In Part One, we looked at the rising tide of sexual license in our culture—a tide that is now coming into the Church. We identified the need for solid biblical answers to questions on homosexuality and righteousness. We introduced the recent NAD-sponsored book on LGBT issues, a book written by a non-Adventist. In this part, we will address significant theological shortcomings in the book.
“Posturing”, or reposturing, is the one-word summation and advice of Bill Henson—author and non-Adventist speaker of "Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones” (GFLGBT+LO). He is giving this advice to Adventist educators, pastors, and family members through his NAD-endorsed book.
While the inside back cover of this book contains an Adventist belief regarding marriage and the family, conspicuously missing is the General Conference statement on homosexuality. Regretfully, information on pages 3-70 of GFLGBT+LO doesn’t seem to support either statement.
“Posturing” in GFLGBT+LO leans toward accommodation and all, but insists that “change” is not possible. There is no discussion about the “change” that Jesus promises. Words associated with the gospel, such as “restoration,” “reconciliation,” and “redemption,” are missing.
Question. Is it proper to distribute the writings, teachings and beliefs of a non-Adventist, on such a Biblically core fundamental belief of Adventism and the Bible, regarding LGBT+s without a vote by “The Church” (General Conference)? I’m concerned that such a vote did not take place prior to the distribution of thousands of copies of GFLGBT+LO. The only visible endorsement is simply from the NAD Commission on Human Sexuality.
This proposed “posturing” toward LGBT+ is a serious step that requires much study, consideration, and prayer. Adventists have been commissioned with the “love in truth” gospel of Jesus. Yes… love and compassion are of great importance. It’s part of the balanced “love in truth” message. Adventists have been commissioned with special light. But, and it’s a big but, there doesn’t seem to be a trace of it in this publication. Alternative approaches to God’s Word will not reach the goals and principles that God provides. Be compelled, yes, but be careful of the risk of being reprogrammed.
Providing a “love in truth” message, is of vital importance. I hungered for this during my youth. What Christ desires and requires cannot be disregarded. In no way did I want the gospel watered down or done away with. As we consider the seriousness of salvation as it relates to LGBT+ concerns, the counsel in Matthew comes to mind.
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).
Our love and compassion should never exchange the counsel of God for the wisdom of the world.
Throughout GFLGBT+LO there are a number of “red flags.” However, they all hinge on two major concerns: “Sexual Orientation” and “Identity.” Multiple references to “sexual orientation” are made. Have you ever wondered where that term surfaced and when? It has no Biblical origin. Jesus never described Himself as “sexual.” He calls us to be holy, not sexual. Sexual desires should not be confused with “identity.”
My research has traced the first use of the term, “sexual orientation” to sex researcher Alfred Kinsey. He manipulated infants to the point of orgasm, participated in sex acts with his research colleagues, and established the phrase; “We are sexual from birth.”
Because of his research, both public and Christian schools began to teach “sex education,” removing it from the sacred environment and teachings of Christian parents. As a result, statistics for premarital sex, abortions, homosexuality, pornography, and promiscuity rapidly increased.
Considering that we have quickly adopted terms that disregard God’s Word, it’s important to recognize the need to return to His Word for reliable counsel and guidance. Nowhere in the Bible do we have evidence of “sexual orientation.” God does not use a compass for sexual navigation. He says He made them male and female and provided the gift of intimacy within the confines of marriage between one man and one woman. Do we take God at His Word?
Because of sin, we have many distortions and counterfeits of His original plan. Permission is not given to live as we “feel.” It is sin that is natural and Christ’s call is to depart from sin.
On page 33 of GFLGBT+LO we read:
“Your loved one will feel blamed for choosing a sexual orientation when in fact, it was not their decision. People can choose their behaviors but not their identity.”
This quote contains both true and false information. When a person with “feelings” is influenced by friends, authors and the media, they make up their mind as to whether or not they are going to choose an ideation that matches their “feelings.” Being LGBT+ is a choice. It generally comes from someone telling you that you are what you “feel.” Biblically, this is not true. Allow me to reiterate that “temptations” and “feelings” do not equate identity. You must choose such ideation or deny your temptations and feelings and choose the identity Jesus Christ offers.
