Hi everyone, Im glad to be part of this connect group. My step-sons thought that homosexuality is not a wrong choice and that, we as Christian parents they look at us like we are condemning their friends. My Question is how can we deliver the good news and the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ to our children without them feeling that we condemn homosexuals because we conform to the absolute morality of Chistianity?
@Maria_Olivia_Margaris I pray that Jesus may grant you the words to share with your step-sons and grant them an open heart to see / understand the true purpose of sexuality. Biblically, I think there are four really important things to understand:
- sex is temporary (there is no sex in Heaven) - so an identity rooted in sexuality will ultimately crumble
- sex has a purpose - to join a man / woman together and procreation
- sex can enslave us - the Bible says Christ came to set us free from slavery to our passions
- sex is nothing compared to knowing Christ
God’s goal in setting sexual boundaries is not to deprive us of something, but to set us free to live a life of self-control, love and worship.
Sometimes when someone poses a question about sexual ethics to me, I respond with this question: “Did you realize that according to the Bible there is no sex in Heaven?”
Sometimes I need to share Jesus’ story from Matthew 22 when the Pharisees challenged him to tell them which of a man’s wives he would be married to in Heaven - and Jesus responded by saying that there is not marriage in Heaven.
Now, here is a follow up question: if there is no sex in Heaven, do we need sex to be fulfilled human beings? What is the purpose of sex?
Hopefully this leads to a good discussion where we can discuss why Jesus is more fulfilling and more necessary and more fundamental than sexuality. You see, at the root of sexual ethics is a misunderstanding of identity rooted in idolatry.
Here are some additional threads on Connect that I hope you would find helpful - please check out the linked sermons from Tim Keller and Sam Allberry:
Should I leave an LBGTQ affirming Church? How should I respond?
For Christians, on an apologetic web site, I would broaden the question:
“How can we know that anything is wrong?” “Or right?” There are a number of Christian answers.
Paul says in Romans that God has revealed to every person, the basic difference between right and wrong. Sometimes he uses the wording “conscience” or “moral consciousness.” We can destroy this knowledge, by constantly doing what is wrong. But many people still have access to this basic knowledge, no matter how they are living.
The Bible presents that there will be a final judgment, in which God will evaluate each one of us against his moral/ethical code. He will punish all our choices to do evil (according to his moral/ethical code), that are unforgiven. My point is that we all live in a shared moral/ethical reality, and there is one moral/ethical code that we will all be evaluated against.
At the final judgment, if we escape condemnation, God will give out different positive rewards for all the right choices that we made. This reward is for what the Bible describes as righteousness. My point is that we live in a shared moral/ethical reality, and God uses a single moral/ethical code to define what is right.
The Bible presents that the beauty and design of the natural world shows us that there is a good Creator, and that he cares for us.
The Bible presents that our life has meaning, and that God made us to live out a meaningful life, according to his moral/ethical code.
We live in a shared reality of valid reasoning methods. (Christians have forgotten this historic approach to apologetics.) Modern scientific disciplines work, because the conclusions they come through (by formal proofs) are very constrained, by logical methods. Epistemology is very important. This is the study of what truth is, and how we can know that some conclusion is true, and what evidence is, and types and degrees of evidence, that indicate that some conclusion is true.
Basic epistemology tells us that the modern politically correct system of morality/ethics, cannot be true. You cannot “tolerate” every opinion as true. Many truths are exclusive – if they are true, then all sorts of other opinions are false. The PC system of morality/ethics is a grab bag of random ideas that happen to be currently popular. They are logically incoherent, and change every year according to whatever is popular. What is popular, is not a measure of what is true.
You can teach kids that gay/lesbian behavior is wrong. They may listen to you (or not), but there are 100 ways in which we can earn condemnation from God, at the final judgment. Our goal should be to avoid all behavior that would earn us condemnation from God, and maximize all good behavior that will increase our positive reward at the final judgment.
This means knowing God’s moral/ethical code, and asking God’s forgiveness for all the times that we have broken it. It means embracing God’s definition of righteousness, and trying to live out daily the good choices that God has prepared for us to live out (Ephesians).
If we can’t teach this whole picture to kids, then they could live lives that will get them condemned by God, for all sorts of reasons. Not just for homosexual behavior.
Ok, so I wanna start by saying that homosexuality is a not a choice. For those of you who think it is, you obviously have not seen a person weeping their hearts out before God asking “Why did you make something that you hate”. Please can we stop saying that it is a choice. For anyone living in the LGBTQ community, we as Christians come off as being judgy, and pointing fingers and extremely discriminatory, and the last thing we want to do is scare someone away who a non-christian and is perusing for answers on this forum.
@Maria_Olivia_Margaris Heres my 2c :
Romans 1: 18-28 says that the the following “Actions” are a result of iniquity or having our own way, and “holding the truth in unrighteousness” so basically distorting the Truth for our own personal gains.
