Suffering for Joy

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,  so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God”- 1 Peter 4:1-2

With the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, we are also allotted a portion of suffering—and part of that portion is the body we remain living in through the duration of this life. Our sinful flesh is no longer a home that we enjoy, but a home that we loathe. Every day our regenerate spirit groans in longing to be free from this body of death….you know what I’m talking about. We all feel it. We all know this suffering.

And there is no escaping this suffering—because hating the presence of sin is not voluntary. Hating sin is part of who we are because we have been made spiritually alive through being born again to a living hope! Being cleansed by the blood of Christ and made alive by His Spirit, we now hate the sin we once loved because a greater love controls us—the love of Christ. Of course, this hatred of sin is not at an automatic level 10—it grows stronger as our love for Christ grows stronger—but even the freshest of Christians contain this holy hatred because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in them. So even when, in a moment or season of weakness, we stop fighting the sin we hate and get hooked by the lure of our flesh, our suffering will not be alleviated—but it will become more intense as we incur the godly guilt (the painful, yet blessed pull of the Spirit) that brings us to our knees in sorrowful repentance.

Though our suffering is inevitable, we must remember our suffering is not in vain. In fact, there is joy all up in the midst of our suffering… because as we suffer, we gain Christ—who is our joy. As we reject our flesh and the desires of the world, the deathly weight of sin that restrains us from enjoying God is lifted off of us as we step with a pure conscience into His presence. I know that the Blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin, for all time, and secures our good standing with God eternally….without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins, without it we are destined for destruction. Praise God for the salvation He has accomplished for us through the life, death and resurrection of His incarnate Son. But it is important that we remember, in this life, when we neglect to fight our sin and wholly submit ourselves to God… we neglect larger amounts of joy. So while we may remain forgiven in our lack of effort to battle the flesh, we also remain miserable. And I don’t think God wants any of His children to have a joy-less life in this world. I believe He calls us all to fight—to stop playing games and make war against our sin.

As we engage in the fight against sin, it is imperative to remember that whether we choose to fight or we choose to succumb, we will suffer either way.  We can choose the suffering of surrendering to our flesh and enduring the feelings of confusion, doubt and separation from God… or we can choose the God-appointed suffering of telling our flesh “NO!” and gaining more joy, assurance and intimacy in Him.

 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”- 1 Peter 5:8-9

From our perspective, putting off our old man is a daily task, not a one time event—but it’s a task that if embarked on, brings forth much joy. Satan will lie to us, telling us that waging war against our flesh is pointless. He’ll feed hopelessness into our minds by luring us to doubt that God will be on the other side of each battle offering us more of Himself as we put to death more of ourselves. Satan wants us hopeless, because without hope, we won’t fight. But the God of hope is faithful. May we hold onto the promise of 1 Peter 5:10 as we encounter the sure enticements of our flesh and the even more sure fiery darts of Satan.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.””- 1 Peter 5:10

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85 thoughts on “Suffering for Joy

  1. @Matt

    You’re one crazy southern hick that just won’t let my spirit be. You haunt me from the other side of the country and yet my soul is better for it.
    Thank you Matt. :)


  2. Thanks Matt! Great exhortation! Makes me want to “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus!”


  3. Very, very deep thinking. Very, very Scriptural thinking. This article is absolutely TRUE. Your insights cause a seriousness of the mind toward the Christian life and toward Jesus Himself. Thank you.


  4. I just started following your posts…..and am so so blessed – thank you so much. God is really working through you and using you to reach many.


  5. One of the clearest explanations of ‘putting to death the flesh’ daily that I have seen! Great stuff. SSA or OSA we all face the same genus of temptation. Overcoming is painful & hard fought, but the joy & exhilaration of victory realised in, through, and for Christ, is….Heaven.


  6. Matt,
    I have recently begun reading your posts – all your most recent ones for for sure! I am deeply encouraged and overwhelmed by the truth you blog about. I too struggle with SSA, so finding a blog like this is so great.

    This post in particular is the best.

    Thank you,
    Another Christian


  7. I read this late last night and again this morning. What an encouragement! What a way to start the day! I pray for you, Matt and for all of us here, that we would be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might as we battle today against the sin that so easily besets us. May we all find that joy of the Lord to be our strength!


  8. Dude! Great post :-) Reminds me of Hebrews 12 — “… who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”


  9. Nice work Matt! While reading this post the scripture rings in my ears that when we tried we are lead astray by our own lust and enticed. We hear Christians speak about separation from the world and people may ask, “What is the world!” Well Paul tells us the world is these things: 1. the lust of the flesh 2. the lust of the eyes & 3. the pride of life. After my 8 year journey with Christ I am more assured than ever that there is victory for those that serve Him in faith and earnestly seek Him. I’m 38 and I’ve struggled with SSA most of my life (since I was old enough to know about attraction) and many times I would get saved and give up because I felt the struggle to hard and I didn’t want to be alone. God, who is greater in all things never gave up on me! When I was saved those 8yrs ago something was different; I struggled, I failed, I got frustrated, I didn’t think I could take any more! I always remembered reading in His Word that He will never put more on us than we can bear and I often wondered, then why did I fail! When before this would have caused me to walk away, this time I kept coming back and repenting over and over and over. Then slowly I began to notice that it became easier to say no to my lusts and my love for God grew and grew. I didn’t care anymore if I had to walk alone. I realized that of a truth I was never alone, the Holy Ghost was always with me even when I didn’t feel Him; which btw is when we are called to “walk by faith”! There are so many levels in faith that most of us only scratch the surface. Although I always hated the gay-SSA-sex thing, recently God has given me freedom from SSA or any attraction (sexually). Now I love people more than I ever have and want so much that everyone feel this joy in Christ Jesus! If you are reading this and you see yourself in any part, please HOLD ON just a little longer, your deliverance is coming! Be still. Quite your mind! There! Can you feel Him? He has not left you alone! The Lord God says, “Be still and know that I am God!”


  10. So, so very true Matt. I read this last night and like to add:

    Ecc 7:2-4 Better to go to the house of mourning Than to go to the house of feasting, For that is the end of all men; And the living will take it to heart. (3) Sorrow is better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better. (4) The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

    I love Ecclesiastes – always cheers me up! :-D


  11. I don’t like beating a dead horse, but I guess I’ll get up in the saddle one more time.

    God did NOT make us to live in suffering. This world view is so insanely masochistic. I just really don’t know how to intelligently respond to it. You really do paint God out to be some wretched individual who joys in our suffering. Its sick. I read this post and the image of the priest abusing himself in the movie “The Davinci Code” comes into my mind. You may not be physically abusing yourself, but you sure are psychologically abusing yourself.


    • James,

      1 Corinthians 1:18-25
      “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say,

      “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
      and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

      So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

      But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.


      • James,

        My response came with that verse from 1 Corinthians because until you have your spiritual eyes opened then the ways of God will be foolishness to you. Our faith is not blind but based on thousands of documented accounts and fulfilled prophecies from 40 different authors. The textual evidence for the biblical scriptures are overwhelming and I speak from truly taking the time to analysis the evidence. Some of my family are bible translator personally taking forty years to translate three bibles from the Greek and Hebrew into native languages of tribes who never had a translation of their own. The Hebrew and Greek texts are numerous and in agreement especially the new testament texts which numbered in the thousands. Another fact to consider that in the last hundred years some very significant prophecies especially concerning Israel and our times have come truly only adding to the hundreds of fulfilled prophesies. God has shown ample evidence and many of the authors carefully documented the scriptures so we can have an accurate record of the gospel. I have to come to realize that our pride blinds us to spiritual realities which can not seen by the natural person until there is a new spiritual birth. Even Christ with his miracles did not sway the hearts of harden people who wanted to silence his message so it is more about our hearts than anything. We naturally wanted to defend our sins especially homosexuality even though there is no evidence to defend it. The arguments being used to defend this particular sin could be also used to defend incest and polygamy. I did pointed out a recent article in which people are already endorsing these lifestyle with the same arguments that I keep hearing for embracing our sensual desires. Christ came to set us free and it is amazing thing. Sin is attractive and gives pleasures but it always lead us to death as natural


