40 answers for Kevin DeYoung


Dear Kevin,

I read your “40 questions for Christians now waving rainbow flags” with interest.

You described these questions as “sincere, if pointed.” I took this to mean you were open to response. So I did.

As much as possible, I’ve tried to follow suit, offering what I hope are sincere, if occasionally pointed, replies.

A few of your questions seemed redundant (e.g. #2 and #3, #29 and #30). For the sake of not making an already long post even longer, I did not repeat my answers in these cases. I can see how you may have felt each question had its own nuance, but I felt the same answers applied, at least broadly speaking.

One last point before diving in… I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that what we’re cheering for is not “the sexual revolution,” if by that you mean an “anything goes” attitude toward sexual expression (which is what people usually mean by the term). I believe our sexual ethic should be shaped by Scripture, even if you and I have a different understanding of what that looks like in practice.

All right. Onto the questions…

1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?

I’ve been wrestling with the relevant questions and issues for the last 4-6 years.

2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind?

Well, given that “verses” are an artificial construct imposed on the Bible in the 16th century… none.

For me, it started with a friend who came out on Facebook. Then I reconnected with a relative who’s gay. I happen to think they were the best possible reasons to reassess my views. They drove me back to the text—not to see how many proof texts I could amass on one side or the other, but to see whether I could discern a broader ethic or principle, showing how God wants us to relate to his LGBTQ image bearers.

(For what it’s worth, I did revisit some of the popular proof texts, as well.)

3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?

“It is not good that the man should be alone” may not only be true if you’re straight.

“Better to marry than to burn” may not only true if you’re straight.

But mostly, I would say this:

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

(Here’s more on how I see “love your neighbor” as the Bible’s sexual ethic.)

4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?

The same verses you would use to show that marriage between two opposite-gendered persons can adequately depict Christ and the church. (I’m pretty sure gender is not the main point of Paul’s analogy, since the church is not literally, anatomically female.)

5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship?

I don’t think most first-century Jewish rabbis ever had the opportunity to imagine such a thing, much less decide how they felt about it. That’s not a category into which homosexual behavior typically fell back in the first century. But if Jesus had been incarnated into our world today, I think he may well have been okay with it…or at least, almost definitely not as bothered by it as some of his followers are.

6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?

Why do you use a passage in which Jesus is clearly talking about divorce to make a point about homosexuality? Context.

7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding?

In light of his audience and the examples he specifically mentioned—namely, a man and a woman divorcing on grounds of porneia, women serving as pornai (prostitutes)—I think he was most likely addressing illicit forms of heterosexual sex.

8. If some homosexual behavior is acceptable, how do you understand the sinful “exchange” Paul highlights in Romans 1?

As part of a rhetorical device Paul used to convince his fellow Jews they were just as guilty as Gentiles before God.

9. Do you believe that passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 teach that sexual immorality can keep you out of heaven?

Yup! As long as we understand “sexual immorality” (porneia) correctly. (See #7 above.) And as long as by “heaven” you mean the renewed creation.

10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to?

In the case of Revelation 21:8, the key word is pornois (a variant of porneia). Refer to #7 above.

As you know, 1 Corinthians 6:9 uses a relatively obscure term, arsenokoitai (literally “man bedders”), the precise meaning of which has been lost to history. But given where it shows up in other “vice lists” from the early church era, it probably referred to some form of “economic exploitation by means of sex.”

William Stacy Johnson suggests it’s a reference “the hedonistic homoerotic practices that were widespread in the Roman Empire” and “were almost always performed by social superiors on social inferiors.” In which case, I’m not sure 1 Corinthians 6 is applicable to two people of the same gender in a covenantal relationship characterized by mutual affection and equality.

On the other hand, the fifth-century saint John the Faster thought arsenokoitai referred to heterosexual anal sex. So there’s always that option.

Are we really going to hinge such an important question on the meaning of one obscure, notoriously hard-to-translate word?

11. As you think about the long history of the church and the near universal disapproval of same-sex sexual activity, what do you think you understand about the Bible that Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Luther failed to grasp?

Augustine failed to grasp that sex is basically a good thing, that it’s a gift from God to his creation.

Luther failed to grasp that Jews and peasants are people too, and ought to be treated with respect.

Pretty much all of them failed to grasp that slavery is bad. So what exactly is your point? Just because a belief—one which, we should note, is not contained in any ecumenical creed or confession—has long been held by the church doesn’t mean it gets a free pass.

No, we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss something Christians have thought to be true for centuries, especially when it comes to core tenets of orthodoxy—one of which this is decidedly not. But neither should we act as if our predecessors were infallible. It’s the task of each generation to discern how best to embody God’s intended reality in our world, knowing we will always do so imperfectly.

12. What arguments would you use to explain to Christians in Africa, Asia, and South America that their understanding of homosexuality is biblically incorrect and your new understanding of homosexuality is not culturally conditioned?

You seem to be suggesting that it’s imperialistic for us to commend the affirming view to our sisters and brothers in the majority world. Question: did this aversion to imperialism stop your fellow evangelicals from promoting anti-gay legislation in places like Uganda—legislation that exposes lesbian and gay Africans to harassment, imprisonment, and in some cases death?

Have you considered how imperialism tainted early missionary efforts in the majority world, the introduction of the Bible there, and how people were taught (primarily by white Westerners like you and me) to interpret it in the first place?

13. Do you think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were motivated by personal animus and bigotry when they, for almost all of their lives, defined marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman?

No. But I don’t think most people who hold the traditional view are motivated by “personal animus and bigotry” either. Just because someone opposes same-sex marriage does not mean they’re a bigot.

At the same time, just because you’re not a bigot doesn’t mean you don’t have room to become more loving. We all need to grow in our compassion and understanding.

14. Do you think children do best with a mother and a father?

What if one of them is abusive? Are you suggesting that’s better than two gay dads who provide a loving, safe environment and don’t abuse kids?

15. If not, what research would you point to in support of that conclusion?

“There is no evidence that the development of children with lesbian and gay parents is compromised in any significant respect relative to that among children of heterosexual parents in otherwise comparable circumstances.”
–Patterson, “Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents,” Child Development, 1992

“Children raised by lesbian women do not experience adverse outcomes compared with other children.”
–Anderson, Amlie & Ytterøy; “Outcomes for Children With Lesbian or Gay Parents: A Review of Studies From 1978 to 2000,” Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 2002

“Extensive data available from more than 30 years of research reveal that children raised by gay and lesbian parents have demonstrated resilience with regard to social, psychological, and sexual health despite economic and legal disparities and social stigma.”
–Perrin & Siegel, “Promoting the Well-Being of Children Whose Parents are Gay or Lesbian,” American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013.

16. If yes, does the church or the state have any role to play in promoting or privileging the arrangement that puts children with a mom and a dad?

In my opinion, the state does have an interest in prioritizing the placement of children in households with two parents—though there are also loads of single parents who are wonderfully qualified to adopt. As I’ve indicated in my responses to #14 and #15, I’m not nearly as convinced as you are that gender is the critical factor here.

Churches, on the other hand, have every right to advocate for whatever arrangement they find most compatible with their understanding of Scripture. If we’re talking about faith-based adoption agencies that receive federal funding, then the answer is a bit more complicated. (And I won’t pretend to know what it is.)

17. Does the end and purpose of marriage point to something more than an adult’s emotional and sexual fulfillment?

Sure. Marriage is a stabilizing force in families and communities.

Marriage can also be a powerful tool for regulating sexual activity—providing an appropriate context for healthy sexual expression and discouraging harmful sexual activity—e.g. limiting (one hopes!) the number of sexual partners someone has and thereby reducing the transmission of disease.

Some of us just don’t see how these ends and purposes have anything to do with the gender of the participants.

18. How would you define marriage?

Depends if we’re talking civil or sacramental marriage.

Civil: a state-sanctioned union of two people in which they share a common household (finances, property, etc.).

Sacramental: a divinely sanctioned union of two people in which they covenant to love each other exclusively, serve one another, nurture one another (socially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically); and form a family with one another (which may or may not include children).

19. Do you think close family members should be allowed to get married?

No, gross. The negative effects of inbreeding are well documented.

20. Should marriage be limited to only two people?

Yup. As Jon Stewart said, nobody is born a polygamist.

Besides, if anything opens the door to polygamy, it’s patriarchy, not homosexuality.

21. On what basis, if any, would you prevent consenting adults of any relation and of any number from getting married?

On the basis of responsible legislation which excludes inbreeding and polygamy (as well as marrying your pet goat) from the legal definition of marriage.

22. Should there be an age requirement in this country for obtaining a marriage license?

Of course. Marriage still requires consent from both parties. Kids cannot consent to being married—or be held to just about any legal contract, for that matter.

23. Does equality entail that anyone wanting to be married should be able to have any meaningful relationship defined as marriage?

Well, my 4-year-old might think so, given how many times she’s asked to “marry” me. But most reasonably intelligent adults understand this is not the case.

24. If not, why not?

Because same-sex marriage is about one previously excluded class of people being given access to the institution; it does not fundamentally alter the nature of that institution. Marriage is still at its core two people uniting in an intimate relationship and forming a common household. The idea that gays getting married somehow renders the institution meaningless is silly.

25. Should your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with homosexual practice be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution, or coercion?

Yes, absolutely. The Supreme Court was weighing in on the fourteenth amendment, not the first.

Caveat: please don’t mistake public disagreement for persecution. Christians who oppose same-sex marriage have the right to not be persecuted for their beliefs. None of us have the right to not be criticized.

26. Will you speak up for your fellow Christians when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue?

Yes, if there is genuine persecution or discrimination taking place.

For example, if Coca-Cola fires someone because they signed a petition supporting traditional marriage, I would strongly object. If they fired someone for relentlessly badgering their LGBTQ coworkers, not so much.

On accreditation… I don’t wish to see Christian schools punished for maintaining a traditional evangelical view on homosexuality. But please bear in mind that accrediting agencies are private organizations. They have the right to set their own criteria. If they choose to rescind a school’s accreditation over its policies on homosexuality, it’s not necessarily valid to play the “government persecution” card.

Related question: if a wedding photographer has the right to refuse to serve a gay couple, shouldn’t a private accreditation agency have the right to refuse to serve a college it considers anti-gay?

27. Will you speak out against shaming and bullying of all kinds, whether against gays and lesbians or against Evangelicals and Catholics?

Bullying is bad, period.

But are you really going to equate the bullying of evangelicals and Catholics with the bullying of gays and lesbians? Especially when 40% of the homeless youth population is LGBT? Especially when LGBT youth are 4-6 times more likely to attempt suicide?

Who’s the bigger bully here?

28. Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sexual sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that gay marriages are healthy and accord with Scriptural principles?

I hope churches that marry same-sex couples will offer premarital counseling beforehand, mentorship opportunities with older married couples, counseling for those in struggling marriages, etc. In other words, pretty much the same kind of support they offer to heterosexual couples.

To your point, perhaps this is an opportunity for all of us to commit ourselves to strengthening marriage.

29. Should gay couples in open relationships be subject to church discipline?

LGBTQ members of the church should be held to the same standard of sexual ethics (fidelity within marriage) as heterosexual members.

30. Is it a sin for LGBT persons to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage?

See #29.

31. What will open and affirming churches do to speak prophetically against divorce, fornication, pornography, and adultery wherever they are found?

Preach and teach God’s Word as they always have. (They’re not all Bible-burning liberal apostates.)

32. If “love wins,” how would you define love?

I would define love as an active, robust commitment to the flourishing of others—a reflection of God’s commitment to our own flourishing.

Also, as all that’s necessary for the fulfillment of the law (see Paul in Romans 13)

33. What verses would you use to establish that definition?

Probably the same ones that you would… 1 Corinthians 13, Romans 13, etc.

34. How should obedience to God’s commands shape our understanding of love?

Love is obedience to God’s command, according to both Jesus and Paul. If you love God and love (i.e. seek the good of) your neighbor, you are obeying God.

