Society has changed. The public arena is no longer the exclusive male domain it once was. Women are now actively participating in all areas of life. Whether in politics, business or family life, men can no longer insist on perpetuating traditional roles or presume to enjoy the benefits long accorded to the privileged gender. But adjusting to new roles in modern society inevitably generates confusion and anxieties amongst men. In this article, I write to challenge my fellow men to address the present confusion and self-doubt confronting us, and to explore the need to define our sexuality, that is, our self-identity and our relationship to the other sex.
A Question posed by a reader: “I think the most challenging lowest denominator for me is when a Bible believing Christian says “when I read the Bible sincerely I find a God who accepts same sex marriage but of course it must be monogamous and there should be no infidelity in that marriage (such infidelity would be a sin). I also accept accountability for all other sins including pre-marital sex”. My challenge is even though I disagree with this brother or sister on his/her view of same sex marriage, should I accept him/her into the fellowship of the church and the Lord’s table? Tough one for me.”
Answer: The short answer is that persons who feel same sex attraction, but choose sexual celibacy and abstinence from homosexual practices out of obedience to the teaching of Scripture should be accepted into the fellowship of the church, including the Holy Communion. Indeed, the church should learn to love and give support to encourage such believers to grow in the Lord (The question of the reparative therapy is a matter to be discussed separately).
First, rather than reinvent the wheel, I shall quote Stanley Grenz from an earlier posts:
It is fun to read satire, but I usually avoid sharing links to satirical websites as many internet readers are too lazy to follow through with a few additional ‘clicks’ on the menu to double check the background info needed to ferret out genuine from mischievous satirical websites.
Remember, the Devil once tempted the Lord with the opening remark, “It is written.” Nowadays, he has a temptation-software-upgrade – “It is written in the Internet.”
But the ironic observation of Babylon Bee (a satirical website) is right on target about the biblical view of marriage and family of the Nashville Statement:
[If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point. The Apocryphal Martin Luther]
The Nashville Statement on Biblical sexuality does not answer all the questions that have arisen from the homosexual controversy. It is certainly not a complete, much less a perfect Statement. The purpose of any public statement is defined and delimited by its time and context. Like the historic creeds, it does not aim at full exposition of doctrine as to define the core beliefs and the boundaries of reflection.
Some evangelicals would like to suggest ways to sharpen what is basically an excellent statement. Others express concerns that it is not sufficiently pastoral. Still others, are worried that young people may misunderstand and therefore are put off by the Statement since the media has been effective in convincing many young people that being ‘gay’ does not necessarily suggest a promiscuous lifestyle. These are legitimate concerns. However, public statements have to navigate the fine balance between being concise and being comprehensive. We also need to keep in mind the central goals of the statement and its intended audience. Continue reading “Nashville Statement on Biblical Sexuality: Different Takes by Robert Gagnon and Michael Bird”
Statement on Biblical Sexuality by CBMW.Org (The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) and The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
As many young people are adopting homosexual freedom as the defining cause of their generation, it is good that Evangelical leaders begin the NASHVILLE STATEMENT (2017) with the following affirmations:
We believe that God’s design for his creation and his way of salvation serve to bring him the greatest glory and bring us the greatest good. God’s good plan provides us with the greatest freedom. Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it in overflowing measure. He is for us and not against us. Therefore, in the hope of serving Christ’s church and witnessing publicly to the good purposes of God for human sexuality revealed in Christian Scripture, we offer the following affirmations and denials.
WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.
WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God
WE AFFIRM that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.
WE DENY that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.
To read, download or sign to affirm the original statement NASHVILLE STATEMENT (2017) by CBMW.Org (A coalition for Biblical Sexuality) and The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
You may note that many of the original signatories of the Statement are outstanding Evangelical leaders.
According to the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia, Walt Disney’s movie, Beauty and the Beast “has been approved…with a minor cut.” But it was the “most unkindest cut of all” for Disney. So it decided that it will simply pull its latest movie from Malaysian distribution rather than allow the movie’s so-called “gay moment” to be censored.
Hmm, one wonders: Is Disney saying that the “gay moment” is so essential to the movie that it must not be touched? This would only confirm the suspicion that Disney has a homosexual agenda. It would add satisfaction to the Malaysian Film Censorship Board that it has indeed got the cut right. Continue reading “Disney’s Delicate Homosexual Moment”
Sam Storms’ remarkable taxonomic heterogeneity (Amillennial, Calvinistic, charismatic, credo-baptistic, complementarian) may be taken as evidence of a confused mind, but his writings is a model of depth in simplicity which indicates a mind of firm and clear conviction. Given below are some excerpts taken from his four recent posts related to “10-things on male headship and female submission.”
On Male Headship
Among the many misconceptions about male headship in Scripture I mention these. First, husbands are never commanded to rule their wives, but to love them. The Bible never says, “Husbands, take steps to insure that your wives submit to you.” Nor does it say, “Husbands, exercise headship and authority over your wives.” Rather, the principle of male headship is either asserted or assumed and men are commanded to love their wives as Christ loves the church…Headship is never portrayed in Scripture as a means for self-satisfaction or self-exaltation. Headship is always other-oriented. I can’t think of a more horrendous sin than exploiting the God-given responsibility to lovingly lead by perverting it into justification for using one’s wife and family to satisfy one’s lusts and thirst for power.
The Bible considers homosexual practice sinful since it violates God’s moral order (using Biblical language), or natural moral order (using language of public discourse). See earlier post, LINK. Still, there is no need to single out homosexual activity for disapprobation as it is listed as one sin amongst many other sins. This theological truth is foundational for Christian moral teaching, but Christians need to supplement theological truth with sociological insights when they address the homosexual controversy in public discourse. In this spirit I offer the following propositions. Continue reading “Homosexuality and Respect for Democratic Rights: YES, BUT – The Sociological Minimum”
Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part 2. This article has two parts. For Part 1 – LINK
Homosexuality and the Church
There are some theological and pastoral issues that are not approached with joy because of their tendency to polarise believers and even cause churches to split. Homosexuality is an example of such an issue. The debate on the question of homosexuality has been raging in many churches across the denominations for several decades. Sometimes these debates have been reduced to nothing more than heated sloganeering on both sides. Statements like ‘The Bible is clear …’ and ‘the Gospel is inclusive …’ are often repeated, while the substance of the debate is avoided or played down. Such approaches, which generate more heat than light, are often not only unhelpful but are also counter-productive and damaging. The assumptions that sometimes accompany such slogans are that Christian identity and the unity of the church has to do with this issue alone. There is a pressing need for discussion on homosexuality and the church to be located within the larger context of human sexuality and Christian discipleship. Continue reading “Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part 2”
Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part 1 This article has two parts. For Part 2 – LINK
While Malaysian Christian leaders have maintained a silent indifference towards the homosexual controversy, young Christians are daily exposed to aggressive homosexual proselytization by the Western elite through the Internet and global entertainment culture. Not surprisingly, young Christians today are increasingly sympathetic towards homosexual practice. To be fair, this tolerance among young Christians is simply reflective of their easy going attitude in moral and religious commitment.
The church does not need to react defensively to these developments and resort to censorious condemnation of homosexuals. It is more important that the church educate and exhort Christians, both young and old to uphold a sanctified life based on scriptural integrity and covenantal faithfulness. Following the full counsel of God’s Word would encourage individuals to maintain respectful, responsible and restraint courtship intimacy, fidelity in monogamous heterosexual marriage and challenge the church to develop pastoral models to address constructively the homosexual controversy.