tml> Is Homosexuality a Gift of God?
  [Contents] [About the Participants] [Opening Statement by Steven Kindle] [Opening Statement by John Rankin][Dialog] [Questions from the Audience] [Closing Statements]
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Is Homosexuality a Gift of God?
 
Questions from the Audience

Questioner:
I am Dave. I am from Guilford, Vermont. I’ll have to admit I got lost in some of your theological and exegesis of the scriptures. Personally I’m not a biblical literalist, I’m a Baptist, free-thinking type. The one thing I do is take the Bible seriously. Because I think it’s based on millennia of human experience. I note as I read the Bible that we’re taught to love one another. Pretty sure on that. It also says do not have sex with someone else of the same sex. And to me it's pretty sure on that. Why does this discussion always assume that these are drawing together when the Bible makes a very clear distinction between loving one another versus having sex with somebody else of the same sex.

Steven:
You were referring to me? I thought you were referring to Rev. Rankin when you said you couldn’t follow his argument.

Moderator:
No, no, no, no, no. None of that.

John:
Oh that’s fine. Worth the price of admission.

Steven:
If I understand your question correctly there are certain premises that inform it. You brought them up which is the Bible condemns homosexuality. I say the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. I make my ministry trying to prove that point. So I can’t help you with that because I would say that the answer to obeying the commandment to love one another is to love the homosexual as you would love yourself. If you want your loneliness to be overcome then allow their loneliness to be overcome in the only way that it can be overcome.

John:
You have presuppositions into that. Is it possible to love someone with whom you disagree? That’s the deepest question we’re looking at. So do I love someone who is guilty of adultery. Absolutely. Do I approve of the adultery. No. Both the adultery and homosexual acts are contrary to the law of Moses. I think that’s the greatest debate we have right now. Is when Jesus says love one another, there’s content to it. He said, if you love me you will obey my commandment. Part of his commandments are that he came to fulfill the law of Moses. The law of Moses says man and woman in marriage.

Questioner:
My name is Tod. Pastor Kindle, you said that we are asking to deny humanity. What’s interesting about that is in Galatians 5:16, that’s exactly what Paul tells us that the Spirit of God is asking us to do. It’s very clear. There’s a great number of passions that we may feel obliged to act upon which are condemned throughout the Bible. Incest is a particularly good example. On the heels of that statement my question is, how would you compare incest to homosexuality in terms of the sinful nature of each from a biblical perspective? Secondly, the church is referred to repeatedly in the New Testament as the bride of Christ as referenced by Pastor Rankin. Where would a homosexual fit in to that model? We have a clear model that’s delineated right from the very beginning of father, son, mother, in terms of a man’s wife, children, we are children of God. All of this symbology all fits together absolutely perfectly. Thirdly, you made statements that God wants to kill homosexuals. I would ask you to explain Christ dealing with the adulterous woman in John 8 and the crowd preparing to stone her in John 8 and tell me how that fits into your statement, which I thought was rather bold. Lastly, as to your arguments on creation. In Matthew 19:4, Christ states very clearly, are you not familiar with the scripture that tell us that God made people male and female. That’s Christ speaking who says unequivocally that he is God. Again I’d ask you to respond to that. Thank you very much.

Steven:
Most of you can leave now if you like. [audience laughter] We’re going to be dealing with this for a little while if we really went into these. I appreciate, Tod, what I believe is a sincerely held belief on your part and that you sincerely reached out to me just now to try to help me understand your point of view. That means a lot to me. Because it seemed to come from a good place and I appreciate that. Obviously we don’t see eye to eye on these things. Just very quickly. Paul was not talking about humanity, he was talking about fleshly appetites and things of the flesh as opposed to things of the spirit. Certainly we’re to get rid of those. It’s circular reasoning to say since homosexuality is one of those things, therefore it has to go to. That’s what we’re here discussing. Does it really belong in that. Incest and homosexuality, actually Leviticus really doesn’t talk about homosexuality. It talks about a man lying with a man as with a woman. It has nothing to do with women. It says nothing about what women do or might do in that regard. So it’s not dealing with homosexuality, it’s dealing with something entirely different from that. The problem with incest is that it’s not consensual sex. It’s total and thorough going abuse of a human being with whose power you control. Consensual sex between loving gay people can not be compared in any way shape or form with that.

