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Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Homosexuality

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  • Leah & Adam Boone
    Ben, Let me first say that whenever you reply or post, I read it. You are a very kindhearted and thoughtful Christian with sharp logical skills and you are
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 13, 2006
      Ben,
      Let me first say that whenever you reply or post, I read it. You are a very kindhearted and thoughtful Christian with sharp logical skills and you are intellectually honest.(please say hello to your wonderful mother and father for me(and everyone else))
      OK, the subject, I agree with you Ben. I too can see compliations with someone who has a serious bent toward homsexual attraction trying to force themselves into a hetero relationship. I also agree that hetero/marriage bent relationships rock! I would simply add(or elaborate) that as Christians we need to change our habits to conform with God's will and we should have faith that He loves to bless his children and will. In this case that would be being blessed with heterosexual desires...and even in the more imdeiate future, maybe(hoepfully) that would mean a contentedness(be anxious for nothing) with being single. As a personal tesimony, I have experienced certain blessing in my life and I am always encouraged from Scripture that I have a God that loves nothing more than to bless me because of His Son.
      Adam Boone

       
      On 2/12/06, Chad W <chadaw@...> wrote:
      Well yeah idealistically.  But what if they just don't have the inkling for heterosexuality (drawn to the opposite sex) and don't want to be alone?


      On 2/12/06, Benjamin Hart <benhartmail@... > wrote:
      Hi Chad,
       
      This is a great question.
       
      The way I've worked through the issue of what to say to someone who may genuinely have a proclivity for homosexuality is roughly this.  A tendency to sin in a given way is just that - a tendency.  Ultimately, they all end up in the same category.  Let's say men are given to lust when they see pornographic images.  That's just how they are, and that's a temptation they'll have to bear all of their lives.  Same thing with homosexuality - if someone is tempted in that way, they just may have to deal with it. 
       
      I don't want to say it would definitely be good for your friend to marry as I can see how it could be a problem either way given other factors.  However, the scale tips in favor of it's being good for him on this consideration - heterosexual relationships are awesome.  That's how God designed men and women to prosper and be satisfied sexually.  That may be crude and unrefined, but it seems right to me. 
       
      What do you think?
       
      -Ben
       

       
      And my own
      question. If a person is prone that way, are we to think God meant for them
      to be alone all their lives? Or did He purposed it to reveal His glory when
      they are restored to pure sexuality?

      Thanks.


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    • Benjamin Hart
      Hi Adam, Thanks for the compliment - I was kind of embarassed to read it honestly. You re married now, right? Congrats to you and the lucky lady. As for
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 14, 2006
        Hi Adam,
         
        Thanks for the compliment - I was kind of embarassed to read it honestly.  You're married now, right?  Congrats to you and the lucky lady. 
         
        As for further comments on the homosexuality issue, I may just be repeating some of what you've said and further elaborating on it...
         
        On 2/12/06, Chad W <chadaw@...> wrote:
        >
        > Well yeah idealistically.  But what if they just don't have the
        inkling
        > for heterosexuality (drawn to the opposite sex) and don't want to be
        alone?
        That's tough.  Who wants to eat asparagus if they just plain don't like it? 
         
        I'm imagining that your friend is a committed Christian at this point, no?  Well if so, the best advice may just be to point out that sexual/companionship desires are lawful and godly when directed towards the opposite sex.  (Let me qualify that - not the opposite sex in general but the person to whom you've committed yourself.)   It will be a struggle, but putting off any sin is always difficult.  Encourage him to put off the sin and then to strive to put on righteousness. 
         
        That doesn't sound all that compassionate, but that's all I can come up with.  Sorry it's not all that creative. 
         
        Have you thought of setting him up with a compatable woman? 
         
        -Ben


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      • Chad W
        Ben, loved how you put it about not the opposite sex but the woman that God appointed. (my paraphrase). Ben, if I could set him up with a compatible woman, I
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 14, 2006
          Ben, loved how you put it about not the opposite sex but the woman that God appointed.  (my paraphrase).

