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Gay and Christian?

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble
The Truth Network Radio
October 6, 2022 1:39 pm

Gay and Christian?

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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October 6, 2022 1:39 pm

Gay and Christian?

Steve explores what the Bible says about homosexuals and so-called gay Christians. Why do people say they’re Christian?

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The following is a pre-recorded program. Hey everybody, welcome back.

This is Steve Noble, not live in the studio today. We are pre-recording this with our buddy Renton Rathbun from Bob Jones University and the Center for Biblical Worldview down there. We're going to stray into some territory that, well, the world in general doesn't like us to talk about the issue of homosexuality, same-sex attraction, whatever your particular phraseology is, but we're going to talk about it anyway. This is a hot-button issue, whether you were talking about homosexuality in general or people that are involved in the homosexual lifestyle or struggle with same-sex attraction and claim to be Christians, they claim to be born-again followers of Christ, whatever the case may be.

How do we deal with this? Biblically, what do the scriptures tell us? And this is something that we think is just an easy one, right? We go a little place in the Old Testament, a couple of places in the New Testament, bada-bing, bada-boom. But I wonder how sound our theology is on all this, and especially when it gets into the difficult areas when you have somebody, and I know people that claim to be Christian while living a full-blown homosexual lifestyle. They don't seem to think that it's a big issue.

We, as biblical Christians, have another take on that. But how do you unpack all this? So Renton is here with us today, and we're going to walk through this from a couple of different angles, but Renton, great to have you on the show as always, man. How are you? I'm doing great. Thanks for having me.

You're welcome. So you're down there, Bob Jones University, and you've been engaging young people. I mean, you used to work at a secular university. How much of this, how much is homosexuality in general a third-rail subject anymore? I mean, when I was in high school, going back to the early 1980s, there were probably three or four gay guys in a school of 2,400 in the suburbs of Chicago. We kind of knew who they were. They didn't really talk about it. People kind of snickered and made jokes. But they were definitely still in the closet.

Today, if you take a negative stance on homosexuality at all, you're a bit of a monolith and an ogre, and people really kind of don't want to hear it. So it's pretty wild. But what's it like amongst college students these days at a place like Bob Jones University? Do they struggle with this one at all, just in terms of cultural engagement? Or is it kind of black and white?

Well, yeah, that's a great question. I mean, you know, even at Bob Jones University, we have students from all over America, even other countries. And we have the same students that, you know, any Christian university is going to get from all kinds of different backgrounds. At our school, we require our students, as they come in, to have a testimony.

Because we are a school that has a biblical worldview, and that underlies everything we do, which means if you're not a Christian, none of this is going to make sense to you or anything. And so we have those kind of things. But that doesn't mean kids are immune from the world and immune from even things like same-sex attraction and things like that.

And instead of shunning kids and throwing them away, why don't we engage them and ask them how they're doing with this kind of a battle and whether the Bible has anything to say about hope about this battle. Yeah. And on that particular side of it, on the hope side of it, today, I mean, it's not—you call it a battle, we call it a battle with homosexuality, I mean, in terms of the individual and sin nature and all those things which we're going to unpack. But now we're to the point in our culture where it's like, hey, I'm Steve Noble, I'm a heterosexual.

Oh, hey, I'm Bill whatever, I'm a homosexual. It's become an identity. Is that kind of a newer thing? Or do we see that throughout the passage of time?

Is that a historical position to take? Or is that a newer thing where we say, oh, homosexuality, that's just an identity? Yeah, I think way back when people saw it as a disorder, thanks to people like, what is it, Foucault? Foucault kind of developed this idea, and even developed the word homosexual as a noun. Not something that describes your behavior, not something that describes you, but gives you an identity of what you are. You are a homosexual. You don't have homosexual tendencies or homosexual activities, but you are a homosexual.

And that was something Foucault really brought out, even on an academic level, which of course always takes time, and throughout time became something that we see all over now. Now we have taken a sin, and people are identifying with the sin, so that if you condemn the sin, what you're really doing is condemning that person, because they've identified with that sin. And now there's no way to separate the two, so if you're against homosexuality, you just hate people.

