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Thinking Biblically About Homosexuality

From  August 12, 2007 80-322

Source HERE

By John MacArthur

Well, tonight I want to talk to you on the subject of what God thinks of homosexuals. It is not a particular enjoyable subject to discuss, nor would any sin be enjoyable to discuss, for that matter. But it has become pertinent and essential and necessary for us to get a biblical view of this rapidly increasing and normalizing effort to accept homosexuality in our culture. We need to understand what the Word of God has to say.

There is so much confusion on this outside the church that’s explicable. But there seems to be about equal confusion inside the church. In fact, there is a new kind of evangelicalism that labels itself, “tolerant, loving, non-judgmental,” that is affirming those who carry about and legitimize these kind of lusts and behaviors and they do so while maintaining the name of Jesus Christ in an affirmation that they themselves are Christians.

I want you to look at 1 Corinthians chapter 6, and all I want to do is just give you a biblical picture so that you’ll know how God views this kind of behavior. And let me say at the very beginning, and I will show you this, but I want to say it because I want you to understand it. Homosexual sin is nothing more or nothing less than a perverse sexual act, or acts…it is no more than that, it is no less than that. It is a perverse abnormal sexual behavior. I’m reluctant even to call someone a homosexual because that seems to identify them with some kind of staple character that draws them into that behavior. It is no more or no less than a perverse act or acts.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 6, go down to verse 9, the Apostle Paul writes these words, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers shall inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

Here is the good news that answers our question…what does God think of homosexuals? It is God’s desire that they be saved, that they be justified, that they be sanctified, that they be washed. And that homosexuality and that homosexual behavior be only part of their past so that it can be said of them, “Such were some of you.”

Now the list here is interesting for a lot of reasons. There are many sins, we’re just looking at the sin of homosexuality, but there are all these other kinds of sins, as well, from which we need to be delivered and washed and sanctified and justified. Also, this list gives us some idea of the kind of people who were part of the Corinthian church. Now if you knew that a church was full of ex-fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, covetous, alcoholics, slanderers, extortioners, etc., etc., it might be the kind of crowd you’d want to avoid. But these are precisely the people who made up the Corinthian church. And that tells us not only about the church, but it tells us a lot about that society. It was a society not unlike our own society which is full of the same kinds of people…fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, swindlers, etc., nothing much has changed. So this church, Grace Community Church, like the church at Corinth is populated by people who fit into these former categories, but you have been washed, you have been sanctified, separated from those kinds of behaviors and you have been justified before God because God has set His loving forgiveness and grace upon you because of faith in Christ.

I have baptized and others have baptized in the waters of baptism right here people who have been delivered from all these sins, including homosexuality. By God’s grace and through His saving love, homosexual sinners are redeemable and some of you sitting out there are living testimony to that fact. I remember sitting in the office one day, receiving a phone call from a man who said, “My name is David Chastane(?).” He said in a faint voice, “I am in a hospital, I need you to come and see me.” I went to a nearby hospital, I walked in the room, I knew immediately he was dying of AIDS because I know the look, I’ve seen it enough. He was surrounded by friends, all of whom were obviously homosexual. He was being attended to by an obviously homosexual nurse, or attendant. And I came up to his bed and he grasped my hand as tightly as he could in his weakened condition and said, “I have lived a homosexual life for over 20 years, I was raised in a Christian family and a Christian home and a Christian church. I know the gospel. I have rejected it and hated it all my life. Now I’m going to die from AIDS and I do not want to go to hell. Can you help me?”

And I said, “Of course I can.” And I began to give him the gospel and the room was empty in ten seconds. I’m telling you, ten seconds, if that. And he opened his heart to Christ. I prayed a long prayer and I asked God to be gracious to him and to save him while he clutched my hand, after which I said, “If you desire to pray, this is your opportunity to ask for forgiveness.” And he did and he prayed one of the most heart wrenching prayers I’ve ever heard in my life, pleading with God to forgive him for the wretched life that he had lived in defiance of what he had been raised to know is true. And after this long and passionate prayer, he stared at the wall and I said to him, “What are you looking at?” He said, “I’m looking at the clock over there because I want to remember the time of my new life.” And he was overwhelmed with a sense of joy. He said, “I have a lot to make up for in a very little time.”

I took some books down to him which he read as rapidly as he could. He gave testimony of his faith in Christ. And I think if I remember right, it was about five days and he was gone.

Not all of the conversions like that are quite that dramatic. That was one of the most dramatic. I’ll tell you about another one at the end. One of the supreme tragedies in our day is reclassification of homosexuality as a non-sin, as a normal behavior, as an acceptable behavior, even as a noble behavior because that’s the way you’re made, instead of defining it the way the Bible defines it as a perversion from which you need to be rescued. Wrong diagnosis obviates the cure. And the evangelical church must stick with a biblical definition of sin and confront the sinner with every sin, whether conventionally popular or not. And there is a massive movement to appease the guilt of homosexual behavior, and it is a fierce guilt that needs relentless appeasement. There is a massive movement to somehow free these people from their behavior that is a result of unchecked lust and to make them feel okay about what they do. There is an effort to redefine it as an acceptable alternate life style, sexual orientation, genetic difference, or personal preference.

But it is not that. It’s nothing more than a perverse sex act. That’s all it is, nothing less, nothing more. And people who get engaged in it and drawn into it for a number of reasons, find themselves spiraling deeper and deeper into this kind of conduct. The same kind of addiction that comes on those who are addicted to pornography, or for that matter adultery, only this one seems to be far more intense and far more available in terms of its fulfillment. These people who are so driven to divest themselves of guilt, to release and free themselves from any assessment that they are sinning are promoting and selling their perversion as if it’s normal on every level in this nation, starting with elementary schools, TV sitcoms, films, and every other form of media. The government has stepped up to help fund their efforts and accommodated them in all kinds of ways with non-discriminatory laws. Politicians seek the homosexual vote by campaigning for homosexual rights. They want us to accept the notion that homosexual behavior is really something that is natural for a legitimate minority, that it’s the same as being African/American, or it’s the same as being Hispanic. These people are a minority who have been unjustly discriminated against and now are entitled a special treatment under the law to make up for this long harsh discrimination. The best statistics that I could find indicate that somewhere between one and two percent of the population in our country would classify themselves as engaging in homosexual sex acts. But this very small portion of our population is commanding the attention of the 98 to 99 percent of the rest of us. They’re endeavoring to make us accept the fact that this is some kind of normal behavior. Not only that, they deserve special treatment because they’ve been so abused in the past. Their agenda is simple, they just want to desensitize us to the sinful character of this. They want to desensitize us. They don’t need us to become advocates, they just need us not to care, to roll over, if you will, to acknowledge them as just another minority who should enjoy same human rights that others enjoy. But this is not a race of people. This is a sexual behavior…nothing more, nothing less. It is ridiculous to assume that because they do a specific sexual act or acts, they therefore demand certain rights and should be granted those rights. I don’t know how you can separate it from giving people the same rights to people who do other deviant acts, like pedophiles, murderers, rapists, drug dealers. They all have a different orientation, should they have rights? Wife beaters? Child molesters? Where do we end this? All sin comes because people are bent toward it. And when a society decides that certain sins and certain sinners should have special rights, they have moved long and far from the true understanding of sin and Scripture. Are we going to give the same rights to rapists? Well, this is just the way they’re bent. They’re drawn that way, they have strong impulses that way. They should be able to express themselves in any way that they like and we should give them rights because they’re bent that direction. People who are rapists I understand are compelled, driven. So are those who are child molesters, pedophiles.

