Contend Earnestly: Is Homosexuality a Sin?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Is Homosexuality a Sin?

I have been having a dialogue with someone who emailed me and asked if I felt that homosexuality is a sin. As we have dialogued through email the discussion turned into more of a heated debate. I am saddened when I see this happen but am not surprised when we are speaking of such a "hot" topic these days and also trying to defend it with the most absolute and closed-minded source: the Bible.

Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?
Jeremiah 23:29


When we take a look at homosexuality we must see what God says to the issue and then we will take a look at what this person has tried to refute me with.

The first and obvious Scripture lies in these verses:

You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
Leviticus 18:22

If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act
Leviticus 20:13


To these the man replied, "this is the law of the Old Testament and has no barring for us in the New"

Without going into a complete defense of this I just remarked simply, "In Leviticus 18:23 it tells us not to mate with animals, is this now appropriate for Christians to do?" Simply put, no answer on this one from him.

I then went to the New Testament and showed Romans 1:26,27

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

This obviously points to not only the lust but also the carrying out of that lust to the "indecent act."

He tried to then say, "this is saying that it is unnatural for a heterosexual to have lust for another man but it is okay for a homosexual to have that same lust."

The interesting point to also make is that when we see the word "men with men" in verse 27, this is a Greek term meaning, "abuser of (one’s) self with mankind, a sodomite" So if anything, this isnt' even speaking to a heterosexual because a heterosexual will not have these lusts or these acts that are both called improper and improper.

The same term for "men with men" is used both in 1 Cor 6:9 and also 1 Timothy 1:10, and they both point to that the homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God.

I will stress this, if you have read this far, I do not "focus" my time on this issue, nor do I put it above other sins as more vital or less vital, but trust the word of the Lord that says:

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he
has become guilty of all.
James 2:10


The finality of my email to him was that the burden of proof lies on him. God never speaks of homosexuality in any sort of good whatsoever, and actually sends down fire from heaven to destroy a city because of it.

To put some kindling on the fire I also had to refute his idea that David and Jonathan had a love relationship with one another that extended past friendship.

May we all hold to Scripture alone and His glory alone.

21 comments:

Tyrone said...

Could you be a little more clear on what you think the Bible declares as sin as far as homosexuality goes?

Which do you considering a sin what the Bible speaks of,

1). Having homosexual sex
Or,
2). Having sexual feeling towards someone of the same sex ( but not following through with these desires)

Or, do you consider both a sin?

Seth McBee said...

tyrone.
good question and very valid. I think this could be asked of any sin. What point does the thought turn into sin. For if we are tempted with something yet resist that temptation, we have won that "battle" through the Holy Spirit.

So if the devil tempts me to be prideful yet I resist, is that sin? No, I would say it is not. For homosexuality and any sexual sin, it is a sin when it is lust as we see in Matthew 5:28.

Lust is always wrong, whether at a woman lusting for a woman or a man lusting for a man or if a man lusted after a woman, or even as we find in the Levitical law if a human lusts after an animal.

The act is definitely wrong and Christ points everything back to the heart when He taught:

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Luke 6:45

Again, the heart is where this starts. The trickier question is at what point in the mind does it become lust and then a sin. I struggle with sin in my mind and also temptation, I in my conscience know when I have been defeated in my mind.

Make sense? if not ask me to clarify on the issue.

Daniel Ritchie said...

Its not a sin to be tempted to sin, because Christ was tempted to sin, yet he resisted the temptation and remained sinless.

Seth McBee said...

Daniel.
thanks...I obviously didn't make that clear what I was thinking...but that is what I was getting at...the hard part for people sometimes is when does that temptation become sin, which can sometimes be tough to know and discern.

Tyrone said...

