Whilst I am in the trend of finding some of my older posts from other sites and putting them on here, I happened upon this poem I wrote for my mother on Mother’s Day 2009. So, here it is:

Twas’ the grace of God that has brought me,
Into this earthly dwelling;
But through my mother He has shown me,
That there is more than birth in His blessing.

Whilst frail and weak she nurtured me,
And called me her treasure;
God the Father has used her,
To make the Lord my pleasure.

Her love was not of just her own,
As one can plainly see;
But a similar sort that Christ has shown,
That I might be set free.

He put in her a care for me,
A child weak and frail;
Resembling the blood shed for me,
To take away my veil.

O how deep a mothers love,
Whom is in love with the Lord!
He has lavished grace from above,
And her prayers He has not ignored.

For her child He has ransomed,
And made him hurriedly discover;
That there is glory given to God,
Through the love of a gentle mother.

I wrote this on June 15th, 2014 whilst sitting in my room weeping. I did not know how to process my thoughts and feelings on this topic well, and after writing this I couldn’t find the guts to post it. I am not always great at communicating the nuances of my thoughts and emotions, so I ask any and all who would read this to have grace upon grace on me. I did not write this as a cold theologian, but as a weeping soul alone in my room. I have questioned the purpose in my publishing this, but now it seems more appropriate that I can look back on it with a more cautious eye. If my biological father reads this; we have already talked thoroughly, and I don’t mean to pour salt in the wounds but this is, in my opinion, necessary, though you know how I feel and care about you now, and there is no hatred or ill-will in my heart towards you. If my dad reads this; please remember that I, at many times, do not know how to express things to you. You know that I love and care about you, and that I have the utmost respect for many things you did do, but this does not change our struggles, whether past or continuing.

As I sit in my room not feeling well I cannot help but realize that I have a horrible tendency to refrain from writing when I need to the most. I do not write primarily for the simple cause of self-therapy, or for the therapeutic help of others; I endeavor to write honestly, humbly, for the purpose of glorifying God and encouraging His people the Gospel (of which I desperately need as well.) The problem usually comes in when I am going through some form of inner turmoil or pain; I do not desire to write in these times because I hate dealing with my problems, and I cannot write in these times without facing them. The Lord, however, seems to work most in my life and others through the process of turmoil. With that being said, I present to you my thoughts for the day.

I was extremely interested in the convergence of two events today; my local church’s (Frontline Downtown) sermon on God and the existence of evil and suffering, and Father’s Day. To some there may not even be an appearance of a connection; if that is you, then I pray you never know firsthand why there is a connection for so many of us. I see so many enjoying this day and I want to be happy for them, but it is indeed a challenge.

Now let me give a clarification; fatherhood is wonderful. It is an amazing picture of our Heavenly Father and His care for us as His adopted sons and daughters through the cross of Christ. But those of us who have fragmented, shattered, or absent relationships with our earthly fathers sometimes feel the salt in the wounds when we hear everyone congratulating each other with a common ‘Happy Father’s Day!’

How is this personally relevant? I have a father. He married my mother when I was two years old and has been with her ever since. So how does this topic even relate to me? In all honesty I feel like a crybaby due to the fact that many have a much, much worse experience than I do but that does not somehow minimize the pain I feel. I did not meet my biological father until I was sixteen; I am exceedingly glad that I did meet him, and that my father (my step-dad, the man who raised me) was man enough to be there and stay there, but this does not change some things.

Growing up either not knowing your biological father, or knowing that he checked out is permanently scarring in some sense. Even though I know my biological father now (and I love the guy, and we both love Jesus) this does not change the fact that his absence makes up a large part of who I am. The feelings of abandonment and rejection that come from such an experience never leave me; when they come, they point me to my horrible failings and lead me to ask things like ‘was I not good enough? Is it my fault?’ I am a grown man now and these feelings affect me almost every day.

