You’ve probably heard of the “gay Christian” ministry called Living Out. Living Out has been in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) as well as The Gospel Coalition (TGC) and the late Ravi Zacharias’ International Ministry (RZIM). Living out was founded by Sam Allberry who is a pastor at Ray Ortlund’s Immanuel Church in Nashville, along with Ed Shaw, who is now the primary contributor at Living Out.
Living out promotes man-to-man intimacy so long as it stopped short of bodily penetration, an idea that the ERLC has also promoted in the past. Living Out and similar groups such as Revoice are part of what is known as “Side B” celibate homosexuals as opposed to “Side A” which actually openly engages in the acts of sodomy.
“Side B,” or the “gay celibate” movement, however, teaches that homosexuality is akin to an affliction rather than a sin that must be repented of and that your same-sex desires probably won’t ever go away. The idea is that homosexuals can continue to openly live out their identity as homosexuals but must live a life of “sacrificial” celibacy, thus making them a sort of superstar Christian for their great “sacrifice.”
Of course, this is completely absurd and antithetical to what the Scriptures actually teach about sanctification in the truly born-again believer. Nonetheless, these “Side B” Christians continue to propagandize the Church with their false teachings while trying to guilt us into feeling sorry for them in their “afflictions.”
A recent post on Living Out’s website titled Jesus Knows, by Ed Shaw, suggests that Jesus, by his virtue, knows what it’s like to live a life comparable to a homosexual’s life since he, too, was single and celibate.
“Jesus knows what it’s like to stand on the sidelines of a wedding watching the couple take the first dance, enjoying an intimacy that was not open to him,” Shaw writes. First off, the intimacy Jesus knows as a member of the Trinity far surpasses the intimacy we could ever know between a husband and a wife. But further, Shaw is denying the intimacy between Christ and His Bride, the Church, which too far surpasses the intimacy we have with fellow believers. In fact, a marriage between a man and a woman is but a small glimpse into the intimacy between Christ and His Bride, which it is meant to reflect.
Shaw continues, “Jesus knows what it’s like to watch a parent proudly parade their newly born child, recognising that will never be his experience.” Once again, Shaw misses the point entirely and fails to acknowledge that when we as Christians are born again, we become a child of God.
Next, he continues, “Jesus knows what it’s like to be treated as an incomplete human being in a culture where everybody else is pairing up with their ‘other half’ and encouraging you to do the same.” While I suppose it’s possible that people said something like this to Jesus at some point, Shaw here is in complete speculation mode attempting to make a point that simply cannot be made by Scripture.
Like the next two sentences, “Jesus knows what it’s like to stand behind the couple who can’t take their hands off each other, whilst aching himself for some meaningful touch,” and “Jesus knows what it’s like to be asked about your wife and children and having to explain – yet again – that you are over 30 and still single,” Shaw is suggesting that Jesus had worldly desires that he was unable to fulfill because of who He was. Simply absurd.
But not as absurd as the last statement—which is actually quite blasphemous.
“Jesus knows what it’s like to be tempted to abandon God’s good commands and seek to fulfill your desires now, rather than delay their satisfaction,” Shaw writes, suggesting that Jesus had some kind of sexual desire that he simply was forbidden to fulfill. This is not at all what the text teaches about Jesus’ temptation. In fact, when Jesus was tempted by Satan, his temptation did not spring from his own desires or lusts of the heart the way man does; Jesus’ temptation was external to Him. Jesus’ temptation was not sinful because His heart was clean and His desires were pure. Man, on the other hand, can be tempted both internally by our sin nature and externally. The comparison here is simply absurd.
The lengths these people go to to try to justify their homosexuality are simply astonishing at times. This isn’t to say that a homosexual can’t come to Christ and still struggle with their desires. However, teaching that Jesus understands because He too struggled with similar desires is quite blasphemous. Our desires, as much as our actions, are to be laid at the foot of the cross when we come to Christ and to be sanctified by the truth of God’s Word and turned righteous as we grow in our relationship with Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit—something these people continue to deny.