CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Hearing From the Adultery Community

Jul 29, 2019

We Christians want to be known as people of compassion and care, so we need to learn to listen to all those folks that say we have hurt them. As but one example, there is no question that countless adulterers have been hurt by Christianity over the years. Some may have even contemplated taking their own lives as a result.

These people are made to feel like second-class citizens and have to daily face intolerant and hateful rants such as found in the Seventh Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery.” How many people have been wounded by this, offended by this, and aggrieved by this?

In the interests of showing concern and reconciliation to those in the adultery community, we need to invite them in to our Christian churches and websites and allow them to tell their stories. Let the emotions flow as they recount all the angst and hurt they have felt because of judgmental Christians who actually told them things like ‘no adulterer will enter the kingdom of heaven’ (as clearly taught in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Let’s invite them in to tell their tales, and maybe we all can learn to be much more accepting and inclusive with our adulterous friends. They need to be heard. For far too long bigoted and intolerant Christians have acted as if adultery was some sort of sin, and unless repented of, would mean such people are not right with God.

I for one hope to soon meet up with these folks, give them a great big hug, and allow them onto my site to explain why they are just fine as they are, and why we need to repent of our intolerance towards them. They can have a free pass on my site, and say whatever they like. After all, I think this is really what Jesus would do. Don’t you?

Reality check

OK, so I don’t really believe a word of what was said above. I simply offer it as a rhetorical device and a teaching aid. In fact, if you just change one word around there, you have basically the same sort of argument being made at a popular Christian website.

Simply substitute the word ‘homosexuality’ for ‘adultery’ and you have a very real, and very unfortunate, article that has just appeared. The piece – a good portion of which allowed a homosexual activist to present his spiel – was about how Christians need to basically shut up and listen to homosexuals.

Homosexual suicide was a big part of the article, and the same old chestnuts were brought up about how Christians and ‘homophobia’ are somehow contributing to this. So we read statements like this from the homosexual: “I am asking that Christians consider the impact negative messages about LGBTQ people will have on people’s lives and mental health, before they speak or act.”

Um, simply quoting the Bible would have a “negative impact” on homosexuals, just as it would have on adulterers, fornicators, liars, thieves and any other sinners. Guess what? No, I will not muzzle myself and censor myself, and fall for some guilt trip here. I will never shrink back from declaring biblical truth, because it just might hurt or offend somebody.

Of course it will hurt, offend and bother people. That is the very nature of the gospel. Paul spoke about the ‘offence of the gospel’. Biblical truth will ALWAYS upset and infuriate and irritate sinners. It is designed to do that. There can be no good news of the gospel until the bad news is first declared.

And the bad news is this: we are all sinners who have no desire to please God, and we stand under his wrath, headed for a lost eternity. Unless we turn to God through Christ by means of faith and repentance, we have no hope, and remain under the judgment of God. Hey, that IS offensive.

So no, I will not stop sharing biblical truth. It is actually hateful not to share it. The most loving thing you can do is tell a homosexual – or anyone else – that they need to repent and turn to Christ. That is always offensive and hurtful to sinners. But that is EXACTLY what they must hear.

And the myth that “homophobia” and Christianity somehow cause homosexual suicide has often been repudiated. I cover this in my book and elsewhere. Besides the available data, one simply has to look at the most homosexual friendly communities around, such as Sydney or Amsterdam or San Francisco. Homosexual suicide rates are the same there as elsewhere. See more on this here: billmuehlenberg.com/2010/10/21/just-what-is-behind-these-suicides/

As mentioned, adulterers and fornicators – to name but a few sinners – are also equally offended, hurt and angered by Christianity and what it says about their lifestyles. They too would love to be “listened to” and be given a free pass to make their case on a Christian website. Good grief – this is exactly why Christians keep losing in the culture wars, and why biblical Christianity keeps being undermined and trashed.

To be honest this sort of stuff really bothers me. I have seen it happen far too often over the past 30 years. We have seen one Christian group after another completely lose it when it comes to this issue, and anyone with eyes to see can assess just how far down the slippery slope some of these folks are heading.