Tod:
What do you base that statement on?

Moderator:
He’s responding to your question.

Steven:
As far as the bride of Christ, a gay person being a Christian is the bride of Christ no differently than any man who is a heterosexual can be a part of the bride of Christ. I don’t see any problem with that. The adulterous woman? I’m glad you brought that up because adultery was punishable by stoning as was a homosexual act. He let the woman off the hook so why not let us let the gays off the hook.

John:
And of course to respond to that, Jesus said go and sin no more. He didn’t let her off the hook to continue in adultery. Let me give a couple of points of response here. In Leviticus 18, one of the two places in the law of Moses where homosexuality is mentioned, there is something called a chiasm in structure of intent. I won’t go into what that means. But what it does is it starts with sex close to man and woman in marriage and moves farther away to show how we can move into things that are perverted from the original motif. And all of these are regarded as perversions. What happens is, you move from marriage of man and woman into incest, into adultery, into child sacrifice, into homosexuality and bestiality. There’s a logic of moving farther and farther away from man and woman in marriage. Also in Leviticus, when it says a man shall not lie with a man, that doesn’t disinclude a woman lying with a woman. Paul makes that clear in Romans chapter 1. And I think I’ll just leave my comments there.

Questioner:
My name is Nathan and I’m from Rutland. I noticed the considerable absence of a Catholic or Eastern Orthodox argument. It seems to me we have an evangelical view and a liberal mainline Protestant view. I was wondering how you would explain the much older Christian stances on homosexuality and the church. Thank you.

Steven:
Well I have great fondness for Orthodox theology to this extent. That the Orthodox as opposed to the Catholics don’t believe in an eternity of punishment. They believe the entire cosmos, every atom in it, will be redeemed by God over time. Ultimately everything will be brought back to its pristine state as God originally intended it to be. That to me suggests that there is nothing so heinous that God can’t get over it. I don’t know why we can’t over some of the things that hang us up as well.

John:
I respond at this point as a former Unitarian, that I’m a radical Protestant. I believe the Reformation is committed to reforming the whole church, Catholic, Orthodox as well, back to scripture on its own terms. Therefore, I believe in what is known as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, scripture, tradition, reason and experience in that order. So I honor all those traditions that go before me, but equally I critique those traditions as any of my own traditions would be critiqued, as how faithful we are to scripture. Now on the subject of the testimony of the older churches consistent on man and woman in marriage in this context. There’s other problems in church history, but that’s subsequent to this issue. There was something else you just said there. I forget what it is so you’ve lost my momentary wisdom.

Moderator:
There was a question about not only Eastern Orthodoxy but Roman Catholicism.

John:
I answered both of those, but there was something else that I just lost sight of.

Questioner:
My name’s Jonathon. I have this for Pastor Kindle. It’s really a simple question. It’s not highly theological. In making a man and a woman, if God intended us to use our sexuality in a same-sex environment, why can we not reproduce naturally in that environment?

Steven:
The assumption is that sex is only for reproduction, and that’s just false. The church has never taught that. The church doesn’t teach it now. If that were the case we wouldn’t let old people get married, we wouldn’t let sterile people get married. There would be no marriage except for those who would likely have children so that therefore they could have sex. The notion that sex is for reproduction only is a false notion.

John:
And I would not argue that sex is only for reproduction, nor would Genesis. What I’ve argued is that God wants the two to become one, giving and receiving trust, and intrinsically out of the two becoming one comes the power for procreation. And in the order of creation with no broken trust, no sin, the assumption is nothing will hinder the promise that God made. So when we have the conclusion of Genesis 1, man and woman in marriage, and in Genesis 2 in terms of the two becoming one, and the gift of procreation in those texts, what we have is the fullness. So I think the question being asked here is, if homosexuality is a gift of God and even implicitly present, it can not fulfill the very design of the image of God from the beginning, which is man and woman being intimate. Not only procreation, and I don’t want to get specific here, but the plumbing doesn’t work in terms of psychological, physiological, spiritual and emotional health. Not only between man and man, but between man and beast.

Steven:
I am so sorry that Jesus never experienced full humanity. That never experienced the joy of giving to a woman, who never experienced the full aspect of God’s image in him as a human being.

