Christian Life 

Rescued into True Freedom

The following article contains a recent letter from a Christian who was living a 'gay' lifestyle 40 years ago when he found the transforming power of Jesus Christ to change his life.
 

first published 19/09/11


manEd preamble:
There has been and continues to be much animated discussion about the issues of homosexuality in the context of Christian belief. Before moving onto a letter which constitutes the central part of this article it might be helpful to make a few points:

  1. To say that one is a 'Christian' (in the true and biblical sense) is to say that God's word is accepted as sovereign and trumps all human reasoning and opinions
  2. To say that one is a 'Christian' (in the true and biblical sense) is to agree to submit one's life (in terms of conduct and thinking) to the authority of God's word.
  3. To say that one is a 'Christian' (in the true and biblical sense) is to endeavour, with God's help, to turn away from all that the Bible deems to be sinful behaviour (including any sexual relationships outside of faithful heterosexual marriage).
  4. All (persons) have sinned and fall short of God's righteousness
  5. There are many – including heterosexuals – who describe themselves as Christians who do not conform to the above points i.e. they delude themselves and masquerade as true believers.
  6. Everyone is spiritual (whether or not they acknowledge it).
  7. It is not only homosexuals who have been 'hurt' (by those outside of, and also from within the churches).
  8. It is not only homosexuals who have to struggle (make war) against sinful desires.
  9. Some Christian ministries have used inappropriate methods in response to those living homosexual lifestyles.
  10. Sinful inclination is an issue that every true Christian has to deal with. When the inclination is repeatedly allowed to govern behaviour then there is a problem (in the sight of God, and in the life of discipline within the church).

The following letter was written by a married man who is both a father and a grandfather. It was written in the early summer of this year to a local congregation who support him and his wife in their work in an Eastern European country. The name Paul is a psuedonym and the name of the church has been omitted; however the letter was published in the church's regular newsletter and using the writer's real name and that of his wife. The couple are both friends of the Editor and have been over a period of many years.

-------------------------

Dear Friends,

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at <name of local congregation> at this very difficult time. The Church of Scotland's move towards admitting practising homosexual ministers (we will not use the word 'gay' as our knowledge of the so called gay lifestyle is that in reality it is anything but gay) has been widely publicised in the <eastern European country's> media.

As elders in the Church of Scotland, and Church of Scotland commissioned missionaries, part of whose work in <eastern European country> is 'rescuing' young people caught up in this lifestyle, we wholeheartedly deplore this decision of compromise on an issue that is beyond compromise in the Bible. Indeed when the news of the decision reached us, I (Paul) was with a young man whom we “rescued? more than 4 years ago, who was thanking us from his heart for showing him the way to freedom.

What message does our commissioning denomination send to him and the 15 others we have snatched from such bondage in the 7 years we have been here? What does it say about our work and integrity, by making such a decision?

Rescuing people from this lifestyle, in a land where homosexuality is a huge problem, is not easy. But we praise God for the fruits of our prayers and your prayers for us, just as I am eternally grateful that God sent someone to rescue me (Paul) from that lifestyle 44 years ago. God's love and care is the answer for those caught up in this deception – not compromise.

We have poured out the love God has put into our hearts for these folk and have seen lives changed, as indeed my life was changed 40 years ago. Compromise will achieve nothing. For those trapped in this lifestyle only the transforming power of Christ?s love, prayer and encouragement will bring results – not tolerance and acceptance of something God has said is wrong.

Believe me, it is not a pretty or lovely lifestyle in any way – I have not forgotten – many long to escape but feel they cannot without God?s help.

Our prayers are for you and our denomination (which is sure to divide on this issue) and our earnest desire before God is that his will be done, his word adhered to and that his grace will prevail. We stand together with you in prayer and in spirit. “Your kingdom come, oh Lord, your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

Footnotes: One ministry which seeks to help those wishing to re-order their behaviour is -
True Freedom Trust.
A talk given by the TFT Director, Jonathan Berry can be heard by <clicking here>.
In the recording Berry speaks honestly and openly of his life which in its earlier years included an active homosexual relationship.

Christians Together /Paul, 23/01/2013

Feedback:
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Gdave (Guest) 02/03/2013 22:40
My comment's have been removed ??

Gdave (Guest) 04/03/2013 00:25
Thanks to the guys who supported me
However the ED and is side kick(the Judge and Jury) dont like it when I say it as it is. So he removed all my comments.

