Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

John MacArthur on Having Gay Children: Alienate Them & Turn Them Over to Satan

John MacArthur was recently asked by a reader how they should respond to an adult child who has acknowledged they are gay. His parenting advice?

Alienate them.

Separate them.

Isolate them.

Refuse to have a meal with them.

Turn them over to Satan.

Here’s the full clip:

I have a better idea: if you have a child who comes out to you, regardless of your theological opinion, here’s what you should do:

Walk across the room, give them a big hug, and tell them that you’re always going to love them.

What troubles me about MacArthur’s advice, and so many who think like him, is the horrible inconsistency that often is used when it comes to shunning. One of the key passages folks use to support shunning comes from 1 Corinthians 5– the unfortunate truth, however, is that Paul lists several sins he thought were shun-worthy. Folks like MacArthur have lifted sexual immorality out of that passage while completely ignoring the rest of what Paul taught.

Why?

Because it would be horribly inconvenient to actually practice this verse. In it, Paul teaches that we are to have nothing to do with Christians who are… greedy.

Which in America, is a whole lot of us. I wonder if MacArthur would also suggest you shun an adult child who makes $200,000 a year but doesn’t tithe or give any of their money to charity? Somehow, I doubt it.

I wonder if MacArthur would teach that we should isolate, alienate, and turn over to Satan our children who struggle with over-eating? That can be a form of greed because it is taking more than you need.

Or, what about the idolators mentioned in that same passage? I know a boat load of Christians who are trusting in firearms for their safety instead of God– which is idolatry. According to Paul, they should be shunned as well.

And, don’t even get me started on the fact that Paul also mentions “abusive” people in that passage also. That’s a whole other can of worms that would require shunning a lot of Christians in leadership.

Paul goes on to also include drunks and swindlers… so let’s make the list of people we’re going to shun even longer.

I’m just glad that I worship Jesus– not MacArthur (or even Paul himself!).

Jesus is the one who religious conservatives hated because instead of shunning, he had meals with people.

The drunks.

The hookers.

The swindlers.

You know, the kind of people we’re supposed to shun.

This is precisely why we are to make Jesus– and nothing else– the center of our faith and practice. Because it is through Jesus we find that sharing a meal, not alienation, is what love looks like.

So, please– if you have a child who comes out to you, forget everything that MacArthur is saying on shunning, and exchange it for giving a hug and sharing a meal.

 

Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

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854 Responses

  1. Nothing wrong with obedience to Christ and Gods word. You owe Mr. MacArthur an apology brother. Jesus is Lord. Sin is Not.

  2. The entire thrust of this article and the summation of this movement is a complete dismissal of God’s holiness. God’s love is the entire focus while God’s holiness is completely ignored.

    1. Ben Corey says that Christ would never separate families in the manner suggested by MacArthur. Jesus actually said: “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53 “They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Luke 12:51-53

    2. Ben Corey says excommunication was only about Church membership, not family membership. Corey fails to grasp the seriousness of professing Christ while living a lifestyle predominantly defined by sin rather than righteousness.

    3. Ben Corey engages in the red herring strategy by implying that gun owners are idolaters. Personally, I think the bring your gun to church day is silly, but that doesn’t make it idolatry or even a sin. I am not sure what the purpose is to be honest.

    4. Ben Corey then pulls the orientation versus behavior card as if MacArthur thinks that the temptation for gay sex is sinful but that is about as dishonest and unfair as anyone could be. In addition, the number of people with homosexual proclivities that abstain is so infinitesimally small it is hardly worth mentioning. Another red herring.

    5. Both MacArthur and White’s comments come within the context of children who announce they are living a gay lifestyle while claiming to be Christian. MacArthur and White would both applaud a person who was attracted to the same sex but abstaining from sex altogether because they realize it is a sin. Neither James White nor John MacArthur would say that same-sex attraction is ipso-facto a sin. What they would argue is that you cannot act on that attraction. You cannot engage in that BEHAVIOR as a lifestyle AND be a Christian at the same time.

    Corey wants his cake and to eat it too. In one place he wants to place men like John MacArthur and James White in the worse possible light, set up his straw man and knock it over. In another place he wants to go all out and argue that gay sex itself is NOT a sin. In short, Ben Corey and his crowd are all over the map on this one. Just read a few posts and you will discover for yourself just how convoluted and incoherent the arguments are. One minute he is appealing to the Bible and Jesus and the next minute he is completely ignoring it. Well folks, you can’t have it both ways. Either Scripture is the final authority or it is not. And when it comes to something as fundamental and as basic as a sexual ethic and sin, Scripture is very clear. No one needs a seminary degree to understand what sin is.

    Having children that profess a love for Jesus while living a life defined by homosexual sex is a serious matter. A parent has the very unpleasant and regrettable task, but also the duty and opportunity to place God over their love for their child and do the right thing. They will do this if they love their child. If they do NOT confront this situation and handle it according to Scripture, they are NOT loving their child.

    If Jesus did not mean that He would bring division within households just like this sort of division, what exactly then did He mean?

  3. I posted this comment as a reply to Ed (with an additional admonishment to him about his arrogance) further down the page but I also wanted to post it here as I want to emphasize and share the idea that “good theology leads to good psychology”

    Here’s what I know …. I know that scripture does not speak clearly for or against a loving, monogamous same sex relationship and for anyone to say that it does completely strips away any integrity that they may have when speaking of scripture. If you really know original language and historical context you have to agree that it is not clear. In light of that we have to decide how to proceed without any clear scriptural guidance on the matter.

    Being the parent of a son who is gay and having spent many years connecting with hundreds of Christians who are LGBT – taking the time to get to know them and hearing their stories and becoming friends with them, I have come to the following two conclusions:

    1) It would be unjust to condemn something without clear evidence that it should be condemned or clear evidence that it is harmful.

    2) Good theology leads to good psychology. If our theology is leading to depression, hopelessness, self hate, self harm, suicide and other negative states then we must reconsider what we are teaching and believing. Over and over again I see Christians who are suppressing their lgbt sexual orientation living emotionally unhealthy lives and over and over again I see Christians who are living authentically into the person they were created to be (as an lgbt person) becoming whole and healthy human beings. Not only are they healthier physically, mentally and emotionally but they are healthier spiritually. The evidence speaks for itself.

    1. Apparently you do not know what you think.

      All homosexual relationships beyond simple, friendship are condemned quite clearly. Paul knew exactly what he was saying..

      What leads to depression is those that encourage sinful behavior. No wonder kids are confused and make their identity their sexuality.

          1. No, YOUR sin of misplaced judgment beats them down, causing fellow Christians to stumble (itself a big Biblical NO-NO). I can see how you might get it so wrong, given your horrible fundamental biases and all. I love you.

              1. Sin has very little hold on me. Nothing sad about my life since I came to Christ. I am full of peace and joy.
                You, on the other hand, are the sad one full of hatred and anger which causes you to lash out at those you perceive weaker.
                I wish you peace in your life as well. 🙂

                  1. What is really truly wonderful about my walk with Christ is that bond is TOO powerful for YOU to rip it apart. Nothing you can say invalidates my faith. Nothing you can do diminishes my love for the Lord. And, you shall never be able to take it away from me.

                    But, I will NOT stand by and allow you to discard and shame someone else who may still be struggling.

                    So, you can keep trying, Frank, but I and others like me will continue to do the Lord’s work and lift other souls UP. Even yours.

                    1. Yes God does use sinners for his purposes. Its too bad they let their sin prevent greater uses and blessings.

                    2. Like you are doing? Think of all the good you could do if you weren’t so blinded by your haughtiness!

  4. High five, Ben. 🙂 I just found your blog, and I’m intrigued. Sounds like you look at the Bible a bit like I do–albeit from a religious perspective rather than a purely historical one, and focused on the NT rather than the Tanakh. Going to have to start following you, I think.

  5. Can’t wait to see the multifarious delusions contained in undiluted. Why is it that these guys dilute the gospel and then turn around call it undiluted?

    I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:

    2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

    4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

    5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

    1. Ed – you’ve made your point a few thousand times. We understand you disagree with the post. Now stop it and go out in the world and do something nice for someone – give someone a hug, encourage someone, lift someone up, feed the hungry, care for the sick, visit someone in jail (not to tell them how bad they are but to let them know that someone cares about them), plant a tree or a flower, cheer for a kid that is trying something new – find something positive to do for a change.

      1. Considering Ben stooped to the level of malicious slander, I think I will stick around and do what I can to help occasional visitors see the folly of the hermeneutics and philosophy propagated on this blog. But thank you anyways.

          1. You didn’t even read what MacArthur said. And Corey did not tell the whole story which is bearing false witness. How about that Ben! The Atheists are on your side also. What does that tell you.

      2. Hahahhaaahaaahaaa! I don’t think Ed actually knows what ‘slander’ means!

        noun: slander
        1.
        the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.

        Nothing Benjamin posted in this blog post comes close to being a false account of anything MacArthur said or did, especially since it is backed up by MacArthur’s own video!

        Slander. teehee.

  6. I went to MacArthur’s conservative college years ago and can tell you he REALLY believes this and the staff at the school lives it. I was completely shunned when I was “outed” by my room-mate. It took me YEARS to get over being called “disgusting” and “an abomination” by staff in “counseling” sessions at the school. (On a side note, it turns out my counselor was gay, too. Yes, the one who worked at the college! That explains a lot of the vitriol!) And then, when I couldn’t “leave the lifestyle” I was just told to leave the school. MacArthur sure did “turn me over to Satan” – and Satan almost won. Thankfully, God chased me down and through his love brought me back to the faith. Today, I stand in Christ–I trust Him to save me, not “Christians” like MacArthur who speak from a place of pride and condemnation because their God is so small. “Christians” like MacArthur have it all backwards–they use their words to “cast out” instead of to “reel in” people who need God.

    I still struggle with the ‘residue’ of my experience at MacArthur’s college, but luckily, I have known many Christians since then who have loved me AS IS and didn’t see any need to call Satan and ask him if he has room for one more in his den of sin.These type of Christians ARE out there, thankfully.

    There’s also a book out there by Jeff Chu–Does Jesus Really Love Me?–where he shares his story of traveling around the United States as a gay Christian man and talking to pastors and church folk about what they believe. I share about this book/topic in my blog here: http://www.hopehorner.com/2013/08/who-is-this-god-you-love.html

    If you are reading this and you are gay, do NOT think all Christians feel the way MacArthur does and want to shun you. I can assure you they do not. Do not let this unloving, narrow-minded Christian turn you from a fulfilled life in Christ. John MacArthur loves being “right” more than he loves being “righteous.”

    If you’re interested, you can read more about how I bounce back from “MacArthur meanies” here: http://www.hopehorner.com/2013/07/life-is-painand-great-i-guarantee-it.html

    In Christ Alone,
    Hope

    1. I am very glad you recovered from your shunning and realized that Christ Himself never shunned you.

    2. Hope – You are right – not all Christians are like MacArthur! And more and more people are realizing how unChristlike that kind of thinking is.

  7. As I keep saying, we have re-considered the issue of slavery. Make no mistake – the bible condones slavery in both the OT and NT. Why are so many opposed to re-considering the issue of homosexuality? There are more verses in the bible that support slavery than that oppose homosexuality.
    What do we do with all of those Christians who are gay? It’s easy to write them off as sinners. I know too many to do that. We need the courage to re-think those texts. Jesus did not alienate or separate from people. That is one of the reasons the fundamentalists of his day hated him.
    Also, shunning was a part of the honour and shame culture of which Paul was a part. Most people in western cultures today realize that it is ultimately ineffective. Sadly, some cultures, and fundamentalists in our own, have not.

    1. Why is it that there are Christians who can’t embrace the reasonable argument that you put forward? I don’t get why they can’t seem to get it!

      1. I think, honestly, what scares many Christians who oppose the gay rights argument that there are different interpretations of Scripture, is the idea that allowing THIS reinterpretation would call into question their entire belief system (and their stance on other theological issues), which is (by and large, though not all) based on a belief in Biblical inerrancy. I think for some Christians it is immensely frightening to try to question their faith critically, because what if questioning leads them to non-belief?

        If we change our minds on THIS issue, do we have to start reexamining our thoughts on every OTHER issue?

        When I think the questioning and critical thinking is what leads one to strengthen one’s faith, because one begins to reallyunderstand it instead of just doing and saying “what we’re told” our faith should be.

        1. Jeff, I agree! Most people, including me, would like to be in control of “stuff” if possible and being certain about God and scripture and Christianity and what is right and wrong can make us feel like we are in control.

          When we have lived that way for a while we can become addicted to the secure (even though it is a false security) feeling that being certain makes us feel and letting go of that certainty … the feeling that we are in control … can be very scary. But, an honest pursuit of the Christian faith … an honest examination of our life as a follower of Jesus is going to reveal to us that we can’t put God in a box like that.

          When we continue to try and box God in he will end up blowing the top off of that box. He will turn stuff upside down and inside out to show us that there is more to him and his love and his ways.

          Most people will get it when that happens but there are those who dig their heels in and won’t budge. They get SO angry at those who stop coloring inside the lines and thinking outside of the boxes.

          Like Ed here, they exhaust themselves and anyone who will listen to them with their certainty about things.

          The only reason I reply to people like Ed is to make sure that any true seekers will see that although Ed is loud his is not the only voice that is speaking and they can discern for themselves where the truth lies.

  8. When your child falls into sin, a horribly destructive sin, we are to “walk across the room, give them a big hug, and tell them you’re always going to love them”??? I can’t think of any response that would be LESS loving, helpful, biblical, or God-honoring. As it has been previously stated, we need to understand and function by the biblical definition of “love”; and not that which is currently defined by our culture.

    1. This child you speak of…. could you now see this child as a child of a gay couple.

      A child handicapped, unwanted, left to the system. With no one to love them until another soul; an adult soul that has experienced rejection themselves from those whom walk “tall”. Comes into that child’s life and picks them up, pushes their wheelchair, wipes their tears, offers them a place to belong in a world that is cold and hard.

      For, I have seen Christ in many families…. called gay families… that brings this straight Christian Quaker to her knees in humility of the beauty love can do in action. When some one actually shows actions. Not just words, actual actions and daily loves and cares for a child. Cares for children that “straight families” scan their eyes over as they look for a child to adopt.

      The most beautiful picture of Christ I have had the privilege to witness again and again here on earth is: A PFLAG FAMILY GATHERING. Where the “rejected”, “broken”, “left to die” members of humanity come together in celebration of the children no one else wanted. The joy, the love, the beauty found when wheel chairs are the norm is a precious encounter of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

      Horribly destructive sin? In your eyes, not in the eyes of a child who are deeply loved by these “gay people” so many righteous Christians reject.

      Truly, the purest place to see Christ is to look for the broken in humanity, those verbally stoned in humanity and sit for awhile there. If it does not bring you to tears witnessing such love… I would suggest much more time spent in silence and listening to the Holy Spirit on humbled knees.

      Blessings, Quaker Grandmother.

    2. First of all, I do not believe being gay is a horribly destructive sin. Second, if my child did fall into such a thing I would absolutely walk across the room, give them a big hug, and tell them that I will always love them. I hope you would believe the same about God should you ever “fall into sin”.

    3. I do actually wonder how one falls into homosexuality. Like, did I trip over a rock or something and land in the Green Gay Valley? Or did someone push me into Man-Man Canyon?

      1. Hi Jeff,
        Like myself, you were born with an evil, vile, rebellious heart; and from this polluted and wicked heart stem homosexual desire, thought and behavior; along with a host of other horrible desires, thoughts and behaviors.
        The love of God is only accurately seen when we understand that God hates sin; hates the sinner; and has given a death sentence to all who are sinners. But, Christ came and died; the sinless for the sinful, that the holy, righteous judgment of God might be redirected. There is the very real sense in which God loves humanity; which is why we have the cross; but there is also another real sense in which God hates/abhors us; which also is why we have the cross.

        1. No, ma’am. Homosexual desire does not stem from a sinful nature, any more so than also normal heterosexual desire stems from it.
          I am a sinner like you, however my sins are not homosexuality. My acceptance of my gayness goes hand in hand with my acceptance of Christ into my heart. The Truth indeed HAS set me free.

          No amount of you spouting your opinions on the matter will change that.

          1. Actually, I am male (though my name is Morgan); unless you were trying to be funny.
            I’ll encourage us both to provide more meaningful forms of argumentation; for if you re-read your note, I can easily plug my position into your phraseology; meaning, assertions by themselves have zero credibility — where is your support?

            1. No! I wasn’t trying to be funny! Oops, sorry! Sir it is!

              (And, as I just stated in another response, the questions raised about the validity of anti-homosexuality Scripture are ALL over this progressive Christian channel, and are usually within the TEXTS of the blog posts, or linked. I’m not gonna just try to parrot what all of those say, nor do I expect them to convince you *I* am right. I do, however, expect you to at least allow there can be a difference of theology on this and every other issue, and ask you to err on the side of loving your fellow Christian, who may not be walking your same path. Encouraging shunning, in my opinion, is NEVER the correct way to love your fellow Christian.)

              1. That’s a great example of your position; let’s look at your argument:
                1) What does it mean to “love your fellow Christian”? Meaning, how is that to be manifested and how/where do we see it explained in scripture. Clearly, there are graphic examples and guidelines for church conduct; of which include the moral purity of the church; and, how to maintain that purity.
                2) Our difference is not merely an academic disagreement on some obscure theological topic; rather, it is a difference of thought on the very gospel and on those who will be shut out the Kingdom and those who will allowed in. The eternal souls of human beings are impacted.

                1. But, when you use your theological ‘certainty’ to shut out other people from hearing the Good News of the Gospel (shunning them from Church) based on YOUR assessment of what constitutes a sin (even if it is a shared assessment with some others) you run the very risk of denying Christ to those who (in your eyes) might need Him the most.

                  Plus, on the off chance that your assessment of the sin might be wrong (since not all denominations of Christianity agree on what is and is not sinful) why on earth would you stick to your guns and kick someone out “with love?”

                  I love you enough as a fellow Christian to tell you I believe you to be misinterpreting the main commandments of Christ to love God and love our neighbors by manifesting a hubric judgment upon other people. And, you are hurting them (us.)

                  Our differences ARE a theological difference. The main thing that should unite us is a shared belief in our Lord Jesus Christ, and following Him, but based on your other comment about there being no gay Christians, YOU would deny me the opportunity to share this faith with you.

                  Once you get past the 2 main commandments from Christ, everything else IS fairly minor in detail. And, I reiterate that shunning someone you don’t think is “good enough” for the Kingdom is NOT a valid execution of either commandment.

                  1. Technically speaking, as mandated by Christ and the apostles, church is not intended for proclaiming the gospel. Rather, church is intended for those who already believe, for the purpose of corporate worship.

                    We are commanded to make moral judgments (AKA moral evaluations) continuously as Christians. What we are to avoid is, making a final, authoritative ruling, one any person’s ultimate eternal destiny.

                    To be clear, no one is “good enough” for the Kingdom; that is why Christ lovingly went to the cross.

                    As an example, in your argument, let’s substitute the word “gay” with “gossiping”. Could someone be an unrepentant, proud, “Gossiping Christian”? Would it be unloving to suggest that the person who practiced gossip, openly and proudly, who has no desire to turn from that lifestyle, be removed from the body of believers (Church)?

                    1. Ah, but see my response to your other question, as regards to ‘unrepentant.’

                      If church is intended only for those who already believe, then why do we invite nonbelievers to join us at church? Shouldn’t you start to implement an entrance questionnaire to ensure only people who believe, and believe in the way you say they should, into the walls?

                      I disagree with you (and MacArthur) about us being commanded to make moral judgments as Christians. And, for those who are not supposed to be making final authoritative rulings, they sure do that a LOT.

                      Look, if we’re going by what church is intended for, technically speaking, wherever Christ is in the heart of a believer, there church is. So, whether you agree with my lack of need for repentance, no matter where I am, I am part of the Church. Because Christ is there with me in my heart, guiding my choices.

                    2. That some people invite unbeliever’s to church has no relevance on what the scripture teaches regarding New Testament church order and function. The scriptures, not people’s opinion or conduct, have authority over life.

                      Let’s look at John MacArthur’s study habits for a moment:
                      Dr. MacArthur has systematically and carefully studied and taught through the entire New Testament (over a 40+ year time-frame). His process of study is done by means of a sound hermeneutic, which include: (1) education which has provided him a functional understanding and practical usage of New Testament Greek; paying careful attention the importance of grammar and syntax (2) exhaustive cultural, historical, geographical study and reconstruction of each passage being studied, so as to further his understanding on the meaning (interpretation) of a particular text (3) an extremely thorough use of appropriate cross referencing for the means of fostering the concept of analogia scriptura (scripture interprets scripture); (4) before any actual studying is performed, he saturates himself in the particular book he’s studying; for example, before studying the epistle of 1 John, he read the book repetitiously 90 times. (5) by all outward appearances, his life has been without scandal or reproach (6) after listening to him for over 10 years, it is quite clear that Dr. MacArthur’s primary concern in life is glorifying God and the love of God’s truth (as revealed in scripture) — regardless of how popular or unpopular it may be (7) he has spent, on average, 30 hours a week (over 40 a year+ history) in study preparation.

                      Now, this does not mean that Dr. MacArthur is incapable of error, misunderstanding or misinterpretation; however, given his study habits, might not it be wise to give his teaching some serious consideration, over against the typical arm-chair theologian who has not given his life to such rigorous study? Most pastors, let alone the average lay person, gives less than a fraction of their time to serious study; and yet, often, they will be the quickest to disagree and cry foul.

                    3. You know, I never said that I’ve not giving teaching like his serious consideration. (In fact, due to my lengthy period of chastising myself, you should already be able to extrapolate the assumption that I DID.) I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church, surrounded by that type of teaching. However, his ‘authority’ based on years of study does not supersede the responsibility, nay the mandate, of the individual believer to study and discern from Scripture and other studies OF said Scripture to divine meaning pertaining to the individual believer’s faith walk. If one is simply relying on others to discern from the Scripture and from prayer for us, then that is no faith at all, save for the faith in a human faith leader.