Yes. You laid out your explanation the same way that I would have. I asked you to clarify earlier because of a recent change of view on the subject of, "Can some individuals be born gay?" Or, "Can individuals be born with homosexual desires?" Growing up in a Fundamental Baptist Church we were taught that this was not so and people choose to become homosexuals and cannot be born a homosexual. I agree partly in that one chooses whether or not they will follow through and commit this sexually immoral sin. However, I don't beleive in the "gay bashing" from the pulpit that some do. We all were born in sin and have the potential to commit any and every sinful act.

Am I going wrong somewhere?

Lane Keister said...

Seth, thanks for inviting me to this discussion. I actually have very little to add. I think all the exegetical questions have already been answered. I would only add that sometimes we tend to put this sin in a completely different category from heterosexual sin. I have a problem with this. Since when is homosexual sin any worse than heterosexual sin? They are both an abomination to the Lord. What it is absolutely vital to affirm here is that it is possible to love the sinner, and yet hate the sin. We must hold on to this, despite all the attempts of gay rights organizations to convince us otherwise. Harvest USA is a great organization to which we can direct people struggling with any kind of sexual brokenness. The book on the subject is Gagnon's book on homosexuality.

Anonymous said...

i dont see why you re so against homosexuality, like, why wouldn't you support gay marriage? its them doing the marrying, not you, and you have no right to prevent it, and neither doesa the government. and dont you go rambling on about all this religious junk, because MAYBE THE GAY COUPLE ISN"T CHRISTIAN.
ok.

Justin Evans said...

Anonymous,

Are you looking to engage in a legitimate discussion? If so, we will be glad to go to the Scriptures with you and see what the Lord says about this issue. Otherwise, it seems you are predisposed to think that we are "rambling on about all this religious junk". But if you are wanting to know what the Bible says, let's talk.

Anonymous said...

I commented a while back about questions of salvation and, I would like to comment on the discussion of homosexuality and sin:
In my understanding I would agree that I see homosexuality to often placed into a seperate category of sin. And I have friends who struggle very much with Christiainity because of it. And if I were a homoesexual and read about Sodom and Gomorrah then I would also find this difficult. I think far to often we stay on a very surface level in Christianity of "sin naming" I think in order to understand to a deeper level we must use the "why" question and "what does that mean?" WHat really is sin?
We can tell people what the Bible says. But I think part of discipling is making it personal to the person you are talking to.
In specific regards to homosexuality, I think it would be helpful for Christians and non-Christians to explore a little more in critical thinking, and worldview. "Why do we beleive the things we do?" I have found that some homosexuals think they are born that way, because they cannot explain their attraction. It would even make sense to me that if there is a very low self-asteem factor, it could be a fear of recognizing their own self as a "man" or a "woman" and therefore appeal to the "safer" sex.
I personally have not found it very helpful to talk about what is the "wrong" for I don't think that is a part of love, and if love comes from God, then....you get the picture. So what I am saying, is that it is better to ask questions then to assume and point fingers. Therefore, not worrying which sin is which, but what is love?
Love covers a multitude of sins.

Justin Evans said...

Anonymous,

Welcome back, and we welcome your comments. In terms of homosexuality being placed in a separate category, I would say that the Bible does do this in once sense. But in another it does not. Sin Kills and separates, regardless of what it is:

Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

But, there are certain sins that Bible speaks very strongly against, including homosexuality:

1 Cor 6:18 (see context as well, as this passage is specifically talking about sexual immorality (not just homosexuality, but it would be included):

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.

I understand that people balk at the strong declaration Scripture makes over the issue. But our reaction to the Bible does not determine if it’s true or not. God speaks, and it stands.

The Bible defines what sin is:

1John 3:4
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.

Sin would be anything against the law of God, or contrary to what His word declares is good. I think critical thinking is necessary, as long as it is governed by the Scriptures. For the wisdom of man is foolishness (1 Cor 1:20).

Because of these basic premises, our opinion on what is right and wrong does not matter. It simply comes down to what God thinks, and what He has revealed in the Bible. And the logical outcome of this truth is that as we preach the Bible, we have to preach what is wrong. Because the Bible does.

