This article was authored by Cameron Fathauer on his blog, Dear Mr. Christian. You can find this at DearMrChristian.com. I received prior permission to repost here. If you want to follow him on Instagram you can find him @camizzle116
The Original Article can be found here.
B. Internal Issues
I plead with you to go get a Bible. If you don’t have one, Google’s got you covered. Nonetheless, I believe you would benefit, whether or not you agree with the Bible, by reading what us Christians are always quoting. To be your own person and use your God-given (or your evolutionary primordial soup) mind and reason to think through these heated issues, and to make a reasoned decision as to why you believe what you believe. To not be a hypocrite that calls other people “ignorant” when you yourself might have been ignorant of the ones you call ignorant. We are all people searching for answers. Let’s approach every position with humility and compassion, because we do not have a right to anything. In fact, we didn’t even choose to exist. Where did this idea of having a right to anything even come from then? It has all been given to us, be grateful. I know we live in a culture with fifteen seconds and 140 character attention spans (that is the sole reason Twitter was created). But I would challenge you also to read through this entire thing. Hear me out as another human being talking to another human being about—well—“being”! Here is my response to the Supreme Court Ruling from Friday. It is my attempt to biblically answer the issue of homosexuality, as well as respond to common arguments against Christians. I know there are tons of posts regarding this issue, and you probably have a “rainbow rash”, but I believe this will bless you. It is the longest blog I have written on my website, and frankly, it took the longest to write. I deleted, prayed, cried, got angry, and had to walk away a few times. But by God’s grace, here it is.
A. Before You Read This
If I believe God designed marriage to be between one man and one woman, why should I even bother arguing with something I do not believe in? I should focus on the issues relating to marriage God defined and designed. Kirk Cameron said it best in a recent article: “If the people sitting in the pews are fornicators and adulterers, the church will destroy marriages much more quickly than those outside the church”. We, the Church, need to give the same amount of energy we are giving to the “same-sex marriage” issue as we are to what we believe to be true marriage, because we all know the divorce rate in the American church is quite embarrassing. Let’s be sure we aren’t cleaning the outside of the cup before the inside (Matthew 23:25). The only reason I am responding to the court ruling is to adhere to First Peter 3:15, to “always be ready to give a defense for the hope that is in you”. This is my defense for what I believe, because I believe there are reasonable reasons to defend it.
C. What's Going On Exactly?
The banner-phrase “love wins” has swept social media Friday, June 26th, in the form of a hashtag: #LoveWins. The “love” part refers to the LGBT community and the “wins” part refers to the Supreme Court of the United States (#SCOTUS) legalizing homosexual marriage in all 50 states. The news of the Supreme Court’s ruling has flooded Facebook, teetered Twitter, and influxed Instagram in a way I’ve never seen before. There must be a crazy correlation between the number of tweets and the number of thoughts I have on this issue. Before I explain my main points, I need to make my beliefs explicitly clear for you.
D. My Belief's Based On Scripture
First and foremost, I cannot get you to do what I want you to do. I want you to be saved, I want you to know truth, I want you to have a new heart, and I don’t want you to spend eternity in hell. But I know that “salvation belongs to the Lord” (Ps. 3:8) and it is a gift from God, which means no man on this earth can earn it in and of himself (Ephesians 2:8). All of those things I desire can only happen by God’s grace, and I am pleading with God to have mercy on us. From this understanding, I present you the good news of the gospel.
Everyone knows and agrees something is wrong with this world. Whether it is the tornadoes, the tsunamis, or the “hate-speech” (which we all—ironically—hate), all of this tells us something is wrong with us. This is the reason we have so many religions and opinions. The reason I believe in the Bible is because it is the only way to have “reason”: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). Uniformity in nature (the fact that things will stay the same tomorrow, like gravity) can only exist if there is a uniform cause (an immutable, unchanging God). I believe the Bible to be the inspired (God-breathed), inerrant, and infallible (incapable of error) Word of God. HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT THE PROBLEM. The Bible tells us what the problem is: You and I. This point is pretty clear and hard to argue with when you think about the fact that we are the only creatures that wage war against one another and debate abstract issues. You won’t find a fish signing a Declaration of Independence from nearby bears. Human beings do that. The fish would be eaten by the time it finished finning “We the Fish”.
