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Let’s Ban Homosexuality

Also see: The Bible and Gay Marriage

My freshman year I took a class on Christian discipleship. I remember that I thought my prof was pretty liberal when she questioned why so many churches are appalled by the thought of gay men and women coming into their church. In fact, at the time, I was pretty disgusted. My thought was pretty clear: “I guess she hasn’t read the Bible. It says that homosexuals aren’t going to heaven.”

This year California is in the news for Prop 8 which would give/or not give equal marriage rights to gay couples as heterosexual couples. Some great bloggers have opposing views on this subject, check them out HERE and HERE.

Let me first say this–to me, marriage is between a man and a woman only.

This post isn’t meant to be taken as a political one either, Prop 8 is just one example of a hotly debated issue on homosexuality and marriage.

Why are Christians so scared of gays coming to church and even being Christians? Why do so many Christians believe gays can’t believe in Christ? How is being gay any different than having an affair?

These are all questions I have grappled with since that day in class freshman year of college. Going back to homosexuality in the Bible…

1st Corinthians 6:9b-10 (NIV): “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

When is the last time you heard a pastor say that the greedy won’t get into heaven? That is what comes to my mind when I read that verse. Reading that verse makes me wonder if I might get to heaven. But this isn’t my point…

For a long time I’ve struggled with homo-phobia, unable to have any respect for the gay community. Just look at my reaction to my teacher. I just couldn’t go there. “Gays in church…come on! No way!” The Bible tells us to present our requests to God through prayer and petition. So that is what I’ve done…prayed that God would give me a softer heart, able to care about those not like me.

I hear Christians all the time talk down about homosexuality, I’m sure many have been holding up signs in California for months. They probably say something like “God Hates Fags.” Something really disgusting like that. Yet what I read in the Bible makes me think that homosexuality is no different than other kinds of sexual sin. Sexual sin is elevated in the Bible, I understand that, but I don’t see the Bible distinguishing homosexuality as a sexual sin worse than other sexual sins.

I wish the church would love gays like they love their pastors.

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  • http://jdjones.wordpress.com Jonathan

    Awesome post, especially that last line. I was reading Alex McLean’s blog, “betterthanblank” and he raised the point of, if Prop 8 does go through, instead of celebrating, the church better be ready to step up BE the church for a change and actually help gays in times of hardship the same way we’re commanded to help the sick, poor, widows, orphans, etc.

    I’m also reminded of John Burke’s book “No Perfect People Allowed”. He wrote about how during one sermon he retold the parable of the Good Samaritan by replacing the Jew who had been robbed and beaten with a Christian and the Samaritan with a gay man. He asked his church the same question Jesus asked centuries ago: “Who was a neighbor to the beaten man? Who helped him when no one else would?”

    I think you really nailed the heart of this issue by asking what makes homosexuality worse than other sexual sins?

  • http://chadsblog.net chad

    Good post… I think that Christians have built up this wall when it comes to homosexuality. This may be because it is such a hot topic politically, but I’m not sure why we have made it the one sin that can’t be tolerated. The truth is I believe we need to be aggressive in attacking all sin in this world, not just homosexuality. However, we can’t attack sin by being the moral police. We can only defeat sin by introducing people to Jesus. He is the only One who has the power to truly change lives. I struggle with sin in my life, but me getting mad at myself or saying that God hates me has never helped me experience victory over that sin. It is only when I surrender myself to Christ that I begin to see change.

    I remember walking into Salem Riverfest not too long ago and walking by people who were getting signatures for an anti-gay rights ballot measure. They were from some local churches and I asked them if they thought an evangelical event was the best place to be doing this. Their response was this, “How else will they change if we don’t gather enough signatures to put this on the ballot? Besides, you don’t want gays at this rally anyway.” I will admit that I lost my temper and proceeded to tell this guy a thing or two. As if Jesus can only reach people through ballot measures! Anyway, my point is that unless we allow people in all kinds of sin to see and receive the love of Christ we will never see victory in their lives.

    P/S — Marriage is absolutely between one man and one woman. Redefining marriage is a different issue than caring for people caught in the sin of homosexuality, but that will be saved for a different post.

  • http://seth.heasley.net/blog Seth

    Good thoughts, Tyler. Why would gays even come to church when they know how we typically view them? And I do wish the “God hates fags” people would stop calling themselves Christians.

    One thing, though. In Romans 1, Paul does seem to indicate a heightened depravity that leads to homosexuality. But the depravity evidently came first. And he also mentions the same folks are “disobedient of parents,” which I’ve always found interesting.

