Scandalous Good News by Andrew Comiskey
A Forward by Stephen Black: I am always on the hunt to find messages that will really prophetically rivet my soul to its core. I have recently been touched by two messages that seem to be bookends to what is relevant in our day. I am always looking for messages that will speak in context to the ministry we provide at First Stone Ministries; as we want to be a source of life-giving ministry and hope to the relationally and sexually wounded. Last year, in 2015, Christopher West’s offering at the National Restored Hope Network (RHN) conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania was profoundly prophetic. He gave a message called, “Theology of the Body, Sexual Redemption and the New Evangelization.” As West was delivering this message to several hundred people at the RHN conference, another delivery took place in our nation. The Supreme court ruled that homosexual marriage should be made legal in our country. Truly the extremes of life and death, light and darkness were revealed to the discerning.
This year, at the 2016 National RHN Conference outside of Chicago, Andrew Comiskey gave a very timely message that serves as a prophetic warning to the Church. I believe this warning is especially needed for evangelicals that are more susceptible to the growing deception toward embracing “gay Christianity.” Evangelicals are more likely than ever before to embrace the mixture of the cheap-grace messaging, adding the validation of same-sex sexual orientation and then pouring in a once prayed, always saved message. The outcome of this mixture has caused many to embrace “gay Christianity.” Andrew Comiskey gives a warning as he shares his own story of how this “gay Christian” messaging infiltrated his own home through the “Spiritual Friendship” movement with the so-called celibate gays, who are calling for the Church to embrace “gay Christianity” as a dangerously deceptive and corrupting option. Below is the video and the text to Andrew’s address at the Restored Hope Network Conference in June of 2016 outside of Chicago. Please listen to this message today!
Scandalous Good News – by Andrew Comiskey (text below transposed from audio/video)
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We at RHN represent one thing: how Jesus Christ transforms persons impacted by same-sex attraction (and other gender-related disorders). Yet applying the good news of His crucifixion and resurrection to what has affliction us has become a scandal in our culture today. We whom HE has charged to bear witness of His glorious cross and thus share in that invitation of HIS cross. As we testify to the exchange of the stronghold of ‘gay’ desires and gay selves for Christ-likeness, we incur disgrace from the world and worldly Christians. ‘For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God’ (1 Cor. 1:18).
How many of us now face closed doors due to the word of our testimony? How many of us have encountered the dreadful blend of unbelief and false mercy in Christ’s members who in turn have made us unwanted members? In my wonderful church, in my parish, I prayed and worked a long time to get a Living Waters group started there. It is just one of the many beautiful streams that were being released in the community. I worked hard for it; I had a wonderful pastor who persevered with me and finally gave the go ahead.
In the first year were amazing, protected, signs and wonders. All manner of persons with sexual brokenness were coming and receiving help in the house of God. Towards the end of that year, I felt like the Holy Spirit said, “Well, hang on because the glory days are going to change.” Sure enough, as soon as we had finished this wonderful cycle, the priest came to me and said, “I think we need to talk.” This began a series of meetings in which he beautifully advocated for me and for our work from all kinds of people who had come out of the woodwork in the church as having discovered what we were doing as we gathered in our brokenness and exchanged our sins and our wounds for the healing work of Jesus.
I’m going to tell you a little bit about what happened to me as I walked through a kind of a gauntlet that I think represents what we are facing in our churches as we seek to offer the good news of healing. ‘For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is up to such a task?’ (2 Cor. 2:15-16).
Only the person founded on Christ Crucified—more alive than ever to His transforming love and not surprised at all by the scandalous good news we bear. Our word for scandal is from the Greek word ‘scandalon’ or stumbling block; this is the word St. Peter uses when he describes how Jesus has become the ‘scandalon’ for those who do not believe Him, but for us, who do believe Jesus, rejected stone has become everything (1 Peter 2.)
The servant is not greater than the Master. St. Peter encourages us in 1st Peter 4:12-14: ‘Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trail you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.’
Let’s look at this: v. 12: ‘Don’t be surprised…’ Frankly, I was surprised when a group of people from my church rose up and tried to snuff out the work of my hands. I was surprised. I was scandalized. I resorted to worldly thinking that I’m a nice person. This is volunteer service. No one is getting rich on this. I’m just offering myself to broken people out of the mercy that I have received, but I was responding like a sentimentalist. We have to think deeper people. It’s not well, I’m nice; you be nice, too. That is not how it works, today, when it comes to the reality of the redemption of gender and sexual brokenness.
The issue is not about being nice. It is fundamentally about how we understand and convey God’s will for humankind. Pope Emeritus Benedict wrote this, “A church that does not have the courage to publically highlight how she understands humanity – made in God’s image as male and female – is no longer the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” It may help to review some of the changes in values and thought that has occurred in Western culture in the last century. At the risk – and I do risk this – of oversimplifying a complex shift, we might describe this as the rise of a kind of secular individualism which emphasizes, as you might expect, the needs of the individual, especially persons who have been perceived as having been diminished by Judeo-Christian values.
The church, of course, on the other hand, emphasizes community life which is ordered and sustained by reliance upon God. Valuing the whole, the community, has special relevance for sexuality and gender as both involve the creation and the rearing of new members of the community. The church understands the human person as created by God and necessarily subject to self-evident truths in order to flourish. These truths include clarity of gender identity, integrity of sexual boundaries, and championing the new life that results from sexual love.
‘Individualism’ challenges the Church on the basis that she hinders human freedom. Such values are framed as ‘discriminating’ against individuals based on diverse gender identities and sexual practices. The individualist may believe sincerely that anyone who employs ‘faith’ to limit sexual and gender freedoms is oppressing good people.
Empowering the individualist’s vision is the deceptive pairing of sexual civil rights with ethnic ones. Ethnicity is in truth an unchanging, beautiful and God-ordained reality that cannot even be compared to sexual disorder. Tell that to Obama who sincerely believes that he has furthered the legacy of Martin Luther King by making ‘gay the new black’ and now has taken it a step further by insisting that gender identification be a matter of choice, not one’s biological birthright. We now live in a state of such confusion in which persons who stand for gender clarity as a human good and a condition of human flourishing are considered on par with ethnic bigots, small–minded haters who oppress individuals with bad outdated religion.
Every one of us at Restored Hope Network live under that judgment now. Let’s just get it straight. No matter how sweet you are; no matter how kind you are; no matter how low key you are; you are now seen by the eyes of the powers in our culture, that prevail as one on par with, maybe even less than, an ethnic bigot. And in truth, where we as Christians have been heavy-handed in upholding an ideal without offering mercy to a person, where we have failed to bear with a broken person in order to help him or her realize the freedom intrinsic in her daughterhood, his son-ship—then we need to be judged.
Nevertheless, in light of all the refinement we need to become better healing operatives for those that we are championing, we must hold fast to what is actual and good and true for all persons. That good is founded upon our faith in the Creator who made us all in HIs image as male or female and who has become our Redeemer.
God has a vested interest in confirming the clarity of our gendered personhood and the integrity of our sexual boundaries. He pre-ordained the children who will be conceived from our redemption and the spiritual children who will flourish because of it. And He knows the dark shadow that has been cast over our culture by a well-intentioned but misdirected individualism that fails to recognize the Creator—His vision for humanity, His grief over our disordered state, and His joy in our redemption. In refusing the Creator, individualism refuses what actually dignifies the creature.
It is up to us my friends to ensure that we stay aligned with the dignity our Creator and Redeemer ascribes to His creatures. Our critics may be right in pointing out how the Church has often focused on divine ideals without dealing with the reality of people. In this way, we must make every effort to champion real human freedom by walking with persons into the greater good that God has in store for them.
For that call, however clear, and however compassionate, we are, we will be scandalized. We shall be framed as a stumbling block to human freedom. This is the painful trial that St. Peter wrote about. We should not be surprised. The creature, does seek to prevail over the Creator today in the gender and sexual realm and will stop at nothing to stop those who have the audacity to lead others into sexual purity and wholeness.
This involves the sowing in of popular myths that have now become strongholds of a kind of truth – they are utterly without truth, but are now framed as THE truth that we will come up against as we seek to impart this integrity and healing. ‘To suit their desires, men will gather round a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.’ (2 Tim. 4: 3-4)
A series of charges came upon me in my church and elicited a series of meetings to address certain “scandals”.
1. The first meeting was about the scandalizing of the therapeutic community: the assault on ‘reparative therapy’ in particular. At my first meeting, I had to sit through a short video which was a warning from a poorly educated and very ill-advised therapist who knows nothing about gender development, let alone redemption, but who used it as a launching point to shut us down. ‘You are not one of those ‘change’ groups?’ What? First of all, we are not a therapy group, but a Christian discipleship group. Yet, we will stand with, fight for and be grateful for the real insights that we can glean from those who in the last 80 years have charted the development of persons and who have sought in a variety of ways to help individuals sort out the devices of heart that seek to repair what is missing or lost in our fallen lives and how that reparative drive can express itself in distorted sexual and emotional desires. Yes, I will stand with those insights, and I will not concede them to you in your misbegotten idea of reparative therapy! Secondly, I said, “we are ALL about change! If you as a Christian therapist have the audacity to challenge a group of Christians who meet in humility around the cross of Jesus Christ and condemn us because we are offering change, then you know nothing of why Jesus entered into the human realm! He came to reorder fallen humanity according to His good will and purposes, and we are absolutely seeking for that in our group.” That ended that meeting.
2. The second meeting involved the scandalizing of the spiritual community: the assault on a prayerful reliance upon the Holy Spirit to impart truth and grace where it is most needed in the lives of fractured souls. Leanne Payne writes, “The primary need of every lonely suffering soul is to be ushered into familiar communion with God through His healing presence.” Thus our task as a minister is to quiet the soul and ask for the Holy Spirit to come, come Holy Spirit, You Who searches out the deep things of the heart, we give You room to move on behalf of this one who does not know how to begin to cognitively figure out his or her life.
