A sad day for the Paulks

Today John Paulk, former leader of a ministry in the US that helps people come out of homosexuality, has made a fateful decision to divorce his wife, re-enter the gay lifestyle, and renounce all his previous work with Love Won Out.  As I said in a previous post on this blog, the ex-ex-gay movement and the gay community in general wanted blood and blood is what they have got.  I personally feel a great sense of loss for John himself, his wife Anne, and their children.  While I commend his being honest about his doubts, I cannot support his recent decisions.  He has chosen to betray his family and those who, like me, have looked up to him.  I don’t look down on him for having ongoing struggles and doubts because everyone has those too some degree, even well-known high flying Christian leaders.  But with doubt and struggle there are answers for those doubts if people wish to see them and work hard at thm.  I believe that John, like others who have made such decisions like John Smid and Michael Bussee, has cast aside his inheritance in Christ for a ‘bowl of soup’ (Heb 12:16-17)- a watery meal that doesn’t meet the famished hunger of the spiritual stomach.  He may not have done this casually but the outcome is not positive.  His decision represents a disregard for his inheritance in Christ and the blessings of his family and ministry.  He is, in fact, suppressing that which he knows to be true (Rom 1:18) rather than realising a new truth about himself or God.  These decisions war against himself as much as anybody else.

In his statement, John said that in light of his decision he can be who he really is: that is, living as a ‘gay’ man.  But this is not who he is because, firstly, no-one is born gay; and secondly, sinful, carnal desires to not define who a person in Christ is.  Such desires war against the soul and rob people of life and eternal blessings in God (1 Pet 2:11; Col 3:5; Rev 21:8; Heb 12:14) and no amount of soap-and-bubbles talk about God’s “endlessly flowing grace” and “just loving people” (bereft of a challenge to live in holiness) can redact this truth.  God is a holy God who is a consuming fire (Deut 4:24, Heb 12:29) who demands holiness of people, though He is also graceful.  The western church is in decline because it is emphasising grace over truth, and this is the same thing that John is doing, I believe, to justify his decision here as others like John Smid have.

John Paulk’s statement surprised me in a way because he said he regretted his work with Love Won Out, that it did caused so much ‘harm’.  I found this to be unbelievable, given that his wife Anne, who came out of lesbianism, stood faithfully by his side and has not regressed back into a lesbian lifestyle.  In other words, John has been living for the past 21 years with the very thing that defies his own justification for regressing back into sin.  There are countless other faithful, well-grounded, and mature witnesses that he could have spoken with (Joe Dallas, Sy Rogers, Frank Worthen, and others) who have had success in living beyond homosexuality.  What he is doing is going to amass greater judgement upon himself.  That makes no sense to me and it grieves my heart.  I don’t know where John is but he seems to be in a very fragile place.  I pray that people are able to speak grace AND truth to his heart and that his heart be receptive to it because I believe he can be restored.  But for leaders like myself in ministries like Liberty there are many lessons to learn about guarding my own heart and keeping my feet pure as I minister in this very sinful and depraved world where Satan and his agents just love bringing down Christian leaders.

Exodus International vice president Randy Thomas elected to celebrate Paulk’s decision: “John, I know we aren’t the closest of friends but I do hope you know I love you and your family. I love that you are wrestling with various issues with humility and honesty. In His grip of grace, you are safe. I will pray for you as you seek to serve, love, and honor God and others” .  I believe that this response does a great disservice to the Paulks and particularly to John himself.  Does Thomas not realise that this decision involves the dissolution of a marriage and the grieving of others?  John’s new course does not do God honour: it breaks His heart and Thomas et.al. are enabling another person’s sin in the name of understanding.  John is not safe: he has imperiled his salvation, rejected God’s good will for him, compromised himself, and grieved others.  I do not say this to dismiss John but to say what is really going on because it is only by facing what he has done that people will put things in their proper perspective.  James 5:19-20 says it for me:

My brothers, if any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his life from death and cover a multitude of sins.

