An Open Letter to Billy Humphrey of IHOP Atlanta on ‘Homosexuality and Gay Marriage’ – from Kimberly Knight

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Dear Billy,

Good afternoon. I am an Atlanta-born, Christian mom who recently read your post A Christian Stance on Homosexuality and Gay Marriage. I am writing because I am concerned about the same things you are. As a mother and a Christian I am personally – and ardently – concerned about the rapid changes in our society that reveal a growing acceptance of same-sex marriage.

The source of my concern springs from my deep faith and desire to honor and protect families – especially Christian families like mine who it seems are under constant attack in the public sphere. As I am sure you can understand, my family is everything to me, our children the light of our lives. Every day I am shocked by the rising din of vitriol directed at families who want only the best for our children as we seek to follow the Light of the World. I can hardly explore Facebook or turn on the news without hearing how wrong I am and how twisted my faith is. When my family is in public, we even hear the searing conversations at supposedly family-friendly establishments.

I feel called, like you, to stand in the gap. To pray, and work to stem the rising tide of darkness that seeks to confuse the hearts of faithful followers of Jesus Christ, and citizens of our great land.

What might surprise you is that I am a lesbian – a wife, mother, and Christian, who feels the promptings of the Holy Spirit to stand up to the anti-gay agenda that is tightening its death-grip increasingly over the Evangelical and charismatic church in North America.

In light of having quite a different experience of the Living Christ from you, you might question my motives for writing this open letter to you. No need to question – here’s what inspires me:

  1. There are Christian leaders and believers who seem to believe they have the authority to speak for the Church Universal when in fact they do not. There are people of deep faith, churches actively engaged in life-changing ministries and whole Jesus-following, God-loving and disciple-making denominations who think, believe, worship and work very differently than what you propose in your letter.
  2. There are churches, quite clear in their walk with Jesus, affirming their LGBT sisters and brothers in the life of the church and as citizens who deserve equal treatment under the law in a country that has pledged to uphold the separation of church and state.
  3. This clarity – born out of Scripture reading, discernment, Christ-like empathy and loving our community – has lead to deep conviction that Christians are called to work with and for their LGBT neighbors as we seek to live into the radical hospitality of Jesus, together.
  4. As you are well aware, all indicators point to the fact that 18-30 year-olds know full well that marriage has been redefined throughout history to suit the needs of powers and principalities. (Might I recommend a book on spiritual warfare that you are likely unfamiliar with? The Powers That Be, by Walter Wink. It might just change your life and ministry.) We both know that it is a lie of immense proportions that the Bible only condones the marriage of one man to one woman. Between Levirite marriages, the sample of King Solomon and the projections of weak and broken men who claim that God would commend them for raping conquered peoples, Scripture hardly has a consistent message about marriage.
  5. Churches everywhere are answering a call to participate in sacred activism that seeks to bend the arc of the universe toward justice for LGBT people. The United Church of Christ, the PC(USA), the Alliance of Baptists and the Episcopal Church are just a few that represent thousands upon thousands of churches that are working together to shine the light of God in new and exciting ways.

Billy, I have heard of Atlanta’s International House of Prayer, and your reputation for having a passion for both God and reaching people. I commend this, as it is near and dear to my heart and ministry also. It is because of this mutual affinity that we have in Christ that I feel so grieved, as your sister in Christ, to read your words in this and other recent posts. I am afraid that your hyper-focus on individual sexual morality, and homosexuality in particular, draws neither from the Gospel of Jesus Christ nor the cries of God to let justice roll down like water. Jesus said not one word condemning same-sex relationships but did have a pointed word about divorce.

Make no mistake about it, your differing opinion (not your right to differ) is being challenged because you are vilifying people who are children of God, not an “issue.” Your position is being challenged because you strive to impose a single, narrow interpretation of one stream of faith on a sexually and spiritually diverse nation.

I am called as a mother, a wife, a Christian, a church member and a citizen of this country to stand up and speak boldly in the face of a Christianity that has been twisted by xenophobia and willful ignorance.

A suggested attitude for Christians

In a spirit of love and peace, I am inviting you to a true posture of humility.

  1. Receive in your heart the action of the Holy Spirit in the world today. Here is truth: I am a Christian. I am a mother. I am also a lesbian. I love God. I follow Jesus. I am devoted to my family. I am not struggling with my sexuality or my faith. I am struggling with fellow Christians who are spending so much time and energy trying to defraud me of the Grace that is freely given. I am struggling with a wing of the Church that chooses to spend the trust, time and talent of good people trying to prevent me from living in peace and pursuing happiness in my own country. I am struggling with churches that waste their faith on policing people’s bedrooms rather than seeking justice for the poor, the weak, the imprisoned as we Christians have been called to do by Jesus.
  2. Recognize that you are continuing to inflict the very pain you claim to renounce. When you parrot misleading oversimplifications and blatantly stereotypical phrases such as “gay life” you are contributing to a persistently painful paradigm. There is no such thing as a universal gay lifestyle or gay agenda.
  3. Cease the notion that what you are doing is compassionate. You cannot reach out in compassion if you refuse to see me as a full human and my sexuality as a gift from my Creator. If you think truth in love is “love the sinner and hate the sin,” then your love is a sham, a dangerous lure and conditional. This is contrary to the Grace revealed by Jesus.
  4. Stop the false polemic of gay vs. Christian. It is simply a lying dichotomy. You are either lying to yourself or to everyone who trusts you. The only agenda I have is to follow Jesus while I work for my own justice and the justice of my sisters and brothers.

I am not an issue. I am a child of God.

  1. Love compels me to speak truth to power. Your voice is not the only voice of Christianity and to claim it is (or should be) the only true voice is pure hubris. Hubris is not a fruit of the Spirit.
  2. I am afraid your salt is laced with the arsenic of bitter lies, and your light is fanning the flames of hatred.
  3. What you are preaching is not the Gospel of undeserved liberation, unmerited grace and unending peace revealed in the Word Who is Christ.
  4. Your version and vision of Christianity doesn’t speak for all Christians.

Blog - Believe Out LoudSexuality is as intensely personal as it is communal and (these days) headline-making. I don’t wish to speculate as to what formed you – and many, it seems, in the contemporary Pentecostal, charismatic, and ‘prophetic’ stream of the Church – to focus and fixate on what you perceive to be sexual brokenness. Was it some personal pain? Is it simply the ‘meme’ or message you’ve imbibed? I don’t know. But I want to exhort you, brother, that there is a better way – a way filled with more sweetness, and light. Repent – by which I mean metanoia, change your mind! – in a direction away from obsession with sexual behavior. I understand that you identify as a man of prayer, and of worship, beholding as in a mirror the glory of God. See once again this God’s face, and see if your attention isn’t turned, re-oriented, back toward what Jesus actually beckons us to do – care for the hungry, thirsty, naked and imprisoned.