35. Do you believe it is possible to love someone and disagree with important decisions they make?

Yes. We do it all the time. (Albeit badly.)

36. If supporting gay marriage is a change for you, has anything else changed in your understanding of faith?

Sure. Once I changed from being an Arminian to a Calvinist, but it didn’t stick.

As much as you might want to uncover signs of a slippery slope, the truth is, everyone’s understanding of faith changes over time—or at least it should.

Or are we so bold to assume we have everything figured out already?

37. As an evangelical, how has your support for gay marriage helped you become more passionate about traditional evangelical distinctives like a focus on being born again, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the total trustworthiness of the Bible, and the urgent need to evangelize the lost?

It hasn’t.

My passion for the historic orthodox faith—as expressed in the Nicene Creed, which I say every week without crossing my fingers—is unchanged by my perspective on gay marriage.

Well, perhaps that’s not entirely true. I hope I’m even more motivated to proclaim the good news of a God who loves everyone and wants everyone to know him.

38. What open and affirming churches would you point to where people are being converted to orthodox Christianity, sinners are being warned of judgment and called to repentance, and missionaries are being sent out to plant churches among unreached peoples?

There are plenty within my own tribe, the Episcopal Church, who are deeply committed to orthodoxy and evangelism. (Though we have room to grow, especially with respect to evangelism.)

At the same time, many of us would argue that making our churches more welcoming is an essential part of evangelism. Most gays and lesbians would never come and hear the gospel in your church, because they wouldn’t see it as a safe or welcoming space for them.

Removing barriers between people—barriers that shouldn’t be there in the first place—is an important step toward gospel proclamation. Not the only step, to be sure. In my context, our challenge is to make sure we take the next step after that. Your challenge is to take the first step.

39. Do you hope to be more committed to the church, more committed to Christ, and more committed to the Scriptures in the years ahead?

Yes, yes, and yes.

40. When Paul at the end of Romans 1 rebukes “those who practice such things” and those who “give approval to those who practice them,” what sins do you think he has in mind?

I think Paul had in mind the general sinful condition of all humanity, as demonstrated by his rhetorical turn in chapter 2.  Paul’s point in Romans 1-2 was that we are all guilty of idolatry (worshiping the creature instead of the Creator). Morgan Guyton observes that the vice list in chapter 1 was “intended to elicit disgust” from Paul’s Jewish audience, just before he dropped the rhetorical boom (“You, therefore, have no excuse…”).

Paul also said the people he’s referring to were “filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.” So, as Morgan notes, when you encounter gay Christians who clearly don’t rise to this level of depravity, you have to ask whether “same-sex marriage is evil” is really the point Paul is trying to make here.


Food for thought, I hope. I don’t expect anything I’ve written will change your mind. But I hope you’ll reconsider your assumption that those of us who see things differently than you are “swallowing everything the world and Facebook put on our plate.” Many of us have wrestled with, thought about, and, yes, prayed over these issues for a long time—especially those among us who are LGBTQ, for whom this is so much more than an “issue.” I hope, out of respect for them, these questions will become a conversation-starter instead of a discussion-killer.


Finally, some other responses that are well worth reading:

Image: Kevin Wong on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

263 thoughts on “40 answers for Kevin DeYoung

      1. I am going through the answers now, but I want to say something about answer 2.

        It is disingenuous. You simply say that verses were not in the original Scriptures therefore you will not give Young anything from the bible. Verses simply change, to a degree, how one reads what God has written, it does not change in any degree what He has written.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Question 5 and 6
        Where is Scripture is marriage established? Genesis 2. “Man and his wife.” It was between one man and one woman. That we can agree with, I hope.

        You must show God changing this before the 7th commandment in order to prove that adultery is not in fact outside of marriage (leaving room for same sex instead of the opposite sex), man and woman as established by God in Genesis 2.

        Can you do that?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. While interesting, some of the assumptions and premises you use to make your assertions that the Bible didn’t really say that these alternate lifestyles as in the LGBTQ community are not in congruence with the Bible’s teachings, I believe are stretching a bit.

        For example, regarding questions #32 through #35, you take “love” and use it as if those passages you site are regarding “love” in the context of that involved with sexual partners, when you know full well that there are different types of “love”, and those passages have nothing to do with the requirement to accept homosexuality as “love”. Those questions are asking about love as that in a sexual relationship, but you use the platonic “love” as for a neighbor is the same thing, and you seem to say because God commands us to love, ergo we must love homosexuality.

        As the saying goes, you can love the sinner, but not the sin. I may “love” my brother, but I’m not going to have sex with him, or with a sister, so don’t bring in another kind of love to defend alternate to Biblical lifestyles. Don’t try to take the word love’s various definitions of “love” and try to apply the wrong one to make your point seem justified. A child may love a father, even though he/she knows the father cheats on his/her mother. But, later in life that may have an impact on the child’s interpretation of what is proper, and how they behave in their relationships. That is something you also must consider when behavior is interpreted. You cannot only attribute to nature, without considering nurture and conditioning in the equation. I believe there is a lot of nurture and conditioning by the LGBTQ community to bring in new recruits to adopt their way of thinking. What’s the harm in trying it out if you can convince the next generations that there really isn’t anything wrong with that?

        While most Christians in this country have been TOLERANT of these alternate lifestyles for many, many years now, “loving” the practitioners as neighbors, but that does not mean Christians have to “love” and ACCEPT as their own, these lifestyles. I would say that the USA is now one of the most tolerant countries in terms of TOLERANCE of alternate lifestyles on the planet. But, for Christians there is not an either/or option for a devout believer. The Bible for those who believe, is not optional to just believe the parts that are convenient, and then change and adapt the Bible to the latest social experiment to accommodate 2% of the population. It appears though that is the agenda of the LGBTQ community, for shifting from TOLERANCE to out-and-out ACCEPTANCE of it by the Christian community and, I would presume the expectation would extend to the Islamic community, and any other religious affiliated organization. I find it odd in that there is such a demand for religious acceptance, since many in the gay community seemed to aligned themselves in the past with the the atheistic, secular part of the population. The disgusting display of mocking Jesus on the cross and Christianity after the Supreme Court decision, and the displays of clearly people who have absolutely not intention of living and letting live. Where’s their even TOLERANCE, let alone, ACCEPTANCE of Christianity?

        And the argument that homosexuality is all about genetics, and a population “norm”, well that would suggest that there should be a much larger part of the population feeling LGBT or Q than the miniscule 3.8% they represent in the USA population (the breakdown according to the Williams Institute review conducted in April 2011, approximately 3.8 % of American adults identify themselves being in the LGBT community; wherein, (1.7%) identify as lesbian or gay, (1.8%) bisexual, and (0.3%) transgender), which corresponds to approximately 9 million adult Americans as of the 2010 Census. LGBT demographics of the United States – Wikipedia …en.wikipedia.org/…ographics_of_the_United_States Feedback.

        Compare 9 million to the current population of the USA. As of April 26, 2015, the United States has a total resident population of 320,760,000, making it the third most populous country in the world.
        Demographics of the United States – Wikipedia, the .en.wikipedia.org/…ographics_of_the_United_States
        That is a RELATIVELY small number of people who are LGBT or Q.

        It would seem it would have to be closer to a quarter, 1/4th, of the population if a genetic “norm” were the case. So, even if genetics plays a role in the true homosexual being caused genetically, it is on the scale of genetic events such as like Downs Syndrome (about 2% of the world population).

        Having said all this regarding genetics, with the advances in gene mapping today, there is currently no evidence that the manifestation of LGBT or Q behavior is the result of genetics. So, nature is not, as far as we know, the cause for the behaviors. That would leave perhaps a psychological basis, or a nurture factor, that may be the driving force behind these behaviors. There are so many things that are still a medical or scientific mystery. There are all sorts of behaviors that simply we are not certain why they are so.

        For an example of an extreme behavior for which there is yet not explanation, some people (again statistically very rare, but they exist in the thousands, and are increasing in numbers) are convinced they must amputate a limb (arm or leg). They will seek medical assistance, and they insist something is wrong and the limb must be removed, even though doctors (medical and/or psychiatric) tell them time and again, there is nothing medically wrong with the limb and that it is perfectly healthy. However, that generally does no good. Some of these people will take matters into their own hands if they cannot find a physician who will do the amputation procedure. See the site: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2003/07/costing_an_arm_and_a_leg.html

        I am inclined to believe that LGBT or Q behavior may have something of a similar nature going on. When someone is willing to take large amounts of drugs, and go through surgeries to change themselves, or alter themselves physically, there seems to be that same driving force on some mental level that makes a person believe so strongly in something, to go through what to others would seem horrific.

        Further, many of the 3.8% of the LGBT or Q community are not practicing a traditional lifestyle. If you view the gay pride events covered in the media, many, many of them behave in such outrageous anti-societal fashion, and a lot has to do with overt acts that obviously are not in any way, shape, or form congruous with a religious community. Their objective would be to subvert religion. The seething hatred for religion is almost palpable. See this site: http://m.snopes.com/2015/06/30/gay-pride-crucifixion-photos/ or http://www.whale.to/b/crucifixion.html to illustrate my point. While there may be a small percentage of people who want to try a more traditional lifestyle, like they portray on shows like Modern Family on TV, the reality is that I would bet the greater majority are not interested in a religious, monogamous situation.

        You also seem to imply that young children, who have no way of comprehending sexually what a gay relationship is, who are put into gay homes, are just hunky dory, and that there are no gay couples who could possibly be child abusers. Well, I would be willing to bet that the percentage of gay homes would be statistically at least in the same neighborhood of abusive parents, as in traditional heterosexual family’s homes. I am inclined to think it may be higher, because the bonding when a child is birthed to the parents who raise them has got to be stronger. There is that instant genetic association. But, abusers have issues, whether gay or not. Not all gays are as funny and sweet as the gay couple on Modern Family. You are going to have a cross section of demeanor traits, and they are not all going to be nice. Children, of course when they are babies or little, are happy with food, toys, and anyone who treats them well, but I cannot believe that in each and every case, as a child gets older, that all are going to adjust well when they discover what having two mommies or two daddies means in the sexual context. Children don’t want to think of a mother and father engaged in sexual activity, so the revelation in early adolescence my not be so easy peasy as every one would like to believe. It would depend on a lot of factors, such as if their peers are on board with the situation, or if they face negativity from outside, I would think would be among some of the issues these children adopted by gays would face.

        This all being said, why can people not make their own thing without infringing on that which is already established? There is no freedom of religion when the government is deciding what everyone has to believe. Isn’t this precisely what our founding fathers were against? The only thing our Constitution says is that the government cannot ESTABLISH a church. And today the meaning of Jefferson’s response to those Baptists who wrote him the letter that is now being, I believe, used out of context to come up with this separation of church and state frenzy, I also believe, for the purpose of eradicating the Christian religion as we know it in this country. There is no mention of separation of church in the Constitution.

        But you can see an illustration of what is to come by looking at what is going on in Canada with gays and the traditional churches. http://www.crossmap.com/news/two-ministers-fined-and-jailed-for-not-performing-same-sex-marriage-13021 or http://www.citizenlink.com/2010/07/15/canadian-pastor-fined-after-speaking-against-homosexuality/ or http://www.thepropheticyears.com/wordpress/canadian-christian-pastor-fined-and-censored-for-speaking-against-sin.html, and on and on. So, it is already happening here with bakers put out of business, and photographers, and all manner of such things rearing their ugly heads. You have government attempting to stifle pastors in their own church when it comes to anything to do with gender, see this: http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2014/10/16/exclusive-houston-subpoenas-pastors-turn-over-sermons/, but you have Louis Farrakhan and his phoney Nation of Islam preaching the eradication of the white population, and the reversal of Hitler’s genetic superiority of whites by Farrakhan, with him saying the black man is genetically superior to the white man, and all whites are the devil. Apparently, that’s okay! But, say that same sexes having relations is not okay for their own congregation, not even advocating the annihilation of anybody, and that is cause to violate the First Amendment Rights of a peaceful pastor, versus the black version of Adolf Hitler being free to advocate the killing of other human beings from his “pulpit”! What have we come to?

