Sex, Ducks, and Dignity

Duck Dynasty’s Robertson family is standing with its patriarch, Phil, saying that if A&E will not allow Phil to tape any additional episodes because he identified homosexual activity as sin, then the rest of the family will not tape any new programs either. The family press release emphasizes that Phil would never “incite or encourage hate.” The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and their supporters are outraged and are congratulating A&E. Now many Bible-believers are crying fowl. They are saying Robertson had a right to say what he said, was just referencing the Bible, is a loving guy and is, himself, being treated unfairly and is being discriminated against.

Why the confusion? I believe Robertson does not want to encourage hate, but because of our history, the LGBT community does not hear him as loving. Instead, they know that talk like his has led to laws that hurt people like them. Could they have cause for alarm?

About the same time Phil Robertson’s remarks were published, American Evangelical Christian leaders encouraged the parliament in Uganda to pass a bill to toughen the punishment for homosexual acts to include life imprisonment. This bill also makes it a crime, punishable by a prison sentence, not to report gay people to the government.

Parliamentarians in Uganda argue that they compassionately weakened the bill, which is true. It originally proposed the death penalty for some offenses, such as if a minor was involved or a homosexual partner was HIV-positive. The parliament removed the death penalty and replaced it with life in prison. It should be thought provoking to all of us, though, that there is no similar law for heterosexuals who are sexually active with a minor, or if a heterosexual partner is HIV positive. Why?

When we use “sin” as the basis for civil law, we probably should be consistent, but we are not. This last summer, the Colorado legislature removed the law that made it illegal to commit adultery. There was no outcry. It seemed the Christians did not care even though adultery is clearly sin (1 Corinthians 6:9). Jesus said, “For example, a man who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery. And anyone who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.” (Luke 16:18). I’m 57 years old, and I do not recall any efforts on the part of our leaders to prevent those who Jesus says are living in perpetual adultery from having equal rights under the law.

No doubt, we Bible believing Christians understand that all sexual activity outside a heterosexual monogamous marriage is sin. We also know that there is a great deal of sexual sin within heterosexual monogamous marriages (Matthew 5:28-30). So where is our New Testament imperative that we sinners, saved by God’s grace, use civil law to make others godly? It seems as though Jesus’ point is that all of us are sinners and we only become righteous by his grace and mercy. But I think that because most of us are heterosexuals, we don’t insist on laws that punish us for our immorality. Yet, the evidence suggests that we do want to add legal burdens on those who are not like us.

Most New Testament believers know that external threats do not change our hearts, but instead we are changed from the inside out by repentance, the blood of Christ, the renewal of our minds, and by becoming a new creation in Christ. To think we can force our beliefs on others through civil law is often an error. The sponsor of the Ugandan bill said, “Because we are a God-fearing nation, we value life in a holistic way. It is because of those values that members of parliament passed this bill . . . ” Supporters of the bill say it is needed to “protect traditional values,” and, under that banner have banned miniskirts and sexually suggestive material such as music videos. I am all for propriety and societal morality, but we have to remember that when legally mandated, this type of thing can go awry very quickly. Now local newspapers in Uganda have started publishing the names and addresses of people they think might be gay.

I know, I know. The United States is not Uganda. In this country we have fought a long, hard struggle for various groups to gain equality under the law. Certainly our civil laws do need to protect what is right and good, and they need to be moral. But not every Christian conviction is best promoted through civil law. All Christians should have a sophisticated, thoughtful process to determine when our biblical beliefs should be inculcated into civil law. It’s not an automatic “yes.” Sadly, we Bible believing conservative Christians have found ourselves on the wrong side of this discussion too often.

If the government wanted to take the vote away from women based on the New Testament teaching that wives should submit to their husbands and that women should not usurp authority over men, would we Christians support that? No. But that was the accepted position of many not too long ago.  What about denial of African-Americans’ basic freedoms because some Bible scholars say they are descendants of Ham, whose descendants were cursed by God and thus relegated to serve? Would we white Christians support that? Absolutely not! But many did. And what if the government wanted to limit the freedoms of Jews in our communities because they reject Christ? Would we allow that? No. Could it be that we Christians, raised in modern multi-cultural churches with wholesome families surrounding us, have no idea how people who have suffered hear us when we speak?

All of us who believe the Bible is the Word of God, that Jesus is the Son of God, and that we must be born-again, have to decide who we want to be in this chapter of world history. We have to consider: when is it “Christian” to protect people who will never be like us and will probably never be persuaded to be a Christian? “Now” would be my answer.

In 1959. Howard Griffin, a white guy, artificially darkened his skin to pass as a black man as he traveled by bus and hitchhiked through the racially segregated south. His journal of that experience was published under the title, Black Like Me. That book helped many whites learn what it was like to be a black man in America during that era. His book helped the cause for equality for African-Americans.

I had a similar experience, but the issue was not racism, and I have not yet written my book. However, I’ve discovered that our experiences do form how we hear other people.

Unless you have been the recipient of religious hatred, you cannot imagine the ruthless brutality. When I went through my crisis in 2006, some Evangelical leaders targeted me for permanent removal. Since I submitted to church authorities who required that I not respond to or explain anything, or even acknowledge that I had ever been in ministry, the flurry of random indictments flooded my way and to the public, all without response. I received up to 80 hate letters a day, the majority from Bible quoting Christians. My e-mail, twitter, and Facebook filled with threats, accusations, and condemnations, the vast majority of which were baseless. I am guilty of sin, and therefore, I am grateful for the healing Christ offers all if us. Sadly, though, condemnation from the church does not help healing (Romans 2:1-4). That season of my life convinced me that I never wanted to support any form of theocracy. It is too irrational.

We’ve got to apply to others the idea that while WE were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Because of that, we, too, can be like Christ and extend a hand of kindness to another simply because they are human beings. They may never choose to receive the full blessings already purchased for them by Christ, but even so, why should we make their time on Earth more difficult? If God Himself left Heaven, came to Earth to become one of us in order to save us, protect us, and help us, isn’t it logical that we, too, can leave our places of comfort to show some dignity to another. . . like Christ did? I think so.

I do not believe for one second that Mr. Robertson wanted to encourage hate, bigotry, or would support anything that would intentionally cause pain for someone else. But we are all old enough to know that people suffer horribly when government gets it wrong. We Christians can make the lives of others better by simply being who we say we are, Christ-like. God designed our Earth so that the blessing of rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. We can follow his example.

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78 thoughts on “Sex, Ducks, and Dignity

  1. Ted, very well put. If we had taken this position 20-30 years ago with the LGBT community we would not have the division across our nation today.

    • Bob M says:

      Sorry to disagree….the larger picture here is that the homosexual community is not content to live peacefully with Christians who treat them with love and respect and dignity while at the same time believing that homosexuality is unnatural…. No, the homosexual community DEMANDS that all others sanction and sanctify and approve of their lifestyle as HOLY and pure and 100% natural. Therein lies the eternal conflict.

