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NOTE: the following is a sample of the contents of the full book. The *.html version is not quite so precise in format as the *.pdf version, but the substance is the same. Footnotes do not appear in the *.html, but do in *.pdf.
These sample pages contain the Foreword, Introduction, and a few pages from each chapter with the study guide from each chapter.
The Introduction gives our philosophy for writing the way we do.
The study guides follow the table of contents with chapter headings, section headings, and subheadings -- giving a good summary of the questions and issues covered in the book.
We hope you will be interested in reading the full text. E. F. and D. V.
(Click here for Short Summary or for PDF selected 87-pages version)
Foreword - the Rt. Rev. FitzSimons Allison
Introduction Click here for Earle Fox's testimony.
PART I - Creation
Chapter I - The Way, the Truth, and the Life.... How do we Know?
Chapter II - Worldview Issues
PART II - The Fall
Chapter III - The Church Has AIDS
Chapter IV - The "Gay" Strategy
PART III - Redemption
Chapter V - The Hard Evidence
Chapter VI - Godly Winning
Chapter VII - The Healing of Same-Sex Attraction Disorder
Good & Right in the Eyes of God?
Winning the war for sexual sanity
Comprehensive, Biblical, and Scientifically sound
Copyright 2003, F. Earle Fox
To those brave souls
for whom truthful and righteous love
have become more important
than their addictions and pleasures --
To those who, having overcome,
reach out to those behind --
To parents of strugglers
looking for a helping hand
to lead their children through
to truth, righteousness, and love --
To spiritual leaders, educators, politicians
who understand the power of truth wedded to love
and of reason wedded to revelation --
To Jesus, our Lord and Savior,
in Whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
all good things come together.
Two American bishops at the Lambeth Conference in 1988 distributed an expensively printed paper claiming that, since "science has shown" homosexuality to be genetically determined, the Anglican Communion must recognize same-sex activity as morally acceptable. I pointed out to one of the bishops that the claim was not in fact true. His reply was "Oh, I know that, but [he] insisted that we put it in anyway." I was so incredulous that they would print something they knew to be untrue that I asked again at our next House of Bishops meeting. He acknowledged once more that he knew that the claim they had made was untrue but had published the prevarication in the document anyway.
This was neither the first nor the last time I have encountered the tactics of those attempting to change the church's teaching on sexuality. Earle Fox and David Virtue have done us a great service in putting this matter in a scholarly and carefully documented description of all aspects of this complex subject.
Their willingness to re-think any traditional approach so long as the playing field is level and fair, is an offer that should be taken up and engaged. They claim that...
In all the years since the homosexual issue began to make front page news, there has yet to be a sustained, open, honest presentation of the issues by the media, politicians, educators, or spiritual leaders. In almost every case familiar to these writers, the pro-homosexual forces have struggled to keep their opposition from entering the discussion at all, and vilified, besmirched, and discounted in the public mind any presentation of contrary evidence.
This claim should not go unchallenged and these authors demonstrate a commendable commitment to put the whole matter on the table for any fair and rigorous examination of the issues. If there are exceptions to their claim above, it is certainly not the reception received by those signing the Ramsey Colloquium's statement on sexuality, a group of internationally renowned scholars who had studied under Paul Ramsey of Princeton, including Roman Catholics, Jews, and Protestants, affirming in a carefully, pastorally sensitive statement, the traditional teachings of 4,000 years.
Gilbert Meilaender was hounded and vilified by the "gay" lobby at Oberlin from which he has now departed, and Phil Turner's very job as Dean of Berkeley Episcopal Seminary at Yale was jeopardized, and he, too, has now resigned this position.
The authors of this volume claim above all to be truth-seekers in "matters of fact and logic and in matters of the will of God, not merely about sharing emotional stories of hurt, pain, and victimhood." Feelings and emotion are seen to have their proper place in the context of objective standards, and readers who approach this book with skepticism about the authors' compassion would do well to begin at the end by first reading the personal stories of homosexual persons who have left the homosexual lifestyle.
Deconstructualists will have a difficult time with the authors' commitment to the objective nature of truth and their insistence on the time-honored fair processes to determine or approximate what is true. However, the alternative is to reduce all scholarly debate to mere power, which, of course, is the part of the reason we are in this dilemma in the first place.
[Their] strategy has been remarkably successful. With a rapidity attributable in large part to a total lack of articulate resistance, homosexual ideology has achieved an unquestioned and uncontested legitimacy in American academic life.1 Within the academy, as within nonacademic elite culture, the definition of opposition to homosexuality as "homophobia" -- a definition which implies that it is impossible to give good reasons for the cultural disapproval of homosexuality -- is the best evidence of the success of this strategy....
"But surely," it will be said, "none of this matters very much. The homosexual moment will be a passing one. Common sense will reassert itself." Perhaps. "Most of those in the academy are cowed rather than converted," it is argued, which is true enough, but may be beside the point. Waiting for an outbreak of civil courage among academics is (as Irving Howe wrote in another context) "steady work." In the meantime, normative understandings of sexuality that cannot be articulated cannot be transmitted. If heterosexual marriage based upon the culturally guided direction of desire is not merely an arbitrary construct but is grounded upon vital understandings of the bases of trans-generational common life, then the inability to transmit that understanding will have profound costs.
As long ago as 1939, T. S. Eliot told us, in his lectures on Christianity and..., that the "choice before us is between the formation of a new Christian culture and the acceptance of a pagan one." The whole issue of sexuality is only one aspect of this great choice. Eliot diagnoses our age as one that is increasingly negative toward Christianity but will not long remain so. It will attempt to build a new culture on wholly different foundations from Christianity. Our challenge, according to Eliot, is that we "must treat Christianity with a great deal more intellectual respect than is our wont..." We must not respond by defending Christianity "because it might be beneficial", but because it is true. "It is not enthusiasm, but dogma, that differentiates a Christian from a pagan society."
These are not politically correct sentiments, but Homosexuality: Good and Right in the Eyes of God? is a courageous and appropriate step in Eliot's direction.
The Rt. Rev. FitzSimons Allison
[For Earle Fox's testimony, scroll down to section G]
Discussion of public policy can involve the futures of literally millions of persons, the vast majority of whom cannot be present to offer their case or defend themselves against abuse when the rules are being made and manipulated. Therefore, given the intensity and volatility of our subject, we think it wise to spend some time and pages explaining the nature of our writing. The issues of this introduction are essential for grappling with the homosexual debates. If the reader does not understand what we are saying here, he will in all likelihood not understand the next chapters.
This is not sound-byte, bumper-sticker theology. It is theology in the trenches, where lives are both saved and lost. If the reader, therefore, is not of a mind to get at the saving truth of some very difficult, sometimes painful and ugly, matters, and thus to experience the profound love to which God has eternally wedded truth, it would be best to put this book down and find something else constructive to do.
On the other hand, any person willing to seek and to speak the truth, willing to hear truth from both friend and foe, and willing to do so at any cost to himself in order to reach a positive, Godly resolution, is invited to read on.
Two major events over the last four hundred years in the revelation of God to His people have been all but ignored, badly misunderstood, or outright rejected by the visible Church. That failure has left the Christian community sitting ducks for secular and pagan artillery.
The two events were
(2) the development of due process in civil law,
the best examples of the latter being the American constitutional democratic republic and the English parliamentary system. Science and due process in civil law are the two crown jewels of western culture, our unique offering to the rest of the world.
Sadly, the Church has not seen fit to more than dabble with due process in ecclesiastical law. But we believe a new birth is coming when Christians will show the world that political freedom is a function of spiritual freedom, and will model that reality in the Church.
Both science and due process were gifts of God to anyone who would listen, but specifically to His people. Both have been successfully coopted by the secular community -- to the almost total exclusion of the biblical community. We in the West think of civil government and science as essentially secular things. That gave secular interests an open field for capturing the imagination of the 20th century and leaving the Church in the dust, a matter directly related to sexuality issues.
Wise Christians have noted that God wrote two books, not just one, the Book of Nature and the Book of Scripture. The two elucidate, not contradict, each other. Christians ought to be the best scientists available.
But the Christian community has failed to incorporate into its life what God was (and is) telling us in these major events of western Christendom about (1) truth gathering and (2) due process in the administration of truth and righteousness in public affairs. We believe that the Bible, as interpreted by the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, is the standard for Christian faith and practice, but we see much of current Christianity as artificially and arbitrarily narrow -- precisely because it has failed to come to grips with science and due process.
Christians, of all people, should understand that science is the Way of the Cross for the intellect. We give up our right to be right and just let the evidence speak for itself. And due process in public debate (such as legislation or court trial) is the Way of the Cross for public discussion. Again, we give up our right to be right, and let truth and righteousness win their own battles in the minds and hearts of the listeners.
As a result of this disastrous failure, the Christian community has been unable to answer the great question asked in every age: "How do you know you have the truth?" -- such as, whether homosexuality is good and right in the eyes of God. And the Christian community has a faulty understanding of the due process necessary for administering truth in its various social and civil aspects -- notably in sexuality dialogues.
Liberalism and conservatism are complementary in a healthy society. But a culture which has lost its biblical foundations, or never had them, will find such complementarities fracturing and pitting themselves against each other. The above Christian failure led to the fracturing of conservatives against liberals because Christians lost their ability to deal with truth issues.
"There are two religions on the floor...!" it was proclaimed at a denominational convention in 1991. The truth is that biblical Christianity and secularism/paganism are the two ultimate religions that contend on any floor. The temptation is to assume that the two religions correspond to those two parties we see often contending, namely, liberal vs. conservative. That is not necessarily the case.
On most Christian floors today are a fractured, anemic, defensive, compromised, trying-to-preserve-what's-left biblical Christianity and a psychologically sophisticated, aggressive paganism advertising itself as Christianity with all the clothing of compassion, love, and inclusiveness.
The single most important issue behind the sexuality debates is the nature of compassion, and its relation to truth-telling. Conservatives concentrate on truth, liberals on compassion. And never, it seems, the twain shall meet.
We, your authors, believe that there is a legitimate biblical liberalism as well as conservatism, which we will discuss at length. But we do not believe that either of the parties contending in contemporary debates represent the biblical case accurately for either liberalism or conservatism any more than for compassion or truth.
Conservatives tend to see liberals as pagans, and themselves as the biblical Christians. Liberals tend to see conservatives as out of date, lacking compassion, and stuck in "the way we always did it". We believe that there is a "pseudo-" brand of each -- concerning which these counter-charges are indeed true.
Because we see the content of Christian faith in line with most conservatives, we think of ourselves most of the time as conservatives. But we believe that there is also a true and legitimate liberalism (which tends to concentrate on process rather than content) which is a complement, not an enemy, to true conservatism (which tends to concentrate on content).
The process of arriving at the content (how you know) is as important as the content itself (what you know). That is true because explaining how you know is what gives intellectual authority for believing what you know. Which is, of course, why we ask people the question: "How do you know???" Our book is as much about how we know as what we know, and about how the knowing process has, by open admission, been deliberately subverted. God does not take such subversion lightly.
We do not believe that either side of our present contentious debates, generally speaking, understands the constructive relation between honest conservatism and honest liberalism. Consequently, we are unable to make any easy identification between the "conservative" movement in the Church today and biblical Christianity.
On one hand, the so-called liberal wing, at almost every point of discussion, dialogue, and debate, has violated the rules of honest due process because they are operating on the assumption that truth is relative, or that some other value, e.g., love, inclusiveness, or tolerance, precedes truth. Or, as Bishop Allison points out in the foreword, there are arrogantly dishonest people in the discussion. The result is that due process in truth-seeking is routinely violated. So, as one leader expressed it, we are tired of dialogue that is no dialogue at all, and we are tired of being abused by people who have no interest in truth or honest discussion of the meaning of Christian faith and practice.
