John MacArthur on How to Respond to a Homosexual Child
The homosexual movement presents a serious test for the church today. Will congregations hold fast to the unchanging truth of Scripture and its condemnation of all sexual sin? Or will churches cave to the pressure of society, compromise the truth, and hobble their testimonies? While the right course would seem obvious, a troubling number of churches today are turning away from God’s Word to accommodate the world.
The challenge of responding to homosexuality used to be “out there.” Now it’s in our denominations, our churches, and for some, in the home. Many Christian parents are beginning to wonder, “How should I respond if my child claims to be a homosexual?” For some parents, that question is no longer theoretical.
How should believing parents respond to their homosexual children? How do they deal biblically with their children’s sexual sins—particularly if the children claim to know Christ?
We recently asked John MacArthur those important, heartbreaking questions. You can see his helpful response in the video below.
If you’d like further biblical insight from John MacArthur on this important issue, please consult these resources:
Answering Key Questions About Homosexuality
Thinking Biblically About Homosexuality
God’s Plan for the Gay Agenda
Impurity Is Nothing New
#1 Posted by
Priscilla | Tuesday, June 03, 2014at
For the sake of privacy, this commenter’s last name has been removed.
I too have this issue with my 22 year old daughter. She claims to be a Christian, and she says she understands that what she is doing is a sin. I have no however, isolated myself from her because she is my child and in isolating her, I will also be isolating myself from my grand daughter. This post is just God telling me what I need to do. I guess my next step is to have my husband and I sit down and talk to her again. Then I guess, my pastor and his wife and my husband and myself will talk to her next if she does not repent. I am asking for you all to pray with and for me and my family as we take a stand. Although it may be a difficult stand as it involves my only daughter and grand child, but it is a stand we have to make.
#13 Posted by
Pete Castellano | Monday, June 09, 2014at
Grace is God's favor to undeserving sinners-that means me, you, and your daughter,,everyone. We were all saved by the GRACE of God, not by acts, not by TRYING to be ''good christians'' through following laws and rules and regulations.
Listen to what Paul says in Galations to the Jews who had accepted Jesus and yet now wanted to revert to observing the law as was practiced by the Pharisees;
''I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the Grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-which is really no gospel at all'' Galations 1:6 NIV
It is your relationship with JESUS, not Jesus plus or minus something. It is not about following lists of do's and dont's, which is living by a false gospel that imprisons you instead freeing you in your knowledge of your PERSONAL relationship with Christ.
''So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law'' Galations 5:1
The law REVEALS sin, it does not REDEEM it; our redemption is through GRACE.
''So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free'' John 8:36
Your daughter is already saved through her relationship with Jesus; putting her out of the church, refusing to dine with her, etc seems to me unusually cruel and a man made punishment.
As Paul said, Grace is Peace. Are you trusting in your morality, good works or your religion? Christians are saved and justified through Grace, and Grace only.
#2 Posted by
Joy Mullins | Tuesday, June 03, 2014at
The Church had lost the fight for the family when it strayed from what the bible says about ONE man and ONE woman and accepted divorce in the family and eventually in the Church. People don't hid sin anymore, they celebrate it in the news,tv,families,and even churches. It makes those who truly follow GOD shine brighter.
#3 Posted by
Thomas Walker | Wednesday, June 04, 2014at
Presently have friends struggling with family members over this sin.
It would be encouraging to read accounts of how God has worked through His truth and loving people to call people to godly sorrow and genuine repentance. Have a strong suspension many lethargic and neglectful loved ones share responsibility in this sin.
#4 Posted by
Alex | Wednesday, June 04, 2014at
For the sake of privacy, this commenter’s last name has been removed.
I thank you for this Dr. MacArthur. My 19 year old son just told me a few days ago that he was gay. To compound my sadness he is on the other side of the world which challenges me not only to confront him face to face but it makes it very easy for him to shut me out. He told me he has been trying to build enough courage to tell me for awhile. He is much more open about it with my wife. I'm not too sure why as she is no more approving of it than I am. I have been numb for the past 5 days. I can't even express myself.
Looking back I never saw it coming. I baptized him when he was 11. He is a gifted musician and played in our church's youth band all through high school. Not only did I hear him make his confession of faith I was the one who asked him to proclaim it to the people in attendance at his baptism. He claimed to have accepted Jesus and even told my wife on the phone he knows the bible states that it is a sin.
Earlier in the week my church asked me to become an Elder. That kicked of an attack against my faith that was inexplicable. The final straw was my son "coming out." I felt that this disqualified me and so I declined the invitation. I wish I could share more but as I wrote I can't even explain the depths of despair.
I did want to thank you for your commentary and resources. It definitely provides some grace and theological truth in an area where I am woefully deficient to find anything. I will continue to search for God's direction in this. My hope is that He will find victory in all of this. Not really to sure how, but faith tells me God is bigger than all of this and will grow his kingdom from it. I guess it just simply comes down to my obedience and faith. The road map is there I just needs to trust him and lean not on my own understanding.