        Why can’t the gay community begin their own spiritual place to congregate with like minded individuals, and stop trying to hijack the Christian church? They can set up something of their own for unions, call it “pairrage” or something. But “marriage” already has a definition as the union of one man and one woman, and adds in the Christian context (in HOLY matrimony, in a Christian church ceremony) which has it’s own ESTABLISHED meaning especially in the Christian religious community, as well as the secular community, that has recognized this man and woman definition for centuries? Why does every group now get to REDEFINE everything lately, and ram it down the throats of the larger group that set it up first?


      4. Ben your answers are really no answers to the asked questions, just starting out with number 2 and 3 as examples but they flow throughout your supposed answers. That is not surprising because scripture does not support homo sexuality itself, let alone homo sexual marriage. You are like most liberals who only can give passing reference to scriptures to as you put it “might” support your view, and ignore those that oppose your view. Or perhaps you are like a Lutheran friend of mine, who when I brought up some of Paul’s writings said, well we Lutherans believe that the Bible is God’s inspired word, but we do not believe it is His infallible word, and I (my friend) believe that some of Paul’s writings are wrong. So taken in the context, just pick and choose what verses you believe in because you think they “might” support your view, and declare those that don’t as being inaccurate. Either believe the Bible, all of it, or cast it aside and quit declaring yourself a follower of Christ


    1. Thanks Andee…I went to your site above and loved what I saw…..I plan to be a “regular” on your site and on Ben’s site…..It has been a great 4th of July……I have found 2 new sources of Spiritual nourishment and inspiration…..God Bless you both for who you are and what you do……;-)


    1. Mr. Irwin is not displaying a Christian attitude in his responses, he is fomenting hate towards God and His commands. So his replies are not valid. They are accurately reflective of the secular world and not a student of Scripture, therefore his responses do not carry relevant significance. If he could show he is a practicing Christian then I would ask why he does not provide biblical references in support of his responses. He just attacks the questions and then states an opinion of his own imagination or a tans-literal opinion, either way he exposes his bias against God and overall lack of theological understanding of God’s Word. I shall pray for you Mr. Irwin in hopes that you can come to the understanding that scripture applies equally to all of mankind not just heterosexuals and certainly not homosexuals.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Incorrect. Mr. Irwin’s responses are filled with love, and love is the fulfillment of God’s law. You could do to emulate that, and likewise walk in Christ’s footsteps

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And we’ll pray for you M, for the grace to recognise that there may be committed loving Christians who do not agree with you, as Ben Irwin does!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. For anyone looking for a genuinely Biblical basis for welcoming LGBTQ people into the Church, this piece does so beautifully by paralleling the early church’s decision to accept non-circumcised gentiles into their community.

        The Spark Note version would be as follows: Gentiles want to follow Christ but they aren’t circumcised as the Law requires. There are specific verses requiring circumcision for male believers. There is no scriptural basis for allowing non-circumcised males to belong to the church. And yet, the early church decides to welcome in the Gentiles because they got to know the Gentiles and saw that they bore the fruits of the Holy Spirit. If this was a righteous way of deciding who to welcome into the church, this could be used with our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Get to know them. If they bear the fruit of the Spirit, then allow them in.

        I still highly recommend reading the piece though; it’s phenomenal. http://www.iksynod.org/Resources/WhatDoesThisMean/Welcoming%20the%20Gentiles%20Acts%2015.pdf


    2. What do you mean by your comment?

      To me as soon as I read his second answer I saw the error of his ways…he says his opinion isn’t based on scripture. End of story, he is wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. People who oppose marriage equality always use phrases like `Period`, `End of`, `there`s no two ways about it` and `God`s word is crystal clear`, as though they think that just making those insistent and repeated assertions will shut down any disagreement or any further debate.

        Strangely, this doesn`t seem to work, and the debate continues…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Alison, regardless of your response to what you feel is unhelpful rhetoric, SOMEONE is right. If someone is wrong about how they read scripture….and in in the case of this particular subject, the two viewpoints are so diametrically opposed that being wrong about it is horrifically destructive, either we are destroying peoples lives by telling them it is a sin, or, we are destroying their lives by telling them it isn’t a sin…….so if someone says, “scripture clearly says” and you KNOW they are wrong, then show them…scripturally.


  1. Why are the two verses in Leviticus so important? In that same portion of the Torah – in those books we call Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy – forgiveness is requested or offered 20 times. There are 9 divine calls for justice to be offered to all people and for justice to be applied fairly – even to immigrants and aliens. We are told 19 times that the poor, the widows and orphans, and even strangers are to be treated justly and compassionately and they are not to be allowed to go hungry or naked. In the Torah, every time, for reasons of health or purity, that someone is removed from the community, there is always a way for them to return to the community and be restored to their place in the community. The Torah (and the overarching message of the entire Bible) is less concerned with legalistic compliance and ritual purity than with establishing a community of peace, justice, and compassion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My answer to # 2 is from an exchange from the West Wing. It is a classic, and shows some of the many ways the Bible (which I completely see as a holy book) can be used for purposes it was never intended!

      Good. I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.

      I don’t say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.

      Yes, it does. Leviticus.


      Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had
      you here.
      I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned
      in Exodus 21:7.
      (small chuckles from the guests) She’s a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent
      Italian, and
      always clears the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for
      her be? While
      thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff, LeoO McGarry,
      insists on working
      on the Sabbath, Exodus 35:2, clearly says he should be put to death. Am I
      morally obligated
      to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police? Here’s one that’s really
      ’cause we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a
      dead pig makes
      us unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington
      still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town
      really have to be
      together to stone my brother, John, for planting different crops side by
      side? Can I burn
      my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two
      different threads?

      Jenna Jacobs fidgets uncomfortably.

      Think about those questions, would you? One last thing, while you may be
      mistaking this
      for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tightass Club, in this building,
      when the President
      stands, nobody sits.

      Jenna Jacobs squirms in her seat but doesn’t rise. Bartlet glares meaningfully
      at her.
      She finally rises out of her seat.”


      1. Unfortunately, without assuming all of the Bible to be true, you can’t explain why slavery is wrong. If one says it is right and one says it is wrong, who is the final arbiter?


    2. The verses in Leviticus are telling:
      Sexual sins as listed there are different from the others in that they are called “abomination” and “perversion,” and call for death, where others like dietary restrictions or the “mixed fabrics” part only call for the violators being cut off from their people.
      Some of the religious violations, such as divination and witchcraft call for death, but those are not at issue in this case.
      There are different Laws that apply to different people. The Moral Laws apply to all people, and ceremonial laws apply only to the Israelites, to set them apart from other people.


  2. Ben- Very well stated. I would have one minor quibble here about accrediting agencies. While it is true that such agencies are technically private, the state also delegates functions to them, effectively using them as licensing agencies. This means that they can become a means of indirectly enforcing regulations. The issue is that some regional accreditors have language in their standards that would bar discrimination in hiring on any grounds. So technically they could bar a Catholic college from requiring that their president be a member of a religious order- which effectively puts them in conflict with the free exercise clause. Now others basically say that organizations simply have to define their mission and then set their standards in accord with.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Ben,
    Thank you for taking the time to answer those 40 questions. Your response was intelligent and kind. I knew my response to some of the questions, but others, well I was not as sure. I saved the piece for future reference. I am a fellow Episcopalian. I started thinking about this issue with the ordination of Gene Robinson. Since then God has placed many gay friends in my life. They are some of the finest people I have ever known. God is constantly leading me to “greener pastures” and challenging me to grow my faith. As one Episcopal Priest would tell me on countless occasions, ” Stop putting God in a box, he/she is bigger than you can ever imagine!”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I appreciate the spirit of this article (as one who didn’t jump on the rainbow bandwagon).

    But think the weakest answers you provide (partly because they miss the point entirely) is #20 and #21.

    The point Kevin seems to be trying to make about polygamy is that once marriage undergoes a redefinition from “one man and one woman” to “one person and one person” what’s to prevent it from changing further?

    When DeYoung asked if you believe “marriage be limited to only two people?” You simply answered:

    “Yup. As Jon Stewart said, nobody is born a polygamist.”

    Hmmm… people used to say nobody was born a homosexual.

    So there’s that.

    But then you add “Besides, if anything opens the door to polygamy, it’s patriarchy, not homosexuality.”

    Well that kinda misses the point by a mile.

    Polygamy may follow patriarchy (or perhaps people are just born with a polygamist orientation). But it’s the redefinition of marriage that opens the door to polygamy.

    But as if to illustrate how far you’ve missed the point to add in the next answer (#21):

    “On the basis of responsible legislation which excludes… polygamy… from the legal definition of marriage.”

    Didn’t “responsible legislation” exclude homosexuality “from the legal definition of marriage” until recently?

    (Note: I guess “responsible legislation” is defined by whomever agrees with said legislation…)

    (Note: I added the “…” because the question is talking about polygamy, not inbreed which has proven negative effects as you pointed out, or marrying your pet goat which as far as I know, goats can’t consent – do tell if you’ve experienced otherwise.)

    I wouldn’t presume to argue against homosexual marriage on religious grounds because it’s not the churches job to make the world live like the church.

    I would however simply point out that redefining marriage from one man and one woman to one person and one person opens the door to further redefinitions.

    Curiously, the arguments used for and against polygamy today have all been used for and against homosexual marriages in the past. All that’s needed is some good lobbying, loud voices, television shows airing polygamy is normal and positive, and of course, for love to win.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for engaging, Derek. A few points in response…

      “Once marriage undergoes a redefinition from ‘one man and one woman’ to ‘one person and one person’ what’s to prevent it from changing further?”

      I think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what changed last week, which I address in my response to #24. It’s not the institution that changed; it’s who has access to it. Previously a distinct class of people were excluded from it. Polygamists are not a class of people in the same sense—there is nothing remotely innate about polygamy. It’s not an orientation. Recognizing polygamy as a legitimate form of marriage would fundamentally alter the institution in a way that allowing two gay people to wed does not.

      “People used to say nobody was born a homosexual.”

      That’s not entirely true. We understand a lot more about sexual orientation today than we did 50 years ago. But people have long recognized (without fully understanding) that some people are innately drawn to those of the same sex. There is no such parallel, current or historical, for understanding polygamy.

      The definition of “responsible legislation” is anything but arbitrary. Responsible legislation that which protects people from harm and/or limits their ability to harm others. By that standard, a strong case can be made that prohibiting gay marriage was not “responsible legislation.” But prohibiting polygamy, incest, etc. is.

      In short, I don’t agree that recognizing same-sex marriage opens the door to further “redefinitions” of marriage. One, because I’m not convinced it amounted to a wholesale redefinition in the first place. Two, because to some extent that door has always been open. Human understanding of marriage has never been static. A few thousand years ago (and more recently in some cases), polygamy was seen as a perfectly natural form of marriage. Less than 50 years ago, interracial marriages were deemed illegitimate—for many of the same reasons that some people today reject same-sex marriage.

      Will someone try to redefine marriage to include polygamy? Perhaps. And if they do, it should be opposed, in my opinion. But it wasn’t same-sex marriage that opened that door.


      1. Ben, I’m sympathetic to your view but I think you’ve failed to make your case here. It seems to me that most men are born polygamist’s, in that most men desire to be in many sexual relationships with those of the opposite sex. Why limit commitment to only one person? Especially if the woman is being cared for beyond simply being a sex partner? It seems like a straw man. And if that argument isn’t persuasive, what about the B in LGBTQ? Aren’t we robbing bisexuals of opportunities to find full love and intimacy with more than one partner by denying marriage rights to the polyamorous? Is it right to tell the Bisexual they can only commit to one person they find attractive? That leaves them completely unfulfilled! When conservatives say that the slope is slippery, I agree. But I think the bottom of the slope is the best place to be. That’s the place where people have the most freedom to love, to share life, to share sex with, whoever they like.


