The Other Fisherman

The Other Fisherman

James R. Aist

Introduction

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Mark 1:17). That sounds like an exciting adventure, doesn’t it? But there is another fisherman, a sinister one, lurking about on the earth, also fishing for people…people like you and me! Maybe you have already had a run-in with him. If you have, what can you do about it? Let’s find out about this “other” fisherman.

Fishing for Fish

Think with me, for a moment, about how we fish for fish. We load a hook with attractive and “delicious” bait. Then, we cast our line into a place where there are, hopefully, hungry fish looking for something to eat. A fish notices the bait, and it looks like it might be good to eat. So, he swims over to it, getting close enough to confirm that it probably would be good to eat. Next, he takes just a little nibble, to get a taste. Finding that it does, indeed, taste good, he opens wide and takes the whole bait, hook and all. As he begins to swim away and prepares to enjoy his bite of food, there is a sudden and violent tug, and a sharp hook becomes inextricably embedded in the flesh of his mouth. It hurts terribly, so he struggles to swim away and shake the hook loose, but to no avail.

At this point, we have complete control of our snagged fish. We can reel him in quickly if he is in the clear, or we can pull him to the right or to the left to prevent him from swimming into the weeds or a submerged brush pile and getting the line tangled up, making it difficult for us to “land” him. He will go wherever we want him to go, and there’s not a thing he can do about it. Maybe, just for sport, we will “play” with him for a while before landing him, just to see him struggle and “break the water.” But, inevitably, we will capture and secure him. He will still struggle to free himself, but he doesn’t have the strength to get away. Eventually, we will kill and devour him.

Fishing for Men

When Jesus said, “I will send you out to fish for people”, He meant that we would seek those who are “lost’, proclaim to them the “Good News”, and help them to receive the gifts of saving faith and eternal life. This is quite a different and much more desirable outcome than what happened to the fish!

But there is another one in our midst who also fishes for men. This fisherman has in mind just the opposite of what Jesus had in mind. He is to us more like we are to the fish. He loads his hook with attractive bait to lure us close enough to get a better look. When we see that the bait looks good to eat, we take a nibble, just like a fish does. Then, when we find that it tastes good, we go for the whole thing, just as a fish does when he is about to get “hooked.” Once this sinister fisherman has jerked the line to set his hook in us, he has control of us. He can pull us in any direction he wants us to go, just like a fish on our line. And, he can force us to go wherever he wants us to go. When he has gotten his jollies by “playing” with us, he reels us all the way in and takes us captive. Try as we may, we cannot, under our own power, free ourselves. Eventually, he will devour us, just like we devour the fish we catch.

Foiling the Other Fisherman

How can we protect ourselves from this sinister fisherman, the devil? First, we can learn about his wily ways by reading the relevant passages in the Bible. This will help us to not be fooled by either the bait (temptations) he casts our way or by the deceitful thoughts [e.g., “Did God really say, ‘You must not…” (Genesis 3:1)] that he puts into our minds. Second, we can make sure that we are submitting ourselves to God; then, we can “resist the devil and he will flee from us.” (James 4:7). Third, like Jesus, we can command him, “Get behind me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:23). And fourth, if he does manage to get his hooks into us, then we can repent, come to our senses, and escape the “snare” of the devil (2 timothy 2:26)! So, let’s keep our guard up and send this sinister fisherman packing with an empty creel!

(For more articles on BIBLICAL TEACHINGS, click HERE)

 

The “Gay Gospel”

Reverend Melvin MillerThe “Gay Gospel”

James R. Aist

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

The word “gospel” means “good news”. The true Gospel of Jesus Christ is the best good news ever for mankind, and it is for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. This is the only real Gospel, and for it to be real and effective in a person’s life, there must be repentance from sins (1 John 3:10; 2 Timothy 2:19). The “gay gospel” holds that one can be a Christian, never turn away from the sin of homosexual behavior, and still enjoy eternity in heaven with Jesus. Now any gospel that is not faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as presented in the Bible is the gospel of “a different Jesus”. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about a “different gospel” and a “different Jesus”: “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4). This is how we can know that Satan is using the “gay gospel” to get Christians who are homosexual to continue to practice homosexuality, feel good about it, and end up in hell, rather than repent of it.

This “gay gospel” is not only a “different gospel”: it is also a heresy called “antinomianism” that can be traced back to the Pauline letters. Antinomianism holds that under the gospel dispensation of grace, moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation. What this heresy has right is that homosexual behavior is sin. However, the denial of the need for repentance of that sin in order to go to heaven flies in the face of the biblical witness. Jesus began his ministry preaching repentance leading to salvation: “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:14-16). Jesus did not come to save us and our sins, but to save us from our sins. Now, consider these additional Bible passages concerning the requirement for repentance:

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” — Jesus Christ (Mark 8:36).

“Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1-2);

Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.” (Romans 3:31);

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1 John 1:6);

“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” (1 John 3:4-6);

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26-27).

Does any of that give the impression that anyone can deliberately keep on sinning until they die and still inherit eternal life? Quite the contrary! What it does say is that no one who goes on sinning deliberately has either seen Jesus or known Jesus (i.e., they are not really true believers) and that they can expect only judgment and the fury of a consuming fire when they die (that doesn’t sound like heaven to me!).

And here’s the clincher: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Here, Paul declares, point blank, that people who are living a homosexual lifestyle will not go to heaven. God has not given a special dispensation (to keep on sinning) to homosexual people because they have sexual attractions for members of their own gender or because they don’t want to repent! We are all – regardless of the nature of our sins — subject to the requirement for repentance of sins in order to receive the Good News (salvation)! So here we are, faced with a choice: Do we believe the doctrine of God, or do we believe the doctrine of men? Let’s go with God on this one.

There is only one, true Gospel of Jesus Christ! So if you are a homosexual Christian who is trusting in the “gay gospel” to get you to heaven, you may want to re-think that. I certainly hope you will. Remember the words of Jesus: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Finally, I would guess that very few Christians are aware that the Bible has stern rebukes and dire warnings for those who approve of sin or encourage others to sin, but it does (Leviticus 19:1; Isaiah 5:20; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 5:19-20; Matthew 18:6; Romans 14:22). Thus, anyone, including born-again Christians, who even approves of or encourages the sins of homosexuality will, someday, have to answer to God for it. If that’s you, then now is the time to repent!

Do It Yourself

Here’s how to do a study of the Hebrew and Greek root words used in the Bible to express God’s views on homosexuality, without being a Hebrew or Greek scholar yourself: 1) find online and open “Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance” at “Bible Study Tools” (click HERE); 2) follow the instructions given in the introductory pane; 3) check the “Strong’s Numbers” box at the top right of your reading pane to view the Hebrew and Greek lexicons using Strong’s Concordance numbers; 4) enter, in turn, the following Bible verses — Genesis 19:5 with Jude 1:7; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; I Corinthians 6:9-10; and I Timothy 1:10 — and click on the respective highlighted words (hyperlinks) to access the appropriate lexicon and read the meaning of the Hebrew or Greek words given in English. You can toggle between the King James Version (KJV) and the New American Standard (NAS) version. You will find, as expected, that wherever homosexual behavior is mentioned, it is consistently condemned as sin, abomination, per-version, etc. And understand that later English versions of the Bible, such as the NIV and NAS, consulted the ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, rather than relying on the KJV. The claim of gay activists, that the Bible does not condemn homosexual behavior, is nothing but pure fantasy and wishful thinking, as you can see for yourself.