Sure, we must seek to speak biblical truth in a gracious and loving manner. And we always are to be concerned when folks are depressed or suicidal. But helping them does not come by lying to them, or denying biblical truth. We help these people the most when we give them the truth.

Christ came to set the captives free. That is the message Christians should be proclaiming. Instead of simply trying to make sinners feel good and accepted, we should love them enough to proclaim truth and see them liberated from their deadly and dead-end lifestyles.

In my view that is how we really are being Christlike and compassionate. It is not done by allowing activists to push the same old tired half-truths and misinformation that they always have, with no voice to counter it. With 98 per cent of all media outlets already doing this, why in the world would any Christian media voice do the same?

The article in question can be found here: www.eternitynews.com.au/australia/hearing-from-the-lgbtq-community/

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19 Responses to Hearing From the Adultery Community

  • As soon as I saw the source “eternity”, I thought Yep, eternal, but not necessarily life! Eternity is a free publication – but often of negative value due to anti-Christian viewpoints. Challenge, The Good News Newspaper is what it says, Good News. http://www.thechristiannetwork.com/challenge-newspaper/ it costs, but is worth it.

  • Thanks Peter. Yes Challenge has been a consistently biblical and Christian publication. It would be nice if others were that faithful to Scripture and the Lord.

  • Amen Bill. Wish I had something constructive to add to your article but you’ve said it all — you always do.

  • Isn’t it a shame that calling a “sin” a “sin” bothers some people! The main problem with people today, in my opinion, is that they are looking for security, acceptance, and fulfillment from other fallible human beings and/or man-made institutions and organizations that promise such security. Along with this, certain Bible-believers have been so idealistic that they have pushed marriage as a source for security, acceptance, and fulfillment. When someone remains single or enters into a marriage that proves to be unhappy — if not downright dangerous — the person is considered a “loser” or a victim who deserves some sort of blame and persecution. I know it has taken me decades to come to the realization that many of the ideals I was taught as a child and as a young person do not necessary come about in one’s life and that only a spiritual relationship with the Lord and salvation by grace are the pathway to spiritual security, acceptance, and fulfillment. Because of all this, it is no wonder unsaved people – and probably some spiritually weak believers – are looking to adultery as an escape from their present circumstance and as a source of the fulfillment they crave. Until they are willing to seek and accept what the Lord has for them, they will persist in their ill-founded, man-made quest for love and security.

  • Victorian government donates $400,000 of taxpayer money for the construction of a new mosque

    The Victorian government, under the leadership of Premier Daniel Andrews, has donated $400,000 of taxpayer money towards the construction of Bendigo’s first mosque.

    Earlier this month, the Bendigo Advertiser reported that the Bendigo Bank Fun Run, a community event which has been held for the past 12 years, will be cancelled due to terrorism concerns.

    So, the Victorian government don’t have the funds or resources to ensure innocent civilians at a fun run aren’t maimed and murdered by Islamic terrorists, but somehow have hundreds of thousands of dollars to throw at the construction of a new mega-mosque?

    https://caldronpool.com/victorian-government-donates-400000-of-taxpayer-money-for-the-construction-of-a-new-mosque/

  • At Bible College in early 90’s I was victim of a gossip campaign by fellow classmate – I would suggest because he had been over-looked for a number of opportunities for which he was quite unsuited. It was spoken that I was wasting my time there because both myself and my wife were twice married – “DIVORCE” apparently the new unpardonable sin. Both that early marriage and the divorce for both of us happened well prior to coming to Christ. When you put the word “Adultery” into the equation rather than “H” it draws some many more of us into the mix – I came of age in late 60’s and lived the 70’s as so many did in wanton exploration of sex, drugs and rock and roll. We called it ‘exploring’, ‘pushing the boundaries’ and ‘alternative lifestyles’ and I was living on a community when I was invited to church – the last place I ever expected to be. If Divorce – and subsequent remarriage was my worst sin I could almost be let off. The Church community has little concept of life outside the cotton wool of kumbaya and Sunday School. Today it appears that Adultery in the church occurs at the same rate as outside but they are in ‘denial’ as it has apparently been demoted from the 10 Suggestions. It hasn’t.

