Participants: Danielle Harrison (Host), Ron Woolsey
Series Code: PC
Program Code: PC000120A
00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues.
00:03 Parents are cautioned
00:05 that some material may be too candid
00:06 for younger children.
00:40 Hello, and welcome to Pure Choices.
00:42 My name is Danielle Harrison.
00:44 And I'm with Coming Out Ministries.
00:46 Today, we're going to be talking with Ron Woolsey.
00:48 Welcome, Ron.
00:49 Thank you, Danielle.
00:51 Good to be with you again.
00:54 So, Ron, in generations past,
00:56 there's been a clear understanding
00:57 within the Christian community
00:59 that homosexuality is not in harmony
01:02 with biblical standards and views.
01:05 So it hasn't been practiced
01:07 that homosexuals have been welcomed into membership
01:10 and especially not into
01:11 leadership positions in the church.
01:14 But somehow it seems that that is shifting and changing
01:17 in this current generation.
01:18 Why do you think that is?
01:20 Danielle, it seems that the tendency in society today
01:24 is to yield to political correctness
01:28 and political pressure.
01:29 And as the gay culture
01:33 has experienced over decades now,
01:37 not only toleration,
01:39 but acceptance, and celebration,
01:41 and promotion, and legislation in their favor.
01:46 Gay people who identify as Christians
01:50 have also been emboldened by all of these advances.
01:54 And so many gay people
01:57 that are raised in a Christian culture
02:00 are comfortable within that culture.
02:03 They don't want to be rejected by that culture.
02:07 And so they are involved in bringing this gay agenda
02:11 into their culture which is the church.
02:14 So even if they reject the authority of the Bible
02:17 and the standards of the church on the same issue,
02:21 they still want to remain in that culture.
02:24 So consequently the gay agenda
02:27 to normalize homosexuality
02:30 is now being put upon the church itself
02:34 by gay organizations,
02:36 by lobbyists, by petitions,
02:39 by articles in publications.
02:41 And the emphasis seems to be
02:44 to get the church to change its position on the issue
02:48 rather than helping the sinner change his behavior.
02:54 So what do you think are some of the expectations
02:56 of the gay community
02:58 of what they will experience in the church,
03:00 and in membership, and in leadership?
03:02 Well, because of this
03:04 hypersensitive perception of rejection
03:06 which I see, observe throughout the gay community,
03:12 the gay people who are in the Christian culture
03:16 want to retain their membership.
03:18 They don't want to be put out of the church.
03:21 That's rejection.
03:22 They don't want to go through church discipline.
03:25 But as they are members of the church,
03:27 they also want to be
03:28 incorporated into leadership positions.
03:32 And now with the Supreme Court ruling
03:34 and the climate such as it is today,
03:38 they want to be able to have gay marriages
03:41 and to have their gay families accepted.
03:46 So basically, it is to have the church
03:50 accept the normalization of homosexuality.
03:56 So as you're talking about acceptance,
03:58 it reminds me of a flyer
04:00 that I saw for a church and it said,
04:03 you know, "Come as you are, you are welcome.
04:05 Gays and homosexuals are wholly accepted by God."
04:09 And I'm just wondering,
04:11 do you think that there's anything wrong
04:12 with that wording on a flyer like that?
04:16 Well, there is a lot of truth to this statement.
04:19 I think it says,
04:21 "Come, you are wholly loved and accepted."
04:24 And so there is a lot of truth.
04:26 But having been a bartender in the past,
04:29 I know that there's a lot of good
04:31 in certain drinks, mixed drinks.
04:32 But if you have a little bit of poison,
04:35 you can get drunk on it.
04:36 So the statement about you are being wholly loved,
04:41 yes, "Come as you are."
04:43 Yes, absolutely.
04:45 But accepted?
04:46 That's a little bit different.
04:48 Because God will accept us
04:51 as we are into a school of transformation,
04:55 a school of discipleship.
