Can I be Catholic/Mormon/Gay, etc., and be Saved?
OK...this starts to get complicated about now. The answer is a definite: Maybe.
Salvation & religious denominations
In previous chapters, I dealt with the most important issue: that of the basis for salvation. Many world religions do not even acknowledge Jesus Christ as a savior of any sort. Clearly, there is no Biblical hope that members of these religions can die in a state of forgiveness unless, perhaps, they die as children before they are old enough to consciously commit willful sin in Gods eyes, or if God mercifully puts the thought in their minds to call upon Jesus Christ at the moment of their deaths. After these Christ-denying religions come a host of pseudo-Christian religions that may somehow acknowledge Jesus Christ but yet fail to teach the true means of salvation. Such religions teach either a flawed or outright false doctrine of salvation (and while doing so also typically claim theirs is the only true Christian faith).
How far one can go in believing the error taught by these groups without being disqualified from salvation is debatable, for some Christian denominations actually teach an incorrect salvation doctrine which hold the potential to ultimately send those who believe that doctrine to Hell along with a sincere, but Christless, Hindu. Two examples of flawed or false salvation doctrine are those of the Mormons and the Jehovahs Witnesses. Both denominations believe they are the only legitimate church of God on the earth and they insist that were Saved--either entirely or at least in part--by Good Works. (Good Works, remember, means to do good deeds and/or to obey Biblical Commandments in the conscious belief that by this obedience a person will either earn the right to salvation through living a holy life, or that he will keep from losing his salvation by righteous living.)
If a person is going to rely on these sorts of salvation theologies he may ultimately be lost since in part he is counting on his own "goodness" to make up for his own sins by living a so-called godly life. The point he risks being lost altogether is if he substitutes relying on his faith in Christ to see him into Heaven and instead begins feeling secure in his salvation because of either his affiliation with a religious denomination, or else in his lifestyle rather than his faith in Christ as the atonement for his sins.
Religions like the LDS church and Jehovahs Witnesses, because of their emphasis on Works, provide a risky environment that can foster this attitude. However, the difference between both groups is that the Mormon salvation doctrine, on a philosophical basis, does not cross the line from flawed to outright false as does the doctrine of the Jehovahs Witnesses. Mormons ultimately believe we go to Heaven on the basis of our faith plus our obedience (which many orthodox Christians also believe even if they dont realize it), whereas the Jehovahs Witnesses ultimately believe we go to Heaven on the basis of God reviewing our earthly Works and hopefully declaring them to be righteous.
That said, I am persuaded that it is theoretically possible for a member of such denominations to come to a faith in Christ in spite of if not because of the teachings of the denomination. I believe it is possible for a young Mormon, for instance, to have an innocent love for Christ and through that love to build up an unconscious, heartfelt reliance and trust in Jesus Christ, enough to technically allow him to die in a Saved state despite the incorrect teachings he is surrounded by, because God judges by the heart, more than the mind. The problem is, in order to grow in and accept the doctrine taught by some unorthdox religions, there may come a point when you must reject the true Biblical plan of salvation to embrace the fullness of that denominations theology. (I have put up a supplemental page that shows how the misapplications of the book of James is the root cause for these problems. Click here if you would like to see it.)
I would further propose that one could always accept Jesus Christ by faith and then stay in a cultic church for some reason and retain his salvation so long as he keeps hold of the truth of salvation by faith in Christ alone. (Perhaps a young person whose parents take him to a Kingdom Hall, or a wife who continues to attend services in a questionable denomination with an unsaved husband.) But remaining in a cultic denomination that has either a flawed or false salvation doctrine while teaching that all other denominations are illegitimate is always dangerous. If at all possible one should find a church that teaches truth and leave one that teaches error.
If all this isnt enough, there are churches that might officially have correct salvation doctrine but which fail to preach it often enough or clearly enough that some who worship there ever come to a Saving knowledge of Jesus Christ! There are scores of unsaved people who attend churches where the true message of salvation has never been preached clearly to them. Most often you find this problem with the old-line denominations like the Presbyterians or Methodists which have generations of people growing up in them without really attracting new converts. Too often there is a presumption that because people have been raised in the church since they were children they must be Saved, and so little emphasis may be placed on teaching the essential fundamentals of salvation. The fact is, membership in the right church cant Save you any more than your own good deeds can. Each person has to personally come to faith in Christ. Being religious and attending church services regularly is no guarantee of salvation; that returns to relying on being saved through Good Works.
