Posts Tagged ‘Homosexuality’
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
DURHAM, UK – A Christian school in the UK is being shut down and another under scrutiny after investigators quizzed random students and found them to have “discriminatory views” toward others.
According to reports, last November, members of the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) visited Durham Free School for an inspection, and declared the educational institution to be substandard.
“Leaders are failing to prepare students for life in modern Britain,” said lead inspector Joan Hewitt. “Some students hold discriminatory views of other people who have different faiths, values or beliefs from themselves.”
One of the inspectors had reportedly asked one 12-year-old boy what a Muslim is, and the child responded by making references to terrorist activity. OFSTED saw this as being problematic. Click here to continue reading.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
WASHINGTON – In delivering his annual “State of the Union” address on Tuesday night, Barack Obama claimed that the recent proliferation of federal rulings regarding same-sex “marriage” has presented itself as a “story of freedom” throughout America.
During the segment, Obama was speaking about unity among Americans despite their differences and the accomplishments that he believes he has seen during his presidency.
“I still believe that we are one people. I still believe that together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long. I believe this because over and over in my six years in office, I have seen America at its best,” he said. “I’ve seen the hopeful faces of young graduates from New York to California; and our newest officers at West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, and New London. I’ve mourned with grieving families in Tucson and Newtown; in Boston, West, Texas, and West Virginia.”
“I’ve watched Americans beat back adversity from the Gulf Coast to the Great Plains; from Midwest assembly lines to the Mid-Atlantic seaboard,” Obama continued. “I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in ten Americans call home.” Click here to continue reading.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
RICHLAND, Wash. – A judge in Washington has ruled that the state may hold a florist personally liable for declining to provide flowers for a regular customer’s same-sex “wedding,” thus authorizing authorities to go after her personal assets should she lose the legal battle.
As previously reported, Baronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland was leveled with a lawsuit March 2012 by State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who claimed that she violated the law by not fulfilling the order. Stutzman had been approached by one of her faithful customers, Robert Ingersoll, a homosexual, as he wanted her to supply the flowers for his upcoming ceremony with his partner, Curt. She states that she politely explained that she would not be able to help in regard to the event.
“I just took his hands and said, ‘I’m sorry. I cannot do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,’” Stutzman told reporters.
After Ingersoll decided to post on Facebook about the matter, controversy arose on both sides of the issue—both for and against Stutzman. The florist said that she received a number of threatening and angry comments. Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for research and informatonal purposes only and not as an endorsement of either content or the source.
“Saskatoon gay couple 1st to be married in Mennonite church”
New Year’s Eve is a special time for many, and for Craig Friesen and Matt Wiens, it was especially meaningful.
The Saskatoon couple was married on Dec. 31 in Osler, Sask., in the presence of family, friends and the church community.
The men’s wedding marks a point in history for the Mennonite denomination in Canada. Friesen and Wiens are the first same-sex couple publicly married in a Canadian Mennonite church. Click here to continue reading.
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: 6 Questions Every Gay Person Should Ask
1. Rick Warren, Religious Liberty, and Catholics and Evangelicals Together by Roger Oakland
3. Powerful Radio Interview: Jan Markell Interviews Patrick Crough – Children Who Fall Victim to Sexual Predators & the Story of One Boy by Jan Markell and Patrick Crough
6. Are We Heading Towards Tyranny? By Maria Kneas
6 Questions Every Gay Person Should Ask by Michael Tays Carter is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of 6 Questions Every Gay Person Should Ask, click here.
By Michael Tays Carter
Homosexuality was a biblical issue long before it became a political one. This booklet answers six important questions about man’s existence and whether or not a God of perfect love exists. Are we only here by chance governed by an amoral “spirit of the universe”? Could it be there is a moral God who has set moral boundaries for our good—a God who loves us enough to literally save us from ourselves?
ONE: What about my Unmet Needs?
There is an Eat-Drink-And-Be-Merry-For-Tomorrow-We-Die party going strong. It is hosted by the famous “I-Have-Needs” with the popular “Get-Your-Needs-Met-Here” to greet you at the door. “Hate-The-Law” is dancing the night away with “New-Christ-Consciousness.” “Doubt-The-Bible” has the crowded room in the palm of his hand. No one wants him to leave, but he has had so much to drink he staggers, and “Easy-Way-Out” has to show him to the door. Morning comes, and the place is still packed with people who all have needs at the Eat-Drink-And-Be-Merry-For-Tomorrow-We-Die party.