Now this exquisite spiritual discipline is reduced to ‘praying away the gay.’ We’ve all heard that! Snide snarky truth bearers! In truth, no-one is claiming that prayer removes same sex attraction. Rather, we are relying upon the Real Presence of God, to continually to meet us in the core ‘gaps’ of our lives where there was trauma and where there was a lack of love and where we can see vulnerability to false solutions to secure the love we need. Learning to ‘practice His Presence’ and listen for the healing Word is how our entire being is turned toward the Lord in our deepest areas of need, how He becomes everything to us. These rich disciplines are now reduced to ‘Praying away the gay…’ When someone accused us of this, honestly I felt a deep grief over a mocking spirit, this mockery of the Holy Spirit’s power to heal foundational wounds. It is a spirit of mockery! We must be on the alert for these lies now sown into the popular mindset. That are used by men and women who used to be our brothers and sisters. We must be prepared to give an answer. God gave me the presence of mind to give one. I was able to proceed.
3. Next, out of the scandalizing of the therapeutic community and the spiritual community, comes the rise of the ‘gay Christian’. Here I am not referring to the obviously deceived who now claim freedom to have ‘gay’ lovers, spouses, etc. Honestly, that is a big, “duh!” Like really! No subtlety, no nuances, we just now that is wrong. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! “You are deceived man! Doesn’t fly! No biblical basis for this whatsoever!” But what we are up against today, is far more deceptive and subtle than this, these are much bigger strongholds that are polluting the wells, that might otherwise be ours in the body of Christ. I am referring now to those who on biblical grounds refuse to act out homosexually but who embracing the ‘gay self’ and who claim that their wholeness is tied up in integrating their ‘gay selves.’ Eve Tushnet, the writer of “Gay and Catholic” who writes extensively for the movement, that most summarizes the gay Christian celibate movement, called ‘spiritual friendship’ wrote in her book, after 10 years of being a Catholic Christian, “I seem to become more lesbian with time.” I seem to become more lesbian over time? Hmmm, this is the fruit of your sanctification, you seem to be becoming more lesbian with time?! And Wesley Hill, the founder of the spiritual friendship movement, has evolved from viewing his same-sex attraction as broken into what he now embraces as his way of experiencing reality. In his latest book, he now describes his ‘gay self’ winsomely without any openness to God transforming him. In its subtlety, with its nod to biblical orthodoxy, the ‘abstaining gay Christian’ is actually more dangerous than the ‘practicing one.’ It appeals to evangelical Christian leaders who do not want to be accused of advocating ‘reparative therapy’ and ‘praying away the gay’; it is seen as the middle ground, a resting place from the culture wars where downtrodden gay-identified Christians, can be just that, as long as they don’t do the dirty deed.
I want to tell you how subtle this is. I have four children – three sons. Of my two eldest sons, one went to Wheaton with Wesley Hill and the other went to the Episcopal Seminary where Wesley Hill is a professor. So they both know Wesley and have had experiences with him in Christian settings. My one son, who is a pastor, a lovely guy, he did a year-long internship with us at Desert Stream, but has no SSA, but certainly has fallenness, but also received a lot of healing, and certainly grown up around Desert Streams, and been surrounded by many who have been in route becoming men and women of God, open horizons for Jesus to do His will and work in their lives. He began to be kind of strange around me. I asked, my son, “Nick, what’s going on? What’s the problem?” He asked me, “Dad have you read Wesley Hill’s book, you know his first book (Washed and Waiting)? I said, “Yes.” He said, “You know dad, you know… a lot of people aren’t like you. A lot of people, don’t really, you know sorta come out of this – (homosexuality – being gay).” I said, “wait a minute! Nick, what?! What’s going on?” And he referred me back to Wesley Hill’s book (Washed and Waiting). Reading that book was enough for him to be so exposed, so onboard with the opening of new horizons in Christ Jesus for people to become so on board with an idea that persons with sexual and relational brokenness don’t really find freedom, and it had the effect of closing the horizons of freedom for people. My other son, who is not so impressionable, spoke with his pastor, a big evangelical pastor in town about Desert Stream Ministries. He mentioned, that he wasn’t in the ministry but wanted his pastor to know about the ministry. The pastor, who had been exposed to “spiritual friendship” and Wesley Hill, said to him, “well it sounds like you are dealing with those very few people who experience the miracle. The miracle of change. We really don’t expect that miracle here.” You see, it is a way of thinking. Yes, there are some people who get it, but most us don’t, most of us just sluff around. God doesn’t really help. But were trying to be so cool. Trying to be on board with the culture. We are not going to ask too much of these poor people. These are my two sons who were exposed to this subtle ideology and were confused by that book. ‘Spiritual Friendship’ refuses the transforming power of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit at the level where it is intended. In encouraging a generation to refuse the call of the Gospel at the level of our sexual desires and for advocating that persons identify with their same-sex attraction, the ‘Spiritual Friendship’ movement resists the Gospel, and quietly divides and deflects the bright witness of the Church for all persons impacted by same-sex attraction. All of us!
We are scandalized now at nearly every turn for advocating the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Our good news has become the bad news in nearly every sector of society. Should we despair? St. Peter calls us to ‘Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ.’ (1 Peter 4:13) We are right where Jesus wants us. He calls us to come where HE is, in the burn, in the fire of suffering. At every turn, even in my own household, we are challenged for the hope we uphold. Such suffering is intended to refine us, to make us more like Jesus. How can this be so? I offer a couple of suggestions:
1. Burning off every presumptive attitude, like ‘My life should be easier’, ‘People should understand me’, ‘You should respect me’! Lay it down, people. We are called to offer truths that people no longer believe, or have even heard. Stay humble, stay child-like, always ready to give an answer to the hope you have, to clarify the hope, where some of the myths have been woven into people’s thinking, but I would also urge you not to belaboring the issue where there is no openness to the hope. Discerning—wise as serpents. For those whose ears are closed, shake off the dust. One of the great Catholic reformers in the 1960s open the doors and windows to the Church, in the power of the Holy Spirit, who died young as a result of his efforts said this, at the end: ‘We have worked hard, we have served, and loved people. We have not stopped to gather stones the stones which were thrown against us from one side or the other, to throw them back.’
2. I think these challenges can burning off our need to be right; some of us who are a little narcissistic need to be right, because I am right. We must remember the much deeper level that we are standing for the true dignity of other people. This trial is reducing us to love. We stand for the truth of human dignity for the redemption of persons. We need to express love of the dignity SO please, let us not return the hatred we incur and are accused of with hatred. I remember when I was going through this with my boys. I was having a family meal, and honestly, I just blew up, I just got ignited, and I blew up! I said my truth in the most terrible way possible. My one son who is very cool and objective said, “dad, when you speak like that, neither we or anyone is going to listen to you. He was right!
When we are persecuted for being bitter, ranting fools, we deserve it. Stay cool. Remember, we are doing this for persons so they can be set free for the truth of their humanity. All for love! At the end, we shall be judged by how much we loved, for the truth that we have held of what actually dignifies humanity. At the end of these talks, these difficult talks, my pastor said, “You know, in the midst of this trial, I like that way you have responded, (by the work of the Holy Spirit two or three people from Living Waters came to my pastor and explained what the Living Waters did for them. I didn’t press them, they just did it on their own, kind of a divine encounter). My pastor assured me that I had done no harm, but had helped people. So proceed! Proceed!
3. Remember, we are holding out for the dignity of our fellows, not their desecration. We hold fast to the true value of the individual, made in His image, endowed with the glory of God in his or her gendered humanity, a beloved object of His mercy amid the brokenness of that image. We are the ones who are truly for the individual! Jesus came to teach each one of us in the specifics of our blind and broken states and made a way for our eyes to be open—to Himself, to the beauty we could not see in ourselves, and to the beautiful community around us that helped us realize His will for our gendered humanity. This is our call: not to win a culture war–it is to make a way for individuals to find their way home to the Father’s house. We thus do everything in our power to equip the Church to be the community that is clear and compassionate, a Light that shatters the darkness shrouding our sexual humanity today.
In closing –
The darkness is increasing in the culture and is certainly not getting better for us. It will get worse. Our call to impart sexual integrity and gender clarity are increasingly never more scandalous, so we hide ourselves in the God who is scandalized on the cross. St. Peter says that ‘we can rejoice now in our participation in Christ’s suffering, so that we may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.’ (1st Peter 4: He refers here to the glory of the soon-coming King—a time we wait for as we suffer now, united with the Crucified. Pain today, glory tomorrow. We wait in hope, and we endure hardship in the present, aware that suffering is temporary and is required of serious Christians.
Then St. Peter takes it deeper in verse 14: ‘If you are insulted for Jesus’ sake, you are blessed by the Spirit of glory that rests upon you now.’ Peter does not only leave us with a future hope. He actually invokes a truth of the Cross that St. John the Apostle centered upon in his gospel. The shame (this is the key) the shame of Christ Crucified is also and at the same time the glory of God in Jesus Christ! Only the gospel of John majors on this theme of fusing shame and glory. Only John sees that when God is high and lifted up on a Cross is His glory most marvelously revealed. Peter is not dividing them up saying that the glory is only after the crucifixion. He was saying that the glory IS the crucifixion. This is why St. John could say to the Johannine Community that had been kicked out of the temple, because of their faith in Jesus Christ. They that had been pounded from normal and respectable society because of their standing firm in the stumbling block. This is why he could say your shame is their glory. The Glory is resting upon you right now. The Spirit of the living God is resting upon you in you being hounded. One greater has come to you, take hold of it. This is the power of St. John’s preaching of the cross. This is its power! We had to take hold of this. The shame is the glory! The rejection IS the qualification. Suffering is the mark of favor. Woe to you when everyone who only speaks good things. Isn’t he so nice? Isn’t she so nice!? The shame of the Cross is the glory of the Cross. And the Spirit of Glory rests upon us mostly deeply, when we are least understood. When we don’t get the high five! Instead, we get the scorn. This is the occasion for God’s Glory to rest upon us. The glory of Jesus Christ fully raised from the dead shines upon us as we hold fast to the whole truth of Jesus’ transforming power for persons impacted by same-sex attraction. Like Paul said, I have preached to you the Whole Good News, the Whole Message, the full truth, I have held nothing back! In truth, the insults we incur—the unbelief, the smug ‘we know better now’, the compromises everywhere, the church doors that close, the friends who become enemies, family members who become strangers—rejoice, the Spirit of glory is resting upon you! The shame of the cross is the glory of Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord! St. John and St. Peter fuse the shame of the cross with its glory, and the persecuted, insulted early community of Christ glows in the glorious shame of that Cross. So must we, as we hold out the Whole Truth for persons impacted by same-sex attraction.
