Adventist Online

QUALIFIED IN THE JOURNEY: A RESPONSE TO 'ADAM AND STEVE'

October 14, 2014 Wayne Blakely

 

Throughout the history of Adventism there has been a deafening silence regarding homosexuality. How do I know? Because I lived through it. I grew up in the sixties and seventies; people pointed at me and whispered within the walls of the church. Why were they looking at me? Why were they whispering? Why did I appear to them as a leper? When reading my Bible at about age thirteen, I began to find references to homosexuality. I began to feel like the Bible was talking about me. It painted my symptoms as a pathway to eternal damnation and destruction. I remember feeling exasperated and helpless. There was nowhere to turn. We didn’t dare speak of homosexuality. It was vile and disgusting. If it was so vile and disgusting, why did I have these strong feelings?

Pastors, teachers and counselors seemed clueless. They only suggested ways of trying to get me to become more masculine. This was the one sin for which there seemed to be no solution. No one spoke of it unless they were taking their finger and randomly flailing it about with power in their voice (so that no one would suspect the speaker), insisting on the destruction of such sinners, without so much as a tender call from a compassionate Savior. Seminary just skipped right over any concentration on this. Pastors seemed clueless about the enemy’s deceptive lies introduced through feelings. The enemy held us mute while he built an empire of people enslaved to a seemingly unspeakable sin. The enemy convinced believers that even temptations were equal to committing the sin itself.

At eighteen, I couldn’t take it anymore. I came out. I declared my same-sex feelings as truth and ran from God and the church. I told God He had made a mistake and certainly, come judgment day, I would provide Him with a convincing explanation as to why I couldn’t do things His way. And for nearly forty years I immersed myself with those like myself who had been declared the pariahs of the earth. This satisfied Satan to no end.

After nearly forty years—and the loss of all of my gay friends to AIDS—I had an unexpected, but vivid encounter with Jesus Christ. It was at a moment when I humbly sat and considered my destiny. It hit me like a bolt of lightning, and “it” was the Holy Spirit. “Wayne, you don’t have the right to blame me for your confusion, your same-sex feelings. You can’t insist that I made you this way; an enemy has done this (Mat. 13:24-30). The only two people I created were Adam and Eve, and they were perfect (Gen. 1:31). You don’t really know me Wayne. I’ve extended myself to you, but you haven’t searched me. You haven’t been listening. You were born with a fallen nature” (Psalm 51:5; Gen. 8:21).

All of the sudden I was struck with the clarity of the presence of evil, and what evil had wrought over time. My subjective feelings had become my truth, only it was not truth. The enemy had insinuated his lies through the desires of my flesh. Our feelings are not truth (Jer. 17:9); rather, God's Word is truth (John 17:17). God has provided us with a wealth of promises and instructions to deny self and live for Him, not for the enemy (Luke 9:23; Mat. 16:24). My mind was racing with the clarity He revealed. My heart broke as I saw how He had preserved me through all my insistence over the years that I was gay and therefore had to live as a gay man, just as my feelings insisted.

Unfortunately, the silence on homosexuality continues in many churches. Satan uses the silence to whisper lies to believers, and those who have neglected to immerse themselves in a deep study of God’s Word receive those lies and believe them. Today we are reaping the results. Satan is laying hold of multitudes, which brings me to the sad case of Jonathan Henderson. In his presentation, “Adam and Steve,” in front of impressionable students during Week of Prayer, he makes a number of declarations. It’s almost as though he’s in a fist fight with God’s Word insisting on a new and different “truth.” He mocks those who believe in God’s written Word, mocks God, and mocks the sanctity of marriage.

Henderson opens the presentation admitting he is not qualified to speak on this topic from personal experience, and that we need to hear from those who have walked this journey. Indeed! Yet in this moment of truth he forges beyond his qualifications. He fails to add that we need to hear from those who have walked this journey and have come to surrender to and abide in Christ, redeemed and living in agreement with Him rather than those who are tearing God down and insisting that He’ll see things our way.