Married people who cheat have needs. Drug addicts have needs. Murderers have needs. Pedophiles and rapists have needs . . . What is to stop any of us from meeting our needs as we see fit? Who cares about the idea of rebelling against a moral God or hurting another human being in order to meet our (selfish) needs? When living a pure life seems too hard, what does it matter if we take the easy way out of pain?
The Greeks had homosexual and heterosexual orgies as a spiritual offering to their pagan gods. Who is to say they were wrong? Hitler believed God was on his side as he practiced occult spirituality. Can we know for sure he was deceived?
When we feel the need to live a way the Bible forbids, it is argued that we can excuse ourselves by flippantly reasoning, The Bible must not be true in this particular area of my temptation because it seems impossible for me to overcome. It’s too hard to live the way the Bible says is “right” when it comes to who I am, so I’ll judge the Bible instead of letting it judge me! But, is this really a plausible argument against the veracity of the Bible? It certainly suited Hitler and the Greeks.
When we become addicted and can’t stop a behavior, is it just a coincidence that the Bible warns that sin can own us as slaves? We blame God when He does not take desires away in our timing, on our terms, as if God is meant to be a servant to us instead of the other way around. God, who is the only moral Lawgiver, offers a redemptive plan for mankind in His love, but the freedom, joy and confidence He offers is contingent on surrender to and trust in Him, which often means self-denial in favor of God’s will.
The creed of Satanism teaches: “Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” In other words, do whatever seems right in your own eyes. In stark contrast, Jesus taught:
Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. (Matthew 16:24-25)
TWO: Do As Thou Wilt?
The creed of Satanism is “Do as thou wilt”—do whatever you want with only your conscience as your guide. Have you been believing in Satanism without even knowing it?
Do the following quotes from Satanism describe your beliefs?
Verses from the Satanic Bible to consider for freedom to sin
“Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”—Aleister Crowley, Creed of Satanism
“It is a popular misconception that the Satanist does not believe in God. The concept of ‘God’, as interpreted by man, has been so varied throughout the ages that the Satanist simply accepts the definition which suits him best . . . To the Satanist God, by whatever name he is called or by no name at all, is seen as the balancing factor in nature.”—The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey (p. 40)
“The day of the cross and the Trinity are done.”—Satanic Rituals, Anton LaVey (p. 127)
“There is no heaven of glory bright and no hell where sinners roast. Here and now is our day of torment! Here and now is our day of joy! . . . Choose ye this day, this hour, for no redeemer liveth. Say unto thine own heart, ‘I am my own redeemer.’”—The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey (pp. 33-34)
“The very word ‘devil’ . . . means ‘god.’ Satan represents opposition to all religions which serve to frustrate and condemn man for his natural instincts.”—The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey (pp. 55-57)
Verses from the Holy Bible to consider for freedom from sin
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21)
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. . . . If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:34, 36)
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication . . . . He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:3, 8)
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. (Revelation 21:7-8)
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator . . . For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness . . .who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1: 24-29, 32)
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)
Living however we want in immorality is Satan’s way. Denying ourselves and living in purity, strengthened by His grace, is God’s way. Through the Bible, we can know the God who is far more than an impersonal spirit in the universe—the God who defeated Satan on the Cross.
THREE: What About Hate Crimes?
Violent or hate crimes against homosexuals are wrong without a doubt, but how about hate crimes toward Jesus?
Jesus warned that people would perish without repenting (i.e., turning away from their sinful lives and turning to Him in faith). If you are a practicing homosexual and Jesus Himself were here to tell you straight to your face as a gay person that you must repent of your sin and humbly turn to Him to find new life for your soul, would you call Him a “bigot”? Would you commit a hate crime against Him like the people who nailed Him to the Cross?
