All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17, NASB)

The Christian Must First Listen To God; And Only Afterward, Listen To People

Being brought up as a Roman Catholic would end up causing me to become an agnostic by my late teens. In the meantime, my secular career as a radio personality, stand-up comic, and professional musician, would take me all over this country. And now as a pastor-teacher who adheres to the Biblical doctrines of grace, I am willingly bound—like Jesus Christ in His humanity before me—to Sola Scriptura. Simply put, God’s Word in the Bible is the final authority on all matters touching faith and morals.

This means where it speaks clearly, I—and anyone else claiming to be a minister of the Gospel— must also proclaim it clearly; and this, no matter the personal cost. Having been given a shepherd’s heart by God when He regenerated me I do happen to love people; but, true love also includes the willingness to tell them the truth. As I’ve pointed out before my early, and informal, training in ministry circa 1988 on came long before I was called as pastor while planting an SBC mission church in 1994, or was ever given the Apprising Ministries website.

Initially my labor in the Lord by studying Scripture for hours a day and then going around the city where I lived at the time talking about Jesus and His Gospel with anyone who wished to have discussions with me. Being that the secular career I alluded to before made me quite at ease in front of people, and indeed put me in front of lots and lots of different kinds of them, it was always very easy for me to begin talking with anyone. And something the Lord taught me very early on was to really listen very carefully to what people were actually saying. 

By doing so as you speak with them personally, not only will people really warm up much more readily to someone they see as willing to really listen to them, but you’ll also learn an awful lot; and that, in very rapid fashion. Being that early on I felt called into apologetics, counter-cult evangelism, and to the study of Comparative Religion, it was always very interesting to me—and it still is—to listen as people share about what they themselves believe concerning various religious matters.

Mainly I have, once again, given my background here for the benefit of new readers because there has been quite a bit of whining ’round the camp of Jay Bakker since I wrote Does “Gay Affirming Pastor” Jay Bakker Really Love Gay People? But here’s the critical point so often missed today: While everyone has every right to feel about and/or to believe whatever they want to (within reason), what someone feels and/or believes has exactly zero to do with what the Creator has said concerning the unrepentant practice of sexual immorality with a member of the same sex i.e. homosexuality.

A case in point below, Jay Baker can sincerely believe with all of his heart, and feel ever so strongly:

“The more I follow grace, the more I’m drawn to him [God], the more I’m willing to stand up for people being persecuted,” said Bakker. “It sounds so churchy, but I felt like God spoke to my heart and said ‘[homosexuality] is not a sin.’ ” (Online source, emphasis mine)

But, it will never change the absolute fact that the one true and living God of the Bible most certainly did not speak the above lie to Bakker’s well-intentioned heart because it is clearly in conflict with what He has already said in the Bible. And this is the central issue concerning GLBTQ people: When it comes to matters concerning God, all opinions, views, feelings, beliefs, etc. must be thoroughly tested by Scripture; and never, ever, the reverse as is the case with more and more people within apostatizing mainstream evangelicalism.

But What Is There To Discuss; If You Actually Believe What The Bible Says

I have already said that it is time to rethink how we as Christians are attempting to handle the issue of those who are unrepentantly practicing homosexuality and then making the claim that, while doing so, they have become Christians and/or their deviant lifestyle is an acceptable one for the Christian. I’m also on record that as a former professional musician once living in Los Angeles I have personally known many GLBTQ people; as a matter of fact a friend of mine, whom I also worked for, was quite open about his homosexuality. 

We never had any issues at all because people are free, in a humanistic sense, to live in any manner they choose within the laws of this nation. I always got along great with him, and when he had a chance, he actually hired me to specifically work with him on his team. I’ve been to his home a few times, which he shares with his partner; and as a matter of fact, one day we were driving when he began criticizing “Christians” because of someone we both worked with who actually was acting foolishly. Finally I smiled and said, “You do know that I’m a Christian myself, right?”

The Lord be praised for the compliment, because he immediately said, “Yeah, but you act like one.” Men and women, what Bakker says God told him above ends up a repudiation of Sola Scriptura and illustrates perfectly a central point in my writings concerning homosexuality. In one of his Question and Answer sessions I’ve been watching Bakker explains that he thinks that we ought to re-examine Scriptures involving homosexuality.

But as he may, or may not, know the Body of Christ has already done this many, many times before. Again, Bakker may not be aware, but he’s using the exact same rhetoric in “affirming” GLBTQ people as liberals like John Shelby Spong. Please understand that I’m not equating Bakker and Spong here, I’m simply providing background for those new to the issue of Christianity and homosexuality. Actually, we showed you in Why No Condemnation For Christians Who Are Homopressive Spong himself admits that he agrees “it’s obvious” homosexuality “is condemned in Scripture.”