      • Ed Barker says:

        Here we go again with another gross misinterpretation. What happened at Sodom was NOT about homosexuality, but about Rape and In-hospitality. In Luke 10:10-12, Jesus says that any town who would not receive the 72 messengers would suffer the a worse fate than Sodom on judgement day. Why? Not because these towns tried to rape any of the messengers. It was because they failed to show hospitality to the messengers God sent.

        If gays think their sexuality is normal, there is nothing in the world anyone can say to convince them otherwise. Our job as Christians is to love them and welcome them. But because we exclude them from our churches, our actions say very loudly that God cannot love them because they are gay. This is very wrong and very sad.

      • Bob M says:

        “If gays think their sexuality is normal, there is nothing in the world anyone can say to convince them otherwise.” If that were the case Jesus would NEVER have spoken out about ANY sin or wrongdoing of the pharisees or delivered the sermon on the mount. Of course there is a chance that homosexuals will repent (change their mind) at the sharing of the truth about homosexuality. They certainly will NOT EVER repent (change their mind) if EVERYONE smiles and agrees with them that homosexuality is “normal” and “holy” and “God accepts me as I am” therefore I have no need to change my mind about sin. And since I don’t have to change my mind about sin…I certainly do NOT need a “saviour”!!

      • Andrew B says:

        I think that makes sense. Most, but not all the LGBT community, think Christians are like West Burrow Baptist Church. Which can’t be further from the truth. The fact is that if they want to walk into a church as a person without flaunting “I’M GAY”, there would be no problems because we would start know them as people instead of some specific group of people. We all struggle with sin. People who have trouble with porn or adultery or lying or stealing still go to church, and we don’t have a problem understanding those sins. Why should it be any different with a homosexual? as for Ed Barkers comment. It’s not strictly about homosexuality, but it’s part of it. It was one of the more prominent sins in Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodomite is also a specific name for people who were homosexuals. Even though Christ never said anything specifically on homosexuality, He did say that marriage is between one man and one woman. Just like God had intended it to be.

      • Ghura says:

        Well said Bob M!

      • I agree with Bob when it comes to the cultural issue of the homosexual movement. They want total normalization and recognition – and absolutely no kind of confrontation or exhortation. And for Ed’s comment on the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah being just inhospitable, I would also point him to Jude 7 – “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in GROSS IMMORALITY and WENT AFTER STRANGE FLESH, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.” On a personal level, we need to show “sinners” Christ’s love – on a national level when biblical values are subject to revisionism and wrong becomes right, we need to stand up, stand firm and speak out – rationally, logically, and lovingly.

      • Bob M says:

        Excellent point and glad you mentioned Judy 7 … Charles K Stanley,. who has commented often on this blog, (but since has deleted all his remarks) referred me to this article to support his view that homosexuality is holy and sacred… but the article oddly leaves out Judy 7

        http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/what-does-the-bible-actually-say-about-homosexuality

  2. Victoria Jeffs says:

    Very good article. What struck me about Phil’s comments though, was how after he made his comments about the homosexual lifestyle he said that he loved everyone and all people were loved and created by God. I only wished he had JUST said that and nothing more. This would not have compromised his commitment to God, on the contrary it would have declared it.

    We too often think that if we don’t spell out our understanding of sin we are derelict in our christian walk. Love convicts and moves us closer to God and others. Condemnation moves us further from God and isolates us from others.

    Peter thought by welding the sword of truth, he would save Jesus (Love and Truth) from being arrested. So he took that truth and cut off the guards ear preventing the guard from hearing the Truth. Of course it took Love (Jesus) healing the guards ear to permit him to really hear the message of Love.

    We cut people’s ears off like Peter because we think we need to protect God and His Word when all we are doing is preventing them from really being able to hear the message God wants us to hear. LOVE.

  3. robert kelley says:

    We shouldn’t muzzle those whose beliefs differ from ours nor should we ourselves feel muzzled. Phil Robertson takes the high road when he is quoted as saying…

    “I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me,” he said. “We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity.”

  4. Rick says:

    The point with this whole episode with Phil Robertson is not what the government does, or even about free speech, per se. It is about whether Christians believe scriptures or not, and whether we are going to cower before a society that wants to increasingly do away with moral standards. We are in the midst of an intimidation effort in our society to make sinful behavior acceptable, and to be silent about upholding time-honored, and scriptural standards. Whether that is adultery (sex outside of marriage between married people), fornication (sex between single, unmarried people), killing the innocent (abortion), homosexuality (called sodomy in the O.T. between men), etc. That is the issue. And too many Christians are too willing to bow to that intimidation. If, in an effort to be compassionate to those involved in sin, we make people (whether believers in Christ or not) feel that their sin is acceptable, than we have done them an eternal, as well as a temporal, disservice. Sin is damaging to everyone touched by it. In this episode with Phil Robertson, he was simply pointing out that homosexuality is illogical. Homosexuality (sodomy, or anal sex) is not a natural act. He was pointing out that sodomy is an act of sin that is one of many sins that God does not smile on. Are we so afraid of those who promote Godless behavior in our society that we are afraid to say so as Christians in America anymore? We don’t have to condemn anyone in their sins to point out their sins. I fear we as a Church have become afraid to stand up for righteousness in a society that is racing toward unrighteous behavior at breakneck speed. Also, who really are the true haters in this situation. I contend it is NOT Phil Robertson or the Christians who uphold righteous standards. We are simply upholding God’s own determination about this type of behavior. But, the LGBT crowd hates with a passion anyone who would dare to speak out against their behavior. The same is true of those who are pro-abortion. They hate those who would speak out against killing innocent children in the womb because it defies their societal agenda. REMEMBER, JESUS SAID THAT THE WORLD WOULD HATE US, PRECISELY BECAUSE WE BELIEVE HIM AND UPHOLD A STANDARD THAT GOD ESTABLISHED, AND WHOSE VERY NATURE CONDEMNS SINFUL BEHAVIOR, ALBEIT WHILE LOVING THE PERSON UNCONDITIONALLY TO THE END. This is the game…to silence the voice of reason, and uprightness, and goodness in our society. Will we, as God’s ambassadors in the earth (not just of His love, but of His righteousness…which in reality are one and the same) bow to those who hate Him because we’re afraid that people are going to be offended or emotionally scarred if right is called right, and wrong is called wrong? Regardless of what our government does, it is the Church’s responsibility to be God’s representative in our nation…both of love and of righteousness. If you’ve ever heard Phil Robertson speak, he is a very loving and compassionate man…someone who knows the damage that sin causes. His message to homosexuals, or anyone who is living in sin outside of a relationship with Jesus, is that you are loved…but that your lifestyle is destroying your life. That is true for him, and me, and every soul alive. Amen! That is true compassion…to lead people out of the tyranny of sin and death.

    • Rick, thank you for writing. The reason we have citizen legislatures is so this exact discussion can go forward. But you do know why we have the first amendment? It’s because several of the colonies had established religions, and would persecute those in their community that expressed their faith differently. Thus, our founding fathers did not want the federal government to do the same. In time, this idea was applied to all government entities within the United States. We believers have to present a “common good” argument in the formation of our laws instead of a “the Bible says” argument. With that approach, we win. With “the Bible says” argument, we often end up embarrassed.

