Scripture's "critical nuance" of 'malakoi' and 'arsenakoitai' lost on Wheaton as identity politics prevail...

Under the post, "Wheaton announces 'homosexuality' is not sin...," one brother comments:

Tim, I may have missed something.... While, as a former "Wheatie," I would have preferred that Wheaton not enter into this spiritual minefield, let’s not read more into this than is there. As for Provost Jones, I believe that he is correct in saying that ...the mere attraction to members of the same sex, if not acted upon, is no more sin than the attraction a heterosexual feels to members of the opposite sex. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is not to the contrary. It’s clear that Paul is describing behaviors, not merely states of temptation, here, so there is no reason to believe that Paul in using the term "homosexual" is referring to anyone other than those who practice homosexuality. Indeed, the ESV, generally recognized as the most reformed-friendly English translation, translates the Greek as "men who practice homosexuality."

To which I respond:

Dear (Brother),

Yes, I think you have missed some things. We're dealing here with the politics of identity and the world is saying men have no control over being homosexual and so they should not be penalized for it. This is the entire basis of the sodomite marriage movement. Equal rights for homosexuals.

But if you apply this to any sin that our culture doesn't want to privilege, it's shown as the sham it is. Take bestiality, for instance: if Phil Ryken and Stan Jones were to issue a statement announcing a support group for those who identify as "rutters"—let's say that were the name they took for themselves; if they explained that many rutters feel very alienated and are in danger of committing suicide because of how different they feel among their peers, what would our reaction be?

We'd howl...

And why?

Because no one yet has convinced our society that rutters have no control over their identity, over being into bestiality and identifying as "rutters." Then too, there hasn't yet been a rutters disease that's wiped out whole rutters' neighborhoods and left a generation of those identifying as rutters dead from their peculiar disease. In other words, so-called compassion has not yet done its work of softening everyone up to rutters. (And no, I'm not lacking compassion for those who have died of AIDS, but I am working to show the way AIDS has softened us up for acceptance of "homosexuality.")

Take murderers. What if a Ph.D. from Oxford with his TE from the PCA who is president of the proudest Evangelical academic institution in the world were to come out with a statement that he and his provost have created a support group for those who identify as murderers yet have agreed not to commit murder while students at Wheaton? You'd scratch your head, right? "A support group for those who identify as murderers? Can the man be serious? I thought he had a Ph.D.? I thought he was a Christian? But my friends tell me he's a good man and he used to be the Sr. Minister of one of the most prestigious tall-steeple Presbyterian churches in Philadelphia. What's going on, here?"

And so on.

Try it with feminism.

President Phil Ryken and Provost Stan Jones announced today that they have started a new support group for those who identify as feminists. This support group is in response to depressed and oppressed feminists feeling alienated at Wheaton; they say they feel different from their peers and colleagues at Wheaton and those closest to them report that, without such support group, some of them may be in danger of committing suicide. The President and his Provost tell us the critical nuance is between feminists and rebels. Say Drs. Ryken and Jones, "This group, while supporting those who are feminists, will continue to uphold Wheaton's proud tradition of teaching and adhering to God's Creation Order. It is understood that these feminists will not act out on their feminism. If married, we expect them to submit to their husbands, and we trust none of them will cross that line and live their identity out loud by preaching or teaching or exercising authority over men—particularly in any church."

But of course, that one's a joke, not least because Wheaton is a hotbed of feminism. Yet even if Wheaton still had a some small commitment to submit to the Word of God and confess and obey God's Creation Order of Adam, then Eve, we could imagine how ridiculous the above would look and sound. She's a feminist but she promises only to identify as one and not to act as one? What's that about?

We could go one and on. Rapists who have to commit violence against women in order to experience sexual satisfaction; they feel alienated and are in danger of suicide because of their angst resulting from their "difference" from the rest of the community—and of course, some insensitive brutes who privilege consensual sexuality and make no bones about their disapprobation of those who identify as rapists.

See how it doesn't work?

We could go on and on. Pederasts. Adulterers. Fornicators. Where would we stop?

Better to ask why we started such nonsense with homosexuality?

If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. (2Corinthians 5:17) 

If this means anything, it means the Holy Spirit sanctifies us by removing our desire for sin whether that sin is rape, fornication, murder, gossip, greed, or homosexuality. Thus those who believe should "make no provision for the flesh." The greedy man should not threaten suicide because the church condemns his greed. How evil! The rapist should not threaten suicide because his fellow students condemn his rapist identity—say, for instance, his love of rap music. How evil!

There is not one other place where Christians are submitting to backmail and cowering in the corner just now. The menu is sodomy and homosexualists are in full dudgeon to stamp out any lingering witness that because of such wickedness the wrath of God descends on man. So they claim that homosexual tendencies aren't chosen and, being at the heart of a man or woman's identity, should be treated tenderly and accepted. And the way to do this moral shuffle within an Evangelical church or college is to talk about the "critical nuance" of homosexuality as opposed to homosexual acts. 