Right, and it's black and white that way. It's like saying, I have a problem with you because of the color of your skin. You're born that way, that's your identity. You're an African American, you're an Asian, you're Hispanic, whatever. And now homosexuality rises to that level, that's the identity.

I am a homosexual, I was born a homosexual, goes so far as to say God made me this way. And then when you get into that, I think when we look at the unbelieving culture, it's one thing. But what about, from a Christian perspective, somebody that claims to be a Christian, but they deal with, they struggle with it, it's homosexual acts, it's homosexual or same-sex attraction, because in the notes, you were kind of like side A and side B of quote-unquote gay Christianity. So I'm gonna make sure we understand that, because I asked my students, I don't know if you ever do this, Renton, but if you haven't, I would suggest you do. Ask them, how many of you know somebody, family member, friend, that is a member of the LGBTQIA?

And now I've got about 65, 70% of my students will raise their hand. And so it's all over the place, and that's gonna include inside quote-unquote Christianity inside the church. So talk to us about, just set it up, because we're gonna hit a break here in about a minute, the side A and the side B. Dr. Tim Jackson Yeah, so side A gay Christianity are people that feel that they can practice homosexual acts, they can indulge in same-sex attraction, have, you know, some of them hold to having just one partner and maybe even marriage, but they feel even with that, they can still hold to an identity in Christianity as well.

That seems a little more obvious. Side B gay Christianity is a different beast. What they do is they say, well, we understand that homosexual acts are wrong, but the same-sex attraction really isn't wrong, it's just something I deal with. In fact, it's who I am, so I won't act on it, but I am going to embrace this identity of same-sex attraction, but I am also gonna embrace the identity of Christianity as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani Yeah, and so those obviously can be a challenge if we're gonna unpack this. We'll talk about same-sex temptation versus same-sex orientation. There's a lot to do here and as well as going through the Scriptures. We'll do all that with Renton Rathbun. When we come back, don't go anywhere. Welcome back everybody. This is Steve Noble at his Theology Thursday with our friends at Bob Jones University as well as BJU Seminary. We're here today with our buddy Renton Rathbun.

He's the director of the Center for Biblical Worldview down at Bob Jones University. This is a hot-button issue when we talk about homosexuality. This one, we're kinda containing it to the Christian world, meaning people that want to claim Christianity as well as dealing with their homosexual identity, their homosexual lifestyle, or maybe they're just saying, I struggle with same-sex attraction but I'm not acting on it.

How do you deal with that? Or as a lot of people would say, can you be gay and Christian at the same time? I have a friend, Renton, and again, thanks for your time today. I have a friend who was deeply involved in the homosexual lifestyle into his 20s. He got saved. And then by reading the Scriptures and the power of the Holy Spirit, actually the guy that he was living with who was kind of paying for everything, as my friend was studying the Scriptures, he's like, hey, are you aware of what the Bible has to say about the way we're living our lives? And his boyfriend at the time was like, yeah, I know what's in there, but I'm perfectly fine with where I'm at.

This is the way God made me and so I'm not gonna die on that hill. And my buddy was like, well, I don't know how you approach Scripture that way. And eventually my friend turned from the homosexual lifestyle and today is married, he's a grandfather, but he's had his challenges in that. But I asked him once, can you be gay and a Christian? Can you be a practicing homosexual and a Christian?

And he said, not for long. And that's because of the working of the Holy Spirit. So we're trying to understand that and unpack that today with Renton Rathbun. So we're looking at, you mentioned before the break, Renton, side A and side B of quote unquote gay Christianity. Side A being I can practice homosexual acts and still be a Christian.

So no cognitive dissonance there whatsoever. They go hand in hand. Or side B, I cannot practice homosexual acts, but I do have a same sex attraction.

I have SSA or same sex attraction. That's just built into my DNA. It's just part of my deal. And so I'm not acting on it and I can still be a Christian. So does that get us into like temptation versus orientation? Or how do we understand that?

Yeah. So, you know, if we're going to say, we want to say, I think as Christians, well, there's something wrong with side A, gay Christianity, right? The Bible does not mince any words when it comes to the homosexual act. You pretty much have to believe that the Bible is wrong in certain parts and right in other parts. So then you have to have some kind of criteria that stands above the Bible tell you which parts are wrong and which parts are right.

