Word from the Pastor

The Bible and Homosexuals

Rescuing the Biblical Teaching from Gay Propaganda

Of all the arguments the homosexual community attempts to marshal in behalf of its lifestyle, none is more blatantly dishonest and deceitful than its efforts to disarm biblical testimony against it.

One notorious example of that type of intellectual fraud is a pamphlet someone handed me entitled “The Bible and the Homosexual,” by someone named “Merrill.” (I think it says something suspicious that the author would hide his full name from scrutiny).

The author’s agenda is to present gays as victims of centuries of gross misunderstanding about the biblical teachings regarding homosexuality. According to the writer, the problem took root with a misleading misinterpretation of the sin of Sodom.

Alas, we learn, contrary to popular conception, the defining sin of Sodom was not homosexuality at all. Actually it was nothing more than a radical case of inhospitality. In other words, the crowning wickedness of Sodom was not a sexual sin, but actually a social sin—one being replicated against gays by churches yet today.

By a stroke of Merrill’s literary magic wand the lesson of the narrative is ingeniously turned on its ear. It is the Christians, not the homosexuals, who are the modern counterparts of the sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah!

And guess who equates in this wild spin on the story of Lot to his oppressed house guests? The gays.

If something seems bizarre about this twist (and it is indeed a twist), it should.

This gross distortion of the biblical text illustrates how the homosexual lifestyle so assaults the human conscience and our innate moral sensibilities that it drives the transgressor to perfect the art of lying as a psychological defense mechanism.

This Johnny-come-lately interpretation of the moral condition of Sodom flies in the face of centuries of biblical scholarship (such late entries, by the way, are usually a sign of nuts and cults at work). The narrative is reinterpreted to serve the gay agenda aimed at changing the traditional perception of their unnatural sin. Putting aside gay propagandists who hide behind the respectability of biblical scholarship to mask their purpose, namely, to distort the Scriptures in rationalizing their sin, one would be hard put to find a Bible-respecting scholar who sees nothing more serious in the Sodom narratives than an infraction of the law of hospitality.

True, a strong historical consensus about an issue does not prove that the view shared by the overwhelming majority is necessarily right. On the other hand, that fact is by no means irrelevant if it is simply a question of a preliminary judgment about where the truth probably lies. However one is hardly compelled to leave the case to the mercy of that argument.

That the biblical authors themselves view the destruction of Sodom as related to a moral deficiency far more serious than bad social manners appears in passages like 2 Peter 2:6-7 and Jude 7. Consider, for instance, Jude’s comment on the judgment of Sodom.

“In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.”

Let’s be serious—who do you suppose misconstrued the Sodom account—Jude or this fellow Merrill?

To get some impression of the hatchet-job these gay propagandists do on the Scriptures, let’s go back to the Sodom narrative and see for ourselves what the evidence is. At this point it is important to actually read the narrative in Genesis 19:1-8 lest one gets snookered through unfamiliarity.

Bear in mind Merrill’s initial premise: the defining sin of Sodom was social, not sexual. That is, it is really an indictment of inhospitality, not homosexuality.

His case rests largely on the meaning of a Hebrew verb. Merrill alleges that in verse 5 the Hebrew verb yadah, traditionally understood (in this particular context) as a sexual euphemism, has been misunderstood.

To follow his argument (and mine) we need the benefit of a little linguistic background. Bear with me. It is necessary to follow closely here. The root meaning of this verb is simply “to know (experientially),” “to be acquainted with.” Several spin off connotations (a phenomenon familiar in all languages) derive from those senses. One of those spin off connotations was “to have sexual relations with.” From the idea of knowing someone in an experiential way it was a natural jump to employ this verb as a polite euphemism for sexual intercourse.

That semantic “jump” is not my theory; that is established linguistic fact and one that is true (of the concept of “knowing”) not only in the Hebrew language but other Oriental and Occidental languages as well. (see, for instance, Gesenius/Tregelles, Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 334) Even Merrill concedes this.

So then, on what grounds does he cry “foul” and set aside the whole tradition of biblical scholarship in rejecting yadah as a sexual euphemism in this place?

Ah, here he’s tricky. On the face of it, his argument has plausibility—provided one doesn’t spot the fallacy and falls innocently into his trap.

Merrill tries to snare the unwary with a statistical fallacy. Since in only ten out of its 943 uses in the OT is yadah used as a sexual euphemism, Merrill argues the odds are greatly against its being used in that sense in Gen. 19.

Sounds reasonable—if the brain is on idle. Actually his seductive logic is fallacious to the max.

Let me illustrate just how illogical that is. I think you’ll see the problem with this line of reasoning (if you don’t already).

Let’s say that of all the people in the world, only 1 % qualify as rich (by some arbitrary standard). Using logic analogous to Merrill’s, I would then infer that that the odds are greatly against encountering the rich among the people I meet. I mean, if only 1% of all the world’s billions of denizens qualify as rich, man, that’s like finding a needle in wrecking yard.

But, whoa!

The problem with that logic is that, while the poor may vastly outnumber the rich overall, in specific socio-demographic areas the rich may actually greatly exceed the poor. For example, if one happens to live in a wealthy suburban enclave like Beverly Hills, the odds of one meeting a rich person improve dramatically.

Likewise with encountering the sexual connotation of yadah. Even though in the wider OT corpus yadah is used preponderantly in the sense of “to know” or “to be acquainted with” someone or something, in certain literary “suburbs” (e.g. in a context tinged with sexual overtones) one would expect to meet that semantic nuance far more frequently than normal as euphemism of coitus.

You see, the percentage of time a word is used in one sense as opposed to another is quite irrelevant as a predictor meaning. The meaning of a word in a given context is settled 1) by its semantic range (the totality of its possible senses 2) by whatever sense within that semantic range the context and its literary “codes” seem to require.

For instance, “bed” in a greenhouse context will most predictably be the soil in which plants are rooted, not the more familiar sense of a resting place.

