Thank you so much. So good to be here. Thank you for your kind invitation and letting me be here this morning. Really, really grateful for that. My name is Guy Hammond.
I am a Canadian evangelist and also the executive director of this organization you see here, Strength and Weakness Ministries. Organization, I started back in 2006. Really, I just thought at the time, we as a Church fellowship, really had no plan in place for us to be able to reach out to our gay friends and neighbors with the good news of Jesus.
And I thought we were also very deficient in our ability to be able to help Christians within our fellowship who were same sex attracted and dealing with that. But striving to live faithful lives for Jesus. I mean, there’s some unique nuances that come with being homosexually attracted while trying to follow Christ and follow the traditional biblical sexual ethic. And I thought we just don’t really have any place to help them either. So I started this Ministry, Strength and Weakness.
I wasn’t planning on it becoming very much, to be honest with you. At the time, back in 2006, when I started the Ministry and I just started a website and I thought, I don’t know, maybe we can help 20 or 30 people. I don’t know. Are there 20 or 30 same sex attracted Christians out there? I mean, I don’t know, I’ve never met another one before, but maybe we’ll get some. And of course, we found 30 in the first week.
And then within a month, we were past 100. And within a few months, we were past 1000. And the Ministry just got bigger and bigger and got to the point by 2012, I was ministering evangelist of a Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s East Coast. And while I was doing that, it’s just the Ministry just got so big that I just couldn’t any longer continue to Minister to a Church and do this strength and weakness gig.
So Kathy and I quit our jobs and we just started doing this full time. Except there was no support. There was no money. I quit my job. And so Kathy and I just thought, Well, you know what? I don’t know. It’s only money. God apparently has a lot of it. He’ll take care of it if it’s the Lord’s will. It’s the Lord’s bill. That’s how we felt.
So we just started going around to friends. And some chuches and going, hello we quit our jobs, Nobody else is talking about this stuff. We’re willing to. Can you help us out? And so for the last eight years, as Brian just said, Orlando has been one of the most consistent contributors to my organization than anyone else in our Brotherhood. And I just want to say thank you so much.
We just live on donations. That’s how we make it. Every year, you wait for a paycheck you never know. We’re going to get what we’re supposed to get or not. We live on donations.
So I even appreciate the ask for hey, for every member in the Church, the Church is already given $20. If you’re willing to match that or even do more than that, just go to strengththeweekness. Org and you can do that. We would be enormously grateful. But we are beneficiaries of your kindness.
And so I just want you to know how grateful I am for that. Of course, it’s terribly sad news. Tragic about Brandon. Brandon worked for my Ministry and was a huge part of my organization for a period of years helping Christian men and women who are dealing with transgender issues.
And he traveled with me around the world, spoke to thousands and thousands of people. His story was told. Your story and all that you did to bring him to Christ was told to tens of thousands of people all over the world. And he was a strong, courageous young man, one of the kindest, most generous human beings I’ve ever met in my life. And I really do believe that all that Brandon accomplished and the thousands of people that he spoke to and all the good that he did, none of that is erased.
All the good is still there. He helped change lives, and the Lord saw that the Lord recognizes that. And the Lord recognizes what you as a congregation did to bring Brandon to faith. Of course, we’re all responsible for our own choices. And there’s consequences to those choices.
When Brandon made the choice to go back and leave his faith and go back to the life he had been living before, Brian Santos and I spent weeks talking with him, and I even flew to Los Angeles to get with him one on one to beg and plead and try to reason with him. In one of our final conversations, which was only weeks ago, I told him, Brandon, I know you don’t believe this anymore. I know that you’ve left the faith and you may not even want to hear this, but I’m going to say it anyway.
You helped a lot of people, Brandon, and thank you for all you did on behalf of the Church and my little Ministry. I’m just enormously grateful.
And he was like, thanks, guy. Thank you. So heartbreaking. Yeah, but if anything, brothers and sisters, this should be a moment that wakes us, all of us up to take our spiritual lives seriously. This is not a game.
Satan plays for keeps, and this is serious stuff. So I’m so grateful that I’m able to be here today. The timing, in that sense, I guess, seems somewhat impeccable. This is not going to be your average Sunday lesson. If you want to hear a sermon that is multifaceted, controversial and countercultural, then this is the sermon to come to you because we’re going to talk about some tough stuff today, but that’s okay.
I’m sure we can handle it. Strength and Weakness Ministries that’s the Ministry that I started. Please check it out. Tons of information there. And really, as the Ministry has grown, as I said, we’re now helping thousands of people in over 80 countries around the world in three languages.
We now run strength and weakness in Spanish, English and Portuguese, and just a lot of stuff going on there. I have a support staff of twelve people, a team of twelve people helping me run the Ministry. And so please check us out. There probably a good place for us to start is just to talk really briefly, about what the Bible does say about homosexuality? Not a lot, actually.
We want to get five main scriptures, these are them. You can’t even really see them very well, can you? That’s okay. Open up your Bibles. You’ll see them in there. We get two in the Old Testament, three in the New Testament. We can add another scripture in there, genesis 19, if you want to talk about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. But the truth is, the Bible doesn’t talk a lot about it, but enough, certainly for us to understand what God’s intention is for human sexuality.