      • Not to sound contrarian, but like Tevya on “Fiddler on the Roof” I find myself saying, “But…on the other hand.” In my line of ministry, I’ve been in a lot of cultural debates that involve moral/social issues. I remember one debate I had with a gay activist in the homosexual movement and never once did I use a “biblical argument” with him. In fact, my polemic with this activist came from these points of view: cultural, traditional, social, historical, physical, medical and even evolutionary reasons. I didn’t mention God, Jesus, the Bible nor did I quote any other Christian. My tone was low-key and I was not mean nor condemning. And yet, during the debate, he STILL called me a “right-wing, hateful, intolerant, homophobic Christian!” You would not have deducted that from my speech since it was basically secular in my quotes and logic. Had I not been introduced as a “reverend”, no one would have known (the audience nor the debater) – especially from my insightful jeremiad – that I was a Christian. It appears that any logical argument that comes against this lifestyle in today’s ever-increasing secularist (read godless) mentality will be cause for the demonizing and marginalizing of the message and messenger. All this to say that even a “common good argument” can be, and usually is, interpreted as right-wing, fundamentalist homophobia. I’m a proponent of standing against the tide of any cultural behavior that is destroying the moral fabric of our land and world.

      • Tom, of course I agree with this logic, and I regret that we decided in the 1980s forward to demonize homosexuality as the unpardonable sin. I was in the meeting of major evangelical leaders when we were told that the marketing reports indicated that our organizations could raise top dollars by talking about the evils of the gay agenda and do all we could to mobilize people against Roe v Wade. At that time, most evangelical churches freely and effectively ministered to people with same sex attraction issues, and the majority of people were against abortion. Now it’s 30 years later and billions of dollars later. We’ve accomplished nothing to erode Roe, and we’re about to get a supreme court decision to make same sex marriage the law of our land. So, I’m saying . . . rethink our approach. It’s not working.

    • Your response was well-balanced and biblical, Rick. Kudos!

    • Kent Roberson says:

      Thank you ruck for your thoughtful comments. You make the point … ” If, in an effort to be compassionate to those involved in sin, we make people (whether believers in Christ or not) feel that their sin is acceptable, than we have done them an eternal, as well as a temporal, disservice.”

      I agree that if we make sin “acceptable” we make an eternal mistake. I would however make the critical distinction that our job is to help everyone understand that Christ makes them accepted by a loving God, despite their sin.

    • Kent Roberson says:

      Rick, you comment “…REMEMBER, JESUS SAID THAT THE WORLD WOULD HATE US, PRECISELY BECAUSE WE BELIEVE HIM AND UPHOLD A STANDARD THAT GOD ESTABLISHED, AND WHOSE VERY NATURE CONDEMNS SINFUL BEHAVIOR,…”

      I am wondering what scripture you are referring to here? The ones that come to mind is I John 3 or John 15 or John 17 . Yet in each of these passages, I see no reference to our upholding of moral standards as the reason the world rejects us.

    • Kent Roberson says:

      Rick, also you comment, …”This is the game…to silence the voice of reason, and uprightness, and goodness in our society. Will we, as God’s ambassadors in the earth (not just of His love, but of His righteousness…which in reality are one and the same)”. Could you list some scripture references where we are noted to be God’s ambassadors …”of his righteousness “?

    • Rick, I just re-read your note. It is interesting, but I think it’s reflective of Evangelical culture as much as it is reflective of Scripture. Specifically I’m thinking about your obsession with sexual (moral) sins. The church has identified seven of the most grievous sins according to the Scripture, and some of them are not even considered sins by many modern Evangelical churches. Here is a list I found with some Scriptural support.

      Here are examples of Bible passages for each of the seven deadly sins:

      Examples Bible passages on lust: Gen. 3:6, Job 31:9, Pro. 6:24-25, Matt. 5:28, 1 Cor. 9:27, 1 Tim. 6:9
      Examples Bible passages on gluttony: Ex. 16:20-21, Num. 11:32-33, Luke 12:19-20, Rom. 13:13-14
      Examples Bible passages on greed: Ex. 20:17, Neh. 5:7, Job 20:15, 31:24, Matt. 16:26, 1 Cor. 5:11
      Examples Bible passages on sloth: Pro. 6:6, 10:4-5, Matt. 25:27, Rom. 12:11, 2 Thess. 3:10, Heb. 6:12
      Examples Bible passages on wrath: Ps. 37:8, Pro. 6:34, 14:17, Matt. 5:22, 2 Cor. 12:20, Eph. 4:26
      Examples Bible passages on envy: Ps. 37:1, 49:16, 73:3, Rom. 1:29, 1 Cor. 13:4, 1 Tim. 6:4-5
      Examples Bible passages on pride: Deut. 8:17, 1 Sam. 2:3, Pro. 8:13, 11:2, Matt. 20:26, Luke 18:14

      Lust is the one this controversy is all about. Gluttony we joke about. Greedy people we place on our church boards and call them blessed, lazy people we ignore, those with wrath we send to therapy, envious people we teach to trust God, and proud people are our pastors.

    • bethtwo says:

      It would be nice if we would all start preaching at ourselves rather than everybody else. Loving and walking with others in their sin is NOT “bowing down” to them. It would also be nice if when we stop preaching at others we start building bridges to help others cross the chasm between their lives and Christ.

      I love my foster mom who happens to swing anyway she feels at the moment. I love my foster sister who has lived in monogamous adultery for 10+ years. I love my brother who has lived the same for 20+ years. I love them the same way I love those of my family who live Godly lives.

      I stay with them when we go visit ( gasp!! ). I eat dinner with them, I have a beer with them ( double gasp !!! )……..I “do life” with them, because I love the Lord, I love them and I love what He wants to accomplish in my life.

      My friends and family know where I stand on everything. I don’t bother to hide from or bow down to their sin, but I also don’t go around whacking them on the head with my assertion of what is good and moral and biblical and what isn’t.

      And guess what? Sometimes I get to shine a little Jesus on them. Sometimes I get to speak of the Love that the Lord has for them. Sometimes I get to tell them that God has a plan for their lives and it is good.

      I will stand up for them and I will help protect their rights. I believe that every single human being in the world is created in the image of God and should be treated with dignity and respect ( well except for rapists and pedophiles ). And I will try to help protect them from those who would take the Word and turn it into a two by four to bash them upside their heads.

      The point that I love that Pastor Ted made and that resonated deeply within me is that we “christians” will always tolerate our own sins and will never disqualify ourselves from having basic human rights while we are neck deep in our own sin, but we sure will take from the world the basic human rights and dignity because they are “sinners”.

      How exactly is that biblical?

      • Matthew says:

        I loved your response. Very well thought out and intelligent :)

      • David says:

        I think your comments are square with Jesus’ own teaching:

        Matthew 7:3-5

        3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

        I think where this whole thing keeps getting off track though is the attempt by the PC crowd to make everyone bow down to the the idea that homosexuality is NOT a sin and is in fact quite normal and should be accepted as such. Any attempt to convince otherwise is seen as ‘hate’. I don’t see to many people running around trying to convince everyone that adultery or murder is good even though it is quite common. We rightly speak against those things, as does the Bible, and are not accused of hate or too much self righteousness.