Their preference has become the cause of the most devastating public health epidemic in this nation’s history. They launched the AIDS epidemic. Their preference, if it continues along with the other sexual deviations in our culture, will cause the most devastating corruption that any nation has known since the plagues of the Middle Ages, to say nothing of the financial eruption in the medical health community trying to take care of all these people. They are very aggressive in recruiting children, as young as they can get to them in elementary school to draw them into the pit of their perversion and make themselves feel normal. They now have been given the right to adopt children so that they can have their own casualties right under their own noses in their own houses. This would be like taking two mass murderers and telling them they can adopt children and expecting that a normal child would be produced in that kind of environment. Their behavior is nothing more than the expression of a sexual lust that is unnatural, twisted and uncontained.

And no matter how you try to glamorize it and make it look normal, and make it look nice and all of that, let me give you some statistics. Eighty percent of people engaged in homosexual acts say half their partners are total strangers, one out of two. How many partners do they have? The latest statistics that I can find indicate that the average homosexual has had more than 500 sexual partners…500. By their own admission, 50 percent of them, total strangers. Thirty percent have had a thousand partners. Some as many as 1600. The latest that I could find out on the average, the average has 300 a year, almost one different person a day. The conduct of their acts has no bounds, it all was launched in what were called gay bath houses where they used to have anonymous contact with ten to thirty unknowns in one day. Similar kind of behavior is now found its way into other places. Every conceivable and inconceivable act is included, none of which we need to talk about. They are one to two percent of the population, but 50 percent of the people with AIDS. One in twenty of these people is a child molester, for the normal population it’s about one in 500 at the most…at the least. They are one thousand times more likely to get AIDS, one hundred times more likely to be murdered. Eighty percent of them have sexually transmitted diseases. The average death of our population is now 75. The average American dies at 75, the average person engaged in homosexual life dies at 39. Two percent live to 65.

Just to take the glamor off of it, that’s what it really is. It is a sexual lust gone mad. It is suicidal. And I can give an almost endless parade of statistics and a litany of information on the problem which doesn’t, after a certain point, help. What is more important is to understand it from God’s viewpoint for what it really is. Let’s go back to our text in 1 Corinthians chapter 6.

There is a mention there in verse 9 of the word “effeminate…effeminate.” Marginal note in the NAS says effeminate by perversion, malakos is the Greek word. It seems to have been a technical term for the passive partner in homosexual relationships. Artin(?) Gingrick(?), one of the best of Greek lexicons, says that the word probably also included men and boys who allowed themselves to become male prostitutes and were the passive partners. It’s more than effeminate in the sense that we think of effeminate as a kind of superficial style, it is a kind of homosexual prostitution. Then the word homosexuals, arsenokoites, two Greek words, one meaning sexual relations, the other meaning men. It is man having sexual relations with men, it means just that.

These people practice a sin which excludes them from the Kingdom of God. They will not inherit the Kingdom of God. They will never belong to God’s Kingdom as long as they continually live in that life style. Amazingly churches today that are supposed to represent God’s Kingdom, open their doors and their arms to these people who do this kind of deviant behavior and embrace them. The Word Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches decades ago declassified this as a sin. Major denominations ordain those who practice homosexuality, both men and lesbian women, to the pastorate. Quakers, of all people, say homosexuality is no more deplorable than left-handedness. We have homosexuals among the Episcopalians and a bishop in the Episcopalian church who is openly engaged in homosexual behavior. One pastor of a Methodist church near here said, I quote, “A homosexual is welcome in this congregation and will have all rights and privileges.” In the emergent church, kind of the new wave of the church, doesn’t take a position on this. They’re not sure about anything in the Bible and they’re sure they’re not sure about this. In fact there are amazingly, there is an effort on the part of some theologians to prove that Paul was a repressed homosexual, struggling with his sexual yearnings which were never resolved and so he became a self-hating repressed homosexual. There’s even a group of churches for Christian homosexuals, the Metropolitan Community churches, founded by a man named Troy Perry(?), you may have heard of that name. I had dubious opportunity to debate him on an occasion and just to be sure, because I know these people can be violent, I took the starting right guard from, at the time, the Los Angeles Rams with me. I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen. Troy Perry, along with another gentleman came to argue the case for Christian homosexual behavior and they tried to glorify it. And Troy Perry was saying, “I’m monogamous, and so forth and so on, and this is a loving relationship,” and on and on and on. And I just happened to be given by the Los Angeles Police Department a complete rap sheet on all his arrests for sex in the back alleys of Hollywood. That’s why I had that guy sitting beside me. Needless to say, I pointed that out, it was the end of the debate, he was infuriated, stormed out of the room.

This Metropolitan church, Metropolitan Community Church, is still around, teaches that homosexuality is a gift from God. That Jesus was not hostile to lesbians and homosexuals. David and Jonathan were homosexuals, so were Ruth and Naomi lesbians. And Sodom was destroyed for a lack of hospitality. Exactly what they say. To the pure, all things are pure. And to the vile, all things are vile.

So, there are within the framework of Christianity all kinds of tolerances for this sin and it’s tragic. Not because…not because we want to damn these people, but because we want them to wake up to the fact that they are shut out of the Kingdom of God until they come to a realization of their sin and seek forgiveness and deliverance.

Paul had to face it because it was everywhere in his culture. There’s the list of the kind of people who went to the church, ex-homosexuals, Socrates was a homosexual, we are told, a very active one as were many of the Greek leaders and philosophers. Plato penned an entire section in his famous symposium exalting homosexual love, We are told by some historians that even Alexander the Great had both male and female lovers. Some have said the Greek soldiers were believed to have fought valiantly to protect their fellow soldier lovers. Julius Caesar, history says, had his own lover. Tiberius Caesar adopted young boys and abused them cruelly, apparently a pedophile. Both Gibbon and no less than Toynbee, Arnold Toynbee, great historians, write that this was one of the major contributors to the decline of the Roman Empire and the fall of Rome. Some say nearly all the Caesars were engaged in homosexual behavior, it was so rampant, at least 14 out of the first 15, according to some historians. Nero, the current Caesar at the time Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, had taken a boy named Sporus(?) and had him castrated and then married him in a full wedding and lived with him as his wife. So Paul’s world was not very much different than our world. Homosexual behavior, like all the other sins that are listed there, was everywhere. He confronted it for what it is, it is a sinful behavior. It is a sinful act. He was not homophobic, he was not overreacting because he was a repressed homosexual himself, he was true to divine Scripture and he was true to the sinner to tell him his sin for the sake of repentance.

