What does ‘Living in Sin’ Actually Mean?

I’ve been thinking about this question a lot lately. I often hear straight Christians talk about the GLBT community as ‘living in sin’. What does that mean? I’m being serious.

My default is: Are we not all literally living in sin, no matter who we are or what we’re doing (Romans 3:23)? James 2:10 (my translation) says:

“If you’ve committed one sin, it’s like you’ve committed them all.”

There is no hierarchy in that statement. So what separates GLBT sin from the next? Here are a few answers I’ve heard, and a few honest questions I have to those answers, that I am looking for answers myself:

1. But partnered gay couples are perpetuating their sin… (Don’t you and I perpetuate in our sin everyday as well?)

2. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:18 that sexual sin is committed against one’s own body, and all others are committed outside of the body… (But Jesus said that if you even lust after someone you’ve comitted adultery – so what’s the difference then?)

I’m not here to argue if same-sex sexual behavior is sin or not, I’m just curious about the general statement ‘living in sin’. I’d love to hear your thoughts about what is ‘living in sin’ to help me think through this. Thanks.

Much love.

www.themarinfoundation.org

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • Matthew

    Andrew,

    It’s a good question. A lot of people throw around the phrase without thinking through it’s implications. I think, though, what most people mean is that they are perpetually sinning with no conviction of that sin. They don’t feel they need to change. “Living in sin” is attempting to differentiate between someone struggling against sin and trying to repent daily versus those who justify and defend their sin. This type of thinking would apply to all sins, not just those of the GLBT community.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • http://www.chrishubbs.com Chris Hubbs

    Wow, I haven’t actually heard that term used in a long time… always used as an old-fashioned euphemism for sharing a house and bed without being married.

    In response to your questions:

    #1: yes, James 2:10 makes it pretty clear that we are all equally guilty as sinners. What this idea of “living in sin” brings us back to, though, is the issue you’re wanting to not discuss. If one believes that homosexual activity is, in fact, sin, then the choice to be in a committed same-sex relationship means that one is willfully choosing to unrepentantly stay in sin. Is this any different than an unrepentant straight person who willfully chooses to stay in some other sort of sin? Nope. But it’s quite a bit different than a person who is regularly sinning (which we all are) but also regularly repenting of that sin.

    #2: my reading of Paul here is that he is *raising* the seriousness of sexual sin since it is committed against one’s own body… not sure what you’re asking about it otherwise…

    Blessings,
    Chris

  • wackywilliams

    I’m not sure but as I see it living in sin is anytime you are rebellis aginst what God or athortharty has told you to do, anytime you trust in something other then God, are not loving towords one another, extALL living in sin the majorety of the time, hope this helps anderew. I know at least for me that I am a filthy sinner, the only time I have any richisness at all is when God looks at me through the cleansing blood of Christ, then I am perfect in his sight, (even when I feel lower then slug slime I am perfet in Gods sight)

  • Adam

    As I read your post these verses came to mind- Philippians 2:12-13
    2Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

    Why should Christian’s be content with “living in sin”? My response to this question isn’t “every sin is the same and we are all regularly sinning so what does it matter”. My response is every sin is the same so let’s allow God to work in us to remove every sin in our lives. Not that I expect Christians to be perfect but that I say we should be working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. This is a harsh message for us all, not just for our GLBT brothers and sisters. I guess I’m just fed up with the status quo of American Evangelicalism.

  • Hihopes

    CH: Yep. I see what you are getting at. The actions of actively continuing in a practice, action, behavior ……….(whatever) that is deemed sinful is “living in sin”. Its like the person knows their actions are sinful but doesn’t care….. They do it and continue to do so, regardless.

    For me, this then requires for us to peel back the onion to determine the action as being of sin or not…………… ??..

    For me? Other than tearing the bible apart, analyzing words and contexts……..I understand sin as being fundamentally something (anything) that brings harm to myself or another and/or that which separates me from God.

    Personally, I just cannot see how a persons orientation does this. The only harm I have ever encountered about a person’s orientation is the harm that others inflict on them in judgment, bigotry, etc….

    While this may be a mickey-mouse way to view things, I fundamentally believe that God calls me to focus on where I am at, what I am doing and where I am going…………This, for me, is in itself a daunting task. I will leave judging to God.

