Failing Homosexuals

law“Preach the Law as if there is no Gospel; preach the Gospel as if there is no Law,” is a Lutheran dictum, and it is here we have failed homosexuals.

The LCMS’s latest foray into our society’s blitzkrieg of accepting sexual deviancy is found in the October 2013 issue of The Lutheran Witness.  There is hope yet, but not if we don’t break from our past. True to bureaucratic thinking there is no formal backing away, let alone repenting of, the 1999 “A Plan for the Ministry to Homosexual and Their Families” prepared by The Task Force on Ministry to Homosexuals and Their Families.  Yet the Witness only has one reference to once a homosexual always homosexual and the myth that there is such a thing as a Christian homosexual.  There can’t be anymore than there is such a thing as a Christian murderer, liar, thief, or adulterer.

The 1999 Plan said both. Homosexual orientation is not a sin, and that you can be a homosexual and still be a Christian.  On page 21 we read, “If homosexual orientation and behavior are not differentiated in public preaching and teaching, the person with a homosexual orientation will perceive himself or herself as condemned before God without redemption.” Wait a minute isn’t that what a heterosexual oriented toward his neighbor’s wife, a teen oriented toward his girlfriend, or an adult toward a child ought to perceive?  Isn’t that preaching the Law as if there is no Gospel?

Later on it said this, “Sexual orientation does not invalidate Holy Baptism. God’s grace and the inclusion of the baptized into the family of God are fully present in the person of homosexual orientation.  God does not love someone less because he or she is homosexual” (28).  Insert “Orientation towards violence to others” and “oriented toward violence,” and “a murderer” in the italicized portions above.  And if you can’t do that with the Fifth Commandment, you can’t do it with the Sixth.

In reality, the position expressed in the 1999 Plan is the same position the ELCA had in the 90s: you can be gay as long as you are celibate.  This is the first step on the path to where the ELCA is today.  It begins with distinguishing homosexual feelings from acts (Again try doing that with heterosexual lust and adultery; Jesus says you can’t in Matthew 5:28.).  Step two is accepting celibate homosexuality.  Step three is to accept homosexual acts.  The reasoning that leads to this is as follows. We deny celibacy is a command from God in regard to heterosexuals, so how can say it is in the case of homosexuals?  This in turn leads to the necessity of Step Four the acceptance of gay marriage.  That’s the only acceptable way for homosexuals not to have to live a life of enforced celibacy.

You can tell that the Plan started from a foggy understanding of the issues by the fact that one of their resources according to footnote 6 was “A communication from a homosexual Christian to the task force” (38).  Well computer companies use hackers and home security companies use thieves why shouldn’t we be using homosexuals to understand homosexuality?  Hackers and thieves are not used to better understand them but to better defend against them, and companies use them with the understanding between criminal and company that the criminal is wrong.  Not so the Plan. Here is how they used their homosexual resource. “’If you want someone who is creative, is hardworking, gets along well with people, and has extra time and an abundance of love to share, then find a homosexual’” (26).

Only one author in the October 2013 Witness takes a similar approach.  He too cites words “from a fellow LCMS Lutheran.”  “’I am gay but believe the only God approved place for sex is marriage between a man and woman.  For this reason, I have chosen celibacy….’Unclear Law is not the problem.’  At age 10, when kids called me ‘fag,’ ‘sissy’ and ‘queer,’ it was not a traditional way of proclaiming Law and it was not done in a Christian manner.  But it was still Law.’”  The self-identified gay man goes on to recount how in 8th grade a hand was held over his mouth till he turned blue and everyone laughed at him, how in high school a teacher greeted him ‘Hello, princess,’ how adults told fag jokes.  Our gay friend is right; all of these are the Law.  He says he has had enough Law.  He needs hope, not hope “’that I will be straight – that’s never going to happen – but hope that somewhere out there is someone who truly is a friend of sinners. Can you give me that hope’” (10)?

Preaching the Law as if there is no Gospel says there is no hope for anyone who defends any sin.  I can’t stand before God and defend my heterosexual lusting anymore than he can stand before God defending his homosexual lusting. But what about orientation?  If we accept homosexual orientation we have no grounds for rejecting pedophile or bestial orientation.

Is there hope?  Of course there is! Paul trumpets it in I Corinthians 6:9-11: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”  No more than the unrighteous, fornicators, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, or swindlers can inherit eternal life can homosexuals.  But the Gospel is that no one is bound to their sins by genes, by addiction, by fate, by chromosomes.  Jesus living the perfect life we can’t, and dying the guilty death we should broke the bonds of not just Death, not just the Devil, but Sin too.

We have to repent of approaching this sin differently than we do all others.  One, it is a very ancient sin.  St. Augustine in the City of God says, “These effeminates, no later than yesterday, were going through the streets and places of Carthage with anointed hair, whitened faces, relaxed bodies, and feminine gait, exacting from the people the means of maintaining their ignominious lives” (VII, XXVI, I, NPNF, II, 137).  Luther knew of this sin asking, “Whence comes this perversity? Undoubtedly from Satan, who, after people have once turned away from the fear of God, so powerfully suppresses nature that he blots out the natural desire and stirs up a desire that is contrary to nature” (LW 3 255).  In some ways this is remarkably close to a conclusion reached by Jerry Satinover, M.D. in Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth and Adolf Koberle in The Quest for Holiness.  Koberle, the Christian, speaks of how repeated sinning against one’s conscience leads to ever thickening chains to a sin so that one no longer regards it as sinful. Satinover, a psychiatrist, speaks of how a person by repeatedly doing something can change their “hardware,” so they regard deviant behavior as perfectly normal.

As far as the poor gay man or lesbian woman having no choice because they are made that way, the Marquis de Sade also believed that.  Writing in the late 1700s he said, “Laws, morals, religions, paradises, hells, gods, and gallows, all will collapse when it is found that perversions are due to differences in blood, nerves, and organs, factors over which man has no determining voice” (Jurjevich, The Contemporary Faces of Satan, 275).  Writing in the 80s when most think homosexuality was still in the closet, George Gilder said, “The most powerful tool of the homosexual culture is the myth that homosexuality is a fixed and immutable condition, like the color of one’s skin, is widely taught in sex-education programs, in secondary schools, and in college psychology and social science courses and endlessly repeated in all the media” (Men and Marriage, 73). The view of homosexuality accepted by the world ought not to be accepted let alone parroted by the church.

