Not surprisingly in light of widespread apostasy, this acceptance has infiltrated Christianity in a big way.
On one hand, there is the full-on acceptance of homosexuality, including same-sex “marriage.”
This position is represented by the Metropolitan Community Churches, founded in 1968 by a homosexual “priest” named Troy Perry. It has 222 congregations in 37 countries and is a leading force in the development of “queer theology.” It “fully embraces and welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.” It has observer status with the World Council of Churches. Perry performed the first public same-sex “marriage” in the United States in California in 1969 (though it wasn’t legally recognized at the time). Today the MCC perform more than 6,000 same-sex “marriages” annually.
This position is also found in the more liberal Protestant denominations. In 1989, Episcopal Church in America Bishop John Spong ordained the first openly practicing homosexual to the priesthood. The man, Robert Williams, was diagnosed with AIDS less than two years later. According to Integrity, a pro-homosexual Episcopal group, at least 50 practicing homosexuals had been ordained to the priesthood by 1991. In 1993, a survey of nearly 20,000 Episcopalians showed that seventy percent believed “faithful Christians can be sexually active gays and lesbians” (Christian News, Nov. 1, 1993). In his 1991 book Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Episcopal Bishop John Spong said the apostle Paul was “a self hating, repressed homosexual.” That year, Spong ordained another homosexual priest, Barry Stopfel. Lesbian Episcopal priest Carter Heyward delivered the ordination sermon. When Stopfel’s male “lover” was introduced, the audience applauded. On June 7, 2003, the Diocese of New Hampshire elected V. Gene Robinson as the first openly homosexual bishop in the history of the Episcopal Church USA. The election was confirmed on August 5 by the General Convention meeting in Minneapolis. Years earlier, Robinson had broken his marriage vows by leaving his wife and two young daughters and moving in with his male partner. In a speech on April 29, 2000, the day before a homosexual march in Washington, D.C., Robinson said: “... we are worthy to hold our heads high as gay folk--NOT because we’ve merely decided we are worthy, but because God has proclaimed it so. That we are loved beyond our wildest imagining by a God who made us the way we are and proclaimed it good. We proclaim today that we too read our Bibles, and through the voices of its many witnesses, we hear God’s voice--NOT saying ‘You are an abomination,’ but rather, ‘You are my beloved.’ We lay an equal claim to a savior who loves us as we are and who died to save us from our ‘manifold sins and wickedness,’ which does NOT include our being gay. And we come here today, laying claim to our full membership--our FULL membership--in the Body of Christ.”
On the other hand, there are many subtle positions that are bridges from the traditional Bible position to the full acceptance position.
It is held by many Southern Baptists. It is held by Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religion Leadership Council (ERLC). It is held by Sam Allberry and his influential Living Out ministry based in the United Kingdom. It is held by many within The Gospel Coalition. It is held by the Evangelical Alliance of England.
Following are some major characteristics of this “evangelical” position on homosexuality.
Point # 1 - Homosexuality is a natural inborn trait that cannot be changed; same-sex “attraction” itself is not a sin.
Homosexuality is seen as an “Orientation” that is fixed.
Those who hold this view do not believe in repentance and supernatural conversion, as taught so plainly in 1 Corinthians 6. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor EFFEMINATE, nor ABUSERS OF THEMSELVES WITH MANKIND, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Co. 6:9-11).
Instead, they believe the homosexual is destined to live as a “same-sex attracted” person, either celibately or not. This is promoted by the aforementioned Anglican priest Sam Allbery who claims to be a same-sex attracted man who lives in celibacy.
“To be clear, Allberry does not teach that practicing sodomy is acceptable, but rather he teaches that Same-Sex Attraction is not a sin, that homosexuals cannot expect to be changed by the Holy Spirit and given a nature not desirous of sodomy, and that there are elements of ‘gay culture’ that are redeemable and should be celebrated. In Allberry’s view, virtually everything about homosexuality can be embraced except for the act of bodily penetration. Common in the Living Out subculture, are testimonies of professing Christians who learned to love and embrace, rather than be freed from their homosexuality. Also common are accusations toward the Christian church of “homophobia” and demands that the church soften its views on the sin of sodomy. The organization is an increasingly important factor in re-branding SSA as an itself neutral, non-sinful impulse, and it heavily promotes the idea that it’s okay to be gay so long as one is celibate, going so far as to encourage churches to ordain those who are Same-Sex attracted” (“Gay Christian Event,” Pulpit & Pen, Oct. 19, 2018).
