Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Given Up or Redeemed?

I found an interesting article written by Don Laigle over at Alain's Newsletter. With the current, relentless surge in the promotion of homosexual behavior in the schools, through the courts, in the media and especially in Hollywood (as well as the recent, huge recognition for movies promoting such a lifestyle at the Oscars), there is an important message to be heard through Don Laigle's post.

Don states, "Now 'alternative' sexual lifestyles are all the rage. They too are killing people. And again, it's the "intellectual" cool, liberal, worldly, suave thing to do. All the big name colleges have special programs for promoting "alternative" sex. Businesses promote the Gay Olympics. Politicians like Barney Frank think they can foist alternative sex on people through their power positions. Hollywood uses its influence to turn the Marlboro Man into a spokesman for today's popular deadly activity. It's just like the bad old days of Big Tobacco, and the Grim Reaper is having a gay old time, pun intended."

You will find several comments posted there that reflect differing beliefs on this issue. Below, I have posted one of the comments that I contributed:

Comparing the promotion and physical consequences of gay behavior to the physical consequences of smoking is a good analogy. Both are behaviors and point us in the correct direction about why the gay agenda must be challenged and why it would be advantageous for the truth to come out regarding the devastating health consequences associated with homosexual acts.

One difference is that homosexual behavior is sin and not only has physical consequences attached to it, but also spiritual consequences. I would invite readers to view my Talkwisdom blogpost entitled Given Over to a Reprobate Mind which discusses this in detail.

Here is a portion of the blogpost that I think might answer many of the questions/concerns of those who wonder why Christians do not (and should not) accept or condone homosexual behavior. Please note that I did not say homosexual persons. After reading it, you can decide if it is spiritually "worth it" for homosexuals (or any other sinner) to die unrepentant for their individual sins. We either die with our sins on our own souls or with the saving grace of Jesus Christ's shed blood for our sins at the cross. You decide.

The following Romans verse describes what happens to those who allow God to finally 'give them over' to a reprobate mind. It is a clear indication of the final free-will but God-rejecting decision of the non-believer.

Romans 1:28 - And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

There are several commentaries I would like to share about that verse.

1. Chuck Smith commentary:

When men create their own god, they become like the god they serve and are rapidly degraded. God gives them up to their own base desire. Homosexuality is the result of moral depravity; people are not "born" homosexuals but have been given up to their own lusts.

2. David Guzik commentary:

The results of human guilt before God. In His righteous wrath and judgment, God also gave them up (Paul emphasizes the phrase three times) to the sin our evil hearts desired, allowing us to experience the self-destructive result of sin.

Hosea 4:17 expresses the judgmental aspects of God "giving us up," leaving us to our own sin: Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone.

ii. We err when we think that it is God's mercy or kindness that allows man to continue in sin; it is actually His wrath which allows us to go on destroying ourselves with sin. Remember that Paul was writing from the city of Corinth, were every sort of sexual immorality and ritualistic prostitution was practiced freely; the terminology of verse 24 refers to this combination of sexual immorality and idolatrous worship. In every rebellion and disobedience against God we are exchanging the truth of God for the lie of our own choosing, and putting the creature before the Creator.

i. Paul uses the definite article; it is not a lie, but the lie. The lie is essentially idolatry - which puts us in the place of God; it is the lie you will be like God (Genesis 3:5)

d. Paul uses homosexuality - both female and male - as an example of God giving them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves

i. Some say that the Bible nowhere condemns lesbian homosexuality, but the likewise of verse 27 makes it clear that the sin of homosexuality condemned in verse 27 is connected to the sin of women mentioned in verse 26

ii. Paul doesn't even use the normal words for man and woman here; he uses the words for male and female, using categories that describe sexuality outside of human terms, because the type of sexual sin he describes is outside of human dignity

iii. Remember that Paul was writing to a culture where homosexuality was accepted as a part of life for both men and women