(For more articles on HOMOSEXUALITY, click HERE)

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

Jesus H. ChristWill the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

by James R. Aist

One day God, seated on his throne in heaven, was looking quite troubled, so his Son, Jesus, who was seated at his right hand, asked him, “What’s wrong, Father?” God replied, “Son, there are so many different ideas among humans about who you are. How can we get it across to everyone who you really are?” Jesus thought for a moment and then said, “Do you remember that popular old TV show “To Tell the Truth”? You know, the one where they assembled a panel of people who all claimed they were a particular person, but they are all imposters except for the real person, who is also on the panel. Then they each gave their own short, verbal account of the real person, after which the MC said “Will the real person please stand up?” “Oh yeah”, said God, “I loved that show, except for the part where most of the panel lied about their true identity.” Jesus said “Great. So let’s arrange for a one-time retro production of that TV show and ask “Will the real Jesus please stand up?” “That way everyone will find out who the real me is.” Well, God liked the idea, so he said “Let there be a retro “To Tell the Truth” TV show, and there was.

When the day came for the show to air, the panel was assembled, but God, in his infinite wisdom, decided to have Jesus seated in the studio audience rather than with the panel. He was sure that no one would recognize him there and blow his cover, since so few people seem to recognize the real Jesus any more. Moreover, God had hand-picked the Holy Spirit to be the MC, for the same reason. The Holy Spirit, grudgingly, introduced the entire panel as representing the world-famous Savior of the World, Jesus Christ, and each panel member presented a short, verbal account which they felt summed up what Jesus was all about, hoping that the audience would believe them. Here is a transcript of what followed:

Imposter # 1 – “I am, truly, the savior of the world, and I do mean all of the world, or at least those who profess to believe in some kind of “god”; it really doesn’t matter which one. Everyone who tries to live a good life, whether or not they have heard of me, whether they believe in me or not, whatever religion they belong to — as long as they try to live by whatever light they have — they will be in heaven with me after they die. My only mistake was telling everyone that no one comes to the Father except through me. Fact is, there are many paths to God, not just through me. The Good News of Jesus Christ is inclusive, not exclusive, as others would have you believe. Why would I set the bar so high that only a few could qualify? My purpose in coming into the world was only to provide everyone a perfect example of godly living, so that they could save themselves by trying to live like I did. I don’t know where they got the idea that I died for their sins; only a fool would do such a thing. Moreover, I think you will find that it is much easier to be liked by others if you ascribe to my way of thinking, and so you will feel better about yourself. The fact that millions, perhaps billions, of people from all over the world have seen my light and are following my plan is proof that I am, indeed, Jesus Christ, the savior of the world.”

Imposter # 2 – “It was I who went about doing good, healing the sick, raising the dead and restoring sight to the blind. This is how I proved how much I love everyone and that I am God’s only begotten Son. And because of my great love and compassion for all of mankind, you will never hear me offend anyone by speaking harshly to them, calling them names, calling out their sins, or – heaven forbid – resorting to violence of any kind just because they are trying to make a living in the temple of God by tipping the scales a bit. But I digress. I came into the world to make everyone feel good about themselves the way they are, not to encourage and enable them to change. What a cruel guilt trip that would be! Nevertheless, it is my hope that no one will perish, but that all will, instead, come to repentance.  However, you and I both know that most people are not willing to repent, even though many of them say that they believe in me. I don’t know where they got the idea that not everyone who says to me “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father. That’s harsh! After all, my love does cover a multitude of sins, doesn’t it? And isn’t it true that the only work that God requires is that you believe in the One whom he sent (that would be me, of course)? Therefore, I have dismissed the requirement for repentance and have established dispensations for anyone who is unwilling to repent and turn away from their sins because, for whatever reason, they simply refuse to change. It’s amazing how many have chosen to take me up on this offer and are expecting to go to heaven without repenting! My salvation is now available to virtually everyone, no matter how they are living. Now that’s what I call a real savior, don’t you agree?”

