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One Body, Spirit, Faith and Truth


By Carman Bradley


In 1998, 54 per cent of Americans believed homosexuality to be a sin, and even more – 59 per cent – believed it to be morally wrong; 44 per cent believed that homosexual relations between consenting adults should be illegal.[i]  For orthodox Christians the notion (as declared by PFLAG and Planned Parenthood in the article before this) that one can find his or her individual comfort zone along a self-declared continuum of sexual preference and behavior is patently unscriptural.  Moreover, professing Christians who advocate an ”all-inclusive” theology, are seen by the orthodox as compromised at best, otherwise fully deceived.  Whether the “halfway” application of Scripture or “full” rejection of the Word (Bible) happens by national denominational decree; presbytery plebiscite, or some decentralized and individual parish wish, makes little difference.  The bending of God’s truth or rejection of His Word creates a hot bed for growing falsehoods and opportunity for further misinterpretation of Scripture.

Much is at stake today.  The observance of spiritual compromise in one of His Churches, literally made Jesus sick:

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth…you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.  I counsel you to buy from me… salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Revelation 3:15-18


Some versions of Revelation 3:15 use “spew” in place of spit – literally to vomit.  Jesus declared that the church in Laodicea supplied neither healing for the spiritually sick nor refreshment for the spiritually weary.  Their compromised teachings lead Him to want to throw-up.  Although they thought of themselves as Christians and their congregation as blessed, Jesus had not entered their church in Spirit.  Addressing the self-deluded members of the church, Christ called:


Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…

Secular readers put aside your worldview while reading this article and those essays intended to debunk so-called “Pro-Gay Christian theology.”  The premise of this category of discussion is that we are all professed Christians wishing to serve God’s will.  And given our commitment to Christ, we seek a legitimate interpretation of Scripture.  What is at issue is the Scriptural truth.  Here, the “Christian” reader faces the difficult challenge of deciding which churches bring truth and which, like the church at Laodicea, offer nothing spiritually.  In a world filled with counterfeit faiths only the truth brings spiritual life; untruth brings death.  Although the Laodicean congregation was happy, full of pride, and likely flourishing, membership in the church put the individual’s salvation at risk.

Looking back over more than forty years of debate on homosexual issues in the predominantly heterosexual Christian Church, one finds three general positions adopted.  The orthodox position, states that homosexual acts defile God and His creation.  Adherents proclaim that Scripture is unequivocal in condemnation of homosexual fantasies and activities.  On the other hand, the pro-gay position divides into two camps.  One camp, the conservative side of so-called “liberal” Christians, contends that Scripture has been wrongly interpreted on issues of homosexuality all these years, and therefore theology should be revised to affirm homosexual relationships as blessed within God’s design. To put forth its case, this group usually argues that the Bible is not fully God’s Word and that key verses are no longer valid in light of postmodern wisdom.  In What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, Danial A. Helminiak, Ph.D., outlines this postmodern-liberal position:

We now know that homosexuality is a core aspect of the personality, probably fixed by early childhood, biologically based, and affecting a significant portion of the population in virtually every known culture.  There is no convincing evidence that sexual orientation can be changed, and there is no evidence whatsoever that homosexuality is in any way pathological….in biblical times there was no elaborated understanding of homosexuality as a sexual orientation….Our question today is about people and their relationships, not simply about sex acts…Our question is about spontaneous affection for people of the same sex and about the ethical possibility of expressing that affection in loving relationships.  Because this was not a question in the minds of the biblical authors, we cannot expect the Bible to give an answer.[ii]

Call this first “liberal” group the “compromised.”  The second and more radical pro-gay camp advocates the full revamping of traditional Christian theology.  In essence these groups advance many of the Gnostic heresies recorded by the first and second century Christian apologists.  Best typified in the articulations of Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, these radicals advocate unfettered acceptance of homosexuality in a revised theology, which rejects among other things the virgin birth, Christ’s divinity, the bodily resurrection of Christ, and the significance of His atoning sacrifice.  Drawing virtually the same conclusions as Spong, under the guise of a “quest for the historical Jesus,” another radical pro-gay organization, the Jesus Seminar, has concluded that at least 75 per cent of New Testament sayings of Christ are false.  Spong gives us a glimpse of the radical new pro-gay Christianity:

To build a new basis for ethics, we must learn to look in a different place.  We look, I believe, not outside of life for some external and objective authenticating authority, but rather at the very center and core of our humanity.  We can get to that core by asking a totally different series of questions.  These are not God questions but human questions, such as: What gives us life?  What lifts us into wholeness? What enhances our being?  What introduces us to transcendence?  What calls us beyond our limits?  What do we ultimately value?  These questions will force us to search, not the empty heavens, but the depths of our own being for answers….Morality, in any area of life, will not be achieved by threats and negativity.  The repression of sexual energy, for example, which marked traditional ethics for so long, did not lead to the fullness of life.  It only created the backlash of an uninhibited exercise of sexual energy, which was also destructive to our essential humanity.  When the value of human sexuality is repressed, it returns as pornography.  When we try to take sex away from love, we succeed only in taking love away from sex.[iii]

