:17
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

This fulfilling of the law is a completion of the law. Not a completion as in the end of a ball game, but a completion as in the completion of a house. The work of Christ on the cross is the roofing of the law. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the finishing touches of the law which makes the building livable. Not that we should be able to ignore the law, but that we should by the power of the Holy Spirit, be empowered to dwell within the law, the law being written on the tablets of our hearts by the Holy Spirit and Christ being our required sacrifice.

Scott A Tovey
bibledates.com

http://yevotas.biz

 
Response from : Kelley  

April 23, 2007 10:42 AM
 

While reviewing the numerous comments for this article, I was amazed to see the different interpretations of the Word. I don't believe every person who attends a Church service is saved. So just because we 'know' people who are allowed to be in this Church or that, doesn't mean God's plan is done. Being a Christian means you are ALWAYS growing in Christ. You don't graduate with a plaque. If we all could eventually attain perfect 'Christian' status, we would be Jesus. We have to remember that we will never be without sin, and so we shouldn't judge one over the other.

There was a person that commented, "If I make it to paradise it will be interesting to see if homosexuals are there too. I hope so, I know some special people who are gay." Here is my question to you- do you know reall cool Muslims or Jews? You will not see them in heaven, so why would we see others there that knowingly refuse to turn away from their sin? I consider it the same. I'm saddened by the fact that I know many people that won' make it into Heave.. and I am slowly trying to change that, not just accept it and move on.

To the person who said 'stop worrying about me and focus on the poor, the hungry, etc': It IS possible to have compassion and fear for your lifestyle AND have compassion for the poor, the sick, etc. If I want to feed the hungry, send water to Africa, and try to bring my gay friend to Christ, it is possible THROUGH GOD.

One person up there posed the question, "What is unloving about Homosexuality?" My answer would be it is the same as sex outside the HOLY union of marriage. Keeping marriages HOLY is an entirely different subject: it's a sad statistic that the divorce rate is the same in & out of the Church body. Focus on the act, and not the people, then you will see your answer in the Bible.

Then we saw the coment that homosexuality has caused many illnesses & diseases. This made me so sad to believe that people still think this way. That's like saying Blacks caused chicken pox,etc. Or people with red hair caused TB. What illness has been isolated to homosexuals? NONE. In fact, there are countless babies born everyday with AIDS and other illness- and babies definitely don't come from two men, or two women.. And on that note- having a disease does not make you a sinner- BEING HUMAN MAKES YOU A SINNER.

Many people who did not like Mr. Craven's article focused on one sin- homosexuality. But Mr. Craven made it clear that homosexuality is the same as adultery, or stealing. I also wanted to comment on the person who said "Homosexuality is one of the most abominable sins in the eyes of God." I do not remember seeing that ANYWHERE in the Bible.. your opinions and fears have overshadowed your life. God sees ALL sins the same. I applaud the Methodist Church for allowing "sinners" into their midst- for where would each and every one of us be without the open arms of Jesus?
I don't think we should criticize their rules on not allowing gay ministers. If they have a student in ministry who cannot turn away from stealing cars, or paying for prostitutes, I don't believe that they would allow that person to minister, either. Since the entire doctrine was not presented here, we cannot assume the entire thing focuses on homosexuals.

We are sinners every day, whether some of us like to admit it or not. Running that stop sign, or little white lies here and there are just as bad, and God help us if we should all be condemned by SOCIETY for these things. This is the idea that makes so many people turn away from the Word.

We should accept ANYONE who wants to grow in Christ, but make it cear where you stand on sinning. Accept that we all do it, but KNOW that it's wrong, and make every effort to turn away from it. If you happen to "turn away" from your sin faster than others, it doesn't give you the right to judge. If we all became stone throwers, the world would be full of corpses.

One more- there was a person up there who stated that the Bible was written by MAN, not by God. To this I say- it was written by BOTH. The Holy Spirit influenced the Bible, through visions, EYE WITNESS accounts, and other thing. If you accept one part of the bible that you like, you must accept the other parts you don't like. taking only the things you want creates a cultish behavior. We are ont all shiny happy people. Without a Father to love us, yet punish us when we're 'bad', we would have no structure. Parents DO love us unconditionally, but they don't like it when we do bad things. I'm sure you all had a time out or two growing up..

I believe the final point on homosexuality is this- it's not a sin because it's two men/ two women. It's a sin because it's outside of marriage. And changing the laws of marriage to compensate for the sin is like rewriting God's Word to fit your life. It should be the other way around. And that goes for 'straight' people too. Sex outside of marrriage is sin. Adulturous sex within a marriage is sin. It doesn't matter WHO it's with.
Thank you, Mr. Craven, for a LOVING and yet strong response to 'John'. We should all be so accepting in our societies.

In His Love [and always learning],
Kelley Klein

http://www.myspace.com/kelleyklein

 
Response from : Teresa  

April 23, 2007 11:13 AM
 

Thank you for stating the Truth. There are no exceptions to the Word of God. I was a Christian and lost my way for awhile and was living with someone for several years. I believe someone either was prayiing for me because I return to the Lord. I am married now. Before I was married my conscience started to bother me and I believe that it was Holy Spirit dealing with my heart. I give thanks to God for the Prayers of Christians.


 
Response from : Rae  

April 23, 2007 11:49 AM
 

take the log from your own eye. God is the judge. WE as Christians get so busy telling others what their sin is, we tend to focus on thier sin rather than our own. It is by grace we are saved, and the Holy Spirit works on each of us and changes us as we walk with him


 
Response from : DeAnn  

April 23, 2007 11:59 AM
 

Mr. Craven,
I agree with you and your response. You handled it with love, but presented the truth based on scripture. I wish more people could do the same.


 
Response from : April  

April 23, 2007 12:27 PM
 

Thank you for reminding us of what God's word clearly says about sin ,all sin . God says he alone is to be worshiped (Ex.20) and anything that we put before him is an idol . Our biggest idol can be this body we live in and justifying it's needs and desires. If we are true followers of Christ and worship him , then we shouldn't be comfortable to remain in any life style that God calls sin.
Thank you for taking a stand and showing me how to respond with the truth and the love of God .
God bless you.


