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The New Super-Virtues

I’ve been spending lots of time recently with college and post-college age young adults. Most of them are good kids, from great Christian families. But, what I’m hearing is alarming.

Many of them are buying into the new super-virtues-tolerance and fairness – the new definition of Christian love being taught by a new breed of young, influential pastors. And, here’s why every parent and grandparent need to be aware of this hybrid and distorted view of biblical love.

Jesus said…

“If you love me, keep my commands.” John 14:15

“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:21

“Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the father who sent me.” John 14:24

Jesus couldn’t be more clear. The way to show we love God (and others) is by obeying him. It isn’t enough to simply think wonderful, warm and thankful thoughts about God, or sing praise songs until we weep. Of course God loves it when we demonstrate loving emotion toward him. I love it when our children or grandchildren run up to me and hug me, thank, or praise me.

But, when I ask our grandchildren to do something and they do it without complaining or fully understanding why I want it done it also tells me they trust me and love me. God is no different. In fact, to say that his commands or the Bible’s teachings are unfair is to question the very nature, wisdom and character of God himself. In effect it is saying to God, “I know what you communicated in the Bible but it does not make sense to my friends, or me so we are not going to do it.”

It’s unfair!

But, that’s exactly what is happening among many young adults. Even Christian young adults are rejecting some clear teachings of the Bible, such as the prohibition against sexual relations gay, or straight outside of marriage and gay marriage, among others because these teachings appear to them, to be unfair and intolerant.

They rarely come out and disregard, or dismiss the Bible. Their “work around” the Bible is this: it is unloving, intolerant and unfair to deny homosexuals the joy and comfort of marriage. We know the Bible appears to prohibit same-sex, sex. However, since we know God is a God of love, the writers of the Bible either didn’t get that teaching from God, or God gave that command thousands of years ago apparently to address some homosexual abuses at that time. But God’s prohibitions do not apply to modern, consensual, loving monogamous same-sex marriages today. In either case, it is archaic and embarrassing for Christians in the 20th century to believe that homosexual marriage is a sin. We don’t blame God, but only the traditional interpretation of what God said.

By the use of this logic, these Christians actually consider themselves to be more loving, and therefore better followers of Jesus, than traditional conservative Christians.

My view of this issue

I personally do not believe it is any more of a sin to be attracted to a person of the same sex as it is for me to be attracted to someone of the opposite sex. It is a sin to lust- to imagine that person sexually, or imagine myself with that person sexually. Simply to be tempted isn’t a sin. It is a part of the fallen nature of humans as a consequence of the fall. It’s also a sin for anyone, gay, or straight to have physical sex with anyone with whom they are not in a biblical marriage.

Therefore, I will fully embrace any gay Christian who is committed to celibacy in the same way I’ll fully embrace and expect any unmarried, hetero-sexual person to be celibate, or any married Christian to abstain from lustful thoughts, or infidelity. Whenever I meet with Christians who claim to believe something different I’ll almost always ask this question. “What verses in the Bible did use to come to your conclusions?”

(Next week my blog is entitled, “Is Simply Being Tempted A Sin?” In it I want to go a bit deeper into the whole matter of when does temptation move from being just that to becoming a true sin for which Jesus will someday hold us responsible.)

Even where same-sex marriages are legal it does not solve the problem for Christians, in the same way getting an unbiblical legal divorce does not end a marriage in God’s eyes. I’m against same-sex marriage for two reasons: One, because the Bible discribes no marriage other than between two opposite sexed people. Second, implicit in marriage is de facto, the right, even the obligation to have sex. Blessing same sex marriage is the same as blessing same sex, sex, which is a sin.

You may or may not agree with me. However, if you do, as a parent or grandparent you better be able to articulate what you personally do believe the Bible teaches and why – unfortunately, the short answer given to past generations, “That’s what the word of God says,” is true, that advice is viewed as a prime example of religious intolerance and cultural ignorance. Be prepared to answer my question yourself. “What verses in the Bible did you use to come to your conclusions?”

One of the best resources I know for addressing these new beliefs is free from The Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender. Under their Resources are a number of Pastoral Papers. Download, “15 Responses to Arguments Affirming Same-sex Relationships.” In it Dr. Preston Sprinkle coverers the most common arguments Christians who are fine with same-sex marriage give and then he addresses why that argument is not valid biblically.

So, if you aspire to be the thought leader in your family and among your Christian friends I hope you have a well thought-out position on this subject that is true to the Bible, intellectually honest and gracious. Being “gracious” is terribly important in this debate. It doesn’t mean agreeing with them, but voicing your concerns sensitively and with kindness.

And same sex marriage isn’t the end of it. I was meeting with another group from a local Christian college and they asked me, “Do you believe it’s wrong for heterosexual, unmarried Christians to have sex?” I was stunned that they’d even ask the question. So, I responded with a question of my own. “What does the Bible say about that?” Their answer was even more surprising. “Well, some students are saying that if we got it wrong about homosexuals, could it be we also got it wrong about pre-marital sex?”

Seriously, this isn’t the top of the slippery slope anymore. It’s a runaway toboggan. Unless by the power of the Holy Spirit we are intentional about having honest, conversations with our children, many will buy these arguments, because they appear to be so loving.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

Question: How have you seen these super-virtues play out in conversations with your children or grandchildren, or do you have any resources you’d recommend to others?

233 views3 comments


Thank you for your blog. Satan uses the same old trick and we keep falling for it. He asked us did God really say.




May 27

Excellent article: why is this modern day Gnosticism not being soundly admonished by the Christian pulpits of the world. My personal views are somewhat cynical on the why and the motivation. Another sign of eschatological prophesy ?

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