What right have they to Judge my Christianly, is God not the Judge

Christian together for selected Christians, God for all Christians
guest (Guest) 04/03/2013 08:27
This website is merely a way of projecting the editor's views - which are largely political - to as wide a readership as possible.
There is no debate or exchange of ideas.
There are others who post from time to time but they do not diverge from the party line.
Gdave (Guest) 04/03/2013 09:21
My only reply can be whatever
Gdave (Guest) 04/03/2013 11:33
Good Morning guest(Guest)

I 100% agree with you
Its not a open forum

If you dare tackle to Mr Miller look out the Ed come down on you

Gdave (Guest) 04/03/2013 12:09
SODOMY" is not a biblical word. Laws against sodomy not only violate the Constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state; they also use an incorrect and wrongly translated term for the laws. A "Sodomite" in the Bible is simply a person who lives in Sodom, which included Lot and his family. The term "sodomite" in the King James Version of Deuteronomy 23:17 and I Kings 14:24 is an incorrect translation of the Hebrew word for "temple prostitute." (See the recent book by Mark D. Jordan: The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology. University of Chicago Press, 1997.)

The average person assumes that the Bible clearly condemns male to male sexual intercourse as "sodomy" and that the city of Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality, which is seen as the worst of all sins in the Bible. These assumptions are based on no evidence at all in the Bible.

No Jewish scholars before the first Christian century taught that the sin of Sodom was sexual. None of the biblical references to Sodom mention sexual sins but view Sodom as an example of injustice, lack of hospitality to strangers, idolatry and as a symbol for desolation and destruction. See Deuteronomy 29:22-28; 32:32; Ezekiel 16:49-50; Jeremiah 49:18; 50:41; Isaiah 13:19-22 and Matthew 10:14-15. In Jude 7, the term "strange flesh" is Greek hetero sarkos ("different flesh" and from which the word "heterosexual" comes) and refers to foreign idols or people. It is not homo ("the same") flesh or people. Sarkos is never used in the New Testament as a word for "sex."

The word "know" in Genesis 19:5 is Hebrew YADA. It is used 943 times in the Old Testament to "know" God, good and evil, the truth, the law, people, places, things, etc. It is a very flexible word, as are many Hebrew words. In Genesis 19:5, the word was used to express the request of the people of Sodom that Lot should bring out the strangers in his house so that they could know who they were. Sodom was a tiny fortress in the barren wasteland south of the Dead Sea. The only strangers that the people of Sodom ever saw were enemy tribes who wanted to destroy and take over their valuable fortress and the trade routes that it protected. Lot himself was an alien in their midst.

Lot's strange response to the request was to offer his young daughters to the men, an offer that seems to me to be far more reprehensible than any problem of sexual orientation. If the men were homosexual, why did Lot offer to give them his daughters? These hostile and violent people were heterosexual, and homosexual orientation had nothing to do with the incident.
gdave (Guest) 04/03/2013 16:53
The use of Leviticus to condemn and reject homosexuals is absurd and makes literal legalistic bible based religion look ridiculous.



Leviticus 18:22:
"You shall not lie with a male as those who lie with a female; it is an abomination."

Leviticus 20:13:
"If a man lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and they shall surely be put to death."
eviticus 18:22:
"You shall not lie with a male as those who lie with a female; it is an abomination."

Leviticus 20:13:
"If a man lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and they shall surely be put to death."

Both of these verses refer not to homosexuals but to heterosexuals who took part in the baal fertility rituals in order to guarantee good crops and healthy flocks. No hint at sexual orientation or homosexuality is even implied. The word abomination in Leviticus was used for anything that was considered to be religiously unclean or associated with idol worship.

Because these two verses in Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13) have been used more than any other Bible texts to condemn and reject gay and lesbian people, the following material is given to help you think objectively about traditional abusive use of the Bible regarding homosexuals.

The use of Leviticus to condemn and reject homosexuals is obviously a hypocritical selective use of the Bible against gays and lesbians. Nobody today tries to keep the laws in Leviticus. Look at Leviticus 11:1-12, where all unclean animals are forbidden as food, including rabbits, pigs, and shellfish, such as oysters, shrimp, lobsters, crabs, clams, and others that are called an "abomination." Leviticus 20:25 demands that "you are to make a distinction between the clean and unclean animal and between the unclean and clean bird; and you shall not make yourself an abomination by animal or by bird or by anything that creeps on the ground, which I have separated for you as unclean." You can eat some insects like locusts (grasshoppers), but not others.

Leviticus 12:1-8 declares that a woman is unclean for 33 days after giving birth to a boy and for 66 days after giving birth to a girl and goes on to demand that certain animals must be offered as a burnt offering and a sin offering for cleansing. Nobody today who claims to be a Christian tries to keep these laws, and few people even know about them! Why do you think that most people don't know about them?