My dad married my mother when I was two (I think), and in retrospect I see how much of a man he really was and how he did indeed love and care for me. As a child, however, it was exceedingly hard to see or understand that in the midst of everything else I was going through. He was young, married into fatherhood, and had a vastly different personality than me. I honestly don’t know his thoughts on this, but I think he had a tendency to show love in the form of hard-work whereas I had (and still do have, sometimes) a tendency to feel loved through words of affirmation along with time spent together. I do recall him spending time with me, and I know now that he worked to provide but as a child I could not understand this. I knew even when I was small that, though he was my dad, my original ‘dad’ wasn’t there and because of that, my foolish understanding, and our difference in personalities we had many times where we got along but we also had many, many arguments (like most people have with their dad I assume.) Our arguments were exacerbated, however, by the fact that for the general majority of my life, though there were very comforting exceptions, he was distant emotionally. I was taught by his actions and words that hard-work is necessary, how to throw a baseball, how to shoot a gun, etc. These are good things, but here is what I was not taught; how to live for the Lord, how to be a man, husband, or father in any fully meaningful way. I was never taught how to survive turmoil or tragedy from him, I was never taught what it meant to attempt to holistically care for another person. Maybe he just didn’t know, which is entirely possible. Though I picked up good things from him, and he was always physically there, his distance from me couldn’t have been any farther. I know every earthly father fails, and because of the Gospel I have all the grace and mercy on him and see the Lord’s work through all. This does not change the effects upon my soul, though.

When the Lord broke my stony heart with the Gospel and changed it into a heart of flesh, these struggles became more real to me. I realized that I had a yearning for fatherly care and love that I had not experienced. God had redeemed me, but how do I live? No man in the position to teach me in the manners of Godly manhood as a father had taught me anything of the sort. I had to figure these things out on my own. So with a foundation of rejection and abandonment, furthered by distance from the dad that raised me, generally speaking, I was (and still am, sometimes) distraught with the pain and anguish of my soul; though my experiences are not near as bad as others, I was in some sense bastardized in two different ways.

These struggles of my soul, however, were in one way (the most important of ways) made to be astonishingly beautiful when they became annexed to the Gospel, when my story became a part of His story. Because of my struggles I was able to see God the Father in such a beautiful and clear manner that my heart cannot help but explode in worship every single time I think about this topic. I simultaneously experience the grief, pain, and struggles of feeling rejected and abandoned by my biological father along with the emotional distance and lack of involvement of the father that raised me, while rejoicing that God the Father has shown me what it means to be a loving, caring father, and Christ has shown me what it is to be a man, yea, a husband, being that He is the only perfect Bridegroom.

So, I love my biological father as a friend, and my father as my father, truly; I simply recognize the effects of their failures on my life every single day. With the Gospel, though, these pangs have been used as one of the greatest teachers in my redemption and in showing me what it means to be a man; all praise to Christ alone, and someday I may be able to, albeit imperfectly, be a Christ-exalting and Spirit-led husband and father of the utmost care, compassion, truthfulness, and gentleness, Lord-willing.

Soli Deo Gloria
-Wesley Tyler Robinson

Continuing along at a break-neck pace (note: sarcasm) with the past few posts I have made, I will now attempt to expound upon my intention of my third resolution for my own edification and in hopes that the Lord will use this in a matter that would benefit at least one person other myself. So, what exactly did I resolve to do?

“Resolved, to endeavor by the power of the Holy Spirit to glorify God in all that I say and do.”

I have made a clarification in the past regarding this topic, but I will make it again for the purpose of consistency; the phrase ‘. . .by the power of the Holy Spirit. . .’ is crucial in my understanding of everything I aim for in life because I am a Trinitarian and I believe that the whole God-head is involved in the full scope of redemption, and (though I hate to use this terminology, it is Biblical terminology) the power of the person of the Holy Spirit is essential in redemption in regards to glorifying God, the mortification of sin, and the all around living daily life as a member of God’s universal church (amongst many other things). I truly do believe that the indwelling and outpouring of the Holy Spirit is so necessary that without Him, nothing beneficial will be accomplished.

So with the aforementioned presupposition, I move onto the phrase ‘. . .to glorify God in all that I say and do.’ With the glorifying of the Tri-une God in view, is it then possible to make application to thought, word, and deed in daily life; though I fail time and time again, through the Scriptures and the congruent work of the Lord in my life I am persistently reminded and encouraged to seek that which glorifies Him. Within our melting pot of different cultures, one thing emerges in ‘church’ culture (at least ’round these parts); the compartmentalization and/or false dichotomy of sacred and secular. It may be true that there are sometimes differing things that are appropriate in different spheres of our lives, but this quote from Abraham Kuyper sums up my view rather succinctly;

“Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!'”