What bunk! What foolishness! What betrayal of the souls bedeviled by this cursed temptation! What lovelessness! What postmodern equivocation! What faithlessness.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (malakoi), nor homosexuals (arsenakoitai), nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1Corinthians 6:9-11)

Did you see that? "Of such WERE some of you." No politics of homosexual identity here. No coddling of the effeminate.

Just past tense—"were."

It's way too late in the day for Christians to get up to speed on the battle for God's Law surrounding us today. If Phil and Stan Jones were good men, they would understand these things and guard their sheep. And the way to guard them is clear. I ended the post with the path they must take:

I call on President Ryken and Provost Jones to reverse their position and change the nature of their LGBT group. Announce to everyone that it is now going to be a group designated to help those in bondage to homosexuality and effeminacy to repent and escape this bondage.

Unless, of course, Wheaton denies anyone needs to repent of effeminacy.

Simple, isn't it? So very simple.

But they won't.

Why not?

Because they use the ESV and the ESV has removed 'malakoi' from the text of God's Word. Two Greek words naming two distinct sins are compressed into one sin in the ESV:  'malakoi' and 'arsenakoitai' become "men who practice homosexuality." But of course, when the Holy Spirit inspires the Apostle Paul to write two words—not one—both words describing both sins should be translated. What word, what sin was left out by the ESV (published by Crossway across the tracks from Wheaton College)?

'Malakoi.'

And what does 'malakoi' mean?

My friend Dr. Robert Gagnon who is without question the top scholar on all things homosexual in Scripture writes

The word 'malakoi' and its Latin equivalent 'molles' (and their cognates) were often employed in antiquity in a restrictive sense; namely, to refer to adult males who were biologically and/or psychologically disposed to desire penetration by men and who actively feminized their appearance and manner as a means to attracting such partners.

The ESV removes this critical nuance inspired by the Holy Spirit and Wheaton's best and brightest start a support group for those Scripture calls the "effeminate" and Wheaton now calls "homosexuals."

It doesn't matter how nice these men are when you have them to dinner and ask them about inerrancy or their cat. It's the gap in the wall that shows them for what they are and the ability to distinguish between a salad and dinner fork matters not a whit when it comes to their duty to guard the souls under their watch-care. Feminism has long held Wheaton in bondage and their trustees and presidents and pastors of College Church in Wheaton across the front campus from Blanchard Hall have all known it good and well. To see Wheaton blithely move into homosexualist identity politics and cover it over with the whitewash of the very pair of sins that the ESV has deleted from 1Corinthians 6, taking the particular word deleted and building support groups for those given over to that sin, is very sad. Also damnable.

Some years back I invited my friend, Hudson Armerding, to Bloomington to preach. After the service he was greeting souls in the doorway of the church and, he told me later at dinner, a young woman stopped in the doorway and said she was getting her Ph.D. in Higher Ed. Administration and wondered if Dr. Armerding knew anyone who could mentor her as she pursued the presidency of a Christian college?

Dr. Armerding told me this and said he hoped he had not caused me problems with his response? He went on: "I told her that I saw the president of a Christian college as a pastor to the community and I didn't think it was Scriptural for a woman to hold that position."

Hudson Armerding was president of Wheaton College from 1962-1985. He recently went to be with the Lord.

I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.

Love,

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.

Comments

 Identity politics is interesting. A good thing about America is that each of us really does control his identity now. I can identify as a man, or a professor, or a Norwegian-American, or a conservative--- or as  a Christian.  I have to choose, though. 

    It would be sad if I chose to identify as a man tempted by lustful thoughts about women.

       Jesus has taught us that we, with His help, can overcome our sins--which include our individual temptations---- even if we still struggle with them. We can be free.    

Part of me is wondering how Ryken and Jones have lost the startling truths of Matthew 5:27-30 in regards to this.  If it is evil for a man to look up on a woman to whom he is not married with lust, than how much more evil for a man to look upon a man, or a woman upon a woman, in the same way?  I don't think we can parse this out as "look but don't touch."

I don't know who said it - whether on this site or elsewhere - but I agree with those who are saying that the great travesty of justice occurring in what Wheaton, the editors of the ESV and others of their ilk have done and are doing with regard to sodomy, is that they are suppressing the truth by their actions and thereby revealing their true nature:  they are unrighteous. (Rom 1:18)

How do I believe that these types of actions reveal their unrighteousness? I think it does so in a manner similar to the actions God called an abomination in Deut 25:13-16. There we read that those with different sets of weights and measures are an abomination to the Lord because they are acting unjustly.