 
Response from : Sue Gassler  

April 23, 2007 12:39 PM
 

I agree that we are harming people to not help them align their behavior with Scripture which is the the authority of God. I Cor. 5 tells us that if anyone is immoral we are to judge those in the household of God (their behavior), and if they do not repent, not to even eat with them. It also says that those who do not reprove that person have become arrogant! Romans 1 tells us homosexuality along with a long list of other sins is immmoral in a "repugnant sense". I am a Christian Counselor, and the long and short of getting rid of harmful lifestyle behavior is "Pain equals change". When we suffer for sin, we want to change. If we do not reprove a person in sin, we enable them in that sin. In Revelations 3 Jesus says that he would "erase" people from the "Book of Life" in the church at Sardis if they do not repent of their soiled (immoral) garments. So there is not a once saved always saved mentality like is often taught. There is getting unconditionally received into the family of God to live out character that is a blessing to the Savior and his "beloved" brethern which makes our realtionship to him and his own closer like any other friendship, thus building abundant life. If my friend on earth abhors something for instance, I do not practice that, as I want the friendship to get more intimate! The Word says God abhors homosexuality. So it is the same with obedience to Jesus who is the fullfillment of the WORD(Law and Scriptures). He is the Word John 1. HE said IF you LOVE ME you will keep my commandments. He even said that we needed to be cleaner than the Pharisees. Aren't we glad that HE, the Father, and Holy Spirit (One God) are yoked with us in close relationship now to help us do that!
God is loving when I repent and actually makes things feel alien to me that he hates when "I want ro choose" to turn from them!!! I then am so much closer in friendship to HIM and seperated from what hurts Him and other Christian's lives.


 
Response from : Delwyn X. Campbell  

April 23, 2007 1:06 PM
 

Someone said that being human makes us sinners. I thought the fact thta we sin is what makes us sinners. Jesus is human, but He isn't a sinner. You are a sinner because you walk contrary to God's will. When you stop doing so, you no longer fit the category. Is a person who used to commit adultery still an adulterer when he repents?


 
Response from : Bill  

April 23, 2007 3:22 PM
 

Michael;

Thank you for upholding the Truth of God's Word in a sensitive and caring fashion. God's standards will never change. God is indeed loving and not willing that any should perish but the truth is, God will never wink at our sin. To do such would be a mockery of the precious blood of Jesus that was shed.

Thanks again for standing for God's Truth.


 
Response from : Judy  

April 23, 2007 3:50 PM
 

We live in the age of addiction. Being a sex addict is a sin just as much as being addicted to any of the other pleasures of this life that God has given us. The pleasures we enjoy are to be enjoyed within the parameters of God's word because His word tells us who He is. We have successfully dismissed the word "sin" from our language which makes it easy to justify any behavior if it is no longer called sin, which is the word the bible uses to describe the things that separate us from God. If there is unrepented sin between you and your Lord, the lines of communication have been severed. Jesus died to set us free from the bondages of our sin.


 
Response from : Sandy Rogers  

April 23, 2007 5:02 PM
 

Thank you for writing this good article.
A "Christian" lesbian once told me her gay church doesn't believe in the homo-
sexual-condemning parts of the Bible. That was only for the people in Bible times. But a true relationship with Christ demands belief in the whole word of God. There is no picking and choosing. Sandy, Ohio


 
Response from : Aryana  

April 23, 2007 7:56 PM
 

I am a 14 year old Christian girl who loves the lord. I believe that being gay is wrong because God wants us to be as one with another person who is of different sex. Michael, i think you did a great job talking to this gay challenged person. It was great of you to be able to tell him how wrong he was living without being mean about it.

Awesome Job! :)


 
Response from : Catherine Howell  

April 23, 2007 11:01 PM
 

This is a very difficult one for me. I do not hate the people that are involved in this perverted lifestyle. I believe that the Lord is always convicting us to live in a Godly way if we are born again. You are right in saying that we should not judge a person's walk. We have to be kind. But we can never agree that this is accepted any more than a person commiting adultery or living together before one is married. How can someone say that they believe what the Bible says and not feel convicted when they sin against the Lord in any way? Maybe it is like a friend of mine who says he reads the Bible and he believes that you only have to pray to God and try to do good. When I say 'you have to trust Christ for Salvation' he says 'no you do not.' God please help us all when we have justified our sin to go our own way!!


 
Response from : nelson  

April 23, 2007 11:42 PM
 

i will keep this short God loves gay people to but he hates the act of homosexuality and are not saved unless they repent and stop the behavior. in the case if david when confroted with his sin he truly repented and din't do it again. from the very bigining of the bible sin is ponish solomon sin and was ponish for it show me where it says that with them is different, when it clearly says that the man that lays down with another man like a woman is against God. if you sin dont mater what that sin is, without true repentance and stoping the behavior or act your still goin to be ponish. i can see how you guys want to make it sound politicaly correct but the correct thing is that if your commiting sin, and as long your commiting sin your not saved unless you repent and change the behavior also. sorry cant compromize with the word and if you change it to fit your way of thinking it says in revelation that if you change even one thing any thing you will realy be condem. and that is in revelation 22:18-21 dont go chainging things not you may fall to.


 
Response from : donovan govender  

April 24, 2007 2:14 AM
 

I am a south african and regularly see, work and interact with gay people. Does that make me a bad person? or am i going against the principles of Christianity. If so then arent we suppose to be practicing the word of the Lord himself. 'Love thy neighbour as you would love yourself. What if your neighbour was gay. ??.

I believe that we should live in a democratic society allowing every person irrespective of their colour, religion and way of live to live as they please.

I don't believe that Jesus Christ would have looked at gays in any other way than the way he would have looked at you and me.

