Wednesday, December 10, 2014

'Being gay' is not a sin. Acting on it, on the other hand, is.

How many times have you heard something like this: "If God did not want me to be homosexual, why did he make me this way?"  But you never, ever hear "If god did not want me to be stupid, why did he make me this way?"  It's the same argument - blaming God for your own choices.  The problem with suggesting "God made me this way" can only go so far.  One person may be blind, another lame, and it very well may be from God.  But being blind or lame is not a sin.  To sin, and then claim that God wanted you to, is outright blaspheming your Creator! 

I once said in a social-media discussion: "'Being gay' is not a sin. Acting on it, on the other hand, is."

That brought the following strong admonition: "Being homosexual is a sin!!!!!!  Nowhere in the scriptures does it say being homosexual is OK and not a sin... that only partaking of it is a sin..."

And I was asked to provide scripture and accused of being "dead wrong".   So I provided scripture:

Leviticus 18: "22 You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination."

Leviticus 20: "13 If a man goes to bed with a man as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination..."

(See, it is the action that is condemned.) But all of us are expected to turn from evil ways, homosexual or heterosexual alike:

Psalms 34: "14 turn from evil, and do good; seek peace, go after it! 15 The eyes of ADONAI watch over the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry. 16 But the face of ADONAI opposes those who do evil, to cut off all memory of them from the earth."

1 Peter 3: "10 For 'Whoever wants to love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit, 11 turn from evil and do good, seek peace and chase after it. 12 For ADONAI keeps his eyes on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers; but the face of ADONAI is against those who do evil things.'"

1 Chronicles 7: "14 then, if my people, who bear my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land."

Amos 5: "14 Hate evil, love good,..."

We know homosexuality is an abomination to YHWH (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13) despite how the world has decided to twist scripture to collectively deny it.  But in reality, our lives, all of us, are sometimes fraught with evil influences till the time we come to realize we were wrong going with those influences - not God.  At that time, if you repent, and make a conscious decision to obey YHWH and follow Him, your prior sins are forgiven.  But you might still "be" a homosexual! [You might still be a pedophile!  You might still be a {fill in the blank}. The list is long!]  But the point is that once you come to realize what the Messiah offered you, and you give up that [whatever], not act on evil influence, and begin to obey His mitzvoth, then you become righteous!  (So, no, I am not "dead wrong"!)

Further, the apostle Paul was a murderer (see Acts 8) before he accepted the Messiah, and he went on to write many of the letters which were ultimately canonized into the NT we read today! So the person admonishing me for saying "Being gay is not a sin, acting on it is" was arguing that if a person simply realizes they desire the same sex, they are automatically condemned! Clearly, by Paul's example this is not true!  If you turn from your sin, you are not condemned.  If the murderer Paul can become righteous and go on to write of the Kingdom of YHWH after his behavior, then I think the homosexual can be counted as righteous if they realize it is wrong and do not act on it.

We are told to take every thought captive (Psalm 141:3-4, 2 Corinthians 10:5) and guide our individual actions.  We all are sinners, this is true, but that does not mean we must sin, or expect carte blanche forgiveness for continued sinning. Therefore if homosexuals are condemned just because they are homosexual, then ALL of us are condemned simply for our thoughts!  Turning from our thoughts would not be good enough and the purpose of the Messiah's death for us was for naught. 

7 comments:

  1. Liam - right on! You're absolutely correct in saying that, unless we act on a certain desire to engage in something God calls a sin, we're not sinning! Our belief in YHWH/Y'shua washes us as "white as snow" so, no matter what our physical or mental condition might be, if we do HIS will and not our own, we are not guilty of sinning!

    Isaiah 1:18 ESV / 16 helpful votes

    “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

    1 John 1:9

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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  2. I knew some one who had those wrong desires but repented and changed his behavior to those that YHWH wanted, He even got married and raised children for YHWH. So there is hope for those who repent! It is a sin and those who want to blame YHWH for their sin they are wrong.

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    1. Amein to your comment, CrowMedicineWoman!