    There’s also a political issue here, because couples engaging in pre-marital sex aren’t trying to get their relationships called marriage. But that’s really not what we’re talking about…

  • kingslayer

    Good post Ty, and good reminders for all of us who call ourselves Christians. I am concerned about where our country is headed, in regards to the redefining of marriage. We need to think about that very carefully, when we vote next week.

  • Miranda

    I think one point that isn’t being discussed is an important one though. Most homosexuals say this isn’t a choice, but rather they were born this way, thus they can’t help it. so in their eyes, it isn’t sinful at all, actually they are taking the stand of victory for having the courage to be who they are. as far as the severity of the sin? all sexual sin is terrible. The tricky part is that in our world homosexuality is viewed as a human rights issue. i don’t think the church has any idea how to handle that.

  • http://chadsblog.net chad

    I believe we handle the issue by speaking the truth in love. Right now the truth seems to be screamed out of anger or hatred. People absolutely need to know that homosexuality is a sin and in opposition of God’s best, but they need to hear this truth saturated in respect and grace.

  • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

    Chad- I purposely didn’t tackle the issue of marriage as a political piece. It is too hotly debated as to whether it is standing up for Biblical mandates or it is discrimination. I’m not going there…at least not right now.

    Miranda- I think Seth kind of answered that. He said, “Paul does seem to indicate a heightened depravity that leads to homosexuality. But the depravity evidently came first.”

    In other words, we were depraved and that led to homosexuality. This is a stance I can agree with, with no scientific backing. As far as I know this is just an opinion thing. The Bible speaks very limited on this at best. Beyond this, homosexuals won’t recognize homosexuality as a sin unless they recognize their depravity. We cannot recognize our sin unless we recognize our depravity. That is the bigger point.

    Gosh I’m so happy we’re using the word depravity. That would be a great name for a blog.

  • http://newheights.wordpress.com/ Darin

    With you.

  • kirk

    I think your “Liberal Professor” is buying into the stereotypical notion that Christians “are appalled at the thought of gay men and women coming into their church”, and a stereotype that I don’t think comes close to reality. Take an informal poll at Sunset someday and I’m willing to bet that 95+ percent of the the congregation would be perfectly happy to have gay people at church. Christians may “talk down about homosexuality”, but that’s because it’s a sin, and frankly, IMHO, un-natural. However, lots of things are sins, and those, too, get “talked down about”. Does it mean the homosexual is not going to heaven? I have no clue, and I’ll leave that to the person and their relationship with God.

    The “God Hates Fags” image you included is from a very, very, very fringe group from the West Baptist church lead by Fred Phelps back in Kansas. Ths ONE church has clearly done great damage to our great religion, and it’s so sad that the erroneous assumption gets made by many Americans that this church somehow represents how Christians view the world. Tyler, the best thing we can all do is put Phelps into his dark box where he belongs, and not buy his schlock, and certainly not believe the ruse that his attitude comes anywhere close to what most Christians believe.

  • http://jocelynmiller.typepad.com Jos

    “Why are Christians so scared of gays coming to church and even being Christians? Why do so many Christians believe gays can’t believe in Christ? How is being gay any different than having an affair?”

    Tyler, seriously, do you really believe those first two sentences? I have NEVER met a Christian who has said they are “scared of gays coming to church”. That is a terribly ignorant statement and I would love to have a conversation with someone who is “scared” of this.

    I also have NEVER ever heard the argument that “so many Christians beleive gays can’t believe in Christ”. That’s ridiculous. I honestly don’t understand where you came up with this… Who are you talking to? Listening to? Reading?

    I’m just shaking my head because I don’t how you can by into the media’s image of who Christians are.

  • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

    What I wrote has absolutely nothing to do with “media.” I don’t think evangelical Christians are really in the national media spotlight in the first place. For the past year it has been the election.

    By saying that some Christians believe gays can’t believe in Christ, I’m referring to the verse I reference. Homosexuals not entering the kingdom is the same as saying they can’t believe in Christ.

    I’m not talking to or reading anything about this. I write from my experience. You can disagree. I would be ignorant to write on this subject and think people wouldn’t disagree. I don’t write for approval.

    And yes I believe those first two sentences.

    I fully believe there are MANY Christians who don’t want homosexuals to come to their church and believe that they will get into heaven and gays will not. If you don’t think those things, I commend you.

  • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

    Kirk- I’m not trying to bring this church into the spotlight. I have seen signs like this that are not from that church. They aren’t the only ones…but they are the famous ones. I would rather show a picture and make people aware than not talk about it.

