Ask Jim: Gay “Side-B” Christians and positions on abortion

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Ask Jim: Gay “Side-B” Christians, the spectrum of abortion positions, and church discipline

July 24, 2023 -

Ask Jim: Gay “Side-B” Christians, the spectrum of abortion positions, and church discipline

Ask Jim: Gay “Side-B” Christians, the spectrum of abortion positions, and church discipline

Ask Jim: Gay “Side-B” Christians, the spectrum of abortion positions, and church discipline

Dr. Jim Denison and Dr. Mark Turman respond to popular reader questions, discussing the spectrum of positions on abortion, how to have honoring conversations about controversial subjects, homosexual attraction versus activity, and healthy church discipline.

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Show notes:

Dr. Jim Denison unpacks the various positions on abortion and the spectrum between extreme positions (3:14). They consider the importance of avoiding self-righteousness and heatedness in conversations while preserving ethical consistency (10:14). Dr. Denison reflects on the “post-Dobbs world,” and how we can get involved in pro-life initiatives (19:19). They discuss “side B” gay Christians and how homosexual attraction is not sinful (24:06). They unpack the philosophical framework of various “identities,” how postmodernism infects our language about identity, and why God provides our true foundation (31:41). Dr. Denison continues by addressing how churches should interact with gay visitors, how to treat them with love, and how to navigate church discipline (38:59). Dr. Denison closes by giving thoughts on accountability and Paul’s “handing over to Satan” and how we change our approach to sin when handling non-believers (50:53).

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Resources and further reading:

About the host

Mark Turman, DMin, is the executive director of Denison Forum. He received his DMin from Truett at Baylor and previously served as lead pastor of Crosspoint Church.

About the guest

Jim Denison, PhD, is a cultural theologian and the founder and CEO of Denison Ministries.

Denison Ministries includes DenisonForum.org, First15.org, ChristianParenting.org, and FoundationsWithJanet.org.

Jim speaks biblically into significant cultural issues at Denison Forum. He is the chief author of The Daily Article and has written more than 30 books, including The Coming Tsunami, the Biblical Insight to Tough Questions series, and The Fifth Great Awakening.

Transcript

Transcribed by Otter.ai

Mark Turman  00:01

If the Denison Forum Podcast is an instrumental part of your understanding of today’s news, culture and faith topics, please consider a summer campaign gift to Dennis and poram. We’re looking to raise $474,000 By the end of July, so that we can continue our work and keep expanding our efforts to be digital salt and light your culture in need of both. If you stand with us, please give today at DIA podcast.org. Welcome to the Denison Forum Podcast. I’m Dr. Mark Turman, Executive Director of Denison forum, welcoming you back to another conversation where we talk about faith culture, and the intersection of both our desire and thinness and forum is to help clarify and explain what’s going on in the culture to believers so that believers can be redemptive and influential in the culture as salt in light. Jesus said that we have the opportunity to represent him to be ambassadors with and for him. And we want to do that in the most effective ways. Today we’re talking with our co founder and CEO, Dr. Jim Dennison, who is going to help us today with another popular episode of the Ask Jim podcast where you our listeners have written in shared with us questions that you would like Jim and I to talk about and to respond to. We’re going to do that for a few minutes today. Let me remind you that Dr. Dennison has pastored churches in Texas and Georgia for more than 25 years. He founded this ministry 14 years ago to try to address cultural issues moral issues of our day with biblical truth. We do that through a number of resources. Dr. Denison’s daily article is the longest and most popular of all of our resources, but we also have a number of other resources at Denison forum.org. We also have three other ministries of ministry called Christian parenting, a Bible study ministry called foundations with Janet Dennison, Dr. Denison’s wife, and also a devotional resource that is called first 15. First one five.org that will help you spend time with God, we hope you’ll check out any and all of those resources, and that today’s conversation with Dr. Dennison would be useful to you as well. We’ll be talking about sanctity of life, we’ll be talking about how to walk through our world of confused sexuality. How do we relate to those both inside and outside the church who may not have the same views that we do? We hope you’ll join us for the conversation. Jim, welcome back to the podcast.

 

Jim Denison  03:10

Glad to be with you again. Today. Mark, thanks for the privilege.

 

Mark Turman  03:14

Well, it’s been a little while since we’ve had a conversation. But having the ask Jim, opportunity is always a lot of fun. We’re never completely sure where the conversation may go, which is kind of true with us just about all the time. But we’re grateful for our audience that. Yeah, we’re grateful for our friends and, and followers sending us some of their questions that they would like us to kick around and see if we can bring them some clarity about it. And so as as we often talk about, we’re just grateful people ask us easy questions, right. And so we’re going to start off right off the bat, just dealing with what you and I consider to be the issue of our day, which is the sanctity of life, issues surrounding choice, and abortion, lots and lots and lots of conversation all over our country about that likely to get bigger as we move toward the 2024 presidential election. This, this reality is still very much with us and likely to be very much a part of that conversation. But one of our listeners asked this question, what is a truthful and loving response or conversation to someone who says that they are against abortions? And yet they are also pro choice. And I think this really goes to some of the conversation we’ve had in the past. There’s a fairly recent Catholic study that basically came back looking at at abortion and pro life issues across our country. And the overwhelming response from people on all sides of that issue was is that no one thought that an abortion was a good thing, right? Nobody thought that that was an event to be celebrated. There might be a few people on The very far fringe but nobody really thought in their views, whether they were pro life pro choice or somewhere, kind of in that spectrum that they no one thought that having an abortion was a good idea on the face of it, which is what this question is all about. But how would you advise believers to kind of enter that conversation with someone like this? They don’t think abortion is a good idea, but they still think that a woman a mother should have the right to choose?