The conclusion of this humanistic search for ethical norms is that something like ethical objectivity begins to emerge.  There is an ‘objective’ wrongness to seeking cause or to increase the pain of another life….So the freedom to be myself is in dialogue with the need to enhance the being of others….Such virtues do not come, however, from an external God.  They come, rather, from our human depths, where I suggest the meaning of God must finally be sought.  A second ultimate but still human value emerges upon the heels of this freedom.  It is the objective value of knowledge.[iv]…When a homosexual orientation is revealed by the development of the science of the brain and its neurochemical processes to be a normal part of the sexual spectrum of human life, a given and not a chosen way of life, then it becomes inhumane to use a person’s sexual orientation as the basis for a continuing prejudice.  Therefore, the kind of judgment that compromises the worth and well-being of a homosexual person or places limits on the opportunities of that person becomes the activity of ignorance.  Since that is so, then a third ultimate human value emerges.  It is objectively wrong to act in such a way....[v]

Call this second radically “liberal” group the “fully deceived.”  Along with these two groups of pro-gay Christians is another group of mostly gay Christians.  These gays and lesbians have chosen to join mostly homosexual congregations in relatively new churches espousing a hybrid mix of Christian tenets, gay affirmations and self-sustaining ideologies.  The Metropolitan Community Church (MMC) is representative of religious institutions developed specifically to suit the GBLTQ Community.

Beset by this smorgasbord of orthodox, pro-gay and gay theologies, and wanting to come out from twenty-three years of genuine homosexuality, Ann Phillips describes her difficulties in finding and following the true path.  Over several months she had found a multitude of books, organizations and even pastors who told her that homosexuality was acceptable for a Christian. “It simply isn’t sin,” they told her.  “God made you gay, and he doesn’t make mistakes.”  Phillips recalled her reaction:

Try as I might, I was never satisfied with their answers.  The attitudes, activities and rhetoric of the pro-gay theology movement never seemed to line up with what I was reading in Scripture and hearing in my heart.  So many of their positions seemed to be motivated by self-interest and anger.  No one appeared to be particularly concerned that they or anyone else move closer to Christ.  The focus was all about getting our acceptance and affirmation of our homosexuality from the church, regardless of cost…

Of course, I also read books and listened to pastors on the other side who said the life I had lived for almost twenty-three years was sinful and had to stop.  Their words terrified me.  In response it seemed as though God had hunted me down, and I was backed into a corner.  Every fiber of my being had cried out to know the truth, but who could I believe when even the church seemed to disagree?  The pressure I felt within me was incredible and unbearable…

People all around me were saying things like, “I didn’t ask to be gay” and “I was born this way.”  These were statements I had made all my adult life.  Then a woman seated right next to me made another comment I’d said many times, “And no one can change me.”

Within my mind I heard these words crystal clear: But God can do anything.  There it was again God’s truth.  He had a way out for me even if I couldn’t imagine how this was possible.  As much as I couldn’t face leaving my partner and my gay identity there was no alternative as far as I could see.[vi]

The importance of differentiating between truth and counterfeit is evident in specific references to “the truth,” made some 186 times in the New Testament alone.  This matter of “the truth” must be seen in the context of a crucial spiritual battle for one’s mind.  As Richard Strauss points out:

Man’s will can only choose what his mind has first grasped.  Freedom of choice is restricted to the information one has in his mind.  So if our minds are shielded from the truth of the Gospel, this effectively keeps us from getting to know God and from fulfilling God’s purpose for creating each of us.[vii]

To those who believed in Him, Jesus said:

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 3:32).

The truth Jesus Christ is referring to is not philosophical truth or scholarly truth in the sense of freedom from temporal ignorance; but rather He is speaking of the truth that leads to salvation - the truth that leads to freedom from the consequences of sin.  Here Jesus reveals a central Christian tenet - we cannot break free from sin by our own strength:

I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 3:34)

One should bear in mind that moral and spiritual truth is as much truth as mathematical, scientific, and historical truth; and it is all equally “intellectual.”  And Christians cannot talk of the truth apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As important, Christians cannot see, nor understand the truth apart from the infilling of the Holy Spirit.  Christ says:

But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.  When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and…when He the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth (John 16:7).