If the Leper or the blind man were gays, would Jesus Christ have ignored them and left them to suffer.?

I dont think we should be judgemental. that is our fathers job. God had sacrificed his only son so that we can live fruitful, happy, sin free lives. So i think we should be in a close knit society and accept people, no matter who and what they are and Jesus himself will see what good work we are doing in his kingdom and bless us for following his word.


 
Response from : Paula Jones  

April 24, 2007 6:35 AM
 

Thank you for your article.Ihave a brother who practices homosexuality and have a number of situations in my workplace where I deal with this on a daily basis. I totally agree with what you say about speaking to our brother about the sin that entangles them. I am also a minister who speaks the truth. We as ministers of Gods word have to bring forth the truth, it's really time for the church to wake up. We ike Christ can love the sinner, but hate the sin. the closer we walk to the Lord the less tolerable the sin should be. I'll continue to pray for this gentleman and all the homosexuals as well as other sinners. keep up the good work. See you in Heaven. Be Blessed. Minister Paula Jones Ray of Hope Ministries.


 
Response from : Rhonda Ochoa  

April 24, 2007 11:01 PM
 

I think that was a great way to handle that situation, I have also been faced with similar situations, and the only way to handle it is by sending the true word of God to them, and hope and pray that they will see the true meaning in it.


 
Response from : TINA  

April 25, 2007 7:07 AM
 

I appreciate the way you addressed this issue without literally shoving the word of God down his throat. You used the scripture and your words in such a modest yet strong way. In the times that we are living in Churches are tip toing around sin every day and people are slowly sliping into Hell- and sadly to say it is through the Church. Thank you for calling it what it is "sin". The Bible says that they that they that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled, and that we must put on the mind of Christ, we must be Holy for He is Holy. I believe that the word of God will change a person. When you become born again you acknowledge that He died for your sin and ask God to forgive you of sin,come into your heart and make you new. You thirst and hunger for His word-you want to do what He wants you to do, say what He wants you to say-be like Him and we only can do that through His word. Be blessed!!!


 
Response from : Carrie  

April 25, 2007 11:38 AM
 

I have a goddaughter that was hurt very badly by her first boyfriend. She has now moved to California and is in a lesbian relationship. She used to be on fire for Jesus but now doesn't even attend church. When I tried to talk to her...she said that she doesn't understand why God would be against a relationship where there is love and caring. I try to gently turn her to scripture and, with love, tell her that I am concerned for her salvation. She now hardly emails me...never calls anymore and tells me that I have changed since my faith has grown stronger. I tell her that, yes, I have changed...and I want her to share the joy of the Lord. She is distancing herself from me now. Any advice (other than pray...which I do).
Thanks...and God bless you.
Carrie


 
Response from : John  

April 25, 2007 12:17 PM
 

i was glad to see you tell him to turn away from sin, too many christians today think love is letting people wallow in their own sin so as we dont want to offend them and turn them away, makes no sense to me. heres another good article i came across online on this issue..

http://www.bible-knowledge.com/Homosexuality-and-the-Bible.html

God bless,

John


 
Response from : beth  

April 25, 2007 12:47 PM
 

The debate begins, regarding homosexuality,with the question: Is the living of a homosexual lifestyle a sin? Until an individual recognizes a behavior as sinful, all arguments are moot. If I shoplift, but believe it's justified because I am poor or have been cast into difficult circumstances, through no fault of my own, I won't accept that I need to change. The laws need to change or "those" people responsible for my poor circumstances need to do something different. I seek to legitimize my behavior because it's convenient to me. Sin is sin is sin. We're all there and it's ugly. God's love for us has nothing to do with homosexuality being acceptable. I love my children even while I'm meting out punishment for disrespect or breaking of rules. Don't confuse the two. God loves us whether we are adulterers, practicing homosexuals or liars, but that doesn't mean these things please him. His love doesn't wax or wane based on our behavior. Do we seek, as Christians, to conform to the lowest common denominator of behavior that might please God or do we seek his face in everything we do (lifestyle, truth, finances, child-rearing), pray for strength to make right decisions and become more Christ-like each day?


 
Response from : Sweetmocha  

April 25, 2007 12:53 PM
 

In response to the subject of homosexuality I would like to speak from a lesbian point of view. I have been attending the same church for over twenty-five years. I know the Lord and the bible better than I know myself. I also know that a man shouldn't sleep with another man as he would a woman, according to the bible. However, this commandment is one of hundreds of other sins that are taught in the Bible. So my question is, why is homosexuality held to such a higher degree of immorality than all other sins combined? Society has taken the scriptures out of context by separating sins into levels of seriousness, but the Bible is whole. No one should take away or add anything to it, which is also spoken in the book of Revelation. I feel that everyone should read the Bible, apply it to their own lives, save their own soul and let go and let God. We are all Gods' children. Gay, straight, black white, adulterers', Jews, gentiles, gamblers, liars, alcoholics, sexual predators and more. Everyone is a sinner and will be until they repent, are born again and walk as one with the Lord, even ministers, deacons, ushers, and choir members. In spite of all the sins of the world combined, God still loves us all equally and will always love us, because it is in his image that we were created, so we will always be apart of him. To my brothers and sisters in Christ, who are homosexual, God loves you and so do I.

http://hotmail

 
Response from : Charlotte Lewis  

April 25, 2007 10:04 PM
 

Jesus looed at the rich young man and loved him but He also let him walk away when he refused Gods way of salvation. He did not go after him nor let him believe that He would compromise.Jesus is forgiving but He is not tolerant.