Imposter # 3 – “Well, you don’t really believe that a loving God would condemn anyone to hell, do you? Where’s the love in that? Isn’t it true that God actually IS love? I don’t know where you got the idea that you have to become the righteousness of God in Christ in order to “qualify” for heaven. If we are all made in God’s image, doesn’t it follow, logically, that he would want us all to enjoy our eternity in heaven with him? So, I am here to save you from the lifetime of anxiety and terror that comes from believing that God would ever harm someone, such as yourself, who represents the very pinnacle of his creative work. Believe me, you need a savior alright, but not one who will save you from your sins. God knew that sin would come into the world when he created mankind, and yet he went ahead with it? So, if anyone is at fault here, it’s God, right? The only way God can resolve this dilemma fairly is to let everyone into heaven. So, you see, I have come to save you from all that unnecessary mental anguish and dread of future damnation that others speak about. Isn’t that the kind of “savior” you would really rather have, one who doesn’t think he has to scare the hell out of you just so you won’t go there when you die? I think you’ll agree that my “salvation” is the easiest, most care-free and most pleasant way to live, in order to spend your eternity with God when you die. After all, can my millions and millions of faithful followers possibly be wrong?”

By this time, the Holy Spirit had heard enough, and since all three panelists had spoken, he declared an end to the process by saying “Now it is time to find out which one of these three men is the real Jesus. So, will the real Jesus please stand up?” After a lengthy pause, during which none of the panelists stood to his feet, everyone was puzzled, because they expected one of the panelists, the real Jesus, to stand up. Then the Holy Spirit again said “Will the real Jesus please stand up?” After a brief pause, a man near the middle of the audience rose slowly to his feet and began to speak with great power and authority, so that those who heard him were in awe:

“Why do you mock and slander me like this, after all I’ve done for you? You pick and choose my attributes, actions, words and accomplishments recorded in the Bible to fit the image of a Jesus who is no more than a figment of your imagination. You have been warned about following after “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4), and still you insult and offend me by creating a counterfeit Jesus to suit your abominable heresies and lifestyles. I am the real Jesus, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (Revelation 21:6). Before Abraham was born, I am (John 8:58). I am the Word of God (John 1:14); his Word is truth (John 17:17). Because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), I came into the world that the world through me might be saved (John 3:16-17). I am the one who died for your sins so that you don’t have to pay the penalty for them (Hebrews 9:15). I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to destruction (Proverbs 14:12). God does not will that any man should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). I came preaching “Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15). Unless a man repent, he will perish (Luke 13:1-5). Do not fear men, who can harm your body, but fear the One who can throw both body and soul into hell (Luke 12:5). I am the judge of all mankind (Acts 10:42). Those who believe in me and obey my commands will be made the righteousness of God in Christ and will inherit eternal life with God in heaven, but those who do not will be thrown into the lake of fire with the devil, which is the second death (Revelation 20:14-15), where there will be eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:50). God is love (1 John 4:8), and he is also righteous and just (Psalm 50:6). He will reward the righteous and punish the unjust (Matthew 25:32-46). No one can resist the will of God (Romans 9:19), and there will be no excuse for the unbeliever (Romans 1:20). Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 4:17).

At that, those in both the studio audience and the TV audience to whom God had given eyes to see and ears to hear, recognized and believed in the real Jesus, fell to their knees, repented of their sins and were saved. Most of them, however, put their faith and their eternal destiny in the hands of one or the other of the imposters, thus sealing their ultimate fate with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire. All went to bed that night confident that they had made the right choice.

Now Jesus returned to his seat at the right hand of God his Father in heaven, and, turning to his Father, asked “Well, what do you think, Father? Did it work?” “It worked perfectly, Son,” said his Father. “Everyone will reap what he has sown (Galatians 6:7), and we did everything we could to reach out to them all (Romans 5:8). It breaks my heart to see so many headed in the wrong direction, but my offer was open to everyone who would believe (John 6:40). At least now they know that “the real Jesus” is everything that my Word says you are, and said, and did; not just the “feel good” things that they wanted to believe about you to justify their sinful ways.” “So then”, Jesus asked, “Do you feel better now?” His Father paused for a moment and then replied, “Yes, and no.”