The Catholic Church
June, 1999 update. Recently the Catholic church has taken a great step forward in issuing a joint declaration with the Lutheran church regarding the doctrine of justification and forgiveness of sin. The declaration was written long after this original article was, and that should be kept in mind as you read the following sections. In part, the document, approved by the Pope, reads: Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christs saving work, and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our heart while equipping us and calling us to good works.
Does this new declaration alter some previously held beliefs of Catholicism regarding meritorius works? It is impossible to say. The Catholic church is in a position where it cannot admit to being wrong in its doctrine and at the same time claim inerrency. Thus only time will tell the full implications of this marvelous statement of faith.
Before I deal with this subject, I want to make it clear that I am not one of those Evangelicals who thinks the Catholics are all going to Hell, nor do I see it as the task of evangelical Christianity to proselytize the average Catholic lay person away from the church. I do see it as the task of Christians with a clearer perspective on the basis of salvation to share that knowledge with Catholics who may not have had the benefit of good, clear teaching on that. And in the case of a Catholic person who desired to witness Jesus Christ to a lost world in a way that went beyond merely sharing his faith occasionally with coworkers and the like, yes, I would urge him to leave the Catholic church to find another denomination that isnt as weighed down with distracting manmade doctrines that muddy the simplicity of the Good News. At the same time, as one who believes Christianity should remain intellectually honest, there are some areas of teaching that the Catholic church has a better grasp on than much of Protestantism, and in the Reformations zeal to distance itself from the Catholic church, the Protestant movement has made the same error the Catholic church made in distancing itself from Judaism--it rejected some valid traditions it should have retained.
Now its true that Catholics in general tend to be less knowledgeable in the Scriptures than Protestants, primarily because the structure of the Mass doesnt permit time for the priest to offer preaching and teaching in the way the way many Protestant ministers do, and since Catholics are no different from most other Christians, many dont like to open a Bible and study on their own any more than their Protestant counterparts. (And lets be honest also to recall that for centuries the Catholic church itself tried to dissuade the laity from even studying the Scriptures on their own--persecuting some like John Wycliffe who tried to print and distribute the Bible in a non-Latin form to those outside the priesthood.)
This doesnt mean there arent magnificent Catholic teachers like the great Bishop Sheen, or one of my favorite Catholic theologians, Mitch Pacwa. But the environment of the Catholic church--including education in a Catholic school--does not stress clear, cogent Bible teaching in the way many Protestant churches and educational institutions do. The result is, there are a host of teachings in the Catholic church I take issue with--as there are likewise many doctrines in Protestantism I disagree with based on what I perceive the Scriptures to be saying. But, whatever ones particular views on issues across the board, what counts is salvation doctrine, and this is the area we Christians need to focus on.
In the case of the Catholic church, which holds a somewhat different view of salvation than Protestantism, if there are Catholics who someday go to Hell because of a misunderstanding of the true basis of salvation, there are Protestants who will be side-by-side with them because they belonged to the right denomination without personally coming to Saving faith in Christ. So I will do my part to freely exhort Catholic and Protestant alike to worry less about their doctrines and more about coming into a fresh, personal relationship with Jesus Christ that is based on faith rather than observing religious services as a substitution.
I personally had the privilege to be raised Catholic, and I still worship in the Catholic Church occasionally. For those interested, the Catholic Church essentially splits the difference between belief in salvation solely by faith or by Works. Catholic theology holds that were saved by Gods grace, that grace produces in us faith infused with Works which God accepts as atonement for some of our misdeeds. Its a confusing attempt to reconcile the two concepts of salvation to make one that includes aspects of both. While some Christians would disagree with me, I dont have a big problem with Catholic salvation doctrine despite the facts that "Works" are mentioned. Unlike denominations that teach we go to Heaven because of our own Good Works, Catholic theology (at least in theory) relies on faith in Jesus Christ. The idea of Works that somehow justify us before God are presumed to be through the active involvement of the Holy Spirit, and ultimately trace their source to God working in the believers life, not to his own human efforts at being righteous.