  12. I’ve just went through an amazing experience few days ago. I too am a SSA Struggler and I was about to give in and end the depression, lowness and live my life openly, then I heard the voice of God that said “Just Trust me”, basically God was telling me that as long as I look at the problem, I focus on myself, sure I will be satisfied by giving in and God will still love me, but God gives us a choice, if we choose him then we apply by his rules and trust him and since he has amazing plans for us, then we let him be the author of our life with all the twists and turns and have the guarantee that we will end up winning. Suddenly I began to feel better, yes, the depression, the loneliness, the emptiness is still there but really when you change the focus to God. God is telling me that most people who say that they feel better after living their sexuality, yes they are right, love is a boost compared to loneliness, but they give in because instead of looking at God, they looked at their issue and were trying themselves to find a solution and get accepted, they will then say that they spent years and years in reparative therapy and in depression and finally came to the conclusion of accepting their sexuality and are now feeling alive. All along, they were not looking at God, they were looking at their own strenghts, it is not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit says the lord. SSA strugglers the more we are going to look at our problem, our sexuality, methods to fix it, we are going to end up more depressed, lonelier, sadder because as we all know only a miracle to change one’s sexuality fully. God is the only one who can make that miracle so we bring this issue to the cross and let God handle it and we focus on him. I am not saying that God will automatically heal us. NO. I believe that God is capable of healing but I also believe that he can let us live our lives unchanged, but true faith is not loving God because he heals us, true faith is loving God even if he doesn’t give us what we want. The SSA Strugglers are so focused with their sexuality, that they loose the focus of focusing on God and this increases the lowness. Don’t get me wrong, I am a realist, focusing on God doesnt mean that the loneliness, depression, sadness goes away, we are humans with human needs. I may be writing this today with good mood but tomorrow I may be down all day. but at least by putting the focus on God when the skies are gray does help me get by and I know that God always comes through when you choose him. someone told me that no one can call himself a christian, if he has not endurance real suffering, real pain (physical, emotional, spiritual), persecution, rejection ect…. but along with suffering comes lots and lots of graces. The priest told me that, God always make sure that next to sufferings there are blessings. I’ve experience so much blessings in my life admists all the suffering, depression, rejection, loneliness i am going through, I’ve seen doors open easily in other areas of my life. I quit a high paying job because I could not handle anymore stress due to the struggle and loneliness and depression and took a low paying job with not much to do to reduce the pressure and stress. But God has been able to use that low paying job to bless me, I have been able to buy a piece of land, started building a property, even in that low paying job, God is elevating me within my company. My point is that yes, you suffer and you will continue to suffer but God doesn’t fall through he always comes through but not in ways we might expect and we are so focused on ourselves that when he comes through we do not see the miracles he does, we just see the God that does not fix our sexuality. When someone is blind his other senses like hearing or smelling develop in greater sense. It is the same thing wiht homosexuality, it is a handicap but God fills your life in other ways.

    There is a mystery behind homosexuality why would God choose to see people suffer and not change their sexuality with a blink of an eye and yet deny them entrance to the kingdom of God for acting on their natural god given selves. This is a mystery, no one knows the true cause of homosexuality and no one knows the true anti-dote, but i am beginning to see that behind this mystery, there is a greatness as in a weird way we can call it “the chosen one”, while others who are considered normal people probably would not be able to experience the authentic long suffering and yet rewarding christian experience that the homosexual goes through. We homosexuals are definetely not given the choice to get on the christianity path, it is like we’re put on it by force by God from the get go and only when understand we thank him because we experience all of christianity courses from the early days without even knowing we are on it or like normal people without having to do the effort for it. Suffering 101 (Passed), Rejection 101 (Passed), Persecution 101 (Passed), loneliness 101 (Passed), cross bearing 101 (Passed), Depression 101- Remember when Jesus cried to God why did you amband me (Passed) and Blessings 101- (most people fail because they end up looking at themselves rather than God). But it is at the lowest of your life that the blessing comes, yesterday i was about to give it it all up, but then I fell on my knees and focused on God and few minutes later, i started feeling better. but we are definetely given the choice to live for ourselves and not for God .

    Here is a weird story, a straight man living his sexuality to the fullest since the age of 14 now almost 30 told me that he envied me, he wish that he could resist sex like i do because all his energy is wasted on sex rahter than build something up. I am not saying that gayness is linked to sex, straight people are as promiscuous as gay people. but not giving into the flesh there is power. I am far from being perfect and God knows that, though I have never been with a man, I do fall back on temptations from time to time, pornography, masturbation etct… Jesus said that he did not come for those who are fine, but those who suffer. I am thruthful to God about my weakness because I know that only God can change me and I do choose to follow him. There is a difference between the law and the Grace. Christians today almost mirror the pharisees, they are focused on the rules and pleasing God relying on their strenght than pleasing God with their weaknesses because he is our strenght. This is why Christian have been stigmatised they are quick to point out your weakness when you do not fall in line with the law. but Jesus teaches us Grace, Grace means going to the deep of yourself, exposing your weakness to God, being thruthful to him and knowing letting God do the healing process and realizing that not because I sin that I am disbarred. this does not validate us to sin because he will forgive us. It is pleasing and focusing on God and following God with our weakness because he is our strenght and only him can eventually heal us. Whoever said that Christianity was about perfection. I think I’ve said enought

    I just want to add, where do you find peace? Peacing is like digging gold, digging is life suffering, you dig, you dig, you dig, you suffer, you suffer, you suffer and then you find god, you find peace. I have experience it many times, the suffering will get so hard bearing but slowly you find yourself at inner peace. You have to leave it to understand. like the poster above said, after a while, you do not feel attracted to anything. Someone told me there is a time where you are numb to the pain. I have been at a crossroad in my life, on one hand experiencing an amazing christian experience, on the other hand temptation lurked at the corner and yesterday was a culmininating point I wont say THEE culminating point because with God there are always twists and turns and I am glad I made the right decision. Matt, your post helped me a lot but also I realized that we SSA struggler we don’t fall to sin out of fear rather than out of love for God. and this was where I had been, I did not want to fall because of fear of God, of society, of family, the focus was on myself, but when I realize that I should not fall because it is against God’s will, it changed everything. I was not looking at myself as an abstinent gay person, but as someone who was choosing God regardless of my background, sexuality, status and it changed everything. When we worship God out of fear, there is always a chance we loose the battle because God is the most complex being that we will find him the most unfair, but when we choose God out of love, we just agree to love the most complex being according to his terms and agreement. Isnt that what love is, i mean God loves us with our terms and agreements and accept us as we are, so why should not we accept him as he is.


    • Walker,
      I am so glad that I read your comment. So many of the things you say we agree on. I would like to talk with you sometime my FB address is:

      I know what you were saying about God knowing who could carry the homosexual cross where others couldn’t, about being careful not to take our eyes off of God and look at our problems and a lot of other statements made. The peace of God be with you.


  13. While I no longer follow the same spiritual path as many of you here, I believe many here can learn a lot from a recent article my friend Jeffrey wrote regarding sin.

    “When we are honest with ourselves, with God, and with each other, we have to admit that we sin. Not only do we sin, but also we live in our sinfulness, returning again and again to the same bad habits, the same harsh words, the same disagreements, the same acts of imposing our egos and wills on others, the same thoughtless disregard for our God. If one is captive to anxious thoughts about sinfulness, this knowledge can be overwhelming and depressing. But if we let that anxiety rule our thoughts, we have not let the mercy and grace of our great Redeemer reach us. Consider this: the one who told us to forgive others “seventy times seven” has done, is doing just that for us. When we really begin to understand that our Heavenly Parent views us not with disgust and disdain but with the overwhelming love of a parent for his or her child; when we understand the Parable of the Prodigal Son to be this image of a God who goes out of His way to celebrate our safe return from our dissolute wanderings; when we understand that our Good Shepherd “seeks and saves that which was lost.;” then we begin to understand our responsibility as sinners saved by none other than His mercy to love others without condition, as He has loved us.”……
    “For the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning or intersex Christian, as for every Christian, the very personal, most meaningful question about our sexuality and/or gender expression/repression/suppression must be “how does my expression/repression/suppression of my gender and/or sexuality exhibit my love for God and my love for my neighbor?” This is a personal question that each individual must ask in humility and openness to the Holy Spirit’s leading in her/his life. In my case, the Holy Spirit has led me — partly through the witness of my own faith community and partly through my own experience of my sinfulness in the light of grace — to conclude that sexuality expressed in the context of a lifetime commitment to fidelity and companionship is the best way for me to honor God, myself, and my beloved. Others have reached different conclusions. BJUnity is here to affirm and support YOU in whatever conclusions the Holy Spirit may lead you, oh Christian LGBT+ individual.
    Take heart, dear ones. Jesus loves you. He loves you infinitely, completely, and unconditionally. All of your sins are forgiven.”


    • Love never tells a friend to believe a lie that kills but warns them with truth that may offend them. Remember satan is an angel with the very message that you described in your message. Jesus was love and he strongly warn us against sin. It is the truest form of love to risk your friendship and reputation to tell someone the truth that sets them from satan’s trap set for them.

