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Can Christians Agree to Disagree About LGBTQ Issues?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 28, 2023 2:30 pm

Can Christians Agree to Disagree About LGBTQ Issues?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 28, 2023 2:30 pm

Episode 1390 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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Can Christians agree to disagree about LGBTQ questions?

Well, that's just one of the issues we're going to be talking about today on Core Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question, you can leave a voicemail anytime. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and of course you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. We'd love to hear from you. Well, we got a voicemail from one of our listeners in the United Kingdom. This is from Jasmine. Just want to say thank you for your show.

It's really encouraging to listen to. My question is, is it ever okay to not give somebody money? I know the Bible talks about giving freely, but is it ever okay to refuse somebody money?

Basically, I've got a situation. There's this girl that I know, and she's gotten lots and lots of money out of me, and she's never paid any of it back. And she just keeps on asking me for money. I don't really want to give her money anymore, because I know she's not going to pay it back, because obviously I want to do the right thing.

But yeah, I just guess that's my question. Is it ever okay to say to someone, I'm not giving you money anymore? Thank you. Jasmine, thank you for reaching out to us, and thank you for your encouragement as well.

Let me just begin by saying, yes, I do think that it is okay to say no. And this is where wisdom comes in for us as believers. But having said that, I want to look at just briefly a passage that we find in the New Testament, Matthew chapter 5. This is the Sermon on the Mount beginning in verse 38, because Jesus talks about giving to those who are in need here.

And so I want to read it, and then I want to get to maybe a more complex answer to your question. So Matthew chapter 5 verse 38, you have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil, but if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one the one who would borrow from you. Now here in the context, it's really interesting, you know, some of the things that Jesus is alluding to here had to do with the way in which the Roman occupiers there in Judea would take advantage of their authority and power. Often they might come to someone along the road and say, hey you need to come with me one mile, you need to do this, carry this for me.

They would requisition people for these tasks. And I mean, that's actually what happens later in the Gospel of Matthew with Simon, who carries the cross of Jesus, if you remember. And so Jesus is saying, look, outdo them in honor and in doing good.

You know, they say come one mile, go an extra mile. But the question is, is there ever a time where we say no, and on what basis do we say no? And in the context of, you know, the situation that you've brought up, you also have to be careful because you could be enabling this person to continue to live in a way that is not honoring to the Lord or pleasing to God. I don't know if this individual who you're talking about, this woman, is a Christian, but if she is, I think you can approach it by saying, okay, clearly what you're doing here is wrong. You're taking advantage of me as a brother or as a sister, and you're not handling your own responsibilities.

You're being deceitful. If this person is not a believer, if they're not a Christian, I mean, again, if you're talking to a believer, you can also get the church involved and make this a bigger discussion. But if they aren't a Christian, at the same time, you also don't want to enable them to continue to live in a way that's not taking responsibility.

And so maybe there's another way, Jasmine, for you to come alongside of this woman and to help. You say she's gotten a lot of money from you already, never paid you back, is constantly asking for money. It sounds like there's a real problem here, either a lack of, you know, good stewardship, which is a problem, or maybe laziness, which is another problem, you know, not being willing to work. Paul says, you know, if a person doesn't work, they're not going to eat.

Let's not enable people to continue to be lazy. That's not okay. And so if that's what's happening, yes, I would say don't continue to give.

Instead, confront the behavior and say, look, I love you and, you know, I've given you all of this money already and you haven't paid me back. God calls you to work with your hands so that you might be able to give to the one who is in need, as opposed to taking and not taking responsibility. And so, Jasmine, may God give you wisdom and also grace as you broach this topic with this individual.

Obviously, you know, again, it sounds like you really care for this person and want to help them, but you're not going to help them by continuing to enable them. And so may God be with you and bless you and give you wisdom. Thanks again for reaching out.

Great advice. Thanks for that, Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, maybe something going on in your church that you're concerned about. Here's our phone number. You can leave us a voicemail at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Or you can send us an email question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Let's go to Chuck calling in from Missouri. Chuck, what's your question for Adriel?

