Farewell, Brandon and Jen Hatmaker

Farewell, Brandon and Jen Hatmaker November 2, 2016

I grieve for Brandon and Jen Hatmaker, not because I know them in any way personally, but simply because I believe them to be yet another couple with tremendous influence who are leading others down a dangerous path that makes light of what the scriptures teach on the nature of sin. In this case, it is the particular sin of homosexuality. The full shame is not found in the fact that yet another person of influence has bowed the knee to ever-changing whims of progressive sexual morals, but that they’ve wrapped it up under the guise of an historic faith.

You see, for me, the issue is not simply that they’ve supported homosexuality; anyone who is aware of the Hatmakers’ statements has known for some time now that they have, up until very recently, been avoiding elucidation on the issue of same-sex marriage and have often given statements hinting at their closeted position. The genuine issue that I take, and this is the same for all who would purport that life-long, homosexual unions are God-honoring so long as they are monogamous, is simply found in the footnote of these ideals. The footnote being: you can accept same-sex marriage (with key qualifiers) and claim the Christian faith, so long as you pepper your acceptance with a few bible verses, prove your due diligence in exegesis, and say you still believe in the authority and inerrancy of the scriptures.

In reality, the scriptures are simply being subjected to some form of tokenism. For example, one might say they believe in the inerrancy of the scriptures – yet argue that the narrative of Jonah never happened as a historical reality. This same person could then make the claim they believe in the inerrancy and authority of the scriptures, wherein I would agree with them. However, their functional definition of these terms is radically different than the one who might hold to a literal interpretation of the book of Jonah – and this is without assuming (rightfully) that their hermeneutic of the entire Bible will be radically different simply because of how they would approach studying various genres of biblical literature. Both people are saying terms like “inerrant” or “unblemished,” yet the reality is that they perceive these terms in different ways, and thus, the same passages of scripture are interpreted in two completely different manners. Ultimately, those differing interpretations have radically different spheres of authority that one must place themselves under when the logical conclusion thereof is reached.

Yet not all interpretations are equally valid – and while not all differing interpretations lead one down the road to Hell, some effectively do. This is one of those interpretations. The Hatmakers are correct to deduce that homosexuality is listed among various other sins that are “committed against another person, was an abuse of God’s gift of sex, and completely against His [sic] dream for marriage.” Yet the problematic hedging of terminology here is that first and foremost, when one sins, they sin against a holy God (Psalm 41:4, 51:4). This is often a discussion altogether absent from those who purport same-sex, monogamous relations, and it is often absent here because it is not firmly held elsewhere in their doctrinal repertoire.

Man’s primary offense is always against God and while that is often seen in the scope of our human relationships as we sin against one another, the standard is not set by those we wrong, but the God of those whom we’ve wronged. We would not know whom we’ve sinned against were it not for the Law of God (and the summation of the Law and the Prophets) revealing mankind’s sin (Matt. 22:38-40). The problematic inference though is that one finds the oft cited reason of “love” being used to support same-sex, monogamous relations, without any contextual support for how God defines love throughout the biblical corpus. Part of that love includes abiding in God’s love through obedience to the scriptures – yet we find ourselves in that same “war of terms” that we began in simply because people are changing the meaning of words by implanting subjectively based reasoning into the text as if it has been orthodox teaching all along.

Beyond this though, these same lists the Hatmakers are effectively minimizing are those where we see the apostle Paul condemn gossip, slander, and divisiveness (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:5). It seems they were indeed correct to understand that each instance of homosexuality “mentioned in the Bible was sin, no doubt.” However, they ultimately ascribe this transition as one of the Holy Spirit convicting them of the truth in the matter. Might I be so bold as to suggest that an altogether different thing happened? Due to the guilty conscience of Jen and Brandon Hatmaker, they appeased that guilty conscience by allowing their thoughts to defend their position (Rom. 2:15). In seeking to rectify all the pain they have seen among the LGBTQ community, I believe they changed their definitions and working theology to be “on the right side of history.” Why? Because ultimately, telling someone that something they desire so badly is sinful, wrong, harmful, and contrary to God’s intended means of a relationship, can really wound a person.

Might I suggest, as did Rosario Butterfield, that the wounds of a friend are faithful, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful? More clearly: if you love someone, you will tell them the fullness of the gospel and invite them, alongside your wretched self, to sit at the foot of the cross where all sinners come for forgiveness and new life. Yet that new life involves a life that flees from sin and actively walks in a worthy manner of the gospel’s calling. We are not freed from sin in order to abound in sin. We are called with the purpose of obedience to the scriptures simply because God created these good works so that we might walk in them. Often times, this looks like being on the wrong side of history to those who are perishing, yet ultimately, it is on the right side of eschatological history.

While the Hatmakers are among those whom may be standing on the “right side” of a nation’s history, they are standing on the wrong eschatological side. Christianity is an historic faith, one that may be fraught with pitfalls along the way, yet has been sustained and guarded, not only physically, but doctrinally, in those same historic precepts laid down by the various apostles and other N.T. writers. This has not been a contested doctrine in the history of the church, for even the presupposition of Christ was that of upholding traditional marriage between a man and woman (Mark 10: 5-9). Some may argue that consensual, monogamous, homosexual relations were not part of a society addressed by the NT authors – yet in the end, this is relatively irrelevant. There is nothing within scripture that would suggest this is remotely accepted or validated in any sense and it would seem self-evident that such clarity would be brought forth if indeed the intent was contrary to the historical position on the sinfulness of homosexuality.

For that reason, we are dealing with many, whom though they occupy the physical building commonly known as a church, are not the ekklesia – the Body of Christ. It is not a small thing to play with the text of scripture and lead others down a path to Hell. Thus, we must prove that distinction when we hear things like, “…the church can do so much better in handling this conversation and that we can do so much better in how we treat one another along the way.” Why? Because though the statement in and of itself is correct and noble, the under-girded positions are not. They are at odds with the teaching of the scriptures and lead one, under the auspices of love, to the gates of Hell. Friends, we all deserve damnation. All of us. The only reason any of us can escape the due punishment for our sins is through the cross of Christ, that is, by repenting and believing the gospel.

James forewarned those who wish to teach of the strict judgment that could potentially await them. These are words all would-be teachers need to heed with the utmost sobriety they can muster. The one who is not servant to the text, but instead supplants the text and makes it servant to them, is not approaching the office with the sobriety and aptitude of one qualified to teach. This same one who is qualified to teach is to teach the things in accordance with sound doctrine (Titus 2:1) and take watch over their doctrine closely, for by doing so, they will save themselves and their hearers (1 Tim. 4:16). The inherent ramifications of false teaching is that it can lead one not only outside of orthodox teaching, but the household of the faith, if indeed they have not been called to salvation. When we teach others that something is no longer sinful that the bible condemns, we are departing from that historic body of truth handed down by the apostles, and thereby, leading others down that same road. I don’t believe the Hatmakers are unaware of this. Rather, I believe they reject the historic consensus of the church and are willingly and knowingly placing themselves outside of the historic church in order to affirm that which they want the scriptures to say, rather than what they actually are revealed to say on this matter.

As a fellow acquaintance commented, we must be willing to accept that “there is no biblical argument for affirming homosexuality, period. The case for it is exactly as good as the case for adultery, theft, and worshiping false gods. Those who claim to have a biblical reason to accept ‘loving, committed gay relationships’ are massaging the Bible to fit their conclusions, not the other way around” (Gregory Shane Morris).

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I like this Grayson. It’s really good. The plethora of anti-homosexual material out there is either so soft they pussyfoot around going so far as to you use the word sin or they chastise homosexuals as individuals and portray them as demon possessed walking sin spreaders. Great balance while remaining true to Scripture.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Thank you, Jeff – I appreciate the kind comments.

  • Brian K

    There is no biblical argument for suffering witches to live, period. Those who claim to have a biblical reason to accept a witches right to be alive are massaging the Bible to fit their conclusions, not the other way around.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Trollolololololololololo

      • Brian K

        Polemic? Yes. Trollish? I dunno, there’s some gray area. Do you believe I’ve mis-represented The Bible’s position how to deal with a witch?

        • Proud Amelekite

          I like how a perfect book needs lawyers to argue for its case. I could do a better job as God – I would stake my soul on it.

          • Gilsongraybert

            The scriptures have no need for a lawyer, and you will find you have indeed foolishly bet your soul; hear Spurgeon on the matter:

            “Suppose a number of persons were to take it into their heads that they had to defend a lion, a full-grown king of beasts! There he is in the cage, and here come all the soldiers of the army to fight for him. Well, I should suggest to them, if they would not object, and feel that it was humbling to them, that they should kindly stand back, and open the door, and let the lion out! I believe that would be the best way of defending him, for he would take care of himself; and the best ‘apology’ for the gospel is to let the gospel out.”

          • Donalbain

            What does that mean? how do you “let the gospel out” and how would that act as evidence for anything?

          • Gilsongraybert

            The point simply being that God (and His word) needs no defenders because the Word itself is powerful enough to accomplish the purpose and result of the One who sent it. While God has both commanded the church to be ready to give a defense for the hope within them and gifted the church with teachers – the truth of God (and the gospel) will be the effective means to which God accomplishes what He desires. Basically, preach the Word and let the chips fall where they may.

          • Donalbain

            So, nothing about actually defending, or evidence, or anything. Just another unsupported claim about your god.

          • Gilsongraybert

            Not at all – if you read what I wrote, I specifically called out that Christians are commanded to give a defense and that God has gifted the church with teachers (who are equipped to expound upon the scriptures, which would include that defending). I’m specifically saying that the scriptures themselves are the means by which God reveals Himself to mankind and that God, nor His Word, are on trial. Nature itself gives sufficient evidence to mankind – how much more so does His Word and those whom He has commissioned to go and proclaim the gospel with boldness?

          • Melinda Carter

            The scriptures are nothing but plagiarized ancient mythology that have been rewritten, taken from, added to, gone through multiple translations, and overall, heavily-edited over time. There’s a good chance that the verses about homosexuality being a sin weren’t even in the original texts (which haven’t been found yet, right?) and ended up in the wrong hands of a bunch of power hungry men who decided to add them in there.
            If there is a god, specifically the Christian god, one would have to question why he created certain people to be gay, then punish them for it. After all, everything goes according to your god’s plan, right?

          • Everything does ultimately go according to God’s infallible decree and providence, that’s right.

          • The most telling feature in the Bible is that immediately after the Ten Commandments, the book of Exodus proceeds with a series of commandments mirroring Plato’s Laws, many in exactly the same order. Plato, of course, is remembered for originating the “noble lie”, a myth or untruth, often, but not invariably, of a religious nature, knowingly told by an elite to maintain social harmony or to advance an agenda.

          • marik

            Such nonsense. Have you ever actually read a book?

          • Uh, I just referenced a few books I’ve read…

          • marik

            You named them.
            Everything you “know” about Plato and Moses is incorrect.
            No, I don’t think you ever read a book.

          • marik

            Your posts are absurd. You claim that the Book of Exodus borrowed from the writings of Plato, who lived from 428 to 348 BC. Exodus was written before Plato even existed.
            History is not your strong suit, to put it mildly.

          • There’s no evidence to suggest the Torah was written any earlier, with all its borrowed Greek mythology. If you want a good book, try Argonauts of the Desert. https://books.google.com/books?id=3kiPBAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

          • marik

            Right, a “good book” is one that supports your crackpot belief that Exodus borrowed from the writings of Plato, even though Plato wasn’t even born when Exodus was written.

            What other brilliant insights do you have about the Bible? Did the writer of Proverbs borrow from the works of Shakespeare? Did the apostle Paul borrow from the writings of Anne Rice?

            The world is waiting, please enlighten us.

          • Your beliefs about the priority of Exodus depend entirely on proving it was written before Plato, which you can’t. Instead of dismissing a book you haven’t even read, why don’t you give it a read first. Another good book would be Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible. There’s simply no way that Plato, Homer, Ovid, and virtually all the Greeks borrowed from the Hebrews and not the other way around. And no, Proverbs borrows from the Instruction of Amenemope.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “I’m specifically saying that the scriptures themselves are the means by which God reveals Himself to mankind”

            The scriptures’ very existence is a shot in the foot to Christianity from my perspective (obviously not in practice as one can be made to believe anything if they are not actively trying to sort out their biases and look for logical falacies and other effective manipulation tactics). There is only the disadvantages of written language for an immortal omnipresent person. However, I suppose a Christian could point to the scriptures as evidence that their god either no longer exists or is similarly as restricted by time and space as humans that sending out their thoughts in written form would be of actual use to them (as of yet no living god is claiming to have said anything like what is in scripture) or both.

          • Proud Amelekite

            If you are going to go with Spurgeon then that means Gagnon, Aquinas, and every other theological and philosophical lawyer arguing for and working to describe what the torah and the gospel really means are all out. You and most the bloggers here on Patheos are also out as there is little need to discuss the Bible if it stands on its own.

