A Clarion Call for Genuine Salvation and Biblical Hope; Not Compromise!
Church Leaders, Please Truly Love the Same-Sex Attracted Person
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8.
God commands us to love one another, yet only through the divine influence of the Holy Spirit living in us and moving us to love as the Lord Jesus Christ loves are we able to fulfill that command and walk out love. The Holy Spirit creates this kind of love within God’s diligent surrendered repentant people, enabling them to walk out true love without denying true justice. Only in His love can we avoid the great compromise of our age.
God is looking all over the Earth to find a people whose hearts are completely His to pour out His love and mercy. (2 Chron. 16:9) As God pours out His love and mercy on people whose hearts are completely His, this love manifests in Spirit-filled believers who, by striving to embrace a lifestyle without compromise for themselves, are then free to love others fully, yet without compromising the holy justice our Lord requires. As His divine influence works in us, we are able to walk out a Heaven-birthed love that reflects the real grace of God. Lest we forget, God gives His grace to the humble (James 4:6), not to the proud or compromising. His grace, and therefore His power, is given to those who put their faith in Christ alone. (Eph. 2:8-9).
How do we walk humbly? The Lord showed us how in the example of His own life as he truly and justly and consistently loved people with His great mercy. It is proven that only this long-suffering love, lived out through discipleship care and inner-healing ministry can bring real transformation for people seeking to be free from homosexuality. A distorted and compromising love being embraced by many Church leaders across America will not bring freedom. Some leaders may believe it is kind and loving to empower the idea of “gay Christians” or to proclaim “same-sex attracted” or “gay” as legitimate titles, labels and identities, but they are separating justice and mercy from love. This is tragic. Encouraging people to embrace a distorted image is not loving and is certainly not just. It is actually unloving, spiritually wounding, and could eventually be eternally harmful to souls. (Rom. 1:18-28, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Gal. 5:19-21, Eph. 5:5-6, 2 Thess. 2:10-12).
Same-Sex Attraction: Temptation, Lust or an Identity?
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape (freedom), that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
The mercies of God in His extravagant grace are deposited into the humble heart. God gives a way of escape to those tempted; however, He resists the proud. (1 Peter 5:5-10) Many today in the Church, rather than wrestle with the issue of same-sex temptation and same-sex lust, argue instead that same-sex attraction must be recognized as a legitimate identity. There is no biblical basis for this surrender.
“We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:3-5.
A loving and just leader will help a person overcome lust by teaching them to take every thought captive. A discerning and spiritual father will teach spiritual warfare to a same-sex attracted person so he or she can walk in freedom over tormenting temptations. A Christ-led leader will not embrace temptation as an identity, misleading people in slavery to further sin and lust. No one in the Body of Christ should have to live a life overwhelmed by attractions that keep lust operating in the soul. Love empowers the soul to overcome temptation; anything less is evil. Unfortunately, instead of teaching the truth—that same-sex attraction is a condition of the soul as a result of fallen humanity and is typically a result of a distorted and painful history which needs Godly care—many today promote the idea that same-sex attraction is a legitimate identity. This is wrong.
There is a great need for ministry, love and understanding for the homosexual and the person who is attracted to their same-sex. Most same-sex attracted people, with the longing-hearts of broken-souls, become consumed by lust as they deal with a wounded history, trying to repair a broken image. This attraction and its fulfillment through lust can never be the identity of anyone who is completely surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Still, many well-meaning Church leaders promote the idea that being “gay” or a “gay Christian”, or being attracted to one’s same-sex is a legitimate ‘orientation’ and/or an identity based on modern psychology and their own appetites. This promotes a false-self in fallen humanity as something to be acknowledged as a personality or as a part of the identity. This deceptive teaching promotes distortion in the Church and leads many astray with a false compassion. Coining new and comforting terms, such as “mixed orientation marriages” and other forms of sexual “orientation” only further strengthen the strongholds in souls.