When anyone mocks a Christian for living a chaste life, according to the Bible, they are mocking God. Some Christians are discriminated against for believing the Bible as God’s Word, no matter how loving they are toward those who disagree. The Bible says that “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus promises this, and He saves that person forever as His own. And He calls those who belong to Him His “Bride.” It hurts Jesus when a Christian is persecuted for believing in Him and the Bible.
Would you bully Jesus for telling you that you must leave your sin and pick up your cross to follow Him? Would you bully Jesus if He Himself convinced you that you were created for purity (see 1 Timothy 4:12). Would you commit a hate crime toward a Christian for telling you such a message in love?
If Jesus convinced you that God did not make anyone for homosexuality, would you say pejorative things about the Bible and hate God for His hatred of your sin? If you lived in the time of Jesus with His definition of sin, judgment, wrath, freedom, righteousness and love, would you have been among those in the crowd shouting, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” because He convicts of sin and you “hate” such a conviction? Are you the person described in Hebrews to again crucify to yourself the Son of God and put Him to open shame? (Hebrews 6:4-6).
Will you have an open mind allowing yourself to see Jesus for who He truly is? Can you “accept Him as He is”? Jesus referenced Sodom and Gomorrah, and it was not with a compliment. He said Sodom and Gomorrah were reserved for a day of judgment in eternal Hell (Matthew 10:15, 2 Peter 2:6). This is what God said. Do you hate Him for that?
When Saul was persecuting Christians, Jesus appeared to him and said:
Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. (Acts 26:14-15)
What if God never made you for the purpose of same-sex attraction, and homosexuality was never meant to define you as a human being made in God’s image? Would you bully Jesus for that? The Jesus of the Bible warned that all people must “repent” or “perish”—news worthy of a hate crime that nailed Him to the Cross.
FOUR: Why Believe The Bible?
When a person claims there is no absolute truth, it begs the question, “Is that true?” There is no truth if absolute truth does not exist. The gay person may sing along to Lady Gaga, “I was born this way,” but how do we know that is true? Is truth only based on feelings? The Islamic terrorists felt they were pleasing Allah when they attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. They felt they were heading to a heaven of celestial sex with virgins as a result, but was reality based on their feelings? When Jerry Sandusky picked underprivileged children to molest and made them “feel” special before sexually abusing them at Penn State, were the children safe to trust their feelings with such a “friend”? How do we measure our worth and a true standard for living when the human conscience can be seared and feelings can be deceiving?
If the Bible is not true and holy, what is? If everyone is good, as New Age spirituality teaches, how do we explain crimes against humanity such as the genocide by Hitler against the Jews, the terror attacks of September 11th, or the “Batman Massacre” in Aurora, Colorado? Is justice for the inequalities and injustices in the world left only to chance? Are we all here by chance? Does the pedophile love his victims, just because he claims to love them while sexually abusing them? What is love? When John Wycliffe was burned at the stake for translating the Bible to the English language, was his death in vain for some silly made-up stories? How can we know we can trust the Bible?
There is no other book like the Bible. It is actually sixty-six books, and all with the same message, written over a span of fifteen hundred years by more than forty different authors from kings to fishermen. The Bible offers a salvation not based on works. What man would make up such a thing to deem himself so powerless with no capability of getting to heaven on his own merits?
Consider the Dead Sea Scrolls, which prove the Bible has stayed intact with the same message as in the earliest manuscripts. No other book has as many early manuscripts that match.
Then, there is the resurrection of Jesus. Roman guards were assigned to His tomb, yet His body still left it. Secular historians like Josephus report that Jesus appeared to over five hundred witnesses after He was resurrected from the dead, supporting the Bible’s account.
Jesus would either have had to be crazy or a downright liar for the claims He made if He was not God in the flesh. He could have never been a “good prophet” if He had claimed to be the only Savior by fraud.
Historically, Jesus fulfilled over three hundred prophecies from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
The most profound reason of all that people don’t believe in Jesus is because they love their sin and are in rebellion against a holy God. The Bible teaches that a fool has said in his heart there is no God (Psalm 14:1), not a highly educated scientist or professor—a fool. The guilty conscience of a fool is just one more thing to prove the Bible is true.
FIVE: Is There a Gay Gene?