And I think that even though we only get five, there’s a couple of things we can learn there. Like number one, I think it’s important to recognize that God’s intention on human sexuality and specifically homosexuality comes from both Testaments, both the old and the new. It shows us a consistency how God felt about it in the old and the new. It didn’t change. It’s important to recognize these scriptures were written to highly different cultures, both the Roman and the Hebrew.
And it’s important to recognize these scriptures written 15 to 1700 years apart. Why is that important? Well, it’s important because today people will say, Well, Guy, I live in Orlando, and it’s 2021. Let me tell you something. The Bible has nothing to do with my life right now.
That book is old and archaic and out of touch. So can I really test what the Bible teaches on sexual ethics? Well, the fact that these scriptures on sexual ethics were written to highly different cultures written 1500 years apart. Yes, it does show us that. When the Apostle Paul wrote what he did in Romans, chapter one in first Corinthians, chapter six, in first Timothy, chapter one, 1500 years had gone past what Moses wrote in Leviticus and again, highly different cultures. What does this show us?
It just shows us that there are some issues biblically, that supersede common culture God felt about sexual ethics 3500 years ago is how God felt about sexual ethics 2000 years ago. And it’s still how God feels about sexual ethics in 2021 and if a thousand years from now if there are any humans still walking the earth provided that COVID doesn’t get us all it will still be how God feels about sexual ethics. It doesn’t change. I can tell you that certainly my understanding of Scripture is that God’s plan for sexual intimacy is that it be reserved between that of a man and a woman bound together only in marriage. Anything outside of that homosexual nature or heterosexual nature is not representative of what God intended for human sexuality. Not a popular message. I get it. I recognize a lot of people don’t like that response. As I said, it’s very countercultural. And the majority of people in our society would say that I would be insane to say such a thing. In fact, I will tell you, the Canadian government right now is about to pass legislation to make it illegal in Canada to say homosexuality is a sin. We expect that by the Spring.
And so the first fine is $8,000. The second fine is two years in jail. For me, even standing here and saying this in about six months in Canada would be illegal and I could go to jail for it. That’s our society and culture today, and you’re probably five years behind.
Here’s the thing. I recognize that even some of the things we’re going to talk about today, we’re going to talk about pro-gay theology. And this is not your typical Sunday sermon, but I recognize that you may not even agree with everything I’m going to say. And there’s several of you here today right now. You’re probably already disagreeing with me.
That’s okay. I’m so glad we’re having the conversation. So appreciate the faith and the courage. Marshall, Shaun and the eldership, the senior leadership here in Orlando that says, listen, we want to be relevant. We’re going to talk about the tough stuff.
We’re not going to shy away from it, and we’re going to deal with it. So I really appreciate that you may not agree with everything I’m going to say that’s. Okay. But here’s something I think we’ll all agree on is that every person needs to be treated with dignity, kindness and respect. Everybody, regardless of the response to Jesus, regardless of how, what they think of us, regardless of how they decide to live their lives. Every person needs to be treated with dignity, kindness and respect.
I would like to think we’re all going to agree there. So here’s our topic. I don’t have a lot of time, so I’m just going to get right into it. I do. Thank you.
Marshalls just said I had time. So for the next 2 hours, I’m going to really, I wouldn’t do that to you. Certainly wouldn’t do that to your Kingdom kids workers. Many have a difficult time understanding in our world today why the Bible condemns same sex relationships, especially between two consenting adults who have agreed to be in a monogamous relationship and be married, legally married.
And what about if they want to follow Jesus and be a Christian? Because the truth is, according to one Corinthians, chapter five, verse twelve, we’re not to judge those outside the Church, people who aren’t Christians, they can live wherever they want. I don’t think that’s our business. Now, if we’re going to have a spiritual conversation with an open Bible, we’ve got some answers and responses to that. But overall, the truth is, people are going to live how people are going to live, and God doesn’t force anybody to do anything. We want people to follow the Bible, but A lot of people don’t. But what about inside the Church? Why would it be sinful for two gay people who love Jesus, who are going to be monogamous and in a relationship with Jesus and in a relationship? Why would that be wrong? Well, can we just go ahead and start here?
Can we agree this morning that our conversation has nothing to do with God’s love for the LGBTQ plus community? Does God love gay and lesbian, transgender people? Of course he does. And so should every member of Jesus Church. Jesus Church needs to be a welcoming place for LGBTQ plus individuals to be able to come and learn what it means to be a follower of His.
And I know that your land of Church has worked so hard to be a safe and welcoming place for everybody, regardless of the choices that they’ve made. Can we also agree that our conversation has nothing to do but the freedom of choice that people have to live, how they want? Of course, again, we’re all free to make our choices. We’re not free to get our own consequences, but God doesn’t make us robots. So this discussion is not about whether God loves gay people.
Of course he does. And it’s not about whether or not we respect people’s freedom of choice. Well, if it’s not those things, what is our conversation about? The Church today is being challenged. We’re being challenged to revise our traditional understanding of sexual ethics and in particular, that of homosexuality. What is our response?
We have to have a response. As Christians, we are stewards of truth, and God has given us the responsibility to teach the truth in season and out of season when the message is popular and when it isn’t. And if what the word of God says determines our approach on any given issue, then when that is challenged, we need to be able to respond to where they’ve gone wrong or we have to change our view. I think one of the problems we’re facing in the Church today, brothers and sisters, let me say, is really alarming and concerning to me, it’s how easily so many of us are persuaded because of emotion and experiences and nice stories and things we see on Facebook and YouTube and social media rather than Scripture.