                      Meaning, MacArthur’s proclamations are nigh-irrelevant when applied to my life and my relationship with Christ. I also study the Scripture to reveal God’s Truth, and my interpretation and study reveals the Truth in a wholly different way from what MacArthur is stating.

                      MacArthur’s is not better simply because he has devoted more time to it.

                    4. Study in itself is only helpful if the manner of study is sound and logical given that the bible is an ancient and foreign document. That you study at all or a lot is meaningless unless by what means you study. By what hermeneutic do you study?
                      It is whole-heartedly true that individual Christians are to perform their own diligent study; not given to laziness, allowing the pastor or teacher study for them; in part, that is one way in which cults can gain power; however, we are also not to despise the teachers that God has given us (as mentioned in His word as a gift to the Church). Teacher’s are men gifted, from God, to assist us; let us not despise that which God has given us. Furthermore, it is also true that the Holy Spirit will teach and illuminate the individual Christian; however, ought not we also to heed other godly men who have had illumination from the same Spirit; or, shall we proudly assume that we contain all knowledge and need not interact with other men of God. There is a reason we are commanded to avoid neglecting the ‘assembling together’ (Church); we are not meant to study the bible and therefore interpret the bible in vacuum, without teachers and other Christians.

                    5. “If the manner of study be sound”? There you go again, attempting to assert YOUR judgment on whether or not something is studied or interpreted correctly.

                      Look, I’ve humored you long enough, but you are treating me like a subject of the Inquisition who must PROVE my faith to you. You and MacArthur have no authority over my faith, and cannot rightly call it invalid.

                      I’m done answering your questions. I am a Christian, and that’s not up to you to call; it’s up to me. I do not need your permission or help to believe. Or be a part of the Church.

                    6. I will quickly admit that doubtless, your intelligence exceeds mine, for I’m not always the sharpest tool in the shed; however, to suggest that any random method of bible study is sound and will lead to an accurate interpretation is just foolhardy.
                      I believe your verbiage is a slightly mellow dramatic; we’re simply attempting to understand the nature of man; the nature of God; and how the bible relates. Also attempting to communicate on issues that require thought and discernment.
                      No one is “judging” you and certainly not me of all people. Disagreement is not judgment; neither is correction or reproof.
                      Best wishes to you, Jeff. I wish nothing but God’s true peace to you.

                    7. Oh, I was not being melodramatic to you. You came in here with your predisposed bias that there is no such thing as a gay Christian, then proceeded to barrage me with questions determining the validity of my Christian faith. I do not have to prove my faith to you nor do I seek your approval for the existence of my faith. Also, you questioned the soundness of my Bible study, simply because you do not agree with my positions on Scripture and homosexuality.

                      We gay Christians grow ever so tired of having to prove our faith to you. And, you acting as if we do not exist does not grow the church or build any kind of unity for Christ.

                      Edit to add (and, oy, correct some punctuation):
                      I didn’t see this from you until I got home late tonight:
                      “Forgive me, most importantly, by far, is that it appears that you may not know the gospel. Though you grew up in Church and religious activity does not mean you know or even heard the gospel. The doctrines of regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification are not academic topics for the theologians, but for all who call themselves Christians. A clear, lucid, coherent, specific understanding of the Gospel is essential for salvation. Are you sure you know the gospel? Can you provide coherent, meaningful support (from the Bible alone)?”

                      THIS. THIS is the relentless sort of calling into question the validity of our faith, summed up into one nutshell. It appears I may not know the Gospel? What hogwash. You peppered me with a dozen questions to try to “test my faith” and were able to reach your conclusion (which you had before we even entered into a conversation) that I am not indeed a Christian.

                      People who are so convinced of their own codified beliefs against homosexuals are so quick to attempt to tear down the faiths of those people who are them or support them. What unbelievably condescending claptrap, Sir.

                      The hypocrisy of this all is that very few of you go about interrogating other Christians ad nauseum to figure out if they really follow Jesus.

                      This is not spreading the Gospel, Morgan. Not even close.

                    8. Forgive me, most importantly, by far, is that it appears that you may not know the gospel. Though you grew up in Church and religious activity does not mean you know or even heard the gospel. The doctrines of regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification are not academic topics for the theologians, but for all who call themselves Christians. A clear, lucid, coherent, specific understanding of the Gospel is essential for salvation. Are you sure you know the gospel? Can you provide coherent, meaningful support (from the Bible alone)?

    4. Morgan – people don’t fall into being lgbt – they are born that way. The biblical definition of love doesn’t include promoting a belief system that results in self hate and self harm. That isn’t good theology.

      1. No evidence that people are born gay and even if it were it doesn’t matter. Its sin that makes the that way not God.

            1. I am gay and Christ loves me! You’re right! That DID set me free!
              (And, Frankie, you’ve been lashing out since day one in here, so maybe you need a good ol’ dose of the truth. I’ll send some your way.)

              1. Sadly you apparently don’t know what the truth is. Yes Jesus loves you dearly but hates your sinful behavior.

                1. Good thing I don’t have much sinful behavior, then. Being in a monogamous committed relationship with my husband for 18 years has been a blessing that has enriched my life and my faith and the bond with BOTH our families! Truth!

                  1. You don’t have a husband. Its an impossibility. And its too bad you have settled for something less. its your choice however.

                    1. He is my husband in every way that matters except the legalities of my state. Not an impossibility at all! Certainly not in about a 1/3 of the United States and several other countries now!

                      (Impossibility – that’s cute! I don’t think you know what that word means.)

                    2. I can call him my husband all day and night for 18 years and it makes it true. Especially once we can make it legal in this state.

                    3. Not technically yet, no. We WILL be soon enough. For now, he’s my common-law husband, if you want to get technical! We’ll be having a big reception when it’s done – I’ll make sure to invite you. There will be lots of cake.

                    4. You will never be married. Its not possible for two people of the same sex to make a marriage.

                    5. Yes, we will. So say 19 US States (and counting), and with the Presbyterian Church decision this week, an ever-growing number of Christian denominations!

                      (Seriously, do you not watch the news? I feel like you don’t actually know what’s happening with this.)

                    6. What human opinion decides on is irrelevant. Gods Will is paramount and therefore you will never be married to a person of the same sex no matter what you or anyone else says or does.

                    7. I’m so sorry you are lying to yourself over this matter. Alright, it’s been a LOT of fun playing “Last Word in the Debate” with you (although, honestly, a lot of yours have simply been, “so sad,” and you’ve gotta step up your game, because you were repeating yourself a LOT), but we both know the last Word will be had by the Lord Himself.

                      I cannot WAIT to see the look on your face in Heaven when I’ve saved you a seat next to me. I hear St. Peter makes a great mac and cheese — I’ll sneak you an extra helping.

                      God bless you and grant you peace, and an ability to actually share LOVE with the world. The world (and you) could use it.

                      Night, friend.

                    8. Yes you are very familiar with living lies.

                      You maybe next to me in heaven but that doesn’t change the sinfulness of your relationship here on earth. And if you lead others astray as well chances are I will not see you.

                    9. Oh my GOODNESS you can’t leave it alone! I guess you really do love playing this game.

                      I’ll see you there, Sport! ::playful punch to your chin::

                    10. Says the person who said they were finished but commented again.

                      You’re consistent.

      2. Hi Liz,

        That individuals are born lgbtq is irrelevant. People are born with all kinds of sinful inclinations and evil desires — I am certainly no different.

        I’m not sure what you mean by self-harm; for I never advocated such an idea; but, self-hatred is essential for salvation and will be the natural disposition of the person who has been truly regenerated.

        Listen to the amazing apostle Paul, who wrote:

        “For I know that nothing good dwells in me” – Romans 7:18

        “Wretched man that I am” – Romans 7:24

        Those are not the words of a man who has self-love; rather, they come from a man who had met the holy, risen Savior, and had contrastingly seen the ugliness of sin in his own person — that person being the apostle Paul.

        That is good theology; though it is not popular theology.

          1. It is not “my” theology; but that which is revealed in the N.T.
            By what standard do you call it “supremely flawed”?

            1. It is YOUR interpretation of theology (from YOUR translation), and not one that is shared by ALL Christians. For you to proclaim it as the only ONE truth available to any believers immediately makes your exclamations suspect. Allow other Christians to discern from the Scriptures, too.

              (Because, if you just say it “is revealed in the N.T.” you have to say WHICH N.T. and be willing to fight against all OTHER versions of the N.T. which may dispute your interpretations.)

              1. I start with the premise that each author of the N.T. had a specific, singular reason for writing a particular book. Assuming the writer’s were of a sound mind, it’s only logical to conclude that they desired their writing to be understood.
                Next, we look to church history and scholarship to discern which books belong in the “cannon” and which do not. There are many great scholarly works on this matter which I’m sure you’re well aware.
                But, if we start with the presupposition that all of the bible is indiscernible, with no ability to accurately interpret, then we have no bible at all. For example, how do you know God is loving? One could argue, that concept is merely your “interpretation”.
                Everything becomes convoluted, futile and silly.

                1. Yes, but, sir (see what I did there?) WHICH version of the N.T? Different translations and languages take on different meanings for the verses and the books, and the word homosexual wasn’t even added into the English translations until 1946. So, certainly all English Bibles were more anti-gay after that date, since the word was specifically inserted into verses where it simply didn’t exist. So, does that mean that the translations before 1946 are invalid? Or at least incomplete?

                  That fact alone at least calls into question the anti-gay fervor so often attributed to Scriptural teachings, let alone stuff like this:

                  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/if-gay-christians-go-to-hell-so-are-the-ones-who-dont-recycle/

                  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/yes-gay-christians-exist-a-sincere-plea-to-my-conservative-friends/

                  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/some-things-to-consider-if-you-think-being-gay-is-a-sin/

                  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2012/04/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not-condemning-homosexuality/

                  And, there are many more that get into specific contextual discussions about what the specific codes from Leviticus might have referred to. There’s just enough out there that calls into QUESTION the “definitive” old stand-by that gay people are just falling into destructive sin. Many of us are not and a large number of the gay people who are hurting are hurting because of what is being said and done to them in the name of God. That has got to stop.

                  Okay! Like I said in my other comment, I don’t expect this to just up and change your mind! But, read it, and understand that it IS okay to question, but not so okay to just declare us all living in sin or broken or self-destructive because that shuts a WHOLE GROUP OF HUMAN BEINGS down, and it shuts the conversation down.

                  Sir.

                  1. Hey Jeff,
                    I don’t know what it is like to be you; nor do I know what you’ve been through or go through on a daily basis. Also, I know that this topic usually is surface-level in nature, emotionally charged, highly incoherent and rife with biblical ignorance.
                    My point: I don’t take this topic glibly, or lightly; I understand the nature and seriousness of it. There are far too many professing Christians who speak my position, that are filled with gross pride, gross bible ignorance and legitimate hate.
                    Let me ask you a couple of sincere questions:
                    1) Assuming you consider yourself a Christian, how did you become one? How do you know you’re going to Heaven?
                    2) What would the bible actually need to say, in order for you to believe that God hates same-sex relations, of any kind?
                    3) “IF”, you truly believed God condemned same-sex relations, would that impact your decisions and behavior; or would you continue life as usual?
                    If preferred, feel to contact me at:
                    [email protected]

                    1. 1)I professed my faith in Christ Jesus in front of my entire church as a child. I was there 3 times a week. I received a Bible embossed with my name. I have lived every day since that time trying to be an example to His name in thought and act, word and deed. I know that I am saved by my belief in Him, and as such will gain entry to the Kingdom.
                      2)What would the Bible NEED to say? It would need to say, “You cannot be in a committed loving relationship with another of your gender” across ALL languages and translations, dating back to when the Books were first written. But, it simply doesn’t.
                      3)IF I believed God condemned same-sex relations, it would impact me, yes. I used to believe He did, and for over a decade after puberty, I prayed multiple times a day for Him to take it from me, remaining penitent and abstinent (no, REALLY). After a few years of struggling with it, I even considered suicide. I undertook specific Bible studies on the topic, and cried and cried and cried. So, if I thought to this day that He condemned it, yes I would be living my life differently. But, I no longer believe that. I made my peace with being gay and with the Almighty about the whole thing. After MUCH prayer and study. I am truly at peace with the Truth.

                      I see no need to take this private; I’ve nothing to hide from my life experience, and my life is relevant to the overall topic of this page. Unlike what MacArthur suggests, my very religious parents accepted me for who I am, and prayed that I never lose my faith in Christ who never lost faith in me.

                      If the discussion ever seems emotionally charged to you, it’s because we gay people are being told an innate part of our nature is inherently sinful, and nothing helpful can come from such a statement. One cannot discuss this topic in an expressly clinical way as if one is excising a gangrenous foot. Hearts and souls are on the line here, and it IS emotional.

                      What you see as Biblical ignorance is often a lot better-researched than you might allow, but with a different conclusion. You cannot speak with ultimate authority that yours is the only valid interpretation of Scripture, and that all other takes are ignorant.

                    2. The biblical ignorance I was referring to both sides; those in particular who hold the vulgar signs, make the vulgar comments, and quote the six “clobber passages”. Though they are correct in their usage, I highly doubt they understand the foggiest reason why they are right; moreover, the utterly lack the humility, grace and love (while still speaking truth) that is necessary in their speech.
                      And, it should not come as a shock that, not only is a part of man’s innate nature sinful, but all of man’s innate nature is sinful. There is no part of man’s nature and disposition that is upright or unpolluted; this includes the mind, the will and the emotions. So that, what we think, what we feel and how we act are all sinful. Being gay doesn’t make a person a sinner; rather, they are gay because they are sinners.
                      Let me re-phrase a question to you:
                      by what grounds does one enter God’s Kingdom? By what grounds is he declared righteous before the Holy One?

                    3. Nope, hold on. I’m gonna stop you right there, because you can not categorically state that one is gay because one is a sinner, and expect that argument to even carry any weight here if I do not agree with you that it IS a sin. Unless you are also to articulate that one is straight because one is a sinner.

                      Those two states (and, I would guess, bisexuality) occur in human beings not as a result of sin. True, there is nothing scientifically proven to be the ’cause’ of one or the other occurring, but neither one has an intrinsic good or bad value. They just ARE. Because there is as of yet no “proof” to their cause, it cannot ethically be determined it’s just sin. That’s the same determination that used to be declared for mentally retarded children, or kids with physical deformities. How could those children be created in God’s image if they were imperfect (by our standards)?

                      And the Biblical ‘backup’ to your statement of its sin would be the very stuff that I purport is called into question, and therefore somewhat unreliable in a DEFINITIVE declaration.

                      One gains access to the Kingdom by professing to love and follow Christ, and repenting of one’s sins, leaving them behind and living a life as an example to Christ. Which I’ve done, and strive to do daily.

                    4. The most important aspect of this response comes at the end; sadly, this is not the biblical definition of God’s means of justifying the guilty sinner. Following Christ unconditionally, repenting, living a life as an ax ample to Christ are pre-requisites (or conditions) to salvation; but, they are not the actual means that justify sinners before the Holy God.

                    5. But, yes, all man is sinful, and people on both sides argue with biblical ignorance. (Wanted to make sure you knew I saw those points.)

          2. Also, please remember that it is not enough to merely make an assertion (such as “your theology is so supremely flawed”; but, one must also provide actual and meaningful support.

            1. Morgan, had you looked at any of the meat of any of the discussion on this blog post or the related blog posts, and the links therein, you would have noticed there is MUCH discussion about questioning the validity of many of the texts purported to be against homosexuality. That’s generally the TOPIC of this blog post, so it’s not MY job to read those arguments to you.

              I asserted my point with as much conviction as you and your proclamations about my “destructive sin,” yet all you can offer is relying on the same “clobber texts” that have been used against my kind so often.

              We are allowed to disagree. You are NOT allowed to use your difference of opinion to cause further spiritual harm to gay Christians by shunning them. You are not showing Love, ma’am, no matter how many verses you use to prop up that fallacy.

              1. Actually, I have read many posts contained herein; and, they are almost identical to those arguments given from the viewpoint; meaning, the common thread is an unbiblical view of God’s love; an appeal to emotion; perceived and certainly contrived victimization; the refusal or inability to receive the plain meaning of a given text, in conjunction with the bible as a whole.
                Moreover, gay-Christian is a false title for it does not exist in the bible (not in term or in concept). Further, the information that Dr. MacArthur addressed comes from Christ and the apostles; so the problem is not with him, but with Him.

                1. Gay Christian is not a false title. I am gay. And I am a Christian. Both terms apply to me, therefore they can be combined to call me a gay Christian. Because I am saved by my relationship with Christ Jesus, and nothing is changing that.

                  Being gay is not a sin any more than being straight is. Your insistence that there are no gay Christians doesn’t make me stop existing, and my very existence disproves your statement.

                  1. I’ve learned that defining terms is very important on this topic; which these types of forums don’t typically encourage.

                    When you say you’re a gay Christian, do you mean that you’ve repented of that lifestyle; see it as evil and desire instead to live a godly life (though you may struggle with regular, even daily, homosexual desires and thoughts) — see Romans chapters 6 and 7.
                    Or do you mean, that your a gay man, who feels no need to repent of that lifestyle, and intends to practice said lifestyle, while using the term Christian too.

                    1. Definitely the latter, although I take exception to the term “lifestyle” as it is so casually used to paint us in the broad category of other (instead of knowing the person), when my life is likely very similar to yours. The only major difference is I have a husband. That is not practicing a lifestyle – it’s living a life.

                      I do not see it as a sin, and definitely do not see it as ‘evil’ or ‘wicked.’

                2. The term (Christian) is rarely qualified at all in the Bible. When it is, it is to distinguish Jew from Gentile (racially, geographically, but mostly culturally in the context), or something akin to (but not fully interchangeable with our current usage) what we might call nationality. The absence of the term hardly negates its meaning or the necessity of its use in the present.

  9. By the way, I wonder what this thread thinks about unmarried gay sex. In other words, how many of these gay relations take place outside of gay marriage even if we granted that such a thing were possible. Are Christians that endorse gay sex instructing “gay Christians” to remain celibate until their gay wedding? Ever heard of a gay person refraining from gay sex until gay marriage? I haven’t. There may be a few, but this component of the issue is never discussed by gay proponents. If gays can have sex outside of marriage and call it love, why can’t heterosexuals? Just thinking out loud over here about the really, really bad arguments put forth in here.

    1. Those are excellent questions. If you look at the Center for Disease Control data on the health problems associated with same sex sex there does not appear to be hardly any celibacy going on.

      1. That fact is conveniently ignored by the gay advocates. The truth is that the homosexual advocates and homosexuals themselves begin with how they want things to be rather than with how God has created them to be. They are not searching for truth, but for a version of truth that fits the story they desire to tell. The approach these deceivers take is subversive to God’s Word and to the Christian message. The antithesis is between righteousness and lawlessness, between sin and holiness, between knowledge of Christ and a false knowledge of Christ is ignored in preference for a perverse fallen definition of love and tolerance. It is this simple:

        By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:10) earlier John had already said that those who practice sin, which would include practicing any sort of sex outside of marriage as defined by God, as a way of life, is of the devil. We know that we have come to know God because we have forsaken our sin. Even the great variant on adultery, Jesus says to the woman caught in the act, “Don’t do this again.” Jesus did not accept her as she was, an adulteress and celebrate her sinful proclivities with her. Instead, He warned her NOT to engage in sin any longer. He commanded her to stop sinning. The gay advocate crowd says just the opposite. To them, unless you stop the message of repentance, you are unloving and not being like Jesus. Well, apparently they have no clue who Jesus actually was and what He actually taught about sin in the lives of people. The sinners Jesus dealt with knew they were sinners. They did not pretend to be righteous or worthy of God’s blessings. The religious hypocrites were just the opposite. They rejected the idea that they were sinners and in need of grace. They earned every rebuke Jesus gave them. Who are the gay advocates most like? The Pharisees, of course. Why? Because they do not think they NEED to repent from their sin. They consider themselves to be perfectly fine before God because they think God’s love excuses the sexual perversion they call love, or the emotional perversion they call love. Feelings and sex are not love.

        The Pharisees thought they were fine because they kept the law. Homosexuals and their advocates think they are fine because they too have a set of laws they keep. They think being kind to others and being completely accepting of others makes them a good person and accepting to God. It does not! So you see, this modern movement that so often likes to condemn orthodox Christianity using the Pharisee, religious hypocrite card, is actually much more like the religious hypocrites of Jesus day than those they level that charge at. The irony is painfully obvious for anyone willing to open their eyes.

        1. That is not what the Center for Disease Control stats show. There are devastating health problems related to same sex sex.

    2. What is the difference between unmarried gay sex and unmarried heterosexual sex? And why the fascination with the sexual act?

      1. From the standpoint of Christian ethics, there is no difference. Both acts come under the very same prohibition. Let me allow the apostle Paul to address your question:

        Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.

        2 For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

        3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;

        4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,

        5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

        6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.

        7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.

        8 So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

        Sexual immorality in v.3 is the Greek word πορνεία. It is a word with a broad range of meaning when it comes to prohibited sexual activities. It covers every aspect of forbidden sexual behavior to include any and all sex outside of the confines of the husband-wife relationship.

        That is the first point. There are two more to follow.

        Notice how Paul says in v4 that each person should be able to POSSESS his own vessel in sanctification and honor. This is a euphemistic expression for managing one’s sexual desires. The presence of a sexual urge is completely irrelevant. What is expected is discipline to control oneself with Honor in Sanctification. Failure to do so is not only shameful, but ungodly.

        The last point is located in v.8. Anyone that rejects this teaching is not rejecting me. They are not rejecting John MacArthur. They are not rejecting Paul. In fact, they are not rejecting any man. They are in reality, without a doubt, rejecting God.

        In summary then, gay sex falls under the classification of PORNEIA, which is sexual impurity, sexual immorality. The fact that there is such an urge within humans is irrelevant to the discussion. We are all expected to control our sexual urges. And finally, rejection of this teaching is a clear rejection of God.

        I hope this answers your question.

        1. When Paul rejected the need for circumcision, was he rejecting God? Paul’s bible was pretty clear on the subject.

          1. I thought this thread was for at least those who profess to believe and accept Christian theism. Apparently that was a poor assumption.

