Tim Keller on Homosexuality

Josh —  August 20, 2012 — 13 Comments

Saw this over at Out of Ur, a blog you need to be reading.

How would you answer these questions?

Josh

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Josh is a Rookie Pastor who after nearly a decade in student ministry is planting a church in Northern Kentucky. Like everyone else he doesn't know what he's doing Rookie Pastor is just the venue to share the mistakes and what he is learning along the way.

13 responses to Tim Keller on Homosexuality

  1. Yes yes yes! and Amen!

  2. agreed.

    Really one of the best responses I have ever heard. Challenging, full of grace and truth. Solid.

  3. Like a lot of Christians who are interviewed on TV, he seemed to dance around the direct question of whether homosexuality is a sin. It is a sin…plain and simple.

    Should we hate gay people or treat them like garbage? Of course not, we are to love them…but they are involved in a sinful lifestyle and that needs to be addressed.

    As for this dude saying that “it isn’t sinning that sends you to hell” I disagree with that completely. Heaven rejoices over every sinner who repents. Meaning if you don’t repent and turn away from your sin, God, the righteous and Holy judge, will send you to hell.

    Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    • He does come out and say that it is a sin, even abruptly saying so in the middle of a train of thought towards the end of the video.

      And I would argue that sin is not what sends us to hell, separation from God does. Perhaps you see this as semantics, but the Gospel isn’t about sin management but about reconnecting with God.

      • I agree that he does eventually say it is a sin, but instead of answering the question directly, he dances around it and then slips it in casually…but I digress.

        So let me ask you this, if I feel I am really close to God, ie going to church every week, reading my Bible and praying daily and doing good works, yet living a life of continual unrepentant sin…would I go to Heaven?

        Adam and Eve were booted from the garden of Eden because they sinned…not because they weren’t in close fellowship with God…

        Jesus died on the cross for our sins…because without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins…

        Jesus came to call sinners to repentance…not to bring people closer to God…I mean, yes we are arguing semantics, as once someone repents of his sins, he then becomes closer to God…but you can’t be close to God if you are in a life of unrepentant sin…

        my point, in a nutshell, is that sin is the problem…sin is what separates us from God…too many Christians today preach a message of ‘Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life’ and ‘come to Jesus and he will make your life happy and perfect’…nobody wants to talk about sin anymore…and the penalty of sin…

        the gospel message is that we have sinned against a Holy and Perfect creator and we must repent from our sinful life and put our trust in Christ as our Lord and Saviour…………………and if we don’t or won’t…yes we will go to hell…

        I would recommend ppl listen to Ray Comfort’s message called “hell’s best kept secret”

    • Saying that sin is what sends us to hell would automatically mean that we are all sentenced to hell because while we work on the perfection of our Christ-like characters we will NEVER cease to be sinners. Separation from God, as Josh says, is what sends us to hell, which is caused by sin, but through Christ we are able to have that connection. You cannot simply ignore the part of that verse “BUT the gift of God is eternal life IN Christ Jesus our Lord.”

      I believe that our sins while living in Christ disrupt our communion that we have through Christ with God, until we repent for those sins. Which I also believe is a daily process.

      Homosexuality is indeed a sin, and Keller does say it but what he tried to avoid was the mindset that “sin” implies automatic damnification as Alex has commented.

      While homosexuality should be addressed in the CHURCH as a sin… We cannot, in the love that the word of God calls us to show others, single out or address those who are LIVING in sin and not living in the Lords grace. Whether it be homosexuality or any other of the millions of sinful lifestyles that are lived by millions of people. The gospel calls us to share the love that Christ has for us with the love that He gives us and pray for the salvation of those around us.

      Just my thoughts:) Love you all!

  4. Homosexuality is a sin in Christianity. Tim Keller says that pretty clearly.

    Unfortunately, popular culture has connected sin with automatic, eternal damnation, and that’s not at all inline with the reformation (Tim Keller is a pastor at a PCA church, note when he says “speaking as a protestant”)

    “Sola gratia”

  5. Dr. Keller says that it is very misleading to say that homosexuality is a sin. Then Dr. Keller says immediately after that, “of course homosexuality is a sin.” Why is Dr. Keller, in his own view at least, misleading people in this interview?

    Dr. Keller says that you don’t go to hell for being a homosexual. He also says that greed won’t send you to hell. Dr. Keller does say, however, that pride and self-righteousness will send you to hell. Why are pride and self-righteousness damnable, according to Dr. Keller, but homosexuality and greed aren’t. After all, doesn’t the bible tell us that neither homosexuals nor the greedy will inherit the Kingdom of God, and warn us to not be deceived by anyone who would tell us otherwise? I think I read this in First Corinthians 6:9-10.

    • This conversation is ongoing as you can see above. As I see it Keller is differentiating the issue of something being a sin and something “sending someone to hell”.

      As I understand it Keller is using the issue of pride and self-righteousness as something that sends someone to hell in that these postures leave no room for God in the equation. You are essentially your own God if you are fully prideful and would see no need for a Savior is you are self-righteous.

      I can still live in sexual sin or be greedy and acknowledge my own failings and need for a Savior.

      It seems that you are trying to catch Keller on semantics.

      • What Dr. Keller did specifically was draw a distinction between the sin of religious pride and self-righteousness, what he referred to in the interview as pharisaism and moralism, and the sins of greed and homosexuality. Moralism, or pharisaism, is a sin that many Christians struggle with. Many also struggle with greed, and some struggle with homosexuality. All Christians struggle with sin.

        Biblically speaking, both homosexuality and religious pride are damnable sins. However, Dr. Keller plainly asserted that pharisaism is damnable but homosexuality wasn’t. He asserted this despite the teaching of 1 Cor. 6:9-10. This assertion gives a false sense of security to people who refuse to repent of their homosexual actions and gives a false sense of despair to people who do repent of their pharisaism.

        Not convinced? Just imagine if the scenario were reversed and Dr. Keller asserted that you would be sent to hell for being a homosexual, but you wouldn’t be sent to hell for being pharisaical and proud. Could you imagine the firestorm? Had he drawn a distinction such as this, he would have given a false sense of hopelessness to people struggling with homosexuality and also a false sense of security to pharisaical religionists. Would he not have?

        That is why drawing such a distinction as Dr. Keller did is so pernicious. But the culture in which we live skews our ability to rightly discern these things because it has already managed to effectively shape the debate to its own advantage.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Monday Morning Quick Hits | Rookie Pastor - August 27, 2012

    [...] last week was interesting. The repost of the Tim Keller interview created for some big traffic days, have you seen it [...]

  2. N.T. Wright on Homosexuality | Rookie Pastor - September 1, 2012

    [...] Another challenging video on the issue from homosexuality, this time from N.T. Wright. Whereas Tim Keller looked at the issue from our response within the local church, Wright is examining the debate [...]

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