Be Christian or Don't--There Is No In-Between

Submitted March 28, 2013

Be Christian or Don

A surprising number of my friends on Facebook changed their profile pic to this photo. I guess the number itself wasn't so surprising as the number of them whom I would've assumed considered themselves Christian. Even Rob Bell, the famous evangelical minister known far and wide openly supports gay marriage.

Support the lifestyle of practicing homosexuality or support the teachings of the Bible—you can't do both. The Apostles, inspired by God and acting to spread the word about Jesus Christ, powerfully condemned the continual practicing of homosexuality alongside every other sin us humans get involved in. 

"Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals,  thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers—none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians:6:9-10, New Living Translation, emphasis added).

Paul wrote that to a church that was surrounded by a culture way more sinful than ours in the West today—temple prostitution was still a thing back then. But Paul and Barnabas and the other apostles were not afraid to go in and strongly condemn all those practices as what they were—sinful and despised by God. To be clear, there is a distinction between somebody who is homosexual (they have same-sex attraction, you might call it) and somebody who practices homosexuality . The former is a trait that is ingrained in somebody's state of mind, the latter is choosing to accept that way of life and practice it.

To those Christians who change their profile picture in support of "marriage equality," I say, "Stand for something, you gutless hypocrites." Or to quote Jesus when He rebuked the religious people of His day, "You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men’” (Matthew:15:7-9, Isaiah:29:13, NIV). If you say you follow Jesus Christ, but don't have the guts to actually practice that way of life or support its teachings, then admit you are not a Christian. Will you join the next movement that seeks to legalize extortion? Will you change your profile picture in solidarity with shoplifters when the movement to legalize stealing comes around? Do you think it's OK to cheat on your spouse?

Be a Christian or don't. There is no in-between. Saying you follow Jesus Christ but supporting something like gay marriage is using His name in vain. It's an affront on His perfect, righteous character. It's an insult to God, who offered His Son so we all could have salvation from death (John:3:17). And let's not forget that accepting that sacrifice then willfully and purposefully sinning is what you might call the unpardonable sin (Hebrews:10:26-27).

Hope for All of Us Sinners

Here's Paul's follow-up point to his condemnation: "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians:6:11, New International Version). This is the scripture that many have called the most hopeful verse of the Bible. It shows that even in a society which was super pagan and sinful, a church made up of individuals called out of that mess could come to repentance and change . They could each look at their lives and recognize all the bad influences society had had on them, and decide to bury that old person. Put on the new man. Put on the mind of Christ. Live a life showing fruits worthy of repentance (Colossians:3:9-10, Romans:12:2, Philippians 2:5, Luke:3:8, Isaiah:1:16).

All of us are in the same boat—we all sin, we all fall short (Romans:3:23). We all must repent and live a life showing fruits worthy of repentance. Let's not get caught up in the popular movements that seek to distract us from our calling. Let's not let our clear vision of God's coming Kingdom be blurred by the slow and sure progression of human nature's influence. Let's put away our old, sinful ways and live a new life of righteousness and holiness (Ephesians:4:20-24).



Blog posts do not undergo review by the doctrinal review team of the United Church of God. This post represents the personal opinion of the author and should not be considered the official stance of the United Church of God. If you have any questions or concerns please direct them to webmaster@ucg.org.


RW

RW's picture

Greetings.

I read your blog and the link to Rob Bell's rationale for his support of gay marriages, we truly are living in a selfish, materialistic world. How something a generation ago, deemed as inappropriate, now can be considered 'good.'
You're right, people want it both ways. I read some time back that a 'new' Bible was published, the "Queen James Version," which deletes all references to homosexual activity. That one word you use, "hypocrite," really says it all. "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt." You are right, you cannot have it both ways.




dziwczyna

dziwczyna's picture

'Christians' are proud of their tolerance towards sin, those who do not denounce homosexuality.

I liked how you didn't whitewash your message, but said it as it is.

If we can't recognise sin now, how would God trust us to teach others in His coming kingdom?