04:57 But the Bible doesn't give blanket acceptance
05:00 to open to sin.
05:03 For example, if a couple wants to adopt a child,
05:08 they adopt a child that they love.
05:10 But they don't adopt the child
05:12 and then leave it in the same condition
05:13 that they found the child in.
05:15 They will give it new clothes, and good bedding,
05:19 and healthy food, and an education.
05:23 So if we're adopted into the family of Christ,
05:27 we are accepted by Christ,
05:28 but we're accepted into an environment
05:31 where we can be transformed and have a better life.
05:34 That's right.
05:36 And, you know, Ron,
05:37 that makes me think of 1 John 1:9.
05:40 Because I think we hear
05:42 that God forgives you, God forgives you.
05:45 But there's no give and take there
05:47 for a lot of the Christian church.
05:49 And, you know, he says if we...
05:51 In 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins,
05:54 He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us."
05:56 So we have to walk with God in this experience.
05:59 It's just a give and take,
06:01 just like any other relationship.
06:02 Right, in that text you're mentioning,
06:04 it seems like many Christians
06:06 put the period in the middle of the sentence.
06:09 Now "If we confess our sins, He is faithful
06:11 and just to forgive us of our sins."
06:14 But the rest of the verse says,
06:16 "And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
06:20 In 2 Corinthians 5:17,
06:22 one of our favorite texts of scripture,
06:26 "Therefore if any man be in Christ,
06:27 he is a new creature,
06:28 old things have passed away,
06:30 all things have become new."
06:31 So these are things
06:33 that are overlooked in this flyer.
06:36 It's just come as you are, God loves you,
06:38 and accepts you the way you are.
06:40 And we need to clarify,
06:42 God does not accept us the way we are.
06:44 He accepts us where we are
06:47 to give us a better way, to lead us into a better way.
06:50 He does love and accept us, but to a better life.
06:53 That's right.
06:55 And I'm glad He does
06:56 because I would not have wanted to stay where I was
06:59 before I knew Him.
07:01 So in that same flyer, Ron, I know that it says
07:04 that the Bible never mentions homosexuality
07:07 or sexual orientation.
07:09 Is that a correct statement?
07:12 I found that just amazing to see that statement.
07:15 But then I realized
07:17 if they're quoting from the King James Version,
07:19 it's true.
07:21 The King James Version
07:22 does not use the word homosexual.
07:24 But it does use the word pedophile or marijuana
07:28 or cigarettes or alcohol or all kinds of things.
07:31 But what the Bible does it spells out behavior,
07:34 so that no matter how language changes
07:37 or terms change from generation to generation,
07:40 the behavior is still spelled out.
07:42 But one thing I did notice.
07:45 All of the other translations do use the word homosexual.
07:49 In fact, that flyer that we're discussing
07:53 is quoting from the NIV.
07:55 And if you look at for example,
07:58 1 Corinthians 6:9-11,
08:03 the NIV says, "Do not be deceived,
08:08 neither male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
08:12 will inherit the kingdom of God.
08:15 And that is what some of you were."
08:17 So the NIV does use the word homosexual.
08:20 And I went through a number of translations
08:24 all of which do use the word homosexual.
08:27 So it is very clearly mentioned in the Bible.
08:30 That's right. That's right.
08:31 Thank you, Ron.
08:32 So shifting gears here,
08:34 I'm going to just mention a petition
08:37 that circulated throughout the church,
08:39 and it opened with this statement,
08:42 "Of all the distinctives, that might define Christians,
08:45 Jesus identified only one thing
08:47 that will distinguish His followers."
08:50 It quotes John 13:34 and 35 that say,
08:54 "A new command I give you: love one another.
08:57 As I have loved you,
08:59 so that you must love one another.
09:02 By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples
09:07 if you love one another."
09:08 Is this really the one thing
09:10 that will distinguish Christ followers?