On Merrill’s linguistic logic, one would contend that since in the vast majority of cases nationally the word “house” is used in the ordinary sense of a domicile or place of residence, it is therefore statistically improbable that on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. speakers would use that term in any sense other than its customary usage in Peoria. This reasoning is clearly wrong.

Now let’s give this fellow everything the text will allow.

Sodom and environs would win no hospitality awards. Unquestionably the Sodomites trashed the then sacred law of hospitality. This town was not a nice place. It was Perverse City. These people were scofflaws and outlaws. This isn’t a new insight.

However, to narrow the guilt of Sodom to a social rather than a sexual sin is a half-truth. In other words, on this score, Merrill’s argument is 50 per cent correct and 100 percent worthless. To flag inhospitality as the burden of the author is a literary analysis as superficial and off-target as charging a street gang of inhospitality for attempted sexual assault on a tourist!

The truth is, anytime one takes advantage of another’s vulnerability on one’s own turf, that is an inhospitable act. Muggers, thieves, extortionists, rapists and the whole host of evil doers all offend the laws of civility and hospitality.

However, should some local citizens or neighbors surround my home and demand sexual access to one of my guests, we can be reasonably certain when I call 911 that I won’t report that someone is behaving inhospitably! Nor would the police come upon such a scene and book the aggressors at my doors of bad manners. Nobody I know of would dumb down such sexual aggression as a mere lack of hospitability.

Of course someone will object that I am begging the question, that I am assuming a sexual advance—an interpretation of events that Merrill denies.

So let’s look at the literary context and see if Merrill’s proposal makes any sense.

We need to back up a little in Genesis for some background. [Read the passage and previous context. This is vital.] Earlier in Gen. 13:13 and Genesis 18:20 the Sodomites are excoriated as “wicked and sinners exceedingly” and guilty of sin “exceedingly grave.” I think you will agree that such language is a pretty heavy-handed indictment for a simple case of xenophobia.

This is not to minimize the sinfulness of inhospitality; we take it too lightly. On the other hand, the biblical accounts make it perfectly evident that the guilt of Sodom extended well beyond the sin of inhospitality. In fact in later biblical allusions (get out a biblical concordance and check for yourself) ‘Sodom’ becomes a veritable benchmark or symbol for wickedness. In short, it epitomizes moral corruption and spiritual rebellion.

In the face of all these allusions is Merrill going to persuade us that inhospitality or social discrimination is all that drove the wrath of God?

What would make that even stranger is that their social intolerance of outsiders clearly was far from uniform. Obviously the Sodomites permitted Lot and his family to settle and even prosper there. Lot and his family seem to be in no great hurry to get out of town. Apparently they didn’t feel that isolated and friendless in Sodom.

The ultimate proof, however, of Merrill’s literary ineptitude (or is it just plain duplicity) is the way he passes over the literary indications (see verse 8) that refute his thesis.

To see this, let’s follow the story line a minute.

Lot receives some angelic visitors disguised in human form (what we call a theophany). You might say the report of Sodom’s corruption had reached to high heaven and this was an on-site inspection tour. The angels arrived to take the pulse of Sodom… to measure first hand the extent of its outrages. In short, this is an attitude check… for both Lot and his fellow citizens.

Lot responds to them in the manner of the righteous, hospitably receiving the strangers. They assay his sincerity and it stands the test. When they offered to spend the night in the streets rather than trouble Lot, Lot insisted on taking them in.

And here is where the vileness of Sodom begins to expose itself. It is obvious that Lot knows the town… and its long-standing corruption. He anticipates very well what will happen if the outsiders linger in the streets after dark. That Lot knew the dangers of allowing his guests to roam loose in the city streets at night is apparent when he vehemently insists that they take shelter under his roof. Shortly thereafter the wisdom of this precaution is vindicated when a crowd besieged and surrounded his house and demanded “to know” the strangers.

What unbiased and intelligent reader would ever imagine from the context that the Sodomites were simply demanding Lot to bring them out so they could get acquainted and relieve their xenophobic fears. Clearly (from the dialogue that follows) what Lot feared (rightly) was a rape-out.

Now we have already shown that it is linguistic nonsense to argue that it foists an unnatural meaning upon the verb yadah to construe the Sodomites’ demand euphemistically of sexual relations. That sense is not only within the semantic range of the verb (as even Merrill admits) but more importantly, I will show, is precisely the sense that the literary clues demand.

Note, for example, that in verse 8 we encounter exactly the same Hebrew verb when Lot offers his two virgin daughters to the ravishing designs of the Sodomites in lieu of their violating the strangers to whom he had given shelter.

Whether Lot should have made such a choice is another issue entirely and not relevant to the one at hand. The fact is, I repeat, we are dealing with exactly the same verb in verse 5 and verse 8. I think all but the willfully obtuse can see that in verse 8 at least Lot was not suggesting that instead of his guests, he would instead sent out his two virgin daughters so that his townsmen might “get acquainted” with them. That alternative makes no sense whatever.

Clearly the point is that in a tension of evil choices, Lot proposes a painful alternative, namely, to allow his daughters to be ravished rather than transgress the sacred law of hospitality for strangers under the protection of his roof. Any other reading is so at variance with the plain sense of the context that one wonders how anyone can be so intellectually obtuse (or dishonest) as to put it forward.

To deny this is shows the lengths to which intellectual dishonesty can go. Merrill’s argument has about the same credibility as President Clinton denying that his behaviors with Monica Lewinsky did not constitute “sexual relations.” It goes to show how otherwise intelligent people, when they have an agenda, can do an intellectual by-pass of reason and with a straight face, look the facts in the eye, and deny them without blushing.

