Emmaus News

March 1999
 

A Friendly Word

Greetings in the Lord,

Our efforts to stem the tide of pro-homosexual legislation in the Maryland legislature were (surprisingly) successful -- but for unfortunate reasons. A small group was trying to stop the anti-discrimination law based on sexual orientation from getting out of the Senate committee. It did not get out (Gov. Glendening was furious), but not (so far as I know) because anyone changed their vote. It failed because so many amendments were proposed that it got bogged down and did not make it out by the required deadline.

One might say that that was a successful strategy. It did buy us time to prepare for next year. But it solved no substantial issue, no decisive battle was won. The better strategy would be to force the issue to clarity so that the legislature has to stand and vote clearly, and so the electorate can see what is being voted into law. More time will do little good if we have not committed ourselves to dealing directly with the issues. And I see little sign of that.

The homosexualist folks are masters at clouding the issue so that no one really knows what is being done to us. Our aim should not be to cloud it to win a local battle, but rather to clarify, "force the antithesis", in order to win the war.

Stuffing the measure with amendments blurs the issue so that we only make it more impossible for the public to see the issues. It would be better for a clear but bad law to be enacted rather than to have it die under a cloud of dust. The people need to be forced to choose between right and wrong. If we "win" by obfuscation, we have not won at all. We have merely put off the day when we will have to face reality.

I spent about an hour with a federal Senate staff person last week, seeking to inquire about the possibility of helping to enlighten the homosexual debate on Capitol Hill. It is admitted by all that the conservative forces do not know how to argue that issue. Hardly a person anywhere on Capitol Hill is either willing or able to risk the flak he will have to take from a rabidly pro-homosexual press. The enormous pressure exerted by the notion of "tolerance", and the pathological fear of being called "intolerant" have paralyzed the would-be conservative forces. That is because they fear man more than God.

It was suggested that I contact the Family Research Council, (Gary Bauer, Robert Knight, etc.) who have some credibility among conservatives, to put together a workshop to teach legislators how to argue the homosexual case. I said, "We’ll do it," and left. Please pray for this project. It will be resisted even by conservatives.

It was a bright sunny day as I walked out of the Senate building after my discussion. Washington is a city of many beautiful buildings, few more majestic and inspiring than our capitol across the street. The sun shone brightly on the glistening white marble as I crossed over to visit. Still, I could not help but think of how spiritually empty these buildings were, and how we are being led by spiritual and moral cowards. Reflecting on the world situation, these words ran through my mind:

Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, ‘You see all these, do you not? Truly I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down." (Mt. 24:1)

I know that I belong here in the DC area. But I wondered more than once as I moved here if I might be moving to a city which would one day be the target of missiles. We have officially rejected God as our protector. So we are as a nation "on our own." Let us pray that our repentance will not come too late to turn back the Assyrians.

* * *

There was a homosexual youth pride rally at Dupont Circle in Washington this afternoon (Saturday, April 17), so I thought that our side ought to be represented.  It was on public space and, according to the ad, everyone was invited.

So myself and the chairman of the governing board for Transformation Christian Ministries, of which I am director, decided to go by to distribute literature and to talk with whomever would talk with us. It was, as they say, "interesting".  For a youth rally for the DC area, the few hundred there must have been disappointing. For us it was a small encouragement.

I had written up a leaflet to distribute explaining our mission at TCM, entitled "Gay...? or Sad...?" The title was a mistake because it was too inflammatory. I am changing it to "Come, Let Us Reason Together..." (See below.) The two points of the article were first that our primary obligation (on all sides) is to engage in mutually respectful discussion about homosexuality, and second, to invite anyone who desired to leave the homosexual lifestyle to contact us.

We Christians have become almost impotent in creating a trust relation with our opponents, and have rightly earned the disrespect and distrust of many folks in the world who might otherwise welcome discussion with us. And in doing so, we have earned their disrespect for God as well. That is tragic. They almost universally expect God to beat up on them, not love them.

One angry fellow confronted me with the assertion that he was going to lock me up for distributing my leaflet (which I think he had not read except for the title). I looked for a badge, and seeing none, asked him who he was. One of their staff persons came over and calmed him down, and he went and stood a ways off observing me.

A Park Policeman then came over and said, almost apologetically, that the homosexual group had a permit to use Dupont Circle for their event, and would I please hand out my literature on the side of the circle (there is a fountain in the center) away from where they were. We were not there to disrupt their event, only to hand out information and talk, so I readily agreed.

A group of about 6 high school age kids bounced up full of enthusiasm wanting to know what we had to say, so we expressed our view, and I shared my leaflet. They gave us all the predictable misunderstandings, but we were able to have a reasonably intelligent conversation with them. We had to assure them over and over that we were not there to abuse them, to call them names, or to pack them off to hell. We just wanted to inform them of our concern for them and that Jesus could offer a way out of homosexuality if anyone wanted it. We talked vigorously for well over an hour.