      James 5:19-20 “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.


  14. @James, I read your buddy’s article. I [believe] it was less about sin and more about LGBT. By the end of it I was farting out Skittles and belching up fairy dust.


  15. jeffery, i think it would be fair to say you and I view sin and grace differently. But to answer you question fully I didn’t take your post on your blog seriously. How could I?


  16. I read this post and I thought to myself “wow, this young man has been reading a whole lot of Paul and missing out on a whole lot of Jesus.” If you don’t read Paul in the light of the gospel, you’re going to get what he has to say all wrong.

    “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” — Jesus (in Matthew 11, KJV)


  17. Or rather I didn’t take your theology seriously. Do you think that could be it?-Pretty sure it had less to do with sacred Scripture and Christ more to do with individual dogma. Certainly I do not reject what was good and true in your post. Thank you, you have a nice day also.


  18. from the OrthodoxWiki site:

    Sin in the Orthodox Christian understanding is “missing the mark” (the literal meaning of the Greek word for sin, hamartia), falling short of the glorious purpose for which God created mankind. It is also understood as separation from God, since intimate communion with God is the normal state of mankind from which most people have fallen. Sin is imperfection, anything which fails to live up to the fullness of life in Christ for which man was created.

    The Bible sometimes uses legal metaphors to refer to sin, likening it to crime, that is, crime against God’s law. For Orthodox Christianity, while making use of legal imagery, the more dominant imagery used for sin is also drawn from Scripture, and that is that sin is a kind of disease, an affliction for which salvation is the cure.


    Salvation is the goal of Christianity, and the purpose of the Church. The theology of salvation is called soteriology. Orthodox Christianity strongly believes that God became man, so that man may become like God. This concept of theosis, rejects that salvation is a positive result to a legalistic dilemma, but is instead a healing process. Orthodoxy views our inclination to sin as a symptom of a malady that needs treatment, not just a transgression that requires retribution. One of the distinctive characteristics of Orthodox Christian thinking is that it sees the Gospel message not as law, but as relationship. It speaks of the mystery of the Holy Trinity in terms of the relationship of love that exists among them. To join in that love is the work that will lead to salvation.

    The Church

    Salvation means that the world is not an end in and of itself. It is a reality that points to the larger reality of God’s love for us and all that surrounds us. The world, time, history, our very lives are “an epiphany of God, a means of his revelation, presence and power.”

    God did not abandon his people after Christ’s ascension into heaven. His Church, starting on Pentecost, is still with us today.


  19. okay now I am confused you are Catholic or a member of the Orthodox Church? If yes which community? You claim your theology is ‘orthodox’ but how am I to understand your theology regarding homosexuality when it is so conspicuously not historical Christianity. It appears to me you have created a bottle neck. Are you the arbiter of sacred Scripture? If yes then by who’s authority was this given to you? I apologize I have never heard of orthodoxwiki website. Is it possible you can foward the link?


    • And Jeffery if you are orthodox or at least adhere to orthodox Christianity why in the crap are you quoting from the KJV, a protestant ‘version’ of sacred Scripture comissioned by a noble King in the 17th century for the Church of Scotland and England? Huh?


      • Davide,

        Please show some respect. A lot of Protestants died (murdered by the Roman Catholic church) so that you might have the luxury of owning a Bible in your language of choice.



    • I am glad you re-read my post, Davide, because most of your questions are answered there. I used the “King James” Bible because it is the version I have memorized for most of my life — as a youth in Awana in my Independent Fundamental Baptist church and as a student growing up at Bob Jones University — and because the beauty of its language is unparalleled, NOT because it necessarily gives us the most clear interpretation of the ancient languages in which Scripture was written.

      I posted links to the OrthodoxWiki site, but they didn’t go through. I think many, many people here would benefit from understanding the theology of the ancient church as it has carried down through the centuries in Greek Orthodox churches. OrthodoxWiki provides some very clear and concise theological explanations. If you are merely looking to Calvinist evangelicals like John Piper or John MacArthur or, even worse, to bullies like Mark Driscoll for your theology, you need to know that you are not, I repeat, you are NOT, hearing true orthodox theology preached.

      The Anglican Communion formed as a bridge church between theological extremes: on the one hand we had Roman Catholicism and on the other we had the extreme Protestantism of Calvin and Zwingli. The Anglican Church many, many years ago chose a via media, a “middle road,” between these extremes, because our understanding is that Christ is the Head of the Church and that “whosoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved,” as scripture teaches.

      BJUnity is not a religious organization, but nearly half our board members have found a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church. I am one of them.


  20. Bryan, I went through an amazing experience, I fell in love with a married man who was helping me with my struggle, at some point, I told him about my feelings for him and how I was aching because I could not have him, I went through a severe depression because the feelings for him became intense and I knew there was no way I could have him. But in midst of all, something pure develop I realize that because I loved this man, I respected him not to make him uncomfortable but it taught me 1 Cor 13. You see love in a relationship, is fifty fifty each one has certain things they expect from the other. But imagine being in love with someone that you know will never satisfy you the way you want but still fulfilling all the requirements that 1 Cor 13 teaches us (Go read it if you can), I did it with that married man, I loved him unconditionally and fulfilled the requirements of unconditional love while the suffering was still there, It taught me about the way God loves us, he loves us whether he gets this love in return or not. God suffers too, because he wants to feel our love back just like us humans do but he still loves us when he does not receive it back and this experience taught me about God’s love. Let’s just say that his wife ended up finding out, but they were both okay because they knew where I was coming from. His wife and I ended up becoming best friends. Somewhere down the line, I realized that the two were going through so much and having problems, the man lost his job, their marriage became so complicated that the wife considered leaving many times, but I ended up being a mentor to that wife because me being in love with her husband helped me figure out her pain and also how to deal with it, since I was dealing with it myself. The devil used this relationship to torment me as I could not have him, I told myself that I would look to fill this void by living my life openly. But one day the priest told me to purify this love. It has not been easy because of the flesh but purify these feelings help put things in perspective. While I can take this negatively and use this temptation that I cannot have to fall into sin, I could also do it the other way around, use this love positively and our friendship and go through the benefits of what it is like to be in a relationship without the sex. It is pure love and I think Wesley Hill in his book washed and waiting talked about God’s love being reflected on brothers and sisters in the body of christ as a catalyst to help loneliness. While this experience taught me God’s love unconditionally because I was suffering in my flesh that I could not have him, I also found out what it is like to receive God’s love through the eyes of others, this couple has welcomed me into their homes, cried with me, laughed with me, ate with me (They basically fulfilled Matthew 25, I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was sickk…).
    Today, we have become three inseparable musketeers, I am as close to the wife as I am close to the husband, sometimes I joke that I am married to the two of them and it has helped me a lot. Basically, don’t get me wrong, the struggle is still there, it is a daily struggle my sexuality as well as my feelings for him (flesh) but at the same time their love and friendship does fill the void in my life.


  21. @ Sarel,

    There you go again with your fanciful history. Just how deep does your anti-Catholic bigotry run through your veins? I remember a while back you sharing with me your story of your ancestry. It appears to me a grudge has been passed on generation to generation. Maybe the generation after you can work on forgiveness? Anyways….

    First of all it is true Catholics killed Protestants as it is also true Protestants killed Catholics.

    Second, the King James version of sacred Scripture was commissioned and authorized by a vehemently anti-Catholic Protestant King.

    Third, the Douai-Rheims (English translation) version came out a few years before the KJV. The DR was translated from the Latin Vulgate a fifth century translation of the Greek Septuagint and Hebrew Scriptures. 

    Fourth the KJV is based on a 16th Century compilation of 10th to 13th centuries copies of the Septuagint. 

    Fifth, Catholic bibles are based on 4th and 5th Century Greek and Hebrew Text, among the oldest in existence. 

    Sixth, Douay-Rheims de facto standard is the English version Catholics use.

    Seven, My point to Jeffrey had absolutely nothing to do with respect nor distain. When I had written the comment I was asking him why he was using the KJV when he tells me he is ‘orthodox’ and before I found out he was Anglican. As a Catholic Christian I find it nearly impossible to believe that a Orthodox Christian would be quoting from the KJV. As if King James of England had the authority to “authorize” any version of the Bible as accurate. A translation as it turns out has been revised many times due to it’s inaccuracies. Yet, still claims to be the “authorized version”. Authorized by whom? A King? Well loddy freakin’ da.

    Today it would be like if Barack Obama authorized and commissioned a group and asked them to translate manuscripts and Barry would put his seal of approval when it was finished and call it “official” Scripture.