And that's a little more clear cut. The issue that really we deal with as far as conservative Christians is what do we do with people that really are saying, look, I am not practicing the homosexual acts because I know it's wrong. Those acts are wrong, but I do have this condition. I am in the state of, uh, being same sex attracted. I don't feel I could ever get out of that because it's who I am and I've accepted that. So I'm just going to be celibate and I'm going to just accept this.

And this is even, and maybe this is something God has done for me to, to teach me something or to be better person or whatever. Um, and so that brings us to, you know, if you are same sex attracted, are you ultimately trapped in an orientation that is permanent and never changes? And so you have to accommodate to it or is same sex attraction something that is a temptation that occurs at moments in time, but you can, but it can be resisted.

Um, those are the, that's what we really want to, to know on. So a temptation seems to be something that occurs at moments in time, but can be resisted. But an orientation seems to be something that is permanent, a permanent condition of a person that you just have to accommodate your life around because it is not going to change.

And so that's those, we need to answer the question, you know, what are we really dealing with? Because side B gay Christianity wants to accept the idea that same sex attraction really is an orientation. It's a permanent part of who I am. It can't be changed. And so I have to accommodate my life around it. So, yeah.

So what, what do you say? Cause I know some Christians that are definitely believers. They've been walking with the Lord for years. They came out of the homosexual lifestyle, but they would say occasionally that that temptation does pop up and, and they, you know, they have to resist it. They have to deal with it. It's not all the time.

It's not plaguing them, but it is there. I mean, I look at that as a heterosexual man and go, am I ever tempted by sexual sin outside of a relationship with my wife and, and just letting the Jesus raise the bar on that obviously says, okay, if it's even going on in your head, you're guilty of adultery already. And I'm sitting there going, I think we're both struggling with the same things, but I'm not going to be identified with it. But how do we look at that? So I'm not acting on my homosexual same-sex attraction, but occasionally I find myself being attracted to somebody of the same sex. How, what's that Christian supposed to do? And I wish I could remember who this was, but there is a Puritan that that kind of talks about temptation itself. And I don't think it's John Owen this time, but I'll have to look it up later and give you that information. Yeah, let me know. What was that? Yeah, let me know.

I'd be interested. Absolutely. Yeah.

My wife who is much more red than I am can probably tell me. So, so he said this, there's a difference between experiencing temptation and entering into temptation. And so experiencing temptation occurs when you are weak as, because we don't lose our flesh. You know, we still maintain a sin nature even after we are in union with Christ and we are justified and we are sanctified and still being sanctified. So you know, even though those things happen, we still have this, this sin nature about us.

So how do we, how do we reckon with that? So if we reckon with that, what we find is that having that sin nature is, is a part of our life until we die. That is a weakness in us, but the weakness itself isn't a sin.

The sin is when that weakness is exposed with an actual sin where you have, let's say a same sex attraction moment, which is a temptation. Your response to that will tell us whether, you know, how, how you are either entering into the temptation or you're resisting the temptation. Now this gets a little tricky. I don't know how much time we have.

We got about a minute, but we'll have the next segment obviously. Okay. So entering into temptation doesn't, doesn't start, and this is what you don't want. You don't want to enter into that temptation, but it doesn't start at the moment that the temptation comes. Usually the temptation, when the temptation comes, it comes at a time where you have either disciplined your life for that moment or you have not been disciplining your life for that moment. And then, so there is a series of, of events that occurs before the temptation.

And so when the temptation occurs, how you respond usually has something to do with how you've been disciplining or the lack of discipline in your life before it came. Yeah, that makes sense. And that's where this, this, uh, this Puritan is trying to get at with this difference between entering into a temptation and experiencing one.

Yeah. So there's, uh, there's, there's more work to do on that particular thought. Then we're going to turn into scripture, which begs the question, what do you believe about scripture in the first place?

So we'll look at that. And then we're going to go three through three different passages in our quest to come to an understanding here. And we'll talk about Romans one, uh, Romans six and first Corinthians six. We're going to go there with Wren Rathbun when we come back right after this. Welcome back everybody. It's Theology Thursday with our friends at Bob Jones University.