That the writer of the Book of Judges saw sodomy in the actions of the Sodomites seems clear when he relates an event that later transpired in Gibeah reminiscent of the wickedness in Sodom. (Read Judges 19:22-25)

In verse 25 the same verb yadah is used when the men of Gibeah insist on “knowing” a man whom one of their citizens had taken under his roof. Again, this demand turns out to be totally sexual in intent. Just as in Lot’s case, the head of the house offers his virgin daughter and his guest’s concubine up to the lust of his townsmen rather than the stranger.

From a literary point of view, the intent of the writer is to suggest the depths of depravity to which Israel during this period had sunk. It reminds one of the condition of Sodom and that is precisely the point of the anecdote.

The parallel is obvious;

“Gibeah had imbibed the morals of Canaan” and reduced itself to another Sodom. Inhospitality is just the tip; sexual perversion, ravenous lust is the iceberg.

What I have seen is what virtually every scholar has seen in this narrative (except gay advocates). Among the Bible versions in my library, I just pulled off the shelf The New Oxford Annotated Bible (Revised Standard Version) to see what note, if any, it might have on this passage. On page 23 where we find the text of Genesis 19:1-8 Bernhard Anderson, the annotating Old Testament scholar (and no fundamentalist by any stretch) makes this comment, which is representative of the consensus of historical biblical scholarship:

“4-11: Compare the crime of Gibeah (Judg 19.22-30). The episode is told to illustrate the sexual excesses of Canaanites. 5: Know refers to sexual relations (v.8), here homosexual (“sodomy”).

Merrill presses his case beyond the boundaries of the Genesis narrative. It is not my purpose to expose his specious arguments point for point, but simply to track down a few to illustrate the kind of devious reasoning “religious” homosexuals put forward under the guise of biblical “scholarship” and seduce the uninformed. They have an agenda and they will not let truth stand in their way. They will force, bend, and twist even the sacred to make it speak their language.

Merrill even tries to bring Jesus to their defense.

For example, he claims that Jesus in Luke 10:10-13 confirms that inhospitality was the real sin of Sodom.

In this context Jesus was sending seventy hand-picked disciples on an advance mission to the cities he intended to visit. He anticipates that in some cities their message will fall upon hostile ears and his disciples will not be welcomed. About those who refuse to welcome them, Jesus warns:

“…it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city [which is inhospitable to you].”

Now at the surface level inhospitality is here alright.

But, as in the case of Sodom, it is merely the tip of the offending iceberg. Merrill misses the point by 100 miles.

Jesus was rebuking the Galilean cities for something much deeper than a want of social grace. What they were rejecting at bottom was not the person of the disciples, but the revelation from heaven. In rejecting the disciples’ proclamation, they were refusing the in-breaking of the Kingdom (or sovereign rule) of God. In that respect they replicated the wickedness of Sodom. For the Sodomites also rejected a visitation from God. Instead of recognizing and welcoming their heavenly visitors-in-disguise, they plotted a gang rape! Jesus is pointing out that the cities of Israel have less excuse for their rejection than the Sodomites did for theirs and will therefore receive a greater judgment.

The form that rejection took was unquestionably anti-social. But to confine the offense to that level is a pathetically superficial analysis. It is akin to locating the offense of the Cross in a lack of social affability.

In a rare burst of honesty Merrill does concede that 2 Peter 2:6-7 and Jude 7 do identify the sin of Sodom as sexual in nature. But this concession, he makes out, is not as costly to his cause as it might at first appear to you and me. You see, when he (and his constituency) can no longer twist the language of Scripture to serve his own agenda, then he has the ultimate weapon, that is, the option of rejecting the authority of the offending Scripture.

In this respect he argues somewhat (and almost as amusingly) like the farmer I once heard about whose dog was accused to killing livestock. His first line of defense was to present evidence that his dog was a supremely gentle animal whose nature was contrary to such habits. Just in case the Justice of the Peace wasn’t sufficiently impressed with that defense, he climaxed his case with the argument that he didn’t even own a dog. He was covered!

That is the hypocritical way Merrill argues. Whenever the language of Scripture will not bend to his purpose, all of a sudden with a sweep of that magic dismissive wand he absolves himself of the difficulty by exorcising the demon. He simply casts out the embarrassing texts.

On what ground? Here he comes out of the closet. No longer posturing as a devout scholar bent on rescuing truth from tradition, he now dons a skeptics’ mantle and summarily waives 2 Peter and Jude out of the corpus of canonical Scripture! They, he announces in cavalier fashion, are spurious writings and can be righteously dismissed as the product of a homophobic tradition that grew up later.

Of course he is not the first to take that liberty. But it should be noted in passing that the prior existence of such views are simply a convenient expedient that he adopts to help his case out of an extreme difficulty. The truth is, such skeptical pronouncements have more to do with anti-supernatural worldviews than any supporting evidence.

It is a telling commentary on the integrity of polemicists like Merrill that on one hand they posture as those for whom the authority of Scripture is meaningful and give the appearance of wanting its authority in their corner. But whenever its plain teaching outruns all their ingenious attempts to distort it, then all of a sudden they turn on the canonical writings and dismiss their authority with a wave of the hand. The patent dishonesty is striking.

Another example of this voice-of-Jacob, hands-of-Esau duplicity is the tired old homosexual retort to prohibitions against sodomy from the so-called Holiness Code in Leviticus. When, for instance, one cites Mosaic legislation against homosexuality from passages like Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, gays love to come back derisively with an apparently “silly” statute from the same code:

“You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.” [Leviticus 19:19]

Their implication is that we surely cannot take seriously the legislation based on the Holiness Code; it is full of all kinds of such nonsensical bans related to ancient cultural traditions and taboos. If you want to stick with one, you have to take the whole package. That appears to be their reasoning.

The argument has superficial plausibility… until one understands the nature of the legislation and the underlying rationales.

First of all, any alert reader of this code will observe that the vast majority of the things prohibited fall into two categories: 1) timeless proscriptions of immoral behaviors that are still repugnant to the conscience of decent people the world over (including homosexuality) and 2) situationally inappropriate practices outlawed because they carried in that era idolatrous connotations. Any of them that might strike us today as peculiar or silly were all very sensible in terms of Israel’s cultural context and divine mission. In short, some holiness ordinances were situational and some were timeless moral prescriptions.