Now, if we go around saying that various kinds of people have an excuse for their sin, then in essence don’t we have different measures for what we can sin?  Will we see that sin of all sorts – be they internally acted upon, e.g. lust, or be they externally acted upon, e.g. theft – is sin.  Will we call it such! Or will we have two different sets of measures, in essence saying that what we do in the privacy of our mind is not a sin, but if we act out our thoughts and desires, then it is a sin?

 Let us not forget that the Bible is replete with statements that we cannot practice sin (1 John 1:6), we cannot give our selves over to sin (2 Pet 2:13) and put our selves at the disposal of sin to obey sin as slaves of sin (Rom 6:16) and have any hope that God approves of that.  God has made it clear:  nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying (doesn’t this mean the suppression of the truth!), shall ever come into [the New Jerusalem], but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Rev 21:27).  [By the way, an English translation of the French Bible I read says, "No man who gives himself over to abominable practices and to lying will enter [the New Jerusalem]. Only will those who are incsribed in the Lamb's Book of Life will have access there. BDS"]

What greater injustice is there than to help people believe that they don't have to repent and that they don’t have to turn to Christ for the forgiveness of both their actions and their nature?  When we do so we consign them to hell (Rev 21:8) - because even though their very nature is putrid to God, even though what they do is thoroughly detestable to God, we tell them they have an excuse: they don't have to repent because they were born that way! 

Will we see the horror of such injustice and nonsense?

Can there be a better way to dishonor God than to say that Christ's death is not finished (John 17:4, John 19:30) and that He's been encouraging His Son to loaf around Heaven's courts (Heb 12:2) when there is still work to be done?

Can anyone truly trust in ANY of God's promises if we promulgate such lies?

This is what it looks like when we suppress the truth of God with our unrighteousness!

As horrible as both of these sins are – the sin of homosexuality and the sin of double measures (both in a business and in a church) - we must remember another sin that equally pops up at times like these for which we’re all admonished not to commit:  In Lev 19:17 we're encouraged to reprove our neighbor without hating him.  Let’s not give our selves over to that sin either, whether in our private thoughts or in our actions.

May God Hallow His Name Among His People

Mark Mars

>>What greater injustice is there than to help people believe that they don't have to repent and that they don’t have to turn to Christ for the forgiveness of both their actions and their nature? 

Excellent, Mark. Thank you.

Love,

But there would seem to be a sense here of looking by intent to fulfill a lust, not of an inadvertent glance which, unbeckoned, arouses latent passion for a moment.

James describes the process very well:

1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

James makes a clear distinction here between involuntary arousal of passion, and the sin that results from being carried away by that arousal. After all, if the arousal itself is sin, why does James speak of the arousal giving birth to sin?

Now, Tim in his penultimate comment to the original article has somewhat cleared up his position, which would seem to put us all on the same page, at least as to what is and what is not sin, since I agree that the intentional display or development of effeminacy is sin, and he agrees that the mere attraction to persons of the same gender is not sin. I’m just not sure that we can assume that Provost Jones is applying the same nuances to the terms "homosexuality" and "homosexual" as Tim does. I have seen highly regarded (even by Tim and David) Christian leaders use those terms inclusively of persons having a "homosexual orientation" but who do not engage in homosexual behavior, including the intentional display or development of effeminacy.

It's important to recognize that claiming a homosexual identity is sinful. There is a whole world between inadvertent temptations and sodomy and this is the world Wheaton's equivocations do a splendid job of muddying up, providing a safe place on campus for those wanting one.

As I've said, such safe places exist through the services of the world of the politics of identity and they trade in limp wrists, Judy Garland, lisps, and equivocations in argument. Come to the music school here at IU and you'll see this in spades.

We call the men who give themselves to these things as an expression of their denial of the modesty of their sex the "malakoi" (if we speak Koine Greek) and the "effeminate" (if we lived in the Reformed world anytime prior to about 1960).

Again, all Wheaton has to do to give itself to reformation rather than deformation is to announce it was mistaken, and it will change the purpose of their funded homosexual identity group from being a safe place for that identity to being a place for the effeminate to read 1Corinthians and pray for their own freedom to say "Of such were some of us."

Love,

>>Now Dave seems to be moving to a place where he recognizes that one's identifying oneself as a homosexual could possibly be sinful, although he still seems not to be able to see anything in between inadvertent temptations and sodomy. There's a whole world in between that I'm not sure he sees, yet.

Tim, I don't see how you can fairly say that, given my explicit agreement that the intentional display or development of effeminacy is sin.

Dear Dave,

I guess I misunderstood that you were finally agreeing to the point, although it's hard for me to understand how you could agree to it while failing to see how Wheaton's change in policy just announced undercuts it. Anyhow, I've corrected my most recent comment.