            If you guys are out then Brian K’s witch crack and most of the new atheist attacks on the Bible as written stand. You can’t have it both ways: either the Bible is perfect as written and stands without need for apologists/philosophers or it depends on these lawyers to soften the edges and make sense of it.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Thought2Much might have something to say about that. Just give him an example of any miracle and he will tell you if he was the one who performed it 😉

        • Mark Nichols

          What’s the Bible’s position on how to identify a witch? I believe you’ll find it’s silent on the matter. Which makes its advice on what to do with them worthless.

      • Donalbain

        I guess that is easier than actually responding to the point. Why is it acceptable for witches to be allowed to live?

        • Gilsongraybert

          I am not obligated to answer any questions on here – and the fact that this person actually admitted to some level of trolling in his question gives me no further reason to answer the question. Ultimately, it isn’t a genuine question – but another “gotcha” question that neither has substance nor validity.

          • Donalbain

            And another non answer.

          • Brian K

            “I am not obligated to answer any questions on here”
            Of course not.

            “and the fact that this person actually admitted to some level of trolling in his question gives me no further reason to answer the question.”
            I did not make that admission, I said I don’t know where the divide lies between a pointed jab and a mere attempt to get a rise out of people (that is, the difference between being polemic and being a troll).

            “Ultimately, it isn’t a genuine question – but another ‘gotcha’ question that neither has substance nor validity.”
            No, the question I subsequently asked was in fact genuine. I’ll re-phrase: When The Bible says “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”, why should I not take that phrase at face value, or take The Bible seriously as a moral document at all?

    • Jon-Michael Ivey

      The term translated “witch” in the bible more literally means “poison-maker.” It did not mean someone using magic or bargaining with demons or even worshiping the wrong god, but rather a murderer who replies on chemical concoctions.

      That is if we rely on the Greek text of the Septuagint. The original Hebrew text uses a term that can more plausibly be argued to refer to a conventional view of witches. However, the early Christians were almost universal in the (rather odd) belief that the Septuagint was the divinely inspired version and should be treated as a higher authority than the original Hebrew.

      In the year 785, the Church at the Council of Paderborn officially declared the dogma that witchcraft does not and cannot exist. They condemned all witch hunters and participants in witch trials as common murderers. Believing in witchcraft was declared a heresy, so those who accused anyone of being a witch could be burned at the stake. The accused witch himself could likewise be burned for heresy if he continued to insist he was a witch, but would be set free if he declared his innocence.

      The Church officially never had any punishment for heresy except for excommunication, but secular leaders often considered heresy a civil offence worthy of capital punishment, typically by fire.

      In places were laws against witchcraft remained on the books despite the Church’s opposition, the typical punishment was hanging.

      Witch trials and witch hunts were very common in Pagan antiquity. The Catholic Church pretty much ended them.

      However, Martin Luther rejected the Catholic position on witchcraft, and began a revival of witch hunts among Protestants. It was mostly Lutherans and Calvinists who hanged witches.

    • Cynewulf

      “There is no biblical argument for suffering witches to live, period.”
      Try consulting a Christian Bible that includes the New Testament in it.

      By the way, as you well know, this statement is not analogous to “there is no biblical argument for affirming homosexuality, period.” Nice try, though.

      • Brian K

        Interesting. I assume you can point out some portion of the new testament that overrides the order to kill witches? Extra credit if what you come up with can’t also be applied to the prohibition of homosexual unions.

        • Cynewulf

          Interesting, you still pretend that killing witches is analogous to prohibiting homosexual unions. Or maybe I give you too much credit.

          • Brian K

            No, I think a book that admonishes one to kill witches is not a moral document, and thus can be ignored on the issue of homosexuality as well.

          • Cynewulf

            If it is not a moral document, then it can be pretty much ignored for all moral issues. This, however, is a discussion between two groups who think it is a moral document. It appears Grayson’s first assessment of you was correct: you are a troll.

  • davidk

    Homosexuality is a sin.

    But we are saved by Grace.

    • neenerpuss .

      There are 386 abominations against heterosexuals and only 6 against homosexuals in the bible….clearly heterosexuals need much more supervision.

      • Cynewulf

        No one is arguing about the “386 abominations against heterosexuals.”

  • Monique Lynn

    Yet not all interpretations are equally valid – and while not all differing interpretations lead one down the road to Hell, some effectively do. This is one of those interpretations. – WOW> That’s quite a statement bro. If they go to heaven and so do those who believe the same as them. . . Yikes. I just am glad I’m not you.

  • Utah Alumnus

    As I read this article, I’m reminded that it is for issues (and times) like this, it’s a blessing to have a living prophet on the earth who speaks for God and provides modern day revelation. I’m speaking of course of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    Pull aside any Mormon missionary on a bike or walking down the street and they will gladly explain how Christ’s true church has been restored to the earth, and we have a living prophet and apostles to help us to understand our Heavenly Father’s will.

    No need to argue over interpretation. Scripture is important, but modern day revelation is just as critical.

    • Gilsongraybert

      While I lament over the divide in many who would profess Christ – Mormonism, unfortunately, it outside of the bounds of the historic Christian faith as well. It stands or falls upon the ideas of Smith (and subsequent leaders) being a prophet – and if his prophecies fail, he is proved to be a false prophet. Might I ask where is the promised temple in Zion, Missouri that was to be built within that generation? Also, David Patten’s mission trip?

  • Jerry Dodson

    You nailed it, Grayson.

  • J_May

    This was well said, brother.

  • raebzan

    Thanks, all, for proving Jen’s point so spot-on. Turns out sunshine is the best disinfectant for hypocrites, too.

  • LiaJ4

    Love the judgment; thank God it’s up to Him and not you as to who to say farewell to and who not to say farewell to these days. The irony that I see from working in the church is that we are ready to LOB boulders at those re-thinking the position of homosexuality, but the church has EASILY and WILLINGLY turned a blind eye to divorce, infidelity, anger, slander, and gossip. Divorce boggles my mind, because Jesus actually speaks on this topic, yet I don’t see anyone casting out those in leadership who have accepted this as just another norm in society (and now in the church.) If we are being honest, interpretations of Scripture have continually changed throughout time, whether we like it or not. Maybe we get more information through research and archaeological discovery or maybe we bend to society? The fact is that slavery was once both condoned and condemned in Scripture. Women in ministry is both affirmed and denied in Scripture. We need to wrestle with Scripture, seek God’s voice, listen to one another (especially our homosexual brothers and sisters…Rosario’s testimony is spouted off too many times as the answer and is both harmful and destructive to many wrestling with sexuality), and stop the JUDGMENT we so proudly and loudly give. God help us.

    • LiaJ4

      Additionally, whether we like it or not, this issue isn’t going away nor is it going to get any easier. My generation and younger have no issue with homosexuality and by us just dismissing voices like Brandon and Jen’s, we will continue to see their generation FLEE the church. We may not agree with them, but we have to listen respectfully.

      And, what will happen as gay couples get married, have children, and (we pray) walk into our churches? If they find Jesus, do we suggest they divorce and break apart their families? How is divorce okay, but their marriage not? I’d love to hear answers on that question as that may soon be our reality (if it is not already.)

      • “We may not agree with them, but we have to listen respectfully.”

        Listening respectfully to moral heresy is itself sinful. The truth will always repel those who refuse to bow to God’s word. Let them flee. The sooner the better.

        • LiaJ4

          Sadly, “let them flee” doesn’t sound like the attitude that we as Christ followers should have. If we never listen to someone’s story or point of view, how will we ever earn the right to speak into their lives? Or even tell them about Jesus? Even Jesus Himself engaged the woman at the well (a SAMARITAN women steeped in sin and wrong thinking) in conversation…He didn’t just beat her over the head with “right thinking.”

          My heart aches at your comment, because you will literally watch your church die out in the next 30 years if you are even unwilling to even listen. I’m not suggesting you agree, but to dismiss someone just because they are in disagreement with you leaves you with a very empty church and no potential prospects.

          • The gates of hell will NEVER prevail against Christ’s true church madam. That is not possible.

            There is a vast difference between a rank pagan who makes no claim to Christ and a moral heretic who pollutes His name with perversion.

            There is also a vast difference between those two and a true believer who hates and wars against his (or her) perversion because of the now indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

            The bible commands me, and it is my great honor, to walk with and support someone in this last category while there is yet breath in my lungs. They need the love and strength and encouragement of the body of Christ to help them live in victory over their sin of sexual perversion. Just like any other Christian.

            The unbeliever is to be treated with grace and patience and I am commanded to portray Christ to him as one who myself was headed to the same lake of fire that he is without my merciful Jesus. I have all the time in the world for such people.

            The moral heretic, that is, the one who claims that the God of the bible blesses their rank corruption of His very created order, is to be marked and excommunicated and shunned as one who both pollutes the body and dishonors God according to the 5th chapter of Paul’s 1st epistle to the saints at Corinth.

            There is not a range of equally plausible and honorable views on vital areas of God’s revelation like this one. It is crystal clear and enjoys a 100% unanimity rating in the whole of Judeo-Christian history before the last few decades of the utterly apostate western church world.

            There is God’s view, and all the wrong ones. You and your friends have the wrong ones.

            Jesus Christ is not wringing His hands begging people to believe in Him. ALL that the Father has given Him WILL come and of them He will lose NONE. They’re HIS. He paid for them with His own blood.

            My success as an ambassador of His in the earth is not measured by results my dear. That is a business principle. Not a gospel one. My success is measured in obedience. The results are up to Him.

            I want everybody I see as my brother and sister in Christ. I will not get my wish. I will also not bow to the morally satanic trends of the day in the name of accommodating a horde of idolatrous, self willed, degenerate children.

            You are a captive of post modernism LiaJ4. I pray he sets you free in Jesus name.

          • LiaJ4

            How did we devolve into name calling? Jesus, help us right now in the midst of this conversation. We are brother and sister in Christ, Greg. We have to remember that is what unites us and that is what we all have to keep in mind as we have these conversations.

            I have not revealed to you where i stand on this issue; I wrestle with it. I see the hypocrisy in the church when it comes to other sins listed or discussed in Scripture. I desperately want consistency in our churches for all sin, not just the ones we pick and choose. At the same time, I want us to have the humility to wrestle with Scripture and issues, recognizing that faith in action today looks different than it did 50, 100, 1000 years ago (again, we no longer keep slaves.) That is not to say the truth of Christ message has changed, it has not, but that way we understand and live out that message has changed.

          • flimflam74

            Jesus didn’t accept the Samaritan woman’s sin though. When he says “Go tell your husband” he guides her to confess and repent of sin. When she was in the presence of Jesus, she acknowledged her sinful past.

          • LiaJ4

            That’s not the point I was making; I said nothing about him accepting her sin. I was talking about the importance of LISTENING to someone when we engage them in conversation; even someone we disagree with wholeheartedly or someone we believe to be in sin (even our brothers and sisters in Christ.)

          • flimflam74

            But you said about those “re-thinking the position of homosexuality” just before mentioning that slavery is both “condoned and condemned” (which is isn’t). The question is, what needs to be re-thought?

          • Slavery has absolutely NO analogy to same sex sex in any way that matters to God whatsoever. This is the parrot call of all those who refuse to bow before the forever settled in heaven word of almighty God.

            Every one of these pathetic arguments has been laid waste by actually competent and reverent scholars of the scriptures.

            There is NO sin, including this one, that puts someone beyond Gods’ power or grace, but it MUST be denounced, forsaken and warred against, just like every other sin, for one’s credibility as a true believer in Christ to be taken seriously.

          • flimflam74

            Hey bud. Totally agree with you. My argument was with LiaJ4 who said that we should appeal to those “re-thinking” the Christian position on homosexual behaviors. She doesn’t seem to understand that the position has been the same for roughly 2000 years (as if Brandon and Jen Hatmaker are the Aquinas of our day) and we should wait with bated breath for some archeological breakthrough confirming homosexual marriage as the divine template. But the “pastor” then goes on to say that slavery is both condoned and condemned in Scripture (which is not true) as a way of getting her point across that there is some kind of mixed message in God’s word.

          • Sorry about that. I wasn’t clear. I was addressing her through you. 🙂

            It really is no wonder the western world, and the United States in particular is under the judgement of God. He will not forever allow His word and will to be publicly butchered and mangled like these people do.

            Make no mistake make my friend. These post modern apostates will be “seeking” for the rest of their natural lives (unless God grants them repentance) .

            They are no more interested in actually arriving at God’s settled truth than they are true Christians agreeing with them. All the devil wants is a place at the Lord’s table. They want to be considered within orthodoxy.

            Merely granting them their uncertainty as a godly possibility is already a sinful slap in the face of the Lord and does them the disservice of allowing them to continue unwarned. (Ezekiel 3)

            I will never ever do either .

          • flimflam74

            Totally agree. Be well brother!

          • THIS is what it is. It’s not her opinion among many others we should respect, and it’s not different for you. It’s God’s truth. Everything that contradicts it is a lie. That’s how God’s mind works see? We know that because His Word tells us that. It really actually does.

