PUSSKI or ASLAN?

Which do you choose? Pusski or Aslan?

Which do you choose? Pusski or Aslan?

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?

Forgiveness

Forgive
I attended a funeral today.  Very difficult funeral, as it was an untimely death of a young man only 25 years old.  Joseph William Clarkson, July 7, 1990 — April 24, 2016.  This young man is the son of Kevin and Cherie Clarkson, Pastors of First Baptist Church of Moore, OK.   Cherie’s brother, Pastor Tim Salter’s gave a closing message today.  He talked about grief using the story from John’s Gospel about Lazarus, from chapter 11.   He shared how people navigate grief.  How Mary and Martha navigated their grief with Jesus.  He talked about the amazing promise we have of resurrection in that Jesus Christ is truly the resurrection and the life.  He shared a hope-filled message. He reminded the family to be very close and encouraging in navigating grief.  He reminded all of us that life is short (James 4:14) and then he quoted from a plaque in the family home. “FORGIVE – Everyone, Everywhere, of Everything – ALWAYS!  I was immediately reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel, chapters 6 and 18.  The Lord reminded me I needed to continue to let all my betrayers and offenders to go into His hands, and to pray for those who despitefully use us.  We are actually doing ourselves a big favor to forgive everyone, everywhere of everything, every day – Always.  So, I created this image above as a reminder of the real rainbow, for we shall all see the real rainbow around the judgment seat of Jesus.  We need to be ready always.  We never know when death will arrive to take someone we love.  We never know when it will be our time.  Please pray for the Clarkson family as they begin the journey of mourning their great loss.  My wife and I know this loss, we lost our Charity Hope four years ago on the same day the Clarkson’s lost their son.  April 24th will always be a very challenging day for both of our families.  May we become more like Jesus in our love and forgiveness.

Born Again? Examine Yourself

 

heartOften 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

Many Will Fall Away From the Faith in the Last Days

Do Not Marvel, Nor Be Dismayed Brothers and Sisters!  Jesus Warned Us, and So Did the Apostle Paul.  Many will fall away from the faith in the last days.

Apostacy

Jesus reminded us and said:  Be careful that no one misleads you, deceiving you and leading you into error.  (Especially the idea of gay Christianity).  For many will come in, they will look just like sheep.  They will come-in on the strength of My name, appropriating the name which belongs to Me, saying, I am the Christ (the Messiah), and they will lead many astray.  They know I AM the Christ, yet they will mislead many. It is their desire to deceive. It will be during the time you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened or troubled, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. You will see nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in many places, some that are in strange places. All this is but the beginning [the early pains] of the birth pangs of the anguish for the beginning of tribulation. They will hand you over to suffer affliction and tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.  Some will actually think they are doing service to God in jailing you, torturing you and killing you, in my name. Many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert God, Whom they ought to trust and obey and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred. They will call evil good and good evil.  Many false teachers will rise up and deceive and lead many into error.  They will teach doctrines according to the love of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life. The love of many, a great body of people will grow cold, the hearts will be weight down with sin, and be hardened because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity, BUT REMEMBER:  he who endures to the end will be saved.  (From Matt 24).

The Apostle Paul reminded us that the Holy Spirit distinctly and expressly declares clearly that in the last days some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, they will forbid people to marry and teach perversion of marriage and teach them to abstain from certain kinds of foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving.  They will be teachers who will lead people astray according to doctrines of the flesh. Paul warned that if anyone teaches otherwise and his teaching does not assent to the sound and wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching and doctrines which assert godliness and holiness of piety toward God, FLEE!  These teachers are puffed up with pride and stupefied with conceit, they are woefully ignorant. They are teachers who have morbid fondness for controversy and disputes and strife about words, which produce envy and jealousy, quarrels and dissension, abuse and insults and slander, and base suspicions, protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth.  These are teachers who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source for their profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood]. From such withdraw!  Paul warned  IF we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny and disown and reject Him, He will also deny and disown and reject us.  Paul re-warned Timothy to tell the believers to understand clearly that in the last days will come perilous times of great stress, trouble and tribulation. Paul made it very clear to Timothy and to the Romans that there will be many people who will be lovers of self, utterly self-centered, sensual, and sexually perverse, lovers of money and aroused by greed, and the desire for wealth, they would be filled with pride, arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive, blasphemous, scoffing, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.  They will be without natural affection, callous and inhuman in their behaviors, relentless slanderers, false accusers, troublemakers, gossips, intemperate and loose in all morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of all good.  They will be treacherous, betrayers, rash, and inflated with self-conceit. They will be lovers of all kinds of sensual pleasures and vain amusements!  They will be lovers of entertainment rather than sincere lovers of God.   (From Paul’s Letters to Timothy and to the Romans).

The Gospel According To Jesus Christ; and the “Gay Christian?”

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.[1]  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.[2]  I share this concern with the same grief-filled compassion as expressed by the Apostle Paul to the Romans in Romans 9:1-3[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.[4] 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.[5]  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.[6]  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.[7] 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.[8]  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.[9] Jesus came to save us from and out of our sins, not leave us in them.[10]  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,[11] 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.[12]  The Bible tells us He–the Holy Spirit–is given to those who obey God.[13]  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.[14] God opposes the proud and gives His grace, the Spirit of Grace, to those who humble themselves and see their need for Christ.[15] Anyone who says otherwise is not teaching the Whole Gospel of Jesus Christ[16] 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[17] through His Son, Jesus the Holy One, is very simple: turn from your ways and turn to Me.[18] 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.[19]  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.[20]  His grace always convicts the real believer of sin, and reminds the believer of the righteousness of God and the judgment to come.[21] If this heart-change does not happen, self-examination is in order to see whether or not you are truly born again.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] The goal of this message is to mature the hearer into having pure love, an undefiled clear conscience and a sincere and devoted faith.[25] 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.”[26] 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.[27]  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,[28] 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.[29]  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.[30]  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.[31]

