Jason Collins is Gay … So DON’T Congratulate Him!

It finally happened. The first professional athlete in a major team sport (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL) has “come out” as being gay.

Jason Collins, a well-traveled 11-year NBA veteran, stepped forward recently to tell the world that he is in fact gay. He states that it was never his intention or goal to become the first. Rather he has always just been himself and now was finally the right time for admitting it.

This is no small story. It is all over the news. ESPN has made it a feature story after nearly begging for some major athlete to “come out” in recent articles. All the other media sources are giving full coverage as well. This is a HUGE story and a HUGE moment for the LGBT community. And truly . . .

IT IS AWFUL!

On the one hand I can say that I can’t believe the outright sinfulness that is heralded and honored in our country. But on the other hand, I’m never really surprised at what Satan can do. What incredible lies he has blinded people with!

As this story has broken, the overwhelming response has been one of support and respect. Kobe Bryant tweeted his support and pride in Jason Collins’ gay pride. Many other athletes have done the same. News reporters, politicians, and more have been chiming in with their opinions of how “brave” this “pioneer” is.

But truly, this absolutely confounds me. Satan has actually convinced people to think that this is cool, important, and acceptable.

How come no one heralded Tiger Woods for being a pioneer in combining the worlds of athletics and adultery? (Though he really is no pioneer. Wilt Chamberlain and Magic Johnson will always take the cake for adulterous athletes.) But why did Tiger Woods have to stand up and apologize to the world for his behavior while Jason Collins is heralded as a hero? Why can someone be openly gay but not openly adulterous?

How come ESPN 30 for 30 did an entire story on the shame of the many athletes who lost all of their money to a lifestyle of debauchery and greed, but Jason Collins is applauded for his lifestyle?

Why are those who break sports rules by taking Performance Enhancing Drugs condemned as horrible cheaters, but those who break God’s rules for marriage are praised for their ground-breaking choices?

What is it that makes the media want to commend and condone homosexual athletes?  Why not do the same for those who “come out” as alcoholics, gamblers, adulterous cheaters, or drug addicts? What if an athlete came out and admitted that he has always “been this way”–no, he was even “born this way” and “pre-progammed”–that he is a member of NAMBLA and loves children in a sexual way? What would the media say then? If that person claims God made them that way and they can’t help it and that they feel oppressed and persecuted, would that pedophile be considered a national hero? Why not?

Here’s the pathetic problem with our world and our country today: There is no concept whatsoever for absolute truth, in particular, what God states is absolute truth. If there were understanding about what is absolutely, completely, 100% true, then there could be no arguments about actions and lifestyles that God declares to be sinful.

The absolute truth is that all of the above actions mentioned are sins–including homosexuality. None of these athletes should be commended or congratulated for their actions. All of them, Jason Collins included, should be rebuked for disobeying what God says and for sinning.

Please don’t misunderstand. This is not a hate-filled post. I don’t dislike Jason Collins. I would play basketball against him or with him. And I know full well that I am probably more of a sinner than Jason Collins is. So this has nothing to do with hatred or persecution or arrogance or anything similar. Rather, this has everything to do with love–love for a sinner ensnared by Satan’s temptations and lies.

Jason Collins and all the other unabashed, open, and “out” sinners of every kind need to be called to repentance. They need to listen carefully to God’s clear Word about what is right and what is wrong. They need to turn from sinful actions and choices and turn to the Lord. There in the Lord and in his truth they will most certainly find forgiveness for their sins. Trust me. If I could be forgiven, if David, Peter, Paul and all the sinners of the Bible could be forgiven, then Jason Collins and the rest can be forgiven too.

The floodgates are likely about to pour open. Jason Collins was the first professional athlete in a major sport to “come out” as being gay. There will likely be many, many more.

But please, for the sake of their eternal salvation, DON’T comfort, condone, or congratulate them!

Call them back to the ways of the Lord!

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About Pastor Phil Huebner

Pastor. Missionary. Principal. Husband. Father. Serving in love as each. http://www.ctkpalmcoast.com

Posted on April 30, 2013, in Church, School and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 86 Comments.

  1. Thank you Pastor Huebner for this well written message.

  2. Speaking of Satan…me thinks that evil has taken to wearing the mask of faith, and in doing so, has cleverly managed to steer an awful lot of people away from church and God.

    • I’m not exactly sure what you mean by that. Either you are suggesting that people try to approve of sins by saying God is OK with them and that is Satan’s work (which I agree with) . . . or you are suggesting that I am hiding behind a “mask of faith” and leading people astray. Like I said, I’m not sure what you mean with this comment.

  3. Great article Pastor Huebner and I agree with you 100%. I am thankful that God has given you a voice of reason through both His Law and His Grace. I am sure you will catch some flak for this but those who throw that flak will show they are against God and His Truth. Unrepentant sinners hate the truth so they will point the finger back at us and make up lies. Also unfortunate is that the homosexuals and their supporters will sling hate and call us a hate group. How wrong they are. We don’t hate them. We hate their prideful and arrogant sin. It saddens me that our society has become so openly sinful and that more and more, including many so called Christians, are finding homosexuality and other sins acceptable. The homosexuals’ agenda is to get society to accept their immoral lifestyle and get laws passed that support their sin and then they will feel good about themselves and feel their sins are acceptable because society accepts it. You are right in that we are all sinful but the difference is True Christians repent of their sin and ask for forgiveness. We do not try to live an unrepentant, willing and prideful sinful lifestyle. I think why the homosexuals and their supporters believe homosexuality is okay is because in their minds they are doing it out of love so they think who are we to tell them they are wrong when it is love. I am tired of them hiding behind the word love. Their acts are a sin plain and simple. I do not hate homosexuals nor do I wish them harm but I am tired of them and the media shoving this in our faces every day. They are just doing it so everyone starts accepting their sinful behavior, and the sad part is it is working. More and more people are now finding homosexuality acceptable. They need to repent and change their sinful ways. Wide is the road to hell and narrow is the road to heaven. May God have mercy on our society.

    Greg R.

    • Greg, you are right that the “movement” of our society is to push for acceptance for this. But this isn’t the only sin. We could look at any number of things. Drunkenness, hedonistic living, etc. are accepted and championed. (think Spring Break or Las Vegas).

      And you are also right that we all sin. But the difference is that I am fighting hard to try not to sin because I know it is not acceptable!

  4. Well written Phil! Thanks for sharing your message.

  5. Excellant article Pastor Huebner. I completely agree. It is interesting to me, how many people I have met in my life who will say, ” Well, I am gay, but I am a christian and I know God forgives my sins.” or ” I have seen someone act or live in a sinful way, but God loves us and forgives us.” Many folks don’t seem to get it anymore, that, you have to admit your sin, pray for forgiveness AND STOP whatever the sinful activity is. In our sinful, selfish and self-satisfying society, too many think it is ok to continue in the sin, as long as you believe in God. I sure would not want to wait for the last day to stand in that court of judgement to hear God’s real truth!! Sorry if I have repeated what you so eloquently stated, it was just what was in my heart. Thank you again for this very important message!

    • Anna, you are very correct in that God calls us to repent of all sin and every sin, no matter what that may be. That not only includes sorrowfully turning to him for forgiveness but also changing our ways and producing fruits of repentance (i.e. stopping what we are doing).

  6. What about those unrepentant sinners just gobbling up those shellfish? Or the eunuchs? Do you make sure those little ladies keep their yap shut at church? What about those sinful doctors and nurses and EMT workers who are working on the sabbath?

  7. Beth, I’m not sure what you are getting at with a reference to shellfish. But as for eating shellfish, or women talking at church or working on Sunday, there are no laws or rules against any of those things.

    I’m not sure emotionally charged, sarcastic replies are beneficial to discussion or to understanding what God clearly states in his Word about different things (including the Sabbath and the roles of women, etc.)

  8. According to Leviticus eating those shellfish are an abomination as well. According to Corinthians, women are supposed to be kept silent in church. According to Exodus, people who work on the Sabbath should be put to death.

    In my opinion, this is incredibly beneficial to discussion (although perhaps not so much to your argument.) If you’re going to choose to interpret this as God’s law vs. religious laws of the times, then you’re going to have to address the hypocrisy that accompanies that stance.

    • Beth, thank you for being more clear on your points. I appreciate your references. However, it doesn’t do any justice to Scripture to take random verses, ideas, or concepts from Scripture and say, “See! You are wrong!”