Also, the encouragement to do Good Works is made with the idea that Catholics will be too busy being good to fall into Mortal Sin that can cause them to lose their salvation--a perfectly reasonable belief I would agree with. All things considered, I hold the opinion that one can believe the Catholic doctrine of salvation as written and be Saved. The problem is, some Catholic doctrines are so close to heresy, that while one might be able to believe the letter of the doctrine and have salvation, even a slight misunderstanding on the part of a lay person regarding that doctrine places them over the line and in a position of being disqualified from salvation by embracing a false doctrine with no power to Save.
Also, many Catholics dont even clearly understand their own doctrine of salvation and fall back into the usual presumption that theyre Saved because theyre Catholic, or that theyll go to Heaven so long as they attend Mass, go to Confession, etc.--not because of their faith in Jesus Christ as the atonement for their sins. As a child in the Catholic Church I believed I was going to Heaven because Jesus died on the cross for me (despite the fact that over 90% of what I was taught in catechism focused in on "Our Lady" rather than Our Savior). When I heard salvation correctly explained in a non-denominational church and responded to an altar call as a teenager, it occurred to me at the time this was nothing more than I had believed as a Catholic, except that I wouldnt have been able to explain it as clearly. I admit I worry, though, that if I never had the plan of salvation explained to me in a clear, Protestant manner, I would have eventually have fallen into the mindset of assuming I was Saved because I wasnt too bad of a sinner simply because the Catholic Church never succeeded in clearly explaining the basis of my salvation to me as well as the Protestants did. Even Confirmation, which is the equivalent of a Protestant altar call and a formal acceptance of Christ, is often not explained in terms serious enough or clearly enough for Catholic teens to understand it is the commitment and sincerity of the participant to the rite, not the rite itself, which is confirming them as members of the Body of Christ rather than just the Catholic Church.
That said, there are 2000 years of barnacles that have attached themselves to the Catholic Church and created a host of other doctrinal problems and false traditions that date not to the 1st century and the Apostles, but the 4th century and the emperor Constantine, or the Middle Ages. The most dangerous include the doctrines of Purgatory and the overemphasis of the Virgin Mary. The idea of Purgatory is dangerous because it proposes that there are sins we may die with which we must undergo punishment for and purification of before we may enter Heaven. In a sense, Purgatory suggests that we must atone for some of our own sins, a salvation-risking idea. I attended a Catholic confirmation class several years ago, and whereas the traditional view of Purgatory holds that a soul dying in sin suffers in Purgatory for some number of years until the soul is purified, some new thinking on Purgatory is that the process is instantaneous. I really get the idea from this that the Catholic Church is stuck with the idea of Purgatory and wishes it could get out from under this false doctrine but pride wont allow it. I will say that any Catholic who believes he will pay the price or make up for some of his sins in Purgatory flirts with whether or not he can truly possess salvation. Again, a merciful God looking for reasons to let people into Heaven, not keep them out, judges the heart and the degree of knowledge one has.
However, if Protestant Christianity criticizes Catholicism for believing in Purgatory, it must be honest enough to do so with the understanding that there is some ancient precedent for the belief. The Jews in the time of Christ did teach that Jewish backsliders would burn in Genhenna until they were purified of their sins, after which they could enter Paradise. Thus, within Judaism, there were some theological beliefs that somewhat parallel the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory, and the Catholic notion may well be drawn from this ancient Jewish false doctrine (which forms the heart of a common belief in Judaism today that just about everyone will go to Heaven after they suffer in the afterlife for their sins).
Does this mean there is a chance that Purgatory is actually a valid doctrine?
For all practical purposes, no--for several good reasons: First, the fact that the same Pharisees who put Jesus on the Cross held to a particular doctrine in no way legitimizes it. Second, the strongest Scriptures used to justify the doctrine are pathetically weak and primarily trace themselves to the apocryphal book of 2nd Maccabees, rejected as uncanonical by both Judaism and the Reformation. Third, where the New Testament does deal with the subject of death for the Christian, no mention exists of some transitory state of punishment and purification of sin before entrance into the presence of God; quite the contrary--Paul says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord! Beyond that, Pauls writings ultimately leave no real room for Purgatory when he states: For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord--1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Everyone agrees this is talking about the second coming of Christ, when the Resurrection will occur and the righteous will receive their glorified physical bodies. But where does Purgatory fit in during this event? Apparently all the Christian dead in Purgatory will immediately be freed while those left alive will be instantly glorified without the need of Purgatory at all. So how do we reconcile the doctrine holding this is a necessary part of the process of glorification with the Scriptural fact that some will not go through it? The only reasonable position for a Catholic defender of the doctrine to take is to assert that God will do an instantaneous miracle of purification for both the living and the dead, cutting short the purging for some and making Purgatory unnecessary for others. Again, we must ask why Purgatory would be necessary at all, then? The answer is, of course, that it isnt, and there is no such state of punishment/purification/atonement to look forward to after death, for, as Paul says, Absent from the body--present with the Lord.