Thank you again for dealing with the subject.
#5 Posted by
Katherine Frederick | Wednesday, June 04, 2014at
Hey, I do not believe the church has failed. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it. We are a needy people who must ask God for help. Obedience to the Word is key. Also, divorce happens to obedient, though sinful, people. Remarriage after divorce--again we must go to the scriptures and obey. We in North America have the hardship of living in a decadent society. God, please bless us with wisdom and obedience.
#6 Posted by
Rudi Jensen | Wednesday, June 04, 2014at
I'll pray for you, dear brother. We can do nothing, but staying faithful in loving obedience to our beloved Lord and plead with every sinner to repent.
For you, there will be a confrontation, I guess, now that you know about it. But how do you handle it? Tell him plainly about your love for Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and your convictions about the severe warnings in Gods Word.
#7 Posted by
Matthew Wilson | Wednesday, June 04, 2014at
To #1 Priscilla & #4 Alex, especially...
As I read your comments and literally feel the despair and pain in your words, I want to give you a word of hope. A leopard may not be able to change its spots; nor can a thistle turn itself into a cypress tree. That type of radical, organic, heart change ONLY comes by the hand of our gracious God! Nevertheless, IT DOES COME!
For many years now, my mother (and the few others with whom I have shared my testimony) have begged me to write about God's saving grace in my own life. At age eleven, I called out to God to change me for I knew that IF we are in Him, then we are made new creatures. However, my heart's desire was still toward same-sex interests. Doing the theological math at that age, I finally concluded I remained unchanged because God did not love me; for certain, God would change me IF He loved me, right?
I grew up in church. My grandfather mentored and discipled me in God's Word given the absence of my biological father. I became choir director of our church at the age of 15. I could argue and debate most pastors and bible teachers and win. Yet, the Spirit of Christ had not touched my heart. It was all external. It was "salvation from homosexuality" by my own sanctification. After all, the only REAL issue in my life was the homosexual desires (at least that is how I felt then).
My sin became my identity and the sole reason why I needed Jesus. Thus, without a transformation of my nature, I figured that I was excluded from the saving grace of God; and, for over fifteen years, I lived a debauched and embittered life. I had no problem confessing my bitterness toward God and wanted Him to simply leave me alone.
But God...(and oh, how precious is that phrase!)...but God pursued me. Patiently. Persistently.
Then, He opened the eyes of my heart and showed me just how much He loved me. It was totally unexpected. I definitely was not seeking Him for no one ever does. Instead, He showed me His goodness in a flash, a moment, and that goodness reached all the way back to my prayers at age 11. That night, He changed me and showed me that His sacrifice washed away more than just my homosexuality. Jesus died because I was dead. Now I live because He raised me to life in Him. It was never about homosexuality. I just thought it was.
Brothers and sisters, keep your hope in the One...the Only One who can give life to the dead. Trust in Him despite what your eyes and heart are telling you. Nothing is impossible. And, perhaps, God will use this situation to grow YOU, too. Maybe, He will stretch your willingness to love (both gentle and firm), show forth grace and truth, be more faithful in prayer, and eager to see God do what everyone else claims is impossible or even harmful to these young people. Trust God. Hope in His power to change and save. He will not disappoint you.
#8 Posted by
Timothy Yakich | Wednesday, June 04, 2014at
I personally don't like the term homosexual. I believe that these folks are made in the image of God and are committing/practicing the sin of homosexuality. They are NOT "homosexuals'', they are heterosexuals who are suppressing the truth about God and are left to their debased mind. If we approach this problem as the sin it is instead of a ''lifestyle''/"sexual orientation", then we can better convey God's message that it is an abomination to Him. Then they can't use the defense that Christians are "homophobic.
#9 Posted by
Mae Ella Jones | Thursday, June 05, 2014at
to Timothy Yakich: Thanks, sin is sin!
#10 Posted by
Pete Castellano | Friday, June 06, 2014at
''Alienate them, seperate them, don't have dinner with them, put them out of the church???'' What is this? The Salem witch trials? Didn't Jesus tells the Pharisees after he drew with his finger in the sand, he who has not sinned cast the first stone, when they were about ready to stone the adulterous woman to death? And what did they all do, they all dropped their stones and walked away. Pharisees no less!
Are we not all ''born in sin'' according to the teachings? Are we not all ''sinners?'' What makes us so holy that we have the right to act as God and judge a son or a daughter in such an uncommpassionate way? Are we the arbiters of this hierarchy of sin? That the sin of ''sexual perversion'' as it is called, is any worse than the sins inside all of us from birth and which we commit ever day of our lives?!?! Have you repented of all your sins or are there some you may not be aware of that you haven't repented for? Should you then yourself be put out of the church as well? Or were you saved by Grace?