I once heard a Pastor say that if we truly love someone, we will desire their best and highest good. If that is true, we have to warn them if they are doing something harmful or destructive. To overlook things in the name of “love” is not loving at all if their practices will be harmful. This, of course, applies to all sins and not just homosexuality.

Love does cover a multitude of sins. We are called to forgive one another, as Jesus said, up to 70 x 7 (Matt 18:22), but that is for interpersonal relationships. When someone comes to God, it is a different matter. God freely forgives, but there has to be repentance of sin (Matt 3:2, Luke 3:3, Acts 3:19). God, as a righteous judge will not simply overlook sins. He will either judge us on our sins and we will be condemned, or on the completed work of Christ on the cross and we can be saved.

Rom 10:9:
That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you shall be saved.

David Shaw said...

Justin,

I would also like to add that Christ said in John 14 that if we love Him we will keep his commands. Loving God and keeping His commands are tied together.

Romans 1 has dire warnings about people who commit all forms of sexual immorailty, including homosexuality.

Your response is one of the better explanations of rebuking someone in sin I have found. I also thought you explained quit well that our opinions of right and wrong don't matter and that it comes down to what God's desires.

Justin Evans said...

David,

Great point about John 14. Thank you for your comment. I agree, God's glory should always be our main concern in all things (1 Cor 10:31).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your reply and the welcome. I would like to start this comment by saying that you have reminded me of my weakness in being firm in recognition of "sin" in another person. For example, "I once heard a Pastor say that if we truly love someone, we will desire their best and highest good. If that is true, we have to warn them if they are doing something harmful or destructive. To overlook things in the name of “love” is not loving at all if their practices will be harmful. This, of course, applies to all sins and not just homosexuality." I understand that I can do this in my heart felt need to be compassionate, however I beleive this is an abstract and delicate thing to approach with a person, thereforw, I would be interested to hear more of your thoughts behind some questions. I would like to respond to your comment in parts:

First part: You said sin kills and seperates. What does it kill and seperate?

What is it that makes some sins worse than others? Why are they worse?

Second part: You said, "I understand that people balk at the strong declaration Scripture makes over the issue. But our reaction to the Bible does not determine if it’s true or not. God speaks, and it stands." However, I would like to point out that our response shows us our understanding of what we have read. Perhaps we understand differently than the message was being sent? What if what we understood was more harmful than helpful, and we obeyed because, "The Bible said." How do we know the difference?

Third part:
You said, "Love does cover a multitude of sins. We are called to forgive one another, as Jesus said, up to 70 x 7 (Matt 18:22), but that is for interpersonal relationships. When someone comes to God, it is a different matter. God freely forgives, but there has to be repentance of sin (Matt 3:2, Luke 3:3, Acts 3:19)." I am wondering what you mean in the difference between forgiveness of brethren and forgiveness of God.
And my other question, "What is repentence?"

Fourth part (last part): And what you said here " He will either judge us on our sins and we will be condemned, or on the completed work of Christ on the cross and we can be saved." sounds like that I must do the "right things" in order to get to heaven, or in other words, a route of legalism. I do not think this is what you mean (perhaps it is), but I am wondering if you could clarify.

Thank you.

Justin Evans said...

Anon,

Excellent questions. It will take a bit of time to give you a proper response, which I believe you deserve. So, this is a quick post to let you know I am working on it.

I also want to express my appreciation for your gentleness in approaching this. I have seen other blog discussions get pretty ugly, and they seem to do little good. With that said, I'll be back soon with an answer to all 4 questions/clarifications. I do believe that the Bible speaks to all of these issues, and my intent is to let the Scriptures speak for tself instead of giving opinions.

2 Peter 1:19-21

"So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. "

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I look forward to hearing from you.

Justin Evans said...

Anon,

I will do my best to be succinct and clear at the same time (so you don’t have to read a novel)!