        If homosexuality is a sin, as the Bible seems to imply, but homosexuals do not view it as such, how might they repent of it? If they can’t repent, how can they be saved?

  5. […] Ted Haggard shares thoughts on the Duck Dynasty matter here in an article well worth the read. […]

  6. tdelmonte says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I kept thinking how do I react to most things in life, am I going to condemn restore, to me out is as simple as that.

  7. Robert Spurgin says:

    Thank you Ted. I Appreciate your dispensing the grace of Christ (your enjoyment) in all your ministry.

  8. I understand the thrust of your article and agree with it for the most part. The one phrase that would need clarification for me is when you said: “When is it ‘Christian’ to protect people who will never be like us and will probably never be persuaded to be a Christian?” The word that concerns me, and may cause confusion, is the word “protect.” Some will interpret “protection” as “tolerance or acceptance or advocacy” for those who “practice” sin – the issue in which Duck Commander Phil Robertson was speaking. He did not just point out one sin – that being, homosexuality – but he quoted a whole list of “unrighteous” behaviors that the Apostle Paul gave in I Corinthians 6:9-10 (ten or more different sin areas listed). Phil and his sons have led many people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and a love for the Word of God – and he believes in calling people to repentance. The Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, even Jesus (the Giver of Life), Peter and Paul specifically called people to repentance. This call for a change of direction (Greek – metanoia – a change of mind) was not to promote “the Law” but to use the law as a tutor to lead people to grace and a loving/forgiving God. One homosexual commentator on FOX news was protesting Mr. Robertson’s statement by saying, “Even Jesus forgave the lady in adultery and kept her from being stoned to death…a true Christian will love and forgive.” While that’s true, Jesus also ended this story by saying to the woman, “Go and sin no more.” Is that not a call for repentance?…Jesus identified her behavior as sin and exhorted her “not to do that anymore.” Quoting the Bible can/will expose sin many times – I don’t feel comfortable or even christike to “protect” destructive behaviors – personally or culturally. Sometimes I wonder if the Church has been so tolerant and accepting of godless behavior that we’ve contributed to the declination of our American culture. Commander Phil may be a tad crusty, outspoken and in-your-face, but if I must “protect” a person, it will be Phil and his family.

    • Thomas, excellent clarification. What I mean by protection can be illustrated by . . . me. When I was the pastor of New Life Church, it was the largest church in a three state region, and so many people were coming to Christ during those years, that Christian Evangelicalism became a dominant force. Then 9-11 happened. I got on TV and said that since we Christians were dominant, that we needed to insure the safety and peace of those who were Muslim in our community. And it worked. Muslim kids could play with their friends on the playground without being harassed. Muslim women could go to the grocery store without being threatened. I think that was the “Christian” thing to do. One other time there was the appearance of an anti-semitic incident. I got on TV and told the Christian community that, during our time, Colorado Springs should be the safest place in the world for our Jewish community, and that we were responsible to insure that. There were no more incidents. That’s what I meant by that sentence.

    • Kent Roberson says:

      Tom, I understand and share your discomfort, this is not however a “Zero Sum Game”. Our call is to protect Phil Robertson and to protect those caught in Homosexual sin… As well as me , who struggles with being a self righteous sinner.

  9. Steve Burch says:

    There are two Big lies that people seem to accept.
    1. If you disagree with someone’s lifestyle then you must fear or hate them.
    2. If you love someone then you must agree with everything they believe or do.
    Both are lies!!! They are total nonsense. You don’t have to compromise your convictions. You can be compassionate to all.

    You can unconditionally love someone without having to accept everything that they have accepted. You can live your life according to your convictions. Your compassion may cause you to share what you believe out of concern for others lives and future but just as you have free will to choose, so do they. I happen to celebrate Christmas, the birth of Christ. My celebration does not hurt or hinder another’s right to celebrate in their own way.

    I believe that Jesus, the Christ, is God and that He submitted Himself to a lowly birth because of His love for us. He lived a life here on earth to experience our lives and then to allow the sins of this world go fall on Him. Being reviled against he did not lash out at us out of vengeance against us, He submitted Himself to be beaten and crucified out of love for us. Can we do any less?

    • Steve, I think that’s a given. I appreciate your making the point. I think respect is the point that we Christians could draw. We could not have a family meeting, or a church meeting for that matter, if our union were based on 100% agreement of either lifestyle or theology. All of us with children and who enjoy authentic New Testament Church life know that love does cover a multitude of sin as the Holy Spirit is progressively sanctifying all of us. And I think most of us have stumbled into the fiascos that we develop when we think we can be the Holy Spirit for another. Good comment. Thanks.

    • debtfree2012 says:

      Amen Steve…TOTALLY agree…that’s the ignorance and the strawman argument of the LGB agenda…they canNOT argue and win so they create this strawman argument…

  10. Donna says:

    People being tolerant of my sin, did not lead me to Christ. God convicting me of my sin, did. I know that it is God who draws people to Himself, but my friends saying that the would accept me in whatever I did, was no help to me, in regards to life in general or for me to become saved.

    • Donna, I think you include a key point – it’s the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the Word of God that speaks into our hearts and causes repentance, etc. Thank you for your comment. As for the subjective portion, I have heard both. Some come to Christ when confronted, other’s go further away from Christ. That’s the portion we all have to have his wisdom about. But there is no question, we cannot do through civil laws what only the Holy Spirit can do.

  11. robert kelley says:

    Pastor Ted,
    Wishing you and Gayle a wonderful Christmas. Your card was perfect…you and Gayle surrounded by the treasures of your life together. Diana and I are so grateful for your care of and for my grand-daughter, Kelly.

    Can’t wait to see the wonders God has in store for St. James in 2014. Thanks for you regular blogs.

    This was a quote I thought said it all for Phil Robertson and his bible believing family…
    In the GQ interview, Robertson said that, in his eyes, homosexual behavior -– along with bestiality -– is sinful.
    “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” he said. “Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

    Still, “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job,” he added. “We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus, whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ‘em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

  12. Ian Macdougald says:

    Thank you. Excellent article. The gays are always hammered, and nothing said about divorce.

  13. James says:

    Pastor Ted,
    I wanted to say I have wondered what your fall from grace has taught you, because lets be honest when we have something like that happen we either fall apart or we learn and become more useful in Gods hand. I would say that you have allowed God to mold you and use your experience to make you better. I know you don’t remember me but I attended New Life at the time of your fall (I call it a fall because I can’t think of a better way to say it), I read your article with great interest I have in the last 2 years excepted I am gay but I have to admit as a man who loves God I have been upset that people seem to feel I can’t love God and be a Christian and gay. I feel God loves me as I am. I understand the debate going on regarding this issue because it has been the war going on in my life for as long as I can remember. I believe I am on a journey that will and has drawn me closer to the love of God but I am also saddened because the church I have loved ever so much seems to have become my enemy. I just wanted to say thank you for your position

    • Bob M says:

      James, if “God accepts me as I am” were a universal truth, where would the need for conversion or new birth be true? I think your logic is wrong. I’d be interested in your response. And, no, I don’t hate you. Merry Christmas!