I tell you fathers and mothers, LOVE your son or daughter no matter what. If you do what is suggested here you will fill them with a hurt that is so deep and UNFORGIVING that you are committing a sin against their spirit and you may wake up one day to find a letter from an authority informing you that they committed suicide. This has happened to more than one gay youth who was castigated by the so called ''christian'' community.
Did not Jesus hang out and dine with all of the undesirables and cast-aways of his time, those that ''approved society'' considered useless sinners? Do you not think that there was at least one ''homosexual'' in that crowd??? Did he throw them out of his gathering?? Did he make them confess their homsexuality and repent of it or castigate them from the group??? Do you think homsexuality was invented in the 20th century? No he accepted and loved them all because sin is sin and it is not for us to decide on a hierarchy, take on the role of god and judge others.
Parents, i urge you to stop being so legalistic, love your child and let them know you love them with all your heart and soul,,, which deep down you do anyway! You now are not thinking for yourselves and are caught up in legalistic view of scripture like the pharisees were, and which Jesus admonished in the harshest way, because as he told them, they tried to follow the law(which they weren't even really good at) but didn't have God in their hearts.
Don't become a ''Pharisee'' and close your heart to your child. Telling them ''We love you, that is why we are doing this, having all these meetings and if you don't do what we SINFUL HUMANS recommend, we will have you kicked out of the church and refuse to even have dinner with you again.'' That comes off to a person as ''there is something deeply wrong with me, i am degraded in a way that these ''good'' people judging me are not, i am useless.''
Nothing could be further from the truth.
#22 Posted by
Jeremiah Johnson | Thursday, June 12, 2014at
Pete, yes, we are all sinners. And it's only by God's grace and His sanctifying work in our lives that we're not living in open, unrepentant sin. But that doesn't mean we don't have a responsibility to call other professing believers who are living sinful lifestyles to repent--we do. That's the point John MacArthur makes in the video above--that we can't give affirmation or approval to their sin through fellowship. We can't treat sinning believers as if everything is OK. For the sake of their spiritual health and growth, we must be bold and direct when we see another professing believer living in open, unrepentant sin.
However, when it comes to people who don't claim to know and love the Lord, the pattern for confronting their sin is different (as John mentioned above). We hear a lot of talk today about Christ dining with sinners, but let's not imagine that it looked anything like what happens when we get together with our friends. Christ didn't merely "hang out" with tax collectors and prostitutes. He had divine appointments where He revealed Himself as the Messiah and the gospel of grace was preached. And regardless of what their sins were, He didn't "accept" any of them just as they were, but confronted their sin with the truth and called them to repent and believe.
One last thought: several people who disagreed with this video have painted the same scenario in their comments. It's the idea, as you put it, that "you will fill them with a hurt that is so deep and UNFORGIVING that you are committing a sin against their spirit and you may wake up one day to find a letter from an authority informing you that they committed suicide." I don't know why the threat of suicide is such a common tactic on the other side of this debate. But I don't think it lands the punch you (and others) hoped for. Because as tragic as is it that someone would take their own life, what's far worse is that there are men and women who claim to know and love the Lord, but who have such a low view of sin and of God's Word that they approve and affirm all kinds of sinful lifestyles, blunting the gospel until it's unable to penetrate hearts, and searing sinners' consciences until there is no hope of true repentance and faith.
#23 Posted by
Pete Castellano | Thursday, June 12, 2014at
Jeremiah, Thank you posting my comment, even though it runs counter to the theology of this site, and your response.
I would say that the talk of suicide is not a 'tactic' but it is a fact that this is a common occurrence among gay teens who feel disenfranchised and unaccepted. And many of us feel, when we hear about this, if there couldn't be a more life affirming way for all of us to go through life together, no matter what we say God would do. There are many interpretations of what God would do, from people who know the bible inside and out, Catholic, Prostestant, Mormon, Progressive Christian, etc, who is to say that THEIR way is the correct one?
It seems to me though, that any way chosen should bring more love and acceptance to the world. I know this could be discussed endlessly and the worse thing would be for it to create even more enmity between people with opposing viewpoints; the world has enough of that already. I can only pray for everyone on this site who commented, that they become closer to Jesus in their hearts and through his Grace, be transformed by the renewing of their minds.
#29 Posted by
Jeremiah Johnson | Friday, June 13, 2014at
Pete, you wrote: "There are many interpretations of what God would do, from people who know the bible inside and out, Catholic, Prostestant, Mormon, Progressive Christian, etc, who is to say that THEIR way is the correct one?"
If that's really your view, then what lasting hope do you have to offer a young person living a lifestyle of unrepentant sin? Regardless of what the sin is, if you can't even tell that person without equivocation or qualification what the truth is, then what benefit is your input in his or her life? How is your love and acceptance any better than the empty emotionalism of the world?