(For more articles on BIBLICAL TEACHINGS, click HERE)

Gay Theology: Did God Really Say, “You must not…”

 

Portal of the Church of Pilgrims, in Washingto...Gay Theology: Did God Really Say, “You must not…”

by James R. Aist

“But if I were a Christian homosexual, I think this one question would disturb me the most: am I trying to interpret scripture in the light of my proclivity, or should I interpret my proclivity in the light of scripture?” (Morris, 1978)

Introduction

At the heart of the so-called “Gay Theology”, is the claim that the Bible does not condemn homosexual acts that occur within the context of loving, committed, enduring homosexual relationships. This, despite the fact that the Bible does appear to condemn all homosexual acts and that the Christian church has steadfastly held this position since Jesus Christ established His church almost 2,000 years ago. In effect, what gay theology is asking, rhetorically, is, “Did God really say that sex within the context of loving, committed, long-term homosexual relationships is wrong?” If the phrase “Did God really say…” sounds familiar to you, it is probably because that is exactly what Satan said to Eve in the Garden of Eden when he was trying to get her to commit the first sin: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). And that is exactly what is happening in the Christian church today, in the form of gay theology. Satan is using gay theology to get Christians who are homosexual to continue to practice homosexuality and feel good about it, rather than repent of it. In this article, I will present some of the most important claims of gay theology, point-by-point, and show why each claim should be summarily rejected by all Christians as false doctrine. In doing so, I will draw heavily on Dallas (1991) and Davies & Rentzel (1993).

Refutation of Gay Theology

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

The claims of gay theology can be distilled down to four major points: 1) In Romans 1, Paul could not have been referring to the loving, committed and enduring homosexual relationships that we hear about today, because he knew nothing of such relationships; 2) Paul, in Romans 1, was, instead, referring to temple prostitution resulting from idolatry, homosexual acts committed by a heterosexual person, and/or impersonal sex (i.e., sex without love); 3) Because Jesus did not have anything to say about homosexuality, He must have approved of homosexual acts within the context of loving, committed and enduring homosexual relationships. If He did not approve of them, He would have said so; and 4) Since Jesus emphasized the “law of love”, He must have approved of homosexual acts within the context of loving, committed and enduring homosexual relationships. Now let’s take a look at these four claims in the light of the biblical witness.

Claim # 1: In Romans 1, Paul could not have been referring to the loving, committed and enduring homosexual relationships that we hear about today, because he knew nothing of them. Response # 1: The Apostle Paul (5-64 A.D.) was a well-educated Jew (Acts 22:3) and a citizen of the Roman Empire (Acts 22:27), traveled extensively in Greece and Italy, and would certainly have been aware of loving, lasting, committed same-sex relationships occurring both before and during his lifetime, as the following historical facts would suggest: 1) In the early Roman Imperial period, some male couples were celebrating traditional marriage rites in the presence of friends. Same-sex weddings were reported by sources that mocked them; the feelings of the participants were not recorded. Both Martial and Juvenal referred to marriage between men as something that occurred not infrequently, although they disapproved of it; 2) The Roman Emperor Nero (54 A.D.) celebrated two public weddings with men, once taking the role of the bride (with a freedman Pythagoras), and once the groom (with Sporus); there may have been a third in which he was the bride. These wedding ceremonies included traditional elements such as a dowry and the wearing of the Roman bridal veil; and 3) Same-sex unions were well known in Ancient Greece and Rome. These same-sex unions continued until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century (Click HERE, HERE and HERE). So, despite Paul’s apparent knowledge of the existence of such homosexual relationships —  loving, lasting, and committed —  he did not endorse them as morally acceptable; rather, he consistently condemned all homo-sexual relations as sinful. Response # 2: For this claim to be true, the Holy Spirit would have had to be either tragically forgetful or grossly incompetent by allowing Paul to omit from his teaching on homosexuality that homosexual acts within the context of loving, committed and enduring homosexual relationships are the exception and, therefore, to be allowed. Secondly, God would have had to let this oversight go uncorrected for 1,900 years, all the while leaving the loving homosexual couples to live in terror of going to hell, unnecessarily. I don’t know what god you believe in, but the God of the Bible is not incompetent, forgetful, or cruel! Response # 3: Jesus promised that, “…the Advocate,the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26). In this prophetic promise, “all things” would have included the exception that homosexual acts within the context of loving, committed and enduring homosexual relationships are to be allowed, if God had meant for Jesus to sanction them. Instead, what Paul did was just the opposite: writing after Jesus had returned to the Father, he very specifically and unequivocally condemned all homosexual behavior as sin. This was in keeping with Jesus’ promise that the Holy Spirit “… will remind you of everything I have said to you.”, because Jesus had said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person…” (Matthew 15:19-20), where the Greek word used here for “sexual immorality” (porniea) refers to all sexual sins, including homosexuality and lesbianism. Response # 4: Even if Paul himself had not known about loving, committed and enduring homosexual relationships, God’s Holy Spirit knew about them all along — even to the present day – and yet He did not enlighten and inspire Paul to include an exception for them. So we see that Claim # 1 is nothing more than a fanciful assumption, and one cannot prove a point by appealing to an assumption!