Some of you are in this burn, you are in it! You’re in this, whether in a hand-full of relationships, or with a specific person, one important relationship, some in small ministries, some large ministries, pastors. You’re in this! Some of you in Churches, but some of you wish you weren’t. You are saying, “I don’t wanna to tell the whole truth – too many e-mails and to many people who leave. Too many people leave! I don’t want to take the heat of this! I’m going to only tell a little bit of the truth!” This is the place where you say, “Am I going to stand in that place with Christ crucified?” Am I going to be hounded from my place of worship? Maybe. The good news is that The Holy Spirit is all over that and all over you. And… now, I want to pray for you today, for those of you in that place that are feeling the burn. Say to God, I need more of You to stand in the burn, to pray that you be ignited by the burn, to burn brightly for Christ today, for the saving of many. Instead of being deadened by our insulted minority status, let us understand this as the earmark of our anointing, of our humble, high calling. Pray for strength and infilling! Rejoice in doing the really hard right thing. Embrace the cross; despise the shame. It really is hard, but the Lord will sustain.
Closed with prayer and ministry time
- Transformation of Persons with Same-Sex Attraction: Becoming Who We Are
- Advocating for Marriage
- ‘Gay Christian’ and ‘Spiritual Friendships?’
- Will the Church Show Justice and Mercy to the Same-Sex Attracted?
- A Grace-filled and Truthful Response Regarding “Gay Christianity”
- The Gospel According To Jesus Christ and the “Gay Christian?”
- Gay Christian – Oxymoron
Stats say that 70% of church-going men are viewing porn on a weekly basis; they are covered up in shame and darkness! Most men in the Church today are like “Pusski” – the domesticated couch cat, pictured here. Please pray with me! Let’s pray for the men, our brothers in the Church, to be like Aslan – A Lion – like Jesus who is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. One unfortunate problem I’ve continued to run into (especially among ex-gays and especially the ex-ex-gay [the apostate]): when you are a lion, a prophetic voice, you’ll be told you’re hateful and a jerk by the Pusskies in the Church! Another tragic reality, in the Church, many ladies also enjoy Pusskies, because they are controllable men, instead of Lions! Sadly, this is to their own hurt, as women need men who will bring protection, not be subjugated by the broken and wounded feminine. Oh beloveds in the Lord, the Church doesn’t need tame breathy effeminate-voiced men telling everyone to just be kind and nice under a false grace message. The Church needs courageous men, prophets, today more than EVER before! The Church needs the men to be warriors, not metrosexuals! Yes, the church needs men to be ‘gentlemen’ but HOLY MEN living in the true masculine! We all need men who are not afraid to boldly speak the truth! “God have mercy and send us holy prophets” was Leonard Ravenhill’s prayer, one of my heroes in Christ and a mentor of truth for my soul! Ravenhill’s prayer is also my prayer for this day we live. I want to belong to Jesus’ band of brothers, not tame men and certainly not controlled by the ever-growing LGBT influence, and the so-called gay Christian influence. Folks, it is happening now, more than ever before, a deluding influence of hyper-perverted grace messages conforming men in the Church to be more and more effeminate – “Pusski” Couch Cats! This would not have been possible 25 years ago, never mind what it was like 75 years ago. Truly this is one of the seductive elements in our day of the great falling away.
So, you tell me, which is more attractive in God, Pusski Cat or Aslan Lion? Ladies, truly, which do you really need? Pusski, or Aslan?
This must be the most grievous thing I’ve ever written in exposing one of the most dangerous things I’ve ever witnessed from a so-called Christian. Unfortunately there are critics, mainly those who are afraid and passive, who believe it is unnecessary or even unkind to expose or talk about the tragic morphing of Alan Chambers into a gay-identified “Christian” and his influence of leading people back into homosexuality. They are at the very least terribly naive, and at the worst blatant cowards (Rev. 21:8). I am writing this post today with great sorrow, having grieved deeply since 2011 over the betrayal of trust from the Exodus board and the subsequent demise of Exodus. The Scripture actually teaches otherwise about the need to bring correction, we are to rebuke and correct if we sincerely love like God. The following Scriptures were used as a pathway in rebuking and correcting Alan Chambers, Clark Whitten and the Board of Exodus in 2012: Matt. 18:15-17, Gal. 6:1-4, Prov. 27:5-6, Prov. 28:23, 1 Tim. 5:20-21, 2 Tim. 2:23-26, 2 Tim. 4:1-4. Unfortunately, our pleas were to no avail as Exodus later closed its doors forever. Against all the ministry leaders throughout the Exodus network, the Exodus Board dismissed all cautions, hardened their hearts and pursued their own will in empowering Alan Chambers.
Paul the Apostle has named names and written in his letters open rebukes and warnings which will remain forever as Scripture of those with much lesser offenses than that of Alan Chambers and Clark Whitten. Do you understand that Chambers and Whitten are now teaching the damnable heresy that practicing homosexuals can go to heaven under their perverted message of grace?
Alan Chambers once communicated that he believed the Bible. But now, Alan Chambers has morphed into a gay activist forsaking Biblical Orthodoxy and presenting “gay Christianity.” Chambers was hired to serve the ministries of Exodus. However, Chambers had other plans. He and his pastor Clark Whitten devised a careful plan to systematically change the by-laws of Exodus so Alan could take complete control and have the leading ownership of Exodus International.
Today Chambers’ idea of “freedom,” is being freed from what he calls “religious slavery,” which translates that no moral laws need to be obeyed in his doctrine of “grace.” His new book, “My Exodus: Leaving the Slavery of Religion, Loving the Image of God in Everyone” is soon to be released. (Update September 2015: book title changed to: “My Exodus: From Fear to Grace”) Chambers’ book is being published by Zondervan who has been cautioned that he is not Biblical and promotes homosexuality. Yet Zondervan’s response to me was a complete endorsement of Alan Chambers in full knowledge of Alan Chambers’ unbiblical beliefs. This tragic morphing and mutation has Chambers believing he is righteous and loving in convincing young people to embrace homosexuality. Alan also speaks for God and proclaims that God Almighty is “cool” with Jeff Chu’s homosexual behavior and his gay “marriage.” It might be hard to believe, but you can hear all this for yourself in the video posted below: “In Alan Chambers’ Own Words – Part 2”.
Very few people knew about what was happening in the secret world of Alan Chambers in 2008 through 2011, which was more than half of his tenure as President of Exodus International. However, in the videos below, it is very clear now that Alan deceived many, as he actually did not believe the Bible (hear in his own words “I never believed…”). In 2010, I started telling close friends and leaders (all who eventually helped start the new Restored Hope Network) that I was concerned about the direction and teaching I was hearing from the Exodus office. I was the volunteer Chairman of the Exodus Ministry Council and felt obligated in protecting the truth, the vision and ministry of Exodus as a network. Unfortunately, not one board member did anything during the implosion to stop Chambers or Whitten.
Clark Whitten (former Exodus Board Chairman & Alan’s mentor for over 15 years) began sharing his version of grace teachings to Exodus Ministry Directors in leadership meetings starting in 2007 all the way through the demise and implosion of Exodus. It was during this internal debacle that the process of confrontation started. I and several ministry directors and other Christian leaders joined together to start the process of confronting the heretical teachings of Clark Whitten and Alan Chambers. (Matthew 18:15-17). Unfortunately, to no avail because Chambers and Whitten had already put the plan in place in changing the by-laws of Exodus to make Exodus a “ministry” possession of Alan Chambers. The other tragic part of this scenario were the leaders who naively were more loyal to Chambers than to the Word of God during the implosion, many who mocked me, and continue to dislike any attention to this serious situation.
You can now clearly hear in his own words in the videos and the other source links below for confirmation of the direction of Alan Chambers and his morphed beliefs of today. It is revealing now that Alan Chambers as Exodus President, hearing from his own words he didn’t actually believe the Bible. Alan calls it being set free from religious slavery and bondage. Ironically what he calls “freedom” is actually a manifestation in Chambers embracing his “gay self” once again and the gay community as his own, the community who pridefully enjoys sexual slavery and bondage. Alan believes he has received a revelation from God, or perhaps better communicated, a revelation from his pastor Clark Whitten. This so-called divine revelation that Clark Whitten believes he has received, is supposedly greater than all the Church reformers on the subject of grace. They actually believe that grace gives them such liberty they no longer need to acknowledge their sins before God or confess their sins.  These teachings and doctrines are nothing new. It is simply antinomianism repackaged. It is a perverse cheap grace message at Grace Orlando Church that now allows for practicing homosexuals to go to heaven. This is true for Randy Thomas (former Vice President of Exodus), who has also embraced being gay again, who is also praying and pining away for his husband as revealed in a recent Facebook post. Both Chambers and Thomas attend Grace Orlando and have been mentored by Clark Whitten. There is no fear of God because they teach that repentance isn’t really necessary and fearing God is religious bondage. Alan communicates our only needs as Christians are to believe in the historical facts about Jesus and to say you love Him. Chambers continues to communicate his love for Jesus and also turns around and tells people they can live in complete disobedience to Jesus by living in homosexuality. Chambers and Whitten both communicate with Christian terminology and Christianese but mean something different than sincere Bible-believing Christians; now tragically they are leading people astray under this perverse grace teaching. Please watch the following videos in full and read the additional hyperlinked articles below for a complete understanding of the tragic implosion of Exodus International and the failed leadership of Alan Chambers under the mentorship of his pastor Clark Whitten.♦
In Alan Chambers’ Own Words (Part 1) Released in 2012.
In Alan Chambers’ Own Words – Part 2 Released 2015
“Alan Chambers: A Cautionary Tale” was produced to give a revealing and short glimpse into Alan Chambers’ narcism as he communicates “I Think” over 50 times and yet does not refer to what “God Thinks” even once from the Word of God.
Alan Chambers Proclaims His Gospel – A shorter video edited from the “In Alan Chambers’ Own Words – Part 2” for a quick understanding of the egregious nature of the Chambers’ heretical messaging.
The following paragraphs are in part from an article written by Laurie Higgins in June of 2013 with Illinois Family Institute and are used with permission.
The president of Exodus International, Alan Chambers, has announced in an extended apology to homosexuals, and that he is closing Exodus International, the ministry for those who experience unwanted same-sex attraction, and from its ashes he is creating a new organization titled “Reduce Fear.” [This past year Alan abandoned “Reduce Fear” as an organization and merely promotes himself now]. The “fear” to which the name refers emanates from theologically orthodox churches that teach the whole counsel of God, including the pesky parts about God’s condemnation of homosexual acts. Apparently, Chambers doesn’t want to scare those who affirm homosexuality with bothersome biblical truths about eternity.
