So, you believe homosexuality is a sin, whether it be in practice, orientation, or both. Maybe you have studied the issue, or just assimilated the beliefs heard from others. If you have become familiar with any or all of the six passages in the Bible that seem to specifically address the issue, you interpret them as condemnations against homosexuality and proof that God declares it all as sin.
From that belief, your actions and attitudes have formed.
Perhaps you have adopted a posture that concludes the most faithful response to this issue is to “hate the sin and love the sinner.” It feels spiritual and gracious to you. Maybe you are even willing to go so far as to conclude for yourself and underscore to others an understanding that the sin of homosexuality is no greater than your’s or any other’s. Therefore, in your mind, homosexuals aren’t necessarily better or worse than you, just different in their sinning. In your church, family, or community they may even be, not only welcome, but wanted. Yet, at the end of the day, their homosexuality is seen as a sin problem nonetheless. Jesus died for “them,” just like He died for you.
On the other hand, maybe you hate homosexuals and have no restraint in saying so with all the lingual colors afforded you. Confident in your biblical grooming, you may even assert that homosexuality is a special kind of sin, more sinful than any other. To you, all homosexuals are self-declared exclusively by choice. You may or may not, out of the kindness of your Christian heart, allow them in your presence or fellowship, but they are at best, a deplorable kind of abomination in your sight, and less than qualify for any kind of harbor, inclusion, or acceptance in your church, family, or community. With your Bible in hand, and perhaps a picket sign or two, you declare in either speech or action, “God hates fags” and therefore, deep down, at some level or another, so do you.
Wherever you are on the spectrum of response, at the end of the day, in your judgement, homosexuality is a sin, it’s never acceptable to God nor is it ever His will or within His design. Therefore, “repentance” is ultimately the only answer, whether empowered by Grace or Law or some mixture thereof… change, confess, move away from sin, apply the power of Jesus to overcome, turn or burn… however you want to put it …that’s the answer, that’s the cure. Until then, there is still a “problem,” an “issue,” an “abnormality,” a “sin.”
My question for you is… what if you’re wrong?
I know, it’s all so clear to you. The biblical texts, the studies, the nature of it all. But, what if you’re wrong? What if it’s not so clear, the studies not so definitive, the unnatural not so unnatural.
What if you’re wrong, like Paul in Scripture, who actually believed it was “unnatural” for the Gentiles to accept Christ and be included in the fellowship of believers? By the way, you know who the Gentiles are? You.
What if you’re wrong, like countless Christians throughout history who read your same Bible and vehemently concluded its support for racism and slavery?
What if you’re wrong, like court reporters and clerks in the 1960’s who, citing Biblical grounds, refused to document and issue interracial marriage certificates because they believed them to be committing sin?
What if you are wrong, like the Southern Baptist denomination, who finally in 1995, apologized to the black community for its role in using the Bible to endorse racism and slavery?
What if you are wrong, like the Pharisees, who believed they knew and lived the Scriptures better than anyone, but were shown out by Jesus to not only be in biblical error, but completing absent of understanding in regards to His heart and essence?
I mean, just imagine if Hitler had only considered, “maybe I am wrong about the Jews”
Imagine if the Christian theologian John Calvin had only considered, “maybe I didn’t read this text right?” before brutally burning one of his critics to death, all in the name of biblical faithfulness mind you.
Imagine, just imagine.
Imagine, if you’re wrong about homosexuality and homosexuals.
What if ignorance has eclipsed your understanding, not unlike the kind Hosea spoke of as the prime destroyer of people?
What if mistranslation, proof texting, and a lack of proper contextualization has rendered the Scripture as saying that which God never meant it to?
What if your unyielding grip on inerrancy has become in fact, your own spiritual death hold?
What if your fear of being wrong and therefore having to deconstruct and rebuild one’s heart, mind, and faith is preventing you from the guidance of the Spirit?
What if peer pressure and the gravity to conform to the prevailing Christian “norm” is squelching the wind of Jesus from His revelation in and transformation of your life?
What if homosexuality isn’t a sin, and now you don’t have a “sin” that you are confident can never and will never apply to you from which to comfortably condemn others and drink from the intoxicating chalice of self-righteousness that medicates your own inner shame, insecurity, condemnation, and guilt?
What if, like your heterosexuality, it’s not a choice, any more than the color of your eyes?
What if… you’re wrong?
If I am wrong, the Holy Spirit will simply pursue me with correction, go around and ahead me to thwart the misleading, and work in the lives of homosexuals to lead them to “repentance.”
However, if you’re wrong…
You have condemned, marginalized, persecuted, and falsely judged an entire group of God-imaged people.
You have labeled as sin, that which is not.
Some of you have disowned your own children. Labeling them, casting them out. While God declares “I will never leave you nor forsake you” you have abandoned, or at best, distanced yourself from that which God purposed you to forever enwrap.
You have put barbed-wire fences where God meant for tables.
You have been a contributor to the depression, the isolation, the terror, the suicide, and the living hell of countless people.
You have participated in nothing less than the new racism of the 21st Century.
And worst of all, you have joined the choir of the False Accuser, singing songs of pure evil, believing them to be hymns of the Savior that reflect His heart and mind.
You have partnered with Satan in the stealing, killing, and destroying of an entire population of God’s beloved.
…all, in the name of Jesus and biblical faithfulness.
Honestly, I am o.k. if somehow it turns out I’m wrong.
My question for you is, how can you ever be o.k. with the possibility… you are?
Purchase Chris Kratzer’s new book, Leatherbound Terrorism…
“What if I’m wrong” was the question that kept dogging me after my son came out and needs to be THE question every person of faith asks him/herself in this and all matters concerning loving others.
I came to the conclusion that I’d rather God accuse me of being too generous with love and acceptance than too stingy with them.
Amen to that! Thanks for sharing a bit of your journey!
This is very question that caused me to look at my unexamined beliefs about my LGBTQ brothers and sisters and realize that, as you so eloquently say, the consequences of being wrong are so much higher on the one side than the other. I came to the conclusion that if I am going to run the risk of being wrong, I will chose to err on the side of grace. This has broad application…..
Loved this post Chris sharing it with as many as i can as always im with you Side by Side man 🙂 much love and i have seen many people having been made better people thanks to your post you are doing wonderfull work.
You are angel from heaven Daniel that is blessing me beyond measure!
Great post Chris. A lot of these questions were the same ones I wrestled with when I changed my mind and told my church. I pray that we would all be willing to admit that we aren’t infallible.
Danny, such an honor that you read this post. The video of your message to your church was a pivotal catalyst in my journey. Thank you so much for your comment and your leading the way!
Fantastic and thought-filled article. A heartfelt thank you for clearly articulating in depth what I wish the vast majority of the Church would ask–before judgment of LGBTQ individuals–What if I’m Wrong.
Blessings to you, Chris!
David Brillhart, Psy.D.
David, thanks so much for reading my blog, so honored to receive your comments! Thanks for your work and ministry in this issue!
I knew in my heart of hearts and in my love and fear of God that my son, who happens to be gay, is not an abomination. I witnessed him grow and mature and struggle and come to grips and almost kill himself because he simply couldn’t change who he was…who God created him to be. I also saw “good Christians” react to him far from who Christ is all in the name of God. I know where I stand and why.
Loved this. Live this as does he.
~ Mom, Christian, seminarian, believer in love and lover of God.
Anna, thanks so much for connecting with me and taking the time to comment on my post. So honored to hear your story and hope we can stay connected.
If there is any way I can serve you or your family, please let me know!
My best friend is gay. My nephew is gay. My ex is transgender. My life would be empty without them.
Elize, so true! Thank you for reading this post, sure hope to connect further with you and your friends!
I appreciate the question you are asking and I believe it could be applied in many other situations. Very thought provoking. However, I’m not sure you are being very honest about the consequences if you yourself are wrong. If you are wrong and homosexuality actually is an abomination and you have celebrated and encouraged it, surely the consequences are just as bad as they are for being wrong in the other direction. (And I’m only saying ‘if’ for the sake of argument.)
Dean, there are many important questions that we must wrestle with, thanks for your thoughts! There are only two times recorded specifically in scripture where Jesus get’s angry, on both occasions it was at people withholding Grace. I think standing on the side of Grace is sure footing. Thanks so much for reading my post and taking the time to comment!
I want to comment on your blog. Whether or not if homosexuality is a sin it is no different than murder, an adulter, stealing, cheating or cussing someone out etc….. I have been raised that the only sin that is u forgive able is putting another God before the God Almighty. I have a child that is bisexual and I chose to love her anyway. Is it something that I want for her, no, but her significant other is a sweet soul! I would rather have her in my life than not. She is happy right now and that makes me happy! God loves her just like he loves me! Just because people call theirselves Christian doesn’t make them free of sin. We sin everyday!
Amen Kaye, so good to connect with you, and thanks for reading my blog! Let’s stay connected.
Well-written, Chris, and heartfelt.
I find this mostly to be an appeal to emotion (seen in the proliferation of “what-ifs”), but that’s not a criticism: perhaps emotional appeals are better than rational discourse at getting through to the sorts of people you are addressing.
You raise an interesting “chicken or egg” question early on, at the end of the first paragraph, where you posit that homophobic stances may be informed by misinterpretations of certain biblical passages; implicitly, that such people are sadly misled, but otherwise decent. I have tended to think it’s the reverse: that people who are deeply conservative (read ‘inhibited’), fundamentally xenophobic, and religious to boot, find in Scripture a justification or cover for their bigotry, something that even I as an atheist know is not what the message of Christianity is about.
But who knows, both types may exist. People come in all shapes and sizes, and bigots are no exception.
Matt, I think it’s a both/and situation. I agree that for some, the scriptures are used to justify a dark side already existent. But for others, I think they truly wrestle with this issue from a biblical and social posture. I also think much depends on what part of the world people are in. Thanks so much for your insight!
Agreed, Chris. I’m in western Europe, which is generally much more secular than the States. But it remains a perennially interesting issue, so we’ll done for highlighting it so well.
I too asked myself this question about three years ago. I never condemned gays outright but I was not above sly jokes and innuendo. Then I found out one of my dearest friends was not only gay but, was HIV positive. My whole being began to change because I know the heart of this friend is true, caring and just. I know his faith and conviction is beyond many other Christian people I know. How could this gentle soul be an abomination to God? The answer was HE ISN’T! Since that time, I’ve come full circle by trying to condemn less and love more. I have actually lost many who I thought were friends because of my stance for gay marriage. I agree with the poster above, I’d rather be guilty of loving too much than not enough. Thanks for the great article.
Ed, thanks so much for taking the time to share such a thoughtful comment. I can sense your heart and appreciate your encouragement!
You can never be wrong with unconditional love. It’s ok to disagree with someone’s lifestyle but embrace them anyway.
Thanks Casey for your comment!
Same sex attraction is not a choice. It is not a “life style.” It is one’s identity. Just as being attracted to the opposite sex is not a choice. It is not a life style. It is an identity. On what day did you choose to be attracted to the opposite sex? You didn’t. Neither did gay people choose. It just happens. And to condemn them for being who they are is unkind and uncompassionate at the least.
Exactly, if it was a choice then the same would be true about straight people.
I don’t care if someone is or wants to be gay. I do have a problem when people say it isn’t a sin. I know I am a sinner just the same and only by the grace of God am I considered righteous. The difference is I admit my sin is sin. God is the same yesterday, today and always!
Thanks Chris for your comment, highly recommend you watch this video regarding the passages that are used to declare homosexuality a sin… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLiDGkPtIjI
Very excellent article. Sharing on FB in the hopes that a few will change their minds. I did, some years ago.
Martha, thanks for reading and for sharing!!
These words of yours are powerful and healing to so many, some who might not have even known they had an open wound that needed healing. When brave people like you poor out words of Grace like soothing oil my heart is lifted. Though you may now be feeling loss and rejection from many, others glimpse your heart and open their arms wide. Thank you for being brave.
Calling licence grace is of no benefit for anyone – except perhaps Satan. It may “feel” good and avoid the pain of confrontation. If a friend is defrauding his employer or engaged in adultery or fornication the loving thing to do is to try to help him or her to see the error of that path and lead him or her to repentance. It is entirely irresponsible to simply accept a claim of “it is just how I am made”. I too know several individuals who make their homosexuality a part of their identity. Most are likable, productive, and intelligent persons. The same can be said of embezzling, adulterous, fornicative, and even some homicidal persons who have been in my circle of acquaintance. Some I have known well enough to be the one to confront, others I have not so I have not – at least not yet.
Chris, you base virtually all of your position on the pathos approach, wrapping what little degree of ethos into your own credibility which is arguably captive to a pro-homosexuality point of view while eschewing that of two millenia of church leadership. You are correct that Jesus had some of His most vociferous words for the hypocritical religious leaders of that day. By extension we can (and should) – logically – apply those words to hypocrisy today. Shunning of sinners was not Jesus’ modus operandi – neither should it be ours. Remember Zachhaeus? Jesus dined at his house but did not Himself become a dishonest tax collector. Rather, Zachhaeus experienced transformation when engaged by our living Lord. God loves each of us just as we are. But He loves us too much for us to stay as we are. Jesus did indeed defend the woman caught in adultery but he then charged her to “go and sin no more”. Taken in its totality the Bible nowhere extols any virtue in homosexuality, but does speak in numerous places of the virtue of marriage – one man and one woman for a lifetime. All Biblical passages discussing the issue of homosexuality do so with an implicitness of it being a negative. Have many both within and without the Church behaved poorly and injuriously toward those with a homosexual proclivity? Indeed. And they were – and are – wrong.
So, the dialog continues and I, for one, welcome it so I ask, Chris, what if YOU are wrong? Remember, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1) And “…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6. I have never myself had all the answers (and trust that in this life never will), but know the One who does and, as I grow in Him, this one thing I am confident in: His Word is true and I will seek to abide in it and not in latter day culturally tinged ear tickling. Does this make me “anti homosexual”? Not anymore than “anti any other sin”.
