Time To Clear the Air – Please Read
*In this article I use the word “gay” synonymously with homosexuality.
Before I start, I want to affirm some things. Since that’s the man that I have grown in the grace and knowledge to be- a man who is known and stands more for what I affirm, rather than what I am against.
I preach week after week that we must turn away from carnality (ways of man, desires of the flesh)- “death to self” to the true “Life” offered by Christ. I affirm that Life is found in and through Jesus Christ alone. That is the Gospel!
Over the last couple days, weeks, months or whatever it has been (honestly hasn’t been my area of focus since I endeavor to call ALL MEN to repentance, not just a simple few). Anyway, recently I was brought into the discussion of “homosexuality and the Bible”. Simply put, with all the “gay-bashing”, outrageous comments and things being said by so-called “Christians”, and so on – my response was one of critique rather than joining the line of gay-haters and the methods being used to expose the sin of these carnal lifestyles.
Quickly, I want to share a quick story. Growing up as a gang member, I hated gays. The “street culture” for the most part has no tolerance pertaining to homosexuality. The “gang” I was involved in also had a law against homosexuality- if you were thought to be gay, you would receive a pretty severe beating and possibly killed. I’ve never saw it happen- it was just that taboo.
After quite the journey in life, I became a Christian. The truth of the Gospel, Biblically and historically astounded me as much then as it does now. The grace of Jesus’ message is something I not only understand, but according to many, I can explain pretty well.
As I have grown in the grace and knowledge of God (not as easy of a road as I thought it would be that one night I prayed to “receive Jesus”). I did realize the Christian community sadly has a lot in common with my previous associations. A serious lack of grace, love, honestly, integrity, etc…. Guess what, I’m included! The daily walk of “making war” with the things that seem right to a man, in contrast to being a man after God’s own heart is tough. I can say, thankfully, by the work of God and grace of others, my desires are in a pretty good place these days 🙂
So that being said. Now a pastor, I commonly get the question – “What do you think about homosexuality”. My ‘blanket response’ usually is “I don’t”. Which is true. I don’t spend my time studying and thinking about homosexuality, just as I don’t do so regarding a host of other sins. Instead I trust if I “study to show myself approved, rightly dividing the Word of Truth ()”, and preach the Gospel in season and out – that God will do the work of convicting the hearts of sinners. Go ahead and listen to the last 3 sermons I have preached. That my friends is the Gospel.
Now….where do I stand on a Biblical and Covenantal perspective of homosexuality? Well….I have shaken my head time and time again against those who “cherry-pick” Bible verses, in all sorts of occasions, and surely do so here. A lot of times to go through the passage contextually actually becomes funny if you try to impose something on the text that is not there. So….for the past couple days I have been battling those who try to do this “cherry picking” in regards to homosexuality- I did what I do in every topic- challenged them. At this point I do believe that if we approach the Bible rightly, understanding the narrative and the transition of covenants, as well as the Covenantal revelation of the One True God, that homosexuality is sin. A violation of the Spiritual covenant order, both demonstrated through Genesis as well as a basic understanding of God’s perfection and how science works within that (* Note: I am not a scientist though so that would take a bit more study; and I will still offer the challenge that the “cherry picked” Bible verses do not prove anything, especially when they are ripped out of what they are contextually speaking about).
I will readily admit, I do know my Bible pretty darn well, however I don’t know it all. I strive to walk worthy of understanding as well as application.
All of that said….. in recent days, I have lost “friends”, I have deleted people, I have blocked groups and ask for some support from the men and women in the movement I thought we had (Thanks so much to those of you who did reach out), and have lost opportunities in ministry.
Simply put, that’s not Christian. How dare anyone call this “movement” Christian, if leaders are allowed to be attacked, we are not allowed to freely examine things, and worst yet, we label certain violations of Scripture “sin”, while disregarding a boatload of other topics and verses.
The Bible is very clear that “sin is sin”- and to focus on one, while leaving the others out is to commit the very sin that came under judgment in the first century.
James 2:10-11 says: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.”
Go ahead and read Romans 6:23 or Galatians 3:10. Or, let’s not avoid these wise words that should convict us all “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin,” (James 4:17).
Ezekiel 18:20 is very clear that every soul that sins shall die- this is an indictment against each and every one of us. Unless you want to run the risk of saying that you do not sin (the Bible verse for that is 1 John 1:8-10).
The whole crux of Jesus’ message is that we must not seek our own ways, our own kingdom, or our own righteousness. We must look to Him as the author and finisher of our faith, not ourselves- all things will be added to us when we seek first HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!
We read that “LOVE” fulfills the law – Go see., Galatians 5:14; Romans 13:8-10
Oh and no worries, I know what true love is. I’m not talking about a complacent love- no a love that engages every man, woman, and child with the Gospel because I truly know and understand that the true life all of us seek can only be found by dying to self, and allowing His righteousness to be our life.
Scripture surely has a bunch to say about backbiting, slander, and gossip. See, Romans 1:28-30, 1 Peter 2:1 – yet this week was led by so-called “Christians” doing exactly that. I expressed my disgust with how Christians would continually talk about sin rather than the Gospel, I mocked this-yes. However, wasn’t endeavoring to give my doctrinal stance.
Funny thing, Scripture is also pretty clear on how to handle both outsiders and those of us “inside” the body, when we are caught in error. In the context of Matthew chapter 18 and James chapter 5, we read that we should loving strive to restore our brothers from error, Scripture even prescribes the method. The text is more-so speaking of sinful behavior in the Church, but we cannot even do that when it comes to doctrinal discussion. Instead, we pick and choose- not surprised with a crowd that “cherry picks” Bible verses to bully others.
Now I sit on the bullied side. For simply demanding consistency. Not the first time, however, I will be sure it will be the last time.
I am so saddened, by all of this, oh and sure as one brother put it “That’s your ego”.Absolutely!
Preterism is a powerful and amazing thing. However, if we violate the entirety of Christianity (teaching the world to flee carnality by humble, patient, and gracious expressions of Truth) for the sake of the areas we want to focus on- we can’t call that Christian.
I am disappointed in those who failed to show any support in regards to encouraging me, defending my calling, or simply calling to account the fact that we as Preterists should be the first to allow some grace in areas of doctrine. I have learned a lot this week.
I have learned time and time again, hurtful, painful moments lead to growth. Thank God.
Some of the growth that should come of this is that if we are leading a “movement”, we should be careful about who is “moving” with us. Those who would rather discard and disregard Christian leaders who are actually pastoring churches and leading people to be conformed to Christ – rather than support them and defend them. I have no time for. Those who would rather focus on abberations of the Gospel, rather than exhorting ALL MEN to turn from ALL SIN to find rest in God’s way over man’s- I have no interest of saying you are a “teacher”, a “leader”, or anything within the “movement” I am in. And of course, those who cater to the above mentioned type- no thanks.
I pray this post – “cleared the air.”. Sadly, we have a lot of critique to do within our own “movement”. I will not call Christian, things that are not Christian.
In His Service,
Pastor Michael Miano
P.S. – I will continue my studies without being “bullied” into anything. I will call all sin, sin- and teach men to seek God, learn of God, trust God rather than the ways, mentalities, and desires of man. I will also continue to be friends with people I know that are gay, and just like when I might meet whoever is reading this, I won’t spend time focusing on sin.