Resources for Explaining that Same-sex attraction is sinful

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Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
Lately there has been a push within the church to argue that, while homosexual activity is sinful, the desire itself is not. In response, I will point to our Lord's teaching on sin in the Sermon on the Mount, as well as Paul's description of homosexuality as being a "vile passion" in Romans chapter one. The normal response I get back is to point to Jesus being tempted, and yet not sinning. Based on this, they will argue that temptation is not sin unless acted upon. Obviously I think they are misunderstanding the nature of our Lord's temptation, but I could use some resources for explaining why and how they are doing so.
 

Taylor Sexton

Puritan Board Junior
"This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated; and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself and all the motions thereof are truly and properly sin."

Westminster Confession of Faith VI.v
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Lately there has been a push within the church to argue that, while homosexual activity is sinful, the desire itself is not. In response, I will point to our Lord's teaching on sin in the Sermon on the Mount, as well as Paul's description of homosexuality as being a "vile passion" in Romans chapter one. The normal response I get back is to point to Jesus being tempted, and yet not sinning. Based on this, they will argue that temptation is not sin unless acted upon. Obviously I think they are misunderstanding the nature of our Lord's temptation, but I could use some resources for explaining why and how they are doing so.
The doctrine in question is that of concupiscense, which was discussed by all the standard Reformed treatments of sin and depravity of the past, and of which most evangelicals are completely ignorant today.

Modern evangelicals have unwittingly adopted the Roman Catholic view of concupiscense, i.e., that the disposition to sin is not itself sinful. The Reformed generally defined their position over against the Roman view.
 

J.EdwardNewhill

Puritan Board Freshman
I am assuming you are having this discussion with believers, so any arguement must be brought forth from the Word. For every outside source you have against the SSA arguement, he or she will have 2 sources for SSA.

All that to say, I would start by finding agreement on the major issues at play. What does the fellow believer confess about the Holiness of God? The Fall of humanity into sin? The corruption of nature after the Fall? Does the believer confess that all are indeed sinful? How about sanctification: is it necessary for the Christian to be sanctified? Should not the WHOLE believer strive for Holiness? If the whole believer must strive for personal Holiness, surely that means his affections and desires. Are not sinful desires wicked when it comes to hatred (which Christ equates with murder)? Lust? Covetousness?

If you can agree with the believer on all of these things, you have already made great progress toward unity. I think all that remains is the actual issue at hand: are same sex attractions sinful. This must be approached tactfully because the believer probably knows someone who struggles with this, or perhaps he struggles with it himself. The believer who struggles with SSA may need to be encouraged or admonished depending on his situation. Is he in the heat of battle against Satan's lies? Encourage him, and do not injure him with excessive talk about his desires. He knows how sinful they are far more than you! Is he backsliding into perpetual sin? Admonish him! Remind him of the terrible punishment that remains on the faithless, and remind him that every lustful thought is an offence to an infinite and holy God.

Or perhaps they only know someone who is in the LGBT lifestyle. This believer also needs encouragement and admonishment. Remind him that the only loving reaction to sinners in their sin is to proclaim the WHOLE gospel. Admonish this believer to stay away from those who approve of sin. Remind this believer of his own sinful desires, and the terrible heat of temptation.

And after all this, be steadfast in prayer for your brothers and sisters who are afflicted by Satan's terrible devices. Forgive the long-windedness of my comment, I hope it is even slightly helpful.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
At times when dealing with the assumed regenerate, reason and argumentation can be helpful. At other times we are wise to cling to the Sword alone. Our adversary has been incredibly sly in advancing an agenda that is proving destructive to especially vulnerable people, often reared in godly homes. Speak the truth directly from the scripture and repeat it lovingly.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
The doctrine in question is that of concupiscense, which was discussed by all the standard Reformed treatments of sin and depravity of the past, and of which most evangelicals are completely ignorant today.

Modern evangelicals have unwittingly adopted the Roman Catholic view of concupiscense, i.e., that the disposition to sin is not itself sinful. The Reformed generally defined their position over against the Roman view.
The old Rome would also define thoughts as possibly sinful. The thought life as potentially sinful is something seemingly ignored by the side-b crowd and something Catholicism in the past would never do. Old Rome was to the right of side-B.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Sophomore
I’ve been researching queer theory. With queer theory, everything is an over-identification with desire and normalization to the point that nothing is taboo, even pedophilia and beastiality. Maybe a small percentage of such nuance is rubbing off on these academic gay Christian types like the washed & waiting guy whose name escapes me. Men engaging in a type of normalization of desire. Sin is meant to be shameful. On a somewhat related note:
https://mereorthodoxy.com/notes/missouri-presbytery-pca/

The Bible doesn’t really speak of a type of sexual identity. That’s a human construct. There is sin and there is obedience. And for the Christian, Jesus is our all-in-all. Now, of course, we struggle against the flesh. But like somebody immersed in p0rn, at what point do we do a Jim Carey and just declare..... “Stop Breaking the Law ________ !!!“ lol

I don’t think God necessarily sees a persons ability to maintain celibacy, especially a potential sodomite, as some holy work. In fact, I think God essentially declares, ‘get away from there!!!’ I think we are setting the bar too low and providing the sinner too many excuses to stumble. I think some may be too spiritually immature to be in their pastoral position. I see it in myself, not stunted by those desires specifically, but there is a maturity in recognizing and acknowledging our limitations.

Further reading:


“Marxism vs. Queer Theory”


https://www.marxist.com/marxism-vs-queer-theory.htm

“Gay Communism” (A highly disturbing read)


https://www.plutobooks.com/blog/mario-mieli-keep-treasure-in-my-arse/
 
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jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
There is the natural argument, that heterosexual marriage at least prolongs the species. But the question is what is the most "natural" way of things? It's only when you change the assumptions of the Christian worldview you regect a "3 dimensional" view of "relations" and relationships. They have to "reduce" relationships down to bear physical relations, which destroys what we know it is. I personally dislike reductionism, it destroys things as we experience them. I hope that helps.
 

Jo_Was

Puritan Board Freshman
For some practical reading, I like how Christopher Yuan discusses this in his book "Holy Sexuality" - he talks about sin, rightfully calling it so, and ways in which we can engage in these conversations. I recommend his book as a helpful companion to Rosaria Butterfield's works. He is a friend of hers and has a similar (though also different) story of repentance and salvation. What I like about his book is that it feels more pastoral in nature in how he helps people to understand the nuances of this discussion, and how to basically "talk" and interact with others. He grounds it in Scripture, but is very good at weaving that Scripture into discussion with others and how to approach the topic.
 
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