            You need to get this before it’s too late Lia.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “That’s how God’s mind works see? We know that because His Word tells us that. It really actually does.”

            No god is claiming your statement or any religious text represents them at all.

          • He’s not? Oh. Guess I better knock it off then.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            The comment part I quoted sounded fan-fiction-y, like the Bible, not to mention circular.

          • flimflam74

            Also, Scripture doesn’t explicitly condemn slavery. However, through salvation, one would realize that enslaving another person is wrong

          • You’ve revealed all I need to hear. Thank you.

            You’re a dime a dozen mortally confused, neo-emergent post modernist. I’ve talked to you dozens of times. Different face, same person.

            Christians have nothing to wrestle with on this issue (or your false claim to be a pastor). Except to surrender to God’s long settled truth. I pray you do.

            In these two superb and actually biblical SERMONS by Phil Johnson, he does a masterful job of exposing your anti-Christian worldview.

            Pick a different religion please. One without these pesky scriptures and a long settled body of providentially ordained understanding of what they mean.

            One with flexible uncertain “truth” where you can FEEL all cozy with others who refuse to believe God’s word as well. There’s some right here in these comments Ya’ll can hook up and tell each other how uncertain everything is.

          • “How did we devolve into name calling?”
            Either because you dared to disagree with Greg Smith, or because you’re a woman who dared to disagree with Greg Smith. My presumption is the latter.

        • neenerpuss .

          You missed her point. The church is a business….like it or not. You have to have butts in the pews to keep the doors open. If your not getting younger members because they don’t believe the traditional views of the older generation then arithmetic takes over. They are closer to the grave than the ones who believe in an inclusive church and eventually are all that’s left. The church will accept it eventually out of survival, just like all the other “sins” it turns a blind eye to.

      • BGTENN

        The Hatmakers weren’t “dismissed”. Their argument was evaluated and shown to be wrong.

        • neenerpuss .

          It wasn’t shown to be wrong….over 50% believe homosexuality in the same context as heterosexuality is not a sin. It was “dismissed” by traditionalists who believe their interpretation of the bible is the only one that is valid. The bible was written by hundreds of writers over hundreds of years, each with their own opinions and interpretations.

    • BGTENN

      has the church really “turned a blind eye to divorce, infidelity, anger, slander, and gossip”? I hear that stuff preached against all the time. And according to you own reasoning, you are now willing to open your church’s door to slave owners without challenging them to submit to scripture?

    • I never did get it finished yet:
      http://tiribulus.net/judge.html

  • Very good piece Grayson. I assume you have seen Rosaria’s by now.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Thank you kindly, Greg. And yes, I’ve seen Rosario’s – I love her writing and clarity on this issue especially. My earnest prayer is that she will have a tremendous influence on the church in this regard. What a testimony of the grace of God.

  • TracyH

    What is the big deal about the Hatmakers? Zondervan is publishing Two
    Views on Homosexuality, the Bible, and the Church later this month.
    Scholars will lay out evangelical pro-gay marriage arguments as well
    as traditional no-gay marriage arguments. The Hatmakers are hardly
    the first evangelicals to support gay marriage. Latest Pew survey
    (2016) reports 27% of white evangelical Protestants support gay
    marriage.

    • Polish Bear

      Morality is not poll-driven.
      Most people in the US believed the slavery was a good thing. And segregation.
      A majority can be dead wrong, and usually is.

      • TracyH

        Most people believed slavery was a good thing because of the way they interpreted the Bible. Bible doesn’t change- how people interpret it sometimes changes. With 27% of evangelicals accepting gay marriage, issue appears to have reached critical mass. Not going away as 47% of white evangelical millennials support gay marriage according to PRRI 2015 survey. Entertaining issue to track as fundes love to fight. Lousy witness to the unbelieving world but everyone will answer to God for their words and attitudes.

  • CruisingTroll

    “there is no biblical argument for affirming homosexuality, period. The case for it is exactly as good as the case for adultery, theft, and worshiping false gods.”

    A corollary : There is no biblical argument for affirming remarriage following divorce, period. The case for it is exactly as good as the case for homosexuality, adultery, theft and worshiping false gods. This is important, because one of the arguments invariably made about why Christians should affirm homosexuality is because of the acceptance and embrace of divorce and subsequent remarriage by Christians.

    Note that the acceptance and embrace of divorce within the church has been driven by exactly the same rationale. And no, don’t bother trying to split hairs over “divorce with cause” and without, because there is no practical difference in how the overwhelming majority of Christians and Christian leadership respond to both. Key is the same element identified with homosexuality. Giving little to no weight to the fact that it is a sin against God.

    Unlike homosexuality, we don’t have to wonder how God FEELS about divorce. He hates it. (Malachi 2:16) Nor do we have to wonder about Christ’s position on remarriage. He calls it adultery. (Mark 10: 10-12) For 1,500 years the Church’s stance on divorce and remarriage was rooted in these two facts. During the Reformation the arguments advanced regarding divorce by Erasmus were adopted by Protestants. It’s been downhill ever since, and now we’re at the point where the LEGAL “contract” of marriage is actually given more credence and weight by Christians than the covenant. What does that mean? It means that most Christians will accept as legitimate any divorce signed off on by a judge, and willingly participate in any subsequent remarriage.

    And some wonder why the Church has been so ineffective in opposing the mainstreaming of homosexuality. When you’ve already swallowed the camel, it’s pretty hard to strain out the gnats.

    • “Unlike homosexuality, we don’t have to wonder how God FEELS about divorce.”

      The true church of Christ has never wondered this for a second sir. Not even the doctrines of God, Christ and man have been so universally agreed upon by the comprehensive whole of Judaeo-Christian history.

      • CruisingTroll

        What, pray tell, do you mean by “the true church of Christ”?

        • What, pray tell, do you mean by “the true church of Christ”?

          All those from every nation, kindred and tongue who display a credible moral and theological testimony according to biblical standards.

          Yes, I know what that is and so can anybody else who actually allows the scriptures to form their worldview,
          ————————————–
          The apostle of love in the 3rd chapter of his 1st epistle for instance: (NASB which handles the Greek verbs properly)
          4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.

          5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.

          6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.

          7 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.

          9 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.
          ——————————————–
          This was standard orthodox belief and practice until very recently when the visible church (Christendom) fell into a torrid slobbering love affair with the world.

          The burden is on you and people like you to overthrow several thousand years of accepted belief and life.

        • neenerpuss .

          What he means is the churches that believe has he does. There are just as many or even more that believe you I do.

  • Jordan

    Classic reformed theology. “This is what I believe so everybody else is wrong.”

    At least you’ve gotten beyond stoning “heretics” unlike your godfather, Calvin.

    • “Classic reformed theology. “This is what I believe so everybody else is wrong.””

      Classic post modern apostasy. We can’t really know what God thinks.

      The God who commands universes to exist from nothing and who IS light, in whom there is no darkness at all, does not leave His beloved church bride in… well… darkness, for a few thousand years until you hip n groovy hacks come along to tell everybody how He has.

      There is no such thing as a gay affirming christian. Never has been, nor can there ever be.

      • Jordan

        Just like the SoBaCo used to teach that there would never be a mixed-race marriage affirming Christian?

        Your prophecy is true, I guess.

        What about gluttony or divorce? Other things the bible rails against. Why is there no “farewell, Donald Trump,” or “Farewell, Mark Driscoll?” People who are actively perverting the holy image of Christ by putting his name on Antichristian theology.

        Why is this type of condemnation reserved for homosexuality only?

        • Jack Lee

          If you study this blog you will see several things related to the topics you addressed (Trump, Driscoll, Divorce). It would be wise to get informed before you criticize.

        • I have precise unshakable convictions drawn from the scriptures on gluttony and divorce sir. I will join you in decrying inconsistency wherever it may be found and insist that others subject me to to that same standard.

        • I would commend to you Jordan my thoughts on gluttony starting HERE for instance going on 4 years ago. They continue down that page.

      • Funny, I’m a Christian man married to a man. So I’m pretty sure you’re completely full of wrong.

        • It’s not funny and no you are not a Christian man. You do not get to countermand God’s word based upon your experience and hormones. (Neither do I btw) I urge you to repent, believe the true gospel of grace and live.

          Do it today. Tomorrow is not promised to you.

          • I’m pretty sure Christ disagrees with you.

          • Your surety is evidence of your deception alone. Not His truth.

            I urge you to repent, believe the true gospel of grace and live.

            Do it today. Tomorrow is not promised to you.

          • Likewise, I’m sure.

          • You have the wrong christ sir. Yours may agree with you. The one true and risen Christ whose mind and will is recorded for all time and eternity in the ancient Christian scriptures commands you to repent.

            I pray you do.

            “No true Scotsman” is not always fallacious.

          • Polish Bear

            Their Christ bears an uncanny resemblance to themselves. That’s a dangerous theology.

          • Indeed. It truly breaks my heart. I really actually do mean that 🙁

          • neenerpuss .

            Jesus was a single man in his 30’s. He never married and never dated any women. He hung around 12 other single men, one of which he called “my beloved”….I’m pretty sure Jesus was OK with gays.

          • My experience of reading Ford’s posts is that he’s more Christian than your ilk will ever be. He’s definitely more empathetic and forbearing than what I’m capable of – and I don’t even have to deal with a quarter of the garbage that gets lobbed his way (i.e. your patronizing response). I’m quite certain of that.

        • Sven

          After you conceive a baby together, please post a photo. I love it when happy loving couples create a new life together.

        • Garden of Love

          ] ]

    • Jack Lee

      The point of a blog is to express an opinion. I’m not sure you completely understand this.

    • Sven

      Calvin never stoned anyone.

      Go learn things.

      • No, he just “held the coats” of people that burned “heretics” like Servetus. Learning more things about Calvin actually makes his truly despicable and self righteous nature all the more apparent. His neo-Reformed descendants do not fall far from that crooked tree.

        • Sven

          Yeah, that’s right, we stone people every Sunday, in between Sunday school and church.

          Who tipped you off about our stonings? I guess now that the cat’s out of the bag, the media will come after us.

          • Nah, you’re right. You all just attack people with words nowadays – a consequence of lacking the power to do more. Thankfully, we have a system of law in place that isn’t eclipsed by neo-Reformed views on heresy. You just get to threaten (I mean, uh, warn out of love) about postmortem burnings now.

          • Sven

            We do not infect gays with incurable diseases. They do that to each other.
            Scientifically speaking, the harm they do to each other is a thousand times worse than whatever you imagine Christians have done.

            I’d be happy to supply you with some hard data from the CDC about the number of deaths from AIDS. In the meantime, you are free to post hard data about the harm Christians do. I have no doubt that I will win this one.

          • I am glad we’re talking about facts now. However, you might consider retreating into “God says so” argument form soon. I leave the option open anytime. You mention the CDC. Do you know what the CDC says about the effects of stigmatization on (especially) LGBT youth (see link below)? I know people whose lives have either been made miserable or ended by social stigmatization originating from traditional religious views on LGBT folks. Or is the CDC just wrong about stigmatization (CDC is blinded by the gay agenda, no doubt!), and you’ll help yourself to the statistics you’d like from them?

            http://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/stigma-and-discrimination.htm

          • Sven

            You just go right ahead and post us some data on all those deaths from stigmatization.

            Should be interesting. I’ll ask my friends in the medical field how many stigmatization deaths they have witnessed.

      • Jordan

        So I am back from my pilgrimage to the wonderful world of Learning Land where I have indeed gone and Learned things.

        You are correct in your first sentence. He didn’t stone Michael Severtus, but instead had him subjected to the much milder, quicker and less painful death of being burned at the stake.

        All apologies, turns out Calvin was a great and merciful man who completely embodied the teachings of our Christ.

        • Sven

          I’m still puzzling as to what Calvin (1509-1564) has to do with homosexuality in the 21st century. (The obvious answer is: Nothing.) None of the Christians of my acquaintance engage in burning and/or stoning, so this whole sub-thread is quite silly.

  • stphnmartin

    What a shocker, christians using the bible to persecute others. Just like it’s always been.

    • Jack Lee

      The bible is what defines what a Christian is. I don’t really understand your point. More than that, I’m not sure how this is persecution.

      • stphnmartin

        Of course you don’t.

      • Stacie Wittenmyer

        jesus is who defines what a christian is. Jesus is the word. the bible is a long conversation of different peoples wrestling with how to follow. even the bible writers don’t agree. it is folly to make the bible speak as one voice. the pieces don’t always fit well no matter how hard we pound and that misses the point anyway.

        • Jesus, who is the God of the bible, speaks in one voice from Genesis to Revelation. The devil always attacks God’s word. Right from day one.

          “…hath God said?”

          • Melinda Carter

            “God speak”..”the devil”…come on man. We don’t hear or see the science-fiction events of the bible going on now, there is no reason to believe it went on then.

          • Thank you.

          • otrotierra

            And yet Jesus never said he spoke from Genesis through Revelation, did he?