A brother who does not lovingly and humbly rebuke a wayward brother is not a loving that wayward brother.  In fact, that is hating him and John Paulk needs people around him who are not just going to pat him on the back as has been the case so far, by and large, in public.  If there is anything I could say to John, if he is reading this blog, it would be this:

John,

Please reconsider what you have decided to do.  Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone and no-one is expecting you to be a picture-perfect ‘ex-gay’ person to be loved and accepted.  This does not have to be your choice and you can always go back to truth and grace.  As hard as the journey is, I am with you to help you fight sin, pray for you, listen to you, and do what I can.  I know it is not an easy battle but think very carefully of the damage this will do to your soul and to the lives of others.  I am sure you have already done this to some extent but please think more carefully and meditate on Scripture, even the hard bits calling people to severe holiness because without it you cannot see God.  There are no shortcuts on the road to glory.  I am not with you in your decisions of late, I cannot be in good conscience, but I do love you as a person and wish to see you restored even if what I am saying here might cause you some momentary grief (2 Cor 7:8-12).  There is nothing that you cannot get through without the help of God (1 Cor 10:12-13).  But think of the cost to your wife and your kids and the trouble they will face as a result of all this.  Think of how hard it will be if, one day, you really come to sorely regret this but fear that God and others cannot forgive you.  Are you willing to gamble with all that?  I too am weak and need the strength of the Spirit.  Please come back to what you know to be really true: this is not who you are.

Haydn.

***

27/4/2103  – ministry leader Andrew Comiskey wrote a brief and well-worded response to the John Paulk announcement.  I couldn’t have put it better myself:

“With grief I consider the irony of Exodus’ response to John Paulk’s immersion in gay culture … Exodus used to focus on how Jesus leads persons out of homosexuality. Now Exodus appears to celebrate those who return to it.  Exodus VP Randy Thomas just wrote a glowing account of Paulk’s renunciation of his ‘ex-gay’ status … yet [he] omits the fact that Paulk’s choices violate his vows to his wife and three boys who as teenagers need their father more than ever. Exodus seems more concerned with John’s authentic gay self than with the needs of his wife and kids.”

31 comments on “A sad day for the Paulks

  1. Echoing the comments and sentiments of those above mine, I also want to comment on John Smid’s supportive response just below the article. We have two men who were once leaders to be followed on a journey of hope by those taken captive by the enemy and drawn into homosexuality.

    This type of defection into moral depravity has been happening for far too long in the church, and it pollutes the reputation of Christ’s bride. Love these men? Sure. Detest how the Enemy has defeated them? Absolutely. Emotions over the defamation of the Bride’s character? Livid. Disgusted. Determined to guard myself against moral failure on every front.

  2. Reblogged this on Overheard and commented:
    Echoing the comments and sentiments of those above mine, I also want to comment on John Smid’s supportive response just below the article. We have two men who were once leaders to be followed on a journey of hope by those taken captive by the enemy and drawn into homosexuality.

    This type of defection into moral depravity has been happening for far too long in the church, and it pollutes the reputation of Christ’s bride. Love these men? Sure. Detest how the Enemy has defeated them? Absolutely. Emotions over the defamation of the Bride’s character? Livid. Disgusted. Determined to guard myself against moral failure on every front.

  3. This is an excellent post Haydn! Thank you for your sensitivity to this situation and thank you for actually speaking the truth in love. I really appreciate your use of the Scriptures and references to Scripture. There are many statements that you have made that I completely agree. The use of Scripture and references seems to not in vogue with so many Christian leaders. Huge mistake as they present themselves to be wise rather than the word of God where they gained the wisdom to begin. It is the word of God that changes us with God’s Holy Spirit giving revelation. Psa. 107:20, James 1:21-22. I sure appreciate this post as it is very close to so many of us with Restored Hope Network. http://www.restoredhopenetwork.org God bless you Haydn. I will be sharing this.

  4. Haydn, you seem to be forgetting that John has said he is still a Christian. He has not renounced his faith, has he? He just doesn’t seem to believe that all homosexual acts are sinful.

    Look: Christians are not united on all matters of sexual ethics. For example, some believe contraception (even in marriage) is a sin, others don’t. Some believe that masturbation is a sin, while others do not (including 5-point Calvinist Steve Hays of Triablogue). Some disagree on what are permissible grounds for divorce (and subsequent remarriages).

    This doesn’t even touch upon other matters not related to sexuality. The founders of the SBC started the denomination primarily as a reaction against the anti-slavery abolitionists. If they’re wrong, are they in Hell?

    Perhaps I’m missing your point: is your issue with the fact that he’s divorcing his wife, or is it that he’s “living a gay lifestyle”? If the former, it’s a fair criticism because he did, after all, make a vow. I guess the question is whether it was made under severe emotional and mental distress. I’m not a mind-reader, but if it was the case, I think even the Catholic Church would grant an annulment.

