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Pro Gay Theology

November 13, 2010

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/sexual-identity/progay-revisionist-theology.aspx

Pro-gay revisionist theology takes the movement for the legitimization of homosexuality a step further by attempting to redefine homosexual behavior as God-ordained and morally permissible. Leaders of the “gay-Christian” movement defend this position arguing that:

1.Christians’ prejudice against homosexuals leads them to misread biblical texts about homosexuality.

2.Christian leaders speak out against homosexuality merely to raise funds and increase their visibility.

3.Scriptures that supposedly condemn homosexual behavior have actually been mistranslated.

4.Scriptures that supposedly condemn homosexual behavior have been taken out of context and do not apply to our present society.

The pro-gay revisionist theology threatens to substantially alter the Christian church and biblical doctrine. When God is said to sanction what He plainly forbids, then a serious heresy is unfolding before us in bold fashion.

•Attempts to subjugate objective biblical truths to subjective human experiences lead men and women to accept lies. Often those having a personal interest in the promulgation of pro-gay revisionist theology twist the plain teaching of Scripture to support and justify their behavior.•In light of objective biblical truth, general pro-gay religious arguments cannot withstand scrutiny:

◦Scripture begins and ends with the picture of marriage as an institution ordained by God – designed for the union of a man and a woman in a life-long, faithful, covenantal relationship. This view is affirmed by Moses, Christ and Paul, and has been upheld through thousands of years of Judeo Christian history and tradition. Pro-gay revisionists usually do not even attempt to address God’s created intent for human sexuality, but instead twist Scripture and argue against those texts which condemn same-sex behavior.

◦It remains highly unlikely that Bible translators mistranslated five references to sexual ethics in two different testaments of Scripture. Even more unlikely is the possibility that they only mistranslated Scriptures regarding homosexual behavior.

◦Scriptures against homosexual behavior – including Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10 – are so clear and specific that they defy reinterpretation. It is intellectually dishonest to say that conservative individuals and leaders “interpret” such clear verses as “Thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman” out of prejudice against homosexuals and use them for selfish gain.

◦Homosexuality in Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy is mentioned in the wider context of sexual, immoral and prohibited behaviors, casting doubt on the argument that Scriptures condemning homosexuality have been taken out of context.

◦References condemning homosexual behavior were addressed to highly different Ancient Near East cultures (from Hebrew to Greco-Roman) – nullifying the argument that scriptural passages against homosexuality are culturally bound and inapplicable to today’s society.

•The argument that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality in the gospels is misleading and illogical for at least five reasons:

◦The gospels are not more authoritative than those books of the Bible that condemn homosexual behavior. All authors of Scripture were inspired by God’s Holy Spirit.

◦The gospels are not comprehensive. Some of the Bible’s most important teachings – the explanation of spiritual gifts, the Priesthood of Christ, the doctrine of man’s old and new nature – appear in other books of the Bible.

◦The gospels do not claim to be a complete account of Jesus’ life or teachings. Sections of Jesus’ life are not discussed in the gospels and we cannot be certain that Jesus never spoke about homosexual behavior.

◦Scripture teaches that Jesus kept all the Law and affirmed all that the Law and the Prophets taught (Matt. 5:17-19). Undoubtedly, this would have included the affirmation of committed, monogamous male-female marriage and an unwavering condemnation of homosexual behavior. Given that all first century orthodox Jews would have held to this standard, the question of affirming homosexuality would not have been open to discussion in Jesus’ day.

◦Jesus clearly referred to heterosexuality as a standard. He specifically described God’s created intent for human sexuality: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matt. 19: 1-8; Mk. 10:6-9).

•The argument that “I’m a born-again believer and I’m gay, therefore homosexuality must be okay” is illogical because it assumes if one is a Christian and if one is loved by God, then what one does must be right in God’s sight.

◦Salvation does not legitimize sin. Being a Christian is not an indication, in and of itself, that one’s life is pleasing to God.

◦Conversely, Christians do not automatically become non-Christians just because they are sinning.

•The argument that if God’s presence and gifts of love are manifest in a gay-affirming church and in homosexual relationships, it is evidence that God accepts and blesses homosexual behavior is misleading in that it assumes love sanctifies a relationship. Love is not the final standard for right and wrong.

◦Love can, according to Jesus, interfere with God’s plan for an individual. He warns His followers that love for anyone, no matter how legitimate the relationship, becomes sin when it surpasses our love for Him.

◦Love is not enough to justify a relationship. A married man can fall deeply in love with a woman other than his wife; that will never sanctify adultery. Likewise, love between two men or women cannot justify a homosexual relationship.

•Both the American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association call for practitioners to respect the religious and spiritual values of their clients and assert that clients have the right to autonomy and self determination. 1At the same time, however, both groups view the traditional biblical understanding on homosexuality with disdain and actively promote a sexual ethic opposing biblical orthodoxy. The American Psychiatric Association goes so far as to take sides in the theological debate by referencing pro-gay, biblically unorthodox, revisionist writers in its document. 2

•The resolution by the American Psychological Association also calls into question parental rights to raise children according to their own standards – including those who encourage their children to follow a traditional biblical sexual ethic.

•Research confirms that permanent change away from a homosexual orientation is, indeed, possible.

•In 2007, Drs. Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse published a study confirming that long-term change away from homosexual orientation can occur through religious mediation. At the end of three years, 67 percent of men and women who had undergone group discussions, individual counseling, journaling, Scripture reading and prayer either reported a change towards heterosexual orientation or a rejection of gay identity with establishment of successful chastity, or were continuing work towards one of those two goals based on the progress they had already experienced. 3

•In 2003, pro-gay Dr. Robert Spitzer published his study of 200 men and women who had reported some change “from homosexual to heterosexual orientation that lasted at least five years.” He found that “almost all of the participants reported substantial changes in the core aspects (of) sexual orientation, not merely overt behavior.” 4

•A major study, released in 1997, of almost 860 individuals and more than 200 psychologists and therapists who treated them showed a large number had moved away from homosexual attractions, identity and behavior. 5

•There is no valid or replicable research demonstrating the inevitability of homosexual behavior based on biological or genetic circumstances. 6

•Not only does research confirm that permanent change is possible, but numerous testimonies declare the truth of God’s healing and redemptive power – both with and without the assistance of those in the psychiatric and psychological professions. The Apostle Paul noted the reality of change for some members of the early church in Corinth, and men and women continue to find freedom from homosexuality today. 7

•While the process of changing one’s sexual identity is often a long and difficult journey, it is nevertheless possible for highly motivated individuals.

•In contrast to the claims of both APAs, competent religiously mediated counseling for unwanted same-sex attraction was found not to be harmful on average, and hence the change attempt is not inherently harmful. 8

•In America, individuals are blessed with the freedom to choose how they define themselves and to steward their sexuality as they see fit. If people want to change their sexual identity, it is their right to choose.

•The American Psychiatric Association’s “rebuke” in 1998 of “reparative therapy” and the resolution adopted by the American Psychological Association are not – nor have they ever been – official ethical bans on therapeutic approaches to bring behavior, attractions, and identity in line with a person’s values. Individuals continue to have a right to choose counseling and therapy to help align their thoughts and behavior with their convictions and faith.

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