Henderson is keenly aware that homosexuals have been wronged in the church by church members. Many have preached God’s wrath without hope of redemption, with no balancing message of the matchless love and grace of Christ. It is not right. It is inexcusable. Tender souls have been bruised and wounded. Naturally, there is sympathy for the victims of hatred, ostracism, bullying and humiliation. The sympathy we rightly feel must never be allowed to become Satan's tool to gain control of preachers, pastors, family and friends. Satan is relentless in insisting that because someone feels same-sex attraction they are entitled to conduct their life contrary to God’s direction. But Scripture says otherwise (1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:9-10).

There is a need for humility before the Word of God. Our knowledge does not equate to God's knowledge (Isa. 55:8-9). And the sharing of His gospel will always agree with His Word. We don’t just arrive at some new gospel (Gal. 1:8-9: 2 Cor. 11:4). God’s character has not changed (Mal. 3:6). God’s request of us remains obedience, out of love for Him (John 14:15). But you will not fall in love with Him if you don’t spend time with Him and allow Him to change you (2 Cor. 3:18).

Henderson’s views and teachings are not worthy of being publicly heard. They are blasphemous and flawed, inserting a non-biblical assumption of sex between Jonathan and David. They are not worthy because they mock the believer who is continually seeking Christ. They lack God’s invitation to the practicing homosexual to repent and surrender, and thus be included among the redeemed, washed, and sanctified “such were some of you” (1 Cor. 6:11). Should we stop “clobbering with truth”? Yes, but we should love with truth, and Christian love includes inviting the sinner to repent and accept the salvation available to all at the cross of Christ, and never does Henderson affirm this.

Oh what I would have given to come to know intimacy with Jesus in my youth instead of intimacy with my feelings that led me to disgrace myself and my Savior! I needed a practical working knowledge of the Word. I needed to know Jesus. He has not hidden these important truths and His love from us. We’ve skipped over them. We’re so busy soaking up the pleasures of the world that many have lost sight of Jesus and His plan for us. Brothers and sisters, be shaken and awaken! There is a sifting taking place. Won’t you invite the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you to hide His Word in your heart? This is the promise to be victorious over sin.

Henderson says much about God “calling audibles,” lowering His standards because of human demands. Yes, at Israel's insistence God gave them a king, but what a result! God allows human freedom, and sometimes gives people what they ask for, but they reap the consequences of departing from God's design, some in this life and some on judgment day (Gal. 6:7). Our Savior is sovereign (1 Cor.15:27; Eph. 1:22). Life on this earth for a Christian is not smooth sailing (John 16:33), but a commission to live apart from the world, distinctly different from the world (Rom. 12:2; John 17:14-15). We are redeemed by the blood of Christ from our sin, not in it (Rom. 6:1-2; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:4).

At the point of my conversion and life in Christ as a new Creature, I began to hear some in leadership proclaim to be an authority on homosexuality, almost as though they wanted to be part of the current action, but without the experience to back their proclamations. Many want to implement their ideas and courses of action without even checking to see if they agree with God’s Word. Stop! After a hundred and fifty years of silence on homosexuality, not everyone has suddenly been infused with some new light that is the instant solution. Consider for a moment who you are listening to. What is their experience? Have they lived as a gay person? Have they experienced same-sex attraction? Do their teaching and recommendations agree with God’s Word? Have they just chosen to have something to say because it’s suddenly popular to have something to say? It’s so important to evaluate whether something is being said with good intention, credibility and always pointing back to God’s Word as the final authority.

As the Word instructs, test the prophets (1 John 4:1). To the listener, don’t just take someone’s word. Don’t just agree with Wayne Blakely or Jonathan Henderson or a film like “Seventh Gay Adventists” that you’ve seen and wept over. Weeping doesn’t make the sin permissible. Weep like Jesus does when He sees His precious children making up their own truths instead of abiding in His truth.

Henderson made his most valuable and redemptive point in the first five minutes of His presentation: Listen to someone who has been on this journey who thought there was no way out, someone who suffered pain, alienation, ridicule and bullying. Listen to the heartbreaking story that ends in glory and redemption. Surrender. Not culture. If you’re living in Adventism strictly for culture, you’ll never see more than this side of Heaven. Jesus doesn’t want your culture. He wants your heart. He wants your obedience.