Thus, while it is historically true that a doctrine akin to Purgatory may have been held by some Jews, to validate the doctrine when it stands against the overall teaching of the Bible is going too far.
Apart from Purgatory, Marys place within the Catholic Church is dangerous as well. Many Catholics feel closer to Mary, or love Mary more than they do their own savior. I know I did as a Catholic--Mary seemed more real to me, her being a human mother figure, than a divine Christ did. And I respectfully suggest that if a Catholic has a higher regard for the Virgin Mary than he does his own savior, Mary, not Christ, may ultimately be that persons god! And Mary has no power--even in Catholic theology--to save one from his sins.
This may also shock some readers, but official Catholic theology asserts that Catholics are never to pray to Mary or any saint! Catholicism does support asking Mary or a saint to act as intercessor between man and Christ, in order to get ones prayers answered more effectively. (And before any Catholic bashers spit out the scripture that there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, remember you have no problem asking your pastor to intercede with God for your needs, so you have no room to boast! The New Testament also shows that angels intercede for humanity (Matt. 18:10, Rev 6:10), so the stretch is not that far to believe that the righteous dead might also intercede for their brethren on earth, although there is no good Scriptural foundation for this belief.)
The problem is, the average Catholic does pray to Mary in a way reserved for God alone. Prayers along the lines of Blessed Virgin, please do this for me, rather than Blessed Virgin, please intercede with Jesus for me, are violations of Catholic theology and elevate Mary, albeit unintentionally, to the status of a god herself, and may technically constitute Mortal Sin.
And for those who mistakenly think Mary never committed sin, if youll check Mark 3: 21 and 31 and John 7:5 its suggested that she and Jesus Brothers thought he was insane (beside himself), which indicates a sin of unbelief if nothing else. As to whether Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven, she died in Ephesus around 52 AD, within the lifetime of Peter, Paul and other apostles, and before the writing of possibly all four Gospels. None of these writers give even the briefest reference to such an awesome event, and to imagine for a moment that a miracle like this could occur and not one word be written in the Bible about it is laughable. This is just one more false tradition that was popularized after Constantine arose and corrupted the church with his pagan, polytheistic beliefs.
Finally, in contradiction to what the Catholic church teaches about Marys being second only to Christ in importance and authority, note the words of Jesus Himself: "Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist... (Matthew 11:11). Either Jesus Christ was incorrect and Mary, not John the Baptist, was the greatest person ever born of a woman, or the Catholic churchs understanding of the Virgin Mary is in error.
So the doctrines of Purgatory, and the semi-deification of Mary are two more barnacles of the Devil meant to distract people from the true path of salvation. Yes, a person can come to faith in Christ in the Catholic Church, remain in the Church and participate in the sacraments without having to deny Christ and his atonement, but the environment in the Catholic Church, because of the encrustation of manmade doctrine upon manmade doctrine that would fill a library, is not condusive to reaching a world lost without Christ that needs to hear of the simplicity of salvation, though many fine Saved Catholics are out doing what they can to reach people. With that point made, I do consider many Catholics to be our brothers in Christ, although some of the doctrines Ive mentioned remain dangerous and hold the potential of causing souls to be lost if individual Catholics either (1) misunderstand those doctrines and draw an incorrect salvation doctrine through them; or (2), become overwhelmed by the trappings of church ritual and take for granted that they are Saved--apart from conscious faith in Christ--simply because they are observing Days of Obligation, going to Confession, receiving Confirmation, etc. To a person who wished to remain faithful to the Catholic Church I would suggest only that he understand the true basis of his salvation, cease praying to anyone other than God the Father or Jesus Christ, and that he dismiss any idea of Purgatory.
Well, Im a Catholic and I believe Peter was the first Pope--doesnt this mean that its you Protestants who are filled with false doctrine rather than us?
