Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Exodus: "How to reach and respond to the homosexuals in your community"

Re Exodus:
Read "Church: A Safe Place for Us All?" in Ministry Today magazine--written by Exodus Church Network Director, Jeff Buchanan
The article is entitled: "How to reach and respond to homosexuals in your community"

Translation: “How to reach and respond to the monsters in your community”

He [Jeff Buchanan] ends the article with the fond memory of having been "loved and encouraged for who I was without the stigma of my struggle; they related to me rather than my issue."

But what he’s really saying is that he was loved and encouraged without the stigma OF his stigma. And as such, Mr. Buchanan’s advice on “How to reach and respond to homosexuals in your community,” serves to add to the very stigma that he purports to wish to eliminate.

He says:
Compassionate truth. Many of those wrestling with homosexual feelings have had negative experiences in the church and may be mistrusting of leaders. [...] They need to know that the church is a safe place where they can be open about their struggles without fear of ridicule or shame. This doesn't mean we shy away from teaching what Scripture says about homosexual behavior.
No doubt the teaching of "non-shaming" Scripture such as:

You are an abomination. Leviticus 18:22
You should be murdered. Leviticus 20:13
You’re exactly the same as greedy slandering swindling thieves: 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10

You have [chosen to have] been given over to shameful lusts, such as Romans 1:26-27 explicates:

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Proving once and for all, that same-gender attraction is a conscious and wilfull choice, which -- at least according to the anti-gay industry -- and by meaningless coincidence -- just happens to jive perfectly with the next portion of that Biblical verse: Romans 1:28-32 :
28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Got that? Two guys, or two girls, who fall in love (possibley even commit themsleves to each other, FOR LIFE), are, at least according to "God," EXACTLY THE SAME AS the description above.

"Compassionate truth" ?

The insult would have been more compassionate.

(And don't get me wrong Buchanan. I GET the audience that you're speaking to, and I support your speaking to and with them. My complaint is with the inherent inaccuracy of your message that is IMPLIED. Namely, that somehow you have something more to offer than the promise of a lifetime of loveless celibacy "for the sake of the cross/cause."

A laudable aspiration to be sure, but not one to mince words with.)

He goes on:

Discipleship. Many same-sex strugglers come in with spiritual and emotional immaturity. They may have never been taught how to cultivate a relationship with Christ or even where to begin. Most will have little understanding of their identity in Christ and will have a wrong perception of the Father's heart (often it will resemble their perception of their relationships with their own fathers).
And who better to speak to the 'absence of father' issue that than one Mr. Exodus approved of, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi:

So, not enough male bonding with one’s father leads to a masculinity deficit, which at some point, somehow, somewhere along the line, becomes “sexualized,” thus making one a “homosexual.” But only sometimes. We don’t know how or why or when or... ...how, but rest assured, according to Exodus approved Dr. Nicolosi, SSA is always about masculine deficiency.

(P.S. Yee lesbians don’t count, not only are you women (and therefore technically don’t even (male-privilege-wise) exist), but this is clearly about heterosexual men who are obsessed with finding ways of finding anal sex repugnant.. :)

He goes further:
Community. This has the potential for the most immediate impact in the lives of those struggling [with same-sex attraction]. […] I work with a number of young men in their 20s and many of them need help with their finances, finding a job, buying a car, finding a place to live, etc. These practical needs can serve as opportunities for relationship and ministry.
In other words, get under their skin first, before stigmatizing them as WORSE sinners than you.

He then finishes with:
I remember what it meant to me to be invited to a family's Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and watch them truly honor, appreciate and love one another. I remember being loved and encouraged for who I was without the stigma of my struggle; they related to me rather than my issue. My life was forever changed as they helped me see God's glory in me and discover His purpose for me. We can all do the same for those in our community. This is the power of the body of Christ.

Thus, by "the power of the body of Christ," church leaders should be "compelled" to demonize and stigmatize gay church members, First by hiding the fact that they think of same-sex attraction as being equal to rape theft and murder... but also then by hiding the fact that they think same-sex attraction IS EQUAL TO THE APPROVAL OF such behavior.

Know this much Mr. Buchanan, to see God’s glory in yourself, and to discover His purpose for you, is NOT the same as seeing one’s own same-sex attraction as the result of malicious intent, or even as the result of harmful negligence ~ Which is what the claim of homosexuality being a "sin," implies.

If you truly feel so, say so. But stop dancing around it, and actually try to prove your point. Because at this point, I'm still not seeing it.

Also see Truth Wins Out: Naive Exodus Church Network Cheats Antigay Churches

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