Does Anyone Know What Happened?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Bugman, May 13, 2004.

  1. Bugman

    Bugman
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    Do you guys remember when two homosexuals began to attend Jerry Falwell's church? It made a lot of news agencies, and it looked as it Falwell was handling them attending quite well. It quickly dropped out of the news however I am haven't seen what the results have been so far for those two men. Anyone know?

    Bryan
    SDG
     
  2. Ronald

    Ronald
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    I can only hope and pray the Holy Spirit touched their hearts and that they now have received Christ as their Lord and Savior.
     
  3. ZeroTX

    ZeroTX
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    Sounds like contrived controversy.

    -Michael
     
  4. Carolyn Dee

    Carolyn Dee
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    I thought I heard something about the two men. The impression I had that they were neighbors who lived in view of the church. Contrived or not, I don't know. [​IMG]
     
  5. GeneMBridges

    GeneMBridges
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    The "two homosexuals" aren't just two random homosexuals. They are Mel White and his partner. Mel White is the founder of the Metropolitan Community Church and wrote for both Pat Robertson and Dr. Falwell before coming out and founding MCC.

    Mel White affirms evangelical orthodoxy, but he exegetically tries to make homosexually a matter of conscience. Unlike most progay theologians, who exegete the pertinent Scriptures differently, White tends to exegete them the same way as other evangelicals. His contention is that homosexual relationships fall under matters of conscience. Of course, he completely misses the teaching of 1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 14 in such matters, but that's completely different post.

    Ronald, there are plenty of men and women that are Christians and are gay. Are they obedient? No, certainly not. Let's be careful. Jesus very clearly taught that tares would grow up with the wheat in the harvest, but it was not up to us to weed them out. He will do that Himself, and we will find on that day that some whom we thought were tares were wheat and vice versa. Just because somebody is in a homosexual relationship, that does not mean they are not truly saved, any more than a person that is addicted to nicotine or drugs is not saved.
     
  6. Ronald

    Ronald
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    Respectively, one who is truly born again does NOT willingly CONTINUE to practice sin.I John 3:9
    If a homosexual continues to live a gay lifestyle after he or she has become a Christian, then they were not born of God to begin with. One may be troubled with temptation for a time, but in time God will give one the power and strength to overcome the old nature and they WILL become a new creation in Christ.
     
  7. GeneMBridges

    GeneMBridges
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    I agree, however, why restrict that to homosexuals. Why not include persons that have been addicted to cigarettes for many years.

    Progay theology is wrong, but there is no way for you or I to make the judgment about another person's salvation if they are homosexual. That sets you in God's position. You have no idea what goes through that person's mind every day. That person may be under very deep conviction of from the Holy Spirit, and you don't know it. It may take many years for that person to get out of their relationship and become celibate or for God to change their sexual orientation completely, if He actually does.

    By making sweeping statements that say that homosexuals are not Christians, you are denying the fact that many persons are gay and are Christians, but they are deceived or in bondage to sin. No sin, in God's sight, is worse than another. Is the person that dies with a needle in their arm and addicted to drugs not going to be with the Lord? Is that proof they did not know the Lord? Is the person that dies hooked on cigarettes or alcohol condemned as well? How far are you willing to go with that kind of logic.

    Here is a paper I wrote on this subject for the boards at Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry:

    3.11.2004

    Originally posted as a response to these questions in the topical forum at www.carm.org under my moniker “peacemaker.” Ideas originally began while in discussion on a similar question at my other favorite internet bulletin board www.trekbbs.com in The Neutral Zone forum as a response to member “mostlyharmless.”

    Question: Can you believe the Bible is true and believe homosexuality is not a sin?

    Answer: Yes and no. Yes, you can believe it. No, you may not believe it and be obedient.

    Yes, you can believe the Bible is true, but if you look at those Christians that begin with the premise, especially those that claim to be Christians and gay, each and every one of them ends up at the conclusion that homosexuality, i.e. homosexual acts, outside of a monogamous, committed relationship are condemned as sin. This includes temple prostitution, idol worship, et. al., and it seeks to incorporate a traditional heterosexual model into the mix. Some will even go so far as to take Paul's position on food sacrificed to idols in I Corinthians and apply it to homosexuality.

    Homosexuality they say is the same kind of sin. Because people are "born gay," they are gay by God's decree. Therefore, while it is wrong to commit homosexual acts outside of a committed, monogamous relationship, it should be treated the same way that food sacrificed to idols was. In effect, they end up with a "its ok to do at home, but, in order to minimize disputes in the church, don't speak of it among those of 'weaker conscience'" type of position.

    My response, having been down that road myself, is that it ends up creating more problems than solving them, which is a clear indication that it is not a valid mode of interpretation. Paul was saying that they should not eat that food at all in order to keep unity in the church, and that if they do, then no person of "weaker conscience" should be privy to it. If God prohibits only homosexual acts outside of a monogamous union, then you automatically end up with a necessary condition: a partner. If you take their conclusion to its logical end, you end up advocating closet homosexuality or celibacy, neither of which these people advocate. They say homosexuals should not be closeted because being closeted ends up creating all kinds of mental health issues and contributes to societal homophobia and heterosexism. They also portray celibacy as a curse and not a blessing, asking how one could possibly condemn a person God made gay into a life of celibacy. Thus, I wonder how they can justify their interpretational position, because the logical applications don't fit the interpretation and the conditions their interpretations must necessarily affirm in terms of practice because you have not acted in faith (Romans 14:23).