We allow culture and society and social media and our feelings to dictate our doctrine.
But Christians cannot make changes on biblical doctrine based on emotion, experience or stories or the Ooeygooey’s.
The authority of the Scriptures has to be paramount. If it’s not, what are we doing here? And what I hear all happening all too often are Christians making arguments to approve of homosexuality based on emotion and that’s happening in our churches. And I get it because we’re not just talking about doctrinal issues here. We’re talking about our friends and our family and people that we love and that we care about, and we want our gay family and friends to be able to enjoy romance and be able to be in a relationship with Jesus.
But we got to ask brothers and sisters, where is the examination of Scripture?
That’s our conversation. So trust me when I say that no one understands immense difficulties that homosexually attracted Christians face where every fiber of your being says, this is what you were created for, while at the same time your faith says this attraction is not compatible with its values. For me, certainly, the Bible stance on homosexuality has certainly been, at the very least an inconvenient truth. My story is one of caring the burdens of these desires for my same gender since my youth. I started participating in homosexuality, believe it or not, the tender age of twelve, I continued until I was in my mid 20s, and during that time I had a boyfriend for ten years. By the time I was in my early 20s, I started participating in a lot of anonymous sexual encounters with strangers. Of course, now you’re talking like early 1980s. Back then, there was no Internet, so I just had to know where to go.
I knew the parks, I knew the public bathrooms. By the time I was 24 years old, I had acted out hundreds of times with different men. I don’t even know the number. And I knew my life was in trouble, also afraid of dying of AIDS and everything else was going on and knew I needed help. But where was I going to go?
And of course, in God’s perfect timing. He sent somebody who invited me to Church, and I was skeptical. But I reasoned with myself, Guy, I got no place to go, man, Let’s go check this thing out. It’s called the Toronto Church of Christ, and I loved it.
But I was too embarrassed and ashamed to tell these people who I was. If I tell this guy who I am, he’s never going to let me back into this place again. So I lied for two years, two years I went to Church. Two years I built relationships with Christians. Two years I sang, and I did all this.
Two years. After two years, I couldn’t stand myself anymore, couldn’t stand the hypocrisy. And finally I just went to one of the ministers and said, all right, let me just tell you what’s really going on here. And after he picked up his jaw from the floor, he said, I’m going to help you. We studied the Bible and in a few weeks I was baptized.
And I can tell you I have not, I have not participated in any kind of homosexual activity since my conversion back in 1987. And one thing I never thought would happen is I would ever get married. When I became a Christian, I just thought, Well, I’ll be single for the rest of my life. I recognize according to what I see in Scripture, I can’t live a gay life so I have to be with a woman if I’m ever going to enjoy intimacy again.
And I thought, Well, I’ve never had a girlfriend before. I’ve never kissed a girl. I’ve never held the hand of a girl. I don’t like girls so I will probably never get married. I guess I’ll just be celibate for the rest of my life. Not my first choice. However I thought if Jesus can die for me, and I’m willing to do that. So, imagine my surprise when a few years later, I fell in love with a woman, and that was Kathy. And many of you got to meet her. And I raised a family, four kids, and ended up going into the full time Ministry.
And it’s amazing what God has done. But here’s the thing. I’m still attracted to men. I’m just as attractive to men today as the day I became a Christian 34 years ago. I don’t know why God works the way He does.
If I was God, I would do things very differently, quite honestly. But I don’t know, I’m still attracted to men. But you know what? Honestly, I just don’t worry about it. Who cares?
We’ve all got different attractions and leanings and whatever. I don’t think God stays up late worrying about what we’re attracted to. What he wants us to do is strive to live Holy lives for him. That’s what he wants, right? Who you’re attracted.
So what? I just reason if I woke up tomorrow all of a sudden attracted to women, I guess I would take it, but I don’t know what difference that would make to my life. I mean, if I’m attracted to women, I’m not allowed to think anything I want and do anything I want have to live my life with boundaries and restraints and live a Holy life. Well, if I’m attracted to men, I’m not allowed to think anything I want, do anything I want. I have to strive to live a Holy life. So, if I’m attracted to girls, I have to live a Holy life. If I’m attracted to guys, I have to live a Holy life. What do I care what I’m attracted to you. I’m just going to try and live a Holy life, right?
Makes sense to me.
But I get the tension we’re talking about here. As a Christian, I have denied my homosexual attractions, and I have really tried my best to grow in my obedience and love for Jesus and value God’s plan. And in doing so consistently resist the temptation to turn to my own plan because I know when I do it my way all I do is mess things up. So believe me, when I say I understand the tension we’re dealing with here.
So what about this idea? Can somebody be gay and a Christian? This is so crazy to me. The expression gay Christian is a relatively new term to the debate of sexual ethics. I mean, if you only went back 70 or 80 years and I know some of you think 70 or 80 years, that was a long time ago.
It really wasn’t. If you only went back 70 or 80 years, you wouldn’t even be able to find the concept in the Christian world of somebody being able to be actively involved in homosexuality, celebrating homosexuality and being a father of a Jesus at the same time. If you went back only 70 or 80 years. You wouldn’t even be able to find the concept.