Today I share my testimony around this world, because God gave it to me and it agrees with His Word. The power of His Word is in me today, because He redeemed me. I share it not to convince you that I’m right, but because I want to challenge you to surrender anything that is anchoring you to an identity in this world instead of an identity in Jesus where there is comfort, love, joy and a “safe place” far safer than a chaplain's office where someone is content to hear you declare that there’s no way out. Jesus has answers for your pain and your struggle.

I will close with my recommendation for Jonathan Henderson. Return to the Word of God and study it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit that humbles us to agree with God’s ways, truths and redemptive love. To leadership I say: under prayer, compassion, tenderness, and tears, remove this man from regurgitating rebellion and compromise of God’s Holy Word. God’s young ambassadors need to be armed with a love of the truth that has not changed since the beginning of time. Christianity is not simply a belief system, it is not just a set of propositional truths. Christianity is about choosing to live Godly lives for Christ as a result of a love relationship with Him. It is a combination of divine power and human effort. Surrender is our part.

 

Views: 464

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

did you swallow your words 

scussion

did you swallow your words 

..............................

maybe u are having a better time here

its been glitchy

i have a friend who cant find her a post

but i see it

maybe its happening again

well it says something like your a wonderful human being

and then all kinds of compliments ..

such as

and how look good in your church attire

and a a model SDA

well u get the picture :)

i said you need your ears cleaned out and im just sharing what the Bible says of KING DAVID and the lore

after GOD made a concession

THE GLORY that followed

wow

and then some more

flowery anecdotes and such :)

We are just as accountable for evils that we might have checked in others, by reproof, by warning, by exercise of parental or pastoral authority, as if we were guilty of the acts ourselves.—Testimonies for the Church 4:516.

We are just as accountable for evils that we might have checked in others, by reproof, by warning, by exercise of parental or pastoral authority, as if we were guilty of the acts ourselves.—Testimonies for the Church 4:516.

..................................................

what does that have do with anything regarding what i said?

 

u have no authority over me

you paint yourself here as:not in fellowship


GBU still :)

MFG 

This statement was not in response to your post 

MFG 

This statement was not in response to your post 

................

 o silly me

mercy mercy

thanku for sharing that

i had no idea what that was all about

sorry for the confusion on my part

i hope this post finds u well


A SAFE PLACE FOR WHOM?

November 11, 2014 Ron Woolsey

Much has been written and said in response to the recent sermon, “Adam and Steve,” by Jonathan Henderson at the recent Week of Prayer at Pacific Union College.  From beginning to end, as I watched this sermon unfold I wanted to weep, for I knew immediately where he was coming from and to where he was going with his message. 

Where he's coming from is found in the very first sermon ever preached, in Genesis 3:4, “Thou shalt not surely die,” “sin and live,” “God does not really mean what He says.”  In fact, Henderson cited many instances in the Bible where God had actually and often “given in” on issues: repenting of having even created man in the days of Noah, sparing Nineveh from destruction, deviating from His original plan for marriage by allowing divorce.  So, today He might be Okay with “Adam and Steve” unions as well as “Adam and Eve.” So, yes, where he was coming from was “Thou shat not surely die.”  To where he was going was simply salvation in sin, rather than salvation from sin.

As much has already been said about the sermon, both pro and con, I would like to focus briefly upon the conclusion of the presentation and the appeal.  Henderson’s appeal was that a safe place be established for “Adam and Steve,” at Pacific Union College.  But more than that, it should not be a designated area on the campus, but rather that the college itself should be that safe place.  And upon making that appeal, virtually the entire student body stood up in acceptance.  The sermon has been praised by students and faculty alike.

Now, one of my very favorite and oft used quotes from God Himself is found in Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together.” So, let us reason together on this point among ourselves and with God’s input from His expressed word.  I totally agree that our schools, our colleges, our universities, our churches and our homes should be designated as “safe places.”  But for whom? This is the issue we need to consider.

According to the words of Gabriel himself in Matthew 1:21 we are told that Jesus was to be the name of our Savior, “for he shall save his people from their sins.” 

If we are to be saved from sin, then it only stands to reason that sin is the enemy, right? When one is in bondage to sin, and sin is the enemy, then our Savior wants to provide us with delivery from that enemy (sin) and safety from it.  The entire plan of salvation is about deliverance from sin, redemption from sin, restoration from sin, transformation from sin into the very image of our Deliverer, Redeemer, Restorer, Transformer, Re-Creator Himself.

