Designed To Complement!

-Is Gender Inequality Real?

Gender inequality is receiving a lot of attention these days. I’m referring to the claim that there is unequal treatment of individuals based on their gender. Some of this mistreatment is “perceived”; but, much of it is very real! Some claim there is a gender pay gap; and, in many cases the facts support that claim! There’s also a resulting link to career advancement— that one’s gender impedes their advancement up the company ladder!

-There’s Perspective With Age!

I’ve mentioned before— about growing older— that one of the few advantages I have, over those younger than me, is that I have a “PERSPECTIVE” they can’t possibly have! I have a kind of panoramic view of time since growing up in the 1960’s. More than just a historical perspective, I lived it! I remember when Bobby Riggs challenged Billie Jean King to a tennis match that became known as the “Battle of the Sexes.” It received international attention; and, when King won, it became a kind of “rally cry” to what has been the women’s movement!

-Gender Resentment’s Not Cool!

Now, let me be clear about something! I admit that from the beginning of time, men, in general, have been guilty of inflicting much harm & gender inequality against women; and, I applaud many of the changes that have been made to correct that! At the same time—here is my “old man” perspective— I have noted, in my lifetime, a deep pervasive gender resentment has bubbled up & boiled over in our day. We’re at this “zero-sum competition”! As a society we’re not looking for the WIN-WIN. There’s this lack of togetherness & teamwork between the sexes! It’s become “US against THEM”; and, the only way one gender wins is if the opposite gender loses! It’s “EITHER-OR” when it ought to be “BOTH-AND.” Either men rule the world; or, women do! The sexes are more divided than ever; and, the sexual orientation & “sexual identity” issues are the natural fallout of this fighting between the genders! The world is lost & confused & needs to be rescued & the Church can help bring sanity to the struggle by embracing the counsel of God’s word & living it out in our homes & in the public square & let me add that we bring that discussion with LOVE, PATIENCE & GENTLENESS!

-The Way God Designed Us!

God’s design for the man & the woman promotes beauty & harmony in the relationship between the sexes! God’s design for men & women is absolute equality in status; but, a difference in the roles! All the cultural debate over homosexuality, transgenderism, pornography, public policy concerning women being drafted for combat, church debates over women pastors, and, marital conflicts over “who’s in charge” in the home— ALL of it is addressed directly or by implication in God’s Word. When determining our roles, as men and women, God & His Word must shape our opinions, not the culture! To do otherwise is deadly! The culture is broken & doesn’t have the answers! It all begins with Genesis in my next post!

No Sexually Immoral-Conclusion:

A List Of Deadly Sins

God includes homosexuality as just one sin on a list of deadly sins—“Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.  And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Is Our Focus Wrong?

Look at the other sins God condemns with homosexuality—“sexual immorality” (That’s heterosexual sin!), “idolaters”, “adulterers” (Have you ever lusted after someone you’re not married to? Jesus calls that “adultery”!), “thieves”, “greedy”, “drunkards”, “verbally abusive” (I think we’ve all been guilty of that!) and “swindlers.” So, why do so many of us focus on just one of those sins? Why aren’t we equally as aggressive calling out everyone else on this list? All sin is deadly!

The Power Of The Gospel Produces Change

But, Paul makes the point, in v.11, that the power of the Gospel can change every sinner’s life— “…some of you USED to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified…” Some in the Corinthian Church USED to practice homosexuality…USED to be adulterers, thieves, drunkards, etc. But, no longer! They’ve become “new creatures” by the sanctifying power of the indwelling Holy Spirit!

We’re All Broken

Don’t ever give up on a loved one practicing homosexuality! Love them just like you’d love anyone else trapped by sin! I once held animosity toward anyone living a homosexual lifestyle. God helped me overcome those feelings by rehearsing with me how equally repulsive He found all my particular sins! I am as broken & depraved as anyone involved in homosexual sin! I take no delight that my sins are somehow less repulsive to God! My personal battle with sin continues & will continue until God gives me a resurrected body like Jesus’! God! Help us to speak the truth IN LOVE into this conversation! God loves every sinner! And, He calls them out to repentance & new life in Christ!

