For centuries evangelicals have been relatively united in their belief that homosexual behavior is not God’s best for His children.
Exodus International, founded in 1976, provided support to ministries advocating that view through personal counseling, support groups (many sponsored by churches) and in the broader culture. In 2012, however, some in the leadership of Exodus began sending mixed messages about the possibility of overcoming homosexual desires.
A few of the leaders returned to homosexuality, stating that a gay identity was God-given. Others have argued that a “deeper understanding of grace” means that accepting a homosexual identity will not affect one’s relationship with God.
Several very confused people have since contacted me with questions about efforts to defend homosexuality within a biblical context. One person asked if he had been unnecessarily resisting something that really isn’t forbidden.
The common thread of such questions leads back to humanity’s original temptation by Satan: “Has God said?” And then his subtle follow-up statements: “God is just holding out on you. He doesn’t want you to know something that will make you like Him.” “God won’t do anything. You won’t suffer any consequences.”
Those tactics are still prominent in the enemy’s arsenal — and why wouldn’t they be? They remain incredibly effective. We humans still haven’t realized that Satan is far more crafty than any of us. We overlook the fact that he is described as a deceiver or liar more than a tempter. I’ve heard people say with great confidence that they are sure they haven’t been deceived — which is the mark of the work of a master deceiver.
Part of the problem is that we are allowing ourselves to ask — and answer — the wrong questions.
If we ask the wrong question, the answer won’t really matter. We get lost in arguing nature, nurture, born that way, I’ve tried to change and can’t, I can’t deny my feelings, this is who I am.
The correct question is “Has God said?” If we determine that, all the other questions are superfluous.
When my son was young, we often watched the television program “Different Strokes.” One day he said, “Dad, that theme song is a good song. ‘Now, the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some.'”
I thought about it for a moment and replied, “Well, that does sound good. But the truth is that if God says something is right, it’s right even if the whole world says it’s wrong. If God says something is wrong, it’s wrong even if the whole world says it’s right.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Bob Stith ([email protected]) is founder of Family and Gender Issues Ministries in Southlake, Texas, who formerly served as the Southern Baptist Convention’s national strategist for gender issues.