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On the Attempt to Distinguish Desire from Sinful Acts

Introduction
This blog post addresses the distinction sometimes made between desire and acts.  Some have used this distinction to suggest that only actions are sinful whereas the desire is not.  Such a distinction fails rather roundly in the court of Scripture, as this blog post will demonstrate.  Its application to sexual ethics, and to homosexuality in particular, has become a fateful error in pastoral counselling.  ‘Spiritual friendship’ is a recent view currently on offer.  It affirms being ‘gay’ as an internal good rather than an internal disorder while insisting that people not act out their same-sex desire.  The distinction between desire and sinful acts cannot, however, be Biblically maintained. On the contrary, the Gospel offers so much more.
The Distinction between Desire and Sinful Acts
Denny Burke and Rosaria Butterfield have recently addressed the distinction between desire and acts as an old distinction between Roman Catholic and Reformed teaching on sin.[1]  While this rat…
Recent posts

GAFCON the ‘Ginger Group’

The third Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) met in Jerusalem this past week.  It was the largest gathering of Anglicans since 1963’s Pan Anglican Congress in Toronto, with ‘some 1,966 [representatives coming] from 52 countries,’ including 472 from Nigeria, 367 from the United States, 232 from Uganda, 218 from Australia, and 204 from the United Kingdom.[1]  GAFCON’s 1st conference in 2008, just ten years ago, was the result of and response to the cultural distortion of Christianity in Western nations that came to a focus when Western Anglican provinces, along with other mainline denominations, began to reject the Church’s 2,000 year old, and Biblical, teaching on homosexuality.  GAFCON took a decidedly orthodox view on the issue of sexuality and the authority of Scripture.  The third GAFCON conference included 316 bishops, 669 other clergy, and 965 laity.[2]  The number of Anglicans worldwide is estimated at over 80 million, by far the largest body of Protestant Christians in…

Ten Challenges to Resolve in Western Missions in the 21st Century

The 21st century is well upon us—and how the world has changed in just 18 years!  The world of Western, Protestant, Evangelical missions has also changed remarkably.  I have been involved in missions all my life, especially since my own first mission assignment in the mid-1980s.  The following reflections come out of the experiences and discussions I have had over the years.  As I am engaged in discussions about how to meet various needs in missions in my own circles, how to relate to supporting churches, and how to engage with nationals involved in Church ministry, I keep coming back to the following challenges in missions today.  In articulating these below, my hope is to help those involved in the discussion about steps to take in missions over the next few years in my own circles of ministry and to help others involved with similar discussions.
      1.Mission Agencies or Mission Societies?
A mission agency, I would suggest, functions like a temporary employment agency in that it (a…