On the other hand, although we see conservatives as holding, for the most part, to the essential content of the Christian faith, nevertheless they are often either unaware of what due process and truth-seeking are, or are unwilling to submit themselves to those processes. We see a tragic and far-reaching failure in the intellectual life of the evangelical as well as the charismatic and catholic branches of the Church. Very few Christians of any stripe are willing to do what they are asking others to do, namely submit their faith and belief to an open discussion to see whose view is true. That, we think, is intellectually and spiritually inexcusable, and contrary to biblical revelation. When God invites us, "Come, let us reason together...," He means it.2
Why, indeed, would anyone want to read a long book on such a distasteful and contentious subject? For the same reasons someone might want to write it:
to research how America got into such a mess;
to understand how our government through its school system has been a major player in the demise of our biblical moral foundations;
to learn how to hold moral standards in a morally collapsing world;
to better understand homosexual persons, to reach out and help them;
you may have in your hand the only book available with a comprehensive, biblical, and scientifically sound strategy for winning the battle to restore sexual sanity;
and, just perhaps, you may want to share with us the tears and outrage that accompanied the writing of this book.
As for the length, don't worry, it is going to be a long war. You will have plenty of time to read it slowly. Pretend the three parts are three smaller books. The book is already a drastic foreshortening of the depth and breadth of the issues .
The deepest foundations of Western Civilization are being studiously chiseled out from under us. Those who do not like being overwhelmed by the size and scope of books such as this have the option of remaining overwhelmed instead by the pansexual/homosexual agenda. This is a winnable battle, but... there are no quick fixes.
Given the "paradigm shifts" you may encounter, read the chapters (or parts) maybe two or three times. We have paradigm-shifted ourselves into disaster. It is time we paradigm-shifted back to common sense. And God is the Original and Intelligent Designer of all common sense.
Because the Christian community, for over a century, has been unable to conduct its public affairs with spiritual, moral, or intellectual integrity, a hostile secular media has easily been able to parody the Church as a "fundamentalist" laughingstock. Fundamentals are essential. But the word `fundamentalism' has been given a nasty flavor by the tragically consistent failure of the Church to maintain its own moral, spiritual, and intellectual integrity -- along with the frightening ability of the forces of darkness to portray themselves as angels of light. And that has forced us to consider a third deep issue: the nature of evil.
When evil is called good and good evil, we are constrained once again to force the antithesis between the two, to state with clarity and logic the nature of the cosmic spiritual warfare, of which our present sexual disarray is, of course, only one small segment. Our title, Good and Right..., points to and includes issues far beyond sexuality alone. So we invite the reader to ponder with us the nature of evil -- which can be defined, seen, and exposed only by contrast to, and by the light of, the nature of goodness and righteousness.
If you still think we might be overstating our case, you might log onto www.massnews.com and search the archives under "fistgate". You will be informed of the outrageous promotion of pansexual/homosexual teaching given (and still being given) to Massachusetts students on subjects such as "fisting", the insertion of one's hand and arm into the vaginal or rectal openings of one's partner for sexual pleasure. Such criminal abuse of children is only part of the story. The sex-revolution can succeed only because of a prior criminal abuse of public discussion. But every school district and every home in America is targeted by those running the sex-revolution.
We conclude that the systematic subversion of truth is always and in every case evil. It is the fundamental of all evils, as Paul indicates in Romans 1:18 ff. It is always treason against truth, against the Lord of truth, and against the people of truth. And it is the enemy of compassion and love. Those who pursue it merit the epithet, "sons of Satan", as Jesus indicated in John 8:31 ff. So we all do well to begin by watching our own step.
Our book, then, is about three preparatory issues:
(1) how we both know and administer truth in the public arena,
(2) the nature of good and evil and our obligation to righteousness,
(3) the nature of honest, and therefore helpful, compassion, and then the practical issue:
(4) how these are to be applied to the more concrete issues such as
What is homosexual behavior?
Is it healthy?
Is it an identity or a behavior?
What can I do about it?
God has given us a winning weapon and a winning strategy as much for the public arena as the inner, private, and personal arena (we will discuss what "winning" means). Honest liberalism and honest conservatism stride shoulder to shoulder down the path of public life, wielding together the invincible two-edged Sword of the Spirit.
The human struggle with sexual sin and brokenness is only a segment of the much larger spiritual struggle which began in Genesis, chapter 3, the Fall of mankind from the sustaining hand of God into rebellion and self-destruction. Homosexuality is only one instance of the Fall, but it is an instance, so biblical principles of redemption are to be applied to resolve the homosexual problem.
Our contemporary struggle with the homosexuality issue did not arise out of nowhere. It likewise has a much wider history and background. Without an understanding of the cultural and intellectual roots and the spiritual forces at work during the last two centuries, it will be impossible to understand the homosexual rights movement or how to respond to it.
Some will ask: "Why don't you just get to the homosexual matter and fix that? Why spend so much time on peripheral issues?" One might as well ask: "Why don't you just fix up the third floor? Why spend so much time strengthening the first?" The first floor is not "peripheral" to the third. Homosexuality is a symptom of much larger sin and pathology which have become deeply embedded in our social and spiritual fabric.
Part I, Creation, as for all biblical faith and practice, lays the foundation of our response, the ground upon which we can stand and get traction. It is a good introduction to Christian apologetics for almost any issue.
Chapter I, The Way, the Truth, and the Life... How Do We Know? prepares for dealing with the major stumbling block of all Christians for at least two centuries: we have not been able to explain whether there is any truth, and if so, how we can know it. Secular folks did not know either, but they made it look like they did, and therefore won the public imagination. But God knows and is telling us.
Paul in Romans 1:18 ff. mentions homosexuality as one of the many addictive and compulsive disasters into which we fall, and that these conditions are preceded by wider and deeper issues of subversion of truth and the consequent worship of the creation rather than the Creator, so we too want to "get at" homosexuality by first taking in the wider scope.
Our subtitle reads: the Wedding of Truth to Compassion. We put truth first because we believe God is more concerned about truth than with sexual issues. We put compassion (or love) second because we believe that truth must precede love, or love will never happen. The book is more about truth-seeking done with compassion than about homosexuality -- although it is about homosexuality. Jesus identifies Satan as the father of lies, not the father of sexual perversion. Truth wedded to love is the first floor.
Chapter II, Worldview Issues, takes us to the second floor. Next to truth, we need to understand the basic structure of the universe. The two basic worldviews contending in spiritual warfare are suggested by Bishop MacNaughton's remark: "There are two religions on the floor."3 Though Christians (of all people) have seldom treated it as such, biblical religion is a religion of substantial fact and logic.
Part II, The Fall, you might call our autopsy report on a moribund Western Church and Civilization. It includes Chapter III, The Church Has AIDS, and Chapter IV, The "Gay" Strategy. It describes secular and neo-pagan attempts to destroy our biblical grounding, a sordid tale of the West reenacting Genesis 3, and is a good survey of why Christians are failing in many areas.
Secularism/paganism, the biblical competitor, lives in a "virtual reality" of image, appearance, and of feelings dissociated from responsible personal relationship. It is forever trying to create substance out of virtual fluff. It is the world of the Fall and ultimately death. The logic and dynamic of these two worldviews is being played out before us in the homosexual tragedy. It is our purpose to help clarify some of those dynamics.
We will be describing "the politics of truth" (to borrow from the title of Jeffrey Satinover's excellent book). Part I looks at "the Way", and Part II looks at how we got lost from it, how the moral, intellectual, and spiritual foundations of the Church and the West generally, were maneuvered so that it was just a matter of time before the sex revolution, containing homosexuality, would inevitably become accepted aspects of a once Christian culture.
Cultural, social, and political backgrounds interweave through our discussion, laying bare the rat's nest of our contemporary participation in the Fall. Any answer to the wider issues will provide part of the answer to the narrower focus on homosexuality also. These are the issues on which Christian Civilization has stumbled. Either we get them straight, or we continue to stumble.
Part III - Redemption, is our resurrection report -- for the Church and civilization. It applies biblical principles to the evidence and to strategy. and then culminates in the victorious testimonies of overcomers. The chapters on evidence, strategy, and healing put cleats on our shoes so we can navigate the slippery ground of dialogue. Chapter VI, especially, outlines Christian strategy for perhaps all issues we face.
Chapter V, The Hard Evidence, presents the clear and unambiguous evidence on the nature of homosexuality, which has been hidden by a massively successful media campaign from a public which has all but lost the capacity to think for itself. To most readers, this will be new material because, with just a few exceptions, neither the media nor the clergy nor the politicians nor the educators nor the medical professionals are publishing the truth of the matter.
Not, at least, so one would notice. Lay people are almost universally ignorant of the depth of the disaster, and their clergy are not telling them. But getting the truth of the matter will always be the foundation of ultimate victory.
Chapter VI, Godly Winning, is the foundation behind the foundation, responding in practical terms to the question raised in Chapter I, "How do we know the truth?" How can we sustain our witness to biblical sexuality in public debate -- right out in front of God and everybody? What does biblical theology look like in the trenches?
Winning means the restoration of the sovereignty of God, not primarily because He is the Boss, which He is. And for which we can be devoutly grateful. But primarily because the Boss loves us. The Boss makes our love for one another just as we love ourselves the second highest command in the universe. Our actually doing that requires following Jesus back onto the sustaining Hand of God and to obedience under His Voice. Winning the sexuality debate means finding the will of God and implementing that into our public policy.
This is an advocacy book, but it is not "unabashed propaganda", as Kirk and Madsen candidly self-describe After the Ball, their masterpiece of homosexualist strategy.4 We hold ourselves correctable by anyone according to the commonly understood standards of fact and logic. And we wish to emphasize that our primary advocacy is not about sexuality, it is about allowing the truth and the Lord of truth to speak for themselves.
The strategy of God is to be used in all circumstances and in all issues. The King of kings and Lord of lords does not recognize boundaries between "religious" and "secular". It may not be "politically correct" to suggest that theology has anything to do with issues of public policy. But, as they say: "Tough." God and logical common sense both dictate otherwise. The solution to the problem of homosexuality requires the application of biblical theology to all aspects of the problem.
It has been precisely in the Christian loss of consensus on biblical theology that the Christian community, and consequently western civilization, have come to such a bad state. We have lost our ability to apply Godly wisdom to public affairs. We have lost our charts and compass, and therefore lost our way. Our book will thus be a thorough-going application of biblical principles to the case at hand -- as near as we can make it, manifesting intellectual, moral, and spiritual integrity.
Our book climaxes with Chapter VII, testimonies of healing from those who had been sexually broken by the sins of their circumstances or of themselves. Winning at the deepest level is indeed possible -- as testimonies of healing leave no doubt from those who have been set free from the bondage to which Paul refers in Romans 1.
For many readers, our case will involve at least two significant shifts in how we think about the issues before us: (1) how the issues of sexuality are rooted in the wider cultural destruction, and (2) how God connects reason and revelation in communicating with the fallen world. Unless we get these two issues straight, solutions to sexuality problems will always unravel. We need to rebuild not only the foundations of our doctrine, but of how we perceive and think and relate at all. You will be getting a crash course in materials every Christian should have been taught early on in Sunday School.
The gates of hell will not prevail -- but, in our time, only if we get on the offensive. And only if we learn the Godly way of doing that.
Public policy generally contains coercive sanctions, punishment for disobedience. The highest obligations of truth, righteousness, and human compassion therefore fall on participants of such discussions, and especially upon those who vote public policy into existence. Persons who are not truth-seekers are not qualified to participate in discussion of public policy.