Many practices of the former kind (i.e., situationally inappropriate) scholars are familiar with and can explain the religious function they served. Others however we are still in the dark about. In that category fall the proscriptions of Leviticus 19:19 and similar ones reiterated in Deuteronomy 22:9-11. Their rationale is uncertain. It may eventually turn out that practices of this kind were connected, like others we know about, to obscure pagan customs and were therefore declared verboten.

That makes sense. If argyle socks take on idolatrous associations in our culture, then it would be appropriate for Christians to wear other hosiery. We call it “sending a message.” However Christians 3000 years hence, without the benefit of a context, might find such a prohibition weird. So gay mockery of Leviticus 19:19 is wildly premature and presumptuous.

Another theory with respect to these specific injunctions in 19:19 would discover in these statutes an implicit indictment of unnatural things like homosexuality. And that theory, I suspect, is the more probable rationale for them. It is that suggested in a footnote on Deuteronomy 22:9-11 in The New Oxford Annotated Bible, p. 246 where similar codes are found. Such statutes where intended to underscore differences God had built into the order of creation. These regulations were a form of legal pedagogy designed to impress on the Israelites that God had created differences, set boundaries in the natural order that ought to be respected. Even if some were arbitrary, they still served notice that God has established lines that ought not be crossed and helped sensitize the nation to those limits.

We see similar laws in Israel’s religious rituals. Emphasis on external uncleanness conditioned Israel’s conscience for the idea of inward holiness. It was form of pedagogy not unlike what one sees in military discipline where soldiers are subjected to arbitrary rules and regulations which have no timeless value, but do serve to inculcate the kind of mental discipline and obedience required of a soldier.

So the bottom line is this: if our theory is correct, the lesson about “differences” only reinforces the prohibition against homosexuality which, like bestiality, is contrary to the natural order, as even human anatomy and reproduction bear emphatic witness.

If our theory is wrong, however, it still doesn’t help the homosexual apologetic one iota, for all we have is a series of prohibitions, the cultural rationale of which is still obscure to us. We can’t dismiss the whole code as silly just because scholars in their present state of ignorance cannot establish the underlying reason for a few of its parts. From the knowledge we do possess, we know enough to be certain that whatever the rationale was, it made perfect sense in their situation and offers no relief to those who want to set aside Leviticus 19:19 and other OT passages which condemn the practice of homosexuality.

Another important point: the fact that some of Israel’s statutes applied only to conditions then extant, is no ground for writing off the rest as time-bound legal relics no longer of any moral force in modern society. Not all her laws were created equal in that respect.

Ritual and moral laws are found side by side.

How do we know which are timeless? It’s really rather simple. Follow the progress of revelation past its theocratic stage into birth of the Church and the apostolic era. Note what the Apostles bring forward and what is left behind.

Animal sacrifice is left behind, for example. It was just a form of ceremonial pedagogy. (Read Hebrews 9) Yet one indictment persists into the NT for sure—and loud and clear. The NT roundly condemns homosexual behavior. For example, Paul in Romans 1:26-27 cites the practice as one of the symptoms of on-going divine judgment on a race that refuses the light of revelation. God punishes sin with its own fruit—deeper sin. It takes the form of degrading passions and a depraved mind and homosexuality is one (by no means however the only one) of the sins which is most characteristic of that judicial action of God upon a race that loves darkness more than light.

The same apostle makes it crystal clear in 1 Corinthians 6:9 that practicing homosexuals (among others) must not deceive themselves; their lifestyles confirm their unregenerate and unrepentant state. Such will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

That he does not include in that category repentant homosexuals is obvious from verse 11:

“Such were some of you; but you are washed… sanctified…justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ…”

God welcomes repentant sinners of all kinds, including homosexuals, into His family.

With that note let me clarify in closing our Christian attitude about homosexuals.

Historic Christianity acknowledges the Scripture as the supreme court on issues of faith and practice. We believe in God and in the reality of divine revelation. The one repository of special or propositional revelation, we believe, is the Scriptures. Whatever they teach, we believe God teaches. The only outstanding question is what do they really teach? Whatever that is, that is binding upon the minds and consciences of all men.

We are convinced that beyond any reasonable question the Bible condemns, among other evils, homosexual behavior repeatedly and emphatically. The Christian therefore is obliged to make the call as God calls it. God is love and it is of the essence of love to loathe evil. Any posturing about love that winks at what God calls evil is just that—posturing. No one loves without loving what is good and hating what is evil.

Homosexuality is evil. It destroys those who practice it and it breaks down those boundaries that God has created for the good of society. It is personally and socially destructive. So without apology we condemn it and hate it…just as we hate adultery, thievery, promiscuity, lying, etc. We do not however hate the sinner just as good parents love their wayward children, but hate the reprehensible things they do. So too, God loves the sinner, but hates the sin. He judged the sin at the Cross, yet at the very same time His grace provided a way for forgiveness and salvation.

That is our message for the homosexual. They (as we once were) are lost in sin and need God’s pardon through Jesus Christ who died for their sins and stands ready to receive those who will in faith repent and turn to Him for salvation.

Nothing is asked of the homosexual that isn’t also required of us. We too were sinners in rebellion against God… each of us in our own way. Some among us were once homosexuals, murderers, thieves, drug dealers, adulterers, etc. The church is a congregation of forgiven sinners endowed with new life in Christ.

One day we all had to admit that there was none righteous, no, not one. From the pastor on down we had to come to terms with our sin and call a spade a spade. We came to the Cross, so to speak, with the whole messy bag of our sins and threw them down at the feet of the Savior who died to atone for our sins. In faith we asked for His forgiveness and in return He extended to us a complete pardon and unqualified acceptance.

