Wednesday, January 3, 2024



In the last century, particularly in the in the 1980’s and 90’s the subject of spiritual gifts was hotly debated. John Wimber (1934-1997) was then the leader of an offshoot of the charismatic movement, known as "The third Wave of the Holy Spirit", also known as the “Signs and Wonders movement”. The term “Third Wave” was coined by Peter Wagner (1930-2016), professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary. He became a leading proponent of Third Wave methodology, which then in turn gave rise to the New Apostolic Reformation movement (NAR).

According to Wagner,

'The first wave was the Pentecostal movement, the second the charismatic movement, and now the third wave is joining them.'"[1]  

The proponents of the 'third Wave' movement were persuaded that miracles, visions, tongues, prophecies, and healings are essential supplements to the gospel. They viewed Christianity without these things as impotent, adulterated by the Western, materialistic mind-set.[2]

Some in the Third Wave movement even went so far as to say that,

 "…unbelievers must experience the miraculous to be brought to full faith. Merely preaching the gospel message, they believe, will never reach the world for Christ. Most people will not believe without seeing miracles, they say, and those who do will be inadequately converted and therefore stunted in their spiritual growth."  

The storm which this movement has created has left a trail of severe destruction in the church. Rarely has such division occurred in the history of the church as  that which has happened with the advent of the Pentecostal movement which began in 1906 with the so called Azuza Street revival in Los Angeles. To the biblically instructed mind it is hard to reconcile the bitter fruit of many subsequent divisions and ever multiplying denominations with the work of the Holy Spirit.

John Mc Arthur of the Grace Community Church in Los Angeles decided to address the matter by calling a conference entitled “Strange Fire” in 2014.  Mc Arthur had already published a book, entitled “Charismatic chaos” (first published in 1992), in which he pointed out that the signs and wonders done by the apostles ended with the end of the apostolic era. These were signs given by God to achieve a specific purpose. They were given to prove that the apostles were God’s messengers on earth and that they were trustworthy sources of teaching. MacArthur shows how even throughout the unfolding revelation of the Bible we find the signs disappearing so that even before the close of Scripture with the writing of the book of Revelation, these signs and miracles had ceased. This does not mean that God can or will no longer perform miraculous deeds. It does mean, though, that God no longer uses men to make such signs and miracles normative, as they were in the days of the apostles. Speaking in tongues, seen as normative by modern day Pentecostals and Charismatics also falls into the category of gifts that were given by God for a short time and a specific purpose.” [3]

Incidentally and from an African perspective I would recommend the reading of an article by Dr. Conrad Mbewe entitled, “why is the Charismatic movement thriving in Africa?”. [4] Dr. Mbewe maintains that there is a very thin line (if any) between the African witch doctor and the so called man of God, as  charismatic leaders  often like to be known. In these circles there is a rank and file abuse of the   so  called spectacular gifts, whilst  the important gifts like  the office of the pastor teacher - the preaching and teaching the Word of God is neglected, whilst the true sheep remain hungry, naked and starving.   


Do so called conservative churches like ours have any use for the spiritual gifts? Conservative churches  like the Baptists are often thought of by Pentecostals and Charismatics as churches devoid of the Holy Spirit. In our Namibian context I have heard this charge frequently laid at our door. 

But is this true?   

Our answer  is  that  we assuredly   do have a place for the spiritual  gifts, but we would question the insistence of the charismatic movement that the  manifestations  of spectacular gifts  and  signs and wonders in particular should  constitute  the  heart of  a church’s ministry. We would argue that Pentecostals and Charismatics have a subtle tendency to make the signs and wonders aspects more important than the person and work of the Holy Spirit. They are in danger of exalting the gifts above the Giver. 

Above all they may be in danger of misunderstanding the actual purpose of the spiritual gifts.

We turn our attention now to this matter.


The first mentioning of a spiritual gift is found in Romans 1:11,12  

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine."

The first and most obvious thing we learn from this text is that spiritual gifts are for strengthening the church!