This doesn’t come as a surprise to those who have been closely watching Chambers’ slow abandonment of orthodoxy and his concomitant embrace of the “gay Christian” movement, which promotes the heresy that Christians may affirm a homosexual identity and remain in homosexual relationships.
Chambers communicated in June of 2012 in an interview with The Atlantic, he articulated a tidbit of his exegetically questionable theology:
Atlantic: Does that mean a person living a gay lifestyle won’t go to hell, as long as he or she accepts Jesus Christ as personal savior?
Chambers: My personal belief is that everyone has the opportunity to know Christ, and that while behavior matters, those things don’t interrupt someone’s relationship with Christ. But that’s a touchy issue in the conservative group I run with. (emphasis added)
For those who remain uncertain about Chambers’ deviation from the path of theological soundness, please make sure to watch Part 1 and 2 of “In Alan Chambers’ Own Words” above.
Chambers’ transition to heresy has been accompanied by dizzying changes to Exodus’ Board of Directors over the past two years. Here’s a glimpse into that protean board.
Feb. 2011 board included Dennis Jernigan, Ron Dennis, and Jeff Winter
By June 2011 board had added John Warren and Don & Diana Schmierer
By Oct. 2011 board had lost Ron Dennis and Jeff Winter and added Mike Goeke and Patrick Peyton
By Dec. 2011 board had added Kathy Koch
By June 2012 board had lost Dennis Jernigan
By August 2012 board had lost Mike Goeke and Patrick Payton
By March 2013 board had added Bob Ragan
By April 2013 board had lost Bob Ragan
By June 2013 board had added Tony Moore
The closing board of Exodus consisted of: Clark & Martha Whitten, Don & Diana Schmierer, Kathy Koch, and Tony Moore. This is the group that empowered Alan Chambers through the implosion and closure of Exodus International.
The troubling constant on the board is board chairman Rev. Clark Whitten about whose theology Dr. Robert A. Gagnon has warned here and here. Clark Whitten has been influencing Alan Chambers for over 15 years as his pastor and the board chairman of Exodus. Alan Chambers is the fruit of Clark Whitten’s oversight and ministry. Clark has referred to Alan, “like a son.”
It gets dirtier!
Alan Chambers now calls “evangelical” a “dirty word” that he no longer applies to Exodus or to himself (“Guests in an Ever Changing Culture—Letter from Alan Chambers March 2013”). He complains that Evangelicalism is too “black and white” and he assures us that God is not “black and white,” which presumably means that God’s aim is to shade the light into gray. The story of Christ is now the story of Gray breaking into the darkness.
Evangelicalism, Mr. Chambers complains, gives too much attention to “right and wrong” and requires one to “take a stand” on moral issues. Chambers cries: “Gone are the days of evangelizing through scare tactics, moral legislation, and church discipline.” So instead the Exodus leadership prefers to assure self-professed Christians who engage in unrepentant homosexual practice that they are going to heaven irrespective of whether they bring their life into line with a confession of Christ’s lordship. The Exodus leadership refuses to take a stand against “gay marriage” even as it takes public policy stances on issues that homosexual activists support. And the Exodus leadership categorically rejects church discipline despite the fact that it is commanded by Jesus and Paul.
In June of 2013 Alan Chambers even went so far as to insert secretly the e-mail address of Jeremy Hooper, an abrasive homosexual activist, into the middle of a private group email thread containing a number of pro-family leaders (including mine). This led to a number of misrepresentations online by homosexual activist sites and even Salon.com. This deceitful alignment with a person who maligns those who believe in a male-female foundation for marriage is not exactly a model for Christian conduct, certainly not for someone leading what is supposed to be a Christian ministry.
In an Exodus post Leslie Chambers affirmed her husband’s severance of the transformed life from genuine saving faith, saying that while obedience to God is preferred it is not “required”. Neither Leslie nor Alan appears to realize that a necessary byproduct of true faith is a life lived for God.
As Dr. Gagnon mentioned, Chambers’ dissolution of Exodus was accompanied by his serious ethical lapse regarding an email group. A couple of months ago, a well-known and well-respected conservative author sent an email to a group of conservatives. Chambers responded to the entire group, angry that a person or persons in this large group have allegedly used terms in some context that Chambers finds offensive. He never identified the person or persons who used the term/s, nor did he identify the context.
One of the email recipients noticed that Chambers had surreptitiously added homosexual activist Jeremy Hooper, who has a blog titled Good As You (G.A.Y.). When confronted about the stealth addition of Hooper, Alan defensively admitted that he had, indeed, done so in the hope that Hooper would report on the email exchange and that the “good and decent people” on the list would be shamed into publicly exposing and rebuking others whom they may not know for offenses Chambers would not reveal.
I asked Chambers the following questions, which he refused to answer:
- Who are the people who deserve public rebuking and what specifically did they do to deserve to be rebuked?
- If he thought there was something “unrighteous” and “evil” (Chambers’ terms) going on, why didn’t he expose it himself and publicly rebuke the person or persons whom he believed deserved public rebuking?
- How did he justify betraying a trust and trying to publicly shame “good and decent” people for what he perceived as their failure to rebuke unnamed people for using words he viewed as inappropriate in unidentified contexts—actions, by the way, that he had not done?
No ministry should ever tell those who experience same-sex attraction or any other sin inclination that there’s a human way to eradicate all sinful impulses. If Exodus staff conveyed that unbiblical idea to those to whom they ministered, they erred.
Conversely no Christian should be told that God will not free them from same-sex attraction or that they will never experience heterosexual attraction, for those too are erroneous ideas.
Scripture tells us that God will free us from bondage to sin, but that full sanctification does not come in this life. We are promised that in this life, God will give us the power to resist our sinful impulses, which for most of us persist at least in attenuating strength.
God does not, however, give us permission to affirm our sinful impulses or act upon them. We are to pursue lives of holiness—which will never include homosexual relationships.
Since Exodus has abandoned orthodoxy, it is a good thing that it is shuttering its doors. Fortunately, a far better ministry exists to fill a desperate need: Restored Hope Network
When we read about prior heresies, they seem like distant historical curiosities, but right now we are eyewitnesses to the birth and growth of a heresy in our lifetime. Let’s hope and pray that it’s soon relegated to the dustbin of heresies.♦
The reason for the creation of the “In Alan Chambers’ Own Words, Part 1 and Part 2 is to reveal the morphing heresy. Part 1 is from 2011 and 2012 interviews and Part 2 is from Alan Chambers’ interview from the Level Ground – February 2015 and from his own words when speaking at the Glory Tabernacle, October 2014. He clearly communicates heresy and leading people astray. In Alan Chambers’ Own Words Part 1 and Part 2 were also created from a Scriptural mandate to correct, rebuke and expose those who are teaching false doctrines leading souls to hell. Matt. 18:17, Acts 20:29-31, Jude 1:4, Gal. 1:6-8, 1 Tim. 5:20-21, Titus1:10-16, 2 Peter 2:1-22, 2 Peter 3:14-18. Both Parts, 1 and 2 of Alan Chambers’ in His Own Words were also created to warn leaders in the Church globally of the perverse grace teachings of Clark Whitten, former Exodus Board Chairman and Alan Chambers’ pastor. These videos reveal Alan Chambers’ inconsistencies in his own words and expose his grave heretical teaching of perverse grace leading souls astray. These videos were also created to call the Board of Directors with Exodus to accountability and responsibility.
Exodus may have imploded, but, there is hope! There is the Restored Hope Network with many ministries and counselors to help overcome and find last freedom in a legitimate relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord. The Exodus Board of 2013 thought they were closing down ministry for good, but they were wrong! The Exodus Board of Directors from 2012 and 2013 did not heed the warnings from the RHN founders and many others. Now the very warnings have come to pass. Alan is promoting “gay Christianity.” However, there are more people today helping people overcome homosexuality with orthodox biblical clarity, much more than that of the former days of Exodus. Therefore, we will rejoice in the Lord our God and for His Truth!
“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.” Psa. 33:18-19
 Hymenaeus, Alexander, (1 Tim. 1:20) Phygellus, Hermogenes, (2 Tim. 1:15) Hymenaeus, Philetus (2 Tim. 2:17), Demas (2 Tim. 4:9-10), Alexander (2 Tim. 4:14), Cretans (Titus 1:12) 9 names mentioned whose offenses were much less than that of Clark Whitten and Alan Chambers. As the Apostle Paul said of Alexander the Coopersmith, these men have done the Body of Christ much harm.
Sources on the History of the Demise of Exodus
- A New Organization for Ex-Gays and How the World Sees the Church and Why[interview with Stephen Black] with Dr. Michael Brown (radio interview)
- 6 Lessons From the Collapse of Exodus International by Michael Brown (web article)
- Exodus on a Collision Course with Jesus by Dr. Robert Gagnon (web article)
- ‘Ex-gay’ therapy takes a hit with the collapse of Exodus International: A Christian ministry self-destructs over theological differences and poor leadership [interview with Anne Paulk, Executive Director, Restored Hope Ministries] by Lianne Laurence (web article)
- ‘Gay’ Recovery Group Returns to Bondage by Scott Lively (web article)
- A Response to Exodus: Don’t Apologize for the Truth by J. Lee Grady (web article)
- Exodus International Closes Its Doors Following Troubling Leadership of Alan Chambers by Laurie Higgins (web article)
- Exodus International Flees the Promised Land by Rev. Mark H. Creech (web article)
- The Unfortunate Demise of Exodus International by Nathan Cherry (web article)
- Exodus International Closes After Alan Chambers’ Apology by Erin Roach (web article)
- Dr. Robert Gagnon from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary discusses the closing of Exodus International with Janet Mefferd (radio interview)
- Anderson Cooper Interviews Alan Chambers on Denny Burk’s blog (video interviews)
- Exodus International to Shut Down; Ministry President Apologizes to Gay Community by Sam Storms (blog post)
- Citizen Link Interview of Anne Paulk Concerning the Exodus Closure (web interview)
- Time for a Change of Leadership at Exodus?by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.
- Cheap (Perverse) Grace Masquerading as Pure Grace by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.