 

Jim Denison  05:30

That’s a very common question, isn’t it? And it’s something we do need to be prepared to have a conversation about on absolutely true. I think it’s on two levels. The first level is to get a sense of what the spectrum of issue is here. And then second to think about a way that can we can be biblical and redemptive as we respond to that spectrum. So the spectrum is all the way from a pro abortion position, as you said, all the way over to a very strange and pro life position might be the positioning that we’re thinking about here. There are some I mean, there’s been a hashtag recently shout out your abortion, there have been some people that are wanting to say that abortion is a good thing relative to bodily autonomy and women’s rights, and that we ought to be celebrating a person’s courage to take charge of their own future here by choosing abortion, that sort of thing. So you do get some of that out there. But as the Catholic study indicated, that’s a very small percentage. So the large percentage would not be pro abortion, they would call themselves pro choice. And then you get from pro choice to what you think of as pro life. Well, that’s nothing like just to put two positions here, right? It has to do with a spectrum of issues that are to play here. There’s a very small percentage of Americans, for instance, who are pro choice relative to all nine months, in any circumstance, that’s a small number of Americans that think a woman ought to have the choice to abort her pregnancy, at any point in nine months, for any reason at all, you move a little further on the spectrum, more people are comfortable with a set first and second trimester abortions than a third trimester abortion, even more comfortable with the first trimester than a second trimester. And so I wouldn’t be pro choice on second, I certainly wouldn’t be pro choice on third trimester. But I’d be pro choice in first trimester, you move even a little further, there are a large number of Americans that would be pro choice relative to rape and incest. Who would say I believe life begins at conception, but that rape and incest should be exception. So they would be pro choice relative to Raven, incest. And then there are some that would be pro choice relative to the health of the mother, who would say and this was a lot of what Roe v. Wade was built on psychological health, financial health, her ability to have autonomy over life, some of that factors, and they’d be pro choice in that setting. And then most people would be pro choice relative to the life of the mother, that if the mother cannot survive the pregnancy, that is permissible, and even moral to end the pregnancy to save the life of the mother, so they can be called pro choice there. So to be truly pro life, in that sense, you would have to say that abortion is never permissible in any circumstance. And by the way, I left out fetal deformity, there’s a whole spectrum inside that there are some that would say, abortion is permissible, if the if the fetal deformity is going to be a hardship for the baby, or the parents Down syndrome, for instance, right. Others would say fetal deformity is a moral reason for abortion, if the child cannot survive the birth, then it’s permissible to in the life prior to birth, if the child is going to be stillborn, or will not survive the birth and then all the way over. So last point that makes it to be truly pro life, you’d have to say I am for life, with no exceptions, not even to say the life of the mother, not even if the baby can survive the pregnancy, and so on and so forth, which is really a spectrum and we’re talking about here,

 

Mark Turman  08:45

right in that in that last position is tell me if I’m right is what is now sometimes being called the abolitionist movement. Abolish abortion in every instance, in every case, no matter what the conditions, no matter what the circumstance, that’s, that’s what an a, an apple, an abortion abolitionist position is, right.

 

Jim Denison  09:10

As I’ve seen, now, I have seen some in the space that would spare the life of the mother. I have seen some of that. And so there have a little nuance there, as regards the actual life of the mother, certainly not financial health of the mother or stress for the mother, things like that. But if the doctor says the mother will not survive this pregnancy, some abolitionists would allow an abortion to save the life of the mother, others would not. Others would say, Well, look, you’re victimizing the most innocent of the two the most in defensible of the indefensible of the two. And so at that point, there are some abolitionists that would actually even not allow that, in the history of this issue in the Catholic Church. This has been a debated issue, and they’ve been some Catholic moral theologians that have not felt abortion was permissible even to save the life of the mother. It comes to a very difficult issue once you get to that nuance. So that’s that that part of spectrum. But you’re right. Typically, that would be the abolitionist position, all the way over to the Celebrate abortion position would be the pro abortion position, but the rest would be pro choice. On some level, you just have to define your terms.

 

Mark Turman  10:14

So this listening to you kind of lay that out, I started getting somewhere near about 10 different possible positions that you could take. Somewhere, we’re definitely in the neighborhood of a double digit opportunity along this spectrum, which, which tells us that when it comes to putting some of these things into policy, putting them into law, or as in the case of of this person who offered this question, you know, this sounds like a conversation around the dinner table at a family reunion or something or a conversation among friends who are trying to think through this, it could even be from a person who, you know, there’s a there’s a person, there’s a woman that’s in their midst, who’s trying to decide what to do. And we just don’t know what the given set of circumstances are. There could be, as you described a lot of different circumstances. How would How would you help a believer to think through how to have this conversation without, without anger or without self righteousness? What, how what, biblically, what are some of the parameters and guide rails that we can offer to them?

 

Jim Denison  11:35

Yeah, thank you. I think it’s really I’d want to come at that from two points. And so the first place would be to get kind of that spectrum of opportunity to have the conversation as it were, what are we actually discussing? What’s what’s really in play here? So we have a more specific way to ignite a response. And then now, how do we respond by speaking the truth and love? Well, the first thing to say, would be to say, and this is kind of a more generic response, if a person back to the original question says, I’m, I’m against abortion, but I’m pro choice. But they’re essentially saying is, I believe the mother should make that choice. I don’t believe the doctor should make it. I don’t think the law should make it. I don’t think the church should make it. I don’t think the pastor should get to make that the state has no right to do that. I saw one politician saying, there’s not room for the state in the room there. There’s the mother, there’s the doctor, there’s not room for a third person in there. And so even though I’m personally opposed to abortion, I don’t believe it’s my right to make that decision for the person. I think that’s probably what’s behind the question. Right, regardless of the spectrum of, of what we mean by pro choice there. In generic terms, that’s usually what we’re thinking here is, look, I don’t think I get to make that choice. I’ve heard that a lot. I’ve heard that from people who say they’re personally pro life, they would themselves not choose an abortion, but they don’t believe it’s their right to make that decision for somebody else. And it’s certainly not the state’s right to make that decision. It’s not the church’s right to make that decision. How might I speak to them at that point? Well, I was on a radio interview some time ago with Chris Brooks, one of my favorite pastors and speakers in the country. He’s one of the most brilliant evangelical leaders in America today. Someone phoned him with a very question. And here’s how Chris answered the question. He said to the person on the other end of the conversation, I said, I understand what you’re saying, Do you believe that once the baby is born, that the mother should still have the right to end that baby’s life? And she said, Well, of course not. Once the baby is born, then of course, the baby is absolutely deserving of a full the full spectrum or protections of life. And then Chris said, Well, what changed in the 18 inches from when the baby was inside the mother’s body to when the baby’s outside the mother’s body is still exactly the same entity. Nothing about it has changed except its location. So if you’re not pro choice, relative to infanticide, then why would you be pro choice relative to abortion? Right, all the changes to minutes and the location of the baby, which I think is exactly right. And that would be my response to the question. If a person wants to know why can’t I be pro choice, and yet personally, pro life? That would be my response would be disabled, if I’m going to do that, where do I stop? I’m personally against murder, but I don’t want to make that choice for you. I’m personally against infanticide. But I don’t want to make that choice for you. I’m personally against polygamy, but I don’t want to make that choice for you. I’m personally against heroin abuse, but I don’t want to make that choice for you. Our culture, so loves to use tolerance as truth. And it makes me look tolerant to come out saying, I am pro life, but I don’t want to make that choice for you. But once we’ve decided this life is life at what point do we stop doing that? So that’d be kind of the logical response to the issue would be to say, Well, if you believe that a person ought to be able to make their own choice that their own choice relative to their unborn child, what’s changed when the child is born? It’s exactly the same entity. All it’s done is changed location. That’d be a logical response.