      • Bob Spurgin says:

        God is dispensing Himself in Christ into all His believers, imparting his divine nature into us so that we may express His divine attributes in our human nature. Having said this even our good, has to be crossed out so we can experience the renewing.

  14. Mathew 5:13: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

    • So true Barb. The question is how? The Ugandan approach? The Taiban approach? Or should we agree with our founding fathers and let people of faith give their best arguments in the public square and persuade people? I think this is in keeping with the New Testament idea. Otherwise, Jesus would have used his own logic, as quoted here by you, to give an appeal for the overthrow of immoral Rome, or at least more rules from Rome to force the culture he was living in to get people to be more “salty.” He did not do that. So maybe he meant that WE were to be the salt of the earth by our own lives well lived. Well, we have a problem there too. For example, and please think about this: I saw a guy post on Facebook the other day that he hoped the legalization of same sex marriage in his state would not destroy the integrity of his Christian friend’s fourth marriage. lol.

      • Joseph A. says:

        I agree with you,”…let people of faith give their best arguments in the public square and persuade people?” Much of what is needed is spirtual (may I use the words “revival” or “renewal”?). But, on the other hand, I believe this is EXACTLY what is at stake and the reason many Evangelical believers are concerned. It started with the confusing and almost deliberate misquoting of the 1st Amendment, first by using “separation of church and state”, not found in our founding documents anywhere, and then, when quoted according to the words of the first amendment, it is called the “”Establishment clause”, a violation of the obvious. intended meaning. It states “congress shall not pass any law establishing religion”, What is being violated in our day is, “…nor shall prohibit the free exercise thereof. If Christians have no right to even express a point of view, howbeit loving and reasoning (re Thomas Pedigo post above), then are we entering an era in America that Russia, China, Germany, etc have historically endured? The result there was a loss of religious freedom, followed by loss of life and economic stability. Was Bonhoffer a theocrat because he resisted Nazism? I agree with your post above: we must be consistent (legalizing same sex marriage vs “friends fourth marriage). The real issue, will “Foundation of Family” survive in America. Can we address the moral, spiritual issue as well as the public, cultural issues? In the future will we be “allowed” to?

      • Joseph A. says:

        Ted, I agree we need to be consistent. And your presence at meetings where money became the reason to address moral issues is truly tragic and an embarrassment to Christ’s church and kingdom. However, the GLBTG community has also had their agenda. The 1989 book, “After The Ball”, a book many believers are unaware of, puts forth how homosexuality will become acceptable in American culture through the media and politics. One tactic will be to attack the one thing standing in their way; Christians who believe in the Bible. So, Christians have been depcited as violent, bombastic, hateful people while gay and lebian characters are presented as positve, gentle role model And they have succeeded, which is also tragic For every “hateful, intolerent, Christian” there are thousands who are loving, serving, committed, sacrificing, reaching out with the gospel in both word and deeds (feeding, clothing, housing, providing services and programs for the lost, needy, and hurting). The gay media and politcal agenda is a both a lie and “hate speech” by their definition. I don’t think the answer is fire with fire. Only, that we need to be “wise as serpents” as well as being “harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16)

  15. Joseph says:

    Ted, when I served on your executive team at NLC, I always said that you possessed a remarkable ability to think through complex issues and make them simple. Your journey over the last few years has made that even more evident, and I’m grateful to be your friend and to be learning from your journey. As I listen to both sides of this ‘argument’ over drawing moral lines in the sand, I realise that too many of us Christians think it’s our responsibility to call non-christians to live as if they share our faith. It’s the nature of a duck to quack. A dog has no right to be indignant because a duck doesn’t bark. There’s a measure of hubris involved in thinking we can legislate other people’s morality. The Buddhist believes his faith system is moral and interprets life through the lens of his faith. My calling is to be the light in a dark world, and this requires wisdom and compassion, whether or not the Buddhist chooses to follow my faith, not withstanding. It strikes me that Jesus was rarely, if ever, antagonistic towards people who believed and lived differently from him, but He was pretty intolerant of the Pharisee who saw himself as the most godly and didn’t hesitate to let people know it. Finally, Daniel didn’t attempt to demonstrate the value of his faith by trying to change Nebuchadnezzer’s edict in Babylon, he simply lived out his own conviction at the risk of losing his life. If we want to be more like Christ, then more sacrificial and less judgmental living might actually be the key.

    • Excellent contribution Pastor Joseph. I can hear you say it with the Queen’s British accent. Thank you!

    • David says:

      I think part of the problem today is that taking any position contrary to the LGBT communitiy’s view on homosexuality and gay marriage is seen as hate and antagonism even if only taken passively. Case in point is the bakery that did not want to bake the wedding cake for the gay couple’s wedding because he saw if as participating in the activity which he viewed as a sin. He, like Daniel, chose to stand on his beliefs, or faith if you will, and for that he ended up in court and may end up in jail and lose his business. They could have easily gone elsewhere to get their cake but they had an agenda. He was specifically targeted. Jesus did indeed antagonize certain people’s in the community, especially in the political and religious realm, which is why they wanted him dead. And why the want us “dead” or at least neutralized. Jesus was definitely not “politically correct” in his actions or speech. It’s not going to be peaceful coexistence here.

      • David says:

        I think an apt comparison to living in today’s world is much like living under King Nebuchadnezzar. By Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s refusal to bow the knee, we are in fact facing the same treatment by refusing to bow to political correctness today. We have been told by the powers that be that we are no longer living in a Christian nation. I believe that to be the case. We should follow Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s example.

      • Gary says:

        David, I think you are very much right. Anything but complete agreement and approval of the LBGT agenda is being harshly and systematically attacked. It is interesting that those who demand others to be accepting of their views, opinions and personal choices are the most intolerant of others, at least of Christians. I think the Christian community will need to figure out how to respond in a healthy and redemptive way to this situation. Already many Christians are choosing other options for their children’s education rather than subjecting their family to the kind of materials (one might say propaganda) that is being forced upon school children these days in the promotion of the LBGT agenda. That means private schools if they have the money but in many cases home school. I think home school can be great but it is a lot of work and not all parents are equipped for it. Also, two income families do not have the time for homeschool and may not have the money for private school either. So public education is being abandoned by Christian families and thus Christian influence is removed from a vital place where that influence is most needed.

        Meanwhile the Evangelicals are fighting with the Pentecostals and both are fighting with the “liberals.” It would be good if we figured out our enemy is not other Christians nor is it the LBGT community but all of us have a spiritual enemy who Jesus defeated but we as Christians today seem not to be able to follow His example. I understand that it is not fashionable to talk about Satan in many Christian circles today but if we deny the spiritual dimension of life and ignore the spiritual enemy of the church we will certainly be defeated. Satan’s agenda is to steal, kill and destroy and that agenda is directed toward both Christians and non-Christians of whatever flavor. We as Christians are called to be the light of the world, is that too simple for us to grasp? Fighting our enemy is best accomplished by loving the unsaved into the kingdom of God. God loved the world so much he gave His only Son that we may be saved. Jesus did not accept sin nor did he make peace with it, He loved sinners and told them the truth.

