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Published on July 3rd, 2013 | by Dr. Joel McDurmon


To Rachel Held Evans, RE: “If my son or daughter were gay…”

There is a stream of tears dripping from the end of Rachel Held Evans’s recent blog, “If my son or daughter were gay…”. I have to admit: I am crying, too.

And who wouldn’t weep, if the assumption is that homosexuals are unequivocally beloved as homosexuals in the church, that God apparently does not call them to repent and change, that churches should not preach against homosexuality or distance themselves from it and that a church who does is a “bully” from whom we need to “protect” our homosexual children?

Yes, I am crying, too, but for a different reason. I am weeping over the disgrace to God, the neutered theology, the tortured application of “unconditional love.”

I weep for the same reason Jesus wept: because people could not see who and what He was, and that He had the power to redeem—to transform even the dead.

This means there is something to be redeemed from: death, and not just death, but the sin that caused it (Rom. 6:23; 1 Cor. 15:56). Such sin, we must note, includes homosexuality and homosexual practice:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:9–11 ESV).

When pro-homosexual forces deal with this passage, they find ways to try to diminish its clear point, which is: there is no place in the kingdom of God for such sin, including homosexuality.

Yes, we know that there are other sins besides homosexuality mentioned here, but that does not remove the fact that homosexuality is, too. It is sin, and it will keep you out of the kingdom.

More often, however, is the tactic to emphasize the statement, “And such were some of you.” By this an attempt is made to argue that there were homosexuals right there among the Corinthian church, and Paul was addressing them along with all the other Christians as Christians! Paul says these people were “justified.” They had found forgiveness despite being homosexuals!

No: “Such were some of you. But you were washed. . . .” These people may have been all kinds of such sinners in the past, but that was in the past. They had been washed and sanctified, etc. They had repented and were called to quit fornicating, etc., which is what the rest of the chapter says.

Paul then called that same church—as a church—to separate itself from such sins in society (2 Cor. 6:14–18).

So it pains me to tears when popular Evangelical voices like Rachel Held Evans lead a stream of emotional followers to sanctify and justify the opposite: calling the Word-preaching church a “bully” and reversing God’s Word concerning homosexuality in the church. She writes:

I’ve already heard from a mom whose son came home from the Scout meeting in which he and his friends were informed that the church that sponsored them was pulling their funding because the Scouts no longer discriminate against gay boys. The Mom said her son was angrier than she’d seen him in a while. But he wasn’t angry at his gay friends; he was angry at the Church. . . .

If God blesses Dan and me with a child who is gay, I would want that child to know without a doubt that he or she is loved unconditionally. I would want her to know nothing could separate her from the love of God in Christ. I would want her to know that she isn’t broken, she isn’t an embarrassment, she isn’t a disappointment.  

May I be part of creating a world in which I will not have to protect her from the bullies. 

And may I be part of creating a world in which I will not have to protect her from the Church. 

This is not a failure of that Church. It did the right thing. It called homosexuality what it is—sin—and dissociated itself from an organization that tolerates it. This is exactly what Paul did do in regard to sexual sin: he didn’t just denounce it, he kicked a guy out of the church for it (5:1). He condemned the church for not taking such action sooner (5:2). (See my Biblical Logic, pp. 211–212).

Dear Rachel: was Paul a “bully”? Do you need to protect your child from Paul?

This is not a failure of the church. It is a failure of parenting, and of spiritual leadership by Evans. The parent should lead the child to truth, and teach the child both how to understand and to accept the truth, even when it seems uncomfortable.

The spiritual leader should lead the parent in explaining why truly loving that child means doing these very things, even when they seem uncomfortable and unpopular. Such a leader should be able to discern that love is only love if it is in terms of God’s Word. He defines love and loving actions, not us.

When our own (fallen) personal sentiments about personal comfort, pain, and even adverse outcomes (suicide, etc.) guide what we choose to call sin and what we choose to call bullying, then we have—just as Eve once did—subverted God’s authority. We have not applied God’s love, we have replaced it with a foreign love—one based on whether or not the fruit before us seems pleasing to the eye, desirable to consume, and conducive to wisdom (a.k.a. “progress”) at the moment. This is the opposite of faith.

When Rachel Held Evans writes that if she herself were “blessed” with a homosexual child, she “would want her to know nothing could separate her from the love of God in Christ” (Rom. 8:39), she is making the most terrible of assumptions—one that destroys the distinctive of the redemptive work of Christ and the mark of the Church itself. That is, that this love of which Paul wrote in Romans 8 is an exclusive love shown specifically to those who are “in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1), “walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (8:4), who “are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,” in whom “the Spirit of God dwells” (8:9), who live accordingly (8:12–13), who are “predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” (8:29), who are “predestined,” “called,” “justified,” and “glorified” (8:30), and in short, those only who are “God’s elect” (8:33). To these people—those already in the church, and thus having repented—and not to all sinners indiscriminately, God has promised that nothing can separate them from His love.

