I write today with the deepest of sorrow and concern for what I’ve seen taking place in the Church concerning the embracing of “gay Christianity.” I have taken some inventory of the causes, and made a list of cautions below. The main cause is poor theology and unbiblical teaching of grace. The simple list I compiled is for your use to ask yourself if you are being influenced by a perverse-hyper-grace teaching.
This teaching of hyper-grace or perverse-grace isn’t new, yet many report a new revelation. It is merely the old demonic antinomianistic teaching from the 1500’s now resurrected by several modern day “grace” teachers. It is heretical and full of pride when some of these teachers communicate they have received a new divine revelation from God on grace. They communicate that this revelation is even greater than all the reformers of the Church. Yet it isn’t new at all. It is antinomianism repackaged. Antinomianism simply means you don’t have to obey any laws of God, because you are under grace. What is very alarming to us at First Stone is that this perverse-grace teaching is permeating the Church at large by giving a segue to “gay Christianity.” My grief in this teaching is that many are embracing “gay Christianity” as a new revelation of grace and have gone back to damnable sinful behavior leading to destruction (1). What a tragedy!
This teaching is truly a subtle demonic plan to lead the Church to apostasy. I have seen the increase of this heretical teaching since 2012 with the Exodus International debacle where the board of Exodus empowered Alan Chambers in his own “gay Christian” thinking. This caused Exodus to implode under the reign of Clark Whitten, Chairman of Exodus and Alan Chambers, President. Under their leadership, many returned to homosexuality, the fruit of this heretical teaching. I write this today as we continue to see terrible results with souls and families devastated. Here are two simple checklists of red flags and warnings about this perverse-hyper-grace teaching leading souls astray.
You ARE under a perverse-hyper-grace teaching if the teacher is saying any of the following FALSE statements:
⚑ You do not need to confess your sins any longer to God because 1 John 1:9 is not written to Christians.
⚑ Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit does not come to convict you of sin.
⚑ The idea that the Holy Spirit comes to convict you of sin is a grotesque misrepresentation of repentance and that it was heathenish.
⚑ Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit will not make you feel guilt, shame nor rebuke you about your sin.
⚑ You do not or cannot grieve the Holy Spirit when you sin.
⚑ Jesus Christ plus nothing equals everything, as you do not need to do anything to please God.
⚑ You do not need to fear God, as God is completely pleased with you because of what Jesus did on the cross.
⚑ God is not moved by anything you do, good or bad.
⚑ Jesus did not die to mortify your behavior, so don’t be too conscientious about sin.
⚑ Prayers for forgiveness and praying for the salvation of loved ones are a waste of time because God has already saved the world. Forgiveness is not something God does; it’s something He’s already done.
⚑ A repentant life is not really necessary because you were forgiven when you believed in Christ.
⚑ You cannot make God mad; He is never displeased with you no matter what you do.
⚑ You will not receive any extra blessings by being obedient to God.
⚑Sinning is merely a violation of friendship—relationship—not a violation of the law of God.
⚑ Under this new divine revelation of grace, you are free to sin because you are a saint.
⚑ When the Church tells you to die daily, it is legalism.
⚑ You are completely sanctified today; you do not and cannot become more sanctified or holy as you are today.
⚑ The teachings of Jesus Christ or His words in the Gospels do not apply to us today as they did to the New Testament believers.
⚑ Humility is considered debasement and a teaching of weakness.
⚑ Being broken over sin or weeping over sin is considered abuse of people in the church.
⚑ Giving assurance to unrepentant sinners that they are eternally secure.
I sincerely hope that, if you have heard these statements as a teaching, you have rejected them. These statements are not the truth. These statements are heretical teaching and lead many astray and deny the Lordship of Christ.(2) It is necessary to study the Scripture to overcome these false statements.
You MIGHT be under a perverse-hyper-grace teaching or leanings towards hyper-grace if the teacher is saying any of the following ambiguous statements or is taking any of the following positions in the local church:
⚑ The teacher never speaks of sin.
⚑ No preaching on hell, or hell is rarely talked about. Everyone goes to heaven.
⚑ A belief that hell is not forever, or much different from orthodox teaching on hell.
⚑ The teacher or the church believes that the fear of God is not needed or that the fear of God means merely respect for God.