 
Response from : daniel hitzke  

April 26, 2007 2:52 AM
 

Thank you for your article. I thought that your response was very good and completely appropriate. It was considerate yet firm and backed with scripture as the Lord tells us to do. I have in the past been confronted with such an answer and have not known how to take it and how to respond. I always understood that such a response had a deep lie in it but until recently have I been able to respond in such a way. I wanted to ask, I have learn't that when we repent that we are admitting that what we have done is wrong and that in order to truly repent we must have a change of mind and to walk in a different direction, in the direction of Jesus I believe is the best way. In this situation I know it would be confronting and I don't want to close someone's mind but if anyone in this situation were truly considering themselves as Christian and said that they repent would they not realize that they are not repentant because they still choose to ignore the word of God that the choice is made to still walk the wrong path??? How would we teach such a thing in such a situation as this and not be pointing out someone's faults.. As i understand that would in a way be judgment on my part and i know that is not my place in any such way, as i too have faults like every other human. As well as close someones' mind as we all know no one likes their faults being pointed out to them by others... What do you think? Thank you once again for your article and your time.

God Bless!
Daniel Hitzke


 
Response from : LJ  

April 26, 2007 4:57 AM
 

Thank you Michael.

This problem has partly arisen because of people being raised as 'Christians' simply because they are not Muslim, Hindu or any other religion. They have been wrongly raised to believe that being brought up in the Church, or even just being raised in Britain or America, means they are a Christian. As they grow up they may form opinions that clearly oppose the Bible's main teachings but they don't want to leave their religious upbringing behind, so instead they want the Biblical teachings to change to accept their sinful behaviour.

I think if you are someone who actively tries to justify sex outside marriage of any sort then you have to ask yourself why you are so keen to call yourself a Christian, after all, the Bible makes no bones about its opposing stance on this issue. I'm tired of the number of TV presenters, actors etc that we have in Britain going on Christian TV shows saying 'I'm a practising Christian' while making it clear that they live with their partner (be it a heterosexual or homosexual relationship). If people don't want to follow the Bible, then they shouldn't follow it! Nobody is forcing them to be go to Church or read their Bible.

I believe that you can sin and be forgiven, we can all sin by reacting to things that happen. However, I don't believe that you can make a truly conscious decision to sin on a regular basis and still claim to follow the Bible and be a Christian.

I don't agree with Qur'an therefore I don't call myself a Muslim, if you don't agree with the teachings of the Bible then don't call yourself a Christian.


 
Response from : james  

April 26, 2007 5:40 PM
 

As a gay man who used to be "practicing" but has not now been with another man for some years,but still struggles with his sexuality, I agree with your general stance. It is also encouraging to see so many positive responses to your piece. But what would Jesus do? Jn 3:16 - God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. Christians need to minister to ALL people, gays included in the love of Christ, to bring the true saving grace of Jesus to the fore so that "sinners" are attracted by true Christian compassion for the lost, and not repelled by ignorant and bigotted prejudice. Christ sets people free, bigotry just condemns. Please don't single out the easy minority target - ALL have sinned and God looks on ALL sin as the same. It is man who grades sin according to his own prejudice. I implore Christians - don't be a stumbling block to people coming to faith, but REACH OUT IN LOVE and the harvest will be bountiful!!


 
Response from : Debbie  

May 1, 2007 12:57 PM
 

I enjoyed reading this article. I plan to share with my 16 year old son. My son told his father and I that he was bisexual (out of the blue)...I'm really concerned. He has told us that he knows it is wrong, and it is a choice. He can't explain to us why he has chosen this path. I know the kids that he is buddies with "embraced him" when he told them...and that concerns me. He has also told us that Christians are hyprocrits...we are dealing with a lot of issues at the present time...but if you could pray for our family I would greatly appreciate it.


 
Response from : Karleen  

May 8, 2007 9:18 AM
 

I agree with most of what Mr. Craven said. I've had sin in my life addressed recently and what I feel needs to be emphasized is the well known phrase, “God forgives sin, not excuses.” Jesus LOVES and DIED for ALL people…..some of which do end up in hell.

Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'



This may be some hard verses to read but we must speak the truth. I recommend Mary K. Baxter’s book, “A divine revelation of Hell”.


 
Response from : Charlotte  

May 8, 2007 1:00 PM
 

I cannot believe this new Jesus you are teaching Either you have repented and been born again or you have not. You fall in love with Jesus and are repentant in your heart every time you act in a wrong way, How can you say you even know our Savior and continue such a lifestyle or any lifestyle outside God's will. Sin is sin and repentance means change of heart. I don't condemn the homosexual as he is lost and cannot understand spiriual things but woe to the one who is telling him he is saved and God is still working on him. The person teaching this to a lost soul should ask himself WHAT DOES REBORN MEAN? My Heart weeps for the One who died for me and how we are so misrepresenting His word.


 
Response from : T. D. Renfroe  

May 8, 2007 3:17 PM
 

Sounds to me that the devil has these two gentlemen decieved and believing a big lie. The Bible that anyone who lives this type of lifestyle will not inherit the Kingdom of God. I will pray that the Lord show them their wicked ways and repent of their sins.


 
Response from : Celeste' E. Lawrence  

May 9, 2007 8:10 AM
 

We should never compromise with sin in our lives. Jesus paid a heavy cost for our sins, and we should never take it likely as we walk with the Lord. The conviction of sin is always upon us, but we have to humble ourselves and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and fall on our face before God and repent. Because Christ never comprised with sin. Thank You!


 
Response from : Mary  

May 9, 2007 11:53 AM
 

This is exactly why "once saved always saved" is a fallcy. NO ONE knows the state of ones soul except God. I did like the compassionate approach in this article. I had a friend who was gay and left her lifestyle before she died. It can be done with a tactful,prayerful and sacrificial approach. Was she saved? Only an answer know by Him. Homosexuality is just one in a long list of sins that can seperate you from God. Uttering the words, " I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior" is not a passport to Heaven. It's the beginning of your journey. One can cut ties to God at any time despite making this declaration.


 
Response from : Richard E.Furr  

May 9, 2007 9:49 PM
 

Dear Brother, While many argue the fact that one can be born gay, the bible spacifically states that we must be reborn to enter in the Kingdom of Heaven. Also it is biblical fact that God makes everything and everyone for a purpose. Man and woman are together to multiply the earth. The only purpose two men or women together would be for lustful benifits only. The bible is true and it says the truth will set you free, at the same time it didn't say it would fill good.

http://7777777

 
Response from : Niki Spencer  

May 10, 2007 8:08 AM
 

John needs prayer. It is so easy for people to becomes deceived. If you are truly saved, and you commit a sin, God will convict your heart. I pray John is truly a Christian.


