HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH
Updated: Jul 29, 2021
JC One | By Jeff Berry, June 23, 2021
In order for the church to effectively and scripturally deal with the issue of homosexuality it must first understand the ongoing dynamics at play. We will begin with a very limited look at the history that led up to where the church finds herself and conclude with the relevance of Scripture to the issue.
Education, Science and Psychology
The roots of education, science and psychology can be found within the church. However, each discipline was led astray by individuals that were willing to compromise the Word of God. For example, it was Augustine of Hippo (Aurelius Augustinus 354-430) that stated: "...the Scriptures are so to be explained as not to incur the ridicule of unbelievers."* And Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) that said: “...since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a particular explanation, only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it, if it be proved with certainty to be false; lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing.”** And as we shall see, each discipline was literally hijacked by individuals that were purposefully seeking a naturalistic worldview that did not include God. While historical revisionist increasingly attempt to leave out the role the church has played in the various disciplines, no one can deny the role the church has played in education. (For example, Harvard, Princeton and Yale were all originally religious institutions.)
While the discipline of science can perhaps trace its’ roots to the discipline of philosophy, many philosophers were theologians such as Augustine which also said “We must be on our guard against interpretations which are hazardous or opposed to science and so exposing the Word of God to ridicule of unbelievers;"*** and Thomas Aquinas. Others, like Charles Darwin (who was christened in the Church of England but had a grandfather that denied that the Bible was supernaturally inspired and a father that was an atheist) sought to explain life without God. Science (via evolution) is perhaps the best example of a "discipline that was led astray by individuals that were willing to compromise the Word of God and... hijacked by individuals that were purposefully seeking a naturalistic worldview that did not include God."
The field of psychology “progressed” in a similar fashion. Like science, psychology can perhaps trace it's roots back to the discipline of philosophy and theology with Augustine being an example with his "intellect and psychological reflections." However, it was not until much later that psychology (as a discipline) began to take shape with men like Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) a German physiologist often called the "founder of modern psychology" and son of a Lutheran minister and grandson of a professor and pastor; Austrian psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) who called religion a ‘neurosis’ and is said to have had “no use for God” and; Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung (1875-1961) son of a minister, rejected Christianity and was profoundly influenced (like Freud) by evolutionists. Author of The Jung Cult, Richard Noll, states that “Spiritualism and evolutionary biology formed the basis of his psychoanalysis theories which were intended to replace Christianity.”
Although Sigmund Freud (replying to a mother that wrote concerning her son’s homosexuality) stated: "Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function, produced by a certain arrest of sexual development," homosexuality eventually found its' way into the American Psychological Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) as a mental disorder.
June is celebrated as Gay Pride Month primarily due to what is now called the Stonewall Riots that began June 28, 1969, as a result of a police raid on the Stonewall Inn (a known gay bar located in Greenwich Village, New York City). While the Stonewall Riots were not the beginning of the “gay rights” movement, it fueled the efforts of gay rights organizations.
In 1970 activist disrupted the APA conference in San Francisco to protest the APA’s classification of Homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder, followed by a massive demonstration at the Washington D.C. conference in 1971 and in 1972 an anonymous member of the APA spoke to the audience about working in a profession that labels homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder. On December 23, 1973 the APA removed “Homosexuality” as a “psychiatric disorder” in its’ DSM giving homosexual activist the needed foothold to propel homosexuality into modern day “acceptance.”
The Divergence And Ultimate Clash Of Two World Views
While Scripture repeatedly labels homosexuality as sin, emphasizes the scientific fact that there are only two genders and declares women wearing men’s clothing and men wearing women’s clothing as an abomination (it is, of course, no surprise that a fallen race would tend to move away from God) the gender/transgender and specifically homosexual issue represents more than just a movement away from “all things God,” it expressly represents the most extreme rejection of God Himself. (It is however very important to understand that homosexuality is no greater a sin than, let’s say, a heterosexual couple engaging in extramarital sex. There are no "degrees" of sin. Sin is sin. Except perhaps, as we shall see, knowingly rejecting God.)
