So I’ve moved on to reading Leviticus as part of my daily Bible reading. Today, I read Chapter 7, which concluded God’s instructions to the Israelites via Moses, about how they ought to sacrifice their offerings to Him. In this chapter, God talked about the abomination of unclean things and said that those who ate what He considered unclean would be CUT OFF from among His people.
It reminded me of God’s revelation to Peter, when he was praying on the roof, and how God showed him three times that ALL His creation is good, and that we shouldn’t call unclean, what God had made clean (Acts 10:9-20)! So, here is God making another CHANGE! A very significant one too. And it wasn’t just about certain foods no longer being unclean, but certain people too. God gave Peter that vision so that he would follow a Gentile and go and preach the Gospel in the home of Cornelius, the Roman Centurion.
That may be a small change for a lot of us, and we can all see that that was a POSITIVE and PROGRESSIVE move on the part of Peter and the Jew dominated Church at the time. Because the God they had known and worshiped for many centuries was a God who condemned people for eating what He considered unclean, and for eating with those who were considered unclean, by virtue of not being consecrated like the Jews, through the act of circumcision. But Paul taught us in the first book of Corinthians that it ISN’T those who are outside the Church that we should avoid and refuse to eat with, but those who are within but do and condone what is evil (1 Cor 5:9-11)!
Also, Paul shares a revelation that true circumcision is of the heart and not the flesh (Rom 2:28-29). And he explains that God’s children are no longer distinguished by such things as their nationality, ethnic origin, nor even sex. That there is neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, male nor female (Gal 3:28-29). This was HUGE, especially in a sexist and racist world!!! And there was a big struggle to get the Church to accept these revelations as being from God. But eventually, they did, as they began to understand the liberty of the New Covenant.
This brings me to the subject of homosexuality. Last week, I spotlighted a post by John Pavlovitz, and talked about how we have agreement in many ways, but disagree on this issue in particular. I’ve always wondered about how someone who seems so in touch with God’s Spirit could be so off on something as important as sexual immorality. For as Paul said, this is the only sin done against the body, which has become the abode of God (1 Cor 6:18-20).
I read more on this on his blog, and I realised that his conclusions are drawn from the same thing that we both agree on – that the Bible isn’t infallible! In his posts on why it’s wrong for Christians to use the Bible against homosexuality and why he doesn’t need a perfect Bible, he emphasises how WE are all as filled with God’s Spirit as Paul was, and do not need to hold his revelation higher than anyone else’s. And as such, JP believes he has a more positive and progressive revelation on the issue of homosexuality, which he also claims is informed and supported by Science (more specifically, Biology) than Paul and any of the Bible writers. Ummmm…
You know, I would so love to agree with his perspective on this, even though I know that I will be stoned with imaginary stones by everyone who professes to hold to true Christianity. I have friends who have struggled with this issue of Christianity and homosexuality, and I’ve heard their perspectives too, especially when they say if they had a choice, they wouldn’t choose to be homosexual, because it is a harder lifestyle in society. I would love to console them and say that Paul didn’t have it completely right, and that there is a higher revelation on this matter, but I really can’t. Unlike JP, I do believe in BIBLICAL AUTHORITY, which is not dependent on it also being infallible.
As a critical thinker, I must ask, if we all have God’s Spirit in equal measure, or perhaps can claim a greater measure than others before us, and so all our writings (including those in the Bible and those on Christian blogs) bear the same or greater weight of inspiration and authority, wouldn’t that make the Bible WORTHLESS? If you truly believe this, that your revelation invalidates or trumps the revelation that has been sealed in the Bible (Matt 16:19, Matt 18:18), and respect that other Christians are entitled to believe the same, then where is the STANDARD? On what basis is ANYONE or ANYTHING proven right or wrong?
The truth is that such a belief denounces the Bible from its role of teaching and edification (2 Tim 3:16-17), because whatever we disagree with, we can simply claim to have a greater knowledge and understanding than those before us. And there is no longer an instrument of PRINCIPLE and UNITY, which is what the Bible is. The compilation of the Bible was intended to UNIFY the Church and to expose evil, to bring us into the same understanding of the revelation of Jesus and the practice of true religion. The Bible doesn’t take away from the role of the Holy Spirit to build up the Church into one Body of Christ, but works with the Holy Spirit to teach us all things (John 14:26, John 16:13). Without the Bible, teaching and believing the Gospel would be near impossible (as we know, nothing is impossible for God (Matt 19:26)).
It is not surprising to learn then that JP accepts and uses other scriptures apart from the Bible to create his worldview, while still professing to be Christian. And if you read his posts, which scarcely reference any scripture (Biblical or otherwise), you begin to wonder about his appreciation for Scripture of any kind. His is a free-spirited approach to religion that has always existed, but it is not Christian. Such may accept Christian teaching as it suits them but, to them, Jesus Christ is not the ONLY Way, nor the Truth nor the Life (John 14:6). This is counterfeit Christianity and dangerous theology!
