CTT | Trey Pearson and CCM

Last week, I saw the following headline from theBlaze pop up on my Facebook feed:

Christian Rocker Comes Out as Gay:
‘I’ve Tried My Whole Life to Be Straight’

Naturally, I was curious as to who this “Christian Rocker” was and wanted to know how the CCM Industry would spin it. After some searching, I realized that this poor young man’s crisis of faith had already published previously, and the community should have picked up on several warning signs. What we have here isn’t a sound Christian suddenly performing a 180º turn, merely the revealing of an unbeliever’s unrepentance.  Today, I want to focus your attention more on the Contemporary “Christian” Music (CCM) industry than on the man, Trey Pearson and his rebellion.

That article from the Blaze is mostly a rehash of the original interview posted here. The interview’s title is “A Modern Gospel”, but it isn’t a modern gospel, it’s a false one. Some heartbreaking quotes:

…“I’m gay, and one of the only people who knows is my wife.”…

…“Most of us reach at least one pivotal moment in our lives that better defines who we are. These last several months have been the hardest—but also have ended up being the most freeing months—of my life. To make an extremely long story short, I have come to be able to admit to myself, and to my family, that I am gay.”…

…“There is a weight that has been lifted, and I have never felt so free. I cannot even believe the joy and lightness I feel from being able to accept myself, and love myself, for who I truly am … but I have also lost some of the closest people in my life. I have felt betrayal by people I loved a lot, and cared so much about.”…

…“I’m starting over in so many ways. It is freeing, but it’s also starting out lonely”…

In the article, we see Trey fully fixated on himself while taking shots at Christians for not treating him the way he thinks he should be treated. Really, Trey? You’re leaving your wife. Your wife is no longer your wife, you’ve made her out to be merely part of what you’ve now decided isn’t the real you. Rather than resist sin, you’ve decided to identify by it, and expect others to accept your sin as something that should be embraced, celebrated, and even loved. The “joy and lightness” you’re describing now is no more substantial than the adrenaline high most get from doing something they know is wrong. This isn’t freedom, it is bondage to sin. This hedonistic gospel is no gospel at all. There is no life in it, only death. Let’s turn quickly to Paul’s comments regarding sin in his letter to the Romans, a rather hedonistic society in its day even by modern standards.

Romans 6:15-23 (ESV) | Slaves to Righteousness

What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So you see, Paul points out the hard truth of the so-called “freedom” trey is currently experiencing… it’s a freedom in regards to righteousness, meaning that giving yourself over into slavery of sin is to rid yourself of all righteousness. We have no righteousness of our own, so we must become slaves to righteousness by faith in the Righteous One, Our LORD Jesus Christ. In denying the Law of God (specifically that sexual immorality is sin), he’s cut himself off from the very Gospel of God, forgiveness from the sin he refuses to acknowledge as sin. What we see here is a man who is still firmly planted in Romans 1.

Romans 1:18-32 (ESV) | God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Which leads us to the focus of this discussion here. Yes, Trey is in unbelief and I pray the Holy Spirit open his eyes to the Truth, that Trey’s hardened heart and stiffened neck against the Truth of God be softened. But Trey has a platform that the CCM Industry has built for him, and that our godless society is capitalizing on. Check out this troubling segment of the View.

A wife and two children, and all he can think about is himself and his passions. He put all of his faith into his ability to “be something he wasn’t”. Folks, that isn’t the Gospel. The Object of saving faith is NOT our ability to uphold the Law. The Object of our faith is Christ Jesus.

I will concede one point… in part. If the visible church keeps preaching sanctification as a choice we make, it’s teaching the wrong thing. The Law clearly pronounces homosexuality as sin. Abominable sin. As sinful human being, sinless perfection is outside of our reach and beyond our strength to attain in this life on our own. Repentance is a daily act of faith, not a one-time contract that relies on your sanctified perfection to maintain. We must encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ who struggle with same-sex attraction to continue bearing the fruit of repentance, just as we who struggle with heterosexually immoral temptations need to. Your secret addition to pornography is no less abominable than their same-sex attraction, in the eyes of God they are both sexual immorality, sexual sin, on par with Idolatry, and punishable by death. And they are both covered, paid in full, by the Perfect atoning sacrifice of our LORD Jesus Christ on the cross. Repent, and be forgiven in Jesus’ Name. Take up your cross, die to self, and follow Christ daily. There will come a day when at last we will be free of this sinful, fallen flesh, and we will be given new bodies in the Resurrection. Until then, the righteous live by Faith, not by their own works.

