Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Swimming and Driving Is Dangerous… for Those Who Cannot Swim and Drive


Swimming and Driving Is Dangerous… for Those Who Cannot Swim and Drive

By Julio Severo
A man who does not have the swimming experience sees extreme danger in swimming in waterfalls and other places. His basis is his own experience — if he tries to swim in these places, he drowns.
He can also use the example of people drowning in seas, lakes, waterfalls and rivers to show that swimming is dangerous. In fact, there are plenty of examples of drowning deaths. He has plenty of examples to discourage people from swimming.
Does this mean that there should be a cessation of all swimming?
The same is true of the steering wheel. Every year a very significant number of people die from car accidents. Those who do not know how to drive can use the numerous traffic accident cases as evidence that people should be banned from driving.
Does that mean that humans were not meant to drive? Does this mean that there should be a cessation of drivers and cars?
No way. Even if swimming and driving involve risks, the correct attitude is for the swimmer and the driver to perfect themselves in the experience of swimming and driving. Banishing does not solve the problem; it only removes necessary options.
I apply the example of a ban on swimming and driving to the cessationist theology, which seeks to ban from the Christian life the experiences of supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. Just as is ridiculous for someone who does not know how to swim and drive to impose laws and banish people from swimming and driving, even with theories against swimming and driving, so it is ridiculous for theologians who have no experience of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit to impose human doctrines and ban Christians from having these gifts, including with surprising theological theories against these gifts.
Like everything else in life that is necessary and important, the use of gifts may involve risks, just as swimming and driving always involve risks. But the right way is not to avoid swimming, driving, and having supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. The right way is to learn right and perfect yourself in these necessary experiences.
If the supernatural gifts were not needed to equip the church, Jesus would not have given them to his first apostles and he would not give them today.
To deny that Jesus gives these gifts today on the basis of the lack of this experience among critics or by using the bizarre cases is the same thing as criticizing the experience of swimming and driving based on the lack of experience among critics and by using horrendous cases of drownings and accidents of transits.
Banning people from swimming and driving is sure to avoid nearly 100 percent of deaths from drowning and traffic accidents, but it will bring numerous other problems.
Prohibiting experiences of supernatural gifts, including revelation and prophecy, in the church will certainly avoid bizarre cases, but will bring numerous other problems, including spiritual disability.
Only the immature, the fearful and the cowardly forbid people to drive, swim, and have supernatural gifts.
Learn to drive very well.
Learn to swim very well in the River of the Holy Spirit.
Learn to swim very well in your gift.
Learn to let the Holy Spirit guide and direct your experience of supernatural gifts.
Recommended Reading:

Monday, June 25, 2018

Who Is Nikki Haley?


Who Is Nikki Haley?

By Julio Severo
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley withdrew the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Her argument is that this council has an anti-Israel bias. Her decision was absolutely correct. In fact, the United State should have made this decision many decades ago.
Nikki Haley
But Haley was not correct to add Syria to her argument by saying that this council has passed more resolutions this year condemning Israel than Syria — meaning that Syria deserves to be especially targeted for attacks in the United Nations.
Why did she single Syria, which is not a member of this council, and did not single Saudi Arabia, which is a member of this council?
If the United Nations Human Rights Council is voting consistently against Israel, it is because its Saudi member and other radical members want so.
Since 2011, Syria has been a victim of the military actions of the U.S. government, firstly under Obama and now under President Donald Trump. The great Syrian sin is not to be aligned to the U.S. interests. Saudi Arabia was not singled out for attacks by Haley because, even though a sponsor of the worldwide Islamic terrorism, it is aligned to the U.S. interests. So, blame a U.S. enemy (Syria) for the anti-Israel hatred of a U.S. ally (Saudi Arabia) in the United Nations!
Yet, this is not the first time the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have aligned interests. When U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was creating the United Nations in 1945, he assured Saudi Arabia that he would not allow the creation of Israel. So the creator of the U.N. — Roosevelt — did not want the creation of Israel, because he had in mind Saudi interests. If the U.N. today opposes Israel to serve Saudi interests, it is doing just the will of its creator.
If Haley were a U.S. Ambassador under the U.N. creator, he would commend her for not singling out Saudi Arabia for attacks. But he would certainly fire her for opposing Saudi interests in the United Nations Human Rights Council against Israel.
It was a great step to withdraw the U.S. from this council. Yet, it would be a vastly more necessary step to disavow its wicked creation. The U.S. cannot disavow its own paternity over the U.N., but it can and should disavow its creation and denounce Roosevelt.
Anyway, Haley would get in trouble if she tried to oppose anti-Israel Saudi interests in a Roosevelt administration.
But even in the Trump administration, her interests are not always aligned with Trump.
