Are Homosexual Thoughts Sinful?

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The words heterosexual and homosexual suggest that we are assigned sexual orientations at birth just as we are assigned male or female. They suggest that God gets it right sometimes and God gets it wrong sometimes. More accurately, such a vocabulary gives legitimacy to evolutionary theory of the 19th century, where homosexuality becomes but a genetic mishap by a benevolent mother nature. But are homosexual thoughts just as sinful as homosexual behavior? Does the Bible even address such thoughts? If we consider sexual attraction an invisible force that was created when God created Adam and Eve, then the Bible does specifically addresses this in Romans 1:20-21:

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

I think these are verses that can only be correctly understood using the King James Version of the Bible, as quoted here. Note that verse 20 ends with a colon, so the same thought process is carried to verse 21. When combined, the two verses can be read: “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen . . . when they know God.” In other words, human sexuality cannot be understood unless you know God. It’s divine creation and function cannot be understood unless you have a personal relationship with God. Even though we live in a world that glorifies science, we can never know more about sex than God does. It’s his creation and his means of reproducing the human species on this earth. He could just as easily created us to reproduce by stepping on each other’s toes, shaking hands, or spending five minutes together under a moonlit sky. Social scientists have conjured up many words and phrases that seem politically (and financially) correct. For example, where did he idea of sexual orientation come from? If we go back to the Garden of Eden and ask Adam about his sexual orientation, what do you think he would say? He would probably respond with “what are you talking about.” Even the idea of a “sexual orientation” is a concoction of man-made science. There is nothing in the sexual proclivity of man today that did not exist with the earliest humans and descendants of Adam and Eve. Neither man nor evolution has added anything to God’s creation. Textbooks can describe it, online articles can make it sound like the truth, academics can sing its praises all day long – but all the science we know is but foolishness to God. As 1 Corinthians 3:18-19 tells us:

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness.”

I’m afraid we have deceived ourselves. We have bowed down to the God of science and regard God’s word as narrow-minded and hateful. In Romans 1:26-27 we read one of the strongest indictments against homosexual thoughts:

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

The “them” that is referred to in verse 26 is the ungodly and unrighteous referred to in verse 18. How can God give them up to vile affections? In their quest to Christianize and redeem “vile affections” (1 Cor 7:26), many today have argued that we should separate homosexual orientation from homosexual behavior. They put sexual sin in the same boat as any other sin – including greed, envy, pride, covetousness, etc. And of course man and his legalism have discounted such thoughts unless they are acted on. For example, you can think about stealing your neighbor’s new car all day and night. But you won’t get in trouble unless you act on such thoughts. You are still sinning though by coveting what you do not own. But our bodies are not cars. The “vile affections” of homosexuality and other sexual sins are in completely separate categories because they are sins against our own bodies. They are sins of a heart out of control. “Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:18-19).” The word “fornication” comes from the Greek porneia, which refers to any sexual relationship outside of marriage. It also applies to heterosexual marriage. So God is just not targeting those with homosexual thoughts. He calls all of us to sexual chastity outside of marriage and fidelity in marriage. Since homosexuality is a sexual relationship outside of marriage, it is sin. And the seventh commandment, “You shall not commit adultery” includes fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, unnatural lusts; and unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections. So not only is homosexual behavior sinful, but homosexual thoughts are as well.

There may be some who claim that all thoughts are natural, neutral variations in the evolutionary process. Just because it seems normal in our minds does not mean it is Godly in the eyes of God. So why doesn’t God specify heterosexuality as being the natural expectation? It may be because there are no other Christian alternatives. Why didn’t he specify theft as being anything over $100.00? There’s no need to. Stealing anything is theft. We cannot overlay man’s reasoning on top of God’s commandments.

So, even if a person has an attraction to the same sex, that does not mean they are doomed to fight their “natural” urges for the rest of their life. While God does not create homosexuals, he can give up a person to “vile affections” if his ungodliness and unrighteousness reaches a certain point. In other words, if your temple has reached a point of decay and decadence where you don’t even notice it, then God may not be knocking on your door so often. When he gives you over to homosexual thoughts, it may take a lot more effort on your part and your friends part to clean out your house and hand you back over to God. Conversion to Christ will result in a complete makeover of your temple – your body and mind – including homosexual thoughts.