As a fellow Christian, minister, American, and Atlantan, this is my prayer for you and the IHOP community under your influence.

Your sister in Christ,

Kimberly Knight

Kimberly Knight is a self-avowed church nerd with nearly 20 years experience in a wide range of technology settings + an M.Div from Candler School of Theology. She has a long history of back-pew sitting, Wednesday night supper eating and generally trying God’s patience since 1969. She leads “social media for ministry” intensives around the country, helping faith leaders explore authentic ways to enrich, engage and expand progressive communities in the 21st century.

She is the former pastor of Koinonia Church, an online church in Second Life and currently follows her dual calling as writer, primarily for her blog Coming Out Christian at Patheos, and the Director of Digital Strategy at a small liberal arts college for women in Georgia.

Kimberly lives with her partner and their two children in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta where they are active members of Kirkwood United Church of ChristCome hear Kimberly speak at the Wild Goose Festival! Enter WILDGOOSE13 here to get 20% off registration!

Mike’s Note: Why I’m inspired to share this guest-post.

OneThingWhen Billy Humphrey shared his posts on Facebook this week after the Supreme Court DOMA decision – An Apology to Homosexuals from a Christian Leader, A Christian Stance on Homosexuality and Gay Marriage, Homosexuality and Gay Marriage: Answers to 7 Common Questions, and Addressing Homosexuality From The Bible: How Do You Know It’s A Sin? – I felt grieved, and deeply ambivalent. I’ve learned to largely tune out shrill voices calling for a rollback of spiritual dignity and civil liberties for my LGBTQ sisters and brothers, but Billy is from my tribe. Though we’ve never met (or if we did, it was only briefly – at a OneThing gathering back in 2004 or 2005, possibly), his International House of Prayer was influential on me during my early formative years. As a teenager in the 1990s, the IHOP (then Friends of the Bridegroom) and Rick Joyner‘s Morningstar were – perhaps ironically enough – breaths of fresh air and liberation after the staccato conformity of both the Assemblies of God and Presbyterian Church in America, where I spent around five years each. I wore out Mike Bickle, Andre Lefebvre and JoAnne McFatter‘s Fire of Love album, which is a kind of audio lectio divina riff on the Song of Songs – what IHOP-ers call ‘Harp and Bowl’-style worship. Bickle’s theology in particular – then a combination of the Calvinist ‘Christian Hedonism’ of John Piper and Sam Storms, combined with medieval Catholic love-mysticism and a fiery apocalyptic emphasis, appealed to me. And I wasn’t alone: Dear family friends of mine were among the first to support IHOP – in Kansas City, and then Atlanta. I’ve had friends and acquaintances move cross-country to become full-time, support-raising “intercessory missionaries,” worshipping day and night in the 24/7 prayer that IHOP popularized among U.S. charismatics. My parents gathered with the IHOP-Atlanta community for a time, until they moved locations and the drive was too far. Finally, my tongues-talking, extravagantly-worshiping, Spirit-filled self had found community.

And then, several things shifted for me in the new century. After 9/11, I was no longer able to abide by the Christian Zionism and American Nationalism implicit in virtually all of the Pentecostal/charismatic/evangelical theology I grew up with, which was at Defcon-4 amongst the ‘prophetic’ wing of the charismatic church. I found a stronger biblical honoring of the transnational Body of Christ, inclusive of every tribe, tongue, and nation, via the Kingdom Now 95 Theses circulated around then, ironically enough, by a group of radical Vineyard pastors. From there I discovered Anabaptist resources like Jesus Radicals, Greg Boyd, and Mark Van Steenwyk (who was just featured on CNN’s FaithBlog today – Mourn on the Fourth of July: Inside the Christian anti-patriot movement) who showed me just how different and subversive a “citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven” could be. I learned pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian Christian alternatives to Zionism through voices like Stephen Sizer and the Telos Group. My eschatology was forever rocked and real-ized by Presence International as I understood biblical prophecy to be “symbolic language unveiling the spiritual significance of temporal events,” with prophetic language in the New Testament centering primarily on the impending Jewish Civil War and Roman destruction of Jerusalem which ended up coming to fruition in 70 AD.

Suddenly, my eyes were opened: I saw how the message of God’s Kingdom wasn’t an evacuation from planet Earth as in Premillenialism, or a bloody battle for theocratic domination as it was in Postmillenialism, but instead it was Jesus’ upside-down Gospel calling first century Palestine to renounce violence and embrace love, or face the inevitable, disastrous consequences of colluding with religion and empire instead. We face this same choice today: Embrace the creative, nonviolent love of the Trinity manifesting in creation, or face political, military, and ecological disaster. I could no longer see IHOP, Morningstar, and much of the ‘prophetic’ infrastructure as having their ear to the heartbeat of God’s purposes for the Church and planet. Indeed, as my developing convictions saw it, this “End-Times Intercessory Army” was often standing opposed to the Living Jesus and New Creation Ecology in our midst. 

Embracing queer folk as sisters and brothers in Christ – and friends – was the final heart-shift for me. Utter fear of the “Satanic Homosexual Agenda,” as fanned by Bickle, Joyner, Lou Engle and others (as well-documented in the recent documentary about the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill, God Loves Uganda) had kept my heart frozen for several years while my mind had renewed to embrace biblical and spiritual alternatives to seeing LGBTQ people as ‘abominations’ in our midst. It was a mind-and-heart-change that I’ll be giving more space to in an upcoming post, but for now I’ll say that having many friends, both queer and straight, teach me throughout the 2000s, complimented my studies and helped love overcome the lies I had been taught since childhood. Reading my now-friend Sara Miles‘ touching memoir Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion sealed it for me. New charismatic/Pentecostal churches like Church of the Misfits in the West Metro Atlanta area, and my own faith-community, North Raleigh Community Church (a Foursquare congregation), give me hope that the anti-gay charismatic/prophetic hegemony of the 1990s and 2000s is giving way to a diversity of voices on this matter. The behind-closed-doors conversations I have with dissenting leaders in this movement (conversations I have mainly via my work in publishing) encourage me further in realizing that Redemptive History is not over yet. Just as we’ve come around on the dignity of women, abolition of slaves, and most recently, immigration reform, I believe that us ragamuffin followers of Jesus are ultimately gonna do what’s right for God’s rainbow of diversely-oriented friends.