    I would respond this way. Even if we grant the concession that God makes men and women gay (which I personally do not believe, but I say this as a concession for sake of argument), and that God prohibits all homosexual acts outside of those within a committed monogamous relationship analogous to marriage, "so what?" If that is what you believe, you must necessarily head down the "food sacrificed to idols path," which ends up with you being closeted, which does indeed contribute to homophobia and heterosexism and can be somewhat attributed to mental health issues many homosexuals face, as well as the suicide rate among teen gays and lesbians, and the rising use of alcohol, cigarettes, methamphetamine, and other substances in that population (gays, according to gay mental health and substance abuse resources have at least twice or more the rate of substance abuse per person that heterosexuals), or to celibacy.

    What then is the person to do, if God did, indeed make one gay? Jesus said (and this is important because those not taking a traditional epistemological position on Scripture always say that Jesus words are more important than Paul's), that we should take up our cross daily and follow Him. He also said that we should be willing to give up our parents, children, even our spouses for Him. If not, we aren't fit for the kingdom. He also said that there are some born eunuchs, made that way by men, and some are eunuchs by choice. Clearly self-sacrifice is not an option. Clearly, God would call somebody to give up their partner for Him. Clearly, celibacy is not a condemnation, it is a blessing, or else Jesus would not have said this. So what if God made somebody gay.

    If you believe the Bible and you know Christ, can you be gay? Yes, because salvation does not hinge on your sexual orientation. Salvation comes by God's grace through faith in Christ. We don't tell smokers that if they continue in their nicotine addiction, they are not Christians. Likewise, the world is full of Christians trapped in all kinds of behavioral patterns. Only God truly knows if that person is a Christian or not. In fact, in my experience, this is one reason our churches are full of people that will say that they are sure they are Christians, but they aren't sure exactly when they were saved, thought they are now sure they are, because they can point to an initial event where they prayed to receive Christ, but there was a series of events in their lives that was characterized by enough sin to appear lost and/or a single (or even multiple times culminating in a final) event where they 'rededicated' their lives to Christ. Many even say they prayed at that time, because they were unsure, "Lord, if I'm not saved, save me," (along with the other content of their prayer...point being there was a final event where they are sure they "God saved...became right with God, rededicated their lives, came to know Jesus as Lord," or whatever their terminology might be.

    Can you say you believe the Bible and be gay? Yes, because what I have shown above is what many gay Christians believe. They acknowledge Jesus is Lord, and many even lead good lives, and it is not up to us to say one can not be Christian and be gay because only God truly knows the heart (especially if a man or woman lead a Christ-like life after having prayed to receive Christ at any age but only later become involved in homosexuality or drug abuse or any other sin pattern). However, look at where their interpretations lead. They end up having to make a decision that puts self over God, because the Bible, which they say they believe, also teaches that if there is any question in your mind about an issue like this and you continue to do it anyway (and every gay Christian I have ever known has always told me that they continually wrestle with this in their minds {saying to me in my opinion that the Holy Spirit is at work in them, verifying their salvation itself}), you are sinning, and in so doing you have chosen self over God, and that is idolatry (the practice of which is what Leviticus and Romans both link homosexuality). If that is where you end up, not only are you interpreting the Bible wrongly most likely, you are certainly, if not interpreting wrongly, sinning against God. I would argue that if you are basing your acts on your interpretation then you have set yourself up as your own authority (another form of idolatry), and that is contradictory to your confession that you believe the Bible. Not only that, if you say that God is leading you to be openly gay (outside of simple honesty but still committed to celibacy, see below) or carry on a homosexual relationship in spite of the traditional view on this or even in spite of where your own interpretation leads you (other than to celibacy), then your interpretation is wrong because God will not lead you contrary to His own word, which is the foundation of saying you believe the Bible. Additionally, even if your interpretation is correct, you still have to deal with the fact that this issue is an issue that fractures churches, so, if you and your partner are both Christians (which you should be according to the Bible you say you believe), and that Bible mandates us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, you can't avoid coming out to your church. If indeed, it is a "Bible believing" church and even one of the members consciences is offended or caused to stumble, you are in violation of Paul's teaching, which is just further proof not only of your possible error, but your idolatry, if you persist in that church or any church. If you choose a gay friendly church, it is doubtful that are truly evangelical and Bible believing, which is yet another violation of Scripture's application when it comes to selecting a local church of which to be a part. (Not only that, it is doubtful, IMO, you're even relying on the Holy Spirit's leading if you get to that point). This is where the Bible believing but interpretationally variant Christian's application of his/her interpretation ultimately leads (as well as the reason that there are gay Christians out there that end up screwed up). Surely, this isn't godly.

