Are There “Gay Christians”?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Revmitchell, May 24, 2014.

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  1. Revmitchell

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    The idea that a person’s sexual orientation is unchangeable actually points to a deeper logical problem, particularly for the Christian. Secular philosophies typically come to the conclusion that people form identities based on their experiences and feelings. Vines is no exception to this sort of experience-based thought, which is evident in his book:

    The permanence of same-sex orientation does not settle the moral questions at issue here, but we cannot adequately address those questions without acknowledging it. If you are a straight Christian, I invite you to think about your own experience with sexuality. I doubt you could point to a moment when you chose to be attracted to members of the opposite sex. That attraction is simply part of who you are.4
    And so, by analogy, Vines believes that his “orientation” to homosexual behavior is just part of who he is. His book’s title hints at this belief, as it refers to “the gay Christian.” Indeed, there are many professing Christians who have adopted terminology such as “gay Christian” as a descriptor for those Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction (SSA).

    But this is problematic for the believer who has repented of his sin and trusted Christ for salvation. While Christians still sin, they are not defined by their sin. Dr. Owen Strachan, assistant professor of Christian theology and church history at SBTS, writes about the problem with using the term “gay Christian” to describe believers who deal with same-sex attraction. He explains, “We are not the sum of our lusts, our perversity, our fallenness, whatever shape such sin takes. . . . This means that born-again believers are all, in the words of the same apostolic author [Paul], a ‘new creation’ in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).”5 Scripture repeatedly affirms that believers have new life in Christ, and therefore a new identity:

    Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13)
    In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence (Ephesians 1:7–8)
    He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13–14)
    Even using “gay” or “lesbian” as a secondary category of defining a Christian introduces confusion. Some Christians argue that while identity in Christ is of first importance for a believer to grasp, we should also encourage them to maintain this other identity as a “gay Christian,” as a way of classifying their experience. But homosexuality is an identity issue—the sinful identity fights against the new identity in Christ. Many people dealing with SSA will be tempted to say what Matthew Vines has—that being homosexual is simply part of who they are—and to treat that as a secondary identity to or as a replacement for their identity as a new creation in Christ.

    Giving weight in this way to a Christian’s struggle against SSA does not aid in the fight against sin; rather, it opens the door for temptation and the false belief that a sinful desire can be a Christian’s identity. As believers, we are called to bring hope to believers and unbelievers alike. Preaching a message that says Christians dealing with SSA are defined, either primarily or secondarily, by their sexual feelings does not “impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). Moreover, such a message also contradicts the Apostle Paul’s message in 1 Corinthians 6:11 when he said that Christians have been “washed,” “sanctified,” and “justified” in Christ—and Paul specifically includes homosexuality in the list of things these believers had left behind.


    https://answersingenesis.org/family...al&utm_campaign=facebooktwittergooglelinkedin
     
  2. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Alcoholism or problem drinking is a sinful desire. There are alcoholic Christians who do not drink, even though they still occasionally have that old sinful desire.

    Drug addiction and abuse is a sinful desire. There are drug addicted or drug abusing Christians who do not use, even though they still occasionally have that old sinful desire.

    Disordered gambling is a sinful desire. There is disordered gambling afflicting Christians who do not gamble, even though they still occasionally have that old sinful desire.

    Sexual addiction of any kind is a sinful desire. There are sexually addicted Christians who do not view porn, commit adultery, or have illicit sex, even though they still occasionally have that old sinful desires.

    Lying is a sinful desire. There are pathological liars among Christians who do not lie, even though they still occasionally have that old sinful desire.

    Cognitive criminality is a sinful desire. There are thieves, arsonists, forgers, rapists and murderers who are Christians who no longer do any of those things, even though they still occasionally have that old sinful desire.

    There is no reason to believe there are not "gay Christians" who no longer have sexual relationships with members of the same gender, even though they still occasionally have that old sinful desire.

    It is not an "excuse," nor is it a "lifestyle." It is sin, and Christians suffer the old sinful desires just like unbelievers do. The difference is that ...
    1 Corinthians 10, NASB
    13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
    It is ludicrous to think the sinful nature of man "disappears" when we become believers. Were that true, Paul and others wasted a lot of ink warning us about it.
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    Apparently one did not actually read the op.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    Their sin is not their identity.
     
  5. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    I read it fully. The "identify" -- or as I said at the end of the post, an "excuse" or a "lifestyle" -- as the article refers to it is not that at all. It is, plainly and simply, sin, and I gave the biblical reference for overcoming the old sinful desire.
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    C4K searches for the 'LIKE' button
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    OH and no one, not the op or me suggested the sinful desire stops. What is not true is that there are gay Christians.
     
  8. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Apparently you don't realize the article is nonetheless contradicting everything Paul said about the "old man," the sin nature. I respect AiG most of the time, but this article fails to find its footing in biblical truth. Christians struggle with sin. There are no two ways about it. Stating flatly that ...
    ... without the caveat regarding the struggles we face is misleading.

    Not to mention the fact, no one is labeling them that way independent of themselves. For much of the first two years of their Christian life, most people are going to continue to identify with their favorite sin alongside their identity as a Christian. It is unavoidable. Those coming out of a "same-sex" lifestyle are even more likely to fail in losing that identify.

    These kinds of messages that fail to balance the truth give false hope to new believers and cause utter discouragement when they fall. Of course we are a new creation. But we have to lose the parts and parcels of the "old man" before we can fully live it, and if getting help from fellow believers in those struggles includes continuing to self-identify with their "old man" is part of their sanctification, why deny them? As long as they are counseled to gradually see who they are in Christ, it isn't important.