Love,

Dave,

You have asked, what for me is a very troublesome question for ultimately it has a bearing on what it means to say that the Lord Jesus Christ is both human and Divine.  Since my lamp doesn’t allow me to do much but speculate about how Christ’s humanity and divinity actually answer your question, let me go where I think I can see more clearly.

Is it possible that James has found an “entry point” into the discussion about how we chose to sin?  In other words, is it possible to say more than James said about the genesis of sin and if so, did James, for reasons of his own, choose not to discuss the beliefs, the values and the affections we have all made PRIOR to being tempted? 

I think this possibility exists given the 1st and 2nd commands:  How do we end up deciding that the LORD is not worthy of our trust, love, worship and obedience if it isn’t due to some system of beliefs that determine what is valuable and what is worthless being laid IN ADVANCE of our choosing to worship a false god?  Don’t we determine what is lovely before we give our love to the one we love? I believe this is behind what God is saying through Jeremiah in Jer 2:5-13.

However, if you’re like me, you will say, “How did I choose what I believe?  How did I choose my value system?”  How do I get tempted to do that? !

There may be some interesting answers to that question.  The only one that satisfies me is to say that for whatever reason I was born that way – my self, by its very nature, somehow creates a full blown system by which I choose to disobey God and rob Him of the praise due His Name.

Yes, my circumstances contribute – my opportunities, my knowledge, my culture, etc.  But deep down, it is me, by my very nature that has used all of my circumstances to dishonor God.

Let me ask you this?  When you’re sleeping and you have a lustful dream, is it a sin?  If you say no, would you then say that (1) Jesus had such dreams and (2) He was without sin? (Heb 4:15)

If all this seems farfetched notice what James said before he talked about the genesis of sin:  Those who LOVE the Lord will receive the crown of life.  (James 1:12).  It seems to be that James has dealt with the ultimate genesis of sin:  do we love the Lord or do we hate Him?

Under His Mercy,

Mark Mars

Dear Mark,

Again thank you. You put into words thoughts I had reading Dave's conclusions from James 1:12, but I didn't take the time to put them down here, and had I, they would not have been as wise.

>>If all this seems farfetched...

Then Augustine shouldn't have written about it in his Confessions.

Love,

What would you say to a person who says, "I'm an alcoholic? Alcohol tempts me, but I refrain from it?"

Dave,

You have asked, what for me is a very troublesome question for ultimately it has a bearing on what it means to say that the Lord Jesus Christ is both human and Divine. Since my lamp doesn’t allow me to do much but speculate about how Christ’s humanity and divinity actually answer your question, let me go where I think I can see more clearly.

Is it possible that James has found an “entry point” into the discussion about how we chose to sin? In other words, is it possible to say more than James said about the genesis of sin and if so, did James, for reasons of his own, choose not to discuss the beliefs, the values and the affections we have all made PRIOR to being tempted?

I think this possibility exists given the 1st and 2nd commands: How do we end up deciding that the LORD is not worthy of our trust, love, worship and obedience if it isn’t due to some system of beliefs that determine what is valuable and what is worthless being laid IN ADVANCE of our choosing to worship a false god? Don’t we determine what is lovely before we give our love to the one we love? I believe this is behind what God is saying through Jeremiah in Jer 2:5-13.

However, if you’re like me, you will say, “How did I choose what I believe? How did I choose my value system?” How do I get tempted to do that? !

There may be some interesting answers to that question. The only one that satisfies me is to say that for whatever reason I was born that way – my self, by its very nature, somehow creates a full blown system by which I choose to disobey God and rob Him of the praise due His Name.

Yes, my circumstances contribute – my opportunities, my knowledge, my culture, etc. But deep down, it is me, by my very nature that has used all of my circumstances to dishonor God.

Let me ask you this? When you’re sleeping and you have a lustful dream, is it a sin? If you say no, would you then say that (1) Jesus had such dreams and (2) He was without sin? (Heb 4:15)

If all this seems farfetched notice what James said before he talked about the genesis of sin: Those who LOVE the Lord will receive the crown of life. (James 1:12). It seems to be that James has dealt with the ultimate genesis of sin: do we love the Lord or do we hate Him?