          Ben, if I could set him up with a compatible woman, I wouldn't be 29 and still single.

          <smirk>


          On 2/14/06, Benjamin Hart <benhartmail@...> wrote:
          Hi Adam,
           
          Thanks for the compliment - I was kind of embarassed to read it honestly.  You're married now, right?  Congrats to you and the lucky lady. 
           
          As for further comments on the homosexuality issue, I may just be repeating some of what you've said and further elaborating on it...
           
          On 2/12/06, Chad W < chadaw@...> wrote:
          >
          > Well yeah idealistically.  But what if they just don't have the
          inkling
          > for heterosexuality (drawn to the opposite sex) and don't want to be
          alone?
          That's tough.  Who wants to eat asparagus if they just plain don't like it? 
           
          I'm imagining that your friend is a committed Christian at this point, no?  Well if so, the best advice may just be to point out that sexual/companionship desires are lawful and godly when directed towards the opposite sex.  (Let me qualify that - not the opposite sex in general but the person to whom you've committed yourself.)   It will be a struggle, but putting off any sin is always difficult.  Encourage him to put off the sin and then to strive to put on righteousness. 
           
          That doesn't sound all that compassionate, but that's all I can come up with.  Sorry it's not all that creative. 
           
          Have you thought of setting him up with a compatable woman? 
           
          -Ben


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        • Whit
          Chad, I can strongly relate to your friend s tendencies. My only advice is to love him as yourself and remember that the Spirit alone convinces and convicts
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 19, 2006
            Chad,

            I can strongly relate to your friend's tendencies. My only advice
            is to love him as yourself and remember that the Spirit alone
            convinces and convicts as you help your friend. Those details are
            in the wonderful counsel others have given upon which I can't
            improve.

