Below is an article a ex pastor had commented and shared of Facebook. My wife read the article and was grieved and asked me and her school mate from High School to read it. Lorie, who has been delivered from the LGBT lifestyle gives her response. Here is a small excerpt from Christianity Today:
She interrupted the sermon I was preaching. “Excuse me. I don’t mean any disrespect. I’m a lesbian. You’re talking about all of this love and mercy. What does this mean for me?”
It was the launch day of our church plant in Long Beach, California. Long Beach has a large LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) population. (Only West Hollywood has a higher LGBT population in Los Angeles.) Excerpt from Christianity Today on LGBT
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free….Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. John 8:32-36
Below are Lorie’s response and article with sermon she was more in agreement with. We hope this helps balance what some want to make “The Issue”.
In 2013, an online viewer made the following comment to a friend, “When I watched the video, Same-sex Attraction—Balancing Grace and Truth, I was cut to the heart. I cried out to God to save me…and He did. I’m now trying to minister to my partner who is dying of AIDS.” God used the balance of truth and grace in this sermon to convict, challenge, and change. The ability to relate to people on their level, show genuine concern, and love them regardless of their lifestyle is the mark of true Christianity—compassion without compromise. -Pastor Shane Idleman
“Same-sex Attraction–Balancing Grace & Truth” — Pastor Shane Idleman
By Lorie Rogan
Whom the Son sets free is free indeed! (John 8:36)
I’m a firm believer that when the Lord saves and delivers us from something, He means for us to share what He has done in order to encourage the Body and ultimately, to bring Him glory!
My first thought on this article: The Gospel in a LGBT World is this:
We, as the Body can point to any one of a number of sins (and/or group of sinners) and conclude that we have failed them in some way. We could do (and could have done) more to reach out to the prostitute, the pedophile, the alcoholic, or the drug-addicted along the way. Perhaps if the collective Body of Christ wasn’t so MIA in truly taking care of the poor and the needy in this country, our gov’t wouldn’t have the platform it does today for the liberal agenda to be stage-front and so effectively influencing American politics.
My point is, we can easily say we have failed or fallen short as believers in a number of areas with many people from all different walks of life. And to some extent, it’s true – we have. But, I believe more realistically, the fact is we live in a fallen sinful world that is getting darker by the day. The bible has warned and clearly pointed to these days where many would fall away from the truth, where many false gospels would be preached and accepted because people are no longer willing to embrace TRUTH.
1 Peter 4:17-18 gives us an understanding of just how dark things are going to get and it’s a clear warning to believers that hanging on to the Truth will not be easy. Those who do will do so through great trial and perseverance.
I think back to seeds sown into my life over the years when I was out there living in rebellion to God. My defense back then was taking note of and focusing on those preachers who seemed void of any love, while they were taking great joy in preaching hell and damnation to those of us immersed in the gay lifestyle. I perceived it as condemning and hateful and that was enough justification for me to ignore and dismiss it. I remember angrily questioning why this continually seemed to be the one sin constantly held up above all others and vocally condemned so often from the pulpit. My view then (while immersed in the sin) and my view now having been set free and 15 years removed from it are somewhat different.
Much of what I perceived to be unloving persecution by the Body of Christ was actually conviction of the Holy Spirit, though at the time I did not see it that way at all. While I was rebelliously resisting the Holy Spirit, it was much easier to justify my disgust with those whom the Holy Spirit was using to convict me of my sin.
Now, looking back I realize, seeds were being sown into my life and the Word was being spoken into my spirit, even though I was rejecting it at that moment in time.
“So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 KJV)
In the article above, I take issue with the statement: “Conservatives make their protective last stand on the high hill of morality, but dodge the difficult responsibility of actually loving their neighbors.”
Actually, I resent that statement. It wrongly assumes that the liberal portrayal of conservatives is correct. And actually, I prefer to be referred to instead as more of a fundamentalist when it comes to the Bible and leave the conservative title for the political arena.
The world today especially loves to accuse those who adhere to God’s Word as ” holier-than-thou”, “judgmental” or “unloving” individuals. And sadly, far too many professing Christians are being led astray by preachers who want to be seen as culturally relevant and empathetic, so they stand in the pulpits and focus on just one characteristic of God (love) and steer clear of preaching the complete Word of God. They purposely avoid taking a stance against sin or preaching on God’s Holiness and His command for us to be holy as He is holy. Instead, they choose to preach a softer, more watered-down gospel, so as not to offend or lose members.
“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Tim 4:3 NLT)
Back up a verse to 2 Tim 4:2 and it says: “Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.”
Jesus didn’t come to make us comfortable. And He certainly isn’t coming back to do that!