  • Kirk

    I’d like to see your sources. That church is well-known for travelling around the country to promote their sick agenda. What you’ve seen is likely them, as no one else I’m aware of holds ‘God hates Fags” signs. This group is infamous for doing that. Honestly, Tyler, the notion that it’s a common belief amongst Christians to think like this is not grounded in reality. Now if you go reading certain websites, THEIR belief is probably that the average Christian thinks like this, but it’s a stereotype, primarily of hate-filled, far Left groups. Advice.. stay away from their poison unless it’s to dispell their lies about Christians.

  • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

    I really don’t understand what you are getting at here Kirk. My whole post was to say that I think the church doesn’t treat homosexuals well. I don’t think arguing about the picture or that church is doing any good. I was not saying that the sign “God Hates Fags” was the average Christian. I was using it as an example. Sorry you didn’t like that.

  • Amy Elder

    Maybe we could love them even better than some churches love their pastors. :-) One of my dearest friends at Sunset has a gay son who has come to church several times with his partner to special kids’ programs to see his sister perform. I believe that they have felt welcomed like any visitor would. That said, Ron went through a season, that I think he has apologized for, when he was extremely vocal and vehement on an almost weekly basis about the sin of homosexuality … and he definitely was not highlighting other sexual sins as much. It has to start with the leadership changing the tone of their speech as well as calling us out to be more active in service to the gay community. I think that Ron has done a lot of growing in this area. However, while I was completely comfortable greeting my friend’s son and his partner, and enjoyed chatting with them quite a bit, I will admit that if they had walked in holding hands, with their arms around each other, it would have made me feel uncomfortable. I think this conversation is a good first step, but it’s not enough to say … their sin does not keep them out of heaven, or that we have to love them more. What if Matt and Carl did feel completely welcome, and decided to start attending regularly … wanted to join the church so went to Pathways and Connections … and then decided they wanted to teach Sunday School. Matt most likely had a conversion experience as a child. This is what we want, right? However, what if in this whole process, they have not changed their lifestyle? What do we do then? How are we going to handle that? I’m not saying that we aren’t called to still be warm and welcoming and loving … I just think that this journey is a whole lot longer and more complicated than we think, but certainly one we need to figure out.

  • http://www.aworshipfulheart.typepad.com jan owen

    I think Amy has some good points. For some, having a homosexual come in the door is an issue. For alot of churches, the issue may be that they don’t know what to do after they are there…….as Amy pointed out so well. Addressing this lovingly when a homorsexual wants to join and even minister is more difficult – and new ground for most. That is probably when alot of people begin to feel umcomfortable – they don’t know how to address this or what to do or even how to talk about it.

    Loved the comment Tyler, about depravity – you are right, until we realize our depravity we cannot see our sin, we will always excuse it, no matter what it is. I’ve seen it lived out so many times: “Godly sorrow leads to repentance”…….

  • kirk

    Tyler

    Just some final thoughts here on this topic. First off, I appreciate your views, and the thoughtfullness you bring to your blog. I also appreciate your courage to admit your “homophobia”, and to have grown in that area as a person.

    I agree Amy makes good points in her post. It’s very true this is a difficult subject. When Christians start pointing fingers and casting stones at some sins, and ignoring others, it makes us look like judgemental hypocrites. I suppose my point was two-fold: First, while I’m sure many people at church are uncomfortable with the thought of gays at their church, I’m willing to bet these same people are more than happy to have them there in the first place. I think discomfort and acceptance can live together. Many other people are perfectly happy to have them their and could care less about the fact they’re gay. In my experience, the people I know are this way. It sounds like your experience has been different. Second, the picture you included was a hot button for me, clearly. If I over-reacted to it, then I apologize. But it’s not indicative of the vast majority of Christians.

    I leave it at that.. peace out :}

  • http://godthepossible.blogspot.com/ Preston

    I would clarify that the body of Christ is not a place for non-believers, but is a community of Believers and the faithful. For some reason we have this western idea that we must make the church a place where we take non-believers to be converted or to learn about our faith (I am speaking of church – the place and not the body). Instead it is the responsibility of each believer to evangelize to the lost and to share the our faith. Its as if we say “Oh you don’t know the Lord, so let me take you to down to my church and hope that my pastor can do the job, because I am so ill equipped to share my faith with you I must make someone else do the job”. Therefore, to say the body of Christ is a place where sinners may reside and commune with all things spiritual is like saying salt water can be mixed with pure water. For example, Paul clearly rebukes the man in 1 Cor 5:1-7 who is sleeping with his mother-in-law is a clear indicator that sinners can not be tolerated within the church. So to say the church is a place where homosexuals may reside with faithful believer is to contradict the scriptures.