- Initial DSM Response to Exodus by Andrew Comiskey (PDF)
- Exodus: Letting Go, Hope Rising by Andrew Comiskey (Blog)
- Being a “Simple-Minded Jesus Lover” Is No Excuse for Really Bad Theology. Alan Chambers dodges the real issue at hand and inadvertently plays the role of judge.by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.
- The Gospel of False Assurance, and More Evidence of the Slippery Slope by Dr. Michael Brown on Line of Fire (Audio)
Often people of varied church affiliations use the same terminology, but may mean something totally different by their terms. Multitudes around the world say they are “Born Again” and yet their life-style demonstrates that their definition is one contrary to biblical teaching. I write this today, with the deepest concern for those who walk in bondage to sin.
Jesus said “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” [John 3:3] and “most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”. [John 3:5] We must be born again of water and of the Spirit of God to enter into God’s kingdom in heaven. If we are not, we will not go to heaven.
Many people have experiences with Jesus and with the things of God, many even pray prayers to Jesus with tears, expecting Him to be the penalty for their sin, yet without their repentance there is no forgiveness of sin. [Luke 24:47] They go to church, “believe” in Jesus, and call themselves “born again”. Many teach that if you pray a certain way or do certain things that you are “born again”. Yet many lives remain untransformed by the Spirit of God. Many continue living after the flesh and the world. The Scripture says, “For to be fleshly minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace”. The mind set on the flesh is hostile to and is at enmity with God. It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God. [Romans 8:6-8] The Scripture says “therefore whoever is a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” [James 4:4] Do you believe that the enemy of God will have a place in Heaven?
Jesus Christ has not said that the assurance of eternal life or going into heaven is to be based on a one time event in one’s life. Jesus said we must be born again to a new life, a life controlled by the Spirit of God and the water of His Word. Many are born again to see God’s kingdom. Many saw the kingdom of God in Jesus Christ and followed Him for a time, yet fell away from being His disciples. [John 6:60, 66]
Many today see parts of God’s kingdom for a time, and they feel that they are eternally secure, yet walk in their own ways. There is eternal security in Jesus Christ, but not for the unbelieving, so called “believer”. “Many will come to Him in that day and say ‘Lord, Lord’ (they believed that Jesus was their Lord) have we not done many wonders in Your Name?” (church goers) and then Jesus will declare to them, “I never KNEW you, depart from me, you who practice sin!” [Matthew 7:22-23]
Jesus Christ says we must be born again into a new life, one filled with the Spirit of God, a life where He KNOWS you! This means an intimate knowing between you and Jesus Christ the Son of God. We must KNOW Jesus as our best friend, as our Master and Lord, and as the director of our daily affairs. Jesus must know you as His obedient child. He must be your heart’s desire. This means we will not continue seeking our own desires, but will seek His desires as bond slaves to Jesus. Knowing Jesus Christ in this manner, is eternal life! Jesus said, “and this is eternal life, that they may KNOW You, the only true God, and (KNOW) Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” [John 17:3] This intimate knowing of Jesus Christ is NOT praying a sinners prayer, even though that can be the beginning of knowing Him intimately. Merely calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus to be saved or delivered does not mean eternal life, though calling upon the Lord can mean you will have eternal life. We must know Him just as a husband and wife know each other intimately. This kind of intimacy doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen by just calling one’s name. Two must become married, move in with one another, and grow into a relationship. Only then do they KNOW one another.
To truly know someone you must live with them. Does Jesus Christ live in you? Is there intimacy between you and the Savior? Knowing Jesus is complete surrender and absolute dependency upon Him. Recently, my wife was witnessing to some church going relatives and asked them, “Is Jesus Christ the most important desire in your life?” She asked them, “Be honest, is He?” She told them, “This is a true Christian, someone who is always wanting to please Jesus”. If we are to understand what knowing Jesus is and what Jesus was speaking of in Matthew chapter seven, we must first know His love for us. He proved His love for us by laying down His life for us. Therefore, we must love Him because He first loved us. Yet many will say “Lord, Lord” and go to hell forever. We must have an intimate walk with Jesus Christ! This is being born again!
Some churches teach that those who practice sin, those Jesus referred to in Matthew chapter seven, were never saved, others teach that they fell away. These doctrinal differences will not matter if you are not totally devoted to Jesus; the end is the same, a Christless eternity. Please, I beg of you reader, examine yourself as the Scripture says, Examine Yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove to your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, see if indeed Jesus Christ is in you, unless you indeed fail the test? [2 Corinthians 13:5] See if you are truly in the faith. Does Jesus Christ speak to you? Is He in you? If someone is living in you, wouldn’t you be totally aware of His presence? Is your life totally devoted to Jesus Christ, or do you indeed fail the test?
Remember that no one who dies practicing sin goes to heaven. Do not be deceived by preachers with empty words. Anyone who practices fornication (sexual intercourse in thought or deed outside the marriage bond), idolatry (loving something more than God), adultery (sexual unfaithfulness in thought or deed of a married person), homosexuality (sodomy – sexual activity in thought or in deed with a member of the same sex in or out of a so called marriage agreement), stealing (taking something that does not belong to you), covetousness (desire enviously), drunkenness (drinking alcohol and being overcome by it), revilement (abusing verbally), extortion (obtaining something by force and by improper means), immorality (against what God calls right living), impurity (not being pure), sensuality (being devoted to pleasing the senses), sorcery (operating in witchcraft and abusing drugs), enmities (mutual hatred – hating someone who hates you), hatred (having hate), contention (contending, argumentative – given to arguing), jealousy (suspicious of a rival), strife (given to conflict), outburst of anger (violent anger – strong feelings of disapproval with meanness), disputes (argumentative – given to argue), dissension (in discord – disagreeable), factions (given to dissension and strife), selfish ambitions (self motive and eager desire for success or power), heresies (teachings or opinions contrary to the teachings of Jesus, the apostles and prophets), envy (resentful of another’s advantage), murder (hating someone enough to put them to death in thought or deed, unlawful killing), carousing (boisterous, brawling, noisy and quarrelsome), lying (one who does not tell the truth, one who lies), abomination (anything revolting to God) shall NOT go into heaven. The Bible tells us explicitly not to be deceived about people who practice these sins. The Bible tells us that we can know for certainty that they will go to hell; that the wrath of God abides on all disobedience. We must all repent and turn totally away from all wickedness. If we do not obey God there is no hope of eternal life. [I Cor. 6:9-10, Gal. 5:19-21, Eph. 5:5, Col 3:5-6, and Rev. 21:18] [James 4:4-10] [Titus 2:11-12].
Remember, to obey Jesus is a walk of faith. Faith in Jesus results in a life which produces the fruit of the Holy Spirit. [Gal. 5:22-23] We do not work to be saved; we work because we are saved. We can only overcome sin by His grace, and God gives His grace to the humble. He will hear the heart cry of the humble and give them His grace which enables them to overcome any sin.
We must seek Jesus Christ as hidden treasure. If you knew that there was a chest of jewels, precious stones and gold, worth millions of dollars in a certain spot; you would dig and dig and dig there to find it. Is your relationship with Jesus Christ worth any less? We will find Jesus when we seek Him with ALL our heart. [Jer. 29:13] Jesus is hidden treasure, you must seek Him while He may be found. [Isa. 55:6-7]
Do you KNOW JESUS? Maybe you are a church goer and your church system calls knowing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord something different than “being born again.” Be sure of this, either you know Him intimately, or you don’t! If you know Jesus Christ and He is your Lord, you will obey Him out of a heart of love and devotion. Examine yourself, lest indeed you fail the test and windup in hell forever! Don’t be one who says “Lord, Lord” and have Jesus say “I never KNEW YOU.” Jesus Christ died to set you free from your sins and give you life abundantly, now, in this life and in the one to come. He loves you! Cry out to Jesus, and confess your sins with a true heart of repentance. He will forgive you and strengthen you to live a godly life. [I John 1:6-9]
(c) 1992 – Stephen Black
Stephen Black is an ordained minister and has been ministering to people leaving homosexuality since 1984. He has been on staff with First Stone Ministries since 1993, and can be reached at First Stone Ministries for pastoral-care discipleship and/or public speaking. stephen [@] firststone.org
I dedicate this article I wrote in 1992 to the perverse grace teachers empowering “gay Christianity” today – the former Exodus Leaders of 2012, and the Exodus board of directors 2012-2013, those in the GCN and ilk. It is not how you start this relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior, but how you finish this relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord that matters for eternity.
“ Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.” 2 Cor. 5:9-11
May God grant those mercy and repentance to those who are stumbling blocks, causing many to falling away from a sincere faith in Christ in a pursuit of true holiness! May they find a path of true repentance and true faith in Jesus Christ as Lord before the end of their lives. 1 Cor. 9:24-27 & Matt. 7:13-28
by Stephen Black (2010)
Apostle Peter warned us that scoffers and mockers would come on the scene with louder and louder voices in the last days. Ruled by their own fleshly desires, appetites and seduced by demonic powers, Peter warned that the scoffers and mockers would raise a ruckus against those who desire to live godly, leaving behind their true devotion to God’s word for lifestyles of sin and pleasure. “Where is the promise of Jesus’ deliverance and freedom?” they will mock. “HE made us this way!” “Where is the promise of His coming?” they will say, “It has always been this way! You can’t change!” (2 Peter 3:3-4, 1 Tim. 4:12, 2 Tim. 3:1-7, 2 Tim. 4:14, Matt. 5:11-12, Mark 13:9-13, Matt. 24:9-13).
I am very burdened for those who go back to homosexuality. I long for everyone to love God, know His truth and experience His amazing grace that changed my life 28 years ago. My greater burden is for His Church to be holy and ready to answer the questions raised by scoffers and those who proclaim “gay Christianity”. Why DO some who start with a repentant life to leave homosexuality behind, and then return to their former lifestyles? Is it not making for themselves a god in their own image as “gay” Christians? We need to know some answers.