This is Steve Noble with Wren Rathbun. Today is the director of the Center for Biblical Worldview. Obviously also a professor down at Bob Jones University talking about, uh, homosexuality, same sex attraction, dealing with that temptation, uh, for people that are in one way or another, they say it, whether they are or not, I don't know. That's not really the point, but they're going to say, yeah, I'm a Christian. I want to follow Christ.

I grew up in the church. I have the same sex attraction. I didn't ask for it. I'm trying to deal with it. I'm not acting on it. Uh, but I do consider myself a Christian. And so it gets a little dicey there. This isn't just homosexuality in general, politically speaking as an obvious sin. We're talking about people that are associated with the church in one way or another.

And that makes it a much more challenging topic because what do you do with that? Because none of us, this is, I'm a believer. I became a born again Christian in 1994. I've been married for almost 30 years.

It'll be 30 years on October 17th. And, and I have not, I don't have a perfect record with my eyes and my mind in terms of sexual temptation. And so, but I'm still a Christian. And if you say, well, Steve, that means you're not a Christian.

Well, you're an idiot and you can't say that. So how do you deal with this from the same sex attraction side? And so we were talking about this, Renton, with entering into sin and sin comes your way. And I've got this picture of kind of walking through a mall and depending on, I go to a mall and I know there's certain kinds of stores there. Let's just use Victoria's Secret. I know it's there. So am I gonna, if I'm particularly susceptible to seeing the displays at Victoria's Secret, I know it's there. I'm just going to look the other way. I'm going to get past there.

Some people might enter in the other end of the mall, might not go anywhere near it. So it's like, well, I know it's there and you're walking in that direction. And then it's another thing of course, to then turn and go into the store. Is that, is that a bad example of what we're trying to wrap our minds around here when same sex attraction shows up as a temptation? No, I think that's a great way of thinking about it because what you're doing is you're doing what, what Paul talks about in Ephesians where this is a walk.

It's, you know, you don't experience Christianity at moments in time. This is a walk you have in your life. Um, I, you know, so when you're, when you're walking in the mall and you know around this corner is, is Victoria's Secret, you know, then I need to plan on looking to my left as we go by it to make sure I'm not looking at it.

Um, but the question is, am I able to not play a game? And, and men often know what I'm talking about. The game of pretending I didn't know that was there just so I can get one quick look and maybe that maybe the picture will be an unattractive woman and I'll feel good about myself. No, I'm not tempted by that. And so all the good thing and, and, but you had to look and uh, the way I put it is this, uh, in boxing, I don't know if they still do this, but there was a time in boxing where they take a medicine ball and those medicine balls were these big basketball size balls that were really heavy filled with sand and they would take them and throw them into the stomach of the boxer to train his stomach to take them to take a tough blow. Um, if Satan knows you have not been working out your abs, um, then that medicine ball can become really dangerous.

Um, and so, you know, your, the weakness of your stomach is, is not the sin. The medicine ball is the sin. But if you have not walked in the way and disciplined your life to prepare for that medicine ball, it's gonna, it's gonna take your breath away and destroy you. And so this walk involves disciplining my life for the Victoria secret moment where I can, where I can in my training, I have learned to look the other way and even encourage my, my son to look away and, and to ensure that I am making, I don't even pretend I didn't, I didn't know it was coming. I know it's coming because I've been training for this moment.

Yeah. And that's a level of, uh, dedication and seriousness about sin that I think very few of us actually have to. I think that if you're an alcoholic, not going to the bar or not, uh, putting out alcohol when you have a Superbowl party or attending a party where there's a lot of alcohol, that's pretty obvious and, and it's right there.

It's a pretty easy one. But I think disciplining yourself to this level, like, Hey, I'm going to walk through the mall and I know that at least 50, 60, if not 70% of the people walking through this mall are going to be female and of that population, let's say 20% of them will be attractive. And so I need to really make sure as I pray myself across the parking lot that I'm ready knowing that this temptation is going to be all over the place and I'm a male, so I'm visually stimulated and I need to make sure I'm bouncing my eyes and I got to revisit the battle, every man's battle book. So I'm, I mean, at some point I think a lot of us would go on, that's a little over the top, but ultimately I don't know that holiness is ever over the top. Is it?