Christ is King over all spheres of life, and to try and glorify Him in one and not the other is not synonymous with appropriateness, but instead with cowardice. If Christ is truly King over all and we truly believe to be united with His plan and mission of redemption, how could we justify not applying the mentality of glorifying and preaching Him in our everyday lives? When I have a beer on my porch with friends, is Christ not King there? Should I not be intentional in my thoughts, words, and deeds in that instance, since it may be uncomfortable? These are clearly rhetorical questions; ‘by no means!’ is the proper answer. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I aim to have the Gospel of Christ on the forefront of my mind and heart whether I be at church, driving down the street, with friends, at work, having coffee, at a pub, or simply enjoying the company of another. Am I perfect at this, or even good at this? Absolutely not; but I do endeavor by the full power of God, the Creator and sustenance of all things to grow in and towards this, that He may be glorified, that I grow in joy through Him, and that others may find the same joy.

“Every Christian is either a missionary, or an imposter.”
-Charles H. Spurgeon

Soli Deo Gloria
-Wesley

As I explained in part one of this, I will be expounding upon my ‘Resolutions’ that I wrote a long while back. I will now start on the second resolution, which is this;

“Resolved, in this life to fight indwelling sin and all of its partners to the death, even to the point of bloodshed, for the glory of the God who has ransomed me from it.”

I want to firstly stress that I am not saying I am perfect, or that the Lord has completely and perfectly sanctified me to the point where I no longer sin. I sin every day in thought, word and deed. However, this statement comes from Hebrews 12:4 where it says ‘In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.’ (ESV) It is also partly inspired by John Owen’s poignant words; ‘Be killing sin, or it will be killing you.’ With that in the back of the mind, let us move to the first part;

“. . . to fight indwelling sin and all of its partners to the death, even to the point of bloodshed . . .”

By this I intend not the point that I believe it necessarily possible to fully kill all sin in this life, but that my fight against it is not over until it is dead. There are three primary ways which I see the Lord working in regards to sanctification and the mortification of sin;

1. Instantaneous death.
By this I mean that sometimes God in His mercy will instantly relieve us of the temptation to certain sin or sins, or kill it quickly. I find this to be a rare thing, but I have seen it happen before to many people in regards to some particularly life-threatening struggles they have had. I see it fit to pray for this, however I find it is more common for the Lord to use…

2. Lengthy struggles/fights until a particular demise.
I see it more common and normative that God the Holy Spirit works in my heart over long, sometimes very lengthy periods of time to help me repent, fight, repeat, until He has fully killed a particular sin in my life. This is a very, very tiring struggle filled with times of victory and times of temporary defeat. The Lord has to win these fights, because I cannot do it in my own strength; but sometimes He purposes long, tiring struggles to grow us and make us more like Jesus.

3. The true end.
The way that the Lord fully and finally kills sin in our hearts and lives is at the end; our death. When we go to be fully in His presence, we will be glorified and will no longer have any sin in our lives. This is amazing and incomprehensible due to the fact that I can not recall even one day that I did not struggle. Every day I have to repent, and I still don’t even see many of the sins I commit; but one day I will know the perfect beauty of the presence of our Triune God, and what it feels like to not have sin in the way of my enjoyment of the person and work of Christ. This will indeed be glorious.

Now I turn to the second half of this particular resolution; “. . . for the glory of the God who has ransomed me from it.”

The end of this may seem like a usual ‘christianized’ addition or ending of a sentence, but in reality I actually intend something very amazing to myself in it; ‘…who has ransomed me from it.’ The point of this is to portray the truth that while I struggle to die to sin daily, to repent and continually remind myself of the Gospel, ultimately Jesus Himself has conquered sin and death! So even though we struggle constantly, Christ has ultimately won this war and we are just waiting for His final act; fully destroying all presence of sin in us.

Oh how I love that this is true. I cannot even lift a finger to kill sin, but the Spirit fights my battles for me to sanctify me, and Christ has won this war. I am weak, and His victory on my behalf is as good as won. I must continue to fight and struggle, but I find ultimate comfort that my King has taken my sin, past, present and future, upon Himself and will one day completely rid me of this deadly cancer that eats at my soul.

“The vigor and power and comfort of our spiritual life depends on our mortification of deeds of the flesh.” – John Owen

Soli Deo Gloria
-Wesley

Over a year ago now I posted a list of resolutions for myself based on those written by the great Jonathan Edwards, you can read it here. This was of great importance to me when I wrote it, and I am ashamed to say that since then many changes have happened in my life and whilst the resolutions still stand I have not used them as a tool to remind myself of the importance of many things, which is what I intended them for. Upon my reading through them again I came up with an idea to help myself think on these things deeper and more often, and it may also interest any readers (all 2 of you.) I have decided to thoroughly expound upon each resolution in order to further drill into my brain the fact that if I do not preach the Gospel to myself more often using whatever tools I may have, I am bound to lose track of what it is I am trying to do; enjoy, delight in, and glorify the Triune God and spread the good news of the person and work of Jesus on behalf of His Church.

