Responding to the US Supreme Court Decision Legalizing Homosexual Marriage

On such a crucial day in our nation’s history, and however that plays into world history, I felt led to log my thoughts on my response to the US Supreme Court’s decision today to legalize homosexual marriage in all fifty states. This post serves, if nothing more, than for my children to read in the future when they’re old enough. If you’ve stumbled upon this post as an evangelical reader, I hope it brings you stability in what I perceive for many of the Christian faith (though not all) to be a turbulent time; and if you’re someone who endorses gay marriage, perhaps my words will help you at least understand the position of the many Christians that you can’t quite figure out, regardless of how vehemently you disagree.

From the beginning, let me make my position clear, so you can hold my later statements against an overarching view. I do believe homosexuality in lust, in commitment, and in or not in any form of union, recognized or not, is sin and breaches God’s intention in building human kind after his own image. This has been the opinion of the church for many centuries, and it will most likely remain so for many more; I fully concede that it and I may be considered antiquated both now or in times to come. I’m at peace with that. I will elaborate below on some areas where, however, I believe this position alone is inadequate, and where the Church must embrace the nuance of fallen man into her observations if we are to love compassionately.

My doctrine of sin also informs me that all sin is bad, and more than being punished for our sins—a much debated point over the ages—we’re punished by our sins, explicitly, to death should they have their way, because they’re that destructive. Therefore, whatever grace I extend to my own immorality is the same I expect toward other’s. The question for any struggling creature made after God’s image is a simple one: are you walking in sobriety with regard to your lusts? My objective is not to appease them, but to appease him, and bring myself into submission to his design, regardless of my own desires. Jesus as King trumps me as lord of myself if, in fact, I’m submitting to him.

I am required Scripturally to treat all sinners the same, myself chief among them. This means that I guard my language, extend true love, and exercise supreme acceptance wherever and however I have occasion to, in all circumstances. Anything less is anti-Christ in nature, for if he wanted to distance himself from any single sinner, he’d have to have distanced himself from all of us, and should have never arrived on the planet in the first place. If Christians arrive at a place of suddenly loving gay people, this is not a change in theology, it’s abandonment of bigotry. Because if you’re treating a homosexual different than you’re treating a liar, a glutton, a gossiper (this one’s worth repeating), a gossiper, a pedophile, a thief, a cheat, a pornographer, a proud person, an adulterer, or a drunk, then you’re failing at the greatest and only command after loving God—loving your neighbor as yourself. Isn’t it interesting that we have plenty of grace for a pastor struggling with obesity, but we don’t have for one struggling with attraction to the same sex?

As mentioned previously, I’d like to add that I do believe the Church, at present, does lack many good answers in our classic approach to the issue of homosexuality and gender orientation. I don’t believe we have good answers for people in our churches (should they ever feel our churches are safe enough to let their guard down) who have XYY and XXY chromosome composition (the later often referred to as Klinefelter syndrome), nor do we have good answers for people who are born as hermaphrodites (yes, they exist), or ambiguous genitalia. Again, such sensitive circumstances are more common than we might think (statistically speaking, there are ten in my own church—I just have no idea who they are). As a Christian, a pastor, and a human, I should have answers for them, I just don’t at the moment. Perhaps future generations will make progress in this area. I can only pray.

With regard to the Supreme Court’s ruling, there are a number of things we must consider.

First, I have never believed that my government is the kingdom, nor God’s kingdom our government. Yes, the United States and our invented, flawed Constitution may be the best thing going on the planet, and I tend to believe it is, offering the most amount of freedom to the most amount of people—but it’s not divine. Not even close. Only King Jesus is divine, and his kingdom.

This means that it is illegal for me to expect a human system to conform to a kingdom model when only the kingdom can be the kingdom. In other words, God’s kingdom will never be anything else, and man’s governments will never be anything else. And if you’re wondering about Revelation 11:15 (NLT), “The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever,” recognize that it all belongs to him, even the broken things, like the United States of America. No where is my government called to reflect Christ, that’s the Church’s responsibility. If the government happens to at times, wonderful; what is it to me? Worldly systems do not change my divine mandate as a representative of the divine.

With my doctrine on sin as it is, my government has already missed several sin-oriented policies which, according to what those on the evangelical extremes are saying about “judgement” and “losing our blessing,” we should have already seen California break off from the continent long ago. What are they, you might ask?

Do we ban drunkenness? Cause that’s a sin. Sure, we have rules against drinking and driving, disorderly conduct. But drunks are allowed to be drunks. And it’s anti-Biblical.

Do we ban lying? Cause that’s a sin. Sure, you can’t lie under oath, you can’t lie on your taxes, and you can’t dish information if you’ve been ordered not to by a court of law. But liars are allowed to lie.

Do we ban overeating? Despite some attempts to tax certain foods or penalize obese people (a problem almost entirely relegated to the US), it’s not against the law to be fat. Gluttons are allowed to glut.

Do we ban gossipers? No, though I wish we would. More damage has been done in the church world by this singular issue than any homosexual has. And it’s insulting to even make such a comparison.

My point is that if you’re looking or waiting for the United States to act like the kingdom, no wonder you’re so distraught today. The US never has nor will she ever. Because she’s not the kingdom. And don’t worry, the land of our forefather’s wasn’t “based on Judeo-Christian ethics” like you perceive she was: slavery is demonic, and we invited a national war that nearly wiped us out because of it.

The greatest point not to be missed, however, is in regard to those Christians who seem to think the other proverbial shoe has dropped. Now the nation is really in trouble because God’s blessing is going to be removed. Unfortunately, much of this apocalyptic thinking has been seeded by a sloppy and dangerous mishandling of the Scriptures in the hands of sensationalist teachers.

Dear Christians, the greatest blessing of God on our human nation is Jesus, and nothing can deconstruct Him. No decision, no action, no pledge, no law. There is no greater blessing to be bestowed, and the Supreme Court can’t “lift his hand” from us; his hand was nailed for us, and when he was raised from the dead, it was laid upon us, right, wrong or indifferent. He’s not changing, he’s not offended, and he’s not going anywhere.

How can I be so sure? If I wasn’t so theologically convinced, all I need to do is observe the nations that would definitely meet the requirements of most Catastrophic Christians. Like China. For all China has done wrong, and I’ve been there to see much of that wrong, the Church is alive and well there. In fact, the Church in China is estimated to be larger than the entire population of the United States.

With regard to humanity and those who are perishing, if we can’t find Jesus doing or saying something, then we shouldn’t be either. Consequently, we should be acting just like him.