            Whit


            --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Martin
            <dmartindnospam@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Chad,
            >
            > Your request has already elicited good resources and advice -- but
            here
            > are some more resources and a bit of advice. I've appended the
            various
            > resources at the end of this post, referencing them throughout
            with [#]
            > notation. I heartily recommend a full reading of those resources,
            most
            > of which are readily available online, not only for your friend,
            but for
            > all Christians, seeing that the principles are broadly applicable.
            >
            > I assume your struggling friend is a Christian; if he is not, he
            will
            > likely have little success with his sin, and whatever success he
            does
            > have will not be true mortification nor profit him if he forfeits
            his
            > soul (Mat. 16:26).
            >
            > When studying sanctification, it is important to beware of false
            > teachings which promise life and peace but actually promote death
            > through a false peace (Jer. 6:14, Rom. 8:6); either by an easy-
            fix,
            > antinomianistic rejection of God's law (Rom. 6:1-2), or by the
            excessive
            > burden of meritorious works and traditions of men which have no
            warrant
            > from God's word (Matt. 23:4, Mark 7:8).
            >
            > For new Christians or those who are still as new Christians,
            > mortification will likely be a more difficult than for those who
            have
            > extensively studied and practiced it, yet always difficult to
            varying
            > degrees. Therefore, it is profitable for us to consider the
            advice of
            > those who are seasoned in waging this warfare (Prov. 20:18, 1 John
            > 2:13-14) in which the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the
            Spirit
            > against the flesh (Gal. 5:17). Concerning the progress of
            > mortification, John Owen writes: "when a man first sets on a lust
            or
            > distemper, to deal with it, it struggles with great violence to
            break
            > loose; it cries with earnestness and impatience to be satisfied
            and
            > relieved; but when by mortification the blood and spirits of it
            are let
            > out, it moves seldom and faintly, cries sparingly, and is scarce
            heard
            > in the heart; it may have sometimes a dying pang, that makes an
            > appearance of great vigor and strength, but it is quickly over,
            > especially if it be kept from considerable success." [1]
            >
            > Sinful tendencies may be mortified directly or indirectly, although
            > typically through a combination of both direct and indirect means.
            > Direct mortification in this case would involve striving against
            the
            > particular sin of sodomy for which various resources and
            suggestions
            > have already been offered by others. Indirect mortification of a
            > particular sin, which I believe is equally important, attacks the
            root
            > of indwelling sin [12] by positively applying the means of grace
            and
            > directing mortification to other particular sins in the pursuit of
            > universal holiness (1 Pet. 1:16). The resources I've appended
            deal
            > primarily with indirect mortification.
            >
            > The fact that your friend is struggling indicates that he
            recognizes
            > sodomy as sin. This should not be left to a general recognition,
            but
            > the Christian ought to carefully study and meditate upon God's law
            > (Josh. 1:8, Psa. 119:9, Prov. 7:1-3, etc.)[11] in order to
            understand
            > how this sin is a violation of that law and in order to cultivate
            a
            > proper abhorrence of what Scripture places within a class of
            > particularly heinous, sexual sins. However, sodomy is one sexual
            sin
            > among many which Christians must mortify. His condition is not
            unique
            > in terms of struggling with sexual sin in general; most, if not
            all
            > Christians are engaged at some point and to some degree in a
            battle for
            > sexual purity. I think a case can be made for sexual sin, along
            with
            > its associated sins, being a violation of the whole law of God.
            1st, by
            > placing oneself above and in the place of God, autonomously
            judging to
            > be lawful what God has declared unlawful. 2nd, by committing the
            > idolatry of self-worship, seeking pleasure (self-pleasing
            hedonism) as
            > the chief end of man. 3rd, by taking God's name in vain by using
            > (profaning) the sexual faculty apart from the only lawful, God-
            ordained
            > context of marriage. 4th, when committed on the Lord's day, a
            > double-offence, consisting not only of the sin committed but also
            the
            > sin of profaning the one holy day which God has authorized and
            > sanctified. 5th, by rejecting lawful authority (aka God's
            authority)
            > whether it is parents, church officers or civil magistrates who
            forbid
            > these sins. 6th, in destroying the body and bodies of others by
            > exposure to the risks associated with promiscuity (ie: disease).
            7th, by
            > direct violation of the commandment which explicitly addresses
            sexual
            > immorality. 8th, by robbing oneself of chastity and a clean
            conscience
            > before God. 9th, by justifying such acts upon the false pretences
            and