There are dissenting voices to popular culture’s universal acceptance of homosexuality and pitying of homosexuals. Professor George Reekers, at the time in the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina said that there was no such thing as a homosexual child (Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 84).  And James Nelsen exposes the concept of homosexual orientation for what it is.  “Nowhere does the Bible say anything about homosexuality as a sexual orientation…Our understanding of homosexuality as a psychological orientation is a relatively recent development” (Embodiment, 181-182).

The last mentioned book was published by Augsburg Books in 1978, the ALC publishing house.  In thirty years those in the ALC went from dismissing homosexuality as an orientation at all, let alone a legitimate one, to embracing and celebrating gay pastors and homosexuality.  The second person down a slippery slope goes all the faster because the path is well worn. The second church goes faster still.

 

Associate Editors Note:  The following was offered by Pastor Harris to clarify some concerns from commenters.  I am posting it here since the comments have gone to multiple pages.

“Homosexual orientation is part and parcel of original sin; it’s out of the heart, so it’s in all of our hearts mine and yours included. But there is no such thing as homosexual orientation that is not sin, that can be excused by upbringing, genes, or even abuse. (No more than I can defend the beating of my child by the fact I was beaten by my father.) Same sex attraction has to be treated the same way that other-spouse attraction is treated. Sometimes it comes unbidden from the heart, i.e. the birds flying over our heads, and sometimes it is a sin of volition, i.e. we let them nest there and enjoy it. You willfully undress that spouse. I quoted the Augsburg book that said homosexuality as a psychological orientation is recent and the Bible says nothing about it. Homosexual orientation is the hill that homosexual activists must die on (N.B. I’m not saying our would be apologists is one of them.) because that makes it never a matter of choice which as I say in the article it can be and once it is and is accepted it is reinforced until the person really believes it is normal.
Of course, it’s also true we are all children of wrath by nature, i.e. by orientation. If a person can say that we’re all children of homosexuality by nature and therefore, as such we’re under His wrath, I would agree. But they only began to speak about homosexual orientation in order to distance it from homosexual acts. This in effect took homosexual orientation out from under the Law, and therefore, out from under the forgiveness of the Gospel which is the whole point of my piece. We are failing homosexuals because we are not letting the Law be Law and the Gospel be Gospel. It is St. Paul not me who said such “were some of you but you have been washed, you have been sanctified, etc.” I can say at one and the same time I am oriented toward other people’s spouse and I am not. Our possible apologists doesn’t seem to understand the simultaneous saint and sinner concept. The cure for sin is not changing behavior, but being forgiven. Change in behavior, I turn away from the other man’s spouse and look somewhere else, is a result of being forgiven. But no one wants to be forgiven for what they don’t believe is sin. I want to be forgiven for my orientation to other women other than my wife, of all my lusting heterosexual, homosexual, and asexual. I don’t want to be forgiven for being male, being bald, or being handsome.”


Comments

Failing Homosexuals — 88 Comments

  1. But must the distinction not always be made between on the one hand those sinners who take refuge in Christ, repent of their sins, and struggle against their temptations, and on the other those who do not – rather than between on the one hand those who struggle against the temptation to indulge in homosexual activity, and on the other those who struggle with other temptations?
    It seems to me that in the quote that “Sexual orientation does not invalidate Holy Baptism. God’s grace and the inclusion of the baptized into the family of God are fully present in the person of homosexual orientation. God does not love someone less because he or she is homosexual” such phrases as “orientation towards violence to others” and “oriented toward violence,” could very easily and truthfully be inserted for “sexual orientation” – and it seems to me that “a person tempted to commit murder, yet fighting this temptation, and repenting of his evil desire, and seeking refuge in the blood of Christ” would be a much more appropriate alternative to suggest substituted for “a person of homosexual orientation” than “a murderer” – assuming that, in all cases, we are talking about those struggling with temptations rather than willfully, persistently, and unrepentantly acting upon them, let alone doing so as part of a chosen life style.

    I am a little confused here. Should the temptation to engage in homosexual activity be treated differently than any other sin, or should it not? It seems to me that you demand that it be, while emphatically declaring that it should not.

    I am not trying to pick a fight with you here – I really am not – but rather trying to understand what alternative approach it is that you are advocating.

  2. A note to commenters. I have trashed a couple comments already which took on the task of belittling Pr. Harris for his article and name-calling and everything else. Repent.

    If you wish to comment, comment on the substance of the article. Pr. Harris will not be commenting in return, so the comments here will be more a discussion among readers than interaction with the author.

  3. Why is the temptation to homosexual behavior any different from say, the temptation to heterosexual behavior or the temptation to stealing paper clips?

  4. @Pastor Joshua Scheer #2
    I suppose, then, that any request for clarification is a priori rejected. I find that disappointing.

    I cannot help but also get the feeling that any such request is also considered illegitimate. I find that puzzling as well as disappointing.

  5. @Jais H. Tinglund #1
    He’s not advocating an alternative approach, but the one that the Bible calls all of us to do. Call it what it is; sin; and deal with it accordingly by preaching and applying the Law and Gospel in accord with the situation.

  6. @Joe Krohn #5
    Not true.
    As is evident in the original posting, Pastor Harris is advocating a different approach than that presented in “A Plan for the Ministry to Homosexual and Their Families” prepared by The Task Force on Ministry to Homosexuals and Their Families, and in the October 2013 of the “Lutheran Witness” – i.e. an alternative approach.

    A bare reference to “the Bible” neither alters that fact, nor does it serve as explanation as to exactly what that alternative approach would more specifically involve.

    Or in other words: it does not answer the questions with which the original posting leaves me.

  7. The word “orientation” needs to be done away with and properly called “lust” or “temptation.” “Orientation” gives the impression of a neutral position, and as Pastor Harris intimated above, it is no different than the heterosexual orientation perversely used (adultery, fornication, etc).

    Pastor Harris is right: we must be sympathetic and helpful to those who struggle with (but not those who impenitently embrace) homosexual lusts, but we must denounce those lusts as sin as well.

  8. J. Dean :
    Pastor Harris is right: we must be sympathetic and helpful to those who struggle with (but not those who impenitently embrace) homosexual lusts, but we must denounce those lusts as sin as well.

    Agreed. If that is what pastor Harris means, and meant to say.
    And perhaps it would have been an appropriate application of the forbidden commandment (i.e. the Eighth) to take for granted that it was …

  9. It begins with distinguishing homosexual feelings from acts (Again try doing that with heterosexual lust and adultery; Jesus says you can’t in Matthew 5:28.).