Again, we are the problem: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Everybody is in the same boat according to a biblical worldview.Everybody: This includes homosexuals, heterosexuals, transsexuals, bisexuals, you name it: You are a sinner according to the Word of God. Sin is such a problem it is causes all of your problems, as well as the world’s. Yet the worst part is, I believe sin is so catastrophic that it has eternally separated us from God. I believe we all deserve hell because none of us are “good enough” to dwell in the presence of a holy God (Psalm 14). But the thing is, hell is not the absence of God, hell is being in the presence of His righteous wrath (Revelation 14:9-10). On the other hand, Heaven is being in the presence of His grace.
This is fair because of the one you and I have sinned against. We have sinned against the eternal Creator God of the universe. Therefore, we deserve an eternal punishment. So you don’t believe you sin? Just think about all the thoughts you’ve had this past week. Imagine playing those thoughts on a big screen in front of all of your friends, bosses, and teammates. Yeah, it’s despicably disgusting. But here is the crazy good news: The one you’ve sinned countless times against is the one that offers salvation to you. An eternal Redeemer is our only hope for our eternal separation: Jesus Christ is that eternal redeemer. He is the righteousness, the holiness, the perfection you and I need to have in order to be with a righteous, holy, and perfect God, because He is God. Christ, the only one that has ever walked on this earth that did not deserve death, received it willingly. Christ, the only one that did not deserve the wrath of God, received it willingly. “For our sake he made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
He did this because He loves His people: Those that repent of their sins (turn away from it) and put their faith in Christ (John 3:16). He transforms their rebellious heart of stone, and gives them a moldable heart of flesh. A heart that is moldable to His perfection and righteousness, and desires to follow Him above all things. This heart no longer lives to please man but lives to please God. New desires are birthed so the person no longer loves the things he or she used to love, but hates those things because those things previously cursed the sinner and crucified the Savior. This entire salvation is for God’s glory in revealing His mercy and grace towards us sinners. For those that will not repent of their sins and believe in Christ, God will justly punish them to Hell on judgment day.
A key point that most people miss in this message is grace: Everyone thinks you need to “do this or that” to get to God. However, salvation is a gift. It is grace. It is unmerited mercy. Even your belief and faith in Christ is a gift from Him (Ephesians 2). Salvation is truly a miraculous work of God that brings all the glory to Himself. Therefore, Christians have no reason to boast about ANYTHING. The Apostle Paul makes it clear: “What do you have that you have not received? If then you receivedit, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). When God gives us a new heart, we no longer live in sin, but we hate it! We hate sin because it is what God hates. We hate sin because it is what separated us from God. We hate sin because it condemns us. We hate sin because it crucified our Savior. We love righteousness through obedience to Christ because we love Christ! We need to know our true identity as a sinner saved by grace; therefore, we love other sinners and desire them to receive God’s grace like we have. As the saying goes: “Christians are beggars, pointing other beggars, to where the bread is”.
Apart from Christ, everything you do is killing you as it drives you further from God: It is all vanity. Following Christ will cost you. It costs you to give up pornography, homosexuality, addiction, malice, deceit, or any other immorality. Dying to self (your sinful wants and wishes) might “kill” you temporality, but it will not “kill” you eternally. In fact, Jesus said it would save you: “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25).
E. Christians, Don't Be Shocked
Whether you approach this from a historical, biblical, cultural, or political view, the Supreme Court’s ruling is no surprise to most of us. Pastor and theologian R.C. Sproul said something that will bake your noodle:
“Am I surprised our country has legalized gay marriage? Of course not! We live in a country that has allowed billions of baby to be aborted for the past forty-two years.”
In other words, morality has gone out the window, and into the ethical trashcan. It is important to understand this: Sinners have only two options for their sin and guilt: (1) wash it with the blood of Jesus, or (2) have it legalized. Remember, we live in a fallen world, not a leaning world that just needs to be tipped upright. We are in the cesspool of sin without arms or legs to swim to the shore of righteousness and grace. We need a monergistic movement of mercy.