No. And we have, we have as a culture and I mean as a Christian culture, we have undervalued a God's holiness to the point where we have actually valued sin and we have, we have seen God as a Pharisee until we create God in our own image so that he will tolerate the sin we wish to tolerate. And I say that, you know, and this is a same sex attraction context, but I even say that to those that aren't. Satan, Satan is malicious. I mean, we act like we're not in a war, but you know, the work that Satan does to pummel us, we are, we act as if, you know, there is nothing out there to harm us, so why prepare for that?

And Satan loves that. And that's, I mean, that's even why we take the Bible so seriously, because you can't talk about things this way if you don't take the Bible seriously, and by seriously I mean believing it is the Word of God himself. Yeah, and you mentioned that, and I don't want to spend a ton of time on that, but just if we're going, okay, well, what do we believe about the Word of God?

Well, yeah, it's God-breathed. We interpret it literally. We believe it from cover to cover. We understand the difference in the Old Testament, the New Testament.

They work together hand in hand. You're a really serious person when it comes to the Scripture. And then out of that, you have to establish that first, and then we can, well, let's just do Romans 1, 26 and 27. But you have to look at, I have a friend that used to lead worship.

He's one of the worship leaders at Willow Creek, which is a big seeker-sensitive church up in Chicago. And as he got to know them, he said, man, it started to seem like the Bible was a source rather than the source. And you go, okay, when you start playing around with that, that can be very dangerous. If it's not the authority, the ultimate authority in your life, then you're going to have a problem with everything else. So let's just go forward, assuming that we all agree this is the ultimate authority. We take it literally, we believe it historically, we believe it by faith, and we're down. We're 100 percent down, whatever the Bible says, that's what we're going to follow.

But let's just start with Romans 1, and then we'll come back and do 1 Corinthians and Romans 6 in the last segment. But Romans 1, 26 and 27, talk to us about that, Renton, in terms of same-sex desire versus same-sex acts, and they're both a sin. So attraction versus actual activity. Yeah, so if this is what we believe about the Bible, and the Bible, if the Bible condemns same-sex attraction, then we have to condemn same-sex attraction.

I mean, it comes right down to that. And so in Romans 1, 26, when God gives people over for their disobedience and they're turning away from him, he gives them over to degrading passions. So these passions are part of this attraction idea.

These passions haven't manifested in activity yet, they're just passions. And God calls them degrading passions. And then he describes it, For their women exchanged natural relations for that which is contrary to nature, and likewise the men too abandoned natural relations with a woman, and burned in their desire toward one another. So that burning of desire was condemned as sin, males with males committing, and then that leads, of course, to the fruit of that sin, which is the shameful acts receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And so you really do see that God is not merely condemning the activity, he's condemning the burning desire, the passions that are there that actually lead to the fruit of that sin. And as you're unpacking that, usually that's not what you hear from church. That's not what you hear in most churches. And I think it's because that whole notion of identity frightens off a lot of pastors, and a lot of Christians in general, because they're going, Well, they're kind of, you know, we're all born sinners, that's their particular flavor, that's their particular struggle, and so how can we call that a sin, the attraction in and of itself? But like we said a minute ago, Renton, if you're going to believe the Word of God, you look at Romans 1, 26 and 27, the passions that are burning, that's all desire, that's attraction, which God clearly describes as sinful. But I think that's, a lot of people are afraid to take that position publicly, or even in the pulpit. Oh, well, yes, I mean, it's nowadays even saying that because people have put that sin of the desire into an identity, by condemning it, you're condemning a person's identity.

And that's not because you're actually doing that, it's because the world has changed the definition and we let them do it. We are not condemning a person, we're warning them, we're the only one loving them enough to warn them of God's wrath if they continue in their sin. Yeah, and that's such a powerful point that we're doing that, reacting out of love, not condemnation. We're talking to Renton Rathlin on Theology Thursday, we'll be right back. Welcome back, it is Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show, Theology Thursday with our friends at BJU Seminary and Bob Jones University down in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina. By the way, Alan Benson is with us today, who's the Executive Vice President for Student Development and Ministry Advancement and mentioning all the incredible camps, day camps and overnight camps down in Greenville, really across the academic spectrum, all of course, completely infused with the biblical worldview.