  • Josh

    I think it’s pretty evident that that phrase is yet another shame-based tool Christians tend to use to alienate and demean the LGBT community. How often do you hear Christians use “living in sin” in a different context?

    Andrew, I am incredibly supportive of your organization and what you are trying to do, but it is increasingly difficult for me to want to associate with people who fundamentally disagree with who I am as a person. So I’m glad your organization is trying to keep dialogue and communication open.

    Some churches are becoming more open to allowing people who “struggle” to discuss their issues, but when the “struggle” stage ends and someone wants to find a loving relationship, they are slapped with “living in sin”. I think it’s easy to see sexual immorality as “living in sin”, but Christians still see a committed, monogamous same-sex relationship as “living in sin”. It’s a lose-lose.

    • http://www.truthwinsout.org Chris

      I agree, I am a monogamous-only person, as well as entirely (often too committed in the eyes of our straight friends) to my partner. I find it a double standard when a person who cheats on their spouse, or abuses their spouse, is some-what ok in the eyes of many of the conservative churches, while my spouse and I are conveniently living in sin, despite being the utmost christian (despite we are both atheist and scientist) to one another.

      The sad part I see is that the church needs a scape-goat. It makes it far easier to acquire followers out of fear, than out of sincerity and love. We LGBT have been targeted as the new scape-goat since the church lost its pinnacle stance on upholding segregation. Ministers, and I do mean to call you a Minister Andrew, are demonstrating that its time for the church to examine itself, its often draconian beliefs on minorities, once again, and start asking itself questions.

      However it is sad that even as a scientist I always have to evaluate the entire motives of religious individuals when they try to build bridges, especially when they do not come from the “gay-affirming” churches. My greatest fear, and as often seen, as when evangelicals try to build bridges with the LGBT community it is never one-hundred percent. Most of the time it is not even one percent. When I usually see religious conservatives trying to build bridges it is only to affirm their own beliefs and coerce the LGBT person that they are flawed in some way, and need “spiritual healing.” This usually takes on the form of the extremely dangerous ex-gay therapy. I know about these instanecs all to well for their are my main field of study.

      While Andrew seems to be a good champion for our rights, I seem to find it intriguing that he states that he is gay-validating, but not gay-affirming. Considering all the support he throws out there I would say he is more affirming than the four percent of evangelical ministers who I have studied that equate themselves as affirming.

      However, I agree Josh it often seems like lose-lose battle and that is what is so horribly wrong with this cultural war. I would simply ask you not to look at all Christians the same though. There are many individual Christians that are extremely gay-affirming. They come from all denominations. However when looking towards denominations that are entirely inclusive and affirming, look no further than the Metropolitan Community Church, The United Church of Chris, The Unitarian Church, and the Episcopal Church. If you would like more information on religion and homosexuality Dr. Rev Mel White has his own site dedicated to helping all Christians understand their faith and understand the LGBT community.

      http://www.soulforce.org.

  • Rob

    I am on my iPod right now. When I get to my pc I will come back with an awesome response. :-)

  • http://www.andrewmeans.typepad.com Andrew

    I totally agree with your confusion around this statement. For me though there is a difference between Sin and sins. Sin is a state of being, a separation from The Creator of all things, while sins are the things that separate us (what most people might think of when they think of sin). So to me the only place we can live or exist is then either in Sin or not. My understanding is that grace, salvation, etc is what gives us the ability to move from Sin to Grace. So for someone who lives in Grace, even when they commit sins, they are no longer “living in Sin”.

    Just my thoughts.

    Make sense?

    • Chris

      Andrew what about the statements from countless doctorates of theology like Dr. Tim Smedes, and Dr. Rev. Mel White, who have all stated that homosexuality is “not” a sin at all; that sexual orientation is a neutral part of a being? Call me crazy, or what not… but I feel it is time that all of the christian part of the Abrahamic faiths come to a consensus on what doctorates of theology state over that of private pastors or non doctorates that hold positions of power.

      I understand trying to help change religion into accepting what they so vehemently hated and sought to destroy, is akin to making a stone bleed, but who says a stone last forever? It eventually erodes into dust that is washed away into the sands of time. The true question though is that will it be these draconian beliefs about LGBT people or will it become the entire denomination itself that will fade into the annals of dark history scrutinized and labeled as a stain of our past we shall never try to repeat again.