Rebecca McLaughlin, who contributes to The Gospel Coalition, was asked at an “I’m In” conference, Nov. 14, 2019, how churches can support members who have same-sex or bisexual attractions. She replied that the churches should assume that at least 14 percent of the women experience same-sex attraction, and should stop acting like same-sex attraction is worse than heterosexual attraction (“TGC Contributor Says Same-Sex Attraction Not Worse,” ReformationCharlotte.org, Nov. 18, 2019).
God’s Word says that wrong lusts are sin in themselves even when not acted on. Jesus taught that for a man to look upon a woman to lust after her is adultery (Mt. 5:28). The same would be true, then, a man to lust after a man or a woman to lust after a woman, only it would be even worse because whereas man’s desire toward women is natural, same-sex desire is unnatural.
Paul specifically mentioned “vile affections” and “burned in their lust one toward another” and a “reprobate mind” as aspects of the sin of homosexuality that are condemned by God (Ro. 1:26-27). Those are “same-sex attractions.” God’s Word condemns these things even if they are not acted upon physically. The lusts of the flesh must to be confessed and repented of.
Point # 2 - Homosexuality is “just another sin.”
This widely-held and rapidly-growing view was promoted by Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear in a sermon on Romans 1 entitled “How the Fall Affects Us All,” Jan. 27, 2019. He said that homosexuality is a sin, but he soft-peddled it. He said that “the Bible appears to whisper when it comes to sexual sin compared to it shouts about materialism and religious pride.” He was quoting from female preacher Jen Wilkin whom he praised as one of his church’s favorite Bible teachers.
But we wouldn’t call God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah a whisper! Those are the only two cities in human history that God picked out for complete destruction by fire, and they were so targeted for moral perversion, not lack of hospitality. Jude says it was because of “giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh” (Jude 1:7). Peter says it was because of their “filthy conversation” (2 Pe. 2:7).
Greear tried to make the sin of homosexuality equal to sins mentions in Romans 1:29-31. He said, “Here’s a question: do you think of deceit and boasting as equally depraved? How about greed? Do you think of greed as equally depraved as homosexuality? How about a rebellious attitude against your parents? Do you see that as equally depraved? Paul would.”
No, Paul wouldn’t. Paul has told us exactly what he thinks about homosexuality, and had Greear been faithful in dealing with the biblical text, as he is solemnly accountable to God to do, instead of capitulating to the pop culture and scratching the ears of this apostate generation, he would not have strayed into heresy. In Romans 1, Paul labeled homosexuality a special sin that is the product of God giving impenitent men over “to dishonor their own bodies between themselves.” Paul called homosexuality “vile affections,” “against nature,” “a reprobate mind” (Ro. 1:26-28).
This position tries to shame those who hold a strictly biblical stance on homosexuality, the stance that has been held for 2,000 years of church history.
Following is a discerning review of Greear’s sermon:
“He did everything in his power to make sure that people sitting in his congregation who are tired of hearing about these sins, would walk away feeling justified for their apathy. What he did was preach ‘peace, peace, when there was no peace.’ He did this while at the same time making it look like those who are committed to the complete biblical truth on this issue should be ashamed. ... The first thing he does when addressing this issue is ‘acknowledge upfront that… historically, we in the church have not done a great job of talking about this and maybe even a worse job of caring for those going through this.’ What he does here and elsewhere is to paint himself as caring and passionate while throwing the church under the bus. It is this classic move to ingratiate yourself with an audience by trying to position yourself as not as extreme as others. By doing this, he is already foreshadowing what he is about to do, which is to soften the biblical and historical teaching on homosexuality. He is abandoning the over 2000-year historical witness of the church on this issue. ... The church for 2000 + years has hated this evil. They have hated it because it dishonors God, makes a mockery of the created order, destroys the bodies and minds of those who practice it, and it endangers nations who tolerate it. It was love of God and love of neighbor that led these men to thoroughly condemn this sin, warn those who practice it of the wrath of God, and point all people to the only hope, Jesus Christ. When J.D. Greear apologizes for the church historically doing a bad job on this issue, he is carefully distancing himself from this teaching. Why? Because our culture hates it. And because he wants to sound reasonable to our culture” (The Sword and the Blog, Jan. 31, 2019).