Mark, it seems to me that you are not so much disagreeing with my contention that James is distinguishing between involuntary arousal and the sin that results from being carried away by that arousal, as you are moving the starting point back to the place where we first begin dealing with that involuntary arousal – a movement with which I don’t disagree, but I simply hadn’t gotten to that level of detail. Certainly our prior choices can affect not only how we respond to temptation, but probably even whether, or the degree to which, a particular situation presents temptation at all. A homosexually oriented individual who has been feeding his unnatural desires by deliberately adapting effeminate mannerisms and dress, or otherwise yielding to temptation in ways short of sodomy, would be, I have to suppose, more likely to engage in sodomy than one who has not. But even beyond that, the homosexually oriented individual who has adopted a strong prayer life, a life of fellowship with the saints, who has immersed himself in the word, will obviously be better equipped to persevere under temptation, and thereby to be approved of God and to "receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him," James 1:12, than one who has not done so. And of course, the same can be said of heterosexuals who find themselves confronted by such sexual temptations as may appear in their lives. But James simply does not equate the temptation itself with sin. Indeed, we are to rejoice in our temptations, as James tells us in verse two, and it is a blessing to experience temptation and to persevere thereunder, we are told in verse 12. If we are to rejoice in temptation, and if it is a blessing to experience temptation, then the temptation itself cannot be sin, for surely we are not to rejoice in our sin (though I think we can rejoice in our recognition of our sinful condition and in the magnification of Christ’s righteousness which occurs when we recognize our sin). So what is the temptation that we are to rejoice in? Not, I would think, the temptations that we have created by our own prior behavior, but the temptations we experience as a result of innate conditions, or our environment to the extent that it is beyond our control.

Now, relating this back to Wheaton – I suspect that Tim is right as far as how this will play out in real life at Wheaton College. History is on his side. But neither the "announcement," comments by Wheaton officials or faculty, nor the "guiding document" of refuge indicate that "support" for homosexuals will include encouraging or even tolerating effeminate behavior or other homosexual behavior short of sodomy. I do think that Tim’s point about identifying oneself as gay or lesbian being sin, is a very good one , so long as "identifying" oneself as gay or lesbian is not taken to the extent of including even the mere acknowledgment of a struggle with illicit desires. I also agree with him that Wheaton needs to make it clear that homosexual behavior including effeminacy (or masculinity in women) will not be tolerated. But I continue to disagree with Tim that Provost Jones’ statement distinguishing between homosexuality and homosexual behavior (which, let me reiterate, I agree with Tim includes that "world" of behaviors between mere temptation and sodomy) is necessarily wrong, simply because he may be using the term "homosexuality" in a more limited way than Tim is using it.

What Wheaton does with this "community group" remains to be seen. As I have already conceded, Tim is probably correct in expecting the worst. He certainly has more and closer and more current contact with Wheaton than I do, and history is on his side. But I do not believe that "support" for homosexually-oriented persons need necessarily mean support for their sin.

 

>>I do not believe that "support" for homosexually-oriented persons need necessarily mean support for their sin.

No, of course not. That's what I've tried to say all along. In a day when everyone's demanding special privileges for the sodomite temptation, there are many ways to support those bedeviled by this particularly perverse temptation without saying things that are notable for a complete absence of clarity in declaring the identity a sin. The identity—not simply the act.

So let's list just a couple.

First, the headline in Wheaton College's newspaper:

Refuge Becomes an Official Group for Students Questioning their Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation

Everyone sees the problem here: the name itself indicates this will be a safe place for those questioning whether or not they are homosexual, but we must go on and ask, "A safe place from what? From whom? A safe place from hardened sodomites who have been getting their flame on right there on campus and in their dorm rooms, but who will be kept out of this safe place lest it become a place of additional and concentrated temptation by putting together in one room all those who share the same temptation?

No, of course not. Rather a safe place from those who are heterosexual and wouldn't understand. A safe place from Bible-thumping homophobes who used to hold sway over Wheaton by denying the existence of those struggling with temptations to sodomy, but now will be relegated to the ash heap of history by this new day dawning at Wheaton."

The first words of the article:

“What if I was gay?” a student wrote on a campus bathroom wall.

“Then Jesus, and I, would still love you,” another student responded.

This is the beginning of the piece and it's impossible to miss the point. "Gayness" is not sin. Jesus loves the gay and so does the new Wheaton student. Being "gay" is no barrier to Christian faith and fellowship.

But of course, you may answer that "gay" is no more indicative of an acceptance of identity politics than Provost Jones' "homosexuality." To which I respond that there's no end to the cover we can provide to those Christian leaders who in the kairos are mincing and hedging and blowing entirely uncertain notes. One would think, though, that a Provost of Wheaton College who has studied gayness for thirty years and is a shepherd of young and tender souls would know precisely how to speak clearly, how to blow a clear note (1Corinthians 14:8).

“Research indicates that this is one of the most at-risk student groups on campus,” Melanie Humphreys, dean of Student Care and Services, said. “And what I mean by ‘at-risk’ is at risk for self-harm or suicide. Each of the students I have come to know have experienced significant loneliness and isolation on our campus.”

Now again, the blackmail of suicide is everywhere in the current battle for the souls of those tempted by sodomy, and what everyone uses it to accomplish is the silencing of those calling those tempted by this sin to flee from it. Such calls to repentance and to flee are said to be the cause of suicides and must be silenced. You would think Wheaton's Dean of Student Care and Services would know this. Instead, she couches Wheaton's new initiative in terms of coming alongside the "same-sex attracted, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer" so they won't commit suicide.