Yes, thank you for taking my call. My question is from Genesis chapter 6 concerning the Nephilim and also the sons of God. Could you expound on that and help me understand who those characters are?

Hey, Chuck, you're welcome. We're grateful to have you calling in, and you've brought us to a very controversial passage in the book of Genesis. There are at least three views on, you know, the identity of these sons of God. Who are these sons of God? And there's actually evidence, I think, lending itself to each of these interpretations.

So it's a tough one. I actually just recently saw a pastor who preached on Genesis 6, shared something on social media saying, this was the view I took, but I'm 49% sure that the other views are right. Because it's just like, okay, I'm not entirely sure. So let me outline some of the views that are out there, Chuck, and then try to give you just sort of a big picture of really what's being communicated here in Genesis 6 that I think oftentimes gets lost in debates and discussions about, you know, who exactly the Nephilim were, these sons of God. First, one view is that they're angels.

They're angels who are having relations with human beings, and the result is this sort of hybrid race, this hybrid race of angelic human beings. And so it's an interesting approach, obviously, and oftentimes that phrase, sons of God, is used to refer to the angels in Scripture. You think of the book of Job, for example, Job chapter 1 verse 6 or chapter 2 verse 1.

You see this also in the Psalms, Psalm 29 verse 1. So sons of God can be a reference to the angelic beings. Another interpretation is that what you have here is a contrasting between the Sethite line, the good line, marrying with the Cainite women, corrupting the godly line.

That's another question. So here the idea is intermarriage, and this is what comes under condemnation, the covenant people entering into relationships with the ungodly, with the line of or the seed of the serpent that's described earlier in Genesis. Now, one of the things that lends itself to this interpretation is the fact that, you know, this book, the book of Genesis, is highly polemical, and one of the things it was doing was really seeking to undermine the pagan worship of the people around Israel so that the people of God would focus on Yahweh, on their covenant Lord, and not intermarry with the pagan nations and embrace their idolatry. And so in one sense, you know, if that's the interpretation here in Genesis 6, it would sort of make sense, given that that Genesis is a polemical books making these arguments. Another view is that what you have here in Genesis chapter 6, you know, when it's referring to sons of God, is these rulers or these kings who are pictured in this divine way.

You do have evidence of this also in the Psalms in places like Psalm 82, where rulers or judges of God's people are given this sort of divine status referred to as Elohim, as gods. And so you see that in particular, and, you know, the judgment of God coming upon them for polygamy and for, you know, taking multiple wives. So those are the big views that are out there. The main point, though, of the passage is that, you know, the fall of mankind happens, and things are just getting worse and worse and worse. So whatever is happening with these sons of God, what's being illustrated for us is it is inviting the judgment of God. Verse 5 of chapter 6 says, the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. And so the Lord said, I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. And so, so look, those are the three main interpretations.

But sometimes we get so caught up in trying to figure out, okay, which one exactly is the strongest? And there's nothing wrong with that, but I'm just saying, let's not miss the point of the text, which is to illustrate how far we go in sin, unhinged from the grace of God. When we turn our backs on the Lord, there's this pattern, this downward spiral that ensues, and that's what was happening there, leading to the judgment of God. And this is later used in places like 2 Peter as an example for us, recognizing that God will judge sin, that God takes sin seriously. The days of Noah, you know, prior to the flood coming, Jesus in Matthew 24 used this as an example, you know, just like just like the days of Noah were, where people were basically living however they wanted, and then the flood came.

That's how it's going to be when I return. And so there's a warning here also for us to take heed to, to say, Lord, help us, help us to fix our eyes upon you, and not to go the way of the world, embracing that which dishonors you and displeases you, the thoughts of our hearts growing evil continually. Lord, sanctify us by your truth and in your Son, Jesus. Chuck, thanks for reaching out to us, and may the Lord bless you. So I mentioned, I noticed that when you mentioned those three explanations of that passage to Chuck, you didn't mention the alien visitation view. Yeah, that's right. My favorite view, actually, of all of them.