Obviously, we will have to agree to disagree. But love prevails, and Grace wins again as we are still brothers nonetheless.
And to add my comment to hers if you are wrong then you will spend an eternity in hell. Not a chance I would want to take.
If the blood of Christ covers all sins, forgives all, then God will forgive Chris his erring on the side of love. If it doesn’t, your whole belief system is a sham to begin with.
1. Please take a moment to listen to how “Go and sin no more” has been mistranslated.
2. Jesus dined with Zacchaeus, yes, and Z’s transformation had to do with the way he had been abusing people; this is why he returned what he had “stolen” over and beyond the “stolen” amount. Transformation does not equal a change in sexual orientation, or Exodus wouldn’t have shut its doors. Homosexuality has nothing to do with abusing others.
3. God’s WORD is Jesus. His command was to love God and others. He, alone, is Judge. “We are not called to give our moral approval to each other; we are called to accept one another.” Ken Wilson
Don i gotta say after reading this post i just have you just……wow i dont even know how to respond to that i mean you must have never read your bible all the way though like so many you just pick a few parts of the bible to say Gay is a sin when you dont understand the bible nor understand the heart of jesus or non of it but dont worry ill pray for you and hope the blindness will be taken away from your eyes and may you see the world and others as jesus did and maybe god will open your heart to understand him if he is ready but god will harden you if he wills so that he may have mercy on you so if you never understand this issue for a long time well thats god doing that to you its part of his plan.
Amen, well said Don
No Theresa, thank YOU for your comment and encouragement! It has been difficult, yes, but Grace wins!
Thank you so much for so eloquently pointing out how un-Christian it is to be anti-gay. I believe the message of God’s grace should prevail in these debates. God promises unconditional love for who we are. He also tells us he has some preferences for what we do with the love he freely gives us (i.e. love him and love one another), but if we can’t do that (i.e we sin) he loves us anyway. I cannot imagine why or how such a loving God would see the love that exists between two gay people as sinful. It does not hurt God or others. God is love, and if we are going to love others as God loves us we need to love (not judge or condemn).
Kathryn, well said. I am right there with ya!
Wow! I’m hoping I can get some people from my (former?) church to read this. If they will stick with it all the way till the end, I’m sure it will really burn a hole in their heart and mind.
We are taught that the Word of God is infallible. I believe this is true. However, the translators are not infallible. Neither are the editors.
Want proof? There was an edition of the bible printed where one of the Big Ten read “Thou SHALL commit adultery” Oopsie!
As far as the translators go, in Song of Solomon, where she says his “abdomen is like ivory”… What they translated to “ivory” should actually be translated to “elephant’s tusk” (fairly close translation, right?) and “abdomen”? Weeeell, the actual body part she was referring to was a few inches south of there.
So while they may have translated the WORDS pretty close to what was actually said, there’s a world of difference between “his abdomen is like ivory” and “his penis is like an elephant’s tusk”!
If anyone wants more in depth info on the 6 “clobber passages” they can find it at http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org. It’s not my website, but I found it helpful in cementing what I believe and why and then explaining it others.
Thank you Pastor Chris, you rock!
Dawn, great thoughts! Thanks for your comment. You can also view a message where I deal with the 6 “clobber” passages here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLiDGkPtIjI
Oh brother. Could be wrong about anything. Maybe the whole bible. Maybe wrong about evolution. Maybe hitler wasnt such a bad guy, just misunderstood. Pedophilia, beastiality, lying, murdering. Maybe we should reinstate some new rules like stoning those that commit adultry. Maybe, just maybe this is a stupid article that insults most people’s intelligence. Could we all be wrong about something?
Scot, glad you enjoyed the article! Thanks for reading and commenting.
What are you trying to say ?
You dont need a book to tell you that paedophilia and murder are wrong. You need common sense and empathy.
I have been gay-bashed. I am not gay, and instead of standing my ground and attempting to defend my straightness, I ran out of the situation. There was nothing to prove. I had no desire to get injured, crippled, or murdered.
Being misjudged as a homosexual? We have all made mistakes when trying to figure people out for benign reasons. Homosexuality? There but for the grace of God go I. I do not understand homosexuality and I question whether I ever could. OK, I do not wear rampant masculinity as if it were a a tattoo because that is such a slight part of my reality as a person. A man has a right to be a sissy.
I had slight hostility to homosexuality. I had made gay jokes. I had ridiculed ‘gay culture’. That was mainstream. But all of a sudden I recognized such hostility as potentially feeding hatred that could injure, cripple, and kill.
I changed my ways. I quit making jokes about homosexuality or ridiculing ‘gay culture’. I also saw gay-bashing as something that could victimize anyone, including me. I expressed my dread for gay-bashing as contempt for crime. Lawlessness makes human rights and civil liberties moot. I discussed the incident with conservatives who ended up concurring with me on homophobia — that is abusive and dangerous, incompatible with human decency, human dignity, and law and order.
Read your article, watched your sermon, and still I’m confident that I am correct in stating that sex outside of one man and one woman, committed in a covenant marriage, is sin. I’ve read many articles and blog posts, and watched many videos just like yours and still haven’t seen anything that changes my mind.
I keep searching in case I am wrong. I don’t believe this because I want to be right, I believe this because I know that this is what God says. When I gave my life to Christ, I did my best to have a clean slate. I gave up all of my prior beliefs to let God shape who I am, instead of shaping God into who I want Him to be. If I am wrong, God just keeps on trying to convict me, maybe. Then he’ll just go around me and ahead of me and convict everyone that homosexuality is not a sin. But if you’re wrong, you become a partner of Satan and singing in the chorus leading people to Hell and living in sin. You are a Pastor and with that comes huge responsibilities, as I have no doubt you are aware. So if you’re wrong the consequences are much more severe than if I am wrong.
God is love. But God is also Justice. The reason Jesus was so harsh with the religious authorities of His day is they were all about the God of the Law, with zero grace. Today I think He would be bringing that pendulum back the other way.
One more thing that bothers me about this. It is really getting tiresome, the condescending attitude from you and others of my brothers and sisters in Christ (because whatever we believe on this issue we are still brothers in Christ). I appreciate the passion and zeal but I am not a ten year old child that needs to be chastised. If you want to have a well thought out conversation, then this is not a good way to start it.
oh Shane and Scot you 2 by the way things you said and the way you talk. you do not know your bible at all but that is not a shock and im sure your in the KJV only camp and if that is the case well i can understand why your so closed minded and so blind to the bible but dont worry we will pray for you dont forget. god says in the bible he will harden who he chooses and i have a feeling your on that side god does everything before the Counsel of his Own will. never forget that and dont act like its not in the bible because you will be a liar your nor anyones will changes god or what will happen.
Actually my main study Bible is ESV but I like to read other versions when I’m digging into a subject. The way I look into any subject I deem important is to thoroughly study both sides getting the pint and counter point. When I have exhausted the information on both sides, I evaluate everything and then make my decision. I have done this with Gay marriage, Sabbath observance, clean and unclean foods, and a plethora of other subjects I deem important. Much of your response is unintelligible so I’ll just stop here. You’re being lead by your bias, which is obvious. From what I can gather in your babbling you have no desire to search for truth, only to support what you “feel” is right. I am in a continuous, life long search for the truth, whether it makes me feel uncomfortable or not. I am far from close minded, but I’m not so open minded my brain falls out. Balance, my friend. I have changed my mind in my walk before, instead of insulting me, why don’t you present me with an argument that will make me change my mind?
Sure. From Dictionary.com: Truth – the true or actual state of a matter.
It’s not rocket science.
oh and Shane by the way how much about hell do you know?. ask yourself these things for just acting like you know it all ok. “If Hell is real and the greatest part of humanity went there, how could you HONESTLY say that ‘Love NEVER fails?’ Seems like Love fails most of the time according to your understanding of things.” (I Cor. 13:8)
“If the wages of sin is eternal punishment in Hell, then Jesus would have to be eternally punished if in fact He died for my sins. But the Bible says the wages of sin is death which is exactly what Jesus did–died. So how can you say people will be eternally tortured in Hell? Is Jesus presently being eternally tortured in place of those who accepted Him as Lord?”. • If Hell as a place of everlasting tortures was the real fate of all mankind unless they did something here on earth to prevent it, why didn’t God make that warning plain right at the beginning of the Bible? God said the penalty for eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was DEATH. He did NOT define death as eternal life being forever tortured in burning fire and brimstone.
• If Hell was real why didn’t Moses warn about this fate in the Ten Commandments or the Mosaic Covenant consisting of over 600 laws, ordinances, and warnings? The Mosaic Law simply stated blessings and cursings IN THIS LIFETIME for failure to keep the Mosaic Law. • If Hell is real and if good people go to heaven and bad people go to Hell, why does EVERYONE, good or bad, go to the same place in the Old Testament? They ALL go to Sheol which the King James Version translated “Hell” thirty-0ne times, “grave” thirty-one times and “pit” three times? Are we all destined to go to Hell or did the King’s translators make some gross translation errors?. • If Hell is real, why don’t the Jews, many who know the Old Testament better than most Christians, not believe in the modern Christian concept of Hell? They say they don’t believe it because it is not in their Scriptures. Most scholars today can not find Hell in the Old Testament. Most leading Bible translations no longer contain the word Hell in the entire Old Testament. (Genesis through Malachi.) • If Hell was real and all died NOT because of their transgressions but because of Adam’s transgression (Rom 5:18), why do many Christians not see what is plainly written, that “even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to ALL MEN, resulting in JUSTIFICATION OF LIFE!” (Rom. 5:18) This Scripture declares the FACT that all are justified due to Christ’s righteous act. No one “decided” to die in Adam, it was “reckoned” to us. Equally no one “decided” to “receive eternal life,” it is also “reckoned” to us. (A thorough understanding of Romans Chapter five carefully comparing several English translations would be a very good exercise. The omission of the definite article “the” in Rom. 5:15 before the word “many” in some translations has caused some great misunderstanding of this most important chapter of the Bible.)
• If Hell is real, in Romans 5:19, the “many” who were made sinners were actually “all” of the human race. Why is the “many” who were made “righteous” not equally be “all” of the human race? “For as by one man’s disobedience MANY were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience MANY will be made righteous.” • If Hades is Hell and there is no escape from it, why is it emptied and cast into the Lake of Fire along with death. (Rev. 20:14) • If all things were made for GOD’S pleasure, is it conceivable that God would derive pleasure from seeing those He created endlessly tortured? • If there is a Hell and according to most denominations of Christianity the majority of mankind will go there, could you really enjoy heaven knowing your mother or father or children or best friend are suffering everlasting tortures the likes of which would make the Holocaust seem like a picnic? If the Rich Man and Lazarus story (Luke chapter 16) is real and NOT a parable, then we will be able to converse with our loves ones who did not make it into heaven. Would heaven really be paradise if this were true?
• If Hell is real and a place of eternal separation from God, why would Paul the apostle say the goal of God’s creative plan was to ultimately be “all IN all?” (1 Cor. 15:28)
• If Hell is real since there is only one name under heaven by which men might be saved (Acts 4:12), why did God wait thousands of years and millions of souls after Adam’s fall to provide the name and means of salvation? Are all those before Jesus’ birth damned forever because they never heard of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ? Would that be just? (Remember the Mosaic Law can never “save” anyone and it was only for Israel . Rom. 3:20) • If Hell is a real place of everlasting punishment and if Jesus died in our place to save us from this fate, wouldn’t Jesus have to be eternally punished if in fact He took our punishment upon Himself? But He’s NOT being eternally punished. He DIED which is what the penalty of the wages of sin is, DEATH, NOT everlasting life of unending torture or eternal death (annihilation). now you give me good solid bible answers to all of these and you show me how you can say non if this is true ?.
Nice cut and paste. Hell is real whether you believe it or not. If you want to have a conversation about that, great, but I’m not having a cut and paste war with you. SMH
its only cut and paste because i have notes written down and it saves time and like i said you have not one good answer to any of mine so you go ahead with your hell teaching and ill pray for you. and by the way if christains had true faith in Hell the they would be putting a whole lot more effort into saving the lost but they dont. so they must not have much faith in something they try to teach
This is the website you cut an pasted from –
Give credit where it’s due. Again, don’t have time to play your games.
Shane, thanks for reading my article and sharing your thoughts!
Oh and Shane one more thing now i know you are going to hate this part from the bible most pastors do and wont talk about it much. but keep in mind 1st Timothy 4:10 Jesus Christ The Savior of all Men Especially Those who Believe. now i know you are going to dislike that but you cant get around it its in the bible and it says Jesus is the Savior of ALL read it once more ALL! you cant twist the bible to get around that. and why do so many hate that part of the bible with a passion?. easy they cant stand the fact that god loves everyone and will indeed save all as it says in black and white and they cant stand of being with others they hate in this life it just urks them to no end. but there it is peace 🙂
I’m confused at why I would hate that, I love it. Christ is the Savior of all. That’s a fact. It’s also a fact that many people will turn from Him. That grieves my heart, as it does the Father’s.
thats the thing people cant turn away from god 100% mans Free will never overrides gods not once inch and the bible says god will have mercy on whom he wants and he will harden whome he wants so the people who seem to turn away from him is doing it because it is gods will simple.
oh chris heres something i thought you might enjoy think about this. Funerals: When Pastors Become Universalists. Nearly all pastors, according to sixth generation funeral director, Caleb Wilde, become universalists at funeral services. He writes,
“I have worked about 3,000 funerals in my 10 years as a funeral director and I have never heard a pastor state conclusively that the person they are memorializing is going to hell, although I’ve heard thousands of messages that state CONCLUSIVELY that the deceased is in heaven!”