Those of us who leave homosexuality and stay repentant share a vision and a goal that differs from those who embrace a “Christian” gay identity. Our Fundamental belief – the foundation that drives lasting change – is not the same as those who relapse. The consistent “ex-gay” – former-homosexual and repentant believer – embraces a process. This new way of living enables overcoming through a mature understanding of sanctification. This process requires a lifelong conformity to live like Christ. Our heart must long for a spiritual intimacy in a love relationship with God based upon belief in God’s word. We are, in effect, in love with Jesus Christ as our God. We have faith in the Word of God, even as we “struggle,” committed unto death to embrace a lifetime process of conformity that comes from a love relationship with God and a true Biblical world-view. As we understand and embrace grace (the power of God) in weakness and temptation, we know that homosexuality is not compatible with our faith in God. The result? A victor-mentality which fuels the ability to live in repentance (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
The mockers – the “beyond ex-gay” or “gay-Christians” – initially communicate a desire to change. Exasperated, they cry out, “CHANGE ME! Oh God, I want to be CHANGED!” They look at their desires and truly wish to be “fixed.” They demand that a local ministry or God Himself change their attractions. Not keeping their eyes totally fixed on Jesus Christ, they become fixated on the problem, their attractions. “Jesus Christ alone is not enough,” they proclaim. “We need more. We want to be delivered from the ‘sufferings’ of being tempted with homosexuality.” Delivered from suffering? Christ never promised we would not suffer in the flesh. In fact, He promised us we would suffer and need to deny ourselves. Unfortunately, this resonates as victimization. In the face of suffering, some rebel against the Biblical world-view and celebrate and embrace a gay identity. Many who are mockers become completely intolerant of those who desire, by faith in God’s word, to leave homosexuality. Ironically, the very people who scream for tolerance are extremely intolerant of those who turn away from homosexual behavior and live by faith. Let’s look at the Biblical foundations for freedom, which enable us to separate ourselves from the world’s values and our own appetites.
Foundations for Freedom ~
How do we receive anything from God? How are we saved, delivered or freed? It is by grace through FAITH! The secular human mind struggles to grasp the truth of faith, which is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Still, it is impossible to please God without living by faith, which comes by hearing, listening and believing the Word of God. We must obey His Word and hear God in prayer. We can’t “see” faith! The “ex-gay” former-homosexual lives by this consistent faith. The “beyond ex-gay” lives by his or her appetites and attractions. It’s a startling difference. Jesus, reflecting on His second coming, asks, “Will I find faith on Earth?” (Luke 18:8). Living by faith transforms our lives. “Beyond ex-gay” or “gay-Christians” do not believe a faith with suffering.
~Living by Faith
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Jesus clearly knew the statistics of those who live by faith. In the parable of the sower of the seed in Mark 4, Jesus tells us that 75% of those who hear the word of God will not experience lasting transformation by the planting of the Truth in their hearts. They will not conform to His image of self-denial. When gay activists mock ministries like First Stone for a less than 60% success rate, and claim programs like Exodus have a 30%1 success rate, I am reminded of Jesus’ statistics of the parable of the sower of the seed. Only 25% choose the narrow way. Gay “theology” ignores this foundational teaching. When Jesus explained Mark 4:1-20, He was telling us that it was important to understand this parable in order to understand all the other parables. According to this parable, only 25% really learned and desired to overcome and bear good fruit. In light of that truth as expressed by Christ, I am very grateful that many more than 50% of the people at First Stone Ministries actually embrace discipleship and find lasting freedom, yet I continue to have sorrow in my heart for those who teach another gospel (Rom. 9:2, Gal. 1:6-9).
~The Word of God
The foundation for freedom can never go any further than the bedrock of where our faith begins. The “gay-Christian” movement and those who discredit ministries like First Stone can only do so by discrediting Biblical truth and skewing Scripture. What does the Bible say is the greatest enemy of the Christian life? It’s unbelief. Hebrews 3:7-19 tells us that “unbelief” means we do not believe what God has clearly written within the pages of the Bible. Unable to believe the Scriptures from the heart, scoffers must explain away the verses that condemn homosexual behavior. This unbelief is based upon the oldest lie in the Bible, a questioning of God and His character. Just like Satan in the Garden of Eden, scoffers with their doubts ask, “has God really said?” (Genesis 3:1). According to James 1:21-22 and 1 Peter 1:22-25, we must receive the truth of God’s Word implanted into our hearts for our salvation.
~The Beginning of Wisdom
Wisdom from God is certainly the foundation of freedom to live a godly life. What is the beginning of walking in God’s wisdom? Where do we find the answer to the starting place of having wisdom from God? Rest assured that when the Scriptures repeat something only a couple of times it is because it is very important. How important is a subject if repeated over and over, dozens of times? I would say extremely important!
The beginning of wisdom is found in the understanding that God is holy and should be revered in intimate relationship, and feared with trembling if living in rebellion. Truly God is awesome and we should live in awe of Him. (Psalms 19:9; 25:14; 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; 8:13; 9:10; 14:26-27; 15:33; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4). The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God.
Unfortunately today’s Church sends conflicting messages. One message offers a Jesus who will make you happy and blessed, a better you. The other message tells us we should be grateful that a holy God frees us from destruction. A God who loved us enough to die for our sins even though we deserve hell. In a “gay-Christian” environment, hell is not preached accurately (Rev. 21:7-8). The beginning of wisdom is to teach how Christ died to deliver us from hell, but not necessarily suffering in our flesh in this life. The teaching of hell is mocked and certainly not appreciated in many circles of ministry in the Church, yet Christ mentioned hell more than heaven in His own teachings. These truths are not taught or believed by gay-affirming “Christian” unbelievers. Sincere love of God compels us to deliver souls from eternal destruction (James 5:20).
The core strength for a human being is strong abs. Our spiritual body must also have core strength – A.B.S. – as a foundation for freedom.
A – Accountability. Accountability is a core strength essential to lasting and consistent freedom. Accountability is found by living in community with other believers and enjoying life together, confessing our sins to each other and receiving healing prayer. If we confess and forsake our sin we find great mercy. Godly accountability is more than a confession session; it is living in community where accountability becomes natural in a safe environment of holy relating. Healthy accountability becomes a haven of safety, and not of condemnation. (James 5:16 and Proverbs 28:13).
B – Boundaries. We all need boundaries set in place to separate us from temptation. We must appropriately distance ourselves from people, places, things and activities that draw us into sin. If we view boundaries as “restrictions” rather than “protections” we enter into defeat; we allow “bad thinking.” If we truly want freedom, we must view boundaries as protection and embrace them. We all need boundaries on our computers and from all bad influences in order to walk in integrity, truly a foundation for freedom.
S – Spiritually-Devoted Life. We must practice spiritual warfare as a core principle for freedom. A spiritually-devoted life must be practiced in the full range of Christian disciplines to renew the mind, will and emotions. If we are spiritually-devoted, we will read God’s word daily, meditate on His truths daily, pray and fast, journal, maintain consistent fellowship, and daily worship the Creator of the Universe – Jesus Christ. We are then ready to tell others of our faith as witnesses of Christ’s great love to save. As believers, we also need to practice the sacramental institutions of communion and baptism. Those who do not succeed, but instead fall back and embrace a gay identity, do not have ABS. If you live openly, honestly and transparently, you will find freedom. If you cover up and live in darkness, unbelief and lies will find a lodging place in your soul. Secrecy empowers sin and corrupts.
Those who overcome homosexuality and find lasting freedom repair right relating with the same sex. Men and women who repair broken relationships with parents to the best of their ability, receive a blessing on their lives (Mal. 4:6, Ex. 20:12). Men and women who develop healthy relationships within the Church -men with men and women with women -embrace the restoration of Biblical gender identity and find freedom. This can be a difficult process, but is necessary for freedom.
~Complete Inner Healing “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD” (Luke 4:18-19). Unfortunately many merely start the process of allowing the Lord to heal their histories of brokenness. Our western mind-set of drive-by-Christianity gives us the expectation that change will happen quickly. However, for many people, inner-healing and transformation of the soul, the mind, the memories, the will and the emotions, can take years. Those who are open to the power of the Holy Spirit in His timing find this healing. This process brings us to the cross of Jesus Christ.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the POWER OF GOD” (1 Cor. 1:18). The crucifixion is a place of death. In His wisdom and sovereignty, the God of the Universe chose the space in time of Roman crucifixion to send His son to die a terrible death in our place and redeem mankind. God’s wisdom, to choose a horrible death through great suffering, transcends human understanding. But He understands suffering, and the power of God rests upon those who trust in God in their own suffering. Those who understand this foundational teaching will walk in freedom through the knowledge that God did not promise to deliver us from suffering, but to grace us, to empower us to rise above the suffering of our temptations and broken histories. We must come to the cross daily, bring our pain and our temptations, and by faith release our grief, our shame and sin into the Body of Jesus at the cross. There we must release our hopes, dreams, desires, and attractions. Suffering is God’s unexpected pathway to great joy if endured to the end. The cross is LIFE to those who believe and put their faith in what Jesus Christ accomplished there, enduring to the end as we deny ourselves and live for His glory.
I believe it was Leonard Ravenhill who said, “let me spend an hour with a man in prayer and I will tell you about his true spiritual condition.” I don’t advocate judging people based upon an hour of prayer, but a man’s prayer life will determine his level of spiritual maturity. Men and women who walk in consistent freedom are intent on knowing God in prayer. Experiencing God in prayer is a consistent and diligent discipline. Jesus asked his disciples, “Could you not tarry with me just one hour?” I believe the Lord is asking that same question today.One of several reasons people don’t succeed in exiting sexual brokenness: they do not have a diligent prayer life to support the need to practice victorious spiritual warfare. Worship in prayer with a very grateful heart, for gratefulness is the will of God for the believer in Christ (1 Thess. 5:18). Many use prayer to complain or present a laundry-list of needs. These things can be a start in prayer, but the prayer life must mature far beyond that. Our fight is not against flesh and blood.
“For we are not fighting (IT IS A FIGHT) against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies – the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world” (Eph. 6:12). People become weary in the battle because of prayerlessness and the spiritual battle we are in.
~Unforgiveness and Shame
Never be unaware of the deliberate schemes of Satan. He always comes with offense. When we are angry, we provide the opportunity for Satan to set up an offense and cause us to be critical and defiled (Eph. 4:26-27). He causes the heart to be divided with bitterness so the very strongholds of sexual sin will storm back like a flood. Satan then brings his condemnation and paralyzes the solider with shame to retreat into darkness (Matt. 6:12, Matt. 18, 2 Cor. 2:10-11, Rev. 12:10-11, Romans 8:1).
The foundation for freedom and healing for all of us is to long for heaven and hear the Father say, “Well done thy good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of heaven.” Those who overcome will be clothed in white raiment, given authority to rule with God and live eternally. The “beyond ex-gay” say “It doesn’t work” because they have not thoroughly given an entire life process in commitment to the Lord to deny self and live to God only. The truth is clear from the Bible. Life is but a vapor, and we must live by this faith in God, believing and trusting in Him: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession” (1 Timothy 6:12, Colossians 1:23).