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  3. This is one topic that hard to explain especially to those who have a pre-conceived ideas when it comes to homosexuality but you nailed Liam. Thanks for the post!

    Shalom.

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  4. Yahshua said that even to look at a woman lustfully is equal to committing adultery. Can this be compared to "having homosexual thoughts is equal to committing homosexuality?"

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    1. Thanks for asking. Of course this teaching from Y'shua is not easy to understand. (Y'shua taught such that His words would be difficult, requiring effort to comprehend! He wanted people to think!) You are referring to Matthew 5:27-28 which says: "You have heard that it has been said that you should not commit adultery. But I say to you that all who that looks at a woman as lustfully at once has committed adultery in his heart." (AENT) So let's discuss this a bit, then I will give you an answer to your question.

      Whenever Y'shua says "...you have heard it said", He is referring to the teachings of the rabbis. When He says "...it is written", He is referring to a Torah command. Here he said "...it has been said", so we have to dig a bit to find out what He's talking about.

      To whom is Y'shua addressing? He's talking His Talmidim! Matthew 5:1-2 "...He [Y'shua] sat his disciples drew near to him. And he opened his mouth and was teaching them..."

      Then Matthew 5 goes on as Y'shua explains that His talmidim are "lights to the world" and that people should see their works as glorifying Elohim! (Verses 14-16).

      Still talking to His talmidim, He says in verse 20: "For I say to you that unless your righteousness exceeds more than that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Now we are getting somewhere! In the very next verse, Y'shua begins a series of comments some of which He begins with "...you have heard it said...". So very clearly, we see that Y'shua is teaching the tamlidim to discern the true essence of Torah and to not go by what the Pharisees were teaching.

      Without making this too long, let me go straight to verses 27-28. So Y'shua says: "You have heard that it has been said that you should not commit adultery". We know that "do not commit adultery" is one of the commandments, found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. But since Y'shua said "you have heard it said", He is referring to the rabbis teaching on this commandment, and clearly the Pharisees were teaching the commandment, yet by their actions must have been behaving in a manner which was contrary. So Y'shua explains to the talmidim what is the deeper essence of the commandment: "But I say to you that all who that looks at a woman as lustfully at once has committed adultery in his heart."

      So Y'shua gives "meaning" to the commandment. He explains that simply looking at a woman lustfully, is as if you took the commandment so lightly, that you could be teaching "do not commit adultery" while in reality desiring it yourself! See? Y'shua is teaching His talmidim "don't just 'teach', but actually 'live' the commandments!"

      So for us, the issue becomes one of keeping ourselves "in-check". A beautiful woman is often in our vision. It's pretty hard to avoid. So it is up to us to not let our thoughts go beyond simply recognizing that she is attractive. Do not allow yourself to have sexual thoughts about her. This is the "essence" of the commandment "do not commit adultery". Of course it means do not commit the physical act, but Y'shua is saying it means much more. A man leading a holy, set apart life, does not say one thing, then do another.

      (Too long anyway... finished in the next reply.)

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    2. So now to your question. You said "Can this be compared to 'having homosexual thoughts is equal to committing homosexuality'?" The answer is "yes"! Having homosexual thoughts is exactly the same as Y'shua was explaining about heterosexual "lust" for a woman. The point is to not permit yourself to "go there" in your mind! Look at it the way Paul said it: "And we demolish imaginations, and every lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, and subjugate all reasoning to obedience to the Mashiyach." (AENT) This is from 2 Corinthians 10:5. Many translations here say "Take every thought captive..." But regardless of the translation, look at the rest of the verse! It explains "...if your thoughts are against the righteousness of God, then shake them and bring your thoughts into obedience to the Messiah!"

      Y'shua, and Paul taught for us to work hard at this - for if we don't, what kind of "light" are we?

      We are all expected to strive to a degree of holiness which would permit us to be in the presence of God. Are we perfect? Of course not! Can we be forgiven? Of course. But can we act on our desires knowing full-well they oppose that holiness God seeks in us? No way! Can we intentionally sin and assume we'll be forgiven? Absolutely not!

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