However, this idea has risen dramatically, especially in the last two decades, with the popularity of what we’re discussing this morning, a series of proofs that Bible revisionists now call progay theology and the progay theology that is being widely recognized by gay affirming churches leads people to believe that they can embrace and celebrate homosexuality while following Christ at the same time. Are they right? Are they wrong? Obviously, I think, you’ll know, we’re all going to land on this, but I would really encourage you to please get this book.
I’m selling it at the back table. If you don’t get it now, you can order it in Amazon. The ink is still wet. I just wrote this thing. It just came out a few weeks ago. But I’m only going to talk about a few things because of the shortness of my time, regardless of what Marshall says.
But if you really want to, I take apart the top arguments of progay apologists and just debunk them one after another and tell you why they’re wrong. Educate yourself, know how to have these conversations with people. You won’t be disappointed. And I wrote it for people like Marshall at a great six level so everybody can get it. I told Marshall last night there’s no big words and keep it simple.
In all honesty, I wrote the book, really, I wanted you guys to understand you don’t need a degree in the biblical languages to be able to understand what the bible says. This book was written by an average guy to average Joe’s to let you know that you know what, you can just open your bible and read it in English and what it says is actually what it means.
You can do this. So anyway, please get the book. And if you’ll read it, it will certainly help me if you get the book, but I hope you get it. But I think first of all, the first thing I’d like you to recognize is this. It’s essential to know that biblical scholars did not uncover these so-called truths that we know today is progay theology, as if somehow they’ve been buried deep within the scriptures for thousands of years, just yearning for discovery that the experts of the scholars for thousands of years missed this stuff.
And now, in the last 70 or 80 years, it was just kind of discovered, like, wow, boy, we ever missed it. That’s not the case, but rather, there’s been a small cast of characters who concocted these concepts. They were formulated and slowly developed by a few key players over a 20 year span. I mean, the first time a Christian group publicly put forward the notion that you could be gay and a Christian was, believe it or not in 1960, in Great Britain by a Christian Protestant movement called the Quakers.
In 1960, they put on a little pamphlet and they were trying to deal with homosexuality in Great Britain at the time. It was the first time known time that any Church group said publicly that homosexuality might be all right with God, 1960.
It would be another couple of decades before somebody would actually come up with a series of proofs to show why that would be the case. Well, let me introduce you to this gentleman, John Boswell. He’s the primary author of what we’re discussing. In 1980, he wrote a book, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality. This is the landmark event that took place that really got progay theology going.
It was written by 33 year old Catholic and Yale Professor John Boswell, and in it, Boswell stated his theological proofs that a person can be gay and a Christian. And there can be no doubt that Boswell’s book has had a profound influence on the topic of homosexuality and the Bible in churches and educational institutions since its publication over 40 years ago, it has become the definitive guidebook serving as the Go-to manual for talking points for pro gay advocates and progay churches, and has provided new theologians a foundation on which they can build their freshly created arguments.
This is the guy who started it. Sadly, John Boswell died of AIDS at the terribly young age of 47.
Since 1980. A few other influencers have proclaimed the gospel of gay Christianity, and they’ve come along. But few have been able to really add to the fresh material that Boswell did almost a half century ago. Here’s one person who has had significant influence in the last decade, 2014, Matthew Vines wrote this book, God in the Gay Christian. To his credit, he actually starts the book by telling us that he doesn’t really have very many new ideas. He’s just rearticulating the work of John Boswell from back in 1980, and he admits that he does throw in a few extra ideas that John Boswell hadn’t come up with in the 1980s. But Matthew Vines is incredibly articulate, has an incredibly powerful and moving story, and he has captured a significant following in our world today. He right now would be probably the number one guy to go to for pro-gay apologists and gay affirming churches, matthew Vines. But here’s the thing, brothers and Sisters there has been a propaganda campaign aimed at Jesus’s Church meant to sow seeds of doubt in the hearts and minds of Christians around what the Bible is taught on homosexuality for thousands of years. It has been an organized operation of misrepresentation, and its attack is Satanic. Similar to what Satan tried when he tried to sow seeds of doubt into the heart of Eve in Genesis chapter three. Did God really say? Yeah, how did that work out? Homosexual activists have been well funded, well organized and unapologetic in their blatant pursuit to normalize homosexuality in Western culture. And their success has been astonishing.
And they’ve done a better job getting their message out to our culture today than Jesus’s Church has getting its message out to our culture today. And we have all been exposed to a consistent presentation of homosexual relationships as healthy and common in the media, the entertainment industry, politics, social media platforms, and our educational systems. I mean, has there ever been a time in world history where this scripture has not become so apropos? So let me just take a couple of ideas. A couple of arguments that John Boswell and Matthew Vines wants you to consider in trying to prove that you can be gay and a Christian.
And the first one is just to simply ask, Well, why would it be a sin for two consenting gay adults to be in love provided they’re going to be monogamous and legally married and they want to be a part of the Church? Why would we have a problem with that? I kind of get the argument. I mean, we live in a world with so much violence, so much hatred, so much bigotry. I mean, why would we want to knock the love of anybody? Right?
I understand the argument. Well, I’ll tell you why, because love is not the deciding factor in God’s eyes between what is right and what is wrong. Listen, of course, for people in the world who don’t care to follow Jesus in the traditional biblical sexual ethic, they can live however they want. But for Christians to be involved in a gay romantic relationship, this is an entirely different case. Such a thing is impossible.