e. Again, this "freedom" to disobey should be seen as God's judgment, not His kindness; those who engage in such acts are receiving in themselves the penalty of their error

f. As further judgment, God gives man over to a debased mind, so that things which are disgraceful and sickening are readily accepted and approved

i. The word debased (or, reprobate in the KJV) meant originally 'that has not stood the test'. It was used of coins that were substandard

ii. The idea is that since man did not "approve" to know God, men came to have an "unapproved" mind

iii. "The human race put God to the test for the purpose of approving Him should He meet the specifications which it laid down for a God who would be to its liking, and finding that He did not meet those specifications, it refused to approve Him as the God to be worshipped, or have Him in its knowledge." (Wuest)

iv. Our rebellion against God is not only displayed in our actions, but in our thinking; we are genuinely "spiritually insane" in our rebellion against God.

The list in verses 29-31 gives concrete examples of the kind of things which are not fitting; notice how "socially acceptable" sins (such as covetousness, envy and pride) are included right along with "socially unacceptable" sins (such as murder, and being unloving)

i. Covetousness is literally the itch for more

ii. Envy: is it a small sin? Pilate knew that for envy they had delivered Him

h. Those who either practice or approve of these things are worthy of death; they are the worth objects of the wrath of God

i. Where does all this violence, immorality, cruelty and degradation come from? Men have abandoned the true knowledge of God, and the state of society is a reflection of God's judgment upon them for this .


You may wonder why I included such detailed commentaries instead of saying it all in my own words. It is because I want to demonstrate to people that it is not only my own opinions that are being presented here in this post!

I post the hard questions and often stinging answers because I have great concern for anyone who is currently being deceived into believing the "I'm O.K., You're O.K." philosophy of relativistic post modernism that can lead people to the finality of a reprobate mind! It is such finality of the reprobate mind that takes away any hope of reconciliation with God!

Rejection of the Holy Spirit of God is the "sin unto death" that finalizes a person's choice to ultimately say to God, "I choose not to follow Your (perfect) will as commanded in the Bible to be done in my life, but I choose that only my (reprobate) will to be done in my life!"


I plan to do a detailed post about this commentary:

"i. Hosea 4:17 expresses the judgmental aspects of God "giving us up," leaving us to our own sin: Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone.

ii. We err when we think that it is God's mercy or kindness that allows man to continue in sin; it is actually His wrath which allows us to go on destroying ourselves with sin.

God's mercy and kindness is bestowed upon us because his wrath against our sin was taken out on His Son who willingly went to the cross on our behalf!

We either die with our own sins upon our own souls without any hope of reconciliation with God, or we die with repentant hearts and confession of sin according to the saving grace and mercy through the sacrificial death and resurrection to life of Jesus Christ as our substitutional death for our sins. Jesus died for us, in our place!

We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. However, it is only the repentant (meaning confesses and vows to make every effort to allow the Lord to lead them in their lives and help them turn away from sin [no matter what kind of sin] and avoid temptation) sinners who are washed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ at the cross and are covered by His mercy and grace which allows us to enter into the kingdom of heaven at our physical death. Jesus IS LOVE! That AGAPE kind of love that only God can give us!!

I Am Love

by Michael W. Smith

I am not passers by

I am not a white lie

I am not left to die

I am love, I am love

I am not feeling sad

I am not the new fad

I am not quickly mad

I am love, I am love

(Chorus Part 1)

You can try to hide

You can try to run

But you'll never run far enough

This is my flesh, this is my blood

And I am love

(Chorus Part 2)

You can fly up high

You can dig down deep

You can flee to the west

You can flee to the east

But you can't escape what I've done

'Cause I am love

I am not standing by

I am not letting go

I am not leaving you

I am love, I am love

(Repeat entire chorus once, Repeat Pt 1 after repeat)

I am love

My blood fell like rain

I did not bleed in vain

But from my veins

I am love

Healing Rain audio clips

No comments: