"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Loving the Homosexual, the Pedophiliac, the Adulterer, the Masturbator, and the Fornicator in Your Life (Which Includes You): The Power of Grace and Truth

This week I have had a couple of outstanding conversations with people who were upset that I placed homosexuals, adulterers and pedophiliacs in the same category in something I recently wrote. "Pedophiliacs are different!" my friends said. "What they do is illegal! They use power and a desire for control to abuse an innocent child for personal gratification!"

What I had written that caused their offense was the following: "People may be born with a heart predisposed toward a desire to have sex with people of the same gender (homosexuality), just as people may be born with heart predisposed with a desire to have sex with other married people (adultery), or children (pedophilia), etc... Having the tendency (desire) to sin sexually is part of being a sinner. Finding freedom from acting out on that desire to sexually sin is part of being a Christian."

Notice that I was writing about desire when I wrote of the commonality of sexual sins.  There is a difference in consequences when a person acts out on his sinful sexual desires, depending on the laws of the land and the opinion of culture at the particular time the sexual act is committed. My friends, both of whom I respect, are correct that there is a difference (in our day) between pedophilia behavior (illegal activity) and homosexual behavior, adulterous behavior, sexual behavior while single, or self-stimulation (all legal activities). But I remind you, pedophilia is only currently illegal. If you act out on your desires to have sex with children you will go to jail if caught. If you commit an act of homosexuality or adultery you will not go to jail - at least in our day. Laws do change, however. Throughout America's history there were state laws that made both homosexuality and adultery illegal, punishable with either jail time or death. But that's another subject. The point I was making in what I wrote was a simple one: The predisposition and desire to have a sexual relationship outside of a husband/wife relationship is a sin against God. And ALL of us are sinners.

Our internal battles over sexual desires outside of marriage are common to every human being. The truth is, Christians are far more keen to these battles than others, because those who are not disciples of Christ live by the principle, "If it feels like love, it must be love." Don't misunderstand; even non-Christians "feel dirty" when sex becomes an animalistic act, but followers of Christ battle sinful sexual desires more than most. The internal battles over sexual desires in Christians may vary in nature and intensity, but there is a commonality of experience. There are pastors in pulpits who struggle with adulterous desires, and there are pastors in pulpits who struggle with homosexual desires, and there are pastors in pulpits who struggle with pedophiliac desires, and there are pastors in pulpits who struggle with self-stimulation sexual desires. All pastors will at times face internal battles with sinful sexual desires.

You may respond, "But pastors don't HAVE those kinds of sinful desires?" What? Are you serious? We pastors are sinners just like you. Our internal battles over sinful sexual desires are just like yours. The difference is pastors are expected to not act out on their sinful sexual desires because they are shepherding others to learn how to find their contentment in Christ, and to live in sexual holiness and wholeness. Sex is created by God with deep spiritual meaning. It is a type. Orgasm foreshadows the ecstasy of feelings we all will have when we are with Christ for eternity. That's one of the reasons there is no sex in heaven. Just like Christ fulfilled the Law, heaven and "the marriage supper of the Lamb" fulfills the type of marriage on earth. But until God ushers us into eternity either through death or His coming, we will struggle with exalting the type (sex) over the anti-type (Christ). What that means is this: The root source of acting out on our sinful sexual desires is an inability to rest in the love, intimacy, joy and satisfaction we were designed to have in Christ, the only One who can truly satisfy our longing for unconditional love, personal acceptance and intimate relationship.

Moody Institute Professor and Christian author Christopher Yuan struggles with homosexual desires. This amazing man of grace, transparent in all his struggles, states the principle I am articulating the best:  "Change by God's grace is not the absence of struggles, but the freedom to choose holiness in the midst of our struggles." I would add that the more a person begins to understand the grace of God in Christ and is satisfied in Him, the less a person acts out on his sinful sexual desires. The hard part is the fact that growing in grace takes a lifetime and then some. So, the struggle with sexual sins never ends. Your marriage to Christ will not be fully consummated until heaven. The struggle will only end then.

When you love a person during your lifetime who battles with homosexual desires, or pedophilia desires, or adulterous desires, or other sexually deviant desires (and that would include all of us in one form or another), you love them by never refusing to tell them the truth and by always pointing them to God's grace in the person and work of Christ. Each of us is born with a heart predisposed to one or more sinful sexual tendencies and desires. Those sinful desires will vary in type and strength, and because of our personal experiences,  they may change within us over time in both their nature and intensity. But when we refuse to speak the truth about sinful sexual desires and actions to ourselves and others, and when we pretend that what is sinful is actually normal and healthy, then we trample on the blood and love of Christ at the cross and insult the Spirit of grace who is at work within us.

This was my problem with Andy Stanley's message. He seemed hesitant to say to the homosexual couple attending his church--a couple who left their spouses to fulfill their sexual desires for one another--that they were in homosexual sin. Obviously, Pastor Stanley should accept them as people, but he should always tell them the truth about their sin.

An Illustration From Pedophilia

There are two men in our church that I mentor and disciple who are registered sexual offendors because of sexual activity with children. They spent their prison time. Everytime they set foot on our campus, they must report to me. Their pictures have been passed around to all our paid and volunteer staff. They are never allowed to be anywhere with children, and never will be. They will carry the shame of their sexual sins for the rest of their lives. These two men are human beings, and I love them. They both have professed faith in Christ, and it is my job to shepherd their souls. Nobody can accuse me of being soft on pedophilia because I am an advocate for victims, and my track record on this issue proves it. However, unlike many who cast away pedophiliacs as condemned to hell, I have seen the power of the cross in pedophiliacs' lives.

I have learned that in the underground pedophilia movement there is a belief system among pedophiliacs that is consistent with all pedophiliacs. It goes like this:

(1). The highest expression of love is sexual contact, and children are loved the most when they have sex with an adult.
(2). The desire to have sex with children is God-given and good. Don't fight it, simply hide it. Keep it in the closet because of the laws of the land, but know that one day the laws will change because;
(3). Children benefit by sexual contact with adults, and it is only the unenlightened who don't understand the beauty and naturalness of child/adult sexual love.
(4). Though western culture today rejects child love, progressive and enlightened cultures throughout history have honored it, including the Roman Empire who made it lawful for the Roman elite to have a cadre of boys and/or girls for adult sexual pleasure and the childrens' emotional and personal delight.
(5). Accept yourself the way God made you. You sexually desire young children because you love young children. Love is Love. Don't let people tell you child love through sex is wrong, because how can something that feels so right to both participants be immoral or wrong?

Now, I realize that the above five points sicken many of you (but not all of you). Please pay close attention to what I am about to write: The rationale of the pedophiliac in acting out on his sexual desires is exactly the same rationale for why an adulterer would act out on his sexual desires, or why a homosexual would act out on his desires, or why a fornicator would act out on his desires, etc...