            1. God’s revelation is progressive in in nature as we see thoughout the history of redemption.
            2. The New Covenant that God had promised is enacted in Christ, though not fulfilled.
            3. The Mosaic covenant requiring circumcision has been replaced with the new covenant which no longer requires circumcision.
            4. Paul did not change anything, God did, just as God had promised. The covenant relationship changed.
            5. There is no new revelation from God replacing the new covenant or the final revelation of God we have in the New Testament.

            1. Circumcision was required in the Abrahamic covenant, not just Mosaic, and it was said to be an everlasting mark in the flesh. When did God say he was going to change that? Doesn’t everlasting mean everlasting? You see, Paul was a radical thinker who wasn’t afraid to go against his own bible. And that is why the more traditional Jewish Christians had such a hard time with him.
              What about slavery? Do you support it like Paul did?
              Or what about head coverings? Do you believe women must wear them when praying or prophesying? Paul said they must. You see, we can’t get away from interpretation. Just because someone rejects the way you read the bible does not mean they reject God. They just reject the way you read the bible. Paul believed the way to follow God in his day was to reject what his own scripture said.

              1. The Abrahamic covenant was an unconditional covenant. The circumcision was a sign of God’s everlasting covenant that He made with Abraham. Scripture makes plain that Abraham’s circumcision came after his faith and serves as PROOF of a covenantal relationship at that time. This was to point us up to the fact that in the New Covenant arrangement, the proof of faith is the circumcision of the heart, i.e., righteous living. Rejecting circumcision was simply the rejection of the covenant. Just as doing good works does not bring us into the covenant, obtaining circumcision does not ipso facto bring one into the Abrahamic covenant. Faith is always the basis and circumcision was the proof of faith.

                God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham and that covenant was to bless people from all people groups through his seed, Christ.

                Your lesson in hermeneutics is miserable. It ignores the fact that Scripture itself does not permit such a radical subjective approach in interpreting it. Your view destroys the very possibility of false teachers, something the NT writers were very concerned to write about continually.

                Concerning slavery, ancient slavery was far different from modern slavery. In addition, social reform and dictating to the governing authorities is not the business of the Church. Finally, there is a very distinct Christian ethic given regarding the behavior of slaves and masters and it is nothing like what you seem to be implying.

                Concerning head covering, one should always look for the principles involved in cultural practices to understand the broader issue at hand. This is surely the case with head coverings. But something tells me that you already know this. I am reminded of the Pharisees and Sadducees who were continually asking Jesus questions, not because they wanted to learn anything, but because their hearts were evil. They wanted to set a trap. Sound familiar.

                While I agree that there are passages that are somewhat obscure and Christians must allow room for alternative views, the question of homosexuality is not one of them. Just as sure as Jesus rose from the dead or was virgin born, or is Lord of lords, the Bible condemns homosexual sex.

                To argue that Paul rejected his own Scripture is a very stupid thing to say. It deserves that sort of classification. I usually do not do that, but your view is worse than absurd. Paul continually appealed to Scripture as his reference point as his final source of authority. It was Paul that said this:

                “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim. 3:15-17

                πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος, all Scripture is God-breathed. The Scripture that Paul is referencing is the Old Testament. How often did Paul reason from Scripture, proving that Jesus was the Christ? Paul would take incredible exception to your characterization of how he handled the sacred Scripture. You failure to comprehend what Paul is doing with the OT text is no excuse to accuse Paul of rejecting the Scripture of his day. Jesus certainly NEVER preached or taught this, his disciples did not teach this, Paul had their full endorsement, and Paul never handled the text in the manner that you say. You will need more examples than the silly ones you mentioned.

                1. The bible supports slavery. Do you agree with the bible? Do you support slavery? I am looking for a clear answer. I do not support slavery even though the bible does.

                    1. If it is true that all that human beings enjoy is the result of God’s grace, then the slavery objection is moot. The reason is because we all DESERVE to be cast into slavery and worse due to our rebellion. If one believes in grace, then one must acknowledge that we do not deserve freedom and that we do deserve slavery and worse. If your claim is that no one deserves to suffer as a slave, then you do not believe in grace. Humans suffer in the ways that we suffer because of our rebellion against God.

                    2. So according to your understanding of the good news, all of those black slaves deserved what they got?? They deserved to be cast into slavery. My objection to slavery is moot? I do not believe anyone deserves to suffer as a slave. That is the good news I accept. Your good news doesn’t sound so good to me.

                    3. Wrong! Your statement demonstrates that you do not believe in grace. I bet you also think people deserve to be redeemed by the work of Christ as well. I bet you think people deserve to hear the gospel. I could go on. No one deserves anything good because no one is good. Rebellious God-haters deserve every ounce of evil and ill treatment we suffer in this life. It is only by God’s tremendous kindness and amazing grace that we receive anything good from Him at all. In your system, God has a moral obligation to treat humans a certain way. In the Bible, God is absolutely free and absolutely holy. The Bible exalts grace when it depicts men as undeserving and yet God is merciful. But God’s mercy toward one does not mean others deserve the same mercy. Mercy is undeserved. Your thinking about this is all wrong because you do not understand the nature of God and you clearly reject the bible’s teaching on the nature of human beings as well as the seriousness of sin. That is your fundamental problem.

                    4. Because I do not believe black people deserved to suffer as slaves I do not believe in grace? Wow. You have taken the doctrine of total depravity to a whole new level.
                      If a small child is raped, do they deserve that ill treatment as a rebellious God-hater too?

                    5. So, the child deserved to be raped as a God-hater then? Is that where your theology leads you? Small children who are sexually abused are God-haters that deserve that ill treatment? I guess if the rapist tortures them for days and then murders them slowly, they deserve that as well?? Will you answer Ed? Or keep trying to avoid the depraved implications of your theology?

                    6. This is saying something, but I think he’s actually gone off the deep end with his most recent comments. And, I didn’t think his deep end could get any deeper.

                    7. I did mean to back him into a corner. I never expected him to reply affirming we could kill slaves if God told us to and that little children who are raped deserve it as God-haters. I am hoping he will reconsider where his theology has led him.

                    8. Based on my past experiences with him, I am going to guess no. He doesn’t seem to want to rethink anything – when I’ve debated with him, he tends to stick to his guns and shout down anything that is in theological opposition to any positions he holds as heretical. I believe our final exchange ended with his insincere offer of “I’ll pray for you.”

                    9. In general, no human being has the right within themselves to expect good from God because of something within them that makes them good, not even small children. How dare we! Sin has contaminated the entire human race and all rape exist as a result of human depravity. Child rape is wicked and should be punishable by death.

                      By the way, I noticed that Jesus never condemned pedophilia. Based on popular gay arguments, pedophilia should not be condemned as a sin. If could be an expression of love. So my 12 year old neighbor can be intimate with my 50 year old neighbor.

                    10. So, just to be clear, the little child, raped, abused, tortured and killed deserved that as a God-hater?

                    11. So, just to be clear, the entire human race is given over to rebellion against God…all of us. Children receive good from God but they do not deserve the good they receive. There is nothing within the child that merits God’s good treatment. God is good within Himself. He is not compelled by the intrinsic goodness of child to do good to them. God condemns the sort of treatment that you speak about because God is good and that treatment is evil. That is as far as I am willing to go. From here you can logically conclude what I think. Now, let me introduce you to some Scripture: Who was it that killed the first-born in Egypt all the way down to the infant? Who was it that permitted Satan to destroy all that righteous Job had, to include all his family which surely included small children?

                      The One forming light and creating darkness,
                      Causing well-being and creating calamity;
                      I am the Lord who does all these. Isa. 45:7

                      God is sovereign over all the earth. He does as He pleases and what He pleases is always right.

                      You reject God’s word for what it is. You create your own moral code and dare to subject God to your morality. No Christian sits in judgment of God’s word.

                      Now that I have answered your question it is your turn to answer mine. Why is it wrong to rape a child or anyone for that matter?

                    12. Because my conscience tells me it is wrong to harm others unjustly. And so does the conscience of the vast majority of humanity. Try reading some Kant. Or even CS Lewis. Or maybe even Paul.

                    13. So if someone else’s conscience does not tell them it is wrong, then it is not wrong? You think Kant has the answer? I have read Kant and Lewis. Obviously I prefer Paul. Paul never locates objective morality in the human conscience. And even if he did, why couldn’t that be subjected to the same sort of challenge you spoke of previously? And if I can challenge Paul, why can’t I challenge Kant, Lewis, and your subjective conscience?

                      What Paul says is that human conscience bears witness to the fact that God’s moral law is stamped upon humanity because man is created in God’s image. But it must also be acknowledged that the human conscience cannot be trusted. While it testifies of an absolute morality transcending humanity, its sinful condition also perverts that morality and the truth of God. That is the nature of sin. Paul made this very point in writing to Titus:

                      To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. Titus 1:15-16

                      Seems like a very appropriate verse for this thread and the subject we are discussing.

                    14. Ed, when one of your daughters has been sexually abused and physically assaulted, circle on back and let’s chat. You know NOT of what you speak.

                      When one of your loved ones has been sexually abused by a PASTOR, I’ll be waiting over here for you with empathetic words.

                      But wow, oh, wow, it’s frightening how off the rails you are sounding.

                      The God you are falsely promoting is a monster, and you’re afraid to look at Him in any other way. You’ve accused everyone else of “parroting” others’ words and belief systems, yet you appear unwilling to be mentally challenged as to God’s true nature and character. Do we see Jesus smiting people? Do we see Him helping and healing, or do we see Him ignoring and cursing? Did Jesus call down fire and brimstone on people, or did he take the disciples to task for dare asking Him to do so?Did Jesus say that when we see Him, we see the Father? Is there even a remote chance that the ancients had no other way of explaining disease and death and catastrophe other than to blame God for it? I think so.

                    15. And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. Matt. 21:12

                      And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. Acts 5:5

                      And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died. Acts 12:23

                      But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, 10 and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? 11 “Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.” And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand. Acts 13:10-11

                      For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 1 Cor. 11:29-30

                      Your problem is that your view of God includes His love to the entire exclusion of His holiness. I confess God loved me and saved me even though I did not deserve anything good from His hand. It was His grace entirely and only His grace. God will not permit sin to go unpunished.

                      These texts are all NT examples of God’s wrath being poured out on rebellious and wicked men.

                      Jesus actually said that we are to remove people who practice sin from our community.

                      “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matt 18:15-18

                    16. If God were interested in smiting wicked men, then he’d do something about the hundreds of thousands of predatory pastors just in the U.S., alone. I don’t see that happening.

                    17. The same Bible that condemns predatory pastors condemns sex outside of marriage and this includes gay sex. I agree that there are millions of worthless pastors in the ministry for all the wrong reasons. They are a scourge to the Church. John MacArthur is not one of them.

                      God ours out wrath in this life for reasons known only to Himself for HIs glory. Our attitude should be one of humility. We do not know why the couple in Acts 5 were killed and the Jews that stoned Stephen were not. God knows. It is God’s place, not ours. We can only say what God has said and warn men about coming judgment and point them to the cross as the greatest act of love ever witnessed. Because men are sinful, grace is amazing. Unless men are wicked, grace is so extraordinary after all.

                    18. Your confusing the issue. From the standpoint of sovereignty God controls everything. From the standpoint of the human condition, there is not single good person among us. From the standpoint of how we treat children and what our responsibilities are, Jesus was clear. Suffer the little children to come to me. But that does not mean that children are not natural born sinners. That does not mean that children are born inherently good with intrinsic worth in and of themselves.

                      Why does God allow child rape? He is surely powerful enough to stop it. Would you say that free will is so valuable that God would sacrifice children and women in such a manner just so that humans could enjoy freedom? Really? Why does child rape exist? Why did God create such a world?

                    19. Don’t try to answer a question with a bunch of questions.
                      Do little children who are raped, tortured and killed deserve that ill treatment as God-haters? That is what we are discussing. You seem to believe yes but are too cowardly to admit that your theology takes you there. Be a man and own your theology Ed.

                    20. I would like it if you would not tell me how to answer questions.

                      Actually, the thread was never about child abuse. The thread is about the impossibility of gay Christians. You have turned it into a discussion of child rape because you think you are onto something when all it is is a red herring. It has NOTHING to do with the subject under discussion. And, you do not like the way in which I worded my answer. I have answered the question. Cowardly. That is a word I have never heard another man use with me while standing in front of me. Amazing how a computer makes men so brave.

                      I have answered your question. If you cannot arrive at a conclusion based on my answer, then I recommend a course in logic or critical thinking, or better still, one in theology or philosophy even. It is obvious to me that whatever you studied, it had nothing to do with critical thinking or Biblical theology. You are as faithless as the atheists I deal with. By the way, they would destroy your concept of Christianity.

                    21. Was Christ obligated to redeem or at least “try” to redeem men? And why do you keep using the term “black people?” All races have been enslaved and all have suffered ill-treatment. There is only one man. He comes in all colors.

                    22. If Scripture can challenge Scripture and there is no objective basis from which I can launch a challenge, then I am free to challenge your view of Scripture ad nauseam. If you can’t see the absurdity in that view, I don’t know what else to say.

                  1. Follow up: What do you mean that the Bible “supports” slavery? How does the Bible support slavery? What sort of slavery does the Bible support if it supports slavery at all?

                    I think you are the person that basically said that people don’t have to agree with each other’s interpretations of Scripture. Now all of the sudden, you want me to agree that your interpretation of the Bible’s teachings on slavery is the correct one when just a moment ago you would have nothing of that sort of approach. Make up your mind.

                    In addition, I am going to go out on a limb and say that you think that slavery is morally objectionable. I would like to understand what informs your morality on this issue. Why, in your view, is slavery wrong?

                    I think these are fair questions for anyone who desires to engage in the blasphemy of challenging the veracity or morality of Scripture.

                    I will answer your question. I promise.

                    1. You don’t have to agree with my interpretation of the bible on slavery. But I am not going to say you have rejected God, like you do with people who disagree with you. That is my issue with you. You can pick and choose with slavery. Let others pick and choose like you do.
                      I think slavery is wrong because it brings harm to another human being for no just cause. My conscience accuses the act as wrong. Do you believe slavery is wrong? If so, why? What bible text would say that slavery is wrong???

                    1. When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21)

                      However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. (Lev.25:44-45)

                      When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11)

                      Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ (Eph.6:5)

                      Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything (Col.3:22)

                      Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect (Tit.2:9)

                      Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. (1Pet.2:18)

                      If Paul did not support slavery, why did he tell Christian slave owners to treat their slaves with respect? Why did he not tell the Christian slave owners to free them?? Paul supported Christian slave masters keeping slaves as their personal property. What sort of slavery did the bible support? The kind that treated slaves as property that could be bought and sold and beaten with rods. If the beaten slave died after a day or two after the beating, oh well, the slave was the property of the master. That kind of slavery.
                      If you want to work hard at making the bible not support slavery, go ahead. But get down from your self-righteous horse from which you call into question everyone who reads the bible differently than you on homosexuality. You can’t have it both ways by denying the bible’s teaching on slavery and saying that’s ok but it’s not ok to deny its teaching on homosexuality. You are picking and choosing as much as anyone else. You just don’t want to admit it.

                    2. I never said I read the Bible as condemning slavery. I simply asked you for a text where the Bible endorses the concept of slavery. Exodus 21 provides guidance for the discipline of slaves. Lev. 25 provides for guidance around purchasing slaves and distinguishing between Israelites and foreigners. Slavery in that time was a merciful system that at a minimum allowed people to live. In our day we just give people stuff and call it love without requiring anything in return. Slavery was a way out for a poor person who might be in danger of starving. Slaves were also produced by war.

                      “If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. “When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed. “You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the Lord your God has blessed you. “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. “It shall come about if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you; then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also you shall do likewise to your maidservant. “It shall not seem hard to you when you set him free, for he has given you six years with double the service of a hired man; so the Lord your God will bless you in whatever you do. Deut. 15:12-18

                      I like how you intentionally tried to paint it in the worse possible light.

                      The NT writers were not attempting to overthrow the Roman civil code which is why Paul and others focused on a different approach. They were concerned with the gospel, which does not ipso facto include the social justice messages that your type think it does. If a slave was a Christian, he was expected to be the best slave he could be for the sake of the gospel in hopes he might win his master. A Christian master and slave pair would be better circumstances than most employer-employee relationships today. Many think it is the duty of the Church to engage in social reforms and social justice. That is not the case. The ancient church did not do so. Preach the word. That is the business of the church.

                      Jesus never once condemned slavery. Not one single time. Why not? Why didn’t Jesus command the release of all slaves?

                      1. Paul and others operated within the system that they were in just as we do.
                      2. That economic system required slavery for a number of reasons.
                      3. However, the principles of Christianity truly do pave the way for the abolishment of the practice as better alternatives are created to deal with things like debt and prisoners of war.
                      4. Gospel preaching was the primary focus of the NT authors rather than social reform. Changing slavery does nothing to help the wretched lost condition of men. It is better to have eternal life and slavery than no slavery and no eternal life. Though I give my body to be burned and have not love, it profits me nothing.
                      5. Eliminating slavery would have made the quality of people’s lives worse. Chaos would have surely been the result.

                      I believe that all men deserve the worse sort of treatment as slaves. You and me both deserve the most extreme treatment. But God in His grace has shown kindness when He did not have to. The cause of slavery is sin. Absent sin, it would not exist. But sin exists, so all men deserve slavery. But for grace, that system would have continued worldwide to our present day. It still persists in some parts of the world. The message to those folks is the message of Paul and Peter and other NT writers. Christian principles will lead to better conditions because of God’s grace. If you think men do not deserve to be slaves and worse, then you do not understand God’s grace at all. Rebellious men deserve nothing good, nothing kind, nothing but judgment from the hand of God. All men are rebellious.

                  2. What I intend to demonstrate is that once you remove Scripture, you no longer have any basis from which to condemn slavery that does not end up being arbitrary. So you have the problem of having to preserve that which you want to nullify in order to have any objective basis for condemning the modern forms of slavery.

                    1. But the bible never condemns slavery so why would I think I need the bible to condemn slavery? Do you condemn slavery? If so, on what basis? What bible text condemns slavery??

                    2. I condemn the sort of system that existed in modern America. That system viewed slaves as less than human and their treatment was diabolical. In addition, the going out and capturing humans like animals is a very different set of circumstances than the one from ancient practice. Most slavery in antiquity was the product of war or the system that sustained people who otherwise would have starved. All humans have dignity and value by the fact that they are God’s image and this includes the slave as well as the aristocrat.

                      Now, your thinking reflects rebellion. You seem to think autonomously, apart from God, having a standard of your own by which you judge God’s word. For example, you begin with your own view that slavery is unacceptable in any form whatever. And then you move to condemn Scripture because it allows for certain practices of slavery to exist. Your argument is as follows:

                      1. All slavery for all time is wicked under any and all circumstances.

                      2. The Bible allows for slavery to exist.

                      3. The Bible endorses evil.

                      4. Therefore, the Bible is not trustworthy in all that it teaches.

                      Your major premise is the problem. You cannot demonstrate why all slavery for all time is wicked under any and all circumstances. Once you remove Scripture as your reference point for right and wrong, you replace it with yourself. And if YOU can do that, so too can anyone else. What is to stop someone from holding that incest is acceptable? Why can’t a brother and sister marry? What is wrong with pedophilia?

                      No one deserves anything good from the hand of God. No one. Why?

                      as it is written,

                      “There is none righteous, not even one;

                      11 There is none who understands,

                      There is none who seeks for God;

                      12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;

                      There is none who does good,

                      There is not even one.”

                      13 “Their throat is an open grave,

                      With their tongues they keep deceiving,”

                      “The poison of asps is under their lips”;

                      14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;

                      15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,

                      16 Destruction and misery are in their paths,

                      17 And the path of peace they have not known.”

                      18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

                    3. So you would support the kind of slavery the bible supports? I would like to hear a yes or no on that one. I would not.
                      Would it still be ok to beat a slave with a rod today, as long as he didn’t die for a couple of days after the beating since he was the master’s property? The bible says this was ok. I disagree.
                      What you need to consider is that biblical writers challenged their own scriptural traditions. The writers of Job and Ecclesiastes challenged the Deuteronomistic writings. The writer of Jonah challenged the theology of Nahum. The story of Ruth challenged Ezra/Nehemiah ideals of inter-racial marriage. Paul challenged enormously important parts of his own Torah – including circumcision, dietary laws and the Sabbath. Paul actually nullified one of the ten commandments in light of the work of the Spirit among gentiles. James challenged Paul. You read the bible through an interpretive lens that does not allow you to appreciate its diversity. Consequently, you are unable to think outside of the box you have shut yourself in. Had you been a bible following Jew of the first century, I would guess you would have rejected Paul and stuck with the traditional Jewish Christians (which is fine btw). Paul went against his scripture. James endeavoured to follow it.

                    4. First of all, if God says to kill a slave for a particular offense, you better put him or her to death. Otherwise God may just kill you. Have you ever heard of Ananias and Sapphira? They lied to the Holy Spirit about how much they gave. They gave a lot. God killed them for lying. They gave a lot of money to the Church which was a good deed and God killed them for lying.

                      What right do you have to challenge the morality of Scripture? Do you claim to follow Christ? What is the basis of your moral judgment if it is not God’s word? Why should anyone live their life according to YOUR morality opinions?

                      It isn’t diversity that your hermeneutic lends itself to. It is foolish contradictions. Your display of ignorance around properly understanding Scripture is astounding. The Bible is not filled with competing views and doctrines that contradict one another. Such a position is heresy and worthy of discipline. In my view, you should disciplined and if you refused to repent, you should be alienated and excommunicated in hope that God will grant you repentance.

                      Your interpretive grid ignores the progressive nature of revelation which Scripture itself teaches. We have the law of Moses given for a period of time for a very specific purpose. Once that purpose is fulfilled, another arrangement, one already foretold by the law and the prophets comes into view. It isn’t that difficult. It is only if I accept your silly notions rejecting the progressive nature of revelation and God’s acts of redemption across history that I end up destroying Scripture.