Gay-activists have browbeaten the Church with words like homophobic, bigoted, intolerant, unloving and unkind, making anyone who desires to be uncompromising in Biblical orthodoxy subject to scrutiny and a demonic pressure to be swayed into a man-pleasing spirit. After-all, what sincere Christian is willing to wear the unloving labels cast on them by gay activists? No one! Reactionary leaders introduce deception, subtly legitimizing same-sex attractions and lust under the ever-growing cheap-grace teachings. Well-meaning compassionate people are being seduced by false teachings about grace and mercy, thus promoting a distortion of Christianity—the ‘kind-license’ to sin—which actually makes an allowance for sins of the heart and mind to remain. We should show great compassion to all sexual sinners in the Church, but these cheap-grace teachers align themselves with demons to turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. Some of them even joke outrageously about lasciviousness and mock grace. “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness (lasciviousness) and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:4
The Grace of God is Transformational
Flee from sexual lust and fornication for every other sin is committed outside the body, but sexual immorality is a sin against your soul, your identity and body. 1 Cor. 6:18.
The Apostle Paul used the word “flee” for a reason. Sexual sin is very dangerous and very damaging to the soul and humans should flee as fast as humanly possible. Teaching acceptance of gay Christianity is equally dangerous. Gay-Christian advocates teach lies; they are blind and deceptive guides keeping the souls of many in bondage to same-sex lust. And from these teachers we should flee. Jesus’ way is to submit the soul through faith to His amazing sacrifice on the cross, resulting in righteousness. (Rom. 10:10). A true faith in God embraces inward holiness of thoughts. His divine call for salvation is to a new lifestyle of turning (repenting) to Him for the joy of a deep intimate relationship with Christ as Creator. This requires us to die to all self-promotion of the fallen Adamic nature of the flesh (orientations) and its desires, which includes same-sex attraction, homosexuality and all forms of sexual sin and brokenness. The grace of God is transformational. He always makes a way of escape from temptation for those who are completely His. This is a very good test to see if in fact you are truly born again: do you desire to live purely in your thought life every day? Do you desire transformation?
We Are Created in the Image of God—Imago Dei!
As I have oft-written, we are created in the image of God—Imago Dei! Using a “sexual orientation” for a person’s identity—such as “same-sex attracted” or “homosexual”—indicates viability for behavior outside of God’s original intent for human sexuality. I have never agreed with the notion that “sexual orientation”—our sexual direction or desires—is equivalent to how we are sexually created to be. Using terms like “sexual orientation” and “mixed orientation marriages” communicates a distorted truth based solely on human attractions and feelings, not on God’s creation and intent. Modern psychology has provided these terms. The only intent for human sexuality or orientation is from God. That is “heterosexuality,” a term also given to us by modern psychology. What we call heterosexuality, God calls holy relating between one man and one woman in a covenant marriage relationship with the potential to create life in His image through human sexual intercourse. God calls this relationship holy—two becoming one—a holy relationship that can be only between one man and one woman. We are never more like God in His creativity as humans than when we are in concert with God in creating life.
One cannot create life through homosexuality. We are most like God in His creation when as ‘heterosexual’ married couples, we produce children, also created in God’s image (Imago Dei). All other “orientations” are, at the very least, distorted emotional wounds from psychological (soulish) problems with accompanying desires. Modern psychology, at its very worst, gives us “sexual orientation” as a way to legitimize sinful behavior. Under this diabolical plot, the “orientation” message can culminate with the potential for mutilation of the body as we see in gender-reassignment surgery. This evil is very deceptive and tormenting for people.
Humans are created male and female. Heterosexuality is an innate created biological fact and therefore cannot change. It is simple biology 101, and an orientation idea given to us by modern psychology does not change the truth that we are created human beings, male and female at every level (Imago Dei). Being human and under the curse of original sin, however, we are able to have distorted attractions and very sinful behaviors. Humanity is fallen and, as fallen human beings, the orientation we have is a “sinful orientation,” not a “sexual orientation.” Very simply, homosexual behavior and other“sexual orientations”outside of God’s divine intent for human sexuality are sinful. However, there is hope!
Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from all our distorted thinking. He gave us the Word of God, so our minds could be renewed by His Spirit and so transformation can occur to the surrendered soul. The Holy Spirit abides in those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Isn’t it good news to know we do not have to be defined by modern psychology or our feelings, attractions, appetites or lust? We are defined by the Creator, Who created us in His image, to be like Him in a holy identity as man and woman; and we are created as His children. Yes! In fact, one can “change” from a ‘homosexual’ existence and live a holy and healthy life created in the image of God as ‘heterosexual’ men and women. Imago Dei!
Realigning with the Words of Jesus Christ and the Holy Scriptures
The Church is in need of a great revival. A revival to give justice and mercy to the same-sex-attracted person and all sexual sinners. A revival where souls are truly transformed! We must base our message upon the sound words of the Lord Jesus Christ in giving a genuine message of salvation, a gospel message that conforms the soul to godliness. The new ideas of outreach coming from Church leaders are heartbreaking. They use the methodology of the world, through cute slogans and clever sayings to convince same-sex-attracted people they are invited and welcomed, offering no help in redemption, thus allowing the Church to become an unholy place without change. They proclaim a message of grace where repentance is not ‘really’ necessary, where you merely pray a prayer and have your ticket punched for Heaven. This is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” 1 Tim. 6:3-5.
Jesus said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female’” – Jesus also said, “from the beginning it has always been this way.” (See Matthew 19:1-10).
There is a better way, expressed through the very words of Christ in Matthew’s gospel account, and on The Sermon on the Mount. His words are very clear about confronting the motivations of the heart, especially in regard to sexual attraction and lust. The clarion call from our Savior is to present the beautiful truths of the Gospel for a genuine salvation and a Biblical hope that brings transformation in these last days. His grace is transformative, not leaving people with an out-of-control lust for their identity. If we compromise these truths, we do an injustice to the very people we say we want to help. Don’t fall into the psychological trap of placing the labels of fallen humanity onto people concerning their sexuality. It is not mercy, justice or love!
We should at least embrace an intercession of sincere love with great sorrow and tears as the Apostle Paul told the church in Rome. Read his words: “I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow, weeping and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymenaccording to the flesh…” Yet the Apostle Paul’s love—so profound—is willing to be accursed from Christ; willing to go to hell so others would be saved! Most in the Church are not weeping and praying, never mind being willing to be accursed from Christ on behalf of another’s potential for salvation. Rather, they are too afraid to call out how destructive homosexuality is to our society.
A clarion call and warning from the Lord concerning this day is found in Jeremiah 6:14-15 – “The Shepherds (Church leaders) have healed the hurt (deep wounding) of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abominations (homosexuality)? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush (blush or show shame over abominations or sexual sins). Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time I punish them, they shall be cast down,’ says the LORD. Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.’ But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
Beware of believing that the old ways of preaching the Gospel are not relevant. You may find yourself as a false shepherd, not really calling for holy repentance and a sincere healing of your own soul or the soul of the person who struggles with same-sex attraction or homosexuality. The Lord requires that we do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him in bringing souls sincerely to Christ in complete abandonment. “No greater love than this, for a man to lay down his own life for his friends.” John 15:13. In this, is true justice, love, mercy and a humble walk.
written by Stephen Black, Executive Director — First Stone Ministries, Oklahoma City, OK
 Adam Hamilton, Alan Chambers, Tony Jones, Wesley Hill, Justin Lee, Matthew Vines, Andrew Marin, Brian McLaren, Tony & Peggy Campolo, Mel White, Rob Bell, Jay Bakker, Ray Boltz, Gene Robinson and many others.
