It was another glorious day in the garden. Not a hint existed of the degradation that would soon affect every living organism. Perhaps it was late morning, given the remorseful and stark reality approaching, that would forever stain the pristine beauty and welcomed visit of Jesus each evening.
Nature glistened in perfection. Dazzling, remarkable flowers edged the beautiful vineyards and forest. I can envision a snowy white, soft and cuddly lamb was stretched out, napping across the belly of an exotic, spotted leopard near a shade tree where melodies of exotic birds united in delightful lullabies.
A crystal clear river was heard flowing over rocks in the center of the garden. No earthly resort could compare. Lush fruit beckoned in a never-ending array — fruit of every imaginable taste. Wishing for something more was inconceivable.
“And the Lord God commanded of the man, saying “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16,17).
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die” (Genesis 3:1-3).
You know the story.
However, let’s give it some thoughtful attention. A “cunning” serpent, of which Satan had taken form with his deceptive beauty is strangely speaking to Eve. None of the animals in the garden could speak. Here, Eve finds that she has wandered away from her husband and is mesmerized by this exceedingly intelligent serpent who begins his evil ploy of deception, engaging Eve in enchanting conversation. Sound familiar?
How have Christians today ignored the vital importance of Eve’s fatal error? How was Satan so convincing?
Her “feelings.” Snakes don’t talk! However, she found his keen intelligence insatiable.
“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” (Genesis 3:4-7).
By evening when Jesus made His way through the garden for His daily visit, they were shamed by their naked bodies, once clothed with the brightness of light. Now they were covered with leaves and hiding from their Creator. All because of believing a lie and believing enticing “feelings” over divine instruction.
Are you hearing the alarms of God’s Word in contrast with the world today?
The only two people perfectly created, would be ushered out of the garden now guarded by angels and closed off to its offenders. Every living thing began to experience decay and death. Little lambs died, shedding innocent blood as a reminder of sinful consequences. Blood flowed that need not have. Thistles, thorns, and weeds began to take over. Angry dispositions and continued disobedience started to result in tragic, murderous consequences.
The “cunning one” must have been gloating. Satan is still gloating! Look around you.
God’s inspired Word is trustworthy— containing His instructions, like those given Adam and Eve. Warnings and consequences are described to protect our wellbeing. What have we done with God’s perfect counsel?
Our loving God gave us a blueprint, and yet we’ve detoured and are inventing our truths, refusing to obey His.
At times it’s overwhelming to consider how we’ve strayed so far from God’s compassionate, loving, life-sustaining plan.
Our church has suffered some willful blindness as well as genuine ignorance. God would rescue me, not the church. I had been held captive by Satan’s lies of self-gratification in sexual intimacy and lack of knowing God’s plan.
As “Christians,” we have long held to the Bible’s teaching of “homosexuality” as sinful behavior.
God is Gracious
God chose to begin a work in me that the church was not administering. We still don’t have a redemptive, restorative approach to LGBT+ culture from a Biblical, denominational perspective. God began to use my fellow redeemed colleagues to teach how to rescue those suffering in deception and confusion. Exposing the enemy’s techniques, but also demonstrating and proving the power of the gospel of Jesus that changes lives based on the depths of His soul-piercing, life-changing, compassionate love.
Today, I am witnessing “Christians” sidestep God and listen to culture. God has been generous with His warnings, and outcome of denying and dishonoring Him.
A Different Gospel
A “different gospel” is evolving among many in leadership, at the insistence of LGBT+ militancy. LGBT+ culture isn’t interested in a belief and trust in Jesus. A “make-believe” “God-association” is resulting.
What’s tragic is the effect they are having on those looking for a way out of moral confusion. These people ares not being reached by leadership who should be advocating for the transformative benefits of the gospel of Jesus. Scores and scores in both church leadership and educational employment are engaging in and teaching a “different gospel.” They’re more respectful of sinful ideations, failing to acknowledge temptations versus identity and behavior. The educated are refusing further Biblical educations.
Sadly, they are far too willing to throw stones at the ones they once sought to pray back to Jesus.
As recently as last week, I sat before educators with a testimony and a heavy heart, desiring to share the everlasting, healing gospel of Jesus.
