I recently spoke at a community college in Southern California demonstrating that faith and science are not at odds: http://youtu.be/CvDFxW0GlaQ. In posts leading up to the event, I was labeled a “hate pastor” as LGBT activists protested the event. Sadly, due to escalating campus protests across America, a number of sheriff deputies were on stand-by.
My wife and I were perplexed - when did a message of love become a message of hate? We love the LGBT community and I wasn’t talking about this issue that evening. When my wife approached them, she was attacked verbally - from profanity to sexual innuendos. Ironically, those who promote tolerance are often intolerant of those who disagree.
This experience, as well as an upcoming appearance on Fox News.com with Lauren Green to debate a pastor who supports homosexuality, prompted me to define the misunderstandings. [The Fox News spirited debate clip should be here after 10/19/17: http://video.foxnews.com/playlist/digital-originals-spirited-debate/]
1. Tolerance “tolerates” differences; love embraces regardless of differences. In 2016, I received a call from a concerned sister whose brother was suicidal. The following day, I had the privilege of visiting him, a male prostitute, in North Hollywood. I spent two hours sharing God’s love, my prodigal story, and hope in Christ. I left him feeling hopeful and encouraged.
A month later, I received a call that he had died in his sleep, possibly from complications of pneumonia. Just prior to his death, he told his family that he was reading my book, Desperate for More of God. Tolerance would not have motivated me to drive three hours round trip, but love did. The message from his memorial is here. Judge for yourself - love or hate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT4AISU44bc&t=9s.
2. Challenging those with whom we disagree is often a characteristic of love, not hate. Parents confront, challenge, and admonish daily. They don’t hate their children. Doctors and therapists challenge lifestyles that are high risk to help their patients. The reason it’s being labeled hate speech is to silence the messenger. In short, they don’t want to hear.
3. The Creator made His plan obvious. Jesus said that since the beginning of creation, God created them male and female in order that they would be joined together and become one flesh - to be fruitful and to multiply. He adds, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9). Males and females were created purposely and complementary by design.
4. The exceptions prove that there is a rule. The question arises, “But not all married couples can have children, thus procreation is not necessary?” True, but this fact does not support homosexuality. Some are unable to conceive, and some have no desire for marriage or sex - exceptions do not void the rule. 1 Corinthians 7:2 is very clear that each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
5. There is no Scriptural support for homosexuality. Some argue, “The Bible is not an ethical textbook - culture changes and so does truth.” Not so. Not one moral law that God gave is obsolete, from adultery to fornication to homosexaulity. Things that were harmful then are harmful now. They are never painted in a positive light. They caused deep pain then as they do now. Some have even suggested that Naomi and Ruth and Jonathan and David had same-sex relationships. This gives the phrase “grasping for the wind” new meaning. This is eisegesis in its purest form - reading things into the text that are not there.
Some parents change their view when they find their son or daughter in an LGBT lifestyle; confused, they “accept” the lifestyle, but feelings are not a gauge for truth. Instead, offer hope and remind them that we all struggle with something. If a child sins in the area of anger, infidelity, or addiction we don’t change the Scriptures to fit their behavior, we offer hope in the midst of the struggle. Why should homosexuality or transgenderism be any different? No matter how many laws are passed in favor of gay marriage, it will not change God’s mind. Times change; truth does not.
6. The Bible is crystal clear on the issue of sexual sin. As a famous teacher once said of the Bible, “If the plain sense makes good sense seek no other sense lest it result in nonsense.” I cringe every time I hear misguided statements in an attempt to support homosexuality, such as misinterpreting “abandoning natural relations” in Romans 1:26-28. Or that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was only neglecting the poor. Or that Corinthians is outdated and Leviticus is talking about rape. Indeed, neglecting the poor is/was a sin, but it was not the only sin. In addition to rampant homosexuality, they were drunkards, gluttons, covetous, profane, and wicked. The context of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction was much more than neglecting the poor: “they were haughty and committed abominations.” (See Ezekiel 16 and Jude 1:5-8.) Additionally, early church Fathers, as well as creeds and confessions and Reformers all echoed the same truth.
7. God can advise against eating shellfish, as well as homosexuality. Although the dietary laws of the Old Testament do not apply today, they are still beneficial. For example, we now know why things like pork and shellfish were forbidden - they are unhealthy. God’s wisdom is sound and purposeful in guiding relationships as well. Leviticus 20:13 states, “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination...”. Romans 1:24-26 says that homosexuality dishonors the body - an exchange of the truth for a lie takes place and they worship the creature rather than the Creator: “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.”
