Dr. JD Greear and the Homosexual Compromise: Dangerously Accommodating the Homosexual Community, Part 4

This is the fourth article in this series. You may see the article on Revoice here, the article on Beth Moore here, and the article on Dr. Russell Moore here.

Dr. JD Greear serves as pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, and as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Greear promotes the use of transgender preferred pronouns.[1] He said, “When we apply Paul’s linguistic approach to the pronouns we use about transgender people, I believe we arrive at a posture of pronoun hospitality: a willingness to accommodate the pronouns of our transgender neighbors regardless of our own views about the Christian ethics of gender identity.”[2] He based this on Acts 17.

On January 19, 2019, he preached a sermon entitled How The Fall Affects Us. While he did speak about homosexuality in a manner that leaves him able to defend himself against charges of not believing homosexuality is sin, we can say he worked arduously, both directly and indirectly, at minimizing homosexuality’s sinfulness as depicted in Scripture. (See my blog, Subjective Transgenderism Contradicts Scripture.)

Greear goes on to quote Jen Wilkin, a woman whom he says is one of his favorite Bible teachers. She says, “We ought to whisper about what the Bible whispers about, and we ought to shout about what the Bible shouts about. And the Bible appears to whisper when it comes to sexual sin compared to it shouts about materialism and religious pride.”[3] While Greear was addressing homosexuality, as I am, it is important to note Wilkin’s refers to sexual sin, which would include heterosexual and homosexual sin.

It seems their determination of what Scripture whispers and shouts about is based on the number of times something is mentioned rather than what the Scripture actually says about a particular sin. Thus, something being mentioned more often would be considered shouting, whereas, a sin mentioned only a few times would be considered a whisper. We know their determination cannot be based on something being consistently denounced in Scripture since homosexuality receives only constant denunciations, which is why we find virtually the same in Christian history.

[4] We know it cannot be based upon the vileness of the sin calculated by its utter repudiation of God’s order because, in this regard, as far as sexual sins, homosexuality is eviler than heterosexual sexual sin. Homosexuality is a rejection of both God’s context for sex, marriage, and partner for sex, which is only male with female, whereas fornication is a repudiation of the context only; it is outside of marriage. Therefore, while both are sins, homosexual sin is one step further removed from God’s design than heterosexual sin.

The approach of counting the number of times something is denounced or labeled as sin is a flawed approach from the outset. Things are often repeated in Scripture (also true in any other setting) because they are more common; therefore, the problems and their corrective denunciations and prescriptions for correction are more common. But the mere fact that something is mentioned more often or more commonly does not automatically mean it is more serious (a shout), and things referred to less frequently are less significant (whispers).

For example, heterosexual sins are mentioned more in Scripture than homosexual sins. That does not mean the Bible is shouting about the former and whispering about the latter. It is typical because heterosexuality is normal, and therefore more common than homosexuality. Another biblical example is the unpardonable sin, which makes it the most eternally grave sin in Scripture. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is only mentioned three times, specifically in the New Testament (Matt 3:28-29; Mark 3:28-30; Luke 12:10).[5] Therefore, a sin’s few mentions tell us nothing about the gravity of the sin.

We see the fallacy of making the common more serious than the uncommon in everyday life. For example, you correct your child more often for disobeying minor things more than you do for disobeying in life-threatening ways, such as running in front of a car. But that does not indicate you take selfish acts of not sharing their toys more seriously than you would if your child runs into the street.

Consequently, I think it is an egregious error and misleading teaching to proclaim that Scripture “whispers” about “sexual sin.” Saying Scripture “whispers” about “sexual sin” is an error whether it addresses non-specific sexual sin as it does twice in the Ten Commandments and elsewhere (Exod 20:14, 17; Acts 15:20; 1 Thess 4:3-5), heterosexual sin in the New Testament (Matt 15:19; 19:9; 1 Cor 6:9; Heb 13:4), or homosexual sin (Gen 19:1-29, where the term sodomy came from Lev 18:2-3; 18:24; 20:23; Rom 1:22-27; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10).

We even see homosexuality implicitly relegated to sin in the first two chapters of Genesis since marriage is between a man and a woman, and homosexuals cannot fulfill the first command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:26-28; 2:18, 22-25). Notably, every time, without exception, that homosexuality is mentioned in Scripture, it is unequivocally condemned; that is to say, the Bible never speaks positively, or even neutrally or ambiguously, about homosexuality, which raises the question of why should we? Contrast this with the myriad of positive and holy statements about heterosexuality and heterosexual relationships.

Further, Greear’s promotion of using transgender pronouns exchanges clear creational biblical language for culturally loaded and biblically antithetical language (transgender language). That exchange necessarily undermines the gospel because he fails to speak the truth of what God says about one’s sex. And Greear fails to use words of biblical creation when they are needed most. The Bible, beginning in Genesis, speaks clearly about God as creator, and his created order as certain, particularly as it addresses marriage, sexual identity, adultery, fornication, and homosexuality.

The New Testament refers to God as creator and his creation in four different places when speaking of his witness to humanity so that people have an opportunity to know him (Rom 1:19-20; Acts 14:15-17; Acts 17:22-33; Rev 14:6-7).[6] Creation is evidence of God and can and should be used evangelistically. To intentionally mask it with tawdry words that undermine God’s creative order is sinful and eternally harmful to the transgender.

Resultantly, it is not hospitable to adopt terms and language that accommodate a person’s sin, which only masks their deep need for repentance and forgiveness. We should indeed use some contemporary words instead of ancient terms to communicate the truth of Scripture. The driving force behind this decision is to make the biblical message understandable to a modern audience. Some words in the King James come to mind; instead of quicken, charity, and verily, we use made alive, love, and truly, respectively. But we do so without losing the biblical language or what is precisely consistent with the biblical language. Claiming to be anything other than a male or female is in direct opposition to Scripture and is, therefore, neither hospitable nor biblical.

Even if actual biblical words that are relevant to knowing God, such as sin, believe, repent, and holiness, are unfamiliar to our audience, they cannot be ignored since they are essential to salvation and understanding Scripture. Instead, we must teach unfamiliar terms to a lost person or an ungodly culture. Greear’s adopted language obscures the sinfulness of the person, thereby thwarting his understanding of his need for the gospel of forgiveness in Christ. Greear proclaims everything is about the gospel, and I do not doubt his sincerity. But his language subverts and obstructs that very gospel.

[1] He also promotes social justice through God cursing his people.https://archive.org/download/82rg-gss-5-as-wm-mvny/82rgGSS5AsWmMVNY.mp4accessed 11/2/20;https://reformationcharlotte.org/2020/10/29/jd-greear-says-christians-are-cursed-since-they-dont-fight-for-gender-justice/accessed 11/2/20
[2] https://jdgreear.com/askmeanything/when-talking-with-a-transgender-person-which-pronoun-should-you-use/accessed 2/21/20.
[3] https://www.sovereignkingchurch.com/blog/jd-greear-peace-peace-on-sodomyaccessed 2/23/20.
[4] https://www.sovereignkingchurch.com/blog/jd-greear-peace-peace-on-sodomyaccessed 3/25/20.
[5] It may be referenced in a few places, such as Heb 2:3-4; 3:7-11; 6:4-6; 10:26-31.
[6] While creation alone is insufficient to result in salvation, if people receive the light of creation, God will get the gospel to them (Rom 1:20).

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Ronnie W. Rogers