It has been quite awhile since I have written anything, but I will (once again) try and change that. I will attempt to be consistent with this, although knowing myself fairly well there will probably be a hiccup or two (read: lots of hiccups.) So bear with me as I write this…

The first resolution I wrote was this:

“Resolved, to endeavor in all things to take joy in the Gospel that God the Father so loved me that He sent God the Son to life a perfect life in my place, and pay the penalty for my sin at the Cross and resurrect so that I may also be resurrected, so that God the Holy Spirit could regenerate and indwell me and sanctify me.”

So let us dive into this…

“. . .to endeavor in all things to take joy in the Gospel. . .”

By this snippet I intend to portray that I desire through every changing scene, every happy moment, every painful event, every morning I wake up tired, every day that I feel energetic, etc, to take joy in the Gospel. An important distinction must be made here; joy does not equal happiness. Happiness is a good and great gift, however it comes and goes. I cannot be truly by definition both completely happy and sorrowful at the same time. I can be joyful through sorrow, though. What is the difference, you ask? Happiness is an emotion that can be gotten from multiple sources such as; having a good day, having a good beer, people being nice to you, everything going as planned, etc. Happiness is a good gift from God, if it is used to enjoy and glorify Him. But happiness is also fleeting; it may last a short time or a long time, but eventually it will be gone and may or may not come back quickly depending upon the circumstances. So then, what is joy? I will begin by clarifying what joy is not; joy is not intense or special happiness like many in our culture define it, though joy can sometimes cause intense happiness. I believe that joy is best defined, within a Christian worldview, as a satisfaction and indescribable pleasure proceeding from an object. The reason that joy and happiness are synonymous to many in our culture, in my opinion, is because those without the Gospel engraved in their hearts have not truly experienced joy, though they try to obtain it. They do indeed look to objects that evoke their affections, including happiness; this leaves them though because the objects they try to get satisfaction from all die, perish, change, rust or rot. The only reason we can have a satisfaction and pleasure that surpasses all emotions, sadness or happiness, is because being filled with the Holy Spirit and trusting in the Gospel of Christ has caused us to seek ultimate satisfaction in the thrice holy God. Though this satisfaction may waiver and sometimes seem faint, it is always there because our Father preserves it in us through the Spirit testifying to Christ’s work for us. This is beautiful because we literally cannot do anything apart from this joy, seeing as ‘…the joy of the LORD is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) So we must be dependent on Him for everything.

So the joy I speak of in the first selection of words proceeds from the rest of the resolution. Because of the love of the Father, the work of redemption by the Son, and the regeneration, indwelling, leading and comfort of the Spirit, I have a satisfaction and pleasure that cannot be taken away.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, “
(1Pe 1:8, ESV)

Soli Deo Gloria

Wesley Tyler Robinson

A New World Of Information

I will never forget the night I first believed the Gospel; the truth that I could be forgiven by the Holy, Triune God of Scripture destroyed me. Coming fresh out of a form of Theistic Satanism, I knew there was a God, I believed the Bible to be true, and I even somewhat understood basic and essential doctrines of Christianity. I knew who Christ was, and I hated Him still. But it would seem He was determined to make a fool of me by His sovereign grace and crushed my hate-filled heart in order to believe the Gospel. Shortly after becoming a Christian, I did not know what to do with myself. I very quickly became interested in apologetics, but my interest at many times was tainted by my competitiveness and desire to win… at everything. This was fueled by the fact that I am an aggressive, argumentative, and quick-witted person by nature (to my detriment). My way of ‘defending the faith’ was to memorize arguments from apologetics websites about literal 6-24-hour-day creationism versus evolutionary theory. I also memorized arguments against cults such as Jehovah’s Witness’, Mormonism, Christian Science, etc.