And so: I share Kimberly’s open letter because she is passionate, articulate, and still lives near Billy in my native Atlanta area. And because I did not have the grace and energy to craft a response like hers. The Body of Christ is the better for it; I hope Billy, IHOP, and my charismatic and Pentecostal family and friends tune in, and keep talking.

Recommended Resources for Further Reading

God's Gay AgendaIf you’re one of my friends or readers who’s more conservative on this subject, and want to know more about how sincere friends of God in the Way of Jesus can possibly work for full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church, here are six resources I’ve encountered in the past decade that I think will help you understand where we’re coming from:

Holy Terror: Lies the Christian Right Tells Us to Deny Gay Equality. This is a tour-de-force recent history evangelicalism’s morphing into the Religious Right, by someone who helped make this history: Jerry Falwell’s former speechwriter, Mel White, who now works with SoulForce to undo the damage he did to himself and others.

God’s Gay Agenda by Sandra Turnbull is an excellent summary of the Biblical counter-argument to the anti-gay agenda by a conservative, evangelical, Spirit-filled charismatic pastor! Check out her site for more.

Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate by Justin Lee. Justin, in addition to being my neighbor here in Raleigh, is the Executive Director of the evangelical Gay Christian Network. In Torn, he weaves his own story with biblical exegesis, saturating each page with his characteristic kindness and grace.

Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church. Written by an evangelical Presbyterian layperson who was part of his congregation’s inquiry into affirming their LGBTQ members, this book is probably the best summary response to Scripture’s “clobber passages” for left-brain verse-by-verse types.Dirt Greed Sex

Dirt, Greed, and Sex: Sexual Ethics in the New Testament and Their Implications for Today by William Countryman. Simply put, if you find many progressive Christians’ arguments that Scripture contains no coherent sexual ethic ‘lazy,’ but cannot stomach the all-too-certain conservative alternative, this book by a respected biblical scholar is for you. It’s clear, lucid, and life-changing.

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth – Revised Edition. Produced jointly by the Alliance of Baptists, BPFNA, and AWAB, this is the 400-pound gorilla (360 pages, f’r reals) that you want for an in-depth compendium of biblical, scientific, sociological, liturgical, psychological, and pastoral reflection on full LGBTQ inclusion into the life of church and culture.

60 Responses to An Open Letter to Billy Humphrey of IHOP Atlanta on ‘Homosexuality and Gay Marriage’ – from Kimberly Knight

  1. Debbie George July 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Great Article! I do think there is a type that the author probably would like to fix on point number 4 right above the cross graphic.

    “You’re version and vision of Christianity does speak for all Christians.”

    I am thinking she mean to stay “does not speak for all Christians”

    • zoecarnate July 7, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      Thanks, Debbie! Fixed it. 🙂

    • Kimberly Knight July 7, 2013 at 11:48 am #

      Whew, that typo makes all the difference in the world! Thanks for catching it.

      • Kelly July 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

        Also, “you’re” should be “your”. Doesn’t change the message, but still a typo.

        Yay Kimberly! Keep the message coming!

        • zoecarnate July 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

          Changed! 🙂

  2. Jeff Straka July 7, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    Great response, Kimberly! Somedays, I honestly wonder if progressives would be better off to abandon the word “Christianity” (since evangelicals have tarnished and perverted it beyond any and all recognition) and embrace a new term. It seems the attempts by Jesus and his followers to reform Judaism in that day failed (it, too, had apparently strayed far from its roots) and the movement ended up abandoning that name and going with a new one.

    • Kimberly Knight July 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      I hear that Jeff but it feels entirely wrong to be to abdicate my faith to others just because they “have tarnished it”. I know in my heart of hearts that part of my calling in life, in order to follow God’s will, is to reclaim what has been hijacked.

  3. Kathy Baldock July 7, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    I HAD to comment, Kimberly Knight and Mike. I wrote (and could have go waaaay on) and YOU did an excellent job of responding!

    1.The church needs clarity on this issue – there are many of us, who do identify as Christian and take our faith just as seriously as do you who also believe the texts that you use to condemn an entire community of people (and those that love them and align with them over this issue) are not only culturally bound, but not about people with a same sex orientation AT ALL. The concept was utterly unknown.

    2. Because of the lack of clarity, the church lacks conviction – many of us are TRYING to bring the conversation back to the roots of the faith while others have added an imaginary 11th commandment.

    3. I want to equip believers, especially 18-30 year olds – so do I– by investigate what Christian marriage IS and is NOT. IT is NOT Part A into slot B. It is a reflection of the covenant the Christ has with the church. Two people of the same sex most certainly form a reflective covenant.

    4. We must answer the unprecedented activism – the activism you seek to control is the cry against oppression. If you do not see it as such, then sir, you are indeed part of the problem. Go to Isaiah 58. You are with the ranks who wonder why it is not going your way, the way you THINK God should be doing it. FIght oppression and injustice and you walk more closely to HIS path.

    PART TWO:
    1. Love compels us to speak the truth (Eph 4:15)- make sure it is God’s truth and if the person to who you are speaking has another revelation of God’s Word– yours in NOT higher. We each have a “God story”– that is theology– to believe yours needs to be theirs is sheer arrogance.

    2. We are called to be salt and light (Mat 5:13-16)- when your standard of righteousness causes destruction to others– it is not God’s righteousness, it is yours.

    3. The church is called to disciple nations (Mat 28:18-20). You don’t get to call anyone to righteousness, especially if it is your version. You get to be a light and God does the rest. It is a narcissistic belief that says YOU have it right and they must follow how you envision it. Honor others and their paths. God REALLY is in the House. Billy can sit down and rest.

    4. The Church is the prophetic conscience of the nation.– Not when the message is not based in love it is not. If you lived and looked like Jesus, people can’t resist the real thing, especially those on the edge.

    Listen more to LGBT Christian and talk and judge less. And here young Billy is your chance– this coming week, right there in Atlanta , will be a gathering of over 300 LGBT Christians at Pastor Randy Morgan’s New Covenant Church down in the gayborhood. GO. Be brave and GO and LISTEN and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you.

    Many that will gather there are my friends. You will see an AUTHENTIC moving of God that you deny exists.

    It will go on for several sessions. If you want to MAKE SURE you have this assessment of yours right before you continue the damage, then go. I contend that you are blind to what God is doing and fully without your consent, understanding or permission.

