Megachurch and the homosexuals

Soulforce – a pro-homosexual organization – is visiting the pastors of megachurches in the United States just to talk and come to understand each other. They are targeting ones we all know – Eddie Long in Atlanta, Joel Osteen in Houston, Bill Hybels – Chicago area, T.D. Jakes in Dallas, Harry Jackson’s Church in Beltsville, Md., and last but not least Rick Warren at Saddleback in California. Big names.

The report states that they have been favourably received. In fact, one meeting with one of these pastors was described as “wonderful”. One leader of Soulforce is quoted as saying (after a visit with Eddie Long in Atlanta), “He doesn’t believe that he’s right or they’re wrong … he respects everyone’s beliefs.”

There are a number of problems with these meetings.

1> As the article states and I agree, they are simply looking for meetings to gain more prominence. They are not out to understand the Christian message as we believe it. The evangelical Church years ago made it clear what we believe the Bible states about homosexual behaviour – it is a sin and not an alternative lifestyle. So, why the meeting? To find out they they are great people, creative and sensitive. And, they nusually are – but they are sinners pushing a life-style that is anti-Christian and anti-Bible. Never forget that.

2> We could meet with them as we would any person deeply entrenched in sin to talk with them and allow the Holy Spirit opportunity to convict them of their sin. We don’t meet with them so we can understand each other. What is there to understand – sin is sin, the Bible is the Bible. I know that appears narrow-minded and biased. And I plead guilt to both charges. But, I am right according to the Bible and that is the only standard by which to live one’s life.

3> If it was to come to some sort of mutual understand about this issue then the meetings should never have taken place. My Bible states in John’s Gospel that “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (understand) it” (John 1:5)

If it is a feel good meeting as it appears to be from the article – I have great trouble with that as well. 1 John states that those who walk in the light do not and cannot fellowship with those who walk in darkness. (1 John 1:6)

4> Going back to Eddie Long’s comment – I believe we can respect everyone’s right to hold different beliefs than the ones we hold as Bible believers. However, we should never walk away from a meeting being able to say that “we respect” these beliefs. Nor should a sinner walk away from a meeting with a Christian, called to discuss a sinful life-style, and be able to say “He doesn’t believe that he’s right or (that we are ) wrong”. If you meet with a Bible believing pastor then you should leave that meeting with the firm knowledge that you are, according to the Bible, in sin and in danger of the fires of Hell unless you repent of what the Lord calls a sin and not an alternative life-style.

Having said all that – here is my heart-felt, deep, deep concern. The Christian Church is no longer preaching the truths of the Bible. We are “tickling people’s ears” as Paul would say. We are trying to be politically correct. Maybe we are trying to attract large numbers and build megachurches by not speaking about sin, repentance, godly sorrow, holiness. If this is true then megachurches are not churches at all. In fact, Paul would say that “they hold to the outward form of our religion but deny the power thereof.” The power he is speaking of is the power to change lives and bring people out of the darkness (homosexuality being just one example of that darkness) so that they can walk in the light and have fellowship with the Lord and with other true converts to the Christian faith.

The Church is in trouble. It is time for believers to stand for the Truth regardless of how politically incorrect it may be. It is time to push back the darkness and not sit around our offices and discuss the darkness. Light your light and let the darkness flee.

In my nation of Canada this is a dangerous stand to take because the federal government has declared that we cannot preach publically against homosexuality as those parts of the Bible have been labeled as “hate literature” and so you can prosecuted under the law for a “hate crime” under our Charter of Rights. A side note – in Canada everyone’s rights are protected except those of the born again believer … but that’s a topic for another blog some time.

I for one already know all I need to know about sin and I don’t need to sit in my office to fellowship, discuss, and come to some understanding about the form of sin we call homosexuality or any other form of sin for that matter. I know that sin separates us from God, is wrong, needs to be repented of with godly sorrow, and that the sinner needs to get right with their God or else they will face a terrible eternity in Hell. From this standpoint I am able to reach out to all sinners and offer them hope. Once saved I can then offer them fellowship.