Secondly, take note of what the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians:

"Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I DO NOT WANT YOU TO BE IGNORANT" (I Cor. 12:1).

Ignorance concerning the proper use of the spiritual gifts was a major problem in the Corinthian church. A casual reading of the first letter to the Corinthians on this point reveals that the Corinthians were using the spiritual gifts in a self- centred way.

The Greek word here used by Paul for spiritual gift is "pneumatikon" which literally translates as "spirituals". The context shows that these "spirituals" were gifts and abilities that were given to Christians by the Lord and energized by the Holy Spirit. The Greek word normally translated as spiritual gifts is "charismata". The root word "charis" is the Greek word for "grace"

Thus "spiritual gifts" are grace-gifts that Christians receive from God to be used for the building up of the Body of Christ.

They are gracious in their application. Spiritual gifts are other – centred.

They are not intended for private use!  


  • Rom. 12:6 – 8  
  • 1 Cor. 12:8 – 10  
  • Eph. 4:11- 12


  1.  12:1 – 11: The source of the gifts – the Holy Spirit
  2. 12:12 – 31a: The application of the spiritual gifts – the church,  the  body of Christ.
  3. 12:31b – 13:13 : The essential starting point for a correct use of the spiritual gifts in the church – LOVE.
  4. 14:1 – 25: stresses  the priority of certain gifts over others.
  5. 14:26 – 40: stresses  the importance of order in church worship


a.   Spiritual gifts are sovereignly given by God.

    Ephesians 4:7–11 teaches that  spiritual gifts are

  •  given by the ascended Christ
  • given to every individual believer
  • given for the good of others
  • given sovereignly through the Holy Spirit
  • given at the time of salvation
  • given on the basis of grace

  b.  That means that we do not need to ask for them. They are given to us; we simply have to discover them. Spiritual gifts are discovered:

  •   By praying (asking)
  • By studying the Scriptures
  • Through desires
  • Confirmed by ability
  • Accompanied by blessing

      c.   How do I know that I have a particular gift?

Here are 4 tests

  • Ability
  • Qualification
  • Easy to do
  • Responsibility

 d.  Spiritual gifts must not be confused with ‘natural’ talents’.

 e.   Not all the spiritual gifts in the Bible are needed in the church at all times. The list of spiritual gifts in the Bible are illustrative and not definitive. There may be more spiritual gifts than listed in the Bible.  The point is that  God gives  spiritual gifts according  what the church truly  needs to be a gospel  centred, Christ exalting  community.  

 f.    IMPORTANT:  Spiritual gifts make a spiritual difference in the church!


  1.   Do you believe that the God who loves His church gives a full and perfect complement of spiritual gifts to the church?  i.e. gifts that are needed  and necessary  for the church  at  any given  time?
  2. Since the church benefits from spiritual gifts, can you as a believer afford not to make a spiritual difference in the church? 
  3.  Is the church really poorer without your gift?
  4. How can you truly honour God if you withhold your gifts from the body of Christ?


[1] MacArthur, Jr., John F., Charismatic Chaos , Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992:p 128

[2] MacArthur, p. 131, quoting Wimber, Power Evangelism, pp. 39-41].

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

OBITUARY: Peter Radmanovich [11th April 1947 – 13th December 2023]


“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God”… (Hebrews 13:7)

 I was converted in Cape Town in the June of 1978, whilst studying at the University of Cape Town. I attended St James Church, Kenilworth under the leadership of Frank Retief, who was used so mightily of God in those days- those 70’s. I am convinced that those were days of revival. We saw many men and women converted under the preaching of the Word of God in the morning and evening services.

In returning to my home town and country, Walvis Bay in Namibia, the  question now  arose - “which church should I attend”? There was no Church of England in South Africa (CESA, now known as REACH) in our country.  Pastor Frank Retief suggested that I could always attend a Baptist Church, as these were generally faithful, Bible based churches.