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The Euphemism Of Marriage

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According to the Oxford Dictionary, a euphemism is “a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.” We hear euphemisms everyday: Correctional facility instead of prison, collateral damage instead of accidental deaths, enhanced interrogation techniques instead of torture, pregnancy termination instead of abortion, etc. We can add one more – marriage. Turning to the Oxford Dictionary again, we see that marriage is: “The legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman (or, in some jurisdictions, two people of the same sex) as partners in a relationship.” In short, it’s a legal sexual relationship recognized by the state you live in. The legality of marriage via a marriage license and wedding ceremony give it its formal social recognition. But it does not in any way reflect the relationship between God and his church. Do you think a state that recognizes a homosexual relationship can honor a same flesh union in the eyes of God? Of course not. That would be like casinos giving half their proceeds to the church. The dictionary’s definition of marriage is a far cry from the union described in the Bible. Oxford even now leaves room for the union of “two people of the same sex.”

There is an increasing attack on Christian virtue today and church leaders have no clue what to do. They have, in large part, brought it on themselves – whether through pride or just plain ignorance. Many of the inroads the homosexual activists have made can be traced back to the fact that the church has never defined marriage – other than a courthouse visit, a sprinkle of rice, and a preacher with a few talking points. When compared to the biblical description of a permanent one-flesh union, marriage today is but a euphemism – a punch line in a world that can’t even agree on what is male and what is female, a world where the norm is adultery and fornication. It is but a mere ticket to free sex and legal disposition of inheritance at the time of death. And it has come to mean no more than a marriage license, a wedding ceremony, and a tax break. Oh, and don’t forget the honeymoon. So if marriage is just a euphemism today, what is the more harsh word that it’s replacing? What is the biblical terminology that has become too uncomfortable in the 21st century? Could it be the biblically based “one flesh union.”

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24.

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31.

“What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.” 1 Corinthians 6:16.

This may come as a shock for many, but a biblical marriage has nothing to do with a marriage license, wedding ceremony, exchange of vows, justice of the peace, preacher, or three day cruise. But wait a second, you say. If you take away all of those things, then what is left? That’s just my point. What we know as marriage today is not even remotely akin to God’s original plan. A biblical marriage is a man and woman becoming one person in Christ; witnessing together, making decisions together, raising children together, reading the bible together, etc. They move in one accord. Their love is unconditional. They sacrifice for each other. Divorce is a foreign concept to them. A more accurate noun today may be “covenant.” This word is used to refer to marriage one time in the KJV in Malachi 2:14: “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.” While the Bible supports marriage being a covenant of one flesh between a man and woman and God, it does not support it as a contract between a “committed relationship” and a state government. The marriage license today is but a means to an end, a means for men and women to objectify each other and enhance social status. It’s seen as a way to get ahead, a way to ecoonimic prosperity, the Coupe de Ville status symbol. Those marrying young without adequate education and income find out it’s a quick road to poverty with their first child. For many churches, marriage has become the means by which a person gets to heaven. This is especially true in conservative denominations such as the Southern Baptists. Men are taught to “man up,” get married, and have children as soon as possible. The SBCs Albert Mohler has made this one of his talking points. Men are taught that marriage is the only way to become a responsible citizen. The fact is that marriage and family are worshipped today just as Baal, the pagan idol of the Phoenicians, was idolized in the Old Testament. The marriage license and its ties to the state are the very means by which the Defense Of Marriage Act was struck down in 2013. So now we have a legal contract on the civil state side and a sacrificial covenant between two baptized people on the church side. Is it time for preachers and priests to quit signing marriage licenses and retire their roles as civil servants? Which side would it help, those holding to a traditional view of marriage of a man and woman for life or those in favor of redefining marriage as any “committed relationship”?