Charging Timothy with spreading “the truth,” the Apostle Paul advises:

All Scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) 

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

As he observed the libertine practices of Gnostics (replicated in many ways in today’s liberalism) the Apostle John wrote to first century Christians with the purpose of exposing false doctrines:

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  This is how you can recognize the spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.  You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.  We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.  This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” (1 John 4:1-6)

The danger from deception in the spiritual realm needs still further clarification.  In the Book of Matthew, Christ warns of the many who will think they are safe, only to find they have been mistaken:

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:13-23)

In highlighting the issue of the right “Spirit,” Emil Brunner comments on ignoring the Law and the inerrancy of the Bible:

The Gospel came into the world as the obedience-commanding message of the dominion of God.  But the human heart with its egoistic desire for freedom asserts itself everywhere….The individualistic enthusiast….insists that everything depends on the free rule of the Spirit.  “The Spirit bloweth where it listeth” – hence there is nothing fixed, nothing divinely given, no rule and authority, no established doctrine and institution.  Nothing is binding but the free, ruling Spirit of God, who enlightens everyone, when and how He pleases.  This enlightening through the Spirit takes place, according to this point of view, from moment to moment, without established rules, without being bound to the fixed, given Word or to historical facts.[viii]

A common sentiment is that, since God’s ideal cannot always be achieved in the present sinful world, concessions or exceptions must be made in line with man’s circumstances and proclivities.  If a man finds himself possessed of a homosexual passion, is there not some appropriate – albeit less than ideal – sense in which he can exercise it.  Must he be frustrated with unfulfilled physical desires, or is there a possible exception that can be granted?  James P. Hanigan argued homosexuals should not be turned away to burn in unrighteous sexual passion.  Is the only choice Christian sexual ethics can offer the choice to burn with unfulfilled desire?  He says, “Something better than ‘You are a sinner; repent,’ or ‘Tough luck; that’s the way things are,’ or ‘Resign yourself to a life of sexual abstinence,’ or ‘The rules do not apply to you,’ has to be said.”[ix]

Yet how much of this so-called “desire” is truly Spirit inspired.  What does God say to: (1) the young Christian separated from his or her spouse by necessities such as years of imprisonment, lengthy war or a distant career posting; (2) the person living a vowed celibate life; and (3) the person married to a spouse who is physically or mentally so ill that no hope of recovery and no normal marital relationship is possible?  There is no provision made for temptations of the flesh in these situations, so why should homosexuality be granted unfettered sexual expression?  The rub of the matter, as Hanigan himself proclaims, is this:

And if there are other choices open to homosexuals, why should not these options be available to heterosexuals as well?  Thus, homosexuality may well serve as the ‘test-case’ of Christian sexual ethics since it poses the clearest challenge to the universal and evangelical character of that ethic.[x]

What if a man cannot quell a burning desire for a daughter or son?  What of a burning desire between sisters?  The assumption underlying questions such as Hanigan’s, is that man’s imperfections and personal limitations call for lowering of God’s requirements; it is assumed that secondary moral demands are suitable enough in Christian ethics when circumstances beyond an individual’s control prevent him from full obedience to God’s revealed will.  This indicates a critical failure to understand the nature of God, whose eyes are too pure to approve evil and who cannot look on wickedness with favor (Habakkuk 1:13).  God demands throughout the Bible that men be holy in all of their behavior: “You shall be holy, for I am holy”“You are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).[xi] (Leviticus 11:44, Peter 1:1).  Christ settles for no lowering of this unqualified standard of holiness, no rationalizations, no exceptions to God’s high demand:

Another frequent polemic maintains that those who criticize homosexuality are guilty of having a judgmental attitude.  It has been said that “surely it is neither the Christian’s responsibility nor prerogative to judge other people’s lifestyles.”  One self-professed “evangelical” study of homosexuality goes so far as to accuse its opponents of false witness and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit!  If meant to be taken seriously, these are misguided remarks.  What advice do these so-called “pro-gay, non-judgmental Christians” offer AIDS activists like Larry Kramer?  What Spirit of truth has he trespassed, when he says the following:

We brought AIDS upon ourselves by a way of living that welcomed it.  You cannot F----indiscriminately with multiple partners, who are also doing the same, without spreading disease…We have made sex the cornerstone of gay liberation and gay culture, and it has killed us.[xii]

What cognitive process chooses to overlook the impact of AIDS on both straight and gay free love lifestyles and asserts, Who are we to judge?   What Spirit of truth is served by allowing pro-gay agencies to tell our children homosexuality is healthy, indeed, a blessed lifestyle?  The pagan Larry Kramer has shown more integrity and honesty in facing the following facts on the gay lifestyle:

A study by Cameron (1992) of 16 gay publications over an 11 year period (1981-92) found that the median age of death was only 39. Excluding AIDS deaths improved the picture to a small degree, and for non-AIDS deaths the median age was 42.