  • Modern society is obsessed with redefining words. One of the first, obviously, was ‘marriage’. Now, they are determined to redefine ‘love’ to a wishy-washy meaningless jellyfish of a word that prohibits everything except wholesale acceptance of all lifestyles, choices, behaviours, and opinions.

    The bible teaches that God is love, so the true definition of love can only be found in the character of God. And according to the bible, God very definitely does not accept all lifestyles, choices, behaviours, and opinions. As Christians, we have a choice – are we going to align with the God of the bible or are we going to align with the views of modern society?

  • How many adulterers have been traumatized? All of them, I hope.
    How may people who engage in homosexuality have been traumatized? All of them, I hope.
    How many people who engage in bestiality have been traumatized? All of them I hope.
    How many wicked people have been traumatized: All of them I hope and if John the baptist was here today he would gamble losing his head to traumatize them all and invite them all to repent as we should.
    John Abbott

  • Hi Bill,

    I have not asked you to stop sharing Biblical truth. And I don’t disagree with you when you say “Sure, we must seek to speak biblical truth in a gracious and loving manner. And we always are to be concerned when folks are depressed or suicidal. But helping them does not come by lying to them, or denying biblical truth. We help these people the most when we give them the truth.” I am in enthusiastic agreement with you on these points. this is why Eternity has been at pains to publish the testimonies of people who are same sex attracted and celibate in the service of Christ such as Wesley Hill https://www.eternitynews.com.au/in-depth/same-sex-attracted-christians-are-called-to-a-life-of-love-not-just-self-denial/

    and David Bennett. https://www.eternitynews.com.au/in-depth/david-bennett-a-young-man-comes-out/
    https://www.eternitynews.com.au/in-depth/gay-celibate-and-full-of-love/
    https://www.eternitynews.com.au/good-news/a-gay-rights-activist-leaves-his-old-life-behind/

    Publishing testimonies of SSA attracted or gay people who lay aside their sexual desires for Christ is Eternity’s chief strategy for addressing the same sex issue and you will note that we have not published a testimony from the progressive side.

    In the matter of Christians moving to the left we have run critical analysis on Eugene Petersen https://www.eternitynews.com.au/opinion/eugene-peterson-and-same-sex-marriage-what-the-bible-really-says/
    and Keith Mascord (formerly of Moore)

    I invite readers to go though our website and form their own views.

    My comments in the dialogue I had with Justin Koonin, make it clear that preaching through the scriptures will continue and include the verses progressives do not like. I make it clear that Biblical truth will continue to be preached as ministers expound the scriptures faithfully. Justin has a different view and I think we made that clear.

    John Sandeman, Eternity

  • Thanks for writing in John. If Eternity as a whole offers a bit more balance on these issues that is certainly good to hear. But the reality is, most folks will only read one or two articles instead of going through your entire corpus! So for that reason it would have been helpful to offer a bit of balance in the article under question. And offering Tim Costello as a Christian voice did not offer any sort of balance. Sadly his remarks simply affirmed the points being made throughout the article, that somehow the culture wars are all the fault of Christians, and even sharing the Word of God can be harmful! Other knowledgeable Christian voices could have been called upon!

    I have learned over the years – as you would have – that when writing pieces on controversial issues for the public arena, one has to take great care in what is said and how it is said. Of course even then we can still open ourselves up to criticism, but if we strive to at least avoid unhelpful impressions that is part of how we need to proceed. And sadly there were too many unhelpful impressions given in the article: providing activists a free platform to push their agenda; suggesting that Christianity is somehow to blame for gay suicide rates; implying that if we just had more ‘dialogue’ all would be right with the world, etc.

    As one who has written three books on this topic and hundreds of articles over the past three decades, I am fully aware that while some homosexuals do want to live in peace with Christians and just quietly do their own thing, there are many who do not, and have actually stated that war against the faith is an essential component of how they will achieve full and final acceptance and approval. So we need great care here not to just be used by those who do not have out best interests at heart.