The CCM Problem

As I mentioned earlier, I found an older article from 2013 (Sojourners link) that should have raised several warning flags concerning Trey Pearson and the CCM Industry. That it didn’t indicates that the majority of the Visible church is sleeping or flat-out derelict in their duty to preach sound doctrine and to hold CCM (and themselves) accountable. If you have some time, read through the interview… it is quite telling of the problems within the CCM Industry and with Trey’s theology. These issues, even if Trey can’t speak for the entire industry perfectly, are clearly driving forces behind why so many of our DiM posts end up in disapprovals and warnings. The industry is deeply flawed, and the Church is blindly eating it all up. Let’s look at some of the more damning quotes in the SOJO article:

SOJO: What about the industry surprised you?

Trey: I have been in the industry for 11 years full time, so that’s a bit of a loaded question! I was pretty naive coming into the industry. I assumed everyone there was just trying to make great art, to glorify God. But it was more than that. I thought that what these musicians were doing was somehow sacred, distinct from the “secular” music that other artists were producing. That is what I had been taught as a teenager, by people that were really influential in my life.

I didn’t realize how much the industry was geared toward soccer moms, who support Christian radio. I didn’t realize how many people in the industry had really different views on what it meant to follow God, or just flat out didn’t seem to care. The Christian music industry has the same struggles with drugs, sex and power as the secular music business.  [emphasis mine]

The Christian Radio stations are inextricably linked to the Industry machine. Don’t be fooled. Don’t be lulled into the lie that they are simply dealing with the hand they are dealt from the recording studios. It matters who they target with their marketing for “business partners”, it matters that they claim to proclaim the Gospel while promoting and playing mostly ear-tickling pablum. Trey goes on to lament the art that is lacking in the CCM Industry.

The formula of CCM started with them knowing how to sell to the adult contemporary (AC) format. About a decade ago, worship music became really popular, and it has pretty much melded with that AC format. There are some slight differences at times, but it is all geared to be cool enough to make a soccer mom think that it’s edgy, and yet not be too controversial. What is intriguing to me is that you will almost never find someone making art in the rest of the music industry, trying to become an “adult contemporary” artist. You will see Top 40 [pop artists] cross over some of their songs to AC, but all the artists at the top of those mainstream AC charts right now are Rihanna, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, and Justin Timberlake. That’s a far cry from an industry that pushes young people into trying to make Christian AC music, that never ends up being about the art, but just fitting in the right formulaic words like “grace,” “saved,” “Jesus,” and trust me, they have them. And it never leads to good art. No offense to the artists that are ruling Christian music, but it’s just not at the peak of the creative music spectrum…

…Generally, only messages of certainty and positivity are promoted and accepted within Christian AC and worship music communities. It is next to impossible to create art that has transparency and honesty, expressing doubt, and vulnerability. You can see those things all throughout Scripture, but the system in place to sell albums has a very narrow view of belief that they want to promote to their consumers.

So, in these answers we are starting to see more of Trey’s theology, but we are also seeing that the CCM formula is centered on entertaining the Adult Contemporary market rather than on sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The standard isn’t God’s Word, it’s what they think they can get away with to be comfortably edgy and at least nominally orthodox (using the formulaic words he cited). Seriously though, Trey just included the Name that is above all Names in his list of “formulaic words” as a bad thing because it hinders art.

Do you see Trey’s theology emerging a bit here? Might you be inclined to guess at who he’s been listening to, and learning from? Any chance it’s a faithful exegete?

SOJO: Talk about the authors and others who started opening your eyes to other ways of thinking about God.

Trey: The biggest influence that made an impact on making me rethink the sacred vs. secular divide, and on understanding that everything is spiritual, was Rob Bell. He helped me realize again that everything that is good is from God. I stopped believing in Christian music or Christian events or anything else described as a “Christian” that didn’t seem intent on following Jesus.

I’m all for a group of Christians coming together to try to make an impact in people’s lives for the Kingdom of God. I just believe there are better ways to go about it. If you believe that everything that is good is from God, it starts to really change your perspective on how all of this works. Rob was sort of a gateway for me to other authors that have had huge impacts on me like Dallas Willard, N.T. Wright, Jurgen Moltmann, Walter Brueggemann, and many more. [emphasis mine]

There is a reason we call out these false teachers. There is a reason we need the ministries of Pirate Christian Radio, the Pulpit and Pen, the Berean Research, Wretched Radio, et al. The visible church is derelect in its duty to exercise Biblical Discernment, to mark false teachers, and guard the flock against the wolves.