And, the rationale is faulty. God calls pedophilia, homosexuality, adultery, fornication, and all sex outside of marriage sin. To desire something that God calls sin feels natural and right because we are by nature sinners. Only God can transform sinners; and the process of grace in the transformation is often lengthy and painful.

The two men I mentor are always told the truth by me. I love you and accept you, even with your desires to have sex with children. I love you so much that I will always tell you the truth about your sexual desires. They are sinful. I love you enough to try to help you establish and keep parameters and boundaries so you CAN'T act out on your desires. I also love you enough to pray that God will eventually take away your desires, but I know His Spirit works in you over time, and the transformation He brings is not instantaneous. You are not condemned by me, because I TOO AM A SINNER. My inclination to sexual sin is heterosexual adultery, and though society looks on my sinful desires as "acceptable," my sinful desires are no different from yours because they orginate from the same place--a sinful heart. By God's grace, He will keep me from acting out, as I know He can keep you from acting out as well.  However, I am here for you in the struggle, and my love for you is not determined by your performance. Christ died for sinners. You have accepted Him, as have I. My love for you is based on the fact we are family. Let's wrestle through this together.

I simply ask the question: Why do we not treat people who struggle with homosexuality, adulterery, fornication, masterbation, and all other sexually deviant desires and activities in the same manner? Why do we not love them and always tell them the truth? The truth is clear:

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate by perversion, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 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." (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

Christ makes those who believe in Him righteous by granting us His perfect righteousness via our faith (ie. the righteous live by faith). You and I will only be convinced of our need for HIS righteousness when we are utterly convinced that we are devoid of any righteousness ourselves. To TRULY love the homosexual, the pedophiliac, the adulterer, the masturbator, the fornicater, and every other person who struggles with sexually deviant desires means we speak the truth in love about God and His grace for sinners through His Son's Person and work. Here's the truth for every believer in Christ in succinct form:

(1). His righteousness makes believers SAINTS in His eyes, and the tags "homosexual, adulterer, fornicator, etc..." are removed.
(2). You and I as believers will CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE with sexual sins, but they do not define who we are. Christ defines us, not our sins, or even our continuing sinful sexual desires.
(3). The more we learn the freedom of choosing holiness in the midst of our struggles, the greater our joy in Christ becomes, but even in our sexual failures, His joy for us is never lessoned, His joy in us is never diminished, and His joy over us never shrinks. It is our joy at stake, not His.
(4). Transparency and accountability in the midst of our struggles is part of His work of grace in us.
(5). Christ ultimately transforms us, but the manner and time in which He finishes His masterpiece (ie. you and me) is His responsiblity, not ours. So, even in the midst of our darkest struggles, we should never lose hope. We have an eternal perspective that God's love is ultimately effectual in us.

I do not know if this helps anyone, but I've written it so that you will not be so quick to judge or condemn, shun or withdraw, or even reject that believer in Christ who struggles with sinful sexual desires or activies, no matter what kind or variation his/her struggle may be. And, I've written this piece to remind those of us who are charged with speaking "the truth in love" that withholding the truth about homosexuality, pedophilia, adultery, fornication, etc... is really not loving anyone.

In His Grace and Truth,

Wade

73 comments:

Laura said...

Your article is full of wisdoma and compassion, and also humility which is of ultimate importance when talking about sin. We all have the capacity and inclination for wickedness apart from Christ, and even with Christ in our lives, without His constant grace. BUT- when it comes to sexual crimes against children, or disabled adults, I think that there is a dimension that is not always present in sexual sin between consenting adults. Wounding and causing a child to stumble is a horrific thing indeed. Of course that person (the offender) is not hopeless, and with proper safeguards in place, perhaps such as you describe, they need to know that Christ is here for them as well as all of us other sinners. But I cannot put other sexual sin on the same level. I think there is a particular seriousness and accountability attached to any sin that victimizes the helpless, in particular by sexual assault. I don't see these behaviors as equal at all.

Victorious said...

"You and I will CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE with sexual sins, but they do not define who we are. Christ defines us, not our sins, or even our continuing sinful sexual desires."

Wade, I ask this question with a sincere desire to know; not to be confrontational or combative. How is this statement different than defining sexual predators through a database? For the record, I surely see the benefits of such a database for the safety of potential victims, but isn't this defining them by their sin?

Hope my question isn't out of order.

Wade Burleson said...

Victorious,

The answer to your question (Is not a sexual predator database identifying and defining people as sexual predators?) is an answer that will also help Laura with her struggle in wanting to differentiate between sexual sins with consenting adults and sexual sins with children or the disabled.

WE MUST DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN THESE SINS LEGALLY (I am the strongest advocate for a sexual predator data base in the SBC). But we better always be careful to acknowledge that ALL SEXUAL SINFUL DESIRES--REGARDLESS OF THE KIND OF DESIRE--ORIGINATE FROM THE SAME PLACE - a sinful disposition and heart.

The struggle within all of us over sinful sexual desires does NOT define the Christian - - but if one ever cross the line and acts out on a particular sinful desire to have sex with a child or a disabled person, then that person will rightfully be LABELED for life as a SEXUAL PREDATOR. That's part of the consequence of that particular sin. But if SOCIETY ever gets to the place that ancient Rome was, where child sex is condoned and endorsed, IT STILL DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT. God determines proper sexual activity, not man.

I am asking people to be humble enough to see that ALL SINFUL SEXUAL DESIRES originate from a common denominator -- a sinful nature and a rebellious heart toward God. There are some people who desire same gender sex, adulterous sex, sex outside of marriage, etc... who are OFFENDED when those desires are called sinful. We love people when we accept them where they are, but are also unafraid to call their immoral sexual desires and activity "sin" and point them to our Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post and excellent answers.

Johnny D. said...

What a candid, wonderful post.

Yes, the power of grace. I need it soooooo much.

Victorious said...

Wade, I "got it" now! Thank you so much for clarifying that.

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Excellent!

So many words, sentences worth quoting!

That last paragraph is such an appropriate conclusion!

Anonymous said...

Wade - I am curious as to your reasoning as to why you would include masturbation in this list of deviant sexual behaviour? Where did Jesus speak against it, or list it as something to avoid/condemn?

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

Thanks for tackling some difficult issues so honestly- helps me personally in working through how I was brought up and the kind of views I was exposed to.

I know homosexuals who are bitter at God because of people in his church, and it's such a shame, because they've been turned away from the grace you describe so well. You put words to things I have wanted to express, and this article is very challenging personally, because we all struggle.