    I would be there but have opted to stay home and finish writing a book directed to the conflicted Christians who KNOW that your message is NOT God’s.

    Go see and meet the Holy Spirit in his LGBT children then do as Paul did — sit down, listen and learn and STOP this destruction waged on HIS other children.

  4. Zach Hoag | the nuance July 7, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    I have firsthand experience with IHOP too, through a ministry/prayer room here in burlington, vt that is heavily connected. Over the last few years, I’ve become increasingly alarmed by their message. Thanks Mike and Kimberly for this.

  5. Jim Henderson July 7, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Mike

    You are very thoughtful and loving. Her letter and your background history was very moving. I share much of the same background. Bickle was on our radar before his Vineyard involvement in 94. Thanks for the details and for your courage

    • Kimberly Knight July 7, 2013 at 11:50 am #

      Thank you Jim, I appreciate you hearing the love through my frustration.

  6. Billy Humphrey July 7, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Mike & Kimberly, Your post was very well-written. I appreciate good writing as I’m always looking to personally improve. I also appreciate Kimberly’s heart “to go on the record”, I know the implications of boldly articulating what you hold dear in a public way. 🙂

    Rather than getting into an on-line debate, which I definitely don’t have the time to add to my schedule, I will simply affirm that I am in disagreement with your stance and pray for Jesus to release revelation to us all from His heart on these matters. I pray that we would all pursue Jesus with our whole heart and allow Him to speak to us of His ways. Many Blessings.

    • zoecarnate July 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      Hi Billy – thanks for replying. I totally get both busy schedules and the futility, to a certain degree, of online debates. That said, since you’ve already devoted six blog posts to the subject, I hope you can take time for at least some kind of response to Kimberly in the coming week (probably not today, I realize – Sunday’s a big work day for a man of your vocation 🙂 ). As she said, for her this is not an ‘issue,’ however passionately guys like you & me feel conviction about issues. This is her very existencecomment above – the whole thing is worth reading, but especially the part where she invites you to the Immersed Conference, being hosted by New Covenant Church of Atlanta – this coming July 11-14th. It’s a gathering of over 300 LGBTQ Christians, right in your backyard. You don’t have to ‘approve’ of your fellow believers to hang out with ’em – and it might be an illuminating experience for all parties concerned.

    • Kimberly Knight July 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

      Billy,

      I appreciate that you are a busy man and I have also have no desire to devolve into a tit-for-tat online debate but I am a little disappointed by your seemingly dismissive comment when you have already taken so much time to write about something that is theoretical to you and a lived experience of God’s grace for me. This is not a “stance”. This is my life. This is my faith and I know who and Whose I am. I assure you I have thought, prayed and worked in communal discernment through the process of accepting the beauty of the gift God has given me.

      Like others, I invite you to take the time to get to know LGBT Christians and our families, really invest in those of us you feel called to write about so prolifically, and see if you truly have the posture of heart to allow the Spirit to work in you in unexpected ways.

      Grace and peace,
      Kimberly

      • Hope July 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

        Kimberly,
        He politely replied that he simply did not agree with your views and choices. I appreciate him taking a stance and staying with it despite the social stigma. One thing is for sure, God will have the final say on the matter!

        • Kimberly Knight July 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

          Actually he did not fully reply to my post with equal regard and respect as I did for his original post. Suddenly lacking the time to be in dialog with a person about whom he has had plenty of time to write in the past seems conveniently dismissive. And as I said before, this is not merely a case of differing about theoretical “stances”. This is my life. This is my faith.

    • Kathy Baldock July 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

      Billy– I put this on your blog as well –RIGHT THERE IN ATLANTA– LGBT Christians- surely you can go make the time to MAKE SURE you are right. I contend, you are VERY wrong. The Holy Spirit is indwelling his LGBT children. Either go and see or go and try to stop Him.
      http://immersed-atl.com/registration.html

      • Hope July 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

        I am not sure how you believe that your life style is biblical. I feel that the bible is clear about God’s view on sexual impurity. The beginning of Romans and Leviticus 18. Sin is sin. We are all going to be held accountable for our sins whatever they may be. What really bothers me about your response is that you claim your life style is pleasing to God. I feel that as Christians were are to use the Bible to lead us in all decision even if it is not socially pleasing to the world. Being a mom of a little girl, it is my duty to stand by what the bible tells my faith to claim as truth.

      • Hope July 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

        I am not sure how you believe that your life style is biblical. I feel that the bible is clear about God’s view on sexual impurity. The beginning of Romans and Leviticus 18. Sin is sin. We are all going to be held accountable for our sins whatever they may be. What really bothers me about your response is that you claim your life style is pleasing to God. I feel that as Christians were are to use the Bible to lead us in all decision even if it is not socially pleasing to the world. Being a mom of a little girl, it is my duty to stand by what the bible tells my faith to claim as truth.

        • Kathy Baldock July 8, 2013 at 12:49 am #

          Hope, I assume you are directing that comment at me. What about my “lifestyle” is troublesome to you? I have a 26 year old daughter that I have raised to be a remarkable young woman, so mothering is certainly not the thing I have failed at. What is it that you see that I do in my post that concerns you?

          • Hope July 8, 2013 at 10:10 am #

            No, Kathy I was responding back to Kimberly! Sorry for the confusion.

  7. Aaron Marsh July 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    Beautifully written. I think you will change some minds/hearts.

  8. Jazzi Peebles July 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Kimberley,
    There is clarity on this issue found in the Scripture you claim to know so much about. Romans 1:24-32 clearly states, “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
    Paul is saying that even back when this book was written, they had the same issues of homosexuality and ALL sin we’ve struggled with being fallen people. It through the Lord’s sovereignty that He chose to reliever into a lifestyle and community that worships such idols such as sexual sin. He is not a pushy God and will not force us to love Him (even though mind you He very well can). There is no greater fear of mine that you think you know the truth about God and His requirements for salvation and you don’t. My very own sister is a lesbian who claims to be a Christian as well and she is not. The only thing I can do is pray for you Kim that the Holy Spirit will open your blind eyes to the Truth. I was once so blind as well and as Paul says in 1 Corinthians, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” It might seem foolish to you what we as true believing Christians are convicted about but that’s only because you have not seen the light yet. But The Lord and I both love you and want so much for you to known to Him. True joy peace love comfort and full satisfaction come only from The Lord-the One True God not the changing viewed modernistic god that you’ve created to make yourself and those around you feel better about your sin.