Barely Biblical

Even though I did not realize it, my worldview had become extremely unbiblical and very, very far off from the truth. My only Biblical and theological ventures had been learned by proxy of the arguments I had memorized from other Christians. Outside of believing in the Trinity and Hypostatic Union (and not knowing how to defend it from the Bible), I had almost no knowledge of the Bible. I believed the Gospel tacitly, or in my heart, but explicitly I pretty much denied it. Why did I do this, you might ask? The cause was, like for many other new Christians, I learned very few Biblical truths and then built the rest of my worldview off of those views using philosophical methods. I had constructed for myself a Christianity in my head to make sense of questions and problems I had. I became a Pelagian (even though I would’ve had no idea what that meant) in order to answer my own struggles of whether or not someone would go to heaven if they believed the Gospel, but sinned before they died. I became a weird inclusivist to answer my struggles with whether or not those who died never hearing the Gospel would have a ‘fair chance’ to go to heaven. I began to hold to many teachings of the ‘prosperity-gospel’ movement because of the church I was going to at the time, and other such things as that.

Some Problems

After I had formed my philosophical worldview built with straw, I ran into some very big problems. I believed at one point that if someone even uttered a ‘cuss-word’ right before they were hit by a truck, they would go to Hell because they hadn’t the time to repent for it and, in my words, Jesus died for the sins you committed before you believed; you had to constantly repent for the new ones or else you’d go to Hell, because those sins aren’t forgiven unless you pray a prayer. The problem I ran into though, was this; I was sinning. I was sinning alot. I sinned so much that, when coupled with my view of sin and forgiveness, I became fatalistic. I could not stop sinning, so I started giving up and started realizing how doomed I really was. Even though I would repent, I could not stop struggling with hating people, speaking dishonestly, and lusting after all manner of things. I started to be constantly filled with doubt.

New Problems

Once I started going to Rose State College, I had a few friends that challenged me. One friend in particular, whom I knew was an intelligent and Godly man, would throw around foreign words to me like ‘regeneration’, ‘justification’ and even *gasp* ‘Calvinism’. I associated Calvinism with being a cult in the past (for very odd reasons), but this friend of mine loved Jesus. He couldn’t stop talking about the Cross, and studying Scripture! I was so confused that I got into many dialogues with him until I made new friends at his local church (which has been my local church since that time). These friends introduced me to the Bible, and the centrality of Christ and His Gospel. But I had work to do; all of my philosophical presuppositions were being destroyed, and not by arguments but by the Bible, so I knew if God had indeed spoken on such things I must submit. So after relentless hours (or in my case, about 2 and 1\2 years) of study, I was learning many new things about the Bible. I was revitalized by the Gospel. Even though I had previously believed that Christ died for my sins and rose again, when I finally discovered the doctrine of imputation and penal substitutionary atonement in Scripture, my heart rose in worship.

New Errors

I was so enamored with Scripture, and when I discovered that the truths I was discovering had been confessed by Christians throughout up to a few thousand years, my interest in the Bible and theology were strengthened by studying Church History. After working through countless struggles and questions, I became to have a comprehensive and (more) Biblical worldview. But there was a new problem arising; when I encountered a question I hadn’t heard before, or discovered a Biblical passage that I was troubled by, I would simply look to whatever sources I could memorize the answers from in case I got in an argument. This was partly prideful, and partly a defense mechanism. Once again my pride came out saying: “Now that you know all these truths, don’t take the time to study them in Scripture, but just learn enough of the arguments so you can win the discussion if someone asks you!” As you can see, this has been a common theme of my life. But I was also constantly being attacked from all sides, and had to have something to fight back with. I used the Bible, but many times as simply a way to trump another person’s argument, or to keep them from attacking me. My heart was on competition instead of arguing in order to preach the Gospel. Thankfully, the building of my new worldview was very much tied to my personal study of Scripture due to my obsessive desire to know everything about everything. But I had drifted, once again, into arrogant memorization of Scriptural truth instead of humble saturation of laborious, meditative study.

 

Thoughts & Warning

Thankfully the Lord graciously brought me back once again to study the Scriptures, and apologetics, and Church History and such with a more humbled heart than I had. However, I cannot help but notice two problems with many of my peers today. I have seen many who have seen truths of Scripture that are new to them. Praise God! But I have seen these peers of mine drift off into a similar problem I had. To paraphrase Brian Dempsey, “These people are new to Biblical doctrine and study and will start whole apologetics ministries. Instead of preparing to defend their faith by deep, thorough Biblical and theological studies, they will simply google ‘what is the Reformed answer to [insert question here].” So a warning is in order; make sure that your beliefs come from your deep, humble-hearted studies of the Scriptures. Yes, it is good and extremely beneficial to a high degree to utilize the writings of others, whether it be the Patristics, Reformers, Puritans, or whomever. I would actually command you to utilize such works. But you will not have a full understanding of what it is you are defending if you do not go to the primary sources, but instead memorize only parts of secondary or third wave sources as a means to win an argument, or to feed your theological-narcissism. Stop reciting things you don’t fully understand, and come before the Lord through prayer and Scripture with a heart that seeks to understand truth, and to learn wisdom.

