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« Challenge Response: Jesus Is Just Like All the Others | Main | When Evangelism Looks Like a Protest »

June 21, 2013

Comments

I'm glad you're addressing this. Was shocked and saddened to read the news in our local Asheville NC paper.

I have, and have had, many homosexual friends in my life. The Christian ones whom I have known (and there were several) who tried Exodus-style reparative therapy, never found success and finally just accepted their homosexuality, much to their own personal peace.

I think the Christian church still has a way to go to learn how to deal with what is increasingly, clearly, an inborn desire.

"Pray away the gay" does not seem to be a viable option for many. I cannot generalize, as there may indeed be those whose "experimentation" with same-sex activity is just that. However, most homosexuals I know have no other option than to accept the way they are.

I would like to be naïve enough to believe that "If only he (or she) met the right woman (or man), they would not be gay," but I have yet to see evidence personally of that happening.

As a same-sex attracted person I find myself conflicted about this.

I found help from a local organization that taught me not to focus on leaving homosexual desires behind, but to focus instead on Christ while at the same time acknowledging the sinfulness of those desires. There is a difference between the two approaches; the former is fairly man-centered, focusing on our own efforts to change. The latter's emphasis is on Jesus. So when Exodus says they want to focus more on leading people to their identity in Christ, I understand them to be speaking about the kind of experience I had.

I suspect many people are suspicious that Exodus is instead moving slowly toward affirming same-sex desire as within God's plan. My experiences keep me from adopting this view at this point in time.

However, I am concerned that they seem to be downplaying the necessity of repentance. Will their new ministry be focused on equipping churches to winsomely speak truth to the gay people in their midst, or will they become yet another "Side A" organization? I hope for the former, and think the content of their approach will be decisive for me on what I conclude about this whole business.

I am also glad that Restored Hope is stepping into the gap left for parachurch organizations, though I do have a concern that they believe a person can lose his salvation and that they may be unduly focused on the "leaving homosexuality" part and not on embracing a Christ-centered identity.

Frankly, I see a need for both parachurch and church approaches. Folks need to be free to acknowledge their sin at church, but we also need organizations standing in the gap left by those churches that fail in their purpose. Hopefully we will have two separate organizations dedicated to doing these two separate but related missions, rather than one organization doing its job, and another apostate organization leading churches astray.

I read a short announcement of this in one of my city's free newspapers today. I only knew of Exodus by name and the general purpose of their ministry. I don't know all their views or their ministry approach, so I can't comment one way or the other on that.

The article I read was basically a victory cry for so-called homosexual rights and gave no real explanation as to what happened. I was hoping this article would clarify things, but there's not much here either.

I don't know if I have the mental energy to sort this all out. But I do feel I need to, because this is being seen as a huge victory for the pro-homosexual / 'homosexuality is inborn' side.

"I think the Christian church still has a way to go to learn how to deal with what is increasingly, clearly, an inborn desire."

Hi Perry, I wonder if I'm missing the point of your statement here. Are you meaning by inborn desire that it is more than behavioral and in fact a predisposition that cannot be otherwise and that environment plays no part in developement toward SSA? I ask because there is no respected or serious support from medical or psycological studies that shows SSA is anything more than a behavior....no different than any other behavior or desire common to mankind.

Not to be misunderstood, I think the feelings and desires felt are real, just saying that the compulsion to live a certain way has more to do with environment coupled with certain inheritable traits than a born that way, cant be otherwise because of genetics diagnosis.

Those looking for more information on Exodus International's closing should read ...

Their announcement:
http://exodusinternational.org/2013/06/exodus-international-to-shut-down/

Alan Chambers' apology:
http://exodusinternational.org/2013/06/i-am-sorry/

Props to Alan Chambers.

Christians all have their own temptations. Some are tempted to step outside of the marriage bond. Some are tempted with drugs and alcohol. Some wrestle with hatred and greed. Why is the sin of homosexuality any different? I happen to be straight, but if I were gay, as a Christian, it would simply be one of the things I must shun.

If we make concessions for homosexuality, we must make concessions for all sinful life styles.

Brad B. - Sure, there may be behavioral factors involved in homosexuality, but I believe evidence points to something inborn. Also, like Dave wrote, behavior is certainly something that can be controlled (to a degree), but desire is something else. As I mentioned, I have yet to meet one homosexual who was "cured" by reparative (or any other) therapy, so it's a good thing Exodus has abandoned this practice. It is as if you or I, as heterosexuals, went through a program to become homosexual. It is antithetical to our natures.