Having worked in many contexts with children, knowing their vulnerability and innocence, I totally agree about your response to paedophilia- I think it's clear that anyone can be forgiven for any sin, but sin has consequences. I believe it's actually showing love when you set boundaries on people who struggle with deviant desires, because it helps them when they can't help themselves.

Thanks for being so honest, and showing a balance that has been lacking in the church at times.

Anonymous said...

Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, a Fundamentalist Christian advocacy organization, has written:

"It is my opinion that masturbation is not much of an issue with God. It is a normal part of adolescence which involves no one else. It does not cause disease. It does not produce babies, and Jesus did not mention it in the Bible. I'm not telling you to masturbate, and I hope you won't feel the need for it. But if you do, it is my opinion that you should not struggle with guilt over it. Why do I tell you this? Because I deal with so many Christian young people who are torn apart with guilt over masturbation; they want to stop and just can't. I would like to help you avoid that agony." 1

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

"For those of you young men and women who struggle with masturbation, know that the desire for sexual self-stimulation is natural, but sinful. However, don't let your struggle with masturbation define you as a person. Christ died for sinners and He loves sinners like us. Simply acknowledge your failure in this area (each and every time) and by faith receive the righteousness that only comes from Christ. Realize that the viewing of pornography and the mental images usually associated with masturbation may one day cause you to compare your wife's physical features to others, which is harmful to your marriage. Marital sex is a gift from God, and pictures unconditional love, personal acceptance, and deep intimacy. God, by His grace, can help you not act out on your sinful sexual desires, but don't let your failures in this area keep you from the forgiveness found in the cross and the intimacy with Christ that sex in marriage is designed to foreshadow." Wade Burleson

mamabee said...

If you want something biblical to look to then look to Jesus' sermon on the mount. 'if your eye causes you to sin, gauge it out....if your hand cause you to sin, cut it off.' This comes on the heels of Him speaking on adultery and how even looking at another womanwith lust on your heart is adultery. makes it pretty plain what he's taking about with the eye and hand thing, just sayin. I'm not implying that should go chop off your hand, but I would suggest you look up Matthew 5:27-30 and see what God says to YOU through His Word.

Wade Burleson said...

Mamabee,

The Law demands death. The cross grants life.

One of these days I'll tell the story of the suicide I went to with the Tulsa Police Department. The young man had his Bible open to the text you cite, had sought to saw his hand off, and had bled out.

Had I been able to see him before He died, I would have shown him that the cross is where his guilt and punishment for sexual sins is borne by Christ. No need to cut off your hand unless you are determined to live by the Law which demands your perfect obedience and death for your failure.

As for me and my house, we will choose Christ.

Garen Martens said...

Very good, Wade! It was a revelation to me when, many years ago, my former pastor told me that he struggled with sexual lust frequently. I could hardly believe it, but soon grew to understand that it was merely the sinful human nature that exists in each of us. Your explanation is dead on.

mamabee said...

I choose Christ also, was simply pointing out to 'anonymous' that Jesus did make mention masturbation, pornography and strip clubs in reference to sin and was hoping that he would stand on God's word for what sin is rather the preaching of a mere man since you've pointed out to us recently how people can be led down the wrong path, or given misinformation, by the words of another. I added that I wasn't saying he should cut of his hand, but look to the Word for himself. Im new to this blog thing and just realized how to directly reply to someone after I sent the post. I agree with everything you said in your blog. having the unfortunate habit of looking for an 'out' for my own sins, I thought I recognized the hope in anonymouses post that the idea of masturbation being sinful was 'mans' idea and not biblical at all. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best written post on the subject I have read.

Wade Burleson said...

Mamabee,

I understand. Thanks for the clarification and the comments.

Blessings.

Wade Burleson said...

Garen,

Thanks a million! You're the best. :)

Wade Burleson said...

Garen,

Thanks a million! You're the best. :)

Christiane said...

WADE, I think St. Ambrose would have found in you a Christian brother. He wrote something that you may find 'familiar' to your heart as a minister to Our Lord's injured and broken:


"“For he who endeavours to amend the faults of human weakness ought to bear this very weakness on his own shoulders, let it weigh upon himself, not cast it off.
For we read that the Shepherd in the Gospel (Luke 15:5) carried the weary sheep, and did not cast it off.

And Solomon says: “Be not overmuch righteous;” (Ecclesiastes 7:17) for restraint should temper righteousness.


For how shall he offer himself to you for healing whom you despise, who thinks that he will be an object of contempt, not of compassion, to his physician?

Therefore had the Lord Jesus compassion upon us in order to call us to Himself, not frighten us away. He came in meekness, He came in humility, and so He said:
“Come unto Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” (Matthew 11:28)
So, then, the Lord Jesus refreshes, and does not shut out nor cast off, and fitly chose such disciples as should be interpreters of the Lord’s will, as should gather together and not drive away the people of God.

Whence it is clear that they are not to be counted among the disciples of Christ, who think that harsh and proud opinions should be followed rather than such as are gentle and meek;
persons who, while they themselves seek God’s mercy, deny it to others . . .”

St. Ambrose (340-379 A.D.),
a Father and Doctor of the Church

Laura said...

I so appreciate your compassion for victims. And, I want to clarify that of course I know that all sin comes from the same source. I hope that I would not come off as thinking I have the wisdom or authority to rate everyone else's sinfulness! I am busy enough with my own. The point I am trying to make is that I think there IS a difference in degree with pedophilia- based on my (limited) understanding of Jesus's teaching, I think He was particularly ominous when talking about those who would hinder or harm children or the helpless. NOT that these offenders are put outside the reach of His saving grace, or that they are INHERENTLY less worthy of salvation- because none are "worthy"- but the sexual sins that involve children have the added element of predatory behavior.

You kind of illustrate this when you talk about how careful your church is when persons with this sort of background are at your services. For example, when you have a known homosexual in your midst, do you distribute a photo to other members? Do you ban him/her from being around anyone of the same sex? What about a known adulterer? Do you have them check in and not allow them access to anyone's spouse?

I am not trying to be sarcastic, and I would deeply regret coming off that way. I am seriously trying to point out that I think there is a difference in scope here that has nothing to do with the laws of man but rather with God's view of the helpless among us.

I think your articles are the most encouraging and compassionate things that I have read in recent months, and I mean no disrespect in clarifying this point. I am quite shamefully uneducated in theology, but well acquainted with sin :)Thanks for listening.

Buckethead Baptist said...

Pastor Wade.. It really bothers me that there have been biblical passages that have been kept from us on several of these subjects.

Many, if not all of the ordinances of the Old Testament dealing with sexuality were aimed at protecting or redeeming the blood line of the Messiah from corruption brought on by blood borne disease. That one lineage is the focus of the law... Through the Hebrews...through Jesus.