  5. Thanks, Steve!

    James, John did not say he was renouncing his faith, and yet he is taking steps that contradict his calling. Any faithful reading of Scripture will demonstrate that if a person lives in a way that contradicts their calling in Christ, that person is not a believer but a ‘liar’ (1 John 1:6; 1 Cor 5:5; Matt 18:15-20; Matt 7:21ff; Hebrews 3 and 12). See Revelation 21:8. It doesn’t bother me where Christians differ on sexual ethics: I have met a Christian sexologist who has no biblical basis to her sexual ethics! I go by what is clearly taught in Scripture, not man-made doctrine which confuses people even leads them to accept worldliness at times. Refute what I say here with Scripture, not quoting one group of people against another.

  6. Haydn, you wrote that you found John Paulk’s statement (that he regretted his work with Love Won Out, that it did caused so much ‘harm) unbelievable. He’s probably refering to people who quit Love Won Out in a state of ongoing depression?

    • Good question. usually when renunciations like these take place they generalise to EVERYONE who has ever tried to change their sexuality rather than those who felt depressed. In my experience and observation, people get depressed because their battle, they feel, is too great. So because they felt depressed and gave up therefore everyone else seeking sanctification in their sexuality will therefore be depressed and should give up. It’s a self-referencing argument. Also, it becomes a convenient excuse to do what they are doing and usually there’s inconsistent evidence that any damage was done by the programme; it usually relies on emotional, personal anecdote of a small few. Also, those giving up usually have deeper, more profound and unresolved issues belying their radical change in choices that the general public never finds out about.
      Being depressed, however, isn’t always long-lasting. I’ve had many dark moments in my own walk, dark nights of the soul, where I wanted to quit and go back to the old ways. But God always gave me visions of what that it would look like if I did go back; I didn’t need to think too vividly of what that would mean since I had seen it first hand. Also, I could see how much progress I had made and could see how much I would forfeit. Those gains were hard won, so I didn’t want to lose them. Yes, that came at a price and often made me feel weary and sad, but the reward for persevering began to pay off. It really depends on how committed you are to change, how realistic your expectations are, being willing to put in the hard yards and not just expecting an easy journey to just fall out of the sky, and to pursue God with JOY, not dry sense of duty.

  7. John Paulk’s situation reminds me of what I saw in my 22 years inside ex-gay ministries and therapy groups. Those who spend their lives living as ‘Down-Low’ gays (publicly claiming to no longer be gay) while engaging in anonymous and unsafe sexual practices of the “fall and repent” life denouncing homosexuals, are welcome back in their churches and marriages. Those who state this was not a healthy way to live and decide to be honest that their sexual orientation has not changed are deemed “Fallen sinners, heretics, even demon-possessed.” Yet, these people often go on to live loving committed Christian lives with a same-sex spouse. That may not fit your beliefs, but it is often a healthier and happier way for people to live. I pray John finds a welcoming, affirming Christian community. There are more and more such faith communities.

    • Jerry these are not my beliefs; they come from Scripture. Relativising things does not make things more justifiable. It says that if a person calls himself a brother but continues flagrantly in sin to nit even eat with him (1 Cor 5). You have not here given me any convincing argument from Scripture because you know that it is wrong, even if some do claim ‘faithfulness’ in their same-sex relationships. I often hear of these ‘loving Christian’ gay relationships but I’ve not seen any anecdotal evidence that they exist. Indeed, I recently placed on my blog a quote from a gay activist and academic, Dennis Altar, who said last year in Sydney that there’s no evidence at all for long term monogamous relationships in gay male culture; but folks will say whatever they wish to deceive themselves and justify their decisions. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, people need to both live with themselves and face God. You can try to deceive others to make those realities easier but it doesn’t take them away.

      Two men in emotional and sexual (spiritual) union with one another is not loving. It’s hating one’s brother and using him for sinful, selfish gain. It is no more loving than a person being loving by killing another. Scripture is clear on this even if sinful people hate it and want to suppress what they know to be true. I know all this because I tried to reconcile disorientated sexuality (SSA) with faith before the Spirit showed me how doing so imperiled my salvation in the Lord and would rob me of blessing. I chose the better path and have not looked back. Sexual immorality, be it gay or straight, kills the body (Rom 1:27) and slays soul, spirit, and heart (Col 3:5) plain and simple.