So when are they lying? On Sunday morning when they damn to Hell all those who have not been born again and leading a godly life (which is 99 percent of mankind)? Or when they assure those at their funeral services (for which they usually get paid) the deceased are in heaven? Or are they just lying all the time? some good food for thought 😀
Free Will: God’s Gift or Curse? The subject of man’s “free” will in relation to God’s absolute sovereignty is a doctrinal dilemma that is just as controversial today as it has been in past centuries. Many believers do not understand how the choices of men can be reconciled with the plans of God, and so it is often dismissed by the average Christian as being too hard a subject to comprehend. Theologians have tried their best to figure out this “mystery,” but instead of reconciling the two issues, they have divided themselves into two distinct camps—the “free” will camp (Arminianists), and the “sovereignty” camp (Calvinists). Both of these views have elements of truth, but both also contain falsehoods. In this essay, we will look at both views and see that they need not oppose one another, but together, they can give us the COMPLETE picture of how God uses the choices of men to bring about His will. While the “natural man” cannot understand these things, God, through His Spirit, illuminates the deeper truths of Christ to those who have the spiritual “ears to hear.” Proverbs 25:2 says:
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings to search out a thing.
This passage is very interesting and sets the standard for how God reveals truth to men. Most believe that God intends for His Word to be easily understood through simple Bible study methods. Yet the truth be told, God hides the deepest riches of His Word from the proud and haughty man. Study tools and systematic approaches, as helpful as they may be cannot, in and of themselves, unlock the key to God’s mysteries. In fact, oftentimes this type of approach in interpreting the Scriptures leads man down a path of intellectualism, and results in taking him further from the truth. The Word of God is a spiritual book and, as such, must be unlocked by the Spirit.
We will not even begin to understand the mystery of the working out of God’s will until we see two very important truths: one, how POWERFUL God is, and two, (and this is more difficult), how PUNY man is. Certainly these two things are made abundantly clear in the Scriptures—however, reading about Truth in the scriptures is one thing; internalizing Truth into one’s heart is quite another. When Isaiah saw the greatness of the Lord in the temple (Is. 6), his own sinfulness was exposed and he cried out, Woe is me, for I am undone….for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts (verse 5). Has this same work been done in our own temple? Has the glory of the God exposed the pride, haughtiness, and self-righteousness that dwells in our own flesh? Do not think for one minute that Christians are exempt from these sins of self-exaltation. Let us remember that it was a religious man, a Pharisee, who looked at the humiliation of the publican and thanked God that he was not like him.
Beloved, we must receive a PERSONAL revelation of the wretchedness of our own flesh. Isaiah got this revelation from seeing the Lord of glory with his own eyes, not through the eyes of some “gifted” man or “anointed” teaching. Teaching is fine and I am very grateful for the men and women to whom God has blessed with great spiritual insight. However, unless we get a revelation of the glory of God in our own experience, we will only be eating the manna of someone else’s revelation, and thus we will have great difficulty discerning for ourselves the difference between Truth and a lie. If we somehow think that we will learn the most sacred things of God (Ezra 2:63) by study methods alone, we may instead find that we have accumulated nothing more than a wealth of carnal doctrines, but have not even come close to touching the heart of God on a matter. Even prayer, if not done from a spirit of brokenness resulting from a crucified life, will not move God into revealing a deeper glory of Himself.
With the pure You will show Yourself pure; and with the froward You will show Yourself froward. (Ps. 18:26) I like what T. Austin Sparks said concerning the above passage:
If you and I are more or less careless about spiritual things the Lord will meet us on that ground, and we shall never get anywhere; but when we get to the point of being burnt up to the last ounce in the interests of the Lord, God will meet us on that ground. Is it not true with so many that the Lord has had to bring them to the place where it was a matter of desperation, life or death hanging upon a new knowledge of Himself? He has not been able to give them that inward unveiling until there could be for them no more life unless there was a new knowledge of the Lord. They wished not to live unless the Lord came to them in a new way.
“Father, grant to us such a hunger and thirst for You, that unless you fill us with the fullness of Your Son, we would surely die. Reveal Yourself, Oh, Lord, in a new, fresh, and living way!”
Romans 9 – God’s Choice
Dealing with this issue of God’s sovereignty, Romans, Chapter 9 is the classic passage on the subject. Paul is making the case that, ultimately, it is God who will fulfill His own purpose, and that puny man cannot frustrate it. This truth is found all throughout the scriptures but no better place can be used as our example than in the 9th chapter of Paul’s great treatise to the Romans. Paul defines the truth of God’s sovereignty by quoting from Exodus 33:19:
For He saith Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (Rom. 9:15).
He reiterates the same truth a few verses later when he writes,
God has mercy on whom He will have mercy and harden whom he chooses to harden. (v. 18)
Paul, being the scholar that he is, anticipates the skeptics charge that God is unfair.
You will then say to me, Why does he then find fault? For who has resisted His will? (v. 19)
In other words, “If God’s choices are greater than ours, why does he then judge us? Why does He hold us accountable for the choices He makes? That’s not fair!”
Paul uses two Old Testament examples to defend his point. Pharaoh was chosen as a “vessel of destruction” to display God’s power (vs. 17, 22), and Jacob was chosen over Esau—not because of any good that Jacob had done, or any evil that Esau had done (v. 11). Paul then makes this powerful statement.
So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy. (v. 16)
Neither Pharaoh nor the sons of Isaac had any choice in the matter—it was pre-determined by God Himself! This choice was made before either was born in order that God’s purposes might be fulfilled.
Paul’s answer to the skeptic’s charge that “God is unfair” is very simple. Who are we to argue against God?
(v. 20) He then gives the analogy of the Potter and the clay saying, Does not the Potter have authority over the clay, out of the lump to make one vessel to honor, and one to dishonor? (v. 21) Paul’s point is clear: God is the Potter and He can do whatsoever He pleases with His creation (the clay).
God’s sovereign choices are above the will of man. He doesn’t do things in reaction to something that has gone wrong with His plan. This is the basic teaching of the organized church. Orthodoxy teaches that God never intended for Adam to fall, but since he did, God had to come up with another plan. We will attempt to show that this “theory” is not biblical and that there is never a plan “B” with God. God wasn’t surprised by Adam’s sin neither was He caught off guard. In fact, as we will show, Adam’s sin was a definite part of God’s overall plan and purpose. Not only was the “fall” ordained by God, but so was the remedy, and all of this was determined beforehand according to the counsel of His own will. (Eph. 1:4, 5, 11) God has specific reasons for doing the things that He does (we will elaborate later as to the reasons why the fall was necessary). God’s ultimate purpose is to be all in all (1 Cor. 15:28), and so everything He does accords with this purpose. Neither man nor Satan will ever be able to thwart God’s purposes or force Him to implement a plan “B”. Daniel 4:35 says,
And He does according to His will among the army of Heaven, and among those living on earth. And no one is able to strike His hand or say to Him, What are You doing?
For what purpose does God move the hearts of men and of nations? Peter talks of the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21), and Paul about the reconciliation of all things (Col. 1:20). What do they mean? To help us understand God’s great purpose, we must look at His role as Owner and Creator.
In the Beginning
If we want to understand where man is going, we have to go back to where he began, for it is in the garden that the principle of God’s ownership is first revealed.
Orthodoxy teaches that Adam was created in a perfect (complete) state—a state in which God was totally satisfied. In other words, if Adam had never sinned, God would have been happily content in keeping Adam and Eve in the garden with no higher purpose or goal in which to achieve. They would have continued in the same relationship as husband and wife, tending to the affairs of the garden, and fulfilling their role as propagators of the human race. I strongly suggest that this is not true. Ps. 8:5 gives us a hint of man’s incompleteness: For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels…. The Hebrew word for “lower” is chacer which literally means “to lack” or “fail.” Adam was not created perfect as most Christians teach, but lacked something. When Jesus was asked about the resurrection, He said this:
The sons of this age are given in marriage—but they who are worthy to obtain that age, and the resurrection of the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; for they cannot die any more, for they are equal to the angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection (Luke 20:34-36).
It is clear from Jesus’ teaching that there was something higher and better awaiting Adam than what he originally had in the garden. Ps. 8:5 tells us that man was made LOWER than the angels, yet Jesus tells us that the sons of God will be EQUAL to the angels. In addition, Adam’s name literally means “the red earth.” While Adam was formed from the dust of the earth, God’s destiny for those now “in Adam” is heavenly, not earthly. The problem with the orthodox view is that most Christians believe that God is bringing man back to what Adam originally had in the garden, but the truth is God is bringing man forward to something higher and better!
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. (1 Cor. 15:47)
God’s purpose is not found “in Adam” but “in Christ.” (1 Corinthians, chapter 15 is more than clear on this). Paul suggested this same idea when he prays that we might be granted a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the FULL (Gk. epignosis) knowledge of Him….(Eph 1:17) While it is certainly true that Adam walked in innocence, he did not possess a FULL knowledge of God and His ways. Adam did not know what it meant to be “in Christ.” He did not understand the effects of sin and the need for God’s judgment of it, or greater still, He did not know the great lengths in which God would go in order to redeem man back to Himself. Yes, Adam walked with God, but he was ignorant of many things and would, through struggle, have to learn who His God really was. No, it was never God’s original purpose to keep man in the state in which he was created, but to bring him to a deeper maturity…a fuller KNOWLEDGE (the knowledge of good and evil)—one beginning in the earthly realm, and progressing to a heavenly one.
Common theology also assumes that Adam and Eve had a perfect knowledge of good and evil. If this were true, why was it necessary for God to plant a tree that contained knowledge they already possessed? It is also interesting that the knowledge of “good” was not separate from the knowledge of “evil.” There were not two trees with two kinds of fruit, but one tree containing both fruits. Adam did not possess the knowledge of good anymore than he possessed the knowledge of evil—he was completely ignorant of these things. By eating the fruit of the tree, the process of learning both evil AND GOOD had been set into motion.
The philosopher and scholar Jacob Boehme wrote “that in order for Yes to be Yes, there had to be a No otherwise Yes would have no meaning.” He called this “Dialecticism.” Norman Grubb, who studied Boehme extensively, called this the “Law of Opposites.” Simply stated, the Law of Opposites says that in order for growth and maturity to take place, there must be an opposing force that resists or contradicts its opposite. For example, a muscle in the human body cannot grow unless there is a resistance or force applied to that muscle. This resistance first weakens the muscle actually breaking it down; however, with rest and proper nutrition, the muscle grows bigger and stronger. A child cannot understand what cold is until they touch something that is hot–they learn and become wiser by experiencing the opposite. Applying this to the spiritual, good cannot truly be understood until the effects of evil are seen and experienced. Obedience means nothing to us, until we see the results of disobedience. We cannot understand the holiness of God until we see the ravages and effects of hatred and selfishness in our lives and in the world around us. This is the “Law of Opposites” and it is the learning process that God has ordained for us. All we need to do is look at our own experiences to see if this is true. Does not a sunrise give us a great sense of peace and security only because we have experienced the loneliness and fear of the night? Can anyone really appreciate the joys of life until we have tasted the sorrows of death? Do we not appreciate the sweetness of His grace only because the law first condemned us? Is not the Cross of Christ embraced by us because we were first separated from God by our own sin? We must experience the evil in order to appreciate the good! I quote Don Godfroy:
However, they (mankind) will not be as they were originally, but in a higher dimension. When Adam gained the knowledge of good and evil, he gained resistance that would also grow him up. You can only build muscle by repetitive motion against resistance. Adam was innocent and immature. He now could experience the power of love against the power of evil. He now had something to “overcome.” He would find that he could only be an “overcomer” by the infinite mercy of God found in Jesus Christ. In this, he would have the experience of knowing the love his Creator had for him, by the depth He would go to save and restore him. He could also build spiritual muscle by carrying the disciple’s cross. This is why Paul cries out in Rom. 11:33, “Oh the depth of the riches of both the wisdom and knowledge of God!” What a master plan!
Adam was created in the image of God, but that does not mean he possessed the knowledge of his Creator. A child is created in the image of his or her parents, but that doesn’t mean they are exactly like them. They may look like them and have some of the same mannerisms, but they do not possess the same knowledge and wisdom that their parents do. Parents cannot pass those things onto their children at birth. While children certainly inherit physical traits from their parents, the knowledge of good and evil is not one of them. This has to come through a long process whereby their offspring learn by their own trials and experiences—their own triumphs and failures. It was no different with Adam and Eve. God had a plan for Adam (man) that would involve a long process of struggle (good versus evil) in order for him (mankind) to be brought into full maturity (sonship).
God made a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He made it pleasing to look at. He didn’t place it in some remote place in the garden, but right in the center of man’s reach. There was no fence around it, nor were there cherubs with a flaming sword to guard it (until after Adam sinned). On top of all that, God allowed a tempter in the garden to be an adversary to Adam. So with all the pieces in place, let us now look at the issues of ownership and ultimate responsibility.
God created man and as owner of man, He holds Himself ultimately responsible. God’s own law (which He cannot violate) proves this. In Exodus 21:33-34, God gives laws for landowners. If a landowner digs a pit on his own land and fails to cover it up, and an animal falls in and dies (whether of its own stupidity or “free” choice), the owner of the land shall make restitution to the animal’s owner. The landowner then gets the rights to the dead animal (all souls belong to Him—Ez. 18:4).
So God made a pit in the garden (the tree) and failed to cover it up. Adam, unable to discern the difference between good and evil because of ignorance, fell into the pit by eating of the tree. So in accordance with God’s very own law, He was responsible to make it right—and make it right He did! God’s restitution to man was none other than the blood of His own dear Son, and in this way He provided the only avenue of escape from this pit of death. As Creator of man, “all souls belong to Him,” and so God, being the owner of all that is in the world did the only thing a responsible owner could do—take the responsibility of restoration upon His own shoulders.
All of us inherited the result of Adam’s sin, which was death—even those who did not sin after the likeness of Adam’s sin. (Rom 5:14) And because we inherited mortality from Adam, we are in a constant state of dying—which quite naturally brings forth sin, resulting in separation from God. All men are born into this world in a state of death, separated from God. None of us had a choice of whether or not we wanted to be born in such a sorry condition. Nevertheless, each of us commits sin because of the mortality we inherited from Adam. While God indeed holds men accountable for the choices they make (Rom 1:20), He does not hold men ultimately responsible for the mortality and death brought about by Adam’s disobedience. We had nothing to do with that. So the question we should be asking ourselves is, “Who is ultimately responsible to make things right? Who should fix what Adam did to all of humanity?” The answer seems clear. Is God not the owner of the whole earth? Is He not responsible for it?