Part 1: Sin kills and separates

Based on Is 59:1, the separation would be a spiritual separation between the sinner and God Himself. All have sinned (Rom 3:23), and the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). While the focus is spiritual death, if a person is not forgiven by Christ, their life will culminate in physical death as well. Thus this would be what kills. And at that point, they will face eternal condemnation in hell. The book of Revelation terms salvation as having your name written in the book of life, and being admitted into God’s presence in heaven . But for those who reject Christ, their names will not be in the book of life:

Rev 20:15
And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

What makes some sins worse than others:

Any sin will bring death, and if someone is not forgiven by Christ they will go to hell. But, Scripture does seem to cry out against some sins more than others. The real answer is that I don’t know why, but the Lord has chosen to do this. You can read Prov 6:16-19 to see that there are 7 things which are an abomination to God. Yet we know He hates all sin/unrighteousness.

Part 2:
I completely agree that we respond to what we understand Scripture to say. And certainly no man (besides the original writers) are infallible. So no one has perfect theology. But there are some very specific rules of how to interpret the Bible that is called Hermeneutics. This discipline is not limited to just a study of the Scriptures, but it helps govern a proper handling of interpreting any writing. Things such as context, grammar and syntax are considered. Can someone take a verse out of context? Absolutely. That is how almost every cult is started. But when I study, I first start with the presupposition that the Bible is God’s inspired word (2 Tim 3:16). Thus, the Bible will never disagree with itself. I look to other passages for support. Then, finally, I consider other ways the passage has been interpreted by other scholars/commentators to help ensure that I am not way off in my view. Bringing it back specifically to homosexuality (since it began the discussion), the burden of proof is on those who say the Bible does not denounce this sin. Scripture is clear on that issue. Finally, I also believe that the Holy Spirit indwells those who are saved (1 Cor 6:19-20). He is the one who guides us into all truth (John 16:13), and aids our understanding of His text.

Part 3:
To put it simply, I cannot forgive your sin. I can forgive you for offending me (and I am commanded to do so), but that does not remove your personal guilt before God. Only Christ can do that. I am called to even love my enemies (Matt 5:44). But that does not bring them salvation from their sin.

Repentance: this is tied into part 4, and will include it there:

Part 4: Legalism vs faith:

First, to be clear, salvation is by grace alone through faith alone:

Eph 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

So I agree. We can do nothing to earn God’s salvation. So, how is one saved? To believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31) for the forgiveness of sins. And we are required to repent from our sins (to turn from sin to God – Acts 3:19, 1 Thes 1:9, Acts 26:20).

The big question, then, becomes “is our faith and repentance a work that earns favor?”. The Bible makes it clear that even our ability to have faith and to repent comes from God; “it (faith) is a gift of God”. Rom 3:10-12 (and on) tells us that there is no one righteous. There is no one who does good. Finally, repentance is something God enables us to do:

2 Tim 2:24-25
The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,
with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

I know that this was very long, and I apologize again. But these are very important things. Let me know if you need anything else.

Seth McBee said...

anon.

Thanks again for stopping by and allowing us to converse. I always enjoy discussion with people who are sincere.

I just want to throw in two quick points as I feel Justin has done a wonderful job in ascertaining our views.

Point 1: The reason that sin kills and separates is given to us in the beginning in the garden. God says this:
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Genesis 2:16,17

We know that this is spiritual death for when Adam and Eve ate, they did not physically die. Also, sin separates as God "kicked" out Adam and Eve from the garden, where God seemed to walk around (Gen 3:8)(possibly a Christophony or anthropomorphism). So, this separated fellowship between man and God.

We find this followed up in the New Testament in Romans 5:12

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—


Part III: As far as the difference between us forgiving each other and God forgiving us, we see this explicitly in Mark 2 (read the whole chapter, but here is an excerpt)

And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?”

We can see the difference here as the scribes understood that no one can truly forgive anyone besides God. Why? David tells us that when we sin we really only sin against God, not man.

Against You, You only, I have sinned. And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.
Psalm 51:4

This comes off the heals of David and his adultress relationship with Bathsheba and then killing her husband Uriah. (2 Sam 11) You would think that David would ask Uriah's family for forgiveness or ask Bathsheba for forgiveness...but, David understood that he truly only sinned against the holy God, so God, is the only one who can truly forgive.