      Dr. King was a testament to show that it was the belief that will fade while the denominations eventually changed and apologized for their actions. However we see those same denominations now targeting our LGBT brothers and sisters and I wonder if these churches learned anything from their past abuses.

      So it boils down to a simple set of beliefs versing that of a human existence that is immutable, unchangeable, and as many of us in the science community have condenses on it, inborn. Why does it always have to be faith verses the lives of innocence? It should never have to be that way. Faith should confirm our existence not try to destroy the existence, and recognition of the existence of others. But it always seems to have a way of doing that.

      While atheist, it is my hope; as I often state, my faith, that we as a race can use our minds to finally see past the differences in one another, differences that do not harm, but create not only balance but further the prospect of love and sacrifice to one another, instead of condemning one another for that difference. My sexual orientation as a gay man does not define me. What I do for others, my work as a scientist: helping bring LGBT teens out of depression, who suffer prodigiously at the hands of the religious bigotry that permeates their life, and my commitment and unconditional love towards my husband is what defines me.

      It should be actions of general altruism towards one another that define us as beings; not our chosen set of beliefs (religious or otherwise), and not our inborn characteristics like race, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, that define us a human beings. This would be my grace.

  • Mrs T

    Like several already inferred, it is knowing a lifestyle is wrong[like cheating on taxes or lying in business affairs, or whatever], & continuing to do it as a habit.
    We are saved by grace, but living the everyday Christian life can be tiring(altho not living it is worse!), & we may be tempted to just quit on living the life. It takes me a lot of time to have my devotional life; it takes effort to deal with difficult people; & many activites I may like are on Sundays now where my priorities are church & home. I see that once in a while, someone just ‘takes time off’ from the Christian life. The cost ends up being more, but they do it anyway!

  • Hihopes

    AM: “difference between Sin and sins. Sin is a state of being, a separation from The Creator of all things, while sins are the things that separate us (what most people might think of when they think of sin). So to me the only place we can live or exist is then either in Sin or not”…..I see what you are saying but then when you go on to say that by Grace we are not living in sin; we may sin but not living in sin? ….

    Starts to get hazy.. I do understand that by Grace I am forgiven and that because of this Grace, I ‘long’ to sin no more. My ‘intention’ is to live a life that is in line where I believe God calls me to be………… I guess this would then make me no longer ‘living in sin’ since my intentions are in line with God? But I will still sin because I am only human and not perfect…………

  • http://foecustudents.net Clay Conry

    Paul and Jesus agree… Don’t you agree (with that statement)?

    Paul’s words were just as inspired as Jesus’. I am not disagreeing w/ you I just think we have to be careful setting scripture up against scripture. It all agrees w/ itself and we need to translate each passage in light of that.

    As a general rule Context is King… Then you must interpret unclear passages in light of more clear passages.

    Again I agree. We all perpetually sin. But if we sin we have an advocate before the father Jesus Christ the Righteous… And his blood covers us from all (unknown) sin (1 John 2:1 and 1:7). However the condition for having unknown sins cleansed (different from forgiven*) is confessing the sins we do know about.

    *All sin past present and future is forgiven at the time Faith is placed in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as sufficient payment for our sins (w/ the resurrection being the sign of God’s approval of Jesus’ sacrifice). However their are rewards to be earned and lost as we live free from sin in the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • http://www.klaobeforehim.blogspot.com Obie

    Andrew,

    First off I have to say how much I have appreciated your blog and your book. It has been great to follow what God is doing through you and your ministry.

    I want to answer your question, although I am a bit hesitant to do so simply because it can be very easy for things to get misconstrued online. Especially without the full context of where a person is coming from. But such is life…

    We are all sinners, and “live in sin” every day of our lives no matter the context or situation. However there is a difference between those that acknowledge their sin, are striving to become more like Christ, even if they continue to commit that sin, sometimes even willingly and those that just simply ignore that there is an issue all together.

    For example, I struggled with an addiction to pornography for a number of years. I knew it was wrong, I knew it was a sin, I never called it anything different and I was constantly striving to overcome that addiction even though there were times when I “ran” to that very thing I knew was wrong.

    The flip side of that would be a believer who states flat out that pornography isn’t a sin and there is nothing wrong with them viewing it.

