Yesterday I officiated a Memorial Service for Lezlie Brown. I’ve known Lezlie for many years. My dear friend had been in a long battle with Multiple Myeloma Leukemia, Lezlie’s obituary can be read here. As a part of the service in “Remembering Our Dear Friend Lezlie” and spoke on Heaven. Several people made comments after the service and wanted to know more. I made the following video and I also have a dedicated page on Heaven here. The verses can be found in Revelation 21 and 22.
There is one way you can tell a sheep from a wolf in the Church. How do you discern sheep and wolves? Sheep are always feasting on the word of God, always desiring to please the Shepherd. Guess what wolves eat? They eat sheep and attack shepherds. Do you find yourself always attacking other devout Christians, making fun of the Church and attacking pastors that teach the Word of God and holiness? Do you call pastors who emphasize obedience a legalist? If you do, you might be a wolf in desperate need of salvation.
You might be undera perverse-hyper-grace teacher if you hear these things being taught in your church or community. This is very important as it is a segue to the promotion of “gay Christianity.”
I write today with the deepest of sorrow and concern for what I’ve seen taking place in the Church concerning the embracing of “gay Christianity.” I have taken some inventory of the causes, and made a list of cautions below. The main cause is poor theology and unbiblical teaching of grace. The simple list I compiled is for your use to ask yourself if you are being influenced by a perverse-hyper-grace teaching.
This teaching of hyper-grace or perverse-grace isn’t new, yet many report a new revelation. It is merely the old demonic antinomianistic teaching from the 1500’s now resurrected by several modern day “grace” teachers. It is heretical and full of pride when some of these teachers communicate they have received a new divine revelation from God on grace. They communicate that this revelation is even greater than all the reformers of the Church. Yet it isn’t new at all. It is antinomianism repackaged. Antinomianism simply means you don’t have to obey any laws of God, because you are under grace. What is very alarming to us at First Stone is that this perverse-grace teaching is permeating the Church at large by giving a segue to “gay Christianity.” My grief in this teaching is that many are embracing “gay Christianity” as a new revelation of grace and have gone back to damnable sinful behavior leading to destruction (1). What a tragedy!
This teaching is truly a subtle demonic plan to lead the Church to apostasy. I have seen the increase of this heretical teaching since 2012 with the Exodus International debacle where the board of Exodus empowered Alan Chambers in his own “gay Christian” thinking. This caused Exodus to implode under the reign of Clark Whitten, Chairman of Exodus and Alan Chambers, President. Under their leadership, many returned to homosexuality, the fruit of this heretical teaching. I write this today as we continue to see terrible results with souls and families devastated. Here are two simple checklists of red flags and warnings about this perverse-hyper-grace teaching leading souls astray.
You ARE under a perverse-hyper-grace teaching if the teacher is saying any of the following FALSE statements:
⚑ You do not need to confess your sins any longer to God because 1 John 1:9 is not written to Christians.
⚑ Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit does not come to convict you of sin.
⚑ The idea that the Holy Spirit comes to convict you of sin is a grotesque misrepresentation of repentance and that it was heathenish.
⚑ Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit will not make you feel guilt, shame nor rebuke you about your sin.
⚑ You do not or cannot grieve the Holy Spirit when you sin.
⚑ Jesus Christ plus nothing equals everything, as you do not need to do anything to please God.
⚑ You do not need to fear God, as God is completely pleased with you because of what Jesus did on the cross.
⚑ God is not moved by anything you do, good or bad.
⚑ Jesus did not die to mortify your behavior, so don’t be too conscientious about sin.
⚑ Prayers for forgiveness and praying for the salvation of loved ones are a waste of time because God has already saved the world. Forgiveness is not something God does; it’s something He’s already done.
⚑ A repentant life is not really necessary because you were forgiven when you believed in Christ.
⚑ You cannot make God mad; He is never displeased with you no matter what you do.
⚑ You will not receive any extra blessings by being obedient to God.
⚑Sinning is merely a violation of friendship—relationship—not a violation of the law of God.
⚑ Under this new divine revelation of grace, you are free to sin because you are a saint.
⚑ When the Church tells you to die daily, it is legalism.
⚑ You are completely sanctified today; you do not and cannot become more sanctified or holy as you are today.
⚑ The teachings of Jesus Christ or His words in the Gospels do not apply to us today as they did to the New Testament believers.
⚑ Humility is considered debasement and a teaching of weakness.
⚑ Being broken over sin or weeping over sin is considered abuse of people in the church.
⚑ Giving assurance to unrepentant sinners that they are eternally secure.
I sincerely hope that, if you have heard these statements as a teaching, you have rejected them. These statements are not the truth. These statements are heretical teaching and lead many astray and deny the Lordship of Christ.(2) It is necessary to study the Scripture to overcome these false statements.
You MIGHT be under a perverse-hyper-grace teaching or leanings towards hyper-grace if the teacher is saying any of the following ambiguous statements or is taking any of the following positions in the local church:
⚑ The teacher never speaks of sin.
