Pastor Don Green’s Series on Transgenderism

Transgenderism has come avalanching into our lives. There really is no area safe from it’s crushing force that wants everyone without exception to celebrate their agenda, if not by personal choice, then by threat of legislative penalty. Already, true women’s sports has been undone by hulking males claiming they are really females and a lobotomized culture who applaud their “achievements” setting new records. Even Democratic presidential candidates have pledged to work for the full rights and inclusion of the “T” across all areas of society.

How do we respond as Christians? Don Green, pastor of Truth Community Church, did a series of messages addressing that very topic. I’d encourage folks to take the time to work their way through his series on transgenderism. He lays a solid foundation in Scripture of how the Church must respond apologetically to this menace seeking to abolish human civilization.

The Bible and Transgenderism

The Last Temptation of Christ

The Australian arm of The Gospel Coalition recently published an interview with Ed Shaw, one of the founders of Living Out, the U.K. version of Revoice. Consider the title of the interview, “The Church and Same-Sex Attracted People.” It assumes such a category as “same-sex attracted people” is a reality of the human existence, that Christians should recognize them as legit, and accept them into the body dynamic of the local Church. Shaw, for example, even wrote up a church audit that determines just how inclusive a congregation is for same-sex attracted, LGBT+ people. I wrote a response to it HERE.

The interview was troubling and sound-minded folks on social media rightly blasted it. The reaction was so overwhelming, that the TGC Australia editors felt it necessary to add a postscript responding to the backlash. It states,

Editor’s Postscript: In view of some strong reactions on social media to some of the material in this interview, the TGCA editorial panel would like to make clear that we are very grateful for the heroic stand of Christian leaders such as Ed Shaw who have been open and honest about their own struggles with sexuality while defending biblical standards of sexual practice.

We would urge those who believe that there is something wrong with the idea that Jesus might have struggled in regard to matters connected to his sexuality to consider the meaning of Hebrews 2:18 and 4:15. Jesus (i)  was genuinely tempted in every way like us; (ii) suffered in the process; (iii) did not sin. Every one of those statements is important—not just the last. The Bible does not tell us what particular temptations Jesus may have experienced in these areas, but it stresses that he had a human nature that was capable of being tempted. Temptation, in other words, is not the same as sin.

We would also urge readers who want to be properly informed about what Ed Shaw and Living Out believe to take some time to visit http://www.livingout.org and spend some time looking at the questions and answers discussed there.

For the purposes of this post, I want to focus in upon that second paragraph.

Advocates for the Orwellian named “same-sex attracted Christian” want us to believe that same-sex attraction is a possible category of human existence — about two percent of the population. Out of that group, there are same-sex attracted people who will profess Christ as their Lord and Savior. Those individuals, we are told, will struggle throughout their entire life with romantic feelings and sexual desires for someone of the same-sex. The church must not guilt them into believing those desires must be changed, but instead, should help LGBT people accept who they are, exhorting them to remain celibate, and serve in the church as vibrant, single members.

The first sentence of the postscript says, “We would urge those who believe that there is something wrong with the idea that Jesus might have struggled in regard to matters connected to his sexuality…” Whoever wrote that comment seems to believe Jesus might have struggled with homosexuality. That our Lord and Savior, the Son of Man, the Son of God, Who always did the will of the Father, may have had sexual attractions to other men. Perhaps, for example, the apostle John, because, well, he did lean on Jesus’s bosom at the Last Supper and he is said to be one of the disciples whom Jesus loved (John 13:23).

The reason that such a filthy, blasphemous idea is even suggested has to do with a terrifically bad take on two crucial passages, Hebrews 2:18 and 4:15.

Hebrew 2:18 states, For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. And Hebrews 4:15 states, For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. The editor of the post script goes on to conclude that Jesus was tempted just like us, suffered in the process, but didn’t sin, and though it is noted that we cannot know for sure what temptations Jesus may have experienced that enticed Him toward sin, he did have a human nature that was tempted and temptation is NOT the same as sin.

In the context of the backlash TGC Australia encountered, the suggestion is that Jesus could have struggled with gay attraction (He was of course single), He agonized throughout that temptation, but he did not give into it (remained chaste and advocated for biblical men and women relationships). Haters need to turn down the anti-SSA rhetoric. Even though there are Christian men who really want to have sexual intercourse with other men, the fact that they may think about it, but refrain from engaging in the act, proves they are modeling how Jesus responded to the same temptations.

The post script not only has a terrible biblical anthropology, it has a terrifically bad christology as well.

First, SSA advocates insist that temptation is different and separated from desire and sin. In other words, a person may struggle with SSA, desire a romantic/sexual relationship with a person of the same sex, but the temptation to act upon homosexual sin is not sinful in and of itself. The person was merely tempted, yet struggled with resistance and took victory over those temptations. The person didn’t commit any sin. So, just because a person has the desires of SSA doesn’t mean they are in sin if he or she experiences temptation to behave sinfully on a daily basis.

But Jesus never chopped sins into different categories. When he preached the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus confronted head on the false notion that desire and sin are separate. If a person is angry with his brother, curses him, and speaks ill of him before others, he is a murderer (Matthew 5:22). The person never even raises so much as his fist against the man, but his animosity against him makes him a murderer none the less. His desire is hatred toward his brother and Jesus calls it sinful murder even though he has done no physical act against him. Jesus also talks about adultery in the same way (Matthew 5:27-28). Even if a man never has physical intercourse with a woman, the lust he feeds in his heart toward her makes him an adulterer. The woman may never even know a man is committing adultery with her.

The point Jesus makes throughout the Gospels is that man’s sin originates from his heart (Matthew 15:18-19). Notice the first sin listed in verse 18 is “evil thoughts.” In other words, desires. The heart is the seat of man’s desires and so specific desires can be sinful. Scripture calls those desires like SSA, inordinate affection, a desire that is disordered (Colossians 3:5). The King James translates the phrase concupiscence, an old fashioned word meaning strong, sensual, involuntary sexual arousal. That captures exactly what SSA is.

Secondly, there is a fundamental misunderstanding about what happened when Christ was tempted. Christ is not overcoming temptation as a model for how we all overcome temptation. He was not struggling with every sin that ever was so as to sympathize with those people who struggle with and often yield to those same sins.

The point of Christ’s temptation by the devil (Matthew 4, Luke 4) was to demonstrate that Jesus was unable to sin and thus was God’s perfect, second Adam. That is what we call the doctrine of impeccability: Jesus was unable to sin. (See W.G.T. Shedd’s chapter on this important doctrine). He was unable to sin because He did not have a sin nature like all of humanity. He was impervious to sinful attractions because he had no sin nature to actualize sinful desires that would lead Him to sin. Hence, the temptations were designed to show how it was impossible for Jesus to fall into sin, not whether he can overcome sinful desires that were in his heart. I recall one old preacher likening it to a newly built  bridge over a river. We drive a heavy truck over it not to test if we can make the bridge collapse into the water, but to demonstrate that it is incapable of collapsing.