      2. Ben, seeing as how you avoided my question, what it comes down to for me personally is, “Will you support me getting married to both my male and female partner?” Or will you stand against my freedom to by denying me the same rights you’ve extended to same sex couples? Monogomy is the real problem. SSM has passed, now it’s our turn.


      3. Travis – your assumption that bisexuality equals promiscuity is not only incorrect, it’s a degrading stereotype. As a bisexual person, I’m floored that you attempt to bolster your argument by presuming to speak on behalf of people like me and doing it in such an ignorant and arrogant manner.

        A definition of bisexuality by activist Robyn Ochs: “I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”

        That is, a bisexual person can find sexual fulfillment with EITHER a male or female partner. A bisexual person is just as able to find fulfillment in a monogamous relationship as a heterosexual man.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I was thinking about making a similar point to the one Derek made about your answers regarding polygamy. He did it much better than I ever could have. I very much appreciate your response to him, because it has given me quite a bit to think about. Your point about it not changing the institution, but just who has access to it is a strong and balanced point. But there is something about it that just doesn’t quite cover the topic completely. Polygamy isn’t an orientation, the way sexuality is. And yes, no one is born a polygamist, per se. But your arguments about why homosexuals should be included are born out of their loving relationship… not just their orientation. I’m not 100% convinced (although you have got me thinking!) that the fact that it isn’t an inborn orientation puts it beyond the pale in a different way that homosexuality has traditionally been viewed. One of my initial dilemmas about homosexuality and biblical ethics grew out of my concern that once the historic interpretation was changed as radically as it is to allow for homosexuality, it sort of blows the doors off and makes it difficult to nail down the rules. I have never been one to think that just because something becomes more intellectually challenging, or because it isn’t black/white anymore, that this somehow means it is off limits. The stakes are too high. The spiritual cost is too high to take the easy/lazy way out and just decide not to try to wrestle with it. But I don’t really think it is necessarily as simple as you assert. I believe that people will bring arguments to challenge bans on things like polygamy, and I suspect in the long run, the lines may be much less clear. If ultimately the final law is love, orientation likely will not be able to end the debate.

        I would really love it, if you are so inclined, to continue wrestling with this particular aspect of this issue. I agree with Derek that I think it is the weakest of your answers. I’ve been thinking about this for decades and while I don’t have a clear argument regarding polygamy, I suspect there may be more room under the “love umbrella” than even the most liberal of Christians would be comfortable with. I know it makes me uncomfortable if I really open my mind to the possibilities… for many reason, not the least of which is that I just don’t feel like my brain is big enough to fully contemplate the possibilities, or how to set up Godly boundaries!

        Thank you very much for the time and energy you put into answering those 40 questions! That is quite an assignment!!



      5. You are assuming that all polygamy is one man and several women. The only instance I know of personally is a relationship between one woman and two men. The men are not involved with each other intimately. It is completely heterosexual. Certainly, polygamy COULD be part of an imbalance of power, but any time you have two people in relationship, that is a concern.


      6. Joelle, this is sad.
        I am not advocating for promiscuity. As a bisexual man, I am currently in a loving committed relationship with both a man and a woman. I guess in your eyes I am the degrading stereotype, though that’s a pretty narrow minded view. Who are you to judge me? Some bisexuals are satisfied in a monogomous relationship, more power to them, I am not one of those people. Are you saying that because I want to share my life with my partners, I am some awful stereotype? Wake up! Your antiquated views of monogamy are dead. I hope that you’ll stand with us when the time comes for us to receive the same rights that have been extended to those who only want one partner.


      7. The question is about a re-definition (that is defining once more) marriage to include polygamy. This makes an assumption that the currently-held “Christian” definition: (one man and one woman, exclusively, for life) is not in itself a re-definition of marriage. It certainly did not appear to be the basis of marriage relationship in the Old Testament where a man having multiple wives and concubines was not uncommon.

        My personal view is that the sacramental part of marriage is about faithfulness, equality, support, and stability expressed in the physical, emotional, and spiritual relationship between two people.


      8. Travis – Your personal romantic relationships/commitments are your own business, and I do not judge your desires and choices; I objected to a specific statement you made in this forum.

        I made mistakes, and I apologize. I did not realize you were bisexual, and I thought you were using “what about bisexuals?” as a rhetorical device in the same way Huckabee did recently (1). I was wrong to use “promiscuity” where I should have used the word “polyamory”; I do know that these are two different things; I spoke in anger and haste because people using the rhetorical device of Huckabee do indeed see the two as the same thing, and are liable automatically label bisexual people as promiscuous (or confused, or nonexistant, or whatever they believe). But I still object to your statement…

        You said “the B in LGBT / the Bisexual” is “completely unfulfilled” without multiple partners. That is, you put forth the idea that polyamory is intrinsic to bisexuality, that no bisexual can be happy with a single partner. This idea is one of a number of stereotyes used to justify discrimination towards bisexual people in both gay and straight communities.(2)

        Promoting the idea that bisexuals are intrinsically polyamorous is a very different statement than saying that you are bi and poly and this is something you need, or even that many people are bi and poly. Speak on behalf of your own needs by all means, or the needs of many people or the needs of polyamorous people, but please do not intentionally conflate bisexuality with polyamory and misrepresent the desires and needs of people like me.

        (1) http://www.advocate.com/bisexuality/2015/01/13/mike-huckabee-says-marriage-equality-will-lead-bisexuals-marrying-two-spouses


      9. Bottom line, what was once sin is still sin. God doesn’t change. This is the age of grace and mercy now. The penalties for sins that were levied during the old testament times are not for us to perform during this age. God doesn’t want anyone to perish but to come to the knowledge of the truth. He calls everyone to repent. Jesus pointed out in Luke 13 that certain people were not anymore sinners than others but he also said “except you repent you shall also likewise perish”.


      10. Apparently, you then believe that polygamists have no desire to marry several people but do it anyway? People’s actions are either forced against their will, coerced, or are their natural inclinations (innately drawn to it). If you want to argue that natural inclinations must be OK, then that applies equally to all non forced or coerced actions, including polygamy, incest, and beastiality, even pedophiles and serial killers, among other things. I’m sorry, but Jon Stewart has no expertise in this area, quoting him does not in any way strengthen your argument. As far as your answer regarding the known negative effects of inbreeding, that only applies to breeding, not to marrying or having sex. You can certainly do those things without breeding any offspring. Maybe we should only be against incest without taking preventive measures, rather than preventing it entirely? If a man gets a vasectomy, I guess then he should be allowed to engage in incest.


      11. Out of curiosity, what is the source of your “non-arbitrary” definition of “responsible legislation?” It sounds suspiciously like the flip side of “victimless crime.” Disirregardless, marriage legislation hardly addresses the ability to harm one another; it is nearly always regarding the welfare of children and, traditionally, their mothers. Since (monogamous) homosexual marriages rarely results in children, states have not traditionally not found a need to produce legislation establishing, eg, parental responsibilities of gay partners. Of course, the flip side of the welfare issue is the revenue issue. The more “marriages” they recognize, the more tax breaks have to allow, which affects their bottom-line. What would be their incentive to recognize gay marriages if it would not result in reducing the numbers of wards of the state?


      12. Well, considering the relatively small percent of the population we’re talking about, I can hardly imagine the impact on tax revenue is going to be that great. As I’ve already noted in my post, marriage is a stabilizing force in families and communities; that’s something a government has a clear interest in promoting. And of course, there are a growing number of same-sex couples who do raise kids. Extending the protections associated with marriage to these families only makes sense, in my opinion.


      13. I just want to add .. you keep saying that a class of people were excluded from the institution of marriage, however, that is untrue. They COULD marry. As long as it was someone of the opposite sex, as is (was) the definition of “marriage”. When something is defined, it by nature, has to exclude something else. There are parameters even on me, as a heterosexual married woman. I cannot marry a married man, or legally marry someone else in addition to my husband. So, saying that men couldn’t marry men wasn’t discriminitory, since that man had access to marriage, he just chose not to. It is not discriminatory, as someone’s sexual proclivities are not necessarily concrete. Even proponents of LBGT will say that sexuality can exist on a “spectrum”… fluctuating throughout life. So, sexual orientation isn’t the same as race or gender (which are confirmed biologically, and unchangable).

        My point is, people with homosexual temptations and proclivities had every right to get married, they just didn’t WANT to marry someone of the opposite gender.

        Just because I want to be a pro football player and I don’t have any of the qualifications, doesn’t mean that I’m being left out or discriminated against.


  5. You stated that incestuous marriages are undesirable due to inbreeding. However, that would not be an issue for a same-sex incestuous couple. So is that really the only reason?


    1. No, I don’t think it’s the only reason. Incest, like polygamy, is often associated with unequal power dynamics, which would go against “love does no harm” as a guiding ethic. I think it’s also important that incest is not an orientation. It’s a particular attraction to a close relative; it is not innate to someone’s being.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I assume your concern in re unequal power dynamics stems from the prevalence of fathers, uncles, etc., molesting younger children, nieces/nephews, etc. Just curious, then, about instances of twin brothers or twin sisters engaging in incest. No possibility of inbreeding; no unequal power dynamics.


      2. Arguing that it is “often” associated with unequal power dynamics in no way proves that it is less “potentially” possible to be a morally positive act. If the problem is primarily in unequal power then you simply set up a corrective. Or, to follow that reasoning farther….ANY sexual relationship between two people that features one being stronger/smarter/richer/better looking than the other sets up an unhealthy power dynamic. Obviously to problem is not that an unhealthy power dynamic is possible, it is when it is wielded as such. Therefore, an incestual homosexual relationship can potential be justifiable with the correct healthy protections in place and if it is conducted by two “gracious” people……At least that is the allowable inference based upon your argumentation….

        And as far as “particular attraction” to a close relative vs something “innate”…why should closeness of relationship of your romantic paramour matter if the feeling is reciprocated?


  6. Welp… The answer to #2 just completely ignored and repressed the Bible and what it has to say. Just because there are number references for people to find specific passages, doesn’t discredit the importance of wrestling with the actual content of God’s Word. You discarded it’s weight of truth and went straight to personal experience and feelings. That is not a legitimate dealing with scripture or the importance of the question. It was a way to skip it and encourage everyone who hears your answer to immediately skip it as well. I’m not saying that you necessarily intended it, but it’s true that most people who read your response will just shrug off God’s Word as irrelevant to the issue at all, and will move on without thinking the question through or seeking God’s Word for answers… Because ““verses” are an artificial construct imposed on the Bible”? What? Irrelevant… But certainly effective for dodging something you’d prefer not to deal with. The rest of your answers unfortunately perfectly reflect that attitude and treatment of the challenges presented in the original questions.

    “Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.”

    … “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” may mean that sharing what is wrong and what is true, is loving and not wrong, even if it hurts someone’s feelings.

    The greatest lessons I’ve ever learned and the greatest growth I have ever experienced in my life were the times when I was very hurt or even devastated because I was caught or it was shared with me that something I was doing was wrong. I am thankful for such times and for the people who truly loved me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. #2 isn’t ignoring or repressing the Bible at all. It’s critiquing a particular way of reading and using the Bible—one which relies heavily upon the artificial structure that’s been imposed upon the text. Obviously in a post like this where I’m responding to 40 separate questions, I don’t have the space to go into a thorough analysis of all the specific texts people bring into the debate. But it’s not like that work hasn’t been done.

      Re. the suggestion that “love your neighbor” requires us to tell people they’re wrong, I’ve heard this argument before. And the problem with it not that it isn’t true in a general sense. Clearly, if someone is engaging in behavior that’s harmful to themselves or someone else, love requires me to intervene. The problem is with the assumption that being gay is harmful. “Love does no harm to a neighbor.” So to argue that the loving thing to do is to tell gay people they’re wrong, you have to demonstrate how two people of the same gender engaging in an intimate, covenantal, monogamous relationship is inherently harmful to anyone. I don’t think that can be demonstrated.