    I am intrigued by what Miranda & Seth has to say about “heightened” depravity. I would say we as Christians are presenting such a conflicted theology, especially to homosexuals. On one hand we tell them we are born sinners, but yet when they claim to be born gay, we rail against them and scream they are wrong. So one of the two groups must be wrong and I would suggest both are wrong. The idea that men are “born sinful” should cause us as much heartbrin as a homosexual claiming to be born gay. But yet do we go around saying the rapist, or the murderer or the liar was born as a rapist, a murderer or a liar or do we know in our hearts that they chose to be sinful. If either of these theological positions are true then one must ask themselves the following:

    1. Is human nature sinful?
    2. Is homosexuality a sin?
    3. Is homosexuality human nature?

    If you answer that #3 is true then I would suggest this flies in the face of what the scriptures says about homosexuals and human nature.

    Clearly, we all see or know that homosexuality is NOT a part of human nature. We only confuse homosexuals to say he or she was born sinful and then turn around and say he was not born gay. The truth is man is not born gay or born sinful. Homosexuals often cover and excuse their evil acts of perversion by saying that they were born homosexual. And if the teaching is true that men are born with a sinful nature, homosexuals are right to say they were born homosexuals. For they were born homosexuals if they were born sinners. Also they are right to excuse their evil actions of perversion. For if they were born sinners, they were born homosexuals; and if they were born homosexuals they can no more be blamed for their evil acts of perversion than a person being blamed for being born with blue eyes! Likewise the alcoholic cannot be blamed for his drinking if its true that he was born with the ‘disease of alcoholism’. In fact the murderer, the rapist, and all other sinners have a perfect and legitimate excuse for all their sins if they were born with a sinful nature. But God never excuses the murderer or the drunkard or the rapist or the homosexual or any other sinner for his sins. For God created all men with a good nature. All sin is a corruption of man’s nature, it is a perversion of man’s nature. It is rebellion against our nature – it is rebellion against the ‘law of God written in our hearts’ and against the God who has written his law in our hearts. No man is born a sinner. No man is born with the ‘disease of alcoholism’. No man is born a homosexual.

  • http://godthepossible.blogspot.com/ Preston

    I’ll comment to what Jan and Amy said. I find it interesting people always want to bring up the notion that homosexuals (or any non-believer for that matter) need to be shown the “Love of God” in order to bring men to repentance. The thing is Christ did not come to earth to show man God is Loving or merciful, but rather is simply a DEMONSTRATION of his love, for God has always been loving and merciful. Romans 1 is a great discourse on showing that all men know the Character and Nature of God (he is Good and Loving), but yet they still rebel. So to preach “love only” does little to bring sinners to repentance. Sinners are selfish, to to say to a sinner “Oh God Loves you” is really to feed into their selfishness – for they already love themselves and this just feeds them the idea that why shouldn’t God love me for I am so great! The bible is clear what really needs to be preached to all sinners is the law – for the law is a demonstration of not only the love of God, but his holiness and justice. Christian want to seem to forsake preaching of the law for it seems overly harsh. But the truth is the law must be preached for it is only thing that brings into contrast how holy God is and how sinful and rebellious man truly is. Men must come to repentance and it is not only the love of God that does this, but the Law that condemns the hearts of men and awakens them to the reality of how selfish they have been and how truly loving & merciful God has always been. God love is not unconditional, but is very much conditional and that is we must repent from sin and return to what is right and good and that is to love God from the heart and to deny self.

  • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

    Preston- I might be stating the obvious, but I think we have a pretty big theological difference. You said, “Therefore, to say the body of Christ is a place where sinners may reside and commune with all things spiritual is like saying salt water can be mixed with pure water.”

    I say…the church is a body of sinners saved by grace. No one deserves it. I mix salt water with pure water all day long. Every time I pray. I am a literal man of depravity doing my best to pursue God. I can’t explain why God desires me to love him, but I do so out of obedience in the midst of my unending sin. Even my “good deeds” are full of bad motives.

    Nothing in my post said we should have to bring people to church so they can be loved…I’m not sure where you are getting that.

    My point earlier was that depravity must be recognized…our propensity to sin has to be recognized. I don’t think it makes a difference whether a gay person was born that way or not, because I do believe we are born with a sin nature. Just look at little kids…they are the most selfish things ever. If a homosexual comes to Christ they must recognize their propensity to sin or their lifestyle will continue being a sin.

  • Kendra

    I also like the last line in your post.

    This topic has always been puzzling to me.

    One way you can’t go wrong is love. I just default to love.

    I would agree with you that there are Christians afraid of gays at their church. And don’t think gays are going to heaven/believe in Christ. I know some.