The meanings of words do change over time, regardless of whether or not they are biblical. Consider what happened to the definition of “saint.” It went from meaning someone the Roman Catholic Church deemed holy in some way to a person who is particularly good. But biblical principles do not change, regardless of prevailing terminology. Apostle Paul explained this clearly in 1 Corinthians 7:19: “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.” The same thing is true of marriage. Marriage is only as important in so far as it observes the commandments of God. The marriage license has no inherent value. The vows have no inherent value. Wedding rings have on inherent value. But the witness of loyalty and commitment does have value that transcends courthouses and joint tax returns. If you would need a marriage license and church service to legitimize your marriage, then it has indeed become no more than a euphemism.

Detaching Celibacy From Homosexuality

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Imagine if all children standing in Santa Clause lines were required to watch a porn flick first. Imagine if all kids in daycare were required to learn about condoms and how to put them on. Imagine if all first graders had to demonstrate sodomy. Are you getting sick yet? That’s exactly how I feel every time I see the words celibacy and homosexuality used in the same sentence in a religious context, especially when they’re used by supposedly church leaders. Consider these recent headlines:

Gay Christians choosing celibacy emerge from the shadows. http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2014/12/14/gay-christians-choosing-celibacy-emerge-from-the-shadows/

Evangelical Leader Russell Moore Denounces Ex-Gay Therapy. http://www.christianheadlines.com/news/evangelical-leader-russell-moore-denounces-ex-gay-therapy.html

Gays & Church. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/gays-church/

Pastor Says Gays Must Be Put To Death Or Remain Celibate. http://www.joy105.com/pastor-says-gays-must-be-put-to-death-or-remain-celibate/

They’re Gay, They’re Christian And They’re Celibate! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/04/gay-christian-celibacy_n_5649015.html

Ask a (Celibate) Gay Christian . . . Response. http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/ask-a-celibate-gay-christian-response-2

Why Gay Christians Are Turning To Celibacy. http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/why-gay-christians-are-turning-celibacy120814

Celibacy Shouldn’t Be The New Ex-Gay Ministry. http://www.believeoutloud.com/latest/celibacy-shouldnt-be-new-ex-gay-ministry

According to the Oxford Dictionary, celibacy is “the state of abstaining from marriage and sexual relations.” There is nothing in that definition about homosexuality, the Catholic Church or vows. But these issues have worked their way into the definition to the point that the only example Oxford could offer for the word was “a priest who has taken the vow of celibacy.” The English vocabulary that is found within the King James Version of the Bible and every version since certainly falls short in communicating biblical principles. But I think we fall short in defending them. In the case of celibacy, it’s a word that is not found in any version of the bible. But it is biblical because it is a virtue found within many passages. Consider 1 Corinthians 7:1: “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” I think that pretty much falls in line with celibacy’s definition of “abstaining from marriage and sexual relations.” If Apostle Paul were writing his letter to the Corinthians today, he might possibly use the word celibacy. But why is something so good wrapped up in a world of sexual immorality and abomination? First, I think we can thank an ultra-liberal news media that feeds the American public a perpetual diet of decadence. Every other headline drips with stories about politicians caught with their pants down, teachers having inappropriate relationships with students, campus rape, pornography, abortion, same sex unions, etc. And unfortunately, the public’s vocabulary is shaped by what they hear and see on the news – not what they read in the Bible. It’s a vocabulary as philosophically deep as yesterday’s newspaper. In a world where greed and self-pleasure are civil rights, language becomes its own religion. Its role shifts from a means of communicating meaningful ideas to a role of ensuring the comfort of the masses. Today we have a language that serves to normalize the perverted, sugarcoat the abominable and unspeakable, and make right everything that is wrong. How do you like your porn? Hard or soft? How’s your performance in bed men? Think you might need a little help with that ED? Actually the word “male” has only one meaning in the marketing world today – penis. That’s why it always baffles me when I read that it’s women who are being objectified. I’m afraid it’s men too. The only value any language innately holds can never be greater than the character of the culture. For example, what was “unseemly” when Paul wrote the book of Romans is now “committed relationships.” What was adultery is now no fault divorce. What was a virgin is now a single. What was fornication is now premarital sex. What was marriage is now a wedding and a state contract. What was deceit is now marketing strategy. What was conviction is now shame. We need to drop the euphemisms and word games and use the Bible as it was intended – the sword of the spirit.