Somewhere in the continuum of time, the American Church has lost its sincere dependence on the Word of God as the true gauge or standard by which all belief systems and all behaviors should be judged. Today, preachers attempt to supersede the role of the Holy Spirit by attempting to “convince” people to believe a certain way, instead of obeying God and fulfilling the call to preach the Word (popular or not) and allow the Holy Spirit to fulfill His role of “convicting” the hearts of man by the power of the living Word of God.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV)
It doesn’t say “some” scripture…it says “ALL” scripture!
Having been on both sides of this issue, I can honestly say, preaching the whole TRUTH (in love), above all else is what is needed from the Church today. And then, we leave the results of that preaching to the Holy Spirit.
God knows our hearts…He knows if we are sincere in our approach to others when it comes to standing up for the Truth. He knows if we are taking a stance because we love them enough to point them to the “unpopular” truth, but nevertheless, the TRUTH. And He knows too, the motives of those who think they can get by with ignoring His Word, choosing instead to be culturally relevant and popular in today’s godless society. And one day, we will all give an account before Him.
Very little of what I see in “Christianity Today” reflects genuine Christianity. I don’t know if it’s always been a liberal magazine, but it certainly has gone down that slippery slope and succumbed to a very dangerous liberal theology. No doubt, in its attempt at being relevant today, it is sadly leading many astray.
The prevailing lie in the secular world today is that homosexuality is just too big a sin to be delivered from and individuals caught up in that lifestyle have not chosen it. They were born that way. Well, the alcoholic probably could point to a predisposition to alcoholism, given his/her family history over generations. Why don’t we just love them the way they are and quit trying to change them?
The reality is, we are ALL born into sin and it manifests itself in our lives in varying ways. Saying the sin of homosexuality is unchangeable is in essence saying, God is too small. He is limited and therefore has no choice but to give us a pass on this one sin, because homosexuals just can’t help themselves…and neither can He.
Those who proclaim homosexuality is genetic and unchangeable use this as justification to remain comfortably in their sin. They won’t admit it (even to themselves), but what these individuals are really saying is this: “No thanks, I resist your offer of deliverance, God. You made me this way and I have no desire to change. I like my sin. If you truly are a loving God, You will accept me just as I am.”
And with a strong mob-like supporting cast of demonic worldly influence around them in this day urging them on, it is easy to see why the prince of this world is having his way. Darkness hates light. It always has and it always will.
We are living in a day where friends and family members of homosexuals are allowing their once-firmly held beliefs to be adjusted and dictated by the cultural climate of society. This is bolstered by their love for or emotional attachment to those caught up in this sin. With total disregard for (or abandonment of) God’s Word, they find themselves now agreeing with or defending their loved one’s lifestyle. And many go so far as to self-insert God’s stamp of approval upon it. After all, they claim, God is love and homosexuals just want to be free to love each other.
Everything in Christianity comes back to the inerrant Word of God – the Bible. And this is true whether we choose to believe it or not. God’s standard of righteousness is not dependent on our acceptance of it. Either we believe the whole Bible to be God’s Word, or we dismiss and reject it all. We don’t have the luxury of pulling out and adhering to only those verses with which we find ourselves in agreement.
The way i see it, only two types of “professing Christians” can dismiss the sin of homosexuality:
1) Those who don’t know/aren’t taught or grounded in the Word of God (bible)
2) Those who deny the entire bible is God-breathed and Holy Spirit- inspired.
And both are prime prey for deception. These individuals are easily led astray and will willingly follow any number of false doctrines in these last days.
Those caught up in the homosexual lifestyle who have tried, but claim they cannot change, if they were truly honest, would admit they at some point made poor choices after the Lord had delivered them, and they willingly put themselves in position to fall. We as humans are unable to make any genuine and lasting change in regard to any besetting sin without clinging daily and desperately to the ‘Vine’.
“Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Although I am delivered, wisdom, and quite frankly common sense dictates that I refrain from putting myself in a vulnerable position of temptation.
The Word tells me to “come out from among them and be separate.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)
Just as a delivered alcoholic or drug addict can no longer surround him/herself with other addicts, I knew when God delivered me, I was too close the door on many of my past friendships. I have to purpose to refrain from accepting invitations that might weaken me or put me in a vulnerable position. I recognize clearly it is a spiritual battle, and I have a very real spiritual enemy who seeks to destroy me and will go to any length to do so. I have to resolve to be on guard daily, so as not to give him an opening.
In 1 John 4:4 I am given the assurance that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. But, I must be willing to submit daily to the leading of the Holy Spirit and to clothe myself in the full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
God has delivered and set me free, BUT He expects me to daily lean on Him and to be wise in my decision-making, so as not to allow myself to fall back into the sin from which He has delivered me.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)
God never promised this walk through life as a Christian would be easy, but oh the promises of the joy that awaits us when we leave this earth and head for our eternal “Home”!
Thank You, Jesus!