This is a good one from Exodus President Alan Chambers. And its about time. But before we get to praise for that, let’s briefly rebuke for this.
Its no secret that we have been very disappointed in some of Chamber’s previous public statements about homosexuality.
In a 2008 interview with an Asheville, NC paper Chambers said, “The truth is that homosexuality does not send people to hell. Gay people live in heaven. It’s not about fire and brimstone, it’s about an alternative option,” Chambers said. That was wrong. Its unclear if Chambers retracted or responded to that incredibly confusing opinion.
And then in response to some apparent criticism about comments on the Lisa Ling slur-o-rama, Chambers said this:
“Many have asked what I …meant about gay people who know Jesus going to Heaven. If someone has a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ I believe they will spend eternity with Him. We can’t judge the heart. Even when I was hell-bent on living a gay life I still prayed every night for freedom from what I was pursuing. God calls His people to a life of holiness, but gives grace to those who love Him & fall short.”
I’m not sure of his motivation for saying that, but it has zero biblical grounding. I cant understand why he had to make it “gay people who know Jesus….” If seems to conflict with his post about identity out today.
Gays may be seducing the church into going against the will of God, but make no mistake, except they repent their end will be disastrous. 1 Corinthians 6 says without apology, the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. There is no equality clause in the kingdom of God, only the rule of the king.
In his just released article Identity Matters, Chambers takes some much needed, solid biblical ground and talks about the misuse of grace and truth.
[…]we are now seeing a pendulum shift in which some Christians have moved beyond the truth-only stance to embrace a grace-only view. This shift is affecting how homosexuality is being viewed and is just as damaging as a truth-only response.
First, there are many Christians who now believe that chastity is the only answer for those with same-sex attractions. They believe that people are either gay or straight and that their identities, in that regard, are fixed. If someone is gay then the only option, according to these Christians, is celibacy. Everything else that comes with gay life, however, is acceptable. So, as long as someone remains sex-free they are able to hang out in gay bars and identify fully as gay.
Here is the problem with that line of thinking. We are so behavior-driven as Christians that we believe as long as we keep our pants zipped and legs crossed that we are doing well. Sexual sin is not the beginning of a problem; it is the result of one. While some do fall into sexual sin because of a momentary temptation, the majority of individuals stay in sexual sin because it seems to satisfy a deep core, God-given need for intimacy and relationship. However, sex was never meant to be a substitute for relational intimacy with God, others, or even our spouse. Sex is a beautiful, natural and godly expression that flows out of healthy intimacy, within the confines of heterosexual marriage. As our creator, God defines the parameters for sexual expression and intimacy.
And then this directed at the so called gay christian movement:
Today many Christians with SSA are choosing celibacy, but they are also choosing to keep the gay identity/label. This falls short of God’s best because identity matters. How we view and refer to ourselves is very important. Twenty years ago when I began my journey to holiness I could have simply chosen to work on my sexual urges and opted out of working on my identity struggles and the deeper issues that fueled my desire for sex. I could have chosen to call myself a celibate gay man and just left it at that. Where would that have taken me? Not very far. When it comes to the extreme changes that have occurred in my heart, mind and life it was the identity changes that fueled the transformation. I chose, in those early days, to focus most on figuring out who I was in Christ and that ultimately led to a change in how I behaved. Simply discontinuing or curbing how I expressed my same-sex attractions wasn’t enough or most important.
It would have been nice to hear Mr. Chambers write that God created us not for celibacy, but for intimacy in covenant male-female marriage. However if you must choose, then celibacy AND sexual purity is the default lifestyle. But claiming to be gay but practicing celibacy is like saying a grasshopper can bake a chocolate cake. There is zero biblical legitimacy of claiming that celibacy allows you to claim a gay identity. Its just more of the unsightly religious vomit routinely falling out of the mouths of gay christian leaders. The best suggestion for people like this is to pick another religion that has no barriers to their bizarre beliefs and dive in face first. But as long as the Word of God stands as the anchor of truth, their theories of sexual evolution will continue to come across as doctrines of devils.