Do not be dismayed. And do not play into the enemy’s hands by buying into a false doctrine of sin, or of believing that there’s some other blessing greater than that of King Jesus himself. Jesus is still on the throne and you’re still called to lay your life down for sinners and Christians alike.

Even homosexual ones.

Christopher

  • Sverker Blyth

    Interesting read and yes it amazes me how as Christians we tend to focus on certain types of sin and proclaim them as bad ones … While being so tolerant to others … Thanks for reminding that to us ! Definitely a thought to ponder on …

    • You’re welcome. Thanks for reading and commenting with kindness, Sverker.

  • So well-said, my friend. I have nothing more to add or say. You are a treasure.

    • Thanks, Mike. I appreciate your words—as always, they mean a great deal to me.

    • Sean Stanley

      I believe this is a closed minded view on the subject, all in all trash!!!

  • WayneBatson

    Thank you, Christopher. This is a piercing light in cloudy times.

  • Dianne Brady

    So glad to hear your always solid, comforting and godly perspective. Just what I needed after a day of feeling all kinds of distraught. I always look forward to what you have to say, and once again, you have given me more to consider than what is swirling around in my aging brain. Sometimes I forget or at least lose sight of Who is in control. Thanks for posting this. You are truly a man of wisdom. And I bet it all started in preschool! ;o)

    • This is very humbling on many levels. Thank you, Dianne. Love you forever.

  • Erica D Lehman

    My dad said he hopes the Rapture happens soon. We don’t like gay marriage being legal, my family that is.

    • If I believed in a Rapture, I’d want it to be prolonged as much as possible to give us even more time to reach lost, hurting people with the Good News of Jesus.

      • Erica D Lehman

        There’s a song on the Mars Hill Network called “Mountain of the Lord.” This song is about the Rapture and has a lyric that says “’till the Gospel is heard by every person alive.” Btw, I’m all for the lost hearing the Good News.

  • Jennifer Riley

    I love this and all the reminders within. Bernard and I were just talking about our worldly government verses our kingdom this evening. I especiallly loved the paragraph that starts with “Dear Christians….” 🙂

    • I think that particular paragraph was my imploring gut plea, plain and simple. Thanks, Jennifer. Love you guys.

  • Nicholas Porter

    That was so well balanced and true. I’m so glad you addressed the biological factors too. I am reminded of an example in my past Psych class about a man who was the perfect citizen (well respected, believing, and perfect in the eyes of his fellows). He had a freak accident, his skull was pierced by a metal beam (through the eye socket, even), and then, miraculously, he recovered with 100% of his mental capacity. However, one thing different about him: his behavior changed. The man became a disruptive, rebellious lover of debauchery; a gambler and an alcoholic!
    In this example, and in my own life, I am beginning to wonder if most sin is driven by some kind of personal or emotional injury (if not, simply, inherited in our DNA). I now know why Jesus always healed, forgave, blessed, and called the sinner (this is the order I in which I received Him). I’m glad to be in a Church that cares to look at these things. I see so much of it at school.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Nicholas. I do believe that the Hebrew word “shalom” is critical in understanding God’s desire for complete, total and utter peace and proper working of our entire lives—body, soul and spirit. Jesus came for our emotional, spiritual and physical healing and restoration, among other things—nothing less.

      • Nicholas Porter

        “Shalom.” That word you used. I remember feeling that for the first time. Years later, it has been mostly, rough waters (navigating through Divorce, Bankruptcy, depression, and then PTSD). Only from time to time did I had moments of “Shalom.”. At the end of my military enlistment, my spirit had iced over. I began to thaw after I moved in with my older, missionary roommate.
        This was a couple of years back, and, still, I had already been conditioned by the waters; the restless stirring and unsettling of spirit. Even as I began to feel a powerful sense of purpose and peace, I launched myself back into Afghanistan (as a civilian contractor). Shalom had come and gone again. So I left Bill and I went back to were I “was at least worth something”, only to feel even more darkness than before, in my “outer place”; a place where I would rehearse my failures with the empowerment of pain and resentment. One can only last this way for so long.
        So I gave up, I called Bill, and came back to his house of “Shalom”. To my surprise, Bill had been given the news that he had prostate cancer; I was the only one around to help him (talk about feeling guilty for leaving a friend). Bill had his surgery and was ordered to recover at home; they wouldn’t keep him at the hospital, even though he could not sit himself up or even get himself a glass of water. What if I didn’t come back?
        So, for a couple of weeks, I spent every moment washing Bill’s feet. One day, during his recovery, Bill said the words that cured me: “I don’t know what I would do without you; I love you guy.”
        “Shalom.” Now I know what it truly feels like when Jesus heals. I feel it at New Life (just as I feel it with Bill), and it is my doctrinal filter. I can’t survive without it, and I’ll do anything to remain in it.
        So that word that you used! “Shalom.” Bill had a very successful military ministry in South Korea at one time. They called it “Shalom House”. I think you just made it my theme word!

        • Thank you for the very tender and transparent accounting here, bro. Very moving to say the least. My prayer is that your testimony touches many more hearts in the days to come as you live in God’s shalom for your life. So glad it was a divine moment here.

          • Nicholas Porter

            Chris, last night was incredible! Thank you so much for being an open door for Him. You are like a loving family remember who has helped free this closet pentecostal!
            You have been truly speaking to my heart last night. Yes, I have felt like an orphan in the family of God. I have been making discoveries of truth that have effected my belief; many of them happening in college by the “evil forces of the secular world” and so I re-investigate the scripture; simultaneously, I find proof of the supernatural gifts hidden in people that I know; gifts given only to the most humble people. I feel honored to be among them, and I feel so much hope in my discoveries! Yet, the moment any of these things are hinted at, among my previous fellowship, something authoritative rises up against it; something entirely rigid yet difficult to grasp, and almost invisible in the light; like glass brick walls that are still like sand; it feels impossible and unnatural. I know what it feels like, and what they feel when begin spiritually suffocated. It feels like something desires to kill my spirit within the safety of the church walls, and then follows me home to bring panic, worry, and restlessness. I know this is what my friends feel.
            When I was young, me and my brother would play with the sleeping bags during a campout. We would roll ourselves up, tightly, in it, like a burrito. It was the worst felling in the world! No matter how hard we could squirm, we couldn’t escape the bag! So we would only last for a few seconds and then roll the other way. I remember seeing one of those mobster movies where the victim is rolled up in the carpet and then thrown in a river to drown or what not. What a helpless, horrible nightmare. I believe this nightmare is real in the spiritual world, and some of God’s most loved children are victims of this crime. I can see it in their spirit, and I have felt it for too long.
            I have found a mother and daughter who has genuine prophetic visions, another with the gift of healing, one with a vision of a beaming light, a man who has been to Heaven and back, and that is the moment I became an orphan in the church. I am truly the least of them, and it’s an honor to be in their presence. They are, just as I am, like orphans, waiting for our their adoption. I know realize that God brought me to New Life, not for myself, but because I needed to find a safe place for my friends.
            Last night was confirmation of a prophetic vision and a wonderful place of shalom! I realize that pastors will often drain themselves for God’s people, and I am sure both you and Kirk have experienced this. I am so grateful for the sacrifice you all make, so we will pray for shalom for you and yours. Love ya Chris, and thanks for what you do.