    Sometimes i wonder why we – Christians – can talk so much about homosexuality, and not divorce. Jesus talked a lot about divorce while he was kickin’ it here, but didn’t once mention homosexuality.

    We don’t talk about divorce as sin very often. This might be off topic totally, i just wonder.

  • http://www.godthepossible.blogspot.com Preston

    Tyler – Indeed we have very different theological views – especially when it comes to sin. As for your comment “Even my “good deeds” are full of bad motives”. Then all I would say is change your motives and start loving God.

    As for your comments regarding depravity Tyler, they do little to pursuade homosexauls to repent from their sinfulness. Rather your theology only helps justify them in their sin. If a homosexual is born gay, then they along with every other sinner should be pitied. They should be pitied as is any person who is born with a physical or mental deformity is to be pitied. It is my opinion that this is the reason the church has failed so misrebly in the last 20-30 years is because we have an increasing theology that justifies a sinners behavior – because we tell them sin is not a choice but something they were born with and logically then it is not their fault.

    As for your comments regarding little babies being sinful is a total contradiction of reasoning and the bible. The guilt of sin requires knowledge. Children are not sinful because they are accountable for guilt requires a knowledge of good and evil. The Bible is clear on this:

    Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in
    that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them
    will I give it, and they shall possess it. Deut. 1:39

    For before the children shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that
    thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. Isaiah 7:16

    I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s
    heart is evil from his youth. Gen. 8:21

    Deut. 1:39 speaks of the “little ones” and the “children” who “in that day had no
    knowledge between good and evil.” Isaiah 7:16 speaks of a child coming to an age when
    he knows to “refuse the evil, and choose the good.” Both of these texts speak of children
    coming to a time in their lives when they have a knowledge of the moral character of
    their actions and know there is evil which they ought to refuse and good which they
    ought to choose.

    Babies are innocent Tyler and are not sinful and shame on you for saying so. This is the very reason why Christians are strong proponents against abortion for it is the death of the innocent (or maybe that should say sinful…..?) Or maybe we as Christians should then take up the cause to support abortion for then we would be lessening the amount of “sin” and moral darkness entering into the world? Clearly a lower birthrate in the world would surely reduce the amount of sinful suffering occurring in our world for there would be fewer sinners.

    My point Tyler is this, if your theology is doing nothing more than giving sinners excuses or helping them rationalize or justifying their behavior then we really need to examine what it is we are telling a sinful world. Sin is a choice – and a choice implies responsibility and accountability. Homosexuals need to be told they have CHOSEN this lifestyle and they are not born this way. If God “cursed” one person to be born gay, sinful or totally depraved, God is then the author of his own unhappiness and this is not the demonstrated Nature or Character of the God of the Bible. Man has caused God to be grieved because we have chosen to sin.

  • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

    Preston…I’m not arguing with you over the depravity of man. I believe it is Biblical, you do not. Whatever theological stance you are coming from regarding sin I disagree with completely. There is no reason for us to argue because of that. We’re on totally different stances with this.

    Kendra…Very good point. I will say this, the Bible does present some cases where it seems that divorce would be an okay thing (not everyone agrees on this). But those cases are far more strict than the way divorces typically happen today.

  • kirk

    I think part of the difficulty here is the word “sin”. It’d a loaded word, and I bet 100 people in a room would have their own unique defiiniton. I also think both Tyler, and Preston are right in their own way. Are babies born sinful? We all know about “Original Sin”, but I think that’s different than intentional sin. The selfish toddler is exhibiting his or her downfallen nature.. their “original sin”, that we are all scarred with. Same with the adult who can’t shake his addition to drugs. But this is not close to the same thing as the grown-up who decides to steal, or decides to take up w/ someone of the same sex. I believe those, and most other sins we think of when we hear that word, fall under the category of intentional sin.

    As for judgement, this word too is very misunderstood, IMHO. It’s one thing to judge who is getting into the narrow door of heaven. This judgement should ALWAYS be left to the person and God. This is where Christians have gone off the rails in the past. However, when it comes to earlthy judgement, we absolutely can and should be good judges.. of character, of relationships, etc al’. I think some Christians go too far the other way and say, “well, I shouldn’t judge”. But that takes moral clarity and thows it under the bus, and I think leads to all sorts of problems.

  • http://www.godthepossible.blogspot.com Preston

    Tyler – it’s not a matter of arguing, but a matter of what is the Truth. We could sling scriptures at one another all day long, but what does the whole of scripture say about this topic? To date I have yet to find one bible that mentions “original sin” or even a hint of some curse that makes mention of a “sin nature” that is passed down from one generation to the next through our DNA. Instead I read very clearly that we choose to be sinners. Either you believe homosexuals are born gay or you don’t. I would assume that since you do believe in original sin then you support their position that they are indeed born that way. Therefore, this will determine how you evangelize to these folks.