There is no allowance for romance and sexual intimacy outside the confines of a man and woman bound together only in marriage and based only on the sincerity of a couple’s love. I think this is one of the most significant errors of our day. The idea that love legitimizes a relationship.
It does not. One may be very much in love and very wrong in expressing it. In one Kings eleven Solomon is recorded to have loved his foreign wives. We’re not questioning whether or not he loved them. But did that love legitimize those relationships? No. Those relationships ended up contributing to the King’s ultimate downfall.
Would it be allowable for a Christian man who’s married to cheat on his wife with another woman provided that his love for the other woman is legitimate? Well, we’re not arguing whether or not you love the other woman. You might actually love the other woman. Congratulations. But something tells me that your wife at home isn’t gonna care about how much you love the other woman.
The love may be legitimate, but you can’t be with the other woman. What do we do with, I don’t know two teens or College students who are Christians unmarried, and they’re dating and they just love each other so much and they involve themselves in premarital sex. Well, they love each other. We’re not arguing whether they love each other. Maybe they really did. But you can’t be involved in premarital sex and be a Christian.
Likewise, having a loving romantic relationship with someone of the same gender, it can never be justified for the Christian, regardless of the sincerity of the love. The genuineness of the love is not the point. For a disciple of Jesus to take this stance would allow the believer to say that they can pursue the object of their love regardless of the nature of the relationship, which, of course, is completely unbiblical. Yes. I might even get arrested for it in about six months in Canada for saying it.
Is this popular teaching in today’s anything goes world? Is it popular? Of course not. Is it biblical? Absolutely. Yeah, but Guy, don’t you understand? I mean, who does it hurt? I mean, as long as it’s Privacy in their own bedroom, in their own house and they’re not hurting anybody, they love each other, they’re together. Love is a beautiful thing. They’re not hurting anybody. Well, let me ask you this. Does every sin need to be proven harmful in order for it to be classified as a sin. Is that our standard?
No, because sin needn’t have a verifiable outcome to qualify as a sin, it only needs fall short of what God intended. We live in a culture today that celebrates the individual’s choice, freedom of choice, to live authentically, to be true to oneself, to do whatever one desires based almost and solely on their own feelings and emotions as long as or so the phraseology goes, You’re not hurting anybody else. I get it. It’s always tricky to talk about sin that doesn’t have an immediate certifiable harmful impact.
For instance, if we were to discuss murder, armed robbery, child molestation, slavery, everyone would agree in unison that there is an immediate verifiable negative impact. These wicked activities are destructive, and there is general and widespread contempt for them as they are contrary not just to the Christian worldview, but really everybody’s worldview.
But then there’s another kind of sin that is only significant if you’re a Christian. There are few areas where that is truer than when it comes to sexual ethics in our culture today. For the follower of Jesus, the immediacy of the damaging impact of any action should only be considered.
What we have to really consider is how God would feel about something. The Bible is the standard, not the measure of the amount of damage or the action that it causes or how long it will take to recognize the damage. Many activities people involve themselves and don’t seem to result in immediate verifiable harmful consequences. Sometimes you just have to wait a little bit longer to see what the consequences are. For instance, if a man or a woman were to love each other but don’t care to be married, preferring to be in a common law relationship or choosing to live together as a trial run to see if they’re compatible, many would ask, Well, who are they hurting?
I mean, that’s how almost everybody lives in our world today. Well, I guess many would argue, Well, they’re not hurting anybody. Yet we know, statistically that people who live together without a Covenant in place don’t tend to stay together as long as people who do have a marriage Covenant. There are measures of security that come with the marriage contract that are not there when people don’t have that bond in place. Will there always be an instant certifiable harmful impact from our choices?
No. But since when was that the determining factor between determining what is sin and what isn’t? Can two people of the same sex be deeply in love? Of course. Can two people of the same sex be in a relationship be happy? Yeah, indeed.
But that doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences. And even if it does take time for it to appear, even if you don’t see any noticeable impact right now, this is hardly a criteria for determining whether something is sinful or not. Another popular argument of pro-gay apologists is this: revisionists argue that Moses and Paul, the two primary biblical authors who discussed homosexuality, never contemplated the kind of monogamous, long term relationship that is normal between homosexual couples in our modern world. Nor would they have understood the notion of sexual orientation. So what they wrote in the Bible then doesn’t really count.
Is that true? Let me ask you this. Did Moses and Paul need to understand the concepts of gay monogamy and orientation to say that homosexuality is sinful? I mean, just reason with me for a moment. First, doesn’t this argument bypass the inspiration of Scripture?
Just suppose the revisionists are correct? And the biblical authors, Moses and Paul didn’t understand everything about homosexuality as we know it today. Does that mean that the Holy Spirit of God didn’t understand these characteristics when he inspired Paul and Moses to write what they wrote? Are we really to believe that God, the architect and designer of us all, was ignorant about our needs and desire to give and receive love and be in relationship or about biology or psychology? Should we think right now that somehow the Holy Spirit is looking down on us and he’s thinking, oh, my goodness. Oh, wow. If I had only known then what I know now, I never would have inspired Paul to write what he did in Romans chapter one. Boy, am I ever grateful for the psychologists and the biologists and the scientists of the 20th century who theorized the interplay of genetic environmental influences? Boy, were those guys ever smart. Man, did I mess up when I was inspiring Paul and Moses to write what they wrote?