    I really think you are misreading Jesus there. You just equated “feelings” with “lust.” They are not the same. I can find myself attracted to any number of things, sinful or not, and this is not a result of any decision I have made, but a biological impulse. When I choose to dwell on an attraction I know is sinful, that is lust. I believe the distinction between being attracted to the same sex and acting on that attraction, whether in thought, word, or deed, is very legitimate. There is a line between being tempted, which is not sin, and yielding to temptation, which is sin. To the person who feels attracted to the same sex, yet resolves from faith in Christ to deny this attraction in thought, word, and deed, I would say they are not in sin for feeling that way. Sin isn’t necessarily something that happens to you – it must be something you participate with in order to incur guilt. Many Christians that experience same-sex attraction would gladly get rid of it. They seriously hate it. It can come across a bit callous and insensitive to say they must repent of that and change it.

  10. As hard as we try, NO Christian is free from temptations. I would argue that our daily struggles with temptation are actually a blessing: they keep us from becoming conceited or believing the false notion that our sinful condition is getting better. The Apostle Paul gladly boasted of his weaknesses, when he said, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

    And, as Luther once said: “The worst temptation is no temptation.”

  11. “And James Nelsen exposes the concept of homosexual orientation for what it is. “Nowhere does the Bible say anything about homosexuality as a sexual orientation…Our understanding of homosexuality as a psychological orientation is a relatively recent development” (Embodiment, 181-182).

    The last mentioned book was published by Augsburg Books in 1978, the ALC publishing house. In thirty years those in the ALC went from dismissing homosexuality as an orientation at all, let alone a legitimate one, to embracing and celebrating gay pastors and homosexuality.”

    That quote does not “dismiss homosexuality as an orientation”. It points out that humans have used their God-given brains and learned something new since biblical times. That is a good thing.

  12. One could argue, and not without legitimacy, that “sexual orientation” is a Psychological concept, rather than a Theological one. As such, it merely describes inPsychological terms a phemonenon occurring in some cases in the workings of the human mind (or, if you will, some specific mechanisms and manifestations of sinful nature) and really has no bearing on the ethical or Biblical legitimacy of the actions and emotions associated with it.
    In that sense it is comparable to, say, alcoholism and other addictions which are not categorised in Holy Scripture as such, whereas the behavioral patterns associated with them are, and evaluated spiritually and ethically.

  13. And the Holy Scriptures speak highly of behaviors that are supportive of, and not destructive to, interpersonal relationships.

  14. Pastor Harris is right on the money. The LCMS is following in the path of the ALC not only doctrinally, but also in its acceptance of the rather novel concept of “sexual orientation,” which doesn’t exist. “Orientation” is neither fixed nor entirely specific. It is based chiefly on feelings, which can change given the right stimuli.

    The sex drive God implants into every human being is, by divine design, oriented towards reproduction. That which militates against this is by its very nature evil.

    Both heterosexual and homosexual are rather modern terms. It may surprise some readers that the former, heterosexual, was once itself considered a mental disorder.

    What was it? The desire for sex apart from reproduction.

    If the LCMS is to preserve itself from the legacy of the ELCA, it must forthwith revisit all old CTCR documents and synodical teaching materials in order expunge false teaching concerning “sexuality” that has invaded this church body. The CTCR’s “Human Sexuality” document needs to be burned publicly.

    Further, President Harrison’s dangerous “God’s Gift of Sexuality Task Force” needs to be disbanded before it does lasting damage to the Synod.

    The only thing that I can think that is remotely good is CPH’s Marriage by God’s Design, which was a modest attempt to capture classic, Lutheran, biblical and confessional teaching on marriage.

  15. “The sex drive God implants into every human being is, by divine design, oriented towards reproduction. That which militates against this is by its very nature evil.”

    While stated authoritatively, I’m not sure there is much foundation for this statement. Perhaps you and your spouse have an agreement to not be sexual with one another outside of trying to conceive or after menopause.

    Such an approach would, however, be limiting to my marriage and our endeavor to live in full relationship with one another.

  16. JinIN :
    And the Holy Scriptures speak highly of behaviors that are supportive of, and not destructive to, interpersonal relationships.

    Indeed.
    Holy Scripture speaks very highly of the life of man and woman together in faithful and life-long wedded love, of the raising of children in the fear of the Lord, of the chaste life of the unmarried, and of the communal life of Christian in love for one another, teaching and admonishing one another, caring for each other and warning each other against unbelief and ungodly living, and in love also for those who are outside the faith.

  17. If you have a problem equating desire with sin, then you have a problem with the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.

    (1) Reference Romans 7
    (2) Reference Formula of Conrcord, Article I
    * EPITOME paragraph 12 – Antithesis (i.e. REJECTED thesis) 2:

    QUOTE: Also, [WE REJECT] that evil lusts are not sin, but con-created, essential properties of the nature, or, as though the above-mentioned defect and damage were not truly sin, because of which man without Christ [not ingrafted into Christ] would be a child of wrath.

    * SOLID DECLARATION paragraph 30-31 –

    QUOTE: Also, as Augustine writes concerning the Manicheans, as though it were not the corrupt man himself that sins by reason of inborn original sin, but something different and foreign in man, and that God, accordingly, accuses and condemns by the Law, not the nature as corrupt by sin, but only the original sin therein. For, as stated above in thesi, that is, in the explanation of the pure doctrine concerning original sin, the entire nature of man, which is born in the natural way of father and mother, is entirely and to the farthest extent corrupted and perverted by original sin, in body and soul, in all its powers, as regards and concerns the goodness, truth, holiness, and righteousness concreated with it in Paradise. Non tamen in aliam substantiam genere aut specie diversam, priori abolita, transmutata est, that is: Nevertheless the nature is not entirely exterminated or changed into another substance, which, according to its essence, could not be said to be like our nature [but is diverse in genus or species], and therefore cannot be of one essence with us. [31] Because of this corruption, too, the entire corrupt nature of man is accused and condemned by the Law, unless the sin is forgiven for Christ’s sake.

    So, let’s be clear. If you disagree that the inclination to sin is truly sin and condemned as such by God – you disagree with the Lutheran Confessions – you are not an orthodox Lutheran. That’s fine, I don’t hate you for it at all, I just pray that God will reveal the truth to you and lead you to repentance and trust in Christ for forgiveness of your sinful inclinations as well as your sins of action – otherwise, you are in danger of hellfire because you refuse to call sin what God calls sin – therefore you refuse to seek forgiveness for it.