Last April Haley was involved in a public quarrel after Trump’s adviser Larry Kudlow suggested she had some “momentary confusion” regarding U.S. sanctions on Russia. Haley responded, “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”
She supports an increase of the anti-Russian sanctions Obama had initiated. She wanted more anti-Russia sanctions in a time Trump did not, and the result was confusion.
Haley, 46, has been ambassador to the U.N. since January 27, 2017.
There are other things you should know about Haley.
She was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in 2016. So if she is so important, you should know her better, because if there is a woman who can achieve the U.S. presidency, it is her.
When she assumed office in 2011, Haley became the first female governor of South Carolina. The Republican was also the first minority to hold that office. She was endorsed by Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. Romney was the first governor to approve homosexual “marriage” in Massachusetts. But Haley is not to blame for Republican liberals supporting her.
She should be blamed for what she has done herself. And, with all due respect to her, I think she does get confused.
In 2015, Haley signed a bill to move a Confederate flag moved from the state Capitol grounds, adhering to demands of liberals in the state who saw the conservative flag as a symbol of hate. She sided with left-wingers against conservatives. She did exactly what liberal governors did in other states.
“This flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state,” Haley said at the time. I can understand her lack of roots in the issue because, even though having been born and raised in South Carolina, Haley’s true roots are traced to her Indian immigrant parents. The Confederate flag or another U.S. conservative symbol has no integral part of her past.
“To destroy a people you must sever their roots,” wrote Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian laureate who spent eight years in a Soviet labor camp for his opposition to the Marxist system. He made this statement in regard to the Soviets’ efforts to sever the Russian people from their history, including their Christian history.
Didn’t Haley do the same thing?
As far as I know, the Confederates have good traditions. About 10,000 Confederates moved to Brazil after the end of the Civil War in 1865 and they, who were Protestant, founded schools and preached the Gospel in Brazil. They were the direct inspiration for the Brazilian government to create the first public-school system. Before the Confederates, the poor had no access to schooling and education in Brazil. If the Brazilian poor have today some education, it is thanks to the Confederates. Is this not a good tradition? If Haley does not see this way, what is there in her mind?
Nikki Haley
Even though a Christian, Haley says she still honors her family’s Sikh religion.
She was married in two ceremonies. One ceremony was held in a Methodist church and another was a Sikh ceremony.
Haley attends a Methodist church. But she told The New York Times in a 2010 profile that she would sometimes attend Sikh services, as she was raised in that faith.
The Sikh religion, which is a combination of the concepts of Hinduism and Sufi Islam, believes in reincarnation.
The founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, taught that god (Vahiguru) is already inside every person, but can be accessed and known through only contemplation. Very similar to New Age stuff.
In his The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics, author Ed Hindson said, “Because Sikhism is in complete contradistinction to Christianity, the list of disagreements between Sikhism and Christianity is long. Sikhism denies the incarnation, the Trinity, and the Bible. Sikhism affirms reincarnation and denies the reality of sin. Even the nature of God as the uncreated Creator is not the same.”
Nikki Haley
So if a Christian cannot be an adherent of Sikhism at the same time, what is Haley doing by attending Sikh services? With all due respect to Haley, I think she is confused about spiritual matters.
I do not know what Haley calls Christianity, but Christianity with the Sikh religion is a strange mixture, strange fire and unequal yoke.
If she eventually reaches the U.S. presidency, her medley Christian/Sikh (actually, sick) spirituality will get her more confused, for if the body of a Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit, how can this temple share its premises to the spirits (demons) of Sikhism?
Nikki Haley
If she could not respect the conservative roots of South Carolina and instead respected liberals’ whining, what could a possible President Haley do to national conservative roots when confronted with liberal pressure?
She didn’t endorse Trump in the GOP primary in 2016. In fact, she attacked him. She implied criticism of Trump when she said, “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.” Trump, who understood the “implied” criticism, answered, “I am! I’m very angry because I hate what’s happening to our country.”
Headlines would accurately say that, for Nikki Haley, any Republican could be a candidate, but Trump.
Haley endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is a neocon who consistently wants war with Russia. She has the same neocon feelings.
Trump said in a tweet, “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!”
Eventually, Trump put in his administration Haley and the director of the McCain Institute — two avid neocons. He did exactly what he condemned in 2016.
Today as the representative of the United States in the United Nations, Haley has used her position to celebrate pride in sodomy (homosexuality). Other evangelical Christians in the Trump administration are doing the same celebration. State Secretary Mike Pompeo, who says that he is an evangelical Christian, declared June as a Homosexual Month, and Haley joined him saying:
“We join our LGBTI friends around the world in celebrating #Pride Month. The United States supports the LGBTI community in standing up for their human rights.”
My public answer to her:
“Utterly shameful, Nikki! You say you are a Protestant Christian, but are you celebrating ‘pride’ in sodomy? God said, ‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is abomination.’ (Leviticus 18:22) There is no pride in an abomination.”
