I recently celebrated my 18th year of being saved. In a recent post, I shared my testimony of what happened. But I also wanted to tell you about what happened the next day and how God used Kim Burrell. Though I’d been filled with the Holy Spirit and my life had been changed the night before, I still woke up to the reality of unemployment and possible homelessness. I didn’t quite understand what happened to me because for the next several days, I didn’t want to do what I usually did. I usually started my mornings off with a blunt. I usually woke up to someone being in my bed. I usually woke up to music blaring in the background. This morning I didn’t. And for the next several, I wouldn’t.
Because I wasn’t doing my usual thing, I attempted to talk myself out of my conversion. I’d say things like, ‘How am I supposed to live? I can’t get high, have sex or even listen to music.’ You see, I have an unusual appreciation for it. But somehow, I instinctively knew I could no longer listen to Scarface, 8 Ball and MJG. This was in 1998, before Christian Rap was an official genre, so who was I supposed to listen to? A woman who’d become like a second mother, just so happened to let me use her car. She always listened to gospel stations. So as I drove, I turned the volume up, expecting to hear old time gospel. Instead, I hear Kim Burrell. Though the beat wasn’t my usual preference, there was something unusual about her voice that made me pay attention to the lyrics.
‘And I vow to You right now to never be the same…
Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you as a brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy’, which is your job…
Unto God it is your job. To give Him everything, every part of you…
So I give You my heart, my mind, my soul, my praise, my money.
It all belongs to the Father. I give it all to You…everything1…’‘
Before I know it, I’m driving to the grocery store with tears streaming from my eyes; wanting Who and what she sang about.
Headlines and Hell
Though I’d only been saved a few hours, I knew Romans 12:1 would play a vital role in my life, so ‘I vowed’ I’d do it. And 14 years later, I am still presenting my body as a living sacrifice. But what am I sacrificing? Interestingly enough, sex. And this is where my 14-year sacrifice meets today’s headlines. Headlines that accuse Kim Burrell of being homophobic and allegedly saying, ‘All gays are going to hell’. So, let’s begin by addressing the latter. Revelation 21:8 says, ‘But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.’ The word ‘whoremonger’ is pórnos in Greek and is defined as ‘a man who indulges in unlawful sex2’. Based on that definition, it is easy to assume that this is referring to ‘gay men’. But before we jump to conclusions, let’s look further at the definition of ‘man.’
Men and Mankind
The first time the word ‘man’ appears, in the Bible, is in Genesis 1:26, 27 where God says, ‘Let Us make man in Our own image, after Our likeness…so God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.’ We see here that when God created man, He created both male and female, at the same time. Though the male man, Adam was formed first, ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul3.’ Eve, the female man, was not made until Genesis 2:22, ‘And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman’. Therefore, the whoremongers Revelation 21:8 is referring to are men and women who indulge in unlawful sex. Now the question becomes what is unlawful sex? Before we answer that, let’s address sex so that we can better understand the lawfulness behind it.
What is Sex?
Over time, the definition and act of sex has changed. It is even said that the act of sex is not in the Bible. This is because the terminology is incorrect. In today’s vernacular, we often refer to sex as intercourse. Therefore, we should begin our study on the history of intercourse. When you do, you’ll discover that the Latin etymological origin for the prefix ‘inter’ means ‘between4’. While ‘course’ denotes ‘onward movement5’. Hence, we get the act of a man going ‘between’ or penetrating a woman’s vagina in an ‘onward’ motion. Fast forward from its early Latin origin to the year 1540, and its meaning changed to ‘social contact and relations6.' And by 1798, sex or intercourse simply became known as ‘sexual relations7.’ As you can see, both the meaning and the act itself has changed over time. And with this change, came confusion. That’s because sex or intercourse is not the most accurate way to describe the act. In order to get an accurate definition and understanding of sex, you must go back to the garden of Eden, to the beginning of time, to discover its origin.
The Origin of Sex
Again, the terms intercourse or sex are not used throughout scripture. It is often referred to as ‘knew, know, or known’. In Genesis 4:1, we find the first couple having sex; ‘…Adam knew Eve his wife.’ We know this because afterward ‘she conceived.’ There are several other instances in the Bible that confirm this: Genesis 4:17, 25, 38:26, Judges 11:39, 19:25, 1 Samuel 1:19, 1 Kings 1:4, and Matthew 1:25. Therefore, Genesis 4:1 is the first historical evidence and thus establishes it as the first act of sex. Which means we have a point of origin and can better understand its original intent and/or purpose. Next, we need to delve into the lawfulness of sex; the conditions, boundaries, and jurisdiction.