Thinking about what a book cover design might look like in preparing for the Restored Hope Network Annual Conference. I went through the first 10 years of data (1989-1999) last night that I have received back from our survey results, statistics that will ultimately be in my book. I am preparing for my conference breakout, and I am very excited about the initial findings. The results are FULL OF HOPE! This is so important since the implosion of Exodus and it’s failed leadership churning out lies that no one changes, (the 99.9% lie). So grateful to God for HIS lovingkindness and His mercy that led me to repentance in 1983.
I attended a funeral today. Very difficult funeral, as it was an untimely death of a young man only 25 years old. Joseph William Clarkson, July 7, 1990 — April 24, 2016. This young man is the son of Kevin and Cherie Clarkson, Pastors of First Baptist Church of Moore, OK. Cherie’s brother, Pastor Tim Salter’s gave a closing message today. He talked about grief using the story from John’s Gospel about Lazarus, from chapter 11. He shared how people navigate grief. How Mary and Martha navigated their grief with Jesus. He talked about the amazing promise we have of resurrection in that Jesus Christ is truly the resurrection and the life. He shared a hope-filled message. He reminded the family to be very close and encouraging in navigating grief. He reminded all of us that life is short (James 4:14) and then he quoted from a plaque in the family home. “FORGIVE – Everyone, Everywhere, of Everything – ALWAYS! I was immediately reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel, chapters 6 and 18. The Lord reminded me I needed to continue to let all my betrayers and offenders to go into His hands, and to pray for those who despitefully use us. We are actually doing ourselves a big favor to forgive everyone, everywhere of everything, every day – Always. So, I created this image above as a reminder of the real rainbow, for we shall all see the real rainbow around the judgment seat of Jesus. We need to be ready always. We never know when death will arrive to take someone we love. We never know when it will be our time. Please pray for the Clarkson family as they begin the journey of mourning their great loss. My wife and I know this loss, we lost our Charity Hope four years ago on the same day the Clarkson’s lost their son. April 24th will always be a very challenging day for both of our families. May we become more like Jesus in our love and forgiveness.
The thorough research in the report link above: “This is The Way God Made Me” should be more than enough! However it is delightful to see gay activists themselves being honest enough to tell the truth, “No one is born gay, the idea is ridiculous!” – Camille Paglia.
One gay activist recently said: “We don’t care that we are not born gay! We love our gayness! Get over it Christian homophobes, deal with it and tolerate it already!”
I think it is time to tell the truth loudly! You have been lied to America!
Not only does Camille Paglia, speak the truth, but there is the recent work done by Dr. Lisa Diamond, another lesbian leader. My friend Karen Booth wrote an excellent article and posted on her blog, and I share it below the two excellent videos:
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Are People Born Gay? Genetic and Epigenetic Determinism in Homosexuality
Born Gay? Is Homosexuality Genetic/Biological? – Science Is In: The Short Answer is: NO! – No one is born gay!
Is homosexuality unchangeable? Are gays and lesbians exclusively attracted to their own genders? Does a person who experiences same-sex attraction always proceed developmentally to the acceptance of a homosexual orientation or the adoption of an LGB or “queer” identity?
Dr. Lisa Diamond
These are the kinds of questions that have intrigued sex researcherDr. Lisa Diamond, who teaches psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah. A self-identified lesbian and vocal supporter of same-sex marriage, she is considered by many in her field to be one of the nation’s foremost experts on female homosexuality. Her research since the mid-90s has primarily focused on the “fluidity” of women’s sexual behavior, attractions (orientation) and identity labeling; and when she published her findings in 2009 the shock waves were felt almost immediately throughout the LGBT community.
For example, the online introduction to one of her interviews on a local radio station put it this way: “The queer community has been obsessed with cultivating the idea that we all have fixed sexual identities. We’ve crafted terrific narratives and political platforms based on the notions that all gays are ‘born that way’. But what if sexuality is more complex? What if biology actually intersects with environment, time, culture and context? Could we possibly be more fluid than we’ve supposed?”
Now, her more recent discoveries about male and adolescent sexuality ― described in detail in this 45 minutevideo of a lecture she presented at Cornell University ― are poised to make a similar impact. Diamond is a very engaging speaker, and I encourage readers to watch the complete video. Otherwise, here are some of the highlights along with my commentary in italics. I also noted some of the minute markers in case anyone wants to fact check.