            #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

          • otrotierra And yet Jesus never said he spoke from Genesis through Revelation, did he?

            #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

            You don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the man born God? The God who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth? Who was and is the living logos who was both with God and God Himself (John 1:1) By whom, to whom, for whom, and through whom are all things?

            In whom all things are summed up?

            Are you denying that?

          • otrotierra

            John 1:1 is likewise not something Jesus said. You are only confirming my point: Jesus never said he spoke from Genesis through Revelation.

          • Could I prevail upon you to be so good as to answer my question please?

            Is Jesus of Nazareth the God who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth?

          • Dickson

            If you’re willing to believe a collection of the screeds of ancient goat herders, that mentions world wide flood myths, talking snakes, the earth’s rotation about its axis being paused, ridiculous stories about the exodus, and hundreds of people digging themselves out of their graves and walking through Jerusalem – all of these without ANY strong evidence to back them up. then there is no reasoning with you.

          • That really IS ridiculous isn’t it L:OL! Wadda moron I am.

          • otrotierra

            Nothing you write will obscure this simple and unavoidable truth:

            Jesus never said he spoke from Genesis through Revelation.

          • If He was the God of the Old Testament scriptures as He proclaimed, then He also claimed to be speaking from Genesis to Revelation. Do you believe that or not sir?

          • Thank you.

            Your silence is deafening.

        • Jack Lee

          What I mean is that the bible is what tells us what a Christian is. Without it would be an alien concept. The bible defines what a Christian is and the sovereign God *makes* Christians through his saving grace.

          The comment on how “the bible is a long conversation of different peoples wrestling with how to follow” is a straw man argument not rooted in truth. The bible is a coherent collect of books that in concert communicate to the Glory of God. It’s a single thread of “I will be your God and you will be my People”

          • Apparently Jack Lee did not get the memo. All that is over now. God has not spoken clearly and it’s up to each individual to partake of the confused “narrative” of scripture in whatever way the “spirit” leads. Which could be different for everybody.

            This is exactly what the apostle warns us against in the 2nd chapter of Colossians. Not to be taken “captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the
            tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

            What you are seeing here is pagan post modern philosophy smuggled into the church by rebellious false converts in order to dilute, pollute and cripple the church’s power and purity. It is a grand deception, but easily spotted by those who actually take the Lord our God at His word.

          • Darren Cohen

            It’s a claim, not a straw man.

  • James McClymont

    Thank you for once again demonstrating that Christianity is based on hatred and intolerance.

    • Melinda Carter

      I’ve read through tons of comment sections regarding this whole Jen Hatmaker thing. You wouldn’t believe how many people say that they are “correcting sin (homosexuality) out of love.” No wonder so many gays and atheists are so afraid to come out of their closets. The treatment they receive is horrendous.

      • As a former Christian believer, I can fully attest to this. I have been called a “traitor” to Christ and a whole lot worse.

        • Melinda Carter

          I, too, was a Christian and am now an atheist. I still haven’t come fully out of the closet with it. I live in the bible belt…after hearing what most of my Christian friends think about non-believers and such, I can only imagine the treatment I would/will receive once they truly know my position.

  • Jim Ross

    What a sad thing to write. There are some of us who are followers of Jesus and who believe in the full authority of the Bible and declare your position dead wrong.

  • Darren Cohen

    Have you also written an article about how you grieve for those who support divorced and remarried couples, Grayson Gilbert? Because they are adulterers according to Jesus himself. You remember Jesus, don’t you, Mr. Gilbert? A man who accepted everyone and who never even mentioned homosexuality.

    • Jesus was not accepting of most people and being God, everything the bible says, Jesus said.

      • The people that Jesus did NOT accept, for the most part, were the religious leaders of the day. I am sure that would still hold true today. Even a quick look at the Gospels shows that the people that Jesus accepted were the outcasts – tax collectors and sinners. Refusing to accept someone because their sexual orientation is towards the same gender (i.e. not a sin) is the antithesis of what Jesus taught. Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. He did have a lot to say about divorce and remarriage and Pharisaical religious leaders. Those same leaders are standing in pulpits every Sunday pointing fingers at others, yet they conveniently ignore their own sin and shortcomings.

        • Jesus said everything the bible says.

          You haven’t the first flickering clue why the 2nd person of the eternal Godhead became man and dwelt among us. None.

    • Cynewulf

      “Have you also written an article about how you grieve for those who support divorced and remarried couples, Grayson Gilbert?” What’s your point?

      “You remember Jesus, don’t you, Mr. Gilbert? A man who accepted everyone and who never even mentioned homosexuality.” Would it be the same Jesus who will say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

  • Edward

    My son, 29, came out as gay a few months ago to his mom and me. He said he fought it and never acted on it from the time of puberty till now, over 15 years. He went on a handful of dates with girls over the years. He prayed over and over that God would take it away, that he would not find guys attractive. He is a Christian from childhood, but that unanswered prayer has badly shaken his faith. He shed many tears and contemplated suicide. He didn’t choose to be gay; it choose him. He didn’t choose to rebel against God. Rather he turned to God praying and hoping to change. But he didn’t. Since his revelation, I have read many arguments that Gay Christian websites and churches make regarding the “gotcha” Biblical verses. They make a compelling case. Are they right or wrong? I don’t know. His mom and I are extending grace and love. We don’t want to do anything that would drive him further away from God but rather draw him near by our love. We want to be “you will know them by their love” type of Christians. That is what I am focused on; loving him and his partner. We will leave the judging up to God.

    What I am now convinced of is that somewhere along the way through processes that no one understands, a few percent of people across all cultures and eras are same-sex attracted. I wish and hope that the church can find a way to welcome them. It certainly is a difficult issue.

    • Edward, would you be willing to email me?
      tiribulus@yahoo.com

    • Gilsongraybert

      Edward, Rosario Butterfield wrote an excellent post on this topic as well, from the point of her own battle with same sex attraction: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/love-your-neighbor-enough-to-speak-truth

      • Ryan Dabian

        Who is that suppose to help? I’m guessing yourself.
        Since no one sane would take advice from someone so deeply conflicted and delusional as her.
        The only response I got through that was that she needed genuine professional help, and not more dogma.
        To anyone outside the Evangelical bubble, she would appear as deeply troubled.

        I hope she gets actual help in the future, but with the company she keeps…

        • Gilsongraybert

          She has found help – truthfully, the only kind capable of giving life and freedom.

          • Ryan Dabian

            You’re kind of late for Halloween.
            Scary how you twist those words so much.

          • DavidC

            There are, of course, many LGBT+ people who exist outside the bubble shared by Grayson and Rosaria, who would happily tell you that they have found life and freedom greater than anything the evangelical gatekeepers are capable of offering.

            Rosaria’s story is elevated within her community because it contains all the necessary components that those with a particular world view need for it to have. If it did not, it would not make it past the filter.

            However, hers is not the only story, much less a representative one. People that have a world view like Grayson’s and Rosaria’s often make claims about LGBT+ people that are simply inconsistent with many people’s lived reality.

        • My guess is one day she’ll find, as many others have before her (such as Julie Rodgers) – that she’ll only have help, love, and support so long as she makes the right noises. The moment she veers, or even appears to veer, off the razor edges of fundamentalism, they’ll turn on her. It’s only a matter of time before someone like Denny Burk or Al Mohler see her make some misstep and pounce – graciously offering her the chance to “repent” all the while. They need her now as an object to bludgeon other LGBT folks with. I wish her well and to escape her current environment, as I know others in similar positions who are in the viper’s den. I don’t blame her, but add it to the ledger things that conservative evangelicals have to atone for.

    • Hilary

      You can try the site Spiritual Friendship for writings by gay Christians who hold to traditional sexual ethics and chose celibacy. The book Torn by Justin Lee from the GCN, Gay Christian Network, is also a good resource. Justin is an Evangelical Christian and gay. If you can find it on YouTube, there is an amateur musical called “Straight to Heaven” by the GCN with Justin Lee in it. It is both hilarious, well thought out and brilliant lyrics IMO.

      But realistically, there isn’t much welcome in the Evangelical church for non-straight people. There is some space for GLBT individuals, but it seems very conditional on them staying in very narrow lines of what is acceptable. There almost is no place for a same-sex couple in this brach of Christianity, and if you are gay it really is easier to just leave.

      If you and your wife are trying to stay connected to your son and his partner, GCN is a good place to look for support if you haven’t been there already.

    • You just illustrated the emotional and spiritual abuse of the traditionalist doctrine.

      • marik

        Not a problem. People who don’t like traditional Christianity do not have to attend those churches. America is a huge marketplace of religions, people can find one that suits their values.

        • Tell that to the fourteen-year-old gay kid in the front pew of the abusive church.

          • marik

            How would you care to remedy that situation?
            Have the government take the child away from his parents,
            put him in the custody of some “counselor” –
            someone like yourself, perhaps?

            Do you think Christians don’t see clearly what the agenda is?
            Bash religion, present it as child abuse, take kids away from religious parents – a sexual predator’s dream, all done in the guise of “compassion.”

          • stphnmartin

            An simple solution would be to make it illegal to teach any religion to minors. This is particularly applicable to genital mutilation as well. Wait until they are adults to ply them with religious information.

    • Iain Lovejoy

      The traditional view of hhomosexuality even if correct leaves the church floundering as to how to deal with those who in all sincerity believe that their nature precludes them from heterosexual family life, and for whom celibacy is equally contrary to their nature (Paul was quite clear that celibacy was only for those who like him were called to it as “eunuchs for Christ’s sake” and for those who were not it was better to marry than “burn” I.e. with longing for what is renounced).
      Your son will ultimately have to make his own decision as to what he thinks God’s word is on this – you can advise and support but he is an adult and you can’t make him agree with you if he does not accept your views. What I will say is that (contrary to the unpleasant Mr Gilbert’s doctrine) the Bible is clear that we are saved by living by trust in Christ in love with God and neighbour, not by picking the correct side in theological disputes. If your son is mistaken, even profoundly mistaken, in what God commands in this, but his error is sincere and made in love and trust in God, I can’t see how God can do anything but forgive if what the Bible tells us about God’s nature is true.
      As for yourself, whatever your son chooses to do, I cannot see how you can sin by loving and embracing your son regardless, since that is what God does with all his sons who sin (if indeed, which I think questionable, there is any sin here at all).
      (Edited to clarify “burn”)

  • ‘Til Tuesday

    Goodness sakes – Christians are real pieces of work. When they aren’t damning us “heathens” to hell, they turn on each other and start declaring one another “apostates”. I guess we should grateful Christians gave up burning people at the stake or the Hatmaker’s would on the pyre by now.

    Nothing brings out Evangelical rage quicker than someone applying the Golden Rule to gay people. Evangelicals want gay people treated as legal and social outcasts, stripped of their rights and freedoms, and declared as second-class citizens.

    Of course that’s why Evangelicals have lost the support of the majority of the American people. Every day more and more decent and fair minded Americans like the Hatmaker’s realize that it’s the right thing to embrace the gay people in their lives and treat them fairly and decently.

  • Emily Elizabeth Windsor-Cragg

    Yes, and this matter is a test of our Devotion to Godly Principles of Behavior: what is Holy, Sacred and Real.

  • “Some may argue that consensual, monogamous, homosexual relations were not part of a society addressed by the NT authors – yet in the end, this is relatively irrelevant. There is nothing within scripture that would suggest this is remotely accepted or validated in any sense and it would seem self-evident that such clarity would be brought forth if indeed the intent was contrary to the historical position on the sinfulness of homosexuality.”

    Some may argue that the abolition of slavery was not part of a society addressed by the New Testament authors – yet in the end, this is relatively irrelevant. There is nothing within Scripture that would suggest that biblically sanctioned forms of slavery (even in the New Testament, Pauline context of the early church) are remotely unacceptable or invalidated in any sense and it would seem self-evident that such clarity would be brought forth if indeed the biblical intent was to uphold an ahistorical, anti-traditional position on the supposed inherent sinfulness of slavery.

    Let’s be consistent in our devotion to the absolute inerrancy of the text and make sure to affirm what it actually says in detail, and not read our own fallen desires into it. Wilberforce and his ilk were definitely bowing to the ethos and passions of his own day, rather than submitting their wills to the perfect, glorious and unchanging clarity of Scripture – as conservative Christians at the time pointed out.

    Or, maybe we could stop making excuses for inexcusable positions – regardless of their historical pedigree.

    • Sven

      Yeah, darn it, those Christian abolitionists were monsters. Glad you ratted them out.

      • They were not adhering to the traditionally understood view of Scripture, that’s for sure. If you’ve ever read Wilberforce on this subject, you will know he has great arguments. . . except when it comes to his biblical exposition. The conservative Christians of his time were right and he was wrong. . . about the overall biblical position. Wilberforce *was* morally right though.

        Sometimes being morally correct means jettisoning immoral doctrine.

        • Please explain further.