#14 Posted by
William Luckfield | Wednesday, June 11, 2014at
God will judge you, as he will judge all mankind. I am not a theologian, just an average guy. My ministry is helping recovering drug addicts find a new way of life by remaining clean and sober. I have seen many miracles and heard countless testimonies from people who have truly seen the only true hell and lived it on this planet. Stories of how churches and denominations such as yours led them away from the TRUE GRACE available to them through the love of our savior Jesus Christ. You have completely distorted Gods word to accomplish an agenda that only Satan could approve. In the four Gospels, Christ told us to avoid divorce, adultery, and never to worship false idols. In those four great books, homosexuality was not discussed. Christ told us that the Old Covenant was irrelevant when it came to us being able to adhere to ALL the laws that we're given to them. Paul and the Apostles accounts that complete the New Covenant have been debated and scrutinized for 2000 years. The brief passages concerning sexual preferences in the New Testament may have been inspired by people who just might have been accounting their good intentions, but in my opinion not drawn from the grace of the Holy Spirit. Mankind must love their neighbor no matter who their neighbor is. You don't have to accept one's sexual preference. That is your right and I respect that. Its blasphemy to preach that God singles out and condemns one's sexual preference. Twisted and disgusting. Fascism. Hate. You want to bring the love of Jesus Christ to mankind, act like Christ. Be a friend like Christ. Teach like Christ. Let God be the judge. The God of MY understanding LOVES ALL and ACCEPTS ALL. God have mercy on your soul.
#18 Posted by
Gabriel Powell | Thursday, June 12, 2014at
William, thank you for being willing to state your opinion here. I approved your comment for one reason: so everyone can see that your position is not grounded on Scripture, but rises out of your judgment over Scripture.
In determining which books of the Bible to approve and reject, you've made yourself (not God) the authority and relegated the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to be your handmaidens, serving your personal sense of morality, justice, and righteousness. The "God of your understanding" as you put it, is your understanding. You've taken the 66 books of the Word of God, and made four books of the Word of William.
God has sufficiently revealed Himself, and made it abundantly clear which words of His are authoritative, inerrant, and sufficient for life and godliness. He has authoritatively proven who His apostles and prophets were by signs, wonders, and miracles. From Genesis to Revelation He has declared what is right and true, and affirmed and confirmed it time and time again. The apostolic record has indeed been debated and scrutinized for 2,000 years. And they have stood the test of time and scrutiny.
I'll end with this: it is true that we must love our neighbor (indeed, even our enemy), and seek to befriend those who need Christ. Jesus loved sinners, but He didn't approve of their sin—He would say, "Go and sin no more." Sinners were drawn to Jesus, not because they could continue in their sin, but because they found grace and forgiveness for their sin. For us to allow and even encourage sinners in their sin is the epitome of hate.
You are right on this: "God will judge you, as He will judge all mankind." We will all be judged by the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12-13 says, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account."
May we all submit ourselves to the Word of God, wholly inspired by the Spirit of God, that God may be glorified.
#20 Posted by
Timothy Yakich | Thursday, June 12, 2014at
William, if you are "just and average guy", how in the Lord's name do you have a "ministry"? No one has seen the "only true hell", if they are non-believers, then this is the closest that they will ever get to heaven! You say that Pastor MacArthur distorted God's word...yet you don't give the Holy Spirit the credit for writing the last 23 books of the Holy Bible. Talk about heresy? BTW, Jesus does "talk about homosexuality" in the gospels...Matthew chapter 19, verses 4 - 6 : And Jesus answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." So, William, what part of "male and female" don't you get? Also, you are very correct in stating that "you don't have to accept one's sexual preference"; however, we MUST accept God's sexual preference for us!! You ask 'god' to have mercy on Pastor MacArthur's soul...I don't know what 'god' you are asking, but I assure you, it isn't the Only True Triune God of the Holy Bible. I will pray for your soul William.
#27 Posted by
Keith Rogers | Friday, June 13, 2014at
Some christians are very keen to quote this part of Matthew 19 to argue that everyone is born heterosexual.They and you conveniently forget to quote the rest of the verse,that makes clear heterosexual marriage is normative for most,but some aren't called to heterosexual marriage, but are actually "born" different:
"Not everyone can receive this saying,but only those to whom it has been given.For there have eunuchs who have been so from birth..."
Obviously nobody is "born castrated" (one meaning of eunuch) so what unborn characteristic would disqualify a man from marrying a woman?
There is a wide scholarly view that eunuch in this context means a man who is born homosexual.The word eunuch in the ancient near east often meant a feminine,homosexual man put in charge of the royal harem precisely because he was no sexual threat to them.
Robert Gagnon,leading advocate of the traditional view of homosexuality(as a sin), himself concludes that "eunuch" means homosexual in this context.
So some people are BORN gay.
#32 Posted by
Gabriel Powell | Friday, June 13, 2014at
Keith, you bring up an argument I hadn’t heard before which is quite intriguing. You say, “There is a wide scholarly view that eunuch in this context means a man who is born homosexual.” That is quite a statement, and in light of my study I’ll need to ask you to back it up with evidence. That is, scholarly evidence, not mere opinion.
