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Dear Episcopal Leader,
I am an Episcopal priest who has watched our Church self-destruct over the four decades of my ministry, due mostly to our own "conservative" ineptness at engaging the spiritual war which is upon us. I very much appreciated the recent article by Archbishop Akinola, "Why I object to homosexuality...", and am grateful that the Third World Primates are holding our feet to fire here in Western Christendom. Sadly, we Western conservative Christians have done (or failed to do) much to create most of our own problem. There are some problems we have created and which only we, in the Lord, can resolve.
My experience has been that the spiritual leadership almost anywhere in Western Christendom is unable or unwilling to take the spiritual war over sexuality in which we are engaged onto enemy ground. We are constantly reacting, and never attacking. But, as Napoleon remarked, "The logical end of defensive warfare is to surrender." The Episcopal Church has essentially surrendered. We need not have lost this war, and we need not continue losing it.
The primary case is the homosexual agenda, concerning which I would like to offer suggestions because I know that we are in a winnable war. I have been writing on homosexual issues since 1987, and spent two and a half years leading Transformation Christian Ministries in the Washington, DC, area, an Exodus ministry helping people out of homosexuality. (You can read my "bio" at http://theroadtoemmaus.org/EM/Fox/EFox.htm.)
Though the issues are very complex, if we begin from the proper initial premises, things begin to fall together in remarkable fashion. On the other hand, as someone said: "One false premise -- and logic does the rest."
An initial false premise most Western Christians believe today is that reason (e.g., science) and revelation (the Bible) are opposed to each other. That belief, prominent in the West since at least the mid-1800's, has caused more trouble, probably, than any other error which Christians have made. It has allowed unbelievers to erect secular science as a pseudo-religion for Western Civilization.
As one of the early Church Fathers said, "God wrote two books." There is first, the Book of Creation, and then, the Book of Scripture. God wrote the Book of Scripture because we so badly messed up the first Book, to get us back to being creatures again, rather than independent, autonomous decision-makers. We in the West got so lost from our own creaturehood that we could not take seriously in public discussion any more the most basic of all Biblical doctrines -- the doctrine of Creation. (Hence the victory of secular "evolution".)
When an Author writes two books, one can expect the books to agree, not contradict. The way to read the Book of Creation is through careful observation and accurate, logical reasoning from observations -- i.e., the methods of science. So reason (science) and faith/revelation (the Bible) can hardly be opposed to each other. God is the Author of both.
Thus we Christians ought to be the best scientists (as well as Bible scholars) in the world, not holding science as suspect, and not believing the misinformation from the secular folks that they invented science. Science as we know it could never have arisen apart from the Biblical worldview -- which alone, of all the worldviews, says that the cosmos is both good and rational, and thus worthy of the enormous effort required to scientifically investigate the world. No other religion or philosophy says, or can say, that -- not with consistency.
In the Bible, reason and revelation are always wedded, never opposed. God called to us, "Come, let us reason together...." (Is 1:18) probably two centuries before any philosophers appeared in western history. Reasoning is basic to God's approach to the Fallen world -- get us into an open, honest discussion about reality. Living in the Light. Unfortunately, John 3:19 generally wins in our souls, and we do not show up for the discussion. We prefer darkness to the Light.
In I Kings 18, we read an astonishing story. Elijah throws down a logical challenge, "How long will you go limping with two opinions? If Baal be God we will go with him, but if the Lord be God, we will go with Him." And then a challenge to examine the empirical evidence. The true God would show up to prove His own case.
The appeals to logic and to empirical evidence are the methods of science. The rough-and-readiness in this case might be excused because this was about 900 BC, five centuries before any philosophers or scientists appeared even in Greece. Elijah had not been trained as a scientist. God was training him on the spot.
The Bible always, without exception, treats reason as a good thing, never "the devil's harlot" (as some Christians have said), but a part of the Imago Dei. We call Jesus the Logos, the Reason of God. God, not secular philosophers, owns the intellectual, moral, and spiritual high ground (they all go together). And He is challenging His people to join Him there. That is where we are given the two-edged Sword of the Spirit. We Christians (of all people) seem to have a hard time taking Him up on the invitation, so we are losing the war. If we cannot participate in honest conversation with God, we will never be able to draw others into such a conversation on the hard issues.
The very readily available empirical evidence on homosexuality gives a picture of a compulsive, lethal addiction, not a true lifestyle. This, of course, does not agree with the alleged evidence touted by the various scientific organizations in America (the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and many others).
We give scientific organizations enormous authority over our lives because they promise us the truth about their subject matter. But these organizations are often run through with intellectual and moral corruption equal to the worst that has happened in the Church. They have betrayed the public and are not speaking the truth on the homosexual issues. They are not at all scientific, they are driven by a political sexual agenda.
So, the watchmen in the towers have betrayed the people. Being trained as a scientist does not, by itself, make one honest -- sometimes only a more clever criminal. But we Christians must understand both science and the Bible to see through the confusion, deception, and ignorance.