 

Mark Turman  14:59

there so there’s There’s a principle that I’m hearing in there of ethical consistency. That’s right. Is is what I’m hearing in that, as you think this, this whole process through, and then there’s, we make, we don’t want to go too far down this road, we could spend our whole time talking about this. But the idea that that, in response to what you’re saying a minute ago, there’s no there’s no room in the room for the state. But at the same time, that we would say, we would say biblically, the state and the state, particularly as the state representing the community of all of us, does have a vested interest in that child’s life as well as that mother’s life. And in the examples that you also used about heroin and other things. We do have the state and the community has a vested interest in every single individual. So biblically, we would say, wouldn’t we, that it’s, it is right for the state to be in the room, there is a legitimate concern there of the community that is represented by the state and by the policies and laws created by the state. Am I Am I on the right track? Exactly

 

Jim Denison  16:12

right? That’s exactly right, Mark. That’s the pivot to the biblical response from the logical to the biblical. Now we’re to Romans 13. Now would appear first Peter into the statement that God uses the state to accomplish a common good, and the greater good. Somebody says, Well, the state doesn’t have the right to legislate morality. Well, that’s what laws do. That’s what seatbelt laws to that’s what speed limit laws do. Every law is the legislation of morality. And the reason the state exists at the end of the day is to protect us from each other. On some level, we think about that in the context of war, we think about that in the context of the laws that protect us from one another. And so I believe the state has the same right to be in the room relative to abortion than it does relative to infanticide, to again to use that horrible example or euthanasia. If we want to move to the next spectrum of the conversation. And now we’re to a place that I was reading recently the other day, up in Canada, there’s a consideration of extending abortion, excuse me, euthanasia, even to those who claim mental distress on any level, the mental distress doesn’t have to be on any level life threatening for a person to claim I’m under a mental distress, and therefore I want to end my life. Well, does the state have a right to be in that room? I would say absolutely. It does. To protect me from myself at that point, and others as well. And so we’re making an exception that we don’t make an any other part of the conversation relative to morality. If we’re carving out abortion specifically at that point, that’s again, a reason to say if life begins at conception, and science is pretty unanimous at that point. Now in a way that wasn’t true in 73. With Roe v. Wade, it’s hard to find any biologists that does not agree that human life begins at conception, if it’s not a human, what is it is a conversation I like to have it is all the chromosomes it has exactly the DNA, it’s not going to be anything other than a baby, if it’s left alone, if it’s not human, what is it? If it’s human, from the moment of conception, then what makes that separate from any other conversation, just so I can claim to be tolerant, even when at the end of the day, I’m really not being truthful. But the last thing that’s a mark, I know we have to move on, is speaking the truth in love here. And this was kind of what you started with this. I can’t imagine I’ve certainly have never, as a pastor myself, been in a conversation with someone that wanted to be in a position or having to make this choice. That wanted to be in a position that we’re having to choose whether to keep this unplanned pregnancy, or even a planned pregnancy, if it’s a field of the form of the issue. And so grace, and understanding and compassion, and walking with and understanding, I don’t know how you feel, I don’t know what this is like for you. I don’t know, if we’re on that spectrum that we were discussing 10 minutes ago, you’re having to think about this, I don’t know what family pressure you’re under. I don’t know what your boyfriend your husband, or your parents are saying to you. I don’t know what your situation is like. And so while I absolutely believe lambda gets a conception into sacred, and abortion is in principle wrong for the baby and for you, and it’s going to be a thing, you’ll regret the rest of your life and it’s going to be a terrible choice for you as well. I want to say that with compassion and grace. So pray for the Lord to help you do that. And he will give you the heart for that person, you need to speak the truth in love.

 

Mark Turman  19:19

And I would Yeah, very, very good. And I would also say pray very diligently about how you can be helpful and supportive to that, to that mom, going forward. How could you be involved? Thank you. How could you not just simply encourage her to choose life for her child but support her in that resource her in that come alongside of her Don’t just be pro birth be pro life be pro life both for her and for her child? Before we move on from this just want to ask you to frame this a little bit more. This. What we’ve been talking about is the way this is going to frame up now that we live in a post Dobbs post row world and so speak with you with Jim, I’ve heard you talk about this in different contexts, how where you live in the United States will have a direct implication for how this gets played out in your communities? And then kind of finish that up with how and should shouldn’t how we be concerned about what goes on in another state where we don’t live?

 

Jim Denison  20:22

That’s great question as well, to get to the second first, it’s what’s called abortion tourism, where now states like California are openly recruiting people from states like Texas where I live, that has a very strict abortion prints law, at least in principle right now, to come to California to have abortions there. So if I think abortion is in principle wrong for Texans, I need to be interested in what California is doing, because what California is doing is affecting Texas. And then you think about medication abortions, where a person can order abortion drugs, online or in other places from states that provide them to states that don’t. And so what one state does affects what happens in another state. That’s the thing to be aware of as you’re navigating all of this. But back to your first point. But I believe I’m not an attorney. But I’ve read at this pretty carefully. What I believe Dobbs did in reversing Roe was put this situation where it always should have been, this never should have been a judiciary decision. This should have been a legislative decision. This is something that should have been done by the Congress or by a state legislature or by those that are elected officials, not by unelected judges, who discovered in the 14th Amendment a right to abortion that did not exist, and essentially created a law that did not exist. I believe they’ve done the same thing with same sex marriage. But that’s a conversation we can have at another time down the way. So what Dobbs did if you read the actual opinion, what Samuel Alito and Roberts said they did was simply return this toward should have always been Dobbs did not overturn abortion, people often say that dogs did not end abortion, Dobbs ended a federal mandate for abortion, as legislated by the judiciary rather than the legislative. So now, it absolutely goes to the states where it should have always been, and even in the states to municipalities, I think we’re going to be seeing local Well, we saw this in Dallas, recently where the Dallas City Council took a very pro abortion, I would say not just pro choice position in some of the things that it recently passed as a city council even. And so you’re going to be seeing debate on this. Now back to the states and even the local municipalities, which is for charitable respect. Now Congress at some point could take it out of the state’s hands, Congress could declare a federal law supporting and permitting abortion if it wishes to do so as it can do in other contexts as well. It hasn’t done that so far. And by not doing that now, it’s a state’s issue. And that’s what I think it should be at this point in time.