So, the question will be asked, if God gave Peter new revelation on what is clean and unclean, and Paul tells us that there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus, doesn’t that mean that even homosexuality should be a non-issue today?
No. It doesn’t immediately translate that homosexuality has now become acceptable to God. But there is enough basis to take another look, and to be convinced, especially for those struggling with these things. If you will go further with me, it will be on the basis that you AGREE with me that the Bible is authoritative to teach true doctrine. And when I share Scripture, you will read it as one who desires to know and obey the truth and who fears, honours and loves God.
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev 22:18-19).
Now, people have used this Scripture in regard to the whole Bible, but I firmly believe that the scripture is regarding the book of Revelation itself! It is sufficient for us to use the book of Revelation to answer the question of homosexuality, whether it ought to be condoned or not. Note that this is addressing the sin of homosexuality, and not the people who practice it, as we try to understand God’s will in these times. In Chapter 21 of the book, we read the following:
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev 21:8 KJV).
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Rev 21:8 NIV).
In NIV, whoremongers is translated to “the sexually immoral”. Sexual immorality is a broad terminology for all sexual sins, often referred to as fornication (sex with someone that is not your spouse). This includes incest (fornication with a close relative), adultery (fornication with someone other than your spouse) and homosexuality (fornication with someone who is of the same sex). It is also inclusive of orgies, all manner of sexual perversions and all sexual abuse and violence against unconsenting individuals and children. We are told elsewhere, that those who practice these things cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (Eph 5:3-5).
The sexual revolutionist want to claim that homosexuality is DIFFERENT. That it is a condition or mindset that people cannot help, because it is innate. That God never said anything in the New Testament prohibiting men sleeping with men, or women sleeping with women. That they are just Christians who are attracted to others of the same sex and they are forced to fornicate, because they are not permitted to marry. So, if they had the same rights to marry (seeing as there is now neither male nor female), then they wouldn’t be guilty of sexual immorality. This is blatantly wrong because the Scriptures also tell us that:
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient…” (Rom 1:26-28).
Practice and acceptance of homosexuality as a norm is a result of a reprobate mind or simply evidence of a carnal mind. It is not a biological nor medical truth! Biology neither explains, supports nor condones homosexuality among humans. Homosexuality being practiced among humans spells the end of humanity, and since Science is not stupidity – but the study of the intelligence of God in creation (my definition :)) – such cannot be accepted as a scientific revelation! It is only accepted as truth and as the norm through mental gymnastics and a disregard for the Truth.
The truth is that ALL FORNICATORS, whether homosexual or heterosexual are in the same boat! This post is not against people who have a sexual preference for the same sex, but about understanding God’s mind on human sexuality, and what He considers sin. Every sin is born from being carnal (of the flesh and not Spirit), and as Christians, we can no longer subscribe to carnal thinking (1 Cor 3:1-3, Rom 12:1-2). We must be renewed in our minds, because the carnal mind cannot understand nor accept the things of God (1 Cor 2:14, Rom 8:7).
When I’ve spoken to my friends who struggle with homosexual feelings, I have told them this. I’ve told them that many people also struggle with monogamy as the right way, many young people struggle with promiscuity, having had undue sexual exposure at a young age, some struggle with feelings for their siblings, who they can’t marry, and a few struggle with sexual attraction for children and even cravings for animals! We all struggle with sexual immorality, because the carnal man is desperately wicked, and we have all fallen short (Matt 5:28)! But accepting our feelings (and consequent actions) as normal and right, and saying that fornication is not a sin is a lie! It hinders those who ought to repent and receive forgiveness and healing from going to the Cross for redemption. And those who spread such lies are in danger of hell fire…as Jesus says:
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches…” (Rev 22:13-16).
These were the last words Jesus communicated to John before sealing off the prophetic book of Revelation. And we have been warned about adding to or taking away from it. We can, therefore, conclude on Jesus’ perspective of sexual immorality, which is that such can never be part of His Kingdom. There is no progressive understanding on this issue, not even 2000 plus years later. It is a principle that God has upheld from the time of Moses until now, same with idolatry and sorcery (other practices considered ‘spiritual’ but are evil). This is the Truth we must bring our minds and lives into conformity to as Believers.
If we know we have a problem, and need help to over sin and sinful tendencies, then we must go to the only One who is able to deliver us. He calls all of us to the same place of sacrifice, of dying to self, of living FOR HIM, and bearing our own crosses…(Luke 14:26-27) When we are submitted and surrendered, He is able to do what we always thought was impossible, and bring us into conformity with His Spirit; for it God who works in us (Phil 2:12-13). And God, who has begun a good work in you shall definitely bring it to completion (Phil 1:6).
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit…” (Gal 5:16-25)
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