Conclusion

I pray the LORD soften Trey’s heart and grant him saving faith and repentance. I pray for his wife and children, for that they might find Faith, Hope, and Restoration in Christ alone. I pray that the Church wake up and start taking their charge to keep the Faith, to keep the Word of God. Dear Christian, do the work of a Berean. Examine your doctrine with an open Bible, to see if it is good. Ensure that your local church faithfully preaches the Word of God, both Law and Gospel unapologetically. Exercise Biblical discernment in what you are listening to, purchasing online, and reading.. particularly those things that claim to be “Christian”. Hold your local CCM Radio stations accountable. They raise funds claiming to be a Christian ministry… is it true? Do they proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ? or are they merely an entertainment platform for a CCM industry looking to make a buck.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (ESV) | Preach the Word

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

CTT | Born That Way? Yes.

In light of some of the recent hullabaloo on social media regarding yet another conservative public figure asserting that practicing homosexuality was a lifestyle choice, it is inevitable that someone is going to proclaim with great zeal and vigor, “it’s not a choice” or “I didn’t choose to be homosexual” ultimately ending in “I was born this way”. The objective Truth of this matter is that, in fact, they were born that way… and so were you.

You are, in fact, Born That Way

Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV) | By Grace Through Faith
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

This isn’t only a New Testament understanding, King David also rightly understood this Truth of mankind after the Fall.

Psalm 51:1-6 (ESV) | Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

We were born dead in our sins and trespasses. We were born that way. Dead. The wages of Sin is death, all sin leads to death. David recognized that his sinfulness was his from conception, and his iniquity from birth. We are all born selfish, self-centered, self-gratifying, vindictive, manipulative little sinners. From birth. I love babies of all types, they are beautiful in my sight and they are precious in God’s sight, but the fact remains that they are dead in sin from conception and through birth. No one has to teach a child “right & wrong”, they get the wrong automatically.

Am I excusing sin? Nope. Am I minimizing the sin of homosexuality? Absolutely not. Am I making an equivocation error? No. So let’s get ahead of this train, I’m not saying that homosexuality is “no more of a sin” than gossip, I’m saying that gossip is no less of a sin than homosexuality.

Nature versus Nurture is a False Dichotomy

Dear Christian, there is no point in arguing against the notion that someone is born with homosexual proclivities. No matter how you phrase it, or define words like “homosexual”, “attraction”, “gender identity”… the Truth is that we are all born sinners by nature. And that sin nature will nurture sinfulness leading to death. Where the focus needs to be is in the fact that the Only way out of that death is the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who laid down His life as the perfect and ultimate Sacrifice, taking upon Himself the due penalty of our sin. I strongly recommend conceding the “born that way” point, so that we can move on to the Only Truth that may grant us the faith required to be set free in Jesus Christ.

The homosexual lobby is pushing hard against the Church to accept their sin by insisting that they ARE their sin. They will often assert that since they were “born that way” it’s because God “wanted them to be that way”, so either they are accursed without hope or God accepts their sin since “it’s his fault”. It’s a pale argument, but one that gets many twisted up, particularly in our post-modern anti-Biblical society. God is fully aware of the sin of every man and woman from creation to the end of days. In that Knowledge, He made a way, the Only way, of Salvation.

John 3:16-18 (ESV) | For God So Loved the World
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

God doesn’t wait for the moment of your conception to decide that you are born in sin. Adam decided that for all of mankind back in the Garden, when he sinned.

Romans 5:10-21 (ESV) | Death in Adam, Life in Christ
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What does it mean for the Law to increase the trespass? Without the Law we’d have no way of knowing just how unworthy of God we truly are. That knowledge does increase our understanding of our sin but it also deepens the understanding of God’s Grace for the one who has faith. Note that we are talking about ALL SIN. Of which sexual immorality is a portion, of which homosexuality is a portion. If there is no forgiveness of the sin of sexual immorality, there is no forgiveness of any sin.

Denial of the Sin Makes Forgiveness Unreachable

The problem with the sin of homosexuality, is that the lobby is pushing to deny that it is a sin. It’s one thing to repent and throw yourself at the mercy of the Judge, but it’s another thing entirely to defy the Judge and declare that a crime was not committed.

Romans 1:28-32 (ESV) 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

We are wholly and completely without excuse. Please don’t cherry-pick the sin you hate the most and skim over the others… all who practice such things as whats on this list deserve to die as punishment for sin. That is the Law of God. There simply is no getting around that. There is Only one way for us to deal with the Law, and that is by faith in Christ’s atoning work at the cross on our behalf.