 

Mark Turman  22:45

Okay, yeah. So lot to think about an opportunity, because for any of us, it’s it’s much more likely that we can be involved at a local level or a state level than on a national level that

 

Jim Denison  22:58

goes to the question we did.

 

Mark Turman  23:01

Yeah, we can be involved in various ways that any of those levels, but it’s more likely more easy for the typical believer to be involved at a at a local level within their town, within their community or within their state. They’re just more access the way that’s why our system is built, right?

 

Jim Denison  23:18

That’s right. All politics are local, as Tip O’Neill used to say. And that has to do not just with the politics of this that has to do with the actual, where the situation is most practical kind of conversation that’s being involved in pro life causes yourself that’s donating to these causes that’s advocating for adoption, that’s choosing to adopt, that’s caring about the mother with the at risk pregnancy. The number one reason women say they choose abortion is they think they say they do not have the financial means to raise the child we can help with that. Churches can help with that ministries can help with that. Organizations can provide that social safety network that is so necessary in a situation like that. So yeah, the good news here in Dobbs is now you and I have a much more direct way of impacting this issue in this story of where we live, and in the context of the state where we live as well.

 

Mark Turman  24:06

That’s good. All right. Lots, lots to think about there. But let’s let’s move on. Second question from our fans and followers. How does the Bible Speak to side B, gay believers? This is a term that not everybody will be familiar with. So let me offer a definition. Side B, generally refers to those who identify with LGBTQ as an identity, and yet they take and hold to a traditional view or a what we would call a biblical view of human sexuality, and in their commitment, choose to remain celibate because they believe in what the Bible teaches that sex is to be restricted to one man, one woman under the covenant of marriage, and yet they identify I, with the LGB. At least part of this might be what people would generally in the conversation today refer to as queer, I think if I’m defining the term correctly. And this really goes to a really interesting kind of thought process, Jim about how we understand identity from a biblical perspective broadly, but then the idea of what about the intersection of attraction and temptation, this whole line of attraction, temptation and sin. You and I have preached for years, I’m sure that look, everybody faces temptation. Temptation is not something you should feel guilty about. You don’t need to repent of temptation that is simply the exercise of the devil trying to entice you into sin, based on your fallen nature. But we don’t repent of temptation. We repent of sin. But this conversation has really become much more complex, especially around the idea of people struggling, I’ve had this happen in the church that I was recently pastoring, which is no Christians should define themselves by by sin in any measure, whether it’s a temptation or attraction. So you should not define yourself, as a side be Christian. Because you’re defining yourself by something that’s not biblical. So let’s just put all of that out there as context and say, Okay, Jim, what do you think?

 

Jim Denison  26:43

Well, first of all, just like you, Mark, I have had numbers of conversations over the years with people who’ve been described themselves, whether they call themselves side do not, let’s say their same sex attracted, but are choosing to be celibate. And I’ve often said of these people that they are some of my faith heroes. I have no idea what that’s like, I have literally no idea what it’s like to be same sex attracted and choose not to act on that attraction, simply because I believe that Scripture is right about this. And that scripture forbids same sex, sexual relationships. The sin isn’t the attraction, the sin is acting on the attraction. As you said, so Well, temptation is not sin, or else Jesus couldn’t have been tempted and remained sinless. Right. So the temptation doesn’t demonstrate doesn’t demonstrate. And in fact, as CS Lewis says, the more you hold out against the devil, the more you’re going to experience the temptations of the devil. It’s the people that give in to temptation instantly, they don’t really know much about temptation. It’s the longer you hold out that you see more of the enemy’s wares at work, they’re more of his weapons at work, that sort of thing. The longer you fight against the enemy, the more of the enemy, you see. And so to be tempted doesn’t mean that you’re sinful. In fact, it can be the opposite of that. It means that the enemy sees you as an enemy worth tempting worth attacking as it were. So don’t be tempted on any level, as Matt said, to be tempted by same sex attraction is not sin. Everyplace scripture forbids same sex relations, it does those in the context of same sex activity. It does not speak to sexuals to same sex feelings to same sex attraction, as we might say, it always speaks to acting that out,

 

Mark Turman  28:14

as you said before, the Bible never tells us how to feel in any context, right?

 

Jim Denison  28:19

No, no, doesn’t say how it feels to become a Christian doesn’t say how it feels to repent, that now we often do that ourselves. In fact, when I became a Christian Mark back at the age of 1519 73, a long time ago, I doubted my salvation for a long time, because what other people shared when they became Christians had these feelings about all of that a weight being lifted all of that I didn’t feel any of that. So I thought for a long time, there was something wrong with me or wrong with my salvation. And I eventually discovered that’s great if people do have those feelings, but no place does the Bible associate feeling with salvation. Feelings can depend on the PC I had for supper last night are all sorts of things that you don’t want to be basing your life on. So the first thing to say would be to say a same sex attraction is not the same, same thing as the same sex sin. And so if a person is a so called Site B, Christian who finds themselves to be same sex attracted and chooses to live celibate, I think that living biblically, and I commend them for doing that. The second thing I would say is to get an analogy for this we’re all cite be Christians, if we’re choosing to be faithful to our spouses. If we’re choosing to be celibate, outside of marriage, and faithful inside of marriage, I am heterosexual ly attracted just as somebody else will be same sex attracted by choosing not to act on that attraction. I am therefore a sci fi Christian in the context of heterosexuality just like somebody else might be in the context of homosexuality. And so while I face a bit, I guess, of what it would be like to be same sex attracted and be celibate by choosing only to have sexual relations with my wife. I suppose that’s a little bit of analogy to what that is, like, at both points. I don’t think that I’m a sinner. For being opposite sex attracted, I wouldn’t be sitting if I acted on the attraction, as it were. So that’s a long way of saying that the first thing you’d want to say, is to come in somebody who’s choosing to be celibate, even though they’re same sex attracted. Second thing to say quickly is to pray for that. And about that, in the context of whether God will remove that or redeem it. Look at it like a thorn in the flesh, which Paul prayed three times the Lord would remove God didn’t remove it, he redeemed it. If God does not remove the same sex attraction, he will redeem it in a variety of ways. He’ll make you more understanding of others in that space, he’ll make you able to minister to others who are same sex attracted, in a way someone like I wouldn’t be able to, he’ll help you to be more dependent on him relative to your sexual activities. And you might have not otherwise been that sort of thing God, Michelle, coy says God leads to our limitations. But I have known people over the years who were same sex attracted, and God removed that thorn in the flesh. Now, that’s a whole conversation we talking about about conversion therapies, and all those sorts of things. What I’m saying is, I have known individuals who prayed for God to change their same sex attraction. And God answered their prayer by changing their same sex attraction. And they are now heterosexual, the attractive were at one time, they would have said they are homosexual, attracted. So if you are at that side be Christian, you can pray for that, for God to remove the thorn and unless them to lead us trust him to redeem it and look for ways that he does. Last thing I was saying you’d made the point earlier, don’t see our identity. In this context, your identity is not your sexual identity, as we so often call it, it’s the fact that you’re loved by God unconditionally, see yourself as the child of God. And that’s your best way to see yourself.

