If we can give some segments of the charismatic Christianoid world credit for anything, it’s their history of standing firm against the acceptance of the invasion of a militant homosexuality in our culture and the church. Dr. Michael Brown, a well-known figurehead of the charismatic movement, and popular author and writer at CharismaMag, has been very outspoken about this issue. Brown debated self-described “gay Christian” Matthew Vines, one of the leading false teachers of “gay Christian” theology, in which he stated:
When Moses wrote that it is an abomination for a man to have sex with another man, he didn’t add, “unless they’re committed to each other long term.”
Brown was a major leader in the Brownsville Revival, a counterfeit revival within the Assemblies of God. However, another major denomination, Vineyard USA, who broke away from the Calvary Chapel in the 80’s, has taken a very interesting position on sodomites in the Church. In a position paper, titled Pastoring LGBT Persons, put out by the denomination states the following regarding Communion:
Paul’s exhortation to the Vineyard today would be to discern the body, and to make sure to include everyone Christ includes. This means that drug addicts and alcoholics that haven’t kicked the habit, gays and lesbians that haven’t left the lifestyle, and divorced adulterers that are still with their mistresses are all welcome at the table if they sincerely desire to turn toward Jesus and place their lives under the faucet of God’s grace. What better place is there to go for someone trapped in sin and deceived by its sickness than the table of our Lord?
I don’t know about you, but I can think of a better place to go for someone like that – flat on one’s face in humble repentance at the foot of the cross.
This document, thus titled, was ostensibly intended to teach how to pastor people who choose to self-identify by their preferred sex partner(s) (rather than, say, as a follower of Jesus Christ). Already we have a problem – Vineyard USA is implicitly granting one of the premises of the gay agenda. Since the gay agenda has experienced such success in our culture as to make it common parlance, however, we shouldn’t make too much of this, though it represents a missed opportunity. There are bigger fish to fry, though.
Vineyard USA plays with fire as they explicitly endorse open communion, meaning that non-members can partake of the Lord’s Table whenever everyone has taken a break from
experiencing anointed worship rolling around on the floor, making animal noises, and laughing uncontrollably. The Lord takes abuses of the Lord’s Table celebration pretty seriously, given His words in 1 Corinthians 11, but this position paper barely scratches the surface in giving proper warnings. Following a quote from John Wesley, the paper states:
The only fitness required is “…a sense of our utter sinfulness.” No other moral qualification is demanded before receiving communion.
This is errant Lord’s Table theology, but it points to something more fundamental and damnably dangerous. This is a paper about how to pastor LGBTQXYZ people, in a segment designed to teach how to handle communion with such folks. We must ask: How would the leadership of the church know that so-and-so is gay and living the gay lifestyle? The only way to know would be that the person has made it known, right? If the leadership were unaware, then this section (and indeed, the whole paper) is unnecessary and inapplicable. If they don’t know, then they just allow anyone to approach the Table (and let his blood be on his own head) and that’s that. But we are talking about whether known gay people can approach the Table.
Let’s grant hypothetically that God does not in fact bring down special wrath on those who take the Table and yet are in knowing and deliberate sin. When you know that someone is living in blatant rejection of the Word of God (for example, by living the gay lifestyle and identifying as such) but they want to come and take the Table anyway, that’s the problem – you are letting them pretend to be Christians, reconciled to God, in a very real and obvious way, when in fact they stand under His wrath and are not reconciled to God. You’re aiding and abetting their self-deception. Where is the call to repentance? Where is the sharing of the Gospel? How will they know they can be set free from this slavery, this captivity? The Lord’s Table is a spiritual reality that creates unity among the Body of Christ, and all Vineyard requires is a sense that one is a sinner? How about a hatred for sin that is an infallible product of the new birth?
Let me try to have some compassion here – I don’t want to pretend that it would necessarily be emotionally easy for a same-sex couple to break up. They have a twisted definition of love, yes, but their affections they have mistaken for love can doubtless be a strong emotional bond (though based on lies). The emotional angst produced in such a way would qualify as a trial and tribulation. What someone in a true biblical oversight role should do in this case would be to remind the person that such difficulties are meant to create perseverance and endurance: James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5. It’s meant to make them like Jesus and indeed serve as evidence of their salvation: Romans 6:11-18, 1 Peter 2:16, 2 Peter 1:10.
Also, while it may be emotionally trying to break up with one’s partner (whether a partner in same-sex or in heterosexual immorality), it’s not actually that hard. It’s unambiguous – move out. Call them to repent as you have done. If they won’t repent and are a temptation, stop seeing them. Block them on phone, Facebook, etc if necessary. This is a one-time event that is then perpetuated by staying away from that person.
But this paper gives no mention of how to actually shepherd these folks, but rather it jumps straight into a discussion of Lord’s Table theology without getting into the real nitty-gritty. Glaring and obvious matters which were definitely visible in this culture of death by 2014 are conspicuous by their absence. What does repentance look like? How can the person kill their sin consistently? How should they self-identify to other people, since calling oneself by one’s sinful propensities is inappropriate and unbiblical? Must they stop going to bars, being promiscuous, having gay sex, etc? What if they have been living together and they need to find other living quarters because they want to start actively hating their sin? What about transgender stuff? What about transvestism? What about same-sex couples that have adopted children?
That sort of content would be really helpful for the folks who call themselves LTBQXYZ. It’s a shame that a so-called “position paper” mostly serves to lead astray on such an important matter, when they expend so much energy on making sure they have big fancy sound systems and stages so their “anointed” heroes can attract thousands to hear gibberish they mutter into the microphones without an interpreter present.
[Contributed by: Alan Maricle and Jeff Maples]