No unrepentant sinner can have that assurance, and it is dishonest and subversive to tell them they can on those terms. Rather, there is another category with which they must also deal: sin, death, and God’s wrath.

To apply Romans 8:39 without the qualification that one must be a repentant, redeemed member of God’s church before that unconditional love can be assumed is to deny the boundaries between sin and righteousness, death and life, love and wrath which God has ordained. It is instead to replace His Word with your own. Evans is, perhaps unwittingly, replacing “the love of God in Christ” with “the love of Rachel Held Evans.”

And that’s the real reason to cry. To cry over the fact that a church calls homosexuality sin and that it hurts someone’s feelings is to cry over the fact that you’re not God.

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About the Author

Dr. Joel McDurmon

Joel McDurmon, Ph.D. in Theology from Pretoria University, is the Director of Research for American Vision. He has authored seven books and also serves as a lecturer and regular contributor to the American Vision website. He joined American Vision's staff in the June of 2008. Joel and his wife and four sons live in Dallas, Georgia.

42 Responses to To Rachel Held Evans, RE: “If my son or daughter were gay…”

  1. Brian Scarborough says:

    This article is so good and well-written that the only thing I don’t like about it is the fact that I did not write. Poor jealous me.

  2. Kriss says:

    WOW! Just Wow. I thought Christianity was about love… you people are insane!

    • Tiffany says:

      Christianity is about Jesus. It’s ALL about Jesus. You can read his teachings in the New Testament to have a clearer picture of what Christianity is all about.

    • Bill Putnam says:

      Your right Kriss, it is about love. God’s love for mankind proved by his son dying for the sins of those who would come to Him for forgiveness, and repentance. No one can force another person to repent, and ask God for forgiveness. It’s every person’s choice. Accept, or reject God’s love, and forgiveness. “insane” to you. Not to me. “In God we trust”.

  3. Milan says:


    you are a perfect example what one would call “INTELLIGENT MORON” . You do know basics like reading and writing, but you are otherwise hopelessly uneducated, or rather miss-educated, hence liberal lefty moron. No offence meant, just a statement of reality based purely on your own statements. I pray for you. If your dad is a preacher, I pray for people attending his Church too. He evidently failed to educate the most important person in his life. If my son would put such a moronic statements out I would consider myself to be utter failure as parent.

    • Tyler says:

      Aka; because I disagree with you all, I automatically don’t know what I’m talking about. Okay. Yes, personally, FOR MYSELF, I believe that it’s a man and a woman for marriage. But that doesn’t make it my responsibility to go around and call out others and tell them how to live their lives. It’s stuck up and pompous.

  4. denis Khan says:

    All human beings are born normally hetero sexual. Deviation is due to some sad abuse inflicted on them, which can be remedied by acceptance of spiritual healing.

  5. Russ says:

    I’m starting to wonder about the born gay thing. So many progressives are abnormal.
    Hell, they head up every deviant organization in existence. Does NAMBLA ring any bells?
    Most presidential assassins and attempted assassins have come from the same group of tares.
    What are the chances they would do the lusts of their fathers? That vine out of Sodom and Gomorrah? The bitter grapes of gall. That cursed fig tree that would never bear fruit?

  6. Corey says:

    Most people think that homosexuals must repent or forsake their sin, and then come to Jesus. When people come to Jesus and are washed by the blood and are born again, only then is their sin forsaken. You can be a homosexual when you come to Jesus, but you will not be after…

    • Bill Putnam says:

      Corey, Very true, also, remember what Jesus said; “no one can come to me except the father draws him”. Bill

  7. William Thompson says:

    There are those who do such deeds, and there are those who take delight in those who do them. That is clearly stated in Romans chapter one. One does not drive south in the northbound lane. The bigger their vehicle, the more havoc they create. It does not matter if they were under the influence of something, or even if they sincerely believed it was what they should do, They bring devistating change to their own lives and those they encounter, and the friends and families, and communities of those they encounter. The mind which understands the rules of the road are there for protection cannot comprehend the mind which acts in disregard of consequences for “doing their own thing, and encouraging other to do likewise” There are close to 250 references to FOOLS and FOOLISHNESS. I didn’t check on the word FOLLY, but that would only add to the count. Only after a person changes how they think can they change how they act.. Jesus spoke of those who wrestled(distorted) the scriptures to their own destruction. He was speaking to those who seek to lead others to believe and act the same way. Jim Jones–Harold Camping– and– and– and.
    This is a call to not just looking straight ahead, but looking to the left and right..and using the rear view mirrors as well. We travel the road of life with some pretty bizarre people whose destinations are not the same as ours. Be Sober. Be Vigilant. The adversary is round about as a roaring lion seeking whomever might be devoured.