No real Christian or conservative would ever defend celebration of homosexual perversion.
Are there positive points in Haley? Sure.
Haley says that the United Nations is useless because, under Islamic control (including Saudi, even though she does not include specifically Saudis in her attacks), it is persistently anti-Israel. I agree with her. Yet, how cannot she remember that, under neocon control, the U.S. government has been equally persistent in an anti-Russia stance, even now when Russia is much more conservative? The U.S. has treated conservative Russia not much differently as Muslim nations treat Israel.
You could understand Obama and his sanctions on Russia, including his anti-Russia mockery. But you cannot understand how Haley, who alleges that she is conservative, can continue Obama’s nasty behavior against a Russia which has fought against abortion and the homosexual agenda at the United Nations. Just as she did to the conservative Confederate flag, she is doing to conservative Russia.
Can she remember that she uses her position in the United Nations to condemn Syria, which has been a victim of ISIS, al-Qaida and has suffered a violent civil war provoked by the U.S. government under Obama, but she does not condemn Saudi Arabia, which is directly supporting the carnage in Syria, which has one of the oldest Christian communities in the world? Why protect the Islamic dictatorship of Saudi Arabia and attack its victim, Syria? Cannot she be enough compassionate to listen to the old Syrian Christian community, which has largely opposed her decisions against Syria?
Can she remember that the U.S. government traditionally values Saudi Arabia above Israel? In fact, in his first international trip the first nation Trump visited was not Israel. It was Saudi Arabia.
Can she remember that the United Nations was not founded by Muslims and its headquarters is not in Saudi Arabia or another Islamic nation? UN, whose headquarters is in New York, was founded by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who also valued Saudi Arabia above Israel. So it is no wonder that, following the wishes of its American founder, the United Nations has always put Saudi Arabia and its wishes above Israel.
Just as anti-Israel Muslims (a pleonasm) are a threat in the United Nations, anti-Russian neocons (another pleonasm) are a threat in the U.S. government.
If Haley can get along with Saudi Arabia, which bans Christianity and the Bible and is the main sponsor of Islamic terror around the world, including ISIS, why cannot she get along with conservative Russia, which does not ban Christianity and the Bible and fights ISIS?
If Haley eventually reaches the U.S. presidency, her medley Christian/neocon ideology will get her more confused, for if Jesus Christ never worked to expand the military interests of the Roman Empire, how can “Christian” Haley work for the military interests of neocons? What compatibility is there between Jesus Christ and neocons?
Jesus had plenty of opportunities to support the military interests of the Roman Empire and he had had plenty of opportunities to induce his disciples to support the military interests of the Roman Empire. But he did not do so. Why is “Christian” Haley doing it?
If Trump could say in on Twitter, “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!” in 2016, her attitude today against the Confederate flag and conservative Russia has equally embarrassed real conservatives.
I think I can offer some hard advice to her and to Trump too, because even though he quit his 2016 antineocon speech, I continue following his antineocon example. Yet, in Haley’s case, she has never quit his pro-neocon stances.
I have “nudged” Trump and Nikki Haley on Twitter:
Julio Severo to Trump: Please, make America independent of Saudi Arabia and its cursed petrodollars.
Julio Severo to Trump: Please fire neocon Nikki Haley. Hire an antineocon conservative to denounce the Islamic terrorist dictatorship of Saudi Arabia. Haley has no courage to do it.
Nikki Haley: RT @USUN: “It takes great bravery for the Iranian people to use the power of their voice against their government, especially when that government has a long history of murdering its own people who dare to speak the truth… All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause.”
Julio Severo: Hey, Nikki, could you encourage the CIA to do similar “people’s” revolution in Saudi Arabia?
I am sure that what moves Haley to support Israel is her Christian faith. This makes sense.
But I am not sure what moves her to support the violent Islamic dictatorship of Saudi Arabia and disregard and even attack Saudi victims, including Syria. This makes no sense. Certainly, it is not her Christian faith. This is her neocon faith, and neoconservatism involves incessant wars to support the U.S. military industrial complex in wars that often massacre Christians and make profits, expanding the neocon imperialism and Sunni Islam — the kind of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia.
I am not sure also what moved her to disregard the Confederate traditions and conservative Russia. It makes no sense. Certainly, it is not her Christian faith. It is her respect for the whims of liberals, who hate both the Confederate conservatism and the Russian conservatism.
If Haley intends to continue using the name of Jesus, she should know that God is jealous. The Bible says:
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, ‘The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously’?” (James 4:4-5 NKJV)
It can mean: “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with Sikhism and neoconservatism is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of Sikhism and neoconservatism makes himself an enemy of God.” Or she serves only Jesus or Sikhism. Or she serves only Jesus or neoconservatism, which is the “religion” of the warmongers.