With this in mind I came to know of the Walvis Bay Baptist Church. At that time Don Watson was the pastor. I loved the small, warm and intimate fellowship of the church, and was duly baptised and joined the membership of the church. Don Watson left us soon thereafter to join the Airforce chaplaincy in South Africa.

Enter Peter and Linda Radmanovich in 1980!  Peter Radmanovich was called to be our pastor. He was a recent graduate of the Baptist Theological College in Cape Town, and a member of the Claremont Baptist Church.

Peter’s ministry in Walvis Bay was relatively brief – 7 or 8 years. Thereafter he received a call from the Durbanville Baptist Church, where Peter and Linda served for a short while before planting the Goedemoed Baptist Church in the greater Durbanville area.  

Back to Walvis Bay!  Those few years were filled with spiritual vigour and a profound sense of God’s presence. If you would ask me what defined Peter’s ministry, it was this: He had a profound trust and faith in God. He had a profound sense of trust in the promises contained in the written Word of God. This was coupled to a real habit of prayerfulness, and this is the abiding impression I received. Peter and Linda taught us to pray. I remember the many early morning prayer meetings at which we rose at 5 AM to present our many prayers and petitions   to God.

In those years Peter led our small 17 member congregation in trusting the Lord for the provision of a church building. That story and the many wonderful anecdotes surrounding it must be told another time, but the result was that we saw a building built (or rather restored- for it was an old building) to the glory of God, by prayer, and debt free!  It was a true miracle, as we were led by a pastor that truly believed in the power, promises and providence of God. What was even more glorious  was  that  men and women were wonderfully converted in this season, leading to true church growth.

It was Peter that substantially shepherded, discipled and nurtured me into the obedience of Christ. It was his wise counsel, along with Charles Whitson, founding pastor of the Eastside Baptist Church (1985) that led me to consider the Christian ministry.   I responded to the call of God in  the June of 1985  and  went  for my 4 year seminary  training  at  Peter’s Alma Mater, the Cape Town Baptist Seminary. At Peter’s advice I also joined the Mowbray Baptist Church in 1986 as a youth worker. It is here that I would meet my wife Marcelle in 1986.  Wonderful providences!

The rest is history. As I write I am now ending my ministry to the Eastside Baptist Church after 34 years at the end of December 2023.

I have stood on the shoulders of spiritual fathers and mothers. For these I now give profoundest thanks to God! Among all these I salute you now, my dear faithful pastor, Peter Radmanovich. You have entered God’s promised rest (Hebrews 3 &4). I’ll see you in glory.  


Joachim Rieck, Windhoek, 19th December 2023  

Thursday, September 28, 2023



Satan is like a roaring lion  (1 Peter 5:8) 
(Picture: Namibian desert lion- please don't kill them!)

As we speak, the world’s attention has been drawn away from the war against the invisible Covid virus to the current Russian war against her cousins – the Ukrainians.   Our world is always at war in one form or the other. There have been at least 250 wars [1] since the end of WW II in 1945. 

Why are there so many wars? The answer is complex at one level, but essentially the answer   to this question is not very difficult.  The fall of man into sin is the origin of all conflict and war.   There is a far greater war  out there  than  those that we see  withour own eyes  daily portrayed in the social media .

The greater  war   which we are referring to is  a war  conducted  in this world  from the realm of the unseen, and to which Ephesians 6:10-20  draws our attention.  This  war   is conducted at the  level of  spiritual  deceit.  Paul calls  this  ‘the schemes of the devil’[3] .  Most people  do not recognise  that there is this great war behind all  the wars  which we find in the world.

Now let us be quick to affirm, that the fact that devil is in the detail, does not absolve  mankind  from its  responsibility in the matter.  The Bible for instance teaches that  we give  Satan  a foothold when we  engage in mindless anger (Eph. 4:27). What we need to grasp is that Satan is an opportunist, quickly exploiting our human weaknesses. Satan gets into our systems just like a virus enters into a computer, and just as a  virus or bacteria enters  into our bodies. Once we open a door to him, and once he is in, he causes havoc. 