Again, the statement; "each discipline was led astray by individuals that were willing to compromise the Word of God and each were literally hijacked by individuals that were purposefully seeking a naturalistic worldview that did not include God," is a subject that could fill a book. The very brief synopsis given above is likely not enough to support this claim; however, the church has been under attack from within since her
inception. And while some that are willing to "compromise the Word of God" may perhaps be well meaning as Augustine which said; “We must be on our guard against interpretations which are hazardous or opposed to science and so exposing the Word of God to ridicule of unbelievers;" others like Carl Jung, son of a minister, rejected Christianity and whose theories were intended to replace Christianity, were not. Of the two, the "well meaning" Augustines of the church have done the most damage and are perhaps the most dangerous.
Two "world views?" Two very different world views! Even the far left media outlet PBS (Public Broadcasting System) declared that there are two very different world views stating "Whether we realize it or not, all of us possess a worldview. …We make one of two basic assumptions: we view the universe as a result of random events, and life on this planet a matter of chance; or we assume an intelligence beyond the universe who gives the universe order, and life meaning." Truth, Truth! From the Public Broadcasting system no less! (By the way, one of these two world views is naturalistic and seeks to explain life without God and is an outright rejection of all things God and the other lovingly embraces the Truths of God.) The big question is, in which camp do the Augustines fall?
Because there are only two world views, they must overlap one another (like two overlapping circles). The Augustines of the world fall into the area that each circle shares. Ahh, but beware my friend, for Jesus said "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." Take one side or the other my friend! Do not think "middle of the road" is a safe place to be. Are you (the reader) an "Augustine?" Perhaps well meaning but willing to compromise the Word of God?
God's Word is our anchor because it never changes. Men reject it because it exposes their sin. It is not that the Bible is outdated or irrelevant, it is that they are rejecting God and His Word. We now live in a society that is anti-life, anti-truth and anti-God! It is a fact, that the further you move from an object, the more difficult it is to see that object and the closer you move toward it, the more clearly you can see it. For this reason a nonbeliever is unable to see God nor can he see God's Truth; however, those that seek to explain life without God are making a conscious choice to reject Him. It is not that homosexuality is more abhorrent to God than other sins. It is that many make the choice knowingly rejecting the Truth of God.
The Apostle Paul speaks of such a time as this in Romans Chapter 1, verses 18-32. I ask that you indulge me for a moment while I quote this very familiar passage of Scripture using the King James Version. Read (listen) to Paul's words carefully (and if needed, reread this passage in the version of your choosing). Note, again that the sin of homosexuality is no greater sin than any other sin, except it is here being used as a vehicle to reject God. This passage can be summarized overall as The Downward Progression of Man and divided into three sections, I have attempted to summarize each section...
Section 1 summary: They are without excuse. They knew the truth, they suppressed it. They knew God but worshiped His creation. Consequently, they lost the ability to think reasonably;
Verses 18-23: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and
Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things."
Section 2 summary: God gave them up. Paul expounds on his previous statements in section 1 and identifies the sin of homosexuality specifically. Notice that Paul states that "God gave them up" twice and "God gave them over" once in the following passage;
Verses 24-28: "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient..."
Section 3 summary: Aspects of the nature of those that reject God;
Verses 29-32: "Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
Does Paul not describe such a time as this? (That is not to say, "we have never been here before" but, we are certainly there now.) And so we see the divergence of two world views in the history of the church and the various disciplines and (I believe) we have only begun to see those two world views clash.
Get In The Word
You may have difficulty understanding just how evolutionary theory has anything to do with homosexuality but evolutionary theory is the foundation for a world view that excludes God. There are sadly, many within the "church" that are not willing to oppose the theory of evolution so as not to expose the Word of God (and more importantly, themselves) to ridicule of unbelievers. So you compromise the Word of God. You make God's Word fit man's science. (By the way, if you diligently studied the Bible, you would conclude that God makes it very clear that He did not "use" evolution to create anything and if the science contradicts Scripture, we simply have the science wrong - another subject that could fill a book.) The Bible is, of course, not a textbook on science but our science should never contradict it.