I hope this helps some...continue to ask and continue to search for the truth.

May your day be blessed.

Anonymous said...

Justin and Seth, thank you for your responses.

I want to reply once again and also share some of myself with you in regards to my struggles with understanding. I found this response very interesting: "Scripture does seem to cry out against some sins more than others. The real answer is that I don’t know why"
Perhaps some sins create more stumbling than others? I have heard a pastor say that God viewed child abuse as one of the greatest sins. He referenced the passage adressing Jesus and the little children, and that it were better for a man to drown than hurt one of these little ones. I understand that that is a very rough translation but I think you know which passage I mean. If you don't I will look it up and let you know.
But I found that interesting that he said that and wondered what that meant.
But something I would like to share is that through my history of neglect and abuse I have resorted to harmful behaviors of cutting myself and an eating disorder. I relaize I struggle very much with being compassionate with myself. Cutting and starving myself was self-punishment. And one of the reasons I did it was because I thought God looked at my being overweight as sin and ugly and I wanted to please Him, so I had to lose weight. In addition, I thought that being angry with people and doing things I "wanted" was wrong because it was not what "God" wanted, it was selfish. I was even told once by my pastor that I have too much self-asteem. So once again I realized that I was more of a horrible person that I thought. So, cutting myself was a way to control my emotions, because wanting anything was selfish, and if I wanted to be loved, than I was selfish. But I have realized when I engage in these behaviors the more "seperated" I feel. I do not know what I like, or who I am. Because I thought all I could do was sin and that God wanted to send me to hell because of it.
But what was interesting is that what I have learned through therapy is that God gives us parents to teach us to love ourselves. To teach us to take care of ourselves, and because I did not have that, I resorted to harmful behaviors and am currently learning (still) how to love myself and be a parent to myself. In the mind of someone with an eating disorder, they want someone to take care of them, to love them. But the thing is, is that I can't accept love, if I don't love myself. This is why I have such a hard time with Christians speaking about how I am in "sin." That may be true, but it is not helpful. I think that the reason that some sins are spoken more harshly than others is because the ones that have been lead to stumble have a harder time getting back on the path to healing.
In addition to my questions and healing, I have beleived that perhaps I was not saved, because I felt alone, and that I could not do anything "right", I felt that there was no meaning to life and suicide has become an option in the past. But someone gave me this passage out of Psalm 116 and verse 1o said, "Because I beleive I can say that I am greatly afflicted" And in that verse I felt encouraged and hope was renewed that I would not have felt so afflicted if I did not beleive in God, and therefore was reminded that He is near, although he feels very far sometimes.
I have learned also through therapy that our soul is what cries for God. This is also the child inside me that I must nurture, or my authentic self. Whichever name works best for you, they all mean the same thing. My soul/child/authentic self cries for the love of God. With truth, I may nurture my soul, I may be obedient. This is why I cry for God, because when I beleive in lies I hold my soul captive and I become depressed/self-harming. And because of my mind that has been taught to simply obey what everyone tells me, because I was taught that what I think is not important, I have learned to simply obey the "rules" of the Bible. Which has been more harmful for me. SO I have learned to ask "why does the Bible say this" And I realize I can beleive and follow when my soul says, "yes, this is what I am looking for." Hope has been placed inside of me. I "hope" that I can be better. And faith is the assurance of things hoped for right? And if I have faith, if I follow my hope, than it is assured. It is finding what I really want, what I really "hope" for that is the difficult part. This is where I learn that prayer, and being "still" before God answers my souls cry. I am a peice of a puzzle and I realize that the only thing that connects the puzzle is God. I know He is the answer because I am free from my harmful behaviors. The truth will set you free. He gives me permission to love, he says I deserve it. It is very awkward to be loved so much, because my sin tells me I don't deserve it. But He wants to give it to me, and this is awkward and confusing, but oh how I love to rest in Him.
I just wanted to share that with you two. I still struggle in how you approach sharing Scripture with people, but perhaps that is because of my past, but I cannot help but think that it is people who have grown up like I have, that need more grace and compassion. And when I read some of the blogs here it does not always sound very compassionate but rather very rigid. But perhaps that is just my interpretation.
Now that I have grown in my therapy I am able to read these things analytically and not personally. But, perhaps we have different gifts for different seasons in peoples lives. I see you both as very analytical, and talk about the Bible a little more as a science than a personal tool. Perhaps I just have too high of expectations of people and need to stop expecting people to do things the way I want them too....Hmmm...I will have to think about this more. I apologize if I come across with high expectations. I would appreciate it if you would let me know if I am. Thank you for sharing and looking things up for me. Let me know if you have any questions for me. I enjoy engaging in these discussions. And, I think I am the one who wrote the novel this time :)