    But thanks again for sharing your thoughts. We will pray for your work at Eternity.

  • AMEN to all the above! Open Rebuke is Better than hidden love. Proverbs 26:2

  • Mainstream culture really wants to ignore the harm that adultery does to its victims. My parents divorced when I was a teenager because my mother was having an affair – she decided she liked her partner-in-lust more than my father, so divorced my father and married that other man instead. There is this pain inside me from all of this, I try to move past it but I don’t think it will ever completely leave me (not in this life anyway, I trust that the Lord somehow heals all wounds in the next). I’m sure I’m not the only child who feels deeply hurt by a parent’s adultery, but mainstream culture doesn’t want to hear from us. Our pain is too inconvenient, it doesn’t serve the political narrative, it just discourages other parents from doing whatever they want to fulfil themselves at any expense (even the welfare of their children).

    To be honest, even the churches aren’t the best on this issue. Just speaking from personal experience, but it seems to me that many ministers/pastors/etc are too afraid of offending divorced members of their congregation to speak up about the harm that divorce does to children. (And not just minor children, but even adult children – they’ve done studies and found that adult children of divorced parents have worse physical and mental health than those whose parents stuck together – the pain of family breakdown travels down the decades.)

    Back to your topic, about homosexuality. I used to be really liberal on that issue. Then I realised, that the LGBT movement is a fruit of the same tree that also produced my mother’s (heterosexual) adultery/divorce/remarriage – the Sexual Revolution. Why should I support something that has caused me such heartache? I’ve supported it for more than half my life, and it has never done me any good, just caused me more pain, yet like an idiot (or an addict) I’d just keep on supporting it all the same. I think there must be a lot of people out there like how I used to be, who just automatically take the progressive position, but can’t (yet) see how much pain that entire worldview has caused in their lives and those of their loved ones.

  • Many thanks for that Zack. Yes I was once a lefty who supported all this. But I have grown up a bit since then.

  • ADULTERY is the worst tsunami that a family can experience. Many pastors, elders and churches are leading millions to hell. Adultery is rampant across professing Christendom.
    When one comes to the Lord,they obey Christ’s Commandments because they love the Lord with all their heart soul strength and mind Luke 16 : 27 KJV.
    Sharing God’s truth is what makes people uncomfortable and troubling for them. When converted, Bible based and disciplined, one would not be supporting others living in SIN.

  • You can read a new article from the Challenge papers every day at https://challengenews.online/
    The articles are not just from the Australian edition. You can also link to us on facebook and twitter.
    I’ve contacted ‘The Christian Network’ to update their information.
    BTW: The only tracking on our web sites is for us to see what articles are being read. No ‘sharing’ with Google, facebook or twitter!
    Tim (web master for Challenge)

  • This is one of the best posts EVER!! I’ve showed it to all of my friends and they all love it too.

    Sin is sin and sometimes we only see some things (homosexuality) as sin when we compare it to more obvious sin (adultery).

    Thank you Bill. This is a prefect stated reminder that we must keep the sin homosexuality out of our churches and we must also drive out the sin of adultery especially under the secular acceptable term “divorce”. [Matt. 5:32]

    We must have zero tolerance of either of these sins.

    If we tell same sex attracted folks that the only way they can be right with God is to renounce their lust and live a celibate life (or to covenant marry a Christian of the opposite sex) then we must say to divorced folks that the only way for them to be right with God is for them to renounce sexual relations with anyone other than the person who is their husband or wife in God’s eyes (or return to their covenant spouse). None of this “What happened with you and … ?” “Oh you know we just grew apart.” I’m tired of hearing that from fellow Christians. It’s a cop out.

  • It may benefit readers if Peter Newland could give a few major examples of Eternity’s anti-Christian ,as most readers would probably read it as a newspaper and regard it as general reading.

  • Ray, I would be interested too! John Sandeman, editor of Eternity

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