          • I’ll strike to the heart of the matter. Slave ownership as understood by Paul (or at least the Pauline-attributed letters, as whether they are all authentically Pauline or not is a separate issue) was NOT sinful. The litmus test is that Paul would have had a problem with people currently engaged in idolatry being a part of the church assembly, but he had no problem with slave masters being a part of the assembly (i.e. Philemon). That is because, by his lights, slave masters were not inherently sinning simply by owning another human as property (Eph 6:9 has standards, but if met, slave owning is blameless).

            We know that slaves are inveighed upon to obey their earthly masters and their Christian masters especially well. 1 Timothy 6 indicates even wicked masters are to be obeyed. If you could get your freedom legally that was okay (1 Corinthians 7:21), but otherwise slaves should be happy with their condition and not let it trouble them. However, if you are of the inclination that slaves are under *no obligation whatsoever* to submit to their masters and can freely rebel to achieve their freedom – that is directly against the code proscribed by Paul. Paul would not approve of disobedient slaves, and had no problem with owning humans as property, in principle.

            Needless to say, this in no way supports an abolitionist position on slavery. The biblical texts were written in a context that the legal status of slavery was assumed and wasn’t going to be questioned. And that is understandable, for people in the ancient near east. But what some modern Christians tend do, to read into those texts something they do not say, is disingenuous.

            In sum, the position of many biblical writers is not congruent with the idea of wholesale abolitionism. Any advocate of abolitionism did so without any biblical mandate and some contravening verses – and – as critics of abolition said at the time, were setting themselves up as higher ethical authorities than the Bible by presuming moral judgments it *did not make.* I think that’s an accurate assessment.

            Because abolitionists were better ethical judges on this matter than many of the writers of Scripture. Religious abolitionists read their superior, more developed moral system into ancient texts that did not share their assumptions. Thank God they did.

            * This post is regarding the idea of owning another person as property at all, and a slave’s obligations (in either ancient or modern contexts), not the particular American Southern version of slavery.

          • I had much higher hopes for you than this Justin. The slavery Paul is referring to is pretty much a version of indentured servitude. (A bit of actual research will bear that out)

            There are much better passages to attempt to make your case than this. However, not even they are anything like the man stealing chattel slavery of 18th and 19th century England and America.

            There actually are accepted forms of hard slavery amongst Old Testament theocratic Israel. You’ll have to forgive my doubting whether you’re the one to tell us about it though.

            Try again please.

          • There is someone who is disappointing, but it’s not me. And I don’t even need to delve into the Old Testament’s appalling record on this subject. Let’s just stick with the New Testament. Anyone who has actually researched this without preconceptions of the inerrancy of the text and about what they *want* to be true has come away with similar conclusions. If you don’t trust my demonic liberal view, consider ultra-conservative Reformed minister Doug Wilson’s views:

            https://archive.is/psFdE#selection-507.2-539.123

            “Paul says that masters should treat their slaves with appropriate kindness, knowing that they have a Master in Heaven themselves (Eph. 6:9). In the first century, a man could be excommunicated for being a harsh master, but not for simply being a master. Paul says that if an owner is a believer, this means he should be accorded extra respect (1 Tim. 6:2). Paul says teach and preach these principles, and so my response is yes, sir. I do not accept it as my duty to revile men that an apostle told me to respect.

            And don’t try the hand-waving dodge that ancient slavery was somehow magically “better.” I know better, and no, it wasn’t.”

            Read that last sentence again. Wilson is spot on here, from his conservative perspective. It is actually you who are trying to minimize what slavery was (and is, where it still exists today), like so many other evangelicals, by diluting what the experience was and shying away from the evil of it. Even if there were cases of “merely” indentured servitude (which in many cases were just as inhuman and restrictive) it was still wrong because indentured servitude is also immoral and exploitative. However, ancient slavery in any of its “hard” or “soft” forms was nasty. It’s pretty straightforward. Like Wilson, your beliefs should lead you to affirm biblical slavery as NOT sinful – otherwise you run the risk of putting your own fallible views above Scripture.

            Abolitionists didn’t really have a leg to stand on biblically – they did have the moral high ground though. The implication is clear: The Bible didn’t always get everything right. Thankfully, unless you are a fundamentalist you can view the Bible in a more mature and discerning light.

          • I know Wilson, he’s a brilliant man, but this isn’t the only thing he’s wrong about. That last sentence is a generalizing oversimplification. (taken by itself)

            There are several kinds of slavery in the bible. The version that Wilberforce, Newton, Carlton and More were fighting is not in any way condoned. I will say though, that if it were? Then let God be true and every man a liar.

            The law strictly forbids manstealing (kidnapping) and there is no version condoned that includes that. Those vanquished in war were a different story.

            What is it with people? Just say you don’t believe the bible and find a different religion. Fine 🙂

          • “I will say though, that if it were? Then let God be true and every man a liar.”

            Right, so you’d be willing to support slavery if you felt the biblical support existed (it does exist, but the point is the principle behind your knee jerk support for the Bible’s inerrancy). So really, we’re done here, right? You will support whatever the Bible says, regardless of the moral content. If the Bible contained more verses that stated: “Let every redhead boy be castrated,” or “whales have angel souls inside them” you would defend those statements too, with the same earnesty. There’s no checks or balances. It’s really the a priori full blown rubber stamping of inerrancy that is the real tragedy here.

            It always ends with “why can’t you leave me to my beliefs, if you don’t like them?” The reason is that some beliefs bleed into actions. If they didn’t, I’d have no issue with it. I know a guy who believes UFOs snatched up his brother, and it does me no harm. I’m not going to waste any time trying to persuade him out of it. Specific pernicious beliefs that actually affect other people though? I don’t see why they should be protected from criticism.

          • See, this is why Dr. Van Til was so very right. The real battleground is at the epistemological level. (I’m not talking to you in particular Justin)

            The tragedy is that anyone doubts Gods’ word in way at any level. Most do though and most will. We’re told to expect that.

            You are correct about one thing though. There can never be peace between the true people of God and the world of sin. However, I have no mission of redeeming culture and saving the Unites States. That is not what God promises or commands.

            This country AND more especially, the church on this continent, is under the judgement and purifying discipline of God respectively as I type this.

            The United Sates is goin down and the bride of Christ is rising. NOT in political or cultural influence. But in purity and spiritual power (two sides of the same coin.) The one true and living God will not allow His name and reputation to be polluted and debased as is being done by so many on this page forever.

            The embrace of same sex perversion is but one symptom and probably not even the worst.

          • I’m all too familiar with the closed system of presuppositionalism, Van Til, Kuyper, etc. I could adopt your viewpoint on a whim and probably espouse it as well as you can. You have adopted a system that is designed to never be truly tested. I’m sure that provides immense comfort and certainty. Consider that the same closed system is used by fundamentalist Muslims to reify the self-justifying perfection of the Quran. (and any criticism you have the Quran is merely proof of how lost and bewildered you truly are!).

          • Maybe we could talk about that some day?

          • How would you like to do a “podcast” with me Justin? A conversation we can both record and put out there for the world to hear.

            Waddaya say?

          • That was an honest, from the heart offer Justin. You disappeared.

          • I really appreciate the offer Greg, but gonna have to pass as I doubt I could fit that sort of collaboration in my schedule. I’ve no problem continuing in any sort of discussion over Patheos though. The reason I comment here is that I know there are evangelical lurkers out there that are struggling with these issues and think they are under attack by the devil for doubting the beliefs foisted on them, and they need to hear alternative voices. I know that because I was one of them long ago. Good luck with your podcast though!

          • I don’t have a podcast. Never done one. I was just talking about having a conversation and recording it so you could better help those lurkers of yours.

            You could help me and everyone else understand how wrong the entire church has been for dozens of centuries until guys like you came along to correct all the giants of the faith who went before you.

            Like all the rest of you apostate children, you talk a big game until called on it. Nobody is so busy that they couldn’t carve out an hour or two somewhere. What could there possibly be to fear from a brain dead, ultra-fundamentalist, homophobic old man like me?

            Looks like the lurkers better look to somebody else. You won’t be much help to them.

          • Please. I suggested continuing a conversation here, but you won’t unless its in your chosen format/conditions? Give me a break.

          • I didn’t say I won’t.

            In this case it just might be more productive to have a face to face conversation. I’m actually a rather nice fella Justin O:) I’d like to assume that you are too.

            Saying there’s no way you could find time doesn’t pass the snicker test. Just say you don’t wanna talk to me. That’s far more credible and certainly your right.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “The tragedy is that anyone doubts Gods’ word in way at any level. Most do though and most will. We’re told to expect that.”

            Why would manipulative conmen write that to their marks?

          • Ficino

            “The tragedy is that anyone doubts Gods’ word in way at any level.”

            A problem in the above is that “God’s word” is a floating signifier. Functionally, its reference is to a collection of writings by many people in a diversity of languages and places over many centuries, brought together in collections that differ, tradition by tradition, in their contents. Is there reason to doubt whether some of the propositions expressed by those writers are true? You betcha.

            But people who are committed to taking the Bible as God’s revelation can reach conclusions different from what you’ve reached. They would point out that there are big themes and principles that you are overlooking.

            Van Til really didn’t solve any epistemological problem in a way that philosophers generally consider a solution. Justin Conder makes an astute point, that the presuppositionalist system is designed to elude testing. That’s a feature that does not recommend it.

          • The Happy Atheist

            “There are several kinds of slavery in the bible. The version that
            Wilberforce, Newton, Carlton and More were fighting is not in any way
            condoned.”

            There were? I’m sure you’ll be able to provide linguistic evidence to support this statement. I mean, if they were different, surely the authors would have used different words to describe them. I’m intimately familiar with Greek, so feel free to go as deep as you want.

            “I will say though, that if it were? Then let God be true and every man a liar.”

            So, because god says or does it, it’s “good”? Uh oh, it’s the Euthyphro dilemma. That’s a pretty slippery place to be philosophically and theologically. You’re basically asserting that anything god does, regardless of the consequences to us or the rest of the universe, is “good.” You are further asserting that our human understanding of “good” and “bad” have no real bearing on god’s, which means we could not possibly call him “good.” We would have no way of knowing that.

        • Sven

          You’re a very unhappy little fella. You should make friends with people who think like you do instead of spewing your hate at Christians.

          • I actually have a lot of Christian friends. And a lot of evangelical family. Ad hominem is great for distracting from the content of my posts, huh?

          • Gilsongraybert

            I feel this link would do you well to read: http://laurencetennant.com/bonds/adhominem.html

          • Sven

            Nope, just speaking the truth, which progressives always resist.

        • The fundamental difference between liberal and conservative religion is that liberal religions are primarily based on principles, whereas conservative religions are based more on doctrines. At their most extreme, liberalism has no doctrines (Unitarian Universalism) and conservatism has no principles. Abolitionists objected to slavery on principle, whereas anti-abolitionists defended slavery on doctrinal grounds.

          • That’s a pretty observant point. I will say I think Wilberforce and his fellow travelers did *attempt* to justify their abolitionism in doctrinal terms that conservatives could accept, but it was pretty clearly a stretch. I’m glad evangelicals look up to him now, but had his views actually been shaped by conservative evangelical preachers like George Whitefield (who owned slaves and defended slavery), he wouldn’t have made any progress at all. He deviated from the status quo, and that status quo was traditional orthodoxy up until that era. Traditional orthodoxy can have useful things to teach us, but imagining it to be infallible is the main problem in this context.

  • That you would use the story of Jonah as your example of inerrancy makes your whole adherence to that concept pretty ridiculous. Maybe, just maybe, people no longer take that impossible story literally for the same reason they no longer slavishly believe that the earth sits on four pillars.

    Civilized people today already know that it’s wrong to own other people and that it’s wrong to stone people to death for any reason, they really don’t have any need for morality from a book which allows both. You ought to be able to explain in certain, objective terms why homosexuality is wrong, so wrong that it demands persecution and state-sponsored discrimination. Anybody can understand why murder and theft are wrong without needing a holy book to tell them so. It’s especially difficult for outsiders to see how loving the wrong person could be a sin. Just saying “it goes against God’s plan” is circular, subjective reasoning that only works if you already believe your religion. And this excuse has been used repeatedly to justify the indefensible, like slavery, segregation, and anti-miscegenation laws. And no, it doesn’t matter if you think those beliefs were Biblically incorrect, the doctrine of “religious freedom” makes incorrect beliefs just as valid as correct ones, otherwise there really is no such thing as religious freedom.

    Ironically, you choose to use a lot of figurative language, like “the gates of hell” and “the foot of the cross”, which gives the impression that your doctrine is just a retreat into an alternate reality.

    • Do you believe that God commanded light, matter, time and space to exist from nothing Matthew? Or that Jesus Christ rose from the dead?

      • What’s your argument, that an all-powerful God could have caused any miracles to make the story of Jonah literally true, even though the miracles necessary to make it possible would only be known in the scientific age? Then it’s just as possible that an all-powerful God actually did make the earth sit on four pillars during the bronze age so that description could be literally true. Or, maybe this was just a literary product of its time like Gilgamesh or Jason and the Argonauts.