So the only way around it is for the unbelieving liberals like Spong, or so-called “Progessive Christians” like Living Spiritual Teacher and scholar Marcus Borg, to then attack the inspiration of the Bible itself. For example Spong goes on to say:

The issue in my mind is not [Scripture condemning homosexuality]. The issue is whether or not the people who lived at the time of the Bible and who wrote about homosexuality understood the scientific meaning of homosexuality. (Spong/Martin Debate on Sexual Ethics transcript, 9, 10)

The New Christians With Christianity Worth Believing—No Sola Scriptura: Yes, Women Pastors And Queer Christians shows you that what’s happening right now, and even within the mainstream evangelical camp, is people like Jay Bakker are changing their views on issues like homosexuality by their subjective feelings in much the same way as leading Emergence Christianity spokesman Tony Jones does in the video below. There you’ll hear the theologian in residence at the Emergent Church of his quasi-universalist pastor Doug Pagitt speculate:

And neither am I going to deny the fact that— (pause) where I’ve come to on my opinion on this issue [unrepentant practicing homosexuals becoming Christians] is affected, not purely by the philosophical and theological arguments, but also by attending to the movements of my own spirit.

And trying to pay attention to how I think—and listening to—gay people, gay Christians talk about how their-they’ve-how they’ve lived their lives in such a way so that—in their estimation—they’re in accord with Biblical Christianity. And so giving—I wanna give the philosophical its due; but for me, I’m also going to-I have to attend to the existential, for me, because I know that’s been a part of what I’ve come to… (2:54-3:46)

Men and women, the fact is Tony Jones has just told you that after all the philosophical and theological arguments, when all is said and done, he has come to his decision which follows by “the existential”; in other words, by how Jones personally feels after “attending to the movements of my own spirit,”:

I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state. (Online source, bold his)

However for the Christian, in any issue relating to faith and morals our existential, highly subjective opinions, and/or notoriously fickle feelings are irrelevant. The only question that actually matters for those of us who are ambassadors for Jesus Christ is: What does the Bible say about the issue at hand; in this case the practice of homosexuality. And herein lies the bigger, issue within the issue, which God is laboring to bring out to evangelical leaders doing a startlingly great impression of Rip Van Winkle: Protestant evangelicalism continues only giving lip service to the Bible as being their final authority in matters of faith and morals.

But when it really comes right down to it—in the end—a critical life issue such as homosexual sin is now being decided—within the mainstream of the visible church—by how one feels about it rather than what the Lord has already, and quite clearly, told us — “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22, NASB). Ok, there are those who are put off by my “tone,” so here I’ll point you to Emerging Church pastor Dan Kimball, in many ways the polar opposite of me. Of the practice of homsoexuality he says:

I have read just about every single book there is out there on this topic, written from both the conservative [read: Biblical] and pro-gay theological perspectives, and I have read the various studies and opinions on each of the Scriptures that mention homosexuality or that have been seen as addressing homosexuality.

I have wrestled with the Scriptures and difficult viewpoints. I studied this issue not being afraid to reexamine all I had ever been taught before and to approach it with an open mind and heart. However, after much prayer and study of the sexual ethics and themes presented overall in Scripture, I have found that I just can’t dismiss that in the Bible homosexual practice is considered a sin. (They Like Jesus But Not The Church, 137, emphasis his)

Those of you who are familiar with Christian apologist and renowned cult expert Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989) know that circa 1985 he said of the dying mainline denominations of the visible church:

We are more concerned in the United States about the rights of homosexuals than we are about Who Jesus Christ is and what He did. We’re more concerned with social issues in the United States in the Christian church denominationally than we are with those who are dying in their sins without the Gospel. We are very concerned about everything except the things that really matter.

For the truth is, comprising as it does the heart of the highly ecumenical and inclusive postliberal cult of Emergence Christianity with their reimagined social gospel of the original cult of liberal theology, there’s no new arguments here at all. However, the plague of semi-pelagianism (at best), along its god with the man-shaped hole in its heart, which would kill those mainline denominations has firmly established itself within the mainstream of spiritually spineless evangellyfish with the now near open embrace of decidedly non-Protestant and egregiously existential Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism.

And, as this all relates to the subject of homosexuality, those of us familiar with Martin’s consistent and insistent defense of Sola Scriptura also know what he’d say to men like Tony Jones and Rob Bell, who has thus far refused to us publicly where he stands in regard to GLBTQ people and their sin — “What really is there to discuss; if you actually believe what Bible says?” But how very, very sad that; at this late hour when she needs it most, there seems to be no voice like that of Dr. Walter Martin to be heard within the Bride of Christ who said:

the only way you can deal with this is to bring it out in the open and let people see it for what it really is: It’s filth, because it is attacking at the very core the character and nature of Holy Scripture, and making the Scripture say what the Scripture does not say.

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