We should no longer quietly tolerate pseudo-intellectualizing, neither from politically correct" liberals", nor from conservatives incapable or unwilling to prosecute the spiritual war in which we are engaged. We insist on what should be well-known rules of honest engagement, that dialogue and discussion are about objective truth-seeking in matters of fact and logic and in matters of the will of God, not merely about sharing emotional stories of hurt, pain, and victimhood, or "dialoguing to consensus" in the absence of objective standards. Stories, parables, and testimonies can be powerful ways of witnessing to truth. But if our stories, parables, and testimonies are not about truth, then they are empty and deceiving. Truth is not something with which to play games.
The Christian in the pew has been at sea over sexuality because of often deliberately confusing leadership on one side and uncertain and hesitating responses on the other. One of your authors is not ordained, the other is, so we can see the matter from both perspectives, and we are not impressed.
There have been occasional good examples of leadership. The Christian community is probably in better shape today than at any time during the last century -- if only because it is slowly becoming aware that it has been very effectively sidelined from public debate -- and in small pockets, is beginning to do something about it.
But the Christian community is confused and fractured because watchtowers have been infiltrated by suppressors of truth, as per Romans 1:18 ff., rendering others in the watchtowers incompetent to see the danger or signal the alarm. We shall describe that process in considerable detail.
Although sexuality issues are the present volatile point of contention, the greater sin on all sides has been our persistent pursuit of comfort and our unGodly cowardice in the matter of standing up for truth.
There is an increasing number of good books on the homosexual issues from an empirical point of view, describing homosexuality and its pathology very accurately (see bibliography), but there is little pointing to the deeper issue, the dishonesty and manipulation of the debate. Until we confront that issue head-on, no sanity will emerge.
We are thus writing this book as an indictment, bringing charges to the court of Christian public opinion and calling for a full scale public trial of the issues because we believe there is overwhelming evidence of systematic deceit and betrayal by persons who have gained control of the levers of public policy -- what Paul might refer to as "the world rulers of this present darkness" (Eph. 6:12). We bring an indictment against pseudo-liberals who do not liberate and against pseudo-conservatives who do not conserve, neither of whom show much compassion in the homosexual arena.
Where, for example, is the compassion for those many, many persons who would like to exit the homosexual lifestyle? Homosexualists berate them, and conservatives ignore them.
Several very competent books have been written documenting the empirical evidence from various directions, many of which we rely upon for our case. However, we believe that the case must be taken beyond mere evidence gathering to doing something about it. Doing something, after all, is the practical point of gathering evidence. The time is long overdue. We must use effective measures to counter a long history of abuse of public dialogue and discussion, and the commandeering of Church processes for illegitimate ends.
The best defense is still a good offense, in support of which ministries such as Exodus North America are good allies and leading the way.5 So this is a book of drawing conclusions, of making strategy, and of exhortation as well as of evidence, assessment, and commentary. We believe that God has given a clear goal which we are to pursue with all the obedience we can muster.
A major part of Godly strategy is old-fashioned repentance. None of us can say that we are guiltless, if not by commission, then by omission. Again, how many churches have rushed to the aid of persons seeking help out of homosexuality? America and western civilization will not be restored to sanity without a serious moral and spiritual inventory on the part of all.
The following will not always be pleasant reading. Whether liberal or conservative, readers who are position-defenders, not truth-seekers, may be offended. Nobody likes to be told that they are wrong.
But we have found truth-seekers on both sides of the liberal/conservative split who welcome openness and candor and who just want to know the facts. And, there are those on both sides of the split whose minds are made up to the exclusion of any fact or logic contrary to their view.
We are advocates. We are not undecided about the nature of homosexuality. Some will respond: "Well, how then can you claim to be objective? This is an advocacy book. You have already made up your minds!"
It is one of many specious, but widely held, beliefs today that one cannot be both decided and objective. The truth is that one's objectivity does not depend on having come to no conclusion on an issue, it depends, rather, on whether one is willing to have his conclusions (or lack of them) challenged by fact and logic, that is, by the evidence. Scientific objectivity, after all, is not an end in itself. Its useful purpose is to inform and govern our passions. "All thought is for the sake of action, and all action is for the sake relationship," was a theme of John Macmurray, a Christian philosopher of the late 1800's. Objectivity in an ivory tower is of little use. Objectivity as the halter, bit, and bridle on passion channels that enormous energy into productive and reasonable goals.
It is the truth-seekers from all sides who will find a legitimate common ground and resolve the issues in a Godly manner. While the reading will not always be pleasant, we hope it will be gratifying, refreshing, and encouraging. The problems are monumental, but there is a way through to the victory of truth, compassion, and Godly sexuality.
We make no personal claim to inerrancy or infallibility, but rather hold ourselves accountable before all men to the rules of accurate observation and clear logical thinking, and to the Bible as the norm for Christian faith and practice. We expect the same from others entering the arena of Christian dialogue.
Some may think (and we have been told by both liberals and conservatives) that our book is strident, that we are mavericks, loose cannon on the deck of the ship, and that we will lose our reputations -- such as we have. We may be thought "partisan", to which we freely admit. So is God. We have a viewpoint which we wish to articulate as clearly as possible, giving anyone a clearly defined a target as possible at which to shoot. So does God. As we discuss in chapter six, there are no "neutral" positions in a debate over public policy any more than there are neutral teams on a football field.
But there are neutral rules by which positions are discussed and debated, just as there are neutral rules of football by which the teams contend. It is the violation of these rules by which stridency should be measured. Those who wish to neuter all discussion into the limbo of "relative truth" are the ones who most systematically violate the neutral rules of logical due process.
When a very unneutral enemy has boarded the ship and (in the name of neutrality) commandeered the bridge, he does not like the cannon being turned around and aimed at the bridge. Neither do those who, like Neville Chamberlain, are still trying to dicker with the enemy without holding him accountable for his dishonest language. We strive, however, not to be loose cannon, and so we aim very carefully.
We are occasionally reminded of a certain college professor of the 1950's who was asked to comment in the college newspaper on a current issue. He noted: I fired a few shots into the bushes, hoping that the screams of pain elicited would sound like academic debate.
If we have misrepresented facts or have drawn fallacious conclusions, or if we have presented facts and conclusions ungracefully or unkindly, with inappropriate "vigor", we are willing to be corrected by biblical and common sense standards. We outline the various areas where evidence on the issue can be found, and thus offer clear grounds upon which our case can be disproved. And we quote the "other side" at length to let them state their own case.
So we expect the courtesy of intelligent rebuttal, not merely -- stridency.
There does not seem to be any way of saying some things that need to be said without appearing strident to someone. What is seen as righteous passion on one's own side is often seen as stridency on the other.
Soren Kierkegaard tells somewhere a parable of a fellow coming to a scholar to find an answer to great hurt and pain. The scholar begins to theorize on the fellow's pain with all of his scholarly detachment. He puts the hurting fellow in an endless intellectual parenthesis, considering this option and that option, "dialoguing", as it were, with all the possibilities. The parenthesis, Kierkegaard notices, never ends. No action can be taken, no decision made, the hurt cannot be assuaged because the scholar, lost in his abstract possibilities, is incapable of coming to a conclusion or compassionate action. One might understand an occasional strident outcry from the fellow.
Our culture and families are hurting and broken, and have come to the Church for wisdom and help. But we seem to be caught in an endless parenthetical "dialogue". How does one calmly tell a mindlessly "dialoguing" Church to make helpful and healing decisions when it appears to have no intention of doing so? It will be difficult. We thus ask for charity and forgiveness on all sides so that all sides may continue to be heard.
We are deeply concerned for compassion towards hurting persons and about the feelings of other people. That is precisely why we are writing. We are concerned about the brokenness and hurt for which there seems no cure in the eyes of many despairing persons. We believe compassionately in the healing power of Jesus Christ to make all things new.
But we are concerned because of, not at the expense of, truth. We will speak much about truth and truth-seeking. We trust that the reader will understand that we would never condone the use of truth to beat or abuse any person, and that when we encourage truth-speaking, we always mean in love.
We also want to make a clear distinction between homosexual persons and homosexualists. Many homosexual persons understand that homosexuality is neither approved by God nor healthy. We will return to these points often.
The term "gay" is preferred by many advocates of homosexual behavior who are homosexually oriented themselves, but the term is quite misleading, and does not include hetero-sexual persons who support the homosexual activists. We will therefore be using the terms "homosexualism" to indicate the philosophy promoting homosexuality, and "homosexualist" to indicate persons who are advocates of that philosophy, whether or not they themselves are sexually attracted to the same sex.
We believe also that there are no "homosexual" persons as such, and that a homosexual orientation is a disorientation of personality, not an expression of it. Homosexuality is, as Richard Cohen calls it, not gay, but SSAD, Same-Sex Attraction Disorder. So we will not normally refer to "homosexual persons" except to mean one who has a disorientation (which is pathological) or engages in a behavior (which is either ignorant or sinful). The evidence, as we shall show, cannot be honestly interpreted any other way.
Real people are being hurt, and real lives destroyed, because we supposedly sophisticated moderns have almost lost the capacity to think clearly. Feelings disengaged from truth and from morally responsible relationships quickly become a chartless black hole from which no light emits.
Our loyalty is to truth and to the Lord of all truth, come what may. We believe that God has a way (described in chapter VI) which encompasses the truth on all sides of any debate or controversy. Truth does not fight against itself, and is able to include all of itself, no matter how confused or fractured our conflicting perceptions may be. Whatever truth any one of us has will not be lost in the Final Summation by the Lord of truth. This is honest "inclusiveness". But the Lord of truth and the people of truth fight relentlessly against lies, deceit, and the father of lies. Falsehood and deceit are not "included" in the Final Summation -- nor are those who unrepentantly hold onto them.
We believe that we are in a spiritual war of ultimate values, winner take all, and that the ultimate contenders are the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, versus the unholy trinity of the world, the flesh, and the devil. We are not in a polite debate.
Jesus has already defeated Satan, but the people of Jesus still need to defeat the lies of Satan incarnate in people under his bondage. The fundamental dividing line between the two armies (as per John 8:31-59 and Romans 1:18 ff.) is the commitment to (vs. subversion of) plain and simple truth. We believe that there are reasonable ways of discerning between the two sides. It is a primary purpose of this book to help explain how to discern those differences.
Concerning your authors, David Virtue gives a part of his testimony in our final chapter, living through the lingering experience of a dear friend dying of AIDS, providing what comfort he could. He understands first hand the need for wedding truth to love, that compassion apart from truth is a tragic lie.
Earle Fox likewise gives his testimony shortly below, describing his journey into sexual wholeness, some of it through the thirteen years he has been ministering to persons struggling with homosexuality.
Your authors are deeply aware of the need for compassion and love in the lives of sexual strugglers. It is precisely the need for compassion that drives us back to -- not away from --the need for truth.
We are sadly aware of our own participation in the present gender and sexuality tragedy and our own past incompetence and cowardice in raising the alarm wherever people have been abused. But we are determined that, so far as in us lies, that will not continue.
Every human being is under obligation to confess his sins with respect to those whom he has offended. Where any person has abused a homosexual person for any reason whatsoever, an apology and change of behavior are due.
But we are also aware that apologies are owed to those many other people who have been abused by distortion of truth in public discussion, and to the many individuals and families (including our own) whose lives have been severely disrupted and even destroyed by the absurdities and obscenities of the sex-revolution. An apology might be offered to the now 40,000,000+ little babies who have been cruelly sacrificed to our alleged right to "sexual fulfillment". And, it must be said, an apology is due the hundreds of thousands of homosexual persons who have died of gay bowel syndrome or AIDS because they were given advice by terribly ill-informed or very cynical friends, or by a manipulated and cowardly medical profession and school system.