Identity in Christ is the solution for the lies of the enemy and worldly culture (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Dear reader, please invite the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the great need of offering Jesus and His great love, compassion, and healing to those who hunger for Him. Adapting to the language of others will prove to be a serious downfall when commiserating with those in need. There are now over one hundred genders being touted. Jesus provides two. He said He made them male and female. Look at the confusion that Satan is insisting on.
Imagine if we started learning the language of drug users, prostitutes, thieves, drunkards, etc. This is unnecessary. Offer Jesus and His loving tender ways which call for the surrender of self, and an abiding in Him.
Lifting Christ and His ways will be offensive to any who do not seek Him. “Adventist” LGBT+ activists have initiated “gay/straight” alliances on nearly every Adventist university campus. Conspicuously absent is the question; “What is Jesus asking of me?” LGBT+ culture is demanding full acceptance of LGBT+ ideation and behaviors into Adventist beliefs and doctrines. That leads to a false identity, and falsehood has no place in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:27).
A few years ago, the producers of the film, Seventh-Gay Adventist—which supports LGBT+ — stated to me: “We are trying to change the face of Adventism.”
Bible-based teachings about developing intimacy with Christ and denying self for His kingdom are of utmost value and importance. Sensitivity toward inherent struggles is paramount. Through prayer and study, we can affirm that Christ’s promises are true. But, in contrast, demands for rights that are foreign to God’s Word are being made. In many places, GFLGBT+LO would have it appear that acclimating and accommodating LGBT+ theories must preside.
The Adventist faith is not without representation of those who have left the gay culture for a life centered in Jesus Christ and His teachings. It is heart change that brings about unity with Christ.
Flesh and heart struggles are not exclusively limited to the LGBT+ community. We are all God’s children in search of that which would unite us with Him in coming together, seeking His redemptive solutions. A ministry lifting Christ and His Bible-centered solutions [such as Coming Out Ministries] is of inestimable value. What are any of us to do with temptations and desires that don’t honor and glorify Him? We are united at the foot of the cross, seeking intimacy with Jesus.
GFLGBT+LO wants you to stop using phrases such as “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” and “Go and sin no more.” But this is central to our battle over sin, encouraging the afflicted and claiming the victory that Jesus has provided!
I am challenged by same-sex attraction and other sins. But my condition and temptations are not my identity. As a retired Co-Founder of ‘Coming Out’ Ministries, I can tell you that each of my colleagues was in search of Jesus and His solutions about sexual identity and gender confusion. We did not demand that God and the church change its biblical position.
“Posturing” is indeed important; posturing from God’s trustworthy Word which humbles us before Christ and His teachings.
I do agree with a statement from GFLGBT+LO:
“Many young people are accused of living a ‘gay lifestyle,’ even when they are not dating anyone.” This term can be quite derogatory. “Lifestyle” insinuates that all gays are participating in negative behaviors. I would suggest using “Gay culture,” as it includes everyone, just as “heterosexual culture” is inclusive, regardless of specific heterosexual activities.
GFLGBT+LO appears to be pushing for acceptance of terms and practices that do not please God. This is not the redemptive approach outlined by Jesus for His disciples. Why don’t we teach and lift the principles of sexual purity as Christ instructs? The recipient then chooses whether he or she wants to follow Christ or the desires of the heart and flesh.
Today, we find ourselves living in the end times and our only hope is in Jesus Christ and His Word—which is for all time. Adventists have been additionally blessed with the messenger of Christ, as the Spirit of Prophecy. We have volumes of precious inspired counsel, out of which, I leave you with the following:
“We may think it pleasant at first to follow pride and worldly ambition, but the end is pain and sorrow. Selfish plans may present flattering promises and hold out the hope of enjoyment, but we shall find that our happiness is poisoned and our life embittered by hopes that center in self. In following Christ we are safe, for He will not suffer the powers of darkness to hurt one hair of our heads. He will keep that which is committed to His trust, and we shall be more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (The Review and Herald, February 5, 1895).
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!