        • Rather than presume upon your words Matthew, I will simply ask directly if that is a “no” in answer to my question?

          • Heaventree

            I’ll simply ask a direct question to you, Greg: do you believe that Jesus was a vine? After all he states (in what you call “the clearest possible language”) in Jn 15:1 that he is a vine. No ifs, and, or buts. And if you don’t believe that was literally the case, then you’re gonna roast in hell for ever and ever and ever. Because you see, your sin causes you to disregard the *very clear* words of Scripture.

          • Anyone who could ask this question with a straight face doesn’t have a third grade Sunday School students understanding of even the principles of interpreting today’s newspaper. To say nothing of ancient literature.

            That is a clear figure of speech madam. None of the passages I’ve brought are even vaguely or accidentally analogous.

          • Heaventree

            Get thee behind me, Greggy! While you’re being cast into the Pit, I’ll be livin’ it up in the gracious presence of my Lord & Savior, the vine.

          • Now just a Matthew 7:1 minute there Missy. Did you just pass judgement on me?

            Gotta go in a minute fro several hours probably guys.

          • Heaventree

            I just hate to see an atheist scoffer like you spitting on the crystal-clear teaching of Holy Scripture

          • The Happy Atheist

            Well, my reading of the gospels clearly shows that Jesus chose only Jewish males as his disciples. Are you a Jewish male? If not, then you’re out. Sorry. Don’t blame me. It was God’s decision to exclude all but circumcised Jewish males. It says so right there in the bible.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Coming from the same gent who previously couldn’t answer basic questions about the Law – yet swore he made an inductive study through it, I’m taking your comment oh so seriously yet again.

  • Dan Whitmarsh

    I hope, Mr. Gilbert, for the sake of the pastoral ministry to which you aspire, that at some point in your education at Moody or out in the real world you come to recognize that, for whatever you believe the scriptures teach about same-gender sexual activity and marriage, you have just committed a sin of a much-greater magnitude. There is one body of Christ, and it is up to the one judge – Jesus, in whom the church is held together, to decide who is in and who is out. That task does not belong to us. Go read Galatians again, wherein Paul forcefully challenges Peter not for holding an incorrect doctrinal position, but for refusing to join the gentiles at the table. Christ has torn down dividing walls. There is one Body, one Bread, one Table, one Church. You and I don’t get to decide who is in and who is out, especially on secondary matters. One’s belief on same-gender relationships is not a matter of the historic creeds, or the NT faith statements, or any historic definition of evangelicalism. You need to seriously consider the shift Paul makes in Romans 2: You who pass judgment are condemning yourself. There is, I would argue, no sin greater than for one Christian to say to another “You don’t belong here.” That decision belong to Jesus, and to Jesus alone.

      • Dan Whitmarsh

        “In the 5th chapter of Paul’s 1st letter to the church at Corinth he tells of a situation where a man was in a sexual relationship with ‘his father’s wife.’ The precise nature and relation is irrelevant for this post.”

        And the entire paper falls apart in that moment, for the author (unintentionally) reveals his bias. It absolutely does matter the nature and relation.

        • No sir it does not. My unassailable thesis for that paper was that the Apostle commands that ANY flagrantly unrepentant sin demands godly excommunication. He gives as examples “sexually immoral, greedy, swindlers, idolaters, revilers, drunkards” and then in the next chapter, despite the best efforts of the revisionist hacks, includes homosexuals in his list of those who will not inherit the kingdom.

          It’s much easier if you just stop claiming to the believe the bible. Seriously. There are plenty of others who are honest that way. They KNOW they cannot escape what the text says, so they simply disagree with the text. Luke Timothy Johnson comes to mind for instance

          You really should just do that.

          • Dan Whitmarsh

            That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t respond to the argument I was making above. I wasn’t arguing that you, or the original author, should accept that same-gender marriage or sexual activity should be considered acceptable in the eyes of God. I haven’t even discussed my own beliefs on the issue, so don’t assume I am in the welcoming and affirming crowd.

            The argument I was making was that other Christians, through concerted study and diligent exegesis, determined that the text wasn’t as clear as you believe it to be; some have, in fact, come to the conclusion that it says (or means) something quite different than the interpretation to which you ascribe. The issue at hand is not “should we throw unrepentant sinners out of the church,” but “should we throw people out of the church for having a different biblical interpretation than we do?” Which is a totally different question.

            Because, if we go with the second, pretty soon everybody will be thrown out of the church and we’ll be sitting all by ourselves.

            The church is full of people who hold to doctrine that I believe is incorrect, but I still recognize those people as fellow members of the Body of Christ. Pick a doctrinal issue, and you’ll find people on all sides; however, they are still members of the same Body.

            If the Hatmakers were espousing true heresy – salvation in the name of Buddha, or LDS teaching, or the Prosperity Gospel, or that we should accept Mohammed as a true prophet, or that Jesus was simply a human teacher, then we could say “they no longer fit within orthodox Christianity,” and, using the discernment gifts God has given us, claim that they aren’t true members of the Church. But they aren’t. They have come to a different conclusion on a secondary theological issue, and, in that place, can still be accepted as part of the larger Christian church, even if you happen to disagree with them.

            On a side note, everybody (and I mean everybody) disagrees with the text at some point. We all have hermeneutical work to do as we translate it into our world. I’m sure you disagree with some biblical prescriptions, as well. So it’s not good to accuse people like Luke Timothy Johnson of disagreeing and think that discredits him, because everybody does it. It’s just that some recognize they’re doing it, and others pretend they’re not.

          • Again:
            ————-
            The bible in the clearest possible language declares same sex sex as a damnable perversion of God’s created order and calling it “love”, a damnable perversion of God’s holy nature.

            No other issue one can think of has been held with such comprehensive unanimity and singleness of interpretation in the literal whole of Judaeo-Christian history than has the condemnation of same sex sex as perverse and sinful.

            There is not a single notable exception before the last few decades of the godless western world. Yes this goes for adultery too and aside from some fringe nutcases( yes they do exist) nobody is campaigning for the normalization of adultery as a holy Christian practice. That’s the difference.

            I doubt if 20% of the people claiming to be Christians on this continent have any idea what that means. IF IF IF I take the scriptures seriously as was done in previous actually faithful generations.

            All of this became unclear with the smuggling of pagan post modern uncertainty into the church world in the last few decades.

            Read Romans 1. Homosexuality IS the judgment we are now under. It’s not the reason for it, It IS the judgement of God itself as He gives us over to the very unnatural perversions we have clearly told Him we want. That’s how He does it. Or is that unclear too?

            But don’t take my word for it. Watch and you WILL see.

    • “One’s belief on same-gender relationships is not a matter of the
      historic creeds, or the NT faith statements, or any historic definition of evangelicalism.”

      Neither are unicorns.

      • Dan Whitmarsh

        That’s not the point. There have been boundaries erected over the years to help discern who is in and who is out. Most of those boundaries come down to how we understand the nature of God and the reality of Jesus’ work in the world. None of them have ever said “you’re not a Christian if you disagree about our understanding of human sexuality.” There’s nothing particularly wrong about the author stating he vehemently disagrees with the Hatmakers. He just doesn’t get to label them as false Christians who inhabit the building but not the universal Body of Christ.

        • Yes, the bible in the clearest possible language declares same sex sex as a damnable perversion of God’s created order and calling it “love”, a damnable perversion of God’s holy nature.

          No other issue one can think of has been held with such comprehensive unanimity and singleness of interpretation in the literal whole of Judaeo-Christian history than has the condemnation of same sex sex as perverse and sinful.

          There is not a single notable exception before the last few decades of the godless western world. Yes this goes for adultery too and aside from some fringe nutcases( yes they do exist) nobody is campaigning for the normalization of adultery as a holy Christian practice. That’s the difference.

          There has never been, is not now and never EVER can be for all time and eternity, a person who unrepentantly embraces same sex romance and sex who can be considered to have a credible testimony as a redeemed child of the God of the bible.

          That will never, and indeed CAN never change. Marriage family and sex and gender were defined by God Himself in the garden of Eden before the entrance of sin.

          All other forms and practices are a result of the fall that have been corrected and redeemed in Christ along with the rest of creation for all those found in Him.. Believe what you will sir, but you have the wrong religion.

        • The point is that, just like unicorns, the very notion of legitimatizing same sex anything was just as fantastic and off the radar of the literal exceptions-less whole of Church history.

          They neither addressed unicorns nor God blessed same sex romance because it never occurred to them that either would ever require it.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Actually, you’re not correct in the least bit – especially when one considers Matthew 18, 2 Thess. 3:14, 2 John 1:10, Romans 16:17, among others. When the church is given authority to cast people out and advocates that they specifically do not even associate with them – what else can that possibly mean than they are not to be considered part of the church?

      • Dan Whitmarsh

        Every one of those texts was written to a specific church in a specific place dealing with a specific issue, and not given as a prescription for making blanket pronouncements across the internet about people who we don’t even know. Matthew 18 (btw – did you go to the Hatmakers personally, as Matt 18 demands?) ends up with the command to treat the person as a tax collector or pagan; Jesus showed what that looked like by dining with tax collectors and pagans. 2 Thes. 3:14 isn’t the end of his thought; he concludes with “do not regard them as enemies, but warn them as fellow believers.” 2 John 1:10 is very specific about the sin he’s warning against: people who deny that Jesus has come. I haven’t heard the Hatmakers do that. And I’m not so sure I’d want to go with Romans 16:17, since he’s specifically talking about “those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way”; i.e., people who are trying to force the readers back under the law. From my humble perspective, articles like this are the ones that are causing division, not the people who are opening their arms in grace to broken people.

        If a local church, doing the work of discernment, comes to the conclusion that a member is not abiding by scripture, or is causing danger to the Body, then the local church is given the task of dealing with it. I’m not opposed to the idea that local churches sometimes have to remove people from their midst. But that should always be done by the local church, it should always be for the grossest of sin or heresy (and not secondary doctrinal disputes), it should always be done with grace and hope for repentance, and, even after all that, the person’s very salvation shouldn’t be called into question, since that judgment alone belong to God. See, for instance, Matthew 13:24-30.

        • Gilsongraybert

          You have an interesting hermeneutic that doesn’t allow you to form a doctrine of how the church should practice discipline. Yet in the end – public flaunting of sin and propagation of false doctrine does not deserve to go unhindered. What I am saying – and this is not relegated to just the issue of homosexuality – is that one who preaches “gospel light” and doesn’t highlight the fact that sin needs to be repented of (or maintains that something isn’t sin when it clearly is) is not speaking on secondary matters. This is a gospel issue at its core because it denies the power of Christ, the truthfulness of the Word, and the necessity for repentance. Obedience to Christ has nothing to do with trying to place one under the burden of the Law (for Christ Himself maintained that “if you love me – you will obey my commandments”).

          I find it incredibly ironic that you would be so bold as to call another out on what you perceive their sin to be on social media (as you put it, my divisiveness; which, incidentally, if you read about the properties and purpose of the scriptures and compare that against a divisive man that Titus is warned against – truth by very nature divides from falsehood, yet the divisive one is the person who in particular creates factions IN falsehood and devious lies). Yet regardless of how you may feel – Christians are not only commanded to deduce if they are in the faith, but to test the fruit of false teachers (who by implication and even direct statement are revealed to be, guess where? OUTSIDE of the faith, by scripture’s qualifications, not mine). I mean, have you read 1 or 2 John where he indicts false teachers as “pigs and dogs”? Have you read the MANY times Paul has given a wide list of sinful actions and said, “…and those who make a practice of such things CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD”?

          You act as if the scriptures are silent on this matter or that they only write to a context of their own day wherein believers currently find no model to imitate – that is just flat out wrong. The scriptures, in regard to false teachers, are far more harsh than this little blog post that was in all shapes and sizes, quite modest and reserved.

          I mean, really – read this whole chapter from 2 John:

          2 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

          4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[a] putting them in chains of darkness[b] to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh[c] and despise authority.

          Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from[d] the Lord. 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

          13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.[e] 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer,[f] who loved the wages of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

          17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”[g] and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

          • Absolutely magnificent comment Grayson.

    • Grayson is trying to reject fellow Christians from the communion table. Fortunately for me, that’s not his invitation to revoke.

      • Gilsongraybert

        The word “Christian” means something, and the scriptures themselves would preclude one from joining the table based on certain things. I don’t have the authority to revoke one’s claim to faith – yet scripture itself testifies that these are among the things, which if habitually practiced, lead on earth to hell. At the end of the day, the issue isn’t even remotely with me or anyone else – it is with the text. I’m not the one who revealed these things to man; I’m only to account for being faithful to the text itself. This isn’t an issue of interpretation in even the slightest form – it is an issue of rejection of these passages, capitulating on the issue of repentance, and sanction of sin. Homosexuality is nothing that is beyond the pale of forgiveness – yet unrepentance will simply not be taken lightly. We don’t get to make a mockery of the cross and trample upon the blood of Christ.