I'm not trying to establish that we are totally free of the law as Gentile believers... But neither should we expect that we're supposed to fulfill the law. Even the early church had a hard time dealing with this as recounted in Acts 15. (The least preached on chapter of the bible IMHO). That chapter has the distinction of putting to shame every legalistic joker who said "They're called the ten COMMANDMENTS... not the ten suggestions". Go read Acts 15... James turned it into the 4 Suggestions alright.

Deuteronomy 23 has the distinction of being the one place where God DOES bring up Masturbation... Right before he tells us how to dispose of our bodily waste.

He prophesies about the redemption of bastards and those born of incest in that chapter too... and we don't teach it that way... We teach condemnation of these... God always finds a way to redeem... Why don't we?

When's the last time you saw a church redeem a sinner?

The book is not about condemnation.. It's about redemption... ESPECIALLY the sex part.

Rex Ray said...

“Realize that the viewing of pornography and the mental images usually associated with masturbation…”

In 1947, we lived in a German town that was 70% bombed. We had no friends, radio, pictures, TV, or Internet and at 15 I was as ignorant as they come.

I didn’t know what was happening to me and I prayed to God with all my heart to take it away. I had a choice of dirty bed cloths or masturbation.

At one time, doctors and Bible thumping preachers were shouting to the skies insanity was caused by masturbation. Mental institutions were full of straight jackets to cure the problem.

Thanks Anonymous for sharing Dobson’s words. I’m not a follower of him but if I heard his message when I was a teenager, I believe my prayer life would be stronger.

I believe if Jesus never had a ‘wet dream’ he wasn’t human.

Wade Burleson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

Laura,

I hear you. I really do.

I FIGHT for the victims of abuse (as you acknowledge). THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEXUAL SINS.

I am writing to show there is a commonality of sinful sexual desires in all of us, and only grace and the power of Christ helps us to live our lives sexually the way God intends.

BUT SOME SEXUAL SINS ARE ILLEGAL! THOSE ARE SEVERE SINS INDEED.

However, just because homosexuality, adultery, and sex outside of marriage are LEGAL, it doesn't mean they are NOT sinful and as a result, harmful.

I think I am writing for one purpose, but you may be--because of your own experiences, past and personal hurts--filtering my words and coming away with a concern (legitimate) that SOME SEXUAL SINS ARE MORE SERIOUS THAN OTHERS. I am not disagreeing with you.

I am simply showing that all sex outside of marriage is sin.

:)

RRR said...

GREAT POST!

Wade’s message reminds me of Jesus referring to “eunuchs” in Matthew 19:3-12. He had just been confronted with the tricky question of “divorce” (perhaps generated by His previous teaching in Matthew 5:31-32).

The Jewish leaders came and challenged Jesus' assertion that it is unlawful in God’s eyes for a man or woman to divorce and re-marry even if they go through the legal process and get a paper from the priest.

Jesus responds to them saying that if a person divorces his/her spouse and marries another they’re committing adultery (because God still holds that they continue to be married to their original spouse.) It follows that if they leave their spouse they are to remain celibate for the rest of their life.

To which his disciples say, ““Well then, who in the world can live up to THAT standard?!”

To which Jesus introduces the aspect of living as a EUNUCH and completely abstaining from a sexual relationship with another person with whom you were not bonded in holy matrimony (Once in a life-time event. And I personally believe to be “holy” and bound with God it must be between two believers). Jesus points out that living this life of celibacy after divorce is for the Kingdom’s sake (will of God).

I “think” Wade is proposing that same “eunuch” principle concerning those sin-tendencies that some of us are born with. We have to become eunuchs to those desires. 30 years ago I had to become a “eunuch” to alcohol and smoking because I couldn’t control my appetite for those so I just had to abstain 100%. I’m still working on my “prideful” tendency every day!

I think that is what Brother Wade, and Jesus, is saying. Some may have a particular “tendency” to participate in homosexual behavior or other immoral behaviors. But for the Kingdom’s sake (Obedience to God’s will) they CANNOT allow themselves to satisfy those urges even if it means total celibacy for life.

They have to abstain from sexual behavior that is outside of the design of the Creator God which is a man and woman (Jesus' words)who are committed in a God-ordained/acknowledged/blessed relationship for life.

Laura said...

And that is certainly the truth! Thank you for taking the time to listen.

Wade Burleson said...

RRR,

Amen!

Anonymous said...

Wade, I run a faith-based ministry for men and women coming out of homosexuality. Thank you so much for your wisdom and compassion. I know your words will go a long way in helping those who are seeking Jesus in the midst of their struggle. Keep standing for the truth!

Rex Ray said...

“All sex outside of marriage is sin.”

“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. (I Corinthians 7:3 NLT)

Wait! Hold the phone! Did their “needs” start AFTER they were married?

NO. Their needs started at whatever age they ‘matured’ which is the plan of God. Is it God’s will that they sin until they marry? No.

“If they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.” (Verse 9 NLT)

WHAT! Did Paul NOT know anything about marrying for love? Does a person marry ONLY to keep from lusting? (But that’s off the subject.)

“I wish everyone were single, just as I am…it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. (Verse 7-8 NLT)

Would Paul give this advice if he knew Jesus was not returning for 2,000 years? Today, if a group preached Paul’s advice, it would be known as a cult.

Paul lived a life of celibacy which by definition is a state of not being married and abstention from sexual intercourse. The definition has nothing to do with abstention from masturbation.

The average man produces 85 million sperm per day. From my experience, that builds up to pressure that result in physical pain. What man can say he lived with that pain until he married?

Reminds me of Pharisees making laws impossible to keep.

Mike Frost said...

Wade,

Your comments are well stated. I do have one question and maybe it is not an issue but I want to ask anyway. Do the parents of those who bring their children know that these two men are an active part of your church?

You have guidelines in place and some security measures established but do wonder because of the many comments on this subject (not just on this blog but others who written about sexual abuse) who speak as if the church at large needs to know.

Wade Burleson said...

Mike,

No. We only make our campus workers aware and distribute name and picture. The police require them to register as "Sex Offendors" and there pictures, names and addresses have been placed in the newspaper. They are NEVER with children for any reason and are always with other adults while on campus. We do not feel it is necessary with all those restrictions to "announce" these men are attending our church, but we by no means are hiding it (as you can tell).

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Would you explain what you mean when you said, “It is my job to shepherd their souls”?

That sounds like the job of the Holy Spirit.

Wade Burleson said...

He is the Chief Shepherd. Pastors are called 'under' shepherds.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

“But God said unto him, Thou Fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.”

‘Sorry God, but first you’ll have to check with the shepherd of my soul.’

You see, Wade, I don’t go into this thing of one saved sinner being over, in charge of, or higher on the pecking order than another saved sinner. Each Christian became his own priest at Calvary.