Paul knew what Scripture taught. Let’s find out, Deuteronomy 22. Deuteronomy 22, now we’re going to run fast through these, the detailed study of these texts we will leave for another occasion or for your own study. There are some extensive notes in the MacArthur Study Bible that you might find helpful. You might want to wait and read those later. In the twenty-second chapter of Deuteronomy and verse 5, “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.” This is what we call today a transsexual, or a transvestite, or perhaps even another name that I’m not aware of. A person who exchanges his dress for that of the other sex because it brings on some certain kind of lustful thrill. Literally in the Hebrew it rings this way, A man shall not…a woman shall not wear that which appertains to a man, that which pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on what pertains to a woman…clothes, implements, weapons, tools, anything that robs one of clear female identity or male identity. And we’re not talking about the fact that some of the Bible bangers in the past have said, that’s why women can’t wear pants because pants belong on men. Well come on, in the Old Testament everybody wore skirts. That’s not what we’re talking about but men had robes that looked like men’s robes and women had robes that looked like women’s robes. Men were to be men, women were to be women. God made us male and female and Satan, of course, seeks to obliterate that throughout the history of false religions, that is obliterated. The ancient writer, Maimonides, whom I mentioned this morning, also says that a man dressed in fancy women’s clothes would often come and worship Venus and Ashtaroth, and by the way, typically the Greek gods were either male or female. So a man dressed in fancy women’s clothes would often come and worship Venus, says Maimonides, and Astaroth and women dressed in men’s armor would come to honor the god of war, Mars. Very typical in ancient religions, the satanic success in causing people to blur the male and female distinction, there’s nothing new about drag queens…nothing new about female impersonators, nothing new about women dressing to look like men and men dressing to look like women, sometimes in public and perhaps more often in private. It is a perversion, it is an abomination even to wear clothes that belong to or implements that belong to the opposite sex.

Go to the next chapter, chapter 23 of Deuteronomy, verse 1. “No one who is emasculated or has his male organ cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” This is a true transsexual, someone who in the very primitive way had his maleness destroyed. Now this was a kind of ancient surgery. It’s enough to say that the word in the Hebrew translated emasculated is the basic root word for being crushed. I will say no more. There are people who claim that they are somehow women trapped in men’s bodies and go to a doctor to have a surgery. Someone who does that will not enter the assembly of the Lord. In the ancient times people would have this done for the gods to become a eunuch and go serve the gods and go to a temple and become a male prostitute. Parents would do it to boys as young as ten years of age.

To give their children to the gods, to serve the gods, to gain some merit from the gods they believed in. Someone who was so deeply into paganism as to do this was restricted from the privileges and rites of citizenship within the nation because they had defiled the image of God and shown disregard for God’s Word and God’s design and God’s will. No place in the assembly of the Lord. Was this permanent? You mean to say in the Old Testament if you did this, if you became a eunuch you could never be saved, you could never be forgiven? Let me help you with that. Isaiah 56, and go over to Isaiah 56 and it’s important, verse 3, Isaiah 56:3, “Thus says the Lord,” by the way, the Lord’s talking here, “let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, the Lord will surely separate me from His people.” Here we have a window of hope. Let not the foreigner outside the covenant of Israel, outside the race of Jews descended from Abraham, let him not say the Lord will surely separate me from His people. Let not that foreigner who comes and says I want to be a part of this nation, I want to be a part of what God is doing here, I want to worship your God in your way, let him not say the Lord will surely separate me from His people, neither let the eunuch say, ‘Behold, I am a dry tree, it’s over for me. I have no future. I have no hope. I have no part in God’s people,.’ For thus says the Lord…verse 4, “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbath and choose what pleases Me and hold fast My covenant, to them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial and a name better than that of sons and daughters, I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.’” Now there’s a play on words. Is there forgiveness for them? Is there salvation for them? Even in the Old Testament there is forgiveness and there is salvation. “Let not the eunuch say there’s no hope for me.” Don’t let that pagan, even the castrated pagan think he can never have forgiveness from God and never have life from God. God will give him a place in his house within his walls and the name better than that of sons and daughters, an everlasting name. And this is exactly what God does in Acts 8. You remember in Acts 8…you don’t have to look it up…Philip joins himself to a chariot and in the chariot is a eunuch who was serving Candace, Queen of Ethiopia. Here is one, maybe from a child, had been given by his parents and castrated and given to this…this woman, this monarch to serve and he’s reading…what?…Isaiah and he’s instructed concerning the Messiah at salvation. And he asks if he can be baptized and he is baptized and he is saved and the Spirit of God comes upon him. And so, an unrepentant, unbelieving eunuch is shut out and God doesn’t want them anywhere near His assembly because He doesn’t want them having any of their evil influence. But salvation is open to them. In a sense, we invite all those people who live in this kind of simple perversion to embrace Jesus Christ as Savior and be forgiven and receive a new life and a new name and complete salvation and eternal heaven. But we do not welcome you to come here and propagate that perversion. We have to protect ourselves from that.

Let’s go back then to Leviticus 18 as we continue to see how Scripture speaks of this sin. Pretty clear, Leviticus 18:22Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it is an abomination. Like you shall not have intercourse with an animal, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it, it’s perversion.” It’s perversion like bestiality. And then he goes on to say, verse 24, “Do not defile yourselves by any of these things, for by all these the nations which I’m casting out before you have become defiled.” That’s the reason that you’re going to go into the promised land and the nations that are there are going to be thrown out because this is how they conduct themselves in homosexual perversion and perversion with animals. “As for you, you are to keep My commandments, My judgments. You shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native nor the alien who sojourns among you.” Don’t allow it in the land among anybody. How could you allow it in the church? “For the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations and the land has become defiled so that the land may not spew you out should you defile it as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you.” You open the church to homosexuals and you…you may find God spewing the whole church out of His mouth. Verse 29, “Whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off, executed from among their people. Thus you are to keep My charge, or commandment, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you so as not to defile yourselves with them…here’s the reason…I am the Lord your God and I say so.”

There’s absolutely no mistaking. Homosexual perversion and behavior is defiling. It produces God’s judgment. God hasn’t changed His opinion. God isn’t any different now than He was then. He views it the very same way. Chapter 20 of Leviticus and verse 13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act, they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.” The penalty is death, execution on the spot as it was for adultery.

Now there are some people who say, “Well, Jesus said I am the end of the Law.” No, He said I am the fulfillment of the Law. He said, “Not one jot or tittle shall from this Law be removed.” God’s moral law is unchanging and absolutely unchangeable. First Timothy 1:10, “And immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.” At the beginning of the Bible it is classified as a sin, at the end of the Bible it is still classified as a sin.

Let’s go to Genesis 19. Genesis 19 is the most dramatic illustration of this sin in Scripture. Of course, Genesis 1:27 God made man and made woman, made them male, zakar, female, neqebah, they were to complete each other, making one flesh, producing offspring. This is God’s unalterable design, a man and a woman. Satan immediately wants to corrupt that, right? You have that and then in chapter 3 you have the Fall, then what comes? Chapter 12, you have adultery. Chapter 19 you have incest. Chapter 34 you have rape. Chapter 38 you have prostitution. Part of the history of Genesis is the patriarchs, another part of the history of Genesis is the development of sexual perversion. And here in the nineteenth chapter of Genesis, homosexuality is featured. Sodom is the city. And by the way, according to Ezekiel 16, Sodom was filled with all kinds of wickedness, but none more shocking than this, surely there was adultery, fornication, polygamy, incest, rape, prostitution, you name it. But notice this, two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the Gate of Sodom. Angels who had taken on bodily form. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servants house and spend the night, wash your feet that you may rise early and go on your way. They said, however, No, we will spend the night in the square.” Not a good idea. Two magnificent, heavenly angels in beautiful form, the likes of which people had never seen.

