Tag Archives: sex

Some Thoughts on the Book “What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?” (Post #10) GOD LOVES STRAIGHT PEOPLE BUT NOT GAY PEOPLE!

I am grateful for this book by the United Methodist minister Martin Thielen entitled What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian? He looks at a number of beliefs he thinks Christians should give up — and this book challenges my fundamental beliefs as a Jesus-follower. In this next chapter he tackles the issue of homosexuality. He subtitles this chapter: “All persons, including homosexual persons, are welcome in God’s church. Beyond that, however, mainline and moderate churches are not of one mind on this issue. For now, ‘welcoming but not affirming’ best describes most mainline churches, and the discussion goes on.”

[A comment before I’ve even read his chapter: What if God has spoken with absolute clarity on this issue, like He did with murder, or blasphemy, or adultery? And what would qualify, in Thielen’s mind, as “absolute clarity,” I wonder?]

Thielen lays out three views among Christians about homosexuals. He describes the views as “the Christian Right,” “the Christian Left,” and “the Christian Center.” The Christian Right condemns homosexuals in no uncertain terms (Thielen even cites the anti-gay preacher Fred Phelps who proclaimed “God Hates Fags” to introduce this chapter). The Christian Right is criticized for singling out homosexuality as a far-worse sin than any other sins.  Second, this view deeply wounds homosexuals and their loved ones. He concludes, “a nonwelcoming position on homosexuality is not an authentic Christian option” (55). The Christian Left welcomes homosexuals and affirms their relationships. It claims homosexuals do not choose their orientation — that’s the way God created them. Further, the Bible “knows nothing of loving, monogamous gay relationships.” Lastly, biblical passages about homosexuality need to be understood in their historical context. Like the church’s position on women and on slavery, we need to make the same changes with our view of homosexuality. The Christian Center is welcoming but not affirming of homosexual behavior. Thielen’s own denomination (United Methodist) “does not affirm homosexual behavior, will not ordain practicing homosexual clergy, and will not celebrate homosexual unions” (56). Thielen argues that this debate will continue.

[I was surprised that Thielen did not recommend Matthew Vines’ God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships which seeks to reinterpret the primary passages condemning homosexual behavior (Gen. 19, Lev. 18-20, Rom. 1, and I Cor. 6).]  [Please email me if you wish a copy of my review of Vines’ book].

MY RESPONSE: Thielen likes to tell stories. Let me tell one. Tom was a missionary to Germany with me in the 1970’s. I did not know about his homosexual orientation until after he left the two-year team. Ten years’ later my wife and I visited him in Ohio and learned of his commitment to the homosexual lifestyle.  At that time he told us he had seen 100 of his gay friends die of AIDS.

At a ten-year reunion of our team in Canada, my wife and Sue and I pleaded with Tom until 2 AM to give up his homosexual behavior. To no avail. Tom died of AIDS about a year later.

So this “issue” of homosexuality is no mere academic topic to me. But like other controversial issues, Thielen doesn’t allow the Bible to have full authority. He simply divides viewpoints into three categories and says, essentially, “let the debate continue!”

My critique of this chapter will overlook Thielen’s beginning with the most egregious example (Fred Phelps) as a hater of gays. I’ll also restrain my frustration at his categories of Christian “right,” “left,” and “center.”

Here are some points to keep in mind in discussing this critical issue:

1. What does the Bible say about homosexual behavior? Thielen gave no serious attention to the primary passages on this topic. (I Corinthians 7 puts sexual sins in a more-serious category than other sins). Doesn’t the Lord Jesus affirm traditional marriage in Matthew 19?
2. Does the Bible use the term “abomination” with other sins (other than homosexual behavior)?
3. In quoting a pastor who said “Homosexuals will not be allowed in heaven,” why does Thielen not refer to I Corinthians 6:9 which specifically lists homosexual behavior as excluding people from heaven?
4. The concept that “what is . . is right” must be challenged! For someone to say, “I was born gay, made this way by God!”, seems to justify a homosexual lifestyle. What if a “straight” person said, “I was born promiscuous! I’m just practicing how the good Lord made me!”?
5. We all come into the world broken! Same-sex orientation is a kind of brokenness. And Christ is the answer to that brokenness.
6. The church has failed miserably to love and welcome those with same-sex attraction, but it should not affirm any practice of sin.