But someone is asking, “What about Hebrews 2:18 and 4:15?” Those passages are describing the doctrine of impeccability. Jesus was tempted (tested being a better word) in the larger areas of human experience in the world. The apostle John describes them in 1 John 2:15-17 as the lust of the flesh, the eyes, and the pride of life. Jesus suffered temptation, but it was not a suffering of having to placate sinful desires. It was the common suffering all men in their human natures encounter, but unlike humanity, Jesus was never susceptible to them and remained unconquerable.

Worldly thinking regarding homosexuality has poured into the church at an alarming rate. Christians have so submerged themselves in the flood that their apologetics and counseling have become soaked through with heretical error. They truly believe they are helpful witnesses for the faith, when in fact they are blind guides leading the blind. I recently was in a twitter exchange with a guy who was emphatic that modern science has shown that homosexual orientation is a genuine expression of human sexuality. He argued that the Bible is not scientific and Paul wrote his words to a scientifically illiterate audience who would have no understanding of sexual orientation. He also claimed to be a Christian. Many who advocate for same sex attraction embrace that false notion of “orientation.” Their error, however, leads them to direct people away from Scripture and the life changing, transformative power of the Holy Spirit. They accommodate those men and women trapped in the sin of homosexuality, affirming the lie that the world tells them, that their orientation will never change and they must resolve themselves to a life of celibacy. Their counsel only enslaves them into more misery.

What we see happening now is a redefinition of historic doctrinal terms that have shaped the theology of the Christian church for centuries. What Scripture has always taught regarding sex, gender, gender roles, and even orientation, is cast off as unscientific and hurtful to a new generation taught to believe sexual perversion is normal for a Christian who has been made holy before God. The inevitable result of that cataclysmic change in terminology is a new Christ. A Jesus who was just like us to the point he was enticed to involve himself in sinful, sexual deviancy. We are watching the emergence of a brand new psuedo-Christian cult.

Can We Redeem Queer Culture?

I tussled with a few of the folks from Revoice right before Easter weekend, particularly Nate Collins. He was bothered by a tweet I posted. I wrote,

The Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary pageant, along with the Folsom street fair, drag queen library story time, and a number of other similar homoerotic, fetish themed events that take place around the world, is the core of what defines queer culture. Any individuals attempting to normalize same-sex attraction and queer culture within the Christian church may not like that reality, but it is the truth.

The one breakout session that Nate kept insisting I hear is the lecture called, Redeeming Queer Culture: An Adventure.  Leading up to their first conference in the summer of 2018, that was the most controversial workshop advertised because the original description stated that queer treasure will be brought into the new heavens and earth. It was described as,

For the sexual minority seeking to submit his or her life fully to Christ and to the historic Christian sexual ethic, queer culture presents a bit of a dilemma; rather than combing through and analyzing to find which parts are to be rejected, to be redeemed, or to be received with joy (Acts 17:16-34), Christians have often discarded the virtues of queer culture along with the vices, which leaves culturally connected Christian sexual minorities torn between two cultures, two histories, and two communities. So questions that have until now been largely unanswered remain: what does queer culture (and specifically, queer literature and theory) have to offer us who follow Christ? What queer treasure, honor, and glory will be brought into the New Jerusalem at the end of time (Revelation 21:24-26)?

My detractors implied that after hearing the talk and thoughtful reflection, I would not have made such an incendiary remark suggesting that Revoice leadership is bringing sexual perversion into the church. I took up the request and gave the session a listen. Are there virtues within “queer culture?” Is “queer culture” even a legitimate description? I wanted to provide my review for others to consider.

Disappointingly, the overall presentation was untethered from Scripture. I guess that should be expected, though. Sure, a few passages were mentioned here and there. For instance, Acts 17 and Paul’s confrontation with the philosophers on Mars Hill receives the most examination. In the same way Paul cited a couple of secular, Greek poets in his sermon, so too can Christian utilize positive elements of so-called queer culture.  But what God’s Word clearly says about homosexuality, relationships, marriage, and sins of the heart, was not even expounded upon. Instead, the presentation’s trajectory is set early on with affirming the secular definition of orientation as defined by the American Psychological Association.

After the introductory pleasantries, the bulk of the talk is a hagiographical retelling of the gay struggle in the United States. Gays are identified as “sexual minorities,” an Orwellian-style description that has floated throughout the vernacular of Revoice advocates and their Living Out counterparts in the UK for a while now.

Similarly to how other cultural minorities were mistreated and marginalized in early 20th century America, so too were homosexuals who had to remain closeted for fear of losing jobs, friends, and even family. The heavy promiscuity within the homosexual community is blamed on society forcing gays to live in the shadows. Gay literature, like The Price of Salt and Angels in America, is recommended to the audience as having helpful insight with understanding the gay experience. Christians can gain sympathy for the personal trials homosexuals have had to silently endure, often times alone.

Moreover, the history of homosexuality in America is white-washed and the sexual deviancy of the various activists groups and individuals within the movement is played down or dismissed altogether. Take for instance the Stonewall riot. The traditional gay narrative of oppressed homosexuals standing against bigoted police brutality is advanced, while ignoring the fact that the police were not raiding the establishment for violating sodomy laws, but because illegal drugs and alcohol was sold. Additionally, there is no mention of radical homosexual activists groups like GLSEN aggressively working to introduce homosexuality and other perversions within public school curriculum, nor the various explicit versions of gay manifestos posted online. Instead, what is defined as “gay culture” is the expressions of writers and artists and fashion designers. That is the queer treasure that should be filtered out and brought into the New Heavens and New Earth.

The talk concludes with exhorting churches and straight Christians to recognize the struggles of Christian sexual minorities. Rather than speaking about biological families and the importance of marriage, Christians need to think in terms of biblical families, those who have left biological families, fathers, mothers, and siblings, to find spiritual kinship within a chosen family that is following Christ. What Jesus told the disciples in Mark 10:28-30.

After listening to that presentation, I must confess that I am even more troubled by what is being brought into the church.

Reflecting on the talk I think what bothered me the most was the unspoken assumption that there is a legitimate group called “sexual minorities” and that Christians may identify with them. It’s just an unspoken given that individuals who struggle with the inordinate affections of homosexuality are “born that way” and must accept the reality that they may never change. And as a sexual minority Christian, a person must resign to the fact that he or she will remain celibate, only finding intimacy among the companionship of friends within the so-called shared community.

On top of that, friends, family, and parents also must accept them as they are, never assuming that change in desire can happen and certainly never pressuring them to change. Instead, loved ones need to involve themselves in their struggle, realizing that these sexual minorities have unique needs and produce their own special culture. Instead of looking to change them to like girls or boys, Christian friends should seek to understand and embrace the best of what queer culture has to offer, like creativity, interior decorating, and sharp clothing.

However, the problem with the notion that the best of what queer culture has to offer is vibrant creativity that will provide wonderful treasure for the kingdom of God is that it’s a stereotypical myth that gays own the market on creativity. Artistic expression has never been exclusively a gay culture thing. Bach, for example, is one of the greatest composers the world has known and he wasn’t gay. The same can be said about hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals throughout history.