Verse 3, he urged them strongly. So they turned aside to him and entered his house and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread and they ate. He was protecting them. And he expressed kindness to them as heavenly visitors, as Abraham and Sarah had done in the seventeenth chapter when they were also visited. Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter. The word got out that these two magnificent creatures were in town and in Lot’s house and the men of the city, the men of Sodom surround the house, young and old men. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them,” literally have intercourse with them. That’s how perverse they were. But Lot went out to them in the doorway and shut the door behind him. Went outside and shut the door behind him and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. Please. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man, please let me bring them out to you and do to them whatever you like, only do nothing to these men inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.”

What in the world kind of bizarre plan is that? You say, “Well maybe he just thought that because they were so lustful in the category of homosexual sin, the girls would have had no appeal to them. Maybe. Probably a more faithful exposition would be to say that Lot would sacrifice his own daughters before he would allow the angels of God to be molested.

By the way, at this point a man named Bailey wrote a book, in which he says, “The sin of Sodom was a lack of hospitality.” People weren’t very hospitable to these angels. Yeah, that’s true but it was a lot more than that. The people said, here’s their response outside, verse 9, they said, “Stand aside, out of the way, Lot.” Furthermore they said, “This one came in as an alien and already he’s acting like a judge,” speaking of Lot. “Now we will treat you worse than them. So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.” Now this is really out of control…out of control. They want the two strangers, their passion is so strong they storm the door driven by lust, but the men, the angels, verse 10, reached out their hands, brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door and they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both the small and the great, the important and the unimportant. They were old and young and small and great.

But look at this, “So that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.” Even though they had just been made blind, they were still trying to get in. You say that lust was out of control? Amazing. You would think if you had been made blind you’d get out of there. Lust is so compelling, as this kind of perversion is, they kept trying to get to the door and God eventually burned the whole city to a crisp. And born out of that was the name that has been through the years used to describe this kind of behavior, sodomy. Sodomy which appears in 1 Kings 14:24 and Deuteronomy 23:17 and 18 had its origin here. Sodomite was one who engaged in homosexual perversion. The sin of Sodom was homosexuality, not a lack of hospitality. It’s reiterated, by the way, in Jude verses 6 and 7. It’s really the best term. We should use it. Gay is preposterous as a term describing them. They’re anything but gay. Massive guilt, loneliness, no future, no hope, trying to bury their guilt under some self-justifying campaign, they’re anything but gay. Homosexuality is clinical, sodomite is biblical. That shows it for what it really is, the passion and a lust that is out of control.

There’s another Old Testament text, however, that must be addressed. Turn to Isaiah chapter 3…Isaiah chapter 3 and verse…well pick it up at verse 9. “There are certain people who rebel against God, here they are, the expression of their faces bears witness against them and they display their sin like Sodom. They do not even conceal it. Woe to them for they have brought evil on themselves.” That’s how it is. “Sodomites display their sin openly and publicly, they don’t conceal it and they bring down greater evil on themselves. You say to the righteous that it will go well with them, for they will eat the fruit of their actions. Woe to the wicked, it will go badly with them, or with him, for what he deserves will be done to him. O My people, their oppressors are children and women rule over them. O My people, those who guide you, lead you astray and confuse the direction of your paths.” Here is a picture of sodomy going on in Isaiah’s time which was part of God’s judgment of falling. The prophet said Jerusalem is ruined, Judah is fallen. They have rebelled against the Lord. They provoke the Lord. They don’t hide their sin like those in Sodom didn’t hide it. They may well have been engaging in the same kinds of sin but they were parading their sin like the sodomites openly paraded their sin. This is flagrant rebellion toward God, it is blatant. And in verse 12 where it says their oppressors are children and women rule over them. Interesting statements. The term women there can be a woman-like man, or an effeminate person. Some lexicons have it a man-like woman. It could be that even in Isaiah’s time there were sodomites in government, positions of power and positions of authority. If they can, they like to get into those positions. The Gay Invasion by William Rogers reports that there has been at least one homosexual in every presidential cabinet since Franklin Roosevelt and there are more now than ever. Isaiah likely knew that sodomy was all around and even in high places, it was part of the life of the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Egyptians. And some historians say the Pharaohs were engaged in homosexuality. We expect that from the unregenerate world. It took 150 years but finally this sin coupled with the rest destroyed Israel in divine judgment. What destroyed Sodom destroyed Israel, it would later destroy Greece, it would destroy Rome and it may destroy America. It is sin. It is deadly. It is destructive. And God hasn’t changed His view.

Our society refuses to see it that way because we’ve bought in to a lot of lies. There was born a man named Sigmund Freud who among many human behaviors became interested in dealing with sodomites. He determined that it was the psychological disorder related to a domineering mother. In 1930’s there came a man named Ellis, who published a manual, a sexual book bringing sodomy into the open and pointing out some famous sodomites. He concluded that sodomites tend to be great men because they have a special genius attached to their sodomy. He wrote about Erasmus, the Dutch humanist, sixteenth century, Christopher Marlowe, the English poet, Michelangelo, the Italian genius who was not a homosexual, Lord Byron who was, Francis Bacon, Oscar Wilde who was, Walt Whitman. He put together this list of formidable folks to prove the genius of being a sodomite. Freud said, some kind of a quirky reaction to a domineering mother, Ellis said quite the contrary it is in fact a kind of genius.

Then came a real fraud, Albert Kinsey in the forties and the fifties, publishing the famous Kinsey Report which was a whole pack of lies which tried to normalize sodomy by saying one out of ten people does this. The American Psychiatric Association declassified sodomy as a sickness, removing it from its standard diagnostic manual, determining that it is hereditary. All this has led to the epidemic today. There is no evidence that it is anything other than a deviant perverted kind of behavior. Are some people drawn to it? Yes. Why are they drawn to it? There could be a lot of reasons why they’re drawn to it. Why is anybody drawn to any kind of sin? I’m not drawn to it. There are some sins I can’t comprehend. I can’t comprehend that sin. I can’t comprehend a lot of sin. I can’t comprehend murder. In early America do you know that they used to give people shock therapy to try to blast blank spots into their brain hoping to hit the homosexual lust zone? Do you know that once they did radical lobotomies on people who did this? None of that is going to work because this isn’t something in the flesh of the brain, the tissue of the brain. This is a choice. Why do people choose it? Maybe they had an experience, some kind of molestation when they were young, a kind of early homosexual experience and it’s easy and it’s available, maybe a need for intimacy and an inability to connect with the opposite sex. The developing sub-culture certainly makes it acceptable and sucks in many. I don’t know all the reasons. Why do people get drawn into adultery? Why do people get drawn into pornography? Choices, not just one but many.