Steven Hughes

Steven Hughes's picture

Thank you!! I have been frustrated by the editor of the DNCC on Facebook. I like the site but I think his version of Christianity is Wrong. I said that I believe that after coming to Christ we are to lead holy lives and especially to not go back to the old lifestyle. He says wrong, once you're saved that's it. He harps on the O.T. laws no longer apply to us. I said yes, many of them, but which of the Ten Commandments are you saying we should break? He said he doesn't care, BREAK THEM ALL as far as he is concerned. "You're saved, and no matter what you do or how you live don't matter. This has got to be wrong.I went after his abortion stance that is always a sobbing young woman who was raped. I point out that out of the 60 million done in this country, maybe 1% were because of rape. The others wer
e because of people living sinfully, and the abortion was their way of covering it up, for the sake of Convenience. He unloaded on me. Only Love is what matters he says. Anyone care to comment on this? I really want to know if I am wrong. Thank you.




Joshua Infantado

Joshua Infantado's picture

I like the way you wrote your blog. This is very inspiring to really stand up for what is right and to do what God command us to do.

I lament in seeing the state of our society. Instead of being ashamed of sin, people are now parading it and being proud of it.




youssef daoud

youssef daoud's picture

Dear Mr. Moss,
I am very happy to read this article. Thank you so much for making this cut clear; to be or not to be. Really I am sad to the state of our faith and I hope that honest people like yourself push hard against blasphemy resembled in homosexuality, gay marriage, abortion, sex outside marriage...etc. because really time is short. God bless.




Richard Halvorson

Richard Halvorson's picture

Thanks for writing this article! I noticed several of my FB friends with that profile photo. I also had to unlike the Libertarian Party FB page as they posted a couple threads in full support of Polygamy and Gay Marriage.
I'm thinking perhaps having the one man, one woman symbol as my profile pic after of course the Sabbath is over. Shabbat Shalom everyone!




Nathan Pachmayr

Nathan Pachmayr's picture

After I started seeing these red and pink equals signs pop up on people's Facebook profile pictures, I was reminded of an article that I read in the Good News by Rod Hall about the Gay Agenda.

http://www.ucg.org/marriage-and-family/whats-behind-gay-agenda/

One of the things that caught my attention was a paragraph where Rod stated, "Ironically, while gay activists demand tolerance toward themselves, they are quick to slam anyone who dares to disagree with them as intolerant, biased, bigoted or homophobic. In demanding their "rights," they not only demand that everyone else recognize their self-proclaimed rights, but they actually strip away the freedoms and rights of those who disagree with them and who are standing up to their agenda."

And so I decided to try it out. There was an individual named Sam who had one of those red and pink equals signs as his picture who had become frustrated with our local KATU News (Portland, OR, USA) for describing the topic as "gay marriage" instead of "marriage equality," telling KATU News that because they did so, they lacked professional objectivity. I respectfully challenged him, telling him that replacing the words "gay marriage" with more euphemistic terms in fact would not be more professional, but rather would mold the news report to fit his personal beliefs.

Immediately and repeatedly I was verbally attacked by Sam in every way described by the paragraph above in the Good News Article, and repeatedly I stood my ground, continually warding off his accusations of me being judgmental, or thinking that he needed to "sit in the back of the bus" or "use the dirty, broken drinking fountain," that I was a "dinosaur" and people who share my beliefs "are a dying breed." He brought Jesus into the conversation ("Jesus taught love and acceptance") and then blamed me for hiding behind the Bible when I responded back with "From what I understand, homosexuality is not in line with what Jesus taught." My main question to him was, "If you are allowed to publicly impose your beliefs on me, why am I this horrible, hateful person because I disagree?"

The post was eventually deleted, but you as a Christian will encounter these people more and more. As they have been studying up on their arguments for gay marriage, so must you study. Know their tactics and stand your ground with compassion for someone stuck in sin.




Deanne

Deanne's picture

Well said all. The frustration one feels when others are half in and half out of the world is something that I struggle with. What is one supposed to do? Resist and overcome. The times are changing and the days are increasingly evil. People will twist and turn anything and everything in order to justify their actions from hearts that are hardened, sick and dying. We must make a stand over these critical issues and love the sinner but not the sin. I just want to say to all those who are truly fighting to overcome these sinful ways I am praying for you as it is most likely the biggest battle of your life. This is the kind of support that God desires from Christians, not showing that we are aligned with the activity that is sinful.