        • Scripture doesn’t preclude anything. Scripture is the story of the people of God – the only one who can preclude. Your moral certitude and uncharitable judgement is not only extra-biblical, but decidedly un-Christian.

          • …Just like judging the uncircumcised.

          • This can’t possibly be a serious statement.

          • Of course it’s a serious statement.

          • I see. I’m not sure how to say this, but folks like you should not be allowed in the same zip code with a bible.

            Why bother? Just read a Dr. Seuss book and claim it says that God loves whatever you love and there it is right here in Hop On Pop.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9a042865f8b76ffc47696694b19b6299224cb98667c822093de84692a5197225.jpg

          • Gilsongraybert

            I ask this question with all sincerity: have you actually read the Bible? It doesn’t seem like you have, even a little.

          • Well, I’m not sure what they’re teaching you at Moody, but it seems more like legalism than theology.

            I’ve read the Bible. In fact, right now I’m recalling something about the fruits of the Spirit – something that seems to be utterly lacking in your writing and commenting.

            I ask a return question in all sincerity. Do you know the Word of God? Have you asked Jesus into your heart? It doesn’t seem like you have, even a little.

          • Gilsongraybert

            I was asking a genuine question – not being snarky. I have run into many and would not like to assume that all I interact with actually read the Bible. I do find it quite telling though that most on here would be happy to cite something that supports their views to condemn me for saying the scriptures teach homosexuality is sinful. It is also quite telling that advocating one obey their Lord is called legalistic.

          • It is also quite telling that advocating one obey their Lord is called legalistic.

            Jesus said we Christians will be known by our love towards one another. That commandment is irreconcilable with your attempt to marginalize the Hatmakers in the Church over legitimate theological disagreement. Obedience? Apparently not.

            Please stop claiming that you are obedient and anyone who disagrees with you is unfaithful. Your narrow legalism is not the substance of a faith grounded in the gospel. We are all sinners at the foot of the cross. That includes you.

          • Gilsongraybert

            You’re offering straw men; I’ve never once claimed to be without sin. That is not the question – the question is if homosexuality is a sin. The Bible declares it is – yet you disagree and live in opposition to that truth. The scriptures not only call one to inspect themselves to ensure they are in the faith, but to judge teachers (whom will be known by their fruit), to obey the commandments therein, and that those in Christ must believe certain facts about the faith (we can believe God is a grilled cheese sandwich in as much as we can redefine sin, which is simply to say: we can’t do either). This is not simply an area where we can agree to disagree – just as the councils decreed on the nature of God, or to go even closer to home, just as Paul maintained in several letters already listed in the post. Simply put: one who denies the teachings of scripture in favor of practicing sin cannot remain in the love of God. This is abundantly clear from the book of John alone – and if you’ve read the scriptures, you can’t just explain it away unless you involve some lofty, hermeneutical gymnastics and you know that.

          • jo Phillips

            The problem is most people’s understanding of love us based on a humanistic concept, not a biblical one. You can’t correctly quote biblical terminology to teach a humanistic ideology.

        • jo Phillips

          Amen. Thank you for your boldness to speak truth in an age which seeks to deny the truth of God’s word.

  • Luminous

    Demas gar me egkatelipen agapesas ton nun aiona –
    Demas, in love with the present age, abandoned me. 2 Tim 4:10
    It must’ve wrenched Paul’s heart to pen those words, because Demas had been a fellow Christian worker, mentioned lovingly in Colossians and Philemon. Interestingly, one possible meaning of the name Demas is “popular.” We’ve obviously reached a dividing point in Christianity between the Demasites, those “in love with the present age,” who are going to abandon, and even denounce, Christians and tell us to lower our standards and make our churches even more inclusive than God is. Lots of broken friendships ahead, lots of harsh words will be spoken. People we thought were our brothers in Christ will insist that we do the popular thing, as Demas did, whereas the New Testament counsels us to “fight the good fight.” To follow the crowd on this issue would be to turn our backs on the millions of Christians who loved before us, making the valiant effort to live lives pleasing to God, “a living sacrifice.” If the apostles could offer up their lives, we can certainly offer up a measure of popularity in this world.

    • ChrisDACase95

      This says a lot about the fundamentalist persecution complex. Really Demasites are not the issue, but Pharisees (as usual) who follow legalism. As opposed to those who err to the side of empathy and justice as Christ did and would do for the marginalized by those who follow an errant paper and ink idol.

      What I’m saying is enjoy your White Washed Tombs.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Don’t compare your tawdry little sins with my love.

    “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.

    Recycling old pro-slavery Evangelical arguments used against Evangelical abolitionists does do harm by creating and encouraging dangerous minority stress.

    • Gary Whiteman

      Using another man as a sexual orifice is not “love,” it is the most digusting form of perversion imaginable, and according to some rather extensive data from the CDC, decidedly unhealthy. Acts which lead to incurable diseases and death are not “love.” Decent people don’t kill others in order to achieve sexual gratification.

      • Gregory Peterson

        Way to recycle an old racist argument. Disparaging minority relationships as being just about sinful and dangerous sex activity has been done before.

        Your abuse of CDC STD stats to justify discrimination, segregation and defamation of a minority group is right out of the “Massive Resistance” era James Jackson Kilpatrick playbook.

        I suggest that you try that “grow up” thing.

      • Al Cruise

        “Acts which lead to incurable diseases ” Don’t forget that Christian missionaries of every different fundamentalist stripe, killed over 150 million indigenous people by bringing bubonic plague, chicken pox, pneumonic plague, cholera, diphtheria, influenza, measles, scarlet fever, smallpox, typhus, tuberculosis, whooping cough and venereal diseases. They justified it with scripture.

  • Ficino

    When I started out in the Assemblies of God, we were taught by teachers convinced of their own rightness that drinking alcohol and smoking are sins against God. But I see that Mr. Gilbert enjoys doing those things.

    Quot Christiani, tot sententiae.

    And this diversity of opinion is not really bad. We couldn’t have capitalism if everyone took the Bible literally. After all, how many Christians charge interest on loans to other Christians? More than two, I would guess. But it’s a sin, no?

    http://www.giveshare.org/BibleStudy/050.usury.html

    Now that even evangelicals are in increasing numbers recognizing that they need to stop discrimination of LGBT people, the day will come when only by force can legal same sex relationships and same sex marriage be ended. As to denominational standards and discipline, why not just stick with the tradition that declines to make major norms out of teachings based on a few disputed verses?

    • Gilsongraybert

      Might I ask where one can find verses that would decry smoking or drinking on occasion?

      Your second point (on usury) is a wee bit more valid – but even that fails on the basis of individuality. Those placing themselves in debt (with interest) are in quite a different position than the non-Christian mortgage company charging interest – yet that article is woefully inadequate on many other levels of logic (and scriptural inference, considering they don’t even ask the question of how one interprets the Law for the NT Christian). They approach it as most atheists do (which it seems you do too), which is to pull narrative examples as explicit commands, OT statutes for Israel as explicit NT commands, and so forth.

      In both of these cases though, your approach is not one which takes the scriptures seriously in any measure – but instead throws the baby out with the bath water – except you’ve been in the wrong house the whole time, it’s not a baby you’re throwing out, and you don’t even find a bath tub. If that analogy fails to break down clearly – I’m inferring to you that on every level, the argument you just used is easily defeated, but your intention shows the true course: you’ve ditched a false representation of the scriptures in order to falsely represent them and say, “see, how stupid is this?!”

      • Ficino

        I endorse your right to voice your opinions about the Bible’s meaning for complex questions of our time. Brandon Robertson, Jen Hatmaker and other “affirming” evangelicals are doing the same thing. Back in the ’70s not even the mainline denominations were affirming. Supporters of each “side” say that the other is knuckling under to culture. Now that I am no longer in the church, this is my issue only to the extent that many people I love are in churches of both persuasions, and beyond ecclesiastical contexts, millions are affected by how laws are written and applied in civil society. To me it seems that you are placing more credence in your hermeneutical skills than the nature of the biblical text warrants.

        The object of the “clobber verses'” condemnation may be something different from the monogamous relationships that some churches believe are goods for same-sex couples and their communities.

        You don’t explicitly say that Brandon R and Jen H are not Christians, but you imply that they aren’t, sc. “in the church building but not part of the ekklesia.” I know many loving, committed same-sex couples, many of them now married, some in churches. To make rejection of their unions a litmus test for who gets to be considered a Christian causes me to grieve, to use your word, Mr. Gilbert. Many doctrines seemed clear to people of earlier ages, which to our good have since lost their endorsements.

        It’s not as though there is a set of indubitable facts, on the basis of which it is obvious that the Bible, let alone a denomination’s or individual’s take on it, is the truth. We start out with a collection of texts from 2000-3000 years ago, and faith experience leads one to make a blanket leap of faith into bible-believing. How to assess the soundness of that leap? One criterion is real-life outcomes. Many people now are looking at outcomes like anti-LGBT bias and concluding, if that’s what Christianity prescribes, maybe there’s something wrong with its system. It’s easy to say that these people are just led astray. I think it’s worth considering more deeply whether Christianity has to stand or fall on opposition to all same-sex relationships, no matter how many biblical virtues are found in them. Whatever “arsenokoitai” and “malakoi” are, they are not two women at all, nor two men building a full life together.

        Growing numbers of people are throwing away the baby that you speak of above because they don’t want to be part of a movement that insists, “I have a really old book, and my old book tells me to condemn the love of your friends/relatives/neighbors.”

        • Gilsongraybert

          How is it condemnatroy to say that such a thing is sin – but that sin can be forgiven through Jesus Christ? Ultimately, you take issue with what the Bible proclaims. I can’t help you on that one; I am bound by the text.

          • Ficino

            I understand your commitment. The question isn’t, are you seeking to be bound by the text, but rather, to what conclusion does the text bind the reader. It seems to me that it goes too far to say that a professing Christian who comes to different conclusions about what the Bible says on this topic is not a true Christian. But of course you have the right to say this.

            αἵ τε γὰρ θήλειαι αὐτῶν μετήλλαξαν τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν, ὁμοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες, ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὄρεξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους.

            I know you’ve looked at these words many times. I fail to see how a person must be excluded from the church if s/he concludes that necessary wrong-making conditions of the males’ behavior include: giving up a heterosexual nature “vel sim.” that they already have; burning with lust. I also fail to see how a person must be excluded from the church if s/he concludes that female-female sex is not specified at all. ὁμοίως doesn’t normally compare a preceding unclear term to a following clear term but rather, the other way round. And all these people in Paul’s archaeology are already supposed to be idolators. But I leave this here.

          • Gilsongraybert

            What do the scriptures offer for those who would teach falsely and lead others to hell (as Paul specifically highlights that those who practice such things cannot inherit the kingdom of God)? To what end do those teachers, who lead others to hell, meet?

          • Ficino

            ” … such things …” You mean, same-sex marriages or relationships of similar degree of commitment? Christians whose study of the bible convinces them that such are not condemned, even that they’re blessed according to overarching principles in scripture, don’t think they are teaching falsely. It’s not obvious that your opinions trump theirs.

            Many Christians of past ages would teach that Moody Bible Institute is promoting heresy and schism and leading people to hell. Maybe some would still say that today, I don’t know. People study the bible meticulously for years and still wind up differing over how to interpret/apply it. That’s a problem. Meanwhile, everyone has to go on living in good conscience.

            You may come after further reflection and life experience to the view that divergent opinions over SSRs/SSMs may be held among Christians of good faith.

          • Gilsongraybert

            You evaded the question; look into those verses above – it is more than just homosexuality. But again, to what end do false teachers and the unrepentant meet?

          • Ficino

            Various verses in the NT say that false teachers, or teachers of false doctrine, will go to hell, to put it in brief. Those verses don’t state, by the way, that the teachers’ standard is the collection of books that we call the bible, though James does speak of “the word of God” w/o defining it, and of “the law.” I don’t know what your view is about eschatology. On a standard one, those teachers will be tormented in Hell for ever and ever and ever and ever…

            How is your above question relevant to the topic of your OP? It wasn’t clear in your article, at least not to me. You speak of teachers who are not servants of the text, but instead supplant the text and make it subservient to them. Whether the Hatmakers and other affirming evangelicals are doing this is just the question. You think they are; growing numbers of Christians think they are not. Your whole article assumes that the Hatmakers are acting in bad faith, seeking to pervert what they understand is truth into falsehood to serve the spirit of this age. You cannot know this. Why not take their words at face value and accept that they have, in good conscience, reached a conclusion that you don’t share?

