Faithful In Christ

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today are Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle."
- Brennan Manning

Matthew 12:49-50 (ESV)
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Proverbs 13:3 (ESV)
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
    he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Luke 9:57-62 (HCSB)
As the little company made its way along the road, a man said to him, “I’m going to follow you wherever you go.”

And Jesus replied, “Foxes have earths, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere that he can call his own.”

But he said to another man, “Follow me.” And he replied, “Let me go and bury my father first.”

But Jesus told him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. You must come away and preach the kingdom of God.”

Another man said to him, “I am going to follow you, Lord, but first let me bid farewell to my people at home.”

But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts his hand to the plough and then looks behind him is useless for the kingdom of God.”

2 Timothy 3:12-13 (NIV)
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

simplyheavenlyfood:

Recently, 22-year old Matthew Vines became a new voice in the homosexual Christian community with a message he delivered at a Midwest church that promoted homosexual Christianity. In his address, Vine asserted that all the biblical passages dealing with homosexual behavior have been wrongly interpreted and do not prohibit “loving and monogamous homosexual relationships”. 

Vines’ argument about the biblical passages that address homosexuality has been heard many times before from people like John Boswell and others. Nonetheless, it is good for Christians to revisit those sections of Scripture and see how Vines’ assertions stand up to biblical exegesis. We’ll examine two passages in Paul’s epistles that deal with homosexuality.

Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians and Timothy

Two of the verses in the New Testament that mention homosexuality are found in Paul’s first letters to the Corinthians and Timothy:

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will 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, will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 

"But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted." 1 Timothy 1:8–11

The plain reading of the text certainly appears to condemn homosexual practice, so what Vines and other homosexual apologists do is aim their arguments at the word used for homosexuals in the above passages and claim that it doesn’t actually mean homosexual sex, but instead refers to either economic inequities or a sex-trade like practice. 

Are they correct?

A Look at Arsenokoites

Paul used the word arsenokoites to describe homosexual behavior in both of the above passages. Why did he use that word and where did it come from? Vines and others say this is the first case of such a word ever being used to describe homosexuality, and many believe this to be the case, although a few scholars point to earlier uses of the term.

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Regardless, the Apostle coined some 179 terms in the New Testament, which is not uncommon for a learned man such as Paul. More importantly, what was Paul trying to convey with the term? 

Vines rightly points out that the word is a compound term made up of arsen, which means “male” and koite, which means “bed” in reference to being used in a sexual manner. (The word “coitus” is derived from koite and refers to sexual intercourse.) To make his case against arsenokoites meaning homosexual sex, Vines and other homosexual apologists assert that you cannot easily take compound terms and create a word that has an explicit meaning from them. Vines uses the words “butterfly” and “honeymoon” as examples. 

However, this argument overlooks the critical fact that the Bible of Paul and of his readers in the first century was the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. Why is that important? 

When you look at the Septuagint’s translation of Leviticus 20:13, which is one of the verses condemning homosexual behavior, something very interesting is found: the compound word Paul uses for homosexual in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy, arsenokoites.

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The text could not be any more plain—arsen and koite are side by side and form the homosexual term that Paul used in his New Testament epistles. This fact devastates Vines’ assertion a person cannot know the real meaning behind many words formed via compound terms. In this case, it is very clear. 

Moreover, Vines and others promoting homosexual Christianity admit that the Leviticus passage condemns homosexual sex, but they attempt to diffuse the prohibition by saying there are “many things that these passages say that don’t apply to Christians today.” 

Paul evidently disagreed where God’s holiness code is in view, and in particular, where homosexuality is concerned. 

The passages in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy dealing with homosexual behavior do indeed condemn homosexual sex and warn those practicing that lifestyle of the eternal consequences that will come from continuing in that behavior. However, it is interesting in Vines’ message that he didn’t keep reading in 1 Corinthians where Paul says: 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” (1 Corinthians 6:11; my emphasis). Why ignore this verse? 

Vines doesn’t cite the passage because Paul’s statement negates the idea of acceptable homosexual Christianity. Paul tells his readers that such practices were evidences of their old life, but now that they have been born again, they have new holy affections and desires, which stand in opposition to the way they used to live. 

Does this mean that Christians never sin or are impervious to temptation? Not at all. But it does mean they recognize the sins Paul lists in both the 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy passages as being sinful, and they cannot use the Bible to try and justify a lifestyle they want to participate in that goes against God’s moral law. 

In the end, the arguments that Vines and other homosexual apologists make against these passages in Paul’s epistles falls flat. Their emotional appeals may tug at the heart, but their facts don’t stand up to the meaning found in the text.  God bless you!!! :):):)

Luke 11:37-54 (NLT)
As Jesus was speaking, one of the Pharisees invited him home for a meal. So he went in and took his place at the table. His host was amazed to see that he sat down to eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony required by Jewish custom. Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness! Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over.

“What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

“What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you love to sit in the seats of honor in the synagogues and receive respectful greetings as you walk in the marketplaces. Yes, what sorrow awaits you! For you are like hidden graves in a field. People walk over them without knowing the corruption they are stepping on.”

“Teacher,” said an expert in religious law, “you have insulted us, too, in what you just said.”

“Yes,” said Jesus, “what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden. What sorrow awaits you! For you build monuments for the prophets your own ancestors killed long ago. But in fact, you stand as witnesses who agree with what your ancestors did. They killed the prophets, and you join in their crime by building the monuments! This is what God in his wisdom said about you: ‘I will send prophets and apostles to them, but they will kill some and persecute the others.’

“As a result, this generation will be held responsible for the murder of all God’s prophets from the creation of the world— from the murder of Abel to the murder of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, it will certainly be charged against this generation.

“What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.”

As Jesus was leaving, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees became hostile and tried to provoke him with many questions. They wanted to trap him into saying something they could use against him.

Micah 6:8 (NIV)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

Luke 6:27 (NIV)
But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

John 17:17 (NIV)
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

1 Corinthians 1:22-23 (TLB)
It seems foolish to the Jews because they want a sign from heaven as proof that what is preached is true; and it is foolish to the Gentiles because they believe only what agrees with their philosophy and seems wise to them. So when we preach about Christ dying to save them, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

Psalm 46:5 (NKJV)
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.

Philippians 4:19 (NLT)
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18-22 (HCSB)
Give thanks in everything,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Don’t stifle the Spirit.
Don’t despise prophecies,
but test all things.
Hold on to what is good.
Stay away from every kind of evil.