Point # 3 - Homosexuals must be accepted by the churches “as they are.”
Since homosexuals can’t change, it is wrong to demand that they “repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance” (Acts 26:20). Instead, they must be accepted as they are. Christian love demands it, they say.
In 2014, in a message before the Southern Baptist ERLC (Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) National Conference on “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage,” Southern Baptist megachurch pastor J.D. Greear said, “We have to love our gay neighbor more than we love our position on sexual morality … I am not saying that we would ever compromise our position or fail to state it, just that even when they disagree with it, we do not cut them off, we draw them close. We say yes, this issue is important. I cannot compromise, but I LOVE YOU MORE THAN I LOVE BEING RIGHT. In the cross of Jesus Christ, he shows us the right way to relate to the gay and the lesbian community—clarity about God's righteousness, compassion that would give up its own life to draw them close.”
Greear’s position is incredibly misguided and unbiblical, though it is covered with a veneer of truth. It is certain that Jesus Christ loved sinners and died for sinners with a desire that sinners draw close to Him; but Jesus calls sinners to repentance and there is no “drawing close” to God without repentance. Twice in the same sermon Christ said, “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Christ directly and plainly exposed the sin of the woman at the well, and she repented and drew close to God in salvation (John 4). On the other hand, Jesus exposed the sin of the rich young ruler, and he did not repent and as a result did not draw close to God (Mark 10:17-23).
Greear says, “We have to love our gay neighbor more than we love our position on sexual morality,” and, “I love you more than I love being right.” But the Bible says we should love God’s Word and hate every false way (Psalm 119:128). The Bible says we should have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). Jesus was a friend of sinners, but He preached repentance to sinners and warned them of eternal hellfire (e.g., Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5). Christ never modified or softened or shortened His message in any way whatsoever in order to “draw them close.”
This position includes the call to “rethink” and “redefine” the family. It is promoted by the Southern Baptist Russell Moore in his book The Storm-Tossed Family. It is promoted by Allberry’s Living Out ministry. It was promoted at the Southern Baptist’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s (ERLC) “Cross Shaped Family Conference” in Dallas in 2018, which featured Moore delivering the opening message and Allberry delivering the final message.
It is the idea that Christian families must bring homosexuals into their bosoms and even share their children with them in order to live out their acceptance of them. If a family wants to protect themselves from the influence of homosexuals, even “celibate” ones, they are condemned.
“According to Allberry, the Christian mentality of family is akin to creating a nuclear family with marriage, kids and the family dog and then going into a fortress or castle and ‘pulling up the drawbridge.’ So, whether Nate Collins, the founder of Revoice, uses the term ‘idolatry of family’ or Sam Allberry refers to the nuclear family as a ‘closed fortress’ of only biological members, BOTH draw the same conclusion as Russell Moore--that Christians must redefine family as the broader (LGBT+ Inclusive) church. ... The biological family as God made it appears to be a problem for them, as are conservative faith and family values which resonate with generations of conservative Christians--that a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, being fruitful and assuming personal responsibility for the rearing of their own children, in the fear and admonition of the Lord” (Thomas Littleton, “ERLC Family Conference Redefines Family as the Inclusive Church,” thirtypiecesofsilver.org, Oct. 14, 2018).
Allberry calls for churches to “audit” themselves for how well they exercise “LGBT Inclusion.” In his “Living Out Church Audit” he has ten demands for churches. These aren’t meant to be suggestions! These people are bullies, and eventually they will accept nothing less than full acceptance of homosexuality by all churches.
Allberry says the churches must rethink friendship and intimacy and hospitality with the objective of “ministering to” the needs of “same-sex oriented” people who cannot and will not change. Instead of labeling homosexuality the great sin the Bible says it is and calling homosexuals to true repentance and transformation conversion as the Bible demands, the churches are to accept them as they are and minister to them as they are. This includes sharing their children with them. Allberry tells how that some families in his church “share their kids” with him by allowing him to babysit them. “Such a family relationship is also a solution to the loneliness of singleness and childlessness experienced by members of the celibate gay Christianity which they have been selling the Church since 2013. Allberry indicates that sharing our children with LGBTs is an especially valid fulfillment of what the conference is espousing and proof that a church is adhering to their redefined family” (Ibid., Thomas Littleton, Oct. 14, 2018).
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalm 37:1-11).
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