Sunday, September 24, 2017

Open Letter to the Writers and Signers of A Liturgists Statement

God is love…and God created marriage as one man and one woman for life…for His purpose. Therefore, it is my duty as a blood-bought disciple of Christ to exhort and rebuke those claim to know Christ and yet seek to remain in sin and not call it sin. Woe to you who call evil good, and good evil.  

The recent “A Liturgists Statement” by "liberal Christians" (I use these words "liberal Christians" as loosely as I would use the word "remarriage") was intended to replace the Nashville Statement by remaining in the sin of sexual immorality and “love” the unrepentant sexual immoral rather than call the sexual immoral to repentance. The Nashville Statement was intended to extend eternal love to the sexual immoral by telling them that they are dead in their sins. I believe the “Nashville Statement” and “A Liturgists Statement” are much more similar in context since they both capitulated to the idea that a divorce could sever a one-flesh covenant marriage...more on that later. 
It is first necessary to extend consideration of the language which makes up A Liturgists Statement...

“As floodwaters still rise in Houston, many prominent Christian leaders released the Nashville Statement. This document released a flood of its own, only this time instead of homes flooded with water, it was hearts flooded with grief.”

I really do not believe it was necessary to associate the flood in Houston with the timing of the Nashville Statement. Was this done with the intention to believe that the definition of marriage is not as important as saving lives in the Houston flood?  Even though the Nashville Statement document was incomplete and not completely truthful (Here is my personal Open Letter to the writers and signers of the Nashville Statement), it still had the intention to define marriage as one man and one woman with the emphasis to point people to the truth rather than let them remain in their sins.  In a sense, it was written to save The LGBTQ community from eternal death. If you read it as anything other than this then you are missing the point. If you embrace sexual immortality, then you should feel grief for clinging to your own sexually immoral sins.

“Yet again, powerful people of means use the platform of the Church to demean the basic dignity of gay, bisexual, lesbian, trans, intersex, and queer people.”

I really do not believe you understand the definition of love as the Lord defines love. If the Nashville Statement was centered on the reality that all sexual activity outside of a union of one man (a husband) and one woman (a wife) is immoral and contrary to God’s perfect design, then by no means is this statement “demeaning”. Rather it is the most loving thing you can tell someone who is in sin. Would the loving thing be to give an alcoholic more alcohol, or how about giving an addict more drugs? This is how you understand love? If bisexuality, lesbianism, and transgenderism are sins, then why would anyone who believes they are sins affirm these lifestyles?   

I also take offense the thought that those who wrote the Nashville Statement equate to “powerful people of means”. If you associate "Well-known and Famous Pastors" as those who have power beyond the ordinary "layperson" then you are part of the problem. There are “lesser known people” who believe just as they do that sexual conduct outside of a monogamous marriage is sinful. Also, the Church never approves of sexual immorality and this immoral manifesto, and furthermore, the Church does not approve of the Nashville Statement either. More on that later…

“This isn’t new. “Biblical” morality has been used to justify slavery, resistance to interracial marriage, genocide, and war. The scope of the Bible’s narrative allows a broad interpretation of what is right and moral, and both the church and society at large have moved toward universal justice and acceptance on issues once thought to be “crystal clear.”

This is a fallacious paragraph meant to distract from the true definition of marriage. None of what you wrote here has anything to do with the true definition of marriage as one man and one woman for life. It was merely a means to say in your opinion that since the writers of the Nashville Statement must know little of what the Bible says on other issues, it must be assumed that they know nothing of God’s design for marriage.  If you want to address “Biblical” slavery, resistance to interracial marriage, genocide, and war, then it is best to do so apart from the main purpose of the Nashville Statement and your willingness to redefine marriage.

“In regards to Christians across the spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities, it’s past time to accept and affirm them as they are.”

Past time? And where do you get the foundation of your position? You must first convince me that a “Christian” would own a “spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identifications.” We must assume, simply because you believe it is true, that a blood-bought believer would not see it necessary to believe that sexual activity outside of one-flesh covenant marriage is sinful. If something is sinful, or someone is practicing sin, then I am called to show them that apart from repentance from this sin and faith in Christ they will not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10)

“In the same way that we no longer accept the morality of slavery based on its inclusion in our scriptures, we can no longer project first century notions of sex and sexuality on people today.”

Another fallacious statement. If you want to address slavery, then do so apart from your desire to redefine marriage as one man and one woman for life and your desire to live in the flesh rather than the spirit of Christ. Human sexuality was from the beginning (Gen 2:24) as it was one man and one woman for life. This conversation would never take place if marriage, as it was in the beginning, was not a reality.

“The very notion of “orientation,” or even “heterosexual” would be completely foreign to the authors of both the old and new testaments in the Bible.”

Moot point. “Incarnation” is also “completely foreign to the authors of both the old and new testaments in the Bible.” What is not foreign is that marriage is one man and one woman for life…and you can’t change that no matter how hard you try.