          • Nicholas Porter

            Chris, I need help, please. I have been trying to get someone to even talk to me about this, but most people have no idea what I am talking about. I feel as though a pastor at New Life would be the only ones who could understand. Please do not assume that this is “all about me”, or that I am just another Christian crying for milk or what not. There is something very humbling and real about what I am witnessing, and God told me to go to New Life so that it would be protected (me too). I will not, again, witness the life and death of a wonderful fellowship. No sir, this connection is a sweet perfume to all of us and it smells just like what we sensed on Sunday night!

            A while back, while I was in a certain place of fellowship, there was this power in the Spirit, new birth, and growth. Then, in the next moment, there was confusion, bitterness, and discord. My hunch was that there was something “fundamentally” wrong. Chris, this thing is like a spiritual presence, and a voice against the Holy Spirit. New people in the group would be ready to start a new life, and then something would cause them to leave. We went from seeing people saved from suicide and depression, with a promise of hope, to seeing the same people rejected; worse of all, rejected because of their struggle. So I saw this hope in Christ; a hope of promise to everyone who receives Him, and then we made a lie out of that hope; a lie out of hope in Christ. At the end of it all, to my astonishment, I discovered that some of the leadership even prayed for these new people to leave!

            So I began to ask questions. I realized that there was a gap in belief. For me, this was when the frustration and confusion began to set in This place of worship had transformed; this place that I had been apart of and that I had dearly loved. It was like Pilgrims Progress, with an alternate ending out of an Edgar Allen Poe short story.
            From the ministry to my house, I felt something like a dark presence follow me home for a while; even into my bedroom at night. This thing; it seemed as though it could recognize me. It would wrap itself around my chest and neck, then demand my silence (and/or removal). So, I had these panic attacks that would launch me into the “fight or flight” mode. I had been through a lot, Chris: Bankruptcy, deployment, abandonment, divorce, and more, but this thing felt darker and deeper.
            All I wanted to do was get away from this lead coated Christianity, and find a safe place for what God had revealed to me in that house. Not for me so much, but something mutual for the fellowship to share. When I feel what I do in my current fellowship and what I felt Sunday night I feel like there is a love that can fill the entire city. However, now, when I spend a few minutes around a certain kind of pastor, I feel that darkness again as it tries to drain the life out of me again (I have already had a few moments that have caused me to shut down and feel panic again). Chris, this pastor has an incredibly domineering spirit, and when I pray around him it is as if there is a lead shield that blocks the Spirit. It feels lifeless and threatening; cold, bitter, condescending, judgmental, and hungry (in different things that relate to the flesh as if it needs to survive). It seeks to control the fellowship, it influences and ruins believers, and makes it impossible to let people into the Kingdom. I can’t allow this in the group any longer; I have to get away from the dominion of this Church. Yet, if I do it this on my own, I fear that some in the group might fight it.

            On the contrary, I found who our advisor is supposed to be. God brought us to him! He is such a hidden gem in the Kingdom; even, with a vision of light like Paul. We prayed with him and it was like a whirlwind of love and the presence of the Lord. Like something that happened in Acts! His name is Len, he is a humble and loving servant, and we need him. And, I need help. Thanks for taking the time to read.

      • GSWSyndicate

        Actually Shalom means peace and Jesus (and his disciples used the words Shalom often) and when speaking Aramaic used the words shalom and shalam which mean the same thing. Nothing critical about them. Are you rewriting what is in the scriptures yet preaching that we should not? Jesus healed and did right at all times. His knowledge of shalom or shalam (peace) was his trademark that lured so many followers. Please remember that in your “teachings”. He surely did.

  • Vanessa McNeil

    I LOVE this post! I’ve been saying pretty much the same thing as you in regards to the sins we accept and don’t accept. My favorite part was “The greatest point not to be missed, however, is in regard to those Christians who seem to think the other proverbial shoe has dropped. Now the nation is really in trouble because God’s blessing is going to be removed. Unfortunately, much of this apocalyptic thinking has been seeded by a sloppy and dangerous mishandling of the Scriptures in the hands of sensationalist teachers.”
    I literally just said the same thing to my husband about an hour ago (just not worded as eloquently as you). Someone on my newsfeed said they hope the rapture comes quick now (because of this ruling). How is it we are told to love, yet so many Christians choose to do the opposite, based on passing judgement due to a sin. We all sin equally.
    There’s so much more I could say how this write-up is awesome, but I’ll just end my comment by saying that you are right on the money and I wish more pastors would get this ideal.

    • Wow, thank you, Vanessa. You’re a pretty brilliant lady, so it’s an honor to know I was on par with where you’re head was at on this.

      I feel the whole apocalyptic tendancey of so many well meaning Christians is actually rooted in fear (at best) and hate (at worst), not reflecting the extravagant actions of the One we’re called to follow. Yes, if someone wants versus about the wrath of God and curses against a nation, I can find them for you—they’re in there. But I can’t find them in Jesus (!!!). We must be diligent to not allow yesterday’s limited revelations of God to keep us from seeing Him at work in our day; in other words, if we can’t find it in Jesus, we shouldn’t be calling for it.

      Thanks, Vanessa. Keep running the race! You rock.

  • steveames199

    I understand what you’re trying to say here but I would be careful about putting homosexuality in the same bracket as pedophiles, thiefs, liars etc. That is hurtful and insulting to those for whom their sexuality is not a choice – certainly not a choice to hurt someone else as the other activities do. No, all sins are not the same – even the new testament has a hierarchy of 7 “deadly sins”. Interestingly homosexual orientation is not among them.

    • Thanks for the comment, Steve. Appreciate you writing.

      “For whom their sexuality is not a choice”: For those whom this is actually an issue, as I mentioned in the fourth stanza, I would and have already agreed that we need to incorporate the nuances of those who are actually born into this grey disposition into the conversation and provide better answers as the Church. Beyond that, there is ample Scriptural context that reveals a homosexual’s urges need to be brought under the Spirit of Self Control, the same as my urges as a heterosexual need to be brought under the same Spirit. What’s insulting is to tell someone who feels they have no control over hate, over fear, over any other carnal appetite or addiction that certain people get a free pass when it comes to their particular urges, and don’t need to also submit to King Jesus.

