The Gay Gospel?
An Ex-Gay Speaks Out
By Lori D'Augostine
CBN.com Associate Producer
Imagine that you are visiting a church for the first time. You notice the men and women are well-dressed and respectable. As typical of any conservative or mildly charismatic church, the members are engaged in whole-hearted worship, clapping to the beat and lifting their hands. It looks and feels the part of the church you are accustomed to, until you hear the sermon:
"God gave us two commandments: to love Him and to love each other. Everything else is fluff," the preacher says.
Red flags are gawking at you and then you hear something that really confronts your Evangelical theology: "I don't like the term 'born again.' I prefer to say we're recycled!"
This was the experience of Joe Dallas, when he visited the Metropolitan Community Church in 1978. A born-again, ordained Calvary Chapel minister, Dallas was entangled in sin and discovered that prayer and Bible Study were not enough. He craved for fellowship from a local church.
By age 23, Dallas found himself in an adulterous affair with a friend's wife and homosexual relationship with the owner of a gay bar. He was defrocked from the ministry and had nowhere to turn.
"Repenting and returning to my old church seemed out of the question, much as I longed to. I missed the fellowship of Christian friends, but I thought they'd never take me back," confessed Dallas.
His only hope: the Metropolitan Community Church. His new identity: Gay Christian. The pastor's message: You can be a God-fearing, churchgoing, gay man.
"The idea thrilled me. To have a cause again -- something to live for. Jesus died not just for the heterosexual but for the homosexual as well, " thought Dallas.
He began to regularly attend this church, but something kept gnawing at him. He could not ignore the red flags from the pulpit and often questioned the Biblical accuracy of the Gay Christian movement. Dallas quickly discovered that his desire for truth began to outweigh his desire for comfort.
"I can't count the number of people who've said to me, 'I've prayed earnestly on this issue, and I really feel I'm doing what God has told me to do!' The implication, of course, is that earnest prayer or an attempt to discern God's voice can somehow override Scripture's plain teaching."
He added, "Now I think the Holy Spirit is wonderful, but I could not trust my ability to discern the Spirit's voice. I contend we have to objectively rely on the written Word alone."
In his book, The Gay Gospel Dallas presents Scripture-based rebuttals of pro-gay theology. Coming from one who has personally experienced both sides, he offers great apologetic credibility. He uncovers the cultural and religious origins of the pro-gay movement and offers a point-by-point Biblical defense to each claim. According to Dallas, here are some classic religious arguments that many proponents of the Christian Gay movement use:
Argument One: "I'm a Born-Again Gay"
Dallas' Response: This argument is illogical in that it assumes that if one is a Christian, and, therefore, loved by God, then what one does--no matter what it is-- must be all right in God's sight. We can assume that Dr. (Mel) White's assertions are true: He is gay, he says he is proud (and no one is in a position to say otherwise), and God loves him. But does God's love for him, or White's pride in being gay, justify homosexuality itself? Saying "I'm Christian and gay" proves nothing. The questions shouldn't be, Can a person be homosexual and still belong to God? But rather, Is homosexuality right or wrong according to God's Word?
Argument Two: "We Feel the Spirit Too!"
Dallas' Response: I find it useless to argue over whether or not the presence of God can actually be found in gay churches. Instead it's best to ask, "So what?" Even if God is present in gay churches and His gifts are manifested there, does that prove He condones homosexuality?
Argument Three: "How Can Love Be Wrong?"
Dallas' Response: This argument is wrong because is assumes that love sanctifies a relationship. The wrong kind of love can according to Jesus, interfere with God's plan for an individual. In Matthew 10:37 for example, He warns His followers that love for anyone, no matter how legitimate the relationship, becomes sin when it surpasses our love for Him. Love is not enough to justify a relationship. An unmarried Christian couple may be very much in love; if they become sexually involved before marriage, it will still be fornication, no matter how much love went into it. And it will still be wrong.
In Chapters 9 through 13, Dallas exposes and counters arguments that pro-gay churches use. Here are a few examples:
Pro-Gay Argument: "The Bible is a good book, but conservative Christians pick and choose which of its verses they take literally."
Dallas' Response: Listen to any conservative preachers who stands against homosexuality, and you will also hear him standing against heterosexual sins. So if we're indeed picking and choosing verses according to our personal preferences, why do we insist on choosing Scriptures that so obviously go against our preferences? Why not make it easy on ourselves and choose only the Scriptures condemning homosexual sins, while ignoring the ones condemning heterosexual sins?
The fact is, we aren't picking and choosing to suit our prejudice. Our scriptural position on homosexuality is based not on one or two obscure verses yanked out of context. Rather, it is drawn from five specific verses -- two found in the Old Testament and three in the New -- as well as on a general overview of the only form of sexual expression consistently commended throughout Scripture: heterosexual union.
Pro-Gay Argument: "General wickedness, not homosexuality, was the sin of Sodom."
Dallas' Response: This pro-gay interpretation of Sodom's destruction has merit. Homosexual rape was attempted, and the Sodomites were certainly guilty of sins other than homosexuality. But in light of the number of men willing to join in the rape, and the many other references -- both biblical and extrabiblical -- to Sodom's sexual sins, it's likely that homosexuality was widely practiced among the Sodomites. It's also likely that the sin for which they are named was one, but only one, of the many reasons judgment fell on them.
According to Dallas, it is crucial to confront the gay Christian movement. He cautions Christians not to discard gay Christians as enemies of Christ and references 2 Timothy 3:15: "Yet count him not as an enemy but admonish him as a brother."
"Most of those I knew personally had a genuine salvation experience before they joined the gay church. And who is to say if, and at one point, they may not have lost the salvation they found years earlier?"
Before considering confrontation, Dallas urges believers to examine their motivations and pull the plank out of their own eyes' first. His book, When Homosexuality Hits Home: What to Do When a Loved One Says They're Gay gives added advice on how to confront.
The Gay Gospel mostly addresses the pro-gay movement and its affect on the Church. Dallas calls on the church to take a stand:
"In the face of ongoing pressure to change her views, the church has no choice but to argue. If we fail -- if we find it too difficult or too intimidating -- then I believe there are at least three general and drastic consequences we'll face:
1. The denigration of biblical authority.
2. The sexual exploitation of children.
3. The loss of a coherent definition of family.
Whether or not we have to face these consequences will largely be determined by the success of the pro-gay movement within the church, a movement that, if not confronted, will succed."
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Joe Dallas, past president of Exodus International, lectures extensively at churches and seminars and directs a biblical counseling practice in Tustin, California. He is the author of Desires in Confict and When Homosexuality Hits Home. His articles have been featured in Christianity Today, Christian Research Journal, and the Journal of the Christian Association of Psychological Studies.
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