Read Leviticus 23 to see the detailed regulations concerning "complete rest" on the Sabbath day and demands of animal sacrifices to be carried out according to exact instructions. Leviticus 18:19 forbids a husband from having sex with his wife during her menstrual period. Leviticus 19:19 forbids mixed breeding of various kinds of cattle, sowing various kinds of seeds in your field or wearing "a garment made from two kinds of material mixed together." Leviticus 19:27 demands that "you shall not round off the side-growth of your heads, nor harm the edges of your beard." The next verse forbids "tattoo marks on yourself." Most people do not even know that these laws are in the Bible and are demanded equally with all the others.

Why don't fundamentalists organize protests and picket seafood restaurants, oyster bars, church barbecue suppers, all grocery stores, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and stores that sell suits and dresses made of mixed wool, cotton, polyester, and other materials? All of these products and services are "abominations" in Leviticus. When have you heard a preacher condemn the demonic abomination of garments that are made of mixed fabrics?

The warning is given in Leviticus 26:14-16 that "If you do not obey me and do not carry out all of these commandments, if instead, you reject my statutes, and if your soul abhors my ordinances so as not to carry out all my commandments ...I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that shall waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you shall sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies shall eat it up." The list of punishments and terrors that will come from not keeping all of the commandments continues through many verses.

Read what Jesus said in Matthew 7:1-5 about hypocrites who judge others. "Do not judge lest you be judged yourselves... Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? ...You hypocrite!"

If you have been led to misuse Leviticus and other parts of the Bible in order to condemn and hate and reject people, you are on the wrong path. Jesus quoted only one passage from Leviticus: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (19:18). Jesus used Leviticus to teach love. Many false teachers use Leviticus and other writings to condemn, humiliate and destroy. I know which approach seems truly Christian to me. Jesus never condemned homosexuals or even mentioned anything that could be taken as a reference to sexual orientation.

Any charge against Gays and Lesbians based on the life and teachings of Jesus has to be dismissed for a lack of evidence!

The use of Leviticus to judge and condemn anyone today is ludicrous and absurd in the light of the total content of the book. To call the content of the Book of Leviticus the "word of God" and try to enforce any part of it today is without support in the teachings of Jesus and in the letters of Paul.

Jesus in Mark 7:18-23 chided his disciples for their lack of spiritual understanding. Jesus and his disciples had been condemned by the religious leaders because they did not wash and eat according to the Law. Jesus said, "Are you too so uncomprehending? Don't you see that whatever goes into your mouth from the outside cannot defile you; because it does not go into your heart, but into your stomach, and is eliminated? (Thus Jesus declared all foods clean."). And Jesus added, "That which proceeds from within you, out of your heart, defiles you. Evil thoughts, abusive sex acts, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting, wickedness, deceit, not caring, envy, slander, arrogance and foolishness: all of these evil things proceed from within and defile you."

Paul also rejected the absolute commands of Leviticus in Colossians 2:8-23, where he said, "If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 'Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!' (which all refer to things destined to perish with the using) in accordance with human commandments and teachings? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against human indulgence." (2:20-23). Paul declared in 2:14 that Jesus has "canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us which was hostile to us; and Jesus has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

Many people have answered the argument that most of the "abominations" in Leviticus referred to food by saying that the people back then knew that pork was unhealthy, and that is why pigs were declared to be unclean. If you follow that logic, you would declare anything that is unhealthy to be an "abomination." We know that cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, fat food and many other things are unhealthy; so why are they not also called "abominations" and condemned by the rabid Bible literalists with protests and pickets against cigarette machines, all liquor stores and bars, all fast food outlets, and any store that sells anything that is unhealthy? The reason is simple. The use of Leviticus to condemn and reject anyone is impossible to justify in the light of the facts.

Editor 04/03/2013 17:17
OK Gdave (and all others who seek to claim a biblical support for a homosexual lifestyle) I think that you have had a fair chance to state your case. As such this conversation is now closed.

Thank you.
Guest (Guest) 25/05/2013 00:51
Strange the editor has close this when very strong fact have been posted
Editor 25/05/2013 09:53
The Editor has closed it because there has been ample opportunity to debate the issue. And the last post very well illustrates how men (and women) distort the plain teaching of Scripture in order to squeeze it into their own thinking and behaviour patterns.
And with that the thread is most definately closed: unless of course further postings require me to remove the discussion completetly.
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