09:15 To me that is really a quantum leap
09:16 and we have to understand here the whole purpose
09:20 of these petitions and flyers
09:22 really is to make the LGBT issue a non issue
09:28 within the church.
09:29 But the command that is given here
09:33 is not the only distinctive that we are given.
09:38 For example...
09:42 in Luke 18, Luke 10,
09:46 and in the story of the jailer of Philippi in Acts 16,
09:51 there are three stories
09:53 where the question is asked what must I do to be saved
09:56 or what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
09:59 And love is certainly one of those things.
10:01 The first thing is to love God supremely,
10:04 love your neighbor as yourself.
10:05 In other words, love and be saved.
10:08 But the second answer
10:10 that was given like to the rich young ruler
10:12 was, "Keep the commandments."
10:14 So Jesus says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments."
10:18 So that is something
10:20 that distinguishes God's followers.
10:22 And to the jailer of Philippi,
10:25 he was told, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
10:28 and thou shall be saved."
10:30 Well, Lord Jesus Christ,
10:31 if you use the definitions for those words.
10:36 Paul is basically saying believe on Jehovah,
10:39 the great I am, the creator, the self-existent one,
10:41 anointed, Messiah, Christ,
10:44 anointed by the Holy Spirit
10:46 to be your personal Savior from sin.
10:48 Jesus means Savior,
10:50 and then you should be saved.
10:52 So the Bible has many identifying characteristics
10:58 of His people, of God's people.
11:00 There's not just one thing.
11:01 However, love is the guiding principle.
11:06 But the text that they're quoting
11:07 makes it sound like,
11:11 "If you just love somebody,
11:13 then you're a follower of Christ."
11:15 And that's not what the text is saying at all.
11:18 Amen. Amen.
11:19 So in the same petition,
11:22 they were stating that the church has failed
11:24 to demonstrate the Christ-like love to the LGBT community.
11:28 And they called the church
11:31 to begin to demonstrate that love
11:34 through five different points.
11:36 And if I could run,
11:37 I would just like to read those
11:39 and then have you respond to each one of those.
11:41 Okay? Okay.
11:43 So the first one is,
11:44 "Acknowledge that a homosexual orientation
11:46 is most often determined before birth,
11:49 and, or very soon after
11:51 by a complex combination
11:53 of physiological and environmental factors
11:56 that are beyond the individual's control."
12:01 This is a very false assumption.
12:04 And, but first I would like to say
12:06 about this whole petition.
12:08 Scripture is never quoted.
12:10 There is nothing in the entire petition
12:13 that refers to the Word of God.
12:16 And so here again we see Christian culture
12:21 but not Christian faith.
12:23 The Word of God is not being looked upon as the authority.
12:29 And so to call for the church to acknowledge this,
12:33 first of all, it's not scientific.
12:36 So it's calling for the church
12:38 to acknowledge something that is false.
12:41 It's not truth.
12:43 And as Christians, we are looking for truth.
12:48 It talks about homosexual orientation
12:50 as though it is something that we're born with.
12:53 And having been a pilot in the past,
12:57 I know that orientation
12:59 is determined by the direction that I'm going.
13:04 If I am oriented on self,
13:06 I'll never land where I'm supposed to land.
13:09 Orientation is a destiny.
13:12 It's not a condition.
13:15 And if we just look at the definition
13:17 in the dictionary.
13:18 Orientation is something that is chosen.
13:22 And then we have that good word, reorientation.
13:25 So yes, the church cannot possibly acknowledge this
13:28 unless it is acknowledging falsehood.
13:33 I really appreciated what you said, Ron.
13:34 You said orientation is a destiny,
13:38 not a condition.
13:39 Yes. That's a profound thought.
13:40 Wow. Right.
13:42 We focus upon our destiny,
13:44 not upon who we are but where we're going.
13:48 Right. Yes.
13:49 Well, thank you for sharing that.
13:51 Okay, so number two is
13:52 "Reject as a form of violence
13:55 any programs that attempt to change or redirect
13:59 one's sexual orientation.