    • zoecarnate July 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

      Jazzi, I realize that we’re unlikely to change each other’s minds on this, but I find this comment by New Testament scholar and priest William Countryman illuminating:

      “I think Paul is almost invariably misread. What he does in Romans 1, which is the relevant passage, is not announcing that gay or lesbian sexual relationships are wrong. He takes advantage of widespread Jewish prejudice at the time to lure his audience into feeling superior. Having turned the audience into that spot, he attacks them. The unfortunate thing is that he lured the rest of Christendom into feeling superior for the rest of its history.”

    • Kimberly Knight July 7, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

      Oh honey, the passages that you quote are from a library of books that were never meant to be read literally/factually and certainly never meant to be used as weapons against others who follow Christ.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/07/bolo-bible-drive-by-linked-to-myth-labs-2/

    • Isa Ray July 8, 2013 at 12:35 am #

      Again to echo what Mike said, I am not sharing this so much to try and change any one’s mind but in the hopes that it might at least give some a slightly different insight which they might not have considered into what point Paul was trying to make in the beginning of his letter to the Romans and how he was trying to make it. James Alison argues here it that it actually take a very modern liberal reading of scripture to make it about gay people.

      http://www.jamesalison.co.uk/texts/eng15.html

      • zoecarnate July 8, 2013 at 12:44 am #

        Thank you for pointing us to James Alison’s wise, capable readings of Holy Writ. Thank you, Isa! (sacred entendre fully intended)

    • Cat July 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

      Amen

  9. BEC July 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    First off Kim, thanks for walking in grace and love with your fellow believers despite their biblical interpretations. As an ex-evangelical and baptiscostal misfit, I once followed much of the same assumptions and feelings that Billy presented in some of his writings. And then i went to Bible College. before seminary ( both assembly of God institutions) i was introduced to conservative bible scholars who began to challenge my understanding. Unfortunately, much of the discussion in evangelical circles is parroting of tradition and not informed by biblical
    scholarship. There is even an anti-intellectual pride that surrounds many veins of fundamentalism and evangelicalism. I think we must challenge people to read the bible and study it, instead of just saying “biblical” in front of whatever opinion they espouse. If we can get young people to study and become disciples and not just parrots of grandpa’s religion- the kingdom of God awareness will double and this political-hijacking of Christ will be challenged. God bless IHOP for the good they are doing, but may they continue to grow with the spirit in the research as well as the rituals.

    • Kimberly Knight July 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      Thank you Bec for your gracious words of support. Having spent this weekend drawing the ire of both the far right and far left I can say your words struck a chord with me. The strident left is as guilty of hubris and anti-intellectual pride as is the willfully ignorant and strident right. It truly is my desire to stand here in the Third Way and create relationship with people who are hungry for more than the pre-fab, nutrient deficient fast food that our falsely polarized cultures would have us swallow. Thank you for your witness in the world.

  10. Robert Mauro July 7, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    Thank you. I responded to his post on his page… not sure if he will have the courage to reply or to review his own actions and beliefs.

    • Robert Mauro July 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

      Having a wonderful and polite conversation with him… 🙂

      Perhaps he will find enlightenment here and elsewhere (or perhaps we will – but having first hand knowledge of those I have lost to even the “most polite” attempts at enlightenment in this area, I suspect I/we are on the right path).

  11. Andre Lefebvre July 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    I have to say I am stunned and still shaking somewhere inside after reading this article and some of the responses.

    As needy as it may be to have this conversation, it does saddens me that the gay agenda has become a major spotlight God seems to favor right now to shake the Church’s mental illness into focus. Yet, as much as I consider this issue, and witness how the world is using science and religion to justify various abominations (they exist, as much as those committed by heterosexuals) I still do no see any redeemable value in declaring that two men’s or women’s genitals are part of a godly covenant sanctioned by God. That we are free to live the way we want is one thing. To make it something God looks upon with FAVOR, quite another.

    No matter how much more loving you obviously are compared to me, I still cannot cross this line. Not yet anyways. And not because I don’t want to. I wish I could, Honestly. That would throw my limitations on God out the window, if that is what it is. And if I do cross this line it because I loathe my inability to fully accept the teachings that there in fact exist a biblical difference between homosexual love and homosexuality, then that’s the lame reason I will have to state. I just cannot cross that line, Mike. As much as I may loathe myself for it. Because of what it suggests about me, and how small I make God.

    Sadly as it is, I still hear the “us and them” paradigm in the conversation. I find a shortness of vision in embracing a whole movement which redefines male and female attributes, and male and female personalities, just because it is being taught from the pulpit.

    I would hope that all those in favor of an absence of delineation would also be able to courageously preach and teach the Gospel in its simplicity and power, and accept the journey God would also take them on, if one day, He calls them to a different view and conviction. Would they be able to turn around and claim heterosexuality as their condition? Has God really left it to us to redefine the two genders present at Creation, created in His image, so we can then ALSO claim he created a 3rd gender?

    I’m wondering too: does God care as much as I do about these gender issues?

    I have no problem with the reality of same-sex attraction. It happens, at various levels and for various reasons. But it’s wrong if it happens toward a child or a teenager, and we should seek help for this. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals. But once we cross the line to engage and act out this attraction, I do find a simple directive in the Word: do not live as the world lives. Resist temptation. Flee from immorality. Walk in a way that is worthy of the blood spilled for our ransom.

    I do not condone the violence and hatred directed at homosexuals, but I find myself swearing under my breath a few times a week when I read how much this agenda is getting everywhere in our society and churches. But I also understand there are many gracious and loving extended hands and acceptance directed at them.

    I value Kimberly’s passionate appeal, and agree with many of the points she raises. As I do with your contribution, Mike, and the very honest journey you share candidly. Where I stand from, I will be accused of being a conservative, with all the vilification that comes with it something awful. I may be branded anti-gay because if I’m not for them, the it is assumed I’m against them (this is how it sounds). And if I’m not against them (as many expect me to be), then I’m “for” them.

    But what troubles me most, is the veiled insinuation overall that until I am ready to declare myself in favor of homosexuality at all levels of our society and our churches, teaching our children that Daddy wears a dress, and Mommy is Daddy, bringing so much more confusion and ammunition to the de-masculinization of men and the masculinization of women, that I am in fact standing against the heart of God. Am I standing against the heart of God if I hold to the beliefs I have that two men should not lie together as a man and a woman?