      • Throughout this nation’s history, each time a new civil rights issue arose, the conservatives had the stronger argument if one went solely by a literal reading of the bible. Slaveholders had many bible passages they could quote in their arguments against abolitionists who took a more moderate approach. Those who opposed allowing women the right to vote had bible passages in their favor while others took a more moderate approach. In 1967, 9 out of 10 Americans were convinced that interracial marriage was wrong, with the most common view being it was a sin which should continue to be a crime. In each of these cases, the literalists lost and we are better for it. America will likewise move to strike down the last legal prejudice. I won’t try to change your mind about what you believe the bible says, but we will all be better off when each church can follow its own beliefs on this issue, and our government protects the civil rights of all.

      • Writerjerome, you assume way too much about government! Government always prejudices against someone and certain groups always feel they are not being listened to. Any student of politics and media observer knows this. Today’s prejudice is being directed against Christians who uphold a biblical standard of marriage; against the unborn who can be terminated at any notice; against the disabled, the elderly, and others. The gospel is the ultimate antidote to all these things.

        Discrimination comes in many forms. Say, for instance, a business interviews 5 people for a job and only one of them gets the position: that means four people have been discriminated against. A film maker is making a production about the Chinese revolution, that means he will recruit actors who will be mostly Asian and male. So he must ‘discriminate’ because what is required of his actors depends on what he is going to use them for and what each actor does, and doesn’t, bring. Elimination of discrimination sounds good as an ideal but it doesn’t work out.

        The slavery issue, as I recently said to another commenter on this blog, is a strawman because simply because one Christian group was in favour of slavery does not mean that mainstream opinion on homosexuality today is the same. Being black is not a sin, hence why discrimination against blacks is heinous. However, discrimination against gay identifying people in some situations (e.g. working at a Christian schools, adopting children, marriage, etc) does make sense given that homosexuality is sinful. Around 10-15 years ago the gay lobby insisted that it only wanted civil unions and had no claims for gay marriage. Today the boundaries have changed because apparently that will rid the world of homophobia and help gay people feel better about themselves. But very much I doubt that as recent research suggests that the life quality of gay people is still regressive compared to the rest of the population. And introducing gay marriage, which could inevitably force churches to promote homosexuality and not teach against it, which will discriminate against Christians acting in good conscience.

  8. “It’s hating one’s brother and using him for sinful, selfish gain. ”

    I’ve been with my partner for two years. I know gay couples who’ve been together for over 10 years. What is the “gain” you’re referring to? Some of them have sacrificed a great deal. My relationship, while a great blessing, has also cost me in many ways (at least financially).

    Meanwhile, you have people in your Christian fundamentalist community defending the practice of slavery. Let me repeat that: a great many fundamentalist Christians (including the men who founded the Southern Baptist Convention) wholeheartedly believe that buying and selling human beings like cattle for their own profit is within the “biblical model”.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/morgan-guyton/why-is-a-famous-evangelical-pastor-defending-slavery_b_3094279.html

    Are you sure you wish to insist that it is we who are exploiting others?

    • James what you are raising here is 1) a consequentialist argument that because something ‘works’ – or seems to do so – and makes a person happy that therefore it is right; and 2) you are raising a strawman argument and indeed a diversion to play off one issue (slavery) against another.

      As to the first, you have not argued from Scripture as to why homosexuality is wrong, which is what I used to articulate my own position, but an anecdote about your own circumstances. My own experience of the gay lifestyle and indeed academic research on the gay community demonstrates that truly monogamous long-term relationships are next to none (many involve an open relationship). But this does not, in the end really matter. If gay relationships were found to be long-lasting and monogamous like heterosexual ones they are still wrong because they have been intrinsically declared so by humanity’s Maker, God. Homosexuality wars against body and soul, and the life quality and life expectancy of GBLT people has been shown in studies to be affected negatively by virtue of the nature of gay relationships and practise. Not homophobia, as is often asserted, but because gay relationships do not last and particularly in male homosexuality involves multiple partnering. But even if gay relationships do last, as I said, and become strictly monogamous, it won’t make them right .