      For example, the Mosaic laws of the Old Testament are no longer followed. We learn from them that God is serious about sin and about sexual immorality and the Sabbath. But from the New Testament we are given guidance that we can get Sabbath-rest on any day we choose. We also no longer live in a theocracy where God is king like Israel. He has given us governments to rule us now. So no one should be put to death for missing spiritual Sabbath rest.

      Similarly, it is out of context to randomly half-reference a concept in Corinthians. Paul addresses the roles of men and women with the church. But he doesn’t make a basic statement that they should never keep silent. The silence is directed within the concept of headship and spiritual authority. It is not a blanket statement.

      So in other words, it is not helpful to take three random things and essentially say, “See! These things are stupid. So therefore the Bible isn’t true and it isn’t right about homosexuality.”

      What is more important and pertinent is to look at the Bible verses about homosexuality and sexual immorality and God’s design for marriage and then discuss whether or not homosexuals are obeying the Lord. That is more to the point and within context.

  9. Is “… but those who break God’s rules for marriage are praised for their ground-breaking choices?” referring to Jason Collins? He hasn’t broken any rule on marriage: he’s single, and he hasn’t disclosed or praised any specific personal action, nor lauded same-sex marriage. With what he has to say, I see rather a humble and previously conflicted Christian:

    “‘I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. // But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.’ [response to later question:] ‘Things can change in an instant, so why not live truthfully?’ Collins wrote.” (29.4.13, BBC News)

    Obviously your thesis is not to condemn his pride, rather that of the media’s, but with the issues in our society right now, it is news worthy and what he said requires a lot of bravery – I see no virtue in hiding a secret sin or conflict of conscious, no matter how deplorable.
    I appreciate your efforts to be tactful, but for the wounded Christian, your standpoint still makes you difficult to approach. “Men at ease have contempt for misfortune as the fate of those whose feet are slipping” Job 12.5. I think the source of gay pride stems from self-defense – if you kick a man down, he will try to get up, stand up for himself. This loud pride has a foul stench, but I do congratulate Jason Collins.

    • Fritz, thank you for a thoughtful post. We certainly want to be conscientious about caring for the struggling Christian. Whether or not Jason Collins is a Christian is something I’m not sure I can answer.

      You are correct in that my post is more geared toward the point that the public seems to be pushing for acceptance of this sin. Thus, my point is also that there needs to be understanding that this is a sin.

      I heartily (and heartfelt-ly) tried to tactfully make a point without “kicking a man down”. Though assuredly, when all sinners are confronted with God’s Law they will most surely feel “kicked” by God’s powerful Word. God uses that power and that guilt to lead us to repentance.

  10. I feel Ron takes the most empathetic approach in how he discusses these issues, and I wish to forward this link to you: http://www.gaychristian.net/rons_view.php

    • and here is a role-model in the media giving his more stern yet well-voiced opinion with regard to this particular news.

  11. I never suggested that the bible was “stupid”, only questioned your interpretation of it..of which laws still apply…which ones no longer apply. And I cringed a little when you said God gave us government. I find it interesting that women are some how not worthy of spiritual authority yet didn’t the resurrected Jesus choose to first show himself to a woman?? Wasn’t she the one to spread the word that he is risen? Sure seems like the first person to see the risen Christ might be worthy of some spiritual authority!! I also feel the New Testament also gave us guidance on homosexuality by not even mentioning it.

    • God established government and gives it to us as a blessing (Romans 13).

      Homosexuality is addressed in various ways in many places in the New Testament:
      • Romans 1:18-32
      • 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
      • 1 Timothy 1:7
      • Jude 7

      And on God’s design for marriage see the following (i.e. God designed for one man and one woman).
      • Genesis 2:24
      • Ephesians 5:22-33
      • 1 Timothy 3:1-2
      • Hebrews 13:4

  12. We should congratulate Chris Broussard for publicly stating the truth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HCOXBgBjDgY

    • It certainly was bold! And he said well that a sin is a sin and repentance is necessary for all sins. Perhaps he could have made more clear that he considers himself a sinner as well, but he stated the point well regardless.

  13. Kevin Boedigheimer

    The reason the support for this athlete has been overwhelmingly positive is due to the changing and more accepting minds of mondern day society. The Bible has been more openly examined and the other points that are conveniently ignored by the church are being exposed. How about mixing fibers in fabric, women being virgins before marriage, all out permission for having slaves and getting away with rape.

    The commenter earlier was describing the driving of masses away from the church. This is one of those messages that deliver on that premise.

    As for not being a hateful post, I disagree. You are openly condeming a whole group of people for whom were made to be gay. It is no more a choice than you chosing to be straight. Teaching these messages gives your followers license to hate and thereby you are a conduit of this hate.

    About all this capital T truth you bandy about. Hold on to this idea that a book written and translated by humans hundreds of times contains anything absolute, you are crazy.

    You’ll likely delete this because it doesn’t fit your world view but I felt compelled to post.

    • Kevin, I gladly will not delete your comment and welcome your thoughts because we all can learn from them.

      Unfortunately you are throwing a lot of things into one jumbled pot that make it hard to specifically answer your post. For example, yes it is still most definitely sinful to have sex before marriage. But your comment about mixing fibers in fabric seems to reference the old Mosaic laws of Israel that no longer apply to us. And I’m not really sure what you are getting at with that rape comment.

      I find your post rather judgmental. You have never met me. You do not know me. But you are calling me hateful when you have never sat and talked with me or asked me what my intentions are (which by the way I made fairly clear in the post–I’m concerned about the salvation of souls).

      I am not surprised by your comments though because you dismiss the Bible as being Truth. When people do that, then they feel more than comfortable thinking whatever they want and thinking anything they like is acceptable. Why? Because there is no divine Truth with a “T” as you would say.

      However, the Bible is just that–TRUTH–God’s truth given to his people. That’s what I’m hear discussing. I’m happy to talk with people, but I’m not as interested in arguing for the sake of arguing or based on emotions. This blog which I post in is for the sake of relaying what God declares in his Word.

      I pray you don’t dismiss the TRUTH of God’s Word. It is not just a book. It’s not jumbled and garble by “hundreds of translations.” That’s a misnomer and just not true. Besides some (like me) can actually read the Hebrew and the Greek it was originally written in so translations are even an issue.

      So thank you for your post and sharing your opinion. I would love to discuss more with you the TRUTH of what God declares through his Holy Word.

    • Unless, The Bible is right.

      Then, Pastor’s message of repent, while not easy to hear, is loving. He’s trying to keep someone from burning eternally in hell.

      Of course, that means the message of “let people do what they want” would really be “let people burn in hell. Stop telling them to turn to God in repentance so they too will miss out on hell.”

      Not so loving. Hateful actually. And…deserving of hell.

      Hmm, whom to believe? God? Or modern media?

      Return to God.

  14. John 13:34 – I give you a new commandment, that you love on another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

    I’m not hearing even a little of Christ’s love, Pastor Huebner. I think you’re ignoring the most important part of the Gospel.

    • Actually, to point out a sin to a brother or sister in error is as loving as you can possibly be! (Matthew 18)

      Which is more loving? Letting a blind person walk toward the edge of the Grand Canyon and saying nothing . . . OR . . . saying, “Wait! Stop! That’s not the right direction you should be going!”

    • Jesus also said—about a chapter later—”If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15). He also told an adulterous woman in John 8:11 “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” He didn’t say, I love you, do whatever you want. He said, I love you, now love me by obeying my commands.

      I know of no place in the Bible where Christ or any of the inspired authors describe love as “ignoring sin and accepting sinners for who they are.” No, Paul says that the law is useful for “teaching AND rebuking” (2Timothy 3:16). Paul says, “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!” (Romans 6:1-2) and “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.” (Galatians 6:1).

  15. As a former WELS member (who left MLC and left the idea of the ministry) and an openly gay man, I find this article not only offensive on multiple levels, but also filled with hate and bigotry. Your message not only lacks love (isn’t that what Christianity is about?), but lacks just basic common sense. Not only do you have no clue what it’s like to be gay, or be any minority for that matter, but you are allowing your followers to filled with hate as well.

    It’s interesting that WELS pastors find certain Bible verses that they take literally, and some that they take figuratively. They preach the ones that are convenient for them to follow. Yes, you can throw all the Bible references you want at me (I studied doctrine for 16 years of prep school, bring it), but those passages are subject to the SINFUL and BIASED opinion of the interpreters. Human understanding is not divine by any means. So to preach this hate to an entire group of millions of people is downright wrong.