    If I ask any Rabbi I know of, from both Messianic and Judaism tradition, I very much doubt they will deconstruct the Torah or the Scriptures with the New Testament, to show me that God didn’t intend for men to be with women and women with men. God rarely created non-reproducible live. If God meant it to be, why do homosexuals couples always seem to have a feminine AND a masculine counterpart? Could it be because there is truly confusion? And if so, how can we help bring clarity, hope and healing, without being ourselves bashed and vilified?

    I am always amazed at the talents and riches that are coming out of you Mike, and the resources you find and share. And this is no different. I stand in awe at the incredible intelligence shining through this conversation.

    In truth, I don’t believe in the power of the Church anymore to be an agent of change in this world. Because the Church has become a “christianized” version of the world.

    Can an homosexual be saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit? Yes. Can he/she move in the power of miracles? Yes. Can an homosexual live a fruitful and happy life in a local church? Yes. As long as the conditions for this are maintained by a leadership eager to turn the new found exodus into a status quo. But as soon as the Holy Spirit will “fall” in a congregation, I fear for those who will want to continue living as they please, because they “can’t help themselves.” And that isn’t limited to homosexuality. I doubt we would be having such a conversation if we were in the midst of a genuine historical awakening.

    As a survivor of male sexual abuse for years during my childhood, and again as a young adult (that one really messed me up for years), I can honestly say that it is difficult for me to have a “balanced, biblical and defensible position” against homosexuality, as I am quite sure somewhere in the process of observing and responding, I still need to forgive and heal, and my own aversion to the issue probably taints my judgment. That’s why I welcome this conversation, because it drags my heart out in the open in front of myself and everyone else.

    However, I would never want to darken the purity of God’s heart and intentions toward all human beings, of both genders, by opening His arms and doors to all who answer His call. I am one who will have to continue learning to live with accepting the reality we live in today, this 21st century going awry. Time is short, and I vote to let all who call on the name of Jesus into the Ark. That part isn’t my business.

    My core question remains: please tell me the Good News, clearly, simply, without confusion or parochialism. Let’s not send people to hell before the appointed time where they will themselves appear before God to answer for their own words and actions. Just like us. So can we share and LIVE the Gospel with everything we are, without stoning to death anyone?

    As for dominionism and all other labels, I don’t know many believers (I’ve been following Jesus for over 35 years) who fully share 100% of all the folklore associated to their own denomination or movement. We are all on a journey. Let’s value process and integrity, grace and communion, as much as it depends on us.

    Thank you for letting me bring my portion to this conversation… I hope it will be received in the spirit it was written…

    To be followed and continued…

    • Kimberly Knight July 8, 2013 at 7:03 am #

      Andre,

      I can hear your deep pain and true struggle to remain faithful as you understand it while living as a victim of abuse. There is much about your blog length reply that I have already addressed in my letter to Billy and in scores of posts on my own blog (http://patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight) but there is one point I want to address here.

      In no uncertain terms let it be clear – pedophilia and homosexuality are NOT the same thing. I am deeply sorry for the pain your abuser has left in your life and there is no excuse. Pedophiles are predators plain and simple. I abhor that behavior and the wake of tragic pain left by it. The predisposition to be a predator and degrade the humanity of another is in no way similar to my mutual love for my wife and family. Nor are millions of gay men in any way interested in stealing the innocence of a child. I pray that your journey has brought you healing and I will keep you in my own prayers.

      Peace,
      Kimberly

    • John Darrow July 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      “demasculinization of men and masculinization of women”? When did this stop being a reasonable discussion regarding homosexuality and marriage, and instead become quoting fallacious slippery slope arguments against equality for women right out of the playbook of Driscoll, Piper, and company?

      • Andre Lefebvre January 12, 2014 at 11:46 am #

        Hi John, I just saw your comment. Sorry. Sunday morning, going through some old blog responses…

        Honestly, I’m not sure which way your post was supposed to point, which point you’re making exactly.

        Just so you know, I don’t “shop” my convictions from Piper, Driscoll et all. I wrestle with the topics for years, and listen to all sides, and prayerfully. I wrestle with my own prejudices too. I’m after truth, not self-comfort.

        And I was sharing this bit as part of my own journey, my own observations.

        I just feel like saying: we all know in part. Something Paul inserted in his famous passage about what we ought to consider primordial – FAITH – HOPE – LOVE. Everything else is perishable.

        Hope this helps,

        Regards and blessings,

        Andre

  12. Jamie Pridgen July 8, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    Hey Kimberly

    As someone who has known Billy very well for over 15 years I can assure you that your assessment of him as well as your accusations are really off.

    – In your open letter you accused Billy for seeking to “speak for the church universal”

    Billy never said nor does he believe that he has that authority to do. He is a pastor over his sphere within christianity and does not pretend to be the sole speaker for christianty

    – You also said Billy has a “hyper-focus on individual sexual morality, and homosexuality in particular”. Then you said that he along with other likeminded believers from this stream “focus and fixate on homosexuality”. Then you said he should “repent” because he has a “obsession with sexual behavior.”

    I found these statement quite comical in light of the fact that this is the first time Billy has ever written a series on homosexuality, while you on the other hand have devoted a major part of your recent life and ministry to the subject of homosexuality. When looking at your blog site, nearly 90-95% of everything you write is about homosexuality. It actually seems (when comparing your’s and Billy’s blog sites) that you are the one that “fixates” and has a ‘”hyper focus on homosexuality in particular” and a “obsession with sexual behavior”…not Billy.

    – You said “Cease the notion that what you are doing is compassionate. You cannot reach out in compassion if you refuse to see me as a full human and my sexuality as a gift from my Creator.”

    This statement is unbelievable to me! First off, Billy never said your not a “full human”. Secondly, the premise that Billy cannot “Reach out in compassion unless he sees your sexuality as a gift from the Creator” is just another way of saying, “you cannot show love unless you agree with me”. Thus your definition of love is “agreement” and anyone who disagrees with you is unable to show “compassion”… Jesus does not define love as only “agreement”, there were many people whom He loved that He also disagreed with their lifestyle choices. Your accusation that Billy does not have compassion on homosexuals is a testimony that you don’t know him very well…

    – You said “I am struggling with fellow Christians who are spending so much time and energy trying to defraud me of the Grace that is freely given. I am struggling with a wing of the Church that chooses to spend the trust, time and talent of good people trying to prevent me from living in peace and pursuing happiness in my own country. I am struggling with churches that waste their faith on policing people’s bedrooms rather than seeking justice for the poor, the weak, the imprisoned as we Christians have been called to do by Jesus.”