John:
So you’re sorry for the one you claim to be the Savior...

Steven:
If you’re right I...

John:
...while ignoring the whole metaphor of God as the husband to Israel, and Jesus as the husband to the church.

Steven.
I would be sorry if I believed that.

John:
And therefore you are making him be man without his divinity and missing the mystery of the balance between the two so he could be without sin and yet fully identified with our pain and thus save us.

Steven:
And unmarried and unfulfilled.

Questioner:
You can call me George. I noticed, Rev. Kindle, in your presentation you used on several occasions the term homophobia, which I think has become just a term that means the same as anyone who’s against homosexuality. I noticed that Rev. Rankin did not use the term heterophobia. And I’m wondering just how much this contributes to the discussion, the whole entire discussion, not only yours, but the whole discussion of this issue. When you use a negative term like this when the other side is not using that negative term against those who propose the same thing.

Steven:
I’d be willing to bet you that I used it once.

George:
Twice.

Steven:
And that I used it...

George:
Twice, I counted them.

Steven:
OK. I...

John:
It’s also in your biographical sketch. If you remember for Topeka, you had the word anti-gay. And I said anti-gay is really a negative term, and therefore you were sufficed with homophobia because it was a little less against the person with more people being afraid of. So you’ve initiated actually a more severe term than homophobia, and that’s the belief...

Steven:
Yeah, because there was anti-gay.

John:
OK.

Steven:
But the question is, does homophobia serve any real purpose today. And in fact I used the term first of all, in my mind the only time I used it, to describe myself at a point in my life. Because you need to know that I sat where some of you are sitting today. I have changed and I have changed for a variety of reasons. Some of them you heard tonight. If the shoe fits, wear it. Just calling someone homophobic because they disagree with you is not a good idea. I try not to, but I believe there are homophobic ideas in the sense that people are repulsed if you can include repulsion as a phobia. I think that’s what homophobia is intended to describe is people who are sickened, who are fearful of being in the company of, and there are those people. But to say that if you disagree with me you're homophobic is to say way too much, and I would hope to never do that.

John:
Let me ask you two questions in response to that. Did you once sit where I now sit in terms of my view toward homosexuals? In other words, am I homophobic?

Steven:
I can not see any homophobia in you.

John:
OK. Second question. Is it possible to be heterophobic?

Steven:
It’s a reality.

John:
OK. And so the question is this. Jesus said in John 3:17 that God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but to save the world. And what I find so powerful, and this goes back to my presupposition about the nature of Genesis 1 and 2, and why I said at the outset tonight, I can’t say no to something unless first I give the yes. And therefore I think a confident argument has no need to accuse and typecast. And can someone make a positive argument. Now we have to respond to things that are negative and say no to a negative. But the question is, what characterizes our language. Are we looking for reconciliation. Are we looking for the positive, the yes, and the amen. My argument fundamentally is, and back to broken trust, and back to the reality of so many homosexual persons and persons struggling with heterosexual promiscuity is, the brokenness of mom and dad loving each other and being present has led to so much pain. And I argue as best I can to hold that union together as the unqualified good of how God gave it.

Questioner:
Hi. My name is Katy. I’m sorry I’m the only woman up here. I’m not here to challenge. I just need some clarification on some things that you were discussing that went right over my head. Rev. Rankin, you asked Rev. Kindle about any instances in the Bible for affirmation of homosexuality. And you all started talking in Greek and Hebrew and I didn’t [unintelligible]. You lost me. You spoke of a pederast and the centurion in Matthew and Luke.

Steven:
Matthew 8.

Katy:
Was that an indication that that relationship, you were saying there was a relationship between the centurion and the young man who was healed, was a homosexual relationship?

Steven:
I wouldn’t call it homosexual. I would call it pederastic.

Katy:
And what does that mean?

Steven:
It means an older man having a sexual relationship with a younger man.

Katy:
That sounds like pedophilia to me.

Steven:
Like what?

Katy:
Pedophilia.

John:
Pedophilia. Pedophilia is the attitude. Pederasty is the act.

Steven:
No, pedophilia is a child.

Katy:
And so that is your instance of homosexuality in the Bible?

Steven:
That’s the clear one if there is a clear one. There are many other things going on.

Katy:
OK.