⚑ The Old Testament is ignored or considered irrelevant for our day.
⚑ Leaders in various positions under the staff in the church are living immorally, and it goes unnoticed or is not confronted.
⚑ Sin is not confronted in the membership.
⚑ Underestimating the power of sin, and ignoring those who call attention to sin and suggest that we must wrestle with our sin.
⚑ The Word of God is not used as the primary source of teaching.
⚑ There is an over emphasis on being positive and happy, rather than confronting sin in the Church and being conformed into the image of Jesus.
⚑ Prophets or the prophetic voice is not highly respected in the church.
⚑ An over-emphasis on eternal security without emphasizing a lifestyle of repentance. Teaching that a simple prayer will obtain eternal security rather than a surrendered life to Jesus Christ as Lord.
⚑ When believers stress obedience to Christ, they are deemed legalistic or derogatorily called Pharisees.
⚑ The teacher has a mocking or sarcastic presentation about those who confront their teaching on grace.
In closing here are a couple of quotes from Dr. Michael L. Brown’s book, “Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message” which is an excellent resource on this subject. I highly recommend reading this book for further understanding, as he addresses almost all the points above.
“Simply stated, there is not a single verse anywhere in the Bible that pronounces us already forgiven for our future sins (meaning, sins we have not yet committed). Not one verse. Nowhere. Not even a hint of such a concept.” – Dr. Michael L. Brown
“Again; thousands are deceived into supposing that they have “accepted Christ” as their “personal Savior,” who have not first received Him as their LORD. The Son of God did not come here to save His people in their sin (to continue in sin), but “from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). To be saved from sins, is to be saved from ignoring and despising the authority of God, it is to abandon the course of self-will and self-pleasing, it is to “forsake our way” (Isa. 55:7). It is to surrender to God’s authority, to yield to His dominion, to give ourselves over to be ruled by Him. The one who has never taken Christ’s “yoke” upon him, who is not truly and diligently seeking to please Him in all the details of life, and yet supposes that he is “resting on the Finished Work of Christ” is deluded by the Devil.” – Dr. Michael L. Brown
Please take the following Scriptures to heart, although many “grace” teachers would tell you that 1 John was not written to Christians. As you read, you can see plainly, it is written to Christians.
”And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 John 1:5-10, 1 John 2:1-6
“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” 1 John 3:21
Grace is truly extravagant. Grace truly reveals components of mercy and love. Grace clearly shows what God did for us in sending His own Son to die on the cross in our place. This extravagant and amazing grace revealed at the cross is an amazing gift to those who truly believe. We can have forgiveness of all sin and complete atonement, as though we had never sinned. Grace saves and not works. No man can boast except in the blood of Jesus Christ. He is extravagant in His sacrifice and love for us. The Holy Spirit of Grace actually comes to live inside the true believer in Jesus Christ. This grace, the very presence of Jesus, brings salvation and teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust in this life, and that we can be overcomers living sober and godly lives now. This amazing extravagant grace does not leave true believers in a lifestyle of sin; it changes their minds, their thinking, their desires. Grace also puts a longing in the hearts of true believers to look forward to His coming. (3)
If you need further help to understand this wonderful concept of grace and how it is applied in our lives, please read Dr. Michael Brown’s book, and you can certainly feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Resources for this article:
“Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message” – by Dr. Michael Brown
Hyper-Grace Documentary (feat. Dr. Michael Brown, David Ravenhill and Eric Ludy – On YouTube: https://youtu.be/dtRVWeoNuvw
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?
John Wesley lived in the 1700’s, and was perhaps England’s most famous evangelist and preacher. His writings, preaching, and life ministry have made a tremendous impact on the Church as a whole. This article was taken from “The Complete Works of John Wesley,” published by Baker Book House. As our brother John urged, read this message with a prayerful, open heart.“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” – Luke 9:23
Denying ourselves and taking up our cross isn’t a little side issue – it is absolutely necessary to becoming or continuing to be a disciple of Jesus. If we don’t practice self-denial, we aren’t His disciples. It’s useless to try to follow the One who was crucified without taking up our own cross daily. Unless we deny ourselves, it will be impossible not to deny the Lord. But so many who have written about self-denial (some of them large volumes) don’t seem to have an understanding of the subject. Either they couldn’t explain it to others, or they didn’t know how far to take it, or they didn’t sense the absolute necessity of it. Others speak of it in such a dark, mystical way, that the average man can’t understand what it’s supposed to mean.