God's Word is not open to personal interpretation. Why would He do that? He would not! Here are just a few things to guide the reader when studying Scripture: 1) God's Word is inspired by God, therefore it is inerrant. 2) Always use Scripture to interpret Scripture. Scripture never contradicts itself, if there seems to be a "contradiction" or if Scripture contradicts
science for example, it is because we do not have all the information. Have faith! 3) Scripture is always historically and grammatically accurate. Rather than believing in a "literal" interpretation of Scripture, it is more accurate to say you believe that Scripture (original manuscripts) are always historically and grammatically accurate. This is key to the serious student of the Word! And finally 4) the Bible is not "outdated." I recently had a conversation with a friend that declared "the Bible is gone!" Meaning (I believe) that it is irrelevant to today's society. I agree! It is irrelevant to a society that rejects God. But it is not outdated and it is very relevant to those who put their trust in its' Author!
My response to the above mentioned friend was that (very sadly) there will be very few that find their way, referring to Jesus' words where he says: "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." I wanted my friend to understand that Scripture is relevant (even though we live in a society that thinks otherwise) and Scripture is not outdated (because Jesus spoke of such a time as this). And I want you (the reader) to understand that God knew, even before he laid the foundation of the world, that men would try to make His Word fit man's science and say that there are multiple races and multiple genders, etc. He addresses these issues in His Word. He knew! However, as a believer, you need to be a Berean and search the scriptures daily, to see whether those things are so.
Just one last point, before moving forward. For the believer, diligently studying the Scriptures (rather than a casual reading) will serve to bolster your faith. Find out what critics of the Bible claim are "contradictions" and question whether or not it is true. Use multiple translations and compare how each one translates a word or verse. (I like to use the KJV, NIV and NASB for various reasons. These are my go-to translations.) But also look at the original text whether in Hebrew or Greek. Having done these things and remembering the four above points, you will have a much greater appreciation for the Bible than you likely already have...
Civil Right, Illness or Sin
Sigmund Freud got one thing right, homosexuality cannot be classified as an illness. However, social psychologists claim that individuals that struggle with homosexuality and their religious beliefs are experiencing cognitive dissonance (or conflict between their religious or moral beliefs and their sexual orientation). In an article in the Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling (July 2011) the authors state; "The internalized antihomosexual messages promoted by the majority of U.S. religious denominations may increase the complexity and psychological stressors on lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals coming to terms with their sexual identity... Research indicates that LGB individuals seek out counseling at higher rates than their heterosexual counterparts... These concerns might include... difficulties reconciling one’s sexual orientation with one’s own religious beliefs." The authors go on to state that “Cognitive Dissonance” and “conflict” are used interchangeably in the article.
However, what social psychologists call "cognitive dissonance" is actually conviction of sin. Outside of strictly biblical counseling (which would seek to help an individual live victoriously) the discipline of psychology cannot help an individual that struggles with the sin of homosexuality, beyond perhaps achieving self-acceptance, which is basically the goal of cognitive dissonance counseling. (Again, by "struggle" I mean conviction of sin.) Is self-acceptance enough? Like all sin, homosexuality is very shallow (sin can never be satisfied) and self-acceptance is the equivalent of forgiving yourself.
No where in Scripture are we told that we need to forgive ourself. To become whole, one must first seek the forgiveness of his Creator by trusting in the merits of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Being reconciled with his Creator through the forgiveness of sin, one can then accept oneself in Christ, whatever His will may be, which may very well involve trusting Him for grace to live victoriously over the temptations of homosexuality (just as a heterosexual that was redeemed after a life of heterosexual sin). (We will return to this subject in a moment.)
And, while there are those "Augustines" and "Aquinases" within the "church" (sometimes whole denominations) that would guard against interpretations that would expose the Word of God to ridicule
of unbelievers, that claim that homosexuality is not a sin; Scripture is very clear, it is not open to personal interpretation. It would be far better to be hot (for God) or cold (against God) than be "lukewarm!" Being in the middle of the road is never a safe place to be!