John:
Can I just read the text where he gets this from?

“When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him asking for help. ‘Lord’, he said, ‘my servant -- pedea [phonetic] -- lies at home paralyzed and is in terrible suffering.’ Jesus said, ‘I will go and heal him.’ The centurion replied, ‘Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority with soldiers under me. I tell this one go and he goes, and that one come and he comes. I say to my servant do this and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was astonished. He said to those following him, ‘I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.’”

Now what has happened is, a word has been taken out of context that goes back to platonic Greek pederasty. It’s put into this text. Jesus said he has not found a man so faithful as anyone in Israel which means he has to show back in Israel where pederasty is affirmed.

Steven:
No I don’t have to do anything of the kind.

John:
To be honest to the text you do.

Steven:
No I don’t because the assumption of pederasty in the gentiles was rampant, number one. And number two...

John:
And it’s...

Steven:
John. John. The text is also from Luke where you compare the two and you have a much fuller story where he declares his love for his lover in words that can be translated that way. And I’m suggesting that maybe that’s what’s going on because of all the stereotypical, heinous gentiles that present themselves in Matthew. This is just another one.

John:
And that’s a clear example of eisegesis, reading into the text what you hope is there even though it’s not there. Because the bottom line is the gentiles in Matthew’s Gospel are honored for seeking the true God. The argument I hear most often is David and Jonathon were homosexual lovers because of the love David expresses. You can exegete that whole text. The word love in the Greek Septuagint is not eros, which would be sexual. It’s agape, the covenant keeping love of God, because Jonathon forsook his kingly inheritance for David’s covenant faithfulness. And so this is an example of digging into what’s not there.

Steven:
Did I say that they were in homosexual relationship?

John:
No.

Steven:
Then don’t put words in my mouth. Thank you.

John:
I didn’t put words in your mouth, but I’m using this as an illustration. You said that the centurion had his lover, referring to the servant...

Steven:
I said, this is certainly a possibility and if you don’t have lenses that preclude that. Greek scholars of ancient Greece without knowing that was the Bible, look at that and say this is a pederastic relationship.

John:
In platonic Greece, yes, not in the New Testament.

Katy:
If it was a pederast relationship, and you’re saying it was sexual, isn’t that the kind of relationship that our society condemns and that we often accuse homosexuals of promoting, which is unfairly said sometimes?

Steven:
That’s why we have to be careful when we call those things homosexual when they’re not.

Katy:
Oh.

Steven:
Because the centurion was likely...

Katy:
Oh.

Steven:
Listen to me ma’am. The centurion was likely married, as were most pederasts. Most pederasts had wives and children and had pais’s on the side.

John:
And so what you’re saying is that the best passage in the Bible that affirms homosexuality is pederasty?

Steven:
I didn’t say it affirms it. I’m not saying that.

John:
The question came when I asked you. Where in the Bible is the closest place homosexuality is affirmed as a gift of God?

Steven:
That’s all I’m willing to say. It’s the closest place.

John:
And the closest place is something you condemn, pederasty.

Steven:
Well, but you condemn the Syro-phoenician woman’s religion.

John:
She’s not condemned.

Steven:
You condemn the prostitution of the harlot?

John:
No. Rahab is redeemed and becomes a fore-mother to Jesus.

Steven:
That’s a side issue.

John:
It's central.

Steven:
Moses condemns them. Jesus doesn’t.

John:
No. Moses condemns acts that lead to alienation, and Jesus has come as a light to all the gentiles. And in Matthew’s Gospel, each of those three gentiles are affirmed wonderfully because they sought the Messiah.

Moderator:
Well I’ll affirm the next question.

Questioner:
Two questions for Steven. My name is Jerry. I want to commend you, Steven, that you are corageous in the minority position. I have to take issue with it but I admire your courage. You seem to imply that because Adam and Eve's relationship issued in sex, that sex is the only cure for loneliness. Is that your position?

Steven:
Oh no.

Jerry:
But you seem to imply that to deny a homosexual sex with someone of the same sex is to condemn them to a life of loneliness or aloneness.

Steven:
Absolutely. Because you're denying them to the broader relationship that accompanies sex.

Jerry:
So you're saying you can't have the broader relationship without sex.

Steven:
It generally doesn't work that way.