14:00 Recognizing that orientation is highly unlikely to change
14:05 and that such attempts have caused deep trauma
14:08 and even lead to becoming suicidal."
14:12 To me, this request is to ask,
14:17 it's asking the church to reject
14:20 the mission of the church
14:22 as a form of violence.
14:24 When Jesus says, "All power is given unto Me
14:27 in heaven and earth.
14:29 Go ye therefore
14:31 and teach all nations baptizing them
14:34 in the name of the Father and the Son
14:35 and the Holy Spirit."
14:37 Teaching them to observe all things
14:40 whatsoever I have commanded you.
14:43 That's not violence.
14:45 1 John 4:8 tells us that "God is love."
14:48 Everything that God is asking of us
14:51 is as a loving Heavenly Father.
14:54 And to reject as a form of violence,
14:56 the very thing that the plan of salvation
14:58 is all about to me is a little bit startling.
15:02 It's a startling request.
15:06 It mentions here the attempts at suicide.
15:13 The percentage or the rate of suicide attempts
15:16 is very high within the gay community.
15:18 That's right.
15:19 That's without the gospel, Danielle.
15:22 We should not blame the gospel
15:25 and the presenting of the gospel.
15:27 For someone attempting or committing suicide,
15:31 they're doing that without the gospel.
15:33 Now if they do hear the gospel
15:35 and they do hear the invitation of Jesus,
15:37 and they reject it
15:39 and continue down that path,
15:41 it's not the fault of the message
15:43 or the messenger.
15:45 It is the fault of rejection.
15:47 And, you know, in the gay community,
15:49 there's this perception of rejection.
15:52 How must God feel?
15:54 He is constantly being rejected.
15:57 His word is being rejected.
15:59 We need to be hypersensitive to His feelings,
16:02 and His emotions,
16:04 and His expressed will
16:06 especially if we are Christian,
16:07 and God is number one on the throne of our hearts.
16:10 Amen. Amen.
16:11 All right.
16:13 Number three, "Act deliberately and decisively
16:16 to prevent judgmental and condemning attitudes
16:19 and acts against homosexual individuals."
16:23 Well, here again this is very similar to number two.
16:27 Because the work of the gospel
16:33 or those of us
16:34 who are presenting the gospel to someone
16:36 is really an act of love
16:38 and they're asking us
16:40 to prevent judgmental and condemning attitudes.
16:46 What we are presenting is considered to be judgmental.
16:51 Because it crosses the natural heart.
16:56 It is because He's being rejected.
16:58 You know, Danielle, when I was trying to study
17:00 my way out of the gay life, I did not...
17:03 I don't remember ever being caught up with semantics.
17:07 If someone used, I mean, I understood what they meant.
17:11 And to be limited by the words that we can say,
17:15 the phrases that we can say,
17:17 because they might be offensive.
17:19 I never found any of that offensive to me
17:22 because I was searching for truth.
17:24 And if they used words
17:26 that I might not have chosen to use,
17:29 I got the message, I understand English,
17:32 I understand where they were coming from.
17:35 And again, I don't think that the gospel should be portrayed
17:40 as judgmental and condemning against homosexuals.
17:44 Otherwise we label the infinite work of Jesus Christ Himself
17:48 as judgmental and condemning.
17:50 And we know it's not.
17:52 He says, "Neither do I condemn you.
17:54 Go and sin no more."
17:56 Now there are people
17:57 that are putting forth these types of requests
18:01 that love the part of Jesus words,
18:04 "Neither do I condemn you."
18:06 Oh, that's the gospel.
18:08 But don't speak the last half of it.
18:10 When you say
18:11 and I've heard them actually say,
18:13 "go and sin no more" is being used as hate speech.
18:17 Those are Jesus' words.
18:19 God is love.
18:20 And so it is not true love to withhold this message.
18:26 It is what I call a cheap love.
