Acts 20:26-31 26 “Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard!…”
I heard a sermon from a pastor in Nashville. He zigzagged around his topic like a redneck running serpentine trying to outrun alligator. With 10-12 minutes left, he affirmed that his church would now extend membership privileges and marriage rights to LGBT attendees. There was a mixture of silence and applause. The sermon can be summarized in one paragraph: “50 minutes from now I’m going to horribly compromise the word of God, taking this congregation in a direction that honors people, not God. We are no longer going to concern ourselves with obedience to God’s word. Instead, we are going to become an all-inclusive social club led by human emotion and unbridled compassion.” Scripture after scripture comes to mind.
Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
For years, I’ve watched friends and mentors wander from the truth of God’s word when it comes to homosexuality. The ebb and flow takes a toll on my heart. It never gets easier to watch, but I’ve grown to expect the falling away. Facebook often bears witness when another “spiritual Titanic” is sinking. The bible even says that if possible in last days that even the very elect of the Lord will be deceived.
I run a ministry to a small cross section of men in the gay community, who find themselves desiring a life surrendered to God and not governed by their SSA. I can understand where this guy in Nashville is coming from. Yet a ministry of all love and grace and no truth, is a false doctrine that leads people astray. A hyper grace centered focus is one factor that helped capsize the ministry of Exodus International. The Nashville Pastor’s approach to marriage and the LGBT community is steeped in worldly value, but skewed biblical truths. A Facebook friend posted the video with this caption: “Happy to call this man my pastor.” My heart winced. The effort to include a “disenfranchised” few, had instantly discredited my story of Jesus’s transforming power. The posting was from an acquaintance who knew my story, but chose to believe a lie. My heart says that people in that body of believers are being cheated out of what Jesus Christ can do when we surrender our broken sexuality to Him. All it takes is one misinformed, misguided pastor speaking out of the recesses of his heart instead of being submitted to the word of God.
Matthew 15:13-14 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
Gay “christianity” is not an authentic Christian walk. Matthew 15:8-9 8 “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” It is a offshoot of Christianity focused more on the acceptance of homosexual sin and those involved in it, rather than focusing on surrendering one’s whole heart to the will of God. Here are some telling quotes from the Gay Christian Network mission statement.
“Through conferences, speaking events, videos, message boards, and more, we’re TRANSFORMING THE CONVERSATION in the church and working to ‘share Christ’s light and love for all.’ ” (Emphasis is mine.)
1 John 5:3 “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands… “. Despite repeated attempts by gay advocates to “TRANSFORM THE CONVERSATION” and rewrite scripture, God will never change His conversation on sexually immoral behavior. Scripture says that “love for God, is keeping his commandments”. Loving God even means honoring His commandment to abstain from acting out homosexually, not devising ways to reframe the biblical narrative on homosexuality. James 4:4 claims this “…Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” The truth is, God starting laying the foundations of this conversation long before satan’s Public Relations team began retooling it.
I am reminded of Psalm 119:105 “Your WORD is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” As Christians, we are to be led by God’s word, not man’s opinion. Matthew 22:37 “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart…soul…and mind.’ 39 And…‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Verse 39 is deceptively used to ‘preach’ the concept that loving someone unconditionally means universal acceptance of their sinful behavior. Christ loves us, but He doesn’t approve of our sinful behavior.
The Gay Christian movement is strong, as are all attacks of the enemy against God’s plans for humanity. I’m reminded that large gatherings of sinful people isn’t something new; it’s been happening for millennia. However, the size of the crowd is not proportionate to the “rightness” of the cause. It simply bears witness with Matthew 7:13- “For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”
I believed for 20+ years that I was born gay. For 16 years, I have allowed Jesus Christ to be the driving force behind my beliefs, rather than my broken sexuality. Authentic Christianity doesn’t’ come with a prefix. Promoting gay “christianity” means making room on the pew for alcoholic Christians, gluttonous Christians and straight, unmarried, sexually active Christians. We all struggle with sin, but when sexual immorality is hybridized with our Christian walk, God is not honored. We must surrender our sexual sin to God for His help, instead of submitting it to God, demanding His approval. Jesus is more into transforming lives than opinions. He says in Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”
Alcoholics can get help for addiction. Overweight people have outlets for weight loss. Yet, satan has worked overtime to normalize the sin of homosexuality. Pastors and churches promoting freedom from homosexuality are vilified in the press. Speak the biblical truth about sexual sin or support any organization teaching freedom from homosexuality and you’ll be attacked and brutalized. Any attempts at a balanced, intellectual dialogue are thwarted with cries of “Anti-gay” and “Hate Speech”.