Being an adviser is fine, but not shepherd of his soul. IMHO of course. :)

Rex Ray said...

AH! Just saw my ‘misquote’.

Instead of “…check with the shepherd of my soul’, I should have written ‘…check with the one who is shepherding my soul.’

Anonymous said...

"So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory." (1 Peter 5:1-4)

"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you." (Hebrews 13:17 ESV)

Seems like Wade's reference to (under)shepherding the souls of those who choose to be a part of the church he pastors is biblically appropriate.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,

(1 Peter 5:2-3 NLT) does not tell pastors they are shepherding souls or to be the ruler of the church:

“Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.”

I’ll bet Hebrews 13:17 (Obey your leaders and submit to them…) was well pounded into the heads of those who drank cool-aid.

This verse sounds like the writing of Ignatius, first bishop of Antioch, who wrote:

“We ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over His household, as we would do Him that sent him. It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself.”

Anonymous, if you think your priesthood should obey and submit to ‘higher-ups, then you’ve rejected the Temple Vail being torn from top to bottom.

John Wylie said...

Rex,

The text you cited which in your translation is translated "care for" in other translations "feed" literally means to shepherd. Also the name pastor means shepherd. Further the scripture Anonymous used in Hebrews clearly teaches the idea that spiritual leaders watch for people's souls and that they will ultimately give an account for that stewardship.

Rex Ray said...

John Wylie,

Good to communicate with you again.

“Shepherd”—Webster “A leader of sheep. To tend, gather, guard, herd, lead, or drive as a shepherd.”

“Care”—Webster “A burdensome sense of responsibility.”

Webster could have said a shepherd was a leader of a dumb animal, and I don’t like the idea of a pastor having to “drive” his congregation so I believe “care” is a better translation.

That teaching of Hebrews to “submit” and leaders will be accountable didn’t keep the Lord from killing the wife of Ananias did it?

John Wylie said...

Rex,

Good talk to you again as well. I think you make a good point about Saphira. Yes every individual is accountable to God personally, but a pastor is also accountable to God for the spiritual well being of those he pastors. I understand what you are saying about the translation "care for", but I didn't look into Websters I look at a Greek lexicon that shows you what those words mean. Also "care for" is a great translation because that's what a shepherd does, he cares for the sheep. Rex why do you think that the text says to "care for the flock (a reference to sheep) of God"?

Victorious said...

"Yes every individual is accountable to God personally, but a pastor is also accountable to God for the spiritual well being of those he pastors."

I think the pastor is only accountable for fulfilling his calling/gifting in this position. Those in the congregation are responsible for themselves individually. In other words, a pastor cannot be accountable for how or whether his care is received.

Anonymous said...

Care may be better, but Shepherd is used frequently in the Bible and used with Jesus as the Great Shepherd. I thought a shepherd didnt just "Drive" their sheep. They cared for them too. They cared for them, they protcted them from the wildlife that sought to kill them, tgey guided them,watched over them, went after them when they strayed from the rest of the sheep. They didnt shrug them off saying they are just one ram or one lamb, but left the heard to seek after that one who has wandered off. And a shepherd, if its going to be a family business, would he not bring his son or daughter with him and teach them how to care for the sheep? Teach them how to recognize when a predator (ie lion or bear) is near the flock. Or how to care for an ewe who is injured or one who is about to give birth. I can see pastors being like the shepherd kids learning the family business and Jesus is the one doing the teaching. And since Jesus was always saying "i do what I see my father doing" he is like the big brother who has been in the Shepherding family buisness for years and he is teaching his kid brothers and sisters how to take on the family buisness.

T.

Anonymous said...

And the Holy Spirit is like that assistant I'm sure many shepherds had. He's not family but he might as well have been cause he's been workin the family for years. To the kids, he seems like he's always been there.

You know how kids sometimes end up calling someone who's always been around the family.. "Uncle So and so" or "Aunt So and So" even if they aren't really family? And sometimes when an assistant has worked with someone for a really long time. If dad passes away and the big brother moves on, he can then guide the younger siblings in how to continue with the family business. Teaching them the ways their father liked things to be done,where the fields, streams, and watering holes were always at, what to do if encountering wild animals.
So the Holy Spirit is like that assistant that is helping guide pastors in the "family business".

T.

Rex Ray said...

John,

Yes, “flock” refers to sheep. Also, Jesus told Peter, (NLT) “feed my lambs”, “take care of my sheep”, and “feed my sheep.”

But was Jesus refereeing to a church of Christians, or to a lost world that are like dumb sheep without Christ?

See, that’s the difference in preachers that treat their congregations as fellow priest or as dumb sheep.

I agree with Victorious about the limit a pastor is held accountable and with "T" about the care of a pastor.

My problem is with pastors that run a church as its CEO.

John Wylie said...

Rex,

Seeing how the verse says "flock of God" I think it's a safe assumption to say he's referring to saved people. I agree with you about the CEO thing though.

RRR said...

Wade,

I suppose you may have already stopped auditing this post's responses but thought I would give it a try.

There is an epidemic of homosexuality and broken marriages where we work (I think those are related.) We frequently have the opportunity to inter-relate with folks impacted by these poor decisions.

We discover that those most desperate to defend sin behavior (homosexuality, divorce) and twist Scripture to accommodate their positions are professing Christians who either are involved personally in those behaviors or who have loved ones who are involved in those choices.

I bet you have had occasion to counsel or at least discuss with parents the situation when their children have chosen the homosexual path.

What do you counsel parents to do or say to their children who are openly identifying themselves as homosexuals? Or how do you suggest to parents they should respond when their homosexual children want to bring their "partners" to the family's Thanksgiving dinner? ("Guess who's coming to dinner?")

What do you suggest parents do if their children want to have a wedding with their partner and want their parents to participate? How would you suggest that Christian parents who do not accept homosexual behavior respond in a Christ-like manner to their children?

I find that discussing these issues is a difficult topic to address in conversation or in preaching with such an audience.

I would value your sharing your experience as a minister on these questions.

Rex Ray said...

John,
Maybe I didn’t distinguish between 1 Peter “flock”, and when Jesus told Peter to feed his sheep in John 21.

The twelve apostles rejected ‘serving tables’ to use their time in preaching the Gospel. (“Feed my sheep”)

“So the preaching about God flourished, the number of the disciples in Jerusalem multiplied greatly, and a large group of priest became obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6:7 Holman)

I believe these priests brought their baggage of laws with them and became the sect of the Pharisees who preached circumcision in Acts 15 but that’s not the topic. :)

Laura said...

I am not supporting homosexuality here but how does an "epidemic" of homosexuality break up marriages unless the homosexuality was there in the first place? I don't think most people would "catch" it from being around it. People may disagree about the harm that this lifestyle may do in a cultural sense, but I think that the failure of marriage through divorce and adultery in our society is the fault of married people dealing (badly) with their own sin natures and each other's.