We also need to understand that devil does not work haphazardly but methodically[4] and systematically. He works methodically against the primary institutions created by God, namely  (i) marriage and the family (ii) the church and  (iii) the state and the nations.  He conducts a continuous and subversive war against all these God created institutions.

Therefore it is necessary that we should understand his methods.  We must understand  the Bible’s  counsel  on how to  resist  and stand firm against the devil – and against his  hirelings,  which the Bible  in Paul's letter to the Ephesians  calls,   

the rulers,  the authorities,  the cosmic  over this present darkness… the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places …” (6:12).

We must understand that we need more than human ingenuity and strength to stand against such an enemy.  We must learn that we need the full armour of God, so that we may be able to stand our ground against these evil forces in the heavenlies.

So where do we begin?  We begin by  getting behind the biblical worldview! 

There Is An Ultimate Enemy Behind All Evil

  • He is revealed to us here as the devil - a personal being. He is not simply an abstract force or power. 
  • He is the father and the source of all evil. He is a powerful being. He is a created, but fallen angel who has rebelled against God (we don’t know why, how and when). He leads the universal rebellion against God.
  • He has many names in the Bible besides ‘Satan’- his most common name. This name is mentioned 52x in the Scripture and it means 'adversary'. 35 times he is called the ‘devil’ (Gr. ‘diabolos‘ -  lit. slanderer). Other names used of him are prince of this world (Jn. 16:11); prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2); god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4); Beelzebub, the prince of demons (Lk. 11:15).
  • He is superhuman in his power, which means that he cannot be ordinarily resisted by mankind. And yet he is not divine. He is a created being. He has a kingdom/dynasty (Eph. 2:2).
  • He has servants and followers, described here in Eph. 6:12. These beings, we are told, are not made of flesh and blood (i.e. of human substance); they are metaphysical beings. They are not seen with the naked eye, and yet they exist just as surely as electricity and gamma rays (which are not seen with the naked eye) exist.

The evidence of evil is everywhere and in every age.  By their evil Satan and his servants manipulate politicians, systems  and institutions, the church and even Christians. 

The devil’s chief desire is extinguish the true church. He hates her, because she is  God's   greatest  weapon on earth  against  his evil designs. He hates the church because  he  hates Christ, who by the  the cross  overcame  the power of sin and death, by which principle Satan is enabled to hold humanity in his grip. 

This Fallen World Is A Battleground And Not A Playground. 

This world is a restless place by virtue of sin entering into our world through Satan’s agency (Gen. 3:1) and man’s complicity (Gen. 3:6-7).

The fruit of this most tragic event is seen in the language of Genesis 3:14-19. Mankind originally created for a life of peace and harmony under God rule has now tasted of the knowledge of good and evil.

Conflict and disagreement become the order of the day. In Genesis 4 we find Cain killing his  brother Abel, and  Cain walks away from the presence of the LORD (Gen. 4:16). Conflict, murder and war now dominates the histories of the Old and New Testaments. It dominates the histories of all civilizations. The Lord Jesus made this point specifically in His Olivet discourse (Matthew 24 &25), namely that a sign of the end of the ages would be the fact that there would be wars and rumours of wars (Matt.24:6-7). The Revelation of John points us in a similar direction. The war in the heavens in Revelation   translates into war on earth when Satan, the great dragon, and his angels are thrown down to earth, thus inciting a rule of hatred and warfare, particularly after  the event of the  cross of  Christ.

So then, it is important that we understand what is behind the notion of war.

It starts with a fallen angel who is at war with God. It starts in the heavenlies. At face value  however wars start  in our own  sinful hearts. Satan captitalises  on these. Listen to what James 4:1-2 says,

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?  You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.”  

Then James goes right to the root and he says that this mentality is born out of an attitude. He calls it “enmity with God” (Jas.4:4). That enmity began with Satan’s rebellion against God in Genesis 3. This is the vital link  to Ephesians 6:10-20.