Just as there is no science to support multiple races, multiple genders, etc., there is no science behind the acceptance of homosexuality. As you may recall, "acceptance" was achieved by coercion, the APA did not change its' DSM classification from a psychiatric disorder due to scientific research. On the other hand, "gay" activist declare homosexuality to be a civil right like "black" activist declared their civil rights... The difference is, science (and Scripture) support the civil rights of "blacks." Scripture (and science) make it very clear, we all descended from Adam and Eve. So there is no "black" and "white" (we are all various shades of brown, skin color is no different than, say, eye or hair color). The idea of multiple races is a social construct based on the "theory of evolution." Neither science nor Scripture support the civil rights of homosexuality. Homosexuality is not a civil right, is not an illness, it is sin.
The book of Genesis is a historical account. There are many that claim that Genesis is something other than historical (for example, an allegory, myth, poetry, etc.). (Perhaps some are "haters of God" and some are "Augustines" or "Aquinases" and certainly some have not taken the time to "search the scriptures daily, to see whether those things are so." They assume that the "Augustines" and "Aquinases" and the "haters of God" know what they are talking about and that they do not have any ill intentions.) However, Jesus himself (as well as some New Testament writers) spoke of Genesis as historical. It is in fact foundational because if we believe that Scripture is the inspired, inerrant, Word of God, Genesis can be nothing but historical. The following points emphasize the importance of Genesis as a foundation for our faith:
1) The book of Genesis eliminates the possibility that God used evolution or the "big-bang" to create the universe:
"In the beginning" (these words, meaning the absolute beginning, and a careful look at the order in which God created the earth, are both contrary to the big-bang model and the "theory" of evolution);
"...he which made them at the beginning made them male and female" (therefore no "gap" between the beginning and the creation of Adam and Eve);
"And the evening and the morning" (specifying one approximate 24 hour period);
"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made" (again clearly specifying one approximate 24 hour period, had God not rested for a specific [or had He rested for an indefinite] period of time, we would read "and God rested..." See also Exodus Chapter 20 verses 9–11).
Note: it is not possible to do justice in this very brief synopsis! (Study multiple versions and look at specific words in the original text for a start...)
2) The book of Genesis credits God for all creation, fallen man does not:
"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God."
3) Genesis specifically differentiates between humans, animals and plants. Humans are made in the image of God, animals and plants are not. Fallen man reduces humans to animals and elevates animals and the enviroment:
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth;"
"Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own
hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator..."
4) Genesis specifically states that there are only two genders, fallen man ignores Scripture and science, claiming multiple genders:
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them;"
"And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female..."
5) Genesis institutes marriage between one man and one woman, fallen man has defiled the institution of marriage:
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh;"
"...For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
6) Genesis confirms that there is only one "race" for we read:
"And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living."
And 7) the book of Genesis establishes the fall of the human race and establishes the need/promise of a Saviour. If Genesis is anything but historical then there is no need for a Saviour:
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned...Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come."
The Psalmist declares: "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" And; "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever." And the author of Proverbs writes: "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." God's Word is our anchor, it keeps us from drifting away from Him and Genesis is foundational to our faith. No passage of Scripture is up for personal interpretation. If we can reinterpret any passage of Scripture, we can reinterpret any passage of Scripture.
Mythology? Allegory? Poem? Well, if we adhere strictly to our rule of using Scripture to interpret Scripture, we will find that the genealogies of Jesus found in Matthew and Luke confirm the historical nature of Genesis, for just one example. It cannot be emphasized enough, the book of Genesis is foundational to our faith and those that hate God know it! (Do you think it is coincidental that literally every issue that we as the church are faced with today, is addressed in God's Word and specifically Genesis? And each one is being challenged by those that hate God?) So they attack the Word of God and to some degree are successful. But you, but you who seek the truth know better. You know that "without faith it is impossible to please him" and you know that "he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Born This Way
Many homosexuals claim that they were born homosexual (and I think that that is truly what they believe). Of course being born homosexual (in their mind) mitigates their responsibility and makes homosexuality more natural and acceptable. As Sigmund Freud put it, simply "a variation of the sexual function." The fact is we simply do not know. Most Christians would likely not consider it as a possibility but there is a reason why homosexuals believe that they were born homosexual. As a young adult, the subject of homosexuality and the claim that homosexuals were born homosexual, came up in my Sunday school class. My well meaning but not well received comment was that "if they were born homosexual, it must be a birth defect." I do not recall specific comments but I very definitely remember being "shot down" by the other, much older attendees and our teacher! I believe my fellow classmates were defining "birth defect" in a much more narrow way than myself. I, in fact, would have agreed with Freud when he said it is a "variation of the sexual function" but, only in the sense that it is a sexual dysfunction.