    Kirk – Children are not “exhibiting” selfishness, but rather their knowledge is limited to only their sphere of existence. When a child wants something he/she is not selfish. They are only aware of their own needs – and rightfully so. Advocates for Original Sin will point to a baby who is selfish from birth as empirical evidence of Original Sin. For example they will say, a baby only thinks of herself: a baby’s hungry so he/she cries; when a baby’s wet so they cry; they wants something so they cry. This may have the appearance of selfishness, but in reality its not. It is necessary: if the baby did not cry, it would not get fed and it would die. If it did not cry it would not get changed. Its simply a matter of survival combined with a limited amount of moral knowledge. Besides, God does not judge the outward appearances, He judges the hearts and motives of men, not their appearances or actions. So are we to think a little baby as enough wherewithal that they are intentionally being selfish? Do you punish a newborn for wanting to suckle?

    The Bible is very clear that sin is proportionate to knowledge one has to what’s right or wrong. For example Luke 12:47-49 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. The interesting thing is the greater knowledge of the truth we receive the great level of accountability God hold us to.

  • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

    Preston- Read Romans!

  • kirk

    “The interesting thing is the greater knowledge of the truth we receive the great level of accountability God hold us to”

    Absolutely true. However, your assessment of children and their self-preservation based selfishness misses the mark. What you say is true, but only partially so. I don’t know you, and whether you have kids or not, but as a guy with two of them, trust me, the selfishness and other “sinful” behavior witnessed is more than what you describe. I recall my son years ago when he was about three years old being cruel for the first time. As I sat and watched him, it was clear his behavior was coming from some new, darker place. He had not lived long enough for the world to really have its way with him, but nevertheless, there he was acting cruel for no good reason. I saw sin that day from him. The examples of this are numerous, and any parent will probably nod their head and relate. So, yes.. I believe in original sin, although it’s a different, less egregous sin found in people smart enough to know better.

  • http://www.godthepossible.blogspot.com Preston

    Tyler – I have. I suggest you try reading it without your presuppositions of Reformed Theology. Stop reading your theology through a filter. I would also suggest you get a translation that doesn’t mis-translate the word “flesh” (Gk: sarx) into “sin nature”, which is found no where in the original Greek text. Paul is speaking of the “desires of the flesh”. This is synonymous with a person living solely by fulfilling the desire or sensibilities of the body and not living intelligently. The desires of the human body are not naturally or inherently sinful for our natural desires were given to us by our Creator. It is sinful when we CHOOSE to pervert those desires and making that our lot in life to live solely in fulfilling those desires void of intelligence. Sin is nothing more than living unintelligently. Living to fulfill our emotions and feelings and not living as God clearly has commanded us.

    Besides, in Romans Paul actually supports the idea that sin is a moral choice and not sin by birth. For example Romans 1, is filled with references to “they exchanged the truth for a lie”. The context here is clearly man knows what is right and good in their hearts, but yet because of their foolishness (not sin “nature”) exchanged right to do wrong. If Total Depravity is true, then these verse are false, for man has never known right, but has always known wrong from birth! Furthermore, Romans 2:14-15 shows that even Gentiles know what is right and wrong because God has given us a conscience. The bigger question you need to ask yourself Tyler is if we are Totally Depraved as a result of Sin Nature, Original Sin etc. why then does man have a conscience? Did God just write His laws onto our hearts and minds in order to torment us with guilt for no reason. Did he write them onto our hearts knowing we have no ability to obey them. No! God gave us a conscience to tell us that we could have chosen right over wrong and to remind us we stand condemned because we had the ability all along to do right. The problem with mankind is not what you Can’t do Tyler, but what Man WON’T do. Men will not follow God not because they lack the ability Tyler, but because they WON’T follow God.

    Another thing, go through and look at how many references Paul makes use the word “mind” versus flesh. Romans 8 is probably the best defense against Original Sin or Sin Nature. It shows that Sin originated not from the skin or the flesh, but from the mind. That is its our thinking that is wrong. Its our heart and and our will (which is a part of your mind).

  • http://www.godthepossible.blogspot.com Preston

    Kirk – I do have two children (6 & 13) and I disagree completely. I would have never contributed my children’s actions at the ages of 2 or 3 to being sinful. Sin requires moral accountability and accountability requires knowledge – of which neither had at the time.