It truly is a despairing outlook that was presented. I would even go so far as saying Christless. Jesus doesn’t genuinely save souls and redeem lives. There isn’t any newness of life, freedom from sin, or a new heart that is promised in the New Covenant. There is no hope that a man or woman can obtain healthy, natural sexual desires for someone of the opposite sex. Instead of putting off sinful habits and desires and putting on the new man in Christ that is robed in holiness, those struggling with homosexual desire should muck through the sewer that is “queer culture” attempting to redeem various facets and adapting them to Christian living.

Tragically, I believe we are witnessing a similar pattern emerging in the church that happened with Israel in the book of Judges. Rather than casting out the Canaanites from among them, Israel began to befriend them, eventually giving their sons and daughters to them in marriage. Those serious compromises became a snare for Israel. It led them to idolatry and covenant unfaithfulness and eventually to God’s judgment. The more the Christians adopt worldly thinking regarding sexual sin, the quicker we move to having Christ write Ichabod across the doors of our churches.

The Bible and Homosexuality

After the Supreme Court decision, Pastor Don Green of Truth Community Church in the Cincinnati area, was one of the first pastors to walk his congregation through the subject of homosexuality in a conference devoted to the topic.

Don used to be our boss at Grace to You until he was called to pastor a church plant. It originally met in the Creation Museum and now they have their own building.

The Conference messages can be downloaded in two areas currently.

At their Sermon Series archive and their Conference archive.

The messages are bold and clear and are a much needed encouragement coming from a solid man of God like Don.

Here is the list in order,

1. Refuting the Five Myths on Homosexuality

2. Why Homosexuality is Wrong

3. Scripture, Shellfish, and Homosexual Sin

4. Addressing the Heart of Same-Sex Attraction

5. The Future of the Church and Homosexuality

I believe readers will be exceptionally blessed by his thoughtful, caring, and convicting presentations.

A Christian Response to the Parents of a Transgendered Kid

Dear Mrs. McLaren,

My name is Fred Butler and I recently read your open letter to Christians posted at Huffington Post. I am one of those “Christians” you attempt to shame regarding how your gender confused son has allegedly been treated.

Honestly, I am not someone who frequents HuffPo. I was linked to your article from a different page.  I don’t visit HuffPo primarily because many of their posts are on topics I find sophomoric and immature, if not troubling and at times demeaning. For instance, the day I read your letter, linked in the sidebar was an article called “19 Women on the Best Things about Their Boobs.”

Really?

I hope you can appreciate the irony of your letter demanding Christians respect your transgendered kid’s sexual orientation linked along side another article sexually objectifying women’s breasts. And that on a leftist website that pretends to champion women’s rights. It’s that kind of reporting that turns me away from the website in the first place. I would imagine most God-fearing Christians you intend to reach with your letter believe the same way as I do, so more than likely you’re merely preaching to the choir with your open letter. Judging by the fist pumping cheerleaders in the comments that sounds exactly like what is happening.

But let me move on.

Before I begin, It may be helpful to clarify what it is a Christian actually believes. When I read your little jab about “buffet-style Christians,” I am working from the assumption you have been told that belief in Christian doctrine, particularly doctrine that defines human sexuality, is often maligned with misinterpretations from cherry-picked passages. If that is what you think, you have been sorely misinformed.

But please forgive me if I am being presumptuous. You may very well know standard Christian theology and doctrine. However, it is just in my experience with individuals critically hostile toward Christianity, especially individuals like yourself willing to publish an open letter taking us to task for our convictions, that I find those folks woefully ignorant when it comes to the Bible or basic Christian teaching. They tend to burn strawmen built from secondhand critical sources that are just as equally ignorant. Rarely have I encountered a critic writing open letters against Christians who accurately reflects what it is they believe. I sincerely get that sense from you when reading your letter.

As a Christian I believe that God exists and that He revealed Himself through His prophets and apostles in the pages of Scripture. I believe Scripture is God’s Word and that means it is infallible and inerrant in all that it records with both history and spiritual truth. (Yes, I realize the internet is filled with cranks and other self-appointed “experts” who have multi-paged websites supposedly refuting my assertion about the Bible, but a serious evaluation of their charges will easily debunk them).

I further believe Jesus was the Second person of the Trinity come in human flesh. He lived a life obedient to God the Father, was predestined by God to be crucified at the hands of both the Romans and the Jews, and then rose again to life three days later to secure eternal salvation for a redeemed people.

I believe all men and women without exception are born in sin, separated from God. That does not mean that all people are entirely given over to wicked depravity, but that their core, spiritual being is naturally hostile toward God and His law. All men are sinners, but they all may not live as sinfully as they could.

I also believe the Bible has a lot to tell us about sexual matters. God is our creator and His original creative design was one man and one woman for marriage for life. Jesus Christ, who is God and thus our creator, affirms in the four Gospels what Genesis 1 and 2 teach us about men and women and marriage. In fact, the NT writers also affirm the same truths. I also completely recognized that the entrance of sin into the world ruins God’s original intent with men, women, sex, marriage and the family. That is evident by the history of abuse, sexual sin, adultery, divorce, fornication, and  yes, homosexual behavior.

Now, coming back to your letter.

You express anger with the name calling and ugly words people have thrown your way regarding your transgendered child. You go onto complain how the worst culprits in your mind are Christians, because Christians are supposed to be loving, compassionate, and non-judgmental to the “least of these” misunderstood people like you and your family, particularly your child.

But given what I just outlined above with basic Christianity, do you understand why Bible-believing Christians would not be so “accepting” of your life choices you are encouraging with your child? In order for me to be “affirming” of a boy becoming a girl, I would have to deny the fundamental truths of Scripture and change the theological commitments of my Christianity.  Not only that, I’d have to deny the fundamental truth of reality that a man cannot become a woman no matter what he “feels.” The Bible is only affirming the truth of reality, and I’m sorry, but those are truths I will never relinquish.

As I pointed out above, you ridicule the “buffet-style Christians,” but why am I, the guy who affirms what has been the conviction of the historic, Christian faith regarding sexuality for the last 2,000 years, the so-called “buffet-style Christian,” whereas the new revisionists who want the Bible to openly affirm homosexuality are not? They are the ones who are truly picking and choosing the verses they want to highlight, or ignore, rather than taking the Bible as a unified, divinely inspired whole in the entirety of all 66 books.

But I think most Christians are disturbed that you want us to accept a transgendered NINE YEAR OLD! Even more to the point, you recount the story of when your son was five, he pitched a fit in the car one day crying that he was really a girl and after a little bit of soul searching and visits with therapists, you have been encouraging your son to be a girl ever since. If he is now nine years old, that means this transgendered fantasy has been going on for like FOUR YEARS! Can you not understand how any sane thinking person, not just Christians, see this as madness! I as a father of five children myself would even say it is parental abuse!

Mrs. McLaren, I honestly think the Christians you are encountering who have a gut-wrenching aversion to your son’s situation are responding not out of hate because they think your family is “icky,” but out of love and concern.  You have only willfully blinded your eyes to the truth.