Therefore, if it is a safe place that we are wanting to establish as a Christian institution, it should be a safe place for our students, not a safe place for sin and for the enemy of souls.

Unfortunately, it seems that some of our institutions are already, or are fast becoming, safe places for the enemy.  For example, on almost all our campuses there exists some form of straight/gay alliances in which homosexuality and those caught up in it are protected – protected from a plain “thus saith the Lord” in regard to the issue. 

At the same time presentations on campus of the gospel of salvation from the sin of homosexuality by a Seventh-day Adventist minister, and the sharing of one’s own personal testimony in this regard based upon the very words of God Himself, are derided by articles in the school papers as gay bashing and hate speech.  The thoughts from the messages are taken out of context and given a spin in a way that seems to validate such claims.  These claims go without rebuttal and are left to stand with the student body.

Homosexuality is more and more being tolerated, accepted, embraced, celebrated and promoted within the boundaries of our schools.

1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love.  It is with incomprehensible love and compassion that He appeals to the sinner, to the homosexual and straight sinner alike, and from a heart broken at the cross of Calvary, to turn from sin, to repent, not willing that any should perish. 

Why is God’s loving appeal so strongly and fiercely opposed on the campuses of our “schools of refuge?”  Are they destined to become safe places for open sin and rebellion and defiance? for political correctness and conventional thinking rather than places of “higher learning?” (as in higher standards)

For us as Christians, and our Christian institutions, the expressed will, thoughts, and feelings of God should be received with a very warm welcome.  After all, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).  And our schools do exist, do they not, for the very purpose of instruction?  The same holds true for our churches, and should hold true for our homes as well.

I totally agree that our institutions should be safe places, but for what and for whom? Let’s make a list:

1) OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

My wife and I have a son in college and a daughter in academy.  As parents, we would like to believe that our schools are safe places for them to be educated in harmony with true Christian principles, safe places in which they may socialize and fellowship with like-minded Christian young people who are being taught to put God and His expressed will first in their lives, others second, and self last.  Making our institutions safe places for open sin would certainly be establishing stumbling blocks for our children and youth where their spiritual values are concerned, rather than establishing an environment where they might grow and flourish in their relationship with the Lord.

Needless to say, we are very concerned parents.

2) THE EXPRESSED WILL OF GOD AS REVEALED THROUGH HIS WORD, THE BIBLE

Again, “God is love.” (1 John 4:8)  His counsel, promises and threatenings alike come from a heart of love.  His word is not “hate speech,” and our institutions should be safe places from which the word of God can be taught and promoted.

After all, “God does not require us to give up anything that it is for our best interest to retain.  In all that He does, He has the well-being of His children in view.  Would that all who have not chosen Christ might realize that He has something vastly better to offer them than they are seeking for themselves.  Man is doing the greatest injury and injustice to his own soul when he thinks and acts contrary to the will of God.  No real joy can be found in the path forbidden by Him who knows what is best and who plans for the good of His creatures.  The path of transgression is the path of misery and destruction (Steps to Christ 46).

3) THE HOLY SPIRIT

The apostle Paul warns us to “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).

That being said, should we not endeavor to make our institutions safe places in which the Holy Spirit can do His work?

We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking these grounds.” MS 66, 1899 )from a talk to the students at the Avondale School, now Avondale College in Australia)

The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God.  He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. 20 MR 69

…The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts [Jesus] could ask from His Father for His people. God would give the Spirit to regenerate us.  …[Men and women] could resist sin and overcome it only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with all divine power.  The Spirit makes effective what the world’s Redeemer worked out.  The Spirit makes the heart pure.  Christ has given His Spirit to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil and to imprint His own character on His church.  The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. Health and Healing 312

4) THE ANGELS OF GOD

Above all things, parents should surround their children with an atmosphere of cheerfulness, courtesy, and love.  A home where love dwells and where it finds expression in looks, in words, in acts, is a place where angels delight to dwell. Adventist Home 426

I know this counsel is specifically for our home institutions, but the principle involved certainly applies to our churches, schools, colleges, universities, and all Christian institutions.