Even if you assume that Peter was the first Pope, nothing in that fact translates to the idea that the church that descended from him was going to be supernaturally protected from error. The Jewish faith was descended directly from Moses, David and the prophets--yet by the time Christ came it was filled with corruption and false doctrine. There was never a supernatural guarantee for the Jews that God would prevent His church from falling into error apart from His giving the church the Written Word to live by--and there was likewise no guarantee made to the Christian church that it was guaranteed protection from error. The only way for the church to keep free from error is to live by what the Scriptures teach--apart from any extra-Biblical traditions of man that the Pharisees invented in their time, and that arose in the Christian church after them, which conflict with what the Written Word says.
As to whether Peter was the head of the Christian church, I take the side of Protestantism which denies this. I reiterate that even the Bible shows that James held more authority over the day-to-day administration of the church than Peter did. In fact, during the account of the first Jerusalem council in which Peter and the Apostles deal with the question of Gentiles in the church (Acts 15), whom do we see make the crucial decision regarding church doctrine? Is Peter stepping forward as Pope to issue the first Papal decree? No--we see James saying: "Wherefore my sentence is this, that we trouble not them..." Later on, we see Peter intimidated by representatives of James, resulting in Paul "Withstanding him to face because he was to be blamed". This is hardly the behavior one would expect from a man supposedly acknowledged as Pope of the Christian church.
Additionally, look at the writings of Peter. How much does he contribute to the New Testament? Does he, like Paul, write vast epistles plumbing the depths of Christian theology? No! He only writes two small epistles (one of which many scholars debate actually came from him, though there is no good reason to reject it otherwise) and was the influence behind Marks gospel. Thus, the Bible, apart from Catholic Tradition and the non-canonical writings from the post-Apostolic era just does not support the Catholic understanding of a few sentences in Matthew 17 that Jesus appointed Peter to be head of the church, although clearly he was a chief Apostle.
Beyond this, let me post a quote from (Pope) Gregory the Great, written in the 6th century in which he criticizes and labels any pope who takes the title of Universal Priest a precursor of the Antichrist!
Now I confidently say that whosoever calls himself, or desires to be called, Universal Priest, is in his elation the precursor of Antichrist, because he proudly puts himself above all others. Nor is it by dissimilar pride that he is led into error; for, as that perverse one wishes to appear as above all men, so whosoever this one is who covets being called sole priest, he extols himself above all other priests. But, since the Truth says, Every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled (Luke xiv. 11; xviii. 14), I know that every kind of elation is the sooner burst as it is the more inflated. Let then your Piety charge those who have fallen into an example of pride not to generate any offence by the appellation of a frivolous name. For I, a sinner, who by the help of God retain humility, need not to be admonished to humility. Now may Almighty God long guard the life of our most serene lord for the peace of holy Church and the advantage of the Roman republic. For we are sure, that if you live who fear the. Lord of heaven, you will allow no proud doings to prevail against the truth.
--Epistle XXXIII to Mauricius Augustus
I exhort and entreat that not one of you ever accept this name (that of Universal Priest--a title held by the Popes since Gregory), that not one consent to it, that not one write it, that not one admit it wherever it may have been written, or add his subscription to it; but, as becomes ministers of Almighty God, that each keep himself from this kind of poisoned infection, and give no place to the cunning lier-in-wait, since this thing is being done to the injury and rendering asunder of the whole Church, and, as we have said, to the condemning of all of you. For if one, as he supposes, is universal bishop, it remains that you are not bishops.
--Epistle LXVIII to Eusebius
In no way do I quote this to advance the view that the Catholic church is the Whore of Babylon, as some believe, nor do I level the criticisms I do at the church to attack it as an institution. I make these criticisms to attack the churchs assertion of infallibility and preeminence over all Christians. In doing this, however, I cannot criticize the Catholics for their overemphasis on Tradition without rebuking the Protestants for rejecting Tradition out of hand. The Catholic who makes the point that the Apostles affirmed the validity of (some) oral tradition is absolutely correct, and the Protestant doctrine of sola Scriptura, carries with it an inbred flaw in that it fails to acknowledge that ancient traditions can help us understand the meaning of some of the Scriptures. However, Catholic overemphasis on Tradition has given birth to a dangerous philosophy of presuming that the Tradition outweighs the apparent clear reading of the Scripture if both seem in apparent contradiction. Heres a favorite example of mine:
Paul, in 1st Timothy chapter 3, says that a Bishop must be "the husband of one wife".