I have also seen an interesting trend in those who have learned these things, maybe even gone through being arrogant for awhile, and have grown out of it. I am glad that those whom I know have grown out of this; it is great to see humble, Gospel-centered people who are well-versed in Scripture, and even in historical theology. But in many of those who went through the aforementioned stage and were humbled, there is now a noticeable tendency to avoid almost any and all Biblical conversations, discussions, or arguments concerning many ‘controversial’ theological topics. In my estimation this is due, primarily, to two things; 1. Fatigue. After you have been an arrogant controversialist for awhile, it gets old and it certainly gets tiring. After being on both sides of the gun for awhile, you want rest. 2. In realizing that many Biblical truths are indeed true, but not necessary to believe in determining whether one inherits eternal life or not, many have refused to discuss secondary issues with reasons like ‘It isn’t necessary to the Gospel, so I don’t see why we should argue about it.’ The problem is this; we are to defend the whole counsel of God. Those who assert that the Gospel is more important than the specific doctrines of Calvinism (to give an example) are absolutely correct. But the Bible speaks of these things; why should we pretend they aren’t important? Just because monergistic regeneration is not as important as the doctrines of the incarnation, active and passive obedience, penal substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection, etc, does not mean it isn’t important.

Conclusions

I simply desire to tackle these problems by giving the antidotes to them (even if I must reitirate some things); study the Bible with all of your brain and heart. Stop just quoting theologians; become well studied in their works. Be worshipful in your defense of the faith, with a heart for the lost. Stop being arrogant, but do not play down the importance of Biblical doctrines. Be careful of avoiding discussion simply because you do not want to argue. I completely understand not wanting to answer to or get involved in every single Facebook argument, but when you tell someone the Gospel be prepared for the hard questions that unbelievers will many times unashamedly ask you. When you simply tell the Gospel and the man on the street asks if you believe in predestination (yes, this has actually happened to me) be prepared to answer him Biblically, but remember that such doctrines are inextricably connected to the Gospel. Answer truthfully, but point to what the doctrines center should be on; Christ’s person and work.

Soli Deo Gloria

Wesley Tyler Robinson

Disclaimer:
This article is intended as an in house commentary from a Christian to other professing Christians who profess the Bible as their sole infallible source of authority on all matters of life and faith. Anyone outside of this demographic is welcome to read
, but must pay attention to the fact that I am addressing those who agree on the basics of reformational protestant Christianity, and nobody else at this time. This is not written at this time to argue about the textual criticism of those who believe that homosexuality is not condemned like all other sins in the Bible. I am sure this will offend multiple people of all groups, but I ask that all would hold to the rules of this blog and keep their comments on-topic, generally free from vulgarity, and realize that if I feel that your comment is off-topic, too overly crude, or in general not helpful to the conversation I will delete it unashamedly, and I may or may not give a reason depending on why I deleted it. To make it clear; these are my thoughts to be discussed with others professing the same faith, all of my homosexual friends should know by now that I have nothing but love and care for them, but this is not a place for people to vent how much they hate whatever I say or I believe.

 

Tonight I was discussing with a few of my best friends, those who I consider to be closest to me (practically family) and the issue of homosexuality came up, and I was reminded of a song by a not-so-well-known Christian rapper who blatantly calls out those hypocrites in the ‘gospel music industry’, who’s music doesn’t have one bit of the Gospel in it, even though they proceed to sin blatantly in multiple ways in their personal lives without repentance and then openly declare themselves Christian and even go so far as to judge the sin of others. The conversation quickly led to how my good friends thought that when he was calling out said persons for their hidden homosexuality, he was not doing it lovingly (even though he specifically, in the song, says he loves them deeply and not JUST those who are homosexuals but all of those whom he is calling out). I supposed this all served to bring back to mind a few things and convinced me to write down my thoughts on how Christians should respond to the topic of homosexuality in this culture. When do we say what? How blatant should we be? And to what extent does our methodology of response change depending on the specifics of the discussion?