          • Gilsongraybert

            One can pervert the text without seeking to do so in and of themselves; that’s the worst part about deception, as we know it biblically defined: the one deceived doesn’t inherently know they are (not always at least). However, there are some topics where the resultant exegesis is clearer than others – and to speak as though revelation about God comes outside of His revealed scriptures (not common-grace revelation, but specific, revelation about the nature of God and what pleases Him. God has specifically chosen to reveal Himself to mankind, in our current day, through His Word – which shall never fade). Ultimately, what authority we recognize that is inherent to the text will dictate where we move to interpret passages. The point being: I can accept that perhaps they did study for quite some time to move toward this conclusion – but it is not founded upon the scripture’s testimony, nor that of the historical church’s position. One must perform some lofty hermeneutical gymnastics to reach this conclusion – and many liberal and conservative scholars alike recognize this without hesitation. Yet beyond this, popular opinion is not the litmus test for genuine interpretation.

            The question is relevant simply on the basis of the definition of a false teacher and the resultant end they meet. One who teaches falsely, especially on matters pertaining to salvation, are dealt with swiftly. That should show us all that at the very least – these ideas have incredibly firm consequences. They are not areas where we can simply agree to disagree. They are not secondary matters, if you will, because the end result is that either one leads people to hell – or the other is pressing legalism upon others. Neither of those categories lends one to a gentle correction in the eschaton. It is necessary that we have these conversations simply for that matter alone – yet secondly, and not of little importance, is that we need to reach the right conclusion because people’s souls are in the balance here. It has little, if anything to do with one’s perceived happiness; it has to do with whether or not those on either side will, by believing that body of truth, be disqualified from obtaining eternal life. Again, Paul makes it clear that those who practice such things cannot inherit the Kingdom of God – that is no trivial matter. Yet also, he makes it very clear that those who teach such things (and lead others to hell) will meet an even stricter punishment.

          • Adam Hall

            “the one deceived doesn’t inherently know they are”

            And yet, you state that being so deceived can lead to damnation. So if you are deceived or I am deceived about some important matter, we can have no assurance of salvation.

            That is the logical conclusion of what you have said. Or am I missing something?

          • Gilsongraybert

            The one who is deceived on matters outside of orthodox teaching regarding doctrine which ties directly to salvation has no assurance of that salvation – that is particularly why it is so important to understand that the Lord has not left us in the dark. We have the scriptures as the definitive guide and while there are issues of interpretation that can arise – no primary doctrine is unclear.

          • Adam Hall

            “no primary doctrine is unclear”

            I agree with that. Well, except for when it is unclear. How about folks with significant cognitive impairment to lack the mental capacity to be clear on all such matters? How about the fact that you, if in fact you are clear on all such matters, do understand them so clearly because you have benefitted from good teachers and have plentiful access to good resources to learn and sharpen your mind on such matters? How about the fact that if you had been born and raised in, say Afghanistan, the chances that you would hold all such beliefs as you do today are about nil? Are all such people destined for hell?

            It seems to me you have zeroed 1 Cor 6:9-10 and applied it rather more broadly than it was intended. I note you have not addressed the question of exactly what μαλακοὶ and ἀρσενοκοῖται mean. It is questionable whether any person now alive knows exactly what those words would have meant to first century Corinthians. If you say that this passage tells us that if we cling, unrepentantly, to that which we know to be sinful, then we will be damned, I would agree. That is exactly the point I believe Paul is making, rather than a checklist of particular sins that lead to damnation.
            My concern is that you are teaching that salvation is dependent on adherence to orthodoxy and correct Biblical interpretation, but this is not what the Bible teaches about salvation.
            Let us all keep in mind Matthew 7:5, humble ourselves, and pray for wisdom. We need to be very careful about clinging too zealously to any scriptural interpretation that may justify an attitude of the heart which says, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men…”

          • Ficino

            From your OP:

            “In reality, the scriptures are simply being subjected to some form of tokenism. For example, one might say they believe in the inerrancy of the scriptures – yet argue that the narrative of Jonah never happened as a historical reality.”

            To use the historicity of the Jonah story as a test case for right belief about the Bible is a problem and evidence of a bigger one.

            From the above, which Adam Hall also noticed:

            “One can pervert the text without seeking to do so in and of themselves; that’s the worst part about deception, as we know it biblically defined: the one deceived doesn’t inherently know they are (not always at least).”

            This is a problem and evidence of a bigger one.

          • Gilsongraybert

            You don’t have to agree with a literal interpretation of Jonah to get the point that was being sent. Actually, you got it quite well, you just don’t like the example (to which, I add: who cares? It accomplished precisely what it intended to). Secondly, the scriptures speak to the one who is deceived and it specifically highlights that by the very nature of their deception, they cannot discern the things of God. So in both cases, you’re quite right to say that this is a problem and evidence of a bigger one; it is an issue of worship. Right thinking of God begets proper worship. Conversely, false thinking of God begets false worship.

            See also the clarification below if I wasn’t clear in my intention of that sentence.

          • Ficino

            You display a confidence in the rightness of your interpretations and of your worship that is not justified by the source materials (texts subject to multiple interpretations) or, to guess by your Moody affiliation, by your ecclesiology (I’m guessing you’re in a sect governed by private interpretation). You speak about the historic consensus of the church, but the 20th-21st Moody-style brand of Christianity would have been condemned as heretical and schismatic during most of Christian history, going back, to judge from what survives, to its pre-Constantinian manifestations.

            I know a blogger isn’t going to write, “those people over there have the truth, and I’m in error.” But if, as you say, the interpreter can be subject to deception without knowing so, s/he cannot be sure which doctrines are primary, which are unclear, and so on.

            Aren’t there 42,000+ denominations? This is a problem.

            Disputes within evangelicalism are really not my issue, since I’m out. But as a former evangelical and current citizen of this country/world, “I grieve” (heh heh) when I think I see an unwarranted spirit of exclusion at work over very controversial questions that have big impacts on many people’s lives.

          • Bravo Sierra

            You are bound by the text?

            Hopefully, you’re not wearing clothing made of wool and linen woven together, as in Deuteronomy 22:11.

      • RustySkywater

        Might I ask where one can find verses that would decry smoking or drinking on occasion?

        In the church Ficino was mentioning – and many others as well – I imagine that the teachers believed that it was common knowledge that alcohol and tobacco consumption was sinful.

  • Here’s a great piece by Matt Moore who was also himself delivered from perversion by the electing grace of an almighty and holy God. He shows masterfully how even just affirming same sex sex is sinful all by itself. He’s absolutely right.

    http://www.moorematt.org/the-perilous-sin-of-affirming-sin/

  • I’m in full agreement with what you have written here and have been disturbed by the recent announcements by Christian leaders. I do have a question I’ve been wrestling with, and would appreciate an objective, Biblical viewpoint. I am devoted to the Word of God, a Bible study teacher and have been given the opportunity to speak and teach at both Christian and non-Christian venues. I have a clear gift in studying, teaching and communicating God’s Word, confirmed first by my husband and pastor (in a Southern Baptist Church, no less), that I have been hesitant to act upon. Because while I sense the desperate need for the truth of the gospel and God’s principles to be communicated to a perishing world, I am not sure how to explain why it is okay for me to teach in public in light of 1 Corinthians’ and 1Timothy’s very specific restrictions on women teaching in the church. Though I have no ambition to speak publicly nor have I pursued opportunities, the door has been opened recently and more frequently to share the message of the gospel in some very hostile and spiritually dark places, and God has called people to Himself in response to hearing His Word spoken, sometimes for the first time. I take no credit for that, since my words come only from God’s written words and of what He has done in my life. But, although I have a hard time believing that teaching the gospel could be sinful in any way, I don’t want to be guilty of the same dismissal of clear scriptural guidelines used to justify sin, as has been the subject of your article. How would I explain why it is ok for me to teach when it is specifically forbidden in scripture. and yet speak out against a different behavior that is specifically forbidden in scripture? I can’t figure out how to “fall on the right side” of this dilemma. And secondarily, I don’t want to squelch the leading of the Holy Spirit with my fear of how to answer the questions of others, either. I’d appreciate feedback.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Hi Wendy, I do apologize for the delayed response (I just caught this now). I generally stop coming back on a lot of posts like this because of the mass amount of nastiness that often follows. However, in way of a response is simply say that the context of women being forbidden to teach is specifically within the church, meaning, it specifically pertains to the office of an elder, pastor, or official teacher. People have some deliberation on whether university (Christian) is acceptable, but I believe that to be a different issue than what you speak of. I would unabashedly encourage you to preach the gospel in whatever circumstances you are able to! There is a distinction between teaching and preaching, yet even in teaching we don’t find a strict prohibition against the act itself, but in the act in conjunction with authority (hence the connection in the church and potentially university level). In scripture there are numerous references to women having taught men aspects of the faith, so the reasonable conclusion is not that men have nothing to learn from a woman (or that women are barred altogether), but rather, it is an act forbidden within the ecclesiastical structure (and the specific church offices held). This would mean that women are clearly not to hold an official office within the church as a preacher or teacher, save one who teaches over women/children explicitly (again, within the church). There are difficulties in how this applies within parachurch ministries, blogging, podcasts, academic writings, etc. – yet the exceptions to the rule don’t prove the rule. You’re free on all accounts to preach the gospel!

    • Realist1234

      Wendy, please please go with where the Holy Spirit is leading you! Do not quench Him! (that word was spoken to both males and females).

      I think you have forgotten the very important women in Old Testament times. I am currently reading David Lamb’s book ‘God Behaving Badly’ where he tackles the oft-repeated mantra of ‘militant’ atheists that the God of the OT was a sexist, violent and racist being. In his chapter on sexism, he reminds of us of –

      Deborah, the 1st female ‘president’ – both the political leader and spiritual leader (she was a prophet too) of Israel, selected by Yahweh Himself.

      The three wise women who advised David and his commanders, and saved lives (eg Abigail).

      The well-known stories of Ruth and Esther.

      Im sure you know of the story of Jackie Pulinger, who was called by God to the drug-addicted Triad gangs in Hong Kong. And miracles happened.

      Dont let some leaders in the church make you doubt your calling. I appreciate I havent commented on the specific verses you mentioned, when I have the time I will if youre interested.

      May the Lord bless you in what He is calling you to do.

  • Awakened

    I appreciate the clear way you have written about this topic. It has disturbed me greatly that those struggling with their sexuality and the pain they endure has caused Jen Hatmaker to say there is nothing wrong with them. As spoken, sin will always cause us pain, justifying it will not relieve that pain. Thank you for your sound stand on what scripture clearly says about homosexuality. Not only that but people in that lifestyle will never find peace or a way out if they are told it’s okay.

    • Janis Scott

      I think a thorough reading of all the texts you mention in old and new treatments will not show you the word “homosexuality”. It simply is not there. There is a description of rape, probable pedophilia by older Roman men of boys and so forth, but the modern definition of same sex or homosexual identity in not found in the Bible. However you may want to study the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts, and see what Jewish Law said about them and worship in the Temple………and then realize what Philip did by baptizing him. The eunuch’,s own words: What is there to PREVENT ME from being baptized???? Realize that a person could be a eunuch by choice or by birth of by accident, the Grace of Jesus does not care! Do not call UNCLEAN what God has made CLEAN.

  • Teresa Rincon

    Unfortunately, SSM is a reality in the US and elsewhere. In your opinion, How should churches handle people who are already in gay marriages when they come to Christ? Divorce, spousal support, etc

    • In the eyes of God there is no such thing as a “gay marriage” so there can be no such thing as an actual divorce.

      Any pagan state authorized counterfeits are to be renounced at once. That’s step one. God honoring details cannot follow until that first step is taken.

      Full compassion and actual godly love for the unsaved other, yes, must be exercised, but by God’s definitions, not human emotions.

      • Janis Scott

        I am sorry but you do not know the mind of God. Polygamy was the stance of the Old Testament and even that was said to be OF GOD. So when did God change God’s mind??? Perhaps he has changed his mind again?? Hmmmmm.

  • Cheryl Balmas

    At first I was going to stop reading this article. But then I continued. So glad I did. It just confirms for me, yet again, why I am weaning myself away from the Evangelical church bit by bit. So much for ‘evangelizing’ others. This church does nothing to bring people into the fold. Only the ones who conform and agree. So much for reaching out to others. What would Jesus do? Not this, my friend, not this.

    • peajaye

      “What would Jesus do?” Scripture states that Jesus didn’t come down to do His will, but the will of His Father in Heaven. (John 6:38) God gave us, in Genesis 2, His designed will for marriage. Any attempt to justify an alternative option is to do the opposite of what Jesus would do.

      • Janis Scott

        Genesis is not a handbook on marriage.In fact Adam and Eve were not married as you would know if you honestly read the text. It is about as naive as finding a doctrine of Original Sin in these passages. Or subscribing to a flat earth society. So stop the Genesis nonsense about about ALL of these, it is not the purpose of Genesis.

    • ” What would Jesus do? Not this, my friend, not this.”

      And you know this because ______________

    • Janis Scott

      Good for you. When the Church cares more about legalism than the Grace of Christ, it is time to find a Community of Christ. We worship Father,Son and Holy Spirit, not Father, Son and Holy Bible. Especially when some people are so rigid in the ego that they think they know God perfectly, and not, as Paul said, in a mirror dimly.