Don't Judge Me! (Part One)

Hot off the press, and into the hands of thousands of Adventist pastors and educators, is a publication entitled Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones: Adventist Edition by Bill Henson, of Lead Them Home ministry.  Bill was an invited speaker at the 2018 Adventist Teacher's Convention in Chicago--sponsored by the North American Division.

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LGBT+ rights and demands are at an all-time high, in a tug-of-war approach which pits human rights against redemption. 

Does this honor God, or the flesh?  Christian families, pastors and educators struggle to show compassion and love to those afflicted with desires orchestrated by God’s arch-enemy.  God’s inspired counsel and solutions have always been present in His Word.  The religious world has historically tended to avert their gaze from these struggling ones, unless to sermonize in tones of condemnation.  Where was the sensitive message of God’s pure love and redemptive power?

During my 40 years in the gay culture, I never witnessed LGBT+ rights aiming at seeking Jesus, or at living for Him and His glory.  Hearing the loud and proud LGBT+ voice today should drive us to deeper study and prayerful consideration of God's divine Word and its instruction.  He alone offers hope, redemption and restoration!

I applaud the NAD Commission on Human Sexuality, if this book will lead those living in hurt, confusion and life-threatening Satanic peril to the cross through repentance.  There is a lot of good advice in this publication.  There are also some unsubstantiated statements that set the stage for acceptance, rather than deliverance.

Many in leadership are beginning to seek God’s “redemptive” solutions.  They want authoritative answers on this hot topic.  Will they focus on Christ and His divinely inspired Word?  Hungry souls are overdue to learn Christ’s solutions.  Still, skepticism is strong among the hundreds of teachers and pastors I address; they wonder just how much change is possible through Christ.  As new ministry resources appear, pray over any content regarding Christ and LGBT+ issues.  Do not exchange Bible truth for the language of worldly culture.

Political correctness begs your ear to air “rights” concerns, while it dimly regards God’s solutions.  LGBT+ rights advocates seek to silence Christians transformed by the gospel.  Those who long campaigned for tolerance are now the intolerant.  Beware lest appropriate sympathy and empathy pave a road for humanist approaches, instead of redemptive, Christ-centered, solutions.  God has blessed Seventh-day Adventists with special light on truths like the Sabbath, the state of the dead, the 2300 days, the work in the sanctuary, the trinity, etc.  If these are rightly understood, we will biblically love and instruct LGBT+ people who are seeking to follow Christ fully.

For seven years, ‘Coming Out’ Ministries has upheld God’s Holy Word with a redemptive approach to LGBT+ questions and struggles. COM is made up of individuals who spent decades living in the darkness of the LGBT+ community.  Christ intervened directly in each of their lives, providing light and truth from His Holy Word, without the need for other resources.  Our God is an awesome God!  The ministry’s testimonies and teachings agree with God’s Word, as well as the General Conference of SDA statement on homosexuality.  The ground is truly level at the foot of the cross, and many now recognize God’s universal approach to salvation. 

Having experienced God’s redemptive solutions myself, I see ‘Coming Out’ Ministries as an excellent choice in confirming God’s promises of healing and life transformation.  Change begins when we accept Christ and His ways; it is completed at His second coming.

The world teaches that LGBT+ concerns require special treatment and exceptions.  The Bible teaches that all need a daily reconciliation with Christ, His majestic truth and light.  As LGBT+ children of God see this, they can walk together, with Christ, countering Satan's deceptive temptations with Bible truth.

Some LGBT+ “Adventists” reject God's solutions.  Fellow believers, we must pray for wisdom to discern the humble and repentant from the rebellious and defiant.  Humility, not advocacy, lifts Christ and crucifies self.

I prayed for God to remove my temptations, as have many others.  He has not.  Some place a worldly label on their temptations, identifying as “gay.”  If I honor Christ, instead of telling Him what to do, He will teach me to lean on Him, claiming His promise to keep me from falling (Jude 24).  He may never remove the temptation, but He does offer a way to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).  Then as with Job, He will show Satan my faithfulness as I live for Christ instead of for self.

Shouldn’t we prayerfully ask Christ; “What do you desire of me?”  I don't find this in LGBT+ Adventist material.  I only hear demands.  I see university campuses caving in to these demands.  Where is the trustworthy, Bible-based teaching, the prayerful guidance from the leadership?  We will each answer to Christ for how we face this issue.