Of the question of what “eunuch” means, I referenced a couple definitive sources. The first is called The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. It is by no means a conservative or evangelical work. If it is anything, it is the most exhaustive treatment of Greek words looking at their Hebrew and other ancient language counterparts, and how they are used in other ancient literature. In the article for Greek word for “eunuch” (which spans four pages!), not a single mention of homosexuality can be found.
The root concept of “eunuch” is simply the inability to have children (for a variety of reasons). Sexual preference or identity is completely absent from that lengthy expose on the word. The same is true for other extensive dictionaries such as A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature and the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Again, none of those are conservative, evangelical works.
To take my study further, I looked to a number of commentaries I have for that passage. While I tend to have more conservative commentaries, I do have a couple which are definitely liberal and make no attempt to defend orthodoxy. I couldn’t find a single reference to the idea that “eunuch” can mean “a homosexual.” Not one.
In closing, I’m not denying that there are people who make that argument. What I’m denying is that there is “a wide scholarly view,” let alone an authoritative one.
In short, Matthew 19 has nothing to do with people being born gay. It is an invented view that Jesus intended such a meaning.
#34 Posted by
Keith Rogers | Friday, June 13, 2014at
Perhaps I should have said the most reputed scholarship )of a theologian acknowledged by conservatives as an expert on homosexuality and the bible.
The scholarly opinion is of Dr Robert Gagnon,of Pittsburg seminary, who in the seminal work
"The Bible and Homosexual Practice" says:
"Probably born eunuch did include homosexually oriented persons"
Further Gagnon adds:
"I think that the phrase "eunuchs who were born so from the womb of the mother" is an inclusive group consisting of men who lack sexual interest in women. .including those with sexual abnormalities,asexual persons and those who develop same sex attractions".
Sorry-cant give the page references.
So no-I didn't invent it-Jesus was referring in part to congenital gays.Dr Gagnon is a conservative-so no liberal theological bias would influence him!
There is contemporary historical evidence that "eunuch" was also a synonym for homosexual.
In "From Cyrus To Alexander: a history of the Persian empire" by Pierre Briant the author quotes the classical writer Quintus Curtius as referring to a homosexual relationship between the eunuch Bagoas and first Darius then Alexander himself.
Hope this helps.
#41 Posted by
Timothy Yakich | Saturday, June 14, 2014at
No one is "born gay" or "homosexual". That is simply a temptation from Satan, just as every sin in the world is, and it is up to the individual to either agree with the Word of God and admit that what they are doing is sinning against their Creator, or deny God's Word and continue on their road to hell. Stating that their are people who are "born gay" is equivalent to stating that Charles Manson was "born a murderer", or that Bernie Madoff is a "born liar/swindler"...ridiculous. All of us are tempted to listen to the persuasions of Satan, just as Jesus was, but ultimately we must answer to the authority of God Himself. May your "yes" be yes" and your "no" be "no".
#46 Posted by
Gabriel Powell | Monday, June 16, 2014at
Keith, I'm quite confused. If you value Gagnon as "as an expert on homosexuality and the Bible," why is it that you accept Gagnon's statement that he thinks homosexuality probably is included in the idea of "eunuch" (a very tentative statement), and yet you reject his conclusion that "Jesus did not give homosexually oriented persons the option of sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman"?
Do you accept the following statement by Gagnon?
Even non-theologians know that there is no intrinsic link between biological causation and morality. A just-released article on the genetics of sexual orientation, written by two “essentialist” and pro-homosex scientists, Brian Mustanski and J. Michael Bailey, concedes:
Despite common assertions to the contrary, evidence for biological causation does not have clear moral, legal, or policy consequences. . . . No clear conclusions about the morality of a behaviour can be made from the mere fact of biological causation, because all behaviour is biologically caused. (Sexual and Relationship Therapy 18:4 [Nov. 2003], 432)
The fact that there is some genetic or biological influence on homosexuality does not reduce us to moral robots. We may not have asked to feel a given way, but we are responsible for what we do with such feelings. Christian faith does not operate on a model of biological determinism. It operates on the model of a new creation in Christ, in which sinful, biologically related urges are, and are to be, put to death.
Excerpted from http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/homoFiliatreauResp.pdf
The example that you cite "From Cyrus to Alexander" is exemplary of poor—if not desperate—scholarship. That a eunuch engaged in homosexual activity says no more about eunuchs than it would to say that there are tall skinny people who do the same. That one (or more) in a biological category engage in a certain behavior does not indicate that their activity was determined by their biological category.
Furthermore, even if in the Greek culture "eunuch" did in fact contain within the word the possibility of same-sex attraction, it does not follow that Jesus intended the same meaning. As you're likely aware, though English is spoken all over the world, the same words have different meanings or nuances from culture to culture. Jesus and the Jews, having a vastly different worldview, morality, and standards, would not have considered homosexuality a normal and natural part of life as the Greeks would have.