    • Sheila says:

      I feel so blessed to have been at NLC when both of you were there. I think we are on a very slippery slope when we judge others by our own standards. It’s difficult enough for me to live a Christian life, much less to try to judge others. I will live as if Jesus is here and I’m sure being mean to others would not please him. As far as homosexuality…let God judge, not me. I am mandated to love.

      • Bob M says:

        Sheila, your response condemns JESUS…you put yourself above His actions in condemning the pharisees (calling them “snakes”) and in His overturning the tables in the temple. You seems to think that the only “Christian” thing to do is to “love”…whatever that means. It is clearly NOT wrong to “judge” others if it is a righteous judgment … even calling some people “snakes” and overturning the tables of some is an act of “love” according to the NT.

  16. Ed Barker says:

    This is a very very good blog. Now I have just one question for all those of you who believe we should hate the sin but love the sinner:

    Two men have been living in a life-long committed relationship for the last 10 years. One of them decides to give his hear to Jesus. Do we tell him that he has to leave his partner of 10 years? Do we tell him he has to leave the one person who knows him intimately and loves him unconditionally? This sounds too much like a divorce. As one who has suffered the pain and rejection of divorce, I could never do this.

    I say its time we stop focusing on specific sins and discussing which sins we will tolerate and which ones we won’t. Jesus gladly accepted prostitutes and poured His love into their hearts. This didn’t mean Jesus accepted prostitution. The real truth is that there is only one sin, from which all other sins arise. That sin is declaring your independence from God. That was the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Because they both bought into the lie that they could live independently from God, we all have suffered the consequences of this alienation ever since. And the only way this alienation is resolved is by coming to Jesus, regardless of whether we are rich or poor, black or white, gay or straight.

    • David says:

      I’ve been thinking about your post for a little while. First, you can either choose to accept what God’s word has to say on this or any subject, or not. We all know that God’s view on sin does not change with the times. I think most of us can agree on that much. Second, there are sins which are a matter of one’s own conscience. If one believes something to be a sin (whether it is spelled out in the word) and chooses to participate in it, that person has sinned against his or her own conscience. While another may do it and suffer no guilt at all. Alcohol consumption falls into this category. Some sins are quite clearly spelled out, murder and adultery for example. Under no circumstance does God approve these things regardless what ones conscience may dictate. Those who commit these sins, knowing what God’s word has to say about it, without a guilty conscience, have a seared conscience. Most evangelicals believe that homosexual acts fall into the latter category and thus cannot view a circumstance whereby this lifestyle would be acceptable to God. Clearly there is a difference of opinion on this subject in the gay Christian community.

      As for your question about the person who comes to Christ while in a homosexual relationship. This one is more difficult. It would be somewhat like a married couple finding out they were actually blood brother and sister. Once that knowledge is known to them their relationship, by law, must change from a sexual one to a non sexual one and the marriage becomes nullified. Does that mean they must stop caring or even loving one another. I don’t think so. Nor would one necessarily expect a gay couple to stop loving or caring about their partner. Jesus spoke of people who would be called to a life of celibacy. I’m not a Bible scholar by any means but I think that probably includes the homosexual if they are unable to see themselves in a heterosexual relationship.

      The argument that because Jesus never specifically addressed the issue of homosexual acts, thus implying that he somehow approved of it, is very weak at best and just outright self deception and rebellion at worst. One might say the same about pedophilia or bestiality or any of a long list of sexual perversions. Jesus clearly states that he did not come to nullify the Law but rather to fulfill it. We are not allowed to set aside any of the commandments for personal reasons. If we violate one aspect of the Law, we are, as Paul said guilty of the whole law. If the Law says I may not have sex with animals, and I choose to do so, then I am in direct violation of the Law and must repent of that action. Having said all that, we are not justified by keeping the Law. But we must acknowledge our sin and repent (which means to accept God’s view of it, turn from it and leave it behind).

    • Gary says:

      Ed I think the problem you raise is a valid one. I would suggest considering two things. First, we must ask if conversion to Christ is a prayer at the altar or a journey through life with Christ? If conversion is understood as a one time 10 second process of inviting Christ into your life then I think the issue you raise remains. But if conversion is understood as a journey that begins with that prayer in which we grow in Christ likeness then we do not need to demand an assortment of changes on day one that simply reflect those sins that are socially unacceptable for us. Rather we can allow a person to find the truth of Christ and in that process make the changes required to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Jesus said “Follow me,” and he also said, “Go and sin no more.” If we are following Christ we will come to the place where we “sin no more.” The problem is that such an approach makes us feel like we are accepting sin but truly we are not accepting sin, we are accepting sinners into a process of change that we are all part of together.

      The second thought I would share is that if we put the scripture into the position assigned to the Holy Spirit many of these sorts of problems are created. The Holy Spirit has been assigned by God to lead us into truth and to convict of sin. If we replace the Holy Spirit with scripture in terms of leading into truth and of conviction of sin we will always fall into legalism which will always have exactly the sorts of problems you raise.

  17. John says:

    Think its time for believers to give themselves permission to speak up for their own beliefs. http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/12/12/jesus-wants-you-to-judge/

    One of the most downtrodden elements of our society is ex-gays getting pressure from the gay community…. they are not supposed to exist.
    http://pfox.org/default.html

  18. Amendment Rights says:

    Why isn’t homosexuality being looked at as a perversion? It is not normal. It is not natural. But it has been around for thousands of years. i.e. the Greeks and others. It is not being hateful to say that it is a perversion. It is not complicated. We make things complicated. Sexual immortality is a sin in all forms. Do I hate my homosexual friends? NO! Do I hate my heterosexual friends that are living together without being married? NO! And I don’t need to tell either of them what I think is right. In their own hearts, they know what is right and that is what makes them angry. I do not think this Fun House is fun. It is a lie to say that homosexual is normal. It is a lie to say living together without being married is normal. After all, it’s only a piece of paper, right? NOT! God wants us to come out of the closet of our own sinful nature and realize that Jesus is the ONLY one that can save us from ourselves. Those who continue to sin sexually I would recommend this scripture (1 Cor. 5:1-5). It is out of context but the idea of sexual immortality is the same. We don’t have to get graphic but this person’s sin is the same as the above sins. Sin is sin. Perversion is perversion. Even if you want to pretend it is not a sin/perversion at all. So…. let us all move forward in a positive direction…. on to the Grace of God which is Jesus. That is what we all need. Some good old fashion Amazing Grace that saved wretches like us all.

  19. David Robinson says:

    All I can say is: Well said Ted!

  20. Bob M says:

    Oh come on, Charles. It’s not rocket science to understand the unnaturalness of annal sex between two men. Please stop the misinformation. You do not help the homosexual by compromising truth. You are not compassionate by compromising the Bible’s clear teaching on the subject.

  21. Ben says:

    The truth remains, The bible and not what any man says, we choose Gods word over any strategies.