 

Mark Turman  31:41

Yeah, could you unpack that a little bit more from a biblical, theological, even philosophical framework, it seems it seems like the two biggest words of the last 25 or 30 years are the words identity and tolerance. And there has been, in several instances along this transgender issues come to mind most most pertinent right now, has been that you’ve written you’ve talked a lot in your life, and particularly in last few years, about how this idea that the rejection of Objective Truth has led to the idea that all sexuality is personal and subjective. And then that’s where this is arisen from. But there has seemed to be a surge, a rush to just embrace any and every idea around sexuality, but under this large umbrella of identity, and then like said, along comes after that this idea of tolerance of whatever any person wants to come up with in terms of their definition of identity. So I think I know the answer to this. I feel like I have an intuitive sense of this. But I wanted to ask you as a philosopher and a theologian, what is the biblical underpinning of this thing that we commonly just toss around in our culture these days called identity? Is their founding Great, good, biblically?

 

Jim Denison  33:13

Great question. Yeah. A part of the reason it’s such a struggle for us is because our worldview is so radically different from the biblical worldview, which wouldn’t have even understood the question. In the biblical worldview. You are according to Genesis 127, a god image bearer, you are created in the image and likeness of God and that is who you are. Now act out who you are, pull off in exhorts his readers to live a life worthy of the call in which you’ve received be who you are. The Bible says you are now the child of God. In John chapter one, you’ve been redeemed, you are a new person, you are a new creation, you’ve been born again, you’re the child of God, that’s who you are. That’s your identity, just as this pins identity is that it is a pin. That’s what it is, in philosophical terms. That’s its ontological definition. That’s what it is, at the essence of its reality is that it is a pin. Well, when, as you said back in early 20th century, and you could long conversation and this, this whole strike this whole idea that truth is objective and static, and definable in objective terms, begins to be questioned, begins to come out under under threat and long conversation behind how all of that got does, but that moves us to what’s known as postmodern relativism. And the idea that all truth claims are personal, individual and subjective. So if to me the identity of this pen is that it is a car that I can call it that if I want to, and you have no right to tell me I’m wrong. And even though you will come along and ask what were the wheels? Well, in my mind, they’re there if you’re a certain conversation, but if you were to ask me, How would you drive this? I’d say well, I don’t care if I drive it or not. This is my definition of a car. This is what I call the car and you have no right to tell me I’m wrong. Well, a science scientists would come into the conversation and automotive engineer I would come in the conversation and try to disprove my ridiculous claim and automotive terms. And I can just keep saying, but that’s your truth. That’s just your truth. And at the end of the day, we have no truth, we just have your truth and my truth. And so we’re driving pens like they were cars, you know. And that’s kind of where our culture is. Now. Now an identity is whatever I consider it to be. My identity is whatever I say it is, yours is whatever you say it is. That’s your truth, I have my truth, you have no right to judge me, just as I would claim no right? To judge you. We drive that into sexual identity, which is typically for the conversation most often revolves, and now my sexual identity is whatever I experience it to be. That’s philosophically an absolute category mistake. It’s like calling. It’s like asking, how much does the number seven Wait, or what color is three? To say that I am deciding my identity, when my identity was created? Before I had a say in it, this pin was made a PIN before the pin could decide whether or not to be a pin. I was created in God’s image, whether I before I had a say in it, that’s my identity, if you want to speak of identity, for me to come along and call myself something other than I am, is a category mistake. In philosophical terms. It’s a red ludicrous claim to make in logic. But we’re back to that place again, where I get to decide what my truth is. And if you say different than you’re intolerant, that’s the worst thing anybody can be. So it’s a philosophical move called post modernism applied to an ontological category, in philosophical terms. At the end of the day, it’s claiming that it’s claiming the ability to call something by an identity it was not created today.

 

Mark Turman  36:44

So and in that right there, that statement right there, I want to ask, the question is, is that a form of human idolatry, that is trying to toss off the authority of God as creator and God as definer is that is, we really gotten down to a very sophisticated form of idolatry that is, is leading us and many ways to incredible places of just chaos. When people are changing the ontological definitions, you know, my dog is a dog. It’s not something other than a dog. It’s a dog. It’s not a cat. It’s not a rabbit. It’s not a bird, it’s a dog. But when we start messing with the ontological definitions of fundamental realities, we’re trying to subsume the place of God as creators, what it sounds like to me

 

Jim Denison  37:41

as Genesis three, five to be your own God, knowing good and evil as you define good and evil, if we’re gonna play baseball, but I get to change the rules. And all at once my son gets four outs, or he gets five outs, or I get to reverse that call from the strike to evolve, we really can’t play baseball. If you’re going to change the labels, it’s awfully hard to play the game. And that’s where we are as a culture now. And we will not be surprised. Chaos that we’re seeing is the consequence.

 

Mark Turman  38:05

It almost it almost starts sounding like we’re gonna play baseball. But now we’re gonna say that the bat is the ball and the ball is the bat, you have to hit the bat with the ball. It anyway.

 

Jim Denison  38:19

I can. I can decide what my guy is a chess that I know you call that a bishop, but I will decide today that’s a road. Yeah, I’m going to decide to triplanes upon, you know, and yet, we’re going to try to have a chess game. Right? You can call your people anything you want. I’ll call my pieces, anything I want. And we’re going to see how that turns out for us. No man is an island as John Don said, I don’t my mind misunderstanding my identity has a direct consequence for you. Because no man is an island because I can’t play chess without somebody else with whom to play chess. And if I get to re label all of my pieces, all the ones that your ability to play, the game is directly affected by my mistake, my category mistake on the side. And that’s where our culture is.