Claim # 2: Paul, in Romans 1, was referring only to temple prostitution resulting from idolatry, homosexual acts committed by a naturally heterosexual person, and/or impersonal sex (i.e., sex without love). Response # 1: If we take a closer look at Paul’s condemnation of homosexual behavior, we find that the Greek word translated “homosexual offenders” (1 Corinthians 6:9) or “perverts” (1 Timothy 1:10) is “arsenokoites”. When this Greek word is broken down into its component parts, its etymology (i.e., derivation) expressed in English is “male-bed-person”, which clearly indicates that, in Paul’s writings, “arsenokoites” refers to “a man who goes to bed with another man to have sex with him”, without reference to the motive, sexual orientation or nature of their relationship. In other words, “arsenokoites” refers to all occasions of homosexual behavior, including loving, committed and enduring homosexual relationships. And this has been the accepted meaning of “arsenokoites” from the time of ancient Greek literature. Furthermore, if there was any exception intended, then Paul, writing under the inspiration and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, would surely have mentioned it in these passages. But he did not. Response # 2: If we read Romans 1 carefully and critically, and without reading anything into it, we see that Paul refers to homosexual desires and behavior as “vile affections”, “against nature”, and “unseemly” in and of themselves. There is not even a hint that he might have been referring exclusively to temple prostitution, homosexual acts committed by a naturally heterosexual person, and/or impersonal sex (i.e., sex without love). To suggest otherwise is nothing more than an assumption without any scriptural basis in the context of Romans 1. Response # 3: The Apostle Paul was, himself, a highly educated, well-informed and zealous proponent of Judaism (Acts 22:3). It is a documented, historical fact that among the religious Jews there has been, and still is, an unusually low incidence of homosexual behavior, relative to other people groups (Whitehead and Whitehead, 2012). Homosexuality as a component of temple idol worship has long since disappeared from the religious landscape, and yet homosexuality among religious Jews still occurs at an unusually low rate. These facts, taken together, clearly indicate that Judaism has, from its earliest days to the present, considered homosexual behavior to be sinful in and of itself, as a natural reading of the relevant Old Testament passages indicates. And that explains why homosexual behavior was and is taboo across the Jewish culture, and not just as it was manifested in temple idol worship; Judaism has always considered homosexual behavior to be sin. So, when Paul discussed homosexual behavior in the New Testament, he was teaching from his historical, Jewish understanding of the sinful nature of homosexual acts per se, as well as from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. So we see that Claim # 2 is nothing more than a fanciful assumption, and one cannot prove a point by appealing to an assumption!