      1. Thank you for your thoughtful post. I appreciate your desire to engage in civil dialogue. I hope my reply will be accepted as a geniune question for you and a spirit of love will be evident in the tone of my questions. At the end of your reply to thejedos you stated:

        “The problem is with the assumption that being gay is harmful. “Love does no harm to a neighbor.” So to argue that the loving thing to do is to tell gay people they’re wrong, you have to demonstrate how two people of the same gender engaging in an intimate, covenantal, monogamous relationship is inherently harmful to anyone. I don’t think that can be demonstrated.”

        This was in response to his suggestion that sometimes the loving thing to do is tell someone when they are wrong. While you don’t think homosexual activity is inherently harmful to anyone, many people believe scripture clearly teaches that it is harmful. For those who read scripture this way, how can they best love a homosexual in your opinion?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is a great question. I think there are several ways those who maintain a non-affirming view can still demonstrate their love for members of the LGBTQ community. This is something I wrote about in my previous post: http://benirwin.me/2015/07/01/four-things-you-can-do-if-you-were-disappointed-by-the-scotus-ruling.

        I do think the burden remains to explain how homosexual activity is harmful. It’s not enough, in my opinion to say that it’s harmful because Scripture says it’s harmful—especially when this conclusion depends on how you interpret the relevant texts. If we cannot articulate a reasonable explanation of how it’s harmful, then I think we have to revisit our assumption that it is, in fact, harmful. I think one good way we can demonstrate our love to those who are gay is to test our assumptions and beliefs to see if they can stand up to scrutiny.


      3. Hi Ben,
        According to your apparent criteria for identifying sins on the basis of their harmfulness, I wonder how you’d categorize lust? Sin or no sin? What about white lies? Idolatry? Although engaging in homosexual activity (and lusting, and telling white lies, and committing idolatry) is not harmful in the same ways that raping or murdering someone is, perhaps it is harmful in other ways, whether known or unknown to us. If, for instance, homosexual activity belongs to the category of “sexual immorality” (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18, etc.), then it is harmful to one’s own body (and ostensibly, to one’s own soul); on that note, there’s the Golden Rule to consider. If Romans 1:27 is referring to homosexual activity (which I unreservedly contend it is), then it also brings shame and some sort of penalty (ostensibly to all engaging parties). Even if homosexual activity is not intrinsically harmful in any physical or psychological way, there’s always the possibility that 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is actually referring to unrepentant “men who practice homosexuality,” who Paul warns will not “inherit the kingdom of God”–in which case practicing unrepentant homosexuality certainly brings spiritual harm.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I don’t think you necessarily have to be able to explain why it is harmful. You can just accept God’s word for it. Being omniscient, He can understand things way better than any of us and see things that we cannot.


  7. Ben, what if Adam had been homosexual? The obvious answer to this very question is proof that homosexuality was not then, and is not now, part of God’s plan. We don’t even have to drag religion into the discussion – Darwin (ignorant as he was of many things) would have noted that the practice does not contribute to the ‘survival of the species’, but rather counts against our ranking as the ‘fittest’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If Adam had been a homosexual he still would have been able to get Eve pregnant. Many homosexual men have become fathers by having sex with women. Being a homosexual does not make it impossible to have sex with a member of the opposite sex. Adam would not likely have enjoyed it as much as if he were heterosexual but he also would have had the advantage of walking and communicating with God in the Garden in a way that we do not. So he most likely would have said, “God, I am not sexually attracted to Eve. Why did you create me to be a homosexual when a female is my only option for a sexual partner?” This is a question similar to the ones many of my homosexual Christian friends have struggled with deeply until they have found affirming communities.

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      1. If God’s command to be fruitful and multiply, then being heterosexual is the only way to fulfill that command. The only way to fulfill that command is through heterosexual actions. Any gay or lesbian that desires children, has to depend upon the natural order created by God. The debate has to begin not in Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians, or Revelation, The debate has to begin in Genesis 2 and 3. In the beginning God created them male and female. It was not good for man to be alone so God did not create Steve for Adam, he created Eve. Those who are supporting a “covenantal gay or lesbian relationship” are missing this point in Genesis. It has to go back to the point of creation before the fall of man which opened us up to all kind of distortions to the intended relationship between one man and one woman unseparated by adultery or divorce.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Brian,
        Interesting take here. But in the end, we must acknowledge that after He created man and woman, “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31, ESV). I’m not so sure God’s Word would refer to God’s creation as “very good” had God made such a colossal error as the (hypothetical) one you suggested. What’s more, such a scenario would raise a number of perplexing questions concerning Genesis 2:23-25.


    2. Stirling: What if Adam had followed the Apostle Paul’s advice, “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am”?

      Darwin of course conflicts with Paul’s explicit admonition in 1 Corinthians here, as does apparently God the Father’s command to Adam. How do you reconcile this? Is it possible that God’s command to Adam does not apply specifically to every individual in the church age as it did in the garden? (Certainly the Apostle Paul did not think it did).


  8. The answers given to #2 are wholly unsatisfactory. When you start with a practice and then go to the Bible to find support you can do it every time. My reading of the texts do not result in the same conclusions as do yours.

    It is interesting how it took 20 centuries for man to finally understand that we have been reading the Bible all wrong all along. I know you believe you are right. You have convinced ever increasing numbers of people to agree with you due in large part to a largely amoral movie and TV industry along with a media nationally who are in your camp both in opinion and many in practice.

    I pray that all of us return to God, find His forgiveness and advert his judgment that will surely come for our many sins. Thanks for including my comment and for listening!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “It is interesting how it took 20 centuries for man to finally understand that we have been reading the Bible all wrong all along.”

      Wait…are we talking about slavery or homosexuality?


      1. Bases on the below response to Matthew Vines can you please stop using slavery to support this agenda?

        Vines: Do you believe that it is possible to be a Christian and support slavery? If not, do you believe that Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards were not actually Christians because they supported slavery?

        Dr. White:
        Your ignorance of the topic of slavery is, sadly, very common, and, in our society, epidemic, probably due to the “it is a word that starts emotions and ends thought” syndrome. Slavery of all kinds has existed throughout human history, and continues to exist even to this day in various parts of the world. Failure to differentiate reasons for, and types of, slavery, has led to a wildly inane ignorance of the topic. Slavery as defined in the Hebrew Bible, for example, had different kinds, had to be ended on the Year of Jubilee, and could even lead to a slave desiring to remain as a servant, a true member of the household. This is very different from Roman slavery, and different again from the form of slavery that existed in Africa and Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries (yes, slavery was very common in Africa, with many Africans enslaving their fellow Africans—or traveling across the Mediterranean to enslave Europeans). In the biblical context, slavery was often the last resort, and as such, was a life-saving institution, allowing a person to remain alive when all other possibilities were exhausted, even with a hope of redemption and eventual freedom. Since your question ignores all of this basic history and fundamental rational thought, it cannot be meaningfully answered, since Luther and Calvin, for example, lived prior to American slavery, and would have encountered various forms of slavery even in the European context.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The concept of slavery was quite different in the first century than during the era when the Word was used as a weapon to subjugate people of predominantly one race. What a tired comparison. Yawn.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Jimmy Smith writes: “When you start with a practice and then go to the Bible to find support you can do it every time.” It must be very sweet that, among the 10s of thousands of denominations, you and yours are the only people reading the Bible with completely clear eyes.

      JS further states: “You have convinced ever increasing numbers of people to agree with you due in large part to a largely amoral movie and TV industry along with a media nationally who are in your camp both in opinion and many in practice.”

      That would be funny if it weren’t also an insult.


  9. Wow. Thanks for this, Ben. It is always incredibly encouraging to read this kind of well-written, thoughtful post from and fellow Episcopalian. Thankful to have you in the “tribe.”

    And as a student of Douglas Campbell, I was overjoyed to see a reference to his (monstrous) book in a link you shared above. Glad some folks are seeing the brilliance behind his read of Romans.

    Peace to you.


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, I’m astonished that people think your response is “brilliant.” For starters, you don’t really answer the questions. For instance, in #2, it asks for a Biblical support for your OPINIONS on homosexuality. You point to other people swaying you. I don’t pretend to know your heart, but if you are a Christian, it would serve you well to stick to the unwavering Word of God rather than other people for your doctrine and beliefs on important issues.

    Also, I am perplexed at your statement in #5. Why would it be so difficult for 1st Century rabbis to imagine such behavior? Do you think this behavior is modern? Something that didn’t exist in the first century? Certainly I misunderstand because I do recall a certain city undergoing complete destruction due to homosexuality running rampant. That God who destroyed that city did not change his mind because suddenly humans became so evolved and sophisticated that those old rules would no longer apply.

    Yes, Jesus came to save us from our sins. Homosexuality is no greater of a sin than no other. But to embrace a sin and allow it to define our identity, rule our families and come before any seeking of holiness is a slap in the face of what Jesus came to do for us in the first place. I’m sorry, but every Christian must turn away from their sin, renounce their own desires and seek God first. Jesus addressed sex very clearly, but today’s evolved population will twist His words into anything that pleases them.

    This is the biggest issue I have ever seen that divides that devout (those who seek God above all else) and the luke warm (those who follow God up to a certain comfort level, then make their own way). One day all this sex that everyone seems to worship will mean nothing when we stand in front of the only one true God, and I can’t see Him saying, well done Good and Faithful servant….you sought what satisfied your own lusts and desires with all your heart. I pray you turn back to the Word and stop twisting it to fit your and/or your close family and friend desires. It’s HIS Word and Laws….NOT yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Question #5 pertained to “homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship.” Are you really trying to equate that with attempted gang rape in the story of Sodom?

      Also, Sodom was destroyed “due to homosexuality running rampant”? It’s a pity Ezekiel didn’t get the memo. He seemed to think Sodom’s sin was failing to help the poor and needy.


      1. Let’s revisit #5 shall we??? It’s below so you don’t have to scroll. You avoid the point to make yourself so incredibly intelligent. Again, the point to my comment on #5 was 1st Century Jewish Rabbis and Jesus Himself very well could “imagine” homosexual practices because they had been going on for a very very long time. This is not a modern practice. And let’s be clear, the men of Sodom and Gomorrah could have had two women but wanted the men instead. Whatever your interpretation is, this was clearly a city with a homosexual issue. But you’ll see it in any way that fits your agenda. It’s sad… You are so puffed up about yourself and how you intrepret things….you think you are so evolved and intelligent and you can’t even acknowledge that all of this pro-gay stands you take is just a fight for sex over God. Surely this new found intellect that post Christian Americans have has nothing to do with God handing us over to a depraved mind because we have turned our backs for so long by clinging to our own desires. It saddens me that people like you lead the blind. How noble of you to encourage the flock to seek after their own desires over holiness.
        Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship?

        I don’t think most first-century Jewish rabbis ever had the opportunity to imagine such a thing, much less decide how they felt about it. But if Jesus had been incarnated into our world today, I think he may well have been okay with it…or at least, almost definitely not as bothered by it as some of his followers are.


      2. The point of Kevin’s fifth question had to do with whether Jesus could imagine ONE particular kind of “homosexual practice”—namely, a committed, monogamous relationship between two people of the same gender. Since you didn’t answer my question about why you see fit to equate that kind of relationship (which was not at all common in the first century) with gang rape, there’s no point in engaging your comments any further.


      3. Jude must have got the memo though?

        Jude 1:7English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

        7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire,[a] serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.


      4. Jude must have received the memo though?

        Jude 1:7English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

        7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire,[a] serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.


      5. Jude 1:7 tells why God destroyed Sodom-“In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” You may argue that “gang rape” is the perversion spoken of here but isn’t that what we call reading into the text? BTW, this verse gets left out of all the arguments by M.Vine and others. Why?


    2. It’s worth digging in and doing a little study of the relevant verses, and I hope you do, given that you seem to value scripture. You might be a little surprised with what you find once you really get into the context of the verses and consider what they are saying, and what they are not saying.


  11. Like I say, if you are living life like there is no God you better be right. Well I guess we will all find the TRUTH in the end.