    I love Beth’s point about the gossiping old ladies. What about the drunks? What about all the people I went to MLC with that gambled and drank? And I was worse than them because I’m gay? You and I can disagree on being gay as sinful (it’s not in my opinion), but if you’re going to take the stance that is a sin, why not approach all other sins as such? It’s complete hypocrisy.

    Denying all the laws of the OT is a prime example of “we aren’t going to follow it because it doesn’t make sense to us anymore.” What about the NT verse of giving up all you have any following Jesus? I know plenty of rich WELS members.

    You can throw every single passage you want at me; try to find one I haven’t heard yet, but I do not agree with the stance of this article or the stance of the WELS on this topic. Think about how many young kids in your congregation are being told they are going to hell for being gay (and you can’t change your sexual preference so good luck trying to get them to). These kids are being harmed emotionally, which is often times leading to suicides. Trust me, I know from experience. Great joy must be brought from knowing that, eh?

    Jason Collins is a brave, courageous, and outstanding man for coming out. Because of him, many other people in this country will have the courage to be who they really are, without fear of discrimination. I know I have.

    The WELS can stand behind this side of hate, but many people can find other churches that preach God’s Word and allow for ALL children of God to be welcomed. And you know what, I bet they are just as adimate as you are that their teachings are the true Word of God. And perhaps they are, and perhaps the WELS is wrong, only God knows. I’ll answer to God when I get to heaven, and in the meantime, I refuse to listen to the hate being preached by a church body I once called my own.

    • Scott, I’m sorry to hear your ire toward me and your former church body. You rightly point out the sins of many.

      I too have sinned much in my life. Much as a boy, much in high school, much in college, and much right now. I am so thankful for Christ’s forgiveness which covers it all. Daily I struggle and battle against my sinful desires.

      And perhaps there is a bit of a difference. I don’t try to justify what I have done, am doing, or will do. I repent and actively try to change. That is certainly a different attitude than, “I’m forgiven and I’ll do whatever I want.”

      Anyways, because you are clearly so passionate about this for multiple reasons, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to discuss it back and forth. (though I would be happy to if you like)

      All I pray is that you strongly consider these two things and leave out all the rest:

      1) Does God consider homosexuality to be wrong?

      2) If you are willfully disobeying God’s desire for your life, what does that mean for your eternal salvation?

    • With regard to the last paragraph, while counseling a friend, I relented and told her that she should join the confession of a more liberal confession because I was concerned about her faith and didn’t want her faith to get trampled by her anger and rebellion. Even if it is God’s Law that kicks us down and humbles us before God, the demands to be humble in this situation have such broad implications, that were every Christian forced to endure this in his or her life, few would stand.

      In the desire to make something productive out of all the blessings I have been given in this, fully aware of the consequences, I have rebelled. I have entered a relationship with another man. He lives in Pakistan and we send each other messages each day. Maybe I will be able to see him sometime in three years, make a life with him in hopefully less than ten years, but there’s a good chance this is all fantasy. I need it, however, as a drive to finish my studies and make a life for myself and have something to look forward to in this life. He’s a virgin, and our conversations are mature and respectable. No, he is not a friend (I have very good and true friends), and yes, it does have a romantic element, which I can see how an outsider would find repugnant.

      Though there is an innocence and nobleness to our relationship, I understand if it equates me to a pedophile, but I’m just trying to make the best out of what I’ve been given. For my arrogance, I accept God’s punishment of hell, but in this life, I am thankful for the food on my table and all the blessings I have received in this life, and out of thanks, I do all that I do, including this, to serve Him.

      I live a life of repentance, but I do not repent for this – it’s a matter of conscience; may God have mercy on my soul. Pray for me.

    • Scott, I thank you for your well articulated response. I too am a fellow WELS member who also studied at MLC for a short time before deciding that the ministry was not the right path for me. I knew that continuing my studies and entering the ministry would mean denying my own truth and never being able to fully be, nor accept, who I really am. It was an extremely difficult decision, and one with which I often struggle even to this day, as a lifelong member of the WELS (including studies at LPS and MLC), it pained me to hear such hate coming from the one place that used to be home.
      I still have faith and I will answer to God when I get to heaven, but until then, it is encouraging to read posts like yours as a reminder that I’m not alone. God Bless!

      • Karen, if there is something that you have to “answer to God for,” but you are willfully neglecting to change your ways….do you think you will be answering to God in heaven?

        I don’t know your full story, but I’m bringing this out for all to consider. If any sinner would say, “Well, it doesn’t matter. I’ll do what I want, God will forgive me, and I’ll just answer to him later,” would that unrepentant sinner be answering to Jesus on Judgment Day on his right or on his left?

      • no Pastor, that unrepentant sinner might not be answering to him on Judgement Day, but I don’t know that at this point I have anything to answer to God for. I don’t believe I do, but if I”m wrong, when the time comes, I’ll answer for it then.
        You’re right, you don’t know my full story, I know my bible, I grew up in the church, I’ve been through a lot in my life, and you can’t possibly understand where I’m coming from.

      • I’m not sure what you mean by, “that unrepentant sinner might not be answer to him on Judgment Day.”

        The Bible makes very clear that all will stand before our Judge, and in particular, every unrepentant sinner will have to answer for their sins. Meaning, they will have hell to pay-literally.

        That’s why this is such a critical matter! Anyone not repenting for any sin is walking a dangerous and damning path!

      • Yeah, sorry, I meant that, while we all will answer to him on the last day, someone you see as needing to repent might not actually have anything for which to repent. I grew up in the WELS, but I have attended many a Christian church, and not all of them preach the same thing you are.
        Being a member of the LGBTQ community AND a Christian is an unbelievably difficult life to live, mostly for the reasons that “Tim” included in his post down below. We’ve been beaten down by society, we grow up being told we’re abominations and deserve all the hate and ridicule that society gives us, that we’re the scum of the earth, we hate ourselves, and often want to kill ourselves. There’s a reason so many young people are leaving the church. So tell me, after dealing with all of that, why would I willingly go back for more?

      • Karen, you words remind me a lot of the words of King David in Psalm 32. He felt weighed down, even crushed by the weight of his sin. Or Psalm 51 is similar. I’m sure he felt like the greatest social outcast in the world when his sins “went public”.

        Yet he didn’t turn to a place where his sins could be accepted and he could feel better. He confessed his sins to God and changed his ways and found comfort and consolation in God’s forgiveness.

        I would love to hear more from you, privately if desired, about your struggles with this sin. And I would love to discuss more with you how to address those desires and thoughts rather than seeking out a place that approves of them.

  16. I understand where you are coming from, but I wouldn’t compare social acceptance of a committed relationship between two consenting adults to pedophilia. To you and I, sin is sin, but to a more general audience, that statement is so strikingly ridiculous that it becomes very easy to simply dismiss any other arguments made before or after.

    • I get your point Justin, but not necessarily. In fact, you kind of illustrate the point. You and I and most others would say, “Pedophilia? Gross! That’s wrong!”

      But you know what, people said the same thing a few decades ago about homosexuality.

      So what’s the difference now? Why could a homosexual say, “I was born this way / I can’t help myself / This is who I am / This is true love,” and it is OK and acceptable? But why can’t a pedophile say the same thing?

      I understand the protection of innocent children part. But take that out of the equation. Put a pedophile’s arguments side by side with a homosexual’s arguments. What’s the difference? (other than the age of the desired loved person)

  17. Answers:
    1) God does NOT consider homosexuality to be wrong. Your “knowledge of Greek and Hebrew” does not give you any right to interpret God’s Word the way you want to. God loves all his children. Not just the white, WELS, straight ones.

    2) God created me gay. I didn’t choose this any more than I chose my hair color. So obviously I am living God’s will by being who he created me: a loving, hard working, repsonsible young man.

    AND HOW DARE YOU equate being gay with drug addicts and gamblers. All I’m doing is accepting myself and loving another person. Love and acceptance is what Jesus preached.

    Another example of hypocrisy in the WELS is the idea of “fellowship rules.” WELS people are not even allowed to pray with other demoninations. VERY un-Chirstlike considering he dined with prostitutes and tax-collectors (robbers). What Bible verse did that rule come from?

    And thanks for not arguing with me, because you’re right, it would do no good.

