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Homosexual Christian, an Oxymoron: Conflict at the Outset

by Robert L. Pappas

Left to Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Inc., virtually any action between consenting adults would be without moral or legal consequence. Hefner is not alone, the swill he has long proffered to a gullible public, stimulates those base aspects that are an inextricable part of human nature. Whereas Hefner's immoral imperatives can be said to be the world's natural moral imperatives, they do not comport with civility, rather they undermine it. Inherent in Hefner's, and the likeminded argument of others, is the notion that favors unconstrained sexual conduct between consenting adults; or, for that matter any life form, and specifically includes homosexual conduct. "This is the nineties, Mom."

It is postulated that the homosexual condition is genetic and that same gender sexual affinity that arises naturally therefrom, supersedes specific Biblical proscriptions, not against homosexual affinity per se, but against homosexual behavior. It is significant to note that fornication, sex outside of marriage, is also proscribed. This view runs head-on into popular, contemporary attitudes that assert that Morality, According to Hefner, that is, sex of any sort, between consenting adults is normal, socially acceptable and should be legal.

Sexual Morality and Politics

The so called, "gay" political movement asserts that its practitioners comprise a social, sexual "class" whose spectrum of sexual behavior is akin to the colors of the rainbow (and thus display rainbow colors to advertise their sexual predilections); that sexual contact between consenting adults should be a matter protected by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States; that they comprise a minority "class" as defined by the Civil Rights Act; and, in the case of those so inclined, assert that spiritual institutions have no right to proscribe their sexual behavior nor to deprive them of employment therein. Each of these assertions comprise a direct assault on long-standing social, statutory, mores and spiritual norms as well as the Constitution of the United States.

To be a Christian

Inherent in the term Christian is to be like or to emulate Christ. By logical deduction, Christ-likeness is God-likeness since Christ is the only begotten Son of God. Though none--absolutely none--have Christ's and therefore, God's definitive attributes, those whose ethos is based on emulation of Christ, His teachings, life, death and resurrection, constitute a class that in the general sense is characterized as Christian.

It is notable that many people categorize themselves as Christian because of their religious connections, such as baptism, education, or church affiliation, but who do not understand the essence nor practice Christian tenants. For example, if one were to ask an Italian or Greek, "Are you a Christian?" The response would likely be, "I am not a Jew, Buddhist, Moslem or Hindu, therefore, I am a Christian." If however, there is no substantive difference in lifestyle or behavior, the "Christian" label is more properly a social or political label. These comprise a grouping that is, by far, the majority of nominal Christians throughout Europe and the United States.

A second grouping is comprised of those faithful at church attendance, who believe in God, the teachings of the Bible, know the liturgy, partake of the sacraments and support the church. However, away from the church their lives, activities, language and behavior, are otherwise indistinguishable from non-believers. The members of this grouping are best described by the phrase, "having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof."

The third grouping, like the second, attends church regularly, partakes of the sacraments, contributes to support of the church, actively participates in church administrative activities, and otherwise appears to do all the right things. They don't smoke, dance, or drink (or at least, do so in moderation). They are "Bible" policemen. They seek spiritual flaws in others and they elevate themselves to positions of spiritual authority, presenting an air of piety and holiness (some might refer to them as holier than thou; Pharisees).

There is still another grouping whose members are motivated not by requirement, but by genuine commitment. There are only a few or none in each church. They are loving, kind, thoughtful, patient, long-suffering, not backbiting, temperate and just. There is a unique quality about them that radiates in the way they live, work, talk, and worship. They do not seek recognition nor do they promote themselves; rather they go about serving and witnessing, while others tend to look down on them as unrealistic idealists or religious "nuts." This is the smallest grouping of all.

Original Sin

1 Corinthians 15:22 states, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." The thesis in the foregoing quotation is that, all are spiritually dead as a direct result of Adam's Fall from Grace; and the anti-thesis, "even so in Christ all shall be made alive," is the avenue to spiritual restoration.

What does, "For as in Adam, all die," mean? In the Biblical context it cements the notion that all of humanity is condemned to die, not inevitable physical death, but spiritual death, to which the Book of Revelation refers as the second death; or eternal separation from God. It is both logical and factual that through Adam's seed, that his sin and fall from God's intended status is transmitted to all of humanity for all time. In other words, original sin is inherent in the human existence.

The doctrine of original sin permeates Biblical writings a number of examples are As follows: Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Psalms 51:5, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me;" 1 John 1:10, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." Romans 3:10, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one;" Isaiah 64:6, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."

Praise God Almighty, There is Hope

Jesus said in John 3:7 "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." The Apostle Paul wrote, Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Additionally, throughout the Old Testament there are repeated references to humankind's sinful condition and that redemption was possible through animal sacrifices and acts of penitence.

Redemption and Salvation

Some assert that the phrase, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ, shall all be made alive," means, that when Christ died on the cross, His doing so resulted in a spiritual filter so opaque (covered by the blood) that the Heavenly Father cannot, or at the least, chooses not, to see the sins of the entire world through it; and, therefore, the entire world will be saved (without equivocation or further condition). Saved from what? Both the words, and the clear implication are, to be saved from damnation that is set forth with specificity. Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

"...In Christ shall all be made alive"

The thesis would seem to be conclusive apart from an examination of the plain words of the phrase. The operative words of the anti-thesis are, "...in Christ...." To be in something, one must be contained within that something's bounds. Similarly, to be in Christ is to be within the bounds of Jesus' teachings and commands. Therefore, in consonance with the plain word of the phrase, all who are within the bounds of Christ's teachings and commands, shall be made alive. To be made alive is the opposite of the second death, or eternal separation from God. To be made alive is the promise of eternal life in Heaven with Jesus and the Heavenly Father.