A final passage that we have to go to. God is going to judge this sin as He always has judged it. Romans 1, and this really should have its own study, but in order not to belabor this pressing theme, let me just give you a little bit of an insight, Romans 1:18, “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” God’s wrath is revealed from heaven continually, all the time against those who suppress the truth. They suppress the truth of God which is known, evident within them. God made it evident to them through the creation. You know, you’re familiar with this text. Even though they knew God by conscious and creation, reason, they didn’t honor Him as God or give thanks. They’re futile in their speculations. Their foolish heart was darkened, professing to be wise they became fools, exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man, birds, four-footed animals, crawling creatures. Let’s just give that one title. Rejection of the true God and idolatry, okay? Idolatry. God’s wrath is revealed against those who make an exchange. They exchange, verse 23, they exchange the glory of the incorruptible God. Verse 25, “They exchange the truth of God for a lie.” And then they exchange, verse 26, “The natural function for that which is unnatural and in the same way men abandon the natural function of the woman, burn in their desire toward one another, men with men, committing indecent acts and receiving in their own person the due penalty of their error.”

Reject God, reject the true God, become an idolater, worshiping a God of your own fashion, and you have exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for some other God and idolatry will always result in immorality. It is a built-in judgment. So God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity that their bodies might be dishonored among them. Idolatry leads to immorality. You can pair the two up throughout all of history. Idolatry leads to immorality. God gives them up to their lusts. And where do their lusts take them? To homosexual behavior, women exchanging because they’ve exchanged the glory of the true God and the truth of God for a lie, they also exchanged the natural function for what is unnatural. Men do the very same.

And what do they get out of it? The end of verse 27. “In their own persons the due penalty of their error.” I think that primarily prefers to physical death as well as divine judgment. They get sexually transmitted diseases of all kinds, some that I wouldn’t even mention. They get a shortened life span. They have no hope and no future and they are living under massive guilt. Tragic life, sad tragic life. Reject God, exchange the true God for an idol, exchange the truth of God for a lie and you’ll exchange natural behavior for what is unnatural.

Verse 27, the little phrase, “Burned in their desire.” Burned in their desire. I just have to say this and I’m done. This literally, ekkaio, means to burn out, consumed by desire, raging desire. They engage in things that are painful. Many mass murderers were homosexuals. One illustration. Dr. Milton Helpburn(?), former chief medical examiner of New York City, the New York Times said the man who knows more about violent death than anyone else in America, he wrote a biography called Where Death Delights, did Helpburn, not a Christian. This is what he said, “It’s not my role to condemn homosexuality as such and I leave it to the psychiatrists and psychologists to try to figure out why people practice homosexuality, but having performed sixty thousand autopsies, he said, it is high time that those who deviate from the norms should understand the risks. I don’t know why it is so, but it seems that the violent explosions of jealousy among homosexuals far exceed those of the jealousy of a man for a woman, or a woman for a man. The pent-up charges and energy of the homosexual relationship simply can not be contained when the explosive point is reached, the result is brutally violent. But this is the normal pattern of these homosexual attacks,” he writes, “the multiple stabbings, the senseless beatings that obviously much continue long after the victim dies, when we see these brutal multiple wound cases in a single victim, we automatically assume that we are dealing with a homosexual victim and a homosexual attacker,” end quote.

Consumed with this lust. Well you say this sounds like bad news. This is really good news. Good news for the perverse cause if you will recognize this as sin, see it for what it is, quit trying to defend it and sanctify it, and justify it, confess it as the sin that it is, cry out to God, He’ll forgive you and wash you and sanctify you and justify you. And dear ones, this is the message we have to give to these people, there isn’t any other message.

I remember one night on the Larry King program, talking to Chad Allen, the actor, about this very thing. And I started in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 that someone engaged in this kind of life, as he is, would not enter the Kingdom of God. And then I went back to that same passage at the end and said, “But such were some of you, but you’re washed and sanctified and justified.” And I told him that God would forgive him and wash him and justify him and sanctify him. That’s the message. That’s the only message we have.

I close with a story. Sorry to keep you long, but that will mean I don’t have to talk about this again. Psalm 107…Psalm 107, one Sunday morning in this very auditorium I stood up and read Psalm 107 as I often read a Psalm. And I came to verse 10, “There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in misery and chains because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the counsel of the Most High. Therefore He humbled their heart with labor, they stumbled, there was none to help, then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble. He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their bands apart. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his loving kindness and for His wonders to the sons of men, for He has shattered gates of bronze and cut bars of iron asunder.” And I went on to read a further portion of the Psalm.

But one verse stood out. Verse 6, “They cried out to the Lord in their trouble. He delivered them out of their distresses. He led them also by a straight way.” Now if you’re living in a homosexual world, the word straight has significant meaning. Sitting right back there was a young man named Robert Lagerstrom (sp?). He was one of the leaders in the Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles. He was dying of AIDS, he said to one of his friends, “I’m dying, I’m afraid to die. I’m not ready to die. Where can I go to get help?” One of his fellow sinners said, “There’s a church in the valley called Grace Community Church, go there.” He came here. I read that Psalm. He was a man crying to the Lord in trouble. He was a prisoner in misery and chains. He was in the darkness and the shadow of death and I read that Psalm.

Later that day he said to me, “You read that and I knew I was in the right place. You read that and I kept saying to myself, how do I get delivered, how do I get delivered? Where do I go? What do I do?” And then he said, “You got up and you preached this really long, long sermon and the more you talked, the more irritated I became because I wanted to be delivered and you kept talking and talking, I didn’t hear a word you said.” So he came at the end of the service, came to the prayer room, fell on his face before God, repented, embraced Jesus Christ as Lord, was wonderfully saved and I baptized him right here in these waters. Before I did that, he gave testimony to everyone he knew and his…when the Gay Pride Parade came, all the leaders of the parade, when it came by because he lived on the route came to his house to wish him well cause he was dying. Gave them all the gospel, went to heaven.

We speak the truth about the sin in order that we might speak the truth about the Savior who forgives, right?

Father, we thank You again for Your Word. It opens up so much to us, so current, so pertinent. Thank You for the clarity with which it speaks to these matters. May we be faithful to call these people who are caught in this vicious sin to repentance, not accepting the sin but loving the sinner enough to give the hope of the gospel and would You continue to save and wash and sanctify and justify sinners in this church of all kinds and may we live lives that please You and honor You as those who are forgiven. We thank You in Christ’s name. Amen.


[See also: The Christ Anointing and the Antichrist Spirit, Part II, Part IIIa, Part IIIb and Part IV (Conclusion)]

Heresy has become the term used to describe anyone who disagrees with a particular leader, but that is not so.  We need to give more grace to those who differ from us.  The essential doctrines of the church – the Virgin Birth, the divinity and humanity of Jesus, the Atonement, and the like – qualify as issues we should fight for.

Bill Johnson1

There are certainly those who are hasty in labeling doctrines as heresy when they are not really so.  This is both irresponsible and hurtful to the body of Christ.  Let’s call teachings heresy and teachers heretics only when this is indisputably evident.

By inference, it would be fair to assume that with Bill Johnson’s statement above he would define heresy as any…

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Joe Quatrone, Jr.