    Catholics nor Orthodox do no accept that King of England is God’s representative on earth, so we do not accept that King James had the authority to authorize any Bible including his own ‘version’. King James received his power (narcissism) from King Henry VIII, not from Christ, declaring himself God’s appointed representative on earth in 1534.  Us Catholics and Orthodox reject this. 

    Finally…Maybe the questions you should be asking is why do you use it? After all this Bible still bares his name….



    • Davide,

      You may be blind to all the little digs you constantly make about Protestants – I’m not. And then when I ask you to show some respect for my beliefs – merely to address your sarcastic Bible ‘version’ comment – you call me a bigot and accuse me of hatred. Where have I seen this type of behaviour before? The history of the Bible is public domain – if you wish to ignore it, by all means.



      • Come on now Sarel, seriously? My comments to Jeffrey had absolutely nothing to do with you. Read what I wrote again. I make digs at Protestantism? Ya maybe sure. But tell me exactly what is it you do to us Catholics? Constantly accusing us of murdering others and a couple of your past comments was a litany of anti-Catholic hype. Come on now Sarel. Play fair.

        Tell me what exactly is the history of the bible? Can you at least give me your version of this history?

        Try as you might you can not shame me. You don’t like what I said about the KJV? Ya so? What’s that to me? More importantly what I said above isuntrue? If so what is your standard references for that?

        Finishing… if King James desire to have his own version of the Bible for his church is not narcissism, what the heck is it? Are you Anglican? Why would it matter to you to begin with? If you are Anglican than good you got your bible and I apologize If you found my comments offensive.


      • At Sarel, I never call you a bigot in my above comment to you. I also never accused you of hatred either. You can judge yourself if your anti-Catholic foolishness is hatred. And no I am not calling you a fool…


      • Davide and Sarelpetrus,

        It is about Christ just Him. Both groups are guilty are straying from truth. Standing before Him will be on based on being Protestant or Catholic but did I really know Him?

        1 Corinthians 1:10
        “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas; still another, “I follow Christ.”

        1 Corinthians 3:3 “You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

        1 Corinthians 3:10 “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.


      • Dear Albert,

        I have mostly learned to ignore it when Davide constantly makes a little remarks about Protestants – unfortunately this time I said something. I honestly don’t have an issue with Roman Catholics (of whatever rite) other than worrying about some of the things they do and how it might affect their future.

        Either way, I had already used up my supply of self-control dealing with real life issues when I stumbled on his Bible ‘version’ comment. The reason why I got angry was because the KJV didn’t just drop out of thin air. There were other translations that preceded and led up to it and a lot of Protestants died so that the average man in the street (us) may have the luxury of owning a Bible. I found his comment highly disrespectful towards these people. They died for their faith.

        But I quickly came to my senses and that’s why I ended the exchange. I shouldn’t have said anything to begin with. There’s quite enough bickering going on already. It’s sickening to be perfectly honest.



      • Sarelpetrus,

        I do agree with you on the aspect concerning bibles having a family whose profession has bible translation and I have spent personally spent years on the history of bible translation and bible versions to see the work and price that many paid personally with their lives to get us the King James and our English versions.. I do not want waste my life debating since it generally does not convince the other person anyway. I am very guilty of arguing as seen on some of these posts but God has been dealing with me about taking some time to wait on him in prayer before I go on a typing frenzy. I really appreciate your posts and have learned a lot from them.


      • Sarel,

        When I first was writing to Jeffrey I was asking why a Orthodox Christian was quoting from the KJV because usually Orthodox Christians do not use the KJV. When he said he was “orthodox” I took it literally as in a member of the Orthodox community. I am not exactly sure still today what you found so offensive. Was it this:

        “a protestant version of sacred Scripture commissioned by a noble King In the 17th Century for the Church of Scotland and England.”

        I’m really not trying to argue. I am only asking because this has left me puzzled and perplexed. What exactly did I say that offered you Sarel? I seriously would like to straightened this up. 

        @ Albert thank you for trying to find peace between Sarel and I. 



      • Davide,

        You incorrectly quote yourself – leaving out the offence: “you quoting from the KJV, a protestant ‘version’ of sacred Scripture” is what you said.

        But please just leave it. I really don’t have the strength for this conversation any more – I have enough going on right now. You will always on some level see us Protestants as an illegitimate child that never should have been, following some ‘version’ of the truth. So be it. I won’t bring it up again. I honestly pray that I don’t.



      • Sarel,

        Hello, I own several Bibles including one (1) “King James Version” printed and circulated by Holman.  On the front cover it reads: “Holy Bible”, on the binding it reads: “King James Version” below that this it reads:  “Holeman Bible Publishers”.  In my comment to Jeffrey I did put the word {version} in quotes. In me doing so I do not believe it was unreasonable nor do I believe it was extraordinary. Certainly, I see no offense. 

        This being said after reading the rest of your comment evidently you must believe I have been sanctimonious because I am Catholic and Protestants are not. 
        In the future I promise to be more mindful of your sensitivities. In return I’m asking you to be mindful of the insensitive nature of   your comments regarding the Catholic faith. Fairness and     
        courtesy could and should be a two-way avenue. 

        I am conscious of the generosity of the administrator of this blog in allowing me a Catholicl to comment here. So I do believe it is reasonable that you and others also show me the same cordiality. You can’t get the Catholic out of me anymore than I can get the Protestant out of you. But I see no reason why we cannot be respectful and show charity towards one another from this point forward especially when there are disagreements.

        In closing I want to be clear as crystal so there is no future misgivings between us. I do not view you nor any other Protestant  as “illegitimate”. Protestants of today can not be charged with formal heresy as they did not depart in full knowledge of the Church and reject it. There is no individual sin of separated today. As a child of the Catholic Church I am required by faith to accept you and every other non-Catholic baptized Christian as my brother and sister with affection into Christ. Not exactly something I would consider “illegitimate”.

        The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is good and true in other Christian faith communities and non-Christian religions.

        Sarel thank-you. 



    • The Douay-Rheims translation is a wonderful translation, too, and it was, in fact, authorized by a temporal authority: the Pope. The monarch in England has always been called “The Defender of the Faith,” and there is precedent in catholic history (i.e. Charlemagne and Constantine) for such a claim. The history of the Protestant Reformation speaks to the over-reach of Rome in national polity and personal autonomy, and the Protestant Reformers were reacting to that as much as they were voicing theological differences (minor ones, really, when viewed through the lens of time — and ones that Rome has mostly acceded to).


  22. Jeffrey Hoffman, your claiming to be an “orthodox” (small o) Christian is anything but full disclosure. Your blog lists you as an LGBT affirming Episcopalian, and anyone paying attention the last 15+ years or so would know that the majority of that “church” has gone far off the cliff of apostasy. I saw that from the inside. Anyone who wonders what I mean can go to the current articles and archives of and read until their eyes glaze over or they wonder if they are reading the Onion (no, the stories on SFIF are true, unfortunately) or some other satire. You can’t make up satire about the Episcopal church fast enough or absurd enough to outpace the sad reality.


    • @ Milton,

      I am glad you said something. I was gonna but afraid I would look like a butthole [oops to late]. On his post did you notice it said orthodox, catholic, Anglican? Seems to me he has all the bases  covered. Two thumbs up for him.

      Confusing enough was yesterday as I was try my best to figure out Jeffery’s theology..I once had a friend who is a Jew, Christian and Buddhist. Who believed he was reincarnated transgendered man-woman and his wife-husband was also transconfused. They had a kid or two but I can remember who had the kids I was so confused by all of it, best I could do was poop out a rainbow…


      • Don’t try to figure out typical Episcopalian “theology”, other than to remember that “in the last days men will not endure sound doctrine but, having itching ears, will seek out teachers for themselves according to their own desires”. Go to the link I posted to see what I mean.

        I once had a friend who is a Jew, Christian and Buddhist. Who believed he was reincarnated transgendered man-woman and his wife-husband was also transconfused. They had a kid or two but I can remember who had the kids…

        That’s a fair representation of the farthest-left Episcopalian member, or more likely, priest, nowadays. I kid you not.


    • Milton,

      The Episcopal Church, like the Anglican Communion, is a place where Christians of all viewpoints meet and worship God together (“Catholic and Protestant” alike, as the Elizabethan settlement put it). The Roman Catholic Church has many dissenting theologians within it that do not agree with the dogmas of the church on human sexuality (Fr. James Allison comes to mind, among others). The only difference between the Roman Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church is that most of the dissenters in Rome are forced to keep quiet for fear of being defrocked. In the Anglican Communion we work through our difference in community and allow the Holy Spirit to work in all of our hearts. That doesn’t mean we’re always right, but that’s a far more biblical stance, in my opinion.