A New Creature

When one is born again, he or she becomes a new creation. Although one remains the same flesh and blood, there is a new spirit, and a new mind. The comments contained in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new," takes on real meaning. It is unmistakable that in order to enter Heaven or "in Christ shall all be made alive," one must be renewed spiritually, to have a fundamental change of character. That change in character comes about incident to the free will and instigation of the person. 1st John 1:9 states, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness But the transformation takes place by and through the God's Grace, not by anything that we can or would do. Ephesians 2:8,9 states, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

God's Will and Sin

It does not take extensive research to learn that socially acceptable behavior by the "world's" standards is not in keeping with God's will. Jesus remarked repeatedly about the "world" and the evils thereof. There is ample statistical data to illustrate and substantiate the depth and breath of humankind's departure from God's known will; which is generally described, understood and accepted to be, sin. Themes glorifying sin and making light of or reveling therein, abound in popular entertainment. Further, God's will is also defined as God's "law," and when it is violated there are inevitable consequences. This is true whether a violation is of God's physical, or social (spiritual) laws.

For example, if a person is pushed from a window, God's law of gravity causes the person to fall to the ground. Depending on the distance of the fall, and other factors, it is likely that the person would suffer grievous harm, if not death. The second component of the incident has to do with God's social or spiritual law, "Thou shalt not kill."

Humanity's Spiritual Titanic

It is both a comfort and a condemnation that the scriptures state, "...all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." The comforting part is that all of humanity is on the same boat; and, condemnation also results for the same reason.

God's Lifeboat

But, John 3:16 tells us that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." So, God, in his wisdom and infinite love provided a "lifeboat" for humanity to escape the Titanic. Any serious discussion must address whether or not it is possible to be saved from eternal death, to eternal life without being born again. The studied and logical answer can only be, no.

Although it is possible to believe in the existence of something, that does not mean That mere belief imparts salvation. However, it is simply not possible to be born again and thence ignore Jesus' teachings. Either there is commitment, or there is not. Gray areas that so many proclaim do not exist. That is the reason that the Apostle John, wrote in Revelation 3:16 "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" There is no middle ground when it comes to salvation. However, this discussion would be incomplete if it did not include comments about those who God will save incident to obedience of their consciences.

To Whom much is given, much will be required

I have always had a fear of ministry because of the enormous responsibility that accompanies the vocation. One minister recently wrote to me that the on the cross is salvation for all mankind, and therefore implied that it does not matter how humanity behaves or thinks, all of humanity will be saved without any effort or commitment. His notion is close, but misses the mark. Indeed, the cross makes salvation available for all of mankind, but does not impose salvation on anyone. Unfortunately, that minister has either a lack of understanding of God's fundamental nature or chooses to deny what is plainly evident, choosing rather to lead along the wide path that leads to eternal damnation, rather than the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life.

God is Love and God is Just

While God is love, indeed, as clearly demonstrated by the life, teaching, sacrifice and resurrection of His only begotten Son, Jesus; God is also just. The scriptures repeatedly and clearly describe the end of those who reject God's Son. A vital question then is, "What comprises rejection of God's Son?"

The question can be answered by Jesus' own words to the woman caught in adultery; He asked, "Where are thine accusers?" Her response was that they had departed. Jesus told her, "neither do I accuse you, go and sin no more." But suppose after the admonition, that the adulteress woman continued in her adultery. At the day of judgment, how would she be judged? Would the Heavenly Judge tell her to enter into eternal life because Jesus died on the cross for her sins? Or, would He tell her "Depart from me, ye doer of iniquity, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels?" Somehow, methinks that God does not play games and that anyone engaged in game playing with God is engaged in a game of high stakes poker that they are destined to lose.

Eternal Love, Hope and Life

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." The title to this article directed to the need for all, including Homosexuals, to come to the knowledge of salvation through rebirth; through Jesus' admonition to "go and sin no more." Through God's love, in that He gave His only begotten Son; through Jesus shed blood on the cross; through Jesus' defeat of hell and death; through His resurrection from the dead; through His ascension into Heaven; through His promise to prepare a place for us; and, through His promise to come again to take us where He is, humankind has the opportunity for life in Heaven for Eternity.

Post Script

This article could as easily have been titled "Worldly Christian is an Oxymoron," but because homosexual conduct is specifically cited as "an abomination to God," is therefore, plainly "worldly," and since some ministers and other leaders condone or justify homosexual conduct for reasons that are self serving, politically correct, but antithetical to God's law, this writer has chosen to confront this great evil head-on; and, apply it to the larger context of, "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;" all are in need of salvation; all are condemned apart from God's love and Jesus' sacrifice of himself; and all, including homosexuals, who are in Christ will be saved. I should note that I have never met a practicing homosexual who was in Christ because homosexual behavior in inherently at odds with God's law. Perhaps God will allow abuse of His Grace; I for one, do not believe that He does, and urge those who follow after the lust of the flesh, and those who condone it to, "go and sin no more."

     Copyright February 2002, Robert L. Pappas. With proper attribution, this essay may be quoted and redistributed.
      If you wish to read other columns by Col Pappas see: http://www.gulf1.com/columns/pappas/index.htm


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