    So what your saying then is at the age of three your precious little boy deserves hell? He deserves the full wrath of God?? And God would deservingly send him to Hell? Could it have been your son learned this behavior? Could it be he had learned this from one of his siblings or even his parents? Could the influence of his surroundings led to his actions? Children at an early age are very perceptive and are sponges for developing their tiny brains? Could it have been possible he could have even seen something on TV that could have taught him this behavior?

    If your children are sinful at the age of three then do you believe in infant baptism? Is there an atonement for little children? I would be interested in knowing if you believe in an age of accountability? If you believe children are born sinful then you can not be consistent in believing in an age of accountability. This concept is completely inconsistent with Original Sin. I find most proponents hold on to an Age of Accountability because of their irresistible convictions of justice. The convictions that children cannot be held accountable for their actions until he/she knows right from wrong. Its interesting to see how the church has invented new definitions on Original Sin over the centuries because it is totally inconsistent with their convictions of justice because they know man has a freewill and that God will not hold a child accountable for something they have no knowledge of.

  • kirk

    I had absolutely no fear they were going to hell at that age. I do believe in an age of accountability, and it’s far after age3. My children were baptised, but if they hadn’t been, I still have full faith at that age their afterlife was safely in God’s hands.

    As I stated, I do believe in Original Sin, but I don’t think God hold us accountable for that sin. It’s more a mark of our fallen character, and I think God has tremendous compassion for all of us because of it. We are held accountable for our actions,and it’s this we are judged by. Holding a belief in both Original sin, as well as an age of accountibility makes perfect sense to me, and I find no contradiction.

  • Carl

    I never read blogs, but this one popped up as I was searching for Christian music.
    I am an adult who lived a great portion of his life as a gay man, so I feel I have some ground to make the following remarks:

    1) All sin is offensive to God, who is Holy. Homosexuality, like others sins (1 Co 6:9-10) separates a person from God and his kingdom. To treat any of these sins lightly is a serious mistake. The point here is not who’s feelings we are stepping on, the point is that we are sinning against a loving God of infinite power who is perfect and holy. Our debt, whatever that may be, is infinite. The ransom paid for our lives is of infinite worth: The blood of the Lamb.

    2) To the person using logic to defend his point (Preston): You truly cannot infer “naturality” onto homosexuality in the manner you described. For example:
    a)Do planes fly?
    b)Are planes made out of metal?
    c)Do all things that fly are made of metal? or 3) Do all things made out of metal fly?

    That’s a double inference. Not sound logic.

    3)I know hundreds, if not thousands of Christians. The only ones who would ever contemplate that they don’t want gays in their church, are also the ones who can’t stand their own parents and have a grievance with the entire world for no real reason. Out of thousands, there may be one or two. The church with the signs in Kansas is in fact a very isolated case, which unfortunately, attracts the most attention. Trust me, I’ve been to Topeka.

    4) The real issue here is that God wants us to live holy lives. That is all that matters. Every “gray area” in Christianity (I use quotes because I don’t believe there are any such, the Bible is true and without error) becomes utterly irrelevant when we apply all of our mind, body, time, and effort to seeking a life that is pleasing to God. When one seeks holiness, homosexuality, adultery, or petty lies are out of the question.

    5) The kingdom of God is joy, peace, mercy, and love while we are on earth. I know very few gay people who experience this. “Fun” and tolerance and “pride” and every pleasure are very poor substitutes for God’s abounding gifts.

    6)I say this with the utmost respect for the gay community: No one ostracizes their own members more than the gay community. This is because their value system is completely skewed. Again, I have 15 years of experience to back this up; I saw it done, I did it myself.
    But God loves all. He wants us for himself so He can give us everything we need.

  • http://godthepossible.blogspot.com/ Preston

    Carl,

    First let me say I praise God that you have turned from the perversion of homosexuality and your have repented fully of your sins. God Bless you!

    As for your point #2 I am not sure what your alluding to here. I believe homosexuality is NOT natural and therefore I think your confused with my argument here. I would even say that sin is an unnatural way for anyone to live. Homosexuality proves this as one must look no further at the mortality rates for gay men and women. Their life expectancy is almost half of those of heterosexuals and many have ailments are a direct result of their lifestyle and sexual sins (and I am not speaking of AIDS either). This in my opinion proves even further that sin is not natural.

    BTW – Just so you know Fred Phelps and his cohorts in Topeka are an off-shoot of Calvinism. The very theology I am trying to counter here.

  • Carl

    Preston:
    Thank you for your clarification. I apologize for my misunderstanding of your points above. I read your 1,2,3 progression in haste and didn’t realize what you were aiming at. I am glad we both arrived at the same conclusion even if I took yours completely wrongly at first.