    And perhaps you can tell me why the article only chooses to address the self-identity of "gay Christian" instead of addressing all such identities as listed in Post #2?
     
    #8 thisnumbersdisconnected, May 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2014
  9. Revmitchell

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    Nothing in the op suggests otherwise.
     
  10. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    It is the lack of balance of biblical truth that does so. Now who's not reading whole posts?

    And by the way, you are the OP. AiG doesn't post to BB.
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    There is no lack of balance just because it is not worded your way.

    Umm....no, just because something is posted by anyone for discussion does not mean they support any or all of what is in the op. Sometimes folks post things just because it is an interesting discussion.

    So no, it matters not that AIG does not post on this board. I am not ever the op. You like to many others put to much stock in what gets posted. These are just discussions. No truth gets established here.
     
  12. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    If I present the Gospel talking about Christ's love but not the need for faith and repentance, I've not given the Gospel.

    If I talk about the "new creation" without talking about the struggle with sin and the process of sanctification, I've not properly presented discipleship.

    It isn't about "my way." It's about the balance and context of God's word.
    Whatever.

    Which I guess means you accept the fact you're the OP, given the above definition?

    Expecting truth on the Internet is like expecting justice from an Islamic court. But with that attitude, truth will be an early casualty on a message board or anywhere else. Maybe efforts should be made to not only stick to the truth, but balance it as well. AiG failed in that article, and so did "the OP" in not correcting AiG's failure.
     
    #12 thisnumbersdisconnected, May 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2014
  13. Revmitchell

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    Good grief. You argue even when it makes no good sense too. I will leave you to your misery.
     
  14. JamesL

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    The problem with the view of "no gay Christians" is a failure in this regard:

    Man's identity cannot be viewed apart from the biblical understanding of man's ontological makeup. Man is two parts - spirit and body.

    The body is that which is procreated, and is in Adam. Sin entered the world, and thereby the physical body through one sin, Adam's. We receive a body from our parents that is corrupt, selfish, and destined to die because of it.

    But the spirit comes from God and is not created sinful. We receive the breath of God in a state of innocence. SINLESS on the inside.

    Why do we see a baby having streaks of godly innocence and devilish rebellion? Because our mind, from birth is led by either the spirit or the body.

    When a person grows up and goes his own way, and determines for himself what is right or wrong, he acknowledges God no longer. His inner being becomes corrupt, just as his flesh is.

    This is how an unbeliever is a slave to sin - his mind is being influenced by sin from the inside and the outside.


    So what about the believer, this new creation? When one believes upon Christ, his INNER being is washed in regeneration. Born again on the inside, renewed to a state of godly innocence on the inside. SINLESS again. BORN again. He has become like a little child, as Jesus said we must.

    But the flesh is still corrupt, and must wait til the resurrection to be washed - in the regeneration, as Jesus said in Matt 19:28-29

    Even with a regenerated inner man (the new creation, being indwelt by God Himself) our body is still sinful. Our mind is still influenced by both the godly inner being and the rebellious, carnal body.

    The mind set on the flesh is at enmity with God. But the mind set on the spirit is at peace.

    Our "sinful nature" is not a bent, or disposition, toward sin - it is our physical body craving what is at odds with the will of God

    Every believer, at times, sets his mind on the things our sinful body desires instead of what our sinless spirit desires. Some more than others, and in various ways.

    These sinful "inclinations" are desires of the body. Why else would Paul say he buffets his body? To bring it in subjection to the things of God, which he agrees with in his inner man.


    Some believers have a bodily desire for Twinkies. They probably have a struggle in their mind, that overindulgence is against God's desire. But they do it anyway.

    Other believers have a bodily desire to get drunk, and struggle in their mind to do what God desires. Then they fail.

    Others have a bodily desire for sexual perversion, which can have many homo- or heterosexual manifestations. And they fail.

    We don't have some invisible, intangible "Adamic nature" that we struggle against, we have a sin-wrecked body that is ever in conflict with our sinless, regenerated inner being.

    And our mind is constantly being dragged one direction or another. This so-called "sinful nature" is simply our bodily desires, and not go away until the day we lay our body aside at death.

    We have choices in what we do, which aspect of our being we set our mind on.

    But we do not have a choice as to what our body desires.

    Whoever decided to like chocolate cake, or the color blue, or jazz music? NOBODY. It is part of you bodily makeup. Why do we find that we like some of the same things our parents like, or we exhibit some of the same inclination and bent?

    Because our BODY comes from our parents.

    I wish believers would stop muddling together this ever-important biblical distinction between body and spirit. It has caused so many misunderstandings about sin and righteousness.
     
  15. Winman

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    Very good post James, and I agree. I have often said man is more than flesh, he is spirit too. If folks understood this, then they would understand Total Inability is false. The spirit can will to be obedient to God.
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    Off topic. Please start your own thread.
     
  17. JamesL

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    I agree. And Jesus said the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. SolaSaint brought that up in a thread about people throwing it all away by fornicating with young adults.

    I think if folks understood our ontological makeup, and how each aspect of our being relates to being sinful and righteous, it would lead to less condemnation and judgmental attitudes.

    It would stop us from beating up on ourselves and each other.
     
  18. JamesL

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    Maybe his comment about inability was a little off topic, but it relates to the dichotomy of man, which MUST influence how we understand sin and righteousness, or else we end up building our suppositions upon vain philosophy, rather than scriptural truth
     
  19. Dr. Bob

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    thread closed at the request of the OP
     
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