Jerry:
So you're saying, in your view, then, there is no broader friendship-relationship that satisfies our needs and so that we're no longer lonely, unless sex is involved.

Steven:
Jonathon and David were both married. Their friendship didn't do it for them.

John:
Are you suggesting?

Steven:
What?

John:
Their friendship didn't do it for them. Are you suggesting it was sexual as well?

Steven:
No, I'm saying if you say that, they had the ultimate in friendship that's not sexual, which I am happy with.

John:
I've gotcha.

Steven:
Then that did not satisfy them as human beings because they did get married.

Jerry:
Again, you seem to say and what I have to draw from your remarks is that you can't cure loneliness without sex.

Steven:
Without a relationship which generally leads to sex.

Jerry:
OK. My second question is taken from Galatians 5 where the Spirit expressly says that the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, it goes on. Here God is asking you and I to deny base instincts, to deny strong desire.

Steven:
God isn't asking that of you in your heterosexual relationships.

Jerry.
No, but in this passage he certainly is asking us to deny strong desires, is he not?

Steven:
Yes.

Jerry:
OK. Then it is certainly conceivable that God would say to the homosexual, deny strong desire and my Spirit will enable you to overcome that desire just as easily, or certainly with the same amount of power, that I ask you to overcome any other strong desire. Are you saying that a homosexual Christian does not have the power from heaven to overcome that strong desire.

Steven:
Jerry, there's two assumptions here. One is that it's wrong in the first place. But the other assumption is that of course God could do this if they would just ask. Unfortunately, that is not the experience of Christians of long standing who are gay and who have fought and, in the case of Mel White spent a half a million dollars trying to rid himself of these desires, one of the most Christian men you will ever hope to meet in your life. And that is the experience over and over and over and over again of deeply committed Christians who say, God, get me out of this and they're left in it because it is not a problem with their lust, it's a problem with their loneliness that isn't being fulfilled.

John:
And so we come back to the question, is there any positive biblical argument that homosexuality is a gift of God versus the other position. That leads us to this debate. I thank you Jerry for honoring Steven, because I honor Steven as well. I had not idea what the makeup of the audience was, and he's been grilled pretty well. And I thank you for that.

Steven:
Hey that's why I'm here.

John:
I thank you for that, Steven. Let me make an observation. Dr. Jeffrey Satinover who has two or three Ph.D.s, he's down at Yale, has done a marvelous sociological comparison on people with various lifestyle traits that are all ultimately pathological. And you read through it and you see what they are. The first list you come up with an alcoholic. The second list you come up with a homosexual. And he compares them. He shows the evidence that there is more successful change for homosexual persons than there are for alcoholics. It's contingent on one thing: will power to want to change. The bottom line is Esau sought repentence with tears but didn't get it. Do you know why? He wanted a release from the consequence of his actions, but he didn't want to reconcile a tender heart toward God. Only God knows the heart at that point. We cannot base theology on people's experiences. That's again the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. It's not experience, then reason, tradition, scripture. But it's the other way around.

Steven:
OK. I'm not doing that, number one. And number two, we can't base my Mel White argument and my Peter Gomes argument and the list can go on and on and on, on saying that it's identical virtually with what happened with Peter and Cornelius when he said, look at the experience of the Spirit falling on them as it fell on us. We see them in the equivalent terms as we see us therefore we must accept them. I see gay Christians in equivalent terms as I see me. I see them struggling with different issues but struggling as I struggle with different issues. We are all Christians. That is the experience. I don't want to get into reparative therapy and all of this. But the fact of the matter is, people's behavior can change. But their orientation can not. If you think you are going to spend an eternity in hell because of your thoughts, you will change your behavior.

John:
Let me respond to that. I never make that a basis of appeal, trying to scare the hell out of people. I know a lot of people who will keep to their opinions even if they think hell awaits them, and they create their own hell sometimes. Let me respond because one thing you've done tonight, Steven, is you've made many arguments from analogy. Analogy is good but it's always secondary. Peter and Cornelius. There's a prophecy all the way back from Genesis through Isaiah of the inclusion of the gentiles. So when Peter had to overcome his prejudice it was because of biblical prophecy. So for that analogy to hold water there needs to be a biblical prophecy that homosexuality was once excluded, now it's included. There is no such prophecy. So that analogy does not work. Also another point that Steven started with tonight, trying to link abolition of slavery with abolition of homophobia. And yet if you were to look at a person's DNA, you could tell the exact racial history, what portion is Asian, what portion is African, what portion is Caucasian, Native American. If you look at the DNA you know nothing about their human sexuality. It's a false analogy.

