Fifty Shades of Black and White
Why does God allow Satan to use homosexuality to be the wedge issue dividing the church in our day? Two reasons. First, because the Apostolic must be separated from the apostate (See Hebrews 12). Second, no one will ever be able to stand before Christ and say that the Scriptures were unclear concerning homosexuality, sexual immorality, or marriage being exclusively male/female. No one. Especially not pastors and teachers. Below are Fifty Scriptures that make the point…
Most have heard of the book and movie entitled Fifty Shades of Grey. The story involves the broken sexuality of the main character, Christian Grey, and the breaking down (through sadism/masochism) of a young woman (Anastasia) attracted to him. The metaphor of fifty shades of GRAY, along with naming the main characters Christian and Anastasia (resurrection) is disturbing to say the least—as is the commercial success of the series.
Sexual brokenness has NEVER been a hallmark of being Christian—the HEALING of brokenness of every sort certainly is, however. Being drawn into the darkness of domination, pain, and control has NEVER been a mark of the Resurrection; FREEDOM from such bondage is!
You would never know that, however, from reading the posts and promotions from groups such as “Uniting Methodists” or “Reconciling Congregations.” To see it from their view, God is Gray, Gray is good, and the more shades, the better. To hear it from their perspective, “healing” and “resurrection,” like most every other Biblical concept, are open to any interpretation that entices the senses or tickles the ears.
A common thread in these writings are statements such as “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality,” or “there are only a few Scriptures that mention homosexuality,” which therefore gives license to “thoughtful believers” to dismiss them, or contextualize them, or uncontextualized them, or rewrite them, or ignore them or, or just throw them into the bucket-of-I-don’t-want-to-deal-with-it…
To these progressives, fifty shades of gray speaks of minds and hearts open to any plotline that appeals to modern cultural sensibilities, even if the plot contradicts what it means to be a Christian living a resurrection life. Perhaps a re-reading of 2 John 9 would be helpful.
Anyone who gets so progressive in his thinking that he walks out on the teaching of Christ, walks out on God. But whoever stays with the teaching, stays faithful to both the Father and the Son. (The Msg.)
With all this in mind, I made a quick—and I mean quick—survey of Scripture, and came up with Fifty passages of Scripture (not 4 or 5) that separate the perishable gray from God’s imperishable black and white.
There are at least 23 passages in the Bible that deal with sexual immorality, including homosexuality. Homosexuality is additionally sited in at least 13 others. Fourteen (14) more clearly articulate that marriage is the uniting of one male and one female into one flesh, period. That is Fifty—at least fifty—Scriptures that clarify what God has made perfectly Black & White.
Now, to be honest, many of these fifty passages came out of the “frowned upon” books of Scripture that some progressives don’t like to deal with… like the Old Testament… or Matthew, Luke, and especially John… or any letter God inspired through Paul… Still, others come from books even liberals haven’t written off… yet.
A second confession. I take seriously that Jesus is the Word (John 1) and that as the Word He breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) everything from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. I am a man of one bucket (sorry, Adam Hamilton), yea a man of One Book (thank you John Wesley!).
…And for those who prescribe to a “Red-letter-only” theology that declares that “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality,” The Word begs to differ. In Mark (yes, even in Mark!) 7:20-23 Jesu explains in big red letters that it is from the heart that things like “all sexual immorality” come. In the Greek, He used the word porneia, which covers ALL sexual immorality including (but certainly not limited to!) homosexuality.
…And BTW, Jesus also quoted Genesis 2 more than once in declaring that marriage is only between male and female, despite what the Supreme Court or a few bishops say or practice…
…And PLEASE do not confuse ceremonial law with the Moral law, comparing the eating of shrimp with the practice of homosexuality. Falsely comparing ceremonial with moral law is just a bait and switch tactic.
…And if you feel the need to quote Romans 14 as a way to say that we should not major on minors, PLEASE remember you can’t get to Romans 14 without going through Romans 1, or Romans 13:9-14, for that matter—which make clear we should never minor on majors! Eating only veggies? That’s a gray area. Giving license to sexual sin? That’s not!
…And if 1 Corinthians 13 sums up all you believe about love, remember the love expressed in 1 Corinthians chapters 6 and 7 sets the stage for 1 Corinthians 13.
Why my slightly snarky tone? Because it helps to make the points that badly need to be made in this hour. The truth is, I respect my colleagues including Adam Hamilton and Tom Berlin who are desperately trying to keep the United Methodist Church together in some sort of holy center… But my friends, a gray center that glosses over what God has made perfectly black and white fails ultimately to unify… or heal… or truly love. There is no holy unless we are centered in Jesus. A Body that doesn’t trust or listen to its Head will surely die.
There was a group of “centralists” Jesus addressed shortly before His death. To this group that so deeply loved the institution and who avoided controversial subjects such as angels or miracles or the resurrection, Jesus said, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). At the end of the day and for the sake of holding an institution together, we may be guilty of the same dismissal. That, my beloved colleagues, would be painful beyond words and carry unbearable eternal consequences…
Why does God allow Satan to use sexual brokenness to divide church people? Because no human will be able to stand before the Judgement seat of Christ and cry, “Gray! Gray! You weren’t clear on what You meant!” From Genesis to Revelation, He has been extraordinarily clear…
Why does God allow Satan to use sexual brokenness to divide the Church? Because the imperishable Church must be separated from perishable religiosity…
The amazing truth: God stands ready to heal the sexual brokenness that is resident in ALL of us—to remove the shades of gray that diminish and destroy us. He has clearly and repeatedly made crystal clear what is sin—not to flaunt the death we deserve, but rather to promote the life He offers in healing and restoring us…!
Here is a list of the Fifty (50) Scriptures divided into three categories making clear one truth….
Sexual Immorality Homosexuality Male/Female Only Marriage
Hebrews 13:1-5 Romans 1:26-28 Mark 10:6-9
1 Cor. 6:17-20 Jude 5-8 1 Cor. 7:2
Mark 7:20-23 1 Tim. 1:8-11 Genesis 2:24
Matthew 15: 10-20 1 Cor. 6:9-11 Matthew 19:4-6
Galatians 5:19 Lev. 18:22 Genesis 1:27
Ephesians 5:3-7 Lev. 20:13 1 Peter 3:7
Titus 1:16 Genesis 19:1-13 Proverbs 5:18-19
2 Cor. 12:21 Judges 19:22-23 Proverbs 18:22
Ephesians 5:8-9 Ezekiel 16:49-50 Proverbs 30-18-19
Matthew 5:28 Revelation 21:27-28 Ephesians 5:22-33
1 Thess. 4:3-5 Revelation 22:15 Deut. 24:5
Colossians 3:5 Genesis 9:20-24 Colossians 3:18-19
1 Peter 2:11 Genesis 10:15-19 1 Cor 11:11-12
1 Cor. 10:8 Proverbs 20:6