Homosexual persons have indeed been abused, and that must be confronted. But homosexual persons, contrary to the image generated by a very skillful public relations program, have also done a considerable amount of abusing. Persons active homosexually lead a self-abusive and self-destructive lifestyle, and often promote it in ways abusive and destructive for others.
Measured alongside of Jesus Christ, no one among us in our fallen world is a shining example. Confession and forgiveness necessarily run both ways in any successful relationship.
It may be said that one must choose his market and tailor his remarks to capture that audience. That, after all, is the proven way to sell books and thus to have an impact.
It does not appear, however, that God speaks that way, not, at least, if Moses, Elijah, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Paul, -- or Jesus -- are the examples to be followed. Biblical figures do not typically hold their fingers to the wind. They just tell the truth, comforting or hard, with little concern for market forces as the world sees them. They pay the price. And the people reap the benefits.
God has His own marketing strategy, (see chapter VI). The target audience of biblical leaders appears to be all those of any stripe who are interested in the truth of the matter. They do not aim at the conservatives or the liberals, they aim at the truth-seekers. Those who tailor their writing to fit the contemporary market have a contemporary success, but then the market changes with the next generation. Those who target their writing to truth-seekers have a continually renewed, if small, market in every generation.
Some will think we are aiming at a "fundamentalist" or "biblical literalist" audience because we believe that God speaks clearly and definitively. Some will think we are aiming at a "mainline" audience because many of our examples come from the Episcopal Church. But neither of those assumptions is the case. We are aiming at anyone who wants to have an honest discussion (based on fact and logic) about how to redeem the spiritual, and therefore also sexual, chaos which we are creating for ourselves.
We believe that marketing is important, just not very important, not important enough to stop honest people from saying things that need to be said in order to gain this or that audience, or to sell books. Or to keep some bishop, or some "hate-crime" law, off our backs.
While we are yet sinners, God issues a startling invitation to all of us in the midst of our absurdities and obscenities: "Come, let us reason together...." He does not take much note of the marketing forces. And so, indeed, not many show up for the discussion.
The best way to market God's invitation is to accept it - and practice it. So we are accepting His invitation, and we encourage others to do the same, on God's terms, not because the market forces make it profitable, or because some special group is most likely to listen to one's message. We are entering an arena (that of honest discussion) designed and administered by no less than God Himself, so that as we submit our selves to Him and submit our cases to open public discussion, truth will indeed emerge.
Not only compassion and love, but accurate perception of reality and clear thinking are gifts of the Holy Spirit. We reject the alleged split between love and truth. In God, they are eternally wedded. And God means to wed them in us as well. We want our opponents to know that we love them, that our fight is not with their flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers, false ideologies, deceit, and ignorance. The enemies which keep us all in bondage.
We understand the bridging of our present chasm in that same manner, that we must enter the lives of one another with truth and compassion securely bonded. God has rarely, if ever (in our world, at least), had a majority of us on His side, but He has always been able to raise up a remnant of truth-seekers who are willing to risk their lives to share their truth. That small Gideon band of the faithful has passed the torch from generation to generation, and are, in the long run, the only significant "movers and shakers".
We are therefore committed to honoring every human being with the offer to hear what he has to say, as well as speaking our piece as compassionately as possible. Those who disagree with us may, on occasion, be our best teachers. Shared truth-seeking and truth-speaking are the foundations of all true compassion. Without truth, compassion dissolves into sentimentality and manipulation, spins out of reality-control, and becomes terribly destructive.
We are committed also to inviting homosexual persons into fellowship in our churches on the same conditions that all persons are invited into Godly fellowship -- that we be seekers after truth, righteousness, and love, and open to correction for our sins, and willing to forgive others who repent of theirs.
This book is intended to educate, to reform the way Christians think about sexuality and about our place in the public arena. It is intended to equip Christians to fight the spiritual battle all around us -- a counter-revolutionary textbook. We hope that it will be read and studied by those who wish to serve the King on the front lines. Anyone who digests the enclosed materials will know (we believe) more about biblical sexuality than most pastors, more about homosexuality than most psychiatrists or psychologists, and more about biblical theology than most contemporary (at least Episcopal) bishops. And by quite a margin.
The book is meant for small group and classroom discussion, so we have included a study guide for each chapter. Persons who dig in to study the text and to answer the questions in the study guide will find themselves rewarded with an understanding not only of sexuality, but of a broad range of issues which perennially confront Christians.
Some readers like footnotes, others do not. We have put them at the bottom of the page to avoid having to look somewhere to find them. To those who think footnotes a bore, we grant the right of ignoring them.
Most of our material on the sexuality issues is taken, not from hidden archives, but from the public press and other easily available sources, sources which have to be deliberately ignored to not be seen. America is living in denial. We well understand the ugly nature of some of what we will have to discuss, and we encourage the reader, when respite from sordid research is needed, to take time out for prayer and pizza. There are ugly stories, but there are stories also of courage, bravery, and holiness. We hope you will see the struggle through with us, because, by the grace of God:
When truth wins, everybody wins.
It seemed a good idea to move the personal testimony below from the last chapter of testimonies to the introduction. Stories are good in any age, but especially in today's anti-intellectual climate, when stories are the primary, and sometimes, only, effective means of communication. Earle Fox has written most of this book, David Virtue supplying the testimonies of the last chapter -- the living proof of the pudding. His own story brings our book to a close. This one opens it.
I, Earle Fox, am adding my story to the testimonies in our book because I have experienced marvelous healing myself while working along with persons coming out of homosexuality, and have come to feel a deep closeness with those of all sorts who struggle with sex and gender issues. Much of my academic, and some non-academic (see below), work over forty years has been a research into the meaning of sex and gender.
Gender -- masculinity and femininity -- are the warp and woof of creation. Coming to terms with our gender natures is part and parcel of our salvation, being restored to the Image of God in which we are made -- male and female. So I am very grateful for the fellowship, worship, struggles, and victories which have been shared over these thirteen years since 1989, not only with hundreds coming out of homosexual bondage, but also with many, many persons with whom I disagree, reaching together across the chasm to seek the truth of the matter.
I was drawn into the homosexual issue when the Episcopal Church began going off the rails on the subject with the publication of John Spong's Newark Report, in which he, the bishop of Newark, New Jersey, informed us that we needed to "rethink" our attitudes toward homosexuality, pre-marital sex, and post-marital sex -- meaning that we needed to approve of them.
Packing my car full of materials, I went to the 1988 Episcopal General Convention in Detroit to put on a workshop showing the difference between biblical sexuality and the secular/pagan version, suggesting that the assembled bishops, priests, and layfolk needed to decide which they wanted to be -- Christian or pagan. The assembled bishops, clergy, and layfolk were not of a mind to wrestle with that issue, and so the Episcopal disintegration (as we shall see) continued.
But there I met Alan Medinger, an Episcopalian (see his testimony in the final chapter) who had come out of homosexuality, then director of Regeneration in Baltimore, a part of the Exodus network of ministries helping people out of homosexuality. "You ought to be teaching your seminar at the Exodus Conference!" he said to my surprise, only vaguely familiar with Exodus.
I had been a pastoral counselor most of my adult life in Episcopal churches, and then full-time private practice from 1984 through 1991, but had done very little work with persons with a same-sex attraction.
I took Alan up on his offer and appeared in 1989 at the Exodus conference outside of Philadelphia, teaching how the biblical view of human sexuality is inherently healing. Freedom from sexual bondage is part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Just learning about it can be a healing experience because it makes so much sense -- intuitively, logically, and empirically. If we are made male and female in the image of God, then healing of our sexual brokenness is at its deepest level a spiritual and theological issue.
When I was seven years old, my closet-Christian mother persuaded my deist father to read to me and my brother from the Bible. I remember well that he did not feel very comfortable about the matter, but as he read, it was as if God sat me down in a front row seat at creation, and I watched it all happen. It was a powerful living experience which set the course for the rest of my life. But my family, as solid as it was in some respects, did not discuss anything deeper than getting good grades in school and behaving oneself. Certainly not sex or religion or politics.
My own sex education had been pretty much the standard for Americans, including Christians in America. Almost non-existent. We were a solid and moral family, but we did not talk about much of anything beneath the surface, not politics or religion, and certainly not sex. So I understood that I was pretty much on my own to make sense of things.
What I learned was on the streets, and so I was, like most boys and girls, ill-equipped to deal with manhood. And still less womanhood. Why did boys and men treat sex, which was supposed to be so wonderful, as if it were dirt? So a cleavage developed in my spirit between sex as sacred and sex as dirty. I was still persuaded of the illusion that girls were "sugar and spice and everything nice...," so why would any girl want to get sexually involved with such a dirty subject? I was intensely shy and withdrawn up through my junior and senior high school years, and dated almost not at all, but packed away a storehouse of resentment and defensiveness against close personal relationship.
My brother, a year older, and I slept in the same room, and, of course, spent many a night conversing about "things". When I was about 10 or 11, he reported learning about "psychology", which he described as a way of someone getting to know what was inside your mind even if you didn't want them to, and that it was very scary. Something in my youthful spirit sensed and rebelled at the implicit control. I made an inner vow with all the strength that a pre-teen can muster that I would not be afraid to look at whatever was inside myself and that I would not allow any person to control me with "psychology". "No one's gonna scare me that way!"
It was another turning point in my life, and set me on a course which bore fruit as time went on. I won some and lost some of those bouts with emotional and mental control which we all face daily. It took a long time for me to recognize that my birthright to the selfhood and freedom, which seemed threatened by "psychology", was from God -- by gift at creation and by restoration through redemption. But the experience was part of my preparation for writing this book and for dealing with the issues of homosexuality -- to which that demonic use of psychology, i.e., mind-control, propaganda, and brainwashing, are major contributors.
During my high school years, some Baptist and Methodist friends carted me off to Youth for Christ meetings at which I learned more about a personal relation with Jesus Christ - a subject not much discussed at my Episcopal Church. I could not understand why we Episcopalians could not talk about Jesus like they did. Another turning point in my life as I accepted that personal relationship with Jesus. Many of those meetings were deeply inspiring, and others seemed to me to be led by spiritual hucksters whom I did not trust. I was learning about the Church -- a very mixed bag.
God had given me a good mind, and inspired me with enough courage to put it to use. Because of my emotional withdrawal and shyness, my mind was my primary hold on reality for many years. And so college years, seminary, and graduate school were enormously productive, building in me a solid Christian conviction of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Apologetics, explaining faith reasonably, became my driving passion.
Sexually, I was pretty much a straight arrow, pun intended. Homosexuality was never my problem, just plain old heterosexual lust. But despite my totally inadequate sex education, God had succeeded in impressing me with the knowledge that sexual relations were sacred. By His grace and mercy, and by an iron determination to be faithful to that calling, I never got seriously sexually involved before marriage in 1966. I did not have words for it then, but my insides knew that sexual promiscuity involved a seduction of one's personhood, and would, in some mysterious manner, close the dark circle of sexualizing around me, isolating me from God and from relationship reality.
After college and seminary, I spent the early `60's in England doing my doctorate on the relation between science and theology. While there, under the burden of academic stress, social ineptness, and a feeling of isolation from human life, one summer I did what (for an nice Episcopal boy like me) was unthinkable. I visited a nudist camp. Surely, somebody knew about this sex thing. Maybe people who were willing to be naked and unashamed, like Adam and Eve, would know. The people at the nudist camp were not "the enemy", they were a very moral and family oriented bunch, having their vacation time -- and not at all interested in discussing "issues". And I was much too ill at ease to make significant use of the situation, so did not continue.
