“Jack, Get Off Your Hobby Horse” NO!

Yesterday, under a “headline” that read:

NOTICE TO ALL FACEBOOK “FRIENDS” WHO ARE OKAY WITH THE PRACTICE OF HOMOSEXUALITY

I wrote:

Whether you profess to be a follower of Christ or not; be aware that I do not hate homosexuals, transgender et al; nor do I hate rapists or those who kick dogs. BUT I will not be silent or restrained regarding posting about the sin of homosexual BEHAVIOR (as opposed to temptation – which is never sin). You are free to unfollow; delete; or comment in a way that is polite, non-patronizing, etc. The issue is not going away…and this is MY wall and I will use it as I see fit. You may disagree, you may shake your head, but you will be polite or you will be deleted. This includes not only comments to me but also comments to others who comment. Thank you for your expected cooperation.

Today, from a respected friend who used to direct a Bible quiz ministry, I received this question:

Jack, why is this so important to you? Of all the sin and injustices in the world, why is this the one thing you keep calling attention to?

I recognize that not all facebook or blog posts appear in everyone’s feed; nor does everyone read everything written by an individual.

But I’ve answered that question many times; so I’m going to do so now in a lengthy post so I can keep it easily accessible and thus I can post it whenever anyone asks.

  • First, for over ten years I’ve been saying the primary questions professing Christians need to ask are: (1) Is the Bible the Word of God? Not “Does the Bible contain the Word of God, but is the Bible the Word of God?  (2) Is there a place called hell where nonChristians spend eternity? (3) Is homosexual behavior sin?
  • It is obvious (to me) that if you say “yes” to the first question; the other two questions are not really necessary.
  • But the reality is that many who say they are Christians proclaim universalism and/or annihilationism; and many say the homosexual behavior is okay. (and, yes, usually…not always…but usually the two go hand-in-hand; in other words if one denies (2) or (3) they usually deny both.
  • So, without making a defense or apologetic here, let me be clear: (1) I believe the last verse in Matthew 25 is true; (2) all the passages that refer to homosexuality as sin are true.
  • As my friend writes, of course there are many other “sin(s) and injustices in the world” that are, by the way, often addressed by me. So why dwell on this issue?
  • Is homosexual behavior “worse” than gluttony, gossip, pride etc. Yes. Because all sexual sin is viewed as sin against the body that the Lord has redeemed (1 Corinthians 6). Which is why if you hear me preach/teach/answer questions on the issue you will hear me say, “Yes, homosexual behavior is sin, just as is premarital sex, extramarital sex, sex with a dog.”
  • But no one, to my knowledge, is being sued for being an adulterer; no one is being sued for sleeping around as a single person.
  • But people…to include ministers…are being sued and otherwise attacked for refusing to cave in to cultural “norms” by holding on to Biblical convictions.
  • A simple current example: In the Missouri prison system (as in all that I know), inmates can marry. Lots of paperwork, lots of hoops, but it can be done. At this point, if Steve wants to marry Tom, the state will allow that, but the state will not force the institutional chaplain to officiate. That chaplain can recruit a chaplain from another prison who feels free to officiate such a wedding. But for how long will this continue? When will Missouri mandate that an institutional chaplain must officiate a “gay” wedding? When will the prison system mandate that chaplains (full time or volunteer) may not refer to homosexual activity as sin? And what will we who hold to such convictions do at that time? That’s for another post.
  • We’ve not had it happen (yet), bu what happens when, at the camp Midland runs, biological male Steve shows up but demands to be called Stevie and be placed into a girls cabin? Obviously (I hope) we will not do that…what happens if he/she/it sues?

So I will keep pointing out that homosexual activity (as opposed to temptation) is sin. I will take the flack as I’m called too focused, homophobic, etc.

And I will be clear…though not all will hear…that I don’t “hate” homosexuals.

By the way, in my bc days I did far too many horrible things; but I never engaged, nor wanted to engage, in homosexual activity, to include the four years I was locked up.

I’m often asked why so many professing Christians are okay with homosexuality?

My opinion? Years ago it was pretty easy to declare that homosexuality was sin because no one knew (or knew that they knew) any homosexuals.

Now virtually everyone has a relative or close friend who is out of the closet.

Thus it is no longer academic.

And thus those whose “conviction” was not, in fact a conviction,” rather than lose a friend, be called judgmental, or have to consider that their gay friend may be enroute to hell (if they still believe in that quaint concept); they are okay…or silent…about the sin.

Another Hager theory, borne out by observation…certainly not in all cases, but in many of which I am aware…professing Christians who are or have engaged in extramarital or premarital sex – or struggle with pornography…are okay with homosexuality…consciously or unconsciously because “hey, if gay is cool; then my sin isn’t really sin!”

And, by the way, this is not academic to me. I have several friends, to include former coworkers in ministry, who are out of the closet. I have a daughter who is currently living a gay lifestyle (Note…I did not type I have a “gay” daughter…there is a difference).