Sadly, I believe that the APA's decision to change the DSM classification of homosexuality from a mental disorder, stifled any clinical research that may have been accomplished (such as gathering data). By the way, research would have perhaps served to answer questions like; why homosexuals believe that they were born homosexual and how can we "prevent" homosexuality, etc., and, may have given the many "struggling" homosexuals the answers that they long for. Christians should not get their "feathers ruffled" by what I am saying (please stay tuned...). Sexual sin is sexual sin.
Sexually promiscuous women (and men) that are heterosexual, are promiscuous for a reason. It is often because they were sexually abused in some way as children. Sometimes the abuse occurs at a very young age (perhaps before they began to develop childhood memories at the age of three or four). People, even Christians, struggle with sexual addiction perhaps more often than we would like to believe! But even if a sexual abuse victim cannot remember being sexually abused, their sexual behavior that is outside biblical parameters, is sin.
So, all the research in the world will not change the fact that homosexuality is sin and for this reason we really do not need to know whether or not a homosexual is "born" homosexual (likely not, but we don't know). This is actually just one reason why many "think" or claim that the Bible is "outdated." Because man says that homosexuality is just "a variation of the sexual function" and homosexuals were born homosexual but, God says it is sin! It is a matter of believing man's word or the Word of God. Remember that the Bible is our anchor, it keeps us from drifting away from Him. It is inspired by God, therefore it is inerrant, it will never be outdated!
I am reminded of when my wife and I were raising our sons. We were reminded repeatedly that it was never adequate to tell a child "because I said so" when he asked "why?" However, as parents, we knew things that our boys did not know, and in many cases, would not have been able to understand due to their young age. Christians often ask "why" and (if we do not get an answer) we should know that the answer is "because I said so!" Our very loving heavenly Father knows why, and that is all that I and hopefully you, need to know. For this reason, while the sin of homosexuality is no greater sin than any other, rejecting God and His Word is perhaps the greatest of all sin. As we read in the passage above (Romans Chapter 1) Paul is clearly speaking of those who use homosexuality as a vehicle to knowingly reject God (and the regression of their thinking) and those ("Augustines" and "Aquinases") that support them in their folly! Have you ever seen a time when things were so "upside down?" Anyone old enough to have grandchildren know exactly what I mean (our grandchildren have no clue).
"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened...Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
God's Word says that homosexuality is sin and that is all we need to know! The very good news is that their is hope for anyone that struggles with homosexuality (or any other sexual sin) that is willing to accept that homosexuality is sin, because God says so! How that must please our heavenly Father! It is always okay to ask why, but we need to be willing to accept "because I said so." And while there have been those that testify to having been delivered from various addictions, it would be safe to say that most are not. Most individuals that have been saved from sexual sin (including homosexuality) will likely have to "carry his cross" for the rest of his or her life.
Does God love Homosexuals? Absolutely! However, like all sinners, He calls them to repent and turn away from their sin...
The church needs to understand the dynamics at play in our society today. There is a world view that attempts to explain life without God. That world view is based on evolutionary theory and there are those that are using that world view to legitimize their sin (specifically homosexuality) with the support of those outside as well as within the church. While long over due, pastors need to address the issue of evolutionary theory as a world view and we need to speak more openly about sexual sin. Pastor, certainly you have to deal with such issues delicately from the pulpit: but if you do not decry the evils of evolution and homosexuality from the pulpit for fear of offending someone (or if you do not declare that abortion is murder for fear of offence); you my friend, are an
"Augustine" and an "Aquinas" and need to either look for another post or another line of work! (Perhaps these issues could be further addressed in a Sunday school setting.)