As I said in my comment #43, your arguments boil down to intellectual dishonesty. The homosexual agenda is propelled forward by poor scholarship, and its adherents pick and choose which scholars to believe and when. While I have no delusion that my comments will change your mind, I do pray that the Holy Spirit will convict you of the truth, show you your need to trust in Christ for forgiveness, and glorify Him by honoring His Word and His Spirit.
#17 Posted by
Andrew Gee | Thursday, June 12, 2014at
This clip from John MacArthur reveals a condescending, cold-hearted, un-empathic, willfully ignorant, disgusting, sick soul. Who would talk to young people we love, even sons and daughters, like he advises?. Only the deepest personal tragedy (that I couldn't and wouldn't wish on anyone) could crack open and humble his stoney, authoritarian heart.
#19 Posted by
Jeremiah Johnson | Thursday, June 12, 2014at
Andrew, we've already gone round and round about this on Facebook, and I doubt you'll find more sympathy for your opinions here.
To answer your question, anyone who loves another person--including their son or daughter--enough to not sidestep or overlook their sin would talk to that person the way John MacArthur prescribes above. The better question is how could you say you love someone and then let them live in open, unrepentant sin? Or worse still, how could you encourage them to continue in that sin, and lie to them about God's view of it?
#21 Posted by
Timothy Yakich | Thursday, June 12, 2014at
Andrew, did you watch the same video that I did?
#26 Posted by
Keith Rogers | Friday, June 13, 2014at
John Macarthur's suggestion that christian parents should throw out their gay christian children is totally unchristian.It totally goes against the teaching of Jesus:
"Judge not,lest ye also be judged"
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"
Jesus made the outcasts of the day his most intimate friends-the tax collector,the prostitute,the leper.
He didn't reject or cast then out so if the Lord JeSus Christ himself embraced and loved sinners but didn't cast them out what on earth gives you john Macarthur the right to do so?
what he is suggesting is making vulnerable gay teens who haven't chosen their sexuality,homeless.
This is totally against the law of love and it is blasphemous to associate the name of Jesus with such evil.
A bible verse comes to mind that seems to aptly refer to Mr Macarthur:
"Woe to you,scribes and Pharisees,ye hypocrites, for you tie millstones around men's necks,that you yourself cannot bear..
Where is the "grace" in this teaching? It is graceless,legalistic and unloving.
And yes scores of gay teens have committed suicide because they prayed for their sexuality to change -it didn't happen(it rarely does) and their family rejected them.
The film "Prayers for Bobby" is based on a real young man who committed suicide after his mother rejected him.
#30 Posted by
Matthew Wilson | Friday, June 13, 2014at
Keith (and all the others that follow your line of argument),
Brother MacArthur's comments are made within very precise terms. From the beginning of the video, he frames this scenario as relating to an "adult child"...not a teen or young child. The letter to which he addressed his comments asked what a Christian parent ought to do concerning an ADULT who happens to be his/her child. This adult has full capabilities to rationalize and choose his/her path in life. This is NOT a helpless...going to be homeless...teen. Dr. MacArthur specifies three times throughout the video that he is referring to an adult who professes to be gay.
Moreover, he also is very quick to qualify his answers. The confession of the adult determines how the parent is to treat the child.
1. If the adult child confesses to be a born-again child of God yet is determined to continue to live contrary to God's Word, then the parent is to follow the procedures outlined in Matthew 18. Please note that this is a process of grace and is driven by the desire to see this brother/sister in the Lord turn away from sin. THIS IS NOT THE SAME THING AS TELLING THE PERSON HE/SHE MUST BE HETEROSEXUAL. That is NOT the goal! Neither is this process a one-meeting event. The goal is to see that brother/sister agree with God that sin is sin and turn away from that sin. The sanctifying work of the mind regarding that propensity may take years; but the person does not have to act upon it. (This "putting out" as a final attempt at reconciling this brother/sister is also in accordance with 1 Cor. 5:9-13 and Paul's command. In fact, he goes so far as to say, "I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber -- not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. Drive out the wicked person from among you." If there is any confusion on who this person is the second letter clarifies the point, and Paul tells the Corinthians to allow the brother back into the church as he repented.)
The second classification of person addressed in John MacArthur's video is the non-confessing, non-believer. John's teaching here is that Christian parents "bring the gospel in compassion" and do it often, perhaps spending even more time with this person confronting the sin and need for repentance. Give them the Gospel without compromise yet with compassion.
That is what I hear from Brother MacArthur. That is also what I read to be true in God's Word.
#31 Posted by
Gabriel Powell | Friday, June 13, 2014at
Keith, welcome to the Grace to You blog. It would seem you’ve arrived at our blog due to your passion on this issue, and you’re very unfamiliar with John MacArthur and Grace to You. Your characterization of this video that “christian parents show throw out their gay christian children is totally unchristian… [and] goes against the teaching of Jesus” is both uncharitable and inaccurate.
