At the very heart of what Sam Allberry teaches is the basic premise that “we are all sexual sinners”. Sam writes, “All of us are fallen in this area of life. All of us experience disordered desires that affect our sexual desires as well. So all of us are sexual sinners. Same-sex attraction is a particular way in which that fallenness works its way out in my life. So I tend to use that language.”
This is the very foundational issue that must be examined in light of the Word of God. I am afraid that because sexual sin is so prevalent in our society, and even in churches, that most Christians will hear the above statement and think it is true. They will arrive at their understanding of the Bible, not based on what the Bible teaches, but what their experience tells them.
I would lovingly plead with every reader of the article to listen to what the Bible says on this crucial topic. If Sam is correct that “we are all sexual sinners”, what hope is there for the church? However, Sam’s statement is utterly false and I will use the Bible to show that. For those who are willing to take the time to examine this teaching further, here is a lengthier article I have written on the subject entitled Believers: Sinners or Saints.
In this article I intend to be brief. There are only two groups of people in the world, believers in Jesus Christ and unbelievers. The Bible describes these two groups in various ways: wise/fool, righteous/wicked, saints/sinners. I realize that we have heard all our life that every human being is a sinner. That is true when all people are born into this world. However, at conversion, a change takes place. A man is “born again” and becomes a new creation. He is transformed from being a person who loves sin into someone who hates sin. This is called repentance. It doesn’t mean that person becomes sinlessly perfect or never has to battle sin again.
In fact, the opposite is true. As long as we are in the world we will have to continue this war against sin (1 Peter 2:11). However, the believer in Jesus Christ has now been set free from sin’s dominion (Romans 6:14). Paul describes the believers in Rome as “saints” (Romans 1:7) and as people who were slaves of sin before conversion, but now “having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18).
For the sake of brevity, let me quote from two well-respected men. Dr. Owen Strachan is the Associate Professor of Christian Theology, Director Of The Center For Public Theology, Director Of The Residency PhD Program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and past President of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The other man is Dr. John MacArthur, Pastor of Grace Community Church in California. Dr. MacArthur.
Dr. Owen Strachan writes this regarding the term sinner and the SSA person’s identity, “In Christ we have a new identity, a new self-understanding, a new daily experience. To the core of our being, we are remade. We are, in fact, renamed. The central truth about us is brand-new. We have taken on the name “Christian,” and lost the name “sinner” which we once did so much to deserve.
Very simply, Dr. Strachan rightly says that Christians no longer have the name sinner. We have a new identity. It isn’t a “gay Christian”, a “same-sex attracted Christian”, a “pornography attracted Christian”, it is “Christian” or “saint”. That is who the believer is in Christ.
Now consider this lengthier quote from Dr. John MacArthur in his messages and commentary from James 4:8 and then James 5:20. In James 4:8 where James says, “cleanse your hands you sinners”, MacArthur offers this commentary in his study Bible on the word sinners: “a term used only for unbelievers”.
Could he make it any clearer that a Christian is not a sinner? Yes, he can! Consider his commentary on James 5:20 when he describes the “sinner”. Even on his website the word “sinner” is in bold. Please read his entire commentary below and ask the question, Why do we still call ourselves sinners when the Bible is so plain?
My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.(James 5:19–20)
James defines the wanderer from sound doctrine and godly living as a sinner—a word used in Scripture of the unregenerate (cf. Prov. 11:31; 13:6, 22; Matt. 9:13; Luke 7:37, 39; 15:7, 10; 18:13; Rom. 5:8; 1 Tim. 1:9, 15; 1 Pet. 4:18), not believers. The term sinner frequently describes hardened unbelievers, those who openly, defiantly disregard God’s law; those whose evil character is apparent to everyone; those whose wickedness is common knowledge. Genesis 13:13 described the men of Sodom as “wicked exceedingly and sinners against the Lord.” The opening verse of Psalms declares, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!” (Ps. 1:1). Verse 5 of that same psalm adds, “The wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.” Sinners are defined in Psalm 51:13 as those who need to be converted to God, while Proverbs 11:31 contrasts the wicked sinner with the righteous.
In the New Testament the term sinner invariably describes those outside the kingdom of God. Jesus declared in Matthew 9:13, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Sinners are those whose repentance causes joy in heaven (Luke 15:7, 10); it was when he cried out “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” that the tax collector “went to his house justified” (Luke 18:13–14). It was “while we were yet sinners” that “Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8); indeed, “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15).
A sinner, then, is someone who is without God and Christ, and so in need of salvation; it is a word of characterization. The apostle John writes, “The one who practices sin is of the devil. … No one who is born of God practices sin” (1 John 3:8, 9). While Christians may sin, sin will not be their continual, unbroken practice; it will not characterize their lives. A sinner, on the other hand, is one who continually, habitually practices sin. Such people John declared to be children of the devil, not of God.
Realizing the terrible fate that awaits unrepentant sinners should motivate believers to call to salvation those who stray from the truth. Nothing less than each person’s eternal soul is at stake—his most priceless possession (cf. Mark 8:36–37). Psuche (soul) refers to the whole person (the Septuagint uses it in Gen. 2:7), particularly the inner, immortal person who lives in the mortal body.
For those who want to be honest about God’s Word, we must reject Sam Allberry’s lie that “we are all sexual sinners”. We must believe the Bible’s clear truth that every Christian is a saint. To those who are serious about following Christ, let us stand against those who deceive the masses by rejecting the Bible truth in this area.
For those who claim SSA, I urge you to begin to believe the Bible about how a true believer in Christ is described. Stop destroying churches by spreading Satan's same-sex atrraction agenda.J