    This is a pure caricature of Billy… He takes one week and writes about this subject from a very common and historical perspective and all of a sudden he is “spending so much time, trust, talents, by wasting his faith on policing peoples bedrooms” and at the same time avoiding weighty matters like “seeking justice for the poor, the weak, and the imprisoned”. Again please remember, in reality the majority of your messages (time, energy, talents, ect) are devoted to sexuality within Christianity! if Billy shows a differing opinion over a one week time period, then that hardly constitutes the straw man argument that you have concocted. Nor does his four recent blogs on homosexuality mean that he nor IHOP avoids “seeking justice for the poor, ect”. To assume this is the case, shows a lack of research.

    – You said “Your voice is not the only voice of Christianity and to claim it is (or should be) the only true voice is pure hubris.”

    What!!! Did you even read any of his blogs? Your the first person in over 100 replies to even suggest such a odd accusation! Please show where Billy said “he is the only voice for Christianity and claimed it” Im at a loss here… If someone believes that homosexuality is a sinful practice and writes a blog about it, he suddenly believes “he is the only voice for Christianity”? Really?

    – You said “I am afraid your salt is laced with the arsenic of bitter lies, and your light is fanning the flames of hatred.”

    Its baffling to me that your accusing Billy of “inflicting pain” when he said the phrase “gay life” but then you spew out a hateful statement like this…

    – You said: “But I want to exhort you, brother, that there is a better way – a way filled with more sweetness, and light. Repent – by which I mean metanoia, change your mind!”

    Why should he repent here? You offered no biblical response… Billy gave a scriptural analysis of what he believes the bible says regarding homosexuality… you on the other hand offered only sentimental, and emotional reasoning in your “open letter”. Would you really ever council a christian to “change their mind” on something without consulting scripture? Maybe next time, you could include your scriptural reasonings on why homosexuality and christianity should be yoked together?

  13. Isa Ray July 8, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    It’s not really relevant to the main thrust of the topic here but I’m often tempted (inspired?) to go to places like IHOP with my prayer rope and a few extras and just quietly and discretely begin to say the Jesus prayer. Then if anyone inquires about what I’m doing, explain and, if they want it, give them one of the extra prayer ropes and share with them very simply how to do the practice. Not to try and change their minds about gay people, or eschatology, or very much of anything necessarily. I’m not sure it really would anyway; plenty of Orthodox who say the prayer all the time have equally conservative, if somewhat different views, themselves. But maybe, just maybe, the practice of the prayer of the heart, if they truly felt called to it and embraced it, would stir something up in them and maybe shake some stuff loose and allow a fresh wind of the Spirit to blow through and give them a new wineskin that was capable of hold a completely different wine from the one in the old wineskin they were used to. In any case, I will continue to pray for them and for all who seek to follow the Way of Christ including myself who perhaps stands in most need of it, each time I pray: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

    • Andre Lefebvre January 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

      Jamie,

      I enjoyed your reply very much. And for others reading this, these quotes do show some clear interpretative mistakes on the part of Kimberly. I don’t think they belong to the realm of ideologies, but in the realm of relationality. How well do we really listen to one another, and how well to we try to understand them, and can we modify the way we “peg” people? I confess that I too am shocked at some of the replies from Kimberly, the militantism and snappy assumptions greatly undermine the otherwise gracious exchange we were introduced to. I hear wounds speaking louder than words. May there be healing, so there can be an equal conversation…

      Regards and blessings,

      Andre

  14. Harmony Sonship July 8, 2013 at 3:35 am #

    Hi URRRBODY!!
    Much love.

    God’s about to blow some shindigs up within the confines of our minds <3

    #Love Never Fails

  15. David July 8, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    The idea that because Jesus never outlawed it, therefore it isn’t bad in God’s eyes is very, very shallow logic. By that logic, Jesus also is permissive of pedophelia (never mentioned), arson (never mentioned arson), swindling old grannies out of their pension with confusing sales pitches and questionable contracts (never mentioned con men)… you get the idea.

    I have noticed articles like this popping up where someone who is gay is saying how they support godly family and this or that, but then they completely avoid the very clear moral teaching elsewhere in the new testament that says homosexuality is wrong and that the homosexual lifestyle is not getting you into heaven. It is not OK. Get this: The entirety of the bible (including the apostolic letters after Jesus that were inspired by the Holy Spirit) is right, or it isn’t. Paul’s words ARE jesus’ words, because Paul was under the influence of the Holy Spirit as he wrote them. If you don’t believe that, then you actually can’t trust the words of Jesus either, because technically all the gospels were written after the fact by… disciples of Paul.

    We don’t get to ignore scripture because it is politically incorrect or incongruent with our feelings. Our feelings are not an accurate moral compass, the bible is. The subjective yields to the objective, must yield to the objective, and if there is a disparity, we need to ask God for help in handling it.

    There are plenty of old testament doctrines that fell by the wayside because of Jesus’ act on the cross. Levitical, the hand washing, the beard cutting, the agricultural regulations and sacrifices, went away. Morality never went away- they are who God is. Is sexual sin “worse” than other sins? No. But it is still sin. And you can’t go around saying, “I support Godly family models” but then not support Godly sexuality- heterosexuality, which belongs in the context of marriage. I do not like gay people being mistreated or abused or even singled out, per se- I think they should also be able to marry, if that’s what they want, because it is a legal contract and I think people should be able to make whatever legal contract they want.

    At the end of the day, habitual sin is going to cause you to feel “singled out” at the end of the day, not by Christians, but by God. God has “singled me out” about a number of things in my life, and it is only by God’s miraculous power that we are freed from the grip of sin.

    I may not be guilty of homosexuality, but was of plenty of other things that Christ put and end to on the cross. I do not get to excuse myself of the moral law because I was forgiven- I get to live in harmony with it.

    • David July 8, 2013 at 7:38 am #

      Excuse me; Luke I know for sure was. But all of those gospels were written by people with the same morals. If there was an apostle who was cool with homosexuality, it would have come up in Acts or somewhere. I mean, Paul ripped Peter a new one for eating with Gentiles and then playing cool and sitting at a different lunch table when the Jews from James happened by. If there was a division over something as talked about as sexuality, it would have been discussed at some point.