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.[32]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.[33] 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.[34]  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.[35]

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.[36] 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.[37] 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.[38]  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.[39] 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[40] 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,[41] 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?[42] 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?[43] 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.”[44]

 

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More Recommended Reading on this topic:

The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics by Dr. Robert Gagnon

Watch Dr. Robert Gagnon’s teaching on: “What Does the Bible Teach on Homosexuality?” by Pure Passion TV

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

Online Article in Facebook: “Gay & Christian? Yes and No! b”y Dr. David Kyle Foster

The Complete Christian Guide to Understanding Homosexuality: A Biblical and Compassionate Response to Same-Sex Attraction by Joe Dallas & Nancy Heche

The Gay Gospel? How Pro-gay Advocates Misread the Bible by Joe Dallas

Read Joe Dallas’ Online Article: Responding to Pro-Gay Theology

The Whole Gospel for Gays, by Andy Comiskey

My Written Testimony: He Sent His Word To Heal Us

Video Interview on Overcoming Homosexuality and Childhood Sexual Abuse by Pure Passion TV

End-notes:  (Please read the following scriptures in context of this article:)


[1]1 Cor. 6:9-11, 1 Cor. 1:18, 2 Cor. 2:15, 2 Cor. 4:3, Romans 1:16-17, 2 Cor. 11:3-5, Gal. 1:6-9

[2]Jude 1:2-4

[3]Romans 9:1-3

[4]2 Thess. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1, 2 Tim. 3:1-5

[5]Matt. 24:4-13

[6]Acts 2:4-41

[7]John 3:16-21

[8]1 Cor. 6:9-11, Eph. 5:1-17, Gal. 5:19-21

[9]Eph. 5:6-9, 1 Cor. 6:9, Gal. 6:6-8, 1 Cor. 15:33-34, Romans 16:17-19, 1 Thess. 2:3-4, 1 John 3:6-8

[10]Matt. 1:21, John 3:16-21

[11]John 14:26, John 20:22

[12]James 4:4

[13]Acts 5:32

[14]Eph. 4:29-31

[15]James 4:6-10

[16]The Whole Gospel for Gays, by Andy Comiskey

[17]John 1:1, 14

[18]Mark 1:14-16, Isa. 45:21-23

[19]Gal. 5:16-24, Romans 12:1-2, 2 Cor. 10:3-5

[20]Romans 8:29

[21]John 16:7-9

[22]2 Cor. 13:5  _ & “Born Again? Examine Yourself”

[23]Romans 10:8-11, Romans 10:17

[24]1 Tim. 6:3-5

[25] 1 Tim. 1:5-6

[26]Matt. 7:13-14

[27]Mark 4:1-20

[28]John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7, 21:20

[29]1 Cor. 2:9-15

[30]Lev. 18:22, Lev. 20:13

[31]Psalms 107:20, Psa. 30:1-5 & Psa. 40:1-5, Eph. 1:7-14, Romans 5:1-10

[32]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay-related_immune_deficiency

[33]Job 28:28,Psalm 19:9, Psa. 34:11, Psa. 111:10, Prov. 1:7, Prov. 8:13, Prov. 9:10, Prov. 14;27, Prov. 15:33, Prov. 16:6, Prov. 19:23, Prov. 22:4, Luke 12:4-5

[34]Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible dedicated to the importance of the Word of God is in our lives.

[35]Romans 11:21-23

[36]Eph. 5:5;  Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:14-15

[37]James 4:14

[38]Col 1:21-23

[39]Matt. 16:24-27

[40] – 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)

[41]Gal. 5:19-24

[42]1 Tim. 1:5-7; 2 Tim. 2:14-19; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:2-4

[43]Matt. 16:24-27

[44]Prov. 14:11-13, Prov. 16:24-26

The Whole Gospel for Gays by Andy Comiskey

Introduction ~by Stephen Black

A perfect title by Andy Comiskey with Desert Stream Ministries: “The Whole Gospel for Gays,” for God forbid that anyone would give anything less to someone, gay or otherwise, than the WHOLE Gospel.  When we sincerely care about people and knowing the holiness of God, His severity and His mercy, true believers are compelled to give the WHOLE Gospel. I am incredibly grateful that I received THE WHOLE GOSPEL in 1983 that transformed my life by those who were not afraid to give me the whole counsel of God’s word.  It was a message of hope (and still is) that called for my immediate repentance to surrender my life to Christ. I am sincerely grateful to men like Andy Comiskey and Robert Gagnon who are willing to tell the truth.  Love is holy and transforming, not merely a human orientation that allows for people to remain in their brokenness.

Unfortunately there are those who think themselves wiser than the word of God. The Apostle Paul reminded the Romans, Galatians and Ephesians about his own revelation of Jesus Christ that compelled the Apostle by the love of God to preach the truth, knowing the severity and the mercy of God; that he would be held accountable to God for his message. (Romans 5, Romans 11:16-24, Galatians 1:6-10)  I am also compel to preach the whole Gospel with the bright light of eternity break forth on the horizon. The longer I live this life, the closer I am to eternity; each of us grow closer day by day; therefore we must preach the whole Gospel to everyone! When shall we give an account to the Creator concerning our life, our very existence?  It could be tomorrow.

I have become increasingly concerned and alarmed by the emergent movement of a social gospel that removes repentance from the WHOLE Gospel message. Yet repentance is absolutely necessary in a saving faith. The fruit of a sincere faith in Christ and His perfect substitutionary atonement, His death on the cross and resurrection will always produce a repentant life. Yet the “new social emergent gospel” presents the nicer, kinder, more palatable Jesus, the social club of gatherers, rather than true devoted followers, disciples, true believers in Jesus Christ.  The whole Gospel requires believers to live a disciplined life of self-denial.