So then, the real reason behind all wars is not simply disagreements between people, rulers and nations, although that is true. 

War is not just about  armies   fighting each other for whatever reason given, although that is true. 

The ultimate reason for any war is a spiritual reason, instigated by an evil principality, using the fallen nature of mankind to get into our systems. Therefore we must not just see war as two parties levelling the score until they  fall down exhausted in terms of what that war produces. When we speak about war we must not forget to speak about its  fundamental problem, which is a spiritual problem, and if a spiritual problem, then we must understand that more than loss of life is at stake. The foundations for  gospel ministry and gospel living is at stake!  For this reason also  the apostle Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:1-2,

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” 

Every war threatens the soul’s peace.  Our real desire for peace should be based upon the further desire to have the fullest opportunity to live a holy and godly life, and to be able to build ourselves up in the faith.  The shedding of much blood has awful consequences in terms of a nations’ loss of spiritual peace. Just think about the terrible collective guilt the German soul has borne following the 2nd world war. Just think what guilt the Russian collective soul must now bear for this senseless war on its Ukrainian cousins. This will not go away easily.  

Satan and his accomplices will do everything to make us not live in peace, so that we cannot think about the gospel. He will do everything for a nation to live in fear and horror, for in so doing he removes our ability to be united in worship and prayer. 

War is one of his best used tools, and you  dear  Christian are  exhorted  in the Scripture to, "fight the  good  fight" (1 Tim 1:18; 6:12); to  “not grow weary and loose heart”  (Hebr.12:3); “to resist the devil and he will flee from you" (Jas 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8,9)

The apostle Paul warned the elders of this same church at Ephesus  in Acts 20: 29 - 31:   

“29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears". 

Part of the church's ministry is to warn the flock  continually not to play in the devil’s backyard. Carelessness and sin kills relationships. It starts wars.  It must be understood therefore, that behind many of the wicked people  and  their institutions in this world, there is a manipulative power. What evil and disobedient men & women do not realize is that they are manipulated. They are pawns in the hands of the kosmokraton (lit.' kosmocrats - worldrulers'). This fact does not hold people innocent in the eyes of God. They cannot say,  “We are pawns in his hands; the devil made me do it". Christians sometimes also unwittingly have been tools of the devil. We are responsible to resist the devil (Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet.5:9). We are commanded not to give the devil a foothold (Eph. 4:27). We must resist him; we must withstand him.   We are at war.

We Must Have The Right Perspective On This Spiritual War. 

The call to resist Satan and his hostile forces does not begin with an inward look. Lay the thought aside that you should be able to resist the devil in your own strength.

The call to resist Satan also does not begin with an  outward look.   You may be tempted to think - "well as long as those around me are  strong in the Lord, and as long as our elders pray for us  and  fight our spiritual  battles,  keeping the devil at bay, and the church at peace, I will be  all right". Do not be fooled!  And do not depend on the elders to keep this church free from Satan’s attacks. None of these are strong enough to resist Satan. The church together is God’s army.

The call to resist Satan begins with the upward look. Take note of these words, “Be strong in the LORD, and in the strength of HIS might. Put on the whole armour OF GOD...  that you may be able to stand!“  (6:10,11). Here is the ruling principle of  that most basic discipline of  not  giving the enemy a foothold: Be strong in the LORD, and  in the strength  of HIS might.

Be strong’ (Gr. ‘endunamoo’) - the verb here is in the passive voice: literally this should read "be continually strengthened" (i.e. receive strength). We do not have the strength to resist Satan in ourselves. We are called to depend on the Lord for the supply of that strength. This battle cannot be fought in our own strength. The Lord, as in Joshua's day  or Jehoshaphat's day must fight the battle  for us.

The only way in which we can successfully wage war against the devil’s methods is by employing  God’s methods. Any other way with which to stand against the devil is useless.  We cannot fight the battle against Goliath in Saul’s armour. We need a smooth stone well directed  by  God into the devil’s forehead. That is the only way to deal with Satan!  Spiritual warfare is only ever waged successfully in the Lord and in His mighty power.  The smallest, most insignificant Christian boy can slay Goliath with a slingshot, if he has God on His side- by means of prayer.  