Those who were once privileged to share God’s “love in truth” messages, are exchanging them for lies. They are exchanging the truth for the stated lies below.
An “Adventist educator” says:
“I didn’t ask to be born white.” As if this were a condition that doesn’t involve behavioral choices.
“How are you going to go about teaching ‘homosexuality’ as sin, because I’m not sure it is.” This from the Bible teacher.
“We have to talk in the culture of how things are today.” This, in response to my question as to why we are using terms like “gay Christian,” or “nonpracticing homosexual.” The Bible says I’m not identified by my past or by my temptation, but as a “New Creation” in Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
“In all you presented, I didn’t see anything involving science or psychology.” Does science and psychology trump God’s Word?” No science to date confirms biological evidence of a “gay gene.”
“What God calls an “abomination,” is natural born heterosexuals that pursue homosexual relations, not two romantically involved homosexuals in a monogamous relationship.” Me: “What Bible are you reading?” This is called “Queer Theology.”
“Don’t tell an ‘LGBT+ Adventist,’ that they chose their “sexual identity,” or “sexual orientation.”
Where are these identities or orientations referenced in the Bible? I don’t find evidence of them before Alfred Kinsey. One adopts the identity of choice, either influenced and instructed by God’s Word, or by the world.
My heart and body are weighed down by Adventist leadership and educators participating in mutiny. They almost squeeze the breath out of me.
“It is a masterpiece of Satan’s deceptions to keep the minds of men searching and conjecturing in regard to that which God has not made known and which He does not intend that we shall understand. It was thus that Lucifer lost his place in heaven. He became dissatisfied because all the secrets of God’s purposes were not confided to him, and he entirely disregarded that which was revealed concerning his own work in the lofty position assigned him. By arousing the same discontent in the angels under his command, he caused their fall. Now he seeks to imbue the minds of men with the same spirit and to lead them also to disregard the direct commands of God” (Great Controversy pg 523.1)
“…These persons degrade the intellectual powers to serve their carnal desires. Too wise in their own conceit to search the Scriptures with contrition of soul and earnest prayer for divine guidance, they have no shield from delusion. Satan is ready to supply the heart’s desire, and he palms off his deceptions in the place of truth.” Ibid
I don’t have letters after my name. I don’t have a college degree. Perhaps if I did, I would be relying upon that. I’m convicted to build upon the “Who.” Jesus Christ and His divine Holy Word to us.
Why don’t we see God as trustworthy? Don’t we believe that He desires the very best for us? Why can’t we comprehend the effects and consequences of sin?
My dear brothers and sisters. You are paying large sums of money to institutions of education. What are you getting in return? Are you receiving a “Thus saith the Lord?” You are not.
What do you know of what takes place on campuses today? What report do you have? Does it come from your Union paper or magazine? Does it come from The Adventist Review? I humbly and heartfully request that we go to our knees and lift these egregious concerns to our Eternal Father.
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).
A limited numbers of leaders and educators recognize our decline. Many of them feel powerless in advancing the gospel in the face of growing opposition. They need your prayers.
Federal funding and social justice has all but destroyed the gospel according to Jesus.
The North American Division Commission on Human Sexuality has listened to self-proclaimed specialists advocating for the rights of LGBT+ people through Andrew’s University, our denomination’s flagship teaching institution.
A book promoting acceptance, tolerance, and affirmation is being distributed to thousands upon thousands of educators, pastors and families without using words that associate the gospel, such as “redemption,” “restoration,” and “reconciliation.” The book, “Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones,” promotes the protection of “sexual identity” and “sexual orientation.” This is not a theme of the Bible, but one of the world.
Dear brothers and sisters, seek an orientation and identity in Jesus. Teach your children that their sexual desires and temptations should not be their compass, but that placing God in control and humbling ourselves before Him for victory over sin, is where our hope in glory is. There is hope!
Wayne Blakely is the Director of Know His Love Ministries. www.knowhislove.org. After living in the LGBT+ culture for nearly forty years, he surrendered to Jesus ten years ago and today seeks humility in Jesus, sharing His “love in truth” message.