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Affirming Christians
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Pastor Charles Curtiss
   Nothing in the world could be more convenient an excuse for not making the effort or paying the price to live a godly Christian life than embracing the age old lie that homosexuality is somehow an unpardonable sin and abomination that bars souls from God and eventual access to heaven.
   It amazes me how frequently I must listen to Gay, Lesbian, or Transgender individuals talk themselves into an eternity in Hell.  In many instances, in seems to me, they almost seem glad that in their estimation the Bible condemns them without hope.  After all, in believing this one is not faced with the decision of choosing to serve the Lord and live the Christian life or not.  The decision, it would appear, has already been made, and by God Himself no less.
   My question to those who would choose to “cop out” with this all too simple answer is this; where in the Bible do YOU find such a doctrine of condemnation and hopelessness for the homosexual?  I’m not asking where you heard it.  I know it’s preached from pulpits from sea to shining sea.  But I am asking whether or not any of these individuals have EVER invested the time or energy searching the Bible for themselves to find the answers to these complex and theologically debated issues.
   For many years I personally pursued an almost suicidal path, simply because I stood convinced that so much of what I had been taught as a child in the pew of a Fundamentalist Christian church was absolute and true.  I never bothered to investigate the matter for myself.  I just believed blindly what I had been taught and told by individuals ranging from my parents to my pastor.
   When I finally came to the realization that it was I who had left the Master’s fellowship, and not He who had left me; I began to look carefully into many of the issues I had been made aware of but had never spent the time researching for myself.   I was astonished to find that so many of the standard arguments used in defense of homophobic theology were bogus and without true Biblical basis.

*     Sodom was NOT destroyed because of homosexuality.
*     Transgendered individuals are by no means the same as those individuals described in Leviticus 18:22, but rather this passage spoke of the often violent practice in many pagan religions of kidnapping, castrating, and then enslaving for sexual use young boys who neither had a voice in the matter or were old enough to make so life changing a decision
*     Romans chapter one describes in great detail a type of human existence that, while it may include certain homosexual acts, it is by no means based on a genuine orientation or love based committed relationships.  And, for that matter, when the list of sins described in Romans one is more carefully examined, it is CLEARLY seen that the people Paul wrote of were idolaters above all else, committed to sexual immorality and perversion as part of their religious observances.
*     Fornication is not Biblically defined solely as “premarital” or “extramarital” sexual activity, but rather speaks more truthfully and clearly to those sexual activities engaged in which involve violence, manipulation, incest, and/or exploitation.  This definition certainly works more readily with a myriad of other Biblical teachings and principals.

We may simply choose to ignore the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and His teachings on the basis of falsely represented and interpreted Biblical passages, or we can fight our way into the kingdom of Heaven by challenging those falsehoods and embracing truth.  I have known ministers who use Biblical passages to; condone slavery, support segregation of the races, subvert women and non-white races, oppose interracial dating and marriage, and justify murder in the interests of “Christian causes.”   One needn’t look far to find some fanatic or lunatic who embraces some obscure Bible passage in support of a lame doctrine, practice, or teaching that serves their purposes at the expense of diluting truth and deceiving millions.  The Roman Catholic institution has built it’s entire organization on deception and lies, and yet, because the majority of it’s number choose to not investigate their teachings and dogma more closely it is able to persist in making such erroneous claims as “the Bible teaches celibacy of the ministry (Paul said celibacy was a special “gift” and should only be pursued by those who had specifically received from that specific gift from God. (See I Cor. 7:1-9; I Tim. 4:1-3), Peter was the first Pope (Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, not Peter. (See Romans 11:13; I Tim. 2:7; II Tim. 1:11), and Mary stands as an intercessor for the church (Jesus ALONE is our intercessor the Bible clearly states in Col. 3:17; I Tim. 2:5; John 16:23) – to name but a very few.
   There is great danger in allowing human beings to dictate without question or investigation the precepts of God.  Only Jesus Christ, God incarnate had such unquestionable authority.  He then passed this authority on to His apostles with whom he had lived and in whose presence He had taught.  That authority is nowhere in Scripture described as being successive.  When the apostles died, the authority to establish doctrine and tradition died with them.  We need no authority beyond the Word of god.  There is no authority that shares or can supercede the authority of the Bible.
My dear Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender friends; will you allow men to bar you from Heaven, when god Himself has swung wide open the doors to eternity in His divine presence?  Will you continue to use the “cop out” that homosexuality is condemned within the Bible when you have personally never even bothered to investigate the matter more carefully?
Christianity has never been for cowards.  It is far easier to live for Christ today than it was for our Christian forefathers who faced the lions of Rome and the stones of the Jewish elders.  Today we do not so much face threats of physical violence against our testimony as believers but rather the emotionally charged battle being waged against our minds in the form of erroneous teachings and doctrinal falsehoods.  Will you, like Judas, choose death eternal over life after repentance?  Will you “cop out” or will you challenge the lies of yesterday with carefully sought out truths for today?
   “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”   Revelation 21:8
   Don’t fear what is written; investigate it.  Often times what it appears to say is not exactly what it is trying to say.  Don’t forget, this wonderful book was not written in “the King’s English.”  It has been translated time and time again.
Cowards act on the words of others.  Christians act upon the Word of God alone.  Will you cop out?  Or will you simply believe?
"Cop Out!"
By: Rev. Charles Burnett-Morrow