Coram Deo is Latin, translated as a phrase – “in the presence of God” from Christian Church theology which communicates the idea of Christians living in the presence of, under the authority of, and to the honor and glory of God at all times!
Coram Deo is living in a cognitive state of being before the face of God Almighty. To live Coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, always for the glory of God. To live in the presence of God is to understand that whatever we are doing and wherever we are doing it, we are before the gaze of Almighty God. God is omnipresent. Therefore, there is no place that we can escape His penetrating gaze, HE SEES! Coram Deo is to be live in a state of awareness of the presence of God, so acutely aware of His sovereignty, we enjoy the terrible awesomeness and FEAR God to encounter HIS fountain of life so as to be overwhelmed by HIS LOVE, because He is so forgiving and so merciful. Only those who are truly born of the Holy Spirit can understand this awesomeness! God is terrible, fearful, awesome and FULL of AWE… God is NOT tame, He is NOT safe, but HE IS oh so very good, so holy, so merciful and so loving. Without understanding the holy severity and the incredible kindness of God, we cannot grow in maturity.
The fear of God is NOT mere reverential trust, just ask those who have actually received a glimpse of God; peer into the Holy Scriptures and READ about those who have encountered God in His glory. They fall in awe-ness, in terrible fear – TREMBLING before the Almighty. May God transform my life, and those who read this to fear God, and live in Coram Deo! CORAM DEO — God sees you all the time and everything you do, and you will give account to HIM.
“For The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from His sight (God sees all), but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Jesus Christ – The Word of God – will be our judge). Hebrews 4:12 & 13.
“For we know him who said,”Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again,”The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:30 & 31
“Let us therefore, receiving a kingdom that is firm and stable and cannot be shaken, offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship, with modesty and pious care and godly fear and in trembling awe; for our God [is indeed] a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28 & 29
FOR JESUS’ SAKE AND FOR HIS GLORY!
A Must See Heart-Rending Life Story
During the Exodus International Freedom Conference, I and the other delegates received an unexpected blessing. We were invited by Movie Director Chad Ahrendt to screen his new film, RECONCILIATION. I’d seen the trailer and knew a bit about the story line, so I admit to some pre-conceptions. “It will most-likely be a nice story, but I doubt it will be a real tear-jerker or pack an emotional punch as others reported,” I thought, and . . . “it probably won’t convey a real Christian message; it will most-likely compromise in some way.”
WOW, was I ever so blessedly wrong! RECONCILIATION is not only very tastefully done; it is believable, realistic and definitely packs that emotional punch, and not at all contrived. Based upon a very real and gut-wrenching life story, this movie confronts complicated life issues in an honest way without any sugar-coating.
Just the opening scenes dismissed any doubts on quality. I was concerned that it wouldn’t be well-done. Many low-budget films sacrifice story-telling and film artistry. Again . . . I was so wrong. RECONCILIATION is excellent. The actors are professional, believable; the editing and artistry of the film top-notch. Writer-Director Chad Ahrendt crafted an amazing heart-rending movie. In meeting with Chad, I could see that his personal passion is reflected in his artistic expression. This movie affirms his depth, conviction and vision. I’ve seen a lot of movies in my time; this one is definitely on the top of my movie list, EVER!
RECONCILIATION provoked a lot of questions for me. Why does this movie so bless me? Will it bless others as deeply? Why do I feel so strongly about this movie in particular? Are my strong feelings only because I can SO relate to this movie in SO many ways? Is it because I lived as a gay identified man for eight years? Is it the acknowledgment in the film of the struggles I have lived over the past 28 years within the Church and in ministry? Is it because I know what it is like to hate my father and then to be reconciled to him? Is it the raw emotional impact of the movie’s closing scenes, so similar to scenes I lived out with my own father?
The answer to all of these questions is “yes.”