We don’t want to keep the homosexual out; we want to invite them in to join us at the foot of the Cross where they will ask for and receive the same forgiveness we applied for. We want them to share with us the same Savior, the same pardon, the same freedom of the power of sin, the same fellowship of the Spirit and the same future with Christ in presence of God.

The sticking point in the case of homosexuals is that they more vehemently deny their sin than almost any other class. Yet their shrill, methinks-the-lady-doeth-protest-too-much” rage betrays their heavy sense of guilt.

Their fury tells on them like nothing else.

Yet we cannot and must not pander to their sensitivities. For there is no way homosexuals (or murderers or thieves or liars or adulterers or any other sinner) can find God apart from acknowledgment of their guilt. That is why we press the issue of repentance so hard. Many homosexuals still want God, but like ancient Israel, they want to have a relationship with Him on their own self-righteous terms. It won’t fly. It’s God’s way or no way… the narrow way… the way of repentance and the way of faith in Christ.

If that’s intolerance, it’s a Godly kind and we own up to it. If seeking out sinners and inviting them to repent and share in our own forgiveness and the fellowship of the people of God is hate, we cheerfully plead guilty. It is just love under another label in that case. May such “bigots” (if you call that bigotry) be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. If that’s bigotry, then Jesus and the apostles and prophets were world class bigots and we are proud to be numbered among them.

Homosexuality and the Fallacy of the Genetic Determinism Defense

In trying to gain acceptance of their perverse lifestyle and convince the public that their “problem” is not a problem, homosexuals have appealed to Science for exculpation and admission to moral acceptability in the public opinion. Armed with the premise that their homosexuality is a matter of genetic coding, and reinforced with their political clout in the media and the arts and entertainment, not to mention business and government, they have gone far to gaining their ends and framing the issues in their own faulty terms.

I want to speak only to what I call the “genetic bondage” aspect of the debate. I am neither a geneticist nor the son or friend of one. Nor have I studied genetics. So what qualifies me to speak to a subject that I know so little about? Logic … common sense. And I will confine my argument to that sphere—which I think is sufficient to explode any notion that a homosexuality lifestyle is genetically fixed and that to attempt to bend the tree against nature is unreasonable and probably an unhealthy imposition on the individual affected.

My line of argument will for the sake of argument assume that there is some genetic basis for homosexuality. In a precautionary way, I myself entertain suspicions about the validity of the premise. Why? It’s pretty simple. Do you implicitly trust the objectivity and the disinterestedness of the conclusions reached by the scientists on the payroll of tobacco companies? I certainly don’t. The same goes for ‘science’ practiced in behalf of other vested interests. I do not trust scientists with an agenda anymore than I trusted the impartiality of the O.J. Simpson jury or the sincerity of his defense team in their protest of his innocence. I think science and scientists are not above prostituting themselves for monetary gain, or tweaking the evidence or their methodology to maintain alignment with the canons of political correctness.

Who knows if the studies that support the genetic determinism theory are really valid? Who knows whether or not the scientists involved may not have been gay or their work urged by gays and their methodology tricked up a bit to support an agenda? I don’t say this happened. I just know it does happen and there is no group that would be more likely to make it happen than gays whom, I believe, will perpetrate any intellectual fraud necessary to advance their cause. So before I would ever subscribe to the premise I have stipulated for the sake of argument, I for one would have to have better assurance than I possess about the integrity of the personnel and the methodology involved.

Even if that were established beyond any reasonable doubt, there is another question that any thoughtful layman would ask: Is genetic coding malleable? This is, can exogenous factors ‘impose’ change upon genetics and reprogram them? I think I read a discussion about this in one of the news magazines a few years ago and there was, if I recall, some evidence of genetic adaptability to outside influences. Though I do not subscribe to the evolutionary hypothesis at the macro level, the whole theory presupposes genetic mutation, does it not? Is it possible that genetic programming may in some cases follow or be the consequence of behaviors? I mean, we can cause a tree to grow contrary to its original bent by external conditioning, can’t we?

Again, I confess I don’t really know the answer.

I suspect however this is perhaps an issue that geneticists may not know for sure themselves. If so, it’s back to square one.

But let me tell you what I do know. All human being are ‘wired’ up in such a way that they are predisposed to do what the Bible calls evil rather than good. Let a child alone and it will go bad on auto pilot. I personally—like everyone else—have inherited genes that predispose me, just as they disposed some of my relatives in the same gene pool—to certain family excesses. If I let nature have its way, I could have been Rambo (not to mention other things). By the grace of God I am not what my genes set me up to be and occasionally beg me to be.

The fact is genes do not predetermine our conduct. Yes, they may predispose us in certain directions, but in the moral area anyway, there is a genetic override in the will. As moral free agents, we are obliged to recognize through the conscience what is right and wrong and deny genetic predisposition its wants.

So there is no determinism. Disposition perhaps, not determinism. If it were otherwise, then it would be impossible for a genetically determined individual to change. Yet many do—and happily so. Gays would like to hide this fact (or deny it all together), but that is a fact, as some of know very well. One unaccounted for exception raises questions. Many are the death of a theory. The fact is there are many, many fugitives from the homosexual lifestyle.

Besides, how do we explain heterosexuals who at some points experiment with homosexuality and go both ways or become gays altogether? Did genetics have some sort of delay mechanism or is the whole premise just propaganda disguised as scientific?

Why I am Posting This (Long) Paper

As your pastor I feel the pressure always to try to keep on top of what is going on ‘out there,’ to not live in an intellectual cocoon, but to be more or less on top issues (moral, social, political) that have a bearing on our Christian life, witness, mission and worldview. Some things I have addressed before, but changing times and circumstances move me to think it is time for a re-run to make sure our people, if they are not already, are informed.

For example, an interest behind and driving so many of these political far left issues, including the BLM movement, is, of all things, the quest for unbounded sexual ‘freedom.” I call it the desire for sexual anarchy.