    I would like to say, from the vantage point of one who has been down paths that are most displeasing to God, and who’s been shown grace against all odds, that although we are a fallen race, no one is “born” or “destined” to live a life of sin. This is, without a doubt, the work of the enemy. That the enemy starts working in our lives at an early age is an entirely different topic. To this, all I have to say is that our job is to instruct our children in God’s truth, also from an early age. It matters not whether children are inherently sinful or not; for we have no control over the time of their passing. What we should focus on is the instruction of children in the Word, by teachings and by example. Again, these “gray areas” are vastly unimportant when a person decides to follow God and His truth.

    Whatever state of grace a person is in at any given time is not for any of us to decide. We should beware of our positions in this regard, for they are a very easy way to fall into error. Too zealous of a belief in “original sin” and a person starts looking at baptism as a ritual, not as a declaration of faith and spiritual re-birth.

    If I may quote St. Thomas Aquinas with regards to original sin “the forst man sinned chiefly by coveting God’s likeness, as regards knowledge of good and evil, according to the serpent’s instigation..”, “secondarily, he sinned by coveting God’s likeness as regards his own power of operation, namely that by his own natural power he might act so as to obtain happiness”.

    In this sense, original sin is a condition in which, by our fallen nature, we have the propensity to reject God. What is evil but the absence of good. Thus the enemy’s desire to cause us to sin, so that by our actions we may reject God.

  • Carl

    I am liking this blog thing. Thanks Tyler for opening up the discussion.

  • http://chadsblog.net chad

    Wow.

  • kirk

    Carl

    Thanks for your input. Very interesting and perceptive.

  • Yonas

    I’ve seen this type of back and forth on Tyler’s blog and let me just say this:

    I think both sides have good points. I just noticed that sometimes there are some subtle not so kind remarks to each other, if we can even take those out, and present your views (or Truth), not make one person feels he(or she) is right based on his interpretation of the bible, etc and spend more effort in understanding each other rather than proving each other wrong, then that would be greeeeat!!!

    Granted, you may disagree on some of the views and maybe even get fired up on things…but please be kind (uuhmmm this is a Christian blog after all right? and ma momma told me them Christians are nice, and kind peeople :) :) :))

  • Michele

    After reading this blog, including all of the comments, I feel ashamed to call myself a Christian. I don’t believe that God intended for us to be sin-free. Of course we’re not! and Who are we to say what will or will not please God? I believe that right is right, wrong is wrong, and everything in between in up in the air. By sinning, we are not rejecting God: we’re being human. If you can honestly say that you’ve never sinned, that means you’re Jesus- and I’ve been looking for you :)

    I’d never think for a minute that being gay is a sin; I’d also never say that being gay is a perversion of sexuality; and if I may be so bold, I think that God wants us to be happy, gay or straight. If you’re gay, do you need to feel guilty, repent, and try to become straight? I see no reason to repent: you love who you love.

    I’m sure most of you disagree with me on many issues. “Being gay is NOT natural, read THIS bible verse!” Listen- I know you can throw bible verses at me all day. I must admit, I’ve never even read the whole Bible. I’m just a Pastor’s daughter who came across this blog looking for some kind Christian words. “Repent, repent, repent”. If I wanted to spend all my time repenting I’d become a Catholic and go to Confessions. God loves me for who I am, and I know he loves EVERYONE else, too, whether they’re gay, straight, or transexual!

    Romans 8:39 ….(nothing) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    God made each one of us differently, but he loves us all so dearly. If God loves us so much, how could he send us to hell? God shows no favoritism. No matter what you do, God will always love you. Whether you’re Christian, Buddhist, Islamic, or a Jehovah’s Witness, God loves you.

    All I’ve seen in this post is a list of rules to live by. ~Follow the commandments, repent, and pray that God will forgive you~ Well you know what? God has forgiven you, even for the sins he knows you will commit in the future.

    Preston- If Sin truely is nothing more than living unintelligently, we are all damned. If what you say is the Truth, Heaven must be a lonely place. However, I know that’s not the truth. :]

  • Michele

    Good luck to you all. I hope you keep searching for the Truth. And when you’ve found it, as I can see many of you think you have, I hope you still keep searching, because once you learn something new, you’re whole world will be turned upside down, and the process will begin again.

  • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler

    Michele-

    You have some fair points for sure. I do believe the Bible calls homosexuality a sin. To say you don’t know the Bible all that well and then claim that God doesn’t have a problem with homosexuality is a little off to me. The Bible is God’s Word. We worship a loving God but he is also a righteous God who demands righteousness from his followers. He is also a just God. Your comment scares me as not recognizing those things and accepting more of a universal type of salvation for all people.

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