Yeah, that's one, you know, when people talk about that, people will say, I mean, I've heard this, you know, well, aliens, you know, they're, it's not that they're space aliens, they're Nephilim who built spaceships and are kind of flying around and whatnot. That is out there, Bill. That's not my view, but thanks for mentioning it just in case our listeners want to look into that.

Sure, no problem. Yeah, this is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We would love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, Nephilim, you name it. Here's the number, 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, if you get our voicemail system, feel free to leave your question there. And you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Here's an email, interesting one from Joyce, who's writing to us from overseas.

She says, greetings from India. My question pertains to my local church. In my church, I've observed a tendency among believers to view Christianity more as a religion than a relationship. Many of the believers, initially from diverse religious backgrounds like Hinduism and Buddhism, continue certain non-biblical rituals after accepting Jesus Christ. While acknowledging our shared identity as brothers and sisters in Christ, I grapple with deciding when to voice my concerns. What should I do, especially when these cultural practices make their way into the pastor's teaching? Wow. Well, greetings, sister Joyce from India.

Thank you for that email. You know, this is one of the dangers, right, is allowing the culture or the world or other religious beliefs to creep into our practices as Christians. When paganism begins to seep into Christianity, there's a problem. And in fact, this was one of the big issues that Jesus himself was addressing when he was writing to the various churches of Asia Minor described in the book of Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Some of the issue there was the paganism of the Roman world, the sexual immorality beginning to seep into the church. And Jesus has strong words about that. Now, sometimes there are cultural practices associated with even, you know, other religious rituals that really aren't that big of a deal.

And when I say that, I mean, it's more of an issue where we're not wanting to cause another person to stumble. I think, for example, of the discussion that Paul has in his letters about meat sacrificed to idols. There were some Christians that realize, and Paul says this in 1 Corinthians chapter 8, an idol is nothing in this world. So if I get meat at the meat market and it was used in this pagan ritual, it doesn't matter. An idol is, I mean, there's only one God.

We know that there's only one true God. Whatever they're worshiping is meaningless, is not real, and so I can have this barbecue or this steak and it's not that big of a deal. But there were other Christians who had a really hard time with that because they were coming from these backgrounds and they thought, how could you eat that food that's been used in this ritual? And Paul says, look, whatever you do, let's just not cause each other to stumble. And so it could be that what you have here, Joyce, is a real stumbling block. And this is where charity has to rule the day. This is where we have to say, okay, is what I'm doing causing another believer to stumble?

And I think we also have to say, are these rituals that are being adopted, whatever they are, I'm not familiar with the rituals or the non-biblical practices that you're talking about here. Is this a meal? What exactly is this?

Is this something? Is this participating in false worship? And if it is, then I think you do want to confront it.

You do want to have conversations and say, look, this can't go. And you mentioned, how do we handle this, these cultural practices, especially when they're making their way into the pastor's teaching? This is precisely, I think, where Jesus in Revelation chapters two and three gives the example, because he's going to these churches and he's addressing the angel of the church, which some people think is maybe a reference to the pastor, the local pastor there.

I kind of like that interpretation. Pastors liken it to angels. But he has no problem saying, your teaching, what you're doing is harming the flock, is bringing poison into the church. And so we have to, when we see that happening, we have to, together with the Lord Jesus Christ, be honest and confront that. But we also need the wisdom to be able to say, okay, is this kind of like a meat sacrifice to idols type of a thing that the apostle Paul was talking about?

Or is there really a participation in idolatry that's taking place here that needs to be confronted and addressed because it's poisoning the truth of the gospel? And that's where you're going to need wisdom, Joyce. And may God grant that wisdom to you and illuminate your mind according to his word and give you courage and boldness to have conversations with your pastor, if that's what needs to happen, but also to have conversations with your brothers and sisters who are still entangled with some of these practices. And again, may God bless you and be with you, and thanks for reaching out to us. Joyce, thanks so much for listening to us and corresponding all the way from India.