F. A Pride Problem
It appears as if our culture is always looking for something to take “pride” in. The scariest part is this: Pride is the cause of all sin. It is placing the creature over the Creator. Pride is making you, the individual, autonomous: Your law over His. It breaks me to admit this, but it is painstakingly true: Homosexuality is a prime example of human pride. Think about it. A man wanting another man, a woman wanting another woman, this is pure pride. It is mirrorism, rather than the divine complement of the opposite sex. It is me, wanting another me, because I love “me” that much.That hurts to say, because my pride is certainly greater than yours, homosexual or not. And see, right there, I just sounded prideful by saying I have more pride than you. But do you see what is happening? Read Romans chapter 1. It is a modern day prophecy. It is happening right before your eyes. It will have you saying: “Oh Lord, save us—from us!”
G. The Lack of a Standard: A Worldview Issue
The reason for our postmodern, nominal, and carnal culture is due to the abandonment of a standard. The effects are evident in recent news with Mr. Bruce Jenner’s mutilated “transgender” body on the cover of Vanity Fair Magazine, and the NAACP local leader Rachel Dolezal who claims to be black despite her biological lack of melanin. To comment real quick on the Bruce Jenner situation, it appears we have contradicted ourselves again as a society. Since when did gender become a relativistic “feeling”that society came up with, but marriage is now a fundamental birthright? When most people argue against the Christian, they get mad that Christians claims both gender and marriage as divine rights from God. Yet the culture is corruptly borrowing from the Christian worldview to defend something anti-Christian. We cannot pick and choose (as we will see). Regardless, these two examples are empirical proofs of our culture’s “debased mind” that Romans chapter one talks about. What’s up is down, and what’s down is up. America could be described in the way the Lord described Nineveh in the story of Jonah: “And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left?” (Jonah 4:11) Apart from a standard, why not legalize bestiality, or murder, or thievery, or you name the sin? If you abandon a God-ordained standard, why not allow those things? Who are you to talk? Who am I to stop you? (I’ll address that more in a bit).
Let me warn you, I am about to question the worldview of the culture. This means I am just asking for the hate mail and the blusterous bigotry tag. The thing is, the Christian worldview explains that too. It proclaims the way to Christ as narrow and hard, and few find it (Matthew 7:14). But again, those that do “find it” only find it because of God’s mercy and grace towards him or her. Nevertheless, here is the major issue: Apart from believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and the Bible as the inerrant, infallible, God-breathed Word, your worldview is always going to be a contradiction. Let me show you.
Here are the common tweets, critiques, and opinions you’ll get from our culture:
I. “I thought as Christians you guys are supposed to be loving and accepting of others, because God is love.”
To that I want to immediately respond by with a big fat “AMEN!” Yet when people use the “love card” against Christians, it tells you the depth of his or worldview almost immediately. The biggest issue I have with nonbelievers telling Christians to “love” is the fact that nonbelievers have absolutely no reasonable, logical, or philosophical basis for “love”. It is something only the Christian worldview has a basis for. Here’s why: The phrase “God is love” was originally coined by the Apostle John in the first century (1 John 4:8). Now the phrase has been secularly spent, spat, and splattered in response to any Christian that calls out sin. In this case, it is the sin of homosexuality. The Bible is clear that God did not create, nor does He desire any form of homosexuality (Romans 1, Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:8-10, Jude 7, and we cannot forget an entire city was destroyed because of this sin in Genesis 19).
Homosexuality, in all of its forms, appeared after The Fall of mankind in Genesis chapter three, just like any other sin. Therefore, if you profess to be a Christian, you cannot support something the Bible declares to be sin. For you to claim yourself to be a “Christian” or a “believer in God” and “accept” what the Bible declares to be sin, instead of humbling yourself in obedience, you are literally stepping into the shoes of a first century Roman solider, picking up a nail, and hammering it into the hand of the one you say you “love”. You have two options: (1) The Lord and Creator of you and this universe is your ultimate authority for every area of your life, or (2) You are the ultimate authority of your life. Either you place the Word of God sovereign over your life, or the word of your mouth. Christ left no room to choose. This is why He said, “You cannot serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). The standard of God never changes, because God never changes. However, the word of man can change in one vote, because it did.