            > suggestions of the flesh, world and Satan -- bearing false witness
            to
            > others who are taught to do likewise (Rom. 1:32). 10th, by
            coveting the
            > benefits of covenant marriage apart from the covenant and
            exhibiting
            > discontentment with one's providential condition.
            >
            > Sanctification [9] is a life-long warfare which we ought to take
            very
            > seriously. Fortunately, we have plenty of instruction for this
            warfare
            > within God's infallible word and subordinately in the fallible
            writings
            > of teachers which God has given to the church (Eph. 4:11-12). Know
            > yourself, it is vital to study particular sins, examining the
            stratagems
            > of the flesh, Satan and the world for ensnaring us according to
            our
            > peculiar circumstances and weaknesses. Be earnest in supplicating
            God,
            > the searcher of hearts (Jer. 17:10) for wisdom and understanding
            (Jam.
            > 1:5) in order to perform this task well (Psa. 139:23-24). The
            heart is
            > deceitful above all things (Jer. 17:9), and this consideration
            ought to
            > promote humility (Prov. 22:4, 1 Pet. 5:5) in seeking assistance
            from the
            > one who knows what is in the hearts of men. It is important to
            apply
            > our faculty of reason to analyzing our ways (Psa. 119:59);
            planning to
            > prevent recurrence in the future, this being concomitant with
            > repentance. Be vigilant to watch and pray (Matt. 26:41) taking
            all
            > thoughts captive unto Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). However as alluded to
            > earlier, it is not simply enough to apply ourselves to one
            particular
            > sin, we must lay the axe to the root (Matt. 12:35, Matt. 15:18-
            19).
            > John Owen's practical works (volumes 6 and 7 of his works) are of
            > particular value in learning the nature of temptation [2],
            mortification
            > [1] and indwelling sin [12]. Owen aptly states: "Without
            sincerity and
            > diligence in a universality of obedience, there is no
            mortification of
            > any one perplexing lust to be obtained."[1]
            >
            > Sanctification must occur in both the head by way of learning and
            > understanding (Psa. 119:33, Pro. 2:11) and in the heart by way of
            our
            > affections (1 Sam. 12:20)[5]. God not only forbids transgression
            of his
            > law but commands conformity unto it. Loving God with all our
            heart,
            > mind, soul and strength (Mat. 22:37) and acceptably fearing him
            (Pro.
            > 8:13) is essential. To this end, Jonathan Edwards has written a
            useful
            > treatise on religious affections [4] and John Owen has written on
            being
            > spiritually minded [3]. Owen writes: "If you would behold the
            glory of
            > Christ as the great means of your sanctification and consolation,
            as the
            > only preparation for the beholding of his glory in eternal
            blessedness,
            > consider what of God is made known and represented unto you in
            him,
            > wherein God purposed and designed to glorify himself in him."
            >
            > I strongly recommend that your friend seek out a church faithful in
            > doctrine, worship, discipline and government. Faithful teaching
            and
            > exposition of God's word [16] teaches one to effectually wield the
            sword
            > (Heb. 4:12, Eph. 6:17) of the Spirit against sin; purity in
            worship
            > cultivates an appreciation of, and desire for sexual purity (2
            Cor.
            > 11:2) -- fornication and whoredom being typical of idolatry (Eze.
            16,
            > Col. 3:5); the means of grace and ordinances of the Church,
            including
            > the sacraments, rightly administered, will be invaluable means of
            > sanctification; faithful church officers will rule the flock,
            wisely
            > counselling, tenderly admonishing and encouraging the penitent
            Christian
            > (Prov. 9:8, Prov. 17:10) and wielding censures against the
            impenitent as
            > a deterrent (1 Tim. 5:20). Private worship is also of paramount
            > importance. The singing of Psalms (Eph. 5:19)[13], studying of
            > Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16), meditation (Psa. 1:2)[6][17], prayer
            (Jam.
            > 5:16)[7], keeping the Lord's day (Exo. 20:8) and fasting (Luke
            2:37)[8]
            > are important means which ought to be assiduously and joyfully
            employed
            > by all Christians. Private fasting when properly practiced can be
            > especially effectual against sensual sins. We also need to
            recognize
            > the obligations of the covenants that bind us. Baptism is a sign
            and
            > seal of the covenant of grace and "...all that are baptized, do
            > sacramentally at least engage themselves to walk before God, and
            to be
            > upright; and God likewise engageth himself to be their God. This
            > covenant is likewise renewed when we come to the Lord's Supper..."
            [14]
            > Likewise, in the Solemn League and Covenant, we bind
            ourselves "to be
            > humbled for our sins"; to value "the inestimable benefit of the
            Gospel"
            > and labour "for the power and purity thereof"; and to endeavour to
            > "receive Christ in our hearts" and "walk worthy of him in our
            lives" [18].
            >
            > Concerning covenant marriage, a wife is no doubt a great blessing
            from