    I would rather be a eunuch by choice (or if born gay you may be a eunuch by birth, or if made gay by men as the ex-gay ministries teach, you'd be a eunuch made by men) and fulfill Christ's mandates to take up my cross daily and follow Him and give up everything to Him, including my need or desire for a spouse than be an idolater and live in disobedience to Him. (To do so, in my experience and by my own testimony leads to all manner of problems up to and including drug abuse, depression, even HIV infection). It also acknowledges that God might have or did make you gay and it is your choice to remain closeted or not. However, there's no condemnation for being gay. The condemnation is always for the act, not the orientation. Celibacy is not a curse; it's a blessing, it is even a calling. The problems arise when one seeks to deny one's calling...that is where you end up with screwed up homosexual Christian (that and when a homosexual Christian who is celibate starts believing the lies from many well meaning Christians that you can not "be" gay and be saved at all, which is false for a whole different set of reasons). When one embraces one's calling, and I would argue that, if God makes people gay (and, again, I am willing to grant that as a concession not as my personal view), or if the ex-gays are correct and people are made gay by childhood or early adulthood emotional traumas (and some are, in that view so hurt they may never become heterosexual in orientation), they are indeed all called to be celibate in order to serve Him free of any spousal obligations, that is true freedom according to the Scripture you say you believe. The first obligation of the Christian is to his love relationship to God, through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. By following that, we will, in my estimation, certainly live up to our calling, and, for every person I know, including myself, who has wrestled with this issue, only by living up to our true calling, not be running from it have we ever found complete, total, joyous freedom to live and a true depth of relationship with our Lord and use for Him in His kingdom.

    Some of us, He, as I have seen, does change. Others, I have seen, do not. For those of us He does not change, maybe we were born that way. If so, I say praise God, for that means we won't have the spousal obligations of most other Christians, and we can devote ourselves fully to His service in whatever way He leads. We are truly blessed. When we start pressing God to make us heterosexual, we may just be running as contrary to His calling as the one who decides to act on his or her sexual desires. That's why we see gay men and lesbians who become "ex-ex-gay's" and whatnot. The only effective ex-gay ministry is the one that does not focus on successful change. It is the one that focuses on discipleship and getting the gay Christian focused on his or her daily walk with the Lord. In time, God will take care of the rest. If it isn't a change of orientation, then the issue isn't "Why hasn't God changed me, I must be a failure?!" It is "What, Lord, would you have me do to serve you. I have never met a Christian that has at some time self identified as gay or lesbian that is doing the latter in his or her life and not the former who has ever experienced anything less than freedom from homosexuality. They may not be experiencing heterosexual desires of any kind (which in my estimation is itself a change from homosexual orientation {it is also a trap to say that there are two sexual orientations in the light of Jesus teaching on eunuchs}...but the point isn't to become heterosexual, it is to serve Christ, even if that means sacrificing all sexual desire (which really all Christians should be doing, should they not...isn't this part of what it means to be willing to sacrifice one's partner/spouse and family for Christ in order to serve Him?) Truly the Lord was correct, being a eunuch for Him is a great blessing, as great a blessing as having a spouse and children. They are simply different blessings for different people with different callings.


    You can not determine, solely on the basis of what you see whether or not a person is saved if they are gay. You do not know what God is doing in that person's mind and heart. Since you are not God, you should refrain from making any judgment about others' salvation. There are plenty of "ex-gays" that will attest to hearing that same thing from persons that hold your view, but they will also tell you that they were Christians, not because they "made a decision" earlier in their lives, but because they did accept Christ before they came out, and their lives were, in fact, changed, but they fell into sin later on.

    Apostasy and backsliding are two different things. Salvation can not be lost. Apostasy involves outright denial of Christ, falling away morally, and display no discernable change in life...all three. Backsliding can be very severe, but theologians teach that it does not involve all three, including the most staunch Calvinists among us.

    According to R.B.C. Howell: "It is, secondly, necessary that you discriminate carefully, between backsliding, and apostasy. The former is the act of turning back from God; the latter is the forsaking, or the renouncing of the religion of Christ. Backsliding consists either in the relinquishment of evangelical doctrine; or in the loss of spirituality of mind; or in the gradual departure from correct morals. All these evils are embraced in apostasy. The backslider commits transgressions, but returns to his allegiance, and obtains forgiveness, and acceptance. The apostate continues; dies in his sins; and "so eternally perishes." We teach that none of the true children of God--he believing, the pardoned, the regenerated, the sanctified--become apostate, but to backsliding, of every character and degree, all, it is but too evident, even the best, and most devoted, are constantly, and painfully liable. "


    John was writing of apostates. He was not writing of backsliders. Since you have no means of knowing if a person is backslidden severely or apostate, you have no basis for any evaluation of their salvation. There are many persons who are gay that do not repudiate Christ. They are backslidden, not apostate. There are others that engage in all three elements. They are apostate and unsaved, because they never were. John, unlike you, had a means to know who those of whom he wrote were. Unless you can categorically make that same analysis of every homosexual you meet, you are in no postion to do so yourself.
     

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