  18. If I might add to Rev. MD’s point above: in a word, “concupiscence.”

    I’m a relatively new confessional and don’t claim to be as learned as a lot of you here, including the artcle’s author, but isn’t “sexual orientation” (S.O.) just a post-modern dirivitive of concupiscence? Am I too simpleminded if I were to conclude that being as how S.O. is synonymous with concupiscence, or perhaps it’s offspring, then S.O. is, in and of itself a damnable sin?

    I’m reading Walther’s L&G Thesis VI (p. 93) and quoting him he says, “…That was the chief sin of the Jews in Christ’s day, and it is the chief sin of the Papists in our time. The Jews had mingled gospel elements with the law by telling the people: ‘If you do not actually kill somebody, you are not a murderer.’ They declared that even concupiscence was something quite natural. The Papists say the same thing, though they do not admit that Christ explains the law by mentioning a few things that cannot really be categorized by breaking the law in a course way.”

  19. Marc . . .

    Concupiscence. Bingo! Strawman of “attracted” gone.

    Waited for that all day, since the very first comment, which I caught, and which was properly “trashed” – as Fr. Scheer put it early on, and subsequent commentary on another site which has continued in the same vein.

    Pax tecum

  20. Marc from Cincy :If I might add to Rev. MD’s point above: in a word, “concupiscence.”
    I’m a relatively new confessional and don’t claim to be as learned as a lot of you here, including the artcle’s author, but isn’t “sexual orientation” (S.O.) just a post-modern dirivitive of concupiscence? Am I too simpleminded if I were to conclude that being as how S.O. is synonymous with concupiscence, or perhaps it’s offspring, then S.O. is, in and of itself a damnable sin?
    I’m reading Walther’s L&G Thesis VI (p. 93) and quoting him he says, “…That was the chief sin of the Jews in Christ’s day, and it is the chief sin of the Papists in our time. The Jews had mingled gospel elements with the law by telling the people: ‘If you do not actually kill somebody, you are not a murderer.’ They declared that even concupiscence was something quite natural. The Papists say the same thing, though they do not admit that Christ explains the law by mentioning a few things that cannot really be categorized by breaking the law in a course way.”

    Amen. Concupiscence is the issue here, and the 1999 document seems to effectively contradict this Biblical teaching.

  21. Pastor Harris,

    Please put the best construction on this. I would strongly suggest you spend a more significant amount of time reading about what is said about orientation. I’m not even sure how to word this. I just think it would be really helpful to your position to increase your understanding of what is said about orientation.
    Please note, I’m not asking you to tolerate it.

    I really cannot emphasize this enough.

    QC

  22. Have not had time to read through all the comments. I think this really comes down to a this: is the given person in question excusing their sin or not? If they are excusing their sin, than by no means should we tolerate the idea that they call themselves a “gay Christian”. On the other hand, if they are not excusing their sin – and yet call themselves a “gay Christian” (seemingly against Paul in I Cor. 6), then we should treat them in a way similar to how we would treat a Christian, who, because of his repeated failures with alcohol, continues to call himself an alcoholic – except with the person struggling with homosexual inclinations, I really do think that here we ought to be even more sensitive to the struggle.

    +Nathan

  23. As a member of the “God’s Gift of Sexuality Task Force” I must respond to this. Simply put, we do NOT teach (nor does the 1999 “Plan…”) that same-sex attraction is a neutral much less a good thing. A person having same-sex attraction as well as people having opposite-sex attraction for anyone other than their spouse is the result of the Fall.

    However, we must distinguish between HAVING same-sex attraction versus affirming and/or acting on that same-sex attraction without repentance. What many who struggle with same-sex attraction have heard from the Church (and this is also the case for how Pastor Harris’ article could be perceived) is that simply HAVING same-sex attraction means that God has given them over to such desires because they have rejected God (a misinterpretation of what Paul is saying in Romans 1!) and that they can’t hear that the Gospel is for them until they no longer have such desires. But if some are actually preaching this (and I’m not saying that Pastor Harris is) this is FALSE teaching!

    Those who struggle with same-sex attraction do not choose to have those desires anymore than many men choose to have sinful desires for women who are not their wives. However, simply HAVING sinful desires of any kind does not mean that one is not repentant and a Christian. The believer exists as TOTAL sinner and TOTAL saint! When in 1st Cor. ch. 6 Paul says to the Corinthian Christians “but that is what some of you WERE” Paul does NOT mean that they no longer struggle with the sinful desires associated with the various sexual and non-sexual sins that he previously lists. Instead, Paul is saying that they used to be unrepentant unbelievers who affirmed their sin whereas now they are repentant believers who grieve over the sinful desires and behaviors in their lives and trust in Christ in whom they are “washed, sanctified and justified.”

    We must be VERY CAREFUL how we address the issue of same-sex attraction because, unlike other sin issues, the Church has addressed same-sex attraction and behavior in such a way as to give the perception that we are saying that people must cease having any same-sex desire or behavior in their lives or they are NOT Christian. Yes, I also said BEHAVIOR because it is possible for a CHRISTIAN to fall into sinful BEHAVIOR in a moment of weakness and still be a CHRISTIAN because the Holy Spirit moves them to grieve over their behavior and cling to Christ for forgiveness and the strength to do better. If we cease to be Christian the moment we engage in any sinful behavior for even a second, then no one posting here could rightly call himself or herself a Christian. In fact, no one could! As Paul say in Romans 7: “The very things I hate I end of DOING” (not merely DESIRING)

    Finally, as to Robert’s post above that the desire for sex apart from reproduction is sinful, this is simply not biblical! Yes, one of the results of sex between a husband and wife is that children may be the result. But this is NOT the only purpose of sex! Gen. 2:24 teaches that sex is God’s gift for a husband and wife to celebrate their “union” based on their promise to love (agape!) each other for life. This is why the Song of Solomon can celebrate God’s gift of sex in a monogamous marriage without ever mentioning procreation! This is also why when Paul addresses the purpose of sex he never mentions procreation (although this is important!) but only the “union” that properly takes place only between husband and wife.

  24. Pastor Tom Eckstein :
    We must be VERY CAREFUL how we address the issue of same-sex attraction because, unlike other sin issues, the Church has addressed same-sex attraction and behavior in such a way as to give the perception that we are saying that people must cease having any same-sex desire or behavior in their lives or they are NOT Christian.

    … and because there still are those (mostly outside of Lutheranism, of course) who not only use language that invites that perception, but also directly insist that this is what the Church should preach and teach.