Nothing will change my love for her. But, God enabling, nothing will cause me to waffle on the Word of God for the sake of family peace.

To be clear…I, personally, am grieved by the horrendous amount of money that was expended in the “fight” against gay marriage. Why should I care what the state does? The USofA is not now nor ever has been a “Christian nation.” How many missionaries were underserved, how many went hungry, how many other causes suffered because too many Christians were trying to fight spiritual warfare with mans weapons?

I don’t like it, but I understand homosexuals have rights.

And as long as their rights do not trample mine, all is cool.

But I will never officiate a gay wedding. I will never serve with a ministry or church that is okay with homosexuality.

There are not many mountains upon which I will die. This is one.

So rant, unfollow, shake your head, hate…whatever. It’s cool.

And, just in case I’ve missed offending anyone, I’ll close with this…everytime I hear of another well known speaker, denomination, friend caving into this issue, this is the first thing that pops into my aging brain:

 

>The Dinging Bell is Nothing New

>Rob Bell and his “insights” (read – dances) into the subject of hell is already fading into the woodwork (though not quickly enough)…but the controversy generated is nothing new…witness this from C. S. Lewis:

“I know that many wiser and better Christians than I in these days do not like to http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0060653205&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrmention heaven and Hell even in a pulpit. I know, too, that nearly all the references to this subject in the New Testament come from a single source. But then that source is Our Lord Himself… These overwhelming doctrines…are not really removable from the teaching of Christ or of His Church. If we do not believe them our presence in this church is great tomfoolery. If we do, we must sometime overcome our spiritual prudery and mention them.”

C.S. Lewis
The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses

>Being Formed, or Forming God?

>What’s bigger? God…or our theology? Am I being conformed (however slowly) to His image, or am I http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1434768511&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrstriving to conform Him to my idea of who He is and what He should do?

I would absolutely love to have the opportunity to sit down with Frances Chan one-on-one for a day or two..I think if you look up “humble” in an accurate dictionary his face would be there. (if you are not familiar with him, buy the book Crazy Love by clicking on the link to the left…buy it, read it, if you don’t like it contact me and I’ll reimburse you)

And this is perhaps the most important clip I’ve seen/read by him. I urge you to invest 8 minutes:

>Where In Hell is the Devil?

>Sort-of-sorry for the title, but these words from J. C. Ryle, a century or so old, have never been more contemporary:

Does anyone foolishly suppose that the devil is asleep, or dead, or less mischievous now than in the past? Nothing of the kind! He is still “walking about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” He is still “going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it” (1 Peter 5:8; Job 1:7).

  • It is he who goes among heathen nations and persuades them to shed oceans of blood in the worship of idols or murderous wars.
  • It is he who goes to and fro among fallen Churches, persuading them to throw aside­ the Bible, and satisfy people with ‘formal worship’ or groveling superstitions.
  • It is he who walks up and down in Protestant countries, and stirs up party spirit and bitter political strife, setting class against class, and subjects against rulers, in order to distract people’s minds from better things.
  • It is he who is continually going to the ears of intellectual and highly educated people, persuading them that the old Bible is not true, and advising them to be content with Atheism, Agnosticism, Secularism, and a general contempt for the world to come.
  • It is he, above all, who persuades foolish people that there is no such person as a devil, no future judgment after death, and no hell.

In all this fearful list of things I firmly believe that the devil lies at the bottom, and is the true root, reason, and cause. Can we suppose for a moment that he will let true Christians go quietly to heaven, and not tempt them along the way?
Away with the silly thought! We have need to pray against the devil, as well as against the world and the flesh. In the great trinity of enemies which the believer should daily remember, the devil perhaps is the greatest because he is the least seen.

>What the "heck"?

>Unless you’ve been in an isolation cell, you are aware of the huge controversy surrounding Rob Bell and his new book. (For a lengthy review of the book, CLICK HERE)

I used to think homosexuality as sin was going to be the huge dividing line, but now I am convinced the dividing line between professing Christians is the exclusiveness of the Gospel and the reality of separation from God in a place that Jesus referred to as “hell.” (although it intrigues me that the majority who side with Bell also dance on the issue of homosexuality)

Yet here is what the President of the world’s largest Protestant seminary has written:

The real hellacious argument is between “generous orthodoxy and stingy orthodoxy. There are stingy people who just want to consign many others to hell and only a few to heaven and take delight in the idea. But Rob Bell allows for a lot of mystery in how Jesus reaches people.”

Two observations:

1) “a lot of mystery” sounds suspiciously like the “gospel” according to Oprah who declares it is ridiculous to say there is only one way to heaven when “in fact there are many ways to whatever you consider god.”

2) Like God, none who believe in “hell” should take any joy in the fact that people are going there. God “takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” I can’t “consign” anyone to hell (or heaven). As far as the word “few” is concerned, “wide is the road that leads to destruction and narrow the path that leads to eternal life and few there are that find it.”