1Jn 5-13 Welcome back to our series in the Apostle John’s first letter. This will be the last article in our study of this inspiring portion of Scripture.

“Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin wrote those words in 1789. Of course, a wise man like Franklin knew many other things are also certain. The Christian knows there are many certainties. Of spiritual truth, Christians are not afraid to say, “We know!” In fact, the word know occurs thirty-nine times in John’s brief letter, eight times in this closing chapter.

Man has a deep desire for certainty and he will even dabble in the occult in his effort to find out something for sure. A businessman having dinner with his pastor said to him, “Do you see those offices across the street? In them sit some of the most influential business leaders in this town. Many of them used to…

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What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Is homosexuality a sin?.

An article by G. Richard Fisher.

Many Christians uncritically accept the writings of Watchman Nee even though few know anything about his background. Many are impressed by the volume of his work and the dogmatism and feeling of deep spirituality that characterize his writings. His ideas and books still influence charismatics, fundamentalists and people in between.

one need not be a theologian to discover that his teachings call for scrutiny and caution by Christians

But one need not be a theologian to discover that his teachings call for scrutiny and caution by Christians. Much can be learned about Nee from a cursory reading of some of his books and the writings of others who were around him. These show that his theology developed through encounters with four different people and it was from these that he “borrowed” ideas extensively. Each new book seemed to develop from “discoveries” received from these teachers.

Nee’s basic writings cover over 40 volumes and have been researched by Dana Roberts. His findings are not flattering to Nee and are presented in his book Understanding Watchman Nee. This writer is indebted to Roberts for much of the material in this article.


Nee was born Nee Shi-Tsu in November 1903. His mother, a Methodist mission convert, later changed his name to “Bell ringer,” or Watchman, with all the Christian connotations. He claimed conversion to Christianity in April 1920.

At a Bible school in Shanghai, he came under the influence of a female teacher, Miss Yu. Under her instruction he seriously sought a “second blessing.” He later said he felt he had “recovered” truth for the church and taught four subsequent experiences after conversion.

Miss Yu directed Nee to Miss M.E. Barber, who taught him in the Keswick concept of the filling of the Spirit. In February 1922, Nee claimed, he was “baptized in the Spirit” and put himself under the continuing instruction of Barber. Barber then was responsible for the development of Nee’s perfectionistic theology.

Barber also convinced Nee of the truth of the “partial rapture” theory assigning carnal believers to a kind of Protestant purgatory. Nee admitted that in his writings on the book of Revelation, he depended on a book from Barber’s library by Robert Govett that teaches a partial rapture. Thus we see how he got these new “insights” that became the basis for new books.


Later, Barber allowed Nee to read the works of Jesse Penn Lewis when she thought he was “mature enough,” Roberts says. Penn Lewis, a mystic with a Welsh Methodist background, saw many parts to man’s inner nature. Her literature, considered “holiness literature,” is the main source for Nee’s Spiritual Man series, in which he developed a gnostic view of man, Roberts says.

Nee also got doses of Catholic mysticism through the writings of Madame Jeanne Guyon, as published in Penn Lewis’ magazine.

Nee continued to read widely and when Barber exposed him to the writings of John Darby, he found the basis for his ecclesiology, or thoughts on the church. From that point, everything Nee wrote on the church is easily identified with the teachings of the Plymouth Brethren. He rejected clergy as unscriptural.

Nee also professed to be led by inner leadings

During this time Nee also professed to be led by inner leadings. He justified this subjective means of revelation by saying that the ways of God are not known by external means but by “internal registrations.” Again, he was rejecting external authority.

Nee had his own eclectic system developed when he encountered another woman in 1935. Elizabeth Fischbacker introduced him to Pentecostal theology and speaking in tongues. Nee did not regard tongues as unbiblical but never spoke in tongues himself.

In 1942, Nee took over the running of his brother George’s chemical factory. He consigned all the property to the church and sought to have the church members as the factory workers. As a result he contradicted previous positions he had taken regarding disassociation of the church and business.

In 1949, Mao-Tse Tung came to power and Communist China was born. Nee, a factory owner, was seen as an imperialist and eventually was jailed. He remained in prison until his death in 1972.

The teachings that developed over Nee’s lifetime and out of his encounters with these women and the teachings they directed him to are dangerous to Christians seeking clear guidelines to follow. Space allows a listing of only a few of the problems in Nee’s teachings:

By all appearances, Nee saw himself not as a servant but as a guru

  • Nee outlines no method of Bible study and interpretation and appears to deny evangelical hermeneutics. In his book Spiritual Authority, he sets himself and his elders up as the unquestionable authorities. By all appearances, Nee saw himself not as a servant but as a guru.
  • One gets the impression from Nee that the Bible was not nearly as important as Christians generally consider it. In his book The Ministry of God’s Word, Nee says, “Words alone cannot be considered God’s Word.” In this book, Nee becomes very philosophical, mystical and incoherent.He says that only as we deliver the Word in terms of the “reality behind it,” using what he calls “Holy Spirit memory” and “presenting the pictures as well as speaking the words” will the words be correct; otherwise they are not real.
  • Nee overemphasizes emotions. In The Ministry of God’s Word, he claims that the effectiveness of a preacher’s delivery is a product of his emotions. If a preacher does not feel emotionally charged in delivery, “the Spirit is stuck” and the “Spirit is inevitably arrested,” Nee says. He continues, “The Spirit flows through the channel of emotion.”Then he arrives at a strange conclusion: “Nose in the Scripture stands for feeling. Smelling is a most delicate act, man’s feeling is most delicate.” Therefore, Nee says, a preacher in speaking needs to “mix feelings with the words spoken, else his words are dead. If our feeling lags behind, our words are stripped of the spirit.” To say as Nee does, on page 210, that the Holy Spirit only rides on feeling is dangerous.
  • Nee uses terms imprecisely. One example is his writing about a minister’s receiving “revelations” in his “Holy Spirit memory” and those revelations being remembered in us by the Holy Spirit. This sort of metaphysical mumbo jumbo is impossible to understand, since there is no direct scriptural reference to a “Holy Spirit memory.”

When a Christian begins to see Nee as a guide in determining the value of other Christian writers, or sees Nee’s writings as a key to spirituality, that person is headed for trouble.

Nee’s presuppositions are suspect in light of the Word of God. His books provide grist for cult groups such as The Way, The Alamo Foundation, the Children of God and other groups. The astute believer should watch out for Watchman Nee.



About the Author

Richard Fisher

This article was written by by G. Richard Fisher, a member of the Board of Directors of Personal Freedom Outreach (PFO) — a ministry that educates Christians about the dangers and heretical doctrines of religious cults.

Fisher is the senior researcher/writer for PFO’s The Quarterly Journal.  Pastor Fisher served as pastor of Laurelton Park Baptist Church in Bricktown, N.J., for over 40 years, from 1968 until his retirement in June 2009.  He also was part of the teaching staff at Central Jersey Bible Institute for over three decades, where he had served as Dean of the school.


Holy Spirit

From Way of Life Literature, David Cloud has presented a three-part series of testimonies of men who set out shred Christianity but instead came out believers.