    And because they are the ones the secular media persistently hold up as representative for all who have any reservations whatsoever when it comes to the homosexual agenda, and therefore it will often be assumed and expected that this is what is believed and taught and preached in all churches and by all clergymen that do not unreservedly celebrate homosexuality.

    Often we will need to speak the Gospel very loudly, and to distance ourselves very loudly from such denial of the Gospel, in order for the Gospel to be heard through the noise of assumptions and expectations.

    And often the Gospel will then come to stand as a great and unexpected gift to those who expected something completely different from us – as the great and unexpected gift that it really always is.

    O, and thank you, Pastor Eckstein, for the clarification regarding the “God’s Gift of Sexuality Task Force” …

  25. “Later on it said this, “Sexual orientation does not invalidate Holy Baptism. God’s grace and the inclusion of the baptized into the family of God are fully present in the person of homosexual orientation. God does not love someone less because he or she is homosexual” (28). Insert “Orientation towards violence to others” and “oriented toward violence,” and “a murderer” in the italicized portions above. And if you can’t do that with the Fifth Commandment, you can’t do it with the Sixth.”

    ………WHAAAAA?? O.o

    Whether one uses the terminology “orientation” or not, all “homosexual orientation” means is that a person is tempted toward their own gender rather than the other. Now we can argue whether this is caused by original sin but…..

    HOW EXACTLY DOES EXPERIENCING TEMPTATION INVALIDATE BAPTISM???

  26. Matt –

    Please – skip the CAPS! Let your own word choices speak for themselves.

    Anyone who knows the truth, has been baptized, and yet walks contrary to Scripture has, ipso facto – denied both the Una Sancta and their own Baptism.

    In other words – their Baptism remains(ed) valid. They do/did not.

    Many words have been bantered about here sans any real precise definition. That has caused much of the confusion. And . . . the lack of a clear distinction between Law and Gospel has merely exacerbated the cross-talk.

    If the sin is not clearly defined, forgiveness cannot be clearly proclaimed.

    Pax tecum

  27. @jb #26
    Sometimes caps are a good idea – like when pointing out especially egregious theological errors.

    But you still haven’t explained how temptation invalidates baptism.

  28. Matt :
    @jb #26
    Sometimes caps are a good idea – like when pointing out especially egregious theological errors.

    Not really.
    To some people, myself included, employing caps to make a point, rather than relying on the strength of reasoning, tends to direct attention away from the intended point to the apparent immaturity of the one trying to make it, as it tends to make the comment in which it occurs seem more like the inarticulate hysteric outburst of an outraged teenager than like a worthwhile contribution to a conversation carried out among adults.
    It is, in a way, the typographical equivalent of yelling and screaming.

  29. From Pastor Harris who asked me to post this here:
    “Homosexual orientation is part and parcel of original sin; it’s out of the heart, so it’s in all of our hearts mine and yours included. But there is no such thing as homosexual orientation that is not sin, that can be excused by upbringing, genes, or even abuse. (No more than I can defend the beating of my child by the fact I was beaten by my father.) Same sex attraction has to be treated the same way that other-spouse attraction is treated. Sometimes it comes unbidden from the heart, i.e. the birds flying over our heads, and sometimes it is a sin of volition, i.e. we let them nest there and enjoy it. You willfully undress that spouse. I quoted the Augsburg book that said homosexuality as a psychological orientation is recent and the Bible says nothing about it. Homosexual orientation is the hill that homosexual activists must die on (N.B. I’m not saying our would be apologists is one of them.) because that makes it never a matter of choice which as I say in the article it can be and once it is and is accepted it is reinforced until the person really believes it is normal.
    Of course, it’s also true we are all children of wrath by nature, i.e. by orientation. If a person can say that we’re all children of homosexuality by nature and therefore, as such we’re under His wrath, I would agree. But they only began to speak about homosexual orientation in order to distance it from homosexual acts. This in effect took homosexual orientation out from under the Law, and therefore, out from under the forgiveness of the Gospel which is the whole point of my piece. We are failing homosexuals because we are not letting the Law be Law and the Gospel be Gospel. It is St. Paul not me who said such “were some of you but you have been washed, you have been sanctified, etc.” I can say at one and the same time I am oriented toward other people’s spouse and I am not. Our possible apologists doesn’t seem to understand the simultaneous saint and sinner concept. The cure for sin is not changing behavior, but being forgiven. Change in behavior, I turn away from the other man’s spouse and look somewhere else, is a result of being forgiven. But no one wants to be forgiven for what they don’t believe is sin. I want to be forgiven for my orientation to other women other than my wife, of all my lusting heterosexual, homosexual, and asexual. I don’t want to be forgiven for being male, being bald, or being handsome.”

  30. @Jais H. Tinglund #28

    Jais H. Tinglund :

    Matt :
    @jb #26
    Sometimes caps are a good idea – like when pointing out especially egregious theological errors.

    Not really.
    To some people, myself included, employing caps to make a point, rather than relying on the strength of reasoning, tends to direct attention away from the intended point to the apparent immaturity of the one trying to make it, as it tends to make the comment in which it occurs seem more like the inarticulate hysteric outburst of an outraged teenager than like a worthwhile contribution to a conversation carried out among adults.
    It is, in a way, the typographical equivalent of yelling and screaming.

    And really stupid and evil theology statements that lock heaven to repentant sinners certainly calls for yelling and screaming. No one has yet addressed the question, how does experiencing temptation invalidate baptism?

    in the quote he asked Pastor Sheer to post, he says, “The cure for sin is not changing behavior, but being forgiven.” Yet he withholds that forgiveness from those who experience same sex temptation without even asking if they are repentant.

    The fact is that even if it does come from original sin, saying that experiencing homosexual desires (call it orientation or whatever you want) invalidates baptism is atrocious.

    What Harris demonstrates is not theological acumen but theological sloppiness.

    Caps or not, I still want to know how experiencing a temptation, even if it does flow from original sin, invalidates baptism?

    This still has not been answered.

  31. Pr. Scheer: “I don’t want to be forgiven for being male, being bald…”

    Me: My bald uncle used to say, “God only made so many perfect heads – the rest He had to cover with hair.” 🙂

  32. @Matt #31
    I have never heard it said, nor have I read it anywhere, that experiencing a temptation invalidates baptism.
    That being the case, I am really at a loss as to exactly how to explain exactly how this supposedly happen.
    And I would not really expect anybody else to, either …

  33. @Matt #31

    Matt,

    Please carefully re-read what was stated:

    Later on it said this, “Sexual orientation does not invalidate Holy Baptism. God’s grace and the inclusion of the baptized into the family of God are fully present in the person of homosexual orientation. God does not love someone less because he or she is homosexual” (28). Insert “Orientation towards violence to others” and “oriented toward violence,” and “a murderer” in the italicized portions above. And if you can’t do that with the Fifth Commandment, you can’t do it with the Sixth.