To read the full article “Pro-Homosexual Group Wants to Woo Megachurch Leaders” – you can find it on-line (now the corrected location) at the address below (just copy and paste) or go down three comments and you will see an active “live link” to the article which I pasted in just like this one is pasted in. This one does not work – the one three comments down does and I don’t know why!

http://www.charismamag.com/cms/news/archives/060208.php

9 replies
  1. Garth
    Garth says:

    Ralph
    I think we need to look beyond the Pastors actions of meeting with the group and look to the motivations. I’m sure they’re walking in love and forgiveness towards the people that they’re meeting with, but my first thought is this.. Are those Pastors just trying to stay politically correct (as a base motivation)so as not to offend their flock (either directly or indirectly as in the press gets ahold of it, makes a big deal of it, and the flock departs)with the bottom line being “there goes a large part of our church’s income?”
    This basic motivation, (Serve God or serve mammon)has the potential in a very big way to seperate the wheat from the chaff.

    … Just a thought

    Reply
  2. Bob MacDonald
    Bob MacDonald says:

    Hi Ralph!

    Don’t post this blog.

    This is not a criticism – just a minor note so you can adjust the link.

    The link at the bottom of your blog is missing a portion and so it does not work.
    It should read http://charismamag.com/ . . .

    Bob MacDonald

    Reply
  3. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Thanks Bob – I have gone in and with the help of David Mickalishen found where it came from and corrected the entry… for those reading down this far who missed the original entry – you can’t click on it from the original blog (I don’t know why, sorry) but can go directly from here (exactly the same as the original blog but does connect)…
    The web address is…
    http://www.charismamag.com/cms/news/archives/060208.php

    Reply
  4. Darryl
    Darryl says:

    Seems like defending the faith and apologetics also means defending moral values. This gets a bit dicy. O well,I’m signed up already and Im not taking my name off the list now.
    One problem I have with all of this is that even if the pastors completely oppose the stand of these individuals, the things they say will be twisted, distorted and misrepresented. I feel like the pastors are being set up for ambush. If they oppose the lifestyle, they are painted as intolerant or misquoted favorably for the Soulforce group.
    If they refuse to meet, they are seen as narrow minded and still intolerant.
    This is a no-win in my mind, so blogs and communication on these issues are a must. Guess we’re at war.

    Reply
  5. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Darryl, You are right – it is a war. And, for too long the Christians have not been taking this war seriously. Oh, we took it seriously enough to pray against the influence of those pushing their homosexual agenda. And, we did what we could to protect our children from books being added to the schools stating that the homosexual lifestyle was normal and acceptable and that it was okay to have two dads..

    However, in general (with some exceptions) what we did not do was stand up and become vocal at the many opportunities we were given to express our opinion and preferences. It was as if we were afraid of being labeled as bigots or narrow-minded or reacting in fear to the homosexuals. Why that was suh a concern I do not know – because they think of us anyways.

    So, while they had a plan of attack (called the Gay Agenda) and have been working it and funding it for over 40 years the Christians literally stuck their heads in the sand hoping it was not as serious as it appeared and that it would just go away. It didn’t; it has not and it will not.

    It is time that true Bible-believing, God-fearing individuals began to be vocal and ‘militant’ in standing up for what we believe is morally right. Prayer and fasting have not worked as “faith without works is dead.” So, every believer should become involved and not leave it to the few vocal voices that have been crying out almost in the wilderness where no one has heard them. Bless them for their efforts – but, more importantly, join them.

    The research is available, groups like Exodus International can help us, there are many recovered homosexuals who are active Christians and who have experienced freedom – they too now need to stand up and unashamedly tell their stories and their struggles.

    We need to face this world-wide problem head-on before it takes our civilization the same way that ancient Rome went as homosexuality took over in their time – down the sewer to total disaster and the fall of the Roman Empire.

    So, let’s not pray ‘rise up O God” but let’s yell “rise up Church”. It is time – past time -to let the world know we are here and we are not queer and never will be!