For the Christian, love has been displayed by God and through God. It was not conjured up by the individual, but created by the Creator. Love has an eternal point of reference. Apart from an eternal point of reference, morality changes like our clothes. Therefore, because our love derives its essence, origin, and root from God, we ought to love the way He loves. To that statement, the secularists and the Christians can all say, “Amen!” But slow the reigns, we first have to know what God loves in order to love like Him. The Bible is clear that God loves righteousness because God Himself is righteousness: God loves what is of Him, He loves His holy nature, and all of those things that align with His holy nature. Therefore, God naturally hates whatever is not of His nature: Whatever is unholy, and whatever is unrighteous. God has made it explicitly clear that sin is the opposite of His nature. It is a direct rebellion against the holiness God has prescribed in His Word. For this reason, if you profess to be a “Christian”, a Christ follower, a “God first” kind of guy or gal, you ought to actually act like God--the one you claim to follow. This can only happen by God’s grace, but the point remains: If you adhere to the “God is love” view, you must love the way God actually loves. Ironically, 1 John makes a note on this kind of love: “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Adding on, if you believe there is something wrong with the world, then you must hate what makes this world “wrong”, not “accept” it. For instance, I love children. Therefore, I hate abortion. Another example is, I love and respect women. Therefore, I hate human trafficking. We are going to hate the things that destroy the things we love. In this case, God loves marriage. Therefore, he hates anything that profanes his view of marriage. In addition, when people claim the Bible is irrelevant and verses are pulled out to prove a point apart from context. That entire letter by the apostle John (1 John), the one that says, “God is love”, presses the point that Christians are not to remain in sin. In fact, right after John says, “love one another,” he says, “Whoever keeps His commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us” (1 John 3:24). True love is obeying the one you love at all costs. Similar to what the Lord said to Joshua: “Choose whom this day you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). Choose whom this day you will love more: God or man, because only God, the author of love, gives you a reason and a “what” to love.
II. "But I feel as if..."
he Bible talks positively about a lot of things, but your “feelings” are not one of them. In fact, instead of “loving yourself” and “listening to your heart”, Jesus tells us to hate ourselves and love Him (John 12:25), because again we are the problem, and the heart is deceitfully wicked above all things (Jeremiah 17:9). The only reason and worldview basis the nonbeliever has to “love others” is because he or she “feels” like it. The Apostle Paul warns the church at Colossae to not be influenced by those that are “puffed up without reason” by their “sensuous mind” (Colossians 2:18). What if I wake up “feeling” like the “right thing to do” is to murder those that disagree with me? Call me Osama. What if I “feel” like a certain race should be superior? Call me Hitler. What if I “feel” like someone else’s understanding of their sexual orientation is wrong? Call me bigoted. And rightfully so, to all of those things! If I base my actions off of my “feelings” then I fit the description of those titles. The thing is, “feelings” are not arguments: They are “feelings”. They sway to and fro like palm trees in a hurricane. In other words, they have no consistent authority.
We are all trapped inside of the same moral box. We all have our own “feelings”, opinions, and beliefs about how things should be within this box. The question is this: What authority do those inside of the box have over others inside the box? None. In other words, in order to have an authority within this moral conundrum, we must have someone outside of the box, and that would be God, the Creator of the box and its contents. This is one reason why the Bible has to be what it claims to be: The Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). Otherwise, everything I am telling you is irrelevant, and completely from another moral-box dweller like the next guy. Here is an interesting thing to think about: We are the only ones that question our purpose in this life. You won’t find a squirrel pondering his purpose. He is too busy burying nuts for the winter. The very act of questioning one’s purpose in a purposed world implies we have a disconnection from the Creator: Reconnect through Christ.