    • David July 8, 2013 at 7:49 am #

      Further addendum: I do not care for the fear mongering in the charismatic, prophetic wing of the church, and they could certainly do with hugging a few gay people. I quit that stream a few years ago after encountering the teachings of John Crowder and Benjamin Dunn and have no interest in returning to an incomplete gospel. I have two friends who are gay. I love them very much, and express it like I mean it. But I will never believe homosexuality is their identity. At the end of the day, it will not be there, and actually, neither will heterosexuality, because Jesus made it clear sexuality was a shadow of something *better*. Regardless of the end result, however, I can’t whitewash scripture.

      • Cat July 8, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

        Well said

    • Hope July 8, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      You do not feel morally convicted to vote and stand for what is biblical? Good post!

  16. carol July 8, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    To be very honest, it doesn’t sound like the author of this article is any more tolerant to differing opinions than anyone else she writes about….just sayin’

    • zoecarnate July 8, 2013 at 9:16 am #

      Carol, I am a white man married to a black woman. If someone wrote a blog post about why interracial marriage is against God’s will (many have in the past and some still do, actually – with Bible verses to back it up), and I pushed back with a post of my own, would it really be fair to say that I’m being just as “intolerant” as the “Godly anti-miscegenation” blogger?

      In my opinion, no. In this case, one person is writing defending their opinion about the wrong-ness of gay-ness. Kimberly is writing – passionately and at times bluntly, yes – defending her very family. It’s hardly ‘intolerant’ of her to do so.

      • Sheri July 8, 2013 at 11:01 am #

        Well written and you seem to be full of grace and love. I too consider myself spirit filled but cannot agree with you that the bible is ambiguous about homosexuality.
        Our true identity stems only from Christ.
        The testimony of Andrew Comiskey of DesertStream Ministries is worth checking out as he is also a ministry leader and I believe once considered himself homosexual.
        You can pray for me to have more of God’s heart and sensitivity on this matter and likewise, will be praying for you.
        With His love,
        Sheri

  17. Benjamin Hoogterp July 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    All else aside, I thought the first point made described it fairly well…. It said,

    “There are Christian leaders and believers who seem to believe they have the authority to speak for the Church Universal when in fact they do not.”

    Which, in fairness, is exactly what this article attempts to do… It attempts to, as it were, “speak for the Church Universal”, when it by its own right claims it has not that authority… Unless, it is attempting to say that there *IS* no authority at all, which is, again, setting itself up as an authority to say such… Even to say there is no “one authority” is to assume an authority to say so… So, with that, the article itself not only disqualifies itself as having anything to say (by rejecting its own authority in its opening remarks), it also demonstrates its open rebellion against authority, and hence disqualifies itself so far as the Kingdom of God goes, “prima facie”. Since the book of Samuel depicts rebellion as comparable to witchcraft, and we know where witches will burn for Eternity, it is safe to assume that anything originating or stemming from this article will go there as well…

    …But, in fact, there is an authority on the subject…

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10
    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

  18. Garrett July 8, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Kim, I think your article was well written, but, wrong. But then we can argue its a heart issue, and I do not know your heart, so, I am not up to judge. Nor is Jesus. He gave that away. However, I believe there are Christians that struggle with homosexuality, just as there are Christians that struggle with porn, drugs, affairs, shame, anger, etc. So I like to remind people, He began the good work and He is to complete it. It is not your(our) job, or mine. With that being said, if the standard is the Bible, how do you explain scriptures that seem to be very direct about homosexuality, seemingly condemning the behavior? As an example, not a platform blast to you, I’ll use scripture for review. Leviticus 20:13, Lev. 18:22, Romans 1:26-27, and the account of Sodom and Gomorrah, are some. I read these scriptures as clear indicators that homosexuality is not a part of God’s kingdom ways. Also, important to note, I read Moses’ writings as God re-introducing Himself to His people whom no longer really knew Him or His ways, but the ways of their Egyptian lords and rulers. So, God would seem to indicate, under that precedent or translation, that Homosexuality is not how He behaves or anything He would approve. He calls it “wicked”, “vile”, “sin”, according to KJV (what was readily available to me first through a quick Internet search for said scriptures).

    Anyways, I say all that to share/explain my disagreement with your beliefs.

    • Andre Lefebvre January 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

      Benjamin quoted this : 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
      “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”

      Every life is precious. To navigate a life being so different as to encounter social reproach and persecution is very difficult, but it is possible. Many do it. Few do it gracefully across the board. While some become megaphones to drown the voices of hatred and bring a different perspective, there needs to be a clear willingness to treat someone with dignity even if their position or view of something differs from ours.

      I often read this kind of encouragement: “I hope you will allow the Holy Spirit to change your mind.” But when we share what it is we believe the Holy Spirit is showing us, we also need to consider the apostolic teachings, for the Holy Spirit cannot contradict what He breathed in the Scriptures, although He can expound on it.

      If anyone felt their homosexual preferences were no longer pleasing to God, in their personal journey with God, having even grown among acceptance and grace within the Church, where would they find help and support? Do we have any mature ministry who could walk with them, without for them also having to become part of the “them” crowd, as if seeking healing and wholeness would make then suddenly bitterly “anti-gay?”

      It doesn’t have to be this way. And maybe the fact that there is not clear resources out there, should be cause for concern. It suggest to me that the conversation is still very young.

      This being said, I notice the verse in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 mentions : fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, the covetous, drunkards, revilers, swindlers. These are called unrighteous. ALL of them. Those who enjoy getting drunk or stoned, engage in inordinate sexual behavior, those who are always obsessed with getting more stuff, jealous of others who get stuff, those who scheme to defraud others, etc.

      It’s not said specifically that they will “go to hell”, but that ALL these cannot inherit the kingdom. Implying that we should want to inherit the kingdom of God. So we should encourage one another to seek the kingdom of God, and desire to inherit it, and do all we can to be found worthy of it. Whatever century, whatever culture.

      Jesus said: “Seek – first – the kingdom and its righteousness…” I think He meant “Make this your priority in life.”

      Blessings,

      Andre

  19. Rosemary August 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Kimberly and Mike, your words are wise and true. Thank you so much.

  20. Rev CD Dean September 19, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for all you’re doing here and elsewhere! I noted this on your blog and wanted to let you know of a needed alteration.

    –Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church–

    “Written by an evangelical Presbyterian layperson who was part of his congregation’s inquiry into affirming their LGBTQ members, this book is probably the best summary response to Scripture’s “clobber passages” for left-brain verse-by-verse types.”

    Jack Rogers — http://www.drjackrogers.com/ — is a retired minister, biblical scholar and theologian. He is conservative and he is evangelical; he is not a layperson.

    God bless you,

    David

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