The sole focus of John’s answer is regarding adult children, namely, children who no longer live in the home and are responsible adults. John MacArthur is emphatically not proposing that parents kick young children or teens out of their home. One could only arrive at that conclusion by inventing it, as you and others have done.
Additionally, for something to be “unchristian” it must be contradictory to the Bible. What John describes is straight from 1 Corinthians 5:1-13. In that context, while the sin is rather specific (a man in a relationship with his step-mother), it is addressed generally as sexual immorality—a category within which homosexuality resides. Furthermore, the point of those instructions is for the restoration of the sinner, not ultimately their rejection. Paul makes this clear in 2 Corinthians 2:5-11. Therefore what John MacArthur describes—how to treat a professing Christian practicing sexual immorality—is definitively Christian. What is unchristian is to reject what the Bible says.
Lastly, it does not at all go against the teaching of Jesus. John MacArthur follows in Jesus’ footsteps by distinguishing how one treats a professing Christian as opposed to a non-Christian. Jesus was known as a friend of sinners, not because He affirmed and approved of their sin, but because He treated them with kindness and respect while calling them out of their sin (John 5:14; 8:11). In case you didn’t watch the entire video (as your comments would suggest), John says that the case of the unbeliever, “you might actually want to spend more time, confronting and showing compassion, but calling to salvation.”
#36 Posted by
Keith Rogers | Friday, June 13, 2014at
I don't doubt Paul was divinely inspired-but he's still a fallible human-and being a red letter christian Jesus' words override Paul-since Jesus himself IS the word.
Jesus very clearly opposed this kind of judgemental,sanctimonious judging of others' sins since we are all sinners-we cant judge unless we "take the log from our eye" or "cast the first stone" unless we are "without sin".
We should speak the truth IN LOVE, reprove and persuade not reject it hurt our children.By his definition of "adult child" this would include vulnerable young people in their early 20s.
#43 Posted by
Gabriel Powell | Monday, June 16, 2014at
Keith, all of your arguments boil down to intellectual dishonesty. You are not a "red-letter Christian." You claim to only believe the words of Jesus because the rest of the NT and OT are suspect. However, the same scholars that would tell you to reject the rest of the Bible would also tell you that Jesus didn't say the words in red—they were later machinations of the church as it reflected back on Jesus after decades of theological formation. They would also tell you that Jesus is not God's Son, nor did He rise from the dead. If they are right, then there is no forgiveness and we are lost in our sin.
In a another comment you want to claim a conservative theologian because he says "eunuch" probably includes homosexuals, but you reject his conclusions about homosexuality and the Bible because it doesn't fit your agenda.
You quote verses such as "take the log from your eye" and ignore the next phrase "and then take the speck from your brother's eye." You love the Jesus who talks about love, but you ignore the red letters when He says, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household..." (Matthew 10:34-36).
You reject the apostolic record, and in doing so you reject the red words of Jesus who commissioned them and gave them authority saying that He would be with them (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). By rejecting His messengers (particularly the Holy Spirit), you reject Jesus.
Keith, intellectual honesty requires that you at least acknowledge that you have created a Jesus of your imagination. Acknowledge that you have freely chosen to cut out anything from the Bible and especially Jesus' words that don't sit well with you. Your religion is picking and choosing what to believe, which scholars to believe on which subjects, and which red letters to accept and reject.
Friend, this is the nature of unbelief. But there is hope for you. The message is that we are all sinners and destined for the wrath of God. But He sent His Son Jesus the Messiah to die on the cross for our sin. Jesus did not discard the Old Testament, but fulfilled and completed it. After rising from the dead and ascending to heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within those who believe. He sent the apostles and confirmed their authority by signs and wonders and miracles. Jesus commanded them to teach everything He had taught them, and He ensured that that's exactly what they did. You need to repent of creating a god according to your preferences, and believe in the true Jesus of the Bible—who fulfilled the OT and who placed His stamp on the NT. Only by confessing Jesus as Lord and believing that God raised Him from the dead can you be saved and forgiven.
#45 Posted by
Matthew Wilson | Monday, June 16, 2014at
It is understandable now why you hold the positions that you do...at least in part. By holding the "red letters" in higher regard than the rest of recorded Scripture, it becomes easier to disregard non-red letter teaching. There is an irony in your viewpoint though: even the "red letter" section was written and recorded by "fallible human[s]", namely Matthew, John Mark, Luke and John. To my knowledge, none of these men possessed any more divinity than did Peter, James, Jude or Paul. So, the whole premise that the words spoken by Jesus that got recorded by the Gospel writers holds some higher authority than the rest of Scripture does not make sense to me, at all.
As for the judging comment, Jesus indeed spoke against hypocritical judging of others. In the context of "take the log from our eye," Jesus is addressing the hypocrites who pointed to others with a sense of their own self-righteousness. Jesus blisters such people for putting unbearable burdens of legalism upon others without addressing their own inner corruption and wickedness.