Ma’am, your son, no matter how much he may protest and claim he “feels” like a girl will never be a girl. He will never have a uterus or ovaries. He will never ovulate and have a period. He will never experience menstrual cramps or what it is to be pregnant and birth a baby. To cultivate his delusion will only serve to set him upon a course of self-destruction.

What is more, you have been feeding this lie for FOUR YEARS with a son who is now NINE YEARS OLD! He hasn’t even reached puberty yet! And all because he had an episode once when he was five insisting he was a girl. It never once occurred to you to tell him he is wrong? To actually pursue therapy? Instead you start calling him a “her,” telling everyone he is your “daughter,” and dressing him like a living doll? What on earth!?

What I find distressing, however, is that you are engaged with perpetrating what I consider to be the cruelest emotional and mental abuse upon your son and I, the Bible-believing Christian who believes God has established marriage between only a man and a woman and that people can never swap genders no matter how they “feel” about it, is the bad guy. Even more grievous is that our society pats you on the back and applauds your abuse. It truly is a twisted world we are living in these days.

Now. I understand what I wrote is blunt. You are more than likely disgusted with me right now. I am nothing more than another hater cursing your family. I also know there will probably be people coming to you later after they read this letter apologizing to you and telling you that I “don’t represent true Christianity” or that I am a fundamentalist that can be ignored or waving me off in some dismissive fashion.  When they do, know that they are liars and do not love you. Contrary to what you may be thinking about me right now after reading this, I do care for you. I am grieved for your situation and indignant that no one has apparently taken the time to outline the truth of the matter to you.

My prayer is that God’s Spirit will break through to the hearts of your family and bring you to salvation. He can do such a miracle. Your son does not have to be enslaved to his fantasy like he is now. That is the reason Christ came to dwell among us. He, being the God-man not only restores our sin broken relationship with God the Father, but He redeems people to live life as God intended to live. Christ can redeem your son as He can redeem everyone in your family. He is a saving God who grants not only eternal life, but deliverance from sin and inordinate affections.

Gay “Christian” FAQS [2]

Continuing with answering one more of the “frequently asked questions” I have received concerning my series answering gay “Christian” apologetics.

The Bible names many things as being “an abomination” to God, including eating certain foods and mixing fibers. Modern Christians are picking and choosing which “abominations” to accept and which to reject. So why don’t they have any problem eating shellfish, but have a problem with gays?

This question is drawn from the lists of regulations recorded specifically in Leviticus and Deuteronomy that were implemented by God in order to keep the people of Israel culturally and morally separate from surrounding pagan nations. Throughout the book of Leviticus, for example, God tells His people what is to be considered an abomination to them. Some of those “abominations” are particular animals declared unclean by God (Leviticus 11), and specific sinful behaviors like idolatry and homosexual practice (Leviticus 18, 20).

Advocates for a homosexual lifestyle seize upon what they mistakenly view as an inconsistency among Bible-believing evangelicals. They argue evangelicals who claim to believe the Bible is God’s Word are hypocrites if they openly eat from the unclean animals listed as being an abomination, while at the same time condemn homosexual practice which is also called an abomination in the very same biblical book.

Interestingly, even conservative groups who would be against gay marriage often steer away from the Bible as the source for their objection of gay marriage simply because of this falsely perceived contradiction. Obviously we live in modern times where no one except maybe traditional, kosher keeping Jews recognize the food laws in Leviticus. Thus, it is believed that building a case against gay marriage from biblical passages containing regulations which were relevant only to Jews 1400 years before Christ will only serve to unnecessarily shackle any argument against the gay marriage agenda for our day.

However, those objections are built upon some faulty notions.

Let’s consider the word abomination. The English word abomination as found in the OT Torah is translated from two primary Hebrew words, (sqs) sheqets and (t’b) to’ebah. Both words have the general idea of something detestable, loathsome, or abhorrent. Both words are also used interchangeably with reference to those things considered an abomination to people. For example, the Jews were considered an abomination (to’ebah) to the Egyptians (Gen. 43:32), where as the unclean animals listed in Leviticus 11 were to be an abomination (sheqets) to the Jews.

But, the word to’ebah was used by the Hebrews for the highest degree of abomination, or that which offends the religious sense of the people [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia vol. 1]. That is because to’ebah is used exclusively to describe those people, things, or acts detestable to God because they are contrary to His holy nature.

An important distinction to notice between these two words is the penalty suffered for one who commits sheqets as opposed to one who commits to’ebah. A person who commits an abomination (sheqets) by touching an unclean animal would be ritually unclean until the evening (Leviticus 11:24 ff.). In other words, the person would not be able to participate in religious services for a brief period of time and in some cases had to go through a series of purifying rituals. However, one who commits an abomination (to’ebah) violated the character and nature of God and would receive the death penalty. That is exactly what we have described in Leviticus 20:13 of a man who has sexual relations with another man.

Walt Kaiser lists at least 16 violations of the law which could result in the death penalty [Toward an Old Testament Ethic, p. 91]. Those violations could be grouped under four headings:

1) violations against the image of God in man: murder, kidnapping;
2) sexual sins: unchasity, adultery, rape, incest, bestiality, homosexuality;
3) rebellion against one’s parents and civil authorities;
4) and high-handed sin against God Himself: blasphemy, idolatry, profaning the Sabbath, false prophecy, practicing witchcraft and magic.

A couple of things to note from the penalty of committing to’ebah:

First, there most certainly is a distinct difference between eating shellfish and pork and engaging in homosexual behavior. Though Leviticus 11 declares unclean animals as being an abomination for the people of Israel, a person would not be put to death for handling a catfish. The severity of the penalty demonstrates the severity of the sins listed in each of those 4 groups. Those sins are a direct act against God’s person and holiness. Hence, it is wildly inaccurate to equate the abomination of homosexuality with the abomination of wearing clothes made from two different fibers.

Secondly, this clear distinction is the reason why the Leviticus 11 clean and unclean animal laws can be laid aside in the NT, yet the condemnation of homosexual behavior remains an abomination. That is because the food regulations were only meant for a specific group of people, the theocratic nation of Israel in order to keep them separated from the other pagan nations surrounding them. It is also the reason why God can end the food laws after the coming of Christ (Peter’s vision in Acts 10). There is no longer a specific theocratic nation of Israel God has established as His unique people.

The abomination of homosexual sin, however, transcends both testaments, because it is a sin that violates God’s holy character. Whereas the purity laws governing the nation of Israel can come to an end, God’s holiness always remains and will never come to an end.

Gay “Christian” FAQS [1]

Since I began addressing the apologetics put forth by so-called gay evangelicals, I have received many emails and comments asking me to expand upon some of the things I had written in response to their arguments. I wanted to compile a list of the most “Frequently Asked Questions” I have received since engaging gay “Christian” apologetics.

Why do you put the word “Christian” in quotes when you describe gay “Christian” apologetics?

Quite simply I do not believe a person can be a Christian and a practicing homosexual. A person is seriously deceived if that individual believes he or she can be submitted to the Lordship of Christ and yet at the same time promote a lifestyle that is clearly condemned in Scripture as being a deviate sin against God’s holiness and created order. Christ is Lord over all areas of a person, including his or her sexuality, and He has revealed direct guidelines as to how a man and a woman are only to express their sexuality in marriage to a partner of the opposite sex.

