SSA or Homosexuality – Words are Important

Everyone by fallen nature is born with the capacity for both the distortion and perversion of natural desire.  Depraved human nature gives the capacity for distortion and perversion; nurture affects how that capacity works out in our desires and actions.

God gave us His inspired words and preserved them for us over thousands of years. This should tell us that the choice of words is important. The inspired biblical writers were guided to choose specific words to speak about morality, sexuality, and sin.  The biblical language may be offensive and lack political correctness, yet it is the language that God has given us. Our culture and even some in the evangelical world often use language that it imprecise. The imprecise use of words may be accidental or intentional, yet either way it is confusing and misleading.

An example of this is the now popular designation of SSA – Same Sex Attraction. On the surface the phrase itself seems innocent. Everyone has same sex attractions. Men love other men and women love other women in creational and appropriate, God-honoring ways. We are created and commanded to love one another, i.e. we are created and commanded to have SSA.

However beneath the surface, SSA is not so innocent. The use of SSA is a deceptive masking of what the Word of God calls homosexuality. It is an attempt to soften and to normalize homosexual desires.

SSA is not the creational, God-honoring love that we have for those of the same sex, it is a twisted same sex sexual desire. When evangelicals talk about SSA, they want to distance it from homosexuality. When the Bible speaks of homosexuality, there is no softness, gentleness, or kindness. It is always sin. It is always a perversion of God’s creational design. It is always pernicious. It is always under God’s judgment. Yet, it is redeemable, i.e. one can be forgiven, delivered, and transformed.

Homosexuality is not simply a perverse sexual act; it is a perverse sexual desire behind that act. We repent not only of our sinful  actions but also of the impurity of our minds and desires.

In God’s creational design, heterosexual sexual desire is natural. The entrance of sin distorts this desire in different ways.

Sin can make natural, heterosexual, sexual desire an idol that will be satisfied in ways other than God’s intended design. God’s design is that natural sexual desire be satisfied in a monogamous, heterosexual covenant marriage.

Sin can also pervert the natural desire in unnatural ways, such as homosexuality or bestiality.

Everyone by fallen nature is born with the capacity for both the distortion and perversion of natural desire.  Depraved human nature gives the capacity for distortion and perversion; nurture affects how that capacity works out in our desires and actions.

When the gospel comes to us and makes us new in Christ, though the capacity for sin yet exists, the power of that capacity for sin is broken. Those who are new in Christ now see that both the distortion and perversion of sexual desire is sin – sin for which Christ died and sin from which Christ rescues us. As we are transformed into the image of Christ, new desires for godly sexual relationships are nurtured. As a new creation in Christ, we fight (mortify) the distorted and perverted desires of the flesh. We don’t excuse them, or explain them, or justify them. We kill them by the Spirit and the Word without mercy and without restraint. We see as evil and pernicious every distorted impulse to satisfy creational desire outside of a monogamous, heterosexual, covenant marriage relationship.  We see as evil and pernicious every perverted homosexual impulse.

As we claim our new identity in Christ and wage war against all that contradicts that new identity, we demonstrate that, indeed, we are the people of God.

1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.  4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.  5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.  6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. (1 Jn. 3:1-6 ESV)

Summary – The Gospel in Genesis 1-50 and in the City

Summary – The Gospel in Genesis 1-50 and in the City

Genesis has introduced us to the Creator-Redeemer God who graciously gives mankind a garden-temple in which to serve God and from which to extend the worship of God throughout the earth.

In Adam all mankind rebels against God and is banished from the temple-garden. Prior to banishment from the temple-garden, a promise is given of a second Adam, who would not succumb to Satan’s temptation and would finally defeat Satan.

After the progression of sin and rebellion, mankind and the earth are eventually judged by God in a worldwide flood. Consequently, after the flood Noah and his descendants are given the renewed kingdom responsibility in a new world, but they also fail to extend the worship of God, choosing instead to congregate at Babel. Again, the world is judged; this time through dispersion.

God then chooses Abraham and his descendants to be the family through which the worship of God will be extended throughout the world and through which the nations of the world will be reunited in worshipping God.

The story line of Abraham’s family keeps the reader wondering whether they will be the people who will extend the worship of God throughout the earth and unify the nations in the worship of God. The story unfolds with moments of success in their being the people who carry out God’s purposes but also includes too many moments of forgetfulness, neglect, and outright rebellion against God’s purposes.

As we read Genesis through eyes and hearts illumined by New Testament revelation, we understand that the successes and failures of the descendants of Abraham provoke us to anticipate the One whom God promised would ultimately defeat Satan and not only succeed where Adam had failed but would triumph more gloriously over sin and death. Through this One the worship of God would be extended through the earth and the nations of the world would be unified in their worship of God.

Today, because of the triumph of Jesus Christ over sin and death, through His body, the church, His kingdom is quietly being extended through the earth and people of all nations are joining together in worship of the Triune God. This kingdom will be consummated in the New Heaven and Earth.

Cities are not the only places where there is evidence of that happening, but in a unique way, city churches can become a microcosm of the multi-national, multi-ethnic, world-wide worship that God desires.

Cities churches offer a greater possibility for tasting the cosmopolitan worship of the New Creation, where people from every tongue and nation will join together in the worship of the living God.

Cities offer opportunity to those who are now the seed of Abraham in Christ to be His people in extending the worship of God among the nations of the earth and seeing the diversity of the world brought together in unity in Christ.

Cities are the crucibles which test the power of the gospel to create new communities that are unified in their love of Christ and in their commitment to do justice and love mercy in the midst of depravity and diversity.