Those uninterested in the data are welcome to skip that section to get right to my conclusions and application to our current denominational situation.
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In an overview of her previous research, Diamond acknowledges that early studies of homosexuality focused mainly on the “coming out” models of young men, with the developmental sequence moving from an awareness of same-sex attraction at 9 or 10 years old, to a gradual sexual experimentation with other males, to a recognition and acknowledgement of a homosexual orientation, to an ultimate adoption and announcement of gay self-identity. This stereotypical model, with its subsequent conflation of attraction, orientation and identity, has become the accepted “conventional wisdom” of much of the culture and Church. Christian psychologist Dr. Mark Yarhouse dubs it “the gay script.”
Though her findings on women contradicted these patterns in many respects, Diamond still believed they were common for men. But she also acknowledged that it’s been almost impossible to accurately access male homosexuality because the samples have been small, non-random and self-selected, and the right kinds of questions haven’t been asked. (6:10)The same problem has plagued almost all sex researchers ever since the hopelessly flawed Kinsey studies in the late 40s and early 50s. And all of the studies are based on memory and self-report that may not be entirely accurate. (For more information on the Kinsey reports, see Chapter One of my bookForgetting How to Blush: United Methodism’s Compromise with the Sexual Revolution.)
So in her most recent research, Diamond has shifted her focus from women to men and adolescents in an attempt to confirm or disprove what she calls the three pillars of sexual fluidity ― non-exclusivity; inconsistency between identity, attraction and behavior; and, variability over time. (8:35) In doing so, she rigorously examined and plotted the findings of a dozen of the more recent large population studies from 1992-2010, including one in New Zealand that followed a group of young people from their late teens to early thirties.
Regarding the first “pillar” ― non-exclusivity ― she discovered that the majority of men who had experienced same-sex attraction (SSA) of any kind were PRIMARILY attracted to the opposite sex; those who were exclusively attracted to other men accounted for approximately 2.5 percent of the general population sample. Less than 1 percent of the women were exclusively SSA, and both of these results were consistent across all the studies. (14:36)
These statistics are far more accurate than the commonly heard claim that 10 percent of men and women are gay, usually thought of as exclusively so. That figure is based on a faulty interpretation of the Kinsey research, which actually reported that approximately 10 percent of the male population had engaged in homosexual behavior at some time during their life. Even this outcome was inflated well beyond Diamond’s findings (5-7 percent) because Kinsey used a disproportionate number of incarcerated “sex offenders” and urban-dwelling homosexuals in his sample.
To assess the inconsistencies among sexual identity, attraction and behavior ― the second “pillar” ― Diamond did her own sampling of 300+ Salt Lake City residents who were almost equally divided between those who self-identified as homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual. (20:48) The participants were asked questions about sexual attraction, romantic feelings (“falling in love”) and actual sexual partners. Stereotypically, one would expect to find neat divisions across the three identities. But this was not the case; for example, 42 percent of lesbian women and 40 percent of gay men reported some attraction to the opposite sex in the previous year, and 31 percent of gay men reported having had romantic feelings for women. (26:26) There was even more of what Diamond calls a “mish mash” between identity, attraction and behavior when the study participants had been 12-17 years old.
To track variability over time ― the third “pillar” ― Diamond analyzed the four stages of the New Zealand “National Attitudinal Study of Adolescent Health,” which tracked “gain” or “loss” of SSA among a group of young people at ages 16-17, 18-19, 24-27 and 29-31 years old. (29:00) During their late teens, more boys and girls were losing SSA than gaining, which was reversed by their mid-twenties with more of them gaining, and which was then reversed once more by their early thirties with more of them again losing SSA. This tendency toward fluidity was also evident in the measurements of gain or loss of opposite sex attraction (OSA), especially in their early twenties and early thirties. However, in contrast to the females, male attraction did tend to become more “fixed” over time, though not to the degree that Diamond expected. It would be interesting to see the results extended as the group continues to age.