  12. Not sure I see the relevance, since neither Kevin nor I are suggesting anyone should live life like there is no God…


    1. I did not say you were. But your opinion of what God is saying in his word, had better be right. After all is said and done you and only you will be judged by God and only by God. My feeling on how you intrepid his word makes no difference.


  13. Ben,
    Since everyone else seemed to address your views of scripture and how Jesus was not acquainted with homosexual activity in the way we are, and how the problem with Sodom and Gomorrah was gang rape (even though they could have gang raped 2 women) and not homosexual behavior; I will not address those here.
    What I want to address is your illogical answer to:
    Does equality entail that anyone wanting to be married should be able to have any meaningful relationship defined as marriage?

    Well, my 4-year-old might think so, given how many times she’s asked to “marry” me. But most reasonably intelligent adults understand this is not the case.

    Those who are pushing the homosexual agenda are also the ones who are celebrating people like Bruce Jenner doing the thing he has not power to do. Those people have also been the ones to advocate that at 2 yrs old (some even sooner) can believe they are really a girl even though they are born a boy. So, I would ask you, if that is supposedly true, then why could your 4 yr old daughter believe she should marry you or any other adult male she has a fascination upon?


  14. I really appreciate the thoughtfulness and thoroughness of your responses! You handled them with grace, strength, and verve. Also, I’m really glad I didn’t have to labor over these questions to provide a thoughtful, thorough response for people I know sharing DeYoung’s post. =)

    Keep being awesome.


  15. Your answers to 2-5 are some of the most depressing text I have ever read. This world is falling so quickly, “truth has fallen in the streets”. I think you really need to pray through Christ’s relationship with the church, for a grasp of history (homosexuality has littered history since well before the rabbis you mention and was rife in Rome and Greece, they would certainly have had no trouble imagining it) and certainly of the bible as God’s perfect Word. I normally keep from posting, but sir I pray for you, that you will actually read the bible and submit to God’s will for you life, not create a graven image that justifies leaving natural desires and burning in ways you weren’t created to (Romans 1:26,27). God’s plan is perfect, yours and mine aren’t 🙂 There is SO MUCH joy in following Him instead of lust!


      1. I have a relationship with my male friend which offers companionship and mutual support, but in which neither of us has developed any sort of sexual attraction, either for each other or for each others’ wives/children.
        It is only since this SCOTUS ruling that we have discussed marriage as a means of extending financial benefits – although the discussions have never included a sexual component; they have only explored ways to use the system for our respective families’ financial benefits. (Taxes, insurance, et cetera.)
        So I fail to see how a redefinition of marriage helps anything. Legislating contract law or welfare benefits would have had this effect without denying thousands of years of human history.


  16. The Bacchanalia would have been something Paul would have been aware of also. I bet some Romans thought these secret church meetings in the early or late hours might have been as such.


  17. I just want to say thank you and well said. I must disclose that my beliefs stand against same-sex marriage, and thus I disagree with your underlying statement that same-sex marriage is not sinful, but I really appreciate such a thorough, logical, and truly Christ-like response to Kevin DeYoung’s 40 questions. Regardless of what we view as sin we as brothers and sisters in Christ should seek to discuss our views peacefully and in love to better understand each other, even if we know we will not come to an agreement on the topic. So, thank you for taking the time to write this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I wish there were more people like you engaging in this debate, Josh. It`s not the differing opinions that unsettle me so much as the barely-concealed hostility, judgmentalism and use of the Bible as an insult manual in these disputes.

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      1. Alison …. Thank you for your response to Josh…..I was trying to think of something to say because I appreciated it so much…But you said it much better than I could…..I can’t help but think what the “world” must think of Christians because of the radical, angry view of the minority…..

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, Josh, for modeling what it looks like to disagree with civility and for putting our shared identity in Christ ahead of everything else!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. While I realize that a comment thread is not always the best place to have a level-headed discussion, I have a question I’ve been wondering about that I want to see if someone can answer.

    I’ve heard about lots of Evangelicals who once held a more traditional view of marriage, but formed relationships with people in the LGBTQ community and really wrestled with the questions until their view of marriage changed. That is essentially what happened to me, and many of my close friends as well.

    But does anyone know if it has ever gone the other way? Like, has someone who was previously LGBTQ-affirming ever really wrestled with these questions, studied Scripture, and come to the conclusion that they were wrong, and that homosexual relationships cannot be God-honoring? If that CAN happen, I really think it would be interesting to tell both sides of the story.


      1. I know that these stories exist–the ones where a person who is attracted to the same sex changes their mindset to be attracted to the opposite sex. Even as someone who is usually opposed to “conversion therapy”, I’ve never denied that this works for some (though I personally believe it cannot be expected to work for everyone).

        However, this isn’t exactly what I was looking for. Someone would only be motivated to become straight if they already truly believed their same-sex attraction was wrong. I guess I’m wondering if someone (either gay or straight) has ever fully changed their mind in favor of traditional Christian belief.


    1. I may try to go into more detail as to why at a later time, but I did want to say that I am one who, as a Christian, used to affirm same-sex relationships and who, after much prayer and reading of Scripture, now believes that it is not God-honoring. So yes, there are people out there like this. 🙂


      1. Please check out Rosario Butterfield’s book Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. She was a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ community and in a lesbian relationship when she met the Lord and ended up changing her views. Excellent read for anyone — especially a believer who has a hard time loving and reaching out to your gay neighbor.


  19. While I don’t agree with a lot of your responses, and I feel you often didn’t answer the question he was asking, I really appreciate the thoughtfulness and tone you used in this article. Just enough snark to hint at a friendly exchange, without being nasty or condescending.

    I’m happy to find that there ARE people out there who recognize that someone can be pro-traditional marriage without being a bigot. Even the article I was reading that linked to this article lumped in dissenters with those who call for the execution of homosexuals.

    All that to say, THANK YOU FOR BEING KIND.


  20. One of the passages of scriptures that has been omitted and ignored by the homosexual community is 2 Cor. 5:17: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

    They ignore it because it exposes the fatal weakness of the homosexual argument. We all know that God calls homosexuality an abomination and that homosexuals will not see heaven thus that makes homosexuality part of the OLD nature, the old creature,something that Christ came to redeem men and women from.

    Any one who declares that they are homosexual AFTER their supposedly being born again lie for they were not redeemed nor were they made new creatures. The are spitting on Christi’s redemptive work and saying that he did not change them.

    One cannot remain a homosexual if Christ redeemed them. Then we need to bring up the the verses referring to new and old wineskins (Mk 2:22-1-22). How can the homosexual get the new life Jesus promised if they remain in their old ‘wineskin’?

    That passage says it won’t work. The error is not on the Bible’s side, but the side of the homosexual who desperately want to be seen as normal, natural and like everyone else. Sadly for them, unless they truly give up their desire for and practice of homosexuality, they are not like every other Christian but remain in sin and far from God.


    1. Many sincere, devout Christians (including those who believe same-sex relationships are wrong) are gay. Typically they find that their orientation does not change, no matter how much they long or pray for this to happen. Example: Exodus International, a major ex-gay organisation, closed its doors in late 2013 with an accompanying statement saying that they had never seen genuine orientation change among all the gay people they had worked with.
      So with respect, you`re quite wrong when you insist that a person cannot be gay and Christian. What one chooses to do about one`s attractions is of course a different matter, but by condemning people because of attractions that they didn`t choose and can`t change, you`re slamming the door of the Kingdom in a lot of peoples` faces and you simply don`t have the right to do that. According to your post, even if a gay person chose lifelong celibacy they could still not be considered Christian because their desires remain unchanged!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alison, you are correct because nowhere in the New Testament do we find grounds to believe that once we begin our new life in Christ that our sin nature has been eradicated. We have the sin nature (old man) to wrestle with our entire lives. I honestly believe that resisting temptation is a topic that is greatly ignored or simply glossed over by our preachers and teachers. Temptation is promised in this life. If you are a Christian and you have little or no temptation to sin then maybe you are not calling sin sin. Maybe someone has convinced you that your sin is not sin. Orientation is a nice word for proclivities or tendencies. It makes it sound like it’s God’s will.


      2. Just in the past 2 years I have met 3 people in my church that have dealt with homosexuality in ways that defy what most people hear. Two friends were in same- sex relationships ( not with each other– one was in a lesbian relationship and one in a gay relationship) because they sought them for emotional needs, rebellion, etc rather than a lifelong attraction to the opposite gender. (And they met each other after turning from that lifestyle and married!) another friend is in a loving Christian marriage, but it is known he struggles with same sex attraction although he truly loves his wife and does not want to have that desire.

        All this to say that homosexuals may or may not be born that way. I agree with Alison that there are believers who may struggle with same sex attraction and God does not take that away after conversion. Just like he does not always take away porn addiction or eating disorders, etc.


      3. Hi Amanda,

        Thanks for sharing. Each person’s story is unique, and it’s not my place to dismiss or deny anyone’s personal narrative. But we also need to hear the far greater number of stories which confirm that sexual orientation is innate, not chosen—and that for the vast majority of people, it’s fixed, not changeable. There are some people for whom sexual orientation does seem to be more fluid, which is why I don’t think we should deny or dismiss someone whose story doesn’t fit the prevailing narrative. But neither should we assume that a handful of exceptions, along the lines of those you shared above, negate the larger narrative.

        Justin Lee has a very good summary of the research on sexual orientation in his book Torn. It’s true we don’t know everything there is to know about orientation, but we know enough to say with confidence that it is not a chosen trait. I highly recommend Justin’s book. It’s well worth reading, whichever side you take.

        One last comment…I would be careful drawing a comparison between porn addiction (or other sins, for that matter) and homosexuality. I don’t think you were suggesting that same-sex orientation is comparable to pornography (though other commenters have made this comparison—and worse). I think you meant to draw a connection between homosexual activity and other activities that most of us agree are sinful.

        However, I still think this is problematic. Even if you believe homosexual sex is inherently and always sinful, it does not follow that it’s comparable to sins like pornography or child abuse (yes, that comparison also has been made). Those who hold the traditional view should be careful not to imply that sexual intimacy between two consenting adults of the same gender in a committed relationship is the same as inherently exploitative sins. This suggests is a false moral equivalence.


  21. “I don’t think most first-century Jewish rabbis ever had the opportunity to imagine such a thing, much less decide how they felt about it. But if Jesus had been incarnated into our world today, I think he may well have been okay with it…or at least, almost definitely not as bothered by it as some of his followers are.”

    This is a pretty bizarre view of Jesus Christ. Are you an Open Theist? It’s hard to imagine the same God who, in the Old Testament, required the death penalty for homosexual acts, somehow being ignorant of or “growing” in knowledge about a sexual sin.

    Your talk about how meeting homosexuals made you “reassess” things, as opposed to the scripture, is also quite telling. I suppose it wouldn’t help the narrative to point out the strong correlation found between homosexuality and mental illness, even sociopathy and psychopathy? All those people who march in gay prides in the nude, flashing their penises to children and the like, don’t do it because they’re just swell people. Not all is well in the queer paradise when examined very closely, even if it is not PC to speak about these findings and studies publicly, so if you want to go with the personal over the scriptural, it will not work out as you expect.

    Your retort about the meaning of those words is also pretty bizarre. So the Apostles can clearly see “man-bedding” as a sin, but you would say that homosexuality is OK because it would be under the guise of a “covenantal relationship.” But where does the Bible open the door for a homosexual marriage? Christ only gives the example of Adam and Eve as our model, and only speaks about relationships between men and women. You are as bad as the Mormons who imagine the scripture leaving it “open” for many different gods to exist, because they’re able to rend the scripture to support their claims.


    1. It’ll make him a big hit among the Unitarians, Episcopalians and other heretical churches, that’s for sure.


      1. Unitarians deny the traditional doctrine of the Trinity, largely viewing Christ as human and not divine. But that’s not incredibly important since most liberal denominations don’t care enough to defend the Trinity anyhow, and, like you, confuse social justice for the Gospel, as if the depravity of mankind was to be cured by a dose of Marxism and raising up perversion to the level of a sacrament.

