Heretics Among Us

Last fall I was shocked to learn that a group of charismatic church leaders were convening in Tampa, Florida, to discuss ways they could promote a homosexual agenda. I thought only Episcopalians were sliding in this direction, so I sent an undercover reporter to the meeting. She sat in the back of the room and listened while these leaders suggested ways to spread their unorthodox message.

They met in a "gay-affirming" church led by a former Assemblies of God minister. Attendees included Oklahoma-based pastor Carlton Pearson, who made headlines last year when he announced that he had adopted a more "inclusive" theology. Pearson already believes everyone is saved, yet now he has stepped into deeper doctrinal quicksand with the idea that unrepentant homosexuals will get a free ticket to heaven.

Pearson said he hoped gay leaders would "build silent bridges" by joining the staffs of "heterosexual churches" and gradually convincing them to accept the gay lifestyle. Another pastor told the group: "We do not believe that loving someone of the same sex in a committed, monogamous relationship is a sin."

Did you ever imagine we would see a day when so-called Spirit-filled ministers would call for the open acceptance of sexual perversion? If you can't hear the alarm bell buzzing, please have your ears checked. We need to pull our heads out of the sand and recognize that the American church is racing toward the biggest culture clash of our time.

The million-dollar question is, How do we respond to the pro-gay agenda? In the past, those of us who defended the integ-rity of the Bible either (1) ignored the issue of homosexuality altogether, as if no one in the church struggled with it; or (2) condemned the sin and the sinner in sermons but offered no solutions to this very complex problem.

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As politicians and federal judges debate and rule on this issue in 2004, I suggest we trumpet three basic truths:

1. God's Word forbids same-sex relationships. What we learned in kindergarten is still true: A family is a mommy and a daddy who stay together for life and make babies because they love each other. Americans may legalize gay marriage and elect gay bishops, but that doesn't change how God programmed the human race.

He revealed His divine image in male and female (see Gen. 1:27). Breaking fundamental laws of gender always results in personal pain and societal breakdown.

2. The church cannot condone homosexual behavior. We don't show Christ's love to gay people if we tell them they can keep practicing their sin. Jesus invites people of all backgrounds to follow Him, but He also requires self-denial and repentance. Those who ordain practicing homosexuals or allow same-sex marriages in God's house worship at a pagan altar.

3. Homosexuals can be healed. Gay activists hate it when we say this, but it's true. Jesus heals all forms of sexual brokenness. Prostitutes, playboys, adulterers, homosexuals, transvestites and porn addicts all can be delivered. To tell gay people they were "born that way" and can't change is to deny the essence of the gospel.

Don't be fooled by the heretics among us. God's laws still stand. Let's tell the homosexual community that God loves them a lot more than "gay-affirming" pastors who use misguided sympathy and mushy religious jargon to deceive.

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