 

Mark Turman  38:59

Yeah, well, this is really big, complex issues very much in our culture. This is an unashamed plug for our listeners to pay attention to we’ve tried to curate and collect a bunch of what we’ve written and what others have written for us into an easily reachable sub page on our website. So you can go to Denson forum.org, but if you go to Dennison forum.org, forward slash LGBTQ, you’ll land at a special page where we have curated and collected a bunch of articles about what we think biblically about not only side B but a lot of other related issues to the conversation of sexuality, and so would point our listeners there but Jim, I want to pull this conversation out a little bit more. Probably nearly all of our of our audience is our believers who are a part of local churches. So let’s Take this and apply this conversation a little bit to a congregational reality. One of our followers says, How should churches reach out to those typically rejected by the Church and then offers this example? Should churches be rolling out the red carpet for gay visitors? And what if they want to become members? Can you unpack that a little bit on a congregational local level?

 

Jim Denison  40:26

One of the toughest issues pastors are dealing with right now. You had a conversation last week with a pastor dealing with that exact precise, same issue. And the reason it’s such a challenge for us, Mark, you know this, but I’ll just put this in, in in terms for the sake of our conversation and others that want to be a part of it as well. On the one side, churches do not at least should not erect barriers to entry, which make us more a haven for saints and a hospital for centers. All right. I mean, you think of Jesus with Matthew, as soon as he says to Matthew, follow me, which shocks everybody, the tax collectors being there. Next thing you find Jesus doing is going to Matthew’s house and hanging out with more tax collectors and sinners, and the religious authorities calling him on the carpet. We’re supposed to be that very thing worthy. It’s been said the church is the only organization that exists for people who are not yet as members, you know, where to be making disciples of all nations, we’re gonna be going to people and inviting them, compelling them to come in to us Jesus parable is an example of that. And so whatever the issue is that I’m wrestling with dealing with, it’s like Mark Twain said, I wouldn’t join any church who would have any for a member, kind of, you know, because at the end of the day, none of us were all broken people were all broken people. So if we’re going to start erecting barriers to entry around specific moral issues, that says, You can’t join our church, if you are this, this, this seems to violate the whole spirit of what I just said, the fact that we’re saved by grace through faith, that not of yourselves, it’s a gift of God, not of works. How do I know what’s going on in your life? Back when I was pastoring, I had no way to know if someone who joined our church on Sunday was addicted to pornography, I had no way to know if he was cheating on his wife. And no way to know if he was embezzling at work, had no way to know if he was abusing substances. If he was an alcoholic, I had no possible way to know that. He walks down the aisle on Sundays, got his coat and tie on back in the day. And he asked to join our church. And we asked the typical questions, well have you trust your Christ as your Lord, if he says he has, then he’s welcomed, and if he hasn’t, we’ll want to lead them to faith in Christ and then have him join our church, right. And so we just don’t recommend shouldn’t erect moral barriers to entry, you would say, on the other side of this, a person who is living a gay lifestyle, especially if they’re in a same sex coupled relationship is clearly obviously living in a way we will consider to be unbiblical in a way that I can’t know about a couple that joins our church and sleeping together and they’re not yet married. And I don’t know that or, as I said, one of them’s using pornography, and I don’t yet know that if he came down to the front and said, I want to join your church. But by the way, just so you know, I watch pornography, 40 hours a week. See nothing wrong with it. Got no issues here whatsoever. I embrace it as a lifestyle. And I think you should too. Most pastors are going to have a problem there. Right? Most pastors is going to see well, now wait a minute, before we just welcome you into our church and look like we’re endorsing what you just told us. We have to deal with that first. But I wouldn’t know that unless he said it

 

Mark Turman  43:24

was livid. Yeah. Okay. Sorry to cut you off. It goes to this idea that churches, pastors, church members, what should be the holiness expectation of people? The first thing I would say is some people would would just tell us this whole conversation is irrelevant, because there’s no such thing as membership. But at the same time, it same time, we may get to this in a minute. You see people like the apostle Paul, in his letters telling the church to put the person out well, yeah, in order to put them out, they have to be in something in order to be put out of something, in this case, in terms of fellowship. So I think you and I would agree that there is, even though the Bible doesn’t use the word church membership, there are clear indications that there was a reality of community that people were identified with and that they were a part of, and that they could be removed from. So there there is this reality of membership. But in this in the same way, when it kind of take, we seem in our culture, to only want to have this conversation about sexual issues, and particularly about homosexuality these days, when in the same way, if a guy walked down the aisle and said, Hey, I’m a businessman, and I just want you to know I have no ethics and business, I cheat everywhere. I can. Taxes and business deals. I cheat everywhere I can because making money is my goal. And I don’t care who I hurt and yet I love Jesus, I want to be a part of your church. To the extent that we know that we have to deal with things when they don’t align with biblical teaching that that where we’re going.

 

Jim Denison  45:13

That’s the I believe that. So now we’re talking about a very neglected topic, which is church discipline, both prior to membership and inside membership. But the Bible is very clear about it. First Corinthians five second Corinthians two are the examples you’re describing right now of that sexual issue inside the church. But there’s a very clear sense in which I’m endorsing that, which I on some level, condone, by allowing that to come into our community, however you define this community with no, at the end of the day, with no objection with no conversation, I’m not helping that businessman, if I’m allowing that businessman in, in some level, endorsing that which is going to be harmful to him and to others, by inviting him into the church with no conversation over here, and most pastors wouldn’t do that most churches wouldn’t imagine doing that. Then back to the point. However, I’m not that’s not obvious to me. It’s obvious to me if somebody’s living outwardly in a same sex relationship, and especially have the same sex couple of relationships. And so that’s what makes this so complex, because now I am forced to deal with this, I’m forced to deal with an issue that I would consider to be unbiblical immorality. Prior to the joining the church, it therefore looks like I’m singling that issue out, looks like I’m being judgmental there on a level of not being with everything else. Looks like all of out of all this in First Corinthians six that whole litmus test, or a list of all those sins that the Corinthians used to come in, but now you’ve been redeemed, and forgiven and cleansed, as Paul says, We’re picking that one out, and we’re isolating it, and we’re especially folk, we’re so often accused of that. The SM Angelicus. Why is this? So? So much a big issue with you? Why aren’t you dealing with the other issues in First Corinthians six, two, why don’t you dealing with greed? Why don’t you know dealing with immorality on so many other levels. And that’s the reason, because greed isn’t obvious to me. This is, and I’m endorsing behavior, I don’t object to when the person joins our church, if we don’t have the conversation prior to that, relative to membership. And so we’re most pastors come down on a very practical level. And what I do as well as to say, engaging with us, worshiping with us attending our Bible studies, being part of the life of the church, to that degree is something that’s open to every person who wants you to be or will hope you’ll be here. But understand, we’re not endorsing what we think is unbiblical here, and membership, however we define it, whatever that means, however, that looks like is a different level of engagement, that is going to require a conversation relative to biblical morality. So I wouldn’t put a sign out that says, if you’re gay, you can’t come here. You can’t worship here. In fact, whatever your issue is, I would want you to be hearing the Word of God, I wouldn’t want you to be experiencing the presence of God and worship, I would want you to be attracted to the Holy Spirit living in the lives of believers, right? I mean, we would that’s the person we especially want to be in that relationship with us. But when it gets to membership, or whatever that means, in your context, that’s where I think we have to draw some lines, and not just about same sex attraction or same sex behavior, I should say, but really, regarding anything that we would see to be, um, dublicate. morality? And boy, that’s a tough subject, especially today.