      As for your critique on sin, which I understand your concern, your position is what I already referred to in the post as a poor doctrine of sin; rather, a loosely handled Biblical understanding. Historically, such a position comes largely from Catholic Catechism where they teach the difference between venial sins and mortal sins. This started benignly enough as a method of informing an illiterate culture about sin classification (which actually covers all categories), but morphed into a “sin hierarchy” clearly *not* taught in Scripture. Paul’s NT instructions were not a list for consequence, but for shepherding a particular church expression back into right standing with God, apostoliclly addressing her specific ills, as was his calling.

      Sin hierarchy actually minimizes sin, making certain sins and consequences worse and others less worse, and therefore the sacrifice of Christ is not needed as much in those contexts. This is very shaky, un-Biblical and damaging ground, and I’d earnestly steer you away from this line of thinking.

      “So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Jesus, Matthew 5:19

      “For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.” James, James 2:10

      ““For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Paul, Romans 3:23 – There are no degrees of falling short.

      Hope this helps, Steve.

      • steveames199

        Thanks Christopher but I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on what you call my “critique on sin”. I am not appealing to the Catholic Catechism here, simply pointing out that there some types of sin are more expressly dealt with than others at various points in scripture. For example Ps 6:16-19, Col 3:8 etc. Furthermore Jesus himself talks about “the more important matters of the law” (Mt 23:23) which implies there are less important ones doesn’t it? You might not agree with it – but please don’t call it “a loosely handled Biblical understanding”.

        Also, l prefer Romans 3:23 to be quoted with the rest of the sentence “…and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”.

        Anyway my reason for commenting is not to debate theology – it’s to point out that equating homosexuality with paedophilia (among other vices) is wrong and hurtful to a lot of people. You may just call them “those for whom this is an issue” or “those who are actually born into this grey disposition” as if having a homosexual orientation is a minor anomaly – but I’m afraid that doesn’t cut it. Like I said I know what you’re trying to do here but I hope you can see how hurtful this will be to a lot of people.

        • Brent Ferguson

          Steve, while I agree with you in spirit, I have to point out that you have yet to admit the basic premise from which contention between homosexuals and the church arises: That homosexuality is a sin. You can’t be forgiven a sin until you recognize that it is one – that applies to all sinners alike. Christopher in no way equates one sin to another, he’s simply pointing out that we are all sinners. My sins differ from yours – but I hope and pray that I am honest enough to own up to them before God. Are you?

        • Steve, I think when Christopher speaks about “homosexuality” is specifically referring to acts of homosexual behavior. But perhaps he could have made the distinction more clearly between the orientation and the behavior. Whether it be rooted predominantly in nurture or nature homosexual orientation is not a sin in and of itself–it is a state of mind. However homosexual behavior is a choice to act on homosexual desires and that is sinful.

          To one day discover one has a certain sexual desire or attraction doesn’t justify the fulfilling of that desire–especially when the fulfillment of those desires results in behavior so clearly at odds with Scripture. As Christians we are called to “deny ourselves” for the sake of Christ and becoming conformed to His image. I am a heterosexual man of almost 40 who has never experienced the intimacy of sex. I have sexual urges constantly, but unless I find myself one day within God’s ordained covenant of marriage with a woman I have no choice except to deny my desires for the sake of Christ daily. I believe homosexual Christians who choose to deny their sexual urges for the sake of Christ (I know quite a few) should be recognized and applauded in the Church. They are carrying a cross of self-denial few will ever be able to relate to. Great is their reward. Shalom.

      • Michelle

        Demonic bondage I’m sure someone in the family line had messed with homosexuality before and the iniquity passes down

    • Altitude with Attitude

      Statistics show and prove homosexuality is very much in line with pedophiles. Most male pedophiles are gay. Let’s stay with the truth, no matter how hurtful it is.

  • Mandy Hanners

    I love this! I have been trying to preach the love aspect to people for a while now. our greatest commandment of all was to love, and if youre doing tha rigt then theres no time to waste judging.
    …although your comment in these comments has me confused about not believing in a rapture??

    • Mandy, thank you so much for your kind words, and for encouraging me in my own walk of loving others. Right on.

      As to my comments about the Rapture (and non-existence of it), I’ll offer a few resources.

      This first is an article from Patheos.com which is blog forum for theologians and scholars on the subjects of Biblical discourse. It’s an easy introduction into a similar journey that had on the subject:

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/2014/06/04/why-the-rapture-isnt-biblical/

      If you’re up for more reading, here are four books that are the most responsible handelings of eschatology that I personally know of. But be warned, all four of these scholars fly in the face of the Americanized pop-theology you probably grew up (forgive me for assuming), and cling to the patristic and Hebraic ways of looking at the end times.

      Reversed Thunder by Eugene Peterson

      Reading Revelation Responsibly by Michael J Gorman

      The Theology of Revelation by Richard Bachum

      Revelation for Everyone by NT Wright

      I hope these help you on your journey.

      All my best!

  • Well said, Mr. Hopper. Love your last paragraph. : ) Keep speaking the truth!!!

  • Pingback: i’m being assaulted by rainbows. | inklings press()

  • Ricardo Leonor

    Hello Christopher, I hope all is well. I can’t say I am a regular follower, but I found your post when it was posted by a colleague. Before I comment, I would like to describe myself as a Conservative Pro-Christian Atheist… if such a thing is possible. Long story on how I arrived at this place in life, but that’s for another day. In any case, I felt compelled to comment, because finally someone was able to put this issue in what I believe is the correct perspective. A few years ago I suddenly found myself defending the idea of gay marriage, not because I believed in it, but because of the way it was being singled out as the sin that would destroy America, which just sounded absurd to me. I would think that “sin is sin” and America has for the 200+ years its existence certainly committed numerous state sponsored “sins”…why would God single this one out. In any case, not really here for debate, just wanted to thank you for expressing an idea that I was kicking around in my head, and doing so with so much common sense that even an Atheist like myself will not roll his eyes ( sorry if that sounds like sarcasm, its not – just found myself surprised to be in
    agreement ) . Approaching this issue from that perspective would help friendly dialogue and end petty name calling from both sides. Thanks Christopher.

    • I could not ask for any higher praise for my writing. Deeply honored, Ricardo. I, too, am surprised by the sheer volume of kindness I’ve seen from both sides of the proverbial isle-way. As of me writing this comment, this post has over 6,500 direct hits in less than twenty hours. That’s staggering to me, and reveals there’s definitely some resonance (if not hunger) in the theme. Thanks for sharing. (And atheists are some of my favorite people; even they yell at God like I do).