Claim # 3: Because Jesus did not have anything to say about homosexuality, He must have approved of homosexual acts within the context of loving, committed and enduring homosexual relationships. If He did not approve of them, He would have said so. Response #1: Wherever the Bible says that the practice of homosexuality is sin, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) & God the Holy Spirit (the one, triune God) are talking. Therefore, Jesus said everything the Bible says about homosexuality: Genesis 19:5 with Jude 1:7; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Judges 19:22-25; Romans 1:26-27; I Corinthians 6:9-10; and I Timothy 1:10. While the Bible does not record Jesus singling out homosexual acts per se, as sexual sins, one of His teachings, as recorded by Matthew and Mark, implies that He did consider them to be sin: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person…” (Matthew 15:19-20) and “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23). The Greek word translated “sexual immorality” in both accounts is “porneia”, which, according to Strong’s Concordance, refers to all forms of illicit sexual intercourse, including adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality and incest. It would be presumptuous, at best, to conclude that, out of all the sexual sins that this Greek word refers to, Jesus meant to exclude homosexual acts. If He had meant to exclude homosexual acts from the list, He could have said something like “…sexual immorality (“porneia”), except homosexuality (“arsenokoites”),…”, but He didn’t. The implication, from the context, is that He meant to include homosexual acts among the sins to which He was referring. If this implication is not correct, then Jesus — the man who is also the Divine Son of the all-knowing God — did not say what He meant and therefore mislead His hearers! I would suggest that if you believe that about Jesus, then you may just believe in a “different Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4). Response # 2: Paul declared that “the wicked”, including unrepentant “homosexual offenders”, “…will not inherit the kingdom of God…” (I Corinthians 6:9-10), and went on to say that “the wicked” were all washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 6:11). So think about it: if God really made some people homosexual, approved of homosexual behavior, and wanted them to remain gay, then why did He change them in the name (“name”: literally, power and authority) of the Lord Jesus Christ? I think you and I both know why He changed them. And if Jesus approved of homosexual behavior and wanted them to remain gay, how could they have been changed by His own power and authority? Obviously, Jesus also wanted them to be changed. Why? Because the homosexual offenders were wicked (I Corinthians 6:11)! Response # 3: This claim presumes that the recorded words of Jesus are more authoritative than the words of Scripture elsewhere and that Jesus does not agree with what the other writers of the Bible have to say about homosexuality. But it is the Holy Spirit of God who inspired all of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16), including epistles like Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy, where homosexual behavior is specifically and directly addressed and condemned as sin. And, the role of the Holy Spirit in us is conviction of sin, not denial of sin.  Moreover, Jesus and the Holy Spirit co-exist in the Godhead — in fact, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus (Romans 8:9 )  and have been in perfect and eternal communion and harmony all along. Therefore, we can be confident that Jesus agrees with everything the Holy Spirit revealed in the Bible about moral issues, including homosexuality. In fact, the entire Bible is the inspired (God-breathed) word of God, Who exists in three persons – God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus said everything the Bible says about homosexuality. Response # 4: The Bible does not record all that Jesus did (John 20:30) and it does not claim to have recorded all that He said. An assumption based on the lack of a specific reference to homosexual sins in particular cannot be used to prove a point.  So we see that Claim # 3 is nothing more than a fanciful assumption, and one cannot prove a point by appealing to an assumption!

Claim # 4: Since Jesus emphasized the “law of love”, He must have approved of homosexual acts within the context of loving, committed and enduring homosexual relationships. This claim assumes that the presence of caring and committed love in a relationship sanctifies any and all kinds of lovemaking in that relationship. This is, in fact and unfortunately, the prevailing view in our secular culture. But is this secular view compatible with the biblical view? Response # 1: If this claim is true, then, to be consistent and fair, Jesus would also approve of such sexual sins as fornication, adultery and incest, since all of these relationships can, and often do, involve love, apart from lovemaking. But the Bible condemns all of these other sexual behaviors as sin, despite the presence of love in such relationships. There is no rational basis for claiming that homosexual relationships are the exception. Response # 2: Nowhere in the Bible is it recorded that Jesus even hinted that a motive of love can justify any kind of sinful behavior, including homosexual behavior. Rather, Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey Him (John 14:23) and that if we do not love Him, we will not obey him (John 14:24). And since Jesus did, in fact, agree with all that the Bible says about homosexuality (see responses to Claim # 3), to obey Him includes abstention from homosexual acts and to not obey Him includes refusing to abstain from homosexual acts. Jesus did not come to save us in our sins, but to save us from our sins. So we see that Claim # 4 is nothing more than a fanciful assumption, and one cannot prove a point by appealing to an assumption!