God’s responsibility as landowner is ultimately greater than the choices of men, and because of this, God sent His only Son to reverse the damage that had been caused by Adam.
As in Adam, all die, so in Christ, all shall be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:22)
This verse says it all. Adam brought death to all men. He was the origin of the “indwelling” sin problem that all men are cursed with. However, the good news is that because of what Christ has done, life will come to all men. This is what the verse says. The first Adam condemned all of humanity to a life separate from God’s life; the second Adam assures all of humanity to a life in God. For those who understand that God works in successive ages (or dispensations), we know that not all men will experience this life (in Christ) in this current age. In fact, Jesus made it very clear that narrow is the path that leads to life and few would find it. However, this doesn’t change the fact that God did what He had to do in order to undo the consequences of Adam’s sin. How can “where sin abounds, grace does much more abound” be true if most of God’s creation will be forever lost? Is the first Adam’s disobedience greater than the second Adam’s obedience? Is the disease (sin) greater than the cure (the Cross)? Does Adam have the power to curse all of humanity but Christ only the power to save a few?
If God holds us personally responsible for Adam’s sin, then God is guilty of the biggest injustice in the history of the world. First, He sets up a chessboard that is impossible to overcome (the tree, the seductive beauty of it, and the tempter), and then as a result of Adam’s inevitable choice, He declares that most of His creatures will be lost forever. My dear friends, this goes against the very nature of God as love, His power to save all, and His ultimate responsibility to fix (not just provide a way) for man’s confused and lost state. According to modern theology, Christ did not fix the problem caused by Adam’s sin—He simply paves a way so that if a man chooses Christ by His own “free” will, then his own personal sin problem is cured. However, this clearly contradicts Paul’s universal thrust in Romans 5:12-18, 1 Cor. 15:22-28, Phil. 2:10,11, and all throughout the Scriptures.
He is the Savior of all men, but especially those who believe. (1 Tim. 4:10)
Evangelical theology cannot answer the truth that says, “Jesus IS the Savior of all men.” Their explanation is that Christ WANTS to be the Savior of all men. However, this is not what the Scriptures say. They not only declare that Christ died for all men, but that He is also their Savior. As believers, we have already appropriated that Saviorship and are receiving the blessings of that relationship right now. However, most people do not yet know the good news of the gospel. Their salvation MUST come in the “ages to come.” So instead of having the faith to believe God for the impossible, they offer a weak substitute that, in the end, can only manage to save a small percentage of all of God’s offspring. In essence, they have made God weak and ultimately a failure. They have placed the whole destiny of mankind on the shoulders of their own “free” will instead of rejoicing that God has already accomplished the victory in Christ (the complete fulfillment of this victory is yet to come).
Whether or not man has “free” will is really not the issue (although we try and make it the issue). The real issue is who is ultimately responsible? Modern evangelicalism tries to do everything it can to take the responsibility off of God. If we really think about it, God is the one who has “set us up” to fall. For reasons beyond our comprehension, God created man and put him in a “no-win” situation. (See note 1 below) Adam really had no chance other than to fail. How long could Adam have held out against this temptation? A day? A week? A year? Maybe ten years? Do you really think that Adam had the strength to say “no” to that temptation day after day? Do we think that somehow we would have performed better than Adam? I think not!
Most of us can’t handle the thought that we were set up by God, so we blame Satan—but mostly we blame man. We do not want to think that ultimate responsibility lies with God. If we say that all of the world’s suffering is because of man’s choice or Satan’s deception, and we fail to attribute all things as coming from God (see note), even evil (Judges 9:23; Job 2:3; Is. 45:7; Amos 3:6; Rom 11:36), then God is not totally sovereign. In other words, something happened beyond God’s control. (See note 2)
Arminianism teaches that God knew what would happen in the garden, but couldn’t prevent it because of man’s “free” will. If this is true and something actually happened beyond God’s control, what makes us think that something like this won’t happen again? If God had to put plan “B” into effect, what makes us think God won’t resort to a plan “C” or a plan “D”? You say, “That’s just being plain ridiculous!” Yes, this is my point exactly, but this is what the “orthodox” church teaches. According to the common view, God could not stop evil from coming in and putting a stain on His creation. God wanted Adam and Eve to remain in a state of permanent bliss in the garden, but He couldn’t stop sin from entering in, so He had to change His plan—He had to come up with something better. This, my dear friends, is ridiculous. In our efforts to relieve God of the responsibility for evil in the world, we devise a man-made doctrine which undermines the sovereignty of God and should give every child of God a reason to question whether they can really trust God or not.
Calvinism, on the other hand, teaches that God not only knew what would happen, but wouldn’t stop it because the “fall” of man was ordained. In this case, there is an element of truth; however, the inevitable result of this view is to say then that God ordains most people to spend a conscious eternity without Him. This view is too grotesque to even dwell on it at length.
If, as a result of man’s choice, most men suffer endless torment, then God has failed—in particular, the Cross has failed. Either he can’t make it right (Arminianism) or He won’t make it right (Calvinism). Each view maligns the nature and character of God. The first says God is weak and limited by Satan and man. The second says that God is cruel, unjust, and unloving. Both are unthinkable.
Praise be to our God that the scriptures teach that He will take ultimate responsibility and reconcile all men to Himself (Acts 3:21; 1 Cor. 15:22-28; Col. 1:20). If God CAN’T save all men because of their “free” will, what does this say about His sovereignty? If He WON’T save all men because of His own choices, what does this say about His love and mercy? God is going to reconcile all things (Col. 1:20), restore all things, (Acts 3:21), make all things new (Rev. 21:5), sum up all things in Christ (Eph. 1:10), fill all things with Christ (Eph. 4:10), and become all in all (1 Cor. 15:28). How is He going to do this? Will He accomplish this restoration by FORCING most of His creation to bow the knee and make confession? Men take power and authority by force. Will God follow the ways of man? If God does, what does this say about His responsible ownership over the world He has created? Will He violate His own law in failing to take responsibility as Landowner of the universe? Will He throw most of His creation in the dumper all in the name of “free” will? What does it say about the sovereignty and power of a god who reconciles and restores most things by brute force? Which do you think brings more glory to God—forcing most of His creation to bow to Him OR winning each and every one of us by the power of His love? The good news is that the scriptures do not paint God as One who either cannot or will not save men. God will destroy all His enemies by making them friends!
Note 1: In actuality, God placed man in a “win-win” situation because in man’s disobedience, God set into motion the long struggle in which man would eventually attain victory (in Christ) and ultimately receive the maturity of sonship. Yes, he would have to suffer the consequences of sin, but alas, this was the way God designed (from before the foundation of the world) for man to learn and to grow. So what has been explained by theologians as a bad situation for Adam that God had to somehow overcome, was actually intended for Adam’s good. Satan did not foil God’s creation, but was actually a pawn used in accomplishing God’s will.
Note 2: There is no doubt that many will accuse me of calling God evil. I will address this later in the “arguments” section.
The “Free” will of Man
As previously mentioned, man DOES make choices, however, he DOES NOT have ultimate and final control over his own destiny. It is God who is in control of all forces and environmental conditions and He will use these however He chooses in order to accomplish His will.
Man devises his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (Prov. 16:9)
Man’s goings are of the Lord (Prov. 2):24
The King’s heart is in the hands of the Lord, He turns it wherever He desires. (Prov. 21:1)
Men make choices and decisions every day, but something (or Someone) creates a circumstance that causes these decisions. If I scratch my body (my own choice), I do it because I have an itch. If I eat a meal (my own choice), I do so because I am hungry. If I hurt another person (my choice), I do so because they did some harm to me. For every choice we make, there is a cause greater than the choice. It is your basic cause/effect principle. For every effect (in this case our choice), there is some cause that prompted the action. As no one would deny that God is sovereign over all things (including Satan), it is God who can change circumstances as He pleases to bring about the desired effect. In this way, we may think we are totally independent from God in the choices we make, but in reality, there is Someone greater than ourselves working behind the scenes to bring about a perfectly orchestrated finale. God is the great conductor who controls and leads men to respond with a simple wave of His baton.
Jesus said, If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to Myself. (John 12:32) The Greek word used for “draw” is the word “helkuo” which literal means “to drag.” Jesus says, “He will drag all men to Himself.” What does this say about man’s “free” will?
In Isaiah 10, the King of Assyria is bragging about how he had ransacked Jerusalem. He says,
By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent; and I have removed the bounds of the people, and I have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man. (verse 13)
This sounds like someone very familiar, doesn’t it? Remember, Nebuchadnezzar? We all remember how God dealt with his arrogance. But it is clear that God not only chose this pagan nation to judge His people, but He turned the heart of the king to accomplish the job. The Lord says,
Shall the axe glorify itself over him chopping with it? Or shall the saw magnify itself over him moving it? As if a rod could wave those who lift it. As if a staff could raise what is not wood! (verse 15)
The king thought he had “free” will, but he was nothing more than an axe. It was God’s arm doing the chopping!
Another illustration I sometimes use is that of a dog being led by a leash by its master. A dog has some ability to roam from the master, but only inasmuch as the master allows. When the dog begins to stray too far or get into something it shouldn’t, one yank of the leash brings the dog back into submission. While we may devise our own way, it is God who “directs our steps” by yanking our leash whenever it suits His purposes. The idea that man can somehow act independently of God’s purposes is an idea totally foreign to the Word of God.
No, it is God who moves the steps and hearts of men and will work all things out according to the counsel of His own will. And what is His will? Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:4, KJV) LISTEN AGAIN… “WHO WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED….” The Greek word for “will” is the word thelo which means “intend” or “to be resolved or determined.” I find nothing in the Word of God that teaches that God will NOT get what He intends or determines.
…My counsel shall stand, and I will do ALL MY DESIRE. (Is. 46:10)
God is moving all of His creation toward His ultimate purpose of “summing up all things in Christ.” (Eph 1:10) and having His will DONE on earth as it is in Heaven.
NOTE: To accomplish His purposes, God allows this illusion of “free” will. However, it is only for a season and is used by God as a tool to teach His creation the principle that nothing exists apart from Him–not even our ability to make choices. And like all idols, the idol of man’s supposed independence from God will one day be totally destroyed. When the ages of the ages are complete, there will not be one speck of independence left in all of God’s universe–all creation will be in absolute submission to God and be totally dependent on Him! (The orthodox teaching on the lake of fire contradicts scripture because it forever leaves a huge percentage of humanity in a state of independence).
Can Man really Reject God?
For those who believe in the “free” will of man, this question will seem rather ridiculous. Again, I cannot deny that man can make a choice to reject God—we see it all around us. However, there are two questions I want to pose: first, “Is it possible for man to make a “fully” informed decision to reject God forever?” Second, assuming that man can become “fully” informed, “Would it then be possible (or rational) for him to do so?”
It is important for us to understand that when a man rejects God, he is in essence rejecting his own self. The reason for this is simple: each man has his beginning in God, and so a rejection of God is to reject the very purpose for which he was born (to find his end in God). If God is a loving Creator, which no Christian would deny, then God’s desire for each and every one of His creatures must be that they experience total fulfillment and happiness. Those of us who have had our eyes opened to this truth understand that, without Christ, our life would be empty and unfulfilled. Not only does God desire man’s happiness, but man wants the very same thing for himself. I mean, honestly, can you think of one person, no matter who they are, who doesn’t want to be happy and to find ultimate purpose in their life? Each of us pursues different things, but nevertheless, all of us are trying to find that one thing (or person) that will give us lasting peace. So God, who desires man to be happy, and man, who desires himself to be happy, have the same end in mind. Therefore, a loving God will never be satisfied until He gives to man that which he is desperately trying to find. This is why it is God’s will that “none should perish, but that all would come to repentance.”
All men are born into this world lost and blind, stumbling in the dark, trying to find the answer to the question, “Why am I here and for what purpose was I born?” Each man, in the course of his life, seeks to answer that very question. Apart from God, all goals and dreams in this life are simply illusions at best, and until these illusions are shattered and revealed to us for what they are, man can never be happy and fulfilled. These illusions act as barriers to keep man from seeing clearly who God is. This reminds me of the story of the blind man whom Jesus touched to be healed. After the first touch, the man could only “see men as trees, walking.” It took a second touch from Jesus to complete the healing. (Mk. 8:22-25) Jesus was obvious showing us that “healing” is a process where, over time, things become clearer and clearer to us concerning the things of God. The same thing happens to us as we are trying to find the Source of true happiness. As each idol of man is torn down piece by piece, he slowly comes to realize that there must be more to life than what merely meets the eye. So until the last illusion of man is shattered, his rejection of God is NOT a rejection of God Himself, but rather of who he “thinks” God is or as He is represented by those who call themselves Christians. He sees contradiction and division in the Church and has a tendency to judge God based on the behavior of those who are supposed to represent Him. This is why our testimony is so important. If Christians are not walking as if they are clearly seeing God, then how can we expect an unbeliever to see God the way He truly is? It is sad fact that most Christians are often the biggest stumbling block as to why men CANNOT see God.
Does man really have the knowledge to be able to truly reject God in this life? Think about it. Man came forth (from God) and is born into this world with a dead spirit. Even though he is born lost, there is a part of him that yearns to find his Creator even though he doesn’t know who or what He is. However, there are forces outside of man (temptations) and forces within him (a foolish heart) trying to keep him from being reunited back to his God. God’s plan IN THIS AGE is to reunite only a few. The Bible calls these men “the elect.” The rest of humanity (non-elect) continues to stumble in the dark trying to find that one thing (or person) that will finally give them the happiness they yearn for. Unfortunately, most will die still clinging to the illusions that keep them from seeing God clearly. It is quite arrogant of Christians to condemn his fellow man for not being able to find “the answer” when he himself continues to cling to his own illusions apart from God. How can I say this?—because I speak from experience. In my own life every time I sin, I am saying, in essence, that God is not enough to meet my need in this particular area. In other words, God has not yet become my whole desire and so I must resort instead to that which I think will provide me some satisfaction. It would be wise for us Christians to remember back to the time when we were ignorant of the devices of the enemy who kept us in the dark, and even now keeps Christians in the dark. The apostle Paul tells us,
We see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Cor. 13:12)
If Christians are still holding on to some of the illusions of this world, how much more should they pity those who have not had their eyes opened to the reality of their own illusions? (We know much “theology,” but we know very little of the heart of God.)