Please comment below: We must have gay friends that we want to see come to Christ and find freedom in Him. Can any of my readers give a word of testimony here?











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Posted by on February 19, 2019 in homosexuality


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Getting to Know . . . 2 Samuel (3:6-21) Sex and the Kingdom!

Sex. It gets a lot of people in a lot of trouble! And Abner, the commander of Saul’s army, who had been strengthening his own position in Saul’s house, is reprimanded by Ish-Bosheth with the words “Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?” (v. 7).

Ish-Bosheth, you may remember, was Saul’s son who at 40 years of age became king over Israel, reigning there for two years
(2 Sam. 2:10).

Such a reprimand infuriated Abner and he answered, “Am I a dog’s head — on Judah’s side? I haven’t handed you over to David. Yet now you accuse me of an offense involving this woman! 9 May God deal with Abner, be it ever so severely, if I do not do for David what the Lord promised him on oath 10 and transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish David’s throne over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beersheba.” (v. 10).

Abner makes an agreement to bring all of Israel over to David. But David requires him to “bring Michal daughter of Saul when you come to see me.” (v. 13). David says to Ish-Bosheth: “Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins.” (v. 14).

What a sad story. Michal is taken from her husband Paltiel who went with her, “weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim.” Abner sends him home and he goes back (v. 16).

Abner speaks to the Benjamites. David provides a feast for Abner and his twenty men. Abner leaves to assemble all Israel for David so a covenant may be made so “that you may rule over all that your heart desires.” (v. 21).

“But, Michal! Where are you going?”

Some takeaways for me:
1. Our culture minimizes the power of sexual intimacy. Abner’s reaction shows that it is one of the most powerful actions in the world. And Abner’s relation with one of Saul’s concubines was enough to get him to switch sides and agree to bring all of Israel under David’s rule.
2. Love is also incredibly powerful. And David, who is about to receive a united kingdom, requires the return of Michal to him before he will agree to Abner’s plan for reunification.
3. The bluntness of the Bible (“What’s in the bag? Oh, we captured the Philistines and we . . .”) is an amazing feature of its truthfulness. It does not shy away from telling all the facts of life and war and conflict.
4. How does one defend David’s ripping Paltiel’s wife Michal away from him? What a sad story of Paltiel following his wife until he is commanded by Abner to turn back. We do not need to defend all of David’s actions, do we?

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Posted by on January 31, 2019 in 2 Samuel 3


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Living in Sin?

I saw this book in a bookstore the other day (no, I didn’t buy it).  The book is subtitled: “The Smart Girl’s Guide to Living in Sin without Getting Burned.”

But many today are “buying it”!   They’re buying into the lies that premarital sex is normal, natural, and fun — provided certain Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 11.57.18 AMprecautions are taken.  They’re buying into the lie that sexual intercourse with life-long commitment is strictly a personal matter.  They’re buying into the lie that just like you have to test-drive a car before you buy it . . .
This most intimate of human social actions is neither shunned nor shamed in the Bible, the Word of God.  Sex was God’s idea!

The church must wake up and realize that the majority of men and women to which it will minister will not be virgins!  They will have sexual scars which cannot be erased, but can be forgiven.

Your comments?


Posted by on July 3, 2016 in sex


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Time for a Great Cartoon! — Learning about SIN & VIOLENCE!

ch851209A study on “Television and Children” provides the following statistics:

  • An average American child will see 200,000 violent acts and 16,000 murders on TV by age 18.
  • Two-thirds of all programming contains violence.
  • Programs designed for children more often contain violence than adult TV.
  • Most violent acts go unpunished on TV and are often accompanied by humor. The consequences of human suffering and loss are rarely depicted.
  • Many shows glamorize violence.  TV often promotes violent acts as a fun and effective way to get what you want, without consequences.
  • Even in G-rated, animated movies and DVDs, violence is common—often as a way for the good characters to solve their problems.  Every single U.S. animated feature film produced between 1937 and 1999 contained violence, and the amount of violence with intent to injure has increased over the years.
  • Even “good guys” beating up “bad guys” gives a message that violence is normal and okay.  Many children will try to be like their “good guy” heroes in their play.



1.  What role does TV play in  your life?

2.  What principles are you establishing for your children (or others you influence) about TV watching?


Posted by on September 22, 2014 in television


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