William Cowper[5] wrote:

Restraining prayer, we cease to fight;

Prayer makes the Christian’s armour bright;

And Satan trembles when he sees,

The weakest saint upon his knees.


Thomas Brooks in his excellent book,  Precious remedies against Satan’s devices, writes,  “Christ, the Scripture, your own hearts and Satan’s devices are the four prime things that should be first and most studied and searched. It is my work as a Christian to do my best to discover the fullness of Christ, the emptiness of the creature and the snares of the great deceiver”.

If you like me find these days  of  war and rumours of war depressing  and alarming  then I invite you now to turn with me  to seek the help  and the promises of God as we committ these things to God in prayer. 

We do not have the mental or intellectual capacity to figure what is ultimately going on in the unseen  realm, and in the realm of deep politics. Our own strength and intellect is like using a peashooter to kill an elephant!

We need superhuman wisdom and superhuman tools to deal with this realm. Thank God that He has not left us uninstructed or without a word in this matter. I hope to address this in my next  article. 

[2] I am substituting the slaves – masters relationship here for a more modern context

[3] Gk.  ‘methodeias tou diabolou’

[4] 2 Cor. 2:11  “… so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs”  (Gr. methodeias)

[5] English poet and hymnodist (1731–1800)

Friday, May 26, 2023



How  are churches to be governed? 

This question  has occupied  a good deal of  the church's  energy  over the 2 millenia  of  her existence. Here is a brief  summary of  the development  of  various forms of church government.  

Some time ago I have written  an article on this blog site  entitled, "Why I am a Congregationalist"    which will help the reader to understand my own position  in this regard.  



Elders over a local  congregation, led by a presiding elder

Church at Jerusalem – James (Acts 12:17;15:13;21:17)


Ruling elder of a local congregation

Polycarp, Clement, Justin Martyr, Tertullian

The doctrine of the priesthood of believers held a central place in the first two centuries


Ruling elder; a mother church begins ruling over local congregations

Cyprian of Carthage

The concept of  the “priesthood of all believers” changes. A priestly class emerges.


The concept of an archbishop emerges. He rules over a number of churches in his territory.

Mother churches developed illustratively  at Alexandria, Antioch, Carthage, Rome presiding over local churches in their area.


The battle  for power and control over the churches  begins : ROME in the West versus CONSTANTINOPLE in the East

The big schism of 1054 AD. The western (Roman Catholic) church under  the bishop of Rome  separated  from the eastern (Orthodox) church under the bishop of Constantinople.

Both churches came increasingly under state control.


The central focus of the Reformation was  rooted in the SOLA SCRIPTURA principle- the authority of the Bible over  the  authority of  the Roman  bishop.

In terms of church government there was no unanimity among Protestants.


1.       EPISCOPALIAN:led by an ‘archbishop’ : Roman Catholic, Anglican, many charismatic groups

2.       PRESBYTERIAN:  the church is led by a team of ruling elders.  

3.       CONGREGATIONAL:  the church is led by a team of  qualified  elders  duly authorised by, and held accountable  to  the church gathering. Baptists generally subscribe to  this form of church government.  

LUTHER’s  concept of “the godly prince” -  saw the church as under the rule of the state.

CALVIN saw the state as subject to the church.

ANGLICANS  saw the monarch  as head of the church; the  church was subject to the state.

ANABAPTISTS / BAPTISTS disavowed the concept of a state church, promoting separation between church and state. Baptists regard the congregation as having the highest authority under the Lordship of Christ and subject to Scripture.  The doctrine of the priesthood of all believers  (see first two centuries) is re-emphasised.




Wednesday, April 5, 2023

How Shall We Think About Homosexuality?