Of course not. The broken human condition was nothing new to God, and I would have think also nothing new to Moses or Paul either. Can we also not agree that Moses and Paul would have received only the best in education? And were men well acquainted with the world. Being raised in the Egyptian courts, Moses would have had the finest professors and been instructed in astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, music, and art. In fact, we’re told in act 722, and it confirms for us, Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. Really, he didn’t understand homosexuality? As for the Apostle Paul, as a Roman citizen, he would have absolutely received an education at some of the most renowned Rabbi, some of the best people around. But then also as a Jew, sat at the feet of some of the greatest rabbis in history. So considering Paul’s high level of training, is it not safe to assume that he would have had broad exposure to classical literation, philosophy and ethics and was well acquainted with the ways of the world?
And is it, by the way, not somewhat elitist for us to say, oh, poor Moses and Paul, those guys, they wrote about something they didn’t understand. But today were the enlightened ones.
And since Moses lived in the 13th century BC and Paul 2000 years ago, would they have known everything that we know about homosexuality or relationships today? I suppose it’s possible. I don’t know if they would have conceptualized it as we do in the 21st century. For instance, take the phenomenon of a couple being in love as our example. Did the ancient writers understand romantic love?
Of course they did some of the world’s most beautiful poems, we still read them. We still make movies about their lives. Did these ancient authors know about Endorphins, or did they know about the five love languages? Or did they understand codependency or obsession as we understand it today?
Well, no, but we don’t for that reason, stop reading their writings or making movies about them. Well, they may not have known the science and biology of love. They indeed understood the subtleties of it. Besides that, brothers and sisters, there is no provision in Scripture that says a certain sin can be engaged upon if it can be assumed that the biblical author was not fully up to speed on current behavioral science models and studies.
Yeah, but see, Guy, here’s the thing you’re missing, man. I’m telling you, don’t you read the Bible because I’ve read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and Jesus said nothing about homosexuality? Well, that’s true. But that argument assumes that the Gospels are more authoritative than the rest of the books of the Bible.
And at no point did Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John say that their books should be elevated above the Torah or any of the writings that were yet to come? I mean, the idea of a subject being unimportant just because it wasn’t mentioned by Jesus? I mean, I know that’s kind of silly, isn’t it? I mean, are we really to believe that Jesus approved of wife beating? He didn’t talk about that either.
Jesus didn’t talk about incest. Are we now going to use the argument that incest is okay because Jesus didn’t talk about it in matthew, Mark, Luke or John? I mean, there are any a number of behaviors that Christ didn’t mention by name. Surely we’re not going to condone those things for that reason alone.
Besides, John 21 25 tells us Jesus did so many other things as well that if every one of them were written down, I suppose even the whole world wouldn’t have enough room for the books that would be written. So how do we know he didn’t talk about it? Besides that, Jesus very clearly did talk about the standard for marriage in Matthew 19, four to six. You know what it says there? I’m going to read it for you.
He says, quote, Jesus Christ, haven’t you read he replied that at the beginning the Creator made the male and female and said for this reason a man will leave his father or mother and be United to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together. Let no one separate. Jesus.
So Jesus clearly did state what God’s initial intent was for sexual intimacy. And that was that it be forever, that it be monogamous, and then it’d be between male and female. If Jesus said that was the standard, was it necessary for him, then to go ahead and tell us of all the things that aren’t the standard? Let me give you this example, where I live in Canada, the speed limit to get on a major highway is 100… kilometers an hour. Would you Americans please catch up? You’re the only place on the planet. You Americans drive me nuts, honestly. We love Americans but we do think they’re a little crazy, okay? We call you guys teh crazy States of America, thats all right. Anyway, in Canada, where I live the speed limit is 100. So when you get on the Highway, I see that the Canadian government puts sign there so that I know as I’m on my on ramp, the speed limit is going to be 100.
Oh, there it is. Now I always pay attention to that sign. My wife does not. Anyway, I’m on the highway and I’m going 100. Now, the Canadian government didn’t put up another sign 10 km later saying the speed limit is not 110, and then 5 km after that, put up another sign to go. The speed limit is not 120. Why? They don’t need to. They set the standard of the first sign. The Canadian government doesn’t tell you all the things you can’t do, right? They set the standard of what you’re allowed to do and that’s it. Don’t pass it.
It’s the same thing with Jesus here. Was it necessary for Jesus to tell us all the things you can’t do? Chapter 19, he told us what is allowed and told us to stay within those boundaries. Let me deal with this one as I begin to wrap up. In my book at the back for $14.99 that you’re all going to rush out and get, those 5 scriptures I showed you, they’re called the clobber passages. Gay affirming churches and pro-gay apologists call those clobber passages meant for clobbering gay people over the head with what the bible says about homosexuality. I unpack in that book the clobber passages and tell you exactly what they, pro-gay revisionists, what they say about these passages and then I unpack it for you and tell you here’s why they’re actually wrong and what the Bible actually says is true. I’m going to just look at one of them very briefly and I can’t even get into too much conversation on it only because of time. But this is a common one. And there’s a few of the clobber passages that are hit more than this one in Romans chapter 1:26 and 27. And probably what we should do is even just be able to go and read it.