One young lady, very nice looking, very intelligent, and very courteous, warmly shook my hand as she left and said that she was very moved by the experience, i.e., of being accepted as a human being by someone who disagreed with her lifestyle. She obviously had thought we would try to chew her up and spit her out.

Honest people feel loved and honored when invited into a mutually respectful discussion. There are few better ways to honor the personhood of our fellow human beings than to discuss hard issues with them candidly and fairly, inviting them to share their real opinions in a common search for the truth of the matter. That is a powerful affirmation of our common humanity. Dishonest people will feel offended and very defensive, and respond with diversionary tactics and abuse to evade the truth.

The primary reason we have been losing this battle for sexual sanity is that we Christians have been ignorant of how to talk with people on the opposite side of a fence (almost any fence) from ourselves, and are not very aggressive in finding out how. We have been unwilling to earn their trust so that they would have any reason to listen to us. It is not easy, but it is not impossible. And we have no excuse before God on the matter. That is the incarnation principle.  We are to love our neighbor, no matter what they do. And we are to build bridges to them so that we can gracefully share our testimony to the truth.

If they occasionally give us a hard time, so what? We gave Jesus a hard time, and He persisted. We still give Him a hard time, and He still persists. So let’s get on with it. You can assist in the survival of western Christian civilization.

I just saw the news of the killings in Colorado, and will comment in the next News. Below is the article I handed out at DuPont Circle. Copy and use it. (Or send $1.50 to Emmaus Ministries at POB 7302, Alexandria, VA 22307, and we will return to you a laser printed master of the article from which you can make endless numbers of copies....) 

Faithfully in Christ,
Earle Fox

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Our Reasonable God

Come,
Let Us Reason Together...

- 1. Honest Dialogue -

There is an intense discussion in America, and around the world, over whether the homosexual lifestyle is really "gay" (happily approved by God and a healthy way to live), or whether it is "sad" (a compulsive and often lethal sexual addiction).

We at Transformation Christian Ministries in Washington, DC, stand on the opposite side of the fence from those who believe that "gay" really describes the homosexual lifestyle.

But we believe that the first business before us all is to establish mutually respectful, yes, even loving, dialogue and discussion based, as best we can, on the facts of the matter.

We believe that there are two primary issues being debated:

1. homosexuality is good and right in the eyes of God - T or F?, and

2. the homosexual lifestyle is a healthy way to live - T or F?

Answers to all other questions about homosexuality are going depend on how we answer those two questions.

We believe that there true answers, that we cannot just make up our own truth to suit our feelings, and that getting the truth of those two issues is of paramount importance to resolving the social and moral and religious issues before America and western civilization.

We also understand that neither side of the debate is gifted with infallibility, and that we are therefore necessarily obligated on both sides to discipline ourselves to observing the facts accurately and reasoning logically from those facts to our conclusions. Love and respect for one another are absolutely meaningless apart from a firm commitment to truth-seeking. Uneducated or deliberately ignorant love is no love at all.

So we insist on both love and truth because not only are they mutually compatible, they are also mutually interdependent, so that neither one will survive without the other. Love without truth is ignorant love, and the tool of dangerous simpletons. Truth without love is equally dangerous and soon becomes the tool of tyrants. So if we do not wish to be ruled by simpletons or tyrants, we will insist on the unity of truth and love in all discussion of public policy, disciplining ourselves to both.

In a discussion ruled by truth and love, each side invites the other to state its case clearly, without being called nasty names merely for stating its case. We know that there are honest truth-seekers on both sides of this discussion, i.e., persons who just want to know the truth of the matter, whether or not it fits their present opinion.

So we offer the following:

If the evidence should show that God approves of homosexual behavior, and if the evidence should show that the homosexual lifestyle is a healthy way to live, then we will stand boldly and publicly with those who affirm homosexuality.

But if the evidence should show that God does not approve, or that the homosexual lifestyle is in fact a self-destructive way to live, then we would invite the supporters of homosexuality to reconsider their position, and perhaps even join us in bringing the freedom of truth to the world.
 

- 2. An Invitation -

In our own life journey, from personal experience and research, we have concluded that God does not approve, and that homosexual behavior is very self-destructive. It is not at all "gay", but rather quite sad. We do not wish to be contentious other than to present what we believe to be the truth, as best we can on the basis of the publicly available evidence. Our primary concern at TCM is healing the broken and the hurting.

Most of us at TCM have, by the grace of God, come out of homosexuality, or are on our way out. Some of us are "ever-straights". But we all are committed to speaking the truth in love, as St. Paul urges us to do. We want to remain open to the kind of discussion described above and invite those who disagree to visit us.

We have many stories to tell of personal victory over sexual addiction and bondage, from self-destructive behavior and lifestyle, and of regaining our self-respect and identity as men and women made in the image of God, male and female. We do not wish to coerce or otherwise abuse others who disagree. But we do insist on the freedom to state our case, just as we insist on the freedom of those who disagree also to state theirs.