Several decades ago, when I was reading Paul Johnson, British historian (Intellectuals), it dawned on me. Virtually every modern figure he sketched in that wonderful work, though it was not his intention to call attention to this fact, was behind the scenes a sexual deviate. Then it hit me forcefully: whatever these folks are widely known for and are supposed to be all about, disguises the fact that underneath, almost to a person (as I recall), they were sexually twisted and driven.

In the decades since nothing has changed that perception. Even this BLM movement, when one reads their formal statement of purpose, (which I have) is not really about saving black lives. Actually, the movement is pretty much a cover for their Marxist philosophy and their broader agenda is dismantling all our traditional norms related to the nuclear family and sexual boundaries. What these folks say publicly is one thing; what their agenda is privately is to tear down those traditional norms, which of course were derived from a biblical worldview.

The only other person I know of who also made this connection was the late D. James Kennedy. That link gets overlooked regularly, so it is so important to understand it as a significant root of all the turmoil taking place today.

Of course, when we talk about the drive and pressure to create space for sexual anarchy (complete freedom from all boundaries, biblical or otherwise), it evokes the determination to morally normalize the practice of homosexuality (and putting God’s Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on the whole alphabet of sexual perversities).

And in the process, knowing that our Christian worldview stands out like the Empire State Building in opposition to that whole deviant lifestyle, they then go into Scripture twisting mode to make it appear (to the ignorant and those just wanting an excuse to buy their propaganda) that actually the supposed biblical testimony against this sin is either sketchy or distorted. And the confusion begins.

Recently a lady told me that she has heard comments that homosexuality is only mentioned “in one place in the Bible,” as if only one condemnation lessens its moral force. However, that statement is flat out wrong. Then you will hear that the sin of Sodom was not homosexuality at all, but inhospitality! Oh, my goodness. And the favorite, the claim of genetic determinism or “God made me this way!” Evidently, God’s words and works were not on the same page.

So, if you want to know the impetus for me posting this particular paper, there you have the context. I will not allow this sort of deceit to go uncontested, at least in our church. So many pastors and churches are giving in, afraid of the backlash, wanting to conform to the cultural drift and avoid getting marginalized and seen as social pariahs. To cave and live outside the boundaries to the truth is the surest way to irrelevance and extinction that I know.

Read The Bible and Homosexuals: Rescuing the Biblical Teaching from Gay Propaganda.

Jim Andrews
Senior Pastor

Something You May Have Heard: A Rebuttal

These days the fault lines between self-identifying ‘evangelical Christians’ are showing up like crazy. I for one am glad. Whatever serves to differentiate between the players and pretenders is always welcome to me.

There is a layer of these folks under our banner who resist taking stands that may bring down on themselves a backlash from friends and neighbors, colleagues and associates. So, they mince and dance, shuck and jive. They like to present as sophisticates and distance themselves from those they blow off as knee-jerk, Bible thumping ‘right wingers’ who wave the flag in one hand and their faith in the other. They do whatever they can to come across as thoughtful ‘upper crust’ evangelicals who are likeable and culturally malleable and, ah, yes, relevant.

To put all that in more concrete terms, these folks in my sights will typically downplay the lightening rod issues among traditional evangelicals and jump on the bandwagons and mantras of the political left wing. They wince, for example, when we get all wound up about the barbarity of abortion, or the normalizing of homosexuality (and other sexual perversions), and runaway feminism in the home and the churches, etc.

They kind of want to change the subjects. To their minds there are bigger fish to fry. That stuff I mentioned is all stale dated. Time to move on. The culture has passed us by. Time to talk about social justice (about which they seem to be clueless).

You will hear them justify their moral indifference quite often by explaining that “I don’t want to be defined as a one-issue person.” In other words, all issues are created equal or relatively so and I can’t let my opposition to one neutralize me with respect to all the others.”

That stance is what I most want to address, especially as a Christian.

That position, in my opinion, is both irrational and also hypocritical. The first I know; the second I suspect.

Imagine believers in the days of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, Jews being gassed or otherwise murdered or worked to death by the millions. The believers ‘next door’ know very well what is going on. If asked they may say they find the holocaust objectionable, but as the Big Issue in the case of the Nazi regime they wave it off as just one German issue among many. After all, when Hitler rose to power there was the German economy which was in the dumpster and German pride was in the pooper. This Jew thing was just one issue among many others, so they inform us, they don’t want their political personality to be defined by a single issue. Those ovens were not that big, all things considered.

I don’t know about you, and I think that analogy is fair, I would not take that believer seriously as a moral being. The fact that they could ‘level’ the Holocaust with those other issues would thoroughly discredit their Christian profession, smack of deep hypocrisy, and cause me to question their social and political courage.

That is exactly the way it strikes me whenever I hear someone say, I don’t think we should let ourselves be defined by a single issue (when the abortion industry is taking more lives than the Nazis). What are these people thinking? Has this country been complicit in child murder so long that our consciences are now numb to it and we manage to convince ourselves it is only one issue among so many other important ones?

Sometimes in the political world it could indeed be the case that there are multiple issues, many of them rising to critical importance. Sometimes, like the Civil War days, other issues pale in moral importance compared to others. Only the politically naïve would fail to grasp that.

In the days of the Civil War, who could miss the fact that abolition of slavery and preserving the union transcended all others? Who would have had any intellectual or moral credibility that protested that they did not want to be a one-issue voter? Can you even imagine that?

William Wilberforce of England is one of the great names in the history of the abolition of slavery. If ever there was a one-issue man it was Wilberforce in his singular passion to stop English slave trading. He had many powerful opponents, but today he stands out like the sun as a bright and shining moral leader.

Do you see how ridiculous that excuse sounds?

I said it was hypocritical. That is because it has always been harder for me to believe that people are frankly, just that stupid than to believe they are just being hypocritical. Honestly. That rationale just hides the fact that these folks have just come to the point where to tell the truth their consciences are just not all that moved by the horror of these abortion mills.