Moreover, God has revealed through the pen of Paul that deviant, homosexual activity is a way of life from which a person is in need of salvation. After outlining a list of egregious  sin which included homosexuality, Paul says of the Corinthians, “that such were some of you” (1 Cor. 6:11). In other words, he speaks of former homosexual practitioners in the Corinthian church who no longer lived that lifestyle. Thus, there is a contrast here, along with a biblical principle of spiritual living. That being, the former life of practicing homosexuality was contrary to those who participate in the Kingdom of God and a Christian puts off old ways of living and puts on new ways of living in light of the believer’s new identity with Christ’s Kingdom.

More specifically, I don’t believe a Christian can engage in the gay evangelical propaganda efforts of flagrantly twisting all the biblical texts condemning homosexuality so as to make them teach an entirely different lifestyle than what God has conveyed regarding human sexuality. Though gay apologists are not altering the physical text by changing words, they are certainly re-interpreting them by pouring alternative definitions onto words that they claim affirms homosexual orientation and behavior, rather than judging it.

So, when I use quotations around the word Christian, I am recognizing there are individuals claiming the name of Christ as their own and calling themselves “Christian,” yet they are advocating a way of living that is diametrically opposed to the very Lord they claim they serve. Hence, I am of the opinion that pretty much all those individuals are not Christians to begin with and fall into the category of those people Jesus says called Him “Lord, Lord” but in reality never really knew Him (Matthew 7:21).

What about a gay person’s desires? How can you deny the same-sex attractions and feelings they claim has been a part of their life since childhood?

This question is often presented as if it is unanswerable and cannot be trumped at all. The “feelings” or “desires” of the same-sex attracted person are a result of one’s sexual orientation which is something biological, and thus could never be changed even if they wanted to.

I once had a young man write to me who had struggled with homosexual sin much of his life. He told me how he had since the early age of 5 been attracted to other boys. Being raised in extreme, legalistic, fundamental circles, such desires were certainly considered wicked. He had tried to overcome them by thinking sexual thoughts toward girls, but to no avail. He had even tried marriage to a woman, but mustering up sexual interest in her was a challenge and they both eventually divorced over it.

His testimony was meant to convince me that his homosexual feelings went beyond just him “choosing” to live a gay lifestyle, but was a biological orientation which God had designed. His sexual attraction to men was something out of his control and thus unchangeable and it was unfair for heterosexual men to be allowed to act upon their sexual attractions, whereas he was forbidden.

The Bible provides for us some specific insight to the general nature of man, and it is from these insights I will frame a response to this line of reasoning. Allow me to offer a few thoughts:

1) I have always argued a person may well have homosexual desires from an early childhood. Yet those desires do not make them right, nor should they be stimulated by the person. That is because our desires come from our hearts, and the Scriptures declare the heart of man is sinful. The Scripture describes the heart as the inner person, the seat of a person’s volition and being and what orients the person in a specific direction.

Christians will mistakenly believe their desires and passions are distinct from their heart, as if the two are non-related. Additionally, they divide one’s body, or biological make-up, from this spiritual part of man.

Yet the heart and body function together as a whole. The sinful heart does influence the bodily desires. Sin has put our physical bodies under the corruption of death, resulting in disease and eventually physical death. So to, death’s corruption can certainly impact our desires which will in turn impact our attitudes and behaviors. Jesus affirmed as much when He told how our sinful defilement does not come from sources outside of us, but from the “out workings” of our own sinful heart (Mark 7:20-23). The out workings of that heart are expressed in a person’s thinking, actions, and repeated behavior, and I would also add, what the person desires or longs for.

2) Because all men and women are born with hearts oriented away from, and in rebellion against the Lord, it is only biblical to conclude one’s desires, even from an early childhood, can be corrupted by that sinful heart. Paul writes of inordinate affections in Colossians 3:5 as a vice in need of being put off by the Christian. Other translations render the phrase “wicked passions” or “lustful desires.”

If, as the Bible teaches, sin impacts a person’s mind, darkening his knowledge to live a life suppressing the truth of God (Rom. 1:18ff., Eph. 4:17ff.), sin can certainly be said to affect a person’s desires as well. Paul when writing to Timothy spoke of those who were “lovers of themselves” and “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Tim. 3:2, 4). Here we have an example of those who have strong desires, but their love and passions are oriented toward sinful things. So too is it with homosexuals who claim the power of their desires over their personal lives.

3) Assuming this person is telling me the truth about his early childhood, no matter how early in life a person may experience specific desires, such an experience does not establish those desires as being right. We cannot appeal to our experience as the standard of what we think is correct about life. Our hearts are easily deceived and led astray, and unless we look to an ultimate authority in which we are to orient our thinking, what we “experience” will lead us into error every time.

4) I believe Christ is a redeemer. His redemption is more than from the judgment and penalty of God’s wrath, but it is also a freedom from the tyranny of sin. We have been freed from the power of sin so that we can live as we should before God. Roman’s 6 tells us we have been ransomed from the wages of sin and death and the judgment of the old man, Adam, and are now made slaves of Christ and righteousness. Our identity is with the New Man, Jesus Christ.  Additionally, the sanctifying work of the Spirit redeems our minds to think godly desires. Hence, I believe desires, over time, can be changed. That is what the renewing of our mind entails (Romans 12:1,2; Colossians 3:10).

One thing to keep in mind, though. Many Christians erroneously think when they are saved, all the sinful desires and temptations will go away in an instant. Yet they are disappointed to despair when such does not happen to them in their personal lives. Salvation leads to sanctification, and sanctification is a life long process of putting off old, sinful habits, and putting on new righteous habits. We don’t get brand new minds, but we are given the spiritual freedom to now seek after righteousness and our duty as believers is to retrain our minds. Our minds have been warped by exposure to long periods of worldly thinking, and the process of sanctification is to shed off the worldly wisdom, to begin thinking biblically and according to a Christian worldview. That is the whole process of being submitted to Christ’s Lordship.

What I see from those individuals – even those struggling with any sin in their lives, not just homosexual feelings – is only a mindset to put off. They seek legalistic, works oriented means to deal with their sinful desires. Submitting themselves to lists of dos and don’ts, or perhaps seeking an unbiblical means to deal with the sin, like what my emailer wrote about trying to change his homosexual lusts by lusting sexually after girls.

What ever the case, when their futile efforts fail, they give up and resign to the notion they cannot have victory over sinful passions. Hence, some conclude that if they still have certain desires after all their efforts are exhausted to deal with those desires, then they must be okay. But Romans 8:2ff. tells us that dealing with sin according to the flesh will never work. One must have the Spirit of God indwelling him (Romans 8:9). One is not of Christ who does not have the Holy Spirit. Thus, those who are truly saved will press on to seeking righteousness because they have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them and so they not only put off sin, they put on righteousness.

Isn’t the reaction by the evangelical church of condemning homosexual feelings and forbidding loving, consensual marriage both anti-Christian and cruel?