Moderator:
We have another question.

Questioner:
Yes, mine tonight deals with both speakers about love. If we truly love our brother, funny you mention alcoholic, we have a brother who's an alcoholic. Would we give him a drink of alcohol? I would say not.

John:
I missed, would we give him what?

Questioner:
Would we give him a drink? Would we give him alcohol if we know he's a known alcoholic. I don't think we would if we truly love that brother. If we have a brother who's in a homosexual lifestyle. He's involved in something that will probably lead to his destruction, will probably lead to an early death, it will lead to misery through higher depression rates. This is statistically true from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. We've done all sorts of studies that have shown the lifestyle of homosexuals is not good for the homosexual. So if we truly love our brother who is homosexual, can we either promote or allow him to continue in this lifestyle, knowing that the average death rate is probably 20 or 30 years less than the average human being here on this planet. And that the time he will spend on this earth he'll be ridiculed, he'll be living with disease, he'll be living with broken relationships, lot greater rate than if he had a heterosexual relation. Can we let our brother continue an avenue like that knowing what it will bring upon him?

Steven:
What was your name?

Questioner:
Doug.

Steven:
Josh?

Doug:
Doug.

Steven:
Doug. Thank you, Doug. Great question, sincerely offered. I respect your position, but you see you're doing that logical fallacy of assuming that homosexuality is wrong and therefore we, as giving an alcoholic a dring is wrong, and that's why we're here is to discuss is that really the case. Now. I would suggest to you, Doug, that your statistics need serious revision. The lifespan argument was based on research done by a highly disreputable and disfigured person who has been kicked out of every professional association he belonged to.

John:
Who is that?

Steven:
I've got his name here somewhere, I'll find it for you.

John:
That's OK, you can do that later.

Steven:
He promoted a lot of these things and they're picked up and people believe them. But in many ways when you force people into closets, you create an environment of illness by virture of the closet, by virtue of being secretive, by virtue of being against one's self. By virtue of believing that you aren't any good as a human being, you will cause that person to do things that are harmful to themselves. That is precisely what's happened with the closet in the gay community. If the closet were to disappear, if everyone that we knew, our mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and friends and employees and children that are gay, would evidence themselves overnight, the problem would be over with because we would not believe that these people who are so utterly normal could possibly be one of them. But because we force them into the closet they create an environment that is not healthy. So it is not the problem of their homosexuality that is causing this. It's the closet and the cure is to let them out, as Jesus told Lazarus, come out and unleash their bonds.

John:
And I'll pass on the applicability of that analogy. But if that analogy is true then it would also say that if the society made marriage between a man and a woman illegal, and if we had to be married faithfully, me to my wife, without social approval, it means that we too would go into sexual ill health and social ill health and what not. But that physiologically is not the case. And the reason being, if you want the greatest physical, social, psychological, and economic health -- and the data is overwhelming from every discipline, every nation -- it's one man, one woman, one lifetime. Once you break that bond of trust you get wars between former lovers, you get sexually transmitted diseases. And as I said earlier, a man is made for a woman and a woman for man in fidelity. Sexual intimicy outside of that, particularly between two men, is intrinsically unhealthy, it's intrinsically pathological. One final element here. The first study that showed the lower age reality of particularly homosexual males but also lesbians, was a study done in the Washington Blade by homosexual activists. So maybe there's someone who did it without being reputable, but there are very many reputable studies. And Steven I'm going to get you some material on those studies.

Steven:
Sounds like an argument for gay marriage to me.

John:
How could it be? Because what you're saying, therefore, it will change the incidence...

[crosstalk]

Steven:
Because that will end the promiscuity.

John:
You're saying...

Steven:
Can I answer the question?

John:
I'm sorry.

Steven:
It will end the promiscuity if they're in a committed relationship. And all these things that tend to promiscuity that some of the community is involved in, will be done with.