 
Response from : velta Viney  

May 10, 2007 10:39 AM
 

Brother,
I loved the way you answered the gay christian professor and addressed the topic of homosexuality. Jesus said those that know me hear my voice. We got the knower in us and one thing I have come to realize about God's covenant is an agreement he made with man, not what man made with God. There are too many professor of Christ without our a confession that backed up with the lifestyle of a Christian. However once you belong to God, He that started a good work in us, will finish it. Before ever we were, God foreknew and predestined us, after we were born, He called and justified us, now we are in the process of being glorified. If that man is truly a Christian, he will not remain in this lifestyle and have peace at the same time, God is working in him some way. though he may not being saying anything, if he belongs to God, he'll never find joy and peace walking contary to God's commandments. So it is with all those that walk in sin. Brother may the Lord richly bless you in your wisdom from God toward man in this dark and preverse world.


 
Response from : Janovia  

May 10, 2007 2:26 PM
 

I agree with the author in that there are numerous forms of sin and that God wants us all to repent and turn from them. However, I also feel that as Christians we sometimes put a technicality on defining what judgement is when we decide for God which sins hold more weight. A scenario: three sinners. One is a murderer, one is a thief, and one is gay. None of them repent before they die. If they all end up in hell, whose sin is greatest? We all have to ACKNOWLEDGE our sins and try our hardest and rely on God to make a way for us to be able to turn away from the sin. When it comes to commiting sin, we as Christians, Gods chosen people, should not have a attitude of "Everyone else is doing it so it will be ok." Period


 
Response from : Pastor,Joe  

May 10, 2007 2:39 PM
 

2Thess3.15,Keep up the Lord's work,there's still some of us that want to reach the lost and not just fill are empty chairs.


 
Response from : Laubachs  

May 10, 2007 3:26 PM
 

Janovia said: "I also feel that as Christians we sometimes put a technicality on defining what judgement is when we decide for God which sins hold more weight. A scenario: three sinners. One is a murderer, one is a thief, and one is gay. None of them repent before they die. If they all end up in hell, whose sin is greatest?"

If they all ended up in hell, does it matter whose sin was greatest. James 2:10 says, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."

Christians are not to be in the judging business (which is God's business), but in the saving business. One sin, one time, sends us to hell. There is only one remedy, the Righteousness of Christ (Romans 3:19-26). 1 Cor 6:9-11 makes it clear that we can not continue on in our sin and go to heaven (be saved). When we are saved, we begin the sanctification process (Eph 4:17-24). We will fight the battle against sin until we go to be with the Lord. If we are not fighting against and hating the sin in our lives, we ought to examine ourselves to see whether or not we are of the faith (Biblical faith that saves).

Excellent article and response Mr. Craven!
Amen Pastor Joe!
For clarification Janovia, I was not disagreeing with you, I just wanted to add a point to your illustration.


 
Response from : Stacey  

May 10, 2007 3:43 PM
 

I have never heard this point so well stated.

whttp://www.christianpreceptsministries.org

 
Response from : Maila  

May 10, 2007 5:41 PM
 

Satan is truly the Father of all lies.He'll use anyone,from sinners to Christians,in the battle of good and evil.This is why we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit when we read our Bible because we can be easily deceived and blinded by the Devil.And most people abide partially with what the Bible says instead of wholly.I don't think one can be a Christian and gay at the same time.It says on Romans 1:21-27 "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet".
Sin is sin.If one is gay and calls themselves Christian, these people still want to live in sin.


 
Response from : Shawn  

May 10, 2007 10:21 PM
 

I entirely agree with this letter. Sin is sin and is never, under any circumstances justified. God is unconditionally loving, however is not tolerant of our sins. Anyone who sins at least once is guilty of sin and is condemned to hell unless he or she repents from the heart. Repentance also includes a clear intent to stop the sin. That means removing yourself from the environment (a same-sex partner or unmarried opposite-sex partner), joining a church that loves the sinner but rejects the sin, talking to the pastor about the exact nature of the sin, joining small groups that deals specifically with that sin, and asking God to help you change. This near always involves tears.

I suffer from a sexual addiction and have taken steps to stop this addiction. If I don't, I am guilty of the body of Christ. Homosexuals must stop their sin, or they will end up in hell just like I will if I continue to practice lawlessness. It is the ACT of homosexuality that makes it sin, not the desire. Just like other sexually immoral persons, including adulterers and pedophiles.
In my sin I am first accountable to God. Then to my pastor. Then to my groups that I attend.

For anyone who suffers from a sexual immorality may I suggest two groups. One called Celebrate Recovery, which is a Christ-centered recovery program, and one called Sexaholics Anonymous (or SA). The second groups is not "Christ-based" but allows for Christ to be the "higher power" and includes some prayers which are Christian based. This is not an endorsement. I am not a facilitator of either group. However, I personally attend both groups and I can attest to their effectiveness if the steps and principals are used and the literature is purchased and read. For more information on the groups, visit www.celebraterecovery.com and www.sa.org.

May God bless you, Michael Craven.


Your brother in Christ,

Shawn


 
Response from : Shawn  

May 10, 2007 10:47 PM
 

I entirely agree with this letter. Sin is sin and is never, under any circumstances justified. God is unconditionally loving, however is not tolerant of our sins. Anyone who sins at least once is guilty of sin and is condemned to hell unless he or she repents from the heart. Repentance also includes a clear intent to stop the sin. That means removing yourself from the environment (a same-sex partner or unmarried opposite-sex partner), joining a church that loves the sinner but rejects the sin, talking to the pastor about the exact nature of the sin, joining small groups that deals specifically with that sin, and asking God to help you change. This near always involves tears.