If someone were to want to say that Wheaton's new initiative is aimed at bringing "gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer" students together so they will have a safe place to confess their sins and pray for one another, and thus not be at risk of committing suicide, I would wonder what the person reading this article in this way was smoking? Or what mushrooms he'd eaten?

“Refuge saved (my roommate’s) life, and it probably saved mine, too,” the student said.

Wonderful, but how? It would be the easiest and most Christian and Biblical thing for him (or the paper) to add:

"We have been enfolded into a group of prayer warriors who have preached God's truth concerning sexuality to us and have called us to repent of our gayness, bisexualityness, transgenderness, and queerness, and the victories I and other students who are a part of Refuge have won, the freedom we have been given in Christ, have taken my depression away. Now we too have been able to say, with the Apostle Paul, 'of such were some of us.' And we're beginning to see the bondage of many heterosexual sinners on campus who are committing fornication and adultery and abortion and have given themselves, both men and women, to constant use of pornography. So we have started Refuges for them too, and those of us who have left sodomy and sodomite identities behind have set up groups that call our fellow students under other more acceptable sexual bondages to repentance and faith. And etc."

I mean, really; is that so very difficult?

I could go on and list item after item from the article and quotes demonstrating this is most decidedly not the tack Wheaton is taking, but anyone not yet convinced will likely never be convinced.

The only thing in any way disapproved of in this whole article is the "older traditional" Evangelicals who are unloving and those who take the (final, very small) step into "homosexual conduct." How could anyone of spiritual discernment quoted in this article possibly avoid any discussion of the sin surrounding homosexual identity today—that "queer" identity not repented of, but embraced, is the greased path to "queer" conduct and both are sinful?

Love,

[NOTE FROM TIM BAYLY: As David and I have said a number of times, Baylyblog is a ministry of two pastors called by God to make disciples of all men and to guard God's Truth and His Sheep. As such, we are committed to disallowing men to deceive others in the comments in such a way as to lead to Baylyblog becoming a repository for their falsehoods. But this work is an art—not a science—since we are writing here to lead men to faith and repentance in Jesus Christ. So the area we are most firm are lies that deny the plain teaching of Scripture affirmed across two-thousand years of Christian history. The comment below from Mr. Blums has thus been edited to remove lies concerning Scripture's content and teaching. One may argue it would have been better simply to remove the entire comment, but I've chosen not to.]

Tim, I am trying VERY hard to reply in a civil manner. Really! At the same time, unbalanced, illogical and self-righteous demagoguery raise my blood pressure by at least 20 points! (I KNOW this sounds angry but believe me, this is as diplomatic as I can be after reading your post ;D) To whatever degree I have failed to keep my tone civil, I am truly sorry.

Before we get into judeo-christian definitions of what is or isn't sin, let's cover something even more important first. It's called democracy. In the United States, as in most if not all democracies, there is freedom of religion and, a necessity to ensure this, a separation of church and state. 

[TB: The Bible's teaching] that homosexuality is a sin, this need have weight ONLY for those who accept the Bible as an authority. There are many, many people who belong to other religions and/or do not view the Bible as divine instruction and the word of God, and neither you nor anyone else has the right to impose your personal beliefs on them. In a democracy, we call this "protection from tyranny of the majority" though these days, as to truly practicing Christians, this would be more "protection form tyranny of a minority".

Don't get me wrong, I would be as firmly against anyone who tired to deny you freedom of conscience of your religion. You have every right to believe what you believe and to live YOUR life in accordance with it, but not to try and impose your personal beliefs on others.

There are, of course, many laws that correspond to judeo-christian concepts, and that of other religions, but the thing to note here is that all of these laws relate to activities which involuntarily affect third parties. For example, "Thou shalt not steal" is not just a commandment, it is also law, but because there is an innocent victim. Rape IS a crime, because there is an unwilling victim, pre/extramarital sex is not because there is (arguably) no victim.

This brings us beautifully to some of your other arguments. 

I am not aware of anyone seriously putting legalizing bestiality on the menu for the very obvious difference that one is the forcing of ones desires on another (in this case, animal) who has not or cannot express their willingness. Homosexuality, in comparison, refers to a relationship between consenting adult partners who are capable of understanding the implications of their actions. (forcing homosexual activities on an unwilling partner or a minor is just as illegal as forcing heterosexual relations on another).

[TB: two sentences removed because they misrepresent the plain meaning of Scripture.]

I am therefore rather amazed that you would suggest that the supposed impossibility of gays changing their nature is the entire basis for the same sex marriage movement, since this is entirely irrelevant! Why would anyone have to change to suit your personal views, whether they can or not, unless they, themselves, want to? Why, on the other had, would we accept anyone forcing their desires on others who do not share them, whether the aggressor is powerless to change or not?