Once Forgiven, Always Repentant

We carry sin in our flesh. We each must deal with the curse of sin for it is appointed for man to die and then face judgement.

Hebrews 9:26-28 (ESV) 26… But as it is, [Christ] has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

For those who are in Christ Jesus by faith, our forgiveness is assured by the Holy Spirit, so that in that great and final day when the Judge sees us under His blood and made clean by His righteousness. Until that great day, we walk in fallen flesh and we must deal with the temporal with eyes focused on the eternal in Christ.

Colossians 3:1-17 (ESV) | Put On the New Self
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Conclusion

Yes, they were born that way, and so were you. The Gospel is as available to them as it was to you. Preach the Word to them (both Law and Gospel), and pray that God the Holy Spirit might open up their hearts to accept the Word of God and the gift of saving Faith. Rebuke those who would dare make themselves (and their sin) superior to God or His Laws, in love and humility, remembering that you once walked among them in the dark yourselves. There was only One who was righteous, and He became sin on the cross to bear the full brunt of God’s Wrath, so that we wouldn’t have to die in our sin.

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

What the Bible says about Sex

marriageThere is a lot going on in the news these days regarding sexual immorality. The LGBTQ agenda has made huge strides against the Church in America. Sadly, there is a great falling away from Sound Doctrine in many so-called evangelical churches and denominations caving in to the world’s pressure to redefine sex, sexuality, identity and sin. I had planned a different topic for this week’s Bible Study, but I think we will spend our time looking at what the Bible has to say about sex. Many anti-christians start by attacking the Mosaic laws first, but I’d like to begin with something Jesus said as recorded in Matthew 19.

Matthew 19:1-9 (ESV) 1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

The heading in my Bible for this passage is “Teaching About Divorce”. Why did I choose to start here? Because I first wanted to point out that sex and marriage are linked and instituted by God when He created Adam and Eve.

Genesis 2:20-25 (ESV) 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

The union of man and woman is part of the design, part of our creation. God didn’t form men and women separately and then allow them to unite their flesh; He created them with this purpose in mind. Eve was formed out of Adam, and since then all men and women have been formed from the joining of one man and one woman. Sin has since perverted that, and we’ll get to that in a bit, but for now, know that in dealing with a legal matter, a test or question regarding the Law of Moses… Jesus went all the way back to creation and defined clearly the purpose of His creation. Remember our introduction to the book of John.

John 1:1-5;14 (ESV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Okay, so Jesus is the final authority on the purpose of Creation. He is the Word of God. But we also have the written Word of God as inspired by God the Holy Spirit; therefore, every word in the Bible is authoritative. My goal here is to point you to the words Jesus spoke while He walked the Earth for those who place undue emphasis on the “red letters” (all of the letters should be red). Getting back to the passage in Matthew 19, look at what happens next as Jesus speaks with his disciples:

Matthew 19:10-12 (ESV) 10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

The disciples got the message loudly and clearly. You see, even in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, divorce had become an acceptable course of action. There was much more ritual involved then that what we have now, but the end result remains unchanged, it is sin. The breaking of God’s design. The disciples were correct in their assertion that since divorce was not a part of God’s design for man and woman, that if anyone might be considering the possibility of relying on divorce down the road, that it would be better for that man NOT to marry at all. However, Jesus makes it clear that not everyone can take that road. Why is that? Because the sin of divorce is not the only sin. Sexual immorality is a powerful sin that works evil within our flesh, and in-fact is part of our flesh from our birth as a result of the original sin. When Jesus mentions that some are “eunuchs from birth”, he is referring to those whose struggle is not of a sexual nature. I’m sure you’ve met people who just don’t seem to have that “sexual drive” that you have… and at times you’ve envied them or maybe thought ill of them. That is not to say they are “immune” to sexual sin, but that the drive isn’t there. In today’s sexualized culture, these folks are most often labeled “weird” or maliciously labeled queer/questioning, or now the world has developed a new attack called “gender confusion”. Regardless, my point being here that Jesus made it very clear that some are called and equipped to NOT marry. The Church has done a very poor job on teaching this truth from God’s word, for too long we’ve focused on Marriage and procreation as a Holy Sacrament. While it is the ONLY allowable context for sex, marriage in and of itself is not a prerequisite for serving God. We’ll explore this truth more. The next option (Jesus truly did cover all of the bases), is that some men are made eunuchs by the hands of men, and finally some choose to make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Some do so by choice. They choose, not necessarily to castrate themselves physically, but to forgo marriage (and sex) for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.