I contend that it is impossible for a man to be “fully” informed concerning the true character and nature of God until ALL of his illusions are broken—and this will not occur in the non-elect until the coming ages. Those who reject God in this life are not rejecting the true God, but instead are rejecting a false impression of God. I quote Tom Talbott from his book, The Inescapable Love of God:
If I suffer from an illusion that CONCEALS me from the true nature of God, or the true import of union with God, then I am again in no position to reject God freely. I may reject a caricature of God, or a false conception, but I would be in no position to reject the true God Himself.
Those who die in this life without coming to a saving knowledge of Christ are NOT “fully” informed, and WILL NOT BE UNTIL the lake of fire shatters all their illusions. The illusions of this world that promise happiness and fulfillment keep men blinded to the true nature of God and His purpose for them. (2 Cor. 4:4) Man is incapable of seeing God as He truly is until every last self-effort of man has been totally destroyed. Until this happens, God cannot condemn a man forever for being less than “fully” informed. One day, however, man will become “fully” informed, and when he finally sees the true Person of God in Christ—with no barriers obscuring God’s true image—he will be unable to resist Him (nor will he want to).
Beloved, this is God’s plan for each and every person. We make a grave error in believing that this work will be completed in this lifetime. For believers, we are INTRODUCED to the true God, but even for us, there is much work yet to be done as God continues to tear down all falsities in us so that we may be able to see Him clearly. God shows no favoritism. What He’s been doing for us now, He will surely do for all men in the ages to come when He will shatter every illusion and break every ignorance that keeps each man from knowing the true source of his happiness. When this finally happens for each individual, they will then see God as the only true source of happiness for their life. If, after all this, a man can still reject God, then he would either be considered a fool or totally irrational for rejecting the only Source that could make him eternally happy. However, the scriptures teach that no man can forever resist the grace of God. On that day, man will be neither foolish nor irrationally for Paul prophesies, “as in Adam, all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22) Men may be fools in this life by rejecting an obscure image of God, but in that day they will not reject the True God. When man finally sees God as He really is (through the work of the Cross), he will willingly and graciously bow to His Creator. On that day, it will be IMPOSSIBLE for any man to forever reject God, thus God’s purpose for man to have ultimate happiness will have been fulfilled, and man’s happiness for himself will have been found. On that day, when all of God’s creation is finally in accord with His will, all of us will be able to say with Paul,
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:10, 11)
What a day of rejoicing that will be when we will all “know as we are known!”
Note: It is impossible for man to forever reject God once he becomes “fully” informed. No one, seeing God in His full glory, will be able to curse Him and want to be separated from Him for all eternity. No doubt, there will be a special blessing for those who love God without seeing, for Jesus Himself said, “…blessed are those who have not seen and believe.” (Jn. 20:29) I, for one, do not know the exact details of how God will work out His plan to those who reject Him in this life. I do know, however, that He will use the elect to reach each and every lost sheep, and none will be forsaken. Each person is special to God and all will come to know their Creator in God’s perfect timing.
I want to very briefly address some arguments that are used to refute some of the ideas we have just discussed.
First, there will be those who will accuse me of teaching that God is evil because God wanted Adam to fall. I teach no such thing. God is good and in Him there is no darkness, but to accomplish His purposes, God can (and does) use evil in this world and yet be totally free from sin Himself. For reasons only known to God, He has chosen to teach His children by using the “Law of Opposites.” He has chosen to impart the knowledge of good and evil to His creation by having them experience both firsthand.
Secondly, it will be said that if God willed the “fall,” then why not continue to sin so God will be glorified? Paul addresses this very question in chapters 3 and 6 of Romans. Rom. 3:5 says,
But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God…,
and in verse 7,
For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory,
and in Rom. 6:1,
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Paul teaches truth in the form of asking questions. It is clear that Paul is saying that our unrighteousness, lies, and sin commends God’s righteousness, truth, and grace. How does it do that? Very simply, it shows the contrast between the GLORY of God and the SINFULNESS of man (again, the “Law of Opposites” at work). Job saw it. Isaiah saw it. Peter saw it. Each of these three, when confronted with the glory of God, discerned a much greater distance between God’s righteousness and their own self-righteousness. Every time we sin, we show just how sinful we are, and by doing so, the contrast between God and man is made more distinct. (This, of course, is not for God’s benefit, but to show man the contrast.) The gap between God and man seems insurmountable. Could anything bridge the gap between the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man? This is what makes the Cross of Christ so wonderful and glorious! The greater the distance between God and man, the greater is the work of the Cross! The greater the depravity, the more glorious the saving!
But to answer the specific charge as to whether we should continue in sin so as to glorify God, Paul answers with an emphatic, “God forbid!” (Rom. 6:2) You see, neither I (or Paul) are advocating intentional sin so that God may be glorified. Man doesn’t need to intentionally sin because, by nature, he is quite good at it. However, once the distinction between darkness and light, good and evil is discerned by the individual (i.e. coming to an end of oneself), God imparts His life to that person by the work of the Cross. From that moment, the distinction between God and man should be getting less and less as God’s life begins to conform that man to the image of Christ and brings each of us into the maturity of sonship. This of course is a lifelong process. God’s eventual goal is to bring all of creation into this same process—the elect start this process in this current age; the non-elect will begin in the ages to come.
No, God is not promoting sin in order to exalt Himself. He wants us to hate sin and love righteousness. He wants us to reject evil and cling to that which is good. He wants us to overcome evil by its contrast, love. However, sin is needed in order to show the distinction between man’s glory and God’s. Eventually, there will be no need for this contrast because Christ will “fill all things,” God will be “all in all,” and all things will reflect His glory.
Lastly, some will say that God did not really want evil in the world, He simply allowed it. This is faulty reasoning because any omnipotent being who allows something to happen and has the power to stop it is ultimately responsible for it. If God allowed evil to enter His creation and had the power to stop it—but didn’t—must have a very good reason for it. The modern church likes to use the phrase “foreknowledge” quite a bit when debating this question. However, it is impossible for an all-powerful being to simply have foreknowledge alone. Credit is usually given to the devil for all the bad things that happen in the world by justifying that “God only allows it, but Satan causes it.” However, when righteous Job was afflicted by Satan, it was God who said,
“…And he (Job) is still holding to his integrity, although you (Satan) INCITED ME (God) AGAINST HIM, TO SWALLOW HIM….” (Job 2:3)
Even though God gave Satan permission to attack Job, it was God who TOOK RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE EVIL! God said that it was He who came against Job although He used Satan to carry out His own will. It is simply impossible for an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-wise God to ONLY know what is going to happen. If God CAN stop it and He DOESN’T, then He must have willed it. There is no way around this. God Himself says,
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD DO ALL THESE THINGS.” (Is. 45:7)
The Hebrew word for “evil” is the word ra, which is used all throughout the Old Testament to mean “wickedness.” God created wickedness by allowing a temptor to introduce sin into His universe—sin to be used by God to accomplish His purposes. Paul understood this as well when he said that ALL things are of Him, through Him, and to Him…. (Rom. 11:36) This is why the believer should never despair by the presence of evil because God allowed evil to be a part of His plan. Let us remember that evil is only temporary, but in the meantime, while it is in our lives, we can trust that God will use it for man’s good in the end!
Man’s Enemy – His Carnal Nature
Perhaps our biggest problem is our lack of understanding concerning our own carnal nature, for if we really understood the state of this death that we are born into, we would know that none of us have any capacity in our old nature to seek after God. This is an extremely important point, for if we truly believed that all of us are born into this world spiritually blind, we would know that it is only God who can heal us from our blindness in order that we may see the truth.
All we like sheep have gone astray. (Is. 53:6)
Every man has turned to his own way. (Is. 53:6)
There is NONE that seeks after God. (Rom. 3:11)
A brother once said, “Men seek out God AFTER they are saved, not BEFORE.” This is so true. It’s amazing to me how often I hear pastors and musicians preach and sing about how we can’t do anything apart from God—and Amen!—this is a true testimony; but then in the very next breath proceed to tell the sinner that a decision for Christ is ALL UP TO THEM. Yes, we must come unto Christ, but who is the One who manipulates circumstances at the right time and manner to CAUSE a man to willingly come? When a man rejects Christ, he rejects Christ because God did not bring about the circumstances for that one man to come. But rest assured, God is not partial. What He has done for you and me, He will do for ALL men—in due season.
The doctrine of man’s sovereignty (“free” will) demonstrates how very little we know about the depths of our own depravity. Man always tries to come up with a way to help God or worse, become like God (Gen 3:5). The doctrine of man’s sovereignty, ultimately, is the same old lie that was told in the very beginning—that we can become as God.
Isaiah, when He saw the greatness of God said, “Woe is me. I am a man undone….” Job, when confronted with the glory of God said, “I abhor myself….” And Peter, when He saw the miracle of Jesus said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” God is trying to get us to see the same thing. He wants us to see the futility of doing anything—and I mean anything—in our own strength. God is (if I can say this) a “selfish” God (I speak as a man). He wants all the glory for Himself. God will not allow any man to usurp or steal the glory from Him. Oh, He may let man think so for awhile, and it does appear that God gives man the illusion that his will is totally free, but just as Isaiah, Job, and Peter, when we finally see Him as He is, we will see how little we really are. Isaiah 40:15, 22 says, that the nations are as a drop in the bucket, and the inhabitants of the earth are as grasshoppers. The problem is, most of us haven’t really seen the Lord (with spiritual eyes), and so in contrast, we really do not understand how lost and helpless we are apart from Him. Isaiah is the perfect example of the “Law of Opposites” at work. Once he saw the glory of God in fullness, he couldn’t help but see the opposite of God’s glory which was his puny, wretched self.
We have seen with our own eyes what man is like when he lives his life apart from God. We have seen it in the religious, the power-hungry, the political, and the greedy. Some of us have seen it in ourselves. Many are still blind to the wickedness that is in their own hearts. We still think that we are better than most others. God will eventually show all of us what abominations really hide there—things that many of us are unwilling to look at. And when we get to the point (through the fire of trials) where we see God’s great and ultimate purpose, that is, to become “all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28), we will then see how man is in no position to dictate to God who is going to be saved and who is not. We then begin to understand how we really are nothing apart from God and if left to ourselves, we would all wander forever in a state of confusion and lostness. Calvinism is wrong when it says that God only picks a few to be saved and suffers the rest to endless torments. Arminianism is wrong when it says that man picks, through “free” will, who will be saved and who won’t. Can’t we see that without God’s intervention, none of us would be saved??
Why is this issue so important? As mentioned at the very beginning of this essay, many will either classify this topic as vain philosophy or simply resign themselves to never being able to understand it. However, understanding that “all things come from God” (including evil) is critical in recognizing that God has a sovereign purpose for everything—even the things we perceive to be negative. God is good and created man with only good intentions. Evil was not a mistake but a force that God allowed in His creation for a specific reason. Without evil, none of us would understand good, and most importantly, we would not have witnessed and experienced the glorious remedy for sin’s consequence—the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I see many Christians who simply do not have an explanation for the terrible things that happen in this world—causing many to fear and lose faith in God. They also have an unbiblical view of Satan in that they attribute to him more power and glory than he deserves. On top of all that, the doctrine of “free will” gives glory and preeminence to man and makes him the final determinate concerning his salvation—ultimately stealing glory from God and making himself the last word.
One day, God will humble all of us and show us that salvation is His creative work. It is God who opens our eyes, it is God who keeps us from falling, and it is God who will eventually deliver us from this “body of death.” He is the author and finisher of all things—and so we must see that salvation is His work, not ours.
“…He which hath BEGUN a good work in you will PERFORM it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)
Who begins the work? Who performs it? Who finishes it? Oh, I know it’s hard, but for some reason men have great difficultly accepting God’s free gift. We feel like we have to work for it or do something to keep it. But taking God’s free gift means we have to admit how bad we really are, and that’s hard for all of us. But on that day, we will realize the great truth of who the author of our salvation really is, and the only part we played was to simply respond to God’s “dragging” us to the Cross. When we stand before Him, none of us will accuse God of creating us to be robots. We won’t argue that it was unfair that we didn’t have “free” will. We won’t accuse Him of manipulating our choices to conform to His will, crying out to Him, “That isn’t fair.” (Shall the clay say to the Potter, “Why have you made me thus?”) Oh, no, no, no! We will be filled with eternal gratitude and praise for how great and mighty (and loving) God really is—how He has not just chosen to manifest Himself to a few, but to ALL men. Most of us will be terribly ashamed when we think of how we have trampled on the Cross of Christ by diluting its scope and effectiveness and exalting this so-called “free” will of man. No, on that day we will not boast or glory in ourselves. We will not take credit for anything that we have done in any way. We will be in awe of His great plan, purpose, and wisdom and we will be able to say, like Paul,
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? (Rom. 11:33-34)
For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, all things to whom be glory for ever, Amen. (Rom. 11:36)
NOTE: The word “free” will has been placed in quotes throughout this essay because this phrase, as it is taught by the Church today, cannot be found in Scripture. The author does not deny that the Bible speaks of men’s choices and the will of men (self-will). But nowhere in Scripture does it say that man was given a “free” will that allows him to be totally and finally independent of God by choosing his final destination. This contradicts God’s ultimate purpose of being “all in all.” The viewpoint this author holds is that man is free to choose only in the direction of the strongest influence, and that God is in sovereign control over all influences (Acts 17:28). Each person is being fitted into God’s plan in God’s own special way for them. Each person responds to his or her own unique set of “strongest influences.” And ultimately, when the time period of the ages has ended, God will have transformed the consequences of everyone’s choices into something glorifying to Himself, and beneficial to the chooser. So in light of the hundreds of passages that speak of God’s ultimate sovereignty and responsibility over all His creation, this author’s conclusion is that the Bible clearly does NOT teach that man can usurp God’s plan and purpose by his own “free” will. there you have it brother 🙂
Just because it’s the internet doesn’t mean you can copy a whole article and not link to it. SMH again.