  22. Val says:

    The Biblical standards need to be applied in the Church, not necessarily in society. Whatever is written in the Bible concerning (im)moral behavior it is written for God’s people, those born again, not for the sinner outside the Church…For the sinner there is only one message: “Repent and believe the Good News”.. Jesus did not come to declare the Day of Judgement,(He will do that at His 2nd coming), but the year of the Lord’s Favor. Yes, Jesus will judge the ungodly for their sin, but not now, not in this life. Yes, the homosexuals, adulterers, etc need to be put out of the church (unless there is repentance), but not necessarily outside of society (unless the society itself decides on such a thing). The Church has the SACRED right and the responsibility to cry out against sin and call it for what it is, but not to punish the sinner except its own. The Church is called to call sinners to repentance and the saint to godliness, not to punish them if they don’t, but, yes, to discipline those in the Church for not obeying–in the words of the Apostle Pau, God judges the world, not us, but we are to judge those inside the Church.

    But, alas, the homosexual community is not happy to just be left alone, they (some of them–the elite) want the Church to be silent, even worse, approve of their behavior. And, this is where we draw the line in the sand. We will call homosexuality a sin that makes God’s stomach to puke, but, as you pointed out so well, we need to be consistent and say that dead religion and hypocrisy of those who rejected the Gospel (like those in Capernaum and Nazareth) will be judged even more severely than Sodom and Gomorrah. There are other sins that makes God puke, too not just homosexuality.

    PS–We truly are living the days of Lot when the homosexual community wants to touch the holy things of God (wants to grab the angels and defile them–in other words they want the approval, the pulpits, the righteous status and they will do it by force and violence just like then), but Lot, while he firmly resisted them, did not lift his hand against them, Instead, God did and so the end came for them and so it will again. So, I’ll just say to the Church: be patient, loving, and, at the same time truthful and speak out the truth in the hope that they will turn (Lot did that by addressing them with “Brothers” not with hateful words, but pleading ones), but do not avenge for vengeance is the Lord’s and He will repay the evil doers at the proper time. This is not our world, after all!

  23. Bob M says:

    I think Phil did just as you stated: he included the truth that ALL have sinned and are in need of a saviour: ““We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?” Anyone who has read the ENTIRE article would know that Phil is not a hater. He was ASKED “What is sin” and he answered honestly…and did NOT single out homosexuality.

  24. Gary says:

    Ted, I am sorry for Phil’s comments because I think it was unnecessarily course and overly graphic and I hate to hear Christians use such descriptions. That being said, what he said is true and although course, it was an accurate description. The larger debate on this issue is that the homosexual community (using both governmental and economic power) wants to silence all critics. Already in Canada a pastor was arrested for saying homosexuality is a sin. Do unsaved governmental authorities get to tell us what to preach now? I do not believe that to take a position based upon the scripture that homosexual behavior falls in the category of sin is equal to making it the only or most grievous sin. It is not, but it is indeed sin. Nor do I think it is fair to say that if any sin is singled out without mentioning every other possible sin you are being unloving or unfair. Throughout the New Testament various sins are commented upon in various contexts without the need to add, “and of course this sin is the same as every other sin and we will now name all of those in a list to be sure we don’t offend anyone.”

    But Ted, how did we get from Phil’s comments to Uganda? I heard a Ugandan pastor on BBC being interviewed perhaps 2 years ago after preaching against homosexuality and the BBC interviewer told him he was intolerant and clearly hated homosexuals. More over, the economic support needed by Uganda would dry up if they did not get on board with the “world opinion” regarding homosexuality. That Ugandan pastor answered something like this. You British and Americans think you can dictate to us Africans how we should feel about all sorts of social issues or you will withhold needed financial support for our people. You champion the value of culture but when our culture disagrees with your sensibilities you are happy to trample our culture underfoot for the sake of your Western values. We in Uganda do not view homosexuality the same as you do in the West. Why do you try to force us to adopt your viewpoint. We are free to treat this issue according to our own cultural values and do not need to follow your opinion. Personally, I like his answer. We are such bullies.

    Jesus and later Paul mentioned many sins by name, and called them sinful. It is sad that the church has come to the point where there is so much sin inside the church we no longer can be a witness to our communities because we feel too guilty over our own sins. When will the church overcome sin instead of simply managing sin and regain our prophetic voice to challenge our society to follow Christ. Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Is there any preacher today willing to say such words?

  25. Robert Kelley says:

    I wonder if some are not confused…Charles K Stanley is not the same as the Charles F. Stanley who has for many years had a television ministry.

      Robert  

  26. David says:

    Charles wrote in response to you “By the way all, the idea that we are somehow “loving” people by telling them our version of the truth about them is extremely self righteous and prideful.” I’m guessing he did not see himself in his own responses or comments. Just sayin…..

  27. Bob M says:

    I’ve sent you a “Friend” request on FB :-)

  28. Rich says:

    A biz view: A&E didn’t terminate Phil, his family or their show. They simply gave a ‘warning’ to their employee about how Phil said what he did about homosexuals and blacks. In a statement from the Robertson family they say, “We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.” That is not why he was suspended, it was because the way he expressed his belief/faith was counter to his employer’s culture.

    As in any other biz, religious or secular; in the end it is all about numbers, nickels & noses. A&E will asses both Phil & his family’s as well as their stakeholders reactions on how this event will impact their bottom line. Either way, both sides will make even more millions off of each other from this public relations and marketing affair.

    Witnessing view: Phil may have been able to draw more into the Kingdom of God by saying something more sensitive in the interview [1 Peter 3:15] or by saying nothing and simply living out his faith on his show for as many years as possible. Now he, not A&E put that at opportunity at risk!

    Being a light in the dark of TV-land positively impacts more folks of faiths other than yours, than being a clanging cymbal [1 Corinth 13:1]. A candle in the cold dark makes no noise, yet in can warm and reveal, even though it burns to the touch.

    Years go I read a book about witnessing your faith titled “Permission Evangelism: When To Talk, When to Walk” by Michael L. Simpson (2003 Cook Communications).

    In the book, Michael talks about this epiphany: “Permission (evangelism) let’s you turn strangers, folks who might otherwise ignore your unsolicited offer, into people willing to pay attention.”

    Personal view: My sins as a heterosexual are no worse or better then any other form of sin, yet it was the love of Yeshua shining through others lives that loved me into the Kingdom of God; rather than their condemnation of me for not living by it or being in it. They left the Holy Spirit to convict me.

    Now that I am born-of-the-Holy-Spirit, as I traveled about the past 22 years teaching in many countries and companies of many cultures, to employees of many faiths each year; I prayed that the light of that spirit shines thru in what and the way I do, so it opens the door to a conversation about why I do it that way; or at the least plants a spiritual seed for others to nurture.

  29. […] interview was unfavorably edited, he even brought it up himself. None other than Ted Haggard had some interesting things to say about this apparent […]

  30. debtfree2012 says:

    Pastor Ted,

    I just read your recent comment regarding same sex unions etc.

    I have been a VERY vocal opponent to the idea of same sex :”marriage”. I have endured all sort of verbal assault from the #Byebyegaybariade for my openly vocal stance on Twitter, Facebook etc.

    Nevertheless, that being said, from a LEGAL stand point I understand why the LGB community want to be treat equally under the law. I personally do NOT have a problem with them being allowed to legally make healthcare decision for their partner, be on their health insurance programs, car insurance, these sort of things.