 

Mark Turman  48:13

Do you? Short question maybe, do you think in in our lifetime, just say, in our, our journey, do you think that we’re going to see a revival of church discipline, there are already some indications of it.

 

Jim Denison  48:32

We’re already seeing it. Yeah. And some of it’s driven by the legalities of this. Right now, as you know. And I say this quite often, if I’m talking to leaders and faith based organizations, the attorneys are telling us, You need to have every place, you can put it in your HR codes in your guide governing principles, wherever you are, relative to sexual morality issues. So that when you are tested in court, you already had what is considered to be a pre existing conviction on this subject. It had to be your position already, that you believe that marriage just refers is, is reserved for a man and a woman so that when someone wants to join your staff, but they’re in the same sex marriage, and you refuse them and you get sued, you can already have had that pre existing commitment to that issue. That’s already a legal issue. I’m seeing more and more churches seeing that being the case relative to membership as well. They’re anticipating a day when the same sex couple sues the church for not allowing them to join the church, because they were in a same sex relationship, just as it wouldn’t have allowed them to join the staff. So I’m aware of more and more churches that are actually establishing covenants, that they’re asking and requiring their members to sign to remain in membership. And for new members to sign to become members in which they’re very specifically setting out as it were a code of conduct. And if you can’t sign this, you can no longer be a member of this church. First Baptist was important. Lauderdale Jacksonville is in Florida. recently made the news for making this very decision as one example of that, I think you’re going to see more churches doing this. As legalistic as it may sound as parasitical as it may feel, they’re going to have to do it for legal reasons, as well as wanting to be very clear about what they believe in who they are inside the church, as well as outside the church. We’re having a conversation right now about someone wanting to join your church. What do you do when a member comes out and wants to stay a member? What do you do when a member of your congregation, you discover was last weekend married to somebody of the same sex and still wants to teach Sunday school? still wants to volunteer in the children’s ministry? What do you do when a staff member comes out? These are the issues inside the membership with the organization as well as those that are considering membership. And I do believe you’re gonna see a revival of discipline, if for no other reason than because of the legalities involved in this.

 

Mark Turman  50:53

Well, and like I said, it’s, you know, I think of our friend Russell Moore, saying, you know, it’s not so much that lost people are unchurched people don’t believe what, what we say, we believe they’re wondering if we believe what we say we believe, and we’re trying to find this same same kind of principle applies, like when you have heterosexuals who, you know, I’ve had heterosexual couples come to my church, and they’ve been living together for months or years. And they, they want to join my church and not have a conversation about the choices that they’ve been, you know, I had, I had a couple, particularly a woman who got particularly angry with me, because I wouldn’t accept them into membership, because I asked them to change what they were doing relative to their living status, and they refused. And she just didn’t understand why we wouldn’t accept her into membership, and into full fellowship within our congregation. So it’s, I want to be careful here that our listeners understand we’re not targeting simply one, one behavior or one sin. This applies in a lot of different areas. Because we are we are broken and sinful in a lot of different ways. And, and every church like said, not simply legally, but for biblical reasons needs to think through this and needs. There has to be biblical, appropriate levels of accountability. And we see that in the book of Acts. We see it in a lot of different places. You know, I think a bunch of preachers like you and I are wondering, well, we just can’t wait to get to heaven and ask Jesus, about that woman that was caught in adultery. When he said to her go and sin no more, he forgave her, and then told her to go and sin no more. Well, what did she what happened if she ignored him and went and continued on with what she was doing in her adulterous behavior? We are all curious as to what he would have said in the next conversation. Right. And in this is that same kind of thing. But but let’s talk about a couple of things. While we have a few more minutes, that somewhat relate to this, but relate to the whole issue of trying to be salt in light. When we’re encountering people who are choosing to live in unbiblical ways. The apostle Paul deals with this in an extreme way. One of the phrases he uses about some of his colleagues is is he says that he handed them over to Satan. He’s obviously talking about somebody who is involved in an immoral, sinful action, and they are unrepentant. He’s, we would assume that he’s been particularly patient with them. And we might even use the word tolerant with them to a degree. But at some point, you might say his patience ran out. When you when you hear that phrase, in the Apostle Paul’s writings, he gave these individuals over to Satan. The rest of that verse says, For the destruction of their flesh, what is Paul talking about there? And how might it apply to us either personally, or congregationally?

 