“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’ Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Cor. 1:17-21).
God gives his power, His grace, to the humble (James 4:4-10, 1 Peter 5:5-10), yet many demand God do a work of freedom from suffering and temptation which He is not obligated to give.
GOD IS LOVE
God is love and His ways are so much higher than ours. His plan for us is to love in such a way that we would be like the Apostle Paul in Romans 9:1-3, with great sorrow to be perfected in love, and a deeper willingness to be accursed from Christ so others would have eternal life. This is godly and mature Christian living. The Church surrendered continues to grow in this extravagant love. Unfortunately, this kind of love is not demonstrated in much power in the Church at large yet. That’s why so many are without hope. May the Lord grant us His power to represent this manifestation of His love, give hope to those who are falling away, and see many restored who have gone back.
1 – URVASHI VAID on Good Morning America, August 5, 1998:“…what we have a problem with these advertising campaign is that it’s sending out the wrong message. Homosexuality is not an illness. And I think as — the other problem we have is that as people pursue a healthy relationship with their own sexual lives and their own sexual selves, that they need to be aware of snake oil salesmen. I mean, the cure rate for this so-called therapy is about 30 percent, you know.”
This post is a very small critique on Clark Whitten’s “Pure Grace” book and his doctrines that led to the closing of Exodus International and the “revelation” Alan Chambers suffers under. Unfortunately, this “revelation” of Chambers now promotes “gay Christianity” for practicing homosexuals.
Many have asked how Exodus could close and Alan Chambers become so gay affirming? In 2007 through 2012, I witnessed the new “grace” message being shared by Alan’s mentor, pastor and who was also the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Exodus. It was Clark Whitten who propagated his teachings on what he calls “Pure Grace” on all who attended Exodus conferences during these years. I have provided a very simple critique of this book just based upon the introduction and chapter 1 which can be found online. So much more can be said concerning the rest of the book and thus I highly recommend as a counterpoint to read Dr. Michael Brown’s book: Hyper-Grace.
So…What would you say to me, if I told you: I have a new revelation about the grace of God that the Church for hundreds of years had missed? This new revelation of grace is called PURE GRACE and I have a book for you to read! I have a teaching of pure grace and we are on a threshold of a new reformation that will impact the world beyond what the Protestant Reformation accomplished. What would you say to me? 
What if I told you that everything would make sense if you would just receive “my” new revelation? Just receive my new revelations of PURE GRACE:
- What if I told you that you are way too conscious of sin, and way too unconscious of God’s grace. And you need to receive this: Jesus did not die to modify your behavior! What would you say? 
- What would you say to me if I told you: If you are a Christian, you are not required to confess your sins to God in order to be forgiven, because you are already forgiven. Wouldn’t you like your time to be freed up in stopping all those prayers asking for forgiveness? (Clark Whitten has repeatedly communicated in Exodus leadership meetings that 1 John 1:9 is not written to Christians). What would you say? 
- What if I told you that repentance is not the work of the Holy Spirit convicting of sin. Matter of fact, what if I told you that the Holy Spirit coming to convict you of sin is a grotesque misrepresentation of repentance and that it was heathenish. What would you say? 
- What would you say to me, if I told you that God is not angry at all anymore, that all His anger was satisfied and extinguished on His dear Son. Therefore, there is no reason for you to do anything, that God is simply not moved by your works of any kind. What would you say to me? 
- What would you say to me, if I told you that if you do good works or bad things it doesn’t matter. What would you say to me if I told you that if you try to do good things for God you are a legalist? What if I tried to convince you using Gal. 3 that if you try doing good things and be obedient to God and compared it to circumcision from Gal. 3, that you are putting yourself under the law… What would you say to me? 
- What if I were to tell you that sin is merely a violation of friendship—relationship—not a violation of the law of God? And I continue to tell you that anyone who clings to a mixture of grace and honoring God’s law doesn’t trust the power of love to transform a soul. When you sin it does nothing to your relationship with God because nothing separates you from the love of God, you are in the New Covenant. What would you say to me? 
- What if I were to tell that I have a new divine revelation of the grace of God that will transform the Church greater than Luther or Calvin. What if I were to tell you that God is going to use me to usher in the greatest reformation of the Church ever, that it is the age of Grace, — “PURE GRACE” an Uncontaminated Grace! What if I were to tell you that all the people in the Church are living in a pig pen of legalism, and I am going to be used of God to set them free! What would you say to me? 
- The Church is filled with legalism. You are saved by grace, therefore, stop worrying about sin, you are a saint. Saints can sin, but are free under grace. Sinners are not free yet they do good works. Under this new divine revelation of grace, you are free to sin because you are a Saint. The Church tells you to die daily, that is legalism. What would you say to me? 
- The Bible is a rule book is what the Church is telling you. The Holy Spirit comes to live in you but, He comes to convict you of sin, so you better stay clean or God will zap you! You better fear God and keep His commandments! Isn’t this terrible? After all, Jesus did not die to modify your behavior. “I am justified, I am being sanctified, and I will be glorified is a lie. It is religious nonsense.” What would you say to me? 
I hope you would correct me and tell me that I am teaching heresy because you love me.
Clark Whitten has mentored and has been Alan Chambers’ pastor for many years. Alan said of Clark Whitten’s Pure Grace teaching that it was a revelation that surpassed the reformation of the Church. It is this teaching that has now given a segue to gay Christianity where Alan Chambers could tell a group of unrepentant homosexuals that they are going to spend eternity together.
Footnotes from Whitten’s Book and Scripture that Help Clarify the Heresy.
 – “I believe the Body of Christ is on the threshold of a new reformation that will impact the world beyond what the Protestant Reformation accomplished.” Pure Grace, page 21, 1st paragraph, 2nd sentence. Alan Chambers audio of introducing Clark Whitten and his book on “Pure Grace Sunday” at Grace Church Orlando on March 25, 2012. “It is a very very special day… but because God has unveiled something that has been veiled for hundreds and hundreds of years and it is the message of grace… it is THE most important message on the planet.” (http://www.graceorlando.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Message-03-25-12-2.mp3)
(Heb. 13:9, 1 John 4:1, Eph. 4:14, Rom. 16:17, Col. 2:8)
 – Pure Grace, page 17, paragraph 3 (Matt. 16:24-25, Luke 9:23-24, Luke 14:27, John 12:23-25)
 – Pure Grace, page 18, paragraph 1 (Prov. 28:13, Psa. 51, Matt. 6:12, Luke 11:4, 1 John 1:8-10, James 5:16, 1 Cor. 11:31, Acts 24:16)
 – Pure Grace, page 18, paragraph 3 (John 16:7-15, Heb. 12:5-9, Hebrews 4:12-13, John 14:26, Prov 24:24-25, 2 Cor 7:8-11, Ezra 9:6, Luke 18:13-14, Acts 5:1-11)
 – Pure Grace, page 18, paragraph 4 (James 1:20, Rom. 1:18, Mark 3:4-5, Eph. 5:6-7, Col. 3:5-7, Heb. 11:6, Matt. 25:14-46, James 1:22, Luke 6:46)
 – Pure Grace, page 18, paragraph 5, also page 19, paragraphs 1 and 2. (revisit all the verses).
 – Pure Grace, page 19, paragraph 3 (Matt. 7:13-28, Luke 6:46-49, John 14:15, John 14:21-24, James 1:21-22)
 – Pure Grace, page 21, paragraphs 1, 2 and 3. (God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble).
 – Pure Grace, page 32, paragraph 1 thru the end. (Ecc. 12:9-14, Matt. 10:28, Phil. 2:12, Rev. 14:6-7)
The empowerment and further deception of this distorted and false message of grace is also due to the surprising endorsements of this book “Pure Grace.” I want to give the benefit of doubt to some of the leaders, perhaps they did not actually read the book? Perhaps they merely endorsed Clark Whitten because of past relationships within the Church? However, for whatever reason, it is tragic that this book is endorsed at all below, and by such influential people in the Church. This is truly grievous.
Here are the surprising and disturbing list of endorsements:
A Message to Pastoral Care Leaders Processing The Gospel and “Gay Christianity.”by Stephen Black, Executive Director, First Stone Ministries
The Gospel according to Jesus Christ is the same message for a gay-identified person, an idolater, an adulterer, a fornicator, a pornographer, a liar, a thief, a gossip, a slanderer or a murderer. The message of good news–redemption into a love relationship with God–is the same for all sinners. Many “Christian” leaders [see note 40 ] communicate a message that is not Biblical, but instead is deceptive and eternally dangerous. It is certainly not a message of love to lead a person into a false hope. Unfortunately, this misleading message of “gay Christianity” is spread by perhaps well-meaning but Biblically-illiterate leaders who present a message based not on the truth of the Bible, but on a man-made theology. Other leaders purposefully and deceptively spread this message, which is a much graver offense. Deception–which leads people astray–is not love; it’s evil. I share this concern with the same grief-filled compassion as expressed by the Apostle Paul to the Romans in Romans 9:1-3 when he wrote “with a great heavy heart and many tears.” Sincerely I write this article after much heart-ache and many tears. Paul reminded us that many will fall away from the faith in the last days. This perversion of The Gospel is an example of the message of ease, love of pleasure and living unrepentantly with which many will go astray. This article is equipped with many end-notes of Biblical references to back up the emphatic statements and is a Bible study with over 150 verses. Please read the Scripture references with this article and let God’s word be your guide.
GOOD NEWS or BAD?