Here are some excerpts. I have selected one testimony from each part.


Above all other books, the Bible has been hated, vilified, ridiculed, criticized, restricted, banned, and destroyed, but it has been to no avail. As one rightly said, “We might as well put our shoulder to the burning wheel of the sun, and try to stop it on its flaming course, as attempt to stop the circulation of the Bible” (Sidney Collett, All about the Bible, p. 63).

In A.D. 303, the Roman Emperor Diocletian issued an edict to stop Christians from worshipping Jesus Christ and to destroy their Scriptures. Every official in the empire was ordered to raze the churches to the ground and burn every Bible found in their districts (Stanley Greenslade,
Cambridge History of the Bible). Twenty-five years later Diocletian’s successor, Constantine, issued another edict ordering fifty Bibles to be published at government expense (Eusebius).

In 1778 the French infidel Voltaire boasted that in 100 years Christianity would cease to exist, but within 50 years the Geneva Bible Society used his press and house to publish Bibles (Geisler and Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible, 1986, pp. 123, 124).

Robert Ingersoll once boasted, “Within 15 years I’ll have the Bible lodged in a morgue.” But Ingersoll is dead, and the Bible is alive and well.

In fact, many who set out to disprove the Bible have been converted, instead. The following are a few examples:

Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853)

Simon Greenleaf, Royall Professor of Law at Harvard University, was one of the most celebrated legal minds in American history. His
Treatise on the Law of Evidence “is still considered the greatest single authority on evidence in the entire literature of legal procedure.”

As a law professor, he determined to expose the “myth” of the resurrection of Christ once and for all, but his thorough examination forced him to conclude, instead, that Jesus did rise from the dead. In 1846 he published An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice.

Thus, one of the most celebrated minds in the legal profession of the past two centuries took the resurrection of Christ to trial, diligently examined the evidence, and judged it to be an established fact of history! And this was in spite of the fact that he began his investigation as a skeptic.

One of Greenleaf’s points is that nothing but the resurrection itself can explain the dramatic change in Christ’s disciples and their willingness to suffer and die for their testimony.

Consider an excerpt:

“Their master had recently perished as a malefactor, by the sentence of a public tribunal. His religion sought to overthrow the religions of the whole world. The laws of every country were against the teachings of His disciples. The interests and passions of all the rulers and great men in the world were against them. The fashion of the world was against them. Propagating this new faith, even in the most inoffensive and peaceful manner, they could expect nothing but contempt, opposition, revilings, bitter persecutions, stripes, imprisonments, torments, and cruel deaths.

Yet this faith they zealously did propagate; and all these miseries they endured undismayed, nay, rejoicing. As one after another was put to a miserable death, the survivors only prosecuted their work with increased vigor and resolution. The annals of military warfare afford scarcely an example of the like heroic constancy, patience, and unblenching courage. They had every possible motive to review carefully the grounds of their faith, and the evidences of the great facts and truths which they asserted; and these motives were pressed upon their attention with the most melancholy and terrific frequency. It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact. … If then their testimony was not true, there was no possible motive for its fabrication” (Greenleaf, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence).

Finish Part One at this link.



Josh McDowell, the author of
Evidence That Demands a Verdict, was a skeptic when he entered university to pursue a law degree. There he met some Christians who challenged him to examine the evidence for the Bible and Jesus Christ. Following is his testimony:

As a teenager, I wanted the answers to three basic questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? … So as a young student, I started looking for answers.

I thought that education might have the answer to my quest for happiness and meaning. So I enrolled in the university. What a disappointment! I have probably been on more university campuses in my lifetime than anyone else in history. You can find a lot of things in the university, but enrolling there to find truth and meaning in life is virtually a lost cause.

I used to buttonhole professors in their offices, seeking the answers to my questions. When they saw me coming they would turn out the lights, pull down the shades, and lock the door so they wouldn’t have to talk to me. I soon realized that the university didn’t have the answers I was seeking. Faculty members and my fellow students had just as many problems, frustrations, and unanswered questions about life as I had. A few years ago I saw a student walking around a campus with a sign on his back: ‘Don’t follow me, I’m lost.’ That’s how everyone in the university seemed to me. Education was not the answer!

Prestige must be the way to go, I decided. It just seemed right to find a noble cause, give yourself to it, and become well known. The people with the most prestige in the university, and who also controlled the purse strings, were the student leaders. So I ran for various student offices and got elected. It was great to know everyone on campus, make important decisions, and spend the university’s money doing what I wanted to do. But the thrill soon wore off, as with everything else I had tried.

Every Monday morning I would wake up with a headache because of the way I had spent the previous night. My attitude was, Here we go again, another five boring days. Happiness for me revolved around those three party-nights: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then the whole boring cycle would start over again.

Around this time I noticed a small group of people on campus–eight students and two faculty–and there was something different about them. They seemed to know where they were going in life. And they had a quality I deeply admire in people: conviction. But there was something more about this group that caught my attention. It was love. These students and professors not only loved each other, they loved and cared for people outside their group.

About two weeks later, I was sitting around a table in the student union talking with some members of this group. … I turned to one of the girls in the group and said, ‘Tell me, what changed your lives? Why are you so different from the other students and faculty?’

She looked me straight in the eye and said two words I had never expected to hear in an intelligent discussion on a university campus: ‘Jesus Christ.’

‘Jesus Christ?’ I snapped. ‘Don’t give me that kind of garbage. I’m fed up with religion, the Bible, and the church.’

She quickly shot back, ‘Mister, I didn’t say ‘religion’; I said ‘Jesus Christ.’

Then my new friends issued me a challenge I couldn’t believe. They challenged me, a pre-law student, to examine intellectually the claim that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. I thought this was a joke. These Christians were so dumb. How could something as flimsy as Christianity stand up to an intellectual examination? I scoffed at their challenge.

I finally accepted their challenge, not to prove anything but to refute them. I decided to write a book that would make an intellectual joke of Christianity. I left the university and traveled throughout the United States and Europe to gather evidence to prove that Christianity is a sham.

One day while I was sitting in a library in London, England, I sensed a voice within me saying, ‘Josh, you don’t have a leg to stand on.’ I immediately suppressed it. But just about every day after that I heard the same inner voice. The more I researched, the more I heard this voice. I returned to the United States and to the university, but I couldn’t sleep at night. I would go to bed at ten o’clock and lie awake until four in the morning, trying to refute the overwhelming evidence I was accumulating that Jesus Christ was God’s Son.

I began to realize that I was being intellectually dishonest. My mind told me that the claims of Christ were indeed true, but my will was being pulled another direction. I had placed so much emphasis on finding the truth, but I wasn’t willing to follow it once I saw it. I began to sense Christ’s personal challenge to me in Revelation 3:20: ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.’ But becoming a Christian seemed so ego-shattering to me. I couldn’t think of a faster way to ruin all my good times.

I knew I had to resolve this inner conflict because it was driving me crazy. I had always considered myself an open-minded person, so I decided to put Christ’s claims to the supreme test. One night at my home in Union City, Michigan, at the end of my second year at the university, I became a Christian.