    Pr. Harris does not state “experiencing temptation invalidate baptism” and he does not state “experiencing homosexual desires (call it orientation or whatever you want) invalidates baptism.” What did he say? He said nothing about baptism other than to quote what his source says about baptism. What is the point Pr. Harris appears to be drawing from the quotation? That the baptism of a homosexual is irrelevant to the issue at hand which is repentance.

    It is the source he cites which appears to be waving away the significance of homosexually based upon one’s being baptized. So, the question becomes, just because I am baptized, is it OK for me to hate my neighbor? Just because I am baptized is it OK for me to want to do violence to my neighbor? Etc. etc.

  34. @Matt #31

    In the previous post Matt says: “…in the quote [Pastor Harris] asked Pastor Sheer to post, he says, ‘The cure for sin is not changing behavior, but being forgiven.’ Yet he withholds that forgiveness from those who experience same sex temptation without even asking if they are repentant. The fact is that even if it does come from original sin, saying that experiencing homosexual desires (call it orientation or whatever you want) invalidates baptism is atrocious.
    What Harris demonstrates is not theological acumen but theological sloppiness.”

    All I can say is “Amen!” Pastor Harris’ article “as worded” can easily lead to a perception that simply HAVING same-sex desires excludes one from absolution.

    In fact, regarding Luther’s comment in the Sm. Articles (that one can’t prevent a bird from flying over one’s head but one can prevent said bird from making a nest in one’s hair), even though his intended MEANING is orthodox and true (namely, that a true Christian cannot engage in sinful behavior without being convicted of sin, longing for forgiveness, and having the desire to change), the statement itself can lead to the false notion that a “true Christian” may be tempted but will NEVER give in during a moment of weakness or EVER engage in sinful behavior. But this view is NOT biblical! True Christians fall into sinful behavior all the time (whether it’s having a sinful thought or speaking a sinful word or performing a sinful act) and yet have guilt over that sin, long for forgiveness, and desire to do better. The false notion that a “True Christian” will never “let a bird build a nest in his hair,” that is, will never engage in sinful behavior has nothing to do with Lutheran theology is has much more in common with the false teaching of “progressive sanctification” and the notion that it is possible for a Christian to avoid all sinful BEHAVIOR if he’s just determined enough.

    The Christian life is one of constant repentance and faith. This is why Luther can say in his morning prayer “help me live this day without sin” and then pray in his evening prayer “forgive me the sin I have DONE today.” Please understand. I’m not saying that by the power of the Gospel and the loving support of fellow Christians that a believer can’t improve his behavior and begin to avoid certain sinful acts (e.g., viewing pornography). But even if our behavior does improve (if we must try to “measure” our sanctification) this doesn’t change the fact that our sinful nature is still whole and complete as is the New Man in Christ.

  35. Matt –

    Are you channeling Gary, or are you venturing into nonsense of your own volition?

    Do you not understand the nature of Original Sin? That having been said, Gary, in his horrendous opening e-mail “condemning” Pastor Harris (Gary’s own words), dang near turned “attracted” into a sacrament.

    How does temptation invalidate Holy Baptism? My friend, this is not mere “temptation” you (or Gary) are arguing; it is acceptance of a horrific practice completely contrary to the Law of God. St. Paul wasn’t beating his gums when he made his accusations against such perversion – it was rampant in his day, and he addressed it head-on. He did not make any excuse for the proclivities toward sin that are now, somehow, (let me check my politically correct dictionary) – There it is!

    Not really sin. Sweet Jesus in Heaven – you were wrong?

    “Father in Heaven, I confess before Thee that I am, by nature, a poor, miserable sinner . . . However, Lord, I make the following exceptions . . . my attraction toward something, or my orientation, or my opinion of both, is not inherently sinful, so I am not confessing that stuff.”

    By my concupiscence, the slightest inclination toward anything against God’s Law is sinful and unclean. Pretending or insinuating otherwise is sinful and unclean. Accusing a Pastor as are you for being wrong, and Gary did as “being condemned?”

    אױ װײ dudes . . . were I either of you, I would stay indoors during thunderstorms.

    Pastor Eckstein . . .

    My Good Sir . . . I know you are proud of having been at the forefront of a major Synodical presentation/piece, and much of what was determined is commendable. However, nothing of what Pastor Harris wrote deserves your most recent critiques in #35. You, sir, like many, are simply ignoring concupiscence. The particular sin doesn’t matter, the determination of the Lord God, in Christ, does. It’s God’s Law, not yours nor ours. That is where this discussion and many went awry. Despite your well-intended efforts and all of those in the ’99 “Plan” – your conclusions were not able to envision the entire LGBT explosion, nor can you confidently agree with those obviously ignoring Original Sin.

    I rarely, if ever, go this deep on any matter with anyone but my Father Confessor. Father Harris has been improperly accused and defamed. Way, way out of bounds.

    Simply put, his detractors should be ashamed of themselves.

    Matt:

    “Caps or not, I still want to know how experiencing a temptation, even if it does flow from original sin, invalidates baptism?”

    Every one of us tries to invalidate our Baptisms every day by our concupiscence. That’s WHO (pardon the caps) we are. Denying that is first, to deny the Law, which necessarily leads to denying the Gospel.

    Pax tecum

  36. @jb #36

    JP, you’re just not getting it. Neither Matt nor I deny that concupiscence is sin. What we are challenging is the meaning that could easily be perceived from Pastor Harris’ article: that HAVING concupiscence – and, in the case of Harris’ article, same-sex attraction – means that one is an impenitent sinner who sees no need for the Gospel. This view is NOT “preaching the Law as if there were no Gospel” but is simply false teaching! I’m not saying that pastor Harris intends to teach this error, but the words of his article can easily be interpreted in that way!

    Also, your rant about what Scripture teaches re: the sin of same-sex lust and behavior is simply preaching to the choir. Of course Matt and I agree with that! If you have any doubt about what my position is re: Scripture’s teaching on same-sex lust and behavior, just read my book Bearing Their Burden (http://www.amazon.com/Bearing-Their-Burden-Tom-Eckstein/dp/055779319X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1297378160&sr=1-1).