RRR said...

Laura,

I don't think I stated things clearly. I didn't mean to imply that homosexuality breaks up marriages.

My intent was to say that I believe that the epidemic of homosexuality in the culture where I work is likely related to so many boys not having fathers living in the home because of the huge number of broken "marriages" (many couples don't get married but just live together).

This results in many boys who don't have male role models. They don't know how men are to relate to women. Lesbianism is not very evident here.

Also, in this culture, women frequently raise their boys to be girls saying that the men are no good so it's best for the little boys to be girls. It's really sad.

Victorious said...

Also, in this culture, women frequently raise their boys to be girls saying that the men are no good so it's best for the little boys to be girls. It's really sad

I think that's quite an assumption, RRR. I'm a divorced woman who has many divorced and/or single friends and have never seen such a thing. I'll stand by my "assumption" opinion unless you can provide statistics that prove otherwise.

As an aside, boys do have other men in their lives; i.e. teachers, pastors, peers, and Christian mentors. These might be better role models depending on the character/behavior of the absent father who may be exhibiting neglect and/or abuse in his relationship with their mother.

The issue is complex and many times we are unaware of all the issues involved behind close doors.

Southwestern Discomfort said...

"One of these things is not like the other / Which one is different, do you know?"

I was too old for Sesame Street, but I did go to law school, and in fact, of the list of sins you have here, Wade, one of these things IS not like the other.

The following are NOT crimes in most states (and in the few states where they may still be crimes, they're likely unconstitutional):

* Homosexuality
* Adultery
* Masturbation
* Fornication

The one that IS a crime is:

* Pedophilia

And why is it a crime? Because the victim cannot consent, unlike all of the other sins in your list.

So, to be blunt, I strongly object to your lumping pedophilia, a crime, in with these other sexual sins. In fact, I think you make less of pedophilia by linking it in with these non-crimes.

Southwestern Discomfort said...

And to follow up: I'm a middle-aged, never married, no children woman. I do commit two of the sins on your list on a regular basis: masturbation (monthly, as a physical response to ovulation, and I can't wait until menopause) and very occasionally I will fornicate with my boyfriend.

You may think of yourself as a different, "grace"ful Baptist, but you're just more of the same. It's stuff like this that makes it clear why I'll never darken the door of a church ever again in my life. You worry about sexual sin, when in point of fact, Jesus said nothing about masturbation and nothing about homosexuality. What he did say was stuff about loving your neighbor and blessing those who curse you and so on and so forth. However, I've observed in my half-century plus on this earth that so-called "good" Christians can weasel their way around Jesus own words, but have no problem putting burdens on gay and lesbian people, single adults, divorced people, separated people, people living together, people who drink, people who deal cards at the casinos, etc., etc., etc. No Thanks.

And again, let me state bluntly that it is very, very, VERY wrong of you to compare pedophilia to homosexuality, adultery, fornication and masturbation. The difference, again, is the LACK of consent. If you can't understand that, I don't know how you can pastor a church.

Anonymous said...

As a Christian I am very sad to have stumbled on to this blog entry, full of evidence for non-Christians to say, "See? This is what they call love!" Every time we connect homosexuality to pedophilia and adultery (which have clear victims), it gets labeled as hate. I know this because I used to subscribe to that kind of "love"--until I had some of this "love" directed at me when I moved to a new community. You see, I am in an interracial marriage, and a job took us to a place we were were looked upon as living in sin. They were "nice" to us in church, but thanks to some refreshingly honest classmates of our children, we soon found out where we stood. I talked to one of the little darling's parents, and was quoted a litany of bible verses explaining the error of our ways, and they wouldn't want their kids "thinking it was right". This was not the 1960s, it was the 1990s. I did not change my view on homosexuality until gay marriage started coing up for debate, and the rhetoric of the politicians and religious leaders against it started to sound VERY FAMILIAR. It was like a cloud had lifted. Fortunately it seems to be lifting in my church as well. I urge you to reconsider this kind of "love" you're putting out there--because I can attest after being on the receiving end of it, the hurt never fully goes away.

Wade Burleson said...

Southwestern Discomfort,

I am not communicating very well it seems. There is a huge LEGAL difference between pedophilia and homsexuality. The former is a crime, the latter is not.

There is no difference in desires. Both are sins in the eyes of God.

curt erlandson said...

Wade,
Thank you for your post; "It is Christ who defines us, not our sin." That is a very powerful truth that I believe Satan would not like Christians to realize. I believe he forces either us and/or those (Christians) around us to see our sin as our defining nature.
Also, your letter to Tabitha was beautiful on all levels.
Thank you,
Curt

Southwestern Discomfort said...

Wade,

"I see what you did there." Apparently I am obviously not communicating very well either, because it's not clear to you that I find it abominable that you'd lump pedophilia, a CRIME punishable by years in prison, with homosexuality, fornication, adultery and masturbation, which you label as sins.

Let me repeat that: abominable. You're doing a bad thing here, Wade Burleson, and I am calling you out on it.

Wade Burleson said...

Southwestern Discomfort,

I am doing a bad thing by identifying any wrongful sexual desires, including my own, as sin?

It seems to me that it is a good thing to not think yourself better than another sinner.

I may not be in jail because I have not broken any laws, but that does not mean I am in any less need of a Savior than someone who has violated the law.

Our only hope--all of us--is Christ. That's my point--and that is a good thing.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Will you answer this important question?

Did Jesus ever have a wet dream?

Google says a wet dream may occur WITHOUT dreaming about sex. That’s been my experience every time 65 years ago.

Google says masturbation can stop wet dreams which is also my experience that I’ve already commented about.

I’ve had sex with only one woman, and that was after we were married 54 years ago. Eleven years ago we built our dream home and sex was about like our honeymoon. I believe its best if the woman instigates sex and her saying, “Sex is fun” made it great. That all faded away after my wife had back surgery and was diagnosed with Lewy Body Parkinson Disease requiring 24/7 care. She lost all desire for sex with the many medicines. Unable to stand or walk, she’s confined to a wheelchair, and needs help in and out of bed including bathroom paperwork. Hallucinations range from seeing a baby on the table to the house on fire. Many times she thinks I’m our oldest son. We haven’t had sex in five years. Thank goodness masturbation at 80 is so far apart I can’t remember when as its more of a chore than anything else.

I’m like Southwestern Discomfort in “calling you out”. Since the Holy Spirit hasn’t told me I’m back amongst those sinners, I’m not listening to you.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

"Shun foolish questions ... for they are not unprofitable and vain" (Titus 3:9).

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Are you saying Jesus was not 100% man or is that a foolish question also?