I suffer from a sexual addiction and have taken steps to stop this addiction. If I don't, I am guilty of the body of Christ. Homosexuals must stop their sin, or they will end up in hell just like I will if I continue to practice lawlessness. It is the ACT of homosexuality that makes it sin, not the desire. Just like other sexually immoral persons, including adulterers and pedophiles.
In my sin I am first accountable to God. Then to my pastor. Then to my groups that I attend.

For anyone who suffers from a sexual immorality may I suggest two groups. One called Celebrate Recovery, which is a Christ-centered recovery program, and one called Sexaholics Anonymous (or SA). The second groups is not "Christ-based" but allows for Christ to be the "higher power" and includes some prayers which are Christian based. This is not an endorsement. I am not a facilitator of either group. However, I personally attend both groups and I can attest to their effectiveness if the steps and principals are used and the literature is purchased and read. For more information on the groups, visit www.celebraterecovery.com and www.sa.org.


Chris:
The Holy Bible is God inspired and breathed. The Bible is the infallible & complete word of the living God. I believe that God put each and every word into the minds of the authors of the Bible and they wrote it AS God wanted them to.
Yes, we love our children unconditionally, but you wouldn't be tolerant of their constant disobedience, would you? I mean, if they constantly brought mud inside the house and poured it on to the new carpet, you would love them I am sure, but you wouldn't want them to stop? That new carpet would be really ugly.


Aryana:
Thank you for following Christ in this age with all the pressures on you. I am a 28 year old guy and the pressures on the teenagers of today are much greater than the pressures on the teenagers of the past.
I just want you to know that it is not the desire or the "being" homosexual that is sinful, it is the ACT of homosexuality that is sinful, wrong, and destructive. Please love those around you who are sinners, not judging them for their fleshly desires, just not condoning their sin.


donovan govender:
Interacting with sinners is not a sin. Jesus frequently interacted with sinners, that is He spoke to them about their sins. It is not the desire of homosexuality that makes the person a sinner, it is the ACT of homosexuality; that is heeding to the sin. Love thy neighbour, yes. Condone their sin, no.

"I believe that we should live in a democratic society allowing every person irrespective of their colour, religion and way of live to live as they please." Where did Christ say to do that? Christ stated specifically to correct our fellow brothers.

If the leper and the blind man were homosexuals, Jesus would have healed them on the condition that they turn from their sins.

"...Jesus himself will see what good work we are doing in his kingdom and bless us for following his word."
You have to actually follow His word before He will bless you for following His word.



May God bless you, Michael Craven.


Your brother in Christ,

Shawn


 
Response from : Stephen Duplantis  

May 10, 2007 11:59 PM
 

Let me ask this--how many of us are completely sinless? How many of us were completely delivered from every sin we were involved with at salvation? NOT ONE OF US--and you're lying if you said you were. Homosexuality is a lifestyle which it's roots are in thought processes. The bible says we are "renewed by transforming of the mind"--an ongoing process. Who is to say a homosexual needs to stop practicing his lifestyle in order to be saved. The thinking is what needs to be changed and that happens over a period of time and you have to get passed your own stuff and allow God to do His thing in others at the pace THEY need to come, not at the pace your religiosity wants. The church should be the place where homosexuals are most welcome. But articles like yours keep them away.

http://www.myspace.com/thebofthec

 
Response from : Shawn  

May 11, 2007 6:30 PM
 

I entirely agree with this letter. Sin is sin and is never, under any circumstances justified. God is unconditionally loving, however is not tolerant of our sins. Anyone who sins at least once is guilty of sin and is condemned to hell unless he or she repents from the heart. Repentance also includes a clear intent to stop the sin. That means removing yourself from the environment (a same-sex partner or unmarried opposite-sex partner), joining a church that loves the sinner but rejects the sin, talking to the pastor about the exact nature of the sin, joining small groups that deals specifically with that sin, and asking God to help you change. This near always involves tears.

I suffer from a sexual addiction and have taken steps to stop this addiction. If I don't, I am guilty of the body of Christ. Homosexuals must stop their sin, or they will end up in hell just like I will if I continue to practice lawlessness. It is the ACT of homosexuality that makes it sin, not the desire. Just like other sexually immoral persons, including adulterers and pedophiles.
In my sin I am first accountable to God. Then to my pastor. Then to my groups that I attend.

For anyone who suffers from a sexual immorality may I suggest two groups. One called Celebrate Recovery, which is a Christ-centered recovery program, and one called Sexaholics Anonymous (or SA). The second groups is not "Christ-based" but allows for Christ to be the "higher power" and includes some prayers which are Christian based. This is not an endorsement. I am not a facilitator of either group. However, I personally attend both groups and I can attest to their effectiveness if the steps and principals are used and the literature is purchased and read. For more information on the groups, visit www.celebraterecovery.com and www.sa.org.


Chris:
The Holy Bible is God inspired and breathed. The Bible is the infallible & complete word of the living God. I believe that God put each and every word into the minds of the authors of the Bible and they wrote it AS God wanted them to.
Yes, we love our children unconditionally, but you wouldn't be tolerant of their constant disobedience, would you? I mean, if they constantly brought mud inside the house and poured it on to the new carpet, you would love them I am sure, but you wouldn't want them to stop? That new carpet would be really ugly.


Aryana:
Thank you for following Christ in this age with all the pressures on you. I am a 28 year old guy and the pressures on the teenagers of today are much greater than the pressures on the teenagers of the past.
I just want you to know that it is not the desire or the "being" homosexual that is sinful, it is the ACT of homosexuality that is sinful, wrong, and destructive. Please love those around you who are sinners, not judging them for their fleshly desires, just not condoning their sin.


donovan govender:
Interacting with sinners is not a sin. Jesus frequently interacted with sinners, that is He spoke to them about their sins. It is not the desire of homosexuality that makes the person a sinner, it is the ACT of homosexuality; that is heeding to the sin. Love thy neighbour, yes. Condone their sin, no.