What’s really a shame is that the very lifestyle Paul, Jeremiah, Daniel, John The Baptist, Elijah, Lazarus, Shadrach, Meshach, Obednego, Martha, Hagar, Ruth, and Jesus himself chose while on this earth has been stereotyped into the abominable world of sexual orientation, homosexuality and vile affections. The very life that Apostle Paul honored and recommended as a gift for those eunuchals who careth for the things that belong to the Lord has been cast into the perverted world of unnatural lust and same sex attraction. Even the phrase “celibate gay Christian” is an oxymoron. Such a thing does not exist. Celibate Roman Catholic lesbian? That headline actually made me laugh. Wordsmiths, I encourage you to work on a new Christian vocabulary, because even putting the word “celibacy” in the same train of thought with homosexuality and the scandals of the Catholic church is offensive to those who have been called to a life without sex, to care for those things which are heavenly and outside the comprehension of this world. Open communication is good. But discussion for the sake of discussion is not a virtue if it has no basis in the Bible. So keep this in mind – If you are not living a life of celibacy, you are not qualified to write about it. And if you do write about it, don’t automatically link it to ungodly lifestyles, unless you want to make God gay. Those who do live celibate lives could just as easily start referring to married couples as pedophiles. It follows the same kind of non-logic.

The Woman At The Well – Revealed

"Samaritan Woman At The Well" by He Qi New Gallery

“Samaritan Woman At The Well” by He Qi New Gallery

The story of the woman at the well found in John 4:1-26 can be read here. I encourage you to read it: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+4. It’s one of the most misunderstood and misused stories in the Bible. The first thing to notice is the significance of the first three verses. Jesus is paying a visit to the Pharisees in Galilee to dispel a rumor that he was baptizing more people than John. Contrast what was heard with the facts – Not only was it not Jesus who was baptizing, it was not John either. It was all of his disciples. Pharisees customarily dealt in rumors. After all, they were lawyers. It’s interesting that Jesus chose not to bypass Samaria on his way to Galilee. Samaritans were about as strict as Pharisees when it came to adherence of the law. Jews traveling from Jerusalem often crossed the Jordan River just to avoid Samaria. The woman that Jesus encountered was at Jacob’s well in Sychar, a well that tapped into the Jordan River. All of these details were not coincidences. They serve to underscore Jesus’ bigger mission of bridging the rift between the Jews and Samarians and offering his life saving water to all people.

Understanding that the woman at the well had a Pharisaical disposition is critical in understanding the story. She is a follower of the law and has not accepted the reality of Christ. When Jesus asked her for a drink of water, she revealed her contempt for all Jews: “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” Don’t confuse this woman with the good Samaritan. She is far from good. Even after Jesus revealed who he was, she takes on the role of a Doubting Thomas. “Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob?” She’s got to see proof. She’s got to see the evidence. She’s a lawyer. Did Jesus give her the proof? You bet he did. He directed a beam of truth into her love life. “Go, call your husband and come back.” Marriage and family life were apparently so much the norm in those days that he could casually assume that she had a husband. At this point, Jesus is “playing dumb” in the dark so as to maximize the brightness of the light that is about to hit her.
Her response was “I have no husband.” Then he flipped on the switch – “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” My interpretation of what Jesus said is this “You are right, legally speaking, because you haven’t produced a wedding spectacle or marriage license that would identify anybody as your husband. But your definition of husband is based on legality and the court system. It’s based on the world. My definition of husband is based on a sexual relationship where a man and woman are united and become one flesh. Nice try with those legal words. But your husbands do include every man you’ve ever had sex with. In your case, you’ve had five husbands and you didn’t marry the guy you’re sleeping with now.” Note that Jesus said “and the man you now have is not your husband.” On first glance, it seems this story could have been told without the five husbands. But the word “and” links her illicit sexual affairs with those five men to the affair she is currently having. That one word dispels any notion that they were husbands in honorable marriages. It may be a simple conjunctive connector and source of noise in the English language, but it is a dividing sword in the mouth of God. Notice also that Jesus used the possessive “man you have now” when describing her present lover. She has him because she is married to him. He has been her husband since their sexual rendezvous, regardless of whether or not they had a state sanctioned marriage. I also think Jesus placed emphasis on the present tense “now,” drawing a line to her present tense “have” no husband. I hear sarcasm in his tone and I think this is intentional.