So here’s what it says in Romans 1:26 and 27. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lust, and even their women exchanged natural relations with unnatural ones. In the same way, the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
So here’s a series of arguments that pro-gay apologists like to put forward on this. Number one, paul isn’t describing true homosexuals in that passage. Rather, he’s referring to heterosexuals who as the scripture says, exchange natural relations.
The sin here is in changing what is natural to the individual. In short, Paul and Romans One describes heterosexuals who had been deliberately committing homosexual acts, thus violating their true nature. Homosexuality, if committed by true homosexuals, then is not a sin. Well, how do we respond to that, matthew Vines, John Boswell Gay affirming churches all across Orlando? The fact that these men were burning in lust with each other, I think, makes it highly unlikely that these were heterosexuals experimenting. The behavior was born of an intense inner desire. Also, no contingency exists in Scripture that says a sexual sin can be legitimized if it comes naturally to you.
Even if the argument is true, like where in the bible does it say, well, do not sleep with someone else other than your spouse. Unless of course, it comes naturally to you, in which case it’s okay, go ahead and do it. Of course not. Another revisionist argument is that these men and women are guilty of sexual excesses, not normal loving gay and lesbian relationships. There is nothing. Again, this is why you don’t need a degree in the biblical languages to figure this out. Open up, it’s called Google, and what you do is you type in Greek concordance or Greek dictionary, and you just look at the words. There’s nothing anywhere in that Scripture in its original language, nothing that would suggest a group or orgy of any form or any kind of excess. He’s simply describing sex between men or between women without classifying the context of the number of partners involved. Another argument that pro-gay apologists use for Romans one is that it refers to idol worship or prostitution or pedophilia, or even the idea that it’s rape of, for instance, a slave owner raping a slave or a man raping a boy.
The Greek word for idolater appears seven times in the New Testament when it’s referring to idol worship and it’s absent from this verse. It doesn’t exist. Also, the Greek word for male prostitute pornos is found ten times in the New Testament, and it’s absent from these verses. There is no implication anywhere in Romans chapter One that is made here about prostitution or pedophilia. There’s nothing in the wording that would indicate this being a matter of an individual overpowering another, such as a slave owner raping a slave or a man raping a boy.
It just doesn’t exist. These are absent from these passages. Also, consistency demands that we use the same rules for the rest of the chapter. You see here Romans chapter One, verse 28 to the end, we just read Romans 126 and 27. If we’re going to use the argument that homosexuality is sinful only if it doesn’t come naturally or that it’s included with idol worship or prostitution, if that’s going to be your argument, then consistency demands you use the same argument for the next verse, and this is what the next verse says. Furthermore, they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind so that they do what on ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife and deceit and malice. They are gossips and slanderers.
God haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful. They invent ways of doing evil, they disobey their parents, they have no understanding, no Fidelity, no love, no mercy. It’s quite a resume.
So if you’re going to argue that homosexuality is sinful only if it doesn’t come naturally, you’ve got to use the same argument for the next verse, which says, I do hate people. I am envious and I do murder people, but it comes naturally. In that case, it’s okay.
I do invent evil. I am arrogant. I’m insolent and i hate God, but I don’t associate with idol worship while I’m doing it. Well, I think it’s okay.
Consistency demands you follow the same argument in Romans 1:26 to 27, and you got to do it for the next couple of verses. And even pro-gay apologists, and those revisionists would say, Well, yeah, you can’t use that same argument. And then there’s this argument I’ll finish. This is a favorite argument of Matthew Vines in the book he wrote in 2014, and he asserts that it’s not fair because God would demand celibacy for homosexually attracted Christians. As I said when I was becoming a Christian, I thought I’d have to be celibate for the rest of my life. I could never be involved in an intimate relationship because I’m not attracted to women.
A favorite argument, he asserts mandatory celibacy for gay Christians differs from any other kind of Christian self denial, including involuntary celibacy for some straight Christians. Even when straight Christians seek a spouse but cannot find one, the Church doesn’t ask them to relinquish any future hope of marriage. Well, I’m afraid I disagree with the premise that homosexually attracted Christians are subjected to mandatory celibacy and therefore denied any hope of romance in marriage. Being a homosexually attracted man who’s been married to two women and has enjoyed an emotional and sexual bond with both, I’m living proof of how wrong he is.
My first wife, Kathy. We were married for 28 years. She died of brain cancer in 2018. I have since remarried to a wonderful Christian woman, Laura, we got married two years ago. I wish she could be here this morning. She’s back in the hotel room right now with a really bad flu.
So while Matthew Vines is correct that gay Christians are excluded from romance and marriage from the same gender, he is incorrect to say that we’re excluded from romance and marriage. So I said when I was 24 years old, I decided to become a Christian. I knew that I was leaving my homosexual life behind forever. Nobody explained this to me.
It was just what I read in the Bible. It was a cost I was willing to follow. But again, you can imagine my surprise when I fell in love with a woman. I wasn’t sexually attracted to Kathy the way a heterosexually attracted man would be. But we built this great friendship, and I fell in love with her.
And I got to the point that I knew I wanted to spend all my life with her and share all that life had to offer. And we just refused to allow the fact that I’m homosexually attractive to be a defining part of our relationship. After marriage, we had an incredibly intimate relationship. We shared our deepest thoughts and feelings. We felt safe with one another.