With so much LGBT+ confusion, why curtsy to demands that might be cries for help out of this precarious condition?  And why allow Satan's captives to make inroads into our churches and school which are not in keeping with the Christian faith?  Why promote association with God without transformed identity in Him?  The gay culture is filled with strong delusions.

When I write or speak, I point my audience to God's Word.  I want to be in harmony with His Spirit. Please pray for me as I prepare this series.  Please pray for those who consult this new, NAD-promoted resource.

The following statement appears in bold inside the cover of Guiding Families... 

“Nothing in this resource will dishonor God’s Word.  We encourage you to maintain the biblical position of the Adventist Church (see page 71), while adjusting your posture to love others like God has loved you. We are all sinners and regularly fall short of God’s glory.”

Are you sure there are not statements that dishonor God? Are you sure that we are looking at the topic and helping these needy sinners from a 100% biblical perspective?  We may fall frequently but do we have to?  We need to draw nearer to Christ; we must choose not to “regularly fall.” 

I am concerned about some of the “Adventist Contributors.”  One contributor supports LGBT+ rights and gay marriage.  They were instrumental in helping form “straight/gay” alliances.  Another believes in a “fixed sexual orientation” and “identity” as opposed to biblical transformation.

Author Bill Henson offers this belief statement on his website: “...if those in such relationships are often viewed as having a “blind spot” in not seeing how clearly the Scriptures forbid such relationships, then we too must recognize that we likely have “blind spots” that keep us from seeing how we violate the Scriptures’ teachings against judging others.  We believe in theological truth that levels the playing field at the foot of the Cross.

“There are none righteous: no, not one.  We all fall short and are in need of His grace, not only for the sins of our past but the sins we struggle with today and the sins we do not see.  The Gospel is about what God has done for people like us — mere sinners.  Thus, it is impossible to predetermine the eternal destination of those who sin in ways we do not.  Our Savior is also Lord and He will not be mocked.”

Christians have historically condemned homosexuality as non-biblical.  Henson's statement suggests God might be mocked if we don’t lovingly and compassionately share His “love in truth.”  We are not to judge but point to God’s judgments as outlined in His Holy Word.  God provides clarity, hope, discernment and redemption for all.  Hiding such truths will be detrimental to the believer as well as the one seeking redemption.

In John 8:32, Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Sexuality

God hasn’t called us to be sexual, but to be holy.  In 1 Peter 1:16, God asks all of us to live purely, modeled after Him.  Jesus is trustworthy and has our best interests at heart.  Yet today, sex is seen as a rite of passage, obscuring clear biblical teaching.

Guiding Families... includes this statement on page nine:

“…the origins of sexual orientation and gender identity are highly complex, multi-factorial, and likely rooted in both nature and nurture.”

Who made them complex?  Was it God, or humanistic or scientific adaptation?  During the historical silence on biblical teachings, Satan has claimed sexuality as his cornerstone of deceit.

Let’s consider the term “sexual orientation.”  Is this term or concept even biblical?  Wikipedia provides this definition:

Sexual identity may also be used to describe a person’s perception of his or her own sex, rather than sexual orientation.  The term sexual preference has a similar meaning to sexual orientation, and the two terms are often used interchangeably, but sexual preference suggests a degree of voluntary choice.

Perhaps you can already see the worldly, non-Biblical approach.  How can end-time Christians face these challenges, undirected by Christ and His Word?  In Part Two I will unravel the origins of “sexual orientation” and “sexual identity.”

If Christ is our focus and our goal, He will teach us clearly how to reach those who face any and all temptations.

I aim for sexual purity today.  But my life is not unblemished, not even after surrendering to Christ.  Yet I want to live closer to Christ, to say “No” to the enemy's lies.  As a “new creation” in Christ I advocate for all that is possible through Him.  Yes, we need to talk more about God’s grace: transforming grace, not presumption.  We may claim Philippians 1:6: Christ will finish the work He began in us as we abide in Him.

The bottom line: As we compassionately minister to LGBT+ people, we must be certain we are not aiding them in waving a prideful rainbow of rebellion, but are rather pointing to the promises of our loving Father and Savior Jesus Christ. 

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After retiring from ‘Coming Out’ Ministries last fall, I remain passionate with a Christ-centered, redemptive focus.  I am currently finishing a book I began five years ago, and still writing the occasional article.  God bless!

Wayne Blakely