18:30 So number four on this list says,
18:32 "Provide our homosexual sisters and brothers
18:34 not only a place in our pews
18:36 but also a space on our platforms
18:39 allowing all of the gifts of God
18:41 that God has given them to be used to honor and serve Him."
18:46 You know where my mind goes immediately there.
18:49 I think the most gifted being
18:51 that was ever created was Lucifer, right?
18:56 He was like the choir director of heaven.
18:58 He was gorgeous. He was talented.
19:01 He had so much to offer
19:03 in the service and worship of God in heaven.
19:07 But what did he do with those gifts?
19:11 He used all of his talents to deceive and to diminish
19:17 the perception of who God is.
19:22 And with the pride, and the selfishness,
19:25 and the covetousness that was in his heart
19:27 with his self serving attitude,
19:31 he took all of those wonderful gifts
19:33 and he deceived a third of the angels of heaven
19:36 and they ended up being cast out of heaven.
19:41 Those same gifts he still has,
19:44 but I don't want to invite those gifts into the church.
19:48 And so just because we find a gay person
19:50 that is very gifted, very talented
19:53 does not mean that should be brought into the church.
19:56 I know when I was living in Southern California,
20:00 and I was being introduced to a Christian gay organization.
20:05 And as a way to bring me into the organization
20:08 and bring me back into the church,
20:10 they started inviting me to play the pipe organ
20:14 for one of the churches there.
20:16 I was actually invited to become
20:18 one of the regular organists for that church.
20:22 And I played a couple of times
20:25 to fill in for the organist who was gone.
20:28 But I refused to take that position, why?
20:31 Because I was not a Christian.
20:34 I did not feel that I had anything
20:37 to really offer to worship
20:39 if I was denying the God that was to be worshipped.
20:43 And so I turned down, you know, that invitation.
20:49 I really find no biblical basis whatsoever for such a request
20:54 that we bring openly practicing sinners into church
20:59 because they're talented,
21:01 because that will be used by the enemy of souls
21:05 to actually pull people away from God,
21:08 because imagine our children in church
21:11 and they see someone very gifted
21:13 and they become very enamored with this person
21:16 that is so gifted and talented in music or whatever,
21:20 and then they understand
21:21 that these people are living apart
21:23 from the ways of God.
21:25 Well, if it's okay for these people
21:29 to behave in this way
21:30 and yet they're in the church,
21:32 then maybe I can too.
21:34 And I think it would be a stumbling block
21:36 for many people in the church if we lead that in.
21:39 See John the Baptist
21:43 called for those who wanted to be part of the church
21:46 to bring forth fruit, meat for repentance.
21:50 And this request here is not about repentance.
21:54 It's about being allowed to participate
21:57 in the church culture
21:59 without embracing the tenets,
22:01 and the doctrines, and the faith of that church.
22:04 That would be a big mistake.
22:06 So it sounds to me like really what you're saying
22:09 is the hinge pin to the decision has to do
22:14 with the heart of the person who's coming into the church.
22:18 Are they there in a submissive towards the Lord,
22:21 manner, they're humble,
22:23 willing to learn
22:24 or are they there with their own,
22:26 you know, standards
22:28 and not willing to move on
22:30 those to walk with the Lord and follow Him.
22:33 Am I hearing that there? Yes.
22:35 We've heard the illustration
22:37 that the church is like a hospital.
22:39 And so we have an open door policy
22:43 for people to come to worship.
22:45 However, membership is something that is very sacred
22:48 because with membership you have the right to voice.
22:51 You have the right to vote.
22:53 You have the opportunity to hold office.
22:56 And that needs to be reserved
22:59 for those who are accepting the Jesus as their mentor,
23:04 their master, their Lord,
23:07 and are willing to enter the school of discipleship,
23:10 and to be transformed into the image of Christ.
23:13 But yes, by all means,
23:14 they should be allowed to come and worship,
23:16 but not bring in a gay agenda
23:20 that works against the very gospel
23:22 that we're trying to share.