Unfortunately there is a “new message” of simple belief in historical facts with no repentance, however there is nothing new about it.  It is simply an old lie from the very beginning. There is a reason Christians are to be called “believers”.  Christians are actually mandated to believe God, believe HIM, believe the Holy Scriptures as inspired, infallible and the inerrant Truth.  It is a belief that is synonymous with obedience to Christ and HIS words. However there are those who have crept in to malign at different levels, they attack fundamental truths, especially about what God’s word teaches concerning morality and human sexuality.  I am very grateful for Andy Comiskey and Robert Gagnon for addressing this issue head on, especially the “Love Is An Orientation” crowd, although they are sincere with human compassion, yet they are marching to the muddying-up of the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Presenting the Whole Gospel for Gays is biblical mercy, compassion and biblical love!   Please read the following wonderful article by my friend Andy Comiskey.

____________________________________________________________________

The Whole Gospel for Gays ~by Andy Comiskey

Part 1 of 4

What is the good news for the homosexual in the American Church today? In our efforts to reach the lost, have we have lost the liberating power of the Gospel?

I do not mean a simple triumphalism in which saying ‘yes’ to Christ means instant reorientation. I mean the power of Christ Crucified to assume the weight of wounding, sin and shame that resides at the heart of every gay man or lesbian, and the power of Christ Resurrected to restore the integrity of His child’s image-bearing humanity. Over time. In fear and trembling. From glory to glory.

To be sure, that power can only be described as strength in weakness: God’s weakness on the cross, our weakness in surrender to His vulnerability. But it is the truest expression of power and wisdom: Paul describes the cross as the weakness of God that surpasses human strength, the foolishness of God that surpasses our wisdom. (1 Cor. 1:24, 25)

My closest friends and I who have submitted our homosexuality to Christ can attest to the simple message of the cross: die and you will live. The cross demands a death—the surrender of our identities–in order for a new life to be raised up. We have found that yielding our gay agenda has been the threshold for the boldest and most creative expressions of restoration we have yet experienced.

Strangely, the power of the cross to break the husk of the ‘gay self’ and to reclaim the treasure of one’s true humanity is rarely if ever heard in the American Church today. What we do hear is a banal message of compassion which rightly upholds the dignity of the struggler but fails to tell of their need for radical restoration. Like all people.

In an effort to repair decades of insensitivity toward those inclined to their gender, this new, cool Gospel is limited to anemic pronouncements of God’s love divorced from the truth of Scripture and the Christian tradition. In practice, God is rendered passive, unable to offer real transformation to the sexually broken.

What a gutless Gospel, a message devoid of the cross and thus of Jesus Christ altogether. In the forthcoming weeks, I will highlight examples of this ‘watering’ down of the Gospel in order to reach gays. I will include critiques of writings by Adam Hamilton, pastor of the largest church in Kansas City (and the largest Methodist church in the USA), Andrew Marin and his book ‘Love is an Orientation’, as well as other churchmen who represent the ‘love means never having to admit you are a sinner’ approach to homosexuals.

What matters to me is how I go about disagreeing with these colleagues in Christ. Each of them is a human being deeply loved by Christ and called according to His service. I would like to exhibit toward them what Richard Mouw defines as ‘convicted civility’—clarifying one’s convictions in a spirit of respect and humility toward those who believe differently.

That means countering one plank of Hamilton’s or Marin’s system of beliefs as expressed in their writings; it is not a character assassination (vilifying their motives or their humanity).

To me, ‘humanity’ is precisely what is at stake in this whole question of the Gospel we present to gays. Do we see them through the eyes of their Creator and Redeemer, or through the social construct they have created?

That makes all the difference. We can suffer long with homosexuals while we walk together the long road from Egypt to the Father’s house. But we must not blunt or soften Christ’s call to walk that road. We run the risk of losing precisely what Christ died for—the reclaiming of our true humanity from the grip of sin and deception.

Such a loss of vision has deeper implications. Losing sight of how God defines our humanity and its reclamation means that we have also lost our grip on the whole Gospel. That was precisely Paul’s concern for the Corinthians; in justifying sexual immorality, they ran the risk of losing Christ Crucified and Resurrected. So Paul declared to them once more the whole Gospel, and its implications for their humanity, sexual and otherwise.

We are in similar trouble today. The American Church has so perfected its ‘seeker-friendly’ rap that it has lost the language of repentance—the call and will to die—in order to live for the only One worthy of our devotion. Instead we swath our spirituality in the language of pop psychology and gauge our well-being by whether or not we feel good.

Kierkegaard said it best in regards to the Church of his day: ‘It is all love and love…because God is Love and Love—nothing at all about rigorousness must be heard; it must all be the free language and nature of love…God’s love easily becomes a fabulous and childish conception, the figure of Christ too mild and sickly sweet for it to be true that Christ was and is an offense…’

The cross is offensive. It calls us to die to what seems like ‘life’ to us, in order to call us into a life of love that is defined by Him. Maybe Christ has another agenda: not our feeling good but our genuine good, based on His eternal purposes for our humanity.

He wants to save us! Our God has the power to save lives! That is the message not being heard by gays in the Church today. What they hear is that God will help preserve one’s good ‘gay’ life. What a lie. What a cowardly church!

How grateful I am for the amazing men and women who told me the whole truth: they embraced me while they mirrored gently the truth of my sin. That hurt, but it resonated with the ‘sin-sickness’ already destroying me. Their whole Gospel broke the ground for mercy to mature in me.

My first son recently married an amazing woman, next year my second son weds an equally fine bride. I am currently reaping what God sowed in me when he called me to stop pursuing men sexually and to fall down before Himself. What I lost is nothing in contrast to the life He has given me. And through me, to an amazing wife and a host of sons and daughters.