Besides, it appears to me they so crave the approval of a certain set of people that they will not risk getting kicked out of the club, so to speak, by taking a contrary position. Such is their need to belong.

Who are they fooling? Not me and certainly not God. They can say what they want. They can protest against being ‘judged’. Their actions speak for themselves. They are dancing with the devil.

Oh, could I forget? Please explain, those of you who are so sensitive about getting hung up on a single issue (like abortion), why you are so prone to get hung up on single issues like social justice or climate change?

Ironic, isn’t it?

Jim Andrews
Senior Pastor

How to Vote

In my opinion this upcoming election cycle is the most fateful in American history, at least in my lifetime. I would not presume to tell my congregants whom to vote for but will simply confine my counsel to how to vote.

In view of the upcoming elections, and some issues and potential outcomes that have a direct bearing on public welfare and in which our Christian faith and biblical values have a momentous stake, let me first urge all of you as citizens to exercise your constitutional privilege and duty to vote.

Secondly, let me admonish all of you on all occasions to vote as Christians rather than partisans of any political party. Frankly neither party can be trusted with our Christian conscience and values. Both parties and most politicians of any stripe love power more than they love principle.

Let us not be naÏve about this, but understand that when push comes to shove, few politicians will sacrifice the power and prestige of high office to the thankless service of noble principles and sound morals.

As Christians, our primary loyalty is neither to country nor to party. Our first allegiance is to Christ&mdsh;to His will and His ways. So, when we come to the polls, we are obliged at all times to vote as Christians, wherever that takes us. Vote for whomever—Democrat, Republican or independent candidate—you believe is most sympathetic with and supportive of a Christian worldview. Vote for whomever or whatever measures are most compatible with our Christian convictions and values.

That is crucial. To betray our faith at the polls is to dishonor God and a disservice to the work of Christ in this society.

As your pastor and spiritual leader, I remind you that in this election as in no other in my memory, the very moral (and political) foundations of this country are threatened, directly or indirectly. If we as Christians knowingly support measures or endorse candidates who espouse ideas and champion causes that run diametrically counter to our biblical worldview and would subvert all that Christ stands for, I can only say, we will give account to God and we will richly deserve the awful demise I fear awaits our country in the 21st century short of a national revival.

Jim Andrews
Senior Pastor

Peace that Passes Understanding

There for the Taking—God’s Way

A non-believing man who just recently lost several members of his family in an Idaho plane crash stopped by our church office this week, saying he was just looking for “peace.”

How could anyone find peace in the wake of such a tragedy? And if by ‘peace’ one means finding some sort of panacea that will cause all that pain and sorrow to evaporate from the soul like a heavy morning fog, well, that’s not going to happen. Such relief, if it ever comes, takes a long time. For many who have been through such trauma, the pain and the hurt survives long after the public memory of the disaster has dissipated. It clings to the tender emotions like sticky tree sap.

Yet, there is a peace that passes understanding, (Philippians 4:7) a peace that strangely calms the soul when the heart is broken, when the emotions are in turmoil, when it seems that life can never be ‘good’ again. It is one of those things that cannot really be fully explained; it just has to be experienced.

Haven’t we sometimes marveled as we see some horrific disaster scene on our TV screens, perhaps in the wake of a dreadful earthquake or an F5 tornado or an epic hurricane (like Katrina) that just wiped out everything in its path, leaving every physical thing in its path in a terrible tangle and jumble, yet standing there before a camera is a very grateful family that has lost everything to their name, thanking God just the same for sparing their lives?

“Things can be replaced, but there is no replacing one another! We are just so happy to have one another.”

How in the world are they able to have that relative peace when literally everything they owned is in pieces? How are they able to be so composed and poised when everything that belonged to them is shattered and scattered from here to kingdom come?

To me It is remarkable how often these who are the tranquil ‘protagonists’ in such disaster dramas turn out to be fellow believers. Just when reporters on the scene might expect storm-scarred victims to be railing at God, or barking for climate change, here they are standing in the midst of death and destruction giving thanks to God.

As one who has experienced my own share of peace-shattering ‘heavy lifting’ in the painful corridors of life, I well know that paradox of peace when all Hell seems to be breaking loose about me.

Before I explain this irony, let me make an observation. In what I will call this ‘day of rage’ in our society, all this festering anger, all this hate spewing in our streets, all this seething, implacable sense of victimization, all this frightening blood lust surging in our cities is just symptomatic of one root problem—estrangement from God, our Creator, and the tortured or blunted consciences that stem from that.

All these virulent ‘viruses’ boiling up around us are just symptoms, whatever their superficial excuses, of restless hearts that just keep casting up mire and dirt from within. For there is no peace for the wicked (the person alienated from God). (Isaiah 57:20-21)

No peace or quiet in their soul space. Just an inescapable sense of strange and unshakeable bondage that the victims attribute to all the wrong sources. For some reason they are un-free within. They are forever resenting and railing at this person or group as the cause of their ‘oppression’ when the real cause is elsewhere. Unbeknownst to them, they are really in bondage to the Evil One, to sin and the flesh. That’s because the life-giving ‘umbilical’ cord between them and their Creator was severed when our original parents revolted against their Creator.

Ever since, no peace. No hope. No help. All on their own on this island called Life and often mad at the world, or maybe, just mad, like insane, because this estrangement from God and His resources is tearing them apart from the inside out 1000 ways from Sunday.

I have been talking about the extreme cases. But the soul sickness, though not asymptomatic, affects everybody who has not found his or her way back to their Creator-Redeemer. At best, no matter how comfortable, successful, or privileged a person might be, there remains a vague sense of dis-ease in their trek through this life, a sense that something is missing, a sense that it shouldn’t be this way, a sense of having it all—or at least a lot of whatever most people are looking for—and yet, there is a gnawing emptiness amid all the fulness, a sense of desperation that most find ways to cleverly mask so that others in their circles will not discover their sense of lostness.