1. How should Christians deal with sin (of all kinds)?

As sinners saved by grace alone through Christ alone who still fight sin daily, we have the duty to confess our sins (Jam. 5:16), to preach the whole Gospel to every human being (Rom. 10:14) because every human being is a sinner just like us, deserves the wrath of God (Rom 3:23) and can only be redeemed by trusting in the truth of Christ Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection (Act. 4:12). We also have the duty to call out those who profess Christianity but are unrepentant for their blatant sin, especially those who profess Christianity and are in a teaching position (Rom. 16:17). We are to do this in love, with correct affections, desiring to see our brothers and sisters restored to joy in Christ through repentance and desiring to see unbelievers trust in the Gospel, but we are also not allowed to compromise on calling sin what it is and we are not loving our brothers or sisters, or our unbelieving neighbors, if we do not do so. For what kind of love sees someone running headlong off of a cliff and doesn’t at the very least shout; ‘No! Stop! You will die if you do that! Run the other direction!’?

2.What does the Bible say (and how does it say it) about homosexuality?

Many have, as of late, tried to argue through the means of eisegesis that the Bible doesn’t talk about homosexuality. I firmly and unashamedly disagree with that notion, and if someone so desires I will provide the resources for them to interact with or research on their own. But I am not going to thoroughly talk about that right now. I want to briefly interact with a few texts of the New Testament dealing with sexual immorality, amongst other sins.

  1. Romans 1:19-32.

    Here Paul describes all forms of idolatry, and specifically homosexuality. He argues that they exchange the truth of God for something like themselves to worship. The points of this text are a)idolatry is blasphemy of God, and only the Gospel of Christ can ransom someone from it, and b)homosexuality is simply a more easily noticeable form of idolatry. It is more noticeable as idolatry primarily because in homosexuality you have a visible picture of someone worshiping themselves and their passions. Some cults and crazies like to point to this text and argue that homosexuality is some kind of extra baaad sin, worse than all the others, of which there is never any forgiveness for. Those people are stupid; feel free to ignore them. While the Bible in fact does blatantly call homosexuality a sin, it is a sin among many other sins; all of which are able to be forgiven by trusting in the Cross. Take note, however, that the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write some very seemingly harsh words about the topic, even amidst a pagan Roman society where all forms of idolatry (practically) including homosexuality were popular. He does not seem to be worried if an unbeliever might read it.

  2. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
    Here is written to the Corinthians that those who make a practice (a living, without any repentance whatsoever in any manner) of sin, will not inherit the kingdom of God. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, pens these nail-on-chalkboard-words (for our culture and his); ‘Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.’ No punches are pulled on this one; our culturally taught ‘sensibilities’ are ground into dust whilst reading this, because it is a tough and gut-wrenching thing to call sinful things sinful. We all sin, and we all have unbelieving friends and family that we feel would run away from us if they ever found out this is what we actually believed, but we cannot compromise on this. If we believe in the only Gospel according to the Scriptures, and if we believe that all humanity (including us) is sinful and in need of a Saviour to be justified, then we must not be willing to compromise or apologize for what Scripture actually says. If we do believe God to exist, and we believe Him to be good, and we believe His Word to be both true and good, then we must be willing to shed our inconsistent and silly notions that we shouldn’t let people know what we believe on any topic if we might lose friends or ‘opportunities’ over it. We must refuse to do anything that is not out of love, and we must refuse to compromise on that which Scripture has spoken on. Peaceable to all men when possible, but indisputably unchanging in our resolve to maintain the truth of Scripture.
  3. 1 Timothy 1:8-11
    This text is quite similar to the last. Here, the writer intends to point out that God’s law is primarily useful in convicting and showing us all, once again, that we are condemned in the eyes of God the Father and deserve His just wrath. So in essence, the Law points out our sinfulness to press us on into seeing the beauty of the imputed righteousness of Christ and His sacrificial death on our behalf along with His glorious resurrection. Multiple sins are listed off shamelessly, and mentioned as being not in accordance with sound doctrine. This adds a whole other thought to the topic; when anyone makes a practice or lifelong commitment to sin, He is not only being disobedient to God’s Word but actually denying His Word with His actions. This is another reason why we must preach the Gospel to ourselves daily and die to ourselves, and why we must preach the truth openly but in love at all times; when sin is committed we are in some sense professing that which is wholly contrary to God Himself, who is eternal and at enmity with sin. He is so much at enmity with sin, that Christ, Son of God and Very God, had to take upon Himself the wrath of God the Father for us on the Cross. How can we who have believed go on unrepentant for the very sins which killed the Savior who willingly took them upon Himself, who is our very Bread and Water? We cannot. We must fight our sin through the power of the Holy Spirit day and night, whenever it creeps upon us. And we must, like the writer of this letter, be willing to tell the truth of what God has indeed said on all matters.