I would estimate that over 90% of people who claim to be Christians today define marriage the same way as the woman at the well – a state sanctioned legal contract – instead of a one-flesh union between man and woman for life. We live in a culture that has taken the sex out of marriage, taken sex out of reproduction, and taken sex out of the sacred. These changes have not occurred overnight. They took a lot of political maneuvering and overcoming basic tenants of churchgoers in major denominations. Several denominations have key Pharisees, like the SBCs Russell Moore, who are working to change the meaning of marriage to suit a more “progressive” and left-leaning agenda – including support for divorce, adultery and a “third way” option of homosexual marriage. According to Moore: “Do they repent of this adultery by doing the same sinful action again, abandoning and divorcing one another? No. In most cases, the church recognizes that they should acknowledge their past sin and resolve to be faithful from now on to one another.” So the man in charge of ethics for the second largest denomination in North America (Baptist) would tell the Samaritan woman to go on back to her sinful relationship and keep on living with him. I’m sure he would tell the woman caught in adultery (John 8) the same thing.

For Pharisees like the Samaritan woman and Moore, appearances and legalities are what are important. He went even further and stated: “Still, we acknowledge that the category of a remarried person after divorce does not, on its face, indicate sin.” http://www.russellmoore.com/2014/09/24/is-divorce-equivalent-to-homosexuality/. My comments can be read at the end of his article. Instead of the woman at the well, Jesus would more than likely encountered the preacher at the pulpit today. Think of all the money (for the children) they would lose when people started leaving their churches. The ERLC would organize another seminar for convictional and redemptive, gospel butterbean centered tithing.

Single And Breaking The Rules

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I have a few confessions to make:

Over my 53 years, I’ve never lived with anybody, but I’m not a lonely man.

I’ve never slept with anybody, but I can fall asleep on my own.

I’m a solitary man, but I know who my neighbors are.

I don’t have a family, but have lived a fulfilled life.

I’m an independent spirit, but I have more responsibilities than most married men.

I’ve never married, but have been successful and own my own house.

I will never “settle down,” but I’m not hitting the bars every night either.

I am beyond mature and have switched over to senior vitamins. But I don’t need anybody to care for me.

I’m not looking for a wife, but I don’t have a poor view of marriage.

I’m not looking for a commitment. I have a permanent commitment to Christ.

I’m not drifting aimlessly in a world of utopia. I know who I am and where I’m going.

I’m not waiting to finish school. I have a college degree.

I love all children, but I’m not a pedophile.

I don’t plan on having a family, but I do know what love is. My maternal grandfather had 17 brothers and sisters.

I can appreciate feminine beauty. But I don’t need a woman to affirm my manhood.

I have a roof, food, and clothes. And more. I’m not waiting on anything.

I’ve never bought condoms because I’ve never had to “protect” myself.

I’ve never “known” a woman sexually. But I haven’t figured out why that makes me less holy than married preachers who live adulterous lives.

I don’t have a better half. I am a whole person. I’m not bitter.

I don’t mirror God’s love for the church, but rather the church’s separation from the world and a new world order.

I’m not waiting on God to bring me “the one.” I’m secure in who I am.

I don’t go out on “dates.” I spend time with friends.

I don’t consider my singleness a problem or disease to be cured. I feel very well. Thanks.

I don’t bring home the bacon to anybody. I buy and cook my own.

I don’t mind talking to anybody, anytime or anywhere. But I won’t chase you.

I don’t expect to fit in. If that’s your definition of a loner, then that’s me.

I don’t expect anybody to relate to me. That’s okay. More than likely, I don’t relate to you.

I love married people. But I don’t listen to their advice.

I’m not always loving and kind. But that’s not something you can’t fix. It’s the way I am.

I have friends who fall under all three types of Matthew 19 eunuchs, including true hermaphrodites. God made them that way. Did he make you with a tongue ring?

I’ve been celibate my whole life, but I’m not gay.

I believe homosexuality is a sin. But that doesn’t mean I hate homosexuals.

I’m not “age appropriate” and never will be. Where did your mind go on that one?