      There are a great many gay men in positions of power in the Roman Catholic Church. Whether or not they are celibate, their sexuality is not in dispute. I am privileged to call a few of them my friends. (I’m a church musician, and I have spent half my career playing for Roman Catholic churches). Personally, I find the theology of the Roman Catholic Church to be far more affirming of gay people than is the theology of currently popular evangelical bullies I mentioned above, but that does not take away the fact that being gay is not a disorder. It is a fundamental part of who we are as individuals.

      Morality is nothing if it is not personal and from the heart. Luther would affirm that. So would Dietrich Bonhoffer. And sin is something of which we are ALL guilty.

      My views on theology are indeed orthodox, and my views on sin and soteriology are perfectly in keeping with the doctrines of the Orthodox churches as well as the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds and the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. If you want to call me unorthodox, you’ll have to use a bigger club than name-calling. You’ll have to engage my points and refute them from an orthodox perspective.

      As I said, BJUnity does not take a religious viewpoint. We affirm and support people. But I am an orthodox, catholic Anglican. I stand by that statement and I can and will prove it.


      • The only difference between the Roman Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church is that most of the dissenters in Rome are forced to keep quiet for fear of being defrocked.

        It’s called biblical doctrine and church discipline, Jeffrey. Something the Episcopal “church” forgot decades ago. Any church that refuses to rebuke, let alone defrock, heretics such as Bishops James Pike, John Shelby Spong, or Walter Righter, while deposing summarily such as Robert Duncan and even purporting to defrock a visiting Anglican priest from England is simply dissembling and deceiving to call itself orthodox.

        The Roman Catholic Church you applaud as affirming of gay people recently contradicted your statement above, citing homosexual attraction to be “intrinsically disordered”

        One of your likely heroes, Bishop Gene Robinson, first partnered gay bishop in the Episcopal Church (followed by Mary Glasspool recently), revealed how little affirmations of belief in any of the church’s historical creeds are worth when uttered by GLBT advocates. He said that he always recited the Nicene and Apostle’s Creeds “with his fingers crossed” during the parts he didn’t believe, or simply didn’t say them aloud.

        The only orthodoxy that rises to the standard of being truly Christian is that which affirms the whole Bible as divinely inspired, as Jesus affirmed it also, followed by the apostles Paul and Peter, who affirmed Paul’s writings (which likely stick in your craw) as Scripture. Having said that, how can you claim orthodoxy when the Episcopal church leaves out of ever appearing in its Lectionary (3-year cycle of readings done during church services) quite a few passages. Guess what they have to do with? (or you can Google “Episcopal lectionary ommitted”) Of course, all the “clobber passages”, but also many passages affirming Jesus as Lord and LORD, convicting us of sin, warnings against tampering with the Word (tellingly, Revelation 22:10-15, 18, 19) among others.

        But, details please, Jeffrey. Soteriology, for a start. In your understanding:
        1. Why is it necessary for us to be saved? What happened to the creation and the humans the God called “good” when He first created them?
        2. From what, and from whom are we saved?
        3. By whom and by what are we saved?
        4. To what are we saved?
        5. Are there any who will not be saved, and why?
        6. What, if any, passages in the Bible detail who will and who will not enter the kingdom of Heaven and for what reasons?

        You may, of course, ignore me and my questions. But your answers to them would go a long way toward proof that you are an orthodox Christian, regardless of what may constitute being an orthodox, catholic Anglican.


  23. David, yes, you are a jerk to make fun of someone whose gender identity doesn’t fit your stereotypes. What would Jesus say? What would Jesus do? The times that He did speak to gender and sexual minorities that are recorded in the New Testament, Jesus spoke with compassion and love. What did He say to the woman who was taken in adultery? “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.” That’s what. What did he say to the centurion whose pais/entemos duolos was sick? “I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” That’s what. To Simon for criticizing the prostitute who washed his feet with her hair and a precious ointment? “Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.” That’s what.

    Jesus forgives sin and sinners. Period. Always in compassion. Always with deep, profound love. That love, when we encounter it, changes our lives.


    • Jesus does forgive repentant sinners, such as the woman caught in adultery, the Samaritan woman at the well, the “sinner” (likely a prostitute) who washed His feet with nard and tears. But we must not forget His words to unrepentant sinners.

      After healing the man born blind,
      John 9: 40-41 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

      Remember also Jesus said of those who lead little ones astray, that it would be better they had a heavy millstone hung around their necks and be drowned in the sea.

      The sin against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven, to call good evil and evil good. The Episcopal Church claims to be led by the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit, unlike the Episcopal Church, will never contradict the Book of which He is the ultimate Author. “No passage of Scripture is of any private interpretation, but men of old, inspired by the Holy SPirit, spoke from God”. (2 Peter 1:20-21)


      • Milton, there’s an awful lot of private interpretation going on in this thread. It isn’t coming from me. Matt’s apology for a sado-masochistic view of the Christian life is just one such private interpretation. This is not orthodox theology.

        Jesus says “go and sin no more.” Yet we sin, again and again. All of us. This is a fact. Jesus forgives us, again and again. This is also a fact. It is an important doctrine of the Church and the basis for the sacrament of reconciliation (which the Episcopal Church holds in common with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches).

        Good Christian people disagree about a lot of things. There is a parable of wheat and tares in Scripture. Do you know whose work it is to separate the wheat from the tares? My Bible says it is the angels’ work in the last days.

        Let’s face it. There are SIX, possibly, seven passages of Scripture that possibly discuss gay people. Yet, when it comes to a hermeneutic for condemning gay people, Christian theologians from all sorts of traditions (evangelical, catholic, orthodox and even conservative) have a lot of trouble with an exegetical condemnation in those passages of people who simply express that their sexual orientation is gay or lesbian or that they identify as another gender from their outward appearance (eunuchs, in the Bible). Jesus talked a lot about love, forgiveness, faith, justice, and not binding men with heavy bonds (Matthew 23) of external rules that are too burdensome to keep. I realize that this challenges you to let others’ have their consciences ruled by the Holy Ghost in this matter and that they may arrive at different conclusions from yours, and that bothers you. But that’s your problem, not mine.

        It is the Church’s responsibility to affirm Christ’s love and forgiveness to all those who are penitent.


      • Milton,

        I have to realize that those who twisted scripture to fit their perceived reality are practicing eisegesis which is to get out of scripture what they perceived or imposed their views on it but we are called to practice Exegesis which means to “draw out” and this does require knowledge of the original language in which a text is written. As I studied more, it becomes evident that new false teachers will come just resorted to imposing a lie on scripture such as the endorsement that the bible endorse or condones homosexuality and then referred to this as “facts”. It is difficult to debate with them since they are always right in their own eyes. We need to be prepared to explain what God has spoken on it and then it is best to spend our time praying for them and go on. It only wear you down and will be spiritually unproductive. Even the apostles and Christ had this problems so they gave up on them and went on. Love them enough to tell them the truth, pray and love. Perhaps they will find the truth before its too late for them.


  24. @ Milton,

    Hi-yes I am very familiar with the Anglican Church. It’s all very sad what kind of mess they had made for themselves but I suppose it was inevitable. Hand to God I am very happy my parents did not raise me Anglican. The Anglicans are sadly mistaken if they believe inclusiveness and fellowship is more important that the salvation of souls. 

    May I ask you Milton what Christian faith community (denomination) you are a member of? 

    Thanks Milton.

    @ Jeffery, excuse me for cutting in but I just gotta….

    Elizabeth had about as much Catholic in her as the turd I leave in the toilet every morning and don’t even get me started on James and Edward. 

    It is absolutely true the Catholic Church has many theologians who disagree with Church teaching. There has always been that. But that is why we have the Magisterium and the Pope and of course final and absolute authority      rest with the Pope. What is a Catholic theologian to do when he disagrees with the Church? Simple: change his mind.   

    It is also true the Church has a homosexual problem. The priesthood is no place for a homosexual man. The homosexual priest child abuse scandal was bad enough but effeminate men have no business being pastors of a flock. 

    Ask your “gay” priest buddies all about the seminaries of the late 50’s through the mid 1970’s-that looked more like gay bathhouses than places for the formation of priests. Ask them how many of their butt buddy priests died from HIV/AIDS, because they couldn’t keep their butts planted. Yes Jeffery the Church has a huge homosexual problem. And mark my words there is coming a time when all homosexual clergy will be asked to remove themselves from the ministry. Far too many lives have been destroyed. Tell you the truth I would love to know the names of all your gay priest buddies. Tell me how many of them go to gay chat rooms, members of Saint Sebastian’s angels? Sodomizing other priests and men?  