In Summary

I came across a quote that’s been attributed to Jonathon Parnell. It summarizes very effectively the point I’ve attempted to make in the last 4 posts related to the subject of homosexuality: “We don’t hate those who embrace homosexuality, we love them enough to not just collapse under the societal pressure. We speak the truth in love into this confusion, saying, simultaneously, ‘That’s wrong’ and ‘I love you.’ We’re not the left; we say, this is wrong. And we’re not the right; we say, you’re loved. We speak good news, with those sweetest, deepest, most glorious words of the cross — the same words that God spoke to us — ‘You’re wrong, and you’re loved.’”

(NOTE: This was the final segment of a 4-part series, posted in this blog site, on the subject of “Homosexuality”)

No Sexually Immoral-Part III

This Is What You Used To Be Like

In Paul’s letter to Corinth, he writes:  “Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.  And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Make no mistake, God’s inspired Word condemns the homosexual lifestyle along with all other forms of sexual sin! But, don’t make it a bigger sin than God does! Despite attempts to “explain away” this text, there is not one passage of Scripture anywhere that indicates that God has changed His mind about homosexual behavior.

Sin Defined

And, let me just expand on that a little bit—because He ALONE is God, He has the right to declare “sin” to be whatever He determines it to be. He alone is the divine lawgiver! If He declared it “sin” to drive a pink car than sin it is! If He declared it “sin” to be a football fan than sin it would be! God has created everything with a divine order. Because of our sin & rebellion, in the garden, our natural bent from conception is self-will and rebellion (Psalm 51:5).

God Is Not A “Kill Joy”

It’s futile to fight against Him (Psalm 2). We can try & play God with our life! We can rebel against Him by practicing a homosexual lifestyle, or, any of the other 8 sins mentioned here; but, we’re not gonna win! The only acceptable response to God is the “unconditional surrender” of our will & all our ways to Him—Not grudgingly! God is not the big “kill joy” in the sky! His commandments are for our good! He is benevolent & “well-intended” toward us! And, everyone who submits to His will & to His way find ultimate joy in their obedience—despite the difficulty overcoming addictive behaviors! “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome”—1 John 5:3

The Key Word

It’s the “practice” of homosexual behavior that is damning! God does not eternally condemn a sexually immoral “act”. He’s not condemning to hell anyone who’s ever been guilty of idolatry, adultery, homosexual behavior; or, anyone who’s ever stolen, been greedy, drunk or verbally abusive! Or, NONE of us could be saved! The condemnation is for “practicing” a “lifestyle” that God condemns! An unwillingness to confess it as sin—to agree with God about it! —1 Cor. 6:9-11

Come Back Next Week: When we conclude this series on “Sexually Immoral”

 

No Sexually Immoral–Part I

Please Don’t Misunderstand-

My greatest fear in addressing the subject of homosexual sin is not the negative repercussions I might face for taking a Biblical stance on the matter. My greatest fear is being misunderstood; and, being painted as hateful, mean-spirited & unloving toward the LGBT community.

In Which “Camp” Are You?

It seems like the media is doing everything possible to force everyone into choosing one of two camps—the camp that “celebrates” homosexuality; and, the camp that “hates” it! The camp that celebrates it is trying hard to lump everyone, who disagrees with them, into the camp of homosexual “haters”—“if you don’t support them, you hate them”! While the other camp says, “if you don’t hate homosexuals, you support them.” They’re the militants who get all red-faced, with veins popping out of their necks, whenever they talk about it. I REJECT BOTH CAMPS!

How To Miss Heaven!

Here’s the Scripture we’ll be considering over the next few posts:  “Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.  And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) There are 9 specific sins listed that God says give cause to miss heaven; and, 3 of them are sexual in nature—“no sexually immoral… adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality…will inherit God’s kingdom.”

God’s Bottom Line On Homosexuality!

So, let’s get to God’s bottom line on homosexuality—“Sexual Sin Is Sexual Sin Is Sexual Sin.” God doesn’t have a separate list for those living a homosexual lifestyle. In fact, he paints with a broad brush when it comes to sexual sin— “No sexually immoral people.” God’s holiness is repulsed by all sexual sin! So, here’s the main point of this post—Don’t make homosexual sin to be a bigger sin than God does! Sexual Sin Is Sexual Sin Is Sexual Sin!

We speak of the Spirit’s work in us as one of “progressive sanctification”; and, that’s how Scripture always teaches us to judge the genuineness of our faith! To look in the Word of God & view it like a mirror. Does it reflect back to us a changed life? And, a changing life? Do we pass the test? What Scripture teaches about our “sexuality” is a litmus test.

Come Back Next Week: We’ll get into Part II of “No Sexually Immoral”