III. “Why can’t you just live and let live? If the people are happy, that’s all that matters in life!”
In a fallen world, life is not about happiness. Do you think the U.S. soldiers were “happy” to storm the beaches of Normandy in World War II? They had all the odds against them, but they were doing what they believed to be right. If they hadn’t, you and I would be speaking German today. Or what about a couple that has been married for only three years and the wife develops cancer. Day in and day out the husband is cleaning up vomit, helping her get dressed, and working two jobs. He doesn’t do it because it makes him happy, he does it because he loves his wife and he made a promise with her: “In sickness and in health”. This culture would say: If he isn’t happy, he should just leave her. Three years isn’t even that long, there are new things ahead!” The Bible paints a different picture. It describes a life of joy, not of happiness. True love and true “happiness” is found in joy. Joy is built on an eternal pursuit of righteous living, is always going on, whether good or bad. It is a pursuit of true justice, not false feelings. Happiness is based on happenings, or what is going on. Happiness, like “feelings”, change more than gas prices. But joy is biblical. Joy sees life in way that is not about you, but about God: The Judge of them all, the one that will do justice. And since Christ is the eternal Creator (John 1), those that are in Christ have an eternal well of joy to draw from for all of life now, and all of life in heaven.
H. The Solution to our Confusion: God and His Word as The Standard
God has provided a solution to our confusion. Unlike every other religion that has some prophet or teacher telling you what “the way” is, and how it is “truth”, and how it leads to “life”, Christianity has God himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, coming to us and saying, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). I know that a gracious and merciful God has saved me. Because He has loved me, my greatest desire and purpose in this life is to honor and glorify Him by obeying Him, not because it makes me better than the next guy, but because I love Him. At the same time, I concur with the apostle Paul on the fact that I am the “chief of all sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). I deserve the name-calling, I deserve the hatred, and I deserve the death. For this reason, that stuff does not offend me, nor does it surprise me. What do I expect from my fellow sinners? Because Christ won for me, I am free to lose. When you pray “your will be done,” your will has to go. When you come to Christ, you come as an ungodly sinner deserving wrath. But when you come to Christ, unlike Karma, you get what you don’t deserve: Grace. Christ got what you deserved: Wrath.
I love you, my fellow sinner, too much to not warn you about the very thing causing your pain, causing your tears, and causing your death. Come to the one who says, “I am the resurrection. He who believes in me though he die, yet he shall live” (John 11:25), and the inevitable statistic that 10 out of 10 people die will quickly lose its sting. I know this message is offensive not only because of the way people respond to it, but because the Bible tells me to expect it: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense” (Romans 9:33a). The disbelief in Christ and the hatred of Christians is a fulfillment of this text and numerous others. But the last part of the verse is for the believers: “and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame” (Romans 9:33b). I am not trying to get you to change your behavior (homosexual or not), because I believe you cannot change your behavior. I am asking you, I am pleading with you, to recognize the fact that you are not good enough, and that you will never be good enough, but Christ has, is, and always will be, so surrender to Him. Repent of your sins and believe in Christ, and on Judgment Day, when all is made right, you will not be put to shame, but embraced by the arms of your Lord and Savior who will say: “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
I’ll conclude with this passage from Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-17 (ESV).
The first section is a warning to nonbelievers, sin supporters, and the unregenerate world that they are “lawless” (standard-less sinners):
"7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness."
But believers, and those that I believe might even believe for the first time after reading this, be encouraged:
13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
I would be willing to talk to anyone and everyone about this issue. If this post spoke to your heart in a good way or a bad way, let me know in the comments. If you really want to discuss things, do not hesitate e-mail me, but please, be respectful. Grace be with you all.
Posted and Written by Cameron Fathauer (Twitter: @camizzle116)
Photo source: http://hdwallpapers.cat/
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*All Biblical Texts Used Are of the English Standard Version*
About the Author
Brandon C. Hines is a young writer from somewhere in northern Alabama who writes about Theology, Polemics, and Apologetics. His beliefs are best summarized by the 1689 London Baptist Confession.
You can search for various topics I have written about by going to Google and typing in a keyword, then typing site:Learningthepath.weebly.com after it.