Diamond concludes (37:27) that: 1. fluidity in identity, attraction and behavior is NOT specific to women but a general feature of human sexuality, one which is also confirmed by historical and cross-cultural literature; 2. the various sexual categories currently in use (LGBTQI, etc.) are usefulheuristics (mental shortcuts, rules of thumb, educated guesses or stereotypes), but though “they have meaning in our culture, … we have to be careful in presuming that they represent natural phenomena” (38:55); and 3. it is “tricky” to use these categories for advocating rights based on the concept of immutability “now that we know it is not true … As a community, the queers have to stop saying: ‘Please help us, we were born this way and we can’t change’ as an argument for legal standing.” (43:15)
My own major takeaways:
the majority of men and women who have experienced same-sex attraction to some degree either prefer opposite-sex attraction or have the potential to move in that direction; it’s unknown whether or not the small minority with a more fixed preference for SSA could also move in that direction under differing circumstances;
the majority of these men and women DO NOT follow the stereotypical “coming out” models of the “gay script;” and
patterns of sexual attraction, identity and behavior change profoundly over a young person’s lifetime, with most of the openness to “movement” toward heterosexuality occurring in the late teens and again in the late twenties.
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If you’ve followed my post this far, you may be wondering what all this fascinating (or not) information has to do with Christian faith or The United Methodist Church. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, utilized the concept of “plundering the Egyptians” to express the idea that Christians should borrow from all the best that culture has to offer in order to grow in knowledge and faith and to effectively share the gospel. I think that some of Diamond’s work falls into that category. Her political commitments make her no particular friend to moral traditionalists. But nonetheless, her research is an example of honest and relatively impartial scientific inquiry that refutes several of the false notions about homosexuality that pervade our culture and Church ― including the belief that the inclination is immutable and cannot be changed.
And even more to the point, Diamond’s research unwittingly confirms the potential for sexual transformation that is alluded to in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. If the verse “such were some of you” accurately describes the men and women whose sexuality changes naturally through the course of their lives, doesn’t it apply even more ― and bring additional hope ― to those who submit their fallen and sinful sexuality to the redeeming, sanctifying supernatural grace of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit?
We’re living in a time when more and more people, especially youngsters, are buying into the “gay script.” And we’re also living in a time when LGBT political activists are doing everything in their power tolegally prohibit and criminalize Sexual Orientation Change Efforts or SOCE. A solid understanding and clear communication of the “good news” of Dr. Diamond’s work gives believers one more tool for countering these ungodly trends.
And maybe someday, with God’s help, the rest of the secular therapeutic community ― along with politicians, academics, media elites and the culturally conditioned folk in our pulpits and pews ― will catch up to her.
I have the honor to speak again at this year’s Men’s Rewired Conference. This year’s conference is divided up into “Truth Tracks.” My Truth Track is: Becoming Men of Truth and Integrity in God’s Divine Intent for Sexuality. This truth track will encourage men to embrace God’s divine intent for their sexuality. The goal will be to embrace the Father’s truth and to be equipped with practical Biblical steps for freedom where one walks with consistent relational and sexual integrity. This will be a call of opening up one’s secret world of thinking before God, and then eventually before men who are safe to confess. We will discuss many verses of the Bible and in the discussion bringing practical application of the word of God so it becomes alive and active in the soul; not merely hearing the law being proclaimed. It is imperative that the word of God is received relationally in the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome all forms of sexual sin. When Romans 6:12-14 & Romans 12:1-2 is lived out in the power of God’s transformative–grace by the Holy Spirit, God’s Word and His perfect Ways bring about change and joy in men’s lives!
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:12-14
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
Key Verse: God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…, So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Imago Dei). Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it…” (Gen. 1:26a, 1:27a).
Identify: Knowing the amazing plan and gift of God in ‘Imago Dei’ (the image of God in male and female) and His Divine Intent for Human Sexuality. The goal of God is for men to be conquerors in the divine romance.
Immerse: Exploring the Biblical Truths to impart the power (grace) of God in a world that has made sexual sin normal.
Share: Embracing wholeness as a new normal in community and in confession – cultivating hearts of integrity.
Endure: Becoming men of consistent accountability and integrity who celebrate being God’s sexual beings created in His image as givers of life.
I will be one of several speakers this year’s Men Rewired Conference. I look forward to sharing these four truth tracks: Identify, Immerse, Share and Endure. These tracks will empower us in overcoming common struggles and enduring as men of integrity in our sexuality.
We have now entered into 2016 in the Central Time Zone of the United States!