  8. Heidi says:

    Thank you, Dr. McDurmon, for your biblical stance on this issue. It is in no way kind to water down biblical truth to make people practicing a sinful lifestyle feel better about themselves. We need to preach repentance and then provide loving support to these people as they move away from sinful lifestyles. I shudder to think about the coming judgment for those who in the name of Jesus promoted acceptance of sinful lifestyles. May they repent and may God be merciful to us all.

  9. Corey says:

    1 Corinthians 6 says that the sexually immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God? Jesus said in Matthew 21 that prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of the religious Pharisees. God forgave everything at the cross, including homosexuality. The only thing unforgivable, is rejecting Jesus Christ, as your savior.

    • Doug says:

      Corey – your understanding of Mattithyahu 21 lacks a very important, repeated action required by all as outlined in the chapter. Repentance – which requires changing ones sinful desires and actions and returning to righteous life. By your statement, you present a position that nothing can be considered sinful, all things are right, and regardless of the evil someone participates in, they need nothing but believe a personage named J…. ever existed. I cannot use the J word as I know him as Master Yahushua and I understand that faith means more than believing Master Yahushua existed. Faith includes living a life in accordance with Master Yahushua standards which of course means living in accordance with Father Yahuah standards.

      • Corey says:

        It is too bad you think that you are saved by works. (Living in accordance with God’s will) you and no one else can live in accordance with God’s will, unless and until they are born again.

  10. Michael Earl Riemer says:

    As I read your post, for some reason I thought of the lyrics to the song titled “Secret Agent Man” sung by Johnny Rivers.

    “Beware of pretty faces that you find,
    A pretty face can hide an evil mind…”

    Rachel Held Evans, such a pretty face, but such evil thoughts…

  11. Jonathan says:

    Homosexuality is inexcusable, but so is all sin. Do you excommunicate somebody from your life for lying? No, you pray for them, and you encourage them in all ways to give it up. That is the appropriate response to homosexuality as well. You show zero support for their gay relationships and lifestyle, but you continue to love them, and accept them, while having no acceptance for their sin. It’s wrong to accept homosexuality, or to condemn homosexuals. The proper response is to condemn the sin, while still loving the sinner. This is the only biblically consistent response. Those who think homosexuality is just okay, have ignored those passages they don’t like, as have those who think it’s okay to hate somebody for sinning. If we’re called to love even our enemies, do you think that doesn’t apply to homosexuals in our lives as well? This whole issue reminds me of stupid political debates. Get out of the sports-like, “my side vs your side” foolishness and align yourself with the truth.

    • Pamela says:

      that was well said someone who know the truth and Gods word, its not about the sinner its about the sin…before one knows Christ and the real purpose of life one lives in DARKNESS love your comment

    • compugor says:

      Appreciated the article and Jonathan’s qualifying comment. Indeed let us stand for truth according to God’s word in the love of Christ.

  12. Yaakov says:

    A very good article, Dr. McDurmon.

    The people of God are to be salt, but, as our Lord said, “If the salt has lost its savour, wherewith will it be salted? It is good for nothing but to be cast out and trampled under the feet of men.”

    Those who would appease the world, who would call darkness light and light darkness, who prefer to be friends of the world and, therefore, enemies of God, will find that no one will have any use for them – they will be trampled upon by their “friend” the world.

    It is my prayer that they be granted repentance.

    God bless you.

  13. Tyler says:

    This whole blog post is disgusting. First of all, you cannot speak for Jesus in saying why he wept. Applying that to gays and homosexuals is taking it a little bit too far. Second of all, the United States of America is NOT a Christian nation. This is me, speaking as a Christian. But that’s just a FACT. Seperation of Church and State is a THING. So stop waving around all this scripture as reasons why you’re right and she is wrong. It’s disgusting and in a way, shameful. I don’t care what you think people should feel and know, that’s fine and dandy, continue on feeling that way. But as soon as you turn against others just for having other opininos, telling them that it’s going against God, that is TOO far. You don’t speak for God. No one does, except for God himself. And might I just add, if homosexuality was to be such a big sin as you’re potraying it to be, God wouldn’t create humans like that. And if you’re one of those people who are conviced that being gay is a choice; ask yourself this question. When did YOU choose to be straight?