Still others speak very clearly on the necessity of self-denial, but they never get down to any specifics about what to do. And if some of them do get specific, they only talk about those things that hardly affect anyone, since they almost never occur in common life. They speak of things like enduring imprisonment or tortures, giving up houses or lands, husbands or wives, children, or even life itself. But most of us aren’t likely to be called to endure things like these for the Gospel, unless God permits times of public persecution to return.
An Uphill Climb
What does it mean for a man to “deny himself, and take up his cross daily”? This is something which is so,so important to understand, because many powerful enemies oppose this Christian doctrine stronger than they oppose any other aspect of our spiritual lives. All of our natural feelings rise up against any kind of self-denial, and we immediately look for reasons to excuse ourselves from it. Those who love the world hate the very sound of it. And the great enemy of our souls, knowing full-well its importance, tries to roll every stone against it.
But this isn’t all. Even people who have pretty much shaken off the yoke of the devil, and who’ve sensed the work of God in their hearts, don’t seem to know much about this central doctrine of Christianity. Some are as deeply and totally ignorant about it as if there wasn’t one word about it in the Bible. But self-denial is something that their Master insists on.
Others are even further off, having accepted a strong prejudice against it. They’ve gotten this idea from shallow “Christians” who like the easy things of life, and who don’t want anything of godliness except the power.
It’s not enough for a minister of the Gospel to not oppose the doctrine of self-denial. If he wants to be pure from the blood of all men, he must speak of it often, showing the necessity of it in the clearest and strongest way. Can you see how you’re in constant danger of being fooled, cheated, or ridiculed out of this important command of Jesus, either by false teachers or false believers?
In the meantime, a good understanding of what self-denial really means is badly needed. And once you know what it means, you need to learn to practice it as a way of life.
All of the things that hold us back from being right with God or growing in the Lord can be boiled down to this: either we won’t deny ourselves or we won’t take up our cross. Let deep prayer go before, accompany, and follow what you are now about to read, that it may be written in your heart by the finger of God, never to be erased.
I’ll try to show, First, what it means for a man to deny himself and take up his cross; and, Secondly, show that if anyone isn’t fully Christ’s disciple, it’s always because he won’t obey this command of Jesus.
What is self-denial? How do we deny ourselves? Why do we have to? Self-denial is simply denying or refusing to follow our own will, from a conviction that the will of God is the only right way.
The first reason that God should be totally in charge of our lives, instead of us, is because He made us. “It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.” (Psalm 100:3) It’s only a natural result of the relationship between man and his Creator. If God’s way is the right way in everything, big and small, it follows that we shouldn’t go our own way in anything. Self-denial holds true for the angels of God in heaven as well as with man, innocent and holy, as he came out of the hands of his Creator.
The second reason that God should be totally in charge of our lives is because of the condition that all men are in since the fall. Our own will leans toward indulging our natural desires. But it’s God’s plan and desire that we resist and overcome that temptation, not at some times or in some things only, but in all times and in all things.
Let me illustrate this. The will of God is like a road leading straight to God. The will of man, which once ran parallel with it, is now another road, which runs in the opposite way. It leads away from God. If we walk on one, we have to leave the other. We can’t walk on both at the same time. It’s impossible for a man to follow his own will and follow the will of God. You have to choose one or the other – either denying God’s will to follow your own, or denying yourself to follow the will of God.
Without a doubt, it’s more pleasing, for a while, to follow our own will and desires. But by following our desires in anything, we strengthen the rebellion of our heart. So, by eating the food we enjoy, we often increase a bodily disease. It satisfies our taste, but it makes us sicker; it brings pleasure, but it also brings death.
On the whole, then, to deny ourselves, is to give up our own will, no matter how much we may want our own way, whenever it doesn’t fall in line with the will of God. It’s to deny ourselves any pleasure which doesn’t come from, or lead to, God.