What you want to do is have your cake and eat it too…my humble opinion of course.

Since Jesus never sinned, and was 100% man, than a wet dream is NOT a sin.

I believe you think any question that puts you in a corner is a foolish question, and you can quote Titus 3:9 all day long to advoid answers.

Southwestern Discomfort said...

Normally I wouldn't care about what a Baptist preacher in Oklahoma is saying, except:

1) Wade is putting himself out there as a "grace"ful alternative to a lot of Southern Baptists. However, Wade has the same problem I've observed in many evangelical Protestants in that they may preach grace but they're going to obsess about sex.

2) If Wade's teachings weren't so very, very, VERY harmful and destructive to people I know, I wouldn't give a darn. However, I've seen up close and personal what these beliefs regarding homosexuality and masturbation can do to people.

Southwestern Discomfort said...

What's interesting to me, as I've lived 50+ years on this earth, is how the "other" changes. When I was young, the "other" included people who drink, divorcees, Martin Luther King and civil rights workers. As time passed, those got dropped for feminists and Democrats. Those two remain, but now the gays are the terrible enemies of God.

Frankly, God is greater than you can conceive and he does NOT need your help in policing morality.

RRR said...

SW Discomfort: "I've observed in many evangelical Protestants in that they may preach grace but they're going to obsess about sex"

This causes me to remember an older friend (in his early 70s) who asked me a number of years ago, "Why in the world did God give us guys such a strong urge for sex?"

His question surprised me in two ways: that sex was still so important to someone in their 70s (gives me joy to know that) and that he would ask me why!

It did motivate me to search for an answer. I found that God DOES consider sex to be extremely important. God designed the sexual act to be the most intimate and sensual physical act that two people can have together. God's Word portrays how He designed it to be used.

God’s design, and if you believe the Bible is the Word of God there's no ambiguity about this particular topic, was for the sexual act to be between the two genders that God created, a man and a woman, who are committed to each other in a life-long, exclusive, relationship.

Jesus Christ Himself explicitly states that as being God's design and those who say that He doesn’t don’t believe what Scripture quotes Him as saying. When this powerful act of sex is used outside its design there are devastating consequences to those individuals and even to society, as happens with all sin.

God created sex to be considered the most precious thing that a woman can offer to her husband and her husband treasures it as the most valuable thing that she could offer to him. It only becomes less than that through repetitive abuse outside of its design.

God created us with such strong sexual feelings so that He can use it in comparison to show us how He feels when we are unfaithful to Him and put our trust in other gods rather than Him exclusively. He says that when people are unfaithful to Him it's the same as when a woman or man commits adultery and even worse, cheapens it further by having sex with a cheap prostitute.

God uses that comparison because He knows that we can relate to the incomparable pain that a man or woman has when their spouse is sexually unfaithful. Nothing else hurts more and scars a relationship for life the way that sexual unfaithfulness does.

God holds sex to be so important that it is the only thing that is directly mentioned in His Word, from the mouth of Jesus, that can justify divorce in God's eyes.

So shouldn’t we all be obsessed with trying to maintain that truth and encourage others to do the same, for their own sake? Is it wrong or prejudicial to portray the truth of what God says so clearly? Given the extreme abuses of sex outside of God’s design in our world today aren’t all preachers and all of the people of God held accountable for making this a key message to others? God holds us all accountable for doing so.

Anonymous said...

Southwestern Comfort,

Pedophilia "desire for sex with children" is not a crime.

Pedophilic BEHAVIOR" is a crime, and is classified as child sexual abuse.

Your confusion over the difference between desire and behavior is quite evident to everyone but you.

Southwestern Discomfort said...

Anonymous,

I actually DO know the difference between desire and behavior. To wit:

Jesus said that any man who looks with lust in his heart on a woman commits adultery.

I would say that if you're looking with lust upon a child, you're committing pedophilia, and what we do know about pedophiles is that they don't tend to keep their predilections undercover. They may not ACT on those predilections (by raping children) but they may do other illegal acts, such as collecting and viewing sexually oriented videos and pictures of minors.

And, I would note, the reason why pedophilia is a crime (and possession of videos/picturs is also a crime) is because children cannot legally consent to sexual contact.

My point, one that I keep reiterating over and over, is that pedophilia is different from the other sexual sins Wade Burleson is harping on here because these are acts between *consenting adults*. Children legally CANNOT consent to sexual conduct. And, if there is no consent to the act by one adult party, then it's sexual assault and can be charged as such.

(I'm old enough to remember when a marriage license was also consent to be sexual assault without remedy in law. In other words, one spouse could not deny sex to the other and the other could TAKE it. That's not the case any more in most states.)

I didn't spend three years in law school back in the 1980s for entirely nothing. And again, I will reiterate that it's wrong to lump pedophilia, a crime, in with these sins. Yet that's what Wade is doing here, he's lumping in something that pretty much everyone agrees is awful with acts that are not crimes. As I said, "I see what you're doing there."

Rex Ray said...

RRR,

Your comment was very interesting. God had his prophet to marry an unfaithful woman to teach him how his people hurt him.

You wrote: “…cheapens it further by having sex with a cheap prostitute.”

I think you should have omitted “cheap” because some readers might think you meant it was OK if the prostitute was expensive. (There’s some humor there somewhere if you look for it.)

Would you mind giving your opinion if Jesus was enough like man to have a wet dream? Wade says that’s a foolish question.

Southwestern Discomfort,
Yes, a lot of preachers preach about the sins of sex because that’s a sin that’s tempting them since the devil always attacks at the weakest point.

I taught school with a teacher that kept interrupting school assembly with a pep talk about not giving up. Before the year ended, he committed suicide.

RRR said...

Rex Ray,

I get your humor about the cheap prostitute.

I was touched by your sharing about your wife and you and the deep relationship that you have for each other. I think you are a model for what a marriage should be and an inspiration to me. My wife broke her hip last year and I too was able to serve her in EVERY way, but that was nothing in comparison with the challenges that you and your wife have. I praise God for you and the example that you are.

I was going to write something earlier about your question to Wade about Jesus. But I struggle with blog etiquette and I write too much on another person’s blog site as it is. So I am glad that you asked me directly about my thoughts regarding Jesus.

I “think” maybe I understand why Wade might not have responded to your question related to the humanity of Christ and the details of what that means. I’m guessing it’s for the same reason that I have difficulty going there.

It’s difficult for some of us to discuss such personal aspects of Jesus because of our perspective of Him as being our God and King. I know you see Him in the same way but our feelings about how to relate to Him and talk with and about Him are obviously different, and that’s okay I think.

It’s even more difficult for me to talk about such intimate and personal things involving Christ than it would be for me to talk about those things in regard to my own Dad who passed away a number of years ago. I could just not be comfortable or feel it would be appropriate to discuss some intimate things that personal about my Dad.