  • Debbie Slakes

    Thank you, Chris. You have articulated my heart when I found it impossible to do so. Thank you so much for posting. I will share.
    The thing that stands out in my mind out of everything that you said is the comparison to gossips. So profound. Thank you, again.

  • Debbie Slakes

    Thank you for posting Chris. You have articulated my heart when I was unable to.

  • Matt

    Hi Chris.
    An interesting article. I tend to agree on most points–but the problem for me isn’t homosexuality–it’s the problem of pro-homosexuality wanting to change the church and Bible. Chief among arguments is “Jesus never mentioned homosexuality.” While true, God the Father spoke of wicked sexual acts in Sodom & Gomorrah, which are widely believed to be homosexual, and the Bible indicates that Paul’s scriptures were also God-breathed (Though, to be fair, I don’t know Greek, and haven’t really sought out original Greek translations). The problem for me, is where we have LGBT-friendly churches, some of whom cater to gay weddings, but the homosexual community doesn’t want those ones–they want to go to a church that does not agree with their beliefs, and force them to comply.
    Another problem, as in the bake shop, where a man says he won’t refuse homosexual customers, but he wouldn’t cater to a gay wedding–so the homosexuals rally to make sure he complies–he is not allowed to believe that homosexuality is a sin. That was based on a hypothetical situation.
    The core issue is not “is homosexuality a sin?” The core issue is, are we allowing them to rewrite the Bible?
    The reason that becomes so tricky is because at least the English translation of Bibles, states homosexuality is most certainly a sin–and yes as such, that does not disqualify them from grace or love.
    However, homosexuals believe this to be a normal attraction, something they cannot control–so it is hard for them to accept as sin.
    I believe it is the same process that heterosexuals go through when asking the question, “God, why do I lust if it’s a sin–why can’t you take it away?”
    If the stories were simply having equal rights for homosexuals, I could get on board–the problem is they’re not allowing Christians to believe their interpretation of the Bible (although that can delve into an entirely different discussion).

    • Joseph Edward Kurdziolek

      The bible clearly states if anything is changed in the scripture of anything is taken from the scripture will be punishable by plagues in Revelation

  • Nanette

    Thank you Chris!!! With all the responses on social media I find it hard to find the position of the church of America. I feel like you nailed it with the comment “I am required scripturally to treat all sinners the same, my self chief among them…anything less would be anti-Christ in nature”. This spoke volumes to me. It seems our country has been in constant turmoil and we as Christians have forsaken our kingdom citizenship to take a so call “stand”. Speaking the truth in love is the only way to reach the heart of Man. My prayer is that God would continue to draw us near to him and show us how to love the way he first loved us.

  • Jim Hinrich

    Hey old friend,
    Excellent article. I wish I could have said it with such eloquence. But I’m glad you did. I wish all Christians could read this and hopefully gain some of this perspective. I realize that there will always be Christians who refuse to see it this way and it’s unfortunate. Dogma can be a tough nut to crack. This hard line stance on one sin while leaving “lesser” sins to be considered normal leads to such a misunderstanding of the gospel. Jesus always won people over with love. He never corrected an unbeliever without first loving them and winning their heart. Only then can the discipleship process begin. So many Christians have it backward. Fire and brimstone messages just don’t work. The spiritual consequences of sin means little to the unbeliever. And attempting to force Godly conformity on them only serves to push them away from the Kingdom. A change in lifestyle will only occur after a change of heart. And even then it remains a challenge to bring the flesh under control of the spirit. We will all fall short again…and again. Let us not forget the grace and mercy God extended to us…and to all sinners past, present, and future.

    • “…winning their heart.”

      Lord, may we be bent on loving people in such a way as to win their hearts.

      “Let us not forget the grace and mercy God extended to us.”

      Word.

      Thank you, Jim.

  • Brent Ferguson

    To all the “Adam and Steve’s” out there: While you may feel that a Christian’s belief that homosexuality is a sin is hurtful – don’t be too butt-hurt! Why? Because if the Christian is being true to his faith you are in grand company – First and foremost WE LOVE YOU. Second, your sin is no greater than any other – meaning EVERYONE IS A SINNER. Third, you may believe that God made you a homosexual, but if you are being fair – didn’t God also make the glutton a glut? Didn’t he make all of us? Remember that he made us sinners, but he also gave us Jesus to acquit those sins. If you want Christians to treat you without bigotry as any other sinner, first you must admit that your behavior IS a sin – at least as described in the Bible.

    • Eshalom Adonai

      Thank you for your message what you said here is true to the Gospel message!

  • Hi Chris, thank you for your sober and thoughtful insights here. Some of the things you have said were floating around in my mind, but I hadn’t yet been able to put them down into understandable words and sentences yet 🙂 I’ve been looking for good blogs to follow recently an am really glad I came accross yours today. What struck me most is the question that your article raises in my mind: “Can we ban sin?” I think it’s silly to think we can.

  • Ryan

    Chris, thank you for this cogent and powerful piece. The only item I currently disagree with is the call to treat all sinners the same. In my understanding, the only dividing line here is how we treat repentant and unrepentant sinners. Matthew 18:15 — 15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. I read this as saying that we are actually to point out the sin to those within the church (and ourselves) because they already claim to know Christ, while for those outside the priority is to point to Christ and let him convict of sin. Could you expand a little on how you would approach this dichotomy with those who claim Christ and membership in the greater Church (not one’s own particular local church) while practicing or supporting the practice of homosexuality (or any other particular sin as you noted)?

    • Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      Also, thank you for bringing up Matthew 18. I actually omitted my thoughts on this verse because I didn’t want to bog the article down too much, so this is a wonderful “excuse” to bring it up.

      Not only do we dedicated an entire teaching to this point in our Connections Classes at our church, but I’ve also done an episode on it with Creativecast.

      The most critical verse is the last one:

      “…treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

      How did Jesus treat pagans and tax collectors? And how are we to treat them? The answer: We lay our lives down from them. We leave the 99 to go after them. Any other interpretation of this diverges from the constant behavior of Christ toward hurting people.

      To your last point, our church has a very clear policy with regard to working through peoples’ sin issues with them. We ask a question: are they willing to dance? Meaning, are they willing to take steps forward, regardless of how big or small those steps are. No one among us is faultless. We’ve had people on our staff make what many would consider grievous errors; while I agree they’re grievous, I also believe the little white lie I told to a friend that week was just as grievous. So if I’m going to fire them for their sin, I need to fire myself first.

