UPDATE: I replaced the words “gay” and “lesbian” with the word sodomites, because to use the language of these sinners, is to deny the reality of their sin, thereby suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18ff). Yes, using the word Sodomy is offensive. But the act they perform upon each other, and cover it up with the word “gay” is far more offensive to the living and true God, than my use of the word “sodomite.” My goal is the edification of God’s people, and more importantly, to do that which honors God. If God calls something an abomination in His word, we need to do likewise.
It all started with the simple meme on the first day of Pride Month. I figured since our country is set on celebrating something that God calls abominable, that I would respond with some truth. There were plenty of memes floating about, but it was the one below which drew some heat.
A 22-year-old woman, a member of my family, responded by saying such memes were an abuse of Scripture, and that in using it in such a manner was not Christlike. I asked her in what way?
Thankfully, she took the conversation to messenger and I tried to reason with her. I would like to walk through that conversation with you. Not to attack her, but to show how her arguments are false. My hope for her, is that she would repent of her views, and actually trust the Christ found in Scripture, not in her own mind (which we will see.) My other hope is that my readers would understand the attack the church is under, and that we can trust what Scripture has said concerning these issues.
To begin with, let me remind you that what the Bible says about human sexuality has not changed in 6,000 years, because God does not change. He has told us that marriage is between one man and one woman. He has told us that there are only two sexes, male and female. He has told us that any other combination is an abomination to Him. And this is what many fail to see in the argument. It is not what I think, or believe, but what is honoring to the Triune and Holy God. What is honoring to God, is what He has given us in His word. What He has given us in His word is to be our first and foremost concern.
Those who oppose biblical sexuality do so based on their belief that there is some new knowledge that has finally come to light which invalidates the orthodox position held for 6,000 years. Our opponents have been doing this for a long time. The battle doesn’t change, just the way they plan to attack God’s word. But in the end, our opponents have only come to the age-old method of sowing seeds of doubt used by the serpent some 6,000 years ago: “Has God indeed said…”
Now, the point of the meme is simple: it doesn’t matter what status you have at birth, rather real or imagined, you still must be born again to see the Kingdom of God (John 3). “You must be born again,” are the words of Christ. His words are for all who desire to be a part of His kingdom. Without this new birth, one is perishing and will perish. There is a present reality of judgment on those who are not. God’s wrath is not just displayed at the coming judgment, but rests on all those who reject Christ. This demarcation between believers and unbelievers is a clear line drawn by Christ. Repent and be saved, or perish. That is biblical.
So the use of the verse is quite appropriate given that many people believe Sodomites are born that way. It doesn’t matter if they are or they are not born that way, they still must repent of being “that way” and turn to Christ for salvation.
Now that you have the setting of the conversation, let’s look at it. Here is what the young woman writes:
When the Bible is put into a historical context and subsequently translated correctly, ALL of the verses commonly used to condemn homosexuality are actually speaking on pederasty and other forms of sexual ABUSE, that is sex without consent or sex that includes a power imbalance. Mistakes in translation become clear when thousands of people are ending their lives because of it. The Bible is obviously a very powerful book, and when it is misused, it will quite literally kill people. Your repetitive posts on homosexuality indicate to me that you either struggle with accepting your own sexuality or you enjoy judging and condemning others for things outside of their control, which is not under any circumstances Christ-like.
Notice, she starts out by presenting herself as the expert on biblical translation, and her premise is that that Bible hasn’t been translated properly for 2,000 years. She makes the assumption, that she fails to prove, that the translators have failed to put the Bible into the historical context. This shows she has never bothered to read a commentary on any of the books of the Bible. If you spend any time at all, and time dealing with the language itself, you can’t help but see the historical context of a passage.
Faithful pastors and translators are continually looking to understand the historical context, for in doing so, we get a deeper understanding of what the text is saying. Yet, we never come to the conclusion, as she has done, that this changes the clear teachings of Scripture.
She write: “ALL of the verses commonly used to condemn homosexuality are actually speaking on pederasty and other forms of sexual ABUSE, that is sex without consent or sex that includes a power imbalance.”
This is her bringing what she wants to the Bible, and not speaking to the historical context, for in saying this, she had imposed her 21st Century Woke views upon the text. In other words, one in power has taken advantage of a weaker and powerless victim (which is exactly how gays add to their numbers today. They are continually looking to groom their victims and persuade them to follow them in their debauchery. But those who support that community will never admit it.) Sodomy is always abusive, it is always one in power exerting will over another. It is all about power.
However, the verses she is referring to do not speak to a power imbalance. We see in Romans 1, that those who are given over to their vile passions, by God, do so willingly. There is no mention of power imbalances.
Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burning in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due (Romans 1:27).
Please note the “one another” part of the verse. There is no reference to power imbalance in the text. The same is true in the Old Testament as well.
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22).
Again, no reference here to power imbalances. Both text are absolute prohibitions against Sodomite relationships all together, whether they be couched in the false use of the word “love” or out-and-out abuse. They are all condemned.