This and other post i shared was written by Gary at Tentmaker all credit goes to him.
oh shane I wanted to say also the post about mans free will and asking things about hell was from tentmaker website gary is a great guy super nice and loving but when I said stuff to you about how wrong you was and such and when we was kinda fighting that was from me not from his website but just wanted to let you know I care about you and hope all is well god bless and hope you are doing great brother 🙂
I just mixed some things from post on his website to try to prove my point but I was wrong and very sorry for what I said 🙂
Yeh shane your right you cant play the game because you have not one good answer to any of it so you cut and run like all pastors do that teach hell but god bless anyways and when you stop running from people pointing out the bible to you then I hope you will see it how it is :)/
but that is fine my brother you keep going trying to scare people into loving a GOD that would burn there kids brothers and sisters forever and ever in a pit of hell yeh good luck with that. and people wonder they the Cruch as we know it is dying so fast….
burn in hell How would you like it if someone said that to you? You probably wouldn’t like it.
Do we have the right to tell anyone that they should burn in hell? Do we have the right to say it to people who march in Gay Pride parades? To women who have had an abortion? To prostitutes? To child molesters? To murderers?
Especially when we realize that, in the minds of most, “hell” is a place where people get tortured and tormented for all eternity. Telling someone they should burn in hell is announcing your desire that they suffer in agonizing pain forever and ever. Is telling someone they should burn in hell really Christlike love?
Maybe people who say such a thing should be arrested, as Bill O’Reilly, Fox news host, suggested on his show.
What would you do if someone got in your face about something they didn’t like about you, about who you are, what you believe, what you have done, or how you live, and told you that you will burn in hell for those things? Is telling someone to burn in hell commendable Christian behavior or condemnable Christian behavior?
Love in the Margins
All of my life I’ve had friends who many have considered on the margins, the outer edges of society – LGBTs, homeless, prostitutes, addicts, murderers and other criminals, and you-name-it. I love these people. I mingle with them. I talk with them. I hug them. I walk arm-in-arm with them.
burn in hellBecause of my close association with people on the margins, people who don’t know me often assume I’m one of them.
There have been times when my friends and I have been sitting and talking, when someone approached us with their Bible verses and called us disgusting. We’ve been walking arm-in-arm when we were told we’d burn in hell. We’ve been bullied because people thought we were gay. We’ve been threatened with physical harm because of who or what people thought we were.
We’ve experienced hatred directed at us by people who do not know us. We‘ve seen anger, red faces, bulging blood veins, and waving fists. We’ve experienced fear for our safety. All of this behavior was frequently accompanied with Bible verses and numerous references to Jesus.
What would you do in such a situation? Would you go home, or spend more time with your homeless friends? Would you avoid Gay Pride day or march in the parade with your gay friends?
Or would you join the people holding enormous signs telling everyone else they’re going to burn in hell?
Don’t Tell Me to Burn in Hell
If you’re Hindu and think godly people shouldn’t eat beef, then you should live that way. But I’m not Hindu and don’t care and don’t agree. If you have any sense, you’ll keep your religious opinions to yourself and not tell me I am going to burn in hell because I eat beef.
If you’re vegan and think people shouldn’t eat animal products, then you should live that way. But I’m not vegan and don’t care and don’t agree. If you have any sense, you’ll keep your opinions to yourself, and not tell me I am going to burn in hell because I eat meat.
If you believe I’m lazy and good-for-nothing because you think I live on the sidewalk downtown, then keep your opinions to yourself. I do not need to know what you think. If you can’t show me Jesus by saying a kind word, giving me a sandwich or a hug or helping me in some way, keep your Bible verses and religious opinions to yourself. I don’t care what you think and don’t want to hear it. Consider the possibility that in a few years the situation may be reversed and I’ll have a good job and you’ll be sitting in front of me asking for a job.
If you think your holy book says I’m an abomination because you think I’m gay, and that I’m going to burn in hell forever, please keep your opinions to yourself. If you can’t show me Jesus by getting to know me, saying a kind word, hugging me, and loving me, then please, please go to your religious meetings with people like you and leave the rest of us alone.
If you can’t show me Jesus by the way you act, by the way you treat me and others like me, go away. Go hide behind the walls of some building, sing your silly songs, and read your holy book. Please stay there and leave the rest of us alone. There is no need for you to come out from behind your walls, wave your signs, and shout curses upon us to go burn in hell.
You don’t know me. Until you spend time with me – lots of time – and walk with me, sit with me, love me, understand me, you should not try to tell me anything about what I should do or how you think I should live.
You will think what I am about to say is irreverent, but here goes – Fix yourself first. Fix your own screwed-up life, your own messed-up family. Look in the mirror. Who you see is the person you need to fix. Leave the rest of us alone. I think Jesus said it this way: “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
You have no right to try to fix us, to try to change us. You have no right to assume anything about us. You have no right to judge us or condemn us. You definitely have not right to tell us to burn in hell. Who do you think you are – God? That position is already filled and not by you.
Read your holy book and see what Jesus really did, how he really treated people. Treat me like that. Once I know you care about me and love me, maybe I’ll ask why, since your kind have never cared about me or loved me. I’ve been spit on, called names, threatened with eternal burning, threatened with your fists, and threatened that your god is going to do terrible things to me.
I know you hate me and you think your god hates me too. I don’t want anything to do with you or your god. Both of you are mean, evil, and nasty.
Hanging out with Jesus
Jesus friend of sinnersJesus I like. I want to see him. I want to sit with him, and talk with him. But you – you repel me. Go away. Leave me alone. Until you’re ready to love me, Goodbye Mr. Christian, Mr. Bible-verse-quoter, Mr. “You’re disgusting. You’ll burn in hell.” Goodbye and good riddance from all of us.
This Jesus fellow says that if you believe him you’ll do what he says. That’s in your Bible. You missed that part, huh? Jesus was such a good friend to the people in the margins, to the “sinners” – the traitorous tax collectors, the terrorist zealots, the promiscuous prostitutes, the drunks, the thieves, the liars, and murders – that those religious people who hated these “sinners” also hated Jesus.
Have you ever thought that by telling the people you think are sinners to go burn in hell, you are telling the same thing to Jesus? Because he’s one of us. No, he’s not a sinner, but he hangs out with us. He loves us. He sits and talks with us, hugs us, and dances with us. And you, because you never got to know us, didn’t realize Jesus was among us when you told us all to go burn in hell.
I won’t say the same thing back to you. I won’t tell you to go burn in hell. I wouldn’t pronounce that curse on anyone. You may think I am an abomination, but notice that I don’t think the same thing about you. this was written by Jeremy Myers and this is his website http://redeeminggod.com check it out sometime but this post really hits home for me and how Christains treat others and think Jesus would be happy with it.
Daniel, with all due respect, do you really expect me to read all of those articles and then answer them? I would have to write my own articles in response. I have a life and don’t have the time to respond to everything. A better way would have been for you to bring up one point, maybe copy a small passage from the article and let us talk about it.
ok for one “If the wages of sin is eternal punishment in Hell, then Jesus would have to be eternally punished if in fact He died for my sins. But the Bible says the wages of sin is death which is exactly what Jesus did–died. So how can you say people will be eternally tortured in Hell? Is Jesus presently being eternally tortured in place of those who accepted Him as Lord?”. • If Hell as a place of everlasting tortures was the real fate of all mankind unless they did something here on earth to prevent it, why didn’t God make that warning plain right at the beginning of the Bible? God said the penalty for eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was DEATH. He did NOT define death as eternal life being forever tortured in burning fire and brimstone. now god as you know can not break his own laws ever. we know this so if the wages of sin is not death as the bible says but death and Hell then Jesus god in the flesh would have to be in hell forever and ever no way around it there is no denying that god set his laws in place and if he did indeed take the punishment for sin on himself as christains say he did then if the punishment for sin is death and Hell there is no way out of it jesus would be in hell right now and forever and ever and ever for all the sins he took on himself. he could have not come back 3 days later. and if hell was a punishment for sin don’t you think jesus would have told his followers about it but he didn’t he simply told them to go out tell the world the gospel and baptize them.
and may I add shane can you answer me this why did god forbid adam and eve to know Good you could say yeh god forbid them to know evil and it was ok for them to know good but they didn’t. adam nor eve knew anything about good same as evil and God Forbid them to know Good and evil now don’t you find that odd???
and shane one other point can you tell me why in the long long many years from the time of Moses to Jesus birth the bible says in the book of acts and im sure you know this there is only one name by which men can be saved Jesus you have to know his name to be saved so all the jews and gentiles that lived and died before jesus birth rather they was good or bad people had no way of knowing jesus’s name they knew the promise of him but did not know his name so are you going to tell me that all those people are now in hell. because they knew nothing of jesus life name or nothing ? and why is it that pastors that teach on hell will say well a baby or kid wont go to hell when the bible says nothing about that. and also could you answer me this When Pastors Become Universalists. Nearly all pastors, according to sixth generation funeral director, Caleb Wilde, become universalists at funeral services. He writes,
“I have worked about 3,000 funerals in my 10 years as a funeral director and I have never heard a pastor state conclusively that the person they are memorializing is going to hell, although I’ve heard thousands of messages that state CONCLUSIVELY that the deceased is in heaven!”
So when are they lying? On Sunday morning when they damn to Hell all those who have not been born again and leading a godly life (which is 99 percent of mankind)? Or when they assure those at their funeral services (for which they usually get paid) the deceased are in heaven? Or are they just lying all the time?.
Wow. A little better, but still a shotgun blast of questions and talking points. When you are talking with someone face to face, do you just blurt everything out at them? Just because it’s online doesn’t make any less a conversation.
I will comment on this last comment. First I would say it is not anyone’s place to tell someone they are going to hell. That is for God alone to decide. Only God knows they’re heart. That funeral director’s experience’s are interesting, but that proves nothing. I can tell you my pastor, when he does funerals, preaches a salvation message. He never says the deceased is in heaven or hell. He does make the people attending the service think about what happens after death. Again, only God knows the heart. It is not for man to decide our final destination.
As far as those being saved before Christ or those who never heard of Christ, that’s a massive topic on it’s own and you’ve already addressed a ton of stuff, all of which has been debated for years. It seems to me you want to bombard people to make yourself feel better. I enjoy talking and debating when I feel that the other person is intellectually honest. I just don’t get that from you.
no I don’t try to just bombard people and yes I tend to say a lot its just how I am but the fact is that jesus would have to be in Hell right now if Hell is real no way around it. and I feel you know that deep down inside you are just way to scared to say what you feel but that’s just my feeling on the matter. but simple fact is god can not go against his own Law and if the wages of sin was more then death then god was pretty mean and evil to Adam and I think you would agree that the 1st man and woman and god left out such a detail as that I mean come on. but like I said jesus paid the price for sin the bible tells us the Cost/wage of sin is Death nothing more nothing less and that is what jesus did die. if Hell was real then he would have to be in hell forever and ever and ever to pay for the sins of the world but that is not the case so take from that what you will. peace god bless but im not going to answer you anymore. and fyi if hell is so real then why don’t you spend the time it took you to reply back to me to go save a few souls if you had 100% faith and not a doubt in your mind that such a awful fate awaited people and if you had the Love of Jesus in you then you would spend pretty much every waking sec of your life on your knees going out begging the lost to get right.
and why does your pastor not have the guts to tell the people they are in Heaven or Hell because he knows it is BS. and he just works around it by so called making them think about what Happens yet you and all pretty much all other Christain says No 100% without a doubt if your unsaved and you die Bam its over closed shut case they are in Hell. yet you work around that at a Funeral. i know without a doubt you would never have the guts to tell someone at a Funeral that there family member is in Hell because they was not saved. but yet in everyday life you have no issue putting that kind of worry on people you are a Sick Sick man that needs help to put people though that and you need mental help. you spend your time writing books when you could spend the very short time you have here on earth to go out and beg and cry and beg to get people saved if you had true faith in Hell but you dont. no wonder when people look at Chrstains like you they give god the middle finger and say where if there is a Hell i would take Hell anyday over Heaven if it ment being with my dad my mom my sister or my brother you make me sick. and you are a insault to Christains everywhere.
Ad hominem attacks are a sure sign that you have lost the argument/debate. Thankfully I rely on God for His judgement and not hate filled people.
well i feel sorry for you. you are a sick sick man that needs help doing that kind of sick teaching you do and calling it Love. you know most people would say when you tell someone they are going to be in such Pain and Horror and angoy not counting all the pain horror and such that people go though in Life. then say that a So called loving god just cant wait to just put the very things he made though horrors that make Hitler and others look like childs play. most would say you belong in a Asylum and i agree.
Take a moment use your brain. what you are doing to people makes what ISIS is doing look like childs play sure they do some bad bad stuff. but you your telling people hey you know all those people that ISIS killed guess what if they was not saved and did not hear about jesus well our Loving god is going to put them though such Horrors and pain that they will wish they was in the hands of ISIS members because that was a walk in the park compare to what God is going to do to you. i mean look what your teaching people. it is insane it is madness it should be against the law. i mean just picture in your mind what a Kid goes though never mind the adults but a Kid the ideal that the pain and suffering in this world before there eyes is going to be a 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 times plus worst by a so called loving god. yea you are going to destroy that persons wellbeing and soul by such a teaching yet that is ok???. i mean my god hearing about the ideal of Hell when i was young made me want to kill myself and 9 of my childhood friends did kill themsevles over the thought of it so tell those Moms and dads of those kids that this is what a Loving God would want!!. i dare you to look them in the eyes and say that. oh and btw many of there so called Chrstain friends and pastors told them that there kids are in Hell because they took there own lives . and the moms and dads do not belive in god at all and alot of them turned to drugs and booze to drown out the Nightmares that they have every time they close there eyes. now this all comes from a Loving God as you call him right?. i think not you have no ideal what kind of Terror and Horror you are putting in the minds of people but it seems you are ok with that.