However, the text to which you point does not exclude rightful judging. On the contrary, Jesus teaches that we are to address our own sin (log) IN ORDER THAT we may "see clearly to take out the speck that is in [our] brother's eye" (Matthew 7:1-5 & Luke 6:39-42).
As for your assertion that we are to speak the truth IN LOVE, I can only respond with an "Amen!" However, "love" by God's standard has two sides. Again quoting from Paul, the Spirit of God says, "Love must be without hypocrisy" (Romans 12:9). How is real love "without hypocrisy" or "honest"? By hating what is evil and clinging to what is good. Thus, if a Christian truly wants to display God's love as He defines love, the Christian must hate what God calls evil and sin while clinging to what God calls good and righteous. The cross of Christ is a perfect example of the need to hate sin in order to love like God: God's fierce wrath was poured upon Christ to show that God is just (He cannot ignore sin or leave it unpunished), so that He could pour out His blessing of love upon sinful, rebellious mankind. Perfect hate, righteous hate; perfect love, holy and just. Only in God do we see this type of righteous love. Therefore, we as His ambassadors must likewise reflect the same display of holy love. Any attempt to diminish the righteous requirement of holiness before God in order to "love" another person in the name of Jesus or the Gospel is to bring corruption and hypocrisy into our witness of God's perfect love. It is a different Gospel. A different Christ. And, it comes dangerously close to blasphemy.
P.S. ~ In Malachi 2, the Lord brings a blistering accusation against the priests of that day. He condemns them for not turning Israel from their sins. He states that calling people to repentance is central to the priestly function. That same God calls us, His priests, to do the same to His people today.
#33 Posted by
Gabriel Powell | Friday, June 13, 2014at
We've received a lot of criticism from those who say that John MacArthur is cold-hearted, mean, and much worse. If you'd like to see how John relates personally with homosexuals, you can watch this video, particularly at the times 12:22, 20:54, and 35:55.
As you can see, John MacArthur is kind and compassionate, while still holding to a firm position.
#40 Posted by
Keith Rogers | Saturday, June 14, 2014at
John is misusing Matthew 18.This refers to church discipline-not disciplining family members
Also Jesus is referring to a blatant offence caused by one christian brother to another,ie a personal conflict.
It isn't mean to be a generic way of treating your children.
Also he's exhorting parents to ostracise an adult child simply for self-identifying as gay.This isn't a sin,even if the sexual expression if it were a sin.Someone could identify as gay but be celibate.
Sorry I think that's pretty uncharitable of him.
#42 Posted by
Gabriel Powell | Monday, June 16, 2014at
Keith, thank you for bringing up this issue. This particular argument is one where critics attempt to show their superior biblical understanding and claim MacArthur is playing fast and loose with Scripture. In reality, this argument reveals the biblical ignorance of critics. While John MacArthur mentions Matthew 18, he also directly applies 1 Corinthians 5—a passage specifically dealing with sexual sin in the church.
But even more than that, Matthew 18 should not be seen as instructions exclusively for personal offences. If one Christian saw another getting drunk in a restaurant, or knew they were abusing their spouse, or heard they were embezzling from their company, Matthew 18 is precisely the passage that should govern their relationship. While the offence may not be made personally between two Christians, those sins affect other Christians by bringing a reproach on the name of Christ. Matthew 18 is a detailed procedure for fulfilling other passages such as Galatians 6:1 and James 5:19-20.
As I've pointed out before, when you say, "It isn't meant to be a generic way of treating your children," you make it sound as if John MacArthur is advocating kicking children or teens out of the home. He is emphatically not saying that. He is referring to adult children who profess to be Christians. In that case, Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5 are completely legitimate passages to apply.
Lastly, as anyone can tell from the video, the answer provided is not intended to be exhaustive of all potential situations. Anyone with any knowledge of John MacArthur knows that if the adult child was confessing their same-sex attraction for the purpose of seeking help, the answer would be quite different. The assumption in the answer is that person is "coming out" and has no intention of trying to change.
What is "pretty uncharitable" is critics who don't understand (let alone believe) the Bible who try to level critiques based on their biblical ignorance.
#44 Posted by
Nicolas Allen | Monday, June 16, 2014at
Because it seems that some people aren't actually opening their Bibles to see if John MacArthur's words line up, I thought I'd post the Scriptures he's referencing. They've already been mentioned by some commenters, but I think it's helpful to have the full texts here to look at.
Matthew 18:15-17 -- "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."
1 Corinthians 5:9-12 -- "I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. 'Purge the evil person from among you.'"
2 John 10-11 (not specifically referenced in the video) -- "Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works."
#47 Posted by
Gabriel Powell | Monday, June 16, 2014at
Friends and critics, for the final closing comment on this blog post we want you make you aware of two videos produced by a friend of the ministry, Dr. James White.