    I PRAY (And yes, gays pray) that you open up your heart and mind to allow ALL ALL ALL God’s people to feel loved and accepted.

    • Yep, and God created me greedy. So I just am who I am and refuse to help anyone in any way.

      By the way this is why I lust, hate, and steal.

      Make sense?

    • Scott,

      1) I would be interested—having gone to school with you for the better part of a decade—what special insight you have in that God doesn’t consider homosexuality to be wrong. His inspired writers of scripture—both old and new testament—make it clear that he does, while Christ himself ordained the marriage of one man and one woman.

      2) I have no doubt that you were born with a predilection toward homosexuality. I know much of the science behind that concept and have no reason to challenge it. That said, we’re all born with sins—even pet sins. Mine may be different from yours, but I struggle just the same. (We probably crossed paths on enough nights out in New Ulm that you realize I am far from perfect.)

      3) You seem to be struggling with the concept of being a sinner (which everyone is) and being an unrepentant/”comfortable” sinner. Yes, Christ ate with prostitutes and tax-collectors….they were called his followers. They listened when he said, turn from your way and follow me. Likewise, he spend lots of time condemning the pharisees, “Is is not the healthy that need the doctor, but the sick…”

      I PRAY (yes, even white WELS Lutherans pray) that you realize this post is truly out of love. We never spent much time together, but I consider you a brother—if not in the faith, at least in the MLS family.

      You say your sin doesn’t hurt anyone else, and that may be right. Frankly, my concern is for your eternal well-being. That may seem hypocritical to you and it may seem un-loving, but I hope you take my motivation as true—even if you feel it misguided.

      I pray that you see your sin as something to struggle against rather than be comfortable in, and I pray that you seek and receive help from the ultimate comforter rather than the temporary earthly comfort that “acceptance” might bring.

      I would also turn you toward a man named Scott Barefoot. He has a website (http://www.poglutherans.org/apps/blog) and is easily accessible via Facebook. He too lived the homosexual lifestyle, but turned back to God and still daily struggles with his sin, but finds comfort in Christ and his cross. While Pastor Phil and I may have no idea what you’re going through, Mr. Barefoot probably knows your story all too well.

  18. Scott, God didn’t create you gay. God stopped creating on day 7. At that point, everything was good and perfect.

    When Adam and Eve brought sin into the world that sinfulness was passed down to every descendant thereafter. Thus, every descendant thereafter is not created by God. Every descendant is procreated by humans with a sinful nature. If you were perhaps born with an inclination to desire men, that doesn’t mean God wants you to act on that desire any more than he wants a heterosexual to act on lustful desires for the opposite sex or a hot head to act on innate desire for anger.

    So God didn’t create you gay and he certainly certainly didn’t make you to be gay. That would be like saying, “Well I’m a vengeful person. God made me with a short fuse so I guess I will just be angry all the time then,” or even, “God made me in a Buddhist family so I will just be Buddhist and that will be acceptable because that’s how God made me.”

    And I’m not really sure how you can say that God *doesn’t* say that homosexuality is wrong when there are quite a few Bible verses that say differently AND the role of man and woman and God’s design for marriage in Genesis 2, Ephesians 5 and many other places.

    All in all, my observation is that your hurt feelings over various experiences with the WELS are making you over-the-top angry and hardened to even talking with a WELS person/pastor. For example, you have used your anger about alleged hypocrisy twice now to strengthen your argument on an unrelated topic–whether or not homosexuality is a sin. I’m sorry to hear about your feelings of hurt and anger about previous situations or about teachings within the WELS. I’m also sorry that they seem to have hardened you to your current opinion.

    I pray you could overcome that hurt and/or anger and simply listen to God’s Word.

  19. How can you even equate being gay w being vengeful? Being gay DOESN’T hurt anyone! Being greedy or angry or vengeful DOES! This is where your arugument lacks common sense.

    So, if you’re going to ignore the OT laws in Leviticus, then why are you referring to Genesis? There’s that selectiveness again.

    No, I don’t have hurt feelings. I just can’t believe the bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

    NOTHING I do hurts another being. Being gay is all love, being a murderer is not. Thats why I’m not a murderer. Thats why being gay is NOT illegal, and stealing is.

    I can’t wait for 50 years from now, when people with your viewpoint will be treated like the KKK is treated today.

    • Yes, Leviticus and sodomy are quite different from homosexual attraction. Perhaps there is a link, but since we have come up with a name for this attraction a hundred years ago, we have a label and are condemning a group of people without even caring anymore about what they are actually doing in the privacy of their bed. This does change the sincere faithfulness of a church body to its Scripture, responding out of love, to something that seems, well, bigoted and spite filled. Maybe it would be good to talk to these people and understand them instead of sending them off to Exodus in the off chance that they will be cured from their damnable spiritual-illness and kvetching about how society’s falling apart. I am worried for my church, because the synod is losing the argument because they never entered the conversation and will be remembered as the KKK. When dealing with a homo, don’t quit your day-job – they’re just people. We’re getting caught up in this Kulturkampf and it is distracting us from the Gospel message.

      • Fritz, I’m concerned what all people are doing in the privacy of their bed, whether that’s a sinful relation/relationship between homosexual people or heterosexual people outside of marriage.

        Others being ensnared in sin ought be the concern of all Christians.

  20. So God didn’t make you a bigot then? I think that’s a sin tho…. hmm….

  21. Phil, thanks for the airing of the thoughts publicly! I wish this view was given more media attention as the opposing sides.

  22. Pastor,
    Thank you for taking the hard stance on this topic, and I’m impressed with how often and thoroughly you’ve commented. Just a few words of encouragement.
    “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3 (interestingly enough this section is in the context of teaching, rebuking, etc.)
    And I believe that you are fulfilling verse 5 too by “enduring hardship” (for the sake of the gospel) and “discharging all the duties of your ministry.”

    God’s blessings

  23. It is the height of irony that those who clamor for tolerance and acceptance are, perhaps, the most intolerant and non accepting people in society. They want everyone to tolerate and accept their viewpoint or lifestyle, yet, they refuse to tolerate or accept differing viewpoints or opinions about it. How tolerant! Whether they realize it or not, those who are quick to label people bigots are, by definition, bigots themselves. I suppose in reality you could say everyone is a bigot.

    Somewhere along the way disagreement became the equivalent of hatred. Again, by definition, those two things aren’t even in the same category. What that means is our “job” as Christians has become even harder. However, we shouldn’t be surprised about this. Jesus told us it would be this way (John 15:18; Matthew 10:34). I simply pray that those who still believe in absolute truth and those who still confess that the Bible is God’s very Word are strengthened to stand firm in their Spirit created convictions and speak the truth in love.

    • So true! In fact, I wrote a post about this about a year ago. It is actually reverse discrimination that people say homosexuals have the right to say and do what they want, but then Christians do not.

      In related news, I saw some picture on Facebook yesterday that said something to the affect of:

      Tim Tebow: “I’m a Christian.”
      Media: “Go away and be quiet!”

      Jason Collins: “I’m gay.”
      Media: “You are a hero!”

      • To point out the obvious, respectfully, Jason Collins is the first (male) pro sports player to come out as gay. Many if not most sports players are of the Christian faith, and I can’t say I’ve seen any outright angry articles on Tim Tebow, at least not as condemning as this article is of Jason Collins.

  24. I left this on another blog with a similar message, but I believe it is relevant here. So apologies for those reading it twice:

    One of the problems that the American Christian church has – and doesn’t seem to realise that it has – is that it’s lost all authority to speak to the LGBT community from any sort of moral high ground. Christians delight in pointing out how gays are trying to push their sinful lifestyle on to good, decent, normal people, as if some dreadful crime or indoctrinating was going on. But then they completely ignore the history of the Christian church’s interaction with the LGBT community over the past few decades alone. But let’s take a stroll through history and look back over some of the brighter moments, shall we?

    We can start by stepping back to 2012. Not too long ago, is it? Remember how Pastor Sean Harris told his congregation that if their children acted too gay, he would give them ‘special dispensation’ to ‘crack their wrists’ and punch them in order to man them up? Ah, child abuse, the Christian response to the gay agenda. Remember how Pastor Charles Worley gave a sermon in which he advocated rounding up homosexuals, putting them in concentration camps and dropping food in occasionally? Remember how the evangelical Christian government of Uganda passed a bill in which ‘aggravated homosexuality’ (two or more offenses) were punishable by death? American Pastor Scott Lively was partially responsible for that bill, as he worked closely with Ugandan lawmakers concerning how to handle the homosexual menace in Uganda. The US Congress passed a resolution to denounce the bill, which was blocked by lobbying by the Christian group the Family Research Counsel, on the grounds that it portrayed homosexuality as a human right. Yes, 2012 was a good year for Christian love towards the LGBT community.

