More on the Shorter Controversy…

Following this debate and finding more and more verbal assault against Shorter University’s governing body, my mind and heart continue to be stirred. Much of my reaction results from the unease I’ve felt for a very long time concerning Biblical Truth as it is aligned against the wisdom of this world.

The issue of homosexuality is of great concern to me and has been for many years. I’ve had classmates and coworkers who were homosexual over the course of my life and considered them friends. I’ve loved them dearly and had only the best hopes and wishes for their lives. They are people, just like you and me, only with different desires. Now, these are not individuals who I simply tolerated. They were friends, and as a result of the friendship, they shared with me their own thoughts and feelings, life experiences, etc., concerning their homosexuality.

My heart sorrowed for some as they shared their struggles to “overcome” their desires, prayed God would remove the desire and free them from what they believed to be sin. Oh, what a weighty and burdensome thing, if you believe your desires are sinful and yet they remain and buffet your flesh day in and day out! How this caused my own heart to ache as I listened to one I loved as if of my own flesh and blood share something so deep and personal and clearly agonizing to him/her.

So this issue, through loved ones, is personal to me. I don’t take lightly anyone’s experiences as I know, “it could be me.” Yet, as one who believes the Bible to be holy and inerrant, I am bound to what it teaches when it is comfortable to believe and when it is not. As pained, young eyes looked to me for answers, I was asked, “am I to live alone, to never act on my desires for the rest of my life?” Tears filled my eyes and fullness of compassion flooded my heart. I answered, “with only the wisdom of this world, my answer to you would be cruel, but I happen to truly believe that there is One who sticks closer than a brother, who will walk beside you as you honor Him and will fill you with a joy unparalleled by anything this world or it’s pleasures can give.” That is my answer because I believe…I believe.

Romans 1:22-27 “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Where God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves; Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseeemly and receiving for themselves that recompence of their error…”

Now…I continue to hear men and women argue that they were “born homosexual.” I want to be completely honest about the fact that I was born with a sin nature. I do not have homosexual desires, but
I have heterosexual desires that were apparent early on. A person “born” with heterosexual or homosexual yearnings are all in this world bearing a sin nature and will contend with that nature until death. Some individuals will honor the Biblical teaching to abstain from sexual engagement outside of marriage and others will not. This choice is not made based on biology. I will never argue with a person about their desires. I get it that we may have desires that we would rather not have because I, too, have many desires I not only wish I didn’t have, I truly hate. So, the issue in my estimation is not about the desire but is about the behavioral choice.

According to scriptures, we are no longer bound by our sin once we are freed by Jesus’ work on the cross that is applied to us upon our surrender to Him. Entering into relationship with Jesus does not take away our sin nature, but it does give us power over it through His Spirit. Romans 8:3-10 “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”

The scriptures make clear that once we are in Christ our sin nature, physical or fleshly desires, are no longer to rule our lives, our behaviors. All things in the life of a believer are to be measured against the scriptures so that we walk according to the Spirit of God and not according to the lusts of the flesh.

Somehow, it seems to me that homosexual behaviors are being excused or accepted because the desires for them are now believed to be inherent for some individuals. This is a natural progression for a society who has embraced sex outside of marriage as normal, healthy, and acceptable. I have not lived a perfect, sinless life. Far from it, I hate to admit, but I hope to never be guilty of leading others to believe that sin is anything less than sin. Truth is at stake and even when truth condemns me before God and all others, may I acknowledge and honor truth for what it is, repent, turn from it, and encourage others to abstain from what robs them of peace with God and the gifts and blessings that flow from a life of righteousness.

I realize what I’ve written is not popular and will be bashed with all manner of insult, yet my desire is that no one suffer the consequences of a life lived in sin against God. I’m at peace for myself, and need not share a word of this for any personal gain, but there is more. Others matter and I have seen the devastation for those who have been led astray, believed they would find “happiness” if they sought to gratify their fleshly desires only to find unending remorse.

I truly believe in a righteous loving God who sent His Son to free us from the bondage of sin and death. I believe the gifts of righteousness far outweigh the temporary pleasures of this world. I guess the relevance of any of this has to do with what we desire most. Yes, we have our flesh and this life here on earth that we live as temporary, earth bound creatures and if that is where we are rooted in our minds and hearts, then all of these “limitations” that are put on our flesh are paramount. But if we have the knowing in our souls of an eternity beyond this finite existence and our Spirit is one with the truth of God and HIs Son, then we are able to account for a wisdom that is beyond this world.

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5 Responses to More on the Shorter Controversy…

  1. Carol Garrett says:

    Well said, my friend.

  2. Chris Gidddens says:

    1 Corinthians 6:9 – 20

  3. jmsdlsilver says:

    Thank you for such an eloquent and Biblical explanation! Very well said…..

  4. Karen Elliott says:

    The compassion and wisdom found in this writing reflect the heart of God. Thank you for giving us a clearer more Christ like understanding of an issue that continues to press in from all sides.

  5. Cathy Blackstock says:

    Written with a great love for God and souls.

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