Remember, however, that the very context of this conversation is under “teaching about divorce”. Once you’ve married, you are joined with your spouse in the flesh until death. So, Jesus is clearly saying if God has given you the gift and calling to go your entire life single without falling into sexual sin so that you can devote yourself fully to the kingdom of heaven, do it. Otherwise, understand that in choosing to marry, that decision is to be made permanent in keeping with God’s design for marriage… one man with one woman. Paul also teaches on the call to ministry and being a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom.

1 Corinthians 7:1-9 (ESV)  7 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Here, the issue of marriage is presented as both a binding covenant, and a remedy for sexual temptation. That’s right, in the same light that Jesus taught His disciples, Paul is exhorting the believers who are single, if you lack self-control, better to be married (so that sexual intimacy can be enjoyed in its proper context without sin) than to fall into sexual immorality. Notice also that marriage is not an automatic remedy for sexual temptation. Paul first exhorts married believers not to deprive one another of intimacy so that Satan cannot take advantage of a lack of self-control. For if burning with passion as a single person weren’t bad enough, allowing sexual immorality to take place within the context of marriage burns up both spouses, for neither of them owns their flesh, but the 2 are made one flesh in marriage.

Paul is not anti-marriage. He is instructing the church, a persecuted church, on how to fulfill the great commission (Matt 28:16-20). I don’t understand why it is that we preach the Great Commission in our churches when the topic of “how to live a Godly life” is concerned, but regarding sex and marriage we reach back to Genesis 1:28 (ESV), “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth”? The earth is filled with sinners, slaves to darkness, and a world that hates God. The Great Commission is our commission, our duty, not just “the pastor’s”. Paul is simply being practical in his encouragement and instruction for believers. He explains himself perfectly in the following passage:

1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (ESV) 32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

So we’ve established the connection between sex and marriage as being integral in the very design of mankind at Creation. I also hope to have reduced the “necessity” of sex and procreation in light of the Great Commission and working for the kingdom of heaven. Sex is still a gift for those of us who lack self-control, but that gift is very specific and has very specific boundaries. There is only ONE context for sex that is acceptable in God’s sight and that is within marriage. The institution of marriage was set at creation, when God made them male and female.

So what about the notion of homosexual marriage? Unbiblical. God’s design for marriage, from the beginning and throughout scripture is for a man and a woman to become one flesh. The world does what it does, and it will be judged (again and finally). There is no room for the church to accept homosexual marriage. The world will sometimes try to make it about “love” rather than the sex. Irrelevant for 2 reasons. The first, as we’ve established, sex and marriage are inseparable. The second, because God is love. He defines love. Therefore, anything God declares to be sin cannot be called love, for God is also Holy and Just. I mentioned earlier that the LGBTQ lobby has developed this new concept of “gender identity”. It is merely an extension of the claim “God made me gay”. This new approach is to circumvent what the Bible says about homosexuality by making about “identity”. The logic follows that a person might have been born in the wrong body (God’s fault) therefore their sexual orientation shouldn’t be labeled based on their biology but how they self-identify. Clearly this tactic isn’t embraced by the LGB folks, but the QT folks are growing in number. These are all lies of the enemy.

Romans 1:16-32 (ESV) 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Yes, there are laws in the Mosaic covenant that we are no longer bound to for Jesus Christ fulfilled those laws on our behalf. The laws regarding sexual immorality remain, for they are nature’s laws, and God created them. The definition of sin has not changed. What was sin is still sin… in fact, under the new covenant, we now know just how inescapable our sin nature truly is, and just how much we need a Savior to atone for our sins that we might be made right with God.

Mark 7:20-23 (ESV) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.

Matthew 5:27-30 (ESV) 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Pornography & Sexual Fantasy = Adultery=Sin. There is simply no room for any church or any person to redefine sexual immorality. We dare not call evil, good. The Law remains to convict us of our sin, so that we might remain in the Grace of God, Jesus Christ. Let me be clear, unrepentant homosexuality is no more acceptable within the church than murder, incest, adultery, polygamy, or idolatry.  There is forgiveness at the foot of the Cross for all who repent. If we preach Gospel without the Law, we minimize the Gospel. We must preach both Law and Gospel so that the Holy Spirit can perform His sanctifying work on the Body of Christ by the seed of God’s Word being planted in our hearts.

1 Timothy 1:8-17 (ESV) 8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord Bless you and keep you,
In Him,
Jorge