Current Events & Trends: Christians shifting on illicit lifestyles

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Christians shifting on illicit lifestyles

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Biblical laws that have held sway for millennia have been carelessly cast aside by people who think they know better than God. This overall movement has even started to spread to nominal Christianity.

Christian ministries previously devoted to helping homosexuals to abandon their lifestyles are giving up the fight. For instance, Exodus International has closed its doors after nearly 40 years and even half-apologized for its previous efforts. A few even appear to misrepresent biblical teaching on the matter.

A USA Today column points out that Christian opposition to homosexual lifestyles "has based its position on an authoritative text that has not undergone any revisions of late—the Bible, aka the word of God" ("Some Christians Shift on Gays," July 17, 2013). But it then argues that following the Bible's message of tolerance and acceptance rather than denouncing sinful behavior should be the way forward.

Of course, we must have love and kindness toward all people. But part of love is informing people they need to repent of sin!

Because God does not change (Malachi 3:6 Malachi 3:6For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.
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; James 1:17 James 1:17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no ficklenss, neither shadow of turning.
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; Hebrews 13:8 Hebrews 13:8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
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), neither does His Word. Nor does it allow exalting principles of living peaceably and kindly do away with people's need to stop disobeying God and start obeying Him—or with His Church's need to proclaim that to everyone. God says of those who give in to such thinking, "You have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way" (Ezekiel 13:22 Ezekiel 13:22Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:
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).

The law God gave through Moses explicitly condemned homosexual behavior. And Jesus Christ did not come to abrogate God's law (Matthew 5:17 Matthew 5:17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
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; Luke 16:17 Luke 16:17And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one pronunciation mark of the law to fail.
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). Moreover, He commanded people to repent of disobedience and told His followers to continue this call to repentance—though striving with God's help to make progress in reforming themselves first. The apostle Paul upheld the biblical teaching on homosexual behavior in three different New Testament books.

Of course, approaching others in this regard should be as kind as possible. But the mere suggestion that others are doing wrong is often taken by them as judgmental, mean-spirited or even hateful. Furthermore, it's often necessary to give a serious warning to shake people enough to even care. That is what God does in the Bible—though His mercy is vast.

A major themes of Psalm 103 is God's merciful forgiveness (Psalms 103:3-4 Psalms 103:3-4 [3] Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; [4] Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies;
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, Psalms 103:8-14 Psalms 103:8-14 [8] The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. [9] He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. [10] He has not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. [11] For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. [12] As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. [13] Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him. [14] For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
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). That is one reason Jesus Christ died for our sins, making forgiveness and reconciliation to the Father possible. If God's intent was to abrogate His law and by fiat cast it aside, then Jesus Christ would not have needed to die!

Christians who obey God's laws are facing a time of great trial and persecution. Nonetheless, God says that Jesus Christ will rescue His own by bringing a new world of unparalleled peace. But in the meantime, we have to both contend for and hold fast to the original faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3-4). This is what God requires! (Source: USA Today.)