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Listen to the 10 min audio
Read the transcript:
HUFFINGTON POST ATTACKS CHRISTIAN GAY CONVERSION VIDEO
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I want to take you to an article out of The Huffington Post. They are in a huff over an astonishing viral video about homosexuality and the Gospel, a video that has racked up nearly 2 million views, created by the Christian media ministry, Anchored North. This production gives every appearance of being just another coming out story by a lesbian woman and, yet, this woman, Emily Toms, tells how she came out of a lesbian lifestyle into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Predictably, The Huffington Post slams Toms’ story as a “commercial for the scientifically discredited and flat-out lethal idea that gay, lesbian or bisexual people can change their sexual orientation if they pray hard enough.” They quote one so-called “queer” Christian writer and pastor who insists a robust Christ-centered theology teaches that God accepts every lifestyle, that He is all-glorious, all-merciful and extends forgiveness and love to absolutely everyone.
RIGHT ABOUT GOD’S MERCY, WRONG ABOUT SIN LIFESTYLE
DR. REEDER: Well, so let’s talk about where The Huffington Post is right and where they’re wrong and let’s start where they’re wrong. First of all, when Christianity deals with the issue of homosexuality, it first of all makes the point that homosexuality is a sin – it is not a medical condition, it is not a biological condition – it is a sexual act/orientation because we are born sinners and we can all put, as they say today, #metoo. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Some express it by making their sexuality promiscuous and some express it by taking sexuality to do that which is unnatural and Huffington Post knows this – I don’t know why they don’t affirm it – is that what we know is that, scientifically, it has been affirmed that we’re not born that way. There is no “gay gene” – it’s just not there and multiple studies have supported that – but we can and do get addicted into sexual rebellion and sexual anarchy and then embrace it as a lifestyle and it can become, obviously, deeply embedded in our rebellion against the Lord.
Now where The Huffington Post is right is that God is a God of grace and glory and extends forgiveness to everyone. It’s terribly inconsistent for them to rejoice in a God who forgives everyone but, by the way, why would He need to forgive the homosexual if homosexuality is natural?
But the fact is, we deep down know that it is a rebellion against God and it is sinful. We do, as Christians, minister with understanding because all of us have #metoo been born sinners and are only redeemed by the grace of God who does extend forgiveness to any and all who repent of their sin, whatever the sin may be.
WE ALL NEED CONVERSION AND FORGIVENESS
When we’re converted, there is a general repentance: “Lord, I turn from my sin, I confess it and put my trust in you for forgiveness and a new life in Jesus Christ and I rejoice in that great gift which you give to me.”
And then, in the Christian life the way it’s wonderfully stated in the Westminster Confession of Faith, we then begin to grow in grace as we repent of particular sins particularly. And then, sometimes, some of those sinful practices, God just kind of takes right out of our life.
When I became a believer, there were a number of notably embedded sins in my life of rebellion against God, but God graciously, I call it, “microwaved it out of my life, just took it right out of my life. Now, there have been other sins in my life that God has continued to work in and on and He’s been “crockpotting” them out of my life – I continually deal with them, three steps forward, two backwards, four forward, one backward, two backward, one forward – and that’s been happening in my life in dealing with other issues.
Certainly, the embedded nature of embedded nature of sexual rebellion against God can many times, like alcoholism and drunkenness and like other sins, they can get deeply embedded and they don’t come out easily.
GOD LOVES US BUT HATES SIN AND WON’T ACCEPT IT
Another falsehood in the Huffington statement, though, God does accept and forgive any and all who repent, but He doesn’t accept all of our lifestyles. God hates sin. God hates sin so much, God’s Son had to die on the cross for our sins and, when we become believers, we hate sin. Now, are there times that the good that we would do, we don’t do – we practice the very sin that we don’t want to do? Yes, Christians are not perfect – they are not sinless – but they do desire to sin less and God’s grace enables us to do that.
God not only has grace sufficient to forgive us, God’s grace is powerful to transform us. Sometimes, He transforms us immediately – we get “microwaved” – an addictive sin just goes. Sometimes, it is over a period of time in our life as God continually allows us and helps us to work on those issues.
That’s exactly what has happened, that this young woman gave her testimony. They want to, interestingly, say, “Well, what you’ve said happened to you, it didn’t really happen to you. You just think it happened to you because, in reality, you cannot jettison the sexual lifestyle – that’s just your natural lifestyle.” No, it’s an unnatural lifestyle. It is a lifestyle of choice that comes from our #metoo, we’re all born sinners and that’s the way the rebellion is expressed.
Then I need to say to The Huffington Post, every Christian will say if you pray and turn from your sins, you will be forgiven, no matter who you are and where you are.
BUT HE CAN CHANGE YOU THROUGH GRACE
Secondly, for your life to change, which God says it will: “The old has passed away; behold the new is come. No adulterer, no sexual immoral, no homosexual, no effeminate, no drunkard, no murderer, no thief shall enter the kingdom of God and such were some of you.”
When you come to Christ, you’re no longer identified with that rebellion of behavior – you’re now identified with Christ and covered with His righteousness. And you’re no longer given to that behavior, although you still have that sin living in you, but you don’t live in that sin. What you do is not simply, as The Huffington Post says, you just pray hard enough – certainly, we pray hard – but it’s not just pray hard enough: You get into God’s Word, you get with God’s people, you begin to grow in grace.
And one of the ways that you begin to jettison sin is this glorious truth: There are some trees that lose their leaves in the fall, there are some trees that lose their leaves in the spring. The trees that lose their leaves in the spring are those that, when the new leaf comes out, it pushes the old leaf away and that’s what happens for us.
Sometimes, when we become a believer, our sins fall away and then we await the birth of a new way of life. Sometimes, our new way of life begins to be developed consciously and it pushes away our sin so we have no room for that sin in our life because the new life of what Christ is doing in us is pushing it out. I commend to our listeners the book by Rosaria Butterfield, who has a profound testimony on that as well.
NOT STUCK IN SIN
Tom, that’s what we would say to The Huffington Post: #metoo, we’re all born sinners. Gloriously, if you turn from your sin – no matter what it is: sexual promiscuity, drunkenness, thievery, murder; the Lord saved Moses, the Lord saved David, the Lord saved Paul and they were all murderers or conspirators to murder – God’s grace is sufficient.
And then God takes you right where you are and He forgives you but he never calls sin a normal lifestyle. He then gives you the Holy Spirit, the Word of God and the people of God so you can walk away from your sin. Some of it, you will disconnect just like those booster rockets, but some of them are still hanging on over a period of time and you’ll see them pulled out by the roots as God’s grace begins to flow in us, and through us, and from us and to us into the world as well.
COMING UP TOMORROW: IS AMERICA MORE DIVIDED BUT DEVOUT?
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, we are out of time for today. On Wednesday’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to an article out of The Free Beacon. According to this study on religiosity in America, there are more people now than ever before who never attend church but, at the same time, those who are strongly committed to the church, that number is increasing.
DR. REEDER: And I believe it’s something that we have actually talked about on Today in Perspective. There’s a reason for it – it’s inevitable – so let’s take a look at that, Tom, and why is that true. Secularism is increasing, religious sensibility is dissipating, yet those committed to Christ are increasing in their intensity and their number while those nominally committed are dissipating. What is being revealed here? Let’s take a look tomorrow.
Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.
This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.