- Sexual Sins
- Reprobate wicked mind
So we cant just view homosexuality on its own. It is as wrong as the others. Someones homosexuality is just as wrong as my unbelief or my sex outside marriage, my lust, or my very wicked mind. I strongly believe, that we are focusing on treating the symptom (homosexuality) and not the disease (Iniquity/ Self glorification).
Iniquity is the reason for the fall of Lucifier and for the fall of man. Iniquity made Lucifer feel that he was greater than God designed him to be, and iniquity made Adam and Eve believe that their current status in the Garden of Eden was not good enough, and by eating fruit they would be like gods. Iniquity was so terrible that it took the death of Father’s only Son - Jesus, to clear the slate.
I think, instead of saying: Homosexuality is wrong, we should teach our children that Iniquity is wrong, and that as Christians we should be living a life of submission to Christ - which is easy: When you pray, sit with a note book and ask God: “Father, what do you want me to do, today?, Father show me how to glorify you in my actions today.” Just stuff like that.
Submitting to Christ, means walking a life in Faith and doing his will, and when we do that, we automatically produce the fruit of the Spirit.
Failure to submit to God results in fruits of the flesh. Unbelief, sexual sins, idolatry etc. Romans 8:5 says: Those who are after the flesh do things of the flesh, those who are after the Spirit do things of the Spirit.
Please, lets not focus on one fruit, and ignore that massive tree which causes it. Lets teach our children to choose God, to choose to submit to him, and to lead a life that produces the fruit of the Spirit, and not of the flesh and when we do that we don’t have to focus on Homosexuality conversations.
Just as an ancedote: I overheard this conversation
Someone asked: " You say, God is a God of love, and that he loves me, why did he make me this way then, something that he hates?" The answer given: “There are more scriptures in the Bible about submitting to God, and living a life in faith, and doing his will, than sexuality. If you follow God’s will, and asks God what he wants for your life, then you will get an answer to your question”.
And thats the beauty of Christianity, we have a the fluidity of a relationship with God, not the rigidity of a religion. Hope this helps a bit.
I would go back to the basic principle, that James deals with in 2.8-14. It is God who defined the moral/ethical code that we will be evaluated by. And if we break one point of his code, then we are guilty of breaking it all. (We have sinned, against the one who gave us his law, categorically.)
It’s not a question of being incrementally “better” those evil sinners over there… Once we have broken any part of God’s moral/ethical code, it’s the same as breaking it all --we categorically need forgiveness.
There are all sorts of sins that the Bible tells us can earn us condemnation at the final judgment. Look for these lists, in the New Testament. They have the general format of : “there will be no [type of sinner] in the kingdom of God.” Generally, this is the list of sins under the law of Moses that would have earned us the death penalty.
Lying, stealing, murder (physical, or mental), sexual sins, coveting (wanting good things that God has not given to us), loving anything more than God, pride, wrath, greed, … these can all earn us condemnation at the final judgment, unless we repent of them, and ask God’s forgiveness.
What I see missing in current Christian teaching, is that without the radical healing from the Holy Spirit, and living in faith, nothing that we do can please God. Nothing.
We deeply need that “renewed mind” that Paul commands us to get. So that we may recognize the righteous works that God has prepared for us to live out, every day (Ephesians). It’s a good thing to avoid defining sins. But that is different than living out actions of positive righteousness. And that is the bigger picture.
@Maria_Olivia_Margaris, thank you so much for your question, and for allowing us to wrestle with this alongside you. As you can imagine, we’ve talked though a lot of tangential issues on this forum already. Thank you to @SeanO for providing some links for that. I also wanted to commend this one, as it’s a more recent one that addresses some similar philosophical questions…
I also wanted to commend to you @ClairDeLune’s helpful distinction between desire and action, as you think about what you actually mean by ‘homosexuality’. Are both desire and action included in your definition or would you separate them?
Sexual desire is a human thing; we cannot escape it. It is not a choice. However, action upon desire is a choice, and all choices have consequences. And those consequences will be considered ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending on your value system/ethical framework.
I say all that because it may be difficult to actually get your step-sons to see where you’re coming from if you two have completely different ethical frameworks…which I’m sure you’re aware of! So just know what it is that you’re objecting to.
I also wanted to address this part of your post because it seems to reveal your desire to demonstrate the love of Christ to both your step-sons and their friends…
How old are your step-sons, by the way? I ask because I would commend to you (I’m doing lots of commending today! ) offering the gift of hospitality. As far as it is possible, open your home to and get to know their friends. That way they can see you both in action. Love then moves from an idealogical argument to a demonstrated characteristic. Rosaria Butterfield speaks and writes beautifully on this subject…
Are any of these answers helpful, or are you still wrestling with something more specific?
Hi to everyone and thank you all for helping me answer difficult questions and on how to be a mom and friend to my step-sons. I am so blessed to all your responses.
Rosaries talk is an Excellent resource. The quote “ if sin doesn’t feel good you are doing it wrong” is epic and will become the motto for our youth group session