For whatever reason, some portion of the population is born attracted to their own sex, just as a percentage is born left handed, with blond hair or green eyes. Why should any of these people need to change to suit you or anyone else's marrow definition of "right and wrong" or "sin"?

Nevertheless, what does the Bible actually say about homosexuality? 

Interestingly, and quite accurately, you had to jump all the way to Paul to find a SUPPOSED condemnation of homosexuality. 

Why is this important? Well, think about it! The Bible was written over thousands of years, supposedly as the inspired word of God. He even gave us the ten commandments and supposedly sinful homosexuality didn't make it into the top ten! Then we move into the new testament, this first part of which is supposed to be the teachings of the Son of God, as recorded by others. Jesus ALSO never condemned homosexuality. 

[TB: five or so sentences removed in which Mr. Blums claims Scripture doesn't condemn sodomy. This is a very common lie of homosexualists today and it is laughable.]

I, unfortunately, cannot speak/read koine greek. I have to rely on the web and other sources... [TB: several sentences removed because they misrepresent the plain meaning of Scripture.]

Still, you believe that Paul meant to condemn homosexuality and you have every right to believe that and I would fully support your right to choose to act in accordance with this belief, but how can you feel comfortable trying to impose such a shaky view on others (the issue of not having the right to do so aside)?

I was substitute-teaching the children's Sunday School class yesterday. The passage we were studying was James 1:6-11.

In this passage are two pictures. The one who doesn't trust God's promises is like the surf of the sea...

But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. - James 1:6

...and the rich man is like the flower of grass, that quickly withers...

...and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. - James 1:10-11

I talked about building on something firm versus trying to build on a bog---much less trying to build on an ocean wave (Here it is! No, there!) I drew pictures on the board. (The kids laughed my bog frog to scorn.) But one young man in the class argued that you really could do just fine building on the surf, if you were on a surfboard. Yup, waves of the sea could be a perfectly fine home, he said. All you need is a surfboard.

The same young man also took issue with the idea that riches will pass away like the flower of the field---the flowers of the field that he's seen last practically forever, and they don't wither in the sun.

Of course, if living on the surf is just fine and the flower of the field doesn't wilt, there's no lesson for us here. Nothing to see, nothing to change, nothing to repent of. Just move along, it's just one more irrelevant passage that has nothing to do with us.

Mr. Blums, you're arguing that you can live on the surf and you're placing your trust in wilting flowers of the field. Do humble yourself under the Word of God today.

Love,

Hmmm, quite a compliment, I suppose. Rather than addressing any of the issues in a substantiated manner, you've responded with a juicy raspberry.

Other issues aside, the main point as far as Biblical text is that not only the actual intent of the ORIGINAL Biblical texts meant, there is also considerable dissension as to whether they in any way are the word of God. 

When even Christian Biblical scholars and Bible versions can't agree on the true text, you are basing your beliefs entirely on personal bias and wisps of smoke you HOPE are true. You are welcome to do this, but to claim that you are inerrant when so much disagreement exists is arrogant. To insist others must be governed by your personal beliefs in their lifestyle choices is beyond arrogant.

Erik,

You do not read scripture like a catholic Christian but you read it like a fundamentalist.

Dear Mr. Blums,

In our nation, every law is the majority forcing their religious morality on the minority. If sodomite benefits for civil servants become law, it will be the evil man who worships creation rather than The Creator forcing me to join his religious rebellion. His hatred of God and His Law is his religion properly called "Secularism" or "Pantheism" or "Paganism" just as my love of The Creator and His Law is my religion properly called "Christianity." 

You, dear sir, are militant in your religious fervor seeking to proselytize others to your faith. You come onto this orthodox Christian blog and spew moral filth which is an indication of the degree of your bondage to moral filth, and thus your enslavement to demons and Hell.

And sodomy a victimless crime? Ludicrous. Start with Ryan White. He died the innocent victim of sodomite men whose sexual practices corrupted the world's blood supply and killed off the hemophiliacs. Beyond this obvious truth, though, the world is filled with the victims of sodomites. Wives. Sons. Daughters. Parishioners. Employers. Employees. Coaches' players. Soldiers under the sodomite's command. Cell mates. Guards. Counselees. All have suffered terrible harm from the corrupting moral filth of sodomy and sodomites. Then there are all the little children corrupted by sodomites who molested them, many of whom are so corrupted that they grow up to be sodomites themselves.

I've spent my life comforting the victims of sexual immorality, but of course, those practicing that sexual immorality deny there are any victims. Adulterers deny their wife or children suffered. Sodomites deny their wife or children suffered. Masturbatory narcissists deny their wife or children suffered.