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12: 24.

Part 2 of 4

Demoralizing the Gospel: My Take on Adam Hamilton’s ‘When Christians Get it Wrong’

Morality is a bad word these days. It connotes finger-pointing fundamentalists who lurk in church corners, ready to skewer the disobedient. After all, morality involves ascribing good or evil to particular actions.

That can be a bitter pill for sexual sinners to swallow. The New Testament regards sexual activity outside of marriage as grounds for jeopardizing one’s entrance into God’s Kingdom.

Christian morality does not stop there; it understands that the way of life and action of Jesus Christ is the highest expression of morality. Jesus Himself said in the Sermon on the Mount that He came to fulfill the moral law, that unless His followers were more righteous than the most scrupulous moralists, they would not make it to heaven. (Matt. 5:17-20)

But wasn’t Jesus’ morality summed up in one word: love? Aren’t moral judgments at odds with the God-man who took up the case of the immoral, who claimed that the prostitutes would enter heaven before the Pharisees? (Matt. 21:31)

The answer is simple. Holy love is transformational; God inspires the sinner to fulfill the moral law by persuading him/her that His love is better than one’s old life. Jesus manifested that love in the vast amounts of energy He spent drawing the immoral to Himself. He offered Himself as the target for their turning; in His very being, He fulfilled the Law and the deep longing of wayward hearts.

Robert Gagnon says it best in his masterpiece The Bible and Homosexual Practice: ‘Jesus balanced the Father’s ethical demands with God’s self-sacrificing outreach to transform sinners… His ministry proves that the Church can practice radical love without sacrificing God’s demand for righteous conduct.’

Why then do powerful, decent and otherwise loving men like Adam Hamilton demoralize the Gospel, as he does in his book When Christians Get It Wrong? The pastor of the largest evangelical church in Kansas City, and the largest Methodist Church in the USA, guts the Gospel of its truth by insisting that Jesus simply loves ‘His gay children’; He requires of them no repentance, and thus no transformation unto righteousness.

Hamilton preaches a love designed for a generation that is particularly allergic to any notion that homosexuality is sin. He dedicated his book to ‘John’, a twenty-something heterosexual so influenced by a gay-affirming culture that he defines himself significantly by his defense of homosexual practice. Hamilton quotes John as saying: ‘I fully support those who chose [homosexuality] as their lifestyle…it has become something that is accepted…I don’t see anything wrong with it.’

Neither does Hamilton, if his chapter on homosexuality is an accurate indication. To support his demoralized love, Hamilton mimics the rationale employed by mainline Protestant denominations of the last 40 years to support homosexual practice. Love conquers all, including the Bible’s sexual morality.

(To be fair, Hamilton stops short of blessing same-sex unions. To be true, however, he lays the groundwork for doing just that by removing any biblical objection to homosexual practice. He rightfully prophesies that in 10 years the evangelical world will be as divided as the Protestant denominations in regards to homosexuality, a divide widened by Hamilton’s own demoralized Gospel.)

More specifically, Hamilton claims that Jesus puts people over rules and that Scripture offers us many examples of ‘progressive revelation’. Citing outdated dietary and ceremonial laws, as well as changing ethical ones, like women’s ordination and outlawing slavery, Hamilton challenges the notion that the Scripture has anything binding to say about homosexuality.

Agreed, many Old Testament laws concerning ritual and diet lose force in the New, and God’s image in both women and the enslaved has been progressively liberated from cultural ties that have bound them, ties that the Apostle Paul was slow to disrupt in lieu of other priorities.

But Scripture from start to finish upholds God’s image in humanity as the duality of male and female, a fullness manifest from Genesis One’s Adam and Eve to Christ the Bridegroom returning for His bride at the end of Revelation.

The truth of Scripture and Church tradition points only to marital union as blessed; any other sexual configuration is a violation of God’s will for humanity. Gagnon again: ‘The scriptural witness for heterosexual monogamy and against same-sex practice is strong, pervasive, absolute, and counter-cultural.’

Where Hamilton and I agree is that Jesus’ love applies pointedly to those with same-sex attraction. Where we disagree mightily is in demoralizing that love in order to make the truth of the Gospel acceptable to them and their ‘John-like’ friends.

I want ‘John’ and his friends, whether inclined toward the same or opposite gender, to know the transformational truth of love: how Jesus sets people free from violating themselves and others through sexual immorality. I would cite John 4—Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman–as one such biblical, transformational model.

Paradoxically, that very passage from which we derived the essence of ‘Living Waters’, our main healing course, is the same one Hamilton cites as his approach to gays!

In the passage, Hamilton sees only a loving encounter between a shameful woman and Christ, who poses no challenge to her immorality whatsoever. I see the stern and splendid and altogether compassionate advance of God’s Kingdom; grace and truth converge in Christ as He extends ‘living water’ to the Samaritan then exposes the folly of her multiple partnerships. In truth, it is only after Jesus reveals her immoral state that she proclaims Him as Lord.

Holy love transforms; worldly love caters to the consumer, and allows him or her to conform spirituality to whatever (s)he wants it to be. ‘John’ may prefer Hamilton’s demoralized love, but it cannot transform him; demoralized love fails to call one to anything higher than his own self-interests.

The US Catholic Catechism for Adults says it best: “Love alone, set adrift from moral direction, can easily descend into sentimentality that puts us at the mercy of our feelings… In our permissive culture, love is sometimes so romanticized that it is separated from sacrifice. Because of this, tough moral choices cannot be faced. The absence of sacrificial love dooms the possibility of an authentic moral life.’ And I would add, an authentic Christian life.

One more agreement with Hamilton: he is absolutely right in claiming that young adults today will tend to use a negative view of homosexuality as one reason why they reject orthodox Christianity. But rather than conform the message of the Gospel to the cultural flow, let us go against the current and offer them transformation, something worth dying for.

