- Debate: Is Homosexuality Compatible with Christianity? Dr. James White vs. Bishop Dr. John Spong (VIDEO)
In chapter 16 of Matthew, Jesus asked his disciples to share public sentiments about himself and his ministry. The exchange produced the central confession of the Christian church:
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Verse 18 reveals that the church will suffer attacks by “gates of hell”. In the text, the gates (or pulé in the Greek translation) denote power or strength as fortified places in antiquity were known, in large part, by the gates that protect inhabitants from foreign assaults. Further, near gates did merchants conduct business [Job 29:7] and townspeople deliberate [Psalms 69:12]. As opposed to pýlēs, the masculine term for gates from which things exited, gates in the above passage derive from the feminine term, pulés. This denotes entrance gates; that is, gates through which external things enter into the city. Jesus spoke of wide pulés that men to destruction [Matthew 7:13]. It is clear, then, that Jesus is warning Peter and the disciples of the power of hell — its devices, ungodly influences, and schemes — through which evil influences will seek to enter, only to find their efforts to destroy the church to be unsuccessful.
WITHSTANDING THE GATES Series presents issues for Christ Kingdom dwellers to ask themselves, “In this, is the church experiencing attempted intrusions and destruction? And if so, what should be our response as citizens of Christ’s Kingdom?“
WHY THIS EDITION
This first edition of WITHSTANDING THE GATES Series features a videotaped debate (below) between Dr. James White and Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong on the question, “Is Homosexuality Compatible with Christianity?”
In recent years, Christendom has found itself in the middle of cultural and political transformations that place great pressures on the important institutions such as church, marriage, and government. Few issues are more charged than homosexuality. While some churches are electing to maintain faith traditions, others are silents on these issues. Yet another segment now preaches that homosexuality is acceptable in living-out the Lord’s purpose for mankind.
Theological differences have various devastating effects on the church. First, such fundamental differences on a critical issue introduces another schism at a time of considerable uncertainty when society needs a more engaged, unified to church. Second, to the extent that churches adopt teachings, policies, and practices that are in conflict with the Scriptures — in their effort to build their memberships — doing so amounts to little more than false advertising of the Christian faith. And third, conflicting teachings leave vulnerable people with a sense of confusion, which complicates our witness in the earth. Whatever position that Christians take on the issue of homosexuality, to teach outside the framework of the Scriptures, is to teach in-error and give way to the gates of hell.
We approach this discussion with the love of Christ. That love requires truthful examination of this issue through our central evangelistic blueprint, the Word of God. And in doing so, we likewise come to this discussion fully convinced that the same Jesus Christ who washes us from myriad other sins can restore lives shaken by homosexuality.
Dr. White makes every effort to provide a critical analysis of Scriptures to demonstrate that homosexuality is against the will of God, defying the purpose for which God created man and woman. To the contrary, this debate includes a number of declarations, exegeses, and responses offered by Bishop Spong that illustrate the emergence of religious teachings that are antithetical to the basic notions of Christianity. It explains even Matthew 16:19 that what is being released in the earth has its roots, in-part, in organized church. Teachings that seek to invalid the Christian Bible as the revelation of God to and for the purpose of redeeming mankind. Ultimately, this video is presented for a twofold significance. First, to better enable viewers to study the question of homosexuality from a biblical perspective. And second, to illustrate one of the movements taking place within Christendom to radically invalidate the truth of God’s Word. Having viewed this important debate through the prisms of Scriptures (as opposed to natural or secular lenses), I concur with Dr. White’s presentation.
WHAT SAY YOU?
This encourages you to spend time, viewing the debate. Share it with others. Then offer your perspectives at the end of the article in the Comments area.
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