Geneticists, anthropologists, developmental psychologists, sociologists, endocrinologists, neuroscientists, medical researchers into gender, and twin study researchers are in broad agreement about the role of genetics in homosexuality. Genes don’t make you do it. There is no genetic determinism, and genetic influence at most is minor.1
Below is a summary taken from Dr. Neil E. Whitehead’s book My Genes Made Me Do It!—a Scientific Look at Sexual Orientation.2 Dr. Whitehead has done twenty years of scientific research into homosexuality. His research covers more than 10,000 scientific papers and publications from all sides of the debate.
By Dr. Neil Whitehead (used with permission)
These very complex comparisons of identical twins and non-identical twins definitively rule out genetic determinism. Identical twins with identical genes are about 11-14% concordant for SSA [same-sex attraction]. If homosexuality were “genetic,” identical co-twins of homosexual men and women would also be homosexual 100% of the time. In classic twin studies the genetic fraction is less than 23% for men and 37% for women and may be as low as 10%. Twin studies continue to find steadily lower genetic fractions for homosexuality as methodology improves and samples become larger. Everyone has at least a 10% genetic factor influence in his or her thinking and behavior—simply because without genes there can be no human activity or behavior of any kind. Twin studies show that individualistic reactions to chance events (in which one identical twin reacts differently from the other) are by far the strongest contributors to homosexuality. In other words, randomness is a strong factor.
A scan of the whole genome [genetic material] has not found any homosexual genes, unlike the case for schizophrenia (which has still only identified 4 genes linked to 3% of schizophrenia.)
From an understanding of gene structure and function there are no plausible means by which genes could dictate SSA (or other behaviors) in a person.
No genetically determined human behavior has yet been found. The most closely genetically-related behavior yet discovered (mono-amine oxidase deficiency leading to aggression) has shown itself remarkably responsive to counseling.
A genetically dominated SSA caused by a cluster of genes could not suddenly appear and disappear in families, as it does. It would persist through every generation for many generations. It is genetically implausible that many “heterosexual” genes could switch off at the same time.
The human race shares most of its genes—something between 99.7% and 99.9%. That means all ethnic groups will have most of them. This has three implications.
If homosexuality is genetically dictated, homosexual practices will be identical or very similar in all cultures. But the enormous range and diversity of homosexual practice and customs in different cultures (and within cultures) argues against this.
There would be a similar percentage of homosexuality in all cultures. But homosexuality has been unknown in some cultures and mandatory in others.
Changes in homosexual practice and behavior in different cultures would take place very slowly, over many centuries. But this is not what history shows. The decline of whole models (culturally specific expressions) of homosexuality within a century; the relatively sudden (in genetic terms) emergence of the present Western model over a couple of centuries; and abrupt changes of practice within an ethnic group, even over a single generation, are not consistent with anything genetic.
The occurrence of SSA in the population is too frequent to be caused by a faulty pre-natal developmental process, so it is not innate in that sense either. This includes epigenetic processes, i.e. influences of the environment on genetic expression.
If SSA were genetically determined, and led to same-sex contact only, it would have bred itself out of the population in only several generations. It would not exist today.
First attractions (both SSA and OSA [opposite-sex attraction]) occur on average at age 10 and are rarely “earliest memories,” meaning attraction is mostly socially induced. The spread of ages of first attraction is very large, very different from the small spread of ages for the genetically pre-programmed event, puberty.
There have been many studies—none of which has shown any convincing strong relationship between homosexuality and exposure to pre-natal hormones, although several have shown very weak links between pre-natal hormone exposure and infant play. Studies examining effects of very high doses of female hormones to pregnant mothers show no effect on males and a dubious effect on women. Therapy changing levels of adult male and female sex hormones has been shown to affect sex drive but not orientation.
The idea that homosexuality results from pre-natal immune attack on male brain characteristics by the mother is poorly supported. In that case male testes and genitalia (having the largest cluster of male-specific targets) should be attacked but are not.
Numerous older studies of brain microstructures, in the nineties, have failed to come up with replicable differences between adult heterosexual and homosexual brains.
Modern studies show male and female brains at birth are not structurally different, making the likelihood of a specifically “homosexual” brain remote indeed. The main consistently replicable difference, from about age two or three, is their size.