Christine is a good friend of mine, a pre-Christian seeking the truth. We speak of Jesus often; she said to me yesterday that she would never oppose gay marriage because people should be able to do what they want.

I looked her straight in the eyes and told her the whole painful, shameful, marvelous story of how God loved me so much that He called me to repent of my homosexual identity and practice then follow Him on an adventure of healing in order to discover who He really is and who I really am as a beautiful, broken part of God’s heterosexual creation. (Whew!)

‘Surrender to His love, Christine, that’s all He asks. He accepts our weakness, our fears, and our questions, but He refuses to give us duo passports. You either follow Jesus and serve God’s Kingdom, or you are under the mastery of the Kingdom of this world.’ For the first time in one of our conversations, her eyes widened and filled with tears. She heard the whole message.

Adam Hamilton, you are a good man. Just stick to the whole Gospel. In demoralizing it in When Christians Get it Wrong, you get it wrong and sadly extend your error to a generation that deserves better.

Part 3 of 4

The Gospel Abridged: A review of Andrew Marin’s ‘Love is an Orientation’

This is the third article I have written in a four-part effort to present a whole gospel to gays, and to point out a couple of trends that distort that gospel. One such lop-sided approach is described in ‘Love is an Orientation’ by Andrew Marin.

The book interested me for several reasons. First, it is published by IVP, a solidly evangelical press that happens to be my publisher. Second, ‘Love is an Orientation’ has been very popular among progressive evangelical pastors. Some asked my opinion on it; I write this review to respond to their request.

The book’s theme corresponds with what I observe to be the lopsided approach of many churches to gays: embrace them with a broad message of ‘love’ but provide no clear track for their restoration once inside the church.

The deficit? Evangelism with no discipleship—new life without the cost, a personal resurrection requiring no crucifixion. On such uneven ground, some evangelical churches I know have begun to shift the boundary lines of truth concerning (homo)sexuality. Unwittingly, Marin’s book may encourage that shift, especially with Christians seeking to resolve the tension they feel between gay loved ones and their ‘old ideas’ of sexual morality.

Andrew Marin is a young evangelical who has sought to build a bridge between Christians and the GLBT (gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender) community. His love for that community is more apparent than his love of truth, which skews the good news he offers them. Embrace his heart for the lost while walking carefully: the bridge he builds to unite the church with the gay community is missing some significant planks.

Too bad. His heart at times shines through the pages. He is an evangelist with a background in sociology. His expressed purpose is to ‘elevate the conversation’ with the gay community by ‘humbly learning and listening’ to them.

All good. No evangelical I relate to would deny that a heavy-handed approach to a community that exists in reaction to (its perception of) the church won’t work. Marin wisely suggests that sensitive and patient relating is key to making Him known.

The question is: how do we become the new body that Jesus employs to replace the gay identity and community? Making that transition is tough for all concerned, especially for a gay person baptized and confirmed as a member of a queer nation. How do we lovingly help him or her shed the gay self for the truth?

That has been our challenge from day one at Desert Stream–providing a bridge for the men and women of West Hollywood to the Vineyard Westside. Though the church was just a few miles away, for many it seemed like a bridge too far.

Andrew Marin falters at helping the church become the new community. Instead he focuses on how to keep the conversation going with gay neighbors, yet remains cryptic about crucial points in that dialogue.

I became aware of Andrew a few years back when we were both slated to share on ministry to gays at a conference for urban youth. I wanted to find out where he was coming from, as his course description was vague. He wouldn’t tell me.

That lack of clarity pervades his book, which could be subtitled: ‘If gays ask, don’t tell.’ Marin advises Christians to stay away from pointed conversation with gays about sexuality and ethics as many will use such dialogue to write Christians off.

So Marin remains mysterious in his sexual morality; his book is confusing as to how he understands the transformation Jesus and His body bring to gays.

Gays seeking Jesus face some pretty big decisions about identity, community, etc. Marin advises that instead of sharing our views we simply ‘let it all be in the Lord’s hands and plans as He sees it to be good.’(p.113) Not helpful for the 18-year-old Bible college student about to jump ship and move in with a more ‘realized’ gay man, or the young woman bonding sexually with a fellow athlete, herself a proud member of the GLBT community. (We as a ministry have had to address both cases.)

In light of 30-years of beholding the increase of gay options for at-risk youth (never mind the intervention I have had to do with my own kids for related issues!), I asked myself: Can we do better than a Zen-like surrender of our loved ones to the apparently unknown God?

I say unknown, not because Marin does not manifest the deeply personal love Jesus imparts to His followers; he simply refuses to comment on whether or not Jesus cares about sexual immorality and/or the indignities it engenders on all involved.

How else can he say: ‘If a GLBT person has indicated that it is OK to be gay, the Christian community has to deeply trust and rely on the knowledge that we can never know the end to God’s best journey for someone else’s life.’ (pp. 110, 111)

That may involve turning from homosexuality; it may involve turning toward it. Marin’s gospel will not disclose. In his kingdom, the only solid line one dare not cross is to act as if one knows the way, sexually-speaking, and can help another to find it.

In line with his ‘who knows?’ approach to sexual decision-making, Marin shortchanges the scriptural references to homosexuality. His chapter on the topic does all a disservice. He misinterprets scripture to support his penchant for the GLBT community. He may win their hearts but seriously distorts the meaning of the texts.

Marin frames the 5 obvious references in Scripture that prohibit homosexual behavior as open doors for dialogue with the gay community. He does this by interpreting them in light of his call to build bridges, while stripping the texts of much if any ethical weight in regards to their clear prohibition of gay behavior.