Jim Denison  54:02

Well, the bottom line is we don’t know. As I understand that, as I understand the text, I could go back and do more exegesis of it. But we have options. It’s not as though I can say to you Well, in the first century, that phrase meant this. And because it always meant X, the answer to your question is x. It’s not that simple. I’m not aware that we have deidentified that one phrase handing them over to Satan, that they might be destroyed in the flesh meant we moved them out of church membership or whatever, they would have considered membership of the day or I stopped praying for them and interceding for their repentance and asked God to use the enemy’s attack against them to bring them to repentance. You know, kind of a deal. God deals with us as gently as he can, as harshly as he must sort of a thing you know, that’s a logical option. Another logical option is to hand them over to Satan that they might have the destruction of the flesh is to no longer allow them to be associated on any level with the body of Christ. At least now they’re in the realm of the prints of the power of the year. Now we’re in what Paul called the the god of this age, you know. And so it’s a binary world, you’re either living in fellowship of believers, or if you’re not, you’re living in fellowship with Satan himself. And so most people would say, it’s something along the lines of, we would say, D charging them something along the lines of expelling them from participating relationship with us something along those lines. But we’re not absolutely certain of that. And it could be that it has more spiritual than a communal conversation, or context. And it’s that he’s, he’s taught praying for, forgot to deal with him gently. And he’s allowing God to deal with them harshly God to remove his hand of protection from them so that the enemy can attack them in a way he couldn’t have before. Now you’re back to job and kind of hedge of protection sort of a thinking, the idea that he’s going to allow them the consequences of their sins, and the destruction of their flesh, which is the consequence of their sin in a way that wouldn’t have been the case previously. So. But that’s speculation, to my knowledge anyway, I could go do some exegesis and maybe get some more clarity. But as I understand that, Mark, we’re not entirely sure about that. Well, we do know, whatever he means by that is, this is such a serious issue, that the Holy Spirit inspired Paul, to write those words, not just for that context, but in Scripture that would be preserved for all time, church discipline, is that important? Helping believers live in biblical ways is that crucial, whatever that specific context is, we ought to be taking it as seriously as that and understand. It’s like my old youth ministry used to say, if you and the devil aren’t doing this, you’re probably doing this, you know, if you’re not opposed, if you’re not opposing them, you’re probably walking with the enemy. Probably not a third choice there. There’s a binary deal there on some level. And that’s how disastrous sin is. And that’s how disastrous the consequences of sin are. I’ve often said this. And I’ll say it one more time, sin will always take you further than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay and cost you more than you wanted to pay. And if right now, you’re thinking that doesn’t apply to you, it most applies to you. Crying, most deceived right now.

 

Mark Turman  57:10

Well, let me ask you one last question before we finish up. And that is, we’ve been talking a lot about Christians relating to Christians within the context of a local church, being accountable, hopefully, joyfully accountable to each other, to walk with Christ. But how does? How does our perspective change a little bit when it comes to relating to those who don’t claim to be Christians, and both living and speaking biblical truth into our culture into our relationships, particularly with people who make no claim to be Christ followers? How do we moderate or adjust our approach in that context?

 

Jim Denison  57:53

Once again, another good question, isn’t it? And I can understand how on one answer to that question, we could say, Look, that’s not my business. You’ve been talking about people wanting to join your church, for people that are already members of your church, I get that, I understand that you’re going to discipline your own kids, in a way you wouldn’t probably discipline somebody else’s kids at the supermarket. Right? And that there’s an understandable kind of a difference of conversation inside all of this. The other so that’d be one answer to the question as well, we really don’t have the right to do that they haven’t joined our church, they haven’t claimed our beliefs. They’re not a part of our fact pattern. They’re not a part of our worldview. So really, it doesn’t I don’t know, if I’m tolerating their belief that I am at the very least don’t think I have the right to be in that conversation with him. Well, unfortunately, for that point of view, we you and I can think of a great number of biblical examples that contradict that answer to the question. You can think in the book of Acts of the way that Paul spoke to sinners as he was in conversation with him think of Simon magus. Think of the way that Paul when he was speaking at Mars Hill was calling those philosophers that he was speaking with their to trust in the Lord and trying to do evangelism in a way that use their own culture against them as it were, but was very definitely exposing the, at the very least the logic of their of their belief structure. Why would you think that God made the universe we live in temples built by human hands, he’s kind of rebuking their logic. He’s rebuking their whole philosophical construct, that they’re

 

Mark Turman  59:20

really building it. Yeah, even I even think of John the Baptist speaking to Harriet about his moral behavior with his, you know, he went and basically stole his brother’s wife. And, and here’s John challenging him telling him you know, this person in power, what you’ve done maritally is wrong, and he’s speech is always a powerful example, I think.

 

Jim Denison  59:43

Yeah, Matthew 23. Jesus calling out the Pharisees and Sadducees as hypocrites. Yeah, well, they are anything but Christ followers, and yet he feels he needs to say that to them. So why would we do that when it feels as though we’re speaking to people that we don’t have the right to speak to at the end of the day if the house is on fire every But he’s in danger. My family members, people I’ve never met before, people have no idea who they are. If I’m living in an apartment complex, I want to get everybody in the apartment complex out, not just my family. Yeah, I’m going to discipline my kids differently at the supermarket than your kids, unless your kids are getting ready to climb up on the top of some shelf of groceries and fall off and break something. At that point, you want me disciplining your kids, for the sake of your kids. Again, I’m speaking the truth in love. Our culture wants us to believe that I’m imposing my morality on somebody else, when actually what I’m doing is giving people the same gift that’s been given me, I’m just paying forward the same grace that I’ve received. But I have to do it a little differently in this conversation points this out, I don’t in the mind of the person, I’m speaking to have the same right to have the conversation as I do, if it’s my own kids, and I’ve got to tread lightly. There, I’ve got to be aware of that. I want to ask permission to be into the conversation, I want to build relationship, before I don’t earn the right to be able to say hard truth, I want to be able to build that relationship with them so that they at some point will give me permission to speak into their lives in ways that they wouldn’t have prior to that bridge building. And so there’s certainly a relational construct, it’s part of this conversation. But at the end of the day, if the house is on fire, I should care about everybody in the house, and warn all of them in whatever way is most effective for them, whoever they might be.

 

Mark Turman  1:01:24

That’s a good word. Good word. Not easy for us to do that on a lot of occasions, but very important that we ask the Lord to equip and empower us to do that. And to do it well. Not with, not with anger, and certainly never ever ever with violence, but always with the most humble, grateful and and effective way that the Holy Spirit can lead us and that’s, you know, that’s a great thing. Right? Jim, there’s we can’t cover every possible scenario and any any conversation or resource that we have, but we always have the Holy Spirit to give us specific guidance and and instruction. He promised that he would give us the words in the way when it came time. And so we count on that. Jim, thank you for the conversation today. And thank you, as always for the ministry that you do the daily article and other work that you’re doing. Want to thank our audience at the DNI Dennison Forum Podcast, that if you like what you have heard today, please rate review us on your podcast platform. Share this with friends. That’s how a lot of people find out about these conversations and how they can be helped. And if you’re looking for more information about us, you can always find us at Denison forum.org. And you can also offer your questions there. There’ll be future opportunities for ask Jim and Jim, thanks again for being a part of the conversation.

 

Jim Denison  1:02:42

My privilege to be with you today, Mark and I second what you just said, so grateful for those who listen to our conversations and read our content. Materials and at the end of the day to be a content producer doesn’t do any good if someone who’s not a content, consumer as it were. And so just so grateful for those that we get to have these conversations with be able on some level to be in community with it’s a real honor for me and for our entire team.

 

Mark Turman  1:03:06

Absolutely. We look forward to hearing hearing from you again and look forward to the next time at the Denison Forum Podcast.

 

 

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