5) OUR STANDARDS AS SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS

I am instructed to say that in our educational work there is to be no compromise in order to meet the world’s standards.  God’s commandment-keeping people are not to unite with the world to carry various lines of work according to worldly plans and worldly wisdom.

Our people are now being tested as to whether they will obtain their wisdom from the greatest Teacher the world ever knew, or seek the god of Ekron (Pagan Canaanites). Let us determine that we will not be tied by so much as a thread to the educational policies of those who do not discern the voice of God, and who will not harken to his commandments. RH 3/6/1913

Yes, our standards as Seventh-day Adventists need to find all our institutions to be safe places from which they can be taught, practiced, and upheld.

6) PRESENT TRUTH

Similarly to number four, all our institutions should be “safe places” in which our doctrines in their purity, unadulterated, and undiluted can be preached, taught, embraced and practiced.  Present truth can be summed up in the words of the prophet Amos (4:12),  “Prepare to meet thy God.”

Satan is pressing in on every side, and unless we watch for him, and have our eyes open to his devices and snares, and have on the whole armor of God, the fiery darts of the wicked will hit us.  There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is ‘present truth’ that the flock needs now.  I have seen the danger of the messengers running off from the important points of present truth, to dwell upon subjects that are not calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul.  Satan will here take every possible advantage to injure the cause. Early Writings 63

If we and our institutions are to embrace open sin, that which God Himself labels as abomination, how then are we preparing ourselves, our youth, and others to meet our God?  Are we not loving and accepting them into and along the broad way that “leadeth to destruction?”  Should we not rather be loving and nurturing them along the “narrow way, which leadeth unto life?”

7) NEW CHURCH MEMBERS – (BABES IN CHRIST)

The apostle Paul refers to new converts as babes in Christ.

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able…” (1 Cor. 3:1,2)

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Heb. 5:12-14)

Our institutions need to be safe places for these new converts, these babes in Christ, where they can be nurtured with the pure milk of truth and carefully led into and along the narrow way without the stumbling blocks of open sin being tolerated, accepted, and coddled in their midst.  Will we not be held accountable to God as false shepherds for distracting those tender in the faith through such careless shepherding?

8) VISITORS TO OUR CHURCHES AND INSTITUTIONS

In my own search for truth and confirmation in it 23 years ago while desperately desiring deliverance from my own homosexuality, I was disappointed and even offended by messages of tolerating and palliating open sin.  Why would I need to stop smoking, stop drinking, and accept the Sabbath if it were true that I could sin until Jesus comes?  Where is the consistency in such a message?  Where is the promise of deliverance to the sin-sick soul?

Visitors and “interests” will not be impressed by such “pablum” if, under conviction of the Holy Spirit, they are searching for truth.  However, they may be impressed with seeing true Christianity being taught and practiced in our churches, in our homes, and among students, faculty, and staff in our institutions.  All these need to be safe places for the sin-sick soul who is looking for deliverance from sin and from the control of Satan.

All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holly Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20

In conclusion might I suggest that from God’s perspective true safety is promised only to those who accept His authority as Lord and Master, leaning upon Christ and rendering obedience to His expressed will.  He does not want us to wander into and along the broad way that leads to destruction.  Therefore, through reproof, correction, and instruction He lovingly guides us into and along the narrow way, which leadeth unto life. Notice:

“…whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25

“Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.” Psalm 119:117,

“Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety.” Leviticus 25:18

May our homes, churches, and all our institutions truly become safe places, but in harmony with the expressed will of God.  This is my prayer.

- See more at: http://advindicate.com/articles/2014/11/10/a-safe-place-for-whom#st...

again i want to affirm my love and affirmation of Ron Woosley character and testimony

but as being another source of  what a great God can do for a gay man i disagree with a tiny bit that he says

WHAT RON SAYS APPLIES TO ALL SINNERS

though i would construct it differently

we see God's image differently

all about growth and healing for us all

God bless

RSS

Site Sponsors

 

Adventist Single?
Meet other Single
Adventists here:
Join Free


USA members:

Support AO by
using this link:
Amazon.com

 

© 2020   Created by Clark P.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service