The Gospel is Good News from Creator God, the Father in Heaven revealed to us through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is an amazing message of love given to fallen humanity. By truly believing in and being in Christ, believers’ relationship with Holy God is restored to the way it was before “the fall.” The Good News is that God the Father has made a way for all mankind to be restored to His original divine intent of an intimate loving relationship that is greater than any we will experience in this fallen world. His desire is for this relationship to be forever with Him. Many proclaim a message that totally contradicts the Gospel of Jesus Christ: that you can be a practicing sexually-immoral person or a practicing homosexual and go to heaven. The Bible speaks directly to this, with uncompromised clarity. The truth expressed in Ephesians 5:5 is clear: you can know with certainty that no one who practices sexual immorality will go to heaven. Interestingly, the Bible often follows these types of passages with the reminder that we should NOT be deceived by people giving us empty promises or words that contradict the truth. Jesus came to save us from and out of our sins, not leave us in them. A person who struggles with and against sin differs from a person who embraces and freely practices sin. The Good News is Jesus died for the sins of the world and rose victoriously over death, hell and the devil. When Christ rose from the dead, He gave us the promise of the Holy Spirit of Grace, assuring us that the Holy Spirit would come and live in those truly born of God unto eternal life. The Holy Spirit of Grace empowers true believers to live holy repentant lives in a devout relationship to Jesus Christ as Lord. However, the Spirit does not live in people who are hostile towards God and disobedient, walking in and embracing and practicing sexual immorality. The Bible tells us He–the Holy Spirit–is given to those who obey God. The Bible also tells us that all sexual immorality grieves God. Holy God revealed in the person of the Holy Spirit will neverabide with, or approve of any immoral behavior. God opposes the proud and gives His grace, the Spirit of Grace, to those who humble themselves and see their need for Christ. Anyone who says otherwise is not teaching the Whole Gospel of Jesus Christ and would be giving bad news instead of the good news.
The Son of God’s Beginning Message: “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at Hand,” Should also be Our First Message
God’s message, revealed to us in human form through His Son, Jesus the Holy One, is very simple: turn from your ways and turn to Me. Biblically we know that turning or repenting is the evidence of true faith and a belief in God that ultimately produces obedience to God in a loving relationship. Through repentance, we replace our belief systems, our worldly thoughts, the flesh and the devil’s ways, and our minds are renewed by God’s word and by His Spirit. This “believing” in the mind and heart turns the behavior away from the way of the flesh to the way of the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to BELIEVE in Christ for salvation. Believing and repentance may unfold differently in each person, depending on his or her history, but God’s grace is truly amazing as it will produce a life becoming more and more like Christ. His grace always convicts the real believer of sin, and reminds the believer of the righteousness of God and the judgment to come. If this heart-change does not happen, self-examination is in order to see whether or not you are truly born again. True faith in God is believing the Word of God and believing in Jesus Christ; such beliefs will result in a changed and righteous life. Paul’s letter to Timothy makes it clear that the Gospel Message must be based upon the sound words of the Lord Jesus Christ, which conforms the soul to godliness. The goal of this message is to mature the hearer into having pure love, an undefiled clear conscience and a sincere and devoted faith. I rely on Jesus’ words for leadership and filter all teachings through His words. Jesus said, “Narrow is the way that leads to life and FEW find it. Broad is the way of destruction and MANY will go on its path.” I also rely on Jesus’ statistics. In the parable of the sower, Jesus’ statistic is only 25% would actually bear good fruit after hearing the word of God. Shouldn’t we teach the same narrow way that leads to eternal life? If anyone–and I mean anyone–teaches otherwise, they are NOT teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We should never teach people that they are justified to live in sin and an unrepentant life, a belief that is completely contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Yet, many leaders today teach contradictions. John, Jesus’ beloved disciple, warns of this danger in his epistle, 1 John. “This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we 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 His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say 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 we have not sinned,we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” “Whoever says “I know Him” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He (Jesus) walked.” (1 John 1:5-10, 1 John 2:4-6). John also reminds us of the importance of obedience in his Gospel, in the very words of Jesus: “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light (Jesus) has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light (Jesus), for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil (practices) hates the Light (hates Jesus), and does not come to the Light (Jesus) for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light (Jesus), so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” “He who believes in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:17-21 v. 36)
Follow Me to the End
My story of true conversion began in February 1983. After praying with people that were completely surrendered to Christ, I was confronted with the Word of God in many ways, two of which I’ll share here.
First, Jesus spoke to me in the power of His Spirit. I didn’t understand what was happening to me; my heart was pounding and I felt very strange. I heard in my mind a voice I know now as the Holy Spirit, telling me that if I did not surrender to Christ, I was going to die. The fear of the Lord gripped my heart. I knew in my soul that I did not know Jesus Christ like these people. They spoke in terms of a relationship with God that I thought was crazy. They told me that Jesus was answering their prayers, speaking to their hearts, that He was consistently known and felt in their home. I had never experienced Christ in that way, but I wanted to. They prayed with me to receive Jesus Christ as Lord.
Later that evening in the car going home, my friend who had been with me and witnessed my surrender to Christ, asked me; “Does this mean you will stop being gay?” I told her I didn’t know for sure, that I wanted to follow whatever Jesus had for me. At home that night I got out the big table-Bible, our only family Bible. Holding it my lap, I prayed and asked God to show me in His Word whether homosexuality was a sin. After all, the gay Catholic priest from my parent’s parish had told me God loved me just the way I was as a gay man; and he stated all the more reason to visit him at mass. God heard my prayer for truth and revealed it to me through His Word found in the Holy Scriptures.
Secondly, Jesus spoke to me through the Bible. As I opened the Bible, it fell directly upon Leviticus with the heading, “Laws on Sexual Immorality.” There it was right before my eyes: chapter 18, verse 22. It was undeniable that God detests homosexual behavior. Initially, I was angry. I could clearly see that I was worthy of death. However, I also understood now that Jesus Christ paid for all my sins in His death on the cross and that He loved me. He saved me from destruction and death.
In the summer of 1983, we began to hear of a strange disease being reported by the news in Oklahoma City hospitals. At that time, the doctors were calling it G.R.I.D.–Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (syndrome)–or G.R.I.D.s. Many of my friends, people who had seemed so vibrant and healthy, were now dying. In fact, more than half the people I knew in the Oklahoma City gay community died within the next few years. In the midst of this tragedy, the fear of God instructed me and gave me life. God spared me and revealed His mercy.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Anyone claiming to declare the Gospel, but excluding the fear of the Lord–the very beginning of wisdom–is immediately suspect to me. I look first to see if a messenger/teacher knows and demonstrates the fear of God, as this is how the Gospel was presented to me by the Holy Spirit. Does the messenger teach that God is holy? Does the teacher instruct that we must turn to God in intimate relationship to become holy because God commands it? These questions must be answered with an emphatic “Yes!” We must respect the word of God. Yes, we must know the kindness, but we also must know the severity of God, for no immoral person or idolater will be in Heaven.
Many times I have been asked if I ever considered returning to the gay lifestyle. I decided in 1983 that I would rather live celibately than return to a life that clearly is not God’s divine intent. However, I am married now with three adult children, and grandchildren. I truly believe God’s word concerning homosexuality. I know He is holy, and I tremble when I think of the fate of people who choose to continue to live in immorality. The Scripture is very clear. No one who practices sexual immorality will go to Heaven. Yet, false teachers, under the guise of hope and kindness, persist in spreading a message that is contrary to God’s Word. Therefore I embrace the words of Jesus Christ for clarity: “And many false (pastors) teachers will arise, and lead many astray (they will tell you can be a gay Christian), and because lawlessness (the practice of sin) will be increased,the love (real love) of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matt. 24:11-14.
Will you endure to the end with me and the many others who will never go back to sexual immorality? We must endure to the end in a love relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the pearl of great price. Even if we live to be 100, this life is a mere vapor. I will never be sorry I embraced Christ, His word and repentance from all immorality. Even if I am wrong, even if there is a remote possibility that a Christian could be gay, I have merely denied myself in pursuit of obedience. But, if the gay Christian or teacher of gay Christianity is wrong, the consequence may be eternal death. That’s not a gamble I am willing to take. Are you? Even if you struggle with homosexual temptation to the end, if you deny the fleshly desires out of love for Christ, isn’t eternal life better than hell? Isn’t loving Christ instead of the world or our pleasure the better choice?
Assurance of Salvation and Answers to Prayer
You can have assurance of salvation. The Bible is clear we can have security IN Christ. If you repent of your sins and put your faith completely in Jesus Christ for your salvation and you continue in this faith in Him, you WILL have eternal life. The promise is found in 1 John 5:13-15: “…to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.” Unfortunately there are doctrines and traditions of men and churches that communicate a relationship with Christ by praying a prayer, or being a member, or being present in an organization. Jesus never taught praying prayers to receive Him as Savior; He taught discipleship and Lordship. Although we should pray to receive Christ, it is not merely praying a prayer that gives us an assurance of salvation. A devoted relationship, a sincere faith in Christ resulting in righteous repentant living and becoming His disciple are the Biblical truths for an assurance of salvation. Assurance of salvation to a sexually immoral person may begin by praying a prayer, but if not accompanied with a sincere faith producing the fruit of repentance, giving an assurance of eternal life would be a very dangerous teaching in leading people into a false hope. Would you like to be prepared on judgment day to give an account of leading people into a false hope of salvation based upon the traditions and doctrines of men? Would you like to give an answer to God for giving a message that actually sent people to hell?
What Will Be The Message? A Biblical Message or Man’s Theologies?
Several church leaders embrace the emergent message of gay Christianity and present a gay Gospel. Their teachings are not based upon the sound doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ or New Testament Biblical instruction. They choose to embrace a false social gospel of a more palatable feel-good-God, a man-made theology, yet they do ‘good things’ under the banner of Christianity. Unfortunately, rather than embracing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a gospel of self-denial that produces a Spirit-filled life that really does do good, they are embracing a man-made theology promoting gay Christianity. Which gospel message will you embrace? Will you follow a Biblical message that allows the human heart and soul to be transformed by the Word of God or a man-made theology that allows men to live in self-centeredness and indulgence? Shall we teach people that just praying a prayer and being a part of a community saves them eternally? Or shall we teach a true belief, that accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and following Him in discipleship will result in a life of righteousness? Which Gospel will you teach or follow? The true gospel of Jesus Christ, which leads to life, or a gay gospel according to man’s words, which leads to death? “There is a way that seems right to man, but the end leads to death.”
More Recommended Reading on this topic:
Dr. Robert Gagnon’s Online Library of Articles <– Excellent Resource
Mastering Life Ministries Online Library of Articles and Video’s by Pure Passion TV <– Excellent Resource
End-notes: (Please read the following scriptures in context of this article:)
 – i.e. Adam Hamilton, Tony Jones, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Jay Bakker, Ray Boltz, Andrew Marin, Troy Perry, Mel White, Tony & Peggy Campolo, Reba Rambo-McGuire, Gene Robinson, Alan Chambers, Justin Lee & Neill Spurgin (Neill Spurgin Coffman)