You see, there just is no peace for the wicked (rebels against their Creator, unhappy wanderers from God). The soul is never peaceful until it finds its rest in God. Their hearts just keep churning up mire and dirt inside and in the more extreme cases, outside, making others as miserable as they are themselves.

The fundamental trouble (this lack of internal peace—soul peace) is cosmic, universal, and timeless. People everywhere, down through time, of every language, tribe, nation and culture, just keep flopping around like fish out of water, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, century after century, running around in this direction or that, up this blind alley or another, pursuing this object or that, wearing themselves out, chasing rainbows of vain hopes in all the wrong places. Sometimes they do gain their ‘prize’ and find temporary joy, but like the morning dew on a sunny day, it all has this very familiar way of going away. Lasting peace eludes the most persistent, like grasping smoke.

The futility of the human quest for peace is written all over the face of human history. And that story, as has been noted before, is in great measure, a narrative of man’s inhumanity to man, all in a mad effort to finally achieve peace and prosperity by suppressing and oppressing others standing in their way or who may help them have their way. Human history is just one long trail of blood and injustice seasoned with some noble, failed efforts to arrest it and bring about peace on earth and good will among men by our own heroic efforts.

What is going on in our country today is just a microcosm of human history. Our little drama will play out no differently than all those that have gone before us-another sad cycle of human triumph (for one party or the other) followed by human tragedy. Reset, repeat ad nauseam. We ain’t gonna git there the way we keep goin.’ Finding peace, internal or external, is like chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Not happening.

To understand the human predicament on the peace thing, one must understand (hey, breaking news!) the past to get his head around the present. And, I should add, be willing to accept the truth (about the past) rather than keep trying to float our boats on false narratives made up in human imagination to escape reality.

Maybe you have heard it before, then maybe not. But there is the gist—straight from the Bible.

Mankind was created by God (sorry, Darwin, your theory never held water) and for God. At the threshold of human history, our first parents revolted against God’s solitary ‘test’ commandment. That act introduced ‘sin’ (transgression) in the life of our progenitors. That rebellion corrupted human nature from that day to this.

The pre-announced penalty God imposed was death. First, death in the form of separation from fellowship with God our Creator. From the life of God, which is eternal. Second, that death sentence included gradual dissolution of the union between the body and the soul—death in its normal street sense.

All together the toll of that rebellion against our Creator ramified horribly.

Suddenly, like a violent cloudburst in the soul, that original disharmony exploded in four directions. And today all that disharmony reverberates in all the descendants of our original parents. That event explains (nothing else explains it) why there is no native peace in any human soul. It explains why every person coming into this world is to one degree or another ‘disturbed,’ not fully at home in his or her own skin—at least not for long.

That resultant disharmony, like a bomb busting in air, exploded in four human dysfunctionalities.

As already mentioned, it disrupted our connection with God, that is, caused (spiritual dysfunction). In short, we were separated from our life Source.

Two, it created social dysfunction. Because all were corrupted with sin, our fall not only disturbed our relationship with God, but created some social disharmony. Even in the best of human community, we still manage to rub one another the wrong way, get on the other’s nerves and regularly manage to hurt and hate one another. That reflects an inherent sin nature (prone to do the wrong things), a product of the Fall.

Three, the fallout created psychological dysfunction. Who has it all together? Who enjoys perfect harmony within? Why are psychiatry and psychology growth industries? Why are people of all classes popping pills like kids popping firecrackers on the fourth of July? Why so many suicides? So many long faces? So many people with dead eyes? So many running around in bizarre get ups, crazy hair, tats up the gazoo, everything about their aspect fairly shouting, “I can’t stand myself! or you either!”

Finally, it created environmental dysfunction. We just can’t keep the balance. We abuse, misuse it with abandon or in reaction, some want to so restrict it that nature cannot be our friend.

Estranged from our Creator, estranged from others, estranged from ourselves, estranged from our environment. All because the intrusion of human sin and rebellion into the original mix that God pronounced “Good!” We messed it up. And ever since the human race has been messed up.

Peace shot to the wind. Peace, peace, there is no peace for the wicked, says the Lord. There can be no peace until the soul finds its rest in God. And that will never happen until a soul admits the underlying problem, repents of its rebellion, casts itself upon the mercy and grace of God for His forgiveness in

Christ Jesus.

In the wake of the introduction of sin into the world that God had perfectly created, God imposed a curse as part of human punishment, a kind of wobble in the wheel of nature, that, despite retaining in His mercy its provident character, introduced a wild and threatening side with which humanity wrestles universally. In short, it is a struggle to live on this beautiful planet where initially it was not. Paradise was lost.

At all those levels sin messed us up and stresses us out in so many ways. And we see it playing out in every sector of life every day. Bottom line, this is for mankind a world where there is no peace in the heart of human beings. There is no peace for people alienated from God, for people who reject the one way of reconciliation with God.

Universally, the human race is a restless hill of ants. People are falling over top of one another trying to find the latest and greatest new thing to fill the void in their souls.

Yet peace remains elusive. Some in desperation try the whole cafeteria of human substitute religions, but all are like fake news. All talk, no truth.

If you want peace, that connection with God must be re-established. You can’t hotwire it. You must stop seeking it in your own ways, in your own venues, on your own terms.

Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes unto the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

If you want peace, you must lay aside your human pride and come on your knees (in spirt), humbly bowing before your Creator and Redeemer, confessing that you too are a fallen sinner, trusting His word that by God’s grace we are saved through faith in Him alone, not on the basis of any human merit or proud works. Ephesians 2:8-9

Then and only then will you find peace for your soul. “These things (which Jesus had just taught His disciples) I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

“Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him has received the forgiveness of sins.” Acts 10:43

Peace begins with peace with God. Peace with God begins with reconciliation with God. And that happens only when by faith one receives His Son, Jesus, as Savior and Lord.

Peace that passes understanding is there for the taking—God’s way.

Jim Andrews
Senior Pastor

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