The environment has effects on major sexual dimorphism [the difference between the sexes of the same species] from birth to puberty and beyond.
Sexual dimorphism of the brain mainly occurs at puberty, but even so, experts still have difficulty identifying structural differences between adult male and female brains (let alone heterosexual and homosexual). There is substantial overlap.
Neuroscientists are finding that the brain is extraordinarily plastic. The scientific consensus now is that even as an adult, we are what we are making our brains even though we may not be aware of the constant ongoing process. These changes in microstructure are visible in brain scans within months.
If differences are found between homosexual and heterosexual brains they are probably the result of years of conditioning (repeated thinking patterns and behavior).
The stages of psycho-social development toward adult heterosexuality are well defined and accepted by developmental psychologists, and are so obviously learned that heterosexuality is clearly not genetically mandated. In surveys of adult homosexuals many show deficits in several of these developmental stages—suggesting that homosexuality is cultural and environmental rather than genetic.
There is a much higher occurrence of homosexuality among those who have been raised in large cities, rather than in rural areas, arguing that the environment is much more powerful than genes in the development of homosexuality.
A scientific/sociological tool, Path Analysis, has been argued to show that there is no social or familial basis to homosexuality, but rather a biological one. However, social and family paths leading to homosexuality were collectively significant, though individual paths were not. In contrast, genetic paths were collectively insignificant.
Our instincts, such as self-preservation, hunger, and reproduction, are among the most deeply embedded and strongest impulses we have, but these are able to be controlled and even adapted. If we want to argue homosexuality is also a deeply ingrained instinct, we can also argue it should be malleable and responsive to training.
Causes of SSA
There is no one cause. No single genetic, hormonal, social, or environmental factor is predominant. There are similar themes, childhood gender non-conformity, sexual abuse, peer and family dynamics, sexual history, but the mix varies with individuals making individualistic responses the single overriding factor. Two children from the same family and social environment can interpret incidents very differently. So random reaction, if it structures itself into self-image, can become a significant contributor to homosexuality—as twin studies show. The overriding outcome is a homo-emotional focus on people of the same sex that, at puberty, gets confused or melded with genital sex. This begins to finds expression in sexual acts with others of the same sex which become habitual and often (particularly in males) addictive. . . .
DNA is a ladder of nitrogenous bases and sugars that is a recipe for proteins, not sexual preferences. But it is also a ladder of destiny, a Jacob’s ladder, and it is our choice whether angels or demons walk up and down it.3
SIX: Where Will You Spend Eternity?
Eternity is a very long time, and it is worth your time and effort to seek out answers that can affect the outcome of your eternal destination. If in having read this booklet, you want to break free from an addiction to homosexuality, rest assured that the Gospel has the power to break any bondage. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, died on the Cross offering forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who turn from their sin (repent) and put their trust in Christ. When we are born again by the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, He promises never to leave or forsake us and gives us the power to walk in peace and victory.
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. (Acts 17:30-31)
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
[I]f thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 10:9-11)
To order copies of 6 Questions Every Gay Person Should Ask, click here.
2. My Genes Made Me Do It! is constantly being updated.
3. You may read more of Dr. Whitehead’s research at: http://www.mygenes.co.nz/summary.htm and http://www.mygenes.co.nz/transsexuality.htm.
To order copies of 6 Questions Every Gay Person Should Ask, click here.
The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth by John Lanagan is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth, click here.
The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth: How Eugene Peterson’s The Message Omits Homosexual Sin—and Other Strange Deletions, Additions, and Alterations
By John Lanagan
Can we just say it? Homosexuality is going to be the dividing line between the true church and the rising apostate church. And Eugene Peterson’s The Message is being used by those who want to avoid or deny the truth that homosexuality is a sin.
The Message flat out deletes homosexuality as sin from two key New Testament passages and gives a politically correct spin to a third (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Romans 1:25-27).
For this reason, The Message and other ungodly imitations of the Bible will be increasingly promoted by those who practice a “form of godliness” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) that includes acceptance of homosexuality.
Preaching and teaching from The Message rather than the Bible also makes it easier for those who are unwilling, afraid, or just too tired to resist the politically correct juggernaut of homosexuality.
