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Is God To Blame For My Carnal Desires?

by Bob Russell

Written on April 14, 2019 at www.bobrussell.org

     This past week the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, took issue with Vice President Mike Pence’s Biblical stand on marriage. The Mayor, who is openly gay, announced his candidacy for President of the United States and made Christianity a cornerstone of his campaign. But without provocation Buttigieg quickly attacked the former Indiana Governor by stating if he disagrees with Buttigieg’s marriage to a man, then the Vice President has a problem with his Creator. In other words, Mayor Buttigieg believes God created him gay…it was not his personal choice. 

     Sadly, I think most Americans today would agree with Mayor Buttigieg. That includes the five members of the Supreme Court who voted in 2015 to legalize gay marriage, viewing it as a civil rights issue. Following that landmark decision, Chief Justice John Roberts warned in a strong dissenting opinion, “Today’s decision… .creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is — unlike the right imagined by the majority — actually spelled out in the Constitution…Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.”

     Justice Robert’s prophecy is quickly becoming a reality. Four years later those who stand for Biblical marriage are labeled dishonorable, accused of hate speech and their businesses boycotted. Below, I’ve listed several Bible passages that explain the reason we, Evangelical Christians, still take an unrelenting stand that marriage is intended to be exclusively between a man and a woman. Take a moment to read these passages to understand what the Scripture teaches about the source of our heart’s desires.

(John 17:17) “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” – Jesus. Evangelicals are people who believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and the source of truth. We contend that the Bible takes precedence over personal feelings, majority opinion and Supreme Court decisions.

(2 Timothy 4:3) “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

Leaders of the Christian left are becoming increasingly popular by rejecting the authority of God’s Word and advocating what is politically correct.

(James 1:13-15) “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

     This and similar passages teach we are all born with a sin nature. As a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, we inherit what the Bible calls “the flesh” or a “carnal nature.” Mark Twain once said, “We’re all like the moon; we have a dark side.” While we each have a predisposition to a variety of temptations, those who follow Jesus are called to practice self-control and commanded to “…resist the evil desires that war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

     For example, if loving parents detect a problem with temper in their three-year-old, the parents don’t conclude their child is born violent or is helplessly destined to become a terrorist. Wise parents don’t allow the toddler to give in to his inclination to hit people or throw temper tantrums. They train him to practice self-control. The fact that some have natural same-sex attraction does not give license to practice homosexual sex. It is one of a plethora of temptations in our carnal nature that needs to be resisted.

(Matthew 15:18-20) Jesus said, ”For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person…”

     According to Jesus, the heart often craves activity that is outside God’s will. The desires of the heart are not to be given free rein. Jesus said anyone who wishes to follow Him, “must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

     All sorts of foul behavior can be blamed on God if we ascribe to the theory that our carnal desires are the result of creation. Entertainer Barbra Streisand recently suggested the late Michael Jackson should not be criticized for his alleged abuse of children. Streisand dismissed his exploitations, which were documented in the film Leaving Neverland, by saying, “His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.”

If our carnal desires determine morality, then nothing is ultimately wrong.

(Galatians 5:16-17) “…walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you do not do what you want to do.”

Craig Massey summed up the challenge for all of us in a four-line poem:
“Two natures beat within my breast;
The one is foul the other blest.
The one I love, the one I hate;
The one I feed will dominate.”

(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.”

     The unpleasant truth is we have all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard. The good news is God loves us in spite of our sin, and He sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our transgressions so that we can be forgiven. The Biblical promise is that regardless of what we have done, the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us of sin and wash us whiter than snow.

(Acts 2:38-39) Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”


Bob Russell is retired minister of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY.


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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33