Taking Up Your Cross
In our daily lives what does it mean to take up your cross? We need to find out, because everyone that wants to follow Christ must not only deny himself, but take up his cross as well. Taking up our cross means doing anything that goes against what we would choose to do. So taking up our cross is a little harder than denying ourselves. It rises a little higher, and is more difficult to flesh and blood. Even though it may sometimes be hard to give up our own pleasure, it’s easier to do that than to take up hardship and endure pain.
Now, in running “the race that is set before us” according to the will of God, many times there’s a cross lying in the way. That cross is something which will not only bring no pleasure, but something that is a burden or a pain. Picking up our cross is not just denying ourselves something that is pleasurable, it is allowing something that is unpleasurable to enter into our lives. What do we do when we are faced with this? The choice is plain: either we take up our cross, or we turn aside from the way of God.
In order to bring our lives back in line with what the Lord originally intended us to be, it’s often necessary to pluck out, so to speak, an eye, or to cut off a right hand. We’re so attached to some habits of sin that we can never be separated from them without intense pain. The Lord then purifies the soul like a refiner’s fire, to burn up all the impurity. It’s painful all right, and it must be, because the soul cannot pass through the fire without pain.
The Good Doctor
If God puts us through any kind of pain, it’s only in order to heal us. Jesus is our Great Physician and He cuts away what is infected or rotting, in order to preserve the healthy part. And if we would freely choose the loss of a limb, instead of letting our whole body perish, how much more should we choose, figuratively, to cut off a right hand, rather than to have our whole soul cast into hell!
When our Lord said to the rich young man, “go and sell al that you possess, and give it to the poor”(knowing this was the only way to heal his greed), the very thought of it gave that young man so much pain that “he went away grieved.” (Mark 10:21-22) He chose to part with his hope of heaven, rather than part with his possessions on earth. This was a pain he would not agree to endure. A cross he would not take up. And in one way or another every follower of Christ will surely have to take up his cross daily.
Taking up our cross doesn’t mean literally tearing our own flesh, wearing uncomfortable clothes, purposely exposing ourselves to extreme heat or cold, or anything else that would hurt our bodily health. It means embracing the will of God, even though it may be totally different from what we want. It means choosing the good, though it may be bitter medicine. It means freely accepting hardships, trials, and temporary pain of whatever kind, as we walk on the path of eternal life.
Secondly I want to show that it’s always because of lack of self-denial, or taking up his cross, that someone doesn’t completely follow Christ and is not fully His disciple. Let me show you what I mean with a few examples:
Five Kinds Of People
- The first kind of man hears the word which is able to save his soul. He likes what he hears, acknowledges the truth, and his heart is touched, yet he remains dead in sin, senseless and unawakened. Why is this? Because he won’t part with the sin he loves, though he now knows it is utterly hated by the Lord. He came to hear, full of lust and unholy desire, and he leaves the same way because he will not deny himself these things. This man doesn’t wake up, even though the trumpet is blown.
- The second kind of person begins to wake up, and his eyes even open a little. He’s convicted by the Spirit of God and receives the truth. But soon the conviction wears off and his eyes are closed again. Why does he again sink into the sleep of death? Because he continues to yield to the sin he loves. He drinks again of the pleasing poison. Although he begins to wake up, he has no deep conviction. Therefore it’s impossible that any lasting work can be done in his life because he will not deny himself.
- The third type of man has really woken up. The things God has shown him don’t fade away. The impressions are deep and lasting. And yet, he never feels at peace with God, although he really desires it. Now, why is this? It’s because he doesn’t bring forth fruit in keeping with his repentance. He doesn’t “cease to do evil” and “learn to do good” according to the grace he has received.
These people don’t completely let go of their sinful habits, or they continue to avoid doing the good they know they should do, because it’s something they don’t want to do. That is, they never come to a point of saving faith, because they won’t deny themselves, or take up their cross.
- The fourth person is someone who has tasted the heavenly gift and the powers of the age to come. The peace which passes all understanding ruled his heart and mind; and the love of God was poured out in his heart by the Holy Spirit – yet now he is weak. He again loves the things of the world and desires them more than the things that are not seen. The eye of his understanding is closed again, so that he can’t see Him who is unseen. His love has grown cold, and the peace of God no longer rules in his heart. And no wonder, for he has again given a place to the devil, and grieved the Holy Spirit of God. He has turned again to some pleasing sin, if not in some outward act, yet in his heart. He has given a place to pride, or anger, or lust, to self-will, or stubbornness.