      The other problem is with your comment about slavery. Have you noticed that many Christians do NOT approve slavery? Did you happen to notice that the man who brought an end to slavery in Britain was Wilberforce, a man of thorough Biblical conviction? He also established the RSPCA. But this too is beside the point because it cannot justify the intrinsic error of gay relationships. That is just trying to relativise the Biblical position on homosexuality. Just because one form of evil exists does not mean that another evil is less evil: evil is always evil regardless of who’s doing, why they’re doing, what other evils are being tolerated, and who is enjoying it. In fact, your argument reinforces my position because had Christians in the US in the 1950s been more consistent in their reading of Scripture and stood against slavery the church would not have been compromised. Today, if churches do not get marriage right and advance the Biblical ethic of sexuality and marriage then future generations will denounce them and wonder ‘Why didn’t more people stand up against gay marriage?’ Your attempt to get me to get going on the slavery issue is an attempt to shift the territory in order to avoid what is really going on with homosexuality. Homosexual living is a slavery, to sin and Satan and it destroys people. I don’t hate gay people for being gay: I hate the spiritual power that is holding them as prisoners to self and Satan and wish to see them freed.

  9. Haydn, thanks for your reply. I suspect that your church does not allow happily committed gay male couples to come in and remain as they are in your church. They would be required to abandon their life together or leave. I would think that has more to do with the fact you don’t know any loving gay couples than that they don’t exist. In fact, I know many of them here in southern California.

    • Hi Jerry. No, my church and the Lord Himself would not permit a person to remain ‘as they are’ and thankfully not! They wouldn’t for two critical reasons: 1) Jesus never leaves a person as they are because He calls- and helps them- to be better than themselves and be more like Him. To do that a person must be rid of sin and carnal desires that war against the soul (1 Pet 2:11, Col 3:5). With the woman caught in adultery in John’s gospel, Jesus said “You are forgive; go and sin NO MORE”. That is, you cannot live in sin and call Jesus as Lord and Saviour because no-one can have two master. I’ve noticed that every time I see ‘gay Christians’ it is their homosexuality that identifies them much more than the Christian part, which is very revealing, because it says what their heart really treasures. Also, if you call yourself Christian but want to just be approved as you are and not challenged and changed then it’s not God your worshipping but yourself and God is too small. But God is not like that and it is very dangerous to presume that he is. 2) There is no such thing as ‘gay'; homosexuality is not an ‘orientation’ either. It’s a disorientation and a carnal desire that kills body and soul (Rom 1:27, Rev 21:8) that keeps people from inheriting salvation and eternal blessing. In the book of Ezra and Nehemiah Israelites had COMMITTED, SUCCESSFUL relationships with foreigners; they even had kids! But when the prophets spoke against their sin and warned them of judgement if they did not divorce their foreign spouses, they were cut to the heart and annulled their marriages. Even if gay relationships, specifically and generally, were successful it still would not make them right. Blessings.

  10. Haydn, I watched the video you linked us to, and I looked up Dr. Grossman. I am sure she is very dedicated to her conservative Jewish beliefs. Her message of fear is sincere, and I appreciate her concern for children. Unfortunately, she says all children accept their gender identity by the age of three – end of story. She seems unaware of the cases of intersex children, who have some physical combination of genders. And she seems to dismiss children who are biologically one gender and psychologically another. Brain scan studies and new research offer us a stronger case for understanding children who don’t fit the assumed gender roles than what Dr. Grossman presents. Granted, she was limited in time to present. Overall, the fear of those who are different, be they lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered, as expressed very articulately by yourself and others here strike most people today who follow these issues as being more based in fear than facts. To hold to your position, a person must be willing to only look at the information provided by organizations which were founded to oppose the growing evidence that mainstream medical professionals are seeing in research today in regards to LGBT people. Conservative evangelical professor, Dr. Warren Throckmorton began with your position on these issues, even writing a book about people who had changed their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual due to their faith and prayers. He was presented with evidence that his “success stories” were not true. He began to look outside the evidence from ideological groups and he reveals that the evangelical community is being essentially blocked from seeing much of the last decade’s research which would at least give them pause on being so hard on gay people. His writing includes his conservative Christianity but with the latest science, including at least one article you will probably like on the studies by the researchers Pat Robertson made famous, Jones and Yarhouse. At any rate, thanks for taking the time to respond to those who hold different views from yours.