        Leaving the government to decide “marriage quality” is one thing. Requiring that Christians pervert the scripture to make perversion acceptable, that’s the step you had no right to take. I knew there was something wrong with this blog upon reading the strange emphasis on the environment or social causes in the context of the Gospel. Poor fellow, the Gospel has always been what Christ has already done for us, not what you– whether you are the most right-wing works-righteousness guy on the planet, or a left wing pinko and his social activism– pretend to do for Christ. When it comes down to it, your nonsense is the same heresy the church has been plagued with from the beginning: self-righteousness run amuck.


  22. Thank you for answering these questions in a balanced way.

    Lots of comments on here (all of them familiar since I used to believe wholeheartedly that practicing homosexuals could not inherit the kingdom of God) are the very things that keep people from being truthful, sincere and authentic. To simply rely only on Scripture, and not take into account relationship, is not balanced. Logos, ethos and pathos are all necessary when understanding this issue.

    Commenters and those who are reading this: Be aware of what your words and interpretations of Scripture can do to harm others. I see familiar phrases and interpretations from many comments on here, and I am willing to bet my right pinky toe that a vast majority of you haven’t truly wrestled with these questions, Scriptures and long-held orthodoxy like the author in this article has.

    I am a Christian and an LGBTQ ally, who once thought like many of you, until my husband of 10 years came out of the closet. To discredit relationship and reality of life and ONLY look at Scripture is exactly what Jesus didn’t do. He fought all the time with religious authorities of his day with dogmatic views and proved them wrong by taking into account the realities of the person and relationship.

    Be careful. Many people actually keep a person in the closet with their words and judgement…like “speaking the truth in love” as though we sinners have authority in another person’s life…and subsequently harm more than just an LGBTQ person. I contend that the very definition of marrige between a man and a woman actually HARMS some groups of people. There are innumerable straight spouses who were unknowingly married to a closeted LGBTQ person because of rhetoric and erroneous Scriptural interpretation. These interpretations caused fear. That fear keeps an LGBTQ person from being honest; a subsequent heterosexual marriage ensues and so many people can be hurt in the process.

    I say all of the above to simply challenge people to realize what their thinking can do to harm others. This isn’t such a black and white issue, like many of you believe. There are straight men and women who have been harmed by “traditional” interpretations of Scripture and your words can cut very deep; they can actually hinder people from entering the Kingdom of God. Remember that Jesus fought most frequently with Religious leaders, often the ones who thought they had it all figured out; I dare say many of you who so adamantly disagree with the author of this blog and/or some of his ideas (which are held by many of your fellow believers in this world). So, proceed caution in all things. You are dealing with people here, not just words in Scripture. You actually may be hindering people from knowing Christ, and hurting entire families in the process.

    To all you straight spouses out there who have found yourself unwillingly in a Mixed Orientation Marriage, I love you.

    Perfect Love Drives Out All Fear,

    P.S. Thank you to the thoughtful answers you gave to these 40 questions. I will likely share them on my own blog. Also, forgive typos please. Fat thumbs, little phone keyboard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have heard of this, but you are the first person whom I have been able to ask directly: Do you and your ex-husband have children, and how did this impact them? I read an article, written by a child from such a family, who described the impact in negative terms. At the same time, psychiatric professionals say that there has been no impact. I realize that your answer is anecdotal, but it is at least one answer from the trenches.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, we have three children.

        Ultimately, most of how kids react and subsequently deal with this issue has to do with how the parents handle things. (I am guessing that the child you referred to who wrote their experience likely had two parents who weren’t amicable.) The gay thing is a unique issue to many, but regardless of why a couple breaks up/gets divorced (with kids), parents need to do their best to handle things with maturity. Kids take cues from us.

        If there was a way to write a How To book about this topic of an LGBTQ person coming out during a heterosexual marriage, it would have been written. This is because every situation is so unique. So I will speak only for mine.

        I was very hurt. The kids didn’t find out the real reason for about 3 years post-disclosure. They were too young to hear from either of us about it until we both figured out how to coparent and heal a bit. That was the best thing we ever did for them. We were separated and divorced for about 3 years before they found out the reason why.

        I have written a BUNCH about our family on my two blogs and in some other publications, but I will tell you that since wading these strange waters, our kids are not any more harmed than any typical divorced couple who coparents well together. I believe they have handled things beautifully and if there are things for them to work through as a direct result of their dad coming out, I can’t guess what it will be. They are very cool, empathetic, and accepting of anyone…as a direct result of our scenario…along with their dad and I (and their dad’s husband) doing the best job we can to communicate and be amicable.

        There are SO many like us straight spouses out there, but many of us don’t reveal ourselves. God has given me a situation were I am free to share and be transparent, so I do my best to encourage others to understand the need to help not just LGBTQ people, but those who were intentionally or (most of the time) unintentionally, used as a way for the LGBTQ person try to “change” hetero or fight their core. I also discuss this issue in light of the church fairly frequently. Very few churches handle this situation well because it cuts to the core of people’s judgements very quickly.

        Picture: Divorce for Adultery Only + Homosexuality is a Sin + Could the Straight Spouse do More? + You Can Pray the Gay Away + Matthew 18 Discipline = HUGE MESS AND TONS OF HURT

        Gosh, that was a long sentence and long answer.

        Basically, my kids are great, but typical kids. The principle is that kids handle this scenario according to how their parents do.

        There are definitely scenarios that are horrible. I get emails nearly everyday from someone desperate after finding out their spouse is LGBTQ. But, that’s why I am there and many gay and lesbian spouses have used what I do as a clue on how to best honor their straight spouse and children, with the least pain possible…without living a lie anymore.

        Does that help? Thanks for asking. I didn’t hop on here to promote my own stuff. You can always email me and read more by clicking on my Wonder Woman icon.

        Much love and thank you for trying to understand. It is more than what I usually get from people who are Christians…unless they are in an affirming denomination. Trust me. That’s why I do what I do. (-;


  23. Oh my goodness Ben. Your response to this incredible helpful article is so clearly coming from your “thoughts” and not anywhere else – so totally brain and a process Thomas the disciple would have used. He had to have proof, he had to have documentation, he had to have statistics, etc – but when he let his heart be penetrated with the truth – nothing else was needed. However, Jesus understood what he needed and offered to show His nail scarred hands. Most non-Christians and now more and more Christians are “leaning unto thine own understanding” instead of searching their hearts and letting God speak to their spirit. The wisdom of this world is garbage to God – and yet we let the wisdom of this world rule our thoughts? Everyone wants to quote the old testament and make fun of the practices – Jesus came to fulfill the law and do away with a lot of those things – BUT it was replaced with the new testament. You cannot read Romans 1 and conclude anything else but what it says. But that is what people are doing. Well – that meant something else. No, it means that homosexuality is big enough a sin for a chapter in the new testament to be devoted to it. If we want to talk about the old testament – if God doesn’t judge our country now He will have to go back and apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. I just detest that people want to pick and choose scripture and put their own importance on certain verses. When we talk about love – and LOVE WINS – No, God is love, and God will always win. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. Loving your neighbor is second to that. How are we loving God with everything we have if we freely take His word and rearrange it to suit our own minds, making living a little more comfortable and easy. If anything is good about this – it is making most of us get back in the word and search diligently to see what God is really saying. No one has said a word about marriage being for procreation. How are 2 women or 2 men going to continue that on. What if the whole world is eventually gay – oops, no more people being created in the world. Someone who really loves God would not take the rainbow and do what they have done with it this past week. The pictures on Facebook depicting gays mocking Jesus by hanging on a cross, kissing each other, kissing Jesus with a rainbow flag draped over them – Seriously? Yes, I have loss friends this past week, I have been sort of afraid of putting anything on FB. Proponents of gay marriage have exploded on Facebook – freely bashing Christians, freely saying what ever they want. But when I want to freely state my beliefs in a nice way – I am being judgmental while they are exercising freedom of speech. Something is very very wrong here and I am embarrassed for my country but mostly for my Lord. I know how I feel in my heart – very hurt and sad – and I can only imagine how He feels. But He is God – He knew this was coming – nothing is a surprise to Him. I do believe that we are one huge step closer to His return when a lot of people who have compromised His word and the church (His “bride”) will be very very surprised and sad because of the decisions they have made. We forget that God is holy, and that even though He is love, He is also holy. He will not be mocked, He does get angry and you either believe Him 100% or you don’t (He wants us to be either “cold” or “hot” – you believe in Him and His word or you don’t. No gray here) If you are riding the fence He will “spit you out of my mouth”. We have watered down His word, we have cut and pasted to fit our own needs, we have celebrated what He has clearly stated He hates, and ignored the things that are important to Him. We have worshipped ourselves, our IQs and thoughts more than our Creator and His mind and thoughts. Just like He predicted – in the last days child will turn against parent, parent against child, family member against family member and etc – and I believe Satan – oh yes, he is very active in all of this and loving it because He is dividing Gods people and pitting them against each other. He is bringing down the America God established using many of those who have claimed they are believers. Christians are really going to have to choose because a line is being drawn in the sand that is going to be a deciding factor. Its going to be harder and harder to stand strong because clearly many are feeling the pressure to become tolerant and give in to changing scripture and changing our society farther away from what God expects. Don’t lost sight of this. If we are close to God and have sought to know His mind and heart, there will be no confusion, it will be very clear what is of God and what isn’t. I hope and pray that I can be strong and my family can be strong in the light of this persecution and trial and all of those to come. As I have told my friends, if I have to lose friends because I choose to believe God and His word, I am prepared to do that. And I challenge everyone to get into the word and read it with your heart and your spirit, leave your intellect somewhere else. God is not interested in our intellect. And read it without an agenda, without looking for bits and pieces that will support an idea or belief you have formed – be totally open to what God is saying to you. If we come to God in this manner – He is not going to give us all different answers, we will be in agreement because we are in agreement with Him. When people argue about interpretation – we forget that all scripture is given by God for instruction and correction. ALL, not some, not the ones you want and not the ones you don’t want or like. If anything this has strengthened my resolve and my beliefs and has helped me seek ways I can answer to others. And for that I am grateful, but I am mourning the turning away of so many – including so many children, and so many believers. Prayer is powerful and God does listen and respond. I am wondering if we have gone too far this time. At one time God sent a flood to destroy the world because it was so wicked. He promised not to ever send a flood again. He burned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and He will judge America if we do not turn back to Him. I pray we do.


    1. “Most non-Christians and now more and more Christians are “leaning unto thine own understanding” instead of searching their hearts and letting God speak to their spirit.”

      Interesting. Most of what you have written here is not giving much room for God to “speak to their spirit.” You assume a lot about everyone else, and are trying to speak for God to us. Express yourself, but the measure you doll out for others will also be measured toward you.

      I learned this the hard way. I hope you don’t have to. God is bigger than you even realize. Try to find some serenity…maybe theough the Serenity Prayer?

      I am doing my best here to not get offended at your many words. Much love.


    2. Agreed that nothing was mentioned about procreation ~ that is the essence of marriage in G-d’s eyes ~ the reason for making one male and one female of humans and animals so they could procreate and multiply on the earth ~


  24. The only thing that the Bible says about polygamy is that you treat all wooded equally – no playing favorites with one and treating others like trash.
    Regarding African Christianity, your western imperialism is showing. Christianity in Africa came WELL before the slave ships OR the mission trips. Unlike your hedonistic perversions, it was never accepted there.
    If Jesus didn’t have to address it, because it wasn’t a known entity in their culture, shouldn’t THAT tell you something? I guess, again, your western superior mind kind of misses the simple things. You all are really good at swallowing camels in the west.


  25. Just some friendly rebuttal:

    “14. Do you think children do best with a mother and a father?

    What if one of them is abusive? Are you suggesting that’s better than two gay dads who provide a loving, safe environment and don’t abuse kids?”