    And here you are propagating homosexual priesthood is a good thing… Dumb

    The only difference between your church and the Catholic Church is: 

    “The only difference between the Roman Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church is that most of the dissenters in Rome are forced to keep quiet for fear of being defrocked”


    Are you retarded? Seriously are you retarded?

    I see you have left me another comment I will address that tomorrow. 


  25. Davide,

    Your slander of gay people with the pedophilia is disgusting. The problem with pedophilia in the church has nothing to do with homosexual orientation and everything to do with repression and power. I was molested as a young boy in my IFB church by a married man who had a passel of children. And, by the way, I knew I was gay before those incidents occurred.

    The church has long affirmed its gay members. You’re rewriting history. Since you’re Roman Catholic, I suggest you review the story of Saints Sergius and Bacchus. The Anglican Communion doesn’t accept the Magisterium. Neither does the Greek Orthodox Church, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Evangelicals, or any number of people who adhere to some form of basic orthodoxy. I realize what Rome has to say about that, but Rome, in the Anglican view, has erred on this point.

    Honestly, though, I can’t debate with someone who calls names and refuses to face facts or engage ideas. That’s the sure sign of a losing argument. Have a nice day.

    Jeffrey Hoffman
    executive director


    • Davide and Jeffery,

      Christopher Yuan who also left the gay lifestyle does a great job of displaying the myth that homosexuality is endorsed by scripture. Here is his quote on this issue.

      “Exegesis (literally “to draw out”) is the critical interpretation of a text requiring knowledge of the original language in which a text is written. Many begin with a presumption and superimpose their predetermined conclusion upon a text. This is eisegesis (“to draw in”) which is the opposite of exegesis. Matthew Vines’ entire argument hinges upon his presumption that the Bible doesn’t specifically address loving, same-sex relationships. Although there is no direct mention, the Bible does condemn it in its universal prohibition against all homosexual sex and romantic relationships.

      In Romans 1:26-27, Paul draws from well-known Greek philosophers and Hellenistic Jewish authors to universally condemn all homosexual sex and romantic relationships. “Unnatural” or para fusin is used by Plato, Philo and Josephus to refer to homosexual sex per se, not merely lustful, homosexual relationships. In addition, “nature” or fusis is found in Wisdom of Solomon, 3 Maccabees and 4 Maccabees. In each occurrence, fusis refers to nature (in general), a characteristic or origin – never as “customs” as Vines asserts.

      Most importantly is Paul’s appropriation of the Levitical condemnation against all homosexual sex and relationships in 1 Corinthians 6:9. Paul created a word “arsenokoitai” directly from Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible). The first half of Leviticus 20:13 from the Septuagint reads: “kai hos an koimethe meta arsenos koiten gynaikos.” Any good Hellenistic Jew familiar with the Torah and the Septuagint would make an unmistakable connection between “arsenokoitai” and the universal condemnation of all homosexual sex and romantic relationships found in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13.

      Even if Vines’ presumption is true that the Bible doesn’t specifically address loving, same-sex relationships, the absence of evidence is not evidence to the affirmative.


      • Ah, more name-calling. “You’re an eisegete, I am an exegete,” is simply name-calling in academic Greek language. Not a new phenomenon at all. But saying something is so doesn’t make it so.

        Honestly, no shakes on the very brave young Matthew Vines, but his work is hardly original. He has compiled literally decades of research on this subject that ranges across multiple disciplines and multiple Christian denominations, fellowships, and communions.

        Here’s a thought: did it ever occur to you or anyone else that reading prevailing cultural prejudices, personal sexual anxiety and homosexual panic into a text is eisegesis? By the very definition of the word, it is. Exegesis involves etymology and historicity to be good exegesis. I don’t suppose that one of the world’s foremost scholars of the Ancient Greek and Roman worlds would know anything about historicity. (I am speaking of John Boswell, whose work was peer-reviewed, as well). I don’t suppose that theologians like Fr. James Allison, Joseph S. O’Leary, BJUnity’s own Jeff Miner, Dr. Ralph Blair, and many others who have carefully exegeted these texts their historical and etymological context have any knowledge what they are talking about because somebody in the “ex-gay” movement disagrees with them and calls them an (academic) name.

        I don’t read Koine Greek, as I have elsewhere lamented, but living in New York City and working in the church, I know many people who do, including a friend who is among the world’s foremost scholars in Ancient Greek. When they tell me it isn’t in these texts, I believe them.

        BJUnity’s own Jeff Miner has offered a careful and accessible exegesis in his book The Children Are Free. I would recommend it to all who read this thread. Don M. Burrows has written extensive etymological analysis of the texts in question on his blog. These are people who know their stuff.

        When we speak of the Septuagint, we have to acknowledge that Torah includes exactly one regulation against homosexual activity *for Jews,* whereas it has many regulations for heterosexual relationships. When is the last time you heard a Christian theologian extolling the virtues of men not sleeping in the marriage bed when their wives are in their menses? The Torah calls that an abomination. When is the last time your pastor told you not to eat rabbits, or pork, or shrimp? Why not? Because we are not under the law but under grace. We are commanded to love God and our neighbors (as we love ourselves).

        The witness of the Holy Spirit is available to each and every baptized Christian, according to the ancient doctrines of the Church. The Spirit’s conviction is a normal experience in my prayer life, as I hope it is in yours. If you believe He is calling you to celibacy, that is the path you should follow. But mind your own sin and your own spiritual rule. The Spirit has affirmed my own love in my heart. I am confident that my sins are forgiven and I will continue to follow Him in the light of truth and love.

        BJUnity is here to support you. Feel free to email us We would be pleased to talk with you in your struggle.

        Best to you all,
        Jeffrey Hoffman


      • Jeffery,

        It would not matter what we say at this point since subjectivity makes you the arbiter of truth not God. We are called to search the scriptures for ourselves for truth and not blindly follow men.

        2 Timothy 3: 12-17 “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.


  26. One more thing, before I sign off here. I have other things to do with my time than arguing trivialities and slander with bigots: I affirm those of you who chose to live celibate as gay people. But if you think you can change your sexual orientation by prayer or self-mutilation, you’re sadly mistaken. I lived celibate for years. Then I fell in love. Love, St. John says, is from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God, for God is love. May you all allow His love to fill you and change you into who you were meant to be, whatever and whoever that is.



    • Jeffery,

      The world and Christ are at odds. Christ told us if this would happen and it will even become more polarize especially in the areas regarding immorality. Already there are outspoken proponents now endorsing in the popular media that incest is no different then homosexuality and we too should embrace this lifestyle. Christ promised his followers that their message would not be popular or embrace by the majority. He instead warn that them that world would hate them because God’s word would shine light on their darkness and they would be called names and mocked for their message. Things have not changed which only reinforces the truths found in the bible. God loves us but sin kills us. He cannot tolerate sin since it is against his holy nature which brings us to wholeness. The popular message of today even some in churches is that true love embraces everyone’ lifestyles but these same people yet show intolerance for those who choose to follow Christ. I have noticed that they like heap abuse or ridicule on us or anyone who has chosen to embrace Christ as our leader and have left our life of sin. We have an invisible but real cunning enemy satan an angel of light who is a master at deception and he wants to rob you of true life. Christ died so you can set from the penalty and power of sin over you and he send messengers like some here who are only trying wake you up to reality about is going in the spiritual realm. Man with all his amazing intelligence will never be able see this reality until they give up their pride and turn to Christ who wants to save them.

      1 Peter 1:13-16 ” So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”


      • Always the incest card… next we’ll hear about bestiality… we’ve already heard about pedophilia. All this moral equivalence is not coming from “liberals in the media.” (Just who, exactly, are the “vocal” proponents you speak of?) If those are the sins in your heart, by all means, repent. But stop the moral equivalence. I am gay. I am not a pedophile. I am not having sex with my pets and I am not in the least bit interested in incest. These are old slanders and they are red herrings, rhetorically, and disgusting distortions of the realities of gay people’s lives.


      • I do not dispute your theology. In fact, we agree. What I dispute is your conclusion that Christ condemns two people who love one another and chose to commit their lives together. In fact, Scripture is completely silent on that point.

        In fact, I would say Jesus was silent about sex and sexuality. Altogether silent. And when He did have the opportunity to judge a sexual or gender minority or to participate in their abuse, He always declined. Always. Eunuchs, prostitutes, the gay Centurion, even adulterers (and adultery is the only sexual sin mentioned in the Decalogue, don’t forget) were all the recipients of His compassion and mercy. And so are you and I.

        Christ came into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

        Some time ago, I commented on another of Matt’s posts. The gist of my comment was this: yes, Jesus does call you out of a self-destructive and addictive lifestyle. I affirm that. But being gay is who you are, not what you do. And Jesus loves exactly as your are.