            > God (Prov. 18:22, Prov. 19:14) and a lawful means of preventing
            > uncleanness (1 Cor. 7:9). However, the prevention of uncleanness
            is
            > only one of the purposes of marriage [15], and it presupposes a
            natural
            > desire between a man and a woman. God is not obligated to bless
            sinful
            > men with any of the worldly comforts or joys of this life (Luke
            17:10),
            > in fact, God is just and righteous in trying believers with fiery
            trials
            > (1 Pet. 1:7, 1 Pet. 4:12). Consider the person who has success in
            > mortifying the sin of sodomy. If this person does not discover a
            desire
            > to glorify God in marriage, he is in the same position as others
            who are
            > content being single. If this person does discover a desire, then
            he is
            > in the same position as others who desire lawful marriage and is
            > obligated to wage war against sinful lusts associated with the
            desire
            > for a member of the opposite sex. All who marry ought to desire
            > marriage first and foremost to glorify God by promoting the
            purposes of
            > marriage which God has set forth in Scripture [15]. One who has
            lived a
            > profane life needs to come to grips with the reality that his past
            sin,
            > although forgiven in Christ, and himself justified before God, may
            have
            > lifelong consequences which make marriage a very slim
            possibility. For
            > example, if one has contracted HIV or another sexual disease or is
            > liable to capital punishment or other severe, civil sanctions for
            crimes
            > previously committed.
            >
            > In summary, man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him
            forever.
            > Continually strive to cultivate a deeper appreciation for the
            > transcendent beauty of Christ, learning to love what Christ loves
            and
            > beholding true beauty in those things which both reflect and
            promote his
            > glory and order. Lastly, the Christian life is one of self-
            denial: "And
            > far less shall you ever take up the cross and follow Christ (as
            you are
            > required), except, first of all, you labour and learn to deny
            > yourselves. Matt. xvi. 24, that is, to make no reckoning what
            come of
            > yourselves, and of all that you have in the world, so that God have
            > glory and yourselves a good conscience, in your doings and
            sufferings."
            > George Gillespie, English Popish Ceremonies, p. ix.
            >
            > May Christ sanctify us as members of His Bride, the Church: Thou
            art
            > beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as
            an
            > army with banners. Son. 6:4
            >
            > Martin
            >
            >
            >
            > [1] John Owen: Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers (Volume 6
            of
            > Owen's works): http://www.ccel.org/ccel/owen/mort.pdf
            > [2] John Owen: Of Temptation (Volume 6 of Owen's works):
            > http://www.ccel.org/ccel/owen/temptation.pdf
            > [3] John Owen: Grace and Duty of Being Spiritually Minded (Volume
            7 of
            > Owen's works): http://www.reformed.org/books/owen/vol7/
            > [4] Jonathan Edwards: Religious Affections:
            > http://www.ccel.org/e/edwards/affections/religious_affections.html
            > [5] George Gillespie: Whether a Sound Heart and an Unsound Head can
            > Consist Together? And Vice Versa; or, Whether Truth and Holiness
            be not
            > Inseparable Companions?:
            http://truecovenanter.com/gillespie/ggilles12.html
            > [6] Dr. Joel Beeke: The Puritan Practice of Meditation:
            > http://www.sdgbooks.com/free_beeke.html
            > [7] John Calvin: Of Prayer:
            > http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/prayer.titlepage.html
            > [8] Samuel Miller: The Duty, the Benefits, and the Proper Methods
            of
            > Religious Fasting:
            http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/Fastings.htm
            > [9] Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XIII
            > Of Sanctification:
            > http://www.reformed.org/documents/westminster_conf_of_faith.html
            > [10] Heidelberg Catechism, Question 1:
            > http://www.reformed.org/documents/heidelberg.html
            > [11] Westminster Larger Catechism, Questions 91-154:
            > http://www.reformed.org/documents/wlc_w_proofs/index.html
            > [12] John Owen: On the Nature, Power, Deceit, and Prevalence of
            > Indwelling Sin in Believers (Volume 6 of Owen's works).
            > [13] The Psalms of David in Metre:
            > http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/Psalter0.htm
            > [14] Edward Calamy: The Great Danger of Covenant-refusing and
            > Covenant-breaking:
            >
            http://www.truecovenanter.com/covenants/calamy_sermon_danger_of_coven
            ant_refusing_and_breaking.html
            > [15] Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXIV
            > Of Marriage and Divorce:
            > http://www.reformed.org/documents/westminster_conf_of_faith.html
            > [16] Miscellaneous Albany CRPC sermons:
            > http://www.albanycrpc.org/sermons.php
            > [17] John Owen: Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ,
            > in His Person, Office, and Grace:
            > http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/m.sion/owenglch.htm
            > [18] Solemn League and Covenant:
            >
            http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_sub_standards/solemn_league.htm
            l
            >
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