We were intimate. We laughed, we cuddled. We had sex. We were spiritually, emotionally and physically intimate. Was I mandated somehow to a life of celibacy?
Was I excluded for romance because I’m homosexually attracted? Not at all. After Cathy died, I knew I didn’t want to spend my remaining years alone. Thought if I have the average lifespan of a Canadian male, I got another 20 years left in me. Do I really want to do that alone?
No. So I went and found myself another wife.
I started a relationship with Laura. Her husband, Scott, had recently passed of cancer. I didn’t know Laura really well, but my wife, Cathy, was such a pragmatic woman. She pleaded with me a few weeks before she died to get married again. It’s like, honey, come on, I’m not going to get married again.
I’m in my mid 50s. Where am I going to find a wife? And by the way, can we both remember? I got some issues here. Like, wasn’t it a miracle enough that I found one woman who was willing to live at this?
Where am I going to find another woman who’s willing to be married to a guy who’s not even attracted to her? So we kind of laughed and joked about it. The next day, I went back to the hospital and she had made out a list of preapproved names of women she thought I should marry. Crazy woman. I was like, You’re nuts.
She died a few weeks later, and I kept the list. After about six months after Kathy’s death, I started feeling pretty lonely, and I thought, how am I going to do this? So I thought, Well, I’m going to get up that list. I’m just going to start at the top and work my way down. Someone’s going to say yes to this, right?
Come on. Of course, Laura was the first person on the list, so I just got with her and said, hey, I know this is weird, but can I, you’re husbands dead, my wife is dead. You’re lonely, I’m lonely. We’re not teenagers for goodness sakes. I don’t know you seen movies? You wanna hook up? Anyway, two years now we got a wonderful relationship. When the documentary movie Finding Guy was released in 2018, a movie about my journey, I was accused of not being honest about the severity of my homosexual attractions. That for me to be in a relationship with a woman, I must be bisexual, or my homosexual attractions must have declined, allowing me to enjoy female intimacy.
It’s just not possible, people accused me, for a homosexually attracted man to be happily married to a heterosexually attracted woman. Apparently, that’s what Matthew Vines thinks, too. Yet here I am. I continue to be 100% sexually attracted to men.
I don’t want to sound crude and rude. I hope it doesn’t come across that way. You could put me in a room with ten of the most beautiful women on the planet and have them undress in front of me and I’d rather watch a hockey game. Like, I’m just not interested.
Being married to and loving these two incredible women has been the single greatest blessing of my lifetime. Those are my kids, by the way. And being married to Cathy and being married to Laura has been the most ambitious, daring, and complex godsends I’ve ever experienced. It has been wonderful, yes, and has also demanded a level of self denial and trust to follow God’s plan that most could never appreciate. The intimacy I now have enjoyed with Cathy and now do with Laura goes so much deeper than our physical attraction.
It has to do with commitment and a steward of what God has blessed me with to treat my wife as the most valued and special blessing that I have ever received. No doubt some unique nuances exist for couples like us. But if it is handled kindly and lovingly and delicately, the sexual component of the relationship can be beautiful and satisfying for both and be one that honors God. Besides, that, how shallow would it be to think that our definition of intimacy is going to be so narrow that it refers only to sex?
While erotic intimacy is an important part of the relationship, it’s hardly the most important.
Wouldn’t other components like friendship and companionship, devotion, commitment, protection, shared spiritual goals be more important than the physical components? Does God refuse me this kind of intimacy? Because I’m homosexually attracted? Not at all. Let me give you the biggest piece of advice I can give you because I’m finished now.
Biggest piece you want to have happy marriaget. this is it. You’re ready? This is it. It’s not even a part of my sermon. And you don’t have to send me $20. I’m just gonna give it to you free.
Kathy and I know Laura and I have given ourselves over to be counterculture. Yet biblical truth that says love is best expressed when you focus on what you can give to one another rather than focusing on what you can get from one another. If you live like that you can have a good marriage.
Listen, I’m going to focus on what I can give to Laura. I’m homosexually attracted. There’s just something she can’t give to me. But that’s not going to be our measure of success. In my marriage, our measure of success is not what she can give to me but what I can give to her.
And if I can make her feel loved and special and cared for and cherished, make her feel like a million Bucks every day. Sometimes she only feels like a couple hundred thousand. But if I can try to make her feel like a million Bucks every day, that’s good, right? And if she’s doing that for me too, that’s a great marriage. Of course, every follower of Jesus, I’m not alone in this. You’ve got to do this, too. Every follower of Jesus has to submit their sexuality to Jesus. As we prepare to take communion together, remembering, of course, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, I’m reminded again of Galatians 5:24, that tells us that those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Why do we do that? Because he led the way, because he crucified his flesh with its passions and desires. In honoring Him, every day, we get up and we leave yesterday behind, trusting in God’s Grace and in his forgiveness, ready to start a new day. Determined to follow Christ to make his priorities our priorities. This has nothing to do with attractions, desires, proclivities, temptations, leanings, feelings, ooey Gooey’s, emotions, or what culture or social media says. This has to do with each one of us making Jesus Lord of our lives.
We are not the Lord of our lives. Jesus is the Lord of our lives, and it’s his standard and his book that we have decided to live by and follow. The Bible must be what leads us. For as it says in Galatians 220, I and you have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I once lived in the body, I now live by the faith of God who gave himself for me.