      The only way I have an issue with someone is if they’re not willing to work through their sin—but it that case they become the target of my soul-winning affection! And I’m not the one who can determine “at what level.” I just look for a willing heart. Where the heart is willing, I have no room to judge to what extent. I simply make room for them to serve, whether as a volunteer or on staff. I don’t care what their tendencies or lusts are, I don’t care what their past is, or what their present challenges are. Bottom line is, if they’re willing to work toward submitting to Jesus and being like him, they’re included, they’re needed, and they have a place to serve in ANY area where they are called and anointed to serve.

      Hope that helps.

  • wayne bell

    Good points Christopher,but as Christians we are told by Jesus to be the light of the world and not to give in to Satan’s dark sins. We can use this decision to even more witness to the unbelievers whether gay or straight. I choose though not to allow rainbow colors to fly on my Facebook. I choose it why? Because God has given me the free right to choose it for now. One day we might not have that choice and that is what I am fearing. For our children to grow up in a world without the choice to worship God or to say prayers in public,why? Because we might 0ffend the homosexuals or the Atheists. This is the things we need to pray about.

  • GSWSyndicate

    Nice article…but…according to Pew Research’s Poll last week, 48% of gays are Christian (I believe they too, have their own differing opinions) and yours, nor their’s is any more right than the other; but both are right for yourselves. Stay straight, my friend, don’t be gay and don’t get married, and you’re doing what God planned (FOR YOU). You sound like a good man. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/pew-72-straights-christian-48-of-gays-christian-24-are-non-religious/article/2565036

  • Troy Armstrong

    Very well said. I appreciate your point of view very much. If I had encountered more Christians who think the way you do I might not have walked away from Christianity 3 years ago. Spent 20 years in the church believing what you believe. I am one of the many who got turned off by the judgmental hypocrisy that I myself have been guilty of for so many years within the church.

    After finally being fed up with church, I took a good long look at what I believed and came to the realization that it could all be just a story made up in an ancient book. I looked at this world without the Christian goggles that I had been wearing and realized none of what I believed made sense to me anymore. Having said that, I want to say thank you for being a good example of what a Christian should be. It’s people like you that make this world a better place.

    • Thank you, Troy. I feel for you, not out of pity, but empathy. Your comment has stirred me much the way Deborah’s has above. Very grateful you chimed in, and so appreciate your kind words.

      I’m curious, have you ever come across Mike McHargue? Also known as “Science Mike.” For what it’s worth, I would recommend hearing his story, starting with The Liturgists Podcast Episode 6 and then 7: http://www.theliturgists.com/podcast/2014/10/14/episode-6-lost-and-found-part-1

      • Troy Armstrong

        I’m in the middle of listening to his podcast right now. Thank you for recommending it. To be honest, I have reverted to walking by sight and not by faith. I’m leaning on my own understanding as well. Two things the bible tells you not to do, but I refuse to live by faith in a God that does not make sense to me.

        i will continue to keep an open mind (something I did not have as a Christian). Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my comment.

        • Troy, you’re worth responding to. And I don’t mean that to be cheeky or to placate you. I mean, anyone who cares enough about the integrity of their value system to critique it to the point of abandoning it, has more courage than many every will know.

          That same courage, at least in my experience, is also the thing that compels us to walk through uncertainty and eventually embrace the future unknown, no matter what is looks like.

          I point to Mike only because I so respect his journey. He’s been responsible for awakening a lot of skeptics to the fact that our belief system is not perfect, and that the life of grace has room for a lot of people. Between his own podcast (“Ask Science Mike”) and my interview with him on my own podcast (“Creativecast,” episode 8), I’ve grown to admire his ability to disagree with many things held sacred to American Christianity, and yet fully love and embrace the person of Jesus Christ.

          Sadly, I believe that much of American evangelicalism has pushed away some of the world’s most brilliant people because they did not fit the mold of what kept us “safe.” This is not the way of the King or the kingdom, and we’re called to revisit our faith and move forward in God.

          My hope and prayer for you is that a new awakening happens; people need your story, and you need their embrace.

          If you’d ever like to converse further, my email is christopher.newlifenny@gmail.com.

          Honored to know you here.

  • Zack Dawson

    Like always, so well said, and so well written. Couldn’t agree more. It is so obvious to me how the Lord uses you as a vessel to speak through. Love and miss you Pastor Chris 🙂

  • Standing ovation.

    My sister is gay and married her partner, which has challenged my theology greatly over the years. Funny thing, how my theology changes, yet He is the same yesterday and today, His love endures forever, His mercy is new every morning, and He died once for ALL.

    • Thanks, Chris. Well said. And your first-hand experience is a blessing.

  • Michael F.

    A friend of mine just forwarded this article to me. There were many things I really liked about it. For instance, I thought these were particularly excellent:

    “My doctrine of sin also informs me that all sin is bad, and more than being punished for our sins—a much debated point over the ages—we’re punished by our sins, explicitly, to death should they have their way, because they’re that destructive.”

    And

    “I am required Scripturally to treat all sinners the same, myself chief among them.”

    Amen and Amen. Great stuff.

    But I do also differ with you on one or two things (at least if I’m understanding you correctly).

    First, I don’t think your comparison between drinking and same sex marriage is a good one. People are allowed to drink alcohol. People are allowed to have homosexual sex. That’s an accurate comparison. But the state legally enforcing the union of two men or two women as “marriage” is different in that it radically alters a fundamental societal institution by judicial fiat – an institution that pre-dates government. The government is not legally sanctioning vomitoriums to facilitate gluttony. It’s not telling our children at early ages that gluttony is just another lifestyle choice that should be accepted and approved of. But now it is in regard to homosexual sex and same sex marriage.

    Second, I differ with you in terms of the role of the state in regard to Christianity. While Christianity can and has certainly thrived in hostile conditions (the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church), we should be striving to be the leaven of Christ in our country. The government is “of the people and for the people.” Christians are part of that “people”, and it makes sense to exert a Christian influence on government in terms of its operation and policy. While some people do well when Christianity is persecuted, there are many – perhaps many more – who do not. Therefore, what appears to to be somewhat of a “who cares about government” approach seems unwise to me.

    Third, I think you make a category mistake while comparing a homosexual to a gossiper to a liar, etc. While I completely agree with you that it’s wrong to focus exclusively on a sin like sodomy while giving a pass to gluttony, greed, etc., the focus/title of your article is about same sex marriage, not homosexuality. These are related, of course, but different.