To suggest that these verses are invalid today because God also said to avoid shellfish or because it was the culture back then, is erroneous. I can tell my son not to place his feet on the table, and in the same sentence tell him not to play in the street - both “do not’s” are true even though the consequences differ.
8. The mocking tones of most pastors who support homosexuality speak volumes. A movement that truly is of God is undergirded with humility; words are seasoned with grace. But the opposite is often true with pastors who distort truth. One well-known pastor chided fundamentalists, “They are not fun and they are mental.” How foolish - the term fundamentals comes from essays constructed around 1905 covering the “fundamentals” of the faith. He is actually mocking the foundation of the faith.
Another leader made a shocking statement, “Our greatest spiritual problem has not been sin, it’s been shame.” Confused? So was I. Shame comes from sin. Many of these Christian leaders who support gay marriage only speak to their cheerleaders - they mock anyone who does not agree. I think of Jeremiah 23 often - they are teachers who alter God’s Word, avoid the difficult truths, and encourage sin. Granted, arrogance and anger happen on the other side as well, but we don’t accept that behavior from either camp.
9. “I was born this way,” is not an excuse. Although new biological and psychological evidence suggests that born gay lacks scientific support, let's assume that a person can be born gay. We were all born with a bent to lie, cheat, lust, indulge, and deceive. In fact, pornography has been coined “every man’s battle.” But that doesn’t make it right...it makes us sinful and in desperate need of a Savior. The hearts of men can change, and they change daily through a relationship with Christ.
10. The struggle for gay rights is not a civil rights issue. Race and color are not choices. Homosexuality is not a civil rights issue. It cannot be linked with the abolishment of slavery either. Some say, “The Bible encouraged slavery. Therefore, homosexuality is obviously okay now!” The Bible doesn’t say that slavery is “right”—it merely references a time when people had slaves and what those conditions were. [Dr. Michael Brown did an exceptional job of breaking down the civil rights issue here: https://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2012/05/22/why-gay-is-not-the-new-black-n1068673.]
In closing, there will be a time when we stand before God to give an account. Some may say, “Lord, I anchored my life in Christ. I believed Your Word and based my life on it as best that I could.” Others will say, “Lord, you gave me a new perspective...a new truth. Although Scripture once said that homosexuality is sin, I don’t think that applies now.” Whose shoes would you rather be in?
“When we become so tolerant that we lead people into mental fog and spiritual darkness, we are not acting like Christians—we are acting like cowards” (A.W. Tozer). We are so worried about offending others, but have we stopped to consider that we may be offending God?
*A sermon on these 10 points will be posted at WCFAV.org after 10/22/2017.
This information was taken from a recent debate on this topic. To view the debate, Does Science Confirm the Bible, visit our website at WCFAV.org.
The uniformity, the consistency, the stability, and the harmony of the universe declares that there is Creator. The misconception that faith and intellect must remain separate has planted seeds of doubt in the minds of many.
From Prodigal to Pastor - God’s Not Done With You Yet: How Steroids, Alcohol, and Partying almost took his life, but God... As a Southern California corporate executive for the fastest growing fitness company in the world in the mid-1990s, I had the opportunity to experience the devastating effects of life in the fast lane without rules or boundaries. As a result, I often went with the flow of society and focused on everything that the world had to offer. Fathers - Families Would Rather "See" A Sermon Last year I received an email correspondence from a desperate wife and mother: “I won't watch my kids be physically abused anymore. I won’t listen to my girls be called vile, vulgar names. I won't have things smashed or broken in the house. I won't get into a vehicle and listen to him rage. No more ‘spending time together’ by me scrap-booking and him sitting two feet away running pornography on the computer! I refuse to stay home and not attend church because I feel guilty for leaving him alone. I will not worship quietly or secretly again…I never believed in divorce so I just kept trying. I can no longer bear it. I’m not dying inside, I have died.”
Experiencing God: Don't Ring The Bell (2 of 3) | Pastor Shane Idleman
Watch our services live at http://wcfav.org/ Free Downloads of Pastor Shane's E-books at https://westsidechristianfellowship.org/teachings/ Donate to Westside Christian Fellowship here: https://westsidechristianfellowship.org/give/ Free speech is being severely compromised. This new FREE SPEECH platform is amazing - many solid voices are moving over. You can follow Pastor Shane here on Parler https://parler.com/profile/ShaneIdleman/posts. As of now, we're still on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Westside Christian Fellowship is a non-denominational Christian church that meets every every Sunday at 9:00 am & 11:00 am in Leona Valley, California (9306 Leona Avenue). For more info, or to read our statement of faith, visit westsidechristianfellowship.org/about-wcf/statement-of-faith/All Sermons by Pastor Shane Idleman