Some who know me might just say, “well that’s Stephen, he’s so emotional.” And, it’s true. I am. However, it would take a hard-hearted soul indeed to not be moved by this movie. People in audiences vary greatly in everyday emotional expression, but all were clearly moved to tears at this screening. Was it because these viewers were delegates to the Exodus International Freedom Conference? Perhaps that plays a part because they can so relate. But I think it goes well beyond that. People love it when reconciliation takes place and the truth is presented in a real life story. It gives us all hope as we view whatever brokenness lies around us, and that reconciliation is possible.
My tears began to flow in the middle of the movie and were present through the final credits. My heart leaped for joy when the truth was presented to the Dad-Jeff McDowell, (played by Jack Maxwell). The presentation of truth is so freeing . . . and I was finally able to let my guard down and embrace this beautiful movie. This movie affected me so deeply because it is obviously truthful to real life. It confronted my own need to love more deeply and in truthful compassion. It demonstrates deep LOVE and FORGIVENESS. The power of grace is presented and treasured. My tears flowed as I relived my relationship with my own dad though this message of hope and great kindness. The Son-Grant Taylor, (played by Eric Nenninger) demonstrates accurately the battle that many Christians have in dealing with a loved one in homosexuality; yet the Son-Grant prevails with dignity, love and forgiveness.
RECONCILIATION reveals how very kind and long-suffering God IS with every last one of us. So many gay men and women have been deeply wounded by the Church; God desires reconciliation. Here we see it and it gives us hope.
The movie is honest and realistic, revealing varying views on the issue of homosexuality. Thank God it rises above the temptation to be politically correct and commits itself to just be about real life and the struggle we all face to overcome grief and hatred. It respects the real “issues” of hurt from both perspectives, gay and Christian.
I highly recommend this movie to everyone I know, gay, straight, Christian or uncertain. This is a must-watch movie for everyone that has been touched by the issue of a gay lifestyle. Whether you have a loved one involved in homosexuality, or you are someone trying to reconcile your own homosexuality/same-sex attractions and Christianity, this movie will speak to you in your journey. Every Christian should see it to help us deal with the issues with which our fellow brothers and sisters struggle in the Church and those who struggle outside the Church.
A film about the issue of homosexuality and the impact it has on families must, to be real, express the raw emotions of misunderstanding and pain. That realistic expression makes this movie a bit intense for children. The film does not avoid the impact of living in a fallen world. However, this movie is not just for those who struggle with same-sex attractions or those with surrounding relationships. It is for anyone who desires forgiveness and to love more deeply. It is for those who hope for better relating in any broken relationship.
Chad Ahrendt created an excellent and impacting movie; one he will never regret. As a courageous telling of the truth and a willingness to look beyond what many deny, this movie has the potential to be a sneaker-blockbuster. Some may mock it, as they did Mel Gibson’s the Passion of The Christ movie. Remember, many mocked the Billy Graham Association, saying The Hiding Place was lame. However, both movies are timeless and continue to express powerful truths. Both movies are watched over and over and are becoming multi-generational. RECONCILIATION will join these two as one of my favorite Christian movies. Why? Because RECONCILIATION is truly redemptive. Yes, it is the story of reconciling a father to his son, but it speaks to the inner need of all us, the desire to be reconciled. I loved this movie and I will definitely see it again on the big screen, with friends and tissues.
Please join with me in supporting the message of RECONCILIATION and help bring it to the Big Screen in your community.
Watch the Trailer:
I was recently introduced to this amazing short film: The Butterfly Circus. It’s message is very powerful. I highly recommend that you take a small block of time, an uninterrupted 20 minutes to watch this short film. It gives helpful perspective and helps with true identity and good attitude in life. If you don’t have time to watch it now, please come back and watch this in it’s entirety. I pray and hope that this short film will bless you as much or more than the blessing I received in watching it myself. I am so grateful to God for the wonderful courage and fantastic attitude of Nick Vujicic. Please watch the Butterfly Circus now… it will bless your life!