    The fact is that many people who sadly affirm their same-sex lust and behavior often hear a FALSE Gospel, namely, that if they just stop having same-sex desires and develop opposite-sex desires God may consider loving them and forgiving them. If pastor Harris wants to proclaim “the Gospel as if there is no Law” then he needs to be clear that merely HAVING same-sex attraction (I’m not talking about affirming it and/or acting on it) does not mean that one cannot receive forgiveness from Christ.

  37. For reference on concupiscence and the Walther quote I cited last night, here’s Thesis VI:

    “The Word of God is not rightly divided when the Law is not preached in its full sternness and the Gospel not in its full sweetness, when, on the contrary, Gospel elements are mingled with the Law and Law elements with the Gospel.”

  38. @Pastor Tom Eckstein #35

    “All I can say is “Amen!” Pastor Harris’ article “as worded” can easily lead to a perception that simply HAVING same-sex desires excludes one from absolution.”

    While I can come to that conclusion if I import other thoughts and ideas into Pastor Harris’ article, I have a hard time reaching that conclusion from the article itself. Especially when we read things like:

    * No more than the unrighteous, fornicators, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, or swindlers can inherit eternal life can homosexuals. But the Gospel is that no one is bound to their sins by genes, by addiction, by fate, by chromosomes.
    * We have to repent of approaching this sin differently than we do all others.
    * I can’t stand before God and defend my heterosexual lusting anymore than he can stand before God defending his homosexual lusting.

    What’s more, perception is not reality. In point of fact, this article seems less intended to further the conversation about homosexuality/same-sex-attraction per-se, and more intended to critique some of the contributions to that conversation to date.

    Keeping with that intention, I would note that reference to ANY sin “invalidating baptism” is a very sloppy way to speak. It is certainly not a Lutheran way of speaking. However, as was noted earlier, it was not Pr. Harris speaking in such bizzare terms, but was put forward by the 1999 “A Plan for the Ministry to Homosexual and Their Families” prepared by The Task Force on Ministry to Homosexuals and Their Families.

    So, I would ask, is speaking of ANY sin as “invalidating baptism” a helpful way of talking? What does it mean to “invalidate baptism”? Where does such language come from? Is that a legitimate framework to discuss any sin from a Lutheran perspective?

  39. One more thing. Pastor Harris simply misunderstands the 1999 “A Plan for the Ministry to Homosexual and Their Families” prepared by The Task Force on Ministry to Homosexuals and Their Families. I offer this quote from Pastor Harris’ article: “On page 21 [of “A Plan…”] we read, ‘If homosexual orientation and behavior are not differentiated in public preaching and teaching, the person with a homosexual orientation will perceive himself or herself as condemned before God without redemption.” Pastor Harris somehow reads into this the notion that the 1999 task force is saying that concupiscence is NOT sin. But they say no such thing! What they are trying to stress – and rightly so! – is that merely HAVING concupiscence and the various sinful desires that flow from it (e.g., same-sex attraction) does not mean that one cannot receive absolution. Repentant believers still have concupiscence and we are, as Paul says in 1 Cor. 6:11, “washed, sanctified and justified” in Christ. But the tone of pastor Harris’ article suggests that any person who HAS same-sex attraction is by definition an impenitent sinner who is rejecting Christ’s forgiveness. This is the sloppy message and confused theological language we must avoid at all costs!

  40. @Rev. MD #39

    Rev. MD, pastor Harris writes: ” I can’t stand before God and defend my heterosexual lusting anymore than he can stand before God defending his homosexual lusting.” Who is arguing with this? When the 1999 “A Plan…” speaks of people having an “homosexual orientation” (which, I admit, is confusing terminology, which is why I prefer to use “same-sex attraction”) it merely means a person who is attracted to others of the same-sex. Therefore, when my Christian friends say they are “Gay” they do NOT mean that they are defending their homosexual lust but that they struggle with same-sex attraction and rejoice in the fact that they have forgiveness in Christ as they struggle with this temptation and sometimes even give into it during a time of weakness. It is the same as a repentant Christian who says “I am an alcoholic!” He is NOT affirming his desire to abuse alcoholic beverages but is, in humility, acknowledging to others that he struggles with this temptation and needs Jesus!

    However, there are several places in pastor Harris’ article where his wording makes no distinction between the person who affirms his/her same-sex lust versus the repentant Christian who agrees with God that his/her same-sex lust is sinful and trusts in Christ for forgiveness and the strength to do better.

  41. Pastor Eckstein –

    I pay all honor and homage to the Office you hold, as it is one I hold as well.

    You, Matt, and Gary have, frankly, reformed/malformed what Pastor Harris said, to fit your own models.

    I stand by my words, which none of you can disprove. Homosexuality is no more, no less, than any other sin. The Law addresses it with absolute clarity. The Gospel does likewise. All of this nonsense that tries to delineate whatever infinitesimal nonsense is hhs. Politically correct hogwash dressed up in orthodox vestments. Heh!

    Pastor Eckstein – I “got it” decades ago. I preached it. If you would like to verbally “impeach me” as it were, and it seems you desire to do . . .

    Please, sir give it your very best shot.

    Otherwise, quit defaming another man for the sake of an amateur theologian. Pastor Harris was spot-on.

    BTW – it’s been “jb” for over a decade online. Please, do me the courtesy of getting “me” right,

    Pax

  42. @Pastor Tom Eckstein #41

    Pr. Eckstein,

    Help me to understand the difference between “same sex attraction” and “opposite sex attraction.” Are you saying that it is just as natural for a person who is attracted to the opposite sex to be attracted to the same sex? And, are you saying that it isn’t immoral to be attracted to the same sex?

  43. @jb #42

    Jb, sorry I got your name wrong. No offense intended!

    Simply put, I agree that homosexuality is no different than any other sin. But you are oblivious to how this issue has been addressed from many pulpits and in many articles/books if you think that it has not been handled as though this were true.

    We can agree to disagree re: how the wording of pastor Harris’ article could be perceived, but I hope we would both agree that suggesting that one merely HAVING same-sex attraction means that one is impenitent is simply false teaching. Assuming you agree with this, then you need to know that many who struggle with same-sex attraction hear that very error from Christians of various denominations – including the LCMS. You can disagree, but I hear that “tone” in pastor Harris’ article. He needs to work on how he uses his language on this issue.