That's an amazing experience, I'm sure it's an amazing opportunity for everybody that goes. Most of us think about, our kids are older now, but most of us think about, we send our kids off to Christian camps and that's great and it's the youth group and all that kind of stuff. But to actually combine a Christian camp and a biblical worldview and gospel mindset with the academic side of it as well, because that's where they're going to live when they get out of college. When they go to college, they get out of college. Most of them are not going into full-time ministry, they're going into full-time work or being in a community, being in a neighborhood, if they get married or want to be a mom at a younger age. And so you have to learn and understand and experience the intersection of your faith with whatever field you want to get into, which is so important. We are not just missionaries when we're in the church or when we're on a foreign mission field, you're a missionary when you go off to work Monday through Friday. So what a great opportunity that's at,

You can look up all that information for Bob Jones University, but we're here again. Thank you, Alan, for your time today. It's always great to be with you.

Great to be with you, Steven. Boy, you said that so well. An integrated, comprehensive biblical worldview. And really on the issue we're talking about today, isn't that it?

It's not stopping short to have a social conversation or even a conservative conversation. It says believers that there's a worldview that's informed scripturally and biblically that affects our understanding on all these issues of personhood, whether that be the issue of defining what life is and when it begins, or marriage, or what does it actually mean to have a right human relationship of any kind. Boy, you said that really well. Yeah, and that's harkening back to the Imago Dei, the image of God, and personally we were talking about, which you mentioned when we were talking in between segments that the core conference, which will be this coming January, okay, so several months from now, but the core conference in January is all about the image of God.

It's all about the Imago Dei. Talk about that a little bit and then we'll just set that up a little and then we'll unpack it a little bit more before we finish. Yeah, our core conference is going to begin on January 30, that night, and then for two days on the 1st and 2nd of February. And this year's theme is created in God's image, countering assaults on the divine design of personhood.

And interestingly, that theme was decided a long time ago, long before we knew that Supreme Court would actually take up the Dobbs case and reverse this. And so we're super excited, particularly in light of what has transpired, that that's our theme for this year. But we'll actually be exploring in plenary sessions what is man, the image of God according to God, what is a man, and understanding the underlying theology of personhood.

And then we'll actually go to application. This is one of those conferences where we're actually going to do discussion panels and one of the benefits of being a seminary at a university is we have a school of health professions. So I'm actually going to be bringing in our health professionals into those roundtable discussions about issues of life and personhood and that sort of thing.

All of that is here on campus. We invite people to come and again on our website, you can find out the information, the seminary website for registration, but it'll also be live streamed. And so people that can't travel here will be able to get the benefit of listening to those sessions and we just hope it's really going to be a help to the church. Oh yeah, well it certainly sounds like it will be and the only reason it wouldn't be is if people don't take the time to watch and to show up.

So we'll continue to talk about that through the end of the fall and certainly as we approach January, we'll make sure we ring the bell on that as loud as we can. But talking about personhood and the Imago Dei in effect with respect to how the church handles the Roe vs Wade situation where we're at now, and it's a great win on a lot of different levels, legally, morally, socially, that's wonderful, but are we advancing the gospel? Are we looking out for the eternal life of the people that we engage in the conversations that we're in? At the same time, trying to win arguments just about the abortion issue in and of itself.

Here's an example, Alan. I know from a University of Chicago PhD student in their final dissertation, they sent out about 7,000 questionnaires to professional biologists around the world. They got the vast majority of them back actually and 93, 94% of these biologists said, yes, human life begins at conception.

And you're like, wow, that's awesome. And amongst those people, about 85% of them were self-identified as liberal in their politics. So you go, okay, there you go. Are you a science denier, my pro-choice friend? Because blah, blah, blah, blah. And I can talk about that, but I never involved their soul in the conversation. I don't appeal to a higher authority other than a University of Chicago PhD student and a bunch of biologists around the world. And from our perspective as Christians, that's obviously missing the forest for the trees, I think.