Perhaps the most powerful argument against the homosexual lifestyle is theological, based on Genesis 1:27,
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Those who live homosexually blaspheme the image of God, for this is a heterosexual image. “How can male and female have anything to do with the image of God?” you may ask, since God is not a sexual being. Here’s how: God is the creator of human life; that is part of His “image” (i.e., who He is). So, in order for us to be created in that aspect of the “image of God”, He created us male and female, so that we could participate with Him in the creation of human life through heterosexual acts. Homosexual acts cannot create human life and, therefore, blaspheme the image of God in us.

I would guess that very few Christians are aware that the Bible has stern rebukes and dire warnings for those who approve of sin or encourage others to sin, but it does (Leviticus 19:1; Isaiah 5:20; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 5:19-20; Matthew 18:6; Romans 14:22). Thus, anyone, including born-again Christians, who even approves of or encourages the sins of homosexuality will, someday, have to answer to God for it. If that’s you, then now is the time to repent!

Challenges:

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)

If you are interested in exploring gay theology and its refutations in more detail, then I recommend that you check out the references and links listed at the end of this post. And, if you are a homosexual Christian who is unwilling to repent of (turn away from) your homosexual behavior, or if you are a heterosexual Christian who approves of or encourages homosexual behavior in any way, I hope that you will be willing to read, carefully and thoughtfully, the following Bible passages and re-think that:

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:14-15)

“We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.  This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” (1 John 4:6)

” … find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” (Ephesians 5:10-12)

” … offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.” (James 1:22)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

“Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” (2 Timothy 2:19)

” … the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.” (Psalm 1:5)

“He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the Devil’s work.  No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.  This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the Devil are:  Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” (1 John 3:10)

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)

“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book:  If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” (Revelation 22:19)

“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest, and repent.” (Revelation 3:19)

Do It Yourself

Here’s how to do a study of the Hebrew and Greek root words used in the Bible to express God’s views on homosexuality, without being a Hebrew or Greek scholar yourself: 1) find online and open “Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance” at “Bible Study Tools” (click HERE); 2) follow the instructions given in the introductory pane; 3) check the “Strong’s Numbers” box at the top right of your reading pane to view the Hebrew and Greek lexicons using Strong’s Concordance numbers; 4) enter, in turn, the following Bible verses — Genesis 19:5 with Jude 1:7; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; I Corinthians 6:9-10; and I Timothy 1:10 — and click on the respective highlighted words (hyperlinks) to access the appropriate lexicon and read the meaning of the Hebrew or Greek words given in English. You can toggle between the King James Version (KJV) and the New American Standard (NAS) version. You will find, as expected, that wherever homosexual behavior is mentioned, it is consistently condemned as sin, abomination, per-version, etc. And understand that later English versions of the Bible, such as the NIV and NAS, consulted the ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, rather than relying on the KJV. The claim of gay activists, that the Bible does not condemn homosexual behavior, is nothing but pure fantasy and wishful thinking, as you can see for yourself.

(For more articles on HOMOSEXUALITY, click HERE)

References Cited:

Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2012. What do different cultures tell us about homosexuality? (click HERE)

Dallas, J. 1991. Desires in Conflict. Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. pp. 267-282.

Davies, B. & L. Rentzel. 1993. Coming Out of Homosexuality. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. pp. 183-189.

Morris, P.D. 1978. Shadow of Sodom. Facing the Facts of Homosexuality. Tyndall House. 164 pp.

Recommended Links for further study:

Allen, J. 2014. The Apostle Paul and Homosexuality—Answering Homosexual Objections (Part 1) (click HERE)

Allen, J. 2014. The Apostle Paul and Homosexuality—Answering Homosexual Objections (Part 2) (Click HERE)

Pro-Gay Theology Overview (click HERE)

Gay Revisionist Theology: Did God Really Say…? (click HERE)