Real Christianity has no mixture with Sikhism, reincarnation and neoconservatism. This is why I am concerned about Haley, whose Protestant Christianity has exactly such spiritually harmful mixture. I do not know in the Methodist church, but any such mixed “Christian” would have been a case for spiritual deliverance for Jesus and His apostles.
Because Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in 2016, she has a real chance to achieve the U.S. presidency. As far as Israel is concerned, she would be an excellent option. But as far as neocon ambitions are concerned — including opposition to the Christian conservatism in the U.S. and Russia —, she is far away from being a good choice. And her mixed spirituality would eventually produce unforeseen disasters.
With information from FoxNews.
Portuguese version of this article: Quem é Nikki Haley?
Recommended Reading:

Monday, June 18, 2018

Ed Shaw, Gospel Coalition and Homosexual Feelings: What They Say and What Jesus Said


Ed Shaw, Gospel Coalition and Homosexual Feelings: What They Say and What Jesus Said

By Julio Severo
“Same-Sex Attraction and the Church—The Surprising Plausibility of the Celibate Life,” published by InterVarsity Press Books in 2015 and written by Ed Shaw, is an account of a “Christian” man’s struggle with his homosexual desires and feelings.
Shaw addresses homosexuality specifically in the case of Christians. The Chapter One of his book, The Plausibility Problem Peter, uses the hypothetical example of a seventeen-year-old evangelical named Peter, who is the “eldest son of a deacon and the kids’ church coordinator, he plays electric guitar in the worship band, runs the Bible club at his school.”
Peter “struggles at youth group to push away the attention of some of the girls while trying not to focus too much attention on one of the guys.” For Shaw, Peter has “become an expert at faking heterosexuality.”
Even though Shaw avoids terms as “sexual orientation” and “homosexual identity,” his book addresses homosexual feelings and desires as an integral component of homosexual Christians. He said about Peter:
“The church youth group prides itself on its good Bible teaching. Its leaders take their responsibilities seriously, especially when it comes to explaining the church’s traditional teaching on sex and relationships. Peter has been told repeatedly that sex is for the marriage of a man and a woman. Until then, he’s to resist the temptation to be sexually active in both thought and deed. So, for instance, he’s been told what to do when he’s sexually attracted to a woman—of how it’s not wrong to notice beauty but of the dangers of a second look and the mental undressing that can follow. But the problem is, he’s attracted to men, so even the first look, the first attraction, feels wrong to him—he’s been paralyzed with guilt by the feelings brought on by watching that guy he likes undress in the dorm on a church weekend away. Because the one thing that he’s heard about homosexuality is that it is all wrong—a no-go area for a good Christian like him.”
While the issue about homosexuality has largely been discussed among evangelicals as an issue between Bible teaching and homosexual practice, Shaw found a Third Way: Feelings and desires. Basically, his book is an attempt to build a Third Way, which he thinks that is far away from the perspective of homosexual activists, but actually it is not near what the Bible says.
For example, the Bible records King David saying:
“I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.” (2 Samuel 1:26 ESV)
Where the Bible recorded deep friendship, homosexual activists see homosexual acts.
Where the Bible recorded deep friendship, Shaw saw a Third Way: deep homosexual feelings. He said about David,
“Why not conclude that he’s not saying Jonathan was better in bed than his wives—but that Jonathan’s friendship was better than anything David did in bed with his wives?”
Shaw wants his readers to conclude that David thought that “Jonathan was better in bed than his wives.” This is homosexuality. Shaw’s other conclusion is equally disturbing: “Jonathan’s friendship was better than anything David did in bed with his wives” — this is, David and Jonathan, according to Shaw’s view, were aware of their homosexual feelings and desires, but limited these feelings and desires to a friendship.
Why homosexualize David’s friendship with Jonathan to “help” Christians with homosexual feelings and desires?
In this point, David’s adultery with Bathsheba and his many wives are a historical and eternal witness against all slanders pointing that David had homosexual acts or feelings. His sexual feelings and acts clearly led him to women.
In his book “The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics” (Abingdon Press, 2001), author Robert A. J. Gagnon dispelled the theory that there was homoeroticism between David and Jonathan. He said,
“There David extols both Saul and Jonathan as “beloved and lovely” (hanne¸îm)—surely David was not referring to Saul’s erotic attractiveness to other males… T. Kronholm… says the word is being used in 2 Sam 1:26 of intimate friendship, not erotic love.”
If Shaw and other homosexual “Christians” can pervert David’s friendship with Jonathan to fit their theological liberalism, what can keep them from perverting the whole Bible to fit their personal whims?
Even though several prominent leaders at the Gospel Coalition — which sees itself as exclusively Reformed — have praised Shaw’s book, there are troubling issues in his stance. In fact, Shaw is also a member of the Gospel Coalition.