Now, I know that the fact I have never met any reformed homosexuals is not indicative that there are none, but I have never met little green men, either.

I wish there would be a conversation about defining terms. SSA to me is not the same as being homosexual. Although SSA attraction is , I believe, a CAUSED urge(I don't like to say 'choice' because it connotes a pros vs. cons process), homosexual behavior is the physical acting out of such urges. I do believe someone can struggle with SSA and walk with Christ and it can be a real struggle. A struggle that Christ can empower. These are the people that RHN (and formerly Exodus) could help. These are the ones that Paul describes in I Cor. as 'such were some of you.'
If, however, one says SSA is 'who I am' and therefore I'll 'accept it' and I may as well act on it physically, this is unrepentant sin.

I would like to get a consistent use of terms: gay, homosexual, Same Sex attraction , to me, should not be used interchangeably.

"If, however, one says SSA is 'who I am' and therefore I'll 'accept it' and I may as well act on it physically, this is unrepentant sin."

Hi Doug, This is exactly what is being foisted upon the public in an effort to release any and all prohibitions that would hinder a SSA from becoming full fledged action. As I mentioned to Perry above, there are no scientific studies to confirm that sexual behavior is genetically predisposed.

I totally agree with your understanding of what is really involved, a deviant bahavior that has been defined by God as sin...no different than that of:

"neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers"[1 Cor. 6:9-10]

All of that list comprise of behaviors, people born with a nature that draws them toward performing these is not justification to allow, or should I say promote these acts. If the pro lgbt were to have their way, logic would demand that everyone succomb to "it's who I am and therefore I'll accept it" attitude and forego inhibition by guilty conscious or shame to any number of sinful behaviors on grounds that it's normal for me.

Addressing Brad B. :
"I ask because there is no respected or serious support from medical or psycological studies that shows SSA is anything more than a behavior....no different than any other behavior or desire common to mankind."

Brad, what journals do you subscribe to? How long did it take you to complete your meta survey of all the scientific and psychological studies? How can you possibly know that your statement is true?

Goat Head 5

there are no scientific studies to confirm that sexual behavior is genetically predisposed

Why would you say this?

Studies of twins have repeatedly indicated a genetic component: if one twin is gay, the other is more likely to be - even if the twins are raised apart.

Of course, this could be environmental - even twins raised entirely apart share a womb.

But this effect is stronger for identical twins than for fraternal twins - even in twins raised apart

Neither environment nor 'sin' explain this.

It's pretty tough to get out of admitting a genetic component.

A recent example.

RonH

Hey Goat Head, I dont have to subscribe to journals to comment on this...why dont you just do the work and produce one that proves my statement false. Your kind of cheap seat commentary is a waste of time. This is why I ignored your last comment to me on another thread. As far as my familiarity with this topic, I stay current and have for at least 10 years or so. Most recently, I read this article about 3 months ago.

Hi RonH, genetically predisposed as in "born that way and cannot be other" was the context of my statement. There are a lot of base lusts that drive people to do a lot of things where they can say they are predisposed to do them, this doesn't make it right or good.

Still, you two, giving right status like we do to skin color/race/sex to homosexuals claiming "born that way" as if there is the same predisposition is just plain dishonest and bad reasoning..not to mention an abuse of language.

This is another article I read recently on this topic

Hi RonH, it looks like the study from the link you provided is mentioned in the First Things article by Stanton Jones. I think Jones' contribution to this topic are thorough and fair, not overtly biased toward anything prior.

BTW, I didn't see anything there that really messes with my original point to Perry.

Addressing Brad B.:

You make an all encompassing statement about medical and psychological studies, and to back it up, you state that you "keep current", by reading religious blogs and magazines. Don't think that will cut the mustard, Bradley.

You didn't bother to reply earlier because your straw man was exposed.

The real question about homosexuality, however, is whether the behavior is right or wrong, morally. Society has opted for the former. Genetic predisposition or determination is justification, nothing more.

Oh, more opinion from the cheap seats.

"The real question about homosexuality, however, is whether the behavior is right or wrong, morally. Society has opted for the former. Genetic predisposition or determination is justification, nothing more."

Goat Head wants to appeal to popular opinion as the rock upon which morality stands...society has opted for the former....what about when it didn't?