She also goes on to make the case that the “mistakes in translation” become clear because thousands of people are ending their lives because of what Scripture says. In fact, she writes, this is what makes it clear that it’s mistranslated. I don’t know this, but I imagine the reasoning goes something like this: “God loves everyone unconditionally (He doesn’t), therefore, if something in His word is leading people to kill themselves, then it must be the translators fault, because God wouldn’t want anyone to kill themselves.” But that is just a guess.
This is a red herring. She wants me to state one way or another my personal preference. Of course, she knows I won’t say that I am, I’m only going to deny that I am, therefore she might respond: see, that proves that you are.
Let us move on to her next paragraph.
I don’t mean any disrespect by my message; apologies for the harsh words. These posts are just very harmful to a community of people that I know and love dearly. Religious trauma is a very real thing, and it can be detrimental to children’s and teens development. I know you’re a pastor, and I’m sure your statements are impactful to so many people. I just hope you can understand where I’m coming from.
Here, she actually shows some kindness. She realizes that she has been harsh in her response. But she excuses her apologies by continuing the lie that the text of Scripture, being used as Christ used them, is religious trauma.
In other words, declaring the truth of Scripture, as Christ did, and Paul, and Peter, and Stephen did, would be considered religious trauma. She is not only sitting in judgment of me, God’s people, but also Christ Himself. Remember, He called out Herod as fox, and the Pharisees as white-washed tombs, as well as a “brood of vipers,” (meaning they were the spawn of Satan).
Here was my response to her:
Thank you for your kind words. I’ve been thinking off and on about how to respond to your post. Just a couple of thoughts: a lot of people hold to the ‘mistranslation theory’ that you put forth, but textually, they don’t stand up. You noted the use of the word ALL concerning the verses dealing directly with homosexuality, and none of them are dealing with men taking advantage of boys. That could have been Paul’s focus had he wanted it to be, since Rome and Greece were saturated with the practice of men having sex with young boys during Paul’s day. But he doesn’t. He deals with men who have sex with men, in Romans 1:25-27, and 1 Corinthians 6:9 and following. He even creates a word “arsenokoitas” that is taken from the Greek translation of the OT, in Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, which means “a man who lies with a man, as one lies with a woman.” Serious scholars admit, even those who do not believe the Bible, that this is homosexual behavior between two grown men. My second concern is the one you stated, the friends (and family?) you know and love who are gay. That is a truth that hits all of us and my hopes and prayers are that those that I know who have fallen into such sinful lifestyles, would repent and embrace Christ for salvation and deliverance. That is the most loving thing we can do, is point them to Christ. This is why my original post was and is so important. It was Jesus who told us that we must be born again, and He never pulls punches when it comes to our sins. To those who held onto their sins, He proclaimed: “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees.” That was a pronouncement of doom. He even called them a “brood of vipers,” which means, sons of the serpent. He was serious about the need for repentance to the point that He said if your eye causes you to sin, cut it out. Sin destroys. Finally, and this really involves you. Out of respect for you, it was quite alarming that you said the very words of Christ, when applied to those who are flaunting their sin, was crap.
And I added:
Those words, “you must be born again,” are some of the most precious words in Scripture. Our LORD said them. He was telling us what we needed to be saved. He was not being discriminatory, but declaring to the world that everyone, including our gay family and friends, must be born again. This means we become new creations. We don’t remain what we are, but grow and mature spiritually to become more like Christ. This doesn’t happen when we identify ourselves as a particular type of sinner, and then try to claim Christ. That is having two masters, also what He condemned. This, again, is what the LGBTQ community is trying to do. They are identifying themselves with their sin, and demanding not equal rights, but exalted rights. Jesus will have none of it. We are to come to Him as a child, hands open, clinging to nothing but Him for salvation. The LGBTQ community wants nothing to do with this Christ. My hope is, that Christ will show them mercy, as He has shown me, and I hope you, and they will see the futility of their lives, repent, and turn to Him. I hope you understand.
In her final response, she played her hand. She declared that the Jesus I presented from Scripture was not who she thought Jesus to be. This is a sin that permeates the church, as well as the secular world. We don’t get to determine who Christ is. We can only declare who He is according to the word of God. If our feelings or thoughts enter the picture, we immediately begin to break the First Commandment, in having a god besides the true God of Scripture.
In other words, to portray the Triune God falsely is to break the first portion of the Law.
There are plenty of scholarly theories out there, some more rooted in cultural context than others, but my point in all of this is that my God given gift of discernment told me to listen to the people over here, because the folks over there are ripping families apart and ruining lives. That’s just not what God looks like to me.
You can also see that someone has put it in her head that she has “God given gift of discernment.” She is pulling the “authority card.” This gift of hers “told her” to listen to the people over here (instead of God’s word). The simple test of any such gift or utterance: is what being said in agreement with Scripture, or outside the bounds of Scripture? If what she says agrees with Scripture, then we can agree that she is right (and we really don’t need her utterances because we have God’s word). If what she says disagrees with Scripture, we reject her on that basis. Either way, her utterances are unnecessary and her gifting is false.
At this point, I told her that there was no more point in continuing the conversation since she was following a different god all together, and not the Triune God of Scripture. I let her have the last word: she declined, other than to block me.