"I believe that we should live in a democratic society allowing every person irrespective of their colour, religion and way of live to live as they please." Where did Christ say to do that? Christ stated specifically to correct our fellow brothers.

If the leper and the blind man were homosexuals, Jesus would have healed them on the condition that they turn from their sins.

"...Jesus himself will see what good work we are doing in his kingdom and bless us for following his word."
You have to actually follow His word before He will bless you for following His word.



May God bless you, Michael Craven.


Your brother in Christ,

Shawn


 
Response from : Rebecca  

May 11, 2007 8:11 PM
 

I appreciate the article very much! Like Michael said, it is very grevious that so many people are trying to legitimize homosexuality. I still love homosexuals in the way that Christ says to love all sinners, but I cannot condone someone claiming to be a homosexual and be a Christian. Nowhere in the word is that founded and it's good to hear a good, Biblical reminder of that.


 
Response from : Elisabeth K. Mahan  

May 12, 2007 8:25 AM
 

Thank you so much for Truth--love the sinner, hate the sin. It is so sad--the churches general response to the standard 'unforgivable sins': adultry, homosexuality, murder--it is either crucify or stiff-arm. The Truth in Love has become all too difficult and the churches inability to walk in it, speak it, live it has crippled Her effectiveness in being the Heart of The One who perfected Truth in Love setting those who sought Him free! Thank you again for setting a Christlike example and challenging us all to return Kingdom Reality.


 
Response from : Becky  

May 13, 2007 5:56 PM
 

Is it entirely possible, that homosexuals do not believe that their lifestyle is a sin?


 
Response from : virginia saldana  

May 14, 2007 12:44 AM
 



I APPRECIATED THIS ARTICLE VERY MUCH. IT WAS EXPRESSED WITH TRUTH AND HEART FELT CONCERN. I FEEL IN TODAY'S TIMES THERE IS TOO MUCH CONCERN FOR APPROVAL RATHER THAN THE TRUTH OF GOD'S WORD. WE ARE NOT HERE TO WIN POPULARITY. THERE ARE PASSAGES IN SCRIPTURE ALSO WHERE THE LORD WAS DISLIKED FOR REPRESENTING THE TRUTH. GOD BLESS YOU

http://comment

 
Response from : Rick  

May 14, 2007 5:48 PM
 

Michael...
I am slow to check my mail box, but upon reading this article, I want to send my thanks to you, and hope you do recieve it. How you handled the remarks of the man and his homosexual lifestyle is in my hope,eye opening to me. That is, about sin in his life...sin in my life, and how I deal with another in their rebellion to Gods will, and more importantly my own rebellion (sin).I am not gay, but I am guilty of putting another persons sin above my own sin.There are a couple things in my life that I know are wrong or at best foolish to still be doing. See... I want to downplay or justify why I am still doing what I'm doing.I am not being obedient to God like I should,(turning away from my sin). Rather,I am guilty of looking at someones terrible sexual sin,and then making excuses for myself,and continue to do what I want to do; Beer...Cigarettes ..
I've got my reasons...I was doing it before Christ.I'm not able to change yet.God's working on me.He will prune out the bad in time.I'm trying to get through a painful loss of my wife after 22 years, and still playing the most innocent victim. I've been giving myself reason to not change my ways.One person wants to believe God made them this way....I want to believe life has given me reason to behave my way.Thank you for being a voice of truth. What I or anyone else does with it is in a large part up to us.I also believe I need to surrender my will, and stop letting my rebellious nature seperate me from God.
I need to draw close to God and His Word, and experience Him,(in His power)in my life more.I want to recieve true freedom in Christ and be transformed. I am told I can have this, but what I am admitting is I can't do this on my own.If I look around enough,I can find people in agreement with me,and continue to do what I want, or I can choose to look to the word of God and those who agree with His way, and ask and give thanks for their support and insight in His Love. Thank You Michael
May God continue to bless you and others through you...In Jesus Christ


 
Response from : Troy Burnett  

May 15, 2007 9:17 AM
 

Michael, I think you make a great stand for sainthood and the importance to fight for the faith, and not compromise to our own desires. I remember at one time I tried to justify sex (heterosexual) before marriage. The more I heard the word, and the more I continued to indulge in sin, the more conviction came. I came to an understanding that it is impossible to say that you are in the presence of God, and live a life that contradicts. I encourage you Michael to continue to be strong for Christ without bending or compromise.

http://www.duragminstries.com

 
Response from : Jeannet  

May 15, 2007 10:27 AM
 

The answer to the concern posed about being gay is answered by the scipture of Romans 1: 21-27. My gay brother should read it for free spiritual counselling.


 
Response from : Travis Hood  

May 17, 2007 2:12 AM
 

Although this is probably not your intended purpose in writing your article, I want to thank you for defining why "unconditional love" is not necessarily biblical. I've been trying to articulate my thoughts and have not been able to do it effectively, and reading your article flipped the switch! Also, check out 1Corinthians 5:12. Christians should not be afraid to make judgements about professing believer's lives...we are our brother's keepers!!

http://www.myspace.com/stuffthatmakesyouthink

 
Response from : Fran Marie  

May 17, 2007 3:47 AM
 

Again I say AMEN to a brother who is not ashamed of the TRUE Gospel.

Too many are trying to liberalize a Just God. God is liberal in mercy NOT condoning sin.

If you have sex with someone not your spouse you are in sin. Period.

Let us not forget Romans 1:18-29


 
Response from : Joe Ortiz  

May 17, 2007 4:37 AM
 

Mike, totally agree with eveerything you have said. Thank you for you for your honesty in proclaiming God's truth. It might be plain talk, but it's gospel truth. Repent for the remssion of your sins. God has no intention of saving anyone who comes to Him not willing to repent. It's called pride. People want to be saved on their own terms, And God say's no, our terms are as filthy rags. When God calls us to repent, He's not asaking, He's
commanding us. When a parent sees their child wonder out in the road, and the parent see what the child can not, a truck turning the corner and racing down the road towards them, the parent does not call out to the child and say "Joey, wlll you come out of the road please, it's dangerous out there. No, the parent commands the child ..Joey, turn to me get out of the road NOW !.I the same way, God cammands people eveerywhere to repent, before the truck of sin runs us over on the road of rebellion. We must continue to communicate Christ's message (luke 24;47) of repentance and forgiveness everywhere.