This subject  continues to occupy  the mind of the church. The LGBT+ agenda is forceful  and  demands  the church's  attention. The Namibian government is under a lot of pressure by international and national LGBTQ lobby groups. Big nations attach  conditions  to their donor giving  and these include  that our country needs to   embrace  the LGBT+  agenda. The   Christian church in Namibia is becoming increasingly divided over this issue. We need a clear statement on which the Bible has to say on this subject. The Bible is our  final authority upon this subject.


§  We must recognize that homosexuality along with all other sexual deviations is a sin in God’s eyes. Sexual perversion includes homosexuality   (Romans 1:24-32).

§  We must consider this subject in a redemptive / pro-active manner. We believe that homosexual people can be redeemed by the grace of God.

§  We must recognize that we are all sexual beings with a fallen nature. The greatest sin in life is not homosexuality. The greatest sin is that we are all, by nature rebels against God and His Word. By nature we go against that which God has created.  This primary sin is behind all the sins of life.

§  We must recognize that  the Bible  never considers  homosexuality (or any  other  sinful or deviant  practices) as a ‘genetic deviation’ or  an alternative  option or expression  of  human sexuality. Homosexuality, along with any other deviant practices (e.g. such as are listed in Gal. 5:19)   and  must be  confessed and submitted to the grace and power of God  who helps us in all our weaknesses.

Biblical Texts  Which  Clearly Teach That  Homosexuality  Is Sin

Genesis  19:1-13 à Sodom and Gomorrah

Judges 19  à homo sexual abuse  at Gibeah.

Leviticus  18:22 ; 20:13 à homosexuality is  rejected by the Levitical holiness code

Romans 1:18-32 à  homosexuality is a state of being ‘handed over’ by God

1 Cor 6 :  9,10

1 Tim 1 : 9,10 

 Homosexuality And The  Created  Order

 In Genesis 2   we find God’s clear purpose and  design  for  sexual relationships from the perspective of creation order .

Gen 2:24  outlines  for us   the constituent   parts of human sexual  relationships :

(i)                 a man  (Adam)

(ii)               shall leave his parents

(iii)              to be united to His wife (Eve)

(iv)               And they shall become one flesh

God’s original design for sexual relationships is to be found in the context of  one man - one woman - for life‘. Sexual relationships outside of this context are considered as  unnatural (i.e. against created order) and therefore sinful, because they go against God’s purposeful design .

The Bible defines homosexuality as “dishonorable” and “shameless” and “contrary to nature” (Romans 1:26-27).

Sex within the confines of marriage by way of contrast is to be “held in honor” (Hebrews 13:4). The biblical marriage relationship does not produce shame and it   is not contrary to nature. It conforms to God’s design and it is therefore normative.

Homosexuality is against God’s design and therefore not normative. It is in fact an inversion of God’s created order. It explicitly goes against that which God has commanded.  There is therefore no such thing as  homosexual marriage in the eyes of God  and Christians therefore  cannot  subscribe to  the idea homosexual marriage  — no matter what the  LGBT community and no matter  what  the state says.

Furthermore, consider that no homosexual relationships are ever spoken of in a positive light in the Scriptures.  In fact, the Bible clearly teaches that  such a who  continue in such practices  will  not   inherit eternal life :

 1 Corinthians 6:9,10,11 :  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 our God.

Please note that this list does not only speak about homosexual sin. It also includes those that are sexually immoral (this includes all forms of deviant sex); those who are idolaters (i.e.  who  substitute God for man-made gods) ;  adulterers ( those  who break up marriages)  male prostitutes;  thieves;  the greedy;  drunkards;  slanderers  and  swindlers (con artists). All those that continually practice these things are all outside the kingdom. 

Homosexuality is not the Unforgivable Sin

1 Corinthians 6:11 says, "…and such were some of you". The wonderful truth is that the Corinthian church was a group of people who were delivered from these kind of sins. All these sins are forgivable, once we repent of them, turn our backs on them, and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s provision for cleansing us from all sin and unrighteousness of which we are guilty. The Corinthians were a living proof of this. So, if it is true that homosexuality along with many other sins defines life outside the kingdom of God, then  it is also true  that  all such  may be redeemed by God.