This question is often presented from a false sense of persecution. The idea being that a person wants to enjoy a sexually satisfying relationship, but his “orientation” is toward the same-sex, and so to forbid the person the privilege of fulfilling such a relationship in marriage to a same-sex partner is cruel, because he or she could never be sexually satisfied with an opposite sex partner.

But, the question is disingenuous, because no one is forbidding this person from being married. What is being forbidden is the allowance of distorting who God says can participate in marriage. God is the one who has ordained marriage at the start of creation and He is the one who has limited the participants of marriage to being one male and one female. Any deviation from that model in the form of divorce, or polygamy, or homosexuality, would be against what God originally designed and intended for marriage.

Now, with some of those deviations God regulates them through laws. Divorce is the most common deviation, but those laws regulating divorce and remarriage are not meant to give affirmation of allowance to those other extreme deviations like homosexual behavior, but are meant to restrain man’s hand from more sin that what already exists in the situation.

Additionally, homosexuality goes beyond a sin in need of regulation to protect innocent people. What makes homosexual orientation and behavior sinful is the fact the sexual act is a perversion of God’s natural order. Men are not physically designed to have sexual relations with each other, nor are women with each other. Because two men or two women have the same sexual components, they cannot engage in sexual intimacy in the fashion God designed.

So, does that mean a guy struggling with homosexual desires is to just find a girl and get married anyways even it he is allegedly repulsed with the idea of having sex with her? Well, not exactly. I know there may be well intentioned pastors who have counseled some young man to do such a thing as if that would solve his struggles with this sin, but marriage in this situation may not be an option at all. The wiser response is to disciple the young man to think through the sanctification process of his temptations and allow God’s Spirit to retrain his mind to be in conformity with Christ’s righteousness in the areas of human sexuality as revealed in scripture.

The Folly of Same-Sex Theology

Note to Readers: In order to frankly address homosexual sin, I have utilized some explicit descriptions in this post which may make some folks uncomfortable.

The Christian Church has entered a period in history in which homosexual activists are becoming brazenly aggressive in promoting their sinful lifestyle. Sadly, the people of our society have had their minds so ravaged by postmodern relativism that they have come to see homosexuality as an otherwise benign lifestyle, rather than the sexual perversion it truly is.

Their responses range from a passive indifference which says “that’s not for me, but ‘live and let live’ if gays aren’t bothering anyone,” to a full on embrace of total acceptance and then insisting that every single person in our society must be forced – even if it means kicking and screaming – to love homosexuality without question.

Those who oppose homosexuality – a lifestyle, by the way, solely defined by a sexual behavior – are marked as bigoted, backward, and repressive of basic human rights. And even more specifically, the charge of bigoted and intolerant is leveled against unapologetic, Bible-believing Christians who define their rejection of homosexuality by what has been clearly written in God’s Word against homosexual behavior.

This debate will only intensify, even to the point I believe of severely limiting the free speech rights of anyone who would dare speak against homosexual sin and a gay lifestyle. The Church has to be prepared for this inevitability of persecution by a God-hating world. But where they also need to be prepared is with defending the faith against the rising voices of gay “Christian” apologists who revise the Scriptures, along with church history, so as to teach that God never condemned loving, consensual, same-sex partnerships.

One area of theology I have yet to see gay apologists formulate from Scripture in any serious fashion is a theology of human sexuality and marriage. Generally when I have asked gay apologists to provide a meaningful theology of marriage and sex, I am simply linked to articles reflecting the historical revisionism often presented in the literature of gay apologetics.

They will cite, for instance, from the discredited historical research of John Boswell who died of AIDS in 1994.  One example is how Boswell re-interprets the story of the martyrdom of St. Serge and St. Bacchus.  They were two Roman army officers who became Christians and were eventually martyred for their faith. Boswell claims they were two gay Christian lovers, though no proof of that really exists.

Though I think gay apologists believe such collection of articles reflect a theology of human sexuality and marriage, they are in fact polemical propaganda pieces complaining against what is perceived as the unloving status quo toward gays by evangelical Christians. They don’t even begin to provide a meaningful theology of sexuality and marriage.

Theological Sex

Before continuing, it may be helpful if I define what I mean by a theology of sexual relations and marriage.

God did not create humanity and then leave us alone to engage in unbridled sexual activity with total abandon. When God created man and woman, He did so in His image (Genesis 1:26, 27). Meaning God invested His authority in men to rule over His creation as His representatives. It also implies that in bearing the image of God, men are to do so in holiness. Our entire way of living is to reflect God’s glory. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31, So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. That would certainly include human sexuality.

In order for men and women to pursue sexual lives reflecting God’s holiness, God established boundaries with specific commands that not only define the means by which people can express their sexuality, but also what is going to be best for them as a whole person.

In the first and second chapters of Genesis, God established the foundational boundaries of human sexual relationships: marriage. Within that institution of marriage, God further limits the human participants: one man and one woman. They are given a specific mandate: be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth. That mandate obviously involves sexual intercourse between the couple resulting in the birth of children.

Throughout the entire Old and New Testaments, that original model is the divine standard. Even more so in the NT where Jesus Himself appealed directly to that creation model when debating the Pharisees about divorce. The Apostle Paul reiterates the creation model a number of times in his epistles, especially in Ephesians 5, where he reveals how a spirit-filled marriage between a man and a woman pictures the relationship between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:32).

Now, one other significant factor needs to be considered when outlining a theology of human sexuality: the entrance of sin into the world.

Man’s fall into sin not only separated him from God, but also darkened his mind to spiritual truth, drawing him away into acts of rebellion against his Creator. Sexual sin became one of the dominant displays of his rebellion. For instance, almost immediately in the Genesis record, mankind radically departed from the creation model by engaging in sexual activity with multiple partners outside the bounds of committed marriage (Genesis 4:19ff.).

Additionally, all sorts of sexual perversions abounded including homosexuality. Those sexual sins were even pervasive among God’s people, so much so that He provided further regulations through commandments to keep that sin in check, but more importantly, to bring people into conformity to His holy standard so that they could have a relationship with Him.

The Need for Intimacy

Gay “Christian” apologists argue that God did not limit meaningful, intimate relationships between just men and women. God also approves of consensual, same-sex relationships, and to deny same-sex attracted individuals the blessing of experiencing the intimacy God intended for all men to experience by rejecting same-sex marriage is both a sin against fellow Christians and God.

How exactly are gay apologists defining the term “intimacy?”  If I am understanding the gay “Christians,” the intimacy they are referring to is the sexual intimacy experienced during intercourse. I believe the primary reason why God created sexual intercourse is to unite a couple together. To make them one flesh as Genesis states.

Speaking from one who is married, there is a deep, abiding emotional connection which takes place when a couple has sex for the first time. Any person who is in a healthy marriage will attest to this. That is why any kind of fornication, whether it be premarital sexual relations or adultery, is such devastating sin. Fornication “unites” a person emotionally to a partner, maybe even multiple partners, who will never be a true marriage partner.