  44. @Jim Pierce #43

    Honestly, I don’t know how we could be anymore clear. No! I’m NOT saying “that it is just as natural for a person who is attracted to the opposite sex to be attracted to the same sex” NOR am I saying “that it isn’t immoral to be attracted to the same sex?” In fact, I would add that having sexual desires (heterosexual or homosexual) for any person other than one’s spouse is also NOT “natural,” that is, it is sinful because I believe that BEFORE the Fall there would have been no desire for what God had NOT given.

    The simple point that Matt and I are trying to make is that merely HAVING concupiscence (which can result in some HAVING same-sex attraction) does not mean that one cannot also be a repentant Christian who is “washed, sanctified and justified” through faith in Christ. How would you feel if I said that if you have lustful desires for other women besides your wife that you are an impenitent sinner and no Christian!? This is a sinful category mistake! But many who struggle with same-sex attraction hear this false teaching all the time because of the sloppy language used by many Christians.

  45. @Pastor Tom Eckstein #41

    “However, there are several places in pastor Harris’ article where his wording makes no distinction between the person who affirms his/her same-sex lust versus the repentant Christian who agrees with God that his/her same-sex lust is sinful and trusts in Christ for forgiveness and the strength to do better.”

    I don’t see where this is necessary in his article as it stands. In fact, such a distinction would undercut his argument that we need to treat homosexuality in all its forms the same way we do any other sin. PERHAPS he could have teased that out and said, “forgive the penitent and withhold forgiveness from the impenitent” – but that would have invited an argument over how to discern the “penitent” from the “impenitent” and would have been a useless rabbit hole. Seems better to me to leave it as – “This sin is no different than any other.” Why is that somehow insufficient for the piece which Pr. Harris wrote? (not necessarily the piece you wish he wrote)

    Also – I’m a bit confused by the need to distinguish “same-sex attraction” from “homosexual behavior”. I guess I would ask, do you assert that “same-sex attraction” is itself a sin for which a person must be forgiven? Or is it somehow NOT a sin? Or is it somehow a different “classification” of sin than, say, the envy engendered by driving by a POWERBALL billboard?

    As I understand the Lutheran Confessions, there is only ONE way to deal with sin – to receive forgiveness. Whether it’s the sin of a feeling or desire that is contrary to God’s Law but is unintentional and subconscious – or it is a sin in which the mind and body actively engages. The only remedy is the forgiveness of Christ. That was my takeaway from Pr. Harris’ piece.

    Where, from Pr. Harris’ words, do you get any idea that he advocates withholding forgiveness to the struggling penitent? (For that matter, where does he talk at all about withholding forgiveness from anyone?)

    And, back to my original question – where does this language of “invalidating Baptism” come from? Where and how does any sin “invalidate Baptism”?

  46. @Pastor Tom Eckstein #45

    “But many who struggle with same-sex attraction hear this false teaching all the time because of the sloppy language used by many Christians.”

    What “sloppy language” was used IN THIS INSTANCE to teach this? Where in Pr. Harris’ words did HE TEACH that those who struggle with same-sex attraction are impenitent sinners and no Christian?

  47. Pastor Tom Eckstein :
    @Matt #31
    Pastor Harris’ article “as worded” can easily lead to a perception that simply HAVING same-sex desires excludes one from absolution.

    Agreed.
    But then Pastor Harris had Pastor Scheer post a clarification of his position, in which clarification he equated the sin involved in homosexual orientation with the sin he acknowledged in his own heart, and in which he stated that homosexual orientation should be under the forgiveness of the Gospel.

    And it seems to me that with that any discussion as to what could easily be perceived from Pastor Harris’ original article “as worded” becomes moot. It has been made clear that the possible perception does not represent his actual position.

    It would seem to me that to continue the discussion of Pastor Harris’ original posting while disregarding the clarification would serve no purpose, except as ad hominem attacks on Pastor Harris, putting him down publicly, rubbing his face in how one thinks he could have done better, etc.

    And I am not aware, nor can I imagine, how this could serve any good and God-pleasing purpose.

    This would include claiming that Pastor Harris “withholds that forgiveness from those who experience same sex temptation without even asking if they are repentant” while knowing full well that this is not true, because the clarification, well, clarifies that.

    It would include stating, on the basis of what is now known to be a misrepresentation of Pastor Harris’ position, that “What Harris demonstrates is not theological acumen but theological sloppiness”.

    It would include, holding onto the same misconception, again against better knowledge, referring to Pastor Harris’ posting as “really stupid and evil theology statements that lock heaven to repentant sinners”.

    And it would finally include a Pastor stating that all that he can say to these extremely bitter personal attacks on Pastor Harris, all based on what has already been shown to be a misunderstanding of his position (regardless of to which degree one might think that Pastor Harris himself is responsible for having made this misunderstanding possible), is “Amen”.

    I am very uncomfortable with this.

    I do appreciate the clarifications regarding the Task Force and the “Plan”, though.

  48. Pastor Tom Eckstein :
    The simple point that Matt and I are trying to make is that merely HAVING concupiscence (which can result in some HAVING same-sex attraction) does not mean that one cannot also be a repentant Christian….

    Pastor,

    Do you really believe that is what Pr. Harris was saying? One can’t be a Christian and have concupiscence?

  49. Fr.Tom –

    The name “bit” is okay – everybody gets me right, then wrong and then . . . heh!

    Let’s be frank . . .

    Gary’s attraction” is a ruse. Attraction to sin comes straight out of concupiscence. Your hearing “tones” is not one whit objective in this discussion, is it?

    No. Pastor Harris said not one word that could be challenged, beyond personal theology.

    I know who perpetrated this discussion thus far, and I know his desire to import his faulty socio-political nonsense into this discussion. Once upon a time he said so on his site.

    Not a single soul has logically/theologically properly disputed Pastor Harirs’ words. Ad hominem has abounded almost at will – I am amazed, not at Gary or Matt, but at those of the WCW fraternity who have simply accepted whomever, whatever, for whatever reason, perpetuate such stuff.

    Protecting any sinner, whatever the sin, is not a part of our job description, is it? Of course not. To even imply that it is, is to deny the Gospel.

    Thus far, I have accused no one of that. But this thread has become stupid. and I am strongly attracted, oriented, and inclined to begin doing so.

    Homosexuality, in its very manifestation, including “attraction, is sin. As is every other violation of the Law.We are by nature sinful and unclean. We can whirl like dervishes around that, but we cannot escape it.

    Sin is sin. We simply hate to admit that.

    But we hafta.

    Pax tecum

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