    I’ll brush over the immense work the Christian Church has done to deny gays the right to a civil marriage to the consenting adult of their choice. That debate is all over the blogosphere and I can’t imagine I’d have any new arguments that you haven’t heard already, Mr. Huebner. I will address how the Christian church has lobbied in the political arena to deny gays the right to serve their nation with dignity and honour. To work for employers without fear of being fired for their sexual orientation (which is still legal in about 30 states.) Even their private sexual lives were politically demonised until Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, despite the overwhelming Christian effort to legislate their own brand of morality in the political forums.

    Now lets step back to the 80′s, during the AIDS crises. A terrible time to be a gay man in America. A new, unknown disease that ravaged individuals and destroyed thousands of lives. And what was the Christian response? Christian hospitals refused to treat those with AIDS. The funerals of AIDS victims were picketed by Christian organisations (ever wonder where the Wesboro Baptist Church got their tactics from?). Hospitals and hospices that did treat AIDS victims were picked as well. Federal aid to AIDS research and support was blocked by Christian organisations and politicians. Pastor Jerry Falwell told his flock that AIDS was God’s punishment on a nation that tolerated homosexuality. Hundreds of pastors followed suit. Because, in the end, what’s a few more dead gays?

    Do you understand what I am saying? Or do I need to continue? Should I take you through a tour of the internet, where the LGBT community is frequently called the vilest of names? How many times, Mr. Huebner, have you heard a Christian call gay men and women f-gs? How many times have you heard them referred to as abominations? How many times has someone mention in your hearing that the Bible issued the death penalty for gays and it’s a shame we don’t follow it so closely anymore?

    You, the Christians of America, have labeled gays as less than human. F-gs. Abominations. Deviants. Your organisations, like the FRC and the AFA frequently refer to gays as potential pedophiles. You mock and slander them. You harass and despise them. You throw them out of your homes. Why do you think 40% of homeless youth are LGBT? You fight to deny them the opportunity to live life as they choose, demanding that they live life as you choose. You have beaten them on the streets in the name of your God. You have tortured them in camps designed to cure them, often with documented cases of electroshock therapy and ammonia aversion.

    And you have killed them. The names are branded into any conversation about the Christian church’s relationship with the LGBT community. Charlie Howard. Rebecca Wight. Matthew Shepard. And so many more. Men and women, killed by church-going, Christ-confessing Christians.

    And after all of this, after decades of mockery and harassment and persecution and torture and murder, you dare, you DARE to tell gay people that ‘only we can cure you. Only we can save you. It is only through us that you can come to live a truly happy and content life. The religion that we have used to build a foundation of your misery is the only thing that can lead you away from your unhappiness. We are the reason you are so lost and alone and despairing, and now we can save you.’

    And that is why articles such as this will never touch a gay man or woman. That is why your ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ creed (which does not appear in the Bible) is treated with such disdain. That is why there is so much vehemence and anger and bitterness from LGBT people towards the Christian Church. It’s because Christians have earned it, and earned it again tenfold.

    So keep preaching to your flock, Mr. Huebner. But, for god’s sake, can’t you please leave gay people alone? Stop preaching at them, stop telling them that you have a way to a better life. Because, if you are willing to take a long, hard look at the history of Christian relations with gays, I think you’ll agree. Your kind has done enough.

    • Tim, thank you for sharing your opinions and feelings.

      I do not thank you, however, for assuming you know me, what I believe, what I teach, and what I have done.

      Countless times above you used the word “you, you, you.” But in reality, had you spoken to me first or learned more about me, you would know that I have done none of the things you mentioned, nor have I promoted any of the things you have mentioned, nor will I ever. You so harshly condemn me for things I have never even done!

      It would be like saying, “You Muslims are all evil terrorists out to kill me!” That’s not even close to true. More than 90% of the world’s Muslims are peaceful.

      So you also saying, “You Christians” is also a complete atrocity when so many of us are different from the situations you described.

      And as for my sharing of God’s Word, I’ll close with a hymn verse that summarizes well my duty and responsibility as a Christian and a pastor:

      Preach you the Word and plant it home
      To those who like or like it not,
      The Word that shall endure and stand
      When flower’s and mortals are forgot.

      We know how hard, O Lord, the task
      Your servant bids us undertake:
      To preach your Word and never ask
      What prideful profit it may make.

      The sower sows; his reckless love
      Scatters abroad the goodly seed,
      Intent alone that there may be
      The wholesome loaves that people need.

      Though some be snatched and some be scorched
      And some be choked and matted flat,
      The sower sows; his heart cries out,
      “Oh what of that, and what of that?”

      Preach you the Word and plant it home
      And never faith; the Harvest-Lord
      Who gave the sower seed to sow
      Will watch and tend his planted Word.

      • Most of the times I said ‘you,’ I was referring to the Christian Church and Christians in general.

        However, When you identify yourself with a specific group of individuals, like a religion, you take upon yourself some culpability for it’s collective actions, especially when they become typical. A KKK member might say “I’ve never burned a cross, lynched a man, graffitied racial epithets, so don’t judge me with the rest.” I would still treat him with revulsion. In the same way, when you identify yourself as a conservative Christian and condemn LGBT individuals in a single sweep, I feel the same apprehension because I have both heard the words and seen the actions of your religion, and as I outlined briefly in my first post, they are not unlike many other groups that violently and harmfully try to oppress people who are different. Do you bear culpability for their actions? Yes, you do in a way, because you identify with them and actively work to continue that work in your ministry and words. And I have no trouble comparing you to a member of the KKK, since you have shown no aversion to telling LGBT people that they’re on the same level of pedophiles.

        The Christian Church, Lutherans included, have placed themselves in opposition to the LGBT community. Fine. Different groups with different beliefs will always clash, it has been this way since the beginning of time. But, as I clearly outlined above, the Christian Church in America has conducted an organised effort to humiliate, brow-beat, and destroy the LGBT community with methods that would be reprehensible to Christ himself if he could see them. And the Christian Church has then claimed a moral victory, setting themselves up as the most loving and compassionate individuals in the nation, the instruments of God’s enduring love on earth, over broken gay individuals from whom you’ve fought to take everything, even up to their lives.

        The fact is, Mr. Huebner, that you have taken that same moral high ground. You share it with Scott Lively, with the AIDS protestors, with all the rest, because you justify your actions with the exact same morality. And the fact that you justify the repeated and consistent actions of your religion by portraying it as just a few misguided individuals acting outside of your faith, is why I view you with the same apprehension that I would a man carrying a sign outside the Supreme Court that says ‘Homosexuals are demon-possessed.’ You may not have committed these acts. But you’re breaking bread with those who have.

  25. IrvingWashington

    “Please don’t misunderstand. This is not a hate-filled post.”
    PROVE IT:

    “And truly . . .IT IS AWFUL!”
    “I can’t believe the outright sinfulness that is heralded and honored in our country.”
    “But why did Tiger Woods have to stand up and apologize to the world for his behavior while Jason Collins is heralded as a hero?”
    (this one is my favorite, because it’s ridiculous) “Why are those who break sports rules by taking Performance Enhancing Drugs condemned as horrible cheaters, but those who break God’s rules for marriage are praised for their ground-breaking choices?”
    “None of these athletes should be commended or congratulated for their actions.”
    “I know full well that I am probably more of a sinner than Jason Collins is.” (‘probably’ you sound so convincing.)
    “. If I could be forgiven, if David, Peter, Paul and all the sinners of the Bible could be forgiven, then Jason Collins […] can be forgiven too.”
    “please, for the sake of their eternal salvation, DON’T comfort, condone, or congratulate them!”

    Sure sounds like hate to me.

    Really Phil, “DON’T comfort, condone” them? I never thought those words would come out of a pastor’s mouth. That is very disappointing.

    People are not going to want to ‘change their lifestyle for God’ if this is what the church calls encouragement.

    I encourage you to really think about write before you post.

    • Well you clearly missed the main point of this post and the next two thereafter.

      I’m sorry you misunderstood.