I came home in 1964 to the sex revolution in full swing in America. It was obvious to me that the Church had no very helpful answer to the disaster that was upon us. And so I wondered again, pondering this time whether perhaps the real "enemy" might know something that we Christians did not know. I had the same experience as many in the homosexual lifestyle -- nothing I could find in the churches answered my deepest questions. The answers I received seemed shallow and defensive.
So I visited a few topless bars in the Los Angeles area and one in San Francisco, trying again to sort out what this sex thing was all about. It became clear to me one evening that if I continued that course, my ministry as an Episcopal priest was at an end. More than that -- my life in Christ, my place in reality, my home in heaven would come to an end.
I did not know the answer to the deep cry of the human race through the ages -- how can we control ourselves sexually -- but I did know that topless bars did not have the answer. I could see the black hole and I could sense the dark shroud closing around me. So I quietly turned back to ministering to the congregation in Burbank where I was assistant pastor.
I married in 1966, and then taught at an Episcopal college for three years, during which time pornography was an issue. Again by the law and grace of God, I partially overcame that addiction. But the issue was not really resolved. I still did not know what to do with the powerful feelings that would occasionally arise, threatening to sweep me into that black hole from which I had turned back from some years before.
I served as priest in a small parish in Connecticut from 1971 to 1981, counseling and writing to develop a biblical understanding of human nature. In 1984, I founded Emmaus Ministries, for pastoral counseling, biblical teaching on human nature and healing, and for teaching the faith reasonably -- a school of Christian apologetics.
A continual prayer that God would make me the kind of person that other people would feel safe being around was a powerful channel for the grace of God to set my resolve yet once again to be His kind of man. Something in me well understood the predatory and destructive nature of sexualizing. And my spirit refused it.
Pornography became less and less an issue, largely because I simply avoided it. But bouts with masturbation would come and go. I cried to God, "How can anything that feels so good be wrong?" God was preparing me for His answer which would be a mainstay of my ministry to persons with homosexual addiction.
We were now raising three wonderful children. But the marriage was not a happy one, and my wife sued for divorce in 1989. Like abortion, in America, we can now do that for any reason, or for no reason at all. "No fault" divorce really means "no responsibility" divorce. The biblical understanding of marriage was, in effect, outlawed.
I read a statement at the court trial that the State of Connecticut did not have the jurisdiction to end our marriage. The marriage was a covenant between my wife, myself, and God. And it would take the permission of God to end it, which I was sure we did not have. The judge, to everyone's amazement replied: "What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." That did not stop her from doing it, but for just a brief moment, the bench became a pulpit. Deo gratia!
God spoke to me very clearly: "You are not to go looking around for another woman. I will show you how to live singly, chastely, and joyfully." The Church did not know, the nudist camp, if it knew, was no help, the topless bars and pornographers did not know, and I did not know. But God did, and He was willing to show me.
It was not easy, but I knew that God meant business, and managed to avoid the ever present pitfalls. But I had to deal with loneliness, frustration, and depression over the massive failure in my life. Sexualized gratification was an ever lurking temptation to sugar-coat that need.
A Scripture passage would occasionally come to mind in a puzzling way. "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." (I Tim. 4:4)
That seemed like the last thing in the world to do, perhaps a demon trying to seduce me back into lust. But Timothy 4:4 kept coming to mind. "...for then it is consecrated with the word of God and prayer."
It made no sense to my emotions, but the temptations were not disappearing any other way. They might retreat for a day, a week, or even several months, but they were always lurking. So after months of wrestling with the matter, I began giving thanks for the powerful energy which we are taught to think of as sexual energy, Freud's "libido".
God began to show me the power of thanksgiving. Giving thanks to God in the middle of a crisis cuts through the idolatry inherent in all addictions. The real problem is not lust, it is idolatry, the terribly destructive illusion that "that object out there" (fill in the blank) will meet my needs. Giving thanks to God puts God back into the situation, and so implicitly acknowledges Him as the source of whatever goodness is out there, even if I do not understand that goodness. God can then begin to teach us what the real goodness is, and so lead us on the rest of the journey to wholeness.
The second step: rename this so-called sexual energy. It is not sexual energy, it is life energy, the gift of God to all persons. It is relationship energy, to be expended in every relationship we have during the day. It is gender energy, the dynamic of power and authority (see figure 1 in chapter II = Biblical Worldview Diagram) which is flowing in every activity in which we engage. It is the spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4) -- which the world, the flesh, and the devil have turned against us by persuading us to sexualize the gift. Gender relations are the warp and woof of life. The energy of those relations are the stuff of Godly living. The three steps lead to the de-sexualizing of this energy from God.
Step three: Redirect. Take charge, take authority over this energy. Redirect this energy into those healthy, Godly, non-sexualized relationships you will have this very day. Make a list of the things you will do today, and redirect this enormous energy there. It is not sexual energy, it is made for all of our relationships, so as we continue to discipline ourselves, it will begin to flow very naturally and powerfully. The power of addiction will gradually evaporate, and our normal, healthy relations will blossom and flower.
My discovery that these steps are generic for all persons, including homosexual issues, led to many persons finding relief from the terrors of temptation. In 1998, I became the director of Transformation Christian Ministries in Washington, DC, working directly with persons wanting to exit a terribly destructive homosexual lifestyle.
At the 2001 Exodus conference, a fellow who had heard me speak on the three steps in the early `90's said that he had kept his notes all these years as one of the most helpful things he had ever heard.
God had kept His promise. I learned to live singly, chastely, and joyfully. These latter years have been the best of my life, continually growing in relationship with both men and women, and most of all, with God.
God has brought me to the place where sexual temptations are more like swatting away an occasional mosquito rather than fighting off swarms of vultures. If walking down the street my thoughts are tempted by a passing woman to stray, I immediately thank God for her womanhood and for my own manhood, rename, and redirect. That settles the issue. She becomes to me the blessing that God meant her to be, and the loneliness and frustration evaporate. The image of God in her becomes a blessing, totally nonsexual. And -- I become more a person with whom people would feel safe. It would be a different world if we all knew that other people were looking as us that way.
God means us to be blessings to one another. When we do it His way, sex falls into its rightful marital place, and we discover that, contrary to the pansexual myth, we do not have to be sexually active to be fully human.
In the spring of 2001, I received a phone call from a local high school student, who informed me that he had been asked by his teacher to interview someone with whom he disagreed. He said he was homosexual, his father was, and could he interview me. I said, "Sure!"
He asked all the hard questions, and I gave him my best straight answers. He asked what I thought of the Matthew Shepard killing. I replied that if I had been there, I would have stood with Matthew. You always stand with people being mistreated.
I jumped at the chance. At the meeting, I said that I wanted to talk first about how we can discuss volatile issues without throwing bricks at each other, thinking that was a safe introduction, and that the best way to do that was to focus on getting the truth of the matter. Immediately hands shot up -- "But sir, truth is relative!"
We spent most of the two hours we had circling around that issue. It was a vigorous and candid discussion on both sides, but it never got nasty. There was a healthy and genuine meeting of opposing views.
About the same time, I had been invited to Miami University in Oxford Ohio, by Heather, a young woman who had been an intern with us in the summer of 1999. She was a student at Miami U. who had reached out to the homosexual population to bring the love of Jesus, and, in doing so, developed an extraordinary trust relationship with them.
Once a year she would invite someone from "our side" of the issue to speak to whomever would come, hoping for both Christians and homosexual persons. This year she invited me to speak. I brought Chris, who was taking TCM over from me in May, to give his testimony about coming out of homosexuality.
Heather, Chris, and I spent much of the day posting up notices of the meeting. Everyone knew we were there. That evening when we arrived, the homosexual population was very much in evidence. Of about two hundred persons, around 175 were homosexual or their supporters. God had used Heather to create such an atmosphere of trust that there was no indication of hostility, so typical of such meetings.
I began by telling them that I was there because Heather had invited us, but even more, I was there because I loved them. I loved them, I said, because I worship a God who loves me, and commands me to love my neighbors just like I love myself. And you are my neighbors now. If you would like to meet such a God, join us after we are through tonight.
I went on to describe ways people become homosexual and how God can set us free. Then Chris gave his powerful testimony on his own healing. We spoke for about an hour and a quarter. Every eye was riveted on the speaker. It was an extraordinary blessing in which the love of God opened hearts and minds. Not a single soul stirred in his seat for an hour and a quarter.
The November 2002 "Love Won Out" conference in Springfield, Virginia, was an extraordinary presentation to nearly a thousand friends and relatives of homosexual persons and pastors about freedom from sexual addiction, mostly by persons who had come out of homosexuality. About seventy five to a hundred persons from the "other side" were counter-demonstrating out on the sidewalk. Several of us from the conference went out to mix with them, unplanned, uncoordinated, and spontaneous.
One young lady held a sign with a Scripture verse on one side and something about "being ourselves" on the other. I struck up a conversation. When she had to look in her purse for something, I noted that I agreed with her sign, and said that I would be glad to hold it for her. She had the impression that those inside were hostile to them as persons because that is what their leaders tell them. I replied that that was not the case. Eventually, she said that she would like to go in and listen to some of the presentations. She did not have enough money for registration, but I was able to send her some tapes from the conference.
Later as I spoke to two other women, others gathered around to listen, their ears getting bigger and bigger. One person was hostile, but another fellow said that they did not agree with his tactics. We talked mostly about how both sides can engage in honest and mutually respectful conversation. As I left, I said that I wanted to leave with a spirit of peace, that I respected them as persons, and hoped that they would have the same feeling toward me. One fellow stuck out his hand to shake mine and said that he was amazed that we would come out and talk with them like that. And then several others shook my hand. The deeper issue is not sex. They were hungry for the straight world to say that we love them.
That and many other experiences are living proof that when Christians approach the homosexual community with charity and honesty, communication will happen. If the news ever gets out that there are churches which care for them, which welcome them into their midst, Christians who will pray with them though their journey out of homosexuality, who will find the resources for their journey, we will see a flood exiting the homosexual lifestyle.
In May of 2001, after two and a half years, I resigned from TCM to return to Emmaus Ministries, which had been on the shelf, to finish this book which had also been on the shelf, and to bring a seminar to churches teaching how to deal with the homosexual issues.
The Body of Christ is the answer to the homosexual problem, not only because of its enormous potential influence, with a large part of the population listening to their preachers on Sunday, but even more because a mature, healthy Christian community is the most powerful healing and maturing force there is. There is no influence or set of circumstances on earth more powerful than a community of persons dedicated to the lordship of Jesus Christ in all things, both material and spiritual, leading to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit, dedicated to dealing first with their own issues, confessing their own sins, experiencing the forgiveness of God and of one another, and dedicated to healing prayer for emotional, physical, and spiritual issues. Nothing can beat it.
So Emmaus has become again a "school of Christian apologetics", now, for a time, with emphasis on sexuality issues.7
The main issues in our personal relationships and in the public arena are not sexual, they are the issues of honesty in conversation, in evangelism, and in persistent, graceful, and loving presentation of the good news of freedom in Christ.
God is raising up a new Church. In its present state, the churches are little help to the Kingdom of God and not much threat to the kingdom of Satan. They are frightened and ill-equipped, dominated by a spirit of timidity, not of a sound mind, in the public arena. It will require a rebuilt Church to retake and rebuild western civilization -- which is what this book is about.