The only way to launch a successful response to the homosexual agenda is to combine reason with revelation. That is the Biblical way. Studying the Book of Creation (in this case, a scientific analysis of homosexuality) gives us a picture of the problem. Studying the Book of Scripture gives us a picture of the solution. Once we see the problem clearly, it is easy to see why God says, "No". As long as the problem is kept in unclarity, the world can make it look as though it has a valid case contrary to the word of God.
Another article on this website summarizes the Biblical and the empirical, scientific evidence easily available on homosexuality (see http://theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/22SxSo/BroSx/Html/ShrtEvid.htm).
The evidence shows that homosexuality is not an identity, and that the behavior is addictive, massively disease-producing, and lethal. No loving God would create persons that way or permit such behavior. The two Books, Scripture and Creation, agree.
Honest researchers (see especially http://www.narth.com) and healers (see http://www.exodus-international.org ) are doing excellent work, but they are not given media time. The factual case is so one-sided as to be embarrassing. There is no good reason why we should have lost the Episcopal Church to homosexualism because the empirical evidence all supports the Biblical stance. But our people have been incapable of putting reason and revelation together, which has given the Church (and even worse, God) the reputation for being closed-minded, arbitrary, and not interested in the truth. God can hardly appreciate that.
Another article on this website (http://theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/22SxSo/BroSx/Html/Strtgy1pg.htm) gives what I believe to be a strategy for quickly bringing the matter to a head.
The homosexualist goal is total freedom and mandatory (legal, coerced) universal approval for engaging in homosexual behavior -- nevermind that it is lethal. Pleasure-producing behaviors are what homosexual advocates are really concerned about. All the rest (marriage, diversity, love) is diversion, and just more opportunity for exposing their propaganda to the public. They are all rabbit trails down which we get lost, and diverted from the behavioral issue -- which, to survive, they must keep hidden from the public. We need not continue letting them.
Because of this deception, the homosexual discussion has been carried on for several decades with the two primary issues prevented from being clarified --
(1) What is homosexual behavior and its consequences? and,
(2) Homosexuality is at least a behavior, but is it an identity also?
Until we clarify these two issues, we, quite literally, do not know what we are talking about. That is a losing way to handle a discussion because the opposition knows how to use our unclarity to its own advantage.
Until homosexual advocates are forced in public to admit to the specific behaviors in which homosexual persons engage, the public will continue to believe (even if very uncomfortably) that such behavior is benign. We must expose the works of darkness. The homosexualist appeal to "fairness", "inclusiveness", "compassion", etc., will almost always emotionally trump any discomfort people might have -- until the public sees what the behavior really is, and what disastrous effects it has on the lives of those who engage in it.
Clarity always favors truth, and unclarity always favors falsehood. Forcing public clarity on ugly behavior will not be easy, but the alternative is to have the behavior forced on the public without the clarity. We thus have two choices: the behavior will be forced on the public by those who wish to practice it, or the correct information about the behavior will be forced on the public by those who realize how devastating it is. The public must know. We Christians must we willing to get our hands dirty to clean up the mess.
We need not be unkind or rude. Forcing the issue can be done gracefully, by simply asking the "other side" to clarify for the public those items for which they want approval -- namely the behavior. Asking for clarity on the very issue at stake, the very item being asked for public approval, is not rude or unkind, it is an eminently reasonable request. The unkindness comes from ignorance and cowardice on the orthodox side, and from the deceit and manipulation on the homosexualist side, which undermine such a request.
If they will not give the appropriate explanation, we can present what we understand to be a list of their behaviors, and ask if this is accurate. If they think not, we can ask them for their more accurate list. Those are just common-sense first steps, always putting the burden back on the homosexual advocates for clarity. The conversation/dialogue should never be allowed to proceed further until the behaviors are laid openly on the table because the behavior is the key issue at stake.
When truth is not spoken with clarity, the two edges of the Sword of the Spirit are dulled. We have not forced clarity into the discussion, and thus leave our own people confused and discouraged. Our side has shown the public no clear ground in which we anchor our case because we tolerate unclarity about homosexual behavior. That is why homosexualists can carry on their absurd endless "dialogue", drifting (because manipulated) always in their own direction.
If leadership is about anything, it is about clarity, as George Washington remarked, raising a standard to which the good and the brave can repair. Speaking the truth in love will produce two things: (1) The truth will begin to win (attracting believers because it can be spoken with clarity and grace), and (2) there will be a very hostile response. Persecution. Our leadership must hold our feet to the fire on these issues. And the people must likewise hold the feet of the leadership.
Please let me know if this strategy of insisting on the crucial clarity seems to you to be of the Lord. If I can be of help in clarifying or implementing it, I will travel wherever necessary. With the internet, etc., of course, much can be done at a distance.
May the Lord continue to embolden and guide you as we seek His
will for the correction and healing of His Church.
Blessings in Christ, Earle Fox
** Emmaus Ministries - a School of Christian Apologetics
** 791 Valley Crest Dr., Vista, CA 92084 760 295-8061
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