    Reply
  6. Don
    Don says:

    I came out of a tradition that seemed to think ‘the gayer the better’ – people convinced that they are Christian, but who find no difficulty, whatsoever, in disregarding Biblical texts that are inconvenient.
    Biblical authority is at the root of this. My liberal seminary did nothing but undermine it. Quite successfully in my case. It took a sovereign move of God, my own Damascus experience, to bring me around.
    I am left wondering about the evangelical approach in cases like this. I know what I came from. As a liberal, my eyes would simply glaze over when an evangelical would say “But the Bible says . . .” Liberals believe they are enlightened. That they proceed from compassion, from love, and that we do not. Many of them equate dogmatism with hate. (And they are quite dogmatic on this point!)
    I have also witnessed evangelical train wrecks, since being saved. Living in Calgary, I saw confrontations between Bible believing Christians and homosexuals, with Bible verses being quoted on one side, and scorn being hurled from the other.
    I guess I’m wondering how to proselytize someone like I was! My only creed was ‘Live and let live.’ Both conviction of sin (ie the way of the master) and the truth of the Word meant nothing to me.
    I rest in the truth that salvation is of God. And in the power of prayer. Who knows how many prayers were offered for me, when I was still lost? We need to pray fervently for the lost. This I know.
    But I am open to suggestions, as to how best to speak to liberals, who believe as I did. How do we at once stand in the truth and dialog with people who laugh at Biblical authority? People who are simply convinced that they know better than us.

    Reply
  7. pccpastor
    pccpastor says:

    I have known “Christians” who have told me that they didn’t choose to be “gay” but that it chose them, but then, calling it “lifestyle choice” makes no sense at all. I’ve also known. Christian young people that I have challenged for their choice, counselled, prayed with for deliverence and I have seen them gloriously miraculously and completly restored and set free. I welcome all gay people to my church but they soon realize that I don’t welcome their lifestyle. I have never met a homo-sexual I didn’t like and I’ve never met one that Jesus couldn’t rescue.

    Reply
  8. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Wow! pccpastor I totally agree. I too welcome all people to our Church. We don’t see one sin as any different than any other sin. In God’s eyes sin is sin. And, in spite of Canadian “hate laws” I still comment from the pulpit of the need to discontinue the homosexual lifestyle and God’s displeasure with it. And, that this should be more than abstaining – it should be done with godly sorrow and repentance as Paul the apostle states in his letter to the Corinthian Church. We also offer those coming out of the lifestyle any support and encouragement they may need. Like you, over the years, we have seen a number of people choose to repent and get right with God and live very meaningful and full Christian lives and even enter into leadership in the Church. Regretfully, we have also seen those who simply become offended and leave.

    Reply
  9. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Don, thanks for the thoughtful response to my blog. It is very difficult to convince “Enlightened people” that the Bible is the only valid authority for lifestyle and standards to live by. I too came out of a denomination where homosexuality is accepted and they ordain and consecrate homosexual priests and bishops. In my days with them there were many homosexual theological students and priests and most of us knew who they were. However, that many years ago, you simply didn’t talk about it. It is a much healtier situation now where it is out in the open and being talked about. However, it is still sin.
    Here is what I have found – until people accept that the Bible is the rule book and has the standards by which we guide and live our lives – there is not much value in talking with people. When people from other ‘churches’ or from the mainline denominations that accept homosexuality as a valid alternative life-style it simply means they have not submitted their lives to the Lordship of Jesus and do not believe that the Bible is our only authority. So, we simply don’t have any common ground from which to carry on an intelligent conversation or any conversation for that matter.
    Conversation will not convince people that they are wrong – we need to see a move of the Holy Spirit which brings conviction of their sin so that they cry out to God to rescue them. Then, as in your case and mine, they will receive the gift of salvation and God then has an open door to begin to deal with the entrenched sin in their lives.
    Godly sorrow, repentance and salvation is the start of the life-change needed. Then with fresh Holy Spirit insight into the scriptures He will lead them into all truth and we will see major changes in the sinful lifestyle they have been leading.
    No different than when you and I – although already ordained – knelt and repented of our sins and received Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour. Then the work of santification can then begin.
    I know it sounds too simple or simplistic but it really is not complicated.

    Reply

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