I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. (Hosea 8:12)
Pastor Carl Lentz oversees Hillsong Church in New York City. Like its parent church in Australia founded by Brian Houston, Hillsong NYC is enormously popular. Celebrities flock there, younger people rave about Hillsong, and secular media give it a free pass.
Such popularity and acceptance would cease if Carl Lentz treated homosexuality like any other sin (i.e., biblically). But Lentz refuses to do so from the pulpit, during interviews, or in any public forum. Among other excuses, he claims he does not deal with homosexual sin publicly because “Jesus rarely dealt with morality or social issues” but with “the deeper things of the heart,” he says.1
During one of his sermons, Lentz used The Message version of 1 Thessalonians 5:14 to assert that Hillsong is biblically obedient in refusing to “make polarizing statements about certain things in our Christian community.”2
According to 1 Thessalonians 5:14 from The Message:
Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs.
Lentz waxed eloquent over one particular phrase from the passage. He repeated, “Be ‘attentive to individual needs.’ That’s interesting. Isn’t that cool? That’s why some churches want us to give blanket answers on huge issues, well, my Bible says be ‘attentive to individual needs.’ So we’re not gonna make polarizing statements about certain things in our Christian community right now. No matter who says what we won’t be pressured into giving blanket statements to individual needs. Never!”3
That sounds kind of heroic, doesn’t it? There is one slight problem: The phrase “attentive to individual needs” is not in any reputable translation of the Bible. It is not in the original Greek. It can only be found in The Message.
In other words, Carl Lentz used a non-existent verse to justify Hillsong’s politically correct silence about homosexual marriage and homosexual sin!
In another sermon, Lentz lamented about biblical illiteracy—and then, ironically, proceeded to teach from The Message. He said:
If you don’t know the Bible, it’s okay. Get to know it. We have a biblically illiterate generation coming up right now where you’re gettin’ second hand information, second hand revelation, second hand stuff that don’t get you through the first hand battle, so make sure you know it for yourself.4
Lentz then told his audience to go to, “James, chapter three. . . . I’m gonna read from The Message.”5 This is further irony because chapter three of James begins by warning that teachers will be more strictly judged.
On more than one occasion, Lentz has assured his audience that The Message is a valid text. Speaking at Judah Smith’s City Church, Lentz stated:
And this morning I’m reading from The Message paraphrase. It’s not a literal translation, but I believe if you check it with all the other translations, it’s right on the money.6
Lentz depends on a phrase not found in genuine translations to justify Hillsong’s politically correct silence about homosexuality.
The Message Versus the Word of God
On a homosexual website, a former evangelical pastor, now living as a homosexual man, uses The Message to assert homosexual relations are God-honoring if performed in love rather than lust.
Tim Evans, author of On Being Gay, relies on The Message versions of 1 Corinthians 6 and Romans 1:25-27 to make his case. He writes:
Reading these renditions and then re-reading the traditional texts without the lens of prejudice, the point is as plain as day. Lust and abuse is wrong and destructive, but love—now that is a different matter.7
Let’s compare The Message passages with those from a genuine Bible.
First, here is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NASB):
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. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Now, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 from The Message:
Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who do not care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit.”
How many people even realize what Peterson has done here? Peterson’s version claims those who “use and abuse the earth” will not be saved! Homosexuality has been removed, and nature/earth reverence has been added! Homosexuality out, earth reverence in! Yet, the Lord tells us:
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)
The second passage used by the author of On Being Gay is Romans 1:25-27. Here is the passage from the KJV:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another; men with men, working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Compare that with Romans 1:25-27 from The Message:
Refusing to know God they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretcheds. (emphasis mine)
All lust, no love? Commenting on Eugene Peterson’s altered meaning of this passage, Berit Kjos, the author of “What Kind of Message is The Message?,” notes:
This strange wording may leave loopholes for homosexuals that make “sex” seem permissible as long as it is viewed as an expression of “love,” not lust—which many gay couples claim today.8
As Tim Evans has ably demonstrated in On Being Gay, The Message serves as a potent weapon for those who deny that homosexuality is sin.
Before examining one final verse where the sin of homosexuality is deleted in The Message, let’s briefly look at a few other verses that have been changed. This is simply to demonstrate there are deletions, additions, and alterations throughout The Message.