My values do not adapt to a changing cultural environment. I believe biblical standards are the same today as they were 2000 years ago. If you don’t like me today, you won’t like me tomorrow.

I go to church to meet people, not to get more religious.

I do not guard my heart. I go where it takes me.

I’m somewhat of an expert on Praying Mantises.

John

Advent And Celibacy

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Most people think of Advent as waiting for the Christmas tree to go up and presents to be opened. Do you see Rudolph on radar yet? Many in the family idolatry church today think it symbolizes waiting on Christ’s birth, being fruitful and multiplying, and everything good about family life. Breaking news: Avent has nothing to do with family life. Jesus was the first baby born and the last baby born. He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. For those who choose celibacy, Advent not only recognizes those who waited on Christ’s birth in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, but also those who wait on his second coming today. Preparation for this second Advent is one of the “affairs of the Lord” that Apostle Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 7:34. I’m not saying that married people can’t understand waiting on the rapture. But I am saying they can’t understand its full reality and immediacy. Their fire and longing has been extinguished. Their need for comfort and pleasure has been answered. Their time goes no further than the clock hanging on the wall. No matter how heavy their spiritual concerns may be, they are easily trumped by a wet diaper, a hungry spouse, a bigger house, and a bigger inheritance for their children. That’s why Protestant churches are plagued with weak pastors. They can’t preach the truth because they’ll lose their job and starve their children.

But for those of us who have foregone marriage and wait on the Lord in all things, Advent has a much deeper meaning. We are able to testify with our lives that this world is passing away and point towards a new heaven and a new earth where no one is given in marriage and no diapers need to be changed. We are able to renounce earthly inheritance for life everlasting. We can hang a shingle on our souls that reads: “There’s something better to come.” In a real sense, our whole lives are an advent – not just the four weeks leading up to Christmas. It is our responsibility to make sure everybody knows the baby is coming back with full unbridled Godly authority, not as a sacrificial lamb. His vengeance will be swift and final. For a lot of people, that means they are waiting to die. I’m waiting to live.

Our pessimistic world knows only how to live in a moment of pleasure, where men have to get it up and women have to put it out – a dumbed down society. Consider the paradox of Christ’s poverty – a man who had everything but owned nothing in this world. As Jesus told the scribe in Matthew 8:20: “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” How do you think Jesus would fair in the business world today? Imagine if the American dream was to be homeless. Could you get on board with that? Would you be willing to bet that God’s plan is bigger than our individual lives? He was a homeless man. Yet he was the wealthiest man who ever lived. He was an unmarried man who never had sex or children. Yet he passed everything to his children. He was a man who lived a short while on earth. Yet he defined time out of time. He was a radical man.

Celibacy is just as radical today. There are still Pharisees among us who scoff and worship the idols of marriage and children. Instead of conforming their lives to Christ, they cling to Old Testament and Mosaic law and throw the New Testament out the window. The only thing they know how to wait for is the next fruitful romp in the hay, the next moment of pleasure. As someone who has chosen the Lord’s affairs, I see Advent as anticipation and preparation rather than waiting. For the lost world, waiting is a passive thing. We wait in line at Walmart. It’s a waste of time. Instead, we who are celibate actively anticipate and prepare for the new world. By renouncing marriage, we are actively affirming the expectant arrival of our King Jesus. We point not just to the next generation or next millennium, but to a time beyond this time. Celibacy is like the Hubble telescope on steroids. It peers as deep into space as man can see, but still can’t see all of eternity. It can’t see all the preparations that are underway in heaven.

So how do we actively anticipate? One way is by making sure all the grain is brought in from the fields. Do you know lost souls who don’t even know the true meaning of Christmas? This is the time to remind them that . . . time is short. The tablecloths are being spread on heavenly tables. The candles are being lit. Make sure all of your friends have their names in the Lamb’s book of life. It’s also a good time to affirm the consistency of God, the fulfillment of his promises, and how the Christ returning is the same Christ that Simeon and Anna met in the temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2). Serve as a reminder of their patience and faith. And realize that the more things we don’t have, the more room we have for Christ’s concerns. Light a candle so that the world will see you are here.