    “Living in sin” from my perspective is a willful ignoring of what is right/wrong in order to justify continuing a specific behavior.

    Any way just me two cents. Keep up the good work

  • Mykea

    I say that living n Sin means your comfortable n it wit no conviction at all we live n a Sinful world but we all ain’t sinners

  • David

    I think that 1 John 1:8 puts it best when it says “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Sin is a universal condition and our need for forgiveness is ongoing, no matter where we find ourselves in relation to one particular church’s position or another. So any discussion about who is or isn’t “living in sin” should be tempered with much humility and grace. In my humble opinion. With the first question being, “what does scripture have to say to me?” As opposed to “what particular sin of my brother’s does scripture point out?”

    One of my major struggles with evangelicals is the question “what is the purpose of the scriptures?” Is scripture intended to point us in the direction of God’s forgiveness, mercy, and love? Or is scripture intended to be a handbook with specific answers to how I should live… from life’s biggest questions down to the smallest of minutiae? I know that in Sunday school, when I was taught “thy word is a light unto my feet, and a guide unto my path,” it certainly meant the latter. And maybe the two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive. But my experience has been that the more time we spend debating what the Bible says about specific behaviors (including, but certainly not limited to sexual behavior) the farther we tend to slip away from what these passages actually say about God.

    Or to put it simply, is scripture a book about God? Or is it a book about me?

    If the Bible is the story of God’s love for creation, and not a handbook about behavior, then that should shape how we read the Scriptures. I think that, first and foremost, we should be asking questions about what the particular scriptures say about God, and what we need to hear that is missing. And as I get older, and I meet more and more people whose experiences differ from mine, the answers to the specific questions of what scripture says about me get murkier.

    So, just perhaps, when reading scripture passages that deal with specific behaviors, keeping this tension in mind might be helpful.

  • Seth

    I’d love to say more, but the only thing I would add to this discussion is that Jesus made it very clear that once divorced, one could not remarry, because the result was continous adultery. Yet, in my experience the evangelical church has tried to look redemptively at divorced and remarried straight couples, but hasn’t tried to do so with gay couples. By contrast the Roman church requires that the first marriage be annulled in order for a divorced/remarried couple to join communion.

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    At risk of being called out as someone who is justifying his sin, I strongly disagree that married couples who are gay (or, to be blunt, partnered gay couples who are denied the ability to marry, but who’ve declared their commitment to each other in a church wedding or some other form of commitment ceremony) are actually “living in sin”. I think people like to accuse others of “living in sin” as a form of religious snobbery. My marriage and my family mean nothing, ‘cuz we’re living in sin.

    I’ve always wondered why Christians don’t accuse non-Christians (Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Wiccans, Atheists, whatever) of “living in sin”. That whole “no other God besides me” thing seems like a big one, but what do I know?

    • Chris

      As Dr. Mel White has pointed out, it is simply because we LGBT have become the ‘churches’ new scape goat (I state this broadly so for those Christians out there who have gay-affirming churches forgive me if I insult or upset you).

      These are simply the double standards hat happen when faith challenges existence, especially human existence. It becomes even more palpable when those given churches then challenge the experiences of those they target and throw those experiences away simply for an immutable difference they refuse to grasp, comprehend and understand. Of course it is without saying that some of those experiences, that define us has human being, often intensely difficult, are brought on by the churches themselves.

      As an atheist I do not believe in sin, so for someone to fruitlessly try and apply sin to me or my family only demonstrates that person, or churches lack of tolerance for beliefs outside of their own.

  • Adam

    Jon-

    First let me say, I admire your honesty. Thank you for your post.

    “I’ve always wondered why Christians don’t accuse non-Christians (Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Wiccans, Atheists, whatever) of “living in sin”. That whole “no other God besides me” thing seems like a big one, but what do I know?”

    The reason I believe Christians don’t accuse non-Christians of “living in sin” is because, to use a bit of bible language, they are “dead in their sin”.

    Ephesians 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.

    Non-Christians do not know anything better than what they are doing. Too often times Christians expect non-Christians to behave like Christians do, I believe this does not add up with Scripture. When we see all those other religions as “living in sin” we begin to treat non-Christians as Christians.

    My take on it at least.