Shaw said in his book, “As a theory on the origins of homosexuality, being born gay works for me better than any other on the market today.” (p 51)
If a man can be born an adulterer, a thief, a liar, a killer, certainly he can be born a homosexual. But does being born with a sin mean that a man is condemned to have a destiny in adultery, robberies, lying, killings and homosexuality?
Shaw mentions “Evangelical Christian who experiences same-sex attraction” (p 23), and says, “You see, when a same-sex attracted Christian embraces a gay identity and lifestyle, we (the church) need to recognize that it may be, to some extent, not just their fault, but ours too.” (p 29)
Churches should recognize their fault if they do not offer the resources of the Holy Spirit for a man seeking help to be delivered from his sin. No church has a call to lead such man to embrace same-sex attraction without engaging in homosexual acts. Only the Holy Spirit can deliver a man from same-sex attraction and acts.
In this sense, many Reformed churches are at fault because they do not allow the Holy Spirit and his gifts to operate to help oppressed Christians.
Shaw also said,
“And how tempting that is! I would dearly love to stay within evangelicalism and do that with a beautiful man by my side.” (p 26)
“But, of course, all of this is very painful for me and the thousands of other Christian men and women like me who would love to marry someone of their own sex, who wish we would change the essence of marriage. How do we cope with this clear message of the importance of sexual difference when we desire to have sex with someone of our own gender?” (p 91)
How long will Shaw resist same-sex demons lurking and preying on his deepest desires?
Shaw seems to see celibacy as the last recourse to face what he sees as the immutability of same-sex attraction or homosexual feelings. But what he calls same-sex attraction the Bible defines just as “temptation.” Why use fancy names to describe temptations? Why adorn temptations?
I do not know all the members of the Gospel Coalition, but because they seem a close-knitted group of Reformed ministers, I will try, in a general sense, to deal with the example of one of them.
Rev. Augustus Nicodemus, the only Brazilian Calvinist prominent in Gospel Coalition, has advocated cessationism — a theological theory that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased 2,000 years ago. You can read more about his stances here: Why Cannot a Cessationist Calvinist Theologian Use His Pulpit for Crusades against Abortion, Sodomy and Feminism, But Can Use it for Crusades against Charismatics, Pentecostals and Neo-Pentecostals?
It is very easy for a cessationist not to see Christians being delivered from homosexual temptations and accept that a Christian can live with homosexual feelings and desires.
I do not know if Nicodemus supports Shaw’s lukewarm stance (which is a powerful beachhead for theological liberalism), but I am sure that he, who likes to write and condemn abundantly non-Calvinist issues (especially charismatic teachings and experiences), has not addressed Shaw’s teachings, experiences and feelings and certainly he has not exposed and denounced Gospel Coalition’ theological liberalism and its theology of homosexual feelings and desires.
How is he to denounce the Gospel Coalition if he is its member? In 2012, Nicodemus published an article at the Gospel Coalition titled The Growing Crisis Behind Brazil’s Evangelical Success Story.” What he sees as “crisis” is the supernatural and explosive growth of Pentecostal and charismatic churches in Brazil. These churches are usually very hostile to theological liberalism and gay theology in any form. What he does not see as growing crisis is the homosexualization of his own group, the Gospel Coalition. I answered Nicodemus with my article “A Charismatic Response to ‘The Growing Crisis Behind Brazil’s Evangelical Success Story.’”
Often, adherents of cessationism accuse that Christians who have the same supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit that the New Testament believers had are guided by feelings and emotions. Yet, strangely, Nicodemus has kept his silence about Shaw’s emphasis on homosexual feelings, attractions and desires. If silence is consent… Actually, there is no silence at the Gospel Coalition about Shaw and his stances.
Vaughan Roberts, who wrote the foreword of Shaw’s book, introduces himself as a Reformed minister with same-sex attraction. Vaughan said in his column at the Gospel Coalition, “God has the power to change their orientation, but he hasn’t promised to and that has not been my experience.” Why not seek the Holy Spirit incessantly? Why put his failed experience above God’s Word and the Holy Spirit?
In the foreword of Shaw’s book, Vaughan said, “This is not, as you may imagine, simply a conservative book” and “the ‘Just Say No!’ approach to homosexuality is no longer compelling.” I agree with him. Certainly, there is nothing conservative about Shaw’s book. And I can add: Without the Holy Spirit empowering, “Just Say No” to any sin has no power. Without the Holy Spirit, no one can live an effective Christian life against sin and its temptations.
Vaughan added, “From the world’s perspective, Christ’s call to a wholehearted, sacrificial discipleship seems implausibly unattractive for anyone, regardless of their sexuality.” He is implying that homosexuality is a sexuality when God’s Word recognizes only two sexes — male and female — and confines homosexuality not to the realm of sexuality, but to the realm of abominable sins.