                      Finally, if all things are open to challenge, then so too is Christ. Why not challenge that Jesus is God or that Jesus literally rose from the dead or that anyone ever stands under God’s wrath? In your system, Scripture has absolutely no authority whatsoever. None! Where is authority in your system? That is not too hard to see. It is located within your own reason. You are in charge. You are the measure of all things. You are free to challenge whatever you want. I will stick with Paul, Nahum, Jonah, Moses, Peter, Jesus, and John and the rest. As for you and your own system of authority, it will perish and you with it if you don’t repent.

                    5. Ed probably also supports the way marriage was handled in scripture … where women were a piece of property and men could have more than one wife and were the only ones who could ask for a divorce

                    6. I don’t know about property, necessarily, but here’s some quotes attributed to him:
                      “God has not called a female to the role of
                      rebuking or correcting male leaders in the church in any way, especially
                      in front of an entire class.”

                      “A Christian woman has no right to oppose her husband or the male
                      leadership of her church so long as these men are not asking her to
                      sin. She does not have to agree with the counsel of her husband or her
                      spiritual leaders, but she does have to submit to it.”

                      http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/2010/12/critial-thinking-christian-iv.html

              1. Your statement would be hilarious if was not so very sad and deadly serious. You have no earthly idea what Christianity is. You imply that gay sex is fine and that in fact, all sex outside of marriage is okay. You think that Christians share the very same ethic as the world and that there are fundamentally no differences between Christians and non-Christians. Let’s see what John says about your view:

                No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. 1 Jn. 3:10

                By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 1 Jn. 2:3-4

    3. Ed – why do you have to specify “gay sex” – why can’t you just say that you think people should refrain from having sex until they are married. I personally think that people should wait until they are in a loving, committed relationship but am fully aware that most people (straight or otherwise) don’t wait. The numbers among Christians show that Christians are no more likely to wait to have sex until they are married than non-Christians. In some areas Christians are more likely to have pre-marital sex. Christians are also not more likely to remain faithful in their marriages. Whatever the church has been doing doesn’t seem to be working.

      1. Uh…because the subject is gay sex.

        I don’t care what the numbers show. What I care about is what Scripture teaches and that is what this conversation is about. God does not change because men become more and more wicked does He? Your argument suggests that perhaps God’s holiness reduces over time to match or keep up with the moral erosion we see.

        True Christians are far more likely to refrain from sex before marriage and they are far more likely to remain faithful to their partner. Your views are a mockery of Christianity, essentially suggesting that being truly born again makes absolutely no difference in how one lives. That is absurd.

        This conversation is not about what the typical person in this thread might do. This conversation is about what Scripture teaches, what God expects, what God reveals about what it means to be a regenerated believer in Jesus Christ. The version of Christianity I read in here, the one that reduces and ignores Scripture, that adopts obscene interpretive paradigms in order to preserve worldly thinking and living, the one that ignores Christian praxis, a sound biblical ecclesiology, that does not understand grace, holiness, God, Christ, sin, and man is not the version of Christianity presented in Scripture.

        Your language also implies that you reject marriage altogether. You say “a loving, committed relationship.” That implies that cohabitation and sex are fine outside the covenant of marriage. Such views and those propagating them need to be corrected and purged from the Church. At least that was Jesus and Paul’s way of handling that kind of behavior.

        My purpose in here is to influence one or two hopefully and at a minimum to defend biblical Christianity against the heresy I see all over this thread. I can’t wait to get Corey’s book so that I can review it on reformed reasons and provide people with the actual truth and show how his techniques are not novel, not progressive, not new, but are designed to undergird the basic idea of human autonomy.

        1. No one said God was changing … but God often has to change our minds about stuff that we have wrong. That’s what is happening now. He is changing people’s minds.

          It won’t be the last time. There will always be stuff that we are having to change our minds about. It’s called repentence and it is an ongoing occurrence of anyone who is a follower of Jesus because we are all works in progress. No one knows it all perfectly and never will. But some are so closed up with their certainty that they don’t recognize a word from God and the thing that gets in their way more times than not is their religion … not their sin. It was that way when Jesus showed up and it is still the same today.

          Free yourself from all the stuff you are putting before God … stop making the bible or your church or your religion or your belief system your God. It is keeping you from hearing from God.

          1. A word that contradicts God’s written word, Holy Scripture, is NOT a word from God. How would anyone know that God is speaking against His own previous revelation? By what standard? Let’s pretend that I say that marriage is no longer necessary like someone else has already done. Or let’s pretend that I say God is now telling us that abortion is not really murder or that pedophilia is an acceptable expression of love. Where does such a subjective approach end? It is yet one more attempt to make humans the measure of all things.

            1. don’t worry so much, Ed. If it is of God it will last and if it is not it will eventually pass away. Do what you think is right in your own life with enough conviction to do it wholeheartedly but with enough humility to recognize when God reveals that you got something wrong.

              1. Thanks Liz, but I think I will follow my many years of training in theology and the languages. I trust those more than I trust my own subjective experiences to inform of truth.

                1. Fallacious response to her. You’re simply attempting to appeal to a higher authority. In addition, there’s thousands of crappy schools that will give someone and advanced degree in theology for just reading John Piper in their underwear, so your unquantified education doesn’t earn you any additional troll points. If you want people to respect your education, quantify it. If you want them to listen to you, stop being such a douche to everyone. It’s not complicated.

                  BTW, I did find this site amusing– to bad he didn’t keep it up. Sounds like you’re a professional troll, not a professional theologian.

                  http://exposingeddingess.blogspot.com/

                  1. Nice Job Benny. I bet that Holding would do the very same thing to you because he disagreed with your position. You shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Do you have any idea what the biblical definition of slander is? And do you know how wicked it is to pass on and give endorsement to such slander? Of course you lied about John MacArthur so why should I expect anything less for me.

                    Why don’t you show us all why my response was fallacious instead of engaging in ungodly ad hominem responses. I would guess Benny that you have run out of responses and I suspect your book will be about as miserable and unscholarly as your article about MacArthur is.

                    If you are interested in the source of Benny’s link, just google J.P. Holding or Robert Turkel. That will give you a good sense of who we are talking about. In addition, if you want to experience what I experienced, visit tekton apologetics and dare to disagree with him and see how many vile names he calls you. There is nothing Christlike about his site.

                    The reason he created the link is because I sent threatening emails he sent me to various ministries that linked to his site. These prominent ministries began to delink from his site. The above link was his way of retaliating against me.

                    1. http://www.gospelway.com/morality/slander.php:

                      “Slander” – “The utterance of defamatory statements injurious to the reputation or well-being of a person. … A malicious statement or report.”

                      This applies to every single thing you have ever uttered about gay people on the internet. THANKS FOR THE EDUMACATION, DOCTOR KNOW-IT-ALL! I now return you to my Biblical shunning of you.

                    2. Sooooooooooo predictable! It is one thing to post lies about a person in an attempt to “get even” with them for sharing private, threatening emails is quite different from condemning what the Bible has ALREADY condemned. Immoral people are immoral because Scripture declares them to be immoral. To call the facts as they are in the course of gospel preaching or teaching is not slander.

                      Your reasoning is very incoherent. Ben accused me of using fallacious reasoning without actually making any attempt to demonstrate why that was the case.

                    3. You accused him of Biblical slander. I looked up what that means, and posted it here. You are consistently making statements injurious to the reputation or well-being of gay people. Slander.

                      That’s all. You are immoral because Scripture declares it so in your actions. Bless you. Back to ignoring you and your Fundamentalist Misogyny and Bigotry.

                    4. What sin have I committed that Ben is correcting? Ben has passed along a lie posted by a man whose credibility is obvious to all that have interacted with him over the years. Anyone that has ever disagreed with Holding knows what he is capable of. Just look around on the net and you will see.

                      I, on the other hand, have disseminated the historic orthodox Christian teachings on homosexual behavior. Christian doctrine condemns the behavior as immoral and always has. THAT IS NOT SLANDER. That is quoting Scripture and teaching the Bible. If you cannot see that, I cannot help you.

                    5. Ed your attempts are admirable and full of truth yet the deceivers and liars will never accept the truth. But keep trying, not for them but for those in the background who deserve to hear and know Gods truth.

                    6. What I hope Frank is that there are silent readers who are being persuaded that the stuff they read in here is utterly absurd. That is my hope. Ben and crew may think that I am trying to convince them and while I hope that would be the outcome, I am not naive. But I do know that others are reading our exchanges and seeing the very, very poor arguments made by pseudo-Christians in this thread. Thanks for the good word Frank.

                    7. There are many more lurkers than commenters. Keep up standing up for the truth of God!

  10. Firstly, If one moves beyond the hypothetical and considers one’s own kid actually coming out as gay, one realizes just how ridiculous this advice is, and how undeniably absurd it is to apply literally the letters of Paul to the real lives of human beings today. Secondly, no matter how much the conservative Christians revolt when one says so, it is quite true that they only selectively follow Paul’s admonitions and ignore others.

  11. A post I put out there today:

    This culture trait which began with the internet explosion is actual a detriment to the church body. As in a church body we are to be interconnected to one another.

    This “wall” of a internet screen removes that personal connection.

    If Christians could stop looking at Christ through their own lens of life experiences and teaching.

    If Christians could stop speaking and start listening in silence to our Lord and Savior.

    If Christians could place themselves as the broken on the side of the road.

    Than, Christianity shall stand into future generations. As, now on a daily basis these sites and lack of respect shown to one another as brethren is causing those out side of the Church to run away from the very love they should be running too.

    I ask one consideration out of everyone whom reads these post to please do this:

    Ponder this without trying to put any knowledge into it, any taught doctrine into it. Just let the words sink into your soul again and again.

    WE, AS HUMAN BEINGS HAVE IT BACKWARDS.

    WE VIEW FAITH FROM A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE NOT GOD’S PERSPECTIVE.

    SO, WHAT IS THE GREATER FAITH?

    FAITH IS NOT THAT WE BELIEVE IN GOD… A “SELF” ELEVATION THAT WE HAVE FOUND SOMETHING ANOTHER HAS NOT.

    FAITH IS THE FACT THAT GOD LOVED US FIRST. IT IS THAT GOD STILL BELIEVES IN MANKIND…

    IT IS THAT OVERWHELMING, VAST, INDESCRIBABLE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS.

    IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU….

    T IS NOT ABOUT ME…

    IT IS ABOUT THE FACT GOD HAS FAITH IN MANKIND STILL.

    UNDESERVING AS WE ARE…. GOD STILL HAS FAITH REGARDING US.

    THAT IS THE MESSAGE OF CHRISTIANITY. GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD…

    THOSE WORDS “GOD SO LOVED” ARE THE ONLY WORDS THAT CHANGE MANKIND.

    YET… IN CHRISTIANITY, WE SEEM TO BELIEVE WE ARE DOING GOD A FAVOR BY BELIEVING IN HIM.

    HARDEST LIFE LONG LESSON… IS TO LEARN TO REMOVE THAT “SELF” FROM THRONE. FOR IT IS NOT A ONE TIME ACT. IT IS A CONTINUOS ACTION WE DO EACH DAY IN EVERY MOMENT. THAT IS THE “TRUE CHANGE” CHRIST DESIRES FROM ALL THAT CALL UPON HIS NAME.

    1. No they aren’t, dear. When a comment is deleted on Disqus, there’s a little marker that says ‘Comment deleted.’ If you cannot see the more than 30 comments you’ve posted that are clear as day on my screen, the issue is on your end. No need to falsely accuse Mr. Corey for your own incompetence.

  12. The misrepresentation here is ridiculous. Conservatives do NOT shun unbelievers. That is not what John MacArthur said. I listened to his answer this question. He was unambiguous. Gay unbelievers are being unbelievers. However, gay unbelievers that claim to love Christ are the issue. It is no different than drunks, adulterers, fornicators, liars, cheaters, murderers. Matt. 18 and 1 Cor. 5, 1 Thess and 2 John all provide language commanding the practice of shunning and excommunication.

    1. Dr White sounds like an imam giving a sermon at the most radical mosque in the world. Shunning? Is that what your religion teaches you? Shun your own Christian child just because he is gay? And then justify it by “holy passages from our holy book?” God help you.

        1. You mean “Imam White?” Seriously, it’s just silly to treat the letters of Paul as applicable in their literal sense to today’s world. He can defend it as “Biblical” all he wants but it is absurd to shun your own Christian child just because s/he is gay. It’s also arguable as to the exact context of Paul’s instruction, but I don’t even care, because that’s not the way one should apply the Bible in any case. And the subjectivity in which those teachings are used is a whole other topic.

          1. White completely ignores the context. Paul sets up the context for us– he is responding to reports that there’s a person in their church who is sleeping with his step mother and he’s shocked that the church hasn’t addressed his behavior. How someone could transpose that into the context of the discussion is beyond me.

            1. You say (and correctly so) that Paul responded to a report of a man sleeping with his father’s wife… how does this help your case???? Later in the chapter, Paul clearly uses this as an example of church conduct by expanding it to include numerous other sins:

              “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Cor. 5:11)

              According to the logic of your article, if your son is sleeping with your wife, you should just “walk across the room, give them a big hug, and tell them that you’re always going to love them.”

              Right? Right? Or is homosexuality the only sin that the church should accept with open arms?

              1. What an absurd example. Use common sense. Use discernment, Chris. My God, this isn’t that difficult. You are over-generalizing and applying a formula to stuff that need not be so complicated, especially using an absurd hypothetical.

                1. @buccoman:disqus I don’t know why you care to argue this since you don’t believe the Bible should be taken literally and applied to Christians today. (BTW, that’s Paul’s “absurd hypothetical” — but what do you care? The Bible’s just an outdated, irrelevant book in your view.)

                  1. I certainly don’t think the Bible is irrelevant. I think Dr MacArthur and Dr. White are going to cause pain, suffering and abandonment in families. That’s why I’m commenting here, and elsewhere–to try my best to gain compassion for gay Christians. Shunning is not compassionate.

              2. Orientation is absent behavior and therefore neither moral or immoral. That’s the point. Further, it’s utterly foolish to apply church discipline to the family unit. Paul is talking about church and behavior not family and orientation.

                And if it were a sin, would it really be the only sin accepted with open arms? Of course not. We have US flags on stage, have bring your gun to church days– the sin of idolatry, judgment of others, and gluttony among others, are already accepted with open arms.

                1. That is an interesting way of saying nothing at all about Christopher’s point. I am not even sure it would qualify as a response. Second, we are not talking about orientation (temptation, proclivity, desire). We are talking about practice. The number of gays that restrain from gay sex and who still refer to themselves as gay is infinitesimally small. So small that it does not deserve a place in this thread. MacArthur’s comments are the context. So lets stay on point and remain in the proper context of the subject at hand.

                  Your list is fascinating. A flag can be a sin? A gun is a sin? Making judgments is a sin? idolatry and gluttony are not accepted with open arms. Perhaps what you call gluttony might be.

                  This has nothing to do with what the Church accepts that it should not accept. That is a red herring and you know it. This has to do with your overhaul of God, Christ, and Christianity in a direction that is, well, fundamentally different from your fundamentalist upbringing.

                  The Corinthian case has not been addressed in your response. It has been ignored. Will you write an article condemning the practice of gay sex outside of “gay marriage” as if such a thing exists at least? We can debate gay marriage elsewhere. I just want to know if your version of Christianity allows for unbridled gay sex which is what homosexuals want and the overwhelming majority of them practice according to every study that has been published on the subject.

  13. Methink Pastor MacArthur doth protest too much. Someone check his browser history and I’ll bet its chock full of “protest data”. Educational material, to be sure.

  14. This is article quite frankly is shock consider the author considers himself a Christian. Don’t you take the Bible seriously given that it condemns homosexuality? Doesn’t your church believe in church discipline for sin?

    1. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many
      publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew 9:11-13

      John MacArthur said ” Refuse to have a meal with them.” Many Christians who take the Bible seriously do not believe that homosexuality is a sin. I am one of them but even if it were what John MacArthur is teaching is a bad interpretation of scripture.

      1. Did you notice that your passage you used that Jesus came to call ” sinners to repentance”? Engaging in homosexual sex is sin in Scripture as all sex outside of marriage between a man and woman is.

        On what grounds is Macarthur misinterpreting Scripture? Certainly I Corinthians 5:11-13 applies.

        1. First sexual orientation is not a sin therefor no repentance is required. Second the scripture you quote refers to how the church is to treat sinners, not how we are to treat family. Third I follow Jesus not Paul.

          1. If that person in the family is claims to be a follower of Christ he must not engage in homosexual practices. It is a sin to do so.
            Jesus appoint Paul to be an apostle. An apostle is one who speaks in the place of and in the authority of Christ. If you are not following Paul, you are not following Christ.

  15. Benjamin L. Corey – thank you for your great writing and for sharing the truth in love. Pastor McArthur obviously has some personal issues dealing with his own sexuality. Mark my word, I don’t care how much money John M. is worth, or how many books he was written, the man has sexual issues in his own person life. I would even go so far as to say, he is a religious bully.

    I just know that one of McArthur’s key staff members at his college from a few years ago, Gary Aldrige fell from grace while serving as the Senior Pastor of Thorington Road Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL.

    Gary was a personal friend of mine from my undergraduate studies at Liberty University. Gary had a secret fetish involving autoerotic aphexiation. He died while having sex with a young man half his age. The details are found on this link including Gary’s autopsy.

    Dr. McArthur flew all the way to Montgomery, AL and played golf with the chief of police to find out the secrets surrounding Gary’s demise. I simply talked with private investigator locally and found out the truth of the whole case.

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/dead-reverends-rubber-fetish

    Dr. McArthur is basing his homophobic rhetoric based on passages for which their is not even a word in the greek language for homosexual. How sad that people do not read or research and the validity or lack of accurate Bible translations and, will buy into the rhetoric of religious bigots.

    Again, the gay issue, abortion issue and prayer in school are a catalyst for raising money into the coffers of some many religious right folks. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and John McArthur use these issues as hot buttons to cause donation money to be sent in.

    When will Christians and other religious groups stop this Spiritually Violent behavior. To borrow a phrase from my friend Mel While, this type of behavior is Spiritual Violence to the maximum degree.

    Thank you again Benjamin L. Corey.

    Stop Spiritual Violence…..Art Scott, 1980 Graduate, Liberty University, Masters Student at Walden University, Mental Health Counseling

  16. Here is the truth about what most of the folks in this thread do: they want to believe certain things about Christianity, the Bible, homosexuality, social issues, etc. So they read men like Ben who will give them the perspective they want. They do not start out saying “I only want the truth.” It is NOT truth you are after. It is only the “truth” that you find acceptable, non-offensive, palatable, that you are after. You have an ideal in mind before you ever start reading. And that ideal determines who you find worthy and who you find repulsive. As a theologian, I know when someone is searching the issues the right way and when someone is just looking for support. It isn’t too difficult to see the bias. Most of the people I read in this thread spend more time watching reality TV than they do seriously reading AND studying Scripture in search of truth.

    1. You said:

      1. Scripture does not compel people to give all their money to the poor, but only to meet legitimate needs.
      2. Scripture does not instruct the rich to stop being rich but rather to be ready to give to genuine needs.

      “Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
      “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

      You seem to only want the “truth” that you find acceptable, non-offensive, palatable and that you are after as well. Something about log in your eye comes to mind.

      1. Context context context. No scholar worth his salt would say that Jesus is laying down a general condition for salvation with this rich young ruler. NONE! Only an uninformed, desperate person would make such outrageous claims.

        Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery, neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more. Does that mean that in order for us to avoid future condemnation none of us can sin any more? Outrageous and silly.

        1. Outrageous and silly is the point. No matter how you interpret that book some will see it another way and call you names too. Everyone has to ignore or deny a lot of the bible to believe the other parts. Or…you can examine the basic faults in logic and come to understand that it’s all a crock.

          Remember that the four corners of the earth proved the earth was flat…until it wasn’t.

          1. The “four corners of the earth” is a symbolic expression for a comprehensive view, that is, all of the earth. Job 26:7 says that the earth is suspended in space. Job 26:10 and Isaiah 40:21-22 teach that earth is a circle. Your comments are based on sheer ignorance and your unbelief is based on an unjustified optimism in your own self. Place your faith in Christ, not yourself. Lean not to your own understanding, but rather place your trust in the Lord. Only then will you find true knowledge and understanding.

  17. MacArthur is not saying to abandon anyone who commits a sin, or struggles with sin. He would agreed 100% that we all do. He is saying that if a person claims to be a believer, claims to follow Christ, and yet even when confronted with the truth of scripture continues to live in a sinful lifestyle with no remorse, then it is time to walk away from them. It is only in that case because by their actions they are harming the name of Christ. The sin could be any sin that a person is engulfed in and unwilling to give up.

    You may argue that this is unfair, as a homosexuality is part of a person’s nature and its not possible for them to change. Surprisingly, the bible agrees with you! All humanity has been cursed with a sin nature, and is dead, with no ability to overcome it. In Christ there is strength to overcome any sin, even though we may still struggle with it. This is why it is important to shun the unrepentant who claim to be believers (after proper confrontation of their behavior in love), because their sinful lifestyle is essentially saying to the world that Christ is not powerful enough to transform them.

      1. Care to elaborate on why you think so? I’d be more than happy to respond to your concerns regarding my worldview. I honestly try my best to live a life guided by a love for God and for others. That includes proclaiming the truth, especially in situations where a person’s soul is at stake.

    1. You seem like a reasonable person. Is slavery ok? Honest question. The bible supports slavery. Do you? If not, why not?
      I keep bringing this up because the truth is, these issues are not as cut and dried as some think.

      1. I don’t think that the Bible supports slavery, but rather gives principles for those living in a society that does. In ancient Israel slavery was permitted, but only for a short period of time, unless the slave agreed to become a permanent servant. Israelites were called to treat their slaves fairly and respectfully (especially when compared to similar cultures of the day). The same goes for slavery in the New Testament. Here’s a passage that gives the general New Testament attitude toward slavery:

        Ephesians 6:5-9 5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

        This is a radically different attitude toward slavery compared to the prevalent view of slaves in the classical world. Of course, we can’t take this passage alone and claim that the Bible says slavery is ok. There are many other passages to take into consideration like:

        Mark 12:30-31 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

        I think that when everything is taken into consideration, slavery in and of itself is not wrong. I myself am called a slave of Christ, bought and owned by Him. That said following the principles of scripture, slavery is wrong 99.9% of the time. Definitely the type of slavery practiced in the southern US was wrong as there was no concern for the well being or rights of others.