    So as long as parents are providing a safe, non-abusive environment it’s okay? In that case it’s okay for two parents to have a child, live together, and raise it all out of wed-lock as long as they are providing a safe environment??

    “4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?

    The same verses you would use to show that marriage between two opposite-gendered persons can adequately depict Christ and the church. (I’m pretty sure gender is not the main point of Paul’s analogy, since the church is not literally, anatomically female.)”

    Genesis 2:24 – 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

    While this is Genesis and well before Christ’s time I think it accurately depicts what a marriage should be and does not say anything about man with man or woman with woman.

    “3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?

    But mostly, I would say this:

    Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.”

    How does this verse answer the question? It speaks about love but does not specify same-sex unions.


      1. Matt,

        I loved reading that article, especially because my three kids have a dad who is gay and now married to a man who is an awesome stepdad. We co-parent and our kids are as good as any others, if not better (but that’s what every parent is supposed to feel about their kids, no? *wink, wink).

        Unfortunately, while the author certainly has credibility, the basic reasons she gives for her hurt is not the fault of the gay community or having two moms or advocating for same-sex marriage.

        Her main source of hurt has everything to do with her father leaving her. That was super crappy of him to do, and a choice he made that has nothing to do with advocating for same sex marriage. Blaming her two moms as the reason she has hurt is just a deflection of the heart of her issues. Also, she may actually be mad that her mom wasn’t honest about herself when she was with her dad and blames HER for him not staying, which somehow absolves him of being a Class A jerk of a man. Understandable, but that is more of a self-protection for her own heart and mind than actually facing her real hurt. Her dad abandoned her. He should have stayed and fought for her to be in his life. He didn’t. It is easier to blame her mom and their situation than to blame a dad that she longs for so much.

        But to blame the LGBTQ community and same-sex marriage is not intellectually honest. I hope she is getting counseling to get to the root of her issues. Also, it is almost like looking a gift horse in the mouth: can she not live gratefully, knowing she was loved? That concerns me, for her sake. I bet her mom and stepmom are very hurt by her words in that article, and there are many children who wish they could be so blessed.

        Having a father and mother who love each other in a commited relationship is wonderful. The same can be said for two moms or two dads and the kids that they love. Let’s not forget single parents. Or foster parents. Or, or, or…

        Christians have not cornered the market on loving, safe, secure households for children. It is prideful to think so.

        These are just my initial thoughts. Your article link has given me some stuff to wrestle with, and I love that.

        I enjoyed the article immensely, despite my opinions and critiques. I am always interested in reading anything I can get my hands on about kids of LGBTQ parents since I live it daily. So, again, thanks for sharing that article and I felt it was worth responding to you to thank you.

        Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,


    1. Thank you Ben Irwin for this discourse. As a gay Christian with Catholic and Southern Baptist backgrounds I have struggled with so many of the issues you have so wonderfully addressed in this great article. Thank you for Christian emphasis and placing the issues in a spiritual perspective for me. I feel like much of my confusion has been dispatched and many of my uncertainties replaced with certainty and clarity. I believe that Jesus and the Holy Spirit have given you this message for individuals like me who just want to follow Jesus…and just happen to be gay…..God bless you….

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Ben. You might want to reconsider your first answer to Question #3 when citing biblical proof of why you support homosexual relationships/marriage (because God said it’s not good that man should be alone). Your first scriptural reason was Genesis 2:18. This is an example of why it is so important to read scripture in context.

    18 “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” 19 So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.”

    So by your reasoning, God condones bestiality. Do you then support marriage as a meaningful sexual relationship between any two or more warm blooded mammals?


    1. Well that’s quite a leap of logic there! The narrative is quite clear that none of the animals qualifies as a “suitable companion” because they are of an entirely different order of creation. And crucially, they lack the capacity for consent. Which makes the comparison to bestiality a red herring.


      1. Your logic was merely that man shouldn’t be alone. So the logic fits. But for the sake of fully reasoning this out, what suitable companion(s) did God provide, then? Did God provide Adam with Eve and Steve and let him choose? No. He provided Adam with a woman. Someone he could be fruitful with and multiply the human race. Therefore the logic of using this verse to justify homosexual relationships still comes up short.

        I hope you’ll also consider my second point below as you reason this out. I wish you all the best as you seek to know God’s perfect will.


  27. If you’re not a Christian, these questions weren’t meant for you. If Christ was actually your Savior AND your Lord, these questions would be moot because He’s the one that tells you what is right/wrong. The minute you start, as the serpent did, asking yourself, “Did God really say?” is the minute you are rebelling against God. Again, if you reject God, so be it, live your life and deal with the consequences. But if you call yourself a Christian, God has spoken and He is wholly righteous. To think otherwise is to say that God is wrong. If so, may God grant you all repentance and grace.


    1. Interesting point there: when the serpent asked `Did God really say…` -the answer in fact is `no`. He did not really say that Adam and Eve must not eat from any tree in the garden. On the contrary, he only disallowed one out of all the trees.
      In other words, that verse is an example of Satan trying to make us think that God`s commands are far more restrictive than they really are. Yet it`s constantly quoted as though it were an example of God clearly forbidding something and God`s people trying to wriggle out of it. A complete misuse of the text there.


  28. As for your second verse you provided in support of Question #3. Again, context is key. You use 1 Corinthians 7:9 to support

    1 Cor. 7:9 “But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.”

    Again, if you read the verse in context of the passage you will see that Paul is specifically speaking of a man and a woman.

    1 Cor. 7:1-2 “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” 2 But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”

    Nowhere in this passage does it say each man should have his own husband or wife her own wife.

    I hope this helps with your confusion.


  29. As for your second verse you provided in support of Question #3. Again, context is key. You use 1 Corinthians 7:9 to support homosexual marriage:
    1 Cor. 7:9 “But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.”

    Again, if you read the verse in context of the passage you will see that Paul is specifically speaking of a man and a woman.
    1 Cor. 7:1-2 “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” 2 But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
    Nowhere in this passage does it say each man should have his own husband or wife her own wife.
    Lastly the verse on love says nothing about sex.


  30. Your answer to question 5 is the heart of the entire issue here. Either Jesus was fully God, fully divine and knew the hearts of men(therefore would have been aware of the hundreds of faithful Jewish listeners who suffered in silence with SSA) or he is best represented as being limited to a 1st century Rabbi.

    By answering that Jesus spoke only as someone familiar with the current cultural understanding of homosexuality(which is historically inaccurate to claim that there was no ancient parallel to our “understanding” today) you have imposed an approach to scripture that is far outside of the mainstream of orthodox confessing Christian faith of millennia. With that foundational approach to reading scripture and understanding the words of Christ we have completely incompatible views on Truth and the nature of the Biblical prescriptions and prohibitions for sexual ethics.

    This fundamental disagreement is essential to be understood due to the radical nature of its claims. Either my way of reading scripture(Jesus, and the Word, are perfect in production and transcription) and your way of reading scripture(limited to being virtually completely interpreted through a cultural context lens—-which sounds a lot like a form of Open Theism). The forms of Christianity that these two differing approaches prescribe are so fundamentally in opposition that it is impossible to reconcile that both are faithful witnesses and testimonies to God’s truth and the Gospel. Either I am right(and therefore homosexual practices are ALWAYS immoral), or, you are right(and I am in grave sin to oppose homosexual practices).

    To argue about the moral nature of homosexual practices without initially establishing the non-negotiable criteria that each party accepts for interpreting scripture is logically and practically useless and impossible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let me ask you this, as someone who shares your commitment to the full divinity and humanity of Jesus: when Jesus expressed surprise (as he does on multiple occasions in the Gospels), was he lying?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We have to differentiate between either rhetorical devices used to describe an event for our benefit(the readers), or, phrasing that Jesus used for the benefit of those who heard. To say “Jesus expressed” surprise is different than claiming, “Jesus didn’t know”. For example, in Luke 8 when the woman with the bleeding condition touches Jesus and is healed there are a number of different pieces that are necessary to accommodate in interpreting the response of Jesus; 1) The woman wasn’t supposed to be out in public, especially in a crowd, due to her condition, 2) Jesus was in the midst of a crowd that he was going to reveal his divinity and authority to through his miraculous work, 3) Jesus’ ministry was marked by inviting those who suffered shame to step into the light, be healed and accepted.

        So, when Jesus says, “Who touched me” a contextual reading would indicate that 1) He knew, 2) He wanted her to reveal herself, 3) He intended to reveal his power and authority to the crowds gathered, which neccessitated “drawing” her out, 4) He was addressing the tendency through this rhetorical question of people hiding because of their shame.

        Not to mention that the same story is recorded in Matthew and doesn’t have the additional information found in Luke, indicating a broader picture that Jesus indeed always knew, though he may have, for the benefit of the hearers, expressed not knowing.

        This of course still doesn’t even get into the inspiration of Scripture by the Holy Spirit. If we believe God wrote the Bible, regardless of the phrasing used within it, why would God ONLY affirm the male female marriage/sexual relationship while allowing in multiple occasions of condemnation to same sex practices. While you one could say that Paul just “didn’t know”, we cannot also say that God Himself “didn’t know”. And though Paul physically wrote his Epistles, Orthodox Christianity has always affirmed that it was the Holy Spirit behind the words and meaning itself.


    2. Adam Borsa ……..Many things are not always so “black and white”…..Just because you have accepted one MAN’s interpretation of a Scripture does not necessarily make it what God thinks…..Do not pretend to “speak for God”….You are only human and flawed like the rest of us sinners….not always right and not perfect…Your opinion is just that….your opinion………Man made logic and intellectualism does not always apply in the spiritual realm……..I believe it is very dangerous to think that we have “it all figured out”……..


      1. Robert, If you are implying that we should approach scriptural interpretation humbly, I whole heartedly agree. But that is different that proclaiming there isn’t a correct answer concerning a given question(aka, it isn’t always black and white)

        The start contrast in response to this issue leaves no middle ground. Either unrepentant homosexual acts is damnable, or, unrepentantly telling people it is damnable is in of itself arguably damnable. These two positions are so diametrically opposed that there is no reconciliation. Though the correct answer may not be “easy” to know/understand it is not unknowable.

        What I think you are misapplying in your contention is the importance of accepting the unclear aspects of portions of scripture that can cause division and debate. IE, arminism vs calvinism. They both try their best through man made explanations to describe the active agent in the work of salvation in a believers life using clearly described passages in scripture. It should be humbling to recognize on both sides of the debate that their is legitimacy for either side found in a plain straightforward reading of scripture.

        In the issue of homosexuality we are NOT dealing with some fuzzy textual explanations that can be either/or or reconciled in the fullness of scriptural context to mean a valuable blending of both. The Bible speaks with clarity about; 1) God’s purpose for human sexuality—Which is affirmed by Jesus, 2) The immorality of acting outside God’s purpose for human sexuality—Which is attested to by both Jesus and the New and Old Testaments.

        This is not a case of, “but here are some important passages that plainly seem to indicate something different than what it says here, how do we reconcile the two??” Whether we make inferences that Jesus and the authors of the NT “didn’t know”(which is historically and theologically untenable), or, try to massage the text to mean something that would have never made sense to the authors(and obviously to God who was the ultimate author) by ways of shoehorning passages like, “It is not good for man to be alone” to somehow…by some stretch….must mean having sex with the same gender is totally ok…now….


      2. As an addendum to that last post….I think of theology and Biblical interpretation like instant reply in football. If the call on the field is “x”, you have to have irrefutable evidence of “y” to change the call. In the case of this topic, there is clearly not irrefutable and sound evidence to overturn the multiple millenia of interpretation and teaching of scripture regarding human sexuality. There is a VERY high bar that must be passed to be able to say what is being argued for. And no one has even gotten close.


    3. I concur with your remarks…I don’t know of any Christians who think of Jesus as just a “first century rabbi.” The only redeeming feature of his response seems to be of his claim that gay love is too new a concept to be in the Bible. I have read too many theses from gay apologists that would claim that the scriptures were full of such relationships, from David & Jonathan to Jesus and His disciples.


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