The main sin he warns us of is our homophobia; clear the way, so that gays can ‘choose for God’, says Marin. He is silent as to whether these verses can or should have any authority in deterring those who have chosen Him from repenting of what Paul considers grounds for dismissal from God’s Kingdom.

Dr. Robert Gagnon said it well: ‘The Christian faith cannot be held hostage in its full proclamation of the Gospel because some interest group finds offensive part of that message.’ (For more on Gagnon’s take on Marin’s scriptural errors, click here)

The GLBT community is being held hostage by lies that only the truthful love of Jesus and His community can break. Marin genuinely cares for them; his book manifests that care.

My problem, however, is that he limits that love by so pandering to the GLBT community (in Marin’s own words: ‘I have never met a more loving community…’ Really!?) that he obscures the bridge between them and the church.

Marin the evangelist must meet Marin the pastor who actually walks out the process of integration with gays who surrender their lives to Christ there. He would have to answer the hard questions of morality and self-definition for former members of the GLBT tribe, as well as the joys of inclusion and the possibility of exclusion.

If Marin ever wants to hear real life horror stories of how difficult it is to integrate a group of politicized gay men and women into the local church, just give me a call. Docile seekers roar when they discover you have no intention to bless their same-sex unions.

Marin glorifies the gay kingdom; he romances the GLBT community by amplifying its ‘we-them’ defense—gay is glorious, compassionate and dimensional, straight is flat and provincial. Unwittingly, he perpetuates the divide between ‘gay and straight’.

That is a shame. Jesus and Paul would insist on both groups finding common ground in one body through the cross. Marin overlooks a real key in reaching the gay community: Christians reaching beneath the surface of their ‘straight’ selves, discovering the damage done then repenting unto the Crucified.

If we lived honestly (and many churches do) in this day of fractured families, multiple heterosexual partnerships, Internet porn, the ravages of abuse, and growing numbers of people with same-sex attraction, we would not throw stones at a particular community. We would make ample room next to us for whoever cries for mercy.

What Marin does is challenge us to make a bridge between the GLBT community and ours. I hear that challenge. His witness of love inspires me to take it.

Yet in a day when the world and the worldly church is only too quick to confirm young teens as gay, ordain gays as bishops, and bless homosexual ‘marriage’ as a triumph of justice, we evangelicals cannot afford to be cryptic like Marin about God’s clear message of grace and truth for same-sex strugglers. His bridge is too weak to undergird the pilgrims he invites into the community of faith. I thus cannot recommend this book.

Despite the deficiencies of Marin’s gospel, the man conveys a passionate, provocative heart for people who will perish without the love of Christ’s body. May God continue to grow him and all of us in truthful love.

‘If our Gospel be hidden, it is hid toward those who are perishing.’ (2 Cor 4:3)

Part 4 of 4

Towards a Whole Gospel for Gays: The Mercy that Disciplines

‘This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil. 1:9-11)

The other day, a good friend of mine attended a ministry fair at a large seeker-sensitive church in Kansas City. (He was representing an annual gathering for men seeking to overcome sexual addiction.) When one of the church elders saw that his mission statement included the words ‘biblical sexuality’, the elder asked him to pack up and exit the church on the grounds that such language would be offensive to gays.

Our challenge as churchmen is to abound in love for gays in an age only too eager to grant them what they demand, not what they need. Worldly love lacks both discernment and discipline; no-where is this more apparent than in the church’s witness to gay today.

Let us begin with what gays need. The answer transcends any cultural era and must be kept front and center. In spite of foolish reactions to those who still dare to think biblical morality is relevant to gays, we can never forget that the church has tended to smack same-sex strugglers with her truth, rather than to employ it as a guide to the holy love one needs.

We who have lived with the shame of same-sex attraction need love badly. One cannot readily grasp the accusatory power of the enemy toward us, and the self-hatred that ensues. In the darkness of the unexpressed, same-sex attraction leeches life; it sidetracks the pilgrim onto a compulsive quest for love in the mirror image of oneself.

Here the shaming power of others, especially Christians, can contribute to the ‘gay self’ and community. 33-years-ago as a just born Christian, girlish and arrogant in self-defense, I recall the scrutiny of a pastor whose eyes and words bore through my defense only to shame me further. His discernment over my sorry state was not married to mercy but judgment. I recalled in his glare the shame I endured from accusations over my queer state throughout my teen years.

I never returned to that church. It was worldly, no more an answer to my cry for help than bullies on the playground. Jesus said it best: ‘You have let go of the commands of God and are holding onto the traditions of men.’ (Mark 7:8)

I was reminded of this recently when a pastor leading a men’s support group noted how uncomfortable the ‘normal’ men were when a man joined who confessed to same-sex attraction and addiction. The men shamed him with disconcerting glances at each other, and an unwillingness to look the newcomer in the eyes. These guys could give grace only according to what they knew; the ‘otherness’ of their brother tempted them to wall him off as an exotic sinner in need of a grace they did not possess in their normal idolatry.

It became a holy juncture; the pastor deftly navigated the courageous brother’s disclosure until the others recognized his need was more like theirs than not. They needed mercy, one to another, as unexpressed conflicts came into the light. Worldly judgments burned off like embankments of fog. Same-sex affection and advocacy granted every member what each needed. And it freed the same-sex struggler to need men as friends, not lovers. Love heals.

I do not trivialize the depth of same-sex attraction. I live with it. 34 years later, I am still perplexed by profound needs that can surface in me, and tempt me to worship the old gods and their demands. But I know the God of Almighty Mercy; He has persuaded me through His people that His loving kindness is better than life in Egypt. That truth is the anchor of my soul, its foundation. Neither shame nor self-hatred nor unsatisfied yearnings can separate me from the Love that abounds.