        If you’re looking for a case where it might be morally ok, I’d say a situation where an impoverished person agreed to become a slave to pay off a debt, where the arrangement was of mutual benefit to the slave and master and they treat each other with dignity and respect. Fortunately, we live in a welfare based society today, where this kind of thing doesn’t really have a place, but that wasn’t the case in the past. I totally support the outlawing of slavery in our culture as the vast majority of the time it is abusive and and totally unnecessary in our society.

        I agree that these issues are not simply cut and dried, they are difficult and take lots of careful thought and consideration as to how to respond to them. The same goes for the debate as to whether or not the Bible should be used as a moral guide in our present culture. People often rip a few unenlightened sounding verses out of context and use them to claim that we shouldn’t rely on the bible to be our guide. If we look at the whole of God’s word though, and study how it impacted the various times and cultures to which it was written, then we can see how God’s truth impacts and transforms every culture.

        1. Never in my life have I heard someone say that there actually are circumstances where slavery is okay. As someone who actually works with former slaves in the real world (it’s actually the topic of my doctoral dissertation) I’m shocked to meet someone who thinks there is actually a time or place for this.

          Furthermore, Ephesians cannot be said to denote God’s attitude toward slavery. The Greek term translated as slave in the NT is actually a catch all word for “servanthood” which denotes service but not the actual form of service (it can be used to refer to a maid or a slave as we understand it). The closest we have in the NT to the actual usage of the Greek word for slave occurs one time, where it is condemned (1 Tim 1:10).

          1. Like I said, exceedingly rare cases, especially in our world today. In the past, when the choice was between starvation and surviving as a slave it may have worked in ideal circumstances. Sadly, more often than not the poor and weak were taken advantage of – the bible clearly speaks out against this.

            In response to your other statements, the word in Ephesians is δουλος. The BDAG lexicon defines a δουλος as:

            ① male slave as an entity in a socioeconomic context, slave (‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times [s. OED s.v. servant, 3a and b]; in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished [Goodsp., Probs., 77–79]).

            ② one who is solely committed to another, slave, subject; ext. of mng. 1. Mt 6:24; Lk 16:13 express the ancient perspective out of which such extended usage develops: slaves are duty-bound only to their owners or masters, or those to whom total allegiance is pledged.

            Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.) (260). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

            In 1 Timothy 1:10 the word is ανδραποδιστης. That word means “one who acquires pers. for use by others, slave-dealer, kidnapper”. Obviously this is wrong, because as I said, there is no respect or love shown for the person or their rights.

            I would never dispute that you have seen horrible things that have been done to slaves. Like you, this grieves me. I was just stating the fact that it’s true, no where does the bible condemn the institution of slavery. Slavery in and of itself is not morally wrong but the acts committed within it are often atrocious. If all people behaved perfectly toward one another slavery might be a legitimate way to prevent abject poverty in countries where there is no government welfare plan. The reality is that this almost never happens so I would always be in favor of the abolishment of slavery. It’s important not to miss, that is why the Ephesians passage is so extraordinary. It shows us the transforming power of Christ. In Him, an institution like slavery (known for the abuse of the weak) could actually be turned into source of protection for the weakest members of society.

            1. “Slavery in and of itself is not morally wrong.’

              And you just lost…well…you lost everything. If you honestly believe that owning other human beings like chattel and bending and binding them to your will is not in and of itself a moral wrong, then your moral depravity is beyond anything that can possibly be fixed on an internet comment board.

              Two days ago, one of your brothers in Christ said right here that if God honestly commanded him to murder all the men, women, and children in a village he would do it. Now you’re using your sacrificed god to make a case for owning and selling human beings. I knew how sick your religion has become, I’ve known that since I was a child, but to see it in your face like a festering tumour, swathed in your pretty words of transforming power and Christ and protection….Manannan’s beard, I’m actually going to vomit.

              1. “Sadly, more often than not the poor and weak were taken advantage of – the bible clearly speaks out against this.”

                That’s what I wrote in my last post. I’m talking about a voluntary act, by the slave and slave owner. No abuse, no bending anyone to anyone else’s will. We’ve largely been condition to see slavery as it was in the southern US, where slaves were forcibly taken and abused, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Maybe I’m conflating slavery with indentured servitude? It’s clear that forcible slavery is not condoned (as mentioned above when talking about 1 Timothy 1:10).

                The kind of case I’m thinking of specifically is one where a person is unable to support themselves and deep in debt. That person could sell themselves into the slavery of a benevolent owner, who would pay their debt, and provide them with food clothing and shelter in return for work to recoup what he had spent. Both parties would benefit and get what they want. Obviously there is no reason, this should happen in our current welfare system (which is far superior to the help that slavery could provide). As a believer, I would like to point out that if I were in that position, I would rather just give the person what they need than put them into slavery however there may be times when that is not feasible.

                Obviously, I understand that this is all very theoretical, and things almost never work this way in real life. That is why in practice I am totally against slavery. I’m simply trying to explain that this is why the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery. Slavery is a tool – the bible is concerned with the motivations of those who wield it. It is concerned with the hearts of the people involved in the system, the subjugation of the weak and poor, taking advantage of others for your own benefit, that is the issue. As a believer it is my desire to put the welfare of others before my own.

          2. All Christians are slaves of Christ. The apostles refer to themselves as such and Christians have been bought by Christ and we are owned by Him.

  18. Corey shows his GROSS IGNORANCE about what John MacArthur preaches and does not preach. This is what happens when one emotes instead of researching properly before putting their foot in their mouth as Corey has done here. As a former Grace Community Church member I hardly ever heard John reference homosexuality, but heard him say plenty about the a variety of sins but always with the Cross of Christ in view as the remedy. If Corey had taken the time to listen to a number of free mp3 downloads of John at Grace To You he would know differently. John would be the first to say that the sin of homosexuality is just the symptom of one’s fallen estate, and the grace of Christ is the cure for those who acknowledge their sin. Corey really steps over the line with his ax-to-grind article when he asks if John would alienate someone for eating too much. Really? Is that the best you can do Mr. Corey? Please show me in the OT where over eating was a capital crime. Better yet, show me one vice list where gluttony is ever mentioned–is it 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-6; or is it 1 Tim. 1:9-11? I am sorry, I can’t find it, can you? Or did you amend your Bible. To use this argument shows how desperate and fatigued your argumentation is. Over eating is hardly analogous to sexual sin. Further, while Christ ate with sinners, please show me just once where he ever congratulated them for their sin or commended them for their values. I do remember the occasion with the woman caught in adultery–what did Jesus say there Mr. Corey?????? I guess you forgot–he said “Go and sin no more”. The same thing He would say to homosexuals who want to follow Him. In the end, your piece is very long on sentiment and completely lacking of any biblical or theological substance. No wonder I never heard of you before this! Your spacious article is reminiscent of Paul’s warning in Ephesian 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words …” Empty words just like yours.

    1. Hey Getreal, I keep asking a question no one answers. As someone who follows the bible and therefore believes homosexuality is a sin, do you also follow the bible and believe that slavery is ok? The bible is very clear on it and there is not one verse that opposes it. In fact, the bible says more condoning slavery than it does opposing homosexuality.

      1. Where does the Bible endorse slavery? In a spiritual sense all men are slaves. Either to sin or Satan or to Christ. There is no third option.

  19. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;

    8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

    If you have a problem with these words, then you have a problem not with me, but with John and if you have a problem with John, you have a problem with God. Jesus said “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

    If you reject John, you reject God’s word spoken through John. No one that rejects God’s word is of God.

    1. Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ (Eph.6:5)

      Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything (Col.3:22)

      Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect (Tit.2:9)

      Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. (1Pet.2:18)

      Peter and Paul supported slavery. If you have a problem with these words, then you have a problem not with me, but with Peter and Paul and if you have a problem with Peter and Paul, you have a problem with God. Jesus said “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

      If you reject Peter and Paul, you reject God’s word spoken through them. No one that rejects God’s word is of God.

      1. They did not endorse slavery. Paul does say if a person can become a freeman then do so. Also, if they made the the abolition of slavery their goal then Christianity would have been stopped. It would have died out.

        1. If you can read those verses and conclude that Paul did not endorse slavery then people can read other verses and conclude that Paul did not condemn monogamous homosexual relationships.

          1. It has been estimated that over 80% of the people in the Roman empire were slaves. If Paul had called for the revolt of all Christian slaves what do you think would have happened to these Christians?

              1. In one sense yes. Christians were to be law abiding citizens and to obey the laws so long as they did not conflict with clear teachings of Scripture.

            1. So Paul endorsed slavery because of the times he lived in, but given how times have changed we should not? Or, to put it another way, if Paul were writing today he would not endorse slavery?
              This is the kind of thinking Christians wrestling with homosexuality are engaging in. It doesn’t mean they reject the bible. They are trying to figure out how to read those texts in our own context. What did homosexuality look like in Greco-Roman culture? What does it look like today? What do we know about it? What about the growing number of Christians coming out gay? Are they all just unrepentant sinners? Or do we need to listen to them and keep wrestling with our bible?

  20. Pastor MacArthur, it seems, gave a very sound Biblical answer. I expect that had he been asked about an adult child that was unrepentant in their covetousness or in their drunkenness, he would have given the same answer.

  21. Benjamin,
    Everything that MacArthur spoke was rooted in Scripture, your statements however reveal a complete departure from what Scripture teaches, since nothing scriptural was provided above all I can guess is that you are not concerned with God’s opinion on the matter. Ah wait a minute, I see Fuller above, never mind makes sense now.

  22. Thank you for speaking out on this. Too many Christians pick the sins they don’t commit while ignoring the ones they commit to throw the biggest stones at.

  23. Thank you Ben!! Excellent article. As someone who knows the pain of disownment, I thank you for coming to the defense of those of us who are LGBTQ. Thank you for loving us like Jesus.

  24. Each summer, I am invited to a state wide PFLAG camping/family event. It is a Christian Family gathering event in my home state.

    The beauty I witness humbles me deeply each moment of each day. For at this family week I am included in campfires, beach games, blueberry picking, pot luck meals.

    Such an aware of families; more representative of the “rainbow colors” than any religious righteous people could believe as to what the rainbow represents.

    Children, every nationality, every levels of health; children with bald heads fighting for their lives with cancer.

    Every deformity, that here are not deformity, as the shinning eyes, laughter and huge smiles outshine any wheelchair found. So, as I read others whom reject gay individuals I am crying. Christ within me through the Spirit cries: Leave me with the broken and rejected for such beauty is found nowhere else upon this earth, in this era, in any nationality of mankind.

    The broken… the rejected… those whom daily must hear: You should be stoned to death. Still, wake up and hold a child that no one else would. Still, talk to a soon-to-be teenage mother explaining: “It does get better”. That rather she desires to keep the child or give up for adoption “it does get better”.

    Telling that frightened girl: “We will stand with you” through all the stones being thrown…

    On my knees I cry out to God to: Give me the broken in this era of mankind…For, I shall find Christ there.

    Year after year after year children whom society say: Are not perfect; become perfect; with perfect parents; whom nurture their adopted child from a wounded child into all that is beautiful in any human.

    Truly, Jesus sits among us at the campfire watching the stars…. those stars holding a child, the twinkling stars of the children’s eyes… and those Heavenly stars that some day ALL here will enter into.

    As a straight, Christian, devoted follower to our Lord and Savior each moment of each day. I am humbled that these families allow me to witness such beauty.

    Quaker Grandmother.

    1. You’re more Christ-like than the majority of “Christians” I’ve come across. I don’t share your religious beliefs, but I thank you nonetheless.

      1. Bless you Sir. As I follow Quaker teachings, I shall say: I do believe Quakers have the “truest” foundation as to the message of the gospel. Quakers since 1700 have understood the concept of equality for all. Quakers teach that faith is: That personal relationship and it is vital to listen to the “Spirit” in silence.

        Quakers are whom lead the end to Slavery, Brought equality for Women Rights. Quakers follow a faith that is simplistic in it’s foundation. To not argue, to not cause fights, to listen more than speak. To stand for social justices for all.

        So, it deeply touches me to have you state: “Christ-likeness within me”. For Christ-likness comes from the bending of our “self” inside each day to the overwhelming love of Christ…

        Than to walk amongst others in appreciation; not in a crusade against another. I appreciate your kindness.

  25. You rock, Benjamin Corey!! My oldest son was gay, but I’m not burdened with being a Christian. I am, of course, surrounded by them. You are among only a handful I’ve found that, to my mind, have any sense and who “get it (meaning Jesus’s point).”

  26. THE hypocrisy in this pastor’s statement is stunning and he should
    be ashamed. This will only encourage hatred, discrimination, prejudice
    and possibly violence against the LGBT community. Last I knew those are
    not the teachings of Jesus Christ. Thankfully there other Christian
    leaders who are speaking out against him and his heresy. Here is the
    text of 1st Corinthians 5. Homosexuality is not specifically mentioned,
    but incest is, along with sexual immorality (allowing human
    interpretation based not on the teachings of Christ but on personal
    prejudice thus condemnation of gays when the scripture actually addresses all sexual activity outside marriage). John McCarthur knew better than to apply this scripture to society at large, if he did he would loose most of his followers and their money. If he applied all of the things listed to society at large Christians would have to consider their greed and actual tithing, their idolatry with their striving for more material goods to keep up with their neighbors, their pooh-poohing of having too much to drink as well as use of other drugs. And slanderers. Gossip is slander, and it is rampant in too many of our churches. And how many of our politicians of any party should be allowed to address Christians in our churches and at our conventions? Why, Christians shouldn’t be donating time and / or money or voting for the vast majority of our politicians because slander of their opponents and our government comes as easy to the majority of our politicians as breathing. Finally, read the definition of swindle (swin·dle [swin-dl] verb (used with object), swin·dled, swin·dling.

    1. to cheat (a person, business, etc.) out of money or other assets.

    2. to obtain by fraud or deceit. verb (used without object), swin·dled, swin·dling.

    3. to put forward plausible schemes or use unscrupulous trickery to defraud others; cheat. noun

    4. an act of swindling or a fraudulent transaction or scheme.

    5. anything deceptive; a fraud: This advertisement is a real swindle.)

    , look in the mirror, and let those who aren’t guilty of this sin cast the first stone.

    1 Corinthians 5

    New International Version (NIV)

    Dealing With a Case of Incest

    5 It
    is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a
    kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his
    father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,[a][b] so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

    6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Get
    rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you
    really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

    9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

    12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”[d]

    Footnotes:

    1 Corinthians 5:5 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.

    1 Corinthians 5:5 Or of his body

    1 Corinthians 5:11 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family; also in 8:11, 13.

    1 Corinthians 5:13 Deut. 13:5; 17:7; 19:19; 21:21; 22:21,24; 24:7

  27. I know it is quite hip to be postmodern, to deconstruct biblical text to fit current tastes, and to be in endless “conversation.” Yet the Bible is plain regarding homosexuality. You may not agree with it(and that’s fine) but do us all a favor and quit calling yourself a Christian.

    1. Were those who deconstructed the biblical text to oppose slavery also postmodernists pandering to current tastes? Should such people who deny the clear meaning of the text that supports slavery call themselves Christians? What about women who do not cover their head when praying and prophesying? Or men who do not wear short hair? Did not Paul deconstruct the biblical text when he denied the need for circumcision, dietary laws and holy day observances? You have a very simplistic view of the bible. Perhaps it’s a good fit for you.

      1. My friend, you are conflating the laws governing the theocratic state of ancient Israel with moral laws. Slavery of some of the surrounding nations in that ancient time was a type of judgment against those nations just as the conquest of Canaan was.
        I would be happy to engage you at length on these interesting subjects once we establish our respective views of Scripture and our reasons for them.

    2. “do us all a favor and quit calling yourself a Christian.”

      No. In fact, if you feel you have the right to decide who is “really” a Christian and who isn’t, then, perhaps, you need to read the Bible more carefully.

      1. Christians are those who are Christ’s disciples – who like the publican in Luke 18 beat their breasts and express remorse and shame over their sin rather than the Pharisee who denied his own sinfulness. Remember too Isaiah 5:20 wherein it pronounces woe to those who call evil good and good evil.

        1. They didn’t consider slavery a sin. They didn’t consider treating women as property a sin. They considered eating shellfish a sin. They considered women entering a church without head coverings a sin.

          Apparently, Christ’s immediate disciples did not have the same idea of what sin is that we do today.

  28. What “troubles” you about MacArthur advice… Troubles? Call it what it is, sick and evil. Any parent who would shun their children if they come out is the lowest form of scum in the world. “Advice” like this has nothing to do with Christ. It has nothing to do with good. It’s simply evil and vile and people who attempt to justify it (you can’t really because of the sliminess and disgust it really is) are equally as evil and vile. You shouldn’t be “troubled” by this, you should be disgusted and call it what it is. Malignant and evil.

  29. Quoting Karen Mains – “People don’t have a problem with Jesus – it’s his wife they hate.”

  30. This was the shunning treatment I received from the Southern Baptist church I was raised in, after it came to light that I had been molested by a minister there. I was 11 years old. Only a few of the adults would still talk to me, those my own age ignored me completely. No one ever told my parents. It saddens me some 45 years later, to find the same perverse reasoning in play that so utterly destroyed the little boy who used to be me. Don’t abandon your children. Abandon the pew!

  31. Hi, Ben. Found my way over here from Fred Clark at Slacktivist.

    This is a fine and moving post. This sort of thing – along with Fred’s entire oeuvre – has managed to convince me that maybe there’s something to the teachings of Jesus. The god of the outcast is a god I can love.

    Of course, then I read some of your commenters, and I’m reminded why I left Christianity. But then I imagine you find them discouraging, too.

    Keep up the good work.

  32. Hey Ed do you support slavery? The bible does. Paul does. I hope you aren’t denying scripture or trying to dumb it down by not supporting slavery.

  33. Yes, Jesus hung out with tax collectors and sinners. He did this to win them to Himself. Notice that MacArthur said that IF this person is a professing Christian, then this is the proper response, but only AFTER repeated attempts to get them to repent. It’s not a sin to be homosexual, but to practice it. If someone comes out and struggles against it, they are not shunned…

    Incidentally, the article heading is misleading, referring to them as children, when clearly he was speaking of an adult.

    In addition, the “shunning” described in Paul’s letter, and elsewhere, is to essentially not consider them Christians anymore, which means you treat them as if they are lost. Therefore, we treat them with love and witness to them.

    And I agree, it’s not just homosexuality, but also greed, adultery, etc.

    1. The article heading is not misleading. The question MacArthur wretchedly answers is how a parent should respond to their child coming out.

  34. No place in the Bible does it state that homosexuality is a sin so it can’t be condemned. I think God whould have made it clear if it was, he does with adultery, why not homosexuality.

    Some people claim that Leviticus 20:13 condemns homosexuality, but it was grounded in Jewish understanding at the time of the Bible, that women are less worthy than men. So, for a man to have sex with another man as with a woman, insults the other man, because women are to be treated as property.

    Then there is Romans 1:26: But Paul didn’t write it as a condemnation of homosexuality, but as a criticism of Greek behavior in temple worship if it is read further into the chapter. It was common for Greeks to incorporate sexual behavior in temple worship. So Paul was condemning this common happening. Paul says we all fall short of the glory of God.

    Exodus 31:15 calls for death for anyone working on the Sabbath. Exodus 21:15-17 in the Old Testament and Romans 1:30-32 in the New Testament require death for disobedient children. Leviticus 20:10 states that adulterers ‘’shall surely be put to death.’’ Leviticus 24:16 says the same thing about blasphemy. And I repeat no place in the Bible does it state homosexuality is a sin. So, it doesn’t matter whether or not one acts on it. God created every person on earth, why would he condemn about ten percent of them? God loves everyone.

      1. Wow! We certainly learned a lot from you rebuttal.

        Can you enlighten us on which of his points were incorrect, and provide evidence? O are you limited to just defamation?

    1. Where in Romans 1 does Paul reference Greek behavior temple worship? Paul speaks about the direct act of changing the natural use of men and women sexually. There is NOTHING alluding to temple worship.

      Paul said, Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

      It doesn’t get any plainer than that. And if a Christian engages in such behavior and refuses to repent, Paul had something else to say:

      Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

      Now, you can say amen and obey God’s word. In that case, you are welcome in Christ. Or, you can deny this text, twist them into something else even though they are plain, or you can even say Paul was ignorant. It doesn’t matter. What matters is if you reject these texts, you are NOT welcome in the community. You are the leaven Paul spoke of and you need to excuse yourself and be the open non-Christian that you really are. But don’t call yourself a Christian while denying the Scripture. Do the Church a favor, just leave if you don’t want to accept the Scripture.

      John MacArthur was dealing with unrepentent gay children that also wanted to be approved as believers. Sorry, Christian parents cannot call good evil and evil good even when it comes to their children. Jesus said I would set father against son and mother against daughter. He said He came to bring division. He said the world hated him and it would hate us too. Jesus told the woman taken in adultery, GO AND SIN NO MORE. Do you think Jesus would have caught her ignoring Him and would have just shrugged his shoulders and laughed it off?

      But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

      1. In my King James version it doesn’t say homosexuals, so I guess someone is questioning the translation.

      2. You say: “Where in Romans 1 does Paul reference Greek behavior temple worship?”

        I say: Romans 1:23 – “and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”

        1. Wow! That isn’t a reference to what was only going on in Rome, but the universal nature of the language indicates Paul is talking about all men who have turned from God all worship a false god, either themselves, or one of their own making. To argue that homosexual sex was only wrong because it was somehow taking place within idolatrous temple worship is without exegetical warrant. It was due to man’s rejection of God that God turned men over to these perverse desires. How difficult is that to understand?