I have a New Year blessing for you! May we all find Jesus more dear to us than all of other years! May we find the Holy Word of God more intriguing than any worldly entertainment. May we find Jesus Christ as our the true source of enjoyment in life. May we all find more fulfilled lives living for others, as we are truly eternally conscience — that our lives are a mere vapor! May the Lord Jesus Christ bless every home with His peace, amazing grace, glorious health, and true prosperity, more than in previous years!
Set your mind on things above! Set your mind on Heaven, where Jesus rules and reigns!
Put to death your members, the desires of your flesh body (be a doer) – put to death fornication (living together and having sexual relations outside of marriage), put to death uncleanness, put to death evil lusts and passions, covetousness and idolatry! Putting to death requires doing! To be a doer of God’s word is not legalism, His grace provides power. You cannot even know or see to be a doer – to put to death the deeds of the flesh without grace. The question becomes, “Will you humble yourself to receive God’s empowering grace?”
Receive the warning that the wrath of God is on those who practice such things… in other words, if you justify the sinful behaviors found in Colossians Chapter 3 and elsewhere found in the New Testament, you are already under the wrath of God = equals = being turned over to your sins.
IF you are truly a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord, you put to death the deeds of the flesh – damnable behavior, because of GRACE. His grace actually gives you the ability to see it is a life and death matter!
You also put away: anger, hatefulness, wrath, evil communication from your mouth, and you do not practice lying.
Because you are now holy, you PUT ON tender mercies, kindness and humility, with all longsuffering and patience walking out forgiveness because you have been forgiven. Putting on, is being a doer of God’s word.
Wives truly submit to your husbands, and husbands truly love your wives and forgive them. Children are to always obey, respect and honor their parents. Fathers be kind to your children and do not provoke them to bitter roots. Obey your bosses. Submission, loving, forgiving, obeying respecting and honoring all require being a doer.
This cup represents a very peaceful quiet morning being present to the Lord – I’m enjoying The Lord, thoroughly loving His presence in the word and in the Holy Spirit today. When I woke this morning the Holy Spirit reminded me of being present to Him as of the utmost important ‘one thing’ so that I (we) might be present to others in His power.
So beloved, what gift of the Lord are you to others? What presence do you bring to another? Whether an actual children of God or to an unbeliever? As I was thinking today, it starts with us having the cup of our hearts full. We must have a heart full of gratefulness. We embrace being a good offering by being a soul of overcoming the lusts of this life and bitterness.
Therefore, we must embrace the Cross.
Today’s cup of gratefulness for me is a remembrance of this past week of the Lord’s presence and faithfulness in my small group at the Desert Streams Ministries’ National Living Waters Training in Kansas City. I had the privilege to serve four amazing men. Two Catholic priests, one ordained Catholic deacon and one evangelical pastor. These men are forever changed by their experience in this national training. My heart is so full! I am coming down from the exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and the emotional and spiritual high of this past week!
In the midst of this past week, the Lord repeatedly reminded me that I was His priest as I worshipped Him quietly, and during my service in the present of other priests. The Lord in His great encouragement blessed me yesterday as I received a prophetic ministry time at the International House of Prayer in KC. The Lord spoke to me as I was in worshipped once gain with the new song, Good, Good Father “listen to what they will tell you during the prophetic ministry time, it is from Me, and you will know it is from Me, because they will tell you that you are My chosen priest.” I had some doubt, yet I pondered this as I worshiped.
Sure enough, they did tell me incredible things. A woman named Amanda, told me that I’m a Royal Courageous Priest – she said – “you are a priest to the nations.” This was an incredible anointed time. The prophetic words spoken to me in context of everything that has happened in the past month made so much sense. My cup is full!
I’m so full of the Lord’s presence, today and I want to guard this treasure of His presence with all my heart, to love Him first, worship Him always and to love others more deeply. This is no simple task. It requires death to self. Some of my Bible reading this morning was 2 Cor. 4.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.So death is at work in us, but life in you.” 2 Cor. 4:7-12
Yet like this cup of coffee this morning, our Father provides the best. This cup of coffee is exotic beans freshly ground, French press, with fresh anise and Vietnamese cinnamon with fresh natural local honey for the sweetener and some half / half. He is so kind to us, and provides well. We all have so much to be grateful. What do you have that has not been given to you from God? 1 Cor. 4:7 We have been given everything we need pertaining to life and godliness if we can merely believe in His love for us and that He really has so much more for us. My cup is full! Won’t you let Him be your All and All and let Him fill your cup?