Why am I even responding to a man so very committed to his blindness that he speaks of the horror of sodomy as a victimless crime? It's impossible to have a rational discussion with a man who thinks he has no religion and that sodomites have no victims. So...

There's no possible compromise between your religion and mine. One of Heaven and the other Hell. One issues in eternal life in the presence of God and yours issues in an eternity of Hell torments. What hath light to do with darkness.

(Jesus said to the Church in Thyatira) But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. (Revelation 2:20-23)

Repent, my dear man, while it is yet day, for night is falling when no man will be able to repent. Flee to the Only True God in Jesus Christ.

With hatred and revulsion for the wickedness you have professed here,

Matthew 7:5

Matthew 7:6

Leviticus 18:22

John 5:46

1 John 4:5-7

I referenced Leviticus 18:22 because it is written for God's people...which includes us (not you, presumably)...and the NT tells us on more than one ocassion that the OT was not just for "those Israelites", but for our instruction (1 Corinthians 10:11; Romans 15:4; Jude 1:7 citing Sodom and Gomorrah's sodomy as an example and connected it to hell-fire).

Those above-cited passages agree with Jesus' approach to the OT which is why I cited John 5:46. You believe Moses? Then believe Jesus. Which can be reversed: You say you believe Jesus? How about Moses?

I referenced 1 John 4:5-7 because you refuse to listen to Jesus, who affirmed Moses' teaching. You refuse to listen to the apostolic writings which cite OT examples for our instruction, and you reject men today who obey Jesus and teach the same things He taught. You possess the spirit of error...of subversion...of antichrist.

I apologize for a lack of clarity.

Actually, Craig, we are in almost complete agreement :-) As I have maintained all along, if you (or Tim or anyone else) believe something, you have every right to and, reasonably, should strive to live in accordance with that belief. 

If you believe old testament instruction is for all of God's people, as I already wrote, I completely support your decision to try and live in accordance with what you believe is the word of God. (even though that is not what the OT itself says, you have every right to pick and choose and believe as you wish)

As you point out, I do not believe the Bible is "Gods word", nor do I even believe in a God anymore, so reasonably, as you put it, am NOT one of God's people and am NOT bound to try and live in accordance with "his" laws as, you believe, they are in the Bible.

The question then remains, why does TIM and other fundamentalists want to impose their personal narrow interpretation on others?

I am interested, however, in a few points I raised before which you have not answered. 

[TB: Content removed.]

I am assuming their must be some consistency here!

You are also free to judge that I am the antichrist himself for disagreeing with your narrow personal interpretation. No skin of my back, [TB: Content removed.]  but whether I am or not is entirely irrelevant as I am not trying to impose my beliefs or will on anyone else, just to protect the rights of others to make their own choices as what to believe, as long as they do not, in so doing, impinge the rights of others . 

As with most Christians, however, my suggestion, for what it' s worth, before you presume to judge me, reread and contemplate Matthew 7:1-5. If you admit you are a sinner and NOT perfect, than inescapably the measure with which you judge others is imperfect. If Matthew 7:1-5 is interpreted literally, judging others you are condemning yourself to imperfect judgement.  

Why don' t we all address ourselves to our own shortcomings and try and correct others shortcomings when we are near enough perfect to dare it?

Erik,
to respond to any of your questions assumes you are seeking truth. You are not. Fundie Atheists insist that the Scriptures, if true, should have employed language and phrasing informed by an unswavering devotion to the natural sciences that didn't exist then (let alone 200 years ago).

It's deviously anachronistic to force Scripture through such a grid and displays your prior commitment rather than a compelling argument. Yes, yes...you're an atheist. Compelling!

Unfortunately, you're not particularly faithful to your own prior commitments, Erik. You speak in vague generalities about the fact there are multiple Scripture translations and the fact there are many denominations. Did you want to do the scientific thing and drill down to something specific and move toward a general hypothesis? Is there a reason this is troubling when societies have been studying many different works, in different languages, and even different translations within particular languages with different scholars holding different opinions?

What's so epistemically scary about Christians having differing opinions and beliefs? Can't we be free-thinkers? I thought that was something like-minded fundie atheists valued. Of course, if Christians ended up holding identical beliefs we'd be described as "brainwashed" and that we "can't think for ourselves." We face both charges from the same voices whenever it's convenient.

Once unbelivers "level the field" by arguing the Bible is no different than other books, they pull the rug out and suddenly it's completely unlike any other book because different people read it differently from different tranlsations and versions.

Dear readers,

I've removed one long comment made by Mr. Blum and parts of another. As we say often, this blog is not a public forum for wickedness. If a man wants to blaspheme the Living God and attack His Word and People, the entire internet is open to him to do so. Not Baylyblog. 

If Mr. Blum would like to read our content, he's welcome and may it lead him to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Love,

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