“We understand that many of the people on the other side of this debate are loving Christians who really are trying to do and believe what's right–people who are also God's children, beloved and holy. However, this is a time that truth must be spoken to oppressive power systems. For far too long, the Christian Church has oppressed and marginalized people because of their gender and/or sexual orientation.”

No, the problem is that the “institutionalized church”, and in particular, the evangelicals have redefined marriage through the erroneous teaching on divorce and remarriage through the pages of the Westminster Confession of Faith, they have failed in accountability without using church discipline (Mt 18:15-17), and they have successfully duped the sheep into believing that the clergy/laity power system represents the Church. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ defines marriage as one man and one woman for life (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9)…and teaches that ALL other relationships which include any form of sexuality are sinful.

“Personal beliefs about human sexuality have life-or-death consequences in our world. “

No, personal beliefs about human sexuality have life-or-death consequences for all eternity.

“The social and systemic persecution of LGBTQ people creates real harm: limited and lost employment, physical assault, discrimination, depression, and suicide.”

Do not confuse the willingness to remain in a sexual immoral lifestyle with the consequences of this lifestyle. Both the LGBTQ lifestyle, and the social and systemic persecution of LGBTQ peoples are sinful because they should not have happened to begin with. You want us to believe that it is “ok” to be sexually immoral and then you do not want to repent of the sinful lifestyle which causes limited and lost employment, physical assault, discrimination, depression, and suicide. It is like sticking your finger in an electric socket and expecting not to get electrocuted. Also, the Nashville Statement is not going to argue the persecution of LGBTQ lifestyle, and they certainly do not condone it either. It is also fallacious to believe that all those who condemn the sin of sexual immorality are the same ones who persecute the LGTBTQ community.

“This is not of God.”

Yes, I would agree that affirming sexual immorality and persecuting those who do is not of God. We simply point people to the truth of God’s word that marriage is one man and one woman for life and that marriage is a representation of the Gospel. That is exactly why I wrote this.

“So, while we expect a flood of statements in response to the Nashville Statement,…”

You may not be expecting a response like this one since I will never sign the Nashville Statement based on the same reasons I would never sign this statement.

…”we the undersigned wanted to add our voice to the chorus of Christians affirming LGBTQ folks–including the Christians among them.”

The term “Christians affirming LGBTQ folks” is like telling me that a square is round and that yellow is blue. Believers of the Lord Jesus Christ do not affirm sexual immorality and nor do they joyfully participate in sexual immorality. Period.  

“We believe that people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are fearfully and wonderfully made, holy before God, beloved and beautiful as they are.”

I truly believe all the words before the first comma…without affirming that God made them with the desire to be sexually immoral...the rest of the sentence is only reserved for those who are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. One is made holy to God only by Christ’s righteousness. One can only receive the Holy Spirit if they repent of their sins of the flesh and live in the spirit of Christ. In other words, a believer’s sexuality is defined in who they are in Christ. While God loves you, He wants to conform you into the image of Christ, and we know that Christ defines human sexuality by what He believes about marriage.

“We believe all people have full autonomy over their bodies, sexual orientations, and gender identities, and the diversity of identities reflects the creative power of a loving God.”

Paul writes, 1 Cor 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 

Also, in the beginning God made one man and one woman. (Gen 2:18-24) The creative power in God is the design of marriage, one man and one woman which gives life. Any other sexual desire outside of marriage does not give life. Human sexuality is designed to create children and make them disciples, and is never to be used for our own selfish desires.

We believe that God is love, and that ‘anyone who loves is born of God and knows God’. (I John 4:7)”

You want to use scripture out of context to tell the attributes of God, but you do want to use scripture which denies your defending sexual immorality? God loves you so much He “commands” that the best for us sexually is a marriage of one man and one woman for life.  Any deviation from this perfect plan is a perversion of the perfect plan. Anyone who knows God would not deviate from this perfect plan, and to do so is idolatry. So it is impossible for you to love like God loves while affirming a sinful lifestyle.

“God is honored in any consenting and loving relationship between adults, and therefore, all such relationships deserve honor and recognition.”

God does not honor loving relationships between children, just adults? What about a young girl or boy who loves her little brother or sister? What about a mother who loves her child and the child who loves the mother?  Are we talking about love or lust? A man can surely love another man and this is called an “intimate friendship”, but for another man to lust for another man it is called immoral and sinful.

 “We believe that same-sex relationships and marriages are as holy before God as heterosexual marriages.”

Same-sex relationships such as defined by a close intimate friendship is wonderful. There is no such thing as a “same-sex” marriage as this falls into the same category as a square circle. You cannot acknowledge something that simply cannot exist. Again, marriage by definition is one man and one woman for life exactly as it was in the beginning. (Gen 2:24) Unfortunately, like you, the writers and signers of the Nashville Statement cannot even get this right.

“We stand in solidarity with LGBTQ folks, and commit to standing alongside them in the work of resisting those who persecute them.”