Right. So Steve, talking about this whole issue in light of the fact that we believe all people are made in the image of God, ought to really burden our hearts today. If the church in these last two weeks after this decision has almost had the deep theological response of nenenenene, what does that say? As we look at people who don't know Jesus Christ now have gone through what they see as an issue of profound loss in their culture. And we're poking them in the eye because we think we want an argument because the babies that were dying were made in the image of God. We're actually not even recognizing the image of God in the people that now feel this profound sense of loss, when we should be coming to them to say, you know what? There's hope for you. You lost this issue and I get that, but you know what?

The God that made you and the God that made them, he loves you. And we understand what death means and I want you to know he died for you because there's eternal death. Not this sense of gloating and pride because we somehow won what is a social argument. I fear for the spirit of believers in our culture because we feel the sense of victory over having won a small battle and yet we haven't even entered into fighting the war. Yeah. And I think that's where we can be very small minded and I've seen that certainly since the Roe vs Wade decision almost two weeks ago and kind of this victory lap type mentality.

Not a whole lot. A lot of Christians I've seen or people that I interact with or follow on social media are pointing us kind of to the next challenge is, okay church, are we ready to be the answer for these moms and dads in situations around the country where if you live in a state where it's going to be illegal, are we ready to show up and engage them to help them through not only through the pregnancy, but perhaps to even start to raise that child on their own or to look at adoption. But again, we can do all of those things and leave out the most important issue.

We say we care about people from the womb to the tomb, but what about after the tomb? Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. You know, Steve, it's really interesting. Jesus, when he was personally on the earth, said statements that that are just revolutionary. Things that that should impact our thinking and our living in ways that frankly they just don't. And one of the things he said was along this line. So Jesus in Sermon on the Mount talked about if someone says to his brother, Raca, that that he is guilty of murder. Now, why is murder an issue? Well, we say murder is issue because you're destroying the image of God in a man. Well, how many people in a fight that is about the image of God, the issue of life now because we have won in the courts on this one issue actually are assaulting the image of God in men by insulting them and attacking them verbally because they were on the other side of this issue.

And really, we should be about actually seeing them know the love of Christ, hear the gospel, come to faith in Christ, and instead we're actually doing the opposite and are guilty of murder ourselves, assaulting the image of God in those people. Yeah, it's a powerful point. And again, I think that's where we land today is the call to not only engage the subject for value in and of itself, the life issue. And yes, we are all celebrating Alan and I both. This overturning of Roe versus Wade, it opens up a whole nother front on a very long battle.

The war is not over at all. But we have to remember, Alan, as you were saying, that the ultimate prize is not the particular issue, but the souls of all those involved with the particular issue and especially for those of us that know Christ. We have to care from the womb to the tomb, yes, but what happens after the tomb? So we really have to take advantage of this pause, as you said, to propel a gospel conversation, at least to reintroduce it. Yeah, I think this is a time for the church to say, okay, let's have a real conversation right biblically about this issue. And let's get informed in ways so that we can be more effective with the gospel in this window of time. People being equipped with the word of God to share it with the love of God for the glory of God. I think that's where personhood should lead us as the church. Yeah, such a great point. And we all have to remember that as we engage this subject, to use the moment this cultural moment to point people, not just to a better moral direction, but to the law giver himself, to Christ Jesus.

And that's the call for all of us. Again, those dates for the image of God at the core conference. That's January 30th, right through February 2nd there at the school. That's correct. Yes, that is correct.

So that's awesome. We invite everybody to come be a part either here in person, which we would love. We'd love to host you here on our campus. But if not, to come and join us virtually and be helped and blessed with the content that's shared.

Oh, man. Well, I was only there for a part of the core conference this past January. And being on campus and being with all these men and women of God and people that are seeking the Lord's face is such a powerful environment to grow ourselves. And so we look forward to that. We'll talk about it more January 30th and February 2nd.

Dr. Alan Benson of BJU University, Bob Jones University, as well as the seminary. Thanks for being with us today, brother. I appreciate you. Thank you, Steve. God bless you. There you have it. Another awesome Theology Thursday with our friends at Bob Jones University as well as BJU Seminary.

Again, if you want to check out those camps, and then the seminary, which continues to grow and just training men and women to be just so effective with the gospel truth of the Bible and of God's word, This is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. God willing, I'll talk to you again real soon. And like my dad always used to say, ever forward.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-25 04:23:14 / 2022-12-25 04:39:07 / 16

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