    • Irving,

      The Bible doesn’t say, anywhere…at all, to comfort or condone sinners. The law convicts and condemns in order to turn people back to the gospel—the only and ultimate comfort. Condoning sin would worst possible scenario, leading that sinner comfortably down the road to hell.

      Jesus said, repeatedly, “Go and sin no more” (or a variation thereof). He never said: Go, your sins are cool and I accept you for who you are.

  26. IrvingWashington

    Phil,

    I have spent a lot of time with your family. Your father baptized and confirmed me. I had a few therapy sessions with your mother. Your sister even signed some of my high school year books.

    I spent twenty years learning about the WELS point of view. I loved being a part of the church, I loved the years I spent at MLC.

    When I grew up, left the bubble, and entered the real world I realized something. That
    I no longer believe in your God or the God of your father.

    It is strange, the intelligence one can develop when they do not surround themselves with all like-minded individuals.

    I now carry with me an intellectual regret that I spent as many years as I did oppressing and condemning so many courageous men and women. I shut so many doors to getting to know different cultures and developing critical thinking skills because I felt if I accepted too much that I would catch the theoretical leprosy that paints our non-WELS brothers and sisters. We were taught to welcome everyone to our special Christian club, then rebuked one another for our transgressions. We judged one another for our lifestyle choices. We condemned our own brothers and sisters when they broke the mold.

    The army of WELS Christian soldiers is a white privilege powerhouse. It’s leaders are male. The message “a sin is a sin is a sin” is subjective to the sin. What I thought I was getting out of my education in my WELS grade school, high school, and college was an opportunity to praise your God. The education I actually received was how to judge everyone around me. Don’t respond “I am sorry your personal experiences with the WELS made you feel this way.” We were brought up in the same schools. You were taught the same things. The judgemental content of this post only solidifies this statement.

    Do humanity a favor, spend a few years out of your christian comfort zone, get a real education, then tell everyone how they should live their lives. You’d be surprised at how ridiculous your bubble looks from out here in the real world.

    • 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

      “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
      the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

      20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

      26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

    • “I now carry with me an intellectual regret that I spent as many years as I did oppressing and condemning so many courageous men and women. I shut so many doors to getting to know different cultures and developing critical thinking skills because I felt if I accepted too much that I would catch the theoretical leprosy that paints our non-WELS brothers and sisters…”
      “What I thought I was getting out of my education in my WELS grade school, high school, and college was an opportunity to praise your God. The education I actually received was how to judge everyone around me.”

      Yes! That! That and then some, because everything you just said, I internalized on myself. The best decision I made in life was to leave MLC and learn to be myself, to think for myself and to treat others with the respect I never received. From where I am now, I can’t believe I ever was a part of the bubble.

  27. IrvingWashington

    That is the bible’s response. What is yours? Don’t you have a mind of your own?

    • Judging from your responses, human reasoning and rationale aren’t going to work much. So I will stick with the powerful Word of God at the moment.

      Don’t I have a mind of my own? On all such matters of faith I try to stick to this . . .

      1 Corinthians 2:15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

      “Who has known the mind of the Lord
      so as to instruct him?”
      But we have the mind of Christ.

    • By the grace of God, I hope to never have a “mind of my own” if it would deviate from the commands and instruction of the creator who gave me a mind and reason to begin with.

      “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

      • Yes!

        I would highly recommend to many reading Job chapter 38 as well!!

      • So, your creator gave you a mind and the power of reasoning so you could . . . agree with everything he says? That’s called brainwashing.

        At the very least, you could concede that you, yourself, are choosing this increasingly outdated mode of thinking. That being said, you can’t discuss religion in terms of logic – but that’s a different argument.

      • My creator gave also gave me a free will that allows me to ignore the sinful and imperfect reasonings of my flesh and follow his holy and perfect will. This, of course, only by faith.

        How could the created understand the creator? No, there are things I must take on faith. My reason is a wonderful gift, but why would I hold it above the reasoning of the one who gave it to me. No, I hold my own reason captive to Christ and trust that one day I shall understand him fully with a perfected body and mind.

      • You say, “I hold my own reason captive to Christ and trust that one day I shall understand him fully with a perfected body and mind.”

        Why would you withhold rigorous introspection on such deeply held beliefs? Sticking one’s head in the sand and proclaiming ignorance as a virtue is a terrible thing to do. I would trust your judgment and smug state of enlightenment more if you stated that you had considered different possible worldviews and perspectives and found, through your own free will, that the narrowness of WELS Christianity is in fact the One True Faith.

        Why would you “hold reasoning above the one who gave it to you”? Why not use it to make sure He is truly the one who gifted you with something you apparently don’t use?

      • Steph,

        You mistake “hubris” for “knowledge.”

      • You mistake brevity for wit. You didn’t answer any of the points I brought up.

  28. IrvingWashington

    Judging by your response, Pastor, you’re lacking human reasoning and rationale. Your defensive responses to anyone who opposes your opinions make you sound childish and defiles your credibility. If your only defense is bible passages then you lack the communication skills of a critical thinking adult.

    It is worthless speaking with someone who hears only what they want to. Pastor, anyone who has written in opposition to your opinion seems to go in one of your ears and out the other. I spent years learning the WELS point of view, how much time have you spent getting to know a secular point of view?

    Using bible verses to communicate with me, though true to WELS standard of Pastoral process, is ineffective. It is not science, human reasoning, or politics that pushed me away from the church, it is individuals like you who lack the social skills to communicate with the secular population. Look at your responses to me, would you want to join the congregation of a man who’s only response is quotes out of his holy book? If a Muslim man only responded to you with words out of the Koran, how meaningful would his message be to you?

    I don’t need you to tell me what you think God is saying. She and I have spent a lot of time talking already. I have read Her book, I have sang Her praises. If you cannot formulate a personal response with your own words, then it is clear your ability to communicate is crippled. But don’t worry, I’ll pray for you.

    • Irving,

      For someone who grew up WELS, you seem to have either completely forgotten everything you learned (most likely deliberately), or you never truly learned it in the first place. Ever heard of the phrase “We are in the world but not of the world?” You might have heard that a time or two throughout your WELS education. You might also remember that Jesus specifically prayed to God Almighty to sanctify his people, literally to set them apart from the world by the truth. And what is the truth Jesus speaks of? “Your Word (God’s Word) is truth” (John 17:17). So forgive Pastor Huebner, and the rest of us, for using Bible verses to communicate with you or anyone else. You probably wouldn’t have liked communicating with Jesus either.

      But why does Jesus ask God to do set us apart by his truth? The answer is found in the words he spoke before that: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it” (John 17:16). So forgive us “WELSer’s” for not being interested in a secular point of view. Jesus wasn’t interested either. I think I’ll take his advice over yours, no offense.

      It’s funny that you accuse Pastor Huebner of “hearing what he wants to hear.” The apostle Paul–someone who Jesus specifically called to be his apostle–would say the same thing to you. And so do I. In the name of becoming more “secularized” and “logical” you have succumbed to itching ears syndrome. “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). You are the they. You have allowed the myths of this world to turn you away from the truth that sets you free for all eternity. You have became one who is “of” the world instead of one just “in” the world. You are living proof that Martin Luther was correct when he said that “reason is the devil’s whore.”

    • Well Paul did a little boasting to make a point, so I suppose I could too…

      Your taunting posts are aggravatingly and annoyingly braggadocios. To taunt me saying that I have no education or no communication skills is pure foolishness.

      Really? I know six languages (7 if you include computer programming). I have a college degree and almost my second Master’s degree. And by the way, I did all of the above with pretty much a 4.0 GPA. I’ve read all 36 of Shakespeare’s plays, and most of them twice. I’ve read more books about topics from leadership to business to technology and everything in between than you could fit in your apartment.

      I’ve traveled to all the lower 48 states, and most multiple times. I’ve seen a lot and done a lot. I’ve spent more than 10 years in sales and management in the secular world–being so successful even that I was offered regional management positions.

      And a bad communicator? Try close to 400 sermons publicly delivered. (By the way, those are usually the length of an 8 page term paper. Try speaking an entire term paper for memory. I have. 400 times). I’ve spoken in front of crowds of a few, a few dozen, a few hundred, and crowds of well over 1,000. Oh, and numerous of my writings have been published in various places.

      Your personal taunts at my education, my knowledge, and my ability to communicate are embarrassingly laughable.

      But you see, the difference is that I choose not to take pride in those worldly things. I choose to be humble and to set aside my worldly achievements. I choose to bend my will to the God who made me and gave me all those things instead. And gladly, at that.