For those who conclude with us in open and free discussion that God does not approve, or that homosexuality is not healthy, for those who experience pain and frustration in their homosexuality and suspect that God might offer something better, and who would thus like to leave that lifestyle, we offer resources for doing so. We have the testimonies of hundreds who have already been healed of what honest medical and psychological evidence shows (despite what the APA is telling us) to be a compulsive and lethal addiction.

We understand that many people do not agree with that opinion, so we are willing to meet with anyone to discuss the matter and the relevant evidence.
 

- 3. The Evidence -

If it is true, as we believe the available evidence shows, that the APA has betrayed its trust as guardian of public health and safety, then the APA is no longer to be trusted in anything it says until it repents of having caved in to pressure tactics from homosexual (or really pansexual) advocates.

The sex revolution has never at any time had a teaspoon of objective evidence. The notions that all forms of sexual expression are morally equivalent is not true. And the companion notion that they are all equally healthy is also not true.

The evidence easily available from the Center for Disease Control, from medical journals, and from pro-homosexual sources as well as conservative Christian sources, indicates that there are devastating medical risks in homosexual behavior, and that homosexual persons are (again, contrary to the APA) not typically as emotionally healthy as "mainstream America". Homosexuality rewards its participants with an appalling 40% drop in lifespan.

A healthy emotional life requires that we make a clear distinction between "who we are" and "what we do". Our "being" is different from our "doing". Our being is God’s doing, not our own. Our being is something we receive, not something we do. We can either cooperate with what He is doing, or we can take what He gives us and behave so as to hurt and destroy what He is doing.

Since what God is doing is nothing less than inviting us into that freewill covenant relationship which we call the Kingdom of Heaven and the Abundant Life, that is precisely what we threaten when we become rebellious.

So we must keep a clear distinction between what God is doing and what we do. We must not, for example, identify our sexual behavior with "who we are", when it is in fact "what we are doing". When we think of our own activity as a part of our being, that activity will become compulsive. We will not be able to stop it or control it because to do so will seem like suicide -- a threat to our very being.

So to regain control of our sexual lives, we must -- at any cost to ourselves -- make a clear distinction between our identity and our sexual behavior (of any sort). We must find our identity in precisely that place where God tells us to find it -- in His image, male and female.

The clear warning of common sense, of Scripture, and of careful scientific observation is that when we depart from God’s plan for our lives, we become both self- and socially destructive.
 

- 4. The Deeper Issue... -

While overcoming any unhealthy condition is of great importance, overcoming our alienation from God is the primary issue for all of our lives. Our sickness and brokenness (including sexual) comes from our ignorance of God and from our rebellion against Him.

God has mercifully leaned all the way down from heaven toward us to draw us back to Himself -- when we have given Him little or no reason to do so. In Jesus Christ, we are offered the way back to health, including sexual wholeness. Biblical revelation is the story of God drawing us back to His original intent for the Human race, restoring us back to living on His provision for our lives and obeying His voice.

Salvation means the saving of the whole of our human nature as intended by God. Back to plan A. Salvation includes the restoration of our sexual and gender wholeness as well as our moral standing before God. God is redeeming the whole of His creation -- so that we can stand as His sons and daughters, straight and tall before Him and before one another.

Jesus Christ is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. It is by following Him that we come to that abundant life of which He spoke. It is on the way of the cross that we discover and can drink of that living water which will become in us a well springing up to eternal life.

So the deeper issue is: Have I invited Jesus to sit on the throne of my heart?
 

- 5. The Way of the Cross -

If you believe that God has better for you than you are currently experiencing, we would appreciate the chance to share our information and stories with you. And if there is contrary information of which we are unaware, we wish to be informed by those who disagree with us. When God says to us (Isaiah 1:18): "Come, let us reason together," He means just that. God calls us into that open encounter where we bring our needs and complaints, and where we allow Him to speak His word to us.

It is only when we allow ourselves to get into honest discussion with one another and with God, when the real me meets the real God, that truth can emerge. That is a scary road to travel, the "road less traveled" as one book title has it, but it is the only way that leads to life.

Following Jesus on the way of the cross, in other words, includes that honest discussion and search for truth where I give up trying to be "the right one", where I just want to know the truth, whatever it is, where I make myself vulnerable to the possibility that I might be wrong, where I have a teachable spirit, and allow the truth and the Lord of truth to speak for themselves.

So again, we offer:

If the evidence should show that God approves of homosexual behavior, and that the homosexual lifestyle is a healthy way to live, then we will stand boldly and publicly with those who affirm homosexuality.

But if the evidence should show that God does not approve, or that the homosexual lifestyle is a self-destructive way to live, then we would invite the supporters of homosexuality to reconsider their position, and perhaps even join us in bringing the freedom of truth to the world.

************

Quote of the Month

"A handy way to check
[whether we are fallen -- or good independently of God]
is to ask
any father or mother if they had to spend more time
teaching their children to misbehave or to behave;
to concentrate more on themselves or to care about others;
to stop taking things from a sibling
or to curb those incessant charitable impulses.

- Robert Knight in The Age of Consent -

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Copyright, Earle Fox 1998