I make the decision daily not to act on my SSA, the same way that unmarried, heterosexual Christians make the decision not to act on their OSA(opposite sex attractions). If the church said it was okay for straight people to act out on their sexual attractions, someone would call foul. So why is the church making allowances when it comes to the LGBT community?
I prayed for many years for God to remove my same sex desires. He never did. That didn’t mean that He didn’t hear me or that He created me gay. It simply meant that God’s plan of how to deal with my SSA didn’t involve a Holy Spirit zap.
God’s perceived indifference to my modern day prayers does not supersede the cacophonous authority of His holy scripture.
If God had zapped me during those late night, bedside prayer sessions, I do not believe I would have known Jesus as intimately as I do. If someone who struggles with SSA is honest about their early life experiences, common developmental patterns for SSA tend to emerge. In some cases, homosexual desires were, indirectly or directly, nurtured by the individual, friends or family. The bible says that “bad company corrupts good character”.
I didn’t choose to have SSA. I did choose to make bad decisions because of those feelings. While no one chooses to have same sex attractions, I do believe that men are created Artistic, Sensitive and Creative. The gift of sensitivity can be man’s greatest gifting or the source of his biggest wounding.
I am thankful that the church I grew up in never preached acceptance of homosexual sin. While I believe that the evangelical church should adhere to biblical standards for all forms of sexual immorality, I think churches should welcome the LGBT community. Where else are they going to find relationship with Jesus and freedom from SSA?
Walking away from homosexuality was one of the most difficult journeys I have ever taken. Ultimately, it was the disappointment and heartache of the gay life and the leading of the Holy Spirit that led me to Jesus. The thought of walking away from homosexuality generated many fears. “I’ll have to go through puberty again.” “I’ll have to wake up every day and tell myself ‘I’m not gay’. ” “I didn’t want to date women.” “I can’t trust God. He made me this way. He ignored my cries for help.” “No one has ever left homosexuality. It isn’t possible.” Thank God, none of that was true. I realized too late, that FEAR was a big part of my belief system. I lived my life believing in an angry, semi powerful God. Boy was I wrong!
One of the reasons homosexuality is so hard to walk away from is that it pervades every area of a person’s life. The defining characteristic of homosexuality is not a simple sex act between a same sex couple, but a level of brokenness so intricate that it forces a person to work desperately to restore some sense of normalcy to the chaos. That was my daily existence for 10 years.
At the end of the day, I don’t support the gay life. After having lived it myself, God demonstrated that homosexuality is not God’s best for anyone. As Christians our identity is defined by our Savior, not our sexual brokenness. In Matthew 7:20-21, the bible says that we will know other believers by the fruit they produce. It also says “not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” The will of the Father calls us to abstain from sexual immorality. Every area of our lives is subject to the will of God.
Romans 14:12 woke me up to reality. “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” God was going to hold me personally responsible for how I lived my life and my response to Jesus’ sacrifice for my sin. After living ten years as a gay man and calling myself a gay Christian, I knew I had answered ‘Yes’ to sin and ‘No’ to Jesus Christ.
Contrary to popular belief, Jesus spoke out against all forms of sexual immorality, homosexuality included. The bible never classified homosexuality separately than other forms of sexual immorality. You can credit modern day gay advocates for that. Jesus addressed sexual immorality in general in Matthew 15: 19, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person…”. Sexual immorality, homosexuality included, defiles a person. That is pretty clear.
I wholeheartedly agree that the church hasn’t been kind to the LGBT community. However, over sympathizing as a means of correcting the wrongs of the past fosters a grotesque wave of hyper-sensitivity, where rather than bringing truth and grace simultaneously to the wounded, we bow to their every whim.
In the wrong hands, Love becomes a virus rather than a vaccine.