    You write, “Isn’t it interesting that we have plenty of grace for a pastor struggling with obesity, but we don’t have for one struggling with attraction to the same sex?” If a Christian exhibits this double standard, then he is wrong. I agree with you completely on this. However, the difference today is that so many are not “struggling” with same sex attraction at all. They’re embracing it and are convinced it’s actually good and if you dare to disagree, you’re a hater. So I think the more relevant comparison might be to a pastor who revels in his obesity and gluttony, telling his congregation that it’s good.

    But more importantly, even in your comparison (between homosexuals, liars, gossips, thieves, et al), I don’t see huge, potent and sweeping societal movements dedicated to institutionalizing and approving of lying, stealing and gluttony. And where there are problems in those areas, people feel quite free to speak up against them to help those who are confused so they don’t fall into them. (On gluttony, just look at Michelle Obama and her latest nutritional initiatives, for instance.) Today, there is a huge societal push to approve of homosexual sex and same sex marriage as normal and good. Again, to even disagree with that makes one a “hater.” That’s a significant difference that I think you missed.

    This is something I posted on FB recently I think it hits this issue directly:

    https://www.facebook.com/mforrest1/posts/10152902627478261?hc_location=ufi

    Can you think of any other moral topic, with the exception of abortion, in which society is pushing with such intensity and breadth to call something “good” that God has taught is “not good”? Maybe I’m missing one, but I can’t.

    This issue – same sex marriage – is the “front lines” of the moral debate in the world right now. As such, I think it’s a mistake to somewhat sit back and treat it as no different than other moral issues at this moment – and that’s what you seem to be advocating, unless I’m misunderstanding you.

    We made that mistake as Christians with contraception and then abortion before 1973 and now look where we are. We’re still fighting and only now beginning to push back and win the battle after 50 million plus babies have been killed in their mothers’ wombs by “choice”.

    I believe this issue deserves special attention because it is prominent on the world stage right now and it is so fundamental to society, the family and our identity as men and women. We are deciding, as a nations and a world, whether to promote and celebrate actions that God has taught are seriously wrong.

    As a Catholic, I follow the lead of the Successors to the Apostles – the bishops. And our bishops have been very clear that we need to stand firm and defend the truth on this issue as Christians right now. So I’m following their lead.

    Of course, always in the spirit of love.

    Again, I appreciated much in this article.

    God bless you!

    • Michael,

      Thanks for the very eloquent reply; I appreciate your kindness, your considerations and your tone.

      You’ve actually touched on some valuable points, many of which I purposely chose not to expound on, either in forming my statements or in expressing defense for, simply because the post would be too long in arriving upon. Others, of course, I’d disagree with.

      But due to the nuances of your own logic (which is marvelous), I simply won’t take the time here to expound on; I simply don’t have the time at present. Nonetheless, I’m grateful for the valuable additions and hope readers reflect on them.

      • Michael F.

        Thank you for your edifying and charitable response, Christopher. My friend has indicated that you may speak at his church sometime. Perhaps we’ll have an opportunity to meet in person then. I would enjoy that. God bless you!

  • Amanda Kuykendall

    I agree that America is not The Kingdom. I also agree for the most part about your other statements. 🙂 I firmly disagree with the statement :” And don’t worry, the land of our forefather’s wasn’t “based on Judeo-Christian ethics” like you perceive she was.” You are in grave error there. You need to study the writings of the forefathers, the dedication of this land, and the written statement of that dedication. You are adding to the blurring of the lines and that is what has contributed to the decline of the greatness of this nation.

  • Deborah Kay Smith

    I love you Christopher Hopper….I have not been in Church since I was a teenager, I am now 62, for reasons like hypocrisy, conditions on who were welcomed to pass through the doors (hair, dress, etc.) I just became very sad and if I was to keep God in my life, I had to leave…my love for God was kept alive by my Father who believed that you could worship with the Lord no matter where you were…Look at the sunrise he would say, look at this beautiful garden that he has, through my hands, allowed to grow….I have a Brother-in law that is Gay and he and his partner were just married a few months ago…they are the kindest people I know…so I was so alarmed at all of the concern of the passing of this law by the “Christian” community….I did not understand the fear…your article said every single thing that I always believed a Christian should be…that everyone is a sinner, that Jesus gave his life for all of us, that the “Church” ministers to all people not just a few…I have heard some very awful comparisons made about Gay people and child molesters or parents that commit incest…by their admission, Christian people….I could not wrap my brain around this…I have had a problem letting the comments go…your article was given to me by a friend that thought it could help me stop agonizing over the comments of “Christians” that I feel are being given not God’s word but a very very poor interpretation of God’s word in their Sunday morning worship…I would attend your church Mr. Hopper, just know that your words have helped me greatly…now instead of being angry at the people making the comments, I feel sorry for them….God bless you and thank you…XXOO

    • Deborah,

      This may very well be the most touching comment on my blog. Ever. Though arguably one of the saddest; not out of pity, but true empathy.

      Whenever we talk about making amends, there are three needed stages: truth telling, repentance, and reconciliation. One problem I see is that Christians (and white America as a whole) tend to jump to reconciliation (and sometimes repentance) without first touching on truth telling. This is grievous, and one of many reasons why we’re still a long way from seeing healing in some much-needed areas of the faith.

      For that, you have spoken the truth, and it grieves me. No one should have endured what you did, and we, the Church, were wrong. I’m sorry. Deeply sorry. And for my part, I hope that people do indeed find restoration and hope, as you’ve kindly suggested, in my local church. Nothing could be more rewarding for me as a pastor. And I desire this to be our legacy. May the Church be the safest place on earth, not the most volatile.

      Your father was a very wise man to incorporate creation (et al) into your divine worldview. We our western and Greek perspectives find little value in this on their own accord.

      Perhaps in the days ahead you will find your way back into a church, and discover that your voice and your trials are needed to provoke the same truth telling, repentance and reconciliation that you’ve provoked in me today. Thanks for who you are and for your immensely kind words. You’ve stirred me.

      • Deborah Kay Smith

        I am so thankful for my friend giving me your web page…my heart has been at such peace since I read your words…I now know that there are Churches out there that do extend God’s love and words to all who seek it…that they are not judged when they walk through the doors…I will keep searching for a Church like yours and if I don’t find it, well I can always worship with my Father’s words in my memory and enjoy the sunrise and God’s love in the every day beauty…P.S. thank you so much for responding, it meant the world to me that someone understood what I was feeling. As always, God bless…XXOO

  • Altitude with Attitude

    Very well written. Common sense theology. I would comment that a gay lifestyle is a sin, and chosen sin to stay in. Where gossiping, over eating and the like are sin, but so so many try to stop it, control it or curb it. Gays do not try to curb anything. The agenda driven militants spit in the face of a Holy God and call our beliefs fairy tales. I love them, I forgive them, I accept them, but I will NEVER accept there way of life, sin, as normal or right. The trite but oh so true, hate the sin and not the sinner sends them off into a Christian hating tiraid, but that’s ok. It’s time to take a stand.