This is my boast, my hope, that the body of Christ can offer the fullness of love that dares to discipline the same-sex struggler. I needed that discipline. As a young man without restraint in his sexuality, narcissistic and impulsive, I needed discipline. I thank God for the loving friends who spoke the truth that eluded my immature conscience.

I would bristle at their challenges to my fleshly actions and attitudes but took the knocks. Why? My counselors were sinners who included me in what became our quest for purity. Jesus loved us. We loved each other in truth. We embraced the Jesus of Rev. 3:19 who said: ‘Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.’

Such merciful discipline is the only antidote to the gay self and its demands upon the world and the church. Those demands are best summarized by the young angry man who upon returning home from University declared to his pastor: ‘The only problem with homosexuality is the one you have with it…’

In the last thirty years, gay insistence for unqualified acceptance has grown from a whisper to a howl. And the church has surrendered her truth to those demands. In essence, we have capitulated to the deception that gays make up a distinctive ethnic group. Here one is assumed to be natively ‘gay’, morally neutral, deserving all the rights and privileges due to members of an oppressed minority. The challenge of ‘biblical sexuality’ is framed as further oppression.

Instead of the love that discerns and disciplines, the church today embodies the weak love of a parent that gives the spoiled child another cookie to stop him from squalling. How else do you explain:

Evangelical pastors who refuse to declare their position on homosexuality on the ground that ‘God is not about positions but dialogue’? (I have heard this more times than I can count now…)

Evangelical pastors who refuse to allow congregants to testify of healing from homosexuality because it would be offensive to gays and their loved ones?

Evangelical pastors who refuse to take a stand on ‘gay marriage’ because they don’t want to give the impression that they are ‘anti-gay’? (Note the progression: the gay person wants something that is not even remotely his to claim; if we disagree, we are ‘anti’ his humanity. Why is upholding marriage anti-anyone? In truth, it is good for all, including the gay community, whose greed it restrains.)

Evangelical pastors who refuse to use the language of ‘biblical sexuality’ for fear of offending gays? A conservative national organization geared to justice related to sexuality recently banned such language from its mission statement in order to not offend the gay community.

Jesus said it best: ‘You have let go of the commands of God, and are holding onto the traditions of men.’ (Mark 7:8)

Paul’s warning to those deceived at Colossae should warn us as well: ‘See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.’ (Col. 2: 8)

30 years ago, the main tradition of the church toward same-sex strugglers would have been fear and shame; today her tradition is a form of secular justice derived from the gay self and its community. Its thesis? ‘I, a gay man or lesbian, am intrinsically homosexual, and the only just thing you can do is confirm me in my gay self and its relationships. If you don’t, you contribute to my suffering …’

To accept that tradition, the church must forego her theological and anthropological traditions, which include: humans are made in God’s image as male and female, which points to virtuous heterosexual relating as the primary goal for every human being.

Barriers to such a virtuous duality abound, most involving perverse expressions of heterosexuality. Sin has skewed all of our self-offerings; those who attest to same-sex attraction bear witness of sin’s disorder in a way that can be understood alongside lust, fear of sex, or inordinate desire of any kind.

That same-sex attraction would become the basis for a self and a community which demands every right accorded to heterosexuals is an arbitrary construct that has no basis in a biblical understanding of human beings. The gay self and its community are alien to the witness of creation, to Scripture, and to historic church tradition.

From a genuinely Christian perspective, there is no such thing as a gay or lesbian person per se, only those bearers of God’s image who also bear certain wounds, needs, and longings, and who may sadly have been duped by a secular belief system that has confined them to a dead-end identity.

When that identity is conceived in same-sex unions, it gives birth to death, pure and simple. Robert Gagnon said it best: ‘Same-sex intercourse constitutes an inexcusable rebellion against the intentional design of the created order.’ His words are intended to discipline the unrestrained; they thus function as an arm of God’s severe mercy: ‘There can be no transformation while homosexuals live in a world of unreality, including false notions about Scripture’s view of homosexuality.’

We the church must resist the tradition of the gay self and its community. Otherwise we mute the truth – indeed the foundational truths that underlie the historic church – that could be their freedom. I encourage you to reclaim the reality that all are sexually broken and all are in need of the grace that abounds

It is up to us, the church, to ensure the clarity of our theological and anthropological traditions. They provide the track on which we can guide beautiful, broken ones toward a grace-filled transformation of life.

When God’s image in humanity is broken , we cry out for mercy. But when we the church concede the definition of that image to falsehood, there is no mercy. What is broken is framed as whole, perversion becomes a destiny, and redemption affronts one’s personal ‘right’. No truth that disciplines, no mercy that transforms.

We as the church can do better. Let me give you a fresh example. Last month, a team of 8 participated in our second annual Living Waters Training in Bahrain. Mid week at our host’s church service, we led 200 beautifully broken expressions of God’s image from Asia, Africa and the Arab world to the ‘living water’. The team shared their testimonies, a spectrum of sin and brokenness that included homosexual and heterosexual adultery, sexual addictions and abuse of all kinds, as well as more subtle crimes of the heart like self-hatred, rejection of one’s own gender, and religious arrogance.

The team included husband and wife, father and daughter, and father and son. Beyond the breach in our families and in our dignity, we shared the beauty of God’s grace and its transforming power in all of our lives.

When it came time to repent before the cross, most of the church came forward. The waters of mercy rose in that place like a flood. Mercy primed weary hearts that sobbed out years of shame and sorrow.

Jesus came to save sinful people like us. Let us not forsake the truth of that sin and brokenness for anyone’s agenda. The mercy is too good, its power to transform too real to squander by placating deceived ones. Extending the mercy that disciplines is our good news, the whole Gospel that Jesus has entrusted to us.

‘Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord Your God disciplines you.’ (Deut. 8:5)

‘For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.’ (Luke 19:10)

A Brother ~ My Brother! An Answer to Prayer!