The Open Acceptance of   Homosexuality in Society is a great Warning Sign !

While homosexuality is not the unforgivable sin, the unconditional acceptance and prevalence of it in our society nevertheless  points to  disturbing  facts.

Considering Romans 1:18-32, we learn about the progressive nature of sin. It all begins with idolatry (vv. 21-23). From this follows the fact that God hands such a society over. That state of “being handed over” expresses itself in terms of “sexual impurity” (lit. ‘uncleanness’) in the use of our bodies which were originally designed to glorify God. This culminates in vv.26,27 where we  specifically  see   that sexual impurity is described in terms of homosexual acts.  This is the wrath of abandonment – the state of being handed over.  It is that judicial act of God whereby He stops convicting the sinner. He lets them do what they choose to do.  Such was the state of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, when God’s wrath came upon them.

So,  while homosexuality is a forgivable sin, and in a sense no worse than others, yet when it reaches unquestioning  levels of acceptance in a  society,  this it is evidence that God has  handed that society over to a point of no return.  One only has to survey the history of nations to confirm this.

John Mc Arthur says this about his own country: “If you look at America you can look back to the sexual revolution of the 60's, which has now become a homosexual revolution of the 21st century in which the homosexuals have redefined themselves as a minority, like a racial group of people demanding rights.”  

You see the progression of this also in our neighbouring country, South Africa, which has become the first country in Africa to allow gay marriage,  approving by law the rights of   homosexual  practice in society.  In a number of countries  it now becomes a criminal offence to say anything against homosexuality. It is termed ‘hate speech’ and it is punishable  by law and may  issue in jail sentence. 

When it becomes the accepted norm for a society, it is clear evidence that God has handed that society over.  Such a society has become irredeemable, because it has heaped up so much sin upon itself that God’s  judgement will certainly come soon. The increasing world- wide acceptance of the LGBT norm tells us that the judgement of God is not far in coming.

What  Should Christians Do?

 1.      Christians must regard homosexuality as sinful because of its contrariness to the clearly revealed will of God.  Christians affirm that homosexuality is a tragic disorder of God’s creation. We must affirm that homosexual behavior is a sinful departure from God’s will along with all other sinful deviations   such adultery,  fornication,  etc.

2.      Christians must remember that they too are sinners saved by grace, and therefore they must have compassion for the homosexual person, helping such   to come to repentance and faith in Christ. Christ heals and redeems all those that come to Him. Christians must long for that distorted image of God to be renewed in all sinners.

3.      Christians should be involved in the processes of law-making. We should pray and work to shape our culture, its customs and laws, so that it reflects the revealed will of God.  We should pray and work that the biblical institution of marriage would be understood by our laws/ government as a lifelong union of one man and one woman.

4.      Christians must not give up on or become negative in a society that is overcome with much promiscuity   because we know that Christ really is the sovereign Lord of the universe. Christians are convinced that God will establish justice and purity in due time. Christians groan in anticipation, as per Romans 8:23.   We ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies”.

5.       Christians must not become cynical at the results that this immoral culture produces.  John Piper says, “The salt of the earth does not mock rotting meat”. Where it can, it saves and seasons. And where it can’t, it weeps.” Christians must weep and pray and work for reformation   by God’s power.  

6.      Christians in the battle against sinful human behaviour must not become hardened with anger.  Christians understand that this is phenomenon is nothing new. Christians are not surprised when our counter – cultural message is interpreted  as ‘hate speech’, for after all that is what Jesus said, “You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13).

7.      Christians, with loving hearts and weeping eyes must preach the gospel of Christ’s judgement and forgiveness to this sex-crazed society. And with hopeful hearts and open arms we  must welcome sinners  to the Father’s house.   



  In the last century, particularly in the in the 1980’s and 90’s the subject of spiritual gifts was hotly debated. John Wimber (1934-1997)...