If pointing people to the truth so that their souls may be saved on the Day of Judgment is “persecution”, then I would disagree with you. Otherwise, I would never accept persecution of the LGBTQ folks…The question is…would you persecute me if I believe LGBTQ folks need a Savior, and I believe that if they do not repent of their lustful sins, they will not inherit the kingdom of God? (1 Cor 6:9,10)

“We don't believe LGBTQ folks need our approval or affirmation–they are affirmed first and foremost by God. This statement acts as a concreted record of solidarity.”

I believe this is totally contrary to the word of God and that the god you believe in is not the same Almighty Lord of the Bible. God ONLY affirms marriage as one man and one woman for life. (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6;Mk 10:6-9) This would make any other sexual desire contrary to His holy word. This may shock you, but this includes cohabitation fornication, AND divorce and remarriage...unfortunately, evangelicals would have a problem with this information as this “divorce and remarriage” language is not clarified in the Nashville Statement. I believe it is not clarified simply for the same reason you believe sexual immorality is “ok”. 

Just as you want us to capitulate on sexual immorality, the evangelicals have long since capitulated on divorce and remarriage, and closing fast is cohabitation fornication. Since you have also capitulated on divorce and remarriage, the next obvious step is to capitulate on any sexual lifestyle imaginable. The truth is that the real definition of marriage sinks both the “divorce and remarriage” boat, and blasts the “sexual immorality” boat out of the water.

“For those of us who haven’t always been affirming, we repent of how our beliefs and actions caused harm in the lives of LGBTQ people. We also stand ready to welcome other people into repentance as their eyes are opened to the injustice caused by non-affirming theologies.”
What if we don’t repent of your lies? Then what? What becomes of those who believe marriage is one man and one woman for life? Would you call us bigots? I know I have been called a Pharisee by the “divorce and remarry” crowd, but I correct these folks by telling them that the Pharisees allowed for both divorce and remarriage, and the Lord pointed to the beginning when God made marriage and told the Pharisees…

Matthew 19:And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
You expect me to accept the sins of the LGBTQ folks when I do not accept the sins of the evangelicals who want to point fingers at the sinful LGBTQ folks when they long since capitulated on the truth of marriage as one man and one woman for life? I reject this lustful, flesh-seeking, worldly manifesto for the same hypocrisy that is written in the Nashville Statement. When the Evangelicals repent of divorce and remarriage which are “states” of adultery, then and only then will they have the power to release a manifesto on the truth of marriage.  

The divorce and remarriage position is so shallow, unholy and flesh laden that it reeks of death. It is a self-seeking, self-fulfillment, self-centered lustful position based on emotions, desires and feelings of the flesh rather than the spirit of Christ. It is not a representation of the Gospel, and it is not a representation of life. So, what do you think that makes your position? 

You want to redefine marriage and put asunder what God has joined together? Go ahead. You want to make a god in your own image? Go ahead. You want to use the Bible as a cut and paste coloring book to appease and affirm your lifestyle? Go ahead. But I must warn you because I love you. This love I have for you is not a fleshy love that is based on a wisp of life, but an eternal love that is based on the grace and truth of Christ. You must repent! 

“We don’t claim righteousness or moral superiority over non-affirming people. Our hearts have been broken by our own actions most of all.”

I claim the righteousness of Christ and I live in the righteousness of Christ. When I sin, I claim that it is sin and not try to hide from my sin. I fail on many occasions, but I will never say that I affirm my sinful actions. The Lord is making me like Him every day. You want to totally deny the work of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to remain in your sin and not call it sin. That is a road that leads to death. 

My heart breaks for the lies propagated by clergy who defend divorce and remarriage and redefine the definition of marriage by their erroneous teaching. My hearts breaks for those men and women who stand fast to their vows know that their prodigal spouses not only listened to the lies, they believe them too. My heart breaks for the people who have been failed by lack of accountability and church discipline simply because the clergy handed over divorce litigation to a corrupt family court system. 

My heart breaks for those who follow death ministries who capitulated on the true definition of marriage. Like you, these ministries claim the name of Christ and claim to have the true definition of marriage. They claim marriage is holy and pure, yet they allow for divorce and remarriage…and when fighting for these “remarriages” they will tell us that it is sinful to end the relationship when the Lord calls the “relationship” an adulterous union. 

Finally, my heart breaks for those trapped in sexual immorality. They have given over to the lusts of their flesh simply because they could not forgive themselves. The Lord Jesus Christ came in power and has all the power to break the chains of sin. If we want to repent and be like Him, then we need to forgive ourselves as He forgave us. If we say that He can never forgive me of the sins of immorality, then we deny His power. And if we say that I know He forgives me but I cannot forgive myself, then we also deny His power.

The power of Christ is to break us and forms us into His image. We can only do this by forsaking the desires of the flesh and live in the spirit of Christ. This is power not of ourselves, rather it is power restored in us through faith in Him. Do not quench the Holy Spirit. Forsake your sins and bask in the mercy, grace, freedom and power of Christ. So that you will be clothed in His righteousness.

In Christ’s love,