Pastor Ken HutchersonFINALLY! A NATIONAL LEADER!  A Man of God, Ken Hutcherson, the senior pastor of Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, Washington. Pastor Hutcherson is a beautiful black man in my view, for he is a courageous man of God, but not just because he is black, but that he has godly conviction as a black man.  This is God’s beauty – the feet of those who preach good news! No doubt Pastor Hutcherson will take a lot hits (verbal abuse) over speaking the truth with the “One New Now” interviews.  However I have no doubt that he will stand strong on the truth, boldly proclaiming, because Jesus Christ is his God and king. I am rejoicing today! FINALLY one my brothers in Christ who is boldly speaking the truth!  A godly black conservative leader who is not afraid of the back lash or the “black lash” of the politically correct leftist elite.  I am so grateful for Pastor Hutcherson’s interviews; this brought tears to my eyes as I read the articles and then again when I called Antioch Bible Church to express my gratefulness!   I am sure that Pastor Hutcherson is not the only leader who is speaking up, however he just happens to be one who is speaking up loud enough to be heard nationally.

(See links to the articles below).

My heart was sincerely grieved over hearing the election exiting statistical poll data; 95% of black America voting for Barack Hussein Obama for President, which includes the black church in America. It is conclusive that this was based upon the fact of Obama’s skin color.  Many Christians, white, black or otherwise voted for the “change” because they were frustrated with the war in Iraq and the economy; but they did not consider the actual facts of the stated Obama goals during the campaign that were actually anti-Christian.  I found that grievous, since church percentages should have been more politically conservative no matter what a persons race. The numbers of 52 to 48 percent should have been the norm in the Church as was the entire election.  I tried to remind people of the Obama campaign promises.  I was told not to worry Barack Obama will govern more from the center.  I didn’t believe it and said so, but I did hope so; unfortunately to no avail as Barack Obama became our 44th President.

Since the election and on the very day of the inauguration I have been praying for God to raise up black Christian leaders to speak the truth.  President Obama was clear at his inauguration that he wanted to “remake America” and on the same day he posted the Gay Agenda on the White House Web Site. (However recently the White House staff re-worked the web page “Support for the LGBT” and is now condensed with less details.  It is not quite as boldly pro-LGBT as it was.  However there is more to read on the White House by searching you can see for yourself.)  President Obama hasn’t changed his radically left desires to “remake America.”  His desire to remake America includes barbaric practices of partial-birth abortion, Hate Crimes Legislation, and a Presidential Proclamation making June 2009 LGBT Gay Pride Month for America.  I am in agreement with Pastor Hutcherson, I look for the moral compass of a leader when voting.  Clearly if a man or woman cannot see the barbarianism of partial-birth abortion, they should not be a leader.  If they cannot clearly see abortion as murder how can they have the clarity of character and conscience to lead our country? They can easily violate the other 10 Commandments of God if they are willing to promote partial-birth abortion. This CHANGE and “remaking America” direction also has built-in plans to stifle the voices of ex-gays.  This is especially exasperating for me as a man who left homosexuality 27 years ago.  This propagation of Hate Crimes legislation has what I believe the potential to lead to a culture war on traditional family value ministries and the church at large.

I have asked, “Where are my black brothers and black pastors who are equally appalled?”  Sincerely I prayed that T.D. Jakes would repent.  I have asked the Father, “please raise up godly black leaders!” You will not find many white leaders in the church asking out loud.  It’s too politically incorrect.  They would face condemnation of being racist, divisive and bigoted. I have asked where are the men who truly love God above the color of a man’s skin?  I thought we were so much further along in racial reconciliation in the church at large including the black church. I was naive. I was appalled at T.D. Jakes and other major leaders in the black church of America who were unwilling to stand ground on Biblical principles in their voting rather than glorying skin color and/or a man’s race. Please don’t misunderstand me here.  It is exciting that America has voted for a black man for President.  This does prove we have made strides in overcoming racism.  I can honestly relate to some of the prejudice.  I was called awful names growing up. (I apologize now for the words in this next sentence, but imagine hearing them almost every day for 2 years.) I had one bully who for 2 years in junior-high school screaming at me almost every day within the hearing of my peers “Black – you sissy faggot, you queer, your nothing but a nigger faggot.”  It was so painful, shameful and damaging to my identity.  It was also terrifying to be followed home and beat with the name calling.  Perhaps you can see, I am not insensitive.  I can truly relate to these terrible words. My heart has been broken. I love black people, especially my brothers in Christ, but most powerfully I am in love with my granddaughter who is half white and half black, a gift from God.  You see, I am not insensitive, I just desire truth and righteousness.

I am so grateful to God and I thank God for Pastor Hutcherson who is speaking the truth boldly in these articles to call for repentance of black leaders standing with our President when he is propagating anti-Christian policies. I am so thankful for the call to come back to character and godly living rather than merely standing with a person based upon skin color or because he is charismatic or loved by the media.  I have been so grieved over the racism I perceive in the black church of America who voted for Barack Obama, kicking Jesus’ teachings aside and the leaving the Scripture behind simply for the affirmation of having a black man in the White House.  Pastor Hutcherson set things clear in these interviews.  He is an answer to prayer.  If you feel the same way, I encourage you to write, call or email Antioch Bible Church and let Pastor Hutcherson know that you are standing with him, and then make sure you pray for him, his family and church.  I am sincerely praying for revival in America, and then doing something about it by speaking out; as is Pastor Hutcherson.  Will you join us by praying, and then influencing by talking to people about truth and The Gospel?

Ken Hutcherson preachingRead Pastor Hutcherson’s Interviews with Jim Brown at One News Now:

Pastor: Obama has no ‘black experience’ to speak of

‘No truth’ in Obama’s speech before homosexuals

Related Article: Obama hopes to persuade all Americans to accept homosexuality

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