    • Hi Jerry, yes I am aware of the position of Jones, Yarhouse, and Throckmorton, and I cannot say I share their views today. Their views today actually contradict a key finding that Jones and Yarhouse produced a study “Ex-Gay?”, a longitudinal study examining those who had attempted a change in sexuality and that study came to the conclusion that in fact people an change if they really apply themselves to it. It also noted that none or next to no-one became depressed or suicidal as a result of attempting change or at least such feelings were not directly related to their change attempts. Even before that the put out a purple coloured book on scientific evidence and homosexuality which suggested that change is possible. Change, however, in my experience and ministry is not about going from ‘gay’ to ‘straight’- I believe that God has made all people to be in opposite-sex marriage covenant (even single people who renounce marriage for the sake of the Kingdom) because opposite sex relationships are what all humans are made for, from Genesis. Homosexuality is not an orientation either; it is a disorientation and it is not an innate condition, though even if it was it is still no excuse for living in it. Say for instance a baby was born with heroin in its system, it is literally born a heroin addict by no sane person would say it should live the life of a heroin addict simply because it was “born that way”. Was it meant to be born like that and stay like that?

      Overcoming homosexuality is not about finding a new sexuality, it’s about holy sexuality, of renouncing worldly passion and no longer living in lust like non-believers but casting off such things and living in victory. I am sure people will find scientific evidence to support alternative viewpoints and this is one of the dangers of trusting science – or anything else- as an authority. I have studied science and used to design empirical studies into human behaviour and I know how information can be twisted to support anything. Science is grounded in philosophical worldviews and they are unreliable. They can also fall victim to man-made agendas and the influence of those paying for it and I am wary of referring to it as an authority. I allow Scripture to guide, for me, what is true and it says there that what can be impossible for man is possible for God. So can God change people from ‘gay’ to holy? Yes, he can. Can He turn profane to clean? Yes. Will people experience change? Of course they can- I have experienced it as have countless others.

      As for Dr Glasson her views still hold. So what if she is Jewish? How does that disqualify her? What if she was a secularist or a buddhist? How acceptable does she have to be before her expertise is accepted? Rejecting her testimony because of her race and creed sounds anti-Semitic on the one hand and needlessly dismissive on the other. Or is it that certain people just do not want to hear the truth and act on it because it exposes the hollowness of what they are doing? No, it is not right that children have sex-change operations because God made people MALE and FEMALE and anything that twists this is toying with another’s personhood- and no wonder Satan is trying to undo sexuality and marriage in today’s world because they are the basic building blocks of God’s good creation. For a person to change their own sex is to declare war on God who made them and it is no guarantee of a happy life- in fact life outcomes for those who’ve had gender reassignment surgery are overwhelmingly negative not because of prejudice in the world but because the change doesn’t deliver. Yet how funny it is that changing one’s SEX is declared OK these days, but changing one’s SEXUAL ORIENTATION isn’t. Can anyone explain this? I have seen a number of interviews in secular media of kids who have sought out sex change operations and all of them talk of their parents either supporting their intentions or being passive and not speaking out against it for fear of being seen to “reinforce gender stereotypes”. Almost all the time it’s to make themselves acceptable to somebody else who does not support them with the sex that God has given them. So I don’t accept the premise that such things are desirable or normative on the basis of ‘science’. Scripture is my final authority on these things.

  11. Your belief is that sexual orientation is a “disorder” and “not innate.” Those are medical science terms which you are misusing since every scientific medical organization says the opposite, based on overwhelming evidence. The only organizations still claiming the things you claim were founded on that belief, not on the evidence. NARTH is not a scientific organization. Dr. Throckmorton explains that less than 1 in 4 NARTH members have any education or credentials or experience in relevant fields, that NARTH has not produced a single peer-reviewed study in its 20 years in existence. Also, NARTH’s website praised Dr. Charles Socarides for being the key person who brought the other co-founders together, yet the methods Socarides employed were not effective even on his own beloved son, Richard Socarides, a happy, openly gay man. The bottom line is that no matter how much you cling to the old beliefs that nobody should be gay, the reality is that some people are, and they did not choose it and they cannot choose to change it. A marriage like John Paulk’s did not mean he was “changed” at all. He was like a blue eyed man who put on brown contacts and proclaimed, “Look, God changed my eye color.”

    • I have seen some of this ‘overwhelming’ evidence and I find it underwhelming. I find an enormous inconsistency when you say that people can change their gender but not their sexuality. There is no evidence supporting the theory that people are born gay (http://www.mygenes.co.nz). Simon LeVay, who discovered the so-called ‘gay brain’ said there is no such thing as an innately born gay person. Throckmorton can say what he believes, but he has another agenda. His own colleagues Yarhouse and Jones have published a study saying that change is possible and that has not been discredited. There is such a things as change.

