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Can a Person Self-Identify as a Homosexual and Continue a Gay Lifestyle and be a Christian?

A visitor claimed that someone could still self-identify and continue a gay lifestyle and be a Christian.

Response:
If a person goes to Christ to save them from hell, but does not want Him to save them from sin, then it is a false understanding of the gospel. Christ saves us from sins' guilt AND tyranny over us.

Those who self-identify as homosexual are sinners just like me. I am clearly not any better and obviously am not redeemed because I am more righteous. But when God does a work of grace in a person, he has a new identity in Christ. Our sin is not our identity. We don't say we are adulterous Christians, thieving Christians or covetous Christians any more than we say we are gay Christians. Like most theologically sound churches, my own church has many people who used to identify as gay. No longer (1 Cor 6:10-11). Now we all worship the same God in church each week together, regardless of our former sin. Of course, all Christians will struggle with sin all their life, but it is not their identity, nor do they continue in such sin without repentance, being indifferent to it. That is false teaching. Everyone is called to repent. Shall we withold the gospel from a particular group by pretending they are different than we are? Or exempt certain sins from repentance? We are all born with the inclination to one sin or another. There is no excuse for any Christian refusing them the gospel for some political or social pressure. Christ is the Lord who sets us free from our bondage.

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 15:03 -- john_hendryx

The Resurrection of Jesus and the Early Church

Many of the first Christians genuinely believed they witnessed Christ's physical resurrection from the dead (over 500 of them - 1 Cor 15:1-8). Including some who initially opposed it like Paul. The writings of the New Testament took place in the same generation as when it took place (early). And many early followers of Jesus were willing to die, suffering torture and execution, for what they saw. This is not the kind of reaction we would expect from them if this historic event were a late-developing legend, nor if it were a fraud. It was widespread, early, unexpected and sincere.

If you have not done so, I would encourage you to read the gospels for yourselves with this in mind. Remember, they were not just willing to die for some philosophical or moral principle, but for the testimony of Jesus' resurrection.

Sat, 10/26/2019 - 19:31 -- john_hendryx

Some Thoughts From Calvin for Reformation Day

by John Calvin

OUR feeling of ignorance, vanity, want, weakness, in short, depravity and corruption, reminds us, that in the Lord, and none but He, dwell the true light of wisdom, solid virtue, exuberant goodness. We are accordingly urged by our own evil things to consider the good things of God; and, indeed, we cannot aspire to Him in earnest until we have begun to be displeased with ourselves. For what man is not disposed to rest in himself? Who, in fact, does not thus rest, so long as he is unknown to himself; that is, so long as he is contented with his own endowments, and unconscious or unmindful of his misery? Every person, therefore, on coming to the knowledge of himself, is not only urged to seek God, but is also led as by the hand to find him. … 

Man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he has previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself. For (such is our innate pride) we always seem to ourselves just, and upright, and wise, and holy, until we are convinced, by clear evidence, of our injustice, vileness, folly, and impurity.—Book 1, Chapter 1, “The Knowledge of God and of Ourselves Mutually Connected”

Fri, 10/25/2019 - 11:39 -- john_hendryx

Thor, Zeus, Orbiting Teapots and the Error of Equivocation

Two of the most common errors modern web atheists commit are the CATEGORY ERROR and the ERROR of EQUIVOCATION.

CATEGORY ERROR an error in logic in which one category of a thing is presented as belonging to another category. 

Ex - Comparing rocks to snails, animate with inanimate, skyscrapers to trucks, God to fairies, unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, orbiting teapots, ...

ERROR of EQUIVOCATION a logical error wherein a word is used with different definitions in the same context while the different definition has not been signaled.

Ex - The sugar industry once advertised with the claim that 'Sugar is an essential component of the body...a key material in all sorts of metabolic processes,' neglecting to mention that they're using 2 very different definitions of "sugar" - glucose vs sucrose. Equivocation is a common trick in advertising.

Whenever anyone says something like, "Thor is a claim, Zeus is a claim, your god is a claim. These claims are equal." This is glaring error of both category and equivocation, failing to grasp the difference between basic categories and concepts.

Many atheists have used the infamous "invisible pink unicorns", others the "invisible purple dragon in their basement", still others use "magical fairy pixies" or the most overused example of all, the Flying Spaghetti Monster! 

ALL such instances - essentially comparing a material, temporal, time-space-limited, impotent imaginary creature or object with the immaterial, eternal, self-existent, omnipotent, omniscient entity called "God" are nothing but category and equivocation errors - visible to any half decent logician on sight.

Philosopher David Bentley Hart wrote: 

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 11:41 -- john_hendryx

Dear Atheist Friends (and Other Skeptics)

Dear atheist friends,

If there is one thing I know for certain it is that I am not better than you. My purpose here is not to try to convince you that I am morally superior to you. Clearly, I am not. Neither am I the least bit interested in promoting my tribe. You are not our enemy. I am just like you. No, we are all, by nature, captives, blind beggars, and when God found me, He must have sought for the most vile creature he could find. And, in spite of me, He loosed my chains and opened my blind eyes to behold His glory. And I can testify that there is nothing more beautiful.