    • Chris

      This is actually a very sad way of perceiving life. What is to say that your beliefs are the ones that are wrong? Its a looking glass that goes on beyond infinity. This is the issue I see with faith, it divides more than it combines people. When it tries to combine it forces itself instead of trying to coexist. Stating that people are dead in their sin is one of the main reasons why we have waged countless wars against ourselves and destroyed the lives of hundreds of millions.

      You treat the wisdom of hundreds of other faiths, that have been around far longer than your own as children who “dont know any better.” I see this knee-jerk reaction to how Christian settlers treated and obliterated my ancestors with war and disease. What is to say that the old gods of the Norse, or gods like Mithra, Dionisis, Amun-Ra, etc are actually the real gods? One can never no for sure because these are taken on the account of faith. One faith should not have power over another. They are all part of out experience as humans and discounting those experiences helps no one but hurts plenty.

      After two thousand years of suffering, war, strife, and bigotry at the hands of the Abrhamic faiths, hope arises in me because of people like Andrew who are making positive and lasting change… but then that hope is quickly destroyed when persons’ such as yourself speak such rhetorical, vitriolic words.

  • Anna

    The concept of “living in sin” brings me to another question.. You say if you are in a committed same-sex relationship you are living in sin. What if you are living with same-sex attraction but are not acting on it are you still living in sin?

    Also, I think it’s strange to be arguing over the degree of sin. If we have flesh.. if we have a sin nature.. are we not sinning?

  • Sara

    I am currently in seminary and my New Testament Prof actually talked about this very thing in class this morning. He was lecturing on Romans and specifically how Paul uses the word as ‘Sin’ almost as if he is personifying it.

  • http://www.t-e-n.org Todd Ferrell

    To say that a gay person is living in sin just because they are gay is a true sign of someone’s ignorance about homosexuality. People who are gay don’t choose their sexuality,however they can choose their morality.

    And while I firmly do not believe being gay is a sin, that would be like telling a black person they are sinning because they are not a slave. (which I might remind us all the church used to do and back it up with scripture).

    What is sin? Missing the mark – But the big issue here is that some believe being gay is a sin, while others who are more educated understand that being gay is not a sin, but what they do with their sexuality might be or could be. There is a difference between being gay and having gay sex.

    Lot’s of straight men have gay sex in prison and in the military, but once they are out, they go back to having straight sex. Were they gay because they had gay sex. NO! So, for your homosexuality 1 class – let’s get it that there is difference between the two.

    Best to all!

  • Adam

    Todd-

    Just curious, do you believe having gay sex is a sin? I think you hinted on this in you post, but I have to ask.

    Thanks

  • kerriann

    Living in sin… a woman who can’t escape an abusive marriage… the sinful man is beating the living daylights out of her. Bernie Madeoff. Living in sin used to be a term for people who were not married who decided to live together. I never heard it used in any other context. It has an antiquarian sound to it. How about catholic bishops who transferred pedophile priests from one parish to the next? I’d say they not only lived in sin but aided and abetted the priests who raped the children. Now that is LIVING in sin.

    I actually don’t have much interest in how heteronormative worlds talk about lesbians or gay men. We have our own community our own standards. What we consider sinful attrocities would often be very different from mainstream sensibilities. We often are not even speaking the same language as straight people anyway. I’m suspicious of sin being described so often sexually. Is a rapist living in sin every time he rapes a child or a woman? Is a country that allows awful poverty not sinful in its neglect? How about denying people health care? How about saying that a woman should die in childbirth and be denied abortion?

    Perhaps people need to just give all this talk of sexual sin a rest, because it is used now to attack minorities and drive them away from churches by the thousands. Is driving gay people away from god a sin? An unwelcoming church that shuns gay people is the very portrait of sinful in my book, the entire church thrives on living in the sin of hatred and degredation of gay people.

  • http://pascalslager.wordpress.com Phil

    I think it is important, in answering your question, to separate three categories of sin, in relation to the individual committing them:
    1. Sins that are believed by the individual to be sin, but committed anyway as a result of temptation or general brokenness; these are sins that the individual does not want to commit, but ends up doing so as a result of his/her fallen nature.
    2. Sins that are not believed by the individual to be a sin. These are committed under the belief that God sees nothing wrong with the activity, or even actively endorses it.
    3. Sins that are believed by the individual to be sin, to be against God’s will, yet are committed anyway in active and direct rebellion against God.