In 1st Corinthians chapter 9 Paul says it is the right--not just the privilege, but the right--for an Apostle to travel with a believing wife (specifically mentioning Peter, who is called Cephas) Catholic tradition from the dominant Latin rite, on the other hand, disagrees and says a bishop--not to mention a Pope like Peter--must be unmarried. Thus you have the Bible saying one thing, and Catholic tradition and/or authority overruling it and saying exactly the opposite. I therefore ask any Catholic out there: which should I believe--the clear teaching of the New Testament or contradictory Catholic tradition?* (And we wont even go into the subject of the horrendous fruit the Catholic church reaps yearly by this unbiblical doctrine--you know the newspaper headlines just as as I do.)
* In point of fact, a Catholic friend of mine once had to do a college paper on the subject of when and why the Catholic church did away with allowing priests to marry, and to his surprise he was forced to conclude this was done because the church in ancient times was being overburdened with supporting the families of priests who died, and so this was adopted as a cost-saving measure.
Homosexuality and Christianity
The Bible does not spend a great deal of time talking about homosexuality. And in contrast to what many Christians believe, I hold the opinion that some people are born with a predisposition toward homosexuality. Others would disagree, citing a passage in the book of Romans, along with a variety of Old Testament scripture that clearly condemns homosexuality as a sin. I can only respond that if it is possible to live in an imperfect world where a child can be born as a hermaphrodite, with both male and female organs, I see no reason why, through genetics, a person cant be born with a motivation toward homosexuality as well.
Apart from perhaps a genetic factor, homosexuality can also occur through demonic influences, tempting and causing an aberrant sexual craving in a person. Last, for some, homosexuality is a conscious choice. Through either introduction to homosexuality at a young age which brings a person into this lifestyle, or because a so-called bisexual individual feels he or she enjoys an emotional and sexual fulfillment with partners of either gender, some people are drawn into it through their own free will.
Whatever the case, the Bible is 100% clear on the fact that homosexual sex is a sin in Gods sight, and that a person who refuses to acknowledge it as sin and seek forgiveness is denied salvation. In fact the Bible equates homosexual sex with bestiality!
King James Bible
New Jerusalem Bible
Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.
Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith...
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind...shall inherit the kingdom of God.
--1st Corinthians 6:9-10
You will not have intercourse with a man as you would with a woman. This is a hateful thing.
You will not have intercourse with any kind of animal; you would become unclean by doing so.
Do you not realize that people who do evil will never inherit the kingdom of God? Make no mistake--the sexually immoral, idolators, adulterers, the self-indulgent, sodomites...none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.
--1st Corinthians 6:9-10
Does this mean that God hates the homosexual or rejects him? No! And to be fair, in the same breath it damns the unrepentant homosexual to Hell, the Bible also condemns heterosexual adulterers. So one is no better in Gods eyes than the other. In the case of a gay or lesbian, however, salvation is dependent on the person accepting the Bibles assertion that homosexuality is a sin. Period. Having done that, turning to Christ for forgiveness brings the person into the same relationship with God--and sets him up for the same battle against the temptation to sin--as a heterosexual.
I know gay people who have turned to God and miraculously been delivered from homosexuality, never again having to fight temptation in that area. I know others who still struggle with it. My opinion is that those fortunate to find instant deliverance upon turning to Christ were victims of demonic influences, and that these spirits were driven from their lives as the people turned to Christ, hence the reason for an apparent miraculous delivery. For others who turn to Christ yet still struggle with homosexual tendencies, they may fall into the category of those born with a predisposition toward homosexuality, or those bisexuals who in the past have found fulfillment in homosexuality.
The good news is that the same grace of God is there for them in their struggle as it is for the unmarried heterosexual who struggles with his own normal desires. The bottom line is, no one ever gets delivered from what the Bible calls the flesh--that is, those natural human lusts and tendencies that are in opposition to the commandments of God. And, whether one is gay or straight, the same salvation is offered, and the same battle must be waged to resist sin.
Some homosexual Christians will never fully be healed or delivered any more than some Christians will ever get out of wheelchairs. God is no fool, and He understands well the added pressures faced by one of his children who follows Christ yet fights the battle against homosexual thoughts. So the bottom line is, a homosexual can absolutely be Saved so long as he doesnt deny or justify his sin. The most dangerous thing for a gay person with a heart to know God is to embrace a church that twists the scriptures to give approval for gay sexuality by proclaiming God's willingness to accept all extends to tolerance for a sexuality He has already condemned.
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