I have heard testimonies from both men and women who engaged in premarital sex and those illicit encounters deeply scarred them emotionally. Though God certainly can bring forgiveness and one can be healed by the sanctifying Spirit over time, often there is a profound personal struggle to experience the joy of sexual intimacy with the true marriage partner.

Adultery can be even worse, for the intimacy intended for only one person is given to a stranger outside of the marriage union. Not only has the one who committed adultery sinned against God and the other spouse, but the innocent spouse now struggles to regain trust and the joy once experienced in the sexual union before the adultery.

More to the point, true sexual intimacy comes down to the sex act itself. A man and a woman physically naked before each other, not knowing shame or embarrassment, engaged in sharing their bodies for the sole purpose of giving and receiving sexual pleasure. When God created man and woman, He equipped them both with the necessary sexual genitalia to not only accomplish this pleasure to the fullest, but also result in the possibility of children.

As much as gay “Christian” apologist may want to speak of intimacy, a same-sex couple cannot experience the true sexual intimacy as God designed it from creation. Those who have given themselves over to homosexual passion may think they can experience that intimacy, but they are lying to themselves.

The primary reason is biological. Two men have the same sexual organ, and though they can simulate a sex act to sexual release, that intimacy cannot compare to what is genuinely experienced between a man and a woman as God designed them. This is what I believe Paul has in mind in Romans 1:26, 27 when he writes of homosexuals going against nature. The idea is that they are engaged in sexual activity that does not fit the function of their biological genitalia. In other words, and to be blunt, the anus is not meant to function as a sexual organ. It is designed to eliminate waste, not serve as a receptacle for another man’s penis.

Additionally, this is just one of the reasons why the gay revision of Romans 1 as condemning only pedophilia and not so-called consensual, same-sex relationships is absurd. The sexual penetration of two adult men is just as “against nature” as that of a grown man with a boy.

Gay “Christian” apologists ignore this basic, biological factor of human sexuality.  Two men or two women cannot possibly experience with each other the sex God intended people to experience because their sexual organs are incompatible.  They are utilized in a way that goes “against nature.” A sex act simulated by an artificial device or with substituting a non-sexual orifice cannot properly function in the manner God intended men and women to have sex. The folly of their so-called “logic” for homosexual sex seems to be utterly lost on all the apologists advocating for a gay Christian lifestyle.

The Centurion’s Gay Lover-Servant

I personally believe gay “Christian” apologetics will be something Bible-believing Christians will need to prepare themselves to contend with. The issue of homosexuality is becoming increasingly heated in our society over the last few years and it will only get hotter in the years to come. The one thing currently going in favor for Christians, however, is that the revisionist arguments put forth by gay “Christians” in an attempt to twist the Bible to allow a homosexual lifestyle are not too sophisticated.

Their arguments are not built upon any meaningful exegesis of the biblical text, but around the re-defining of certain original language words, and then re-inserting them back into the narrative or doctrinal passage in order to make the text teach something utterly foreign to what the original writer intended. This “apologetic” allows the re-interpreter to infer certain points in the passage under scrutiny and draw conclusions that may never had been apart of what the original writer of Scripture meant to convey.

For example, one reference is from Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 where a centurion comes to Jesus and asks for Him to heal his servant. Luke’s gospel records that this was a servant dear to the centurion. In describing the servant of the centurion, Matthew employs the unique word pais. From these two bits of information, gay apologist conclude that this was a centurion and his homosexual partner in view here, because a) the servant is dear to the centurion’s heart, and b) the word pais is used to describe the servant, and it is a special word of endearment.

Much of their argument hinges on  the use of pais to describe the servant. What are we to make of that?

It is true that pais is an unusual word to describe a servant. Normally, other words like doulos are often used. But, are we to conclude the use of pais means a homosexual partner is being described in the Gospel narrative?

Most commentators understand this word to be in reference to a child-servant or a servant who is younger than an adult. In fact, the word “child” is the main definition given in the standard language dictionaries for pais. Additionally, Luke uses pais to describe Israel as God’s servant in Luke 1:54 and David being the Lord’s servant in Luke 1:69. Surely our homosexual apologists wouldn’t conclude there was a homosexual relationship between the Lord and Israel or David? But nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to gay arguments of the absurd.

One of the ways gay “revisionists” will build their case is to cite unrelated, irrelevant ancient language sources as to why such-and-such a word should be understood according to their homoerotic twist.

For example, they will claim that pais is a synonym for the word eromenos, a word that is found in extra-biblical sources like Plato’s Symposium. The word, it is claimed, has the meaning of “the boy you love,” and denotes a homosexual relationship, and  would imply a homoerotic relationship between the centurion and his slave-boy.

No serious biblical lexicon or language dictionary ever makes this connection.  It doesn’t matter how Plato may have used a word in Greece some 350 years before Christ’s ministry in Israel.  What matters is how the NT writers used the word and what “they” meant by it’s use.

Additionally, pais is used consistently throughout the NT as a description of a child, a young person either boy or girl, and a servant. It’s ridiculous to think it also has the meaning of “sexual slave lover.”  There are a number of passages where pais is used and there is no possible way it could mean a “sexual slave lover” in any of them: Matthew 2:16, 12:18, 14:2, 17:18, 21:16; Luke 1:54, 69, 7:7, 8:51, 54, 9:42; John 4:51; and Acts 3:13, to name just a handful.

Gay revisionist will further attempt to argue that the presence of the Roman centurion asking Jesus to heal his pais implies it is a homoerotic relationship because everyone knows centurions had servants that merely served the purposes of fulfilling their sexual appetites.  But such a response assumes this behavior was true for ALL centurions.

However, more damning for the gay revisionist’s claim that Jesus healed a centurion’s homosexual lover is the consistent use of pais as child or young person throughout the NT.  This would mean Jesus willingly approved of pederasty between an adult man and a child or young boy.  Even if the servant was a mature man, say of the same age or just a year or two younger than the centurion, this still involves our Lord willingly approving a predatorial relationship between a centurion who was sexually abusing and taking advantage of his servant.

So. The reality of this narrative is much more pure in its simplicity:  A God-fearing Roman centurion had a son, or quite possibly an adopted son, that he implores Jesus to heal.  There is nothing sexual about their relationship at all, but it is a man who respected and loved this young servant boy who had become beloved to him.  It is hardly this slimy, homoerotic narrative that is presented by gay “Christian” apologists, and is purely the figment of an over active perverse imagination.

Is the word Eunuch really the Bible’s way of saying homosexual?

Gay “Christian” apologists will adamantly defend the idea that God approves of homosexual relationships, and the Bible, rather than condemning homosexuality, genuinely commends same-sex couples and homosexual behavior.

They argue that the current debate against homosexual inclusivity to the Christian church is because bigoted Christians have misread the Bible and have warped Christ’s teachings that affirm same-sex relationships. That of course is historical and biblical revisionism. The so-called gay “Christians” advocating for the acceptance of homosexuality in the church are merely standing at the end of a long, twisting line running through church history filled with a vast assortment of goofballs, kooks, and weirdies who conveniently “revised” the Bible to fit their personal beliefs.One particular “proof” gay revisionists point to is Christ’s words in Matthew 19:10-12. They will translate the passage like so,

“His disciples say unto him, “If the case of the man be so with [his] wife, it is not good to marry.” But he said unto them, “All [men] cannot receive this saying, save [they] to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from [their] mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive [it], let him receive [it].” Matthew 19:10-12

Then they will draw the following conclusions,

Jesus is exempting three groups of people from the Adam and Eve marriage paradigm.