Now on top of that, your appeal to genetic disposition seems kind of futile at this point. You have every opportunity to shut me up-if you would, if you can, produce your authority. You cant just keep repeating mantra and have it pass scrutiny...not around here anyway.

btw, I dont think you know what a straw man is, if you do, suprise me do more than make a bare naked claim. As it stands, your kind of cheap seat commentary [like in the earlier thread, and here] is hardly worth the dialogue.

The Goat Head addresses Brad B.

You made a statement. About Scientific research. Your justification for the statement was that you had read it in a religious blog. This is a fail. Back up your statement with information from a scientist in a journal article.

The only other statement I made was that society has decided that Homosexuality is morally right. Do you disagree?

From the "cheap seats" (wink) (laugh)

Goat Head 5

Not quite GH, the writings from the linked posts, by Stanton Jones are authority enough. Your ad hominems dont quite work...like I said cheap seat commentary. At least RonH offered an attempt to refute...that is how it works.

I dont have any more duty to support my claim than that which I've already done. If you dont like Jones' conclusions, deal with his arguments and his evaluations of the studies he's examined. Read the comments on those blogs and you'll see that no one countered his conclusions.

His treatement of this subject is something you cannot merely hand wave away. I can tell you that over the years there's been many attempts to deliver a death blow to the anti gay arguments by associating the behavior with biology such that it is on equal footing as sex/race etc...none have been anything more than dishonest attempts to hijack the truth in order to further the cause. This is what Jones has exposed in his thorough treatment on this, and he's not the first to do it. Why not shut me up and produce the death blow study? You make it sound so obvious that it is so...come on do it!

Dont you think if there was even 1 solid study that proved what you hope, that it would be easy to find and covered all over the the willing liberal media--you bet it would in the current frenzy to try to force this on the American public[hijincks notwithstanding].

As far as you statement that Homosexuality is morally right, I asked you already what about when it didn't decide that it was morally right? What then? Is your rock for moral standards the whim of the people?

The Goat Head attempts to communicate with Brad B.:

Brad, you made a sweeping statement about scientific and psychological studies that you can't back up. Ron H. and I called you on it. You backed it up with a link to a religious blog. Would you think it authoritative if I made sweeping statements about Theology and thought an article in Scientific American justified them? Completely inadequate. Fail.

What you seem to be having trouble comprehending is that was all I was trying to point out. I didn't defend the "other side", as it were. I made no statements that homosexuality is genetically predetermined. Learn to read more carefully and try to keep from jumping to unjustified conclusions. Another fail.

A thorough reading would have also noted that I said that "Society" has made the call that homosexuality is morally right. To argue against this is to ignore reality. I made no judgement as to whether society is correct in this. You again jumped to that conclusion. Yet another fail.

You are arguing against positions I have not put forward. This is what you were doing on an earlier post that elicited a comment from me.

Is this habitual with you? A pattern?

From the "cheap seats",

Goat Head 5

Ok GH, as I said earlier your kind of input of a complete waste of time. I say this because you are dishonest and you cannot reason logically enough to know it. I think you are lazy and just like to throw pot shot comments from the cheap seats...I see that you kinda like that location.

First off, you "and RonH called me on it"?

I saw RonH refer an article, I took the time to see what it was...found out that same article was part of Jones' work...it did not refute anything and I posted back...to no reply-from you or RonH. At least RonH is an honest debater. Are you just too lazy to check into it?

Why dont you be honest here? Admit why you cannot provide a counter argument to my statement that you keep calling a fail? Do you know how argumentation works? I dont have to be the expert, I can legitimally reference one. Your ad hominem hand wave dismissal is both lazy and dishonest.

As far as your comment that society has determined homosexuality is morally right is usually the kind of statement that is offered in argumentation to support ones argument. You further suggested that "genetic predispositon is justification nothing more"

Firstly another dishonest defense by you to hide you laziness to do the work you argue for... even if you really weren't arguing, so very cheapish of you to suggest you aren't involved. Secondly, your statement is full fledged question begging. Since you likely haven't even done the work to actually read about the insurmountable challenge you hand waved away, you might've missed that the acutal point we are discussing is exactly genetic predisposition. And why offer it? You aren't arguing for anything--or are you and dont know it?

You are fond of the word fail, I get it. Maybe learn how and when to use it so that it has the intended meaning....so far, it's painfully obvious to everyone that your style of engagement is void of any value-it is a waste of time

The Goat Head has said what he thought needed to be said to Brad B.

Therefore, Brad, the last word is yours. (Although I do not agree with you and concede nothing)

Goat Head 5

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