    • Brandon says:

      Tyler, please put personal feelings aside. The bible is clear and unambiguous in what it says regarding homosexuality. The author is only lamenting the fact that people calling themselves Christians are in direct opposition to God’s holy word.

      You are correct, we don’t speak for God. God has spoken for Himself, it has been recorded and is unambiguous. Writing or speaking what God has said is not judgmental. If someone has a problem, it is with God, not men.

      Please understand if someone is born with alcoholic, lustful or hateful tendencies this doesn’t mean God celebrates alcoholism, adultery or murder and encourages them in this behavior. The desires of our hearts, the lust of the flesh is a result of our fallen nature. These sinful thoughts and actions are the very things Jesus died for.

      • Tyler says:

        I would still reply to that then; if you believe that homosexuality is a behavior and not a lifestyle or way someone is born and is a chice they make, when did you decide to be straight?

        • Arrow says:

          Nobody consciously decides “I think I won’t be an embezzler” or “I have decided not to be a wife-beater”. Some face those things as sinful problems in their lives, but that does not make them less sinful. People with a moral, biblical upbringing or background understand what sin is and try to live righteously according to God’s commands.

          Why do people try to single out homosexuality as in some special class of sin that is somehow excusable?

        • Michael Earl Riemer says:

          Tyler, you ask: “when did you decide to be straight?”

          I worked in a machine shop for many years using various types of tools to measure the parts I was working on. For each measuring tool, there was a set procedure and time to calibrate it, to make sure it was set to the proper standards. There were gage blocks and many other types of instruments that were used to make sure each tool used to check the parts was correct and giving the proper reading.

          We are the clay, the vessels God works with. We are the tools used by God to perform His Will. The Word of God is the standard, the “gage” as it were, that we, the vessel, the tool or instrument must be calibrated with. The tool or vessel does not decide what the standard is, what right or wrong is, how it should function or fulfill its purpose. The tool or “vessel” does not decide what is straight, bent, up or down.

          We humans are different from the cold steel micrometers, calipers and other measuring instruments. Our parents are to instruct us, to guide us, and help us to conform to the standards written down in the “Standard” Book, the Holy Bible. The parents are the ones to guide their children, to point them to the Standard upon which they must rely. Pastors are to point the clay, the vessels, to the standard, to guild those in their care, what is right, what is good. However, you can to choose to deviate from the standard, the proper conduct. Your parents might not know what the standard is, what the proper “path” is for you to trod upon. Your parents might be wicked and evil and “bent” the wrong way. So their children will not know what the proper conduct or what kind of morals are right or wrong. It makes no difference, for the Standard, the “Master Gage” is what the tool must be set with, must be calibrated with, or it will not perform properly.

          For those like yourself, who it seems, did not have the proper instruction in the ways of righteousness, read the Standard (The Holy Scriptures), and conform your life to it.

          The real question you should be asking yourself: “Am I going to conform to the Standard, or just do and believe whatever I want?”

        • Tyler says:

          That is not the case that I haven’t read or followed the Bible, and I am highly insulted that you believe that to be the case. I will have you know that my father is a preacher, so I think I would have a slight idea as to what I speak about. At the very least, it is THEIR lives. Let them live THEIR lives the way THEY want to. You live YOUR life the way YOU want to. You don’t like gay marriage? Cool. Awesome. Glad you feel that way. You can have your views on it, and I can have mine. That’s the beauty of individual liberties. Everyone needs to quit the biggoted arguments and realize that that is really what it boils down to. No one ever did respond to my point of; when did you choose to be straight? If I get a response to that I might be more tempted to buy into one of your pathetic arguments.

    • Linda Montgomery says:

      You are wrong. This nation was founded on Christianity!
      Separation of church and state just means the Government cannot tell us what religion to practice. We have ancestors who came here to get away from discrimination and religious freedom.
      Because some politically correct government says we were not a Christian Nation, does make it so.

      • Tyler says:

        I realize that we were founded as a Christian Nation. However this is no longer the case. If the Government can’t tell us what religion to practice, certainly they aren’t and shouldn’t base laws solely off of the beliefs of one certain religion.

        • Arrow says:

          What would you suggest then? Shall we mix in some Sharia law? And how about some little old-fashioned religion the Hindu way, where widows are burned alive with their husbands’ corpses? No thanks, I’ll have to oppose you on those.