What do you choose........."And then will I profess to them, I never knew you, depart from me, you that work iniquity" (Matthew:7:23) or "Well done good and faithful servant!...........enter into the joy of your Master" (Matthew:25:23)




snick.spider

snick.spider's picture

Homosexuality is rejecting God and the created order. God created mankind as male and female, to procreate within the context of marriage Geneses 1:27-28. Paul makes it clear in Romans:1:18-32 that homosexual men and lesbian women result from a denial of God. He begins by showing that women exchanged natural sexual intercourse with men for what is unnatural 1:26, also, men left natural sexual intercourse with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males 1:27.

Paul continues, because these people reject God, He gave them over to the desires of their own sinful hearts. This scripture also used very negative terms to describe this behaviour such as: unnatural; uncleanliness; vile passions; error; dishonour; not fitting; shameless acts; and a debased mind. At the end Paul lists a number of vices deserving of death, not only for those who practice, but for those who condone 1:32. For those who condone, this should serve as a warning also, to the so-called compromising Christians.




db

db's picture

Amen, well said and well written.

Donald




Jimmie King

Jimmie King's picture

I find talking with so many Christians, that few seem to have read ROMANS 1:16-32. Therefore they have no idea or understanding of Verse 32, "who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death (Hell), not only do the same, but also approve of (uphold or support, etc.) those who practice them (or such things)."

Abortion for any reason or cause is MURDER. Homosexuality is an abomination also to God. So ANYONE who Supports, Uphold, Gives Excuses For, or Votes For such person(s) (or any type of intolerances), is by Proxy a Baby Murder and/or Homosexual. There is no riding the fence, be it Mother, Father, son or daughter. They are bring a New Gospel which is not of God, and therefore they are not to be given God's Speed are welcome in your Home, are you share in their evil deeds (2-JOHN10-11). ,, God Bless




dust_i_am

dust_i_am's picture

You didn't mention the reason why so many people changed their avatars this past week. It was in response to U.S. Supreme Court arguments on California's "Proposition 8" and the Defense of Marriage Act.

We all should be praying for the justices to reach right, wise and godly decisions in these cases. Since six of the nine justices are Roman Catholic (according to Wikipedia), may they "live their faith" and reflect stated church teaching on homosexuality.




Clayton Wilcowski

Clayton Wilcowski's picture

i agree, but, do not think that our culture is better(a culture way more sinful than ours) or less sinful. surley if we are in the end times, THIS culture is "more sinful". and i believe a person can be tempted, do wrong, know its wrong, and still be christain, "and if i do what i do not want to do, i agree that the law is good, as it is, it is no longer i myself who do it, but it is sin living in me."(romans 7;16-17)




tracyanngilbert

tracyanngilbert's picture

Steven Hughes: you are not confused. Once you've accepted Jesus Christ you are of course obligated to sin no more; how the editor came to the conclusion that your 'confession' absolves you from consequences of future sin is beyond my comprehension. However,I would rather have everyone (including homosexuals, an inborn trait, not chosen) live happy and fulfilled lives including following Christ and spreading God's word than to be miserable and not use the gifts and talents God gave them to His good. I am unsure about gay marriage but I am positive that my God is a benevolent master and loves all His children. (If you want to quote scripture, include the tales of God commanding men to sleep with women not their wives, women to disguise themselves and pretend to be another to entice a man into having sex with them, etc., and He looked upon them with favor; go figure)




michael9776

michael9776's picture

Hello Mr. Moss,

I am the writer of the (Nov/Dec) Good News article about the human side of homosexuality. I only feel compassion for people caught up in the gay lifestyle, as I know how painful the struggle to come out - and to stay out - of that lifestyle can be.

Many people who struggle with homosexuality (like myself) have felt same-sex attraction since childhood. My struggle with homosexuality has never fit the Romans 1 "profile" that many so often cite when they correctly point out that God condemns homosexual acts and all other sexual acts outside of heterosexual marriage.