However, the church seems to have the mindset that sexual sin is the most abhorrent sin and homosexuality is somehow the most abhorrent to God (with the exception perhaps being pedophilia and even pedophilia is no more abhorrent to God than any other sexual sin. Sin is sin. There are no "degrees" of sin. The most abhorrent sin is knowingly rejecting God and His Word! Homosexuals that are seeking help are not rejecting God). For this reason many that struggle with sexual sin (especially homosexual) are reluctant to seek help within the church. Let him that is without sin cast the first stone...
Christians seeking to help those who "struggle" with homosexuality (like any other sexual sin) should be prepared to make a long term commitment with a focus on praying with them, opening Scripture and expounding upon God's Word (which of course is key to sound biblical counseling) and eventually maintaining contact and holding them accountable. A degree in "psychology" or state issued certificate in counseling is not necessary but a degree in theology from a sound biblically based Christian college or university is helpful. (Sadly, even most "biblically" based Christian colleges and universities that offer a degree in psychology, use a strictly secular curriculum. That being said, with some exceptions, the overwhelming need is not "psychological" but spiritual. And that is true whether we are talking about sexual addictions, marital conflicts or depression.) Furthermore, being well grounded in the faith and having a lifetime of experience studying the Word and walking with God is essential!
The Church needs to take back the ministry of sound biblically based counseling (without reservation)! The church has stepped aside in many cases for fear of legal action against them. Christians have a right to seek counsel from their pastor or a friend and they have a right (and obligation) to reach out to those who are hurting. Christians have a right to offer biblically based counseling. Perhaps the best way to address the above issues is to establish a multi denominational center within the community (not within the church) that offers biblically based counseling anonymously over the phone as well as in person. This would facilitate addressing the issues both within and outside the church that will become increasingly prevalent! Consequently, the church needs to be prepared for inevitable challenges from those that are knowingly rejecting God.
This is my favorite part because I know that there are those within and outside of the church that see no hope. To that one, I would remind you that our God, our glorious God is a very awesome God! In His wisdom he moved Paul to write a passage of Scripture in 1 Corinthians Chapter 10 that we are all very familiar with.
However, we tend to focus on the latter half of the passage more so than the beginning which states: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man..." You who have been redeemed from a life of sexual sin, you my friend are not alone! As we have said before, sexual sin is sexual sin. There are no degrees of sin and consequently there are no degrees of temptation. Temptation is temptation! (And of course, temptation is not sin.) So you are not less holy, less worthy, because you have been redeemed from sexual sin if you indeed are trusting in the merits of Jesus sacrifice on the cross.
Even Jesus was tempted: "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we
have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Bless God! But, you are thinking, Jesus was not tempted by sexual sin... Correct, Jesus lived a sinless life. He did not bare the burden of a past sinful life. Nevertheless, Paul writes: "we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities..." That is because Jesus experienced temptations far greater than we will ever have to endure, for Paul writes in another place (referring I believe to Jesus' agony in the garden) "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin."
Because I am limited here to give perhaps a few encouraging words and a few Scripture verses that we need to keep in mind, please watch for our post HOW TO LIVE VICTORIOUSLY IN A FALLEN AND DEPRAVED WORLD (that will address the issue of having been redeemed from a life of sexual sin much more thoroughly and will include some of my own personal testimony). Our focus in this post has been to lay out the path that has brought the church to this point. Because the church has not diligently stood against those that willingly compromise the Word and those that seek to explain life without God, we are now faced with the battle of our life. I want to conclude with a quote from the book of Jude because what Jude has to say was very apropos (both then as well as now). Please read (listen) very carefully to what Jude had to say to the church:
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ...These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."
Blessings my friend!
*Augustine, De Genesi ad litteram (Genesis in the Literal Sense) Volume I, Chapter 19.
**Thomas Aquinas, The Summa Theologica, Article 1 (Whether the firmament was made on the second day?).
***Augustine, De Genesi ad litteram (Genesis in the Literal Sense) Volume I, Chapter 19.
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