We really appreciate that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. What do Christians believe? What are the core doctrines of the Christian faith? How can you be sure you're part of a biblical church? Well, to answer those questions more in depth than we can on a 30-minute radio program, Pastor Adriel and our team wrote a brand new Bible study on those topics.

Yeah, I like that you brought that last one up. How can you be sure that you're involved in a biblical church? Because that's a question that we get over and over again on the broadcast, and it's one of the lessons in this new Bible study called We Believe the Nicene Creed. It's a 10-lesson study through the Nicene Creed, and it gets to the very heart of who God is and what He's done for us.

I guarantee you, I mean, you hear that and you think, oh, I know that already. God is the Lord, Trinity, you know, He sent Jesus to die for our sins, the Father sent the Son. There's stuff in here that I know will encourage you and will be new for you. I mean, we're talking about the great mysteries of the faith, and so we want to dive deep as Christians in this 10-lesson study will help you to do that. It's being offered right now for a gift of $25 or more, and I want to encourage you to take advantage of that offer and dig into your faith as a Christian.

Once again, it's called We Believe, our latest Bible study, and you can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. By the way, when you go to our website, we would ask you to prayerfully consider making a year-end gift. This is a non-profit ministry. We don't play commercials on this program, we don't get money from a church or denomination. We basically depend on people just like you to make gifts, and sometimes ongoing monthly gifts as part of our inner CORE. You can find out more about that by going to corechristianity.com.

Well, we do receive voicemails here at the CORE, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Dave. Hi, Pastor Adriel. When answering a recent question, you said that differing denominations can be charitable to one another so long as they affirm the core truths of the Christian faith, and you mentioned the deity of Christ, Trinity, salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, as examples of core truths. So to my question, there are people in my church who believe those core truths, but they also believe that homosexuality is permissible for believers. So does their view of homosexuality contradict with any core truths, or is that something that a disagreeing believer should be charitable about?

Thanks. Dave, thank you for that excellent question. What do you do—we were just talking about the Nicene Creed there—what do you do when somebody says, I affirm that? I affirm that, but I also believe that it's okay to be gay and to have, you know, a same-sex relationship and to engage in that, but I affirm the doctrine of the Trinity. I believe that God is the Trinity and so forth.

What do you do in a situation like that? I mean, obviously in the Nicene Creed there isn't a section on that in particular, so does that mean that we're fine? And I think the answer is no. Embedded in this idea of understanding who God and Christ is and what Christ has come to do for us as our Savior is the reality that we, in receiving these truths, are seeking to live lives that are honoring to the Lord and that are in line with His Word. Jesus said with regard to discipleship in Matthew 28, go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you. And so we're saying, yes, we do receive the light of light who has come down from heaven for us and for our salvation. Salvation from what?

Salvation from sin. But if we are saying, well, I don't think that this is a sin, and I'm going to continue to cling to this, then we are denying that reality that Christ came to save us from our sins by failing to recognize what sin is. And so this does, I think, strike at the reality of what's taught in the creed.

It's not okay, it's not permissible. I mean, the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 1, when he, talking about this issue in particular, talking about homosexuality, when he highlights the fact that it is contrary to nature, one, but also just against God, this act of rebellion, suppressing the truth of God in unrighteousness, he goes on to condemn not just those who do this, but those who give hearty approval to those who practice it. And so this is a very serious thing. Now, I know that sometimes Christians will talk about, you know, the difference between being gay and engaged in this and saying, I think that it's okay, I think that it's right, and someone who struggles with same-sex attraction and battles that, you know, confesses that as sin and brings it to the Lord, but this is a burden that they have, a sin struggle that they have.

And I would distinguish there too. But if we're going to say, no, it's actually not a sin, it's not a struggle that you should fight against, it's actually something that you should embrace, then we're embracing sin, and in doing so, rejecting Jesus and his work, because he came to put away our sins. And so, Dave, may the Lord be with you and give you all grace and charity and wisdom and courage to confront this issue, to have conversations with people about this, and to remain faithful to the Word of God. May the Lord be with you and bless your church as well. God bless. Next time, as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-28 17:54:48 / 2023-12-28 18:04:30 / 10

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