          If I took your interpretation, I would also have to say that all those other vices in his list in Romans 1 were only wrong within the context of pagan temple worship. That view has not basis whatsoever when one examines the language of the text. Notice how Paul takes us back all the way to the creation of the world. Notice the universal language throughout the text. And then against in 2:1.

  35. There are no gay Christians nor is there is any such thing as a genuine Christian that believes there are gay Christians. They simply don’t exist. Purge the leaven.

      1. No I am not. I am talking to people that claim to be Christian but deny Scripture at the same time. These are only professing Christians. They have no earthly idea that Christianity is.

      2. I suppose murders and pedophiles and liars and cheaters and adulterers are Christians too. A guy molests kids but professes to be a Christian. Does that make him a Christian? Of course not!

        1. Strictly speaking and if you want to insist on wooden literalism, there is no explicit condemnation of pedophilia in the Bible and as it was not until the 19th century that people starting realizing that perhaps allowing a 12 year old to get married was not such a great idea. So, I’d suspect that there would have been “Christian pedophiles” for most of history.

          We can condemn such things because we apply broader principles and have better knowledge of psychology, not because the Bible infallibly tells us so. In a way, this is we progressive tend to do about other issues such as homosexuality: use modern knowledge, look at the effects on the people involved, and consider that a prohibition must have a rational reason and not just be some random rule that seems to only destroy people for no good reason.

        2. Are you suggesting that Christians are incapable of committing sins? No Christian has ever murdered anyone? Or lied?

          1. There is a difference in falling into a sin which Christians most certainly do, and sin defining your lifestyle, which if it does, one does not know or love God according to Jesus and 1 John. Living together, carrying on an affair, and having sex with one partner after another, or a casual attitude toward sex outside of marriage is strong evidence one does not know God. How should the Church respond? By rebuking and correcting that person, in humility, but very directly. If they repent, the show their faith to be genuine. If after repeated attempts, they refuse to change their lifestyle, they are to be excommunicated from the church, not because of a particular sin, but because of obstinance. Jesus said we are to treat such a person like an unbeliever because they refuse to listen to His word. Paul took drastic and immediate action in Corinth with the couple whose marriage was illegitimate. Isn’t it ironic that this was a male-female marriage that God did not recognize and now heretics in the church want us to recognize same sex marriage. God hates sin and so do true believers because God’s seed remains in them.

            1. You are welcome to have your church throw and rebuke homosexuals. You are not welcome to insist that every other church follow your theology.

              1. I am within my right as a legitimate member of Christ’s body to insist that anyone else claiming to be in the body conduct their life accordingly and if they do not, to publicly ostracize them as being false converts, among the group that Jesus said would call Him Lord but not do as He said. False believers sneaking in seeking to overthrow the truth of Christ and His word and to replace it with a worldly humanism that is suitable to their own perverse senses and desires. And so long as such false converts exist, I will continue to challenge their beliefs and call into question their claims to belong to Christ. It is my duty. And it is my hope that these people will repent of their unbelief and follow the real Christ taught and proclaim in Scripture rather than trying to change Jesus to fit the postmodern poppycock of modern American individualism.

                1. Do you publicly ostracize those who live in luxury instead of giving their money to the poor (would you criticize someone at your church for owning a 50K car, for example). How about all who remarry after a divorce that wasn’t because of adultery? Those who work on the Sabbath?

                  OR, have you cherry-picked a few issues and used those as your criteria for whether someone is a “real Christian?” If so, who has given you that right?

                  Understand that those who do not agree with YOUR denomination’s interpretation of the Bible are free to the criticize your beliefs if they desire – for exactly the same reason you have given.

                  There is a reason that there are THOUSANDS of Christian denominations – the Bible has been translated and interpreted differently by every one of them.

                  1. It is clear to me that you have a terrible misunderstanding of what the Bible actually teaches about these issues. I hold a Th. D and am also completing academic work in philosophy and apologetics. I do not say this to brag but only so that you will now I am not a novice.

                    1. Scripture does not compel people to give all their money to the poor, but only to meet legitimate needs.

                    2. Scripture does not instruct the rich to stop being rich but rather to be ready to give to genuine needs.

                    3. The gospel of Christ is not a social revolution. It is a spiritual kindgom.

                    4. People who divorce for biblical reasons may re-marry. In our church, people who divorce for unbiblical reasons are excommunicated the same as a practicing homosexual, practicing adulterer, fornicator, liar, or otherwise.

                    5. I am accustomed to my beliefs being criticized. But that criticism is only as credible as one’s grasp of the hermeneutical and exegetical principles upon which it is based.

                    6. Christians have not been given the liberty to interpret the Scriptures in any way they please and then call on God’s grace as if He were an earthly, soft, weak father who lets his children do as they please. 2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. Peter had very strong and ominous language for the mishandling of the text.

                    7. There are passages of Scripture that are more difficult to understand than others. The rapture theory is a perfect example. However, Paul condemns homosexuality is 2 Co. 6:9, 1 Tim. 1:10, and Romans 1:18-30.

                    8. Not only is homosexual sex considered against nature, Paul has strong words for those who do not condemn it: and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

                    9. Paul says that those who practice all these sins, to include male to male and female to female intercourse, are worthy of death, but he also forbids us from giving approval to these things.

                    10. Why do you think Paul forbad the marriage of a man and his former step-mother? Do you not think they loved each other, that they wanted to be with each other? Paul did not consider their desires for a second. He threw them out of the Christian community. He called it purging the leaven. Why do your sort quote Paul when he is talking about love and ignore him on issues like this? I can’t help but wonder if you believe in women submitting to their husbands and if you think females can pastor churches and serve in leadership positions in the Christian community as well. You take those things you want from Scripture and those things the offend your modern, American, liberated thinking, you re-interpret to fit your scheme. You pervert and corrupt Christ when you do this. If you loved Jesus, you would accept His word.

                    All that said, I know it cannot be easy to have gay children. But I have unbelieving children. I have a daughter that lives with a man. So, don’t lecture me about not knowing what it is like to not have kids rejecting God’s design for human living. I think most of us do. The difference is that my daughter does not profess Christ. She has been taught better than that.

                    1. My uncle, with whom I have had extensive discussions on the Bible, helped translate the Dead Sea Scrolls and has read the Bible in far closer to original text than most people on the planet disagrees with you.

                      1 – Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

                      2 – “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

                      Continue to believe it is Christian to be rich, just understand the Bible does not support it.

                      Most of your arguments are similar to ones used by Christians to support slavery and oppose women’s rights: find a Bible quote and ignore all of the context, including cultural, from which it came.

                    2. Those are terrible interpretations of Jesus interactions with an individual whose riches were obviously his god. Jesus knows how to put his finger on it. It is an illegitimate practice to impose what Jesus said to this man on all men. A love for God will translate into a love for helping others. But that is radically different from claiming that a love for God equals that one cannot possess material things. Who gets to draw the line? You? Your uncle? At some point someone has to decide what is enough and what is too much. This is hardly what Jesus preached as the gospel. What it is is socialism overlaid onto the gospel. Paul said this about rich believers: Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. (1 Tim. 6:17) Notice that Paul did not say they must give it all away. There are rich Christians whether you like it or not. It is one thing to possess wealth and another for wealth to possess us. However, Jesus words do point out the dangers of greed and they are real. But you push it way too far.

                      Show me one verse where you think I have ignored the context grammatically, historically, culturally or otherwise. Just one. That is a blatant lie and is either malicious or ignorant.

        3. You stated there are no genuine Christians who believe that there are gay Christians. You know this to be a falsehood, so you just lied. So, by your own logic…you are NOT a Christian, correct?

          1. Really? Let me qualify this a little. There could be a very new Christian that may not yet realize that gay Christians do not exist. However, no genuine Christian rejects the Bible’s teachings on homosexual sex just like they don’t reject the Bible’s teaching on other immoral sexual acts. If a person rejects the Bible’s teachings on sex, that is proof that that person rejects God. One cannot reject God’s word without rejecting God. Rejection of God is rejection of Christianity. Rejection of Christianity is proof one is not a genuine Christian. Your comments are puzzling.

            When a Christian reads Scripture’s teaching on homosexuality, they do not attempt to change it, modernize it, downplay it, excuse it, ignore it, or anything like that. They simply recognize and acknowledge it and true Christians do not dare to command God on any issue.

            1. Which Bible, Ed?

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon

              There are more than a few versions of the Bible out there, not all of which even contain the same Books. And the different translations that exist using the SAME Books vary in so many ways, which led to the creation of so many different denominations, all Christian, all with their own takes on theological issues.

              So, it’s pure folly for you to come in here and insist that YOUR take is the ONLY take on the issue, that NO other Christian would DARE to believe that there are gay Christians.

              signed, an OLD Christian

              1. Which translations are you referring to that actually end up permitting homosexual sex. The version that I use is the Greek and Hebrew MSS for the New and Old Testaments respectively. Are you claiming that there are significant variants in the MSS that open the possibility that the age-old prohibition against homosexual sex in Judaism and then Christianity can be called into question. If so, please point me to those resources so that I can examine your evidence.

        4. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” —Mark 1:1-1

          How many divorced and remarried people do you know, Dr. Dingess, who claim to be followers of Jesus? Are you one, perhaps? Is this simply a false claim on their behalf? This is a sticky wicket. Since the adulterous divorced-and-remarried person continues on in adultery, per Jesus’ words, how can s/he possibly be a Christian, then? Is this not the same argument you are using against gay believers?

  36. People who live in hatred of another human being – – no matter what the reason – – should not call themselves Christian

  37. What is it Gandhi said? Something about liking Christ but not so much Christians?

    Wonder why? *sarcasm*

  38. I read 1 Corinthian 5 and at the end Paul says “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” So leave people who are not in your church alone.

  39. Hardly surprising, considering that MacArthur first came to mainstream prominence back in the early 80’s when he was caught on audiotape encouraging a young man to commit suicide because of his sinfulness (which the man did). MacArthur has been an egomaniacal, power-crazed fanatic ever since he stepped into the pulpit.

      1. Again, a really enlightening comment. If you have something to contribute then do so. You seem knowledgeable, please enlighten us.

        1. MacArthur, along with biblical Christianity denies the idea of gay Christian. Really simple. If you can read Scripture and come away with anything other than that, it is due to your own ignorance and desire to change Scripture so that it satisfies modern minds. Enemies of the faith.

          1. So you are saying that if you and I read anything and come away with different interpretations, then you are right and I am ignorant?

            1. In the case of gay Christianity, if you think one can be gay and truly Christian, then yes, you are incredibly ignorant. Are you saying that one can interpret Scripture anyway the please? There is no limits as to how badly one can mangle the text?

                1. If it isn’t the man himself. Hello Ben. While I am a strong MacArthur advocate, I am not such a strong supporter of the rapture theory. I am honest enough to say that the doctrine has a long way to go to reach the level of dogma. I have serious doubts that it ever should reach such a status.

                  Your misrepresentation of MacArthur was quite unloving and unfair. You should at least provide the proper background and have been honest in your criticism. You were not.

                  For the record, MacArthur does not teach tithing. To compare overeating with greed is a case you need to make sir. Talk about stretching the limits of truth and reason, you surely are guilty.

                  You need to rightly represent JM’s position and then offer your critique with your standard being Scripture, not modern America’s psychological interpretive scheme as your primary hermeneutic.

                  I would love discuss your views in front of all your followers so that they can see for themselves just how badly you are misrepresenting Jesus, His apostles, and the Sacred Scripture.

  40. MacArthur is basically practicing sharia law (which I bet he hates if it has an eastern label). He is just practicing a western version of it.

    1. Spot on. The bizarre thing is that he has managed to convince people that he is some sort of mainstream evangelical when in fact he is plainly a fundamentalist. As far as I know, he is also one of the last ‘evangelicals’ to be stridently anti-Catholic, another sure sign that he really is a fundamentalist.

  41. I used to wonder why Fundamentalists are so vocal about cults. I mean they get hissing fits when discussing cults or when discussing Fundamentalist issues with cult members. I realise that it is simply a reaction formation. They are as cultic as any other cult they attack with demon-hunter hysteria. John MacArthur is as Watchtowerite as the most indoctrinated JW could only wish to be. How interesting.

  42. I hate to say it, but I do not completely disagree with MacArthur. (Overall, I think he is arrogant, horribly insensitive, devoid of a true spirit of love and compassion, and dead wrong on many theological doctrines, such as Calvinism and Cessationism). Matthew 18 does not necessarily apply here, (because that is regarding sin by one brother against another, and homosexuality is a sin against God alone) but 1 Cor. 5 certainlyn does. Yes it should apply to everyone of those sins listed, but just because some might not apply it fairly to those sins, does not mean it excuses them all either. There should be compassion whether the sinner is claiming to be a believer or not, I would not agree that it should be more for the non-believer. But we must confront sin on all counts. In the case of a believer, it does not however mean that we speak to them once and that’s it. 1 Cor. 5 is about one who is defiantly sinning in these areas. That is different than one who is sincerely struggling to defeat sin in their lives. If one acknowledges sin as such, and is being accountable to the body of Messiah and is doing all they can to overcome, they should not be shunned. In that, MacArthur is a bit incomplete in his answer and hasty. Scripture also tells us that we “who are spiritual” should “restore one overtaken in a fault” in a spirit of humility. (Gal. 6:1) That is the largest point MacArthur misses. We must speak out against sin, both within the body of Messiah and in the world, and John has that correct; we can’t just ignore it. A call to repentance must be made to both. If it’s a non-believer that rejects that call, then God will deal with it and we shouldn’t necessarily have nothing to do with them. However, if it is a believer that won’t acknowledge and repent, then we can’t allow that to go on in our congregations. Hard as that may be, it applies to family members as well, but again, should apply regardless of the sin being homosexuality or one of the others being mentioned.

    1. This is just about the most measured, thoughtful comment I’ve read so far. I’ll admit that I have a much bigger problem with MacArthur’s statements than you seem to, but that very well could be because my emotions are getting in the way of my judgment. All in all, what you’ve written here does make sense.

      I’d add that a big problem is that he isn’t careful to make sure that the questioner and the viewers are making a distinction between just being gay and actively persuing a gay relationship or gay sex. I mean, when my family found out about my orientation, I had already been a Christian for nearly two years, and I had been living, at that time, a celibate lifestyle. Yet, they seemed to have the hardest time differentiating between my attractions and my actions. It really bewildered me and showed me that just because it’s clear in your head doesn’t mean that you can take for granted that it is equally clear to others.

      1. Thanks, Mike. I’m glad you understood my point. Christians do have a big problem and stigma associated with same sex attraction/relationship, but I was taught a long time ago by a wise man that it is no different than any other sin or temptation. You are right to observe MacArthur’s failure to make a distinction between attraction and behavior. And that is a huge point. Anyway, may the Lord continue to strengthen you as you pursue maturity in Messiah and the truth of His Word.

        1. Thanks to Bruce and Mike both. But what you may not appreciate is that many of us atheists can wholeheartedly ascribe to the teachings of Jesus as they apply to behavior toward our fellow man, our environment, etc, without believing the whole God thing. Jesus IMHO was a good man who walked the earth. Period.

          BTW, I’ve often used your reference to “biblians”. They don’t seem to get it though!

          1. Darryl,

            I’m glad you commented!

            I’ve been an agnostic and a Christian, have friends and family of various faiths as well as other atheists and agnostics. And I live in a country where atheism/agnosticism are the default positions of most. I can say that the most moral people I know, who care deeply about social justice, exist all along that spectrum of beliefs.

            And while many, many people ascribe to Jesus’ teachings, I’ve not met one single individual who could actually wholeheartedly live them out. We’ve all said and done things – we continue to do and say things – that if it were broadcast for all to know, would leave us utterly ashamed.

            I believe this is why Jesus came to fulfill the law of God, and then take the penalty for breaking it onto himself. And it’s what this Christian thing is supposed to be about: forgiveness, being reconciled to the one who created you, and being reconciled to other people. (I mean, I suppose that’s a bit too reductionist of a statement, but I imagine you get my drift.)

            One final point: I appreciate your respectful, jovial demeanor. Really I do; it’s very refreshing. But if I may, I’d like to point out that if Jesus wasn’t God, it would be hard to call him a good man. He went around telling people that he had the authority to forgive their sins, and that the only way to God was through him. Jesus is a polarizing figure, and there really isn’t a comfortable middle ground as far as what we think about him.

            1. Did it ever occur to you that if Jesus had been born in a different era, church steeples might be adorned with a guillotine, or girls might wear a firing squad on a gold chain?

              I’ve never understood this. The miracle isn’t that Jesus was killed, but that he rose again. So why the cross when the stone rolled away would be such a better message to humanity?

              1. I think the gospel message isn’t complete without both the cross and the stone rolled away. They’re two parts of one complete work. Jesus paid the penalty of sin on the cross, and his resurrection shows that he fully satisfied the demands of God’s justice.

                Good news, as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

                1. Yeah, but the scary part is what the church displays on the steeple. Lots of people get killed – executed – but few rise again. Just seems like the positive part should be on display. Any advertising company knows that.

                  BTW, some years ago I was visiting my sister on Sunday so was required to attend a large church in Wichita. i noticed that the sign prominently displayed on the front door warned that the premises were protected by a security company. I mentioned to Marilyn that is was bad advertising, suggesting that some guys with uniforms and guns were more powerful protection than was God. Next time I visited that church the sign was gone!

                  I was born in 1939 and my mom was Baptist to the point of distraction.No, that is understating the situation, she was rabid. She used to have a daily radio broadcast and taught bible class several evenings a week and authored a number of religious books. As a kid I remember helping build models of the Ark of the Covenant and Torah and the Ten Commandment stone tablets and such.

                  It bothers me that so many christians seem to think that if i only knew, then I would believe. Well, I know enough, back then I could quote scripture with the best of them. But by age 8 or so I began to see the discrepancies and contradictions and flaws in logic. I’ll not recount them here of course. Like teaching a pig to sing, it frustrates the teacher and irritates the pig.

                  Your turn!

                  1. I’m having a hard time envisioning a stone rolled away perched atop a steeple. But I’ll tell you what, you send me a sketch, and if it looks practical, I’ll pitch it to the church I attend. But don’t hold your breath; I have little influence here.

                    I want you to know that I don’t assume that if you just knew a,b, and c, then you’d believe. After all, the people who conspired to kill Jesus were the most biblically literate people in the whole society. And besides, it’s not why I believe.

                    I always saw discrepancies and contradictions, many of the same ones you see, I imagine. But I also saw them in other belief systems, including atheism. I have believed before that I simply didn’t have enough information, and there were too many unanswered questions left by all religions as well as atheism, to commit myself to one definitive belief about the world. (Obviously, I’ve had a change of heart.)

                    There’s still so much about the bible, about Christianity, that confuses me, or honestly, even frustrates me. I don’t know, at the end of the day, whose interpretation of this or that obscure verse is the right one. But I do know that Jesus just gets to me. I read how he interacts with those around him, and I read his simple yet profound declarations, and I’m just compelled. And so I believe him. And he says to follow him, and so I do.

                2. I was just reminded of the only off-color joke my mom ever told. In this small town the preacher and the priest would meet every Monday morning and exercise on their bikes while comparing notes on the business. One morning the preacher was late. “Father, someone stole my bike. I keep it in the shed behind the church, nobody knows about it but my parishioners and it disturbs me that a member of my flock would steal my bike.”

                  The priest suggested that he deliver a sermon on the ten commandments, and when he got to Thou Shalt Not Steal he should look each person in the eye and he could tell who stole the bicycle.

                  Next Monday the preacher showed up with his bike. It took some prodding but the preacher finally told the story. “i was delivering the sermon and when I got to Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery, I remembered where I left my bicycle.”

    2. Personally, I’d think a Christian would take Jesus’s idea of “sin” over *Paul’s* ideas on “sin.” When asked “What do you believe are the most important commandments,” Jesus replied, “Love God, and Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.”

      L.O.V.E. Love. That’s Jesus’s number 1 yardstick. Paul had other ideas. I don’t see people going around saying “I’m a Paulsian”—they say, “I’m a Christian,” as in “I follow Jesus Christ.”

      The Christian faith in general might be a whole lot better off if they stuck to Jesus’s teachings of love… and considered books by the many followers (especially Paul since he never even *met* Jesus) as “suggestions” rather than “mandates from God.”

      Yes, I know the whole “Holy Spirit vision on the road to Damascus” bit for Paul, and I think there’s considerable question as to it being legitimate. Saul of Tarsus was disliked by the Jewish religious officials, according to the histories I’ve read, as an ambitious and extremist man. His abrupt conversion to Christianity as it was then may have been nothing more than a man seeing roadblocks in his job, who jumps ship to a new company he realizes he can not only shape in its initial phases, but also become “a big fish in a little pond” with it.

      He may have had a hallucination on the road, possibly involving heat stroke—I’ve seen that theory proposed as well.

      Even if he genuinely had a vision, and did a serious conversion of religion, that doesn’t mean he got the message 100% right, or also, that he didn’t begin “doctoring” what he said later. We’ve all seen people who seem to do a great change when under extreme emotional inspiration, who later gradually revert to much of their former behaviors as time and daily life go on. It’s quite possible that even if Paul *did* receive some type of spiritual visitation to convert, the narrowness of his mindset gradually came to usurp, to tinge and to change what he said—along with how his success at *finally* becoming the authority figure he always wanted to be, may have led him to consciously or unconsciously put his own imprint or “stamp” on what he preached. At times he may have stuck more closely to Jesus’s message to love others… but at other times, it’s clear he allowed his own prejudices and narrow viewpoints to come into play.

      In short, you aren’t “Paulsians,” nor even “Biblians”—you’re “Christians”, which seems to me would mean you’d put the highest importance on what Jesus taught and said, not what Paul or the rest of the Bible says.

      1. Chris, you are absolutely right on Jesus and Love God and Love your Neighbor. What I would like to drive home even deeper is:

        Often you hear Christians stating the law regarding bible verses being anti-gay. Yet, Loving God and Loving others; we call them commandments. In American English the word commandments tends to invoke a thought of value watered down in the words importance.

        Yet, Jesus called these the first LAWS!!! FIRST LAWS!!!