        • Doug says:

          If you want to interpret the wording without regard to context and placement in history than your point might have some validity to it. However, taking into account the history, the men, their writings outside the Constitution, than you are misinterpreting their intent. The Constitution was founded solely on Scriptural principles. No-where do we find any reference to any other religion. Next is look at why they put it in the Constitution and for this we need to look at history. For over a thousand years, Europe fought wars, endured persecution, etc.etc. based solely on the ruler’s denomination. The wars to force Catholicism on non-Catholics and vice versa; the civil wars to force people to follow the same denomination as the King/ruler follows and the punishment against those who disobeyed. Our founders followed a path begun by the early settlers, do not establish a government that will dictate the people’s denomination.

          Look at the establishments of all the early universities – all were aligned with a specific denomination and you had to be within that denomination to attend. One of the false beliefs was that Thomas Jefferson was an atheist and that he established the first university, in Virginia I think, based on non-Scriptural principles. What he actually did was to create the first university that was NON-Denominational and was open to all students regardless of what denomination that followed.

        • sofiesVoice says:

          Tyler, to quote “I realize that we were founded as a Christian Nation” is the only correct line in your blog. You should have stopped there.

    • gary says:

      Great comment, Jesus came to save the world, not to condemn.

      • David says:

        So true. There wasn’t a need to condemn the world, because as Jesus said, it was condemned already. (John 3:18)
        Condemnation is the default condition. What does that say to all the “God’s love is big enough to accept sinners” crowd? If it were ok, there wouldn’t be a need for a savior!
        And it isn’t enough for sinners, whether homosexual, adulterers, liars, thieves, cheaters, drunkards, etc. or even simple moral unbelievers to believe that Jesus is a great teacher, great person, even a great savior. Even the demons believe–and tremble!
        Jesus IS a great savior, sure. But is He YOUR savior? That is the question.

  14. SouthernPatriot says:

    The Church is to be the “ecclesia” or “called out ones.” When the Church ceases to be different from the world, when the Church no longer offers an alternative to and for the world, when the Church is no longer the Church, but has blended itself into political correctness and trendiness to accommodate the world and its latest predilections, we are no longer the Church, but we have become a social club.

    “Be ye holy as I am holy,” saith the Lord. I would not unite myself in eternal matrimony with a homosexual, an abuser of men or women, a drunkard or drug addict, a bank robber, or any such thing. God has even higher standards than do I. One day, we will rule and reign with Christ, we will judge angels, as Paul writes, then why are these smaller things causing us to trip up? An old bumper sticker read, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” As I mentioned from many pulpits, you can leave the middle line out, but if you do you do not receive benefit, but the first and third lines are true, no matter whether I believe, or you believe, or a parent of a homosexual or lesbian child or any other SAD (sexually abberant deviant) lifestyle child or friend we may have.

  15. Eddie G. says:

    Gays have been around since the Egyptians were building the Pyramids and maybe before that so it only took society over 6,000 years to recognize that. It’s a gay’s chosen business to be gay but we don’t need our schools ramming it into our kids heads that it’s normal. The gay lifestyle is role playing whereby the hetero lifestyle is natural. God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve for a reason, the ability to go forth and multiply. Gays cannot multiply as the Creator of man intended, thus the push for more cognizance of gays as being a normal lifestyle of some kind is the creation of the political environmentalist left to eradicate human life entirely to save the planet (except for themselves of course). If the whole human race became preferably gay unable to multiply, then mission accomplished.

  16. John McGrew says:

    This is a good illustration of St. Paul’s Spirit guided wisdom when he said that women should be quiet in church and ask their husbands at home. The church is becoming ever more effeminate, including its male leadership, and no longer functions as kings and priests to the nations, this one more example.

  17. Arrow says:

    Evans says: “…If God blesses Dan and me with a child who is gay…”

    I wonder if she would say: “If God blesses Dan and me with a child who is a bank robber”


    “If God blesses Dan and me with a child who is a wife-beater”

    or…fill in the blank.

    No, because robbing banks and beating one’s wife is not trendy. If they become trendy, watch her create a special class for those people, too.

  18. Dave says:

    I’m shocked at hearing how some churches have adopted the gay-agenda in order to avoid
    “rocking the boat” as it were. This woman who believes a church that preaches against homosexuality is a “bully”, should turn her attention to the gays who are “bullies” trying to
    shove their morality down our throats. They want us to believe they’re right and we’re wrong.

    Are we to compromise our faith and allow worldly philosophies to enter the church just to appease a group? I sincerely hope not!

    • mike grunewald says:

      I am sick of these Ba…ards to push the homo lifestyle to hell with you and croak

      • Alex Alexander says:

        Just what Jesus would have said…

        … especially the “bastards” bit.


        Alex A

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