The times ahead promise to be severe, dark, and troublesome -- the "gay" agenda within, and Islam both within and without. The "gay" agenda and Islam are problems for many of the same reasons -- confusion on gender, an unfriendly image of God, the tendency to politicize all issues, and the incapacity to sustain open, reasonable discussion on the deepest issues of life.
But we are all e-pi-ste-mo-lo-gists. We all have some theory of how we know things. We may have a very primitive notion of how we know, but, on ordinary issues, we generally have some answer when challenged: How do you know that!?
Science is simply knowing things by paying attention to the details, organizing our anecdotes, arranging our perceptions and experiences in some kind of helpful order. So we are not doing anything in this chapter that we do not do all the time, other than, perhaps, paying a little more attention to the details.
We must do this because it is precisely when challenged, "How do you know that homosexuality is not gay? How do you know that it is a same-sex attraction disorder?" that Christians almost universally get scared and back off. The truth is that we are almost always unsure how we know what we know. And then we become unsure of what we know.
The "other side" knows our weakness, and knows precisely how to apply that pressure. However, the "other side" also does not know how it knows -- if anything, less than biblically oriented folks do. But it does know how to manipulate the public discussion, and has little conscience about doing so.
The biggest single reason the homosexualist agenda is making such headway in America today is that Christians do not know how we know what we know, and so we feel stupid when challenged. We do not feel "scientifically" capable. We do not know how to reason in the public arena.
Discussion of homosexuality has proven unproductive, not because there is any great mystery to the matter, but because, both sides, pro and con, have failed to state clearly the point at issue, to subordinate other issues as they logically fit under that primary issue, and to force the discussion onto the facts. It is difficult to find the answer to a question that is poorly stated and long lost in the noise of confused debate. There is no issue at all, let alone sex, which can be reasonably and compassionately resolved when those in the debate slip and slide, dodge and weave, rather than anchor themselves in a common commitment to truth-seeking, that is, to the compassionate and person-honoring discipline of fact and logic -- at any cost to themselves.
The larger sexuality issue is not homosexuality, but pansexuality, the view of the so-called sex revolution that all expressions of sexual activity, all sexual orientations, have equal moral standing, and that the only relevant question is whether one finds that orientation and activity "fulfilling", i.e. whether it makes one feel good.
The sex revolution never had even a teaspoon of empirical or logical backing. It rode in on the coattails of negative perceptions of biblical morality and on the coattails of rebellion against authority promoted by persons of high place in the media, education, and the Church -- never effectively countered by Christians.
The "good news" of sexual liberation is a major selling point of the anti-biblical, secular/pagan worldview, seeing the cosmos as an independent, self-sufficient entity, under no authority of God, and dependent on no power but its own for its existence.
The joy of the Lord has to be replaced with something, and, for many, uninhibited sexual pleasure has been elected. Being fully human can no longer be tied to real relationships, which might imply moral responsibility, and so being fully human is reduced to being sexually active. Lord Eros has replaced Lord Christ, and in place of a substantial Kingdom of God built for eternity, many now promote a "virtual" pleasure-kingdom of this world built for the evanescent but high-pitched moment.
That statement could be either true or false, and we need to know which. Does God, or does He not, approve of homosexual behavior? And does God, or does He not, intentionally create persons with a homosexual "orientation"?
If the answer to those questions is, "Yes, He does so approve and create...," then the debate is ended, and, like it or not, we are left with the task of adjusting ourselves to that fact of life. We are faced with integrating the homosexual lifestyle into the culture in which we live.
But, if God does not approve of homosexual behavior, and has not created a homosexual orientation, then likewise, the primary issue is settled, and we are left with the task of dealing morally, pastorally, and legally with the fact that there are persons who do live that lifestyle and who, for whatever reasons, feel either trapped in it or very accommodated to it.
Many on both sides have appealed to the growing heaps of allegedly scientific evidence to support their positions. However, the task and competence of empirical science is not to decide the moral or spiritual realities (whether homosexual behavior is right or wrong), it is rather to tell us the biological, psychological, sociological, etc., possibilities and realities. Empirical sciences, independently of revelation, cannot tell us what God has said on an issue, because God speaks for Himself. God alone can tell us what His purpose for creation, or any part of it, might be.
One cannot prove, for example, that homosexuality is either approved or not approved by God on genetic evidence. Genetic causality, if it were so, might "suggest" that God had created such persons, but proof would still be lacking because clearly, not all genetically caused conditions are good or from God. Genetic processes can be just as fallen as anything else.
On the other hand, the empirical evidence in a given area might help us understand why God might say "yes" or "no" to homosexuality. In a world created by God, common sense would tell us to expect revelation and empirical science to agree. Empirical science may also help us understand how to proceed with a given situation in the light of what we see to be His will. But the empirical sciences cannot, of themselves, speak for God.
If homosexual advocates can show that homosexuality is indeed approved by God, that homosexual behavior is a physically healthy behavior in which to engage, and that as an "orientation", homosexuality is psychologically healthy, then we will stand with homosexual advocates and publicly support their cause.
But on the other hand, if the evidence shows that God does not approve of homosexuality, that homosexual behavior produces disease and death, and that homosexuality as an orientation is not "natural" but compulsive and addictive, then we would ask homosexual advocates if they would be willing to reconsider their position also.
(the chapter continues .............)
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These study guides follow the headings of the Table of Contents, and so provide a good summary of the issues in the book. The study guides can be used for individual or group study to help the reader focus on key issues. The reader who follows through with each question will build a solid understanding of the issues, chapter by chapter.
Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome is caused by HIV, a virus which attacks the immune system. HIV does not itself cause illness and death. It rather erodes the immune system which is then unable to wage war against the opportunistic bacteria and viruses which are all about us, and which are normally kept in check by the healthy immune system.
Is there a communal immune system, and if so, against what does it keep the community immune? Communities also have boundaries -- geographical and legal -- which protect them from invasion and subversion.
The word `religion' comes from the Latin `religio', which means `to bind together, as in `ligament', which binds muscles and bones together, making them a working whole. A "religio" is that which binds a community together into a working whole.
Every community has a "religio", beliefs and practices which give it an identity, which bind it together as a community. One becomes a member, moves inside the boundaries, is "included", by subscribing to those beliefs and practices.
The "religio" is the worldview, which provides understandings of:
where the world comes from;
reason for existence (moral order);
how we know what we know.
These four give the foundation for two more:
social and political order; and
masculine and feminine.
Any erosion of those beliefs and practices will erode the boundaries of the community. A religio can change in a healthy and life-enhancing way, but only if it is succeeded by an at least equally strong and life-giving religio which is a natural outgrowth of the prior religio.
Our "religio" is, of course, our religion. Everyone has one. So it is impossible to isolate religion from the public square, including the political part if it. The "wall" we hear about between government and religion is really a sneaky way for one religion (secularism) to get another one (biblical) to step aside under the illusion of the neutrality of secularism. (We will discuss real neutrality in chapter VI, Godly Winning.)
Nehemiah rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem to repair the damage done seventy years earlier by the Babylonians. He understood, as did local enemies, that the broken walls betrayed a weak Jewish people. When the boundaries of identity are broken, infection rushes in, and the immune system, the religio, is overwhelmed.
A gunshot wound is not a healthy change in boundaries. A loss of communal identity is also not a healthy change in boundaries. The destruction of city walls was the way a victorious enemy drove home the point that a conquered city no longer had an independent identity.
In our analogy, an opportunistic community infection, a virus, might be a heresy or a moral violation which has crept into the fabric of the Church, undermining its very identity in a way much more damaging than even the Assyrian destruction of Jerusalem.
A religio is essential for the education of children. Without a consistent and reasonable worldview, there is nothing to pass on to succeeding generations which can give identity over time. The sense in which I can look back on my forefathers begins to diminish if I do not have a worldview in common with them. A worldview is essential to our identity, both personal and corporate.
Despite what we hear from our multiculturalists, what we believe makes a big difference -- because not all worldviews are created equal. Those societies are the most stable which have traditions embodying their worldview which can be passed on to their children through stories, songs, hymns, celebrations, and most importantly, worship.
After the terrorists struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, there was for a while almost everywhere an awareness that multiculturalism was "over", and that some cultures were not as good as others. At least, it seemed, those cultures which fostered participatory democracy had an edge over those which were despotic and taught even young children to carry out suicide terrorist missions.
But the old multiculturalism has reasserted itself, particularly on the European continent, partly in the form of anti-Semitism, and also in a strangely uncritical excusing of Islamic terrorism against Israel.
What is almost universally misunderstood is that we do not have a collision merely of cultures, but of worldviews. And more than just abstract worldviews, a collision of religions, a collision of the Imago Dei.
That is as true of the contest between Christendom and pansexualism as it is between Christendom and Islam. We shall look later at some striking parallels between homosexualism and Islamic religion, but our focus here is pansexualism and one of its many offspring, homosexualism.
We are here doing a case study in how two worldviews (that upon which pansexualism is built versus that upon which Judeo-Christian religion is built) go about knowing the truth, engaging in public policy and due process, engaging in gender and sexual relations, and many other things. It is a case study in how the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, deals with the unholy trinity of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The two worldviews are colliding, like two giant galaxies in space, one of spacious fluff vs. the other of hard substance. They are opposed at every possible level -- source of being, selfhood, moral order, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex and gender.
But inhabitants of the biblical galaxy have so lost track of their own boundaries that they can hardly distinguish their own worldview from the realm of specious fluff, darkness, and confusion. Very few Christians would even know what you were talking about if you asked them to describe the biblical worldview.
So pansexual and homosexual forces have well nigh overwhelmed the Christian community because of Christian confusion over the nature of Christianity. Discussion has been carried on in an atmosphere where consensus on the Christian faith has been all but destroyed.
A reasonably clear understanding of the meaning of the word 'Christian' is thus urgently required for the debate about homosexuality to take place because the Church debate is over whether homosexual behavior is consistent with the Christian understanding of the will of God.
(the chapter continues .............)
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Take heed, lest you forget the Lord your God, by not keeping his commandments and his ordinances and his statutes, which I command you this day: lest, when you have eaten and are full, and have built goodly houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage... Deuteronomy 8:11 ff.
"The Church has AIDS!" has been used to get our attention by persons promoting AIDS education both in schools and in the Church. "The Church has AIDS!" -- letting us know that both lay Christians and clergy have contracted AIDS and have died. "Christians get it too...! -- it is not just a secular problem!"
The point is stressed to take the heat off the moral issue by deflecting attention from the fact that AIDS is contracted almost always through illicit activity -- illicit sex and/or sharing drug needles. Persons who obey the law of God almost never get AIDS, and never through their own fault. Christian people in such a situation clearly must take seriously their obligations to minister to AIDS patients, regardless of how they contracted this disease -- for which there are palliatives, but no known cure, and for which the death-rate, barring an act of God, approaches 100%.8
AIDS stands for "acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome". The immune system of the victim is undermined so badly that he can no longer defend against the many, ever-present infectious viruses and bacteria. A person rarely, if ever, dies of the HIV virus. He dies from AIDS, from being unable to fend off the numerous opportunistic diseases which attack the body.
Communities of belief as well as individuals also get infected, and communities of belief have immune systems. The immune systems are, as with our bodies and our psyches, to protect the proper functioning of our cultural organs, our social boundaries, our national or ecclesiastical identities. We have a corporate immune system to protect our "religio", that which binds us together so that we do not corporately disintegrate.
The spiritual warfare all about us, of which the pansexual incursions are only one facet, is about the forces of the Fall undermining the spiritual and corporate integrity of the Kingdom as it manifests itself on earth, primarily in the Church itself.