A male homosexual has as much as a 50 percent chance of acquiring HIV by middle age.  In 1995, AIDS was the leading cause of death among all Americans aged 25 to 44, and homosexual men, who make up less than two percent of the population, accounted for 50 percent of all new AIDS cases in 1995 and 1996…Even Sullivan agrees.  Consider what he wrote in The New York Times Magazine: ‘Suddenly, it seemed, as my 20s merged into my 30s, everyone was infected’…Sullivan has ‘lost friend after friend’ in ‘a health crisis as profound as any in modern American history.’  Male homosexuals are ‘a group of men who have witnessed a scale of loss historically visited upon war generations.’  ‘What AIDS has done to homosexuals is a ‘horror.’ A ‘veil of terror,’ and a ‘natural calamity.’  Such apocalyptic language is not invoked because AIDS is killing lots of 73-year-old men; it is because, as Sullivan wrote, AIDS is ‘visiting death upon so many, so young.’[xiii]

Paul Cameron…I sampled over 6,500 obituaries in 18 different homosexual journals.  Sullivan was a tad dishonest when he said, ‘As any student of these papers knows, the obit sections – which scarcely existed before AIDS – are primarily ways to commemorate openly gay people who have died early deaths.’  Not only were many old homosexuals’ deaths recorded in these obits, but a considerable number of deaths of gays who were married to women were also recorded.  I also reviewed a large number of studies of those engaging in homosexuality going back to 1858 and found a similar paucity of old homosexuals in just every such study.   Additional supportive information about my findings can be found in the University of Chicago’s ‘definitive’ sex survey of Americans.  While 2.9 percent of men aged 18-29 and 4.2 percent of men aged 30-39 claimed that they were bisexual or homosexual, for those aged 40-49 the proportion declined to 2.2 percent, and for those 50-59 it declined to 0.5 percent.  Another study found that 75 percent of gays in Colorado who got HIV tests were aged 39 or younger and only one percent of gays getting tested were old….Why do so few old gays show up in these studies?  The answer seems to be because not very many gays become old.[xiv]

To be true to God and His Word we cannot be uncritical of or neutral toward those things Scripture prohibits.  People must be warned against attitudes and behaviors that are displeasing to a holy God.  Those who have been redeemed by the mercy of God are called to conscious separation from sin and emulation of God’s character.  This would be impossible without identifying some things as sinful and ungodly – which is patently judgmental.  The fact is that Scripture does not forbid judging in itself, but judging which is ill-motivated, hasty, unfair, or according to unbiblical standards.  Indeed, God in His Word requires us to judge actions (Matthew 7:15-23, John 7:24) and to reprove the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11, Timothy 5:20, 4:2, Titus 1:13; 2:15) – but without partiality (1 Timothy 5:21), hypocrisy (Matthew 7:1-5), or attempting to determine inward matters pertaining to the individual’s heart (1 Samuel 16:7).  It is the “spirit of this age” that demands the general suppression of discernment, encourages unprincipled tolerance, and criticizes anyone who would dare to criticize.  The Holy Spirit exhorts us to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good; abstain from every form of evil (Ezekiel 11:19-20, Romans 3:31, 6:1-7:6, 8:1-4, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Titus 2:11-14). 


Copyright © 2008 StandForGod.Org

[i] Byrne Fone, Homophobia (New York: Picador, 2000), p.12.  Cited from The Advocate, February 4, 1997, p.4.

[ii] Daniel A. Helminiak, What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality (San Francisco, California: Alamo Square Press, 1995), pp.32 and 33.

[iii] John Shelby Spong, Why Christianity Must Change or Die (San Francisco: Harper, 1998), p.160.

[iv] Ibid., p.161.

[v] Ibid., p.162.

[vi] Ann Phillips, “Letting Go of Loneliness,” testimony in Portraits of Freedom  by Bob Davies with Lela Gilbert (Downers Grove, Illonois: InterVarsity Press, 2001), pp.24-26.

[vii] Richard L. Strauss, Win the Battle for Your Mind (Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1980), p.10.

[viii] Emil Brunner, The Divine-Human Encounter (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1943), pp. 22, 26-28. 

[ix] James P. Hanigan, Homosexuality: The Test Case for Christian Sexual Ethics (New York: Paulist Press, 1988), p.18.

[x] Ibid.

[xi] Greg I. Bahnsen, Homosexuality: A Biblical View (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1978), pp.23 and 24.

[xii] William J. Bennett, letter to Editor, cited in “Correspondence,” The New Republic, Washington, February 23, 1998.

[xiii] Ibid.

[xiv] Paul Cameron, letter to Editor,  cited in “Correspondence,” The New Republic, Washington, February 23, 1998.