1) Eunuchs so born from their mother’s womb.

2) Eunuchs made so by men. 

3) Eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.

The term eunouchos did not simply mean someone who was castrated. If you know anything about the Greek language, you will know that Greek words have manifold meanings. Just pick up a good Greek lexicon and you will find pages of meaning for each word. Jesus shows three meanings of eunouchos.

Eunuchs so born from their mother’s womb are not impotent, or physically damaged in any way, but simply men who do not have inherent sexual interest in women (i.e. gay men). And Jesus is saying they are exempt from the Adam and Eve marriage paradigm.

That is an interesting take on Christ’s words, but does it hold up under any amount of scrutiny? Let me begin by considering what an Eunuch was exactly.

What are eunuchs?

The Greek word is a compound word that means literally “bed holder,” or simply put, a holder of the bed. The historical understanding of a eunuch is a man who had been castrated or had his genitals mutilated in some manner that prevented him from becoming aroused around women. Those men were commonly used as guards in royal harems, what would be known as a “bed guardian.”

Three of the standard theological and lexical works on the Old and New Testaments, The New International Dictionary of N.T. Theology, Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the N.T., and The International Dictionary of O.T. Theology and Exegesis, all state that the definition of a castrated man used as a harem guard was the standard, historical understanding of the word “eunuch.”

Glancing through a handful of other theological and lexical works will also affirm the typical understanding of the word. In addition to the idea of a castrated harem guard, the word did expand in meaning to include high court officials who held prominent positions in a royal court, but may not necessarily be castrated. None of those works, however, implied the word could be used to describe a person disposed to homosexual persuasion. That is something of a novel, modern invention cooked up by gay revisionists bent on distorting the plain teaching of Scripture against homosexuality.

So what did Jesus mean when He speaks of “eunuchs from birth?” Returning to Christ’s words to the disciples in Matthew 19:12, nothing in the context of this first category of eunuchs, “a eunuch from birth,” suggests Jesus had in mind natural born homosexual orientation.

What Christ really had in mind was the Jewish understanding of eunuchs as described in Leviticus 21:20 where the Bible says, or is a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch.  Basically, people who were born with the physical inability to engage in sexual intercourse. Those inabilities could be more than just sexual impotence, but could very well be crippling deformities like paralysis, Downs, or other mental retardation that prevents a person from being married to a spouse.

Moreover, and most importantly, Jesus could not have in mind homosexuals when he told his disciples there are “eunuchs from birth,” because in the larger context of the entire revelation of Scripture the participants in marriage are clearly limited to being only one male and one female and that is the model reiterated throughout the remainder of the Bible. There are no other combinations permitted, nor are there any other combinations, such as a same-sex relationship allegedly exempt from the divine ordinances established in Genesis for marriage.

To ignore these clear commands, or even worse, reinterpret them according to a new paradigm, demonstrates a desperation to make the Bible affirm the non-affirmable.

What about Clement of Alexandria?

Now in order to shore up that reinterpretation of Jesus’s words, gay apologists will also appeal to some writings of Clement of Alexandria. Two sources in particular, Paedagogus and the Stromata. The relevant sections state,

“…a true eunuch is not one who is unable, but one who is unwilling, to indulge in pleasure…” (Paedagogus, III, 4.)

“‘Not all can receive this saying; there are some eunuchs who are so from their birth, others are so of necessity.’ And their explanation of this saying is roughly as follows: Some men from their birth, have a natural sense of repulsion from a woman…” (The Stromata, III. 1.)

It is suggested by the gay apologists that what Clement is saying is that those individuals labeled “eunuchs” are not aroused by women because they cannot be so physically. In other words, they are not attracted to women, but to men. That is why they were assigned to watch over the royal harems, because they had no sexual interest in the women in those harems.

It is important to note that more times than not, appealing to external sources in order to “define” biblical words, like quotations from church fathers, may not be particularly helpful. In the case of Clement of Alexandria, he is nearly 200 years removed from Jesus. We need to ascertain what Jesus meant by His use of the word during His time period, as well as consider other Scriptural definitions of marriage and eunuchs before we make authoritative appeals to some external source who wrote a couple of centuries later.

Those two section of Clement’s writings, the Paedagogus (the instructor) and The Stromata (miscellaneous writings), can be viewed in their entirety here. Both works are divided into multiple books with multiple chapters in each book.  The first citation from the Paedagogus is found in chapter 4 of book 3. The second citation from The Stromata is found in chapter 1 of book 3.

First, concerning the citation from the Paedagogus, Clement is addressing wealthy individuals who employ domestic servants. After giving an extensive list of individual servant staffers, he mentions eunuchs. The entire citation reads:

“Many are eunuchs; and these panders serve without suspicion those that wish to be free to enjoy their pleasures, because of the belief that they are unable to indulge in lust. But a true eunuch is not one who is unable, but one who is unwilling, to indulge in pleasure.” Paedagogus, book 3, chapter 4

Clement really says nothing about their sexual orientation. He just says they are individuals who are believed to be unable to indulge in sex; but in reality, a true eunuch is not unable, but merely unwilling to indulge in the pleasure. Nothing is said by Clement as to why the eunuch is unwilling. It could be a vow of celibacy for all we know, and it is dishonest for homosexual revisionists in our modern day to abuse Clement’s words in such a manner as to make the Bible say something it isn’t saying.

The second citation from The Stromata reads in its entirety as follows (note my emphasis):

The Valentinians, who hold that the union of man and woman is derived from the divine emanation in heaven above, approve of marriage. The followers of Basilides, on the other hand, say that when the apostles asked whether it was not better not to marry, the Lord replied: “Not all can receive this saying; there are some eunuchs who are so from their birth, others are so of necessity.” And their explanation of this saying is roughly as follows: Some men, from their birth, have a natural sense of repulsion from a woman; and those who are naturally so constituted do well not to marry. The Stromata, book 3, chapter 1.

The first thing that needs to be pointed out is that Clement is citing the followers of a gnostic heretic by the name of Basilides, who also was from Alexandria. It is beyond the pale of dishonesty for gay revisionists to make readers think the words of a false teacher are the words of a church father.

Moreover, nothing in the text, which is a part of Clement’s larger discourses on marriage relationships, even hints at homosexuality. Basilides’ and his followers said those individuals have a natural repulsion of women and do well not to marry. Again, it is reading a 21st century understanding of homosexuality back into a text that is nearly 1,800 years old and drawing erroneous conclusions.

Rather than being shown the grievous error of pursuing this sexual sin, many individuals desperate to justify their homosexuality, will be led into destruction because they latch on to this type of fraudulent research as evidence for justifying their perversion. This is unconscionable in my mind.