    • I believe every form of sin is a lifestyle, and we need to invite the Spirit of Self Control into our plight on a momently basis.

  • Lou F.

    What makes you think the bible is divinely inspired? Maybe it is a human product.

  • Toby R

    Just saw this on a friends wall. While I like this as a whole, and wish my conservative friends would read this, I do disagree with just a few bits, and care to share them.

    The church as you describe seems to be the greater portion of Christians, however the Christians don’t all agree with your stance as homosexuality being a sin. Interpretation has led to many Christian Denominations to condone homosexual behavior due to proof that homosexuality appears in nature and not just for the human race.

    “My objective is not to appease them, but to appease him, and bring myself into submission to his design, regardless of my own desires.”

    How convenient that all of your sins are based on desire, where the homosexuals nature cannot be chosen. It has been argued and studied many times over, but we don’t choose what we find attractive. Homosexuals are attracted to people of the same sex. Their attraction automatically curses them under this worldview.

    “Because if you’re treating a homosexual different than you’re treating a liar, a glutton, a gossiper (this one’s worth repeating), a gossiper, a pedophile, a thief, a cheat, a pornographer, a proud person, an adulterer, or a drunk, then you’re failing at the greatest and only command after loving God—loving your neighbor as yourself. Isn’t it interesting that we have plenty of grace for a pastor struggling with obesity, but we don’t have for one struggling with attraction to the same sex?”

    Really, you are going to lump Homosexuality in with liars, cheater, and pedophiles? Liars and cheaters are acting selfishly for their desires, and are harming others by their actions. Pedophiles steal innocence from our children and hurt everyone affected by those children. Homosexuals are loving each other consensually. I don’t see the correlation.

    Even for the sake of argument, if homosexuality is a chosen state, I see more of a problem with people caring what others do instead of focusing on themselves and not loving each other.

    Truly though, thank you for your article. The whole message is much better than the conservative filth I am used to seeing.

    • April Divine

      I am a heterosexual woman who has been single for 20 years. As a Christian for many years, and by that I mean having a true love relationship with my LORD JESUS CHRIST I have learned so much about him. As I have grown in my love for my Lord my carnal nature become less and he becomes more. I tell you this as a testimony to how a love relationship with Jesus will ultimately overcome the carnal. I truly felt the Holy Spirit move in my heart to share this with love for you.By the way I have been celibate for many years by leaning on Jesus! May God be you guide! God bless you!

      • Brent Ferguson

        My dear, don’t forgo the carnal pleasures of life. If the faithful don’t reproduce only unrepentant sinners will remain. Love, Live, and Reproduce – that’s something the gay lifestyle just can’t combat! Remember, God wants you to “be fruitful and multiply”! <<< The aforementioned comment is meant as a nod to the husband of a post menopausal wife – living vicariously! =)

  • Tom Brennan

    Great thoughts Christopher, and right on time. This was useful in getting my own thoughts coagulated. Much is being said, and many frequencies are barking conflicting, or wrong responses.

    The fact is that our mission hasn’t changed. The church was founded in occupied Roman territory, hostile to the gospel. But dare I say, Love Won. Jesus loved the world through His people, and at this moment, billions call upon His name. May we all do our part to show His Life to those around us, and Major on the Majors, minor on the minors.

  • ActionMinistry DavidMartin

    Thanks Pastor Chris for opening this issue in love and grace. One overlooked scripture is found in Micah 6:8 where the question is presented of what believers are to do and the answer is clearly given. If each person walked out their own salvation in “fear” or humility of who God is, then the maturity of the church body would vastly improve and we could work on true religion issues of taking care of the fatherless and widows. As church leaders and disciple makers I find the greatest challenge isn’t sexual, it is more of having believers fully love and trust in Christ. Once a person comes to that place of submission all the issues you present become overcome by grace and the Spirit overtakes that sin trying to separate us from God. Joe Dallas is a former homosexual preacher who came to that place of full repentance once he sought God with his whole heart. He has a book(s) and website that speaks directly to all this lust of the flesh.
    God bless you and I hope your children understand all that you have done for the Kingdom of God.

  • Linda

    Michael F you have hit on the real issue of the homosexual debate. Christians should regard all sin as equal, but we should not promote one sin over the other. Amen.

  • Chrissy Irvin

    This is excellent. Thank you for being prayerful and eloquent and brave. We don’t have to alter our view of homosexual marriage in order to affirm their civil right to marry.

  • David Demski

    Hi Chris People who got Kleinfilter are not gay ect We can live normal life and able have sex with wife but not able to produced a child . I have Kleinfilter and living life for LordJesusChrist. it insult to me if included Kleinfilter people in your talk comparing us with Homesexual any source ok. Yes have extra chromsome in body not our planning but God Almighty allow be born with it . Who fault is it no one so Lord shine thru as . Just like blind man in bible was his parent fault no so Lord shine thru him .

  • Zach Trandum

    The bottom line here folks is LOVE. Period. We can preach love until we’re blue in the face, but when our actions express otherwise, our words fall dead. Yes, SS Marriage is now legal in all US States. Does that change God’s word?

    I stand with the word of God on this subject, and do my best regarding any other subject, but something has GOT TO CHANGE, and its not in His word! It’s in us.

    One of my closest friends was gay, and passionately LOVED Jesus. He was also one of the most compassionate, people loving men I’ve ever met in my life. Just a little over a year ago he took his own life. Much of the pain he carried was dished out by Christians bashing him over the head with “words of love”. We’ve made it our mission to call people out on the mat regarding their sin, but never offer love. We’ve waved sines all over the US, throwing peoples sin in their faces, but never offered love. The church is now recognized for what it stands against, and not who it stands for.

    I once witnessed a church, here in the Seattle area, who put together a float for the gay pride parade. They participated in this celebration, riding on their float, waving sines that simply said “We’re sorry for the way the church has treated you.” One of the gay may from the side lines stepped out and threw open his arms, and one of the men from the churches float stepped down and met him in an embrace. This church did something incredible on that day. They reflected the genuine love of Christ with no strings attached. Instead of waving sin in the faces of everyone there, they simply showed up ready to love people the way Christ loves people.

    Now, in saying all this, I do believe that Christ love calls us to change. And Christopher, I’m with you brother, I have no real solid idea how to navigate such rough terrain. All I know is that my Jesus is lord, regardless of what my government says, and I am called to simply LOVE GOD AND LOVE PEOPLE.