Seth McBee said...

anon...I can't tell you how many times I have read over this comment. I can see that you have had some difficulties in your life that I can't pretend to know or even have "good insight" on.

I will tell you that blogging is a weird animal. What really happens with blogging or any form of written communication is that it always is taken in the form of the reader's perception instead of sometimes what the writer truly wanted to come across as. I say this because you can't see my body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, etc. All the reader gets is my words.

The other thing is that we are not writing directly to anyone. The only time this takes place has been in these comments (and others) but that is why we try to preface comments with the "disclosure" per se, of wanting you (and others) to know that we enjoy speaking with you and them and we hope that no one goes away feeling attacked or that we are cold. But, this still is very hard in writing.

I will tell you that I personally struggle with making sure I am not a "pharisee" with the word of God. I write on this blog what I have found in my life to be beneficial in my learning more about God and Jesus Christ. So, to the reader, it can sound more like we take the Bible as a "science" book instead of the awe inspiring God exalting Word. Which in my life I do the best to live out my theology (orthopraxy) and not merely filling my head with knowledge. So, if we seem to be treating the Bible as a science book with simply rules to follow, I truly apologize because that is not our intent.

As far as your life, it is hard for me to comment to you personally because I don't know you at all. I also don't want you to feel hurt by typed words when it sounds as though you are interacting with some who do know you and your situation.

Can I tell you one thing though? This truly comes from the heart and it comes because of my background and some awful things I have done in my life. So I do speak from experience here.

We are not loved because we deserve it. You stated "He gives me permission to love, he says I deserve it. It is very awkward to be loved so much, because my sin tells me I don't deserve it."

This is the great thing about God's love and His infinite grace and mercy. He loves us even though we deserve only hell forever. This is a far greater love than if someone loves you because you deserve it. This is why we can say to "come as you are" to God because Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6-8)

I say this with caution because I don't want you to think that I am not compassionate of your background or where you have come from, but know that God loves you not based on "keeping rules" or because there is anything in you (or any of us) that is "lovable." It is an unmeritable love.

Just notice how Jesus speaks to the woman at the well. (John 4) You will notice that this woman had nothing "lovable" about her life. She was a Samaritan and an adultress, yet Christ gave her the "water that will never run dry" so that she will "never thirst again." This is Christ's love for us. He comes and takes us from our dirty lives and lifts us on to higher ground, simply becuase He loves us.

It makes the song Amazing Grace so much the sweeter...

Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me...

anon...I hope that you understand that if you feel as though we have come of brash in any way, that is not our intent. Scripture is our only authority and nothing else, but we also know that we must defend the hope within us with gentleness (1 Peter 3:15). I pray that if we have not been gentle with our responses to you, that you would forgive us.

Like you said before:

Be still and know that I am God.