    I think that very few people actually fall strictly into category 3, as far as homosexuality is concerned. This is important to realize, since most gays are treated as belonging to category 3, by many Christians. Of course, things can get complicated since often we do things that we are inwardly conflicted about the morality of. But I think it is important to realize that category 3 is actually a lot smaller than we often believe it to be–most of the time when people do the activity that, to us, signals their active rebellion towards God, are at least not conscious of such a rebellion in the way that we might think.

  • http://jwalkergs.wordpress.com/ Jason

    Mykea,

    Wait a second…”we live in a sinful world but we all aint sinners”…

    Really??? I mean, seriously…really? Please do explain yourself because I would love to know how you acheived your sinless state!!

  • http://www.RecentRainfall.com J Green

    Andrew,
    In answer to your questions, I suspect that what Jesus was doing was turning the spotlight on the heart. The Pharisees were scrupulous about keeping an outward obedience to the Jewish law & they felt that they were righteous. In Romans, Paul makes it clear that the Law was designed to reveal our sinfulness and our inability to earn salvation by our own works. Jesus, in effect, kicks the Pharisees’ legs out from under them by taking the standard even higher than the Jewish law; you may not have committed adultery, but if you have lusted in your heart, you are still guilty. The point was to make even the most religious people in his audience realize it was impossible to become right with God through our own efforts. He raised the bar so high that no-one could reach it. We all desperately need God’s grace and forgiveness. When Jesus told the Pharisees that it wasn’t the well who needed a doctor, but the sick, He was being sarcastic about the fact that the Pharisess thought they were “well” (righteous) when in fact they were suffering from a “terminal illness” (sin).

    Paul’s teaching on sexual sin to run away from it because it is different from other sins in the debilitating effect it has on the person themself. Not to mention, there are often drastic effects on others, such as the victims of molestation, betrayal, an STD passed onto a wife by a husband who is cheating.

    Paul and Jesus aren’t in contradiction to each other. They are focusing on different things and speaking to different audiences.

    I have mainly only heard the “living in sin” in reference to heterosexual cohabitation out of wedlock. According to Britney Spears, living in sin is the “new thing”. It certainly is not new, but it seems to be quite popular.

    The difference between sinning and living in sin (whatever form that may take) is when we rationalize and justify our sin instead of battling against it. God is the chemo for our cancer, but sometimes we prefer to live in denial and pretend that tumor growing in our gut is not anything to be worried about. This applies wether you are straight or GLBT.

  • pm

    Adam blamed his partner who was ‘given’ to him (to possess?); Eve blamed her deceiver (circumstances?); Cain blamed his brother (jealousy?)and then negotiated his consequences (plea bargaining?) ; it appears only Able was willing to whole-heartedly acknowledge his own state of being to make personal his offering through his sacrifice that became (finally) acceptable. Can one’s own response to one’s own journey/struggles really be of such a singular design for dealing with sin? Able got what he didn’t deserve and yet it was only his voice that didn’t remain silenced. Four people in one family and all were messed up.

  • http://www.theevangelicalnetwork.com Todd Ferrell

    Adam

    No I do not believe same sex relationships are sin in and of themselves.

    Todd

  • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

    Wow, I’m so floored by all of the honest thoughts and biblical contexts for this! It’s unreal! I’m taking each one very seriously and am looking forward to thinking and studying more before I make a public statement about my new thoughts regarding ‘living in sin.’ Much love!

  • Gloria

    Q: I often hear straight Christians talk about the GLBT community as ‘living in sin’. What does that mean?
    A: “living in sin” in our society has generally referred to a man and a woman living as if they’re married, but outside of a marriage commitment (premarital sex).
    So as it would apply to homosexuals, it would mean having relations with someone of the same sex.
    Both situations are outside of what God has told us is acceptable as His children.

    Q: Are we not all literally living in sin, no matter who we are or what we’re doing (Romans 3:23)?
    A: Romans 3 is declaring that all are sinners, can’t obey the law in the flesh, and that we can only come into right standing with God through the saving grace of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
    This verse or even all of Romans 3 doesn’t appear to be relating to the “living in sin” that you’re referring to. The same goes for James 2:10.

    Q: So what separates GLBT sin from the next?
    A: You answered this question yourself with 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.