The theology of Hell is far from being a new concept. It is backed by millennia of scholars and theologians not to mention scripture. We could, and I have, debated and discussed the legitimacy of that doctrine but I see you, Daniel, want to through out vile accusations and personal attacks based purely on emotion with no intelligent debate. That is fruitless and I will no longer subject myself to your vitriol and hatred. The fact that you can’t see the irony in this is so sad. I pray you get the help you need.
yes you do need help because you are doing alot of hurt to gods name already.
and when you say that i send out Hate and vitriol and such well you should be use to that to do that to others on a day to day basis so that should not be nothing new for you.
Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see who is filled with hate here, my friend. The fact that Chris not only condones your hate but also commends you in your hateful defense of his views makes me question him as a brother in Christ. But as I said before, God is the only true Judge so I’ll leave that to Him.
Would you like to know how many times I bring up hell when witnessing? The answer is zero. People usually already know the reality of hell. The hard part for them is realizing that God loves them no matter what they have done and that they are worthy of that love, that Christ lived a perfect life and died for them, that they can have a life changing relationship with the God of the universe who loves them so much. That’s what I try to convince people. Hell is not something I think about, other than it is a real place. I haven’t talked about it so much as I have with you since I’ve become a Christian. I’m afraid you’re a bit obsessed. I focus on God and encourage others to do the same. Just because God’s love is real doesn’t mean His judgement isn’t.
I’ve given you scripture, I’ve tried to talk to you rationally, and you just mumble incoherently and spout foolishness and hate, with nothing to ever back it up but emotion. You know nothing about me, even what I’ve written you’ve twisted and distorted. I have no desire to defend myself, especially against you. I wish you the best but this conversation has been over a long time ago. I’m going to unfollow this thread and Chris’ blog so I’m not tempted by your inane rambling. Happy Holidays!
yeh sure you have and no read Chris post on Hell and see what he has to say on the matter and all Hell does is strike fear and terror in the hearts of people but Christains dont seem to care about that im sorry but what ISIS does in this world pales compare to what people like you make god out to be you make god out to be a Monster wrose then Hilter Bin laden and many many others. and that is not being a Follower of Jesus no matter what you say. Jesus never used Fear to get people to Love him he didnt need to. and you want to know how the bible well prove to you Hell is not real just read the O.T. there you go so if the O.T. proves hell is not real then the N.T. cant go against it and keep this in mind that use Hell to scare people into Loving god well it has never worked before and wont work now how can the bible say Perfect Love cast out all fear if people have to worry about there loved ones brothers and sisters and kids in fire and pain forever and ever and ever. and do not forget “If the wages of sin is eternal punishment in Hell, then Jesus would have to be eternally punished if in fact He died for my sins. But the Bible says the wages of sin is death which is exactly what Jesus did–died. So how can you say people will be eternally tortured in Hell? Is Jesus presently being eternally tortured in place of those who have accepted Him as Lord?”. If Hell as a place of everlasting tortures was the real fate of all mankind unless they did something here on earth to prevent it, why didn’t God make that warning plain right at the beginning of the Bible? God said the penalty for eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was DEATH. He did NOT define death as eternal life being forever tortured in burning fire and brimstone. now god as you know can not break his own laws ever. we know this so if the wages of sin is not death as the bible says but death and Hell then Jesus god in the flesh would have to be in hell forever and ever no way around it there is no denying that god set his laws in place and if he did indeed take the punishment for sin on himself as christains say he did then if the punishment for sin is death and Hell there is no way out of it jesus would be in hell right now and forever and ever and ever for all the sins he took on himself. he could have not come back 3 days later. and if hell was a punishment for sin don’t you think jesus would have told his followers about it but he didn’t he simply told them to go out tell the world the gospel and baptize them. so I hope you know you are saying that Jesus is in hell right now he has to be to pay for our sins. 🙂 so take some time to think on that ok. there is no way you can get out of it Jesus would indeed be in Hell right now if it was real no way around it at all. god can not break his own Rules so if the Wages of Sin is Hell then god would have to sumbit to his own Law and go to Hell if he died for Sin as Jesus.
and when you say (People usually already know the reality of hell. The hard part for them is realizing that God loves them no matter what they have done) that is the biggest BS i have ever heard oh yehh God loves you so much Died for you yet will Burn you and let you live forever and ever and ever in Pain and Suffering but dont forget he Loves you!!! 😀 yeaaaa that is going to work out well i guess you cant even hear how insane you sound.
and i am not filled with Hate i just get so sick of seeing the damnge the teaching of god sending people to Hell does to people it has destoryed friends of mine and others i know it has tore familys apart and turned people away from god so when a teaching that is so called from the Bible that the jewish people do not belive in nor did the early church fathers ever teach then there is something wrong there. and Chris does not condone me il just putting out my thoughts if he wishes to delite them he is more then welcome but when i see people doing so much harm to the name of god and the Name of Jesus im sorry i wont stand for that and i wont take that and if you have not noticed Chris knows people dont like his views and some may even hate him. but he is not scared to speak what is on his mind and i am the same way if you cant take that then yea it is best for you to leave and just move on. i wish you luck but as long as you tell people Hell is real and is a Punshment that God himself would have to endure if that is the case then you will fail in trying to lead people to god.
and may i add in the Bible god said He created the Heavens and the Earth why does it say nothing about making Hell?. all things come from him all things are made by him so why does he fail to say that He Created Hell?.
Well Shane im sorry if i came off as hatefull i did have alot of Emotion i just wish you knew how much damge i have seen done by the teaching of Hell has done to people i know and others but i did not mean to make it sound like i was making you out to be the bad guy that was my fault and i had to clam down but just wanted to send out a Sorry to you i wish you nothing but the best in life and the best of luck in everything hope your writing works out well for you god bless and once more i didnt mean to make it sound personal. and i never wanted it to be that way so just wanted to say a sorry to you.:) i wish you the best i really do.
I thought I unfollowed this but there must be a setting in one of the earlier posts. And I’m glad I was alerted of your post, Daniel. Thank you so much for your apology and I definitely accept. While I tried to keep things civil, I know I said some snarky, mean things and I am sorry. I hope you can forgive me for that. I’m sorry if I caused you any additional pain. I am sorry for the pain you have felt from Christians and I am sorry for the callousness I have shown to that pain.
I think we are more alike than different. I think we could learn from each other. One of the reasons I read things and talk to people I disagree with is to learn from them. Even if I disagree I learn about the person and why they believe what they do. I learn about them as a person, a fellow human being not an enemy or part of a faceless group.
I wish you the best, Daniel. Thanks again.
ofc brother all is forgiven and once more i want to say how sorry i am god bless you and yours i wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. god bless and we must never forget we are brothers in christ even when we dont always agree and have hard times and let emotions run deep its very easy to do and very easy to lose your temper :). i know that all to well but god bless and i wish you nothing but the best take care.
and one more point I missed you said and I quote It is not for man to decide our final destination. well that is not the fact when you tell people if they go get saved here and now they doomed to hell so what side on you on ? you say no hell is real and if you don’t make the choice then your hell bound. but then you say It is not for man to decide our final destination. so which is it. do we make the choice or do we not ??
typo I ment well that is not the fact when you tell people if they do not go get saved here and now they doomed to hell so what side on you on ?
I’m not quite sure what you’re saying here, but to clarify my point, it is not for me to decide and/or judge others people ultimate fate. That is up to God. We know our heart. God knows our heart. No one else does. Take that as you will.
I think we’ve hijacked Chris’ blog post enough. This has gotten way off topic. If you would like to talk about this further, there are many forums that are appropriate. Send me an email.
Daniel, if you are truly seeking the truth, take each of those questions and do thorough research. Look at both sides exhaustively. Pray unceasingly. Let God lead you. Do not lead with a preconceived notion.
Finally, before you hit post, proof read. I can tell when you copy and paste mainly because when it’s your writing it is often unintelligible. That’s not a slam, just an observation. You don’t need perfect spelling or grammar, but if you wnat to communicate effectively you need to be understood.
I pray God’s blessings on you. I pray that He will reveal to you His truth, not mans’.
yeh I will pray for you and hope god opens your eyes and will show you what he has showed me chris and many others who used to think being gay was a sin. but anyways good luck. and if you try to lead people to god by teaching them about Hell and that God will burn them there sons and brothers and sisters in fire with no end well good luck because you will fail at that. and you never was able to give me solid bible based answer for any of the points I brought up but that is not shocking many pastors have never been able to and I knew you would not be able as well :).
Here’s some scripture on Hell, just to close this loop:
There’s your start. Hell is a real place, my friend. When I witness I use the Love of God, but His punishment is real. I think we’re done here. Good day.
once more you misread the bible and is not shocking at all but don’t worry maybe one day god will open your eyes and good day to you. and hey instead of writing books why don’t you spend your time saving some lost souls in the time it takes you to write if its such a real a awful fate that awaited people but you don’t seem to put that much faith into hell. 🙂
and as I said before if hell is real “If the wages of sin is eternal punishment in Hell, then Jesus would have to be eternally punished if in fact He died for my sins. But the Bible says the wages of sin is death which is exactly what Jesus did–died. So how can you say people will be eternally tortured in Hell? Is Jesus presently being eternally tortured in place of those who accepted Him as Lord?”. • If Hell as a place of everlasting tortures was the real fate of all mankind unless they did something here on earth to prevent it, why didn’t God make that warning plain right at the beginning of the Bible? God said the penalty for eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was DEATH. He did NOT define death as eternal life being forever tortured in burning fire and brimstone. now god as you know can not break his own laws ever. we know this so if the wages of sin is not death as the bible says but death and Hell then Jesus god in the flesh would have to be in hell forever and ever no way around it there is no denying that god set his laws in place and if he did indeed take the punishment for sin on himself as christains say he did then if the punishment for sin is death and Hell there is no way out of it jesus would be in hell right now and forever and ever and ever for all the sins he took on himself. he could have not come back 3 days later. and if hell was a punishment for sin don’t you think jesus would have told his followers about it but he didn’t he simply told them to go out tell the world the gospel and baptize them. so I hope you know you are saying that Jesus is in hell right now he has to be to pay for our sins. 🙂
In each of the instances mentioned of people that were wrong it is noteworthy that the Scriptures nowhere forbid. However, the practice of homosexuality is repeatedly condemned in Scripture in such clear and unequivocal terms that none can misinterpret or to use the authors words ‘Get it wrong.’ The testimony of God’s dealings with Sodom and Gomorrah underscore God’s view of homosexuality as an abomination in His sight. Romans 1:26-27 speak of it as a vile passion for which God gives the ungodly over to. I Corinthians 6:9 lists it among those who shall not enter into heaven, and I Timothy 1:10 calls it an action by those who are ungodly, insubordinate, and profane. The overwhelming evidence of Scripture points to the fact that God views homosexuality as sinful in his sight. Those who commit such acts should repent of there sins and surrender by faith to Jesus Christ as Lord. Otherwise they will suffer the inevitable judgment of God and with it eternal condemnation.
Ah Ej i see your one of those that use Hell to scare people into Loving god well it has never worked before and wont work now how can the bible say Perfect Love cast out all fear if people have to worry about there loved ones brothers and sisters and kids in fire and pain forever and ever and ever. and do not forget “If the wages of sin is eternal punishment in Hell, then Jesus would have to be eternally punished if in fact He died for my sins. But the Bible says the wages of sin is death which is exactly what Jesus did–died. So how can you say people will be eternally tortured in Hell? Is Jesus presently being eternally tortured in place of those whohave not accepted Him as Lord?”. If Hell as a place of everlasting tortures was the real fate of all mankind unless they did something here on earth to prevent it, why didn’t God make that warning plain right at the beginning of the Bible? God said the penalty for eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was DEATH. He did NOT define death as eternal life being forever tortured in burning fire and brimstone. now god as you know can not break his own laws ever. we know this so if the wages of sin is not death as the bible says but death and Hell then Jesus god in the flesh would have to be in hell forever and ever no way around it there is no denying that god set his laws in place and if he did indeed take the punishment for sin on himself as christains say he did then if the punishment for sin is death and Hell there is no way out of it jesus would be in hell right now and forever and ever and ever for all the sins he took on himself. he could have not come back 3 days later. and if hell was a punishment for sin don’t you think jesus would have told his followers about it but he didn’t he simply told them to go out tell the world the gospel and baptize them. so I hope you know you are saying that Jesus is in hell right now he has to be to pay for our sins. 🙂 so take some time to think on that ok.
you know chris you are right about how Christains who say being gay is a sin dont ever read your post and so on. and like you put so amazing in your other post (“Oh, but we don’t want them to go to hell.” Really? You truly expect me to believe there is a genuine spiritual concern from anti-gay Christians that homosexual people are going to hell? Most of the anti-gay Christians I know don’t give much pause to that notion at all, many even being quite at peace with it. Some, even a bit tickled. Furthermore, if they really did care, would they be beating the crap out of them, labeling them, marginalizing them and making the second class citizens of their church, if citizens at all? Does that sound like the strategy that comes out of the heart of a Christian who truly cares about the eternal salvation of a group of people? I think not.) thats so true they dont care that they are going to hell in there minds and in fact like you said they seem happy about it aint that sick. but such is the world :/
I am in tears. I’m bookmarking this for future reference. I am a terrible “debater”, because I am not confident in what I say. This. Is. Perfect. Thank you so much for your words. My spirit is soaring.