The diseases of the Church are heresies, moral decay, always some form of walking off the Hand of God and listening to some voice other than the Voice of God. God is our source of life and freedom. God is our source of meaning and direction.
The choice of Adam and Eve to eat from the forbidden tree cast them into a world in which they had no immunity from the slings and arrows of their increasingly outrageous fortune. The price of their pseudo-freedom would have been higher than they could have imagined -- had God not warned them.
God was not against their being like Him; He had made them in His own image. And God was not against knowledge or against their making decisions freely; He had given them rational freewill. He was against only their making decisions independently of Himself, their only source of life. The Tree of Abundant Life was theirs to eat from. All the blessings of heaven were theirs, nothing of truth, righteousness, or love was withheld. But they needed to follow directions.
The immune system of the Church is our trust in the Hand of God and our obedience to His Voice. The Bible is the repository of truth which God had inspired His authors to pen through nearly 2000 years of history from Abraham through the early Church. In much the same sense that the American constitution, with the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents, is the standard for what it means to be an American, so also the Bible is the standard for what it means to be in covenant relation with God in Christ, i.e., to be a Christian. The Bible is the constitutional document of the Christian community. It tells us what constitutes the Christian community.
Just as a compass and charts are the immune system of a ship at sea, a protection against getting lost, so the Bible is our immune system against loss of boundaries and identity. The Bible is the constitutional document of the Church, that which supplies the meaning of being a Christian. When we depart from our biblical basis, it becomes impossible to sustain our identity with Christian clarity.
But then we must be honest people, say that Christianity was a failure, and go our separate way -- rather than deserting the faith, all the while hanging onto institutions and forms of faith, pretending to be Christians, hoping to cash in on the influence of forty centuries of accumulated moral and spiritual capital without paying the dues of honest covenant relationship.
On the other hand, if the Bible in fact points to the truth and to Him Who Is, then we depart from it at our peril. When we depart from Scriptural norms, when we lose sight of the biblical worldview, when we cast ourselves adrift from the accumulated wisdom and experience of our forefathers, we then put ourselves in the position of having to re-invent the wheel of truth. We are no longer able to define our boundaries or our identity as a community. We lose our capacity to distinguish right from wrong, good from evil, life from death.
Living off memory is not, by itself, enough. We must be fed by a living relationship with a living God. If we are not led by the Self-revelation of God, both the past and present, we become subject to the lethal power of lies, deceit, error, and manipulation. We become unable to distinguish friend from foe. We find two religions on the floor of denominational debate and can hardly distinguish the one from the other. We fire again upon our Savior and His people, the faithful truth-seekers. And, witting or not, we befriend our lethal enemies, that unholy trinity: the world, the flesh, and the father of lies. And the next generation is lost.
As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, rams and he-goats. Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must foul the rest with your feet. And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet? Ezekiel 34:17 ff.
How could a well-educated, technologically sophisticated American society with a powerful biblical history and underpinning allow itself to be abused by persons whose stated goals included subversion of that biblical heritage and the substitution of its total opposite and mortal enemy -- the secular/pagan worldview with all that implied? Why would apparently well educated people allow, even agree to, others putting rings in their noses to be led around like cattle?
The Christian community underwent three historical phases over the last 150 years which led to the collapse of our biblical immune system, and hence to the secularization and now neo-paganization of the 20th century. The collapse of spiritual integrity in the Church was part and parcel of the same drift in the public arena of politics and education. The two cannot be understood apart from each other. Had the Churches intelligently held their spiritual ground, America could not have taken the present path to self-destruction.
Some say that the Western Churches have lost their spiritual leadership. Contrary to appearances, the Churches have indeed been the spiritual leaders of America -- only in the wrong direction, like "Wrong-Way Jones" who picked up a football fumble and ran for a touchdown in the wrong direction.
(the chapter continues .............)
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We are using "gay" in skeptical quotes (as "liberal" and "conservative") because homosexuality is anything but gay. `Homosexual' refers to those who are sexually attracted to persons of the same sex, regardless of their moral or political stance on homosexuality. "Gay", on the other hand, refers to those who promote the homosexual lifestyle. Many homosexual persons are not "gay" and want out, as increasing numbers are doing. Many, many more would if churches would let it be known that homosexual strugglers were welcome and loved.
We have illustrated the extraordinary successes of the pansexual-homosexual agenda in the Church and in America, and we will see even more evidence of the swill and degradation gaining access not only to adults, but specifically targeted to our children.
Strictly speaking, homosexuality is not "the" problem. Homosexuality, in a morally sane and scientific setting, is only "a" problem. A same-sex attraction disorder could be dealt with, just as any other moral or medical pathology. It could be studied, understood, and either affirmed or rejected as a legitimate behavior and lifestyle
Behind the homosexual problem is homosexualism. "The" problem is "gay", the aggressive and deceitful promotion of a lifestyle which would gain little public support if the facts were candidly discussed and debated.
The "they" in this case is not all those persons attracted to the same sex -- many of whom desperately want out. It is rather those who insist at any cost, even their own lives, on promoting homosexual behavior and lifestyle as not only acceptably mainstream America, but even superior to traditional or biblical ways. The anti-scientific and immoral campaign of the homosexualists and pansexualists, not primarily homosexuality itself, is the sexuality problem America, and indeed the world, faces.
But, behind even the homosexualist agenda itself is a long history of even more insidious subversion. The homosexual agenda has had at least a century of preparation. Our marvelously stable culture was, to a significant degree, invested in the biblical worldview which had to be scuttled to pave the way for sexual liberation. The closed-circle world of the Fall had to be inserted in place of the open universe of the biblical worldview.
But (and here we reach the bottom of the barrel), subversion of the biblical worldview could be done only by subverting of the truth-seeking process itself. The two crown jewels of Western Civ, science and due process, had to be commandeered. And that necessitated taking control of education and government in America.
AIDS was first known as GRID -- Gay-Related Immune Disorder. As the scope of the AIDS disaster for the "gay" community became known in the early 1980's, and its relation to the massively promiscuous behavior of homosexual persons...
The reaction in the "gay" community was indeed swift, but startlingly unexpected. Not only did the "gay" community not mobilize to attack GRID, they worked to ensure that GRID would not be perceived -- by either the medical profession or the public -- as in any way related directly to their sexual way of life.10
A part of the denial program involved homosexualist efforts to prevent anyone knowing who was HIV infected because that might expose a homosexual person to scrutiny and interfere with his "entitlement" to uninhibited sexual orgasm. The possibility that such persons were victims of a terribly addictive condition was never publicly aired as a possibility. It might, it was feared, expose him to harassment on the job, loss of medical insurance, and a host of other behaviors which did happen, especially in the early panic-filled years of AIDS.
Partner tracing and notification is a primary disease control strategy -- finding out from whom a patient got the disease, and whom he may have infected. Such standard epidemic control measures came to be forbidden by law due to homosexualist pressure. So AIDS became (perhaps) the world's first legally protected disease.
Chandler Burr wrote critically of the homosexualist war against epidemiological measures, for which he was labeled "homophobe".11 He replied that he was a practicing homosexual only trying to save lives.
In Sweden, a very "liberated" society, has very aggressive HIV testing, public health agency notification, and partner tracing and notification. Their rate of AIDS is about fourteen times less than in the United States.12 The deterrence effect of knowing you will be traced if you engage in disease producing activities is considerable.
On the one hand we must decide how best to counter the tactics of intimidation and refute the false claims of a group that operates in the hostile mode of raw, power politics. On the other hand we must retain the profound compassion and the fellow-feeling toward individual homosexuals that we ourselves need and yearn for from others....
(the chapter continues .............)
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5. Would you agree that, apart from spiritual renewal, getting government totally out of education would be the greatest help in returning government to being the servant, not the owner, of the people? How would you explain your answer to someone? Find someone with whom to test your newfound knowledge.
Getting the truth is the first step toward redemption. Otherwise, like money, cheap truth drives out substantial truth. Honest scientific and academic study is costly, but it is a tool from God for turning on the light.
It is not our task in this chapter to repeat the overwhelming array of evidence which has already been given full treatment by other authors, but rather to give only an outline of the facts and to point the reader interested in follow-up to the many readily obtainable sources of information.14
On the other hand, if the evidence should show that God does not approve, or that homosexual behavior is not a healthy way to behave, then we would ask if supporters of homosexuality would be willing to reconsider their position.
Our purpose is to draw appropriate conclusions so that passion can be guided by the light of Godly reason -- and thereby become moral passion. Our purpose is to connect the dots, to link the hard evidence of the empirical sciences with biblical theology and common sense wisdom, and to show how an interlocking network of objective truth emerges with a very clear answer to our two questions:
What is evidence if not that which the light reveals? And what do we hide from when we prefer darkness, if not the evidence revealed by the light? All systematic subversion of truth is one form or another of hiding from, or trying to snuff, the light.
Evasion of the evidence is "loving the darkness rather than light because our deeds are evil" -- running for the bushes, throwing up smoke and mirrors, or just being too lazy and apathetic to find out.
That many persons approve of homosexuality and willingly participate does not prove the homosexualist case. Participation and advocacy are not proof of either goodness or healthiness, only reasons for raising those two issues to be assessed.
The evidence appears to us clear and unambiguous: as a condition, homosexuality is compulsive (without help, it is nearly impossible to stop) and addictive (one gets hooked on specific targets); as a behavior, it is lethal (they are killing themselves) and immoral (God says "no"). We believe that nothing good of any substance can be said for homosexuality or the homosexual lifestyle.
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. There for it is said,
Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead
and Christ shall give you light. Ephesians 5:11-14
We have been concentrating as much on the perverse nature of the discussion as on homosexuality itself. Now we delve into the nature of homosexuality as scientific evidence shows it to be, beginning with a description of typical homosexual behavior. What are we actually talking about when we discuss homosexuality? We have referred to anecdotal examples of homosexual behavior reported in the press. But what do researchers come up with?
We caution the reader again that there are varieties of homosexual persons, that the profile below does not fit those who are same-sex attracted but who struggle to live a Godly moral life, who, if they must bear with such attractions, are determined to remain chaste. Nor does our profile fit those in the process of exiting homosexuality. We have no statistics for behavior among those persons other than where studies are now being made with respect to change of orientation. Our profile below is for that group of persons who self-identify as homosexual and who are, in one degree or another, participating in "the lifestyle".
Homosexuality, as well as the much larger pansexual movement for which it is riding point, must be confronted directly, honestly, and compassionately. An effective and loving answer to the homosexual lobby will be in large measure an effective answer, not only to the whole range of pansexual advocates, but many other issues as well -- as indicated by those issues we have raised in the foregoing chapters. Learning how to deal with homosexuality is a school in Christian apologetics on many fronts.
We again call attention to the difference between homosexual persons and homosexualism or "gayness". Many honest, well-meaning persons find themselves sexually attracted to members of the same sex, yet want to find the truth of the matter and desire to obey God, whatever the outcome might be on the homosexual issue. Compassion toward a person who wants to be free of the homosexual lifestyle does not include denying him or her the resources for doing so. Nor does compassion for the convinced "gay" advocate include not telling him or her the often painful truth about his condition and attitude. Compassion will always have the structure of truth.
Homosexuality is understood two ways: behavior and "orientation". Behavior refers to all those activities in which homosexual persons typically engage. Orientation is the predisposition to engage in those activities.
Much of the discussion focuses around "orientation". Is this predisposition a given, totally unchosen by the person, as would be true if genetically inherited? Or like a learned habit, with therapy or training, can it be changed and "re-oriented"?