        Christians tend to forget that the Love God and Neighbor are the foundational LAWS OF CHRIST.

        All other Laws need to be filtered through these first two… Verses filtered through these two laws not just considered commandments (America’s commandment is treated more as a suggestion than a law).

        These are Christ first two Laws for the foundation of how we view any other human, bible verse, universe, animals. It is to be our filter with any other verse in the bible we claim as a truth. Filter through these two first.

        1. There is no love in condoning, accepting, affirming, celebrating or remaining silent over sinful behavior.

      2. Chris, I’m sorry to say so but your argument has several faults. First, that Paul and Jesus disagree. That cannot be proven, in fact, it is quite simple (but beyond the scope of this topic) to prove that they agree with each other 100%. Second, your doubting about whether Paul’s “conversion” was legitimate or not, or whether or not his teaching is valid, doesn’t matter. The only reliable record we have of Paul is what the Bible says and it is clear there that he is upheld as a true apostle of Jesus. Most egregiously, you draw a false distinction between Paul and Jesus, then the real comparison is God’s word in the Torah, then Jesus, then Paul. The Torah unequivocally says the homosexuality is a sin, in fact, an abomination. Therefore, if Jesus, who in His own words said that the Father was greater than he were to contradict the Father’s instructions in the Torah, Jesus should be rejected. Ipso facto Paul as well. However, Jesus upholds the entire Torah (Matt. 5:17ff) and Paul upholds it as well (Romans 1 and 3:31) Therefore, the fact that homosexual practice is a sin is established by the entire Bible, not in spite of it. Your opinion of Paul or Jesus doesn’t matter.

  43. I actually don’t see as many problems with what MacArthur said as with what you have said. MacArthur was asked a specific question on a specific situation. He answered it using the Bible and more specifically Mathew 18. You assumed he would not act in the same way to other sins which actually is a big leap on your part since Mathew 18 talks about all sins. MacArthur actually even has a quote from his own website which states, “No matter what the sin is whether homosexuality or anything else, God has provided forgiveness, salvation and hope of the eternal life to those who repent and embrace the Gospel.” This quote shows he feels the same about all sins and not just homosexuality. All you have done is make assumptions and twist his words to make him look bad and get hits to your blog.

    1. When he comes up with the same vitriol regarding the other sins I’ll agree with you. He hasn’t has he?

  44. It saddens and perplexes how American Christianity seems to be so wholly removed from being Christ-like.

  45. The irony of course in this kind of fundementalism is that it is so selective. I am a rabbi and scholar of the Jewish roots of Christianity. It is clear that 1 Corinthians 5 is about the strange sexual practices extant in the ancient Roman world in general. It has nothing to do with a committed, loving, monogamous gay or lesbian couples. Once you isolate homosexuality and don’t even mention pre-marital sex or adultery you are exposing your own bigotry, fear, and prejudice as the pastor clearly is doing. Thanks Benjamin Corey for your clarity.

  46. Sorry, I don’t get your reasoning on supporting a Marriage Equality Act. Are you saying that passing one more immoral law isn’t going to tip the scales so it does not matter? As a theology student shouldn’t you want your Representative Government to abide by God’s Laws as much as possible? You are right, we as a people are well past the point of being able to say we base our laws on Christian principles, but I disagree that slavery proves we were never a nation founded on Christian principles. Reading the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution and the personal letters of many that helped form this nation would show that to be an ignorant statement. We paid a heavy price for the sin of slavery. More Americans were killed in the Civil War than all the wars that followed until the late 20th century. And as one lady said, I do have skin in this fight, since one child of ours is gay. We love him and tell him so, but we also tell him that you can’t pick and choose what parts of the Bible you believe and ignore the sins that apply to you or say those aren’t really bad sins.

    1. Really? You can’t choose which parts of the Bible to believe and which to ignore? So when the Bible clearly sanctions slavery numerous times over in both the Old Testament and New, we should accept that as God-given, eh? Or how about the various Old Testament scriptures wherein the Israelites are commanded to slaughter the women, children, and infants of their tribal enemies, and kidnap the virgin girls for use as rape-slaves (the Amalekites, the Canaanites, the Midianites), as well as horrible torture and execution by the barbaric practice of stoning for relatively trifling transgressions? Or the endorsement of women as subordinate and inferior to men? Seems to me most modern day Christians ignore ALL of those and more.

      1. I would not put my self in the position to judge God. His ways are not my ways. If I were in the Israelites’ shoes and God said kill every man, woman and child in that village, I’d obey God, not question his motives regarding pagans who sacrificed children to the god Molech. God does not sanction slavery or divorce any more than he sanctions sin, but he does give commands to man on how to deal with these conditions that man insists in perpetuating. Furthermore, I disagree that God says women are inferior. God does say that in marriage the wife should be submissive to her husband. The husband is to be a Godly leader of the family unit. Haven’t you ever served in the military or any position requiring decision making? Someone has to be in charge or nothing gets done. The ancient world was a much more physical and violent place than the time you and I live in. A single woman had a much more difficult time surviving in those times than today, that is what the Bible recognizes when it calls the woman the weaker vessel. Read Proverbs 31 if you want to know how God values women. Read the Gospels and you’ll see the invaluable role women play.

        1. ” (if) God said kill every man, woman and child in that village, I’d obey God, not question his motives”

          Sorry, but that’s the absolute sickest thing I’ve heard all day– and I say that as a devout Jesus follower.

          1. Hello Ben, may I call you Ben?
            Let’s not turn this in to a series of personal attacks. Are we not following the same Jesus? Son of God, Savior of the World, who fulfilled the will of God the Father by dying on the cross for our sins. Jesus is the picture of pure love, but is He not also the picture of pure justice?
            I can certainly understand why you are sickened by many of the events attributed to God and His chosen people in the Old Testament. I am currently reading through the book of Joshua and there are some pretty harsh commands given by God to the Hebrews in order for them to fulfill His will in claiming the promised land. There are some equally harsh penalties for the Hebrews when they did not follow God’s commands to the letter (Joshua ch. 7). Our human viewpoint is not capable of understanding God and all his ways and I often need help with the simple stuff. For example I had a hard time understanding why God would command Abraham, after all he went through to have a child, to sacrifice him on a mountaintop and Abraham was willing to obey God. Incredible! But that is OT and maybe you don’t take that literally any way.
            Is your point that as a former fundamentalist you don’t take the Bible literally any more? If it is then there is no point in arguing with each other because at that point you probably don’t believe in absolutes either and if there is no absolute truth (obviously only God the creator could be in a position to define absolute truth, right?) each of us can define our own truth.
            Jesus claimed to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He also claimed that if you knew Him, you will also know the Father (John 14:6-7). As a devout follower of Jesus you probably know the rest of John 14 and the Gospels far better than me so please forgive me for trying to preach to you. I simply believe that both the Old Testament and the New are God’s Word and if that makes you label me as a Fundamentalist that’s a privilege God gave you. I prefer to be labeled as a Christian and leave it at that.
            As a follower of the same Jesus you devoutly serve I pray God the Holy Spirit will reveal God’s truth to both of us. It is doubly important to you because you are in a position to influence people as a teacher of the truths Jesus taught so long ago and still does to this day.
            God bless, Joel

            1. But in this day and age it’s still ok to condemn homosexual people? Why the change in one case but not the other?

              1. You can take anything you wish out of context and turn it to suit your personal agenda. I don’t condemn anyone. That is well above my pay grade.

            2. In this day and age? And you have the gall to talk about absolute morality when you believe that murdering children is permissible and moral in certain circumstances?

              If you can look me in the eye and say without qualm that if you would murder innocent people if your god truly commanded it of you, I can look you straight back and tell you that you are no different or better than the Christian men who butchered my own people.

              1. You and I both know that is not happening in my case. I’m sorry for your loss and anger. I was speaking of being in the Isrealites’ shoes. This is why I don’t normally blog. Everything is taken out of context and twisted around. I’ll stick to reading the Bible and praying that others, like yourself, will find the peace of soul only a relationship with God through Jesus Christ his Son can give.

                1. If you think saying ‘if I were an Israelite I would have unquestioningly killed babies,’ sounds any better, you should take a long, hard look at the idol who demands your worship.

                    1. I am the coward and you are the one hurling insults anonymously at someone you don’t know from Adam. If it makes you feel superior, go ahead. It doesn’t get any better for you from now into eternity if you continue on the path you are on. I have not fought with any one since adolescence and you make me out to be a baby killer. Wow!

                    2. Yes, I made you out to be a baby killer, and it didn’t have anything to do with when you said “If I were in the Israelites’ shoes and God said kill every man, woman
                      and child in that village, I’d obey God, not question his motives”

                      You know, when you admitted that you would kill children for your god if he commanded it. That had nothing to do with it.

                      As for hurling insults, I have no trouble calling a man who claims he would slaughter the weak and innocent a coward, any more than I have trouble calling the IRA and UVF cowards. You know, people who actually did the things you say it would be fine for you to do under the correct circumstances. And as for topping it off by trying to slight me for my atheism, what do you expectt? Why would you expect me to be even slightly religious when doing so would mean having to rub shoulders with someone so morally depraved he ‘would obey God, not question his motives’ if commanded to ‘kill every man, woman and child in that village’?

                    3. Do you call the few surviving RAF pilots who blindly bombed German cities at night cowards to their face as well? They were not doing it for any one else than to defend their country to keep it free for people such as yourself. You do know that innocent women and children were killed and that was not in the name of any god.

  47. This a perfectly rational and scriptural based explanation of the issue. The shunning is not for condemnation.

  48. Comical. Where are we to find these Christians that truly practice only the words of Jesus? Not in any of the ones posting below that cite other chapters and gospels. I met two in Shafter Texas. Completely chaste and ascetic. Living in an abandoned mine office. What is that a sample of? 0.001% of Christianity? Either you follow the Bible as the literal Word of God, like it instructs you, or you make it up as you go along, which isn’t really faith, or literally – Christianity. The first case – literal belief in falsified mythology – that’s just crazy – and about 40% of Christianity. The other 60% that treats the Bible as a Chinese menu, one from column A and two from column B, that’s just “The Christianity of One”, you know, narcissistic and self centered.
    MacArthur is the latter. Like most of you. Fake Christians all puffed up with themselves. Didn’t God say something about that too? Before you waste your time, telling me I am going to hell, or not going to heaven – take your pick; it is functionally equivalent to telling me I am on Santa’s bad list.

  49. This John MacArthur is another one of god’s bullies. I’m suprised he didn’t mention burning at the stake.

  50. As a former Christian (raised Lutheran, now a devout agnostic), I must ask: Where is the love of which Jesus preached? Terrible, horrible, destructive hypocrisy and hate.

  51. So many Christians believe there must be demon possession or some type of “oppression” that makes people gay or tempts them toward that “lifestyle”. But according to MacArthur we should turn them over to the ruler (Satan) of these metaphysical fallen spirits??? Where is the logic in that!!!!

  52. Your whole article is about what John MacArthur thinks and what you think. I understand that there are things in the Bible that are “inconvenient” but nothing you said did you back up with the Word of God. What then does 1 Corinthians 5 mean? You can’t just dismiss it and substitute it for convenience.

  53. I was shunned by my former pastor and his wife who were my guardians from the time that I was fifteen until I went off to college at eighteen. I was outed to them by a member of their church who I had considered a good friend and mentor. I am thankful that my biological family and many of my friends have stood by me and loved me for who I am. My heart breaks to know that this godly couple who provided for me and treated me as one of their own could literally turn their backs on me. I pray every day that their children learn the true meaning of being Christ-like.

  54. While I believe that the author of this post twisted MacArthur’s words and seems to have a pre-set issue with MacArthur…It is virtually impossible to answer that question in 2 minutes.

    http://www.russellmoore.com/2014/06/06/what-if-your-child-is-gay/

    This is a link to a professor who deals with issues like these all the time. I hope that this is a helpful source to anyone who may be struggling with this issue. I’m not a parent, I don’t have a ‘dog in this fight’ as another commenter said, so I won’t really give my opinion, but as a pastor who has dealt with this with a teenager, I would simply use the words of John 1:16 and deal with the situation with “grace and truth” grace with the person (and family) who has real feelings and real emotion but also never backing down from the truth of scripture.

  55. It’s frustrating to see people compare homosexuality to clearly evil acts like murder and thievery. I am gay, and my being gay harms no one. It is not a sin. I don’t eat people, I don’t kill people, I don’t steal from people, I don’t prey on
    children. The results of each of those actions is clearly evil. The
    result of me being gay is that I am simply attracted to members of my
    own sex instead of the opposite sex. That doesn’t mean that I am
    predisposed to being promiscuous or dysfunctional or harmful. It is
    simply one aspect of my physiology, and the ways in which I react to my
    physiology determine whether or not I commit sins.

    I don’t need to repent of being gay. There are many sins I need to repent of, but
    being homosexual is not one of them. I don’t need psychological help; I
    am far more psychologically healthy and confident than I was in the closet because I live in the light and in freedom, instead of in darkness and repression.

    Instead of calling good things (like loving and committed gay relationships)
    evil and evil things (like shunning and rejecting your own children)
    good, maybe we Christians should get back to blessing the world through
    the message of love and salvation that Jesus gave to us through his
    crucifixion and resurrection. There is evil out there that we must fight
    – hunger, oppression, slavery, violence – and instead of wasting our
    energy hypocritically unleashing vitriol against so-called “sinners,” maybe we should be spreading the Gospel for the transformation of the world.

    1. The bible clearly states the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. that being said some people need to learn to deal with sinners more compassionately.

      1. The Bible also “clearly states” that wearing polyester-cotton fabric is a sin, and that eating pork is wrong.

      2. The bible also says that you can’t eat shellfish, and that you should go the prescribed amount of steps from your home, use a specific type of paddle to dig a hole, evacuate in it, then use the tool to cover it up—the closest I’ve come to seeing a modern Christian do the latter was to use an outhouse instead of a toilet.

        Are you a Biblian or a Christian? If you’re a Biblian, by all means accept every word in the bible as God’s Word and live by it—thought there’s quite a lot of contradictory instructions in there that might get you put in a mental institution if you try to follow all of it. As well, I think you might get put in jail for stoning or killing the various people as instructed, not to mention selling your wives and daughters and killing the babies of your enemies.

        If you’re a Christian, then why are you accepting the entire bible (written by various men, much of it oral tradition that has been shifted via translation multiple times) as the direct word of God and what Jesus wanted you to follow? Why aren’t you instead following the two commandments Jesus himself said were of uttermost importance: “Love God,” and “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”? He didn’t say, “Love them only if you approve of them,” he just said “Love them.”

        I see far too many Christians today who talk an awful lot about “sin” and “Satan” and “God’s anger and hate”… where are the people talking about Love, REAL love? Oh wait—they’re out there putting it into practice instead of standing around talking about what they think is wrong with other people and trying to punish those people *for* God—like God either deputized them to do so, or is incapable of it Himself.

        Think about it, folks.

      3. The Bible says a lot of things are sinful. But I don’t see you condemning adulterers to death, even though that’s clearly the prescribed biblical punishment for them.

  56. There will be a special place in Hell for this judgemental self serving jerk, he thinks he has some special moral high ground that he judges people from, but ALL of us were created by GOD and are GOD’s children. He will find out at the end of his life how our creator judges him for judging his children.

  57. The problem most people are having here is not with John MacArthur, but with the Bible itself. This is exactly what you should do in this case, and he gave both sides of the theoretical situation (believer or non-believer). If a child of mine came to me and was living in an adulterous affair, or sleeping with people he/she was not married to, the same course of action applies. The shunning is to remove them from fellowship so that they will recognize the weight of their sin, know that it is their sin that is keeping the division in the family, all with the hopes of bringing them to repentance.

    This is quite clear in the Scripture. Read Matt 18:15-20; 1 Cor chps 5 & 6.

    The reason there is such opposition in this thread to the biblical position is because most in the culture have been indoctrinated to the lie that homosexuality is an identity, when it is not. It is a behavior, desire, etc., but it is not “who I am,” rather it is a sin that can be repented of, just like pornography, adultery, etc.

    1. Matthew 18 specifically states that it is directed towards the church. It is a function for the church– Jesus does NOT advocate disowning one’s child. That’s horrible exegesis and application.

      1. It’s not horrible exegesis at all if you understand what the church is. It is not the “First Baptist” building down the street, but an invisible body of people who are “in Christ.” if a professing Christian comes to me and is in sin, it is my responsibility as a fellow-believer to seek his/her freedom from that sin, and the steps to be taken are outlined for us. If he/she does not belong to my local congregation, I am still responsible for seeking his/her reconciliation with God through the local fellowship.

        You are making it seem like someone in your own family is absolved from being part of the church, or under the authority of the church. ??

        1. And no one said anything about “disowning your child.” You are putting an exaggerated (and emotional) bent on the whole process. Familial relationships make the steps in Matt 18 more challenging for sure, but this is God’s ordained means to bring the believer back to repentance. If there is no repentance, they demonstrate they are not Christs (“tax collector or Gentile.”)

    2. The problem is that the comparison of homosexuality to (clearly harmful) sins like adultery is that it is not a logical comparison, once you understand that homosexuality is a physiological response that does not automatically predispose a person to harmful behaviors.

      Because of this, those of us in the Church who are gay or gay-affirming want a logical and sensible analysis and discussion of the Scriptural teachings at hand.

      We all understand why adultery is wrong; it disrupts and destroys relationships and damages households and families. We understand why pornography is wrong; it exploits the bodies of actors for the sexual pleasure of others. But what is truly wrong with homosexuality, if a gay person follows the same values of commitment, monogamy, and responsibility that are a part of marriage?

      I recognize that Paul saw the same-sex behaviors of the Greco-Roman sexual culture around him as being destructive. Matthew Vines does a good job of addressing why those relationships and situations could most certainly be seen as sinful and damaging from the point of view of the Christian sexual ethic. Similar situations exist today, in both the gay and straight communities, calling for us to advocate for love and fidelity as the necessary values upon which a lasting relationship must be built.

      But anti-gay Christians have a theological burden: that of proving why a committed and consecrated gay relationship, built on the same principles as other marriages, is sinful. The outcome of gay marriage is not harm; it can actually produce good fruit. I have witnessed this as someone who goes to a church with a large number of married gay couples, many of whom have children and families that are just as functional and godly as any straight family.

      So, comparing homosexuality writ large to behaviors like adultery just doesn’t work. A gay Christian can still live up to Biblical principles when it comes to sexuality and relationships. A gay marriage can still bear good fruit and honor God and contribute to the Church. This is the reality of things, and endlessly repeating a poor exegesis of a handful of scriptures will not undo this truth.

      1. Christian asked: “But what is truly wrong with homosexuality, if a gay person follows the same values of commitment, monogamy, and responsibility that are a part of marriage?”

        One main reason is that is distorts the gospel of Christ. Paul reveals a mystery in Eph 5:31-33 that the male-female covenant relationship is a picture of the gospel. It is a picture of Christ and His church. The marriage is an illustration of something greater–a greater spiritual truth, and when that relationship is changed, the whole imagery is distorted. A male-male or female-female relationship is a lie about Christ and his church, and a perversion of this picture presented in marriage.

        1. That “mystery,” while beautiful in itself, has been distorted by some into a doctrine of oppression that sees everything through the lens of particular gender roles.

          I don’t deny that heterosexual marriages can be and most often are beautiful. I praise God for my straight friends who have wonderful households and families together and take joy in their joy. I pray for them, love them, and wish prosperity and blessings for them.

          The truth is, however, that God made some of us, a small minority of us, different. I was not made to love a woman, and if I tried, I would only be harming her and myself. I was made to love a man. This is not a lie about Christ or the Church; it is a truth about reality, and it is a beautiful truth when paired together with the transforming love of Christ. Affirming gay relationships adds to the unity and strength of the Church, but rejecting them divides and harms the Church. Affirming a minority of people does not diminish the majority; rather, in this case, it makes what is unique to the majority all the more blessed. When gay and straight couples affirm and support each other, it increases the grace and goodness of the community, whereas sowing the seeds of division in the community can only cause harm.

          We cannot take Paul’s wise teachings about the joy and goodness of heterosexual marriage and use it to demonize and reject homosexual marriage. That is not the purpose of the glorious truth about Christ and his Church.

          The Gospel is not about maintaining fragile conceptions of “illustrations” and “imagery” as if we were merely preserving the tenants of some fictional literary canon. We are dealing with the very Word of God, which is greater than any assemblage of words or our interpretation of them. Our charge is to transform the world – to enlarge the Church, not to shrink it by deciding that entire groups of people don’t fit our particular “picture of the Gospel.”

          1. Christian, what you are doing is starting with your view of the world–with you as the center–and then going to the Bible to get what you want it to say. If you start with the Scriptures, you will not diminish the picture given in Eph 5 the way you are. This is an error that we are warned about in the Scripture:

            2 Tim. 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own PASSIONS,

            The word “passions” there is the word LUST. People will desire the Scriptures to say what they want it to say because of lust. You said that God made you to love a man. That may be what you want, and that may be your experience, but you do not have the Bible to back you up on this. Every single time the Bible describes homosexuality it gives the same answer, and not once is it described positively. Jesus says marriage is one man and one woman for life. The Law says it, the prophets affirm it, and you have no other recourse than to just find people (matthew vines, etc.) who will tell you what you want to hear.

            Rather than the church needing to be enlarged by accepting those in sin, the church needs to be pure by repenting of adultery, divorce, sexual immorality, and certainly homosexuality. You are not staring with God as the source of life, but with your own predilections.

            I have compassion for you, friend, as I have a myriad of lusts raging within my heart, but I recognize that I must crucify them and not give myself over to them. I pray that you repent and find joy in Christ that surpasses anything else in life.

            Blessings,
            lb

            1. Let me pull back and try not to be so much argumentative, as respectfully opposed.

              We have, apparently, fundamentally different approaches to scriptural truth.

              I believe that our relationship with the Bible is linked to our relationship with reality – we discover more about Scripture and reality the more we learn and evolve.

              I have a couple of points to submit.