🙂 yeh kris Chris has a amazing gift and has helped so many people who are gay and Christain come out and say this is who i am do not judge me just show me love like jesus did :). he is such a blessing to me and many many others. we all need to stand side by side hand in hand and say that if gays will not make it into heaven for being who they are then no one will. god paid the price paid it all we have nothing to do but just rejoice in knowing what he did for us and how much he loves us all such a amazing feeling knowing just how much jesus loves everyone. god bless
I’m not a good debater either! Thanks for taking the time to comment, and so cool to connect with you!!
Thank YOU! I’ve shared this article a lot!!! I’m so glad to have connected with you!
Great to connect with you too, Kris!
Paul’s written attitude toward sex is totally Jewish, he did believe that one had to become Jewish in order to become Christian. The real apostles brow beat him otherwise and he had to shut his mouth about the topic. There is no new testament “dogma” toward homosexuality, it is purely old testament and Christ paid off the debt by making the final payment for the old testament, it is a contract fulfilled, meaning “paid in full” so pay no more.
Good insight Gerald! Thanks for sharing!
It wasn’t Paul who tried to equate Christainity and Judaism, and Paul was a real apostle by every standard. Unfortunately, some people will read your comments, believe them and then start to repeat them. You should recheck your comments, maybe it was a typo.
Unfortunately your view point is a three legged chair, and your missing the point.
We do not have the capabilities to “condemn” anyone. The scriptures make it clear that we all condemn ourselves, and that we are just the “workers in the field” not the ones who bring the increase. So in fact your article is an attempt to “condemn” the reader, which in fact you cannot do.
The point is not that homosexuality is an unforgivable transgression, but that it is in fact a transgression.
You discount the idea of “loving the sinner, but hating the sin”. That attitude in fact is wrong for you. That is what we are called to do. To have and share hope for the unbeliever. We do not have the power to change lives, but in fact the Holy Spirit does.
As believes I think it’s necessary to not mitigate any sin, or put our personal ideologies of sin on pedestals that fit our own messages. All sin is sin. And as believes we should not be eager to “accept” it for PC reasons.
The bible tells us that even the best we can do is as a soiled rag to God. So, although we cannot “condemn” anyone, we can certainly judge them. We need to be very careful to be inward analyzing before jump on the outward analyzing.
Sin is sin, so therefore your statement of be “ok with it” is not the right attitude to have. Wearing a blindfold does not help you help the lost. But forcing someone through a door by threatening to burn them isn’t helping the list either. It takes the love of God for the lost to see, and that is what attracts them to Him.
Awesome read! This article needs to be seen by everyone! I was reared in a pastor’s home and taught from the start how evil homosexuality was. Coming out was not easy at all! Four weeks from today, I am marrying my long-time partner in our church sanctuary. While my parents will probably not attend, we have come to a healthy place. I wish more could say this.
Mark,congratulations! Hope the wedding is wonderful!
I haven’t read all the comments as it is simply to overwhelming to deal with any more opinions than I already have in my head, so forgive me if someone has said this already. I think what would be invaluable to me would be to have a list like that for people who are the people struggling themselves. So the what I am right, and what if I’m wrong about deciding for yourself whether you can accept either side of the argument about their own sexuality. I hope that makes sense?
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Let us take a look at your twisted man-made dangerous ‘opinion’. Based on what you are saying here I assume you are suggesting that a person can remain gay and follow Jesus? So, let us extrapolate that a little further: because God is love and loves everyone no matter what, (cheap grace), then I can: be a Buddhist and a Christian, I can fill my meditation garden with statues of Buddha and worship God, I can be a serial killer and reconcile my practise with my Christian faith, I can continue to be a prostitute and expect eternal life, I can carry on being a thief even stealing from churches and the Lord loves me, I can be a habitual liar and praise Him, I can have sex with consenting children as I should not be judged on my sexual orientations and the same goes for when I have sex with my dog! Based also on what you suggest, (this false ‘love’ message), you can not judge me and call me a bigot because God loves me too! This is absolute foolishness! You and I will stand before a Holy and Just God on that Day and have to give an account of our lives – when the books are opened – are you ready to give account for the folk you have lead astray?, (unless you repent!). Anyone can be involved in any of the things above and God call them, but when He does and they truly come to Him, He will set them free from the sinful nature and they will change, just the way I have changed and continue to change through His Spirit, Grace and Mercy – Jesus will transform us and cleanse us to present us without fault on that Day. Unless we repent from our sins, which means turn away from them, we will not go into eternal life, but eternal death! This is not a game, it is very serious and my opinion counts for nothing, but God’s is everything! For those who have ears, wake up now while there is still time – this teaching will lead into the arms of the coming world religion and into death…run, flee, repent, be saved, transformed and really find the heart of Jesus. He has set me free from so many things, even things of a sexual nature, and the freedom is amazing I can not express it – He is awesome! Truly seek Him alone and flee these charlatans, read His Scripture for yourself, study it, breath it, think on it, pray and every sin that is dragging your life into the mire will be broken! – He will take you out of Egypt – it is a difficult journey, but to say it’s ok to stay in Egypt and forgot the difficult journey will be fatal! All praise to One and Only ‘I AM’, the One True and Living God, Jesus Christ. Find FREEDOM in HIM. Amen!
So you need to know 2 things to give you a true demonstration of both the contents of this article and what you have written when they are combined. Firstly, (and if you are reading this, it’s very importantly you read the secondly before forming a response), the very core of me agrees with a good chunk of what you have expressed. It’s heartbreaking that it does, but with the grounding in faith I have, and think you are largely right.
however secondly, as someone who has battle a long fight between my faith and sexuality, it is the words in what you have written that have led me to hurt myself and make serious attempts to end my life many times over the years. To equate my ache for closeness with a women instead of a man, with someone who wants to sexually abuse a child, feeds into such turmoil to me, that it is simply adding to my current desperate longing to please just let me go home to Jesus now. So please understand that there it is not as simple as believing things your way and becoming free.
Juno, please understand my heart behind what I have stated – this is difficult in writing I know, as the emotion behind it can be lost. Please believe me when I say I do understand where you are coming from as I have had some massive struggles of a sexual nature, which have taken 30 years to find freedom from!! God looks at the heart and He knows you desire to be free. My post was a reaction to a common message being pushed that is OK to stay living in sin, not just homosexual sin, but all sin – this is not what God says. Liberal teachers then attack folk who stick to God’s words as bigots and confuse the situation even further. What I learnt from Scripture and from what the Holy Spirit showed me is that sexual sin is different in the sense it’s a sin against and in the body – our body needs to be a temple of the Holy Spirit. Once I realised that my sexual sin was actually an act of worship to a false god that hit at the heart of what I didn’t want to do. But, I couldn’t stop! I shed many tears laying face down on the floor, but I didn’t give up or He didn’t let me…either way after 30 years of pain and suffering He set me free – that was just last week! A desire I couldn’t control, a fire that was never satisfied, a guilt that never left, a darkness that was always there was lifted – totally gone! I am not special and have some false story of freedom, this is a real situation, which as I said the freedom is amazing! I would really encourage you not to give up and continue to share your hurt in prayer to the Lord, remembering that it’s your heart that the Lord looks at, desiring to be free, knowing the feelings and desires are not of Him, but regardless pressing for the prize – these teachers want to paint me as a bigot, but I know the Truth first hand – like all sin, homosexuality is not from God and there are many reasons why and to say it is OK is not God’s will – but, the truth is He does offer freedom and as I stated in my post, this is a difficult journey, even massively painful, but hang in there as I know He will provide for you and this pain will lifted. I will keep you in my prayers. My comments were a demonstration of where the false message could lead, but not directed at people who are actually in the battle and that is what it is, a battle, a war – be encouraged, resist the devil and he will flee, stand firm even if it feels like your not – He is strong when we are weak, God knows your battle, He sees, truly trust Him and you will see freedom even when it seems impossible – search the Scripture and seek an understanding of who really God is and He will show you and then this will also give you comfort. So, Juno my heart goes out to you in the love of our Lord Jesus, keep faith and hope, He will not forsake us, even we forsake Him! Stay strong brother!
Andrew, where I appreciate your comments and willing to have dialogue, it is clear you are coming from a different perspective on this issue. You are entitled to your opinion, but I would suggest you study this issue out further before claiming something as false. What you claim to be obvious revelation can be nothing more further from the truth. I think Juno can allow the Holy Spirit to guide him/her as He will. Blessings.
Chris – what if you’re wrong! I said what I said for Juno as I physically felt the severe pain of the words – I am sorry that a message of hope offends you – as I understand you think I’m part of the anti-Christ, but all I will say is, all will be revealed one day – I stand firm as truth has set me free and you can not take that from me and will share what Jesus did for me to others when I can.
You are correct – I pray the Holy Spirit will speak to Juno and to us both!
22Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. 23Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
I take this as a possibility that Jesus was gay, as he “loved” everyone, but not like this.
But what you didn’t say was God (or whomever you believe in) made a mistake? You only ranted about acceptance and forgiveness.
I’m not sure I could be less interested in this issue in terms of debate and discussion. Until this. I find it sad the evangelical right to which I, somewhat, belong hang their hats on this. I hate that. But I also hate that both sides demand the acquiescence of the other. Instead of simply disagreeing, we’ve drawn a line in the sand. Me. And you. And I hate that. It is God’s job to sort all this out, not mine and not yours.
Having said that, there is one part of this you didn’t think through very well. In fact, you just did to others what you don’t want done to you: cast judgement. Here it is: “What if… you’re wrong? If I am wrong, the Holy Spirit will simply pursue me with correction, go around and ahead me to thwart the misleading, and work in the lives of homosexuals to lead them to “repentance.”
However, if you’re wrong… You have condemned, marginalized, persecuted, and falsely judged an entire group of God-imaged people.”
So because I disagree with this lifestyle, you have labeled me as a racist and an intolerant? A God-imager hater? But YOU get the grace of God? Are you kidding? Disagreeing with a lifestyle is not the same as judging its eternity. I grow weary of fellow Christians, and the culture we live in for that matter, giving me ultimatums only Jesus is allowed to give. Your lens in reading the scriptures is as cloudy as mine.
If I am wrong, I am relying on the same grace you are. And I will receive the same loving grace you do. Why? Because it is by grace I have been saved, through faith. And it’s all a gift from God because I stand condemned without Jesus as much as anyone.
Telling me my disagreement shames and belittles God-imagers in order to shame me into your point of view is as irresponsible as the other way around. Want to affect change? Get off social media and love the folks around you. You know full well your intent gets blown to bits when your audience is this broad, and that you don’t have the space here to fully explain. So instead of loving correction, you cause people to get their claws out. And you also give issue-cheerleaders a forum to join in unintended hypocrisy.
I do not “hate the sin” and “love the sinner.” I love my fellow sinners and beg God to be faithful to His promise: that we are saved by grace. But I’m still allowed to disagree. Just as this response will soon be forever, so is your post. Please be careful.
I am transgender, I am also a lesbian leaning bisexual. You talk a lot of my “lifestyle”, yet the only thing you know of me is my name, and that which I am about to tell you. I’d like to describe my “lifestyle.”
I spend time daily in prayer, I pray all the time, even while walking to the store. I love talking to God. I love it even more when He answers back.
I’m involved as much as possible in my church, it isn’t much more than attendance, but they do let me help out, though I can’t work with the youth as I’d like to. Not to “recruit” them, or to spread “the gay agenda”, but to encourage their walk with Christ.
I spend a majority of my time alone, because me dating would offend people in my church, so I don’t, even though I desire someone to fall in love with.
I work on computers, it is one of my passions. I believe God put that in me. I love technology.
I enjoy doing devotionals, and learning from other Christians, I love being around my brothers and sisters in Christ as much as I can. I love the Bible, I find comfort and solace there.
As for what I do “in the bedroom”…I have a bed in there. I sleep in it. Alone.
So, knowing what you now know about me, what is so abhorrent about my “lifestyle”, what is so deserving of eternal torment?
There is no homosexual lifestyle.
There is no heterosexual lifestyle.
There are simply lives.
What if you’re wrong? Is a great question and should be asked by both sides.
You made a lot if statements about scripture but no references. I’d like to see the references.
Everyone that has an ax to grind about Christians will always mention Hitler as though he was a Deacon or some pillar in the Church – he was not! Almost from the very beginning times of the Faith, there were the detractors. There were those, like Hitler, who developed an opinion and looked for some out of context verses to prove their point.
There were many Non – Christian acts performed by those claiming truth. It is our responsibility to test them – By their fruits, you will know them. Unfortunately, many people will be taken in by the likes David Koresh and others. Many people are led astray and will pay the price.
What if you are wrong?
I am not a bible scholar, but I interpret Romans 1:25-27 and 1 Timothy 1:8-10 to be quite explicit against same-sex practices among other things.
I think that you may be on the edge of being a false teacher and are leading many astray. The Bible is quite specific about that.
Just saying? I pray that I am wrong!
Great article! But I was thrown a bit by the line:
“What if you’re wrong, like Paul in Scripture, who actually believed it was ‘unnatural’ for the Gentiles to accept Christ and be included in the fellowship of believers?”
Is that supposed to read “Peter”? Paul was the one advocating for Gentile inclusion (against the likes of James, Peter, and the Judiazers). Would love to know if that’s a typo or if I’m missing something.
I lived as a gay man for almost 30 years, and identified as such. I did not go through conversion therapy. The holy spirit showed me through years of revelation and healing that my identity is first and foremost that as a new creation in Christ. Even those who claim to be “born this way” are told they must be born again in order to be saved. This means that believers must follow Christ, who is the model. And Christ was not homosexual. With Christ as the head, we are the body… and the body and head must be One, in body and spirit. This cannot include deviation of any sort. Christ demands that we remain holy, and holiness cannot be maintained if sexual orientation is prevalent in one’s identity… for it is Christ who defines us. This is what I have come to know as true, and have reconciled it within my conscience with no man’s approval or consent. The article does not speak for me, as someone who lived the identity that is being questioned here.
What a fantastic and beautiful twist on Pascal’s Wager. I love it, thank you.
The first three paragraphs were me up until recently, probably a bit after this was written, actually. Thank you for so eloquently putting my thoughts into words.