The answer being flooded into the Christian consciousness in the Church and into the American consciousness via the media is that you will find nothing extraordinary, only your neighbor, or perhaps your relative, going about his or her business, wanting affection, love, companionship, and "sexual expression" -- just like all the rest of us.
But the picture one finds on the scientific level, as on the anecdotal, interested observer level, tells quite a different story than "normality", and can be ignored only by a denial of a mountain of facts, and at the peril of our civilization.
Rabbi Dennis Prager wrote about the Jewish attitude toward homosexuality. Western civilization could not have happened, he says, had not the Hebrews limited sexual expression to monogamous, heterosexual marriage. Christianity inherited and carried these values into Western Civilization. Granted the many failures of the West, it was nevertheless the self-disciplining of our gender energies implied by that limitation which enabled the extraordinary gifts bestowed by God on mankind through Western Civ.15
(the chapter continues .............)
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If we are servants of the Lord, and if our vindication is from Him, how is this to be? How will we recognize our vindication, and how will we know it is from the Lord -- unless something happens that can be explained only by the Lord's intervention? Being partners with God, as was Elijah, in staging just such events is the topic of this chapter. That is how we win. That is the evidence only God can provide, and that is the foundation of our Christian witness.
This chapter on winning, and the next on healing are the Good News chapters, in hot pursuit of the new possibility of winning this enormous contest. We are looking forward in the grace and mercy of God to winning the battle for truth and compassion, and for Him who is the Lord of both truth and compassion.
Godly Winning is a lesson in Christian apologetics, the principles of which will be transferable to almost any other arena. Godly Winning is about the strategy of God for winning the whole of the world back for Himself. The strategy in sexuality issues is not fundamentally different from that in any other issue. We are thus applying the fundamentals of Godly spiritual warfare to the case before us.
The strategy of God is for God Himself to act in such a way that you cannot help talking about it, and that could be explained only by His intervention. Sometimes He acts sovereignly without anyone's cooperation -- as in creation itself. Often He requires our cooperation, our willingness to put ourselves at risk, trusting His intervention. That is how God establishes a testimony in Israel.
We urge all interested in sexual sanity to get engaged in the struggle. Do something. Survival (they say) is not a spectator sport. We recommend the booklet, Dialogue in Darkness, which supplements our discussion on the details of the enemy's strategy and a Godly response.16
It was said by conservatives (in the Episcopal Church) of Edmund Browning as he was being made the new Presiding Bishop, and it was then said of Frank Griswold, Browning's successor, "Let's give him a chance to prove himself."
Those who say such things rarely come to the point where the person in question is acknowledged to have indeed proven himself either way. There is a difference between what passes for "giving him a chance to prove himself" and insisting on clarity and candor in discussion. The charade continues on, each side jockeying to out maneuver the other, with the person at the institutional head holding all the advantages.
The truth is that each had long ago already adequately proven themselves to be uninterested in truth or in biblical faith and practice. So the effect of "giving them a chance" turned out to be letting them set the agenda, define the rules of the discussion, and keep those concerned for honest Christianity always on the defensive.
We are not dealing with persons who have any track record for seeking honest science or honest religion. We are dealing with persons who almost universally are forced into dishonesty and subversion because they have no credible case to present on objective grounds. But they apparently cannot fathom any need to repent.
With whom are we dealing? We are dealing, in the final analysis, with persons who do not want either truth, righteousness, or love. They want to feel good, and they want to control things so they can continue to feel good. Their god is their bellies.
Many of them, of course, are simply deluded. They do not know what they are doing. No one has ever told them of a better way. Many are desperately broken and hurting people. Christians must find them and show them the Way, even though we will run into some who are evil-minded enemies of the Way.
But the fallen world is defenseless against God. The gates of hell will not prevail. So we need to learn the goals and strategy of God. We need to know how the debate would go if we were doing it right -- "Come, let us reason together...."
It is good to see ahead, which is why we turn on our headlights at night. But that does not help much unless one knows, not only where one does not want to get (in the ditch), but where one does want to get, the point of it all. Our goals will give us the test to tell when we have succeeded. We must push our opposition, likewise, to state their goals, so that we can know what "success" means to them.
1. Truth, the foundation of everything else;
2. Righteousness, we must do whatever we do righteously by our best lights;
3. Love, we must do whatever we do with a loving spirit toward all persons.
Mother Theresa was asked by a derelict whom she had picked up off the streets, "Why are you doing this?" She responded, "Because I love you."
Discussion and dialogue not agreed on these foundations will never come to stable conclusions. These are universal non-negotiables.
Secondly, we must understand the non-negotiable items in the Christian faith, those things which define the meaning of being Christian, the Christian worldview and identity:
If we get these questions wrong, we will never know how to be compassionate toward persons with same-sex attraction. For those who insist on discerning truth only by how they feel, there is a crash coming. The homosexual population is being betrayed by ignorant, immature, and/or cynical leadership. They are crashing already.
But if we get these questions right, the opposing cause will not survive. We can get these answers right because the answers are relatively easy to discern, at least for persons who can admit that they are fallible, who, if they are on the wrong track, really want to know, and who are willing to let the evidence speak for itself.
If faith, in its four-fold form, is indeed the working definition of truth-seeking (the "operational" definition of `truth'), then the faith-process is the foundation of Godly strategy. Fact and logic, as appropriate to any given area, are the tools of the strategy.
Getting the facts about the will of God is our beginning point, and then thinking with rigorous clarity from those facts to our conclusions. "Come, let us reason together..." is first of all an invitation to prayer, honest conversation with God. Prayer and Bible study are the means to knowing in fact what God has in mind for us. Without a consistent prayer life, we personally will unravel, and our efforts will unravel, because the hostility of the world, the flesh, and the devil and the gravitational pull of our self-centeredness are always at work. Prayer, Bible study, the sacraments, and fellowship are what open the circle between us and God. It is all about relationship.
In the public arena, the Church must digest both science and due process, or continue paying a terrible price for failure. We must learn again how to force a manipulated discussion back onto the truth of the matter.
What, then, are the ground-rules to insist upon for any "table" at which we sit -- which will tell us when we have reached success? We will know there has been success in the process of dialogue and debate when we see
1. honest observation of fact;
2. logical deductions from observations;
3. mutual respect, agreeing to hear each other's viewpoints;
4. a freedom to critique viewpoints on their merits;
5. stating each other's case in terms that the other would accept;
6. stating the terms on which one's own case might be disproved.
The last two points are important for enforcing honesty. I must state my opposition's position honestly, in terms that he would recognize. I need to keep asking, "Is this what you meant?" Gently forcing clarity.
For example, the conservative side could say that if the opposition could show reasonable evidence for God approving of homosexuality, or for believing that homosexual practices were quite safe to engage in, our case would be seriously compromised.
We must insist on homosexual advocates providing us with similar terms which they would accept as counting significantly against their case for homosexuality. What would we have to show to prove to them that their position was in error?
Real life, of course, is not so well laid out as our textbook points might suggest, so we must learn to stand in the midst of confusion, smoke, and mirrors, trusting that as we look for what God is doing in the noise and confusion, He will make Himself known to us.
Some will object: "But I have my personal relation with Jesus Christ. What else do I need?" To which one might respond, "You may need a well-informed, intelligent personal relation with Jesus Christ. Consider the alternative."
(the chapter continues .............)
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1. Explain the "liberal" sense of everyone winning, and why that is an impossibility.
2. Explain why deceit (passing out falsified roadmaps) is always in the end, self-defeating.
3. How would you explain to someone how everyone can win?
4. If you found yourself in the midst of a "conservative" "ain't it awful" discussion, how would you encourage the participants?
5. Explain the difference between what we are called to do in the "winning" process and what we must step back and let God do.
1. How is the father-image in homosexuality and in Islam similar?
2. Why is there a strong drift in both Islam and homosexuality toward power?
3. Why have there been such similar responses in America to two apparently disconnected situations?
4. Why are both Islam and homosexuality both fundamentally spiritual issues?
1. What just might trigger Armageddon?
2. How realistic are the four principles for taking a city for Christ?
3. Would you want to b engaged in "city reaching"?
4. Would your church?
We are shifting our focus from the contentious arena of persons defending, justifying, and acting out their same-sex attractions to the arena of pastoral care, forgiveness, healing, and discipleship, to those who struggle to come out of the homosexual lifestyle, to find their God-given heterosexual nature, and in many cases, to get married and raise children. They are a group rarely mentioned either in the media or in Christian circles.
If Christians were paying more attention to these people as much as some wail about the activists, the picture in the Church and in America would take a new turn. The Christian community must repent of its fear, ignorance, and self-righteousness toward homosexual persons, especially toward those who want help.
In one sense, our book is more about these persons than about the activists. If God does not approve, if homosexual behavior is self-destructive, and if Christians are to minister to the needy, then here is where Christians ought to spend most of their efforts concerning homosexual, and indeed, pansexual, issues. We hope that our efforts in the previous chapters will help catapult Christians forward to honest, open, loving relations with such strugglers. The dividends would be enormous.
Those struggling to exit homosexuality are occasionally debated as "an issue" but rarely met and loved as persons by the public in general or by churches. They are demonized by homosexual activists because they give the lie to the claim that one cannot change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation.
In 2002, partly due to the drop-off in giving because of the downturn in the economy and the fright caused by the September 2001 terrorist attacks, many Christians ministries had closed. As we have seen, one of those is Love and Action, the best known nation-wide Christian ministry to persons with HIV-AIDS. Christians should be supporting these ministries with time and tithe.
One survey reported that only about 3% percent of churches had any notion of reaching out to persons with homosexuality or with HIV/AIDS. (That is on a level with the only 2% of homosexual persons who even plan to be monogamous in their relationships.) Can it be that only 3% of Christians even plan to pick up their crosses daily and follow Jesus in this area? It is a comment on the self-centeredness and uncaring spirit abroad among Christians, and especially pastors, in America.
But most of all, we must minister to the broken lives caught in a horrendously addictive sexual condition, often complicated by other health issues. Only with the undergirding of hands-on compassion can the Church deal rightly with the contentious issues of homosexual activism.
Lay to heart all the words which I enjoin upon you this day, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no trifle for you, but it is your life, and thereby you shall live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to possess. (Deuteronomy 32:47)
It has become an accepted notion that professional healers are not to "impose their moral views" on their clients -- presumably because that would be destructive to the healing process. It is not only an accepted notion, it is often enforced with severe penalties by professional associations and sometimes civil government. Moral opinions are swiftly and increasingly becoming the target of so-called "hate-crime" laws specifying, for example, "sexual orientation",
i.e., to protect homosexual addiction.
It is the biblical position, to the contrary, that one's relation with God is primary to healing of the whole person. One's reason for existence, the only objective basis for morality, cannot be left out from one's sense of identity and personhood. To omit God is to undercut the very stability of personhood. As our two-worldview discussion indicates, without God there is no stability of personhood.....
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. He destined us in love to be His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished upon us. For He has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of His will, according to His purpose which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Ephesians 1:3 ff.
Are these not the stories of reason wedded to revelation? and of truth wedded to love? Are these not the stories of persons who have reconnected their deepest feelings with responsible moral relationship? the inner healing of gender?
Are these not persons in whom God has significantly reversed the Fall which Paul describes in Romans 1, who find their freedom to be themselves in the worship of their Creator, not of sexualized creatures? ....
And finally, we leave where we began in Chapter I, pointing to the beginning of a new Elijah adventure of outreach into the hearts and minds of our people and into the public arena. We offer our challenge for you to take with you on your Elijah venture:
(the chapter continues .............)
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[NOTE: there follows in the book an appendix with extended, annotated bibliography, and index.]
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