    I am an RN and I see these sort of legal issues often and I do believe that if two same sex people have been together for many years (and not just hooking up) that they should have the legal right to SPECIFIC legal protections. BUT…not the title of husband & husband, or wife & wife because husband and wife by definition is between a male & female…not someone who has had a sex change etc.

    Now…that being said, I am still VERY opposed to the idea of gay “marriage”. For me this is TOTALLY a oxymoron…It is NOT natural, and the Bible is VERY clear that it is not the plan of God. Romans, Leviticus etc are all VERY clear that man is not to lay with man (same sex intercourse).

    I look at this in many way like I look at medical MJ…I have NO problem if some one is experiencing a failure to thrive (lack of desire or ability to eat/drink enough to sustain life) uses it because we KNOW that it has been proven to increase one’s desire and ability to eat more etc. However, for recreational use…NO! Plain & simple. I don ‘t drink, and I don’t use drugs of any sort and do not believe either should be used for “recreation”.

    That’s just my two sense.

    I don’t see your or my position as a spiritual compromise and/or forbidden by the Lord Jesus on this subject.

  31. Paul says:

    Haha homosexuality being a sin. You lot live in the past. Homosexuality is as natural as any other thing on this planet. Please grow up and stop saying ridiculous things about homosexuality just because you are heterosexual. A lot of chinese like to eat year old kind of rotten eggs. I dont like the taste of those but I guess it is not a sin to eat them. This is the 21st century we should start accepting natural things that have been around since the beginning of human kind. We should talk about real issues. My gay room mate is struggling hard to find a real commited relationship. She mentioned that it is a big problem in the gay community of cities and larger towns to find long and lasting relationships most seem to look for little adventures or not faithful relationship. Well this is the result of the pressure and bad opinions society manufactured in the past well and where you live in the present etc. But that is how Christians can really help. Lead them on the path of happiness. faithful long and good relationships with a partner they love and of course marriage. We all Have our struggles but homosexuals in the US and well other countries of the moon face even harder ones because well..scroll up and you find one or two reasons.

    Please be reasonable and dont eat old chinese duckeggs they taste horrible in my opinion but thats not a reason to say they are unnatural. If I would call everything I differ from or have a strong opinion against a sin and banish it the earth would be empty and certainly unnatural.

    Pastor Ted, now you have the opportunity to open the doors of your church for everyone to reach them and teach them real christian values and not ignorance.

    homosexuality a sin haha cant believe it. I need to show this page my room mate. I bet she is going to be surprised. She grew up in a world were homosexuality is not an issue at all.

    • debtfree2012 says:

      Paul…you obviously don’t know NOR understand the Bible…it does NOT support nor promote the homosexual lifestyle…it CLEARLY says it is unnatural and a sin…check the facts BEFORE you comment on something you have no knowledge about. You may be gay…and have experience with that…but you do NOT have any experience with the REAL & LIVING God of the Bible…if you did you could not POSSIBLY write such fantasies…sorry man, just educate yourself before you post!

      • TheRev says:

        Sickness and disease have been around “since the beginning of time” as well but that doesn’t mean that it’s good for humanity or that we have to accept it or tolerate it. To be sick is not “normal” or “natural” to our bodies and will hurt us and maybe eventually kill us. Personally, I will fight to be well and stay well – and on a societal level, those of us who understand the natural order of the world, we need to promote as well as stand firm for a moral homeostasis. The Greek word for “sin” is an archer’s term for “missing the mark.” Even in solely evolutionary terms as well as common logic, homosexuality is missing the mark on various levels.

      • Paul says:

        Well continue living in your pink bubble. i am not attracted to men but for example our evangelical or protestant pastor whatever you guys call that is a homosexual and like his partner they are both teaching the bible in different churches. I dont know if you understand the bible but I guess you understand it the way you want to understand it which is good but christians in other parts of the world have a more mature and more open minded view of this world and the message. terrorists, addicted people etc they need help because they are destroying their body or make people suffer around them. I get that but homosexuals dont hurt anyone or cause pain and suffering, so clearly stay out of people s bedrooms. This is their business and not yours to judge. I cant wait for you to have a homosexual boy or girl or close friend then maybe you will grow up and understand. Before that you might want to look beyond your little bubble. you might see a more colorful world with more love and less struggles.

      • Paul says:

        Well I get the idea of making children is good for the survival of the human race and we continue having more and more babies on earth but why would you force a homosexual to love a woman when it is against their nature. Forcing you to love men clearly won’t work wouldnt it? So what you are doing in denying the fact that homosexuality is something good and normal and calling it a sin, you force homosexuals to lie and cheat and try hard to fit your idea ( yes your ideas because there are surely christians that have a different understanding) which is a huge reason why they suffer so much and often choose to kill themself in countries like the US or many muslim countries. Is that a christian thing to do? Maybe I do not understand the bible but in my heart it feels wrong to encourage suffering and struggles when the solution is so easy and doesnt hurt anyone. I prefer that way and I try to change people that have a real problem which is really affecting others or themself ( alcohol addiction etc.) Allright I know your answer and I guess I cant change your view today but maybe once you focus on really helping someone in need it is good and your work is good and I believe giving love and doing really good things in the world will make this world a better one. Sorry for my rusty high school english. I ve learnt english as a second or third language in school.

      • Paul says:

        now that I read through my comments I feel bad. I m sorry if I insulted or offended anyone. This happens if you live in one world you tend to criticise the other world and find flaws but in my world we have different problems and flaws you could say but in different areas. Lets just improve both of our worlds together because in the end its one believe we follow and one God we all look up to.

  32. debtfree2012 says:

    I want to make something VERY clear…I am not against people who are gay (that includes females). The problem is VERY clear to those who are spiritually awake! The Bible tells us in Romans that those who are deceived by THEIR SIN are blinded to the error of their sin…they are spiritually DEAD, and therefore have a very difficult time seeing the FACTS.

    Some have the ridiculous notion that coming out of the closest and FORCING others to have their lifestyle in their faces will change the facts…that fact that ANY man with man or women with women sex is SIN, unnatural and perversion of God’s original plan for the human race…I didn’t write the Book…He did…I just CHOSE to believe it and alien my life with His Word.

  33. Louise says:

    This is a controversial issue involving homosexuality. This subject touches sensitive issues and most of the time it creates varied reactions among people.

  34. David Brandt says:

    The LGBT community is extremely defensive and has become proactive in promoting their lifestyle in response to the way they have been treated by “christians”. Jesus was rebuked over and again by the Pharisees for hanging out and eating with sinners. Can we really say that homosexuals are somehow worse than tax colectors who forced their own people to give money to a Roman government that promoted and built temples to false gods, punished people for not showing respect to these temples or the adulterers and etc that Jesus hung out with? The LGBT community has received hate and been basically shunned and jeered at by Christians for years. How can you blame them for being defensive or getting excited about making “progress”. If we want them to repent I don’t think turning them away and treating them with hate is working to well.

    Romans 2:4 says, “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”

    We have been redeemed from our sin and need to show the same love and acceptance of imperfect individuals that we were given. This does not mean accepting sin as ok of course but accepting people as they are and inviting them toward healing and grace.

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