              First:

              It is the overwhelming consensus of scientists (and the undeniable experience of millions of people) that sexual orientation is a naturally-developing aspect of a person’s physiology that is not subject to choice. This is not an awareness that existed for most cultures before the last few generations.

              Note the distinction, by the way, between orientation and behavior: I have not asked for affirmation of sexual acts, but of the mere fact that I have a physiological orientation that makes me attracted to men, and not to women. Being gay isn’t my whole identity, but it is part of who I am, and it is healthy to be reconciled to such a fact rather than be miserable about a “mistake” in the way I was made. My behavior and conduct is a separate matter, and subject to many other considerations beyond the basic physiological responses that I experience as a result of my sexual orientation. I recognize that I must submit my desires to Christ and seek to live according to the Word.

              As we discover new aspects of human experience, as illuminated by dispassionate scientific and logical inquiry, we need to adjust our view of the Bible as a book. God’s Word doesn’t change, but we should not be so prideful as to presuppose that our insight into God’s Word is complete and absolute, with no further revelation to be provided by science or rational observations of real human experiences.

              Because of this, we have to accept that the Bible was not made to be a holistic and complete commentary on all aspects of the universe. It is a series of texts, inspired by God, that illuminates our path and convicts us to be moral in our conduct and holy in our words and deeds and loving in our relationships with all people. It is the vessel for the Word of God and a highly challenging body of work. However, it is inescapable and undeniable that its human authors were not omniscient and were not perfect; they did not know everything about human physiology, or about the cosmos, or physics, etc.

              Second:I am concerned about a particular notion that is quite appealing, but dangerous: the idea that the Church has to be “pure” by excluding people who are “in sin.” I’m afraid that we are all in sin. I am in sin because I am often a prideful and arrogant person, because I am not as charitable as I should be, because I get angry, and yes, sometimes because of lust. I am not in sin because I’m gay, as if it were some kind of mystical manifestation of demonic energy. That is not the case; it is a manifestation of physiology that occurs in a small minority of people.

              The Church does not make people pure; God does that. The Church exists to call people to God and to call people to transformation through Christ. It should not affirm and permit everything, by any means. But Christ’s transformation doesn’t involve destroying the sexuality of millions of LGBT people; it means calling us into the light, into being honest people, and pursuing relationships built on Biblical values like fidelity, self-sacrifice, honor, and love. Christ transforms the spirits of gay people; he doesn’t make us straight, and trying to force gay people to spend their lives wishing they were born differently is not good. It is cruel.

              I sense that we have fundamentally different ways of understanding the truth of this issue. I respect your right to have a different set of views, and your desire to maintain fidelity to Scripture, but I must stand firm in my convictions that have been honed by the Bible. I look to the loving, wonderful LGBT families in my church and community as inspiration to seek a Church that is more gracious to all of God’s children and obeys the Gospel by demonstrating the love of Jesus toward all.

              1. Thank you for the respectful dialogue, Christian. A couple of points in rebuttal.

                First, there is no scientific consensus at all. They have looked high and low for a “gay gene” and have repeatedly come up empty handed. A few major magazines in the past have made claims that it was found, only to reveal that their claims were wishful thinking. If it were found, it would be on every front page newspaper for months and months, I am sure. What you have instead is the study and examination of people’s desires and behaviors. This is radically different that scientific consensus. This just makes the point that some men desire men, therefore, it must be part of their make-up as humans. Not science at all, anymore than someone attracted to children being given the scientific blessing of “orientation,” although that has been hinted at, and is coming soon, no doubt.

                Secondly, of course you see the Bible as part of an evolution of thought, because it clearly goes against what you choose to do (be with men). When the Scripture does not give you what you want, you must make it malleable to fit your desires. Hence the warning verse I posted earlier. Satan’s first deception in the Garden was “Did God really say…?” He wanted to cast doubt on the Word of God, and he does it in every generation. “Trust your feelings. Don’t listen to what it says.” Study Gen 3 and you will see how satan suckered Eve into trusting her heart, her eyes, and her desires instead of God’s Word.

                Thirdly, sinners are welcome in the church, but not unrepentant ones. God calls us to forsake our lusts and submit to Christ. Gay people are welcome at my church but they must be willing to believe God and repent of what He says is wrong. In 1 Cor 5, there is sexual immorality in the church, and Paul does not merely look the other way, or bring in scientific consensus, or talk about orientation. He says put them out of the church for the sake of their salvation!

                Finally, back to Paul’s teaching about Christ and his church in the covenant of male-female marriage. The only way a covenant of marriage is confirmed is through sexual union. The “two become one flesh.” This is impossible with a male-male, female-female relationship. Not to be crass, but the rectum cannot be the destination of a one flesh union, nor can instruments for women, or heavy petting, oral sex, etc. The body is designed to fit together, a man and a woman. Simple biology tells us this. So as much as you want to promote same-sex relationships in a committed, monogamous way, it is totally impossible that it be a true covenant. The make-up of the body absolutely forbids it.

                I have been praying for you today. I hope that you will trust in God’s Word instead of your feelings.

                Best,
                lb

                1. Respectfully, I do not want to be with “men.” I want a marriage and a family. That is not the same thing as being promiscuous. Also, I wrote in an earlier post that I am not asking for the affirmation of any particular sex acts. That is a separate issue and discussion.

                  I think we have to be very careful about applying the serpent’s deception of Eve to mean that we can never question and examine theology or doctrine to determine whether or not we are truly abiding by the spirit of the Gospel and the scriptures. Obedience to sound teachings is important, even when we must make tremendous sacrifices, but blind submission to dogma can be a dangerous and deceptive path. We must not call good evil and evil good because of adherence to a doctrine that we have misinterpreted. Remember that Jesus told us to judge a tree by its fruit; that is what I try to do.

                  Thanks for your prayers. God bless you.

                  1. This is exactly what I was talking about. Thank you for proving my point! This is nothing but speculation. “Could be,” “might be,” “may be,” “it would be surprising if it were not,” and on and on. Just theorizing and speculating.

                    I am not bigoted one bit, but follow Christ through his revelation in the Scriptures. I love gay people enough to warn them of what is to come. If I didn’t love them, I would shut my mouth and keep silent.

                    Best,
                    lb

                    1. Oh best to you too Lars.

                      No, no bigotry other than that Gays should be denied due process and representation under the laws of the US, due to the fact that you think they are a subclass not deserving protection under the law. And deserving rebuke.

                      Because Bible.

                      That is really the sum of your argument.

                      Because Bible.

                      BTW I agree with you. There is no Christian but “All Christian”. The instructions are clear. You see, I don’t see a problem with your free expression of your right to exhibit any sort of religious bigotry, its protected under law. However…

                      Religious=Bigot by definition. Because all religions that follow one true god are by definition, exclusionary. And by dogma, dictation and publication, all three of the Abrahamic religions define unclean to be shunned and killed. Literal word of God, rght?

                      Would you care to subject God to the same Burden of Proof Lars? You know, your words, the wisdom of Lars interpreting the words of Bronze Age starving misogynists – these words “This is nothing but speculation. “Could be,” “might be,” “may be,” “it would be surprising if it were not,” and on and on. Just theorizing and speculating….”

                      The reason I ask, is “Because Bible” is all you have.
                      Isn’t it?

                    2. Yes, “because the Bible says so” is my main argument. I am a Christian, therefore my worldview involves believing that the Creator has revealed Himself through the Holy Scriptures. So, I base all my life’s decisions on that as my main source of knowledge and instruction. It tells me how the world really IS.

                      I say “because Bible,” unashamedly. What do you use?

                    3. Because reality. That’s what I use Lars. I use what you refute. Observation. Your IS appears to be a wishful framework. The only facts I have to rely on are what I have seen with my own eyes. Again, yours is a book of tribal mythology. Want to subject that to the same rigor of proof that you require for a Gay gene?
                      Lets stay on topic. Wandering Christians, you find them just everywhere!
                      Your argument that the Gay Gene is less certain than the existence of Christian God.
                      Other than, “Because Bible.” Let’s hear it.
                      Ding! Ding! Ding!

                    4. So if I understand this correctly, YOU are your source of truth. What you see, what you observe, what you reason. Is that correct?

                    5. I was being flippant Lars. My apologies. For truth I rely on my abilities in critical thinking. My training in this area is indeed formal and encompasses both theological, social, philosophical, economic and yes, scientific training.
                      I do appreciate history. Haven’t had formal a trainer therein other than the basics or time for in depth study, but I know this, the historical “truth” of the currently accepted Bible (God forgot to mention King James, I wonder why?)is replete with forgery, And I do appreciate the history of religions. I also appreciate the history of science. Particularly the linear displacement of religious superstition and dogma by reason and science that has been unstoppable for about 500 years now.

                      Again. Please present your case that the Gay Gene is less certain a supposition as the existence of a Christian God that: Is omnipotent, omnipresent and benevolent; hears our prays and “loves” us (cares for our fate); and, will provide an after-life for the faithful. You know, all of those things Christianity says separates your New Covenant from the one made with Moses. You know, the omnipotent, all-knowing, omnipresent Creator that, whoops changed his mind! ‘Splain that one Lucy!

                      Do so w/o “Because Bible”.
                      Stay on topic.
                      Present evidence that the existence of Christian morality is the only correct and authoritative descendant from the existence of God as described in the Bible. You can’t use circular reference, e.g. Because Bible.
                      Prove God as well as the Gay Gene is proven.
                      While your at it, prove that you are the one true religion (although there are +48,000 “Christianity’s” that sometimes indeed commit genocide against each other) of the three Abrahamic religions. In all three the same God says that that one of three is the one true faith.
                      Got anything other than Because Bible?
                      Then you win the day. Because either the Bible is the most important document ever written and should be the source of all guidance in life, law, everything – or – its mythology started by Stone Age tribesman living in one of the most inhospitable locations on the planet. Stay on task my wandering Christian. This scientist says that it sounds like the Gay Gene is indeed on the “front page” of science, contrary to your assertion. Log in your eye too big to admit that you were wrong in your first post. That’s what this is all about. You spewed dreck about science and the Gay Gene. I am here to help you own it. Sent by God, of course.
                      Proof of the Gay Gene wasn’t good enough for you, why? Don’t speak science like I do? OK. Offer me proof of Christian God that is comparable – w/o Because Bible.
                      Stay. On. Topic. This isn’t about me. It about your concrete statements of ‘truth’ and ‘fact’, and the willy -nilly way you decide what is sufficient proof and what isn’t.
                      how. Me. Your. God. Should be easy, if you were really right about his power, correct?
                      Oh, I forgot, he used to show up all the time (want me to cite you chapter and verse? I have a great Concordance) but just forgot to for 2000 years?
                      The anti-evolutionists always like to say “show me your transitional fossils ” till science did so may times that they thought the best defense was an “Answers in Genesis theme park.
                      Now you want to say that in spite of the FACT that there are no “true” Christians, no evidence of God, a forged Bible politically edited not once, but two time by admission, not a single scintilla of fact or observation for the Existence of Christian God. Just your belief that Gays are Bad – that they should be shunned and denied due-process under the law.
                      You think that its a stretch to consider the 40 years of evidence of a Gay Gene when in 2000 years there is not a single unequivocal instance where Mankind can say “God Was Here.” In between now and the next Church Bus of Innocents flying off a cliff in Colorado (it is church bus season you know) please demonstrate more “Proof of God” than that article on Gay Gene’s in peer reviewed science has for Gay Genes.
                      Put Up – Shut Up
                      Cheers my delusional acquaintance,
                      Trasker

                    6. Wow, so much here, where to begin?

                      1. There is no “gay gene” and the article cited was all speculative. I already cited the myriad of doubt in the very article you posted. No one has found a gay gene, end of story. I don’t need to defend my position on this, because it is scientific consensus today. They have tried to find evidence for it, and if/when they do, trust me, it will be the only thing on the news for months.

                      2. I will always use the Bible, as I explained, because it is my guide in all matters pertaining to life. You are saying essentially, “prove there is a thing called the US President, but you cannot look in the White House.” Nonsense. Scripture is God’s revelation to us, and I would be a fool to not use it. You accuse me of circular reasoning as you yourself use circular reasoning. i.e.”My reason is what tells me what is true. How do I know that is the true source? My reason.” You cannot avoid some circularity when it comes to defining an ultimate source of truth.

                      3. I have studied the Scriptures in the original languages, studied textual criticism at the Graduate level, and am thoroughly familiar with all things pertaining to how we got the Bible. You are making many implications, but have not given a single argument, other than something along the lines of, everyone knows the Bible is not trustworthy, stone age people wrote it, etc. Either make factual assertions, or stop making them.

                      4. I have no intention of proving to you that the God of the Bible exists, because you already know He exists, but suppress the truth about Him. Romans 1 tells us that everyone knows about God and His righteousness, but in their love of sin, they are lying about God, keeping the truth suppressed, all for the sake of pursuing their lusts. So, it would be an exercise in futility to try to give you evidences for God, when you already have all that you need to know to be judged. It is like talking to someone who says they don’t believe in words. I would not waste my time pulling out a dictionary and trying to convince them of what they already know. I would think they are a fool. And that is what the Scripture says, “The fool says in his heart, there is no God” (Ps 14:1). Your rejection of the God of the Bible is because of sin, not because you have not seen miracles, or because the Scripture is not trustworthy.

                      So that is where I am at. Feel free to comment, but I may be away from the computer for the rest of the evening….

                    7. Not to hijack the discussion, but it’s important to point out that while you may have gone to graduate school, it was MacArthur’s graduate school, so to say you’ve studied “textual criticism” ought be quantified. Not the same as at a mainstream seminary and I’m sure we both know that.

                    8. Do I know you, Benjamin?

                      Masters is fully accredited, so I am not sure what you mean by “mainstream seminary.” It sounds like you have a bias against MacArthur.

                      Furthermore, my only point in mentioning education was to convey the fact that I have studied these matters and thought them through.

            2. “Christian, what you are doing is starting with your view of the world–with you as the center–and then going to the Bible to get what you want it to say. ”

              So you’re allowed to do that, but Christian isn’t?

              “‘Could be,’ ‘might be,’ ‘may be,’ ‘it would be surprising if it were not,’ and on and on. Just theorizing and speculating.”

              People tend to speak that way when they’re exercising the humility of admitting that they themselves aren’t God, and so they are saying “this is my best understanding of what God wants and what Jesus taught.”

              1. Chris, the comments about “could be” etc. were a response to an article posted by “trasker” in which he was trying to prove that they had found a genetic proof for homosxuality. I was pointing out that the entire article was bathed in uncertainty. Not sure where that link went….

                Respectfully,
                lb

        2. Paul was not always so rosy in his feelings on marriage, but this does not take away from his use of the culturally easily understood illustration you bring up. If we go by this logic, we should allow no rectangles in our lives even if they are useful and beautiful at times because the triangle has given us such a beautiful picture of the Trinity.

        3. Interestingly enough, in Galatians Paul also affirms that there is no significance to the ‘male and female’ pairing.

          The mystery of marriage is not based on the genders of those involved. And the analogy of Christ as Groom and Church as Bride does not require Christ to have ‘man-bits’ and the church to have ‘lady-bits’. The Mystery of marriage is that an individual will leave their blood relatives and create a new family with someone who is ‘alien’ to them. And in so doing, they create a ‘new’
          blood family, something as strong or stronger then the blood family they left behind. And this happens at the moment of marriage, not intercourse. And hence forth they will be considered no less related to each other than a mother and daughter, a father and son, a brother and sister; despite that fact they do not share the same DNA as do the former examples.

          And it’s this aspect of Marriage which represents Christ and the Church. Christ will be devoted to his bride and the Church will be devoted to Christ. We will be the family of God. Healthy (ideal) earthly marriages are but a
          dimly grasped, but apt representation of this.
          And gay couples can equally reflect that image of that self sacrificing devotion of family as can mixed gender couples.

          1. Gal. 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

            The “no significance” in Galatians refers to equality, and has no intention demolishing roles or “pairing.” Males and Females still have roles in the covenant of marriage, as Paul has written elsewhere (Eph 5). Jew and Gentile are equal in Christ, but are still distinct and have roles in redemptive history (Rom 11). Slave and Free are equal in Christ, but still have roles because elsewhere Paul tells slaves to obey their masters, not that they are no longer slaves because they are in Christ (Eph 6:5-8).

            Secondly, the idea that the groom and his bride can be two grooms and still represent Christ and his church is absurd. You are taking your desires to the Bible and chopping it up into pieces. This is called “twisting the Scriptures to your own destruction” (2 Pet 3:16).

            A marriage covenant is formed with a vow and sexual consummation. You must have both to make a marriage. This is the “one flesh” union God describes. He actually makes the male and female come together and are physically joined through sexual union. Tell me, how does a male-male and female-female relationship complete this one-flesh design by God?

      2. Adding to your statement, adultery is harmful because it is a betrayal of trust and is built on lies, both of which cause harm in a relationship that’s *founded* on trust. It causes people to be dishonest with others and with themselves. Living a lie takes a huge toll on the person who’s lying and on everyone around them, because even if they *don’t* know about the lie, the lie itself affects how the liar relates to others, including affecting the liar’s *own* ability to trust.

        Which is why it’s such a relief for LGBT people when they do “come out of the closet”—in essence, it’s that they’re aligning with the reality of themselves, being true to themselves, and thus are much better able to be true with others and to see people react to them for who they truly are. They are much more free to give and share love with countless other people—not just partners, but also children, their parents and family, friends and co-workers.

        So in a very real way, you could say that forcing LGBT people to “stay in the closet” or to deny who they are, is very much like forcing someone to be an adulterer, in that both create a lifestyle where the person has to lie to live it, and they and others suffer as a consequence.

        The Creator’s love is boundless, and I firmly believe that what we will be judged on the *most* is our ability to love, and our ability to be honest in that love. If we force someone away from love by harm or threat of harm to them, we are doing exactly the opposite of what we’re supposed to do.

        This is why I feel such sympathy for those forced to stay in the closet because the choice is to do so, or to lose the love of those they love most; to do so, or lose the job that keeps a roof over their head and their children fed. I also feel sympathy for those who’ve come out, but faced exactly the kind of censure the preacher above advocates, especially when it’s from family and friends. We are called to heal, not to harm.

        1. Very well said. Thanks so much for this post. I can’t even fully describe the difference after coming out. The truth really does set you free.

    3. Actually Lars, most of the culture of the US has been indoctrinated to believe that the fundamental operations of the universe depend on an omnipotent, omnipresent God that hasn’t performed a miracle in over 2000 years. One reason there is opposition to this thread is that it is a perversion of all logical thinking to assume that morality springs from the font of mythology.

  58. MacArthur doesn’t say to shun, he says to practice Matthew 18 church discipline on those who profess Christ yet persist in what scripture delineates as a sinful lifestyle (and he as the 1 Corinthians 5 passage makes clear says not to separate from those who do not profess to be Christians). Discussions and accusations of how his church practices church discipline aside, the objection is not to him, it is to what Jesus and Paul said. Even reading the ante-Nicine fathers or 17th century theologians its clear that nominal Christian have always bristled at the notion of church discipline, because they believe their preferences stand above scripture, and that is what Corey is doing here.

  59. In other words…it’s ok to pick and choose which sins we agree with and which ones don’t. This is why the church is going to hell…and why the bible says that only a few will enter into heaven. So you people keep deluding yourselves into thinking you’re ok and going to heaven…..I pray you do, but doubt you will!

    1. The church is not going to hell. Jesus said: “…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will never overcome it.”

  60. “…be in season or out of season.” So in other words, MacArthur is wrong because you disagree with his view, NOT because the bible actually says exactly what he states? Romans 1:26-28 says that even God turns them over to a reprobate (debased, unworthy, unacceptable) mind, meaning that He will allow them to continue in their lifestyles, but they have no place in heaven. Now, I am certain that this statement makes me a mean, hateful person as well…bad Christian….but how does one say they love God and love Jesus but ignore, disregard, disagree with His word, His laws and His principles? Since the bible refers to homosexuality as a sin and all sin is punishable by death according to the bible, let me ask this question….if my child were a pedophile or a cannibal, or a murderer, or a thief or (fill in the blanks here), would we be so accepting of their choice of lifestyle? Would we embrace them and encourage them to continue to be a (fill in the blanks here)? God forbid! The first thing we would do would be to encourage them to seek help, and depending on how egregious the act, we ourselves may turn them over to law enforcement! What is significantly important to note is that nowhere does MacArthur say we stop loving them…just that we cannot accept what they do!

    1. The things you mention, (Pedophilia, cannibalism, murder) cause profound harm. Being gay harms no one. I truly don’t get why you lump a harmless trait in with some of the worst things human beings can do.

      1. So sin is only categorized based on the fact that it does or does not harm someone? BTW..I did not lump these together, the bible did (with the exception of pedophilia). If you read the verses of scripture that I quoted, the BIBLE says…and I quote, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” I Corinthians 6:9-11.
        And Romans 1 (practically the entire chapter but these words specifically) says, “24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
        These are not my words, these are the words written into the scriptures. And notice it is the scripture that lumps homosexuality in with murder, malice, deceit, arrogance, and specifically evil. So when you disagree, you are not disagreeing with me, you’re disagreeing with the scriptures that many of you claim to love and adhere to.
        Heck, I would assume that even if Jesus were to come back to Earth today, you’d find a way to disagree with even Him.

        1. I’m not a believer, so quoting the Bible has little meaning to me. I don’t “claim to love and adhere to” anything except the facts as I understand them.

          However many people who are Christian profoundly disagree with you. In general, I find their arguments much more convincing. But that has no relevance to your beliefs.

          My question was about why a harmless trait (that the best evidence says is most likely inborn) should be linked with doing great harm. That’s MY standard for wrongdoing. And, yes, if someone claiming to be Jesus returned to the earth, and they linked harmless things such as being gay or left-handed to murder or cannibalism, I would disagree. Loudly. I accept no argument from authority. If anyone wants to make their case with me, they need to have evidence. I, personally, think that’s a good thing to require.

          1. Evidence is important for Christians as well. Evidence helps us discern whether someone is really speaking the truth, or leading us astray. You are right to demand evidence – faith without skepticism and doubt is not real.