Maybe he didn’t stir up the gift of God which was in him – he gave way to spiritual laziness and wouldn’t be bothered with the pains to “pray at all times…on the alert with all perseverance.” (Eph 6:18). That is, he made shipwreck of his faith, for lack of self-denial and taking up his cross daily.
- The fifth kind of man hasn’t made a total ship-wreck of his faith. He still has a measure of the Spirit of adoption, which continues to witness with his spirit that he is a child of God. However, he’s not “going on to perfection.” He isn’t, as he once was, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, as the deer pants after the water brook. Instead he’s tired and worn out in his mind, wavering between life and death.
And why is he this way? Because he has forgotten the Word of God. “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected.” (James 2:21-22) That is, he isn’t diligent in working the works of God. He doesn’t continue in prayer, either personal or group prayer, in communicating with Jesus, meditating on the Word of God, fasting, and in staying in fellowship. And why doesn’t he continue in prayer? Because in times of dryness it’s a pain and bother to him.
Or he isn’t zealous in helping others. He doesn’t fervently serve the Lord by doing good to men, in every way he can, to their souls as well as their bodies. He doesn’t continue to yield to God at all opportunities, because he’d rather go to sleep, or it’s just too cold outside, or dark, or rainy. Why can’t he feed the hungry or clothe the naked? Because he might have to do it at the expense of his own clothes, or use cheaper and less pleasing food. Besides, visiting the sick or those in prison is surrounded with all kinds of uncomfortable circumstances. And so are most works of spiritual mercy, like correction, for example.
He won’t help his brother by correcting him because shame, sometimes fear, comes between. He may have to expose himself to ridicule or worse inconveniences. When he considers these and other things, he leaves out one or more, if not all, works of mercy and love. Therefore, his faith is not being perfected, and he can’t mature in his faith, because he won’t deny himself, and take up his cross daily. Tired of carrying his cross, he stops diligently pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
We can see that it’s always because a man will not deny himself or take up his cross that he doesn’t completely follow his Lord. It’s for this reason that he’s not fully a disciple of Christ. This is the real reason why so many people who were once burning and shining lights have now lost both their light and heat. They didn’t value self-denial according to its high importance, or take any pains in practicing it.
Lastly, see that you apply this, every one of you, to your own soul. Meditate on it when you’re in secret. Consider it in your heart! Take care not only to understand it thoroughly, but to remember it to your life’s end! Cry to the Strong for strength, that as soon as you understand, you will practice it! Don’t put it off, but practice it on every one of the thousand occasions which occur in all circumstances of life! Practice it daily, without intermission, from the hour you first set your hand to the plow, and enduring to the end, until your spirit returns to God!
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.”
A Warning from the Word of God, from the book of Jude:
A Warning to those who are unfaithful; who engage in all forms of sexually immorality and homosexuality.
This is also a Scriptural warning to those who are rebellious to God’s Holy Word, and who scoff and mock at the Scriptures, and it is a warning to those who are greedy for gain and the selfishly ambitious.
Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the precious salvation we all share from Jesus Christ our Lord. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his people who are called holy. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ by their way of living life.
So I want to remind you and warn you, though you already know these things if you have studied the Word of God, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later He destroyed those who did not remain faithful. This is a sober warning for anyone who names Jesus Christ as Lord. The commandment is clear, “Thou shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.” Saying that Jesus Christ is your Lord and then living ungodly. And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment. And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because their arrogance blinded them and taking them into sexual perversions of every kind.
In the same way, these people—who claim authority from their dreams—live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings. But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.) But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. Those who believe it is justifiable to live according to their own desires will bring judgment down upon themselves. What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money — greediness brings deception and death. And like Korah with rebellious hearts they perish in their rebellion.
When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. Be careful with those who you have fellowship with least they turn you away from following the Lord Jesus Christ. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness.
Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their own desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.
But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives, never allowing yourself to compromise, but be all the more diligent as you see the day drawing closer to the end.
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.