May we all!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reply Seth.
I would agree that bloffing is a weird animal, which is why I must ask so many questions :)

I am struck with this comment though, "We are not loved because we deserve it." Perhaps it is our words that we use that render different responses.
In regards to my own experience, when I was young my parents were the ones that taught me my importance (I may be repeating myself but there is a point) So, my conclusion was that I deserve to be treated like this. I deserve to punish myself, I deserve to be yelled at, I deserve to be forgotten. Does this make sense to you? How we are treated when we are young, renders an understanding that, "this is who I am" If I am treated like shit, than I must be shit. I am not trying to offend you but to share my point here. So therefore, to hear that I deserved to be treated with love, brings me hope. Because when no one else will treat you the way you need to be treated, than what do you have left? To hear that God does not want me to live this kind of hurt or that I deserve to be loved, is the answer to my cry.

I think perhaps your interpretation of "deserve" is that "I deserve it, because I earned it" Or a sense of stature. So yes I can agree that we cannot make say we deserve it by sense of earning it. But we do deserve it because we need it. Do you see the difference that I am talking about? This is why love is so awkward, because He wants to love us and I am humbled because I cannot earn it, and that he would want to love me.
And I am going to take a guess that there is prabably something that happenned in your past with someone who had the idea that they "deserve love" in a sense of earning it. So I am guessing that is why you want to make sure that people know that they cannot/don't earn it/deserve it. And for me it is quite the opposite, and I tend to make sure that people know that they deserve love. But I guess what is important is knowing who we are talking to. I do not tend to talk to a whole group of people, but rather individauls, this is far more helpful to me.

As far as the woman at the well. Have you ever met someone who is an adultress and sleeps around? I know a couple people and the reason they do it is because they want to be loved. And from a Samaritan she was also aware that she was a person of low stature. She said to Jesus, why are you speaking to me? I am a samaritan. (once again roughly translated) Jesus did inform her and said yes, you have many husbands, and I am assuming she thought this was okay, and that is why Jesus told her that. But he also understood her need and therefore compassionate to her. So I think what was loveable was that Jesus understood that she needed to be loved.

And in what your last response to being "brash." I guess, it is difficult to find Christians that are good listeners, in the sense of speaking one on one. And it gets harder to take risks when you have opened yourself up and people have not really listened with their heart and rather just with their head. I think it is much more dificult to listen with your heart. I am honored with your honesty and your attitiude of "if you have more questions, let's try again" It feels almost undeserving at times on my part. For I tend to fear of becoming a nusance. In addition, that the desire to help shows care, and care I beleive is a response to love. Brethren love of course.

I still hold to my insight that some of the reading here does come on as "brash" but, I do not hold you accountable for not understanding my background, or someone of the same.

Since you have been putting up book reviews lately. I would like to share one with you that I have found very insightful and interesting. It is called "Blue Like Jazz" by, Donald Miller. It is very honest and open in the life of a man who becomes a Christian. Here is the web link to the sample of his first chapter http://www.donaldmillerwords.com/pdf/bluelikejazzchapter_1.pdf If you decide to read this one, I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts. Once again, Thank you.

Seth McBee said...

anon...I didn't forget about you...I truly thank you for your interaction with us here. If you ever run into me in "real" life I hope that we could have these honest discussions face to face someday...I have been praying for you though and also for myself in asking God that I can understand others and the background that they were raised in. I cannot even contemplate what you have been through, and your comments on "deserving to be loved" are a lot different now that you explained them in the light that you did. I think I get your gist.

I hope you know that ANY and ALL questions here are open for discussion...I never want you to feel like you are being a "burden" for you are exactly the person I love to interact with, the person who is truly seeking the truth of God and what He says. I pray that I do this in love, gentleness and discernment. Even your honestly that you have shown here reminds me that some just want honest interaction instead of being judged on honest thoughts and questions about God.

please ask at will...I mean this...also, if you would rather email me please do...

As far as the book, I will take a look and let you know what I think...

thanks again for your honesty, and your openness to share...it is sad (and this isn't your fault) that we have to interact with you being "anonymous" because we both know that people would judge you if they knew who you were...this really saddens me...and I want you to know that if you ever reveal who you are you will not be judged by myself...

May we both conform to the word of God.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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