      • Jeffery,

        Christ did address sexual immortality and even went beyond the act of sexual immortality and addressed the heart because he knew the rationalization of human heart for hiding sin.

        Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

        I have been praying and I am not going to argue with you anymore because you have already made up in your heart that your own truth is self-realized by the human senses and this blinds you to God’s word as revealed in the scriptures. I only spoke up because in hope that it will make you think about the deceptive lies that satan is using on our society to deceive millions into embracing sin. I don’t enjoy arguing but love wants to wake up as many as possible to the truth. God had mercy on me and I used to be like you hating the truth more interested in rationalizing my decisions and thinking as higher than Gods. i will be praying for God’s mercy because he was very patient with me. Just a human saved by grace and mercy of God.

        2 Timothy 2:22-26 “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.


      • @Jeffery, the “gay Centurian”. Huh? Every play has to have at least one gay character ay? You LGBT activist are funny little creators. Queering the Church are we…



  27. My, my, Jeffrey. So “bigots” does not equal name-calling? And who on here mentioned self-mutilation? No Origens on this site, thank you. :) Apparently you also have other things to do than “prove” your orthodoxy when the questions are simple but not the softballs you serve up. Ta, ta, for now, then, do drop back in anytime.


    • Milton, from the Merriam-Webster dictionary: Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot, defined by Merriam-Webster as “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”

      This statement: “I once had a friend who is a Jew, Christian and Buddhist. Who believed he was reincarnated transgendered man-woman and his wife-husband was also transconfused. They had a kid or two but I can remember who had the kids I was so confused by all of it, best I could do was poop out a rainbow” is bigoted. I call it as I see it.

      As for your questions about soteriology,

      1. We are sinners. That is why we must be saved. Adam and Eve sinned, and in Adam all die, but in Christ all are made alive.
      2. We are saved from our sin into the new and abundant life in Christ.
      3. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
      4. We are saved to new life in Christ. Already answered.
      5. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
      6. “Not every one who says to me ‘Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who do the will of my Father.” The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man finds it, he goes and buys the field so that he may have the treasure. The kingdom of heaven is like yeast, which a woman hid in three measures of flour, until the whole was leavened. “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.”

      Straight from Scripture, my friend.


  28. Jeffrey,

    First of all I am not Roman Catholic I am Ambrosian Catholic. I was born and raised in Milan, Italy. Hence my smugness and gregarious personality. 

    Can you give me one name of any “gay” person I slandered? My comment offended you? Okay, so? Have you done one minute of research into the child abuse scandal? No? Obviously, if you had you wouldn’t have been so irate or maybe you have and rather me not speak of it? 

    Tell me are you more concerned about protecting the LGBT image than welfare of children?

    How do you explain that 87 to 90 percent of the children that were abused by Catholic priests were post puberty teens BOYS between the ages of 13 and 18? To say heterosexual men were responsible for these abuses would that not be slander against straights? If no why not? 

    Tell me is it not true that youthful, pristine, hairless male bodies are adored by the gay male community. That pornography that features twinks barely over the age of consent is the rage within homosexual subculture?  

    Is it not true most of these men who molested these boys also had homosexual lovers? Some even gang banging these kids? Taking turns raping these teens? Is this not true? 

    Is it not true that many of the bishops who covered it up were themselves closeted homosexuals? Is this not true? Why did they cover it up? Blackmail. Is it not true that gay priests threatened to go public if a bishop went to law enforcement? Certainly a few heterosexual bishops were also cowards.  

    Is it not true there was and still remains a huge gay underground subculture within the Church involving thousands of priests? Is this not true? Ask your gay priest buddies. I am sure they will tell you-as long as you promise to keep it hush hush…you know a dirty little secret.

    Is it not true this past June a homosexual bishop in Canada is  sitting in prison for child pornography, hoping to return to his homosexual lover upon his release. Is this not true? 

    Is it not true thousands of Catholic American homosexual priests have died since the AIDS outbreak of 1981. Is this not true? 

    Would you like resources that can back up my claims? If yes would you even read it? 

    What if you didn’t like what you read. Would the authors of these books also be bigots?

    Jeffery if you want to play with the big dogs you have to learn to take a bite. 

    I have studied the homosexual priest abuse scandal extensively for the past two years. I have literally read thousands of pages. Below is the information that may help you see the truth. 

    Beware the information is horrific, terrifying, sad, and you won’t like it one bit. I actually vomited and cried upon reading many of the stories. What had taken place is enough to make the best of men a little homophobic. 

    I want to make this clear in no way do I believe the majority of gay men molest kids. Nor do I believe that most gay priest abuse kids. It has been estimated by the experts around 40 percent of the gay priests were very fond of teen boys. What has taken place within the Church was homosexual predatory abuse of minors. 

    FYI Blessed Saints Bacchus and Sergius were not homosexual lovers. If they were they would have never been canonized. This is a lie propagated by the LGBT posse. I guess because they can not understand how two men can have a loving and close relationship without involving blow jobs and butt bumping.

    Saints are NOT unrepentant homosexuals. Impossible. 

    One book you could purchase is “Sacrilege” by Leon Podles. The book is something like 600 pages long with over 20 being footnotes and references. I purchased mine through Barnes and Noble. I believe the cost was around $25 American dollars. 

    He also wrote “The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity.” You might want to stay clear of that one-would not go well with your LGBT sensitivities.    

    “Lead us not into temptation” by Jason Berry. 

    “Sex, Priest, and Power: The Anatomy of a Crises” by A.W. Richard Sipe.  

    And could you lighten up a little? Are gays really beyond scrutiny?

    I totally did not crap out a rainbow, couldn’t even if I wanted. My friend from an old job told me he was Jewish, Christian, and Buddhist. He was the one that told me he was reincarnated transexual/transconfused along with his husband/wife or whatever. Totally weird dude. He’s sitting in prison for the next 30 plus years for having sex with his 13 year old male cousin. His partner got 12 years. 

    If I was a bigot would rainbow colored lifesavers be my favorite candy? Would I be wearing this purple tie on my date tonight? Would I feed my two gay dogs who constantly are smelling each others asses and 24 hour a day hump fest? Come on now…I love my gay dogs, lifesavers and my tie.

    See you!   


    • Davide,

      Firstly, I am not so unchurched or unlearned that I don’t know that the Archdiocese of Milan is in communion with the Holy See of Rome; meaning she is under the Papal Authority of the Roman Catholic Church. The differences between the Ambrosian Rite and the Roman Rite Catholics are liturgical not differences of dogma or polity. (Just as Rome has recently sanctioned an Anglican Rite for Anglicans who have gone over to Rome for reasons of conscience). Since I was specifically speaking of dogma and polity, your status as a member of a minority liturgical community within the Roman Catholic Church is hardly relevant to this aspect of the conversation. Nor does it excuse your bigotry against your “friend.” (With frenemies like you, most people, possibly excluding masochists, would find their avowed enemies more respectful of their personhood).

      If you knew me at all, which you clearly don’t, you would know that childhood sexual abuse is an issue that I am passionate about and constantly working with several likewise-committed to end. You make slanderous remarks about gay clergy, painting the entire lot with the brush of a few transgressors who may or may not be homosexually-oriented, but who are clearly abusers of power and position. As far as I am aware, none of my gay clergy friends has ever touched anyone underage, and most are living celibate. Since my church does not require celibacy, my Anglican clergy friends are not bound by the same vows and, curiously enough, the incidents of childhood sexual abuse by Anglican clergy are far fewer in number than those of Rome. Some of the best, most respected, most compassionate clergy I know are holy gay men. Likewise, some of the worst, most abusive clergy I have known are wicked gay men. Being gay, as being straight, has little to do with one’s holiness or lack thereof.