I personally don’t believe Wade would in any way dispute that Christ is 100% God and 100% man. At the same time, the 100% God aspect elevates our respect to the point of not feeling comfortable in discussing these things about Him. That perspective inhibits my speaking of some of the things that you mention.

That’s in no way meant to suggest that YOU are doing something wrong in mentioning it or considering it or even writing publicly about it. That just means that you and Christ have a relationship that allows you to feel comfortable in mentioning it and asking about it openly and I don’t. That’s fine.

If you asked Wade directly why he objects to masturbation and feels that it is sin, he might be more inclined to respond. Maybe he thinks it could lead people to use pornography while practicing it, or that it can lead to an obsession for some people, or that it some how can distort or pervert how God intends for people to think and behave sexually. I’m only “guessing” what Wade might say and Scripture is quite mute about speaking about the subject directly.

To answer your question about what I believe about Jesus, I know that He is 100% human. Before being changed into His current, glorified physical state, He obviously caught colds, got stomach viruses, his feet were bruised and bloodied by the hundreds of miles that He walked, He was often exhausted by the endless hours of service, stress, prayer, and pouring out of Himself for the sake of others. He dreaded His personal death, the pain and the shame of the way He was to die. Being 100% human means that His body functioned in every aspect as we all do. He was tempted in every way that we are tempted. How He dealt with His temptations is sometimes revealed to us but everything about Him and His daily life is not. But a lot is.

I’m sorry that I too cannot feel comfortable in dealing with specific matters about Jesus. If I don’t want to go further it’s because I just love and respect Him so much that, for me, I just prefer not to do it. But I know that you and I see things the same or so near the same that we would not have any issues with each other if we fellowshipped, prayed and served the Lord together. I bet Wade feels the same way too and if the three of us had occasion to be together we would no doubt have a blast and support each other strongly.

There, I’ve written too much again. I’m still workin’ on that!

Victorious said...

Just a few thoughts of mine regarding the current topic. I personally don't think that sex was of paramount importance that we seem to give it today. Given the communal, often transient lifestyle and lack of privacy, I doubt believers were as demanding of their spouses in this regard like today. Given today's sex-saturated environment as a result of technology, it does seems to elevate sex to a prominence unlike earlier eras.

The only (that I'm aware of) mention of dreams in scripture are those of a spiritual nature, so anything else is speculative. The very essence of scripture is, not the focus of self-gratification, but rather strength, faith and endurance in the midst of difficulties and tribulation.

There are many details regarding our sexual nature that scripture does not elaborate on and I can only assume that's for a good reason.

Rex Ray said...

RRR,
I don’t know when I’ve received such a heart-felt response. Thank you.

As far as the question, I believe you answered in a most gracious way. You showed the respect that is due our Lord and Savior.

I cannot recall of ever saying the word ‘masturbation’, and was shocked to see it on Wade’s post.

Due to the circumstances, I’ve said things I’ve never said before and I would not want people that I know to hear about it. That might be true of others that have made comments.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach wrote: “Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.”

Once, I ask a pastor if he was a fundamentalist, and he replied, “What’s a fundamentalist?” I believe that was a ‘dodge’ just as Wade’s reply to my question.

No, you didn’t talk too long, and I like the thought of you, Wade, and me having a blast. :)

In 2004 at a SBC I tried to see him, but unfortunately he was in a meeting. I drove over 1,000 miles to vote for the man Wade wanted to be the next president.

BTW, since my middle name was from a distant relative who was the western painter, Russell, we share the same Initials.

Mike Frost said...

Wade,

You state: "No. We only make our campus workers aware and distribute name and picture. The police require them to register as "Sex Offendors" and there pictures, names and addresses have been placed in the newspaper. They are NEVER with children for any reason and are always with other adults while on campus. We do not feel it is necessary with all those restrictions to "announce" these men are attending our church, but we by no means are hiding it (as you can tell)."


Since what has happened in Florida...
http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-05-17/news/os-baptist-sex-abuse-verdict-20120517_1_triangle-community-church-douglas-w-myers-church-planter

...what are the possibilities of worse happening to your church if one of the men you watch choose to abuse a child in your church, off property, as a result of seeing them firt on your campus?

You have stated you are the greatest advocate against child abuse (or something similar). I hope so. But, I do not see this being true when you have families with children where the discussion of these men and their desires have been acted out are not brought to them directly.

I would hate to see somethng happen: a child be abused, a life ruined, a church destroyed, a witness for Jesus damaged because you did not go as far with the information you do have as you could have.

I don't think a jury will agree that a mention on your blog is sufficiant.

I want the best for you and would hate to see yourname on Christa's web site. And then I could be off base and making much about nothing. It's only a child's life, maybe, right>

Rex Ray said...

Mike Frost,

I believe you made an excellent comment.
What if a family/victim didn’t read/remember the names and pictures in newspapers?

“I attend Wade Burleson’s church” would be enough to get his ‘foot in the door’.

I believe the ultimate joy of a gay man is to have sex with a male that is not gay.

“The men of the city of Sodom, both young and old…said, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!” (Genesis 19: 5) The men were angels from God that would soon bring fire from heaven.

Also in Judges 19:22 “…bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him!”

In my case, I was a freshman in college going home for holidays. I had a 5 hour wait between buses late at night. While waiting, a friendly stranger offered to share his nearby “suite” which turned out to be one room--one bed. That was no problem with a dumb guy like me as I’d slept with my twin brother my whole life. I’d hardly lain down and he was grabbing and saying he loved me. In two seconds he was saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry—you can’t blame a guy for trying.”

Yesterday, I heard on the news a homosexual was given 60 years in jail—not for having sex with a child but for trying to hire a ‘hit man’ to stop the victim from testifying. The would-be killer’s occupation was a priest.

Tamara said...

Wade, don't let the word "philia" in "pedolphilia" confuse you. It isn't really about sexual desire or love for children at all. So to say "love is love" is, frankly, horse crap. That is not love, Wade. Raping children is not motivated by love of children.

I'm horrified that you would lump it in with adultery and masturbation.

It's not even about sex, Wade. It's not a "sexual desire" to want to rape children.

It is, like all rape, not as much about sexual desire as it is about using the mechanism of sex to control and dominate others.

The difference between pederasty and the others on your list is much, much more than the fact that it is illegal.

Pederasty is illegal for the same reason that RAPE is illegal. It is a crime because it has a victim. It is criminilzed because it causes tangible, quantifiable damage to someone who had no choice, no agency, and no defense.

By calling pederasty "sexual sin" you are minimizing it. It isn't sexual sin. It is dominating sin. The desire being dealt with is not sexual desire. The desire is power and control.

You need to rethink your assertion here.