Again, thanks Mike I'm keeping your article for future referrence.
God bless.


 
Response from : Kelly  

September 4, 2007 3:28 PM
 

Fact: I was a homosexual (or someone with "same sex attractions") or whatever you want to call it. I HATED myself. I HATED men and I was very jealous of them! Yet I lusted and was attracted to men sexually. Does that make any sense to any of you? NO! Does that sound like someone who is spiritually whole and sound? NO! I remember when I first "came out of the closet" and embraced my homosexuality. I was thrilled and I felt like I was finally the person I was always suppose to be because as far back as I could remember, I was very feminine. I was close to my mother and had a distant father. I thought my mother was a superhero because she always saved me from my father's rages, etc. So I ruined a 15 year relationship with my wife (yes I was married and I called myself a Christian) to be with men. I have since realized through therapy that I was one messed up dude. My gayism was the catalyst that got me the help I needed both mentally and emotionally to become healthy minded.


 
Response from : Jason J.  

March 5, 2008 9:36 PM
 

I always find this topic fascinating. Without getting into a long detailed response, let me just say, in response to your not finding support of gay people in the Bible, there simply wasn't a term/definition or even understanding for a gay person two thousand years ago! Sure there was mention of brothels, but nothing about same-sex born orientation. Why are we trying to use the Bible which was written thousands of years ago to define a word that was defined much later? I’m not at all saying the Bible is obsolete – as a Christian I breathe the Bible, however you wont find the definition of the Internet in the Bible either, it simply wasn’t known/defined then. The Bible states that earth is the center of the universe, years later science proved otherwise. Science is also used in understanding those born gay. To proof text without context is pretext! Feel free to check this book out http://www.cebiaz.com/book/ it’s quite informative. Lastly, God is the only author of life, I’d be very careful in spouting He authored a mistake in any way shape or form.

http://www.jasonj.biz

 
Response from : matt  

December 20, 2008 2:47 PM
 

I see both sides of this issue, however, the bible fails to address gay versus straight. Biblical annectdotes leave me wondering how the behavior of straight society came to be the sin of gays? The sin against sodom was not gay related or rooted in homosexualty according to Ezekial 16: 48-50. Men raping men, women or angels is not motivated by love or intimacy. Straight people engage in homosexuality, but are not gay. The bible doesn't address these issues anywhere. Infact, peoples' identitites have nothing to do with the issue of immoral sex versus love. It's promiscuity that has always been the problem here. Promiscuity has led to disease and death, not being straight or gay. Being in committed relationships would help prevent this, gay or straight. Until homosexual behavior is correctly addressed in the bible as a manifestation among straight people, gays with always be falsly blamed. Remember, Sodom was a city with mostly straight people, including Lot, yet their sexual immorality has been placed on the back's of the gay 3% (approx.). The number of gays then as today have always been samll. Gays and straight need to curb their sexual promiscuity period! There is no difference. Gay people should be encouraged to commit to one person just like straight people. Yes, marriage is for straight people only in my opionion. The promiscuity of straights often leads to impregnated women, so it is logical that the man form a union with the woman and child. Gays cannot reproduce, so no fear of them giving birth naturally. Let's address the problems and behaviors, use common sense and leave peoples' identities alone. We need to extend equality to all, stop the blame game and love our neighbors. And the translation of words from greek/hebrew/aramaic leave a bit to be desired and should be a concern to all.


 
Response from : Michael Bryant  

August 1, 2013 9:27 PM
 

How does God makes a gay person straight?

The answer is actually very simple.It about life.Every life has a nature.The *nature,speaks of the conduct, attributes, inclinations and desires of that particular life.Its natural for a life to do what comes natural to that life to do.The only possible way to change the nature is to change the life.Thanks to Adam and Eve, we are all born disconnected from God's life(though not His love),so we dont have his nature.We all have enough sin in us that proves this,though we may not all sin the same way.God gave us the Mosaic Law to prove to the world just how far off we are from what He intended for us to be.However, the Law dealt only with man's conduct,but not with what was lacking in His life,therefore his corrupt nature stayed the same.Even the Israelites, who were given the Law,couldnt keep it.Jesus was the only one who perfectly kept the Law,because as Emmanuel,He had God's life,therefore God's nature.Religion may change how we feel,but no religion can change what we are.However,in salvation, God gives to us of His own life,in the person of His Son,Christ Jesus.The believer in Christ Jesus now has within himself 2 distinctly different lives and therefore 2 distinctly different natures.You have the one that you already had,which is of the flesh,and has your nature,but you now also have the life of the risen Christ in your spirit,which has His nature. The bible says that the flesh and the spirit war,so that you cannot do what you will to do.Through the lies that you have believed about yourself through your feelings, your flesh will pull your soul one way towards the world,sin,self gratification,and indulging the flesh your way,while the new life growing in your spirit will start convicting your heart concerning sin,and draw your soul into the Light and Liberty of the Lord to find complete satisfaction, joy,and rest in Him.Anyone who rests in the Lord will be restored by the Lord,and become what God intended for them to be;for in the beginning it was He who created us male and female.The believer must feed the life that wants to rule and starve the one that he wants to put down.Believing the lie feeds the flesh,while believing the truth,no matter how much the flesh protests,feeds the spirit.Once the spirit become the governing principle instead of the flesh,you wont be able tell that that man used to be a homosexual or that females used to be a lesbian,no matter how long they have been in it.Excerpt from "Losing my religion,Gaining my Identity" 2012(c)Michael Bryant


 

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