    Q1: But partnered gay couples are perpetuating their sin… (Don’t you and I perpetuate in our sin everyday as well?)
    A: All known sin is to be repented of and overcome as we seek to abide in Christ and to be formed in His image.
    Sorry, but I’m not sure what answer you’re looking for here? It seems that you’re saying that none of us can overcome sin so why try to stop. I hope that’s not what you intended to say? :)

    Q2: Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:18 that sexual sin is committed against one’s own body, and all others are committed outside of the body… (But Jesus said that if you even lust after someone you’ve comitted adultery – so what’s the difference then?)
    A: Sin begins with lust as stated in James 1:14.
    James 1: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
    15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
    Further, we are told to bring every thought captive to Christ so that we’re not drawn into sin through lust.
    2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if as the body of Christ we would all live out Galatians 6:1?

    Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

  • http://www.xanga.com/djfree Darren

    Jesus said divorce was a sin. Everyone who divorces and remarries is living in sin (adultery). The Evangelical Church needs to address this atrocity, as it is rampant in the Church. There are a lot of divorced people who have remarried, who now need to “divorce” again and either be celibate, or return to their former spouses. This is the only way for them to live in accordance with the Word of God, as opposed to living in sin. So let it be written; so let it be done!

  • Rosy

    Though I’m not gay I think I can understand the struggle of Christian gay people to some degree. I struggle with being an overeater and I know that it is not good for my body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit for me to be as obese as I am, yet everyday it’s a battle to have victory over my apetite. I know what I “should” do to lose weight and be healthier. I know I “should” excersie often and “chose” healthy food, but many time what my flesh desires has a stronger pull then what I know is God’s will. I’ve been a Christian for 12 years and have lost collectively hundreds of pounds and regained them over the years. At the moment I’m about 90lbs overweight and I can give you all the “reasons” I and the several medical experts I’ve consulted with have come up with to explain it. I’ve had 4 kids, I was “born” with a slower metabolism, I was “born” with a genetic predesposition to obesity, there is something “wrong” with my brain chmistry/hormones, etc. While all those reasons may have truth to them my reality is that I must daily yield my apetite for eating more then what my body needs to live over to Christ on a daily basis and repent when I do give in to my flesh. I know how unbearable my struggle would be if on top of my own inner battle I also had people in my church and my loved ones condeming me and saying that I will burn in hell for being obese. It would be a nightmare if I would be cussed at and hated by “Chritians” for having this weakness in me. I doubt I would even want to be a Chritian if all my life I would have heard screams from religious people saying “God hates fat people!” over and over.
    Am I a siner? Absolutely, saved by the grace of my precious Lord when He came and shed His blood for me. But that doesn’t mean that suddenly all my struggles go away. God sanctifies me on a daily basis and I know that ultimately the battle belongs to the Lord. However I know that He does not desire to condemn me when I do fall, but He desires to envelop me in His arms of love and grace as He does His good work in me, and He will be faithful to complete it. Will I ever be free of this battle? I hope that in this life I will be, I want it more than anything! However, even if I don’t overcome this appetite fully in this life I look forward to the day when I will stand with my Lord in His all consuming glory for all eternity and the battles of this decaying flesh will be no more than a faint blip in the realm of forever!

  • Lincoln

    See, here’s the basic difference to me, between unmarried straight couples and the church that hollers at my communities about “living in sin”.

    1) Unmarried straight couples have the legal option of cementing their relationships. Thus, they can be pushed and squeezed by their churches to do it.

    2) same-gender couples do not have that legal option. We can affirm our committments to each other in a religious context, but that is seem as “not real”, often times even by our own communities. So, even though some of us actually want to get married, the very churches that scream about us living in sin have also made it their mission to withhold marriage as an option.

    Then, the basic rant sounds like this: “You’re living in sin!! Wait, what, you WANT to get married? No! You’re not allowed to do that! Why? Cause you’re dirty sinners and that’s OUR institution and it’s only for us!”

    *sigh*

    • Eugene

      Yeah, that’s pretty funny. What’s even funnier is that their reaction to gay marriage is even harsher than their reaction to gay promiscuity – even though the former is closer to their ideal than the latter. When you think of it, the only difference between promiscuity and marriage is love and commitment. I can understand why Christians hate gay sex, but why do they hate gay love and commitment?


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