      So I said all of the above in the same tone as Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:

      16 I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. 21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!

      Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

      30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.

      I am fully capable of rational thinking and good communication. However, I choose to do so in the light of Christ and his Word because he is more important than I.

      • IrvingWashington

        Pastor, I am proud of you for your ability to read, program/speak computer, study languages, and traveling of the United States.

        I am just sad that in all of your knowledge training, you take what you want out of the bible (that you can read in 6 different languages) and you use it to persecute a group of individuals who want nothing to do with you or the church.

        If it is THAT important to you to tell your fold that homosexuality is a sin punishable by death. Then I feel sorry for you that you have to create a blog post to rally up WELS congregants and stir up dissention with a community who did nothing to you.

        Jason Collins did not come out of the closet to piss you off. With impending death threats, I am sure he has more to worry about. So why did you feel it was your responsibility to publically point the finger at him? That is what makes me question your intelligence and your communication skills.

        If this is the message that you have been preaching in your over 400 sermons and your lectures to over 1000’s of people, then you solidify everything I have been saying. The WELS has taught me to point to the sins of my brothers, judge them for it, and hope to God nobody notices my own sins, which are “probably worse.”

      • Exodus 8:15
        But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.

        Exodus 11:10
        Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.

  29. IrvingWashington

    I cannot take seriously the words of men who are unable to speak for themselves. If you cannot speak for yourself, then you cannot think for yourself.

    Everything I learned in the WELS resides with in me and haunts me. It affects everything I do, and the way I think. It is the embers of a spiritual fire I wish I could extinguish. The gospel that is preached is fraught law so that every individual is drenched with his own invisible guilt. We are taught to make the weight of our sins feel lighter by judging the actions of others. We distract others from our own transgressions by putting the attention on obvious culprits who break the rules of the 10 commandments. We disown our Christian brothers and sisters when they stray from the WELS path, and paint Scarlet letters on their chests when they admit to their desires.

    It is a religion of oppression. It is an agent of guilt.

    If reason is the devil’s whore, then oppression is her solicitor.

    • Irving (If that is your name),

      Despite your WELS education you must have also forgotten about the free will God gave people, as well as the powerful Holy Spirit he sent this earth to to create and sustain faith in the hearts of people through Word and Sacrament. Indirectly, or perhaps even directly, you are implying that God has made all of us who believe his Word his mindless robots who cannot think for themselves. Conversely, I cannot take seriously anyone who discredits the Words of God himself and has so fully allowed Satan and his sinful nature to control his heart and mind.

      Since you make such a charges against WELS, I challenge you to show how exactly the gospel the WELS preaches is fraught with Law. I challenge you to find a paragraph or even a sentence of a sermon that tells us to lighten the weight of our sins by judging the actions of others. I challenge you to show me one example of anything WELS has published that encourages the members of this church body to distract themselves from their own transgressions by pointing the finger at others. Take your time. It will take you a while.

      The fact of the matter is that Satan has beguiled you into thinking that everything you grew up with, everything you learned, and everything you knew was an agent of oppression and guilt. Whether you want to admit it or not, at some point in your life you dabbled and put your foot in the door of this world. And when you did, you allowed Satan to get a foothold of your heart and mind and he’s never let you go, and you likely never even attempted to fight him off with the full armor of God.

      Keep on arrogantly brushing us off with your Satan-created confidence in human and worldly wisdom. I’ll take my chances being led by the Spirit on Judgment Day.

  30. I find it sad that a few of these people above, who oppose Pastor Huebner’s viewpoint (which he takes from God’s Word), are in reality rejecting Christ and His Word. If they are judging Pastor Huebner with all of their hateful posts then they must really hate Christ’s judgmental viewpoints and verses from His Word. Pastor Huebner does a post on homosexuality, why it is a sin, and why we should not condone or accept it. He does not personally attack the basketball player, and how do the homosexuals and their supporters respond? Sadly they start to attack Pastor Huebner personally, they attack Christians, they attack the WELS, and they even attack God Himself. When people respond with personal attacks or hate, it usually indicates they have a sin or something they are trying to hide and not admit to. It is also interesting, but not surprising, how some of these posters just popped up out of the blue. All of a sudden a blog is done on homosexuality and people start pouring out of the woodwork to speak up and attack anyone who goes against homosexuality. We now see this everywhere on responses in which people will attack anyone who opposes homosexuality. What foolishness! Do you all look for blogs/posts on the internet of people who are against homosexuality and then set out to attack the post originator by responding with hateful posts? Why do you all not post responses on the pastor’s other subjects? Oh, that’s right. The homosexuals’ and their supporters’ agenda is to get all people to accept their sinful and immoral lifestyle and if we do not accept it they will call us hateful and attack us. How ironic and the hypocrisy coming from the homosexuals and their supporters when they talk about love and acceptance yet they attack with hate, arrogance and pride on anyone who disagrees with them. Their responses sound like many of Satan’s responses to God in the Bible. What a coincidence! Several of the responses above from people who are or support homosexuality sound very hateful and full of ignorance. They are doing exactly what they accuse us of but they do not see it because of their hardened hearts and spiritual blindness. Instead of accepting God’s Word they run from it and from His ministry or they change God’s Word to satisfy their desires so they can live out their sinful life they feel comfortable in. But apparently many of them do not feel comfortable in their lifestyle so they set out to attack and blame others so they feel more comfortable with their sins. Sin corrupts the mind and heart, and most people hate more than anything when they are told they are sinning so they turn it around to take the focus off of them. They take the focus off of the subject matter and turn it into a personal attack on the person telling them of their sin.

    I see no personal attacks on Jason Collins in Pastor Huebner’s post. He is merely pointing out that he hates the sin but not the sinner. If fact, he loves the sinner and is telling them to repent for their eternal salvation, as Christ commands us to do. But as Christ proclaims, only true believers who repent and cast out their selfish desires and not follow the world’s view would see that because of God’s grace and mercy in opening their minds and hearts to His Truth. God and believers want to see all people in heaven. But the only way to heaven is faith in Christ AND repentance. The Bible is very clear on that! True faith = true repentance. You can’t be living in a prideful and unrepentant sinful lifestyle and expect eternal salvation. If you have true faith then Christ will give you a heart that wants to repent and turn from sin. Yes it will be a hard struggle all the time because of our sinful nature but how else can we share in the fruits of faith. I dislike all of my sins, and I feel bad when I do not please the Lord. I do not try to condone any sin or make my sins public and expect society to accept them. I think the problem is too many people try to use their human logic and human understanding by putting faith in themselves to try and prove that their way is the right way instead of relying on faith in Christ.

    I believe many people have a false faith, and God even warns that people will turn from Him and His Word, and we see it in the responses to this post. I also think homosexuals and their supporters get confused on the word “love.” We all are to love each other as Christ commands but that love does not mean you can have sexual relations with anyone you want or get married to the same sex as you see fit. That is not Christ’s love. Christ’s love is a brotherly and fatherly love. I think that is where the confusion is. We love but we don’t love sin or things that are unnatural and go against Christ and His Word. We love each other as human beings in Christ. I think this LBGT agenda would not be a big an issue as it is if they were not so prideful, arrogant, and pushing this in our faces every day. If you do not want to be told you are doing wrong then keep it between you and God and don’t make it public and demand we accept it.

    The problem boils down to the fact that the homosexuals are trying to get society to accept their sinful lifestyle and they will not rest until their mission is achieved so they can feel comfortable in their sinful choices. But that is the way society is becoming… sin and immoral behavior is becoming acceptable and no one better tell them they are wrong or we will be labeled as haters! ALL sin is harmful and unacceptable. Homosexual sin is harmful because it is unnatural and society can’t continue that way. Plus, logic and time have shown that a child needs a father AND mother. That is why God created a father and mother as parents and it is His order of things. Who are we to tell God we are right and He is wrong? If society accepts homosexuality as being okay then we are telling children and future generations that sin is acceptable and it does not matter what God says because man makes the rules, not God. How wrong! We see the effects of this with abortion. Forty years ago abortion was legalized but now forty years later, we see society now realizing more and more how wrong abortion is because they are seeing the harm it has done to mothers, relationships, and society itself. The stand against abortion is getting stronger. Thanks be to God!