⚑ No preaching on hell, or hell is rarely talked about. Everyone goes to heaven.
⚑ A belief that hell is not forever, or much different from orthodox teaching on hell.
⚑ The teacher or the church believes that the fear of God is not needed or that the fear of God means merely respect for God.
⚑ The Old Testament is ignored or considered irrelevant for our day.
⚑ Leaders in various positions under the staff in the church are living immorally, and it goes unnoticed or is not confronted.
⚑ Sin is not confronted in the membership.
⚑ Underestimating the power of sin, and ignoring those who call attention to sin and suggest that we must wrestle with our sin.
⚑ The Word of God is not used as the primary source of teaching.
⚑ There is an over emphasis on being positive and happy, rather than confronting sin in the Church and being conformed into the image of Jesus.
⚑ Prophets or the prophetic voice is not highly respected in the church.
⚑ An over-emphasis on eternal security without emphasizing a lifestyle of repentance. Teaching that a simple prayer will obtain eternal security rather than a surrendered life to Jesus Christ as Lord.
⚑ When believers stress obedience to Christ, they are deemed legalistic or derogatorily called Pharisees.
⚑ The teacher has a mocking or sarcastic presentation about those who confront their teaching on grace.
In closing here are a couple of quotes from Dr. Michael L. Brown’s book, “Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message” which is an excellent resource on this subject. I highly recommend reading this book for further understanding, as he addresses almost all the points above.
“Simply stated, there is not a single verse anywhere in the Bible that pronounces us already forgiven for our future sins (meaning, sins we have not yet committed). Not one verse. Nowhere. Not even a hint of such a concept.” – Dr. Michael L. Brown
“Again; thousands are deceived into supposing that they have “accepted Christ” as their “personal Savior,” who have not first received Him as their LORD. The Son of God did not come here to save His people in their sin (to continue in sin), but “from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). To be saved from sins, is to be saved from ignoring and despising the authority of God, it is to abandon the course of self-will and self-pleasing, it is to “forsake our way” (Isa. 55:7). It is to surrender to God’s authority, to yield to His dominion, to give ourselves over to be ruled by Him. The one who has never taken Christ’s “yoke” upon him, who is not truly and diligently seeking to please Him in all the details of life, and yet supposes that he is “resting on the Finished Work of Christ” is deluded by the Devil.” – Dr. Michael L. Brown
Please take the following Scriptures to heart, although many “grace” teachers would tell you that 1 John was not written to Christians. As you read, you can see plainly, it is written to Christians.
”And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 John 1:5-10, 1 John 2:1-6
“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” 1 John 3:21
Grace is truly extravagant. Grace truly reveals components of mercy and love. Grace clearly shows what God did for us in sending His own Son to die on the cross in our place. This extravagant and amazing grace revealed at the cross is an amazing gift to those who truly believe. We can have forgiveness of all sin and complete atonement, as though we had never sinned. Grace saves and not works. No man can boast except in the blood of Jesus Christ. He is extravagant in His sacrifice and love for us. The Holy Spirit of Grace actually comes to live inside the true believer in Jesus Christ. This grace, the very presence of Jesus, brings salvation and teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust in this life, and that we can be overcomers living sober and godly lives now. This amazing extravagant grace does not leave true believers in a lifestyle of sin; it changes their minds, their thinking, their desires. Grace also puts a longing in the hearts of true believers to look forward to His coming. (3)
If you need further help to understand this wonderful concept of grace and how it is applied in our lives, please read Dr. Michael Brown’s book, and you can certainly feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
— A Christian Paradigm Shift on Suffering – For the Mature In God —
ONLY IN THIS LIFE can we give a real sacrifice of worship and praise… and the more difficult or complex the trial, the sweeter the offering to God can be — IF — you will worship the LORD in the midst of great suffering, being fully surrendered in obedience to Him. When the suffering is the greatest, especially in something like the unexpected death of an adult child (our Charity Hope) with so many shattered dreams, OR something like betrayal — at the deepest levels, or financial distress like bankruptcy, or in the greatest of physical sufferings—> THIS IS WHEN you can truly bring a SPECIAL beautiful gift of worship to the LORD! Praising God in the easy times is a good, but a small offering, not to be compared to the offering of praising and worshipping HIM at His feet in great suffering and brokenness, this is a precious gift. Knowing that God is good, and love and worshipping HIM in the midst of great adversity. This type of extravagant worship can ONLY be given in this life during the greatest time of suffering. WORSHIP THE LORD ALWAYS IN EVERYTHING and “giving thanks, always in everything, in all circumstances, for this is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus!” (1 Thess. 5:18)
“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man, and greatly use him until He has hurt him deeply.” ― A.W. Tozer
Looking forward to sharing my part in this conference giving a Biblical response with clarity, compassion, love and truth about so-called “gay-Christianity.” I am personally honored to be sharing with this great team, especially my friend Dr. Michael Brown. Please share the link for the details on the conference
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.