For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (Acts 20:27)
Remember, a generation has now been raised on this “Bible.” For many, it serves as a preferred or even primary text. Nationally known pastors like Rick Warren and Carl Lentz frequently teach from it.
So, just to get a sense of what Eugene Peterson has done, below are two psalms, a verse from Romans, a verse from John, and one from Colossians. We’ll compare The Message versions with those from the KJV.
First, Psalm 1:1:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Now, The Message, Psalm 1:1:
How well God must like you—you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road, you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.
Eugene Peterson’s psalm evokes images of clowns pouring forth from a tiny car, running around in helter-skelter fashion, honking their hand held horns.
Sin-saloon! (Honk, honk) Dead-End Road! (Beep, beep) Smart Mouth-College! (Honk honk, Beep beep)
Several years ago during a radio interview, I read aloud Psalm 1:1 from The Message. The Christian talk radio host exclaimed, “That sounds like a cartoon!”
Let’s compare verses from another psalm. Here is Psalm 32:1-2, KJV:
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
Now, Psalm 32:1-2 from The Message, Eugene Peterson’s “lucky” psalm:
Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean. Count yourself lucky—God holds nothing against you and you’re holding nothing back from Him.
Eugene Peterson has taken away “blessed” and added “lucky,” thus changing the very meaning of the verse.
The Lord warns us:
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)
Now, let’s see what has been done to Romans 15:13, The Message:
Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope! (emphasis mine)
What God of “green” hope? Here is the same verse from the KJV:
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Romans 15:13)
Just as he did in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, where he deleted homosexuality and added “use and abuse the earth” as a sin, Eugene Peterson has inserted a potential God/nature reverence interpretation into Romans 15:13 that is not in any reputable translation of the Bible.
Should we care for the environment? Of course. Should we insert our man-made agendas into passages of Scripture? That is blasphemous.
Keep in mind that many brand new Christians are given The Message because of its readable, everyday language.
I and the Father are one heart and mind. (John 10:30, The Message, emphasis mine)
I and my Father are one. (John 10:30, KJV)
The Message version of John 10:30 changes understanding about Christ’s relationship to the Father. Eugene Peterson changed the very words of Christ.
The following verse is also bold on Peterson’s part, considering the Lord hates attempts to divine or foretell the future. Why the mention of a forbidden practice (along with telescope and microscope) as if it were a legitimate activity?
You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. (Colossians 2:10, The Message)
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:10, KJV)
Why has Eugene Peterson done all this? The Message, bluntly stated, seems written to make Christians less knowledgeable about the Word of God. While that may seem a strong comment, please consider what Eugene Peterson himself said about the Bible:
Why do people spend so much time studying the Bible? How much do you need to know? We invest all this time in understanding the text, which has a separate life of its own, and we think we’re being more pious and spiritual when we do it. . . . [Christians] should be studying it less, not more. You just need enough to pay attention to God. . . . I’m just not pleased with all the emphasis on Bible study as if it’s some kind of special thing that Christians do, and the more they do the better.9 (emphasis mine)
In contrast, the Word of God encourages us:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
The Lord commands us to neither add to nor delete from the Bible. We see this in Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32, Proverbs 4:20-21, 30:5-6, 1 Corinthians 4:6, 2 Corinthians 4:2, and Revelation 22:19.
It is a mistake to consider Eugene Peterson as some kind of elder statesman of the faith. Not only has he spawned The Message, Peterson has also endorsed two heretical books: The Shack, and Rob Bell’s sly ode to universalism, Love Wins. The latter disputes whether the unsaved will really spend eternity in Hell.
Peterson has been praised and admired for so long that it may be difficult for some to accept that The Message is an offense to God. Yet, as Paul writes:
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
Let us heed Paul’s admonition, and not put “men above that which is written.” Not our pastors. Not Christian authors and musicians. And certainly not Eugene Peterson.
That being said, this deception is spiritual in origin as Scripture tells us:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
The Message’s Effect on the Church
Now, let’s return to the issue of homosexual sin. We are at the point where many in the church are wavering about homosexuality.