John:
Well OK. The data will have to reveal itself, but let me make an observation. Out of a study done in the Netherlands released just a few months ago, not searching out the data I'm about to give you, was studying men with AIDS diseases on a variety of fronts. They found those that claimed a steady partnership, that's domestic partnerships in the Netherlands, who claimed that, had an average of eight other sexual partners in the prior 18 months. Those who claimed no such stability had twenty-two partners, even though they knew that they were sick, in the prior 18 months. The first man and man married in Massachusetts in Provincetown, the fellow said, oh listen, I'm not going to be faithful to him. We're not bound by that. I think history is going to show that psychologically, physiologically, spiritually, emotionally, fidelity only works with complementarity. Male and male sexually, female and female sexually, are anti-diverse. They are not complementary.

Questioner:
Hi. My name's Amy. I just want to go back to the basic question, that heterosexuality or homosexuality are gifts from God. So essentially what I'm hearing is sexuality is a gift from God, right?

Steven:
Yes.

Amy:
OK. My understanding of the Bible is that God is good because Jesus said only God is good. He didn't even claim to be good in and of himself. Every good and perfect gift is from above, our Father of lights. It's in I think one of Paul's letters. So my question is, why would God give gifts to people he loves if he is inherently love, that number one, he outright said do not do in the Levitical law and also in Romans 1 in the New Testament. As well as it leads to this torture of his children in their minds and their hearts and their spirits. So I guess I just want to focus on God's character because I know that man is fallen and I know we all sin in our various ways as a result of our hurts. So how do you perceive God? Why would a good God give a gift to torture his children? That's my question.

Steven:
To what?

Moderator:
Sounds like a question of theodicy.

Amy:
That tortures his children.

Steven:
I didn't hear the last, to which children?

Amy:
His. I'm talking about Christian homosexuals.

Steven:
Yes, OK.

Amy:
Why would God give somebody homosexuality as you say if number one it hurts them because they can't fit into his family according to his word.

Steven:
You see, the only reason it hurts that Christian gay person is because the church will not permit that person to have the kind of overcoming of loneliness that is required. If we would do that the problem vanishes.

John:
And I think that is so facile and I think all the data says otherwise. It's interesting, Amy, when you mention the
Father of lights. Look at the whole image of the fatherhood of God. The fatherhood of God is bigger than male and female, but it comes to us through the metaphor of fatherhood. A man and a man together cannot instrinsically produce fatherhood. And a woman and a woman together cannot intrinsically produce motherhood or fatherhood.

Steven:
They can metaphorically.

John:
And there's reasons for the metaphor. And there is reason for the whole gift of sexuality as we discussed earlier.

Questioner:
Hi, my name is Alice Harrison. I'll address this to Steve. I spent about eighteen years of my life as a homosexual. As I was born, I was born heterosexual. Due to imprinting of early incest and sexual abuse and ritual abuse most of my childhood and adult life, that opened a door to the ability to be spiritually and demonically induced into the lifestyle that was not conducive to my mental, physical, spiritual health. I chose as a result of early childhood wounding to experiment with a lifestyle that is also not a lifestyle that is conducive. I do acknowledge the fact that it is not a relationship to one another that we should be throwing rocks at one another, but that we can understand from one's inner hurts and woundings as children growing up that aren't affirmed, that are not loved through their childhood and put together with parents that are there nurturing. Because both my parents were into sexual promiscuity and hurt our family very much so. One went to prison and the other one, they were both alcoholics. I chose heterosexuality through a conversion process of Christianity, which I was raised in the church with, however my parents were not healed. They were emotionally and battered wounded people. I've been free from living a homosexual lifestyle for the last eleven years and have been married and widowed in a short period of time. However, my own purposes for being in this type of field right now is ministry to the healing of sexually broken, is to recognize the fact that each one of us has areas of our life that have been wounded severely by life's issues, that we are not here to throw rocks at people. We are to look at them in the eyes of Christ and the compassion, with the mind of Christ, with the thoughts and feelings and purposes of his heart, that we might embrace them as individuals as Christ did, but not the ideology. [audience applause]

Steven:
I have a response to that and that is that I would never comment on an individual's history. I am incompetent to do that. However, to say that abuse as a child is a necessary cause of lesbianism says way too much. I would say that every abused girl will therefore be a lesbian. And that says way too