A response to a review of a review of his work 'Is God anti-gay'
Some previous correspondence on Sam Allberry's site.
I note from the raw code of the same page the vast majority of readers' comment had been deleted (as this last one was).
Are proper Christian criticisms being silenced?
In his recent review of Sam Allberry's work 'Is God anti-gay?' whilst critiquing a critic, John Hooper misses the central danger of Allberry's apology for homosexuality and one we have emphasised here more than once before. Temptation arising from romantic homosexual attraction is quite unlike heterosexual affection in that it is always and uniquely
vile (Rom.1.26), as well as promoting ill health
. Shechem (Gen.34.2) might have married Dinah lawfully had he humbly suited her and waited, instead of being driven by his impulses, but he could never lawfully marry Joseph! In this sense Hooper is mistaken to describe temptation to homosexual affection or action as 'neutral', it is doubtful James would use this characterisation even of other temptations, he uses it as a synonym for lust (epithymia, James 1.15), which is often not treated neutral elsewhere (verb in 4.2, Jn.8.44, Rom.1.24, 7.7,8, 13.14, Gal.5.24 etc). In this respect, this inclination itself carries a particularly depraved character, as befits the abominable idolatry for which it is a calibrated judgement by reflection, in the removal of natural restraint (v.24,27). Allberry's grave and indefensible error is to parade his temptation as a minister as though it were a natural defect, practically tolerable as long as it is resisted in execution. It is however as the Apostle underscores 'against nature', it is perverse. It is emphatically not a mere mirror image of heterosexual lust to God. Perceptive Brother Hooper uncharacteristically fails to see this, or if he does he has failed in a 17 page review to highlight it. How many preachers declare they are still habitually tempted to murder, theft or incest, but thankfully kept from these crimes because of God's grace? This temptation harboured and owned carries with it the telling indication of an unregenerate heart. It too must be crucified and disowned, not just the act. In this sense God is indeed 'anti-gay', that is the exact point of the explanation in Romans 1. He hates homosexual inclination deeply, and describes the act as an abomination (Lev.18.22). It is the first listed abomination with others that include incest and bestiality. For those who repent and fall at the cross there is renewal and regeneration either to a cheerful abstinence from and abhorrence of the sin, or even to restoration to true and holy, hetereosexual matrimony, as many formerly homosexual believers have experienced.
This repentance, if real, must preclude all and any preaching that one is tempted to succumb to it, as a natural flaw or understandable defect. However Allberry, Ed Shaw and their colleagues fall very far short of the Apostolic portrait of repentance 2 Cor.7.11. Listen to Allberry's public profession of 'same-sex attraction' at Oxford on 16th February 2017
for example. 'I have [lifelong] sexual, romantic and deep emotional attractions to people of the same sex.' Can you imagine a prophet or apostle saying that? He doesn't sound contrite or ashamed or what he claims elsewhere to be 'unclean' and 'inappropriate', still very anodyne expressions. He sounds 'out and proud'. He has embraced the inward swamp, even if he chooses not to execute its demands. He is actually making a ministry out of this evil position.There is indeed the vacillation or duplicity of heresy here and there is the indeed the denial of the power of atonement (1 John1.7-9, Rom.6.14, 5.21), in this Enoch Burke is correct, even if he miscites and mischaracterises Allberry in places. Sodomy, lesbianism and the inclination to them particularly merit and will meet everlasting punishment (Jude 4), unless despised and forsaken by Christ and the Holy Spirit's work. Homosexual inclinations are a matter of shame and disgrace not toleration, much less creeping acceptance (Rom.6.21), as by the apostate. Hooper writes 'the confrontation has to come', but Allberry seems geared to training Christians never exercising it, and Hooper fails to see this. Practising, unrepentant homosexuals will not enter Heaven and are not regenerate (1 Cor.6.11, Ephes.4.20, Col.3.7, Rev.22.15, Deut.23.18).