    Truth will always win out over man’s selfish wants and sin. A poster above referenced the KKK and how people against homosexuals will be like the KKK and considered outcasts in 50 years. Well I say 40-50 years from now we will see society realizing how wrong it was in accepting homosexuality, its harmful effects and buying in to all of its and Satan’s lies. Sin will not stand. Truth will always stomp out lies… it is just a matter of time. Also, the people above who say they went out into the real world to get away from God so they could have a mind of their own and find their God. Well the world offers only death, sin and lies. There is only one True God and His Word, and He offers life, Truth and forgiveness. As for the science part saying homosexuals are born that way, there is also scientific evidence that disproves that theory. Science is very rarely reliable because there are always new studies contradicting the old ones. But God’s Word is reliable because it is unchanging and the Truth. It has withstood the test of time. His Word has lasted for thousands of years. Nations have tried to banish Christ’s Word but it has always survived and spreading more rapidly now than ever. More and more people in Europe and America are turning away from Christ and turning to their worldly desires, but more and more people in third world countries are turning to Christ. Why is that? Because those countries are poor and realize that true richness is received by putting their faith in Christ. They are not putting their faith in man and the world’s lies like Europe and America are starting to do. So we can’t believe science but the homosexuals will never talk about the studies that disprove it. How convenient and foolish of them.

    We all have free speech, free will and can choose to do what we want (hopefully we all try to do the right and God pleasing things), but please do not try to push your sinful choices on us and expect us to accept it as okay or attack us personally. God commands us to make disciples of all nations and have people repent and turn from their sins. He does not command us to accept sin and peoples’ sinful lifestyle. I want to be on God’s side, not on man’s or the world’s side. I pray God will open the eyes and soften the hearts of the unrepentant sinners. They are like Pharaoh with a hardened heart and reject God’s True Word. God says His Word is foolishness to the non-believers and unrepentant and even some believers will turn from Him. How true that is by some of the responses we see above. We see their true colors and the Truth the Bible says about them!

  31. IrvingWashington

    You’re right Chris, it took me a while, but I finally found something,

    “It finally happened. The first professional athlete in a major team sport (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL) has “come out” as being gay.

    Jason Collins, a well-traveled 11-year NBA veteran, stepped forward recently to tell the world that he is in fact gay. He states that it was never his intention or goal to become the first. Rather he has always just been himself and now was finally the right time for admitting it.

    This is no small story. It is all over the news. ESPN has made it a feature story after nearly begging for some major athlete to “come out” in recent articles. All the other media sources are giving full coverage as well. This is a HUGE story and a HUGE moment for the LGBT community. And truly . . .

    IT IS AWFUL!

    On the one hand I can say that I can’t believe the outright sinfulness that is heralded and honored in our country. But on the other hand, I’m never really surprised at what Satan can do. What incredible lies he has blinded people with!

    As this story has broken, the overwhelming response has been one of support and respect. Kobe Bryant tweeted his support and pride in Jason Collins’ gay pride. Many other athletes have done the same. News reporters, politicians, and more have been chiming in with their opinions of how “brave” this “pioneer” is.

    But truly, this absolutely confounds me. Satan has actually convinced people to think that this is cool, important, and acceptable.

    How come no one heralded Tiger Woods for being a pioneer in combining the worlds of athletics and adultery? (Though he really is no pioneer. Wilt Chamberlain and Magic Johnson will always take the cake for adulterous athletes.) But why did Tiger Woods have to stand up and apologize to the world for his behavior while Jason Collins is heralded as a hero? Why can someone be openly gay but not openly adulterous?

    How come ESPN 30 for 30 did an entire story on the shame of the many athletes who lost all of their money to a lifestyle of debauchery and greed, but Jason Collins is applauded for his lifestyle?

    Why are those who break sports rules by taking Performance Enhancing Drugs condemned as horrible cheaters, but those who break God’s rules for marriage are praised for their ground-breaking choices?

    What is it that makes the media want to commend and condone homosexual athletes? Why not do the same for those who “come out” as alcoholics, gamblers, adulterous cheaters, or drug addicts? What if an athlete came out and admitted that he has always “been this way”–no, he was even “born this way” and “pre-progammed”–that he is a member of NAMBLA and loves children in a sexual way? What would the media say then? If that person claims God made them that way and they can’t help it and that they feel oppressed and persecuted, would that pedophile be considered a national hero? Why not?

    Here’s the pathetic problem with our world and our country today: There is no concept whatsoever for absolute truth, in particular, what God states is absolute truth. If there were understanding about what is absolutely, completely, 100% true, then there could be no arguments about actions and lifestyles that God declares to be sinful.

    The absolute truth is that all of the above actions mentioned are sins–including homosexuality. None of these athletes should be commended or congratulated for their actions. All of them, Jason Collins included, should be rebuked for disobeying what God says and for sinning.

    Please don’t misunderstand. This is not a hate-filled post. I don’t dislike Jason Collins. I would play basketball against him or with him. And I know full well that I am probably more of a sinner than Jason Collins is. So this has nothing to do with hatred or persecution or arrogance or anything similar. Rather, this has everything to do with love–love for a sinner ensnared by Satan’s temptations and lies.

    Jason Collins and all the other unabashed, open, and “out” sinners of every kind need to be called to repentance. They need to listen carefully to God’s clear Word about what is right and what is wrong. They need to turn from sinful actions and choices and turn to the Lord. There in the Lord and in his truth they will most certainly find forgiveness for their sins. Trust me. If I could be forgiven, if David, Peter, Paul and all the sinners of the Bible could be forgiven, then Jason Collins and the rest can be forgiven too.

    The floodgates are likely about to pour open. Jason Collins was the first professional athlete in a major sport to “come out” as being gay. There will likely be many, many more.

    But please, for the sake of their eternal salvation, DON’T comfort, condone, or congratulate them!

    Call them back to the ways of the Lord!”

    • Nice try “Irving.” Clearly, you exerted great effort and conducted extensive research that led you to copy and paste a post that you take serious issue with, and one you clearly don’t understand. You continue to prove your ignorance in all things Biblical as it is clear you have forgotten or, even more likely, ignored the lessons of your catechism and doctrine classes through your WELS education, which classify the important difference between Law and Gospel.

      Let me supply a cliffnotes version for you. As such a logical and well-reasoned minion of this world, I only hope you might understand:

      The Law shows us our sin; it convicts and damns.
      The Gospel shows us our Savior: it saves.

      In your fabulous effort and extensive research, you copied and pasted an article that is proclaiming law. It is meant to convict hardened sinners of their sin. It is meant to hurt, to prick, and to bother someone’s conscience. Strange. That kind of sounds like what’s happening to you. And in order to make yourself feel better, you condemn this proclamation of law and call it “gospel.” In the words of the wise-beyond-his-years Jack Meyer: “Good job! Good effort!”

      I don’t know what gospel you were listening to in the WELS, but the gospel I was taught and the gospel I proclaim always points to Christ. It always points to his life, his blood, his resurrection. That’s what alone causes an attitude change in the hearts and minds of hardened sinners. Every day, God’s Law condemns and damns me for my sin. And every day I find the desire and motivation to turn from my sin because of Jesus’ blood and righteousness, not in the comparison my sinfulness to the sinfulness of others.

      Again, good job! Good effort! You never know until you try! But you’re going to have to try better than that.

  32. The big difference is that the other ‘sins’ you mention (ie.. Alcoholism, gambling, adultery) are all choices, and it has been scientifically proven that homosexuality is not a choice. Your comparison to pedophilia is clearly not accurate because children do not have the faculties to reasonably give consent. Bottom line is, your belief that homosexuality is wrong is based on your faith in the validity of the words of your book. Please do not compare homosexuals to the likes above as some sort of proof that being gay is wrong.

    In addition, I think it’s important to point out (because Christians seem to forget this often) that your belief is not universal. Not only is the Christian faith one of many, but there are also many differing sects of christianity including those that accept homosexuality. So when you write or preach about the gossip of others (instead of what I believe to be a nobler pursuit; your actions) please do not forget that those people might see the world a bit differently than you, and that your world view is based on a blind faith.

  33. Pastor Huebner,

    I appreciate the love and concern for others that you clearly display in your posts and comments. Please continue to boldly proclaim Christ crucified to a world that so desperately needs it.

  34. Meanwhile in New York City, the fifth hate crime attack in a month against gay people has left a gay man dead, shot in the face by a Christian.

    Please, continue telling me all about how Christians are persecuted by that nasty gay agenda.

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