My purpose, when I challenge your atheism, materialism, or philosophical naturalism, is not to ridicule you, but because I deeply care about your welfare both now and for eternity. I do this by showing from your own words, that you hold an inconsistent, incoherent, irrational view that does not correspond to the real world we live in. That there is a conflict within you when you hold multiple contradictory beliefs at the same time, and for which you use a defense mechanism to suppress the reality of those contradictions. These may seem like fighting words to you, and if they do, it is only because I am fighting and pleading for your soul before God. I don't care at all to merely win an argument with you, but rather to bring another blind beggar to Christ so that he might open your eyes too.

I understand completely that Christianity sounds foolish to your ears. I know. The gospel is foolishness and a stumbling block to both Jews and Gentiles (1 Cor 1:23-24). But let me be a fool for Christ and ridiculed by you if there be but one of you whom God would have mercy, break the chains and, in Christ, set free from captivity.

Sat, 10/05/2019 - 11:03 -- john_hendryx

Cognitive Dissonance


 

Cognitive dissonance is a state of conflict occurring within a person when they hold two contradictory beliefs at the same time. The conflict produces feelings of discomfort which the individual seeks to relieve by convincing himself they do not exist, or by adopting some other type of defensive maneuver to suppress the reality of the contradiction.

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 15:38 -- john_hendryx

Why does the Bible ask people to repent and believe if they are unable to respond?

Question:

Why does the Bible ask people to repent and believe if they are unable to respond?

Answer:

That's an important question... As R. C. Sproul once said, "God is not going to negotiate His holiness to accomodate us".  As fallen creatures God does not lower the bar of his holiness  He still requires of us to obey his comands perfectly, even though we are morally incapable to do so. Our inability does not alleviate responsibility, including our responsibility to obey the command to believe. Fact is, fallen men are unable because they are unwilling. By nature they are hostile to Christ.

Perhaps think of it like a farmer planting crops. He casts seed after plowing up the fallow ground, but nothing will happen to the seed unless the blessing of rain come down from above. The seed is not sufficient to produce life by itself without the proper conditions. Likewise, we cast the seed of the gospel into the hearts of men, but unless the Holy Spirit plows up the fallow ground of their hearts and "germinate" the seed of the gospel, no fruit will come forth. We call men to repent and believe, but their hearts are willful and hard. Only the Holy Spirit can disarm the hostility and quicken them to life (John 6:63, 65). We plant and water but God causes the growth. (1 Cor 3:6) Only as the Spirit gives us a new heart do we see the truth, beauty and excellency of Christ in the gospel.

God calls all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel but they reject the message...but to those who are inwardly called through the message, salvation.

Paul said,

"we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." -1 Cor 1:23-24

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 13:09 -- john_hendryx

Secularism: Road to Nowhere

When I was a college freshman before I was a Christian, a friend of mine and I were on some mind altering substance and we decided to take a drive. He was driving towards the mountains.

I said, "let's take this road."

He asked, "where does it go?."

I answered "nowhere"

He replied, "I like that place." And so we went.

Funny as that is, that was a pretty good picture of my life at the time. The Cheshire cat likewise once famously said to Alice, "If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there."

The secular world is a lot like this. They dont know where we are from, why we are here or where we are going. But they want to take us all along for the ride. They dont know our telos or destination. The thing is if you dont know the destination, purpose of life, or why we are here, how can you know the right way to go? We just make up the rules for others as we go along? It's like we are being driven by someone who is not quite right in the mind to nowhere. And in real life, that is not good.

Jesus once said,, "My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but [to the skeptics Jesus said] you do not know where I come from or where I am going." (John 8:14). In the early church, Christianity was often called "The Way". This is partly because Jesus declared of Himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6.

Tue, 10/01/2019 - 12:35 -- john_hendryx

Slavery and the Idols of our Culture

An overwhelming number of our country's social problems are directly or indirectly realted to the idol of sex. You have abortion (millions dead), pornography (objectifying women), human trafficking (slavery), STDs, sex outside the covenant of marriage, perversions, the gnostic belief that our body is not core to our identity, and that is just scratching the surface. Our culture somehow is under the delusion it is promoting freedom in these things, but they are, in truth, creating a society which is under slavery of the worst kind. To call these sins out is, therefore, to desecrate the idols of our culture. Yet because we love those who are trapped in the bonds of sin we must speak and never give in to the fear of man. And you know, people do not easily let go from clinging to their idols.

The gospel is the only remedy. There is no law, no therapy, no will power that is powerful enough to wean people off their beloved idols. They are powerless, of themselves (as we were), to break their chains. Only Christ has the power to set them free from their cruel bondage. And in Christ we are free indeed. Love your neighbor by giving him the keys to freedom. Don't hold back. Declare the gospel. Counter-intuitive as it may be, it is through the weakness of preaching alone that the chains fall off. 

Sex is beautiful creation of God. Lord forgive us for disfiguring your good purpose in it. 

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 13:35 -- john_hendryx

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