I said, ‘Lord Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross for me.’ I realized that if I were the only person on earth, Christ would have still died for me.’ … I said, ‘I confess that I am a sinner.’ No one had to tell me that. I knew there were things in my life that were incompatible with a holy, just, righteous God. … I said, ‘Right now, in the best way I know how, I open the door of my life and place my trust in You as Saviour and Lord. Take over the control of my life. Change me from the inside out. Make me the type of person You created me to be’ (Josh McDowell, “He Changed My Life,” The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Thomas Nelson, 1999, pp. xxv).

McDowell concludes:

After trying to shatter the historicity and validity of the Scripture, I came to the conclusion that it is historically trustworthy. If one discards the Bible as being unreliable, then one must discard almost all literature of antiquity.

“One problem I constantly face is the desire on the part of many to apply one standard or test to secular literature and another to the Bible. One must apply the same test, whether the literature under investigation is secular or religious.

“Having done this, I believe we can hold the Scriptures in our hands and say, ‘The Bible is trustworthy and historically reliable” (The New Evidence, p. 68).

Finish Part Two at this link.


Gary Parker

Gary Parker has an Ed.D. in biology/geology from Ball State University. Following is his testimony:

“I wasn’t just teaching evolution, I was preaching it. ‘It was millions of years of struggle and death that brought mankind and all the other animals and plants into being,’ I told my college students. I praised Darwin for being the first to understand how evolution worked. … I let students freely express their religious beliefs, but would not let them use their personal faith to challenge what I considered the rock-hard science of evolution. I thought it was part of my duty as a science teacher to deliver my students from silly old superstitions, like taking the Bible literally and trying to refute evolution with ‘creation science.’


“The change began when Dr. Charles Signorino, a chemistry professor at the college where I was teaching biology, invited my wife and me to his home for Bible study. … I started studying the Bible, primarily to criticize it more effectively. …


“Make no mistake about it–creation/evolution is a salvation issue. I do not mean you have to have a detailed knowledge of creation science to be a Christian; I simply mean that belief in evolution can be for many, as it was for me, a powerful stumbling block to accepting (or even considering) the claims of Christ. Paul warned Timothy to avoid the oppositions of science falsely so-called, which some have erred concerning the faith (1 Tim. 6:20-21). Evolution is really ‘humanism dressed up in a lab coat,’ a man-centered worldview that uses scientific jargon to put man’s opinions far above God’s Word (as Eve did in the Garden).“My extensive knowledge of, and zeal for, evolution certainly prevented me from even considering that God might be real and the Bible true. So what happened? Well, Dr. Signorino, the colleague who invited me to the Bible study, was not only a superb Bible teacher, he was also a scientist respected internationally for his work in chemistry. He challenged me to look again at the science I thought I knew so well. Confident that science would support evolution and refute biblical literalism, I gladly accepted the challenge.“The battle began. For three years, we argued creation/evolution. For three years, I used all the evolutionary arguments I knew so well. For three years, I lost every scientific argument. In dismay, I watched the myth of evolution evaporate under the light of scientific scrutiny, while the scientific case for Creation-Corruption-Catastrophe-Christ just got better and better. It’s no wonder that the ACLU (actually the anti-Christian lawyers union) fights by any means to censor any scientific challenge to evolution! …“About that time, I got a copy in the mail of the first book I ever wrote, a programmed science instruction book calledDNA: The Key to Life.


Up until that time I thought people who wrote books, especially textbooks in science, knew what they were talking about. I had a nearly straight A average and earned numerous academic awards, and my book had been reviewed by experts on DNA, but I knew all the uncertainties that went into it. (Indeed, when I published the second edition five years later, I put the first edition aside and started fresh; so much additional knowledge about DNA had been gained.) It finally dawned on me: if experts in science can write books that have to be continually corrected, revised, and updated, perhaps God could write a Book in which He said what He meant and meant what He said: eternal and unchanging truth, an absolutely sure foundation for understanding life useful to all people at all times in all places!

“Looking now at the Bible as the truly true ‘History Book of the Universe,’ I was lifted out of the prison of time, space, and culture, and enabled to see past the shallow and ever-changing words of human experts to the deep and never-changing Word of the Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth! I experienced who Jesus is and what Jesus meant when He said, ‘You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free’ (John 8:32). …“I could now look at familiar facts in unfamiliar ways–ways that made more sense scientifically and helped me to solve some of the origins problems that had puzzled me as an evolutionist. As I looked at biology with the blinders of evolution finally removed, the biblical theme of Creation-Corruption-Catastrophe-Christ was reflected everywhere! …

“… some said that if I only knew more about fossils, I would give up this ‘creationist nonsense’ and accept the ‘fact of evolution.’ Then the Lord did something fabulous for me: a fellowship from the National Science Foundation for 15 months of full-time doctoral study. With fear and trembling, I added a doctoral minor in geology, emphasizing paleontology and origins, to check out the fossil evidence firsthand. I had excellent professors, including some Christians, but all assumed evolution without question. However, what they taught me about fossils made it hard to believe in evolution and easy to accept the biblical record of a perfect creation, ruined by man, destroyed by the Flood, restored to new life in Christ. …

“At the end of my geophysics unit on radiometric dating, the professor was going over the long list of assumptions that are required to convert any measurement of radioisotope amounts into some estimate of age. Midway through the list of unwarranted assumptions and inconsistent results, the professor paused to joke that if a Bible-believing Christian ever became aware of these problems, he would make havoc out of the radiometric dating system! Then he admonished us to ‘keep the faith.’

“Keep the faith. At bottom, that is all there is to radioactive decay dating: a faith the facts have failed. At bottom, that’s all there is to evolution: a faith the facts have failed. Evolution was only able to get a toe-hold on science because of 19th-century ignorance of molecular biology, cellular ultra structure, ecology, and systematics. Discoveries in these fields completely crushed evolution as a science, but it persists only too well as a secular religion protected from contrary evidence by the anti-American censorship lawyers united” (Persuaded by the Evidence, pp. 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 258, 260, 261).

Finish Part Three at this link.
David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,

Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc.’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service, an e-mail listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.Way of Life Literature –

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“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” – Psalm 1:1-2


Mark his [the godly man’s] positive character. “His delight is in the law of the Lord.” He is not under the law as a curse and condemnation, but he is in it, and he delights to be in it as his rule of life; he delights, moreover, to meditate in it, to read it by day, and think upon it by night. He takes a text and carries it with him all day long; and in the night-watches, when sleep forsakes his eyelids, he museth upon the Word of God. In the day of his prosperity he sings psalms out of the Word of God, and in the night of his affliction he comforts himself with promises out of the same book. “The law of the Lord” is the daily bread of the true believer. And yet, in David’s day, how small was the volume of inspiration, for they had scarcely anything save the first five books of Moses! How much more, then, should we prize the whole written Word which it is our privilege to have in all our houses! But, alas, what ill-treatment is given to this angel from heaven! We are not all Berean searchers of the Scriptures. How few among us can lay claim to the benediction of the text! Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity, because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you—Is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God’s Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand—your best companion and hourly guide? If not, this blessing belongeth not to you.

 The Treasury of David: A Commentary on the Psalms, 3 Vol.

May 2014



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