      Your claim that Ss. Sergius and Bacchus would never have been canonized if they were a gay couple is the logical and rhetorical equivalent of a dog chasing its own tail. I suggest you read Dr. John Boswell’s book Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality and learn a little bit what a prominent Yale historian found in the hagiography, history, and literature of the late Roman Empire and medieval Europe. The fact that the Magisterium suppresses information does not mean that facts and data do not exist. Let us, for example, consider the fact that the Magisterium declared the earth was at the center of the cosmos and punished Galileo Galilei for stating otherwise. Lo and behold, it turns out that Galileo was correct, and the Magisterium was incorrect. It is an objective truth that the earth revolves, with eight (nine or ten) other planets and a host of comets around the sun. The Age of Reason proved the Magisterium to be an inadequate source for revealed objective truth. The historic record likewise contains some oblique references to Pope Joan, the one woman who managed to be ordained priest, consecrated bishop and anointed pope before anyone was the wiser. Her sex was only discovered medically. Of course, the magisterium has a vested interest in suppressing that information, because it threatens to dismantle the patriarchy and undermine the dogma of papal infallibility, Augustine destroyed most of the writings of Pelagius because he got Pelagius declared a heretic, though that was by no means a unanimous view of the bishops and Pelagius successfully pled his cause to the next pope. And on and on we could go. We Anglicans believe Scripture must be read in community, according to the traditions of the Church and also in the light of Reason; and that where objective revealed truth in creation conflicts with previous scriptural understanding and Church tradition, we must apply Reason with the Holy Spirit’s council, in community, to discern where God is leading His church. We generally eschew a dogmatic approach, because we know that we can never be certain of every detail in the mind of God. That is why the Episcopal Church has been open to the Spirit’s leading on issues of sexuality and gender, and why we have prayerfully considered where God is leading us as a church for most of my lifetime.

      Now, as to your readily apparent fixation with your own anus: I am not interested. In my quest for godliness, I have committed myself to someone else whom I love.



  29. @Jeffrey,


    Pope Joan? Seriously? Please hold I am laughing hysterically and I don’t want to wet my pa-jammies (it’s 7:12 am here).

    Hi!!! I’m much better now…this morning espresso is delicious! Yummy! BTW why do Americans say “expresso”? Do you know? Anyways…..

    FYI: Spiderman and the Tooth Fairy are also not real. Every time I hear someone bring up “Pope Joan” I think of my baby siblings they also have great imaginations.  

    I am very familiar with John Boswell work. Quite a embarrassment for his legacy. A Catholic man who was pretty devout but could not shake the demons in his personal life [homosexuality].  A thing that would kill him in the end-AIDS. Absolutely no one takes his work seriously…his work is quite annoying and a very sad wretched attempt at LGBT drivel-smalltalk. Sad sad sad. Isn’t he the same dude who claimed Christ was a best-man at a same-sex “marriage”? Taking about repugnant filth-grotesque and blasphemous.     

    I have no clue if the Holy Spirit guides the Anglican Church. If He does He’s been out of sorts enough to scare the crap out of the rest of us. Look around you the Anglican church is dying. It’s final solution is being written now in the pages of [Christian] Western Civilization: Annhilation. If has no hopes of survival; Scorpion and the Frog. But I guess it was inevitable. It was based off of 16th Century politics and not reason, it has become increasing secular. Barely recognizable as Christian. 
    This should be a great concern for mainstream Protestantism. As goes the Anglicans so too goes Protestantism.  

    I am happy you take child molestation seriously. I certainly hope in the future you can look at at the child abuse scandal without any LGBT ethnocentricity.   

    And yes I am sure there are gay priests who are holy men. However the priesthood is no place for gay men. Much more is needed than just holiness. A priest must be secure in his masculinity, sexual identity and lacking in emotional and sexual immaturity. A priest is father to his flock. There is no room for effeminate men nor women in the priesthood.

    Christ was and is the Prime Exemplar of male heterosexual  masculinity  He is the Archetype of the male gender. This can not be disbursed.  

    For the record I have never questioned your intelligence nor your conscience. When I read your post and your short biography I knew you were a man of faith and wit.  I do wish you well in future endeavors. Certainly I am not into all the LGBT gobbledygook but then again who is? 

    And Jeffrey can you do me a huge favor? Stop playing the ‘Christ card’. I have been hearing it since I was a holy terror toddler. I do not contest that I, Francesco Davide, would come in last place in a contest for holiness’ I don’t harbor any delusions about anyone saying of me: “Now there is a holy dude”. 

    I will be going to confession today with my family. I will reflect later on my abrupt attitude, sarcasm and my abundant lack of humility. Christian perfection alludes me. And I hate it. 

    I do wish I could approach things with a little more kindness and gentleness but not compromising my principles namely that of political correctness a thing I loath. Striking a balance seems nearly impossible. And I suppose I will always be audacious. 

    Later gater,



    • Davide,

      Facts are your friends. You toss opinions around as fact and can’t even find facts to support most of them. What does Boswell’s homosexuality have to do with the quality of his work? Exactly nothing. His work remains seminal in his field to this day. The fact that his life was cut tragically short by HIV infection is nothing to make light of. Thousands of heterosexual people are dying from this same disease in Africa. It is a tragic circumstance in our modern life.

      I am really tired of arguing with a person who simply dismisses facts so cavalierly without the slightest intellectual inquiry. The Pope Joan story exists in the literature of the thirteenth century. It is a matter of debate whether or not it is true, a point highly-contended, but it is there nonetheless, and a serious intellect cannot dismiss it out of hand.

      Your stereotpyed gender and sexual constructs for the clergy are very interesting. They are, however, not the historic teachings of the Church. The Church has never placed a requirement on “masculinity” (machismo in your silly definition, frankly) for the clergy. Yes, the Roman Catholic Church requires that men be priests and women not — I have not disclosed my personal thinking on that point — but ignores the fact that for centuries women were the spiritual heads of monastic communities that included both men and women, whether or not they were priests (St. Hilda, Hildegard von Bingen, etc.).

      By the way, your stereotype of gay men as being “effeminate,” another cultural prejudice and silly construct, is simply ridiculous. There are straight men who fit that gender stereotype and gay men we would all think of as macho.

      I realize all of this is really quite a lot of externalized self-hatred for one who clings so tenaciously and obnoxiously to stereotypes and social constructs. I am here when you are ready to talk about what is really bothering you.

      P.S. Since I speak a smattering of Italian (I studied in conservatory with a Roman and have taken a few courses) with a pretty good accent, I know how to pronounce “espresso.” I also know how to say “Che cazzo” to your absurdities.


    • But nonetheless, in the garden of Gethsemane, even Jesus, being both fully human and fully God, asked His Father to let the cup of suffering pass from Him, if there was any other way. His agony was so intense in His prayer that his sweat became as drops of blood, a rare but documented medical state produced by extreme anxiety or suffering.

      Was Jesus’ suffering easier? I doubt it, rather, it was incomprehensibly more difficult than any of our suffering. First, He suffered for all the sins of every human who had ever lived, was alive then, and who would ever live, including yours and mine. Second, the Father, with whom Jesus knew an eternal unity and intimacy that we cannot comprehend, had to pour out the just wrath for all sin on His only begotten Son and turn His face from Jesus during it. No wonder Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Of course, He used the ancient Hebrew “Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani?”. This prompted those standing by who knew only Aramaic and Greek to say that Jesus was calling for Elijah. It seems reasonable that Jesus was at once expressing His agony of spirit and referring to the first line of Psalm 22, whose prophecy (piercing of hands and feet, joints wrenched out of place by crucifixion, raging thirstmocking with the very words used, casting lots for His clothes) had been acted out to the letter on Golgotha and could only have referred to His crucifixion.


  30. Jeffrey, Davide and…
    Strange indeed! That there is nothing about real love here in all this names calling and facts finding and doctrinal issues between Davide and the others. Common make this place a place to find support and strength to be holy for God! Do your churches and personal understanding of the scriptures forbid also that ye he have not respect for others? Or the scriptures say also that out of your mouth should come any unwholesome talk and Christ will be ok with it?

    I see a lot of fear for the truth from the scripture here! Fear that is constantly on the lookout of who will challenge it and say something contrary to it.


    • @ Jefferey, Davide and…

      I think there might be a verse somewhere in the New Testament that states that “man will give account for every idol word he utters [writes]“.

      With that said, I once knew a wise man that observed two men debating over scripture and dogma for hours with nothing positive resulting from it. The elder said to me, “Sometimes spiritually- oriented conversations can serve as another form of idle talk too.”

      Guys, at some point in your ‘spiritual’ arguments that cludder Matt’s blog, you may wish to consider if yall are doing nothing more than idlely feeding your own hidden egos.

      (As for you Davide, instead of annoying people on Matt’s blog, you may be more useful in directing ur free time at your new girlfriend especially considering that you are no longer dating your ex-boyfriend, Nico. Or does ur new girlfriend also grow tired of you as all of us here have come to grow tired of your incesant arrogance. Davide, remember, you yourself have stated that you enjoyed (enjoy) men sexually with just as much intensity as the rest of us who wrestle with SSA so pull out the log in your own eye before attempting to pull out the splinter in our eyes. You are making yourself look foolish)

      Just sayin.


  31. @mike, he was not my exboyfriend he was my future husband. We got married two Saturday’s ago. So can you now please stop with your infactuation with me? My husband is a very jeolous Greek Italian man. Thanks cupcake.


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