As with 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, homosexuality is again deleted in 1 Timothy 1:8-11. According to The Message:
It’s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say. It’s obvious, isn’t it, that the law code isn’t primarily for people who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever! They are contemptuous of this great Message I’ve been put in charge of by this great God.
Here is 1 Timothy 1:8-11 from the NASB:
But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. (emphasis mine)
The Message is weakening the church. Our long-term acceptance and use of The Message explains in part why many Christians are lukewarm on the issue of homosexuality. Society continues to undergo a paradigm shift. Christians are daily being exposed to a barrage of pro-homosexual propaganda via media, entertainment, politics, and education. Certainly, The Message is not the only factor—but place this “Bible” in a person’s hands, and it can have, over time, significant influence.
This booklet has not been written as a weapon against homosexuals. Far from it. My wife and I (and many others) have repented of this sin and trusted the Lord with our lives. True love is holding to what the Bible says about homosexuality, rather than glorifying the sin, which is what is happening in the culture.
I believe The Message will be increasingly used by on-the-fence churches, apostate churches, and by homosexual “Christian” activists.
The Bible says: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).
But how can we understand God’s Truth when Truth is no longer there to be read?
Satan has always tried to twist or deny the truth of God’s Word (Genesis 3:1-5). Jesus Christ Himself showed us the importance of the Word of God. When the devil tempted Him in the wilderness, Christ fought the devil’s lies and temptation by answering with Scripture. Three times our Lord responded with “It is written” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).
Men like Tyndale and Wycliffe put their lives on the line so common people could have access to the unadulterated Word of God. Now, centuries later, there is relatively little objection when the Bible is altered, revamped, or tinkered with.
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)
If you have been using The Message, please don’t feel embarrassed or condemned. After all, The Message has been endorsed by numerous well-known Christians and has been with us for a long time now. People appreciate its everyday, accessible language. So this booklet may come as a bit of a shock.
We have primarily concentrated on the passages where homosexuality is deleted or given a politically correct spin. We have noted what seems suggestive of earth/nature reverence in two other passages, and we have also looked at two altered psalms; then we examined a verse from John and found that The Message offers a different understanding of the relationship between the Father and Christ. Eugene Peterson’s “horoscope” verse was also examined.
The fact is, there is so much wrong with The Message it would take a book (maybe two books) to cover it all. Some other “Scriptures” in The Message you might want to investigate by comparing them with the real thing are: Romans 8:35-37, Matthew 6:9-13, Ephesians 2:1-3, Galatians 5:19-21, and Romans 16:19-21. There are many others.
It is rather amazing how the earth reverence insertions and the altered or deleted passages about homosexual sin play into current political correctness. The Message is seemingly made for worldly churches. But I have often wondered if The Message is the precursor to a sinless, Christ-less “Bible” that will be used by the false church.
That “Bible” will have so-called sins included in it, but more along the lines of the 12 Steps—more generic in nature. A “Christ” figure will be included as well—but not the sinless Savior, our King of kings. Homosexuality will not be a sin but will be treated with reverence.
Christian use of The Message is not a good thing.
The Message is not a translation of the Bible. It is not a para-translation, as its publishers have so cleverly called it. Nor is it a paraphrase, because Eugene Peterson has omitted, and he has added.
The Message should not be used by the body of Christ at all.
To order copies of The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth, click here.
1. Carl Lentz with Katie Couric http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3wLm6pPvRY.
2. Carl Lentz, Huffington Post interview with clip of Lentz preaching (go to18:01 in video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrdJd1vD2MM.
4. Carl Lentz, LOVE IS RED Conference (go to14:38 in video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wqXIAS9B0A.
6. There Goes The Neighborhood (go to 6:19 in video) hhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_60hICs834.
7. Tim Evans, On Being Gay (http://www.courage.org.uk/articles/article.asp?id=219)
8. Berit Kjos, “What kind of message is The Message?” (http://www.crossroad.to/Bible_studies/Message.html).
9. Michael J. Cusick, “A Conversation with Eugene Peterson” (Mars Hill Review, Fall 1995, Issue No. 3, http://www.marshillreview.com/sojo/peterson.shtm), pp. 73-90, quoting Peterson.
To order copies of The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth, click here.