The Church must teach God's moral standards of conduct in all respects - while still showing compassion for sinners. (The condemnation-only approach taken by Christianity in past decades was a serious mistake. That condemnation-only approach has actually helped to create the polarization and culture war that has engulfed Western societies.)

Human beings don't like pain. Most homosexuals don't know how to feel any other way. Many distrust "religion" because they sense only the pain of condemnation for their sins, or a life of loneliness, when they try to "change" their lives.

Even though the struggle is difficult, I'm pleased to see the Church of God clearly teaching God's laws regarding moral conduct while still showing compassion for sinners.

In 2004, The Journal published an article I wrote about homosexuality and the culture war. It explains some aspects of how the culture war over homosexuality developed and why the coming Kingdom of God, with Jesus Christ as loving ruler over mankind, is the only hope for mankind.

The article can be read at **Link removed to comply with comment policy**

Michael (not my real name)




suewilliams

suewilliams's picture

Maybe I am wrong, but if I could make a couple of points.

#1. The Bible says that homosexuality is wrong!. No doubt about it. It is written in several places.
People who claim that they were born homosexual are in a since saying that God created them as homosexual. This now leaves them with a conflict in there thinking. A loving God would not make it a sin to be the way He created you. So if you accept the idea that God is love, and you want to keep the idea that homosexuals are born that way, then the scripture must be wrong.
So you are faced with a dilemma if you accept homosexuality as a birth-right (you were born that way). You have to say that the scripture is not accurate when it says that homosexuality is wrong or God is not love. But if you are willing to say that scripture is not accurate then how can you know any thing about God at all? If one scripture is wrong about homosexuality being a sin (as I said there are several) then how can you trust any of the Bible.

#2. You don't have to have a sex life. It's called being single. The apostle Paul did not marry so he did not have a sex life. Jesus was single and unless you are prepared to say he sinned, he did not have sex life. It seems to be possible to live without sex. I was widowed as a young person and was single for 10 years. It was not what I wanted to do but it was not terrible either. Maybe I am over simplifying, sorry I don't understand the homosexual argument. Being single can be done if you stay away from the various temptations. So can't a person that is pulled in the direction of homosexuality just do the same thing?. If so I do not understand what all the fuss is about. The whole world seems to have made the assumption that you have to have a sex life,and that it is awful if you don't.
In fact the whole word seems to think that it is awful if you have a any desire that you can not fulfill. That not true..




michael9776

michael9776's picture

The debate about what causes homosexuality has gone on for decades. In my experience, the nature-nurture explanation makes sense, as there (as far as I know) is no evidence to confirm a biological basis for homosexual attraction. Although, the attraction feels natural so some gays claim they were born biologically homosexual, because their homosexual attraction is all they remember from childhood.

Yes, it is possible for someone who feels homosexual attraction to live without sex. I do that - even though the efforts to be celibate were very painful to me during my years as a younger man - and even now, I still have some degree of struggle. There are many others who also live without sex. (I wrote an article about this in the Nov/Dec Good News.)

It is often very difficult - especially for young people. Although it may seem that the culture is now broadly accepting homosexuality, there is still a social stigma attached to homosexuality that makes it difficult for those struggling to live a right way of life and to find the support they need. (I'm thankful that I have received encouragement and support from some brethren whom I quietly and cautious confided in. One has to to very cautious about this. If brethren react negatively toward someone who God has called into His Church, the person can be left in pain and discouraged.)

Is it more difficult for homosexuals to live "without sex" than for single heterosexuals? There is no way to answer that question, except to say that, for many people who have homosexual attraction, the development of their homosexuality seems to involve early emotional issues from childhood (related to their family environment) that later create an intense craving to fill an emotional void through sexual connection.

The issue of homosexuality won't be resolved in this age because it is driven by underlying pain. Human beings don't like pain. Most homosexuals don't know how to feel any other way. Many distrust "religion" because they sense only the pain of condemnation for their sins, or a life of loneliness, when they try to "change" their lives.

The hope for all mankind is the return of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ, to rule over this Earth! And mercifully judge and lovingly lead mankind out of his sins and to restore broken relationships.

Michael



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