  12. God creates intersex babies. You can see the evidence of this if you look at the genitalia. About 1 in 2,000 births entail some mix of the genders. Likewise, some kids have the physical genitalia of one gender and the emotional gender of the other sex. It is no war on God to admit that. The old term for children born with some of each gender was hermaphrodite, based on ancient religious beliefs and myths. Yet many of us believe that the same God who gave us the ancient stories of our scriptures also gave us medicine and science. You don’t reject those new gifts in any area except the one which contradicts your old beliefs against LGBT people. Children who have the physical genitalia of one gender and the emotional identity of the other gender are not attacking God. The only ones offended are those who don’t understand. Fortunately, understanding is increasing due to science and medicine. Folks who reject the evidence-based studies of science and medicine put people’s lives in harm’s way. For instance, when my son was diagnosed with epilepsy, some well-meaning fellow evangelicals told me not to take my son to the doctor, but to a deliverance ministry instead. They had biblical passages from the Gospel in which Jesus drives the demons out of an epileptic. I doubt you would agree that parents should forego medical treatment when their kids have a serious medical issue like that. And I am 100% certain that if you have a heart attack tonight, you will go to a scientific medical doctor to get the best possible health outcome instead of solely relying on prayers for healing. We don’t have to choose one or the other. When both our faith and our medical science are given their due, we have a far greater chance of living a healthy and happy life.

    • So you’re telling me that the 1/2000 births where there is biological sex confusion is meant to be a rule for all? I am not saying there is no place for science and medicine, but these things are driven by agendas just as bad theology are. In the case of your son (and I am sorry to hear he’s had epilepsy), I would say that there are physical and spiritual issues. I would never urge someone in your circumstances to not visit a doctor; it’s essential you do it! But I would also encourage you to deal with the spiritual undertones.

      But as I see the overwhelming scientific and psychological evidence is that gender confusion is not the norm but is actually the opposite. But given the overwhelmingly pro-GBLT worldview that is being touted in the west at the moment, it’s not surprising that this ‘scientific evidence’ is being published and assumed to be fact. But it is not Biblical.

  13. Haydn, you are obviously a bright person, but you love spin. I am not the one looking to make a “rule for all.” God has made a wonderfully varied humanity and creation. And I see no conflict between the bible and science/ medicine, even when our loved ones are dealing with their sexual orientation or gender issues and then apply biblical principles to leading a moral life. Those who are single should be encouraged to live in a chaste manner and those who wish to wed the person they love should be given the opportunity to do so. I realize that doesn’t fit your beliefs for gay people. But a growing number of churches do believe that marrying gays can be in accord with biblical Christianity. So, that is why the best outcome on all of this is for each church to follow its beliefs, and for the government to protect the civil rights of all. As far as medical science goes, the role of biology is clearer all the time, though there are complex answers, not a single gay gene. There is not a single scientific medical organization left on the entire planet which teaches that sexual orientation is a choice. Science begins with evidence and draws the best conclusions based on that, the opposite of what ideological groups do. This won’t be a big deal someday in the not-too-distant future. Thank God. And that will be good news for the church so that we can get back to being known for being people who love all rather than people who hate gays. May the peace and joy and love of Christ fill your heart each and every day.

  14. I am full of spin? Sorry, you need to substantiate an accusation before you make one. The exception to a norm is not the definition for the broader group. There is no scientific evidence that people are born gay; therefore acting on it is a choice. The very word ‘homosexual’ has only existed in the past 200 years. It will always be a big deal when sexuality and biology is warped because it runs counter to who we are as God-made people and it will cause immeasurable suffering- in fact, it already is. There is nothing happy and ‘gay’ about being gay and that is a scientifically proven fact too, given the health risks (mental and physical) which ‘GBLT’ identifying people put themselves through. That is very sad, even though many are trying to hide these facts and suppress what they know to be true in what God has already revealed.

  15. Well, Haydn, let’s finish this with something we both agree on. Let’s keep John and Anne Paulk in our prayers for God’s best in their lives in the days and years to come. Even if you and I don’t agree on what God’s best for them is, God knows what is best. I wish you God’s very best, too.

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