3. How do we deal with those who profess Christ and practice homosexuality in secret?

This might sound too plain of an answer, but it is simple; we deal with professing Christians who are unrepentant and hide their homosexuality the exact same way we deal with all other professing Christians who are unrepentant and hide their sins (including fornication, adultery, drunkenness, theft, etc). We approach them in love and in truth, ask them to repent, and if they refuse then eventually church discipline is in order. If said person is a preacher or teacher, he is to be given the strictest of warnings and callings to repentance, for Scripture is clear on the matter (Rom. 16:17, 2 Pet. 2, Jude, etc). We cannot ultimately judge someone as if we were God, but we are commanded to look at those who profess Christ, their lives, their repentance, and discern if their teachings are those of Christ, or should be anathema (Gal. 1:8-9).

4.How do we deal with unbelievers who practice homosexuality?

Now here are some of the more controversial things that must be said; we befriend, love, speak the truth, and preach the Gospel to homosexuals the same way we do with every other unbeliever. We may use different methodology depending on the area or the way we know the person or persons (whether cold-cut evangelism or by befriending them first), but the fact is simple that I may not run around screaming ‘gays are sinners!’, but we all have to be accepting of the fact that the Church should be willing to lovingly and truthfully tell all men and women that we are all fallen and sinful, even in specific ways sometimes, and in need of the Gospel. If you are not doing cold-cut evangelism (which I believe is good and necessary not just in certain cultures alone, but at certain times in every culture when the opportunity presents itself) but are becoming acquainted or becoming a friend to any unbeliever (not just homosexuals) with the intentionality necessary to sometime, somehow tell them the Gospel, there will be a question that comes up (though perhaps sometimes in different wording); ‘so you believe what I am doing is sinful?’ Our efforts to spread the Gospel will not be thwarted by having to answer such a blunt and offensive question truthfully because we are not the One who saves souls. So we must be willing to answer in some way or manner in the affirmative, giving lovingly honest (which sometimes means offensive) answers because we love them and long to see their hearts and lives changed by the Gospel we were justified by.

5. Objections answered.

Some Christians (many of my closest friends even) may think that calling out false teachers with harsh words who practice homosexuality in secret is a detriment to the spread of the Gospel for those homosexuals who may see or hear it. But I then cannot help but submit this question; if your pastor was a secret alcoholic, and had been called out on his alcoholism multiple times but is unrepentant, would you honestly be against saying the truth? No. He is a drunkard. He professes Christ but, in the words of Scripture, perverts the grace of God into licentiousness. You are commanded to call him our on his drunkenness, and the same is true of any other sin. If a husband is cheating on his wife, does she not by right and necessity have to be told that her husband is an adulterer? If he is called out on it and comes to repentance, then a healing process will begin. But if he is unrepentant, do you think it is wrong to simply say what Scripture says, that adulterers will not ‘inherit the kingdom of God’? So I guess my simple response is this; so what if someone sees it? They won’t be ‘turned off’ from Christianity because they saw someone calling out someone else for a sin that they practice as well. They may say that is the reason, but Scripture is very reassuring of the fact that the reason people do not become Christians is because we are God-hating rebels from birthand only a miracle can change our hearts. We will never be able to fully control what unbelievers hear and do not hear, thus we must always be loving but firmly and unapologetically speak the truth of the Gospel. We are not the masters of the soul of others; we do not have the power to regenerate or harden the hearts of others, therefore we can only do as we are commanded. Love the lost, pray for the lost, preach the Gospel to the lost, repeat. Still many may make other, more personal objections, suggesting that I simply do not understand because I don’t know any homosexuals. As harsh as it may sound, that objection is complete and utter bollocks. I am very good friends with multiple practicing, unbelieving homosexuals. Many of them even know my stance on the subject, and are still my friends! We have entirely separate and clashing worldviews, but they are still my friends. So please hold that objection to yourself, because even if I did not have any homosexual friends or any experience dealing with those in the homosexual community (though I do), Scripture is still clear and unchangeable.

In Summation…

We must be peaceable at all times possible, but we cannot compromise the truth of the Gospel or any other truths contained in Scripture. We must be always loving to the sinner (for we are merely redeemed sinners) but always willing to plainly state the truth that sin is indeed sin. We must aim to preach the whole Gospel to all men regardless of what type of sin they practice because we desire those of every tribe, tongue, and nation to embrace the only Christ and His Cross.

Soli Deo Gloria

-Wesley Tyler Robinson