Sam Allberry, who is the editor for The Gospel Coalition, also recognizes that he has same-sex attraction. In fact, he has a book, “Is God Anti-Gay?: And Other Questions About Homosexuality, the Bible and Same Sex Attraction,” where he makes such recognition. He said, “I am same-sex attracted and have been my entire life. By that I mean that I have sexual, romantic and deep emotional attractions to people of the same sex.”
Allberry, a Reformed minister, signed a public letter, in conjunction with several other pastors, that said:
“We are committed to building a church that is genuinely welcoming to all people, irrespective of the pattern of sexual attraction which they experience. We would welcome initiatives to help local churches do so in a way that is affirming of and consistent with Scripture and would hope to support suggestions you might wish to bring to Synod to that effect.”
What does the resolution of the Synod say?
“We call upon the Church and all its members to work to end any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and to oppose homophobia.”
This resolution is endorsed by the three founding members of Living Out, an organization designed allegedly to “help” Christians who have homosexual feelings and desires. Allberry is one of those founders.
Living Out is promoted by the Gospel Coalition. Two of the three founders are writers at the Gospel Coalition (Allberry and Ed Shaw). And those founders’ books are favorably reviewed by the Gospel Coalition.
Adrian Warnock, who is a member of Gospel Coalition, has praised Shaw’s book.
The real shock is to know that the founder and president of the Gospel Coalition, D. A. Carson, endorsed the book “Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity,” written by homosexual “Christian” Greg Coles. Ronald J. Sider, a known left-wing evangelical leader, also endorsed it, saying, “Simply fabulous.”
Yet, in his article “What Would St. Paul, the Apostle, Say to The American Church Embracing So-called ‘Gay Christianity’ & ‘Spiritual Friendships’?” published in BarbWire, Stephen Black, a former homosexual, said,
“‘Gay Christianity’ is being promoted at an alarming rate in several places in the Church worldwide. Understandably, there are certain liberal denominations where most would expect to see a digression from biblical orthodoxy and promote ‘gay Christian’ teaching. These same institutions are also comfortable with distorted, emotionally-enmeshed and co-dependent relating under the banner of ‘Spiritual Friendships.’ However, to see these kinds of unbiblical beliefs being embraced by many who are considered conservative Christians and/or reformed Christians is very disturbing. I was very distraught over seeing D.A. Carson’s endorsement of a young gay man’s book. He endorsed Gregory Coles’ book, Single Gay Christian.”
Even though Shaw’s book and his lukewarm theology of homosexual feelings above God’s Word have been endorsed by leaders at the Gospel Coalition, I have found no recommendation for such book coming from major Christian outlets as Charisma and the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Such lack of recommendation from prominent U.S. evangelical websites is no surprise. In 2016, The Gospel Coalition published several articles supporting Hillary Clinton and attacking Donald Trump. Clinton is a hard-core left-winger. Only a left-winger supports a left-winger. So it is not hard to conclude that The Gospel Coalition is left-wing.
Even though real Christians have some disagreements with Trump, they have total disagreements with Clinton.
The bad influences in the Gospel Coalition are spreading to other nations. Shaw’s book has been published in 2018 in Brazil by Editora Vida Nova. D. A. Carson was a speaker at VINACC, the most prominent Calvinist conference in Brazil, in 2017. And Ministério Fiel, one of the most prominent Reformed ministries in Brazil, has published in 2017 Shaw’s piece suggesting that David felt homoeroticism for Jonathan.
Editora Vida Nova publishes theological literature especially to Christian ministers in Brazil.
Carson spoke to over 100,000 Brazilians. Even though VINACC is controlled by Calvinist leaders, most of its public is Pentecostal and often unable to understand how the U.S. Calvinism is plagued by theological liberalism. VINACC has become an attempt to Calvinize such Pentecostals. But is such Calvinization good for Pentecostals or theological liberalism?
The fact is, theological liberalism, in its beachhead of support of sodomy through homosexual feelings and desires, is spreading fast from The Gospel Coalition to Brazil through Reformed leaders. The Gospel Coalition is bringing left-wing Reformed evangelicalism to Brazil. And the only bridge between The Gospel Coalition and VINACC is Nicodemus himself, who is a leader in both groups.
Since the 1990s, especially through my book “O Movimento Homossexual” (The Homosexual Movement) published by the Brazilian branch of Bethany House Publishers, I have been warning Brazilian evangelicals about the homosexual ideology being imported from the United States. What the Gospel Coalition is doing to promote the left-wing ideology and homosexual ideology is a disservice to the Gospel in Brazil and in the United States.
In an article titled “Liberals May Win Control of Largest U.S. Protestant Denomination” in New American, author Alex Newman said,
One of the key players he identifies in the move to fundamentally change the Southern Baptist Convention and other historically conservative denominations such as the Presbyterian Church in America is the so-called Gospel Coalition. The alliance, which brings together various leaders from ostensibly conservative churches, sounds very conservative — at first glance. But through alliances with controversial groups and affiliations with controversial activists, the “fruit” that is emerging is a major threat to the Christian faith, Littleton argues. “Most people in Gospel Coalition-affiliated churches have no idea what’s going on,” he said.
According to Newman, many of those involved in the Gospel Coalition openly worked to sabotage former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in his U.S. Senate campaign, even though evidence clearing him of the vile false allegations was coming out every day. I was one of the official supporters of Judge Moore.
Newman adds:
Even more alarming is the so-called “Revoice” movement, which is working to normalize homosexuality and gender confusion by treating those issues as part of a perso’s identity. On the Revoice website, the mission is defined as “supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.”
Now, just in time for Gay Pride month, Revoice is being promoted by the Gospel Coalition. There are direct links between the Gospel Coalition and Revoice in terms of who is involved in these.
“This movement [Gospel Coalition] was seen as a reformed theological movement,” [Rev. Thomas] Littleton said. “The problem is it's highly ecumenical, highly emergent, and it is highly political. While it has been masked as theologically conservative, it is not conservative in any way.”
Shaw’s influence at the Gospel Coalition is incontestable. In an article in the Gospel Coalition, in a list about “What Can We Do?” about assistance to homosexual Christians, Shaw put as the number 1 item: “We must keep apologizing for genuine homophobia in the past and present.”
Interestingly, the fight against homophobia has been a top item in the homosexual agenda. As a Christian, as a top item in a Christian agenda, I would recommend to seek the Holy Spirit, his presence and supernatural gifts incessantly — a recommendation that would be opposed by Nicodemus of the Gospel Coalition. More interestingly, no Gospel Coalition leader has protested against Shaw’s priority of “homophobia.” This is a typical priority of homosexual activists.
Despite his obvious longings to be in relationship with a man, Shaw has chosen life long celibacy and declares, “celibacy is a good thing.” (p 107) Quoting Catholic teacher Christopher West, Shaw writes, “Celibacy for the kingdom is not a declaration that sex is ‘bad.’ It's a declaration that while sex can be awesome, there's something even better — infinitely better! Christian celibacy is a bold declaration that heaven is real, and it is worth selling everything to possess.” (p 112)
It seems a quite odd analogy to say that celibacy is better than married sex and then point that God put sexual pleasure in marriage “to make us want to go to heaven.” Shaw said,
“God created the two sexes—and sex—in this world as a trailer for life in the world to come. To help us understand the power of his love for us in the here and now, and the pleasure that will be ours when we live with him and his new Heaven and Earth. As film directors put romantic scenes in their trailers to make us want to go to their movies, God has put sex on this planet to make us want to go to heaven.” (p 87)
So if sex as God intended is so good, why doesn’t Shaw ask the Holy Spirit to visit him and help him, delivering his feelings and desires from homosexual temptations? Why doesn’t he seek brothers in Christ supernaturally empowered by the Holy Spirit to help him in his spiritual quest? Why doesn’t he seek the assistance of brothers in Christ who defeated demons of homosexuality?
It is very obvious that Shaw is confused. If celibacy is better than married sex, why avoid something that God has put on this planet to make us want to go to heaven?
His stances are lukewarm. They are not conservative and they feign not to be liberal. They seek a compromise, and the core of compromise in the Bible is to be lukewarm. What does Jesus say about lukewarm Christians?
“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16 ESV)
If celibacy were a successful Third Way for Christians who do not have a power encounter with the Holy Spirit to deal with their homosexual thoughts and feelings, the Catholic Church would be a paradise for such Christians. Doesn’t it seem that many young men chose celibacy through the Catholic priesthood to defeat homosexuality just to eventually end in horrendous homosexual sins? Celibacy is not working in the Catholic setting to solve homosexual issues of young men.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 the Apostle Paul put homosexuals with other sinners who are banned from entering God’s Kingdom: idolaters, adulterers, thieves, greedy, drunkards, revilers and swindlers.
So if homosexuals, in Shaw’s view, can choose celibacy to enjoy homosexuality only in thoughts and feelings without practicing it, why cannot idolaters, adulterers, thieves, greedy, drunkards, revilers and swindlers equally choose celibacy to enjoy their sins only in thoughts and feelings without practicing them?
Though Shaw would clearly enjoy being in a marriage with a man, he chose celibacy because he knows that homosexuality is a sin and also because he has never found any ministry empowered by the Holy Spirit to help him. Or perhaps, as a Reformed minister, he has a closed heart to the supernatural visitations of the Holy Spirit.
Only the Holy Spirit can help a Reformed pastor who clearly longs to be married to a man.
In the article “What conservative gay Christians want” in the British newspaper The Spectator, Shaw said, “As a pastor, I thought being open about my sexuality would be a disqualification for the job.” It is a disqualification and it should be a disqualification, but incredibly and shamefully, a Reformed church ordained him as a pastor, even with his homosexual attraction and desires.
In spite of the fact that Nicodemus and other Calvinists accuse Pentecostals and charismatics of putting experiences and feelings above God’s Word, didn’t they put homosexual feelings above God’s Word when they embraced, praised or ordained Shaw as a Reformed minister with same-sex attractions, which the Bible would call homosexual temptations?
Correctly, in his book Shaw quotes the following Scriptures (NIV):
Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. (Leviticus 18:22)
If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. (Leviticus 20:13)
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:26-27)
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers— perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. (1 Timothy 1:9-11)
Yet, he immediately concludes:
“That used to convince. That used to be a plausible argument for most. To be an evangelical has always meant holding to the truth of ‘the divine inspiration of Holy Scripture as originally given and its supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.’ And when it comes to homosexual practice, those Scriptures are pretty clear. Evangelicals like clarity, and those verses were more than enough clarity for many, for years. We all knew where we stood. But that is no longer the case. Things have changed.”
The Holy Spirit who changed homosexuals into former homosexuals in homosexuality-riddle Greece through the ministry of Apostle Paul has not changed and his supernatural empowerment of Christians has not ceased. If Christians do not seek this empowerment, they do not find it. If they seek it, they find it.
Basically, what Christians can interpret in Shaw’s book is: He has not found this empowerment and he wants, as a Reformed minister, to teach evangelicals to be content with a life without such empowerment and that the Bible instructions about homosexuality apply only to acts, not to feelings and attractions. Sooner or later, Shaw’s adherents will face disaster.
Jesus said,
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” (Matthew 5:27-30 ESV)
Jesus meant that all sex acts, feelings and desires, outside of marriage and not for marriage, is a sin. It is not a sin to have sex with a woman, if you do it within marriage. All that is outside marriage and not for marriage, is a sin.
Yet, in the homosexual case, all sex, in and outside marriage, is a sin, because homosexuality is not sexuality. It is perversion of sexuality.
Considering that Jesus clearly addressed sexual desires, his comment can be applied to “Christians” with homosexual feelings and desires:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.’ But I say to you that every man who looks at a man with lustful intent has already committed abomination with him in his heart. If your sex organ causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose your sex organ than that your whole body go into hell.”
Today, homosexuals are praised when they choose mutilation to engage in homosexual sins. Why not mutilation, as Jesus pointed, to avoid homosexual sins?
Yet, I think that there is a better way than a Third Way and mutilation. Apostle Paul said of former homosexuals, former thieves, former adulterers and others:
“Some of you were like this; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Co 6:11 HCSB)
Some were homosexuals, in acts, thoughts, feelings and desires. But they were washed, sanctified, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Only the supernatural activity of the Holy Spirit can defeat other spiritual forces that excite homosexuality and other sins in people’s minds, feelings and acts.
John Wimber, who had a Calvinist outlook with a charismatic flavor, said in his book “Power Healing” (Harper & Row, 1987, p. 118):
“Demons gain a foothold in people’s lives through a variety of ways. The first… is through sin. Unrighteous anger, self-hatred and hatred of others, revenge, unforgiveness, lust, pornography, sexual wrongdoing, various sexual perversions (like transvestism, homosexuality, bestiality, sodomy), and drug and alcohol abuse commonly open the door to demonic influence.”
Demons usually operate by influencing feelings, desires and acts.
Wimber said in Power Healing (p. 123, 124):
“Most people who are demonized are not aware of it, but there are many symptoms present in demonized people that help us identify demons: A problem with compulsions such as… homosexuality…”
Ed Shaw, D. A. Carson and the Gospel Coalition are playing with demons when they advocate, contrary to God’s Word, that it is ok to accept homosexual feelings and desires. They are not promoting the Gospel in its totality and truth. They are not promoting the wonderful deliverance Jesus offers in the Gospel. They are promoting theological liberalism.
There is an obvious lack of humility. If they do not have the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to help Christians oppressed by demons and homosexual feelings and desires, why do not they refer such oppressed Christians to churches open to that power? Why ordain them as Reformed ministers?
The Holy Spirit is above theological liberalism.
After seeing several Reformed leaders in the Gospel Coalition supporting the false teaching that Christians can embrace homosexual temptations in their feelings and desires and after seeing them supporting Hillary Clinton, my only advise comes from the Bible:
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 5:6 ESV)
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:1 ESV)
With information from The Gospel Coalition, New American, Canyonwalker, Patheos, The Spectator, 9Marks and Pastor Mathis.
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