Affirming Sin!

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Deception is the greatest tool of the devil.   Revelation 12 describes the Great Red Dragon who deceives the entire world.   We know this initial deception was the one that took place in the Garden in Genesis 3.   But the devil continues his attempts at deception even today.   What is truly despicable though is how little it seems he has to work to do so.   We live in a day where man is all too eager to allow himself to be deceived by lies.   The truth can be staring a person in the face and they will cling to a lie no matter how absurd.

A recent example of this is the recent story in the news titled:  Growing Number of California Churches Believe Homosexuality not Sinful.   According to the article “More than 800 Christian churches in California affirm and support gay members, a number that has risen 50 percent since 2005, according to the latest survey from gaychurch.org.”  The deception that is involved in this story is a pretty clear example of a self inflicted wound.

The Bible is not very ambiguous when it comes to the issue of Homosexuality. There are many who would like to make it seem as though it is, but there is not one iota of evidence that the Bible anywhere encourages, supports or affirms homosexual behavior.   1 Corinthians 6 is absolute in its affirming that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

Gaychurch.org is the organization that is the source of this information.  I decided to visit their site, and read some of their material.   One of the pages that can be linked to is a page called “Homosexuality and the Bible.”   A question they ask on that page is “Are Homosexuals condemned to Hell?”  This question is one of those questions that is important to ask, however, the answer that is given shows a complete lack of understanding of the way that God’s grace works.   Let me explain:

The following is an excerpt from the article titled “Are Homosexuals condemned to Hell?”

When I was “coming out,” most in the church believed that homosexuals were condemned to Hell. Because of this, I too struggled with this concept and wondered if my very salvation was in peril. After all, I had no one else telling me anything different. My heart was telling me that God loved me ‘just as I am’ yet the Church was telling me something entirely different. Which was right?

Not wanting to lose my salvation over my sexual orientation, I started my journey here to find God’s truth and will for my life. Aware that my own biases would probably cloud my judgment, I decided to start my search using the worst possible scenario. That being the premise that the “anti-gay” contingent was correct and that homosexuals were destined for Hell. If I could find any way to Scripturally back this premise, then I had determined in my mind that I would accept this as the truth. After all the weight of the Church stood behind this idea and I surely didn’t want to risk my relationship with God. No matter the personal cost.

After much thought, I came up with only two possible scenarios that would support this notion.  The first is that salvation is reserved for a select group of people, and that homosexuals are somehow excluded from this group. The second possibility is that homosexuality is such a terrible and perverse sin that salvation is beyond our grasp. On the flip side, if neither of ideas could stand up to Biblical scrutiny, then there is nothing left to support the notion that salvation hasn’t been extended to everyone – including the gay community!

OK, before answering this answer I would like to quote a Bible verse.   1 Corinthians 6:9-11 reads:

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 homosexuals nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Clearly from this passage we can see that Homosexuals are excluded from the Kingdom of God.  However, and this is critically important, so too are fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, coveters, drunkards, etc…What is so different about the way the Gaychurch.org crowd is going about their argument is they are pretending that one can have a relationship with God and yet not have God change their life.

Read the following statement and see that I have made it not about homosexuality but about being a thief, and see if it makes any sense at all.

When I was “coming out,” most in the church believed that thieves were condemned to Hell. Because of this, I too struggled with this concept and wondered if my very salvation was in peril. After all, I had no one else telling me anything different. My heart was telling me that God loved me ‘just as I am’ yet the Church was telling me something entirely different. Which was right?

Not wanting to lose my salvation over my kleptomania, I started my journey here to find God’s truth and will for my life. Aware that my own biases would probably cloud my judgment, I decided to start my search using the worst possible scenario. That being the premise that the “anti-theft” contingent was correct and that thieves were destined for Hell. If I could find any way to Scripturally back this premise, then I had determined in my mind that I would accept this as the truth. After all the weight of the Church stood behind this idea and I surely didn’t want to risk my relationship with God. No matter the personal cost.

After much thought, I came up with only two possible scenarios that would support this notion.  The first is that salvation is reserved for a select group of people, and that thieves are somehow excluded from this group. The second possibility is that thievery is such a terrible and perverse sin that salvation is beyond our grasp. On the flip side, if neither of ideas could stand up to Biblical scrutiny, then there is nothing left to support the notion that salvation hasn’t been extended to everyone – including the thieving community!

This argument is ridiculous.   Of course, stealing is a wicked and a perverse sin.   No one expects that a person will continue to steal once he has been saved.  But for some reason, the homosexual denies the power of God’s grace.  They want to proclaim that God changes lives, but they don’t believe in the actual change.

Do we affirm thieves?  Do we affirm adulterers?  What about liars and drunks?   No, or at least we shouldn’t.  We should call them to the cross of Christ where they set aside those besetting sins and call them to look to Jesus.   One of the problems of the Affirming movement is they believe that people are identified by their sin.   To identify yourself by your sin is to completely miss the idea of the Grace of God.

1 Corinthians 6 begins with the command to be not deceived? Well, any movement that attempts to affirm people in their sin, rather than in the grace of God is using the devils playbook. They are engaging in the worst kind of deceit. The deceit that claims that God didn’t really say exactly what God said. This “Affirming Movement,” has exchanged the truth of the Word of God for a lie, and they have done it in such a way that actually attacks and slanders the true Church of Jesus Christ. Our friends and family members who have been ensnared by the Sin of Homosexuality do need our compassion, however, what they do not need is a lie that pretends to be sanctioned by God.

Homosexuality is a sin, but Jesus came to forgive sinners. Jesus told the woman caught in the very act of adultery to go and sin no more. Her past was a life of adultery. Her future was identified by who she was in Christ. Don’t be deceived into allowing the lies of the affirming sin movement to rob you of the glorious future that Christ has for those who are His.

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Michael Denna is a reformed pastor and expert on American Dispensationalism. Mike and his wife Michelle lived in California's Sacramento Valley for 24 years and they have recently moved to Grand Junction Colorado where Mike is now the Pastor at Providence Reformed Church.

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