23:25 Right. Okay.
23:27 So number five this last point here, it says,
23:29 "Fully integrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,
23:32 and intersex members of the Adventist church
23:36 into the life of the church community."
23:41 Well, we see in history
23:43 when society fully integrated homosexuality into the culture,
23:48 the demise of Sodom and Gomorrah,
23:50 the demise of Greece, the demise of Rome,
23:54 and so to fully integrate
23:56 is going to bring down that very church culture.
24:02 And secondly,
24:04 to make such a resolution in the name of Jesus
24:06 is to ask His blessing upon something
24:09 which He has very clearly condemned in His word.
24:14 So now we've looked at these five points,
24:16 you've responded to them.
24:18 Ron, do you see our church catering to these expectations?
24:21 Well, I see the Christian church,
24:23 at large, in many instances catering.
24:27 We have an example in the Southern Baptist Church
24:33 for example, there's a headline
24:35 that I have here from just January.
24:37 "Southern Baptist churches start to ordain homosexuals
24:41 and perform same sex marriage rituals."
24:45 I have talked to people who have told me
24:48 that their churches have split over the gay issue,
24:51 Baptist, and then Presbyterian.
24:54 Within our own denomination,
24:56 I have seen churches that are incorporating
25:00 these requests into their church.
25:04 And for me as a gay person in the past,
25:07 visiting one of these churches I was alarmed
25:10 because I was not finding sanctuary,
25:12 I was not finding salvation,
25:15 I was finding a tolerance
25:18 of what I was rather than a remedy for what I was.
25:24 So with this culture as it is now,
25:27 what do you think the church's response really should be
25:29 towards this whole agenda
25:31 and its focus on Christianity and the church?
25:35 Well, remembering that God is love,
25:38 everything that He asks, everything that He says
25:40 is as a loving heavenly Father.
25:42 And He tells us very plainly to cry aloud,
25:45 spare not,
25:46 lift up thy voice like a trumpet
25:48 and show my people their transgression
25:50 in the house of Jacob their sins.
25:52 Why? Because He wants to save us from our sins.
25:56 So it is...
25:59 We are actually counseled to call sin by its right name
26:03 because we cannot overcome
26:05 something that we cannot define.
26:08 So it is a loving, caring message
26:12 to call sin by its right name
26:15 and then offer the remedy for that sin.
26:18 So as a church, we need to be faithful
26:20 to our high calling
26:22 and not give in to political correctness.
26:25 Amen. Amen.
26:26 So is there anything else that you would say
26:29 to expound on that good solid biblical guidance
26:32 for dealing with this in a compassionate way?
26:35 Well, again the Bible is very explicit.
26:38 Building on that thought that God is love,
26:41 1 John 4:8,
26:43 then Jesus goes on to say, if you love me,
26:47 then Jesus who died for us gave His life for us
26:51 while we were yet strangers and enemies.
26:53 "If you love me, in return keep my commandments."
26:57 If you love me, "Thou shall not lie with mankind,
27:00 as with the mankind, as with womankind,
27:03 is abomination."
27:04 I like to put that in front of the commandments.
27:07 If you love me, "Do not commit adultery."
27:09 If you love me, "If a man also lie with mankind,
27:12 as he lies with the woman,
27:13 both of them have committed an abomination."
27:15 If you love me, you won't do that.
27:18 In light of Malachi 3:6 where he says,
27:21 "I am the Lord, I change not."
27:24 By what authority do we understand this issue
27:28 any differently than the Bible
27:31 which is to be our rule of faith and practice?
27:34 God is not willing that any should perish
27:37 but that all should come to repentance.
27:39 Amen. Amen.
27:40 Well, thank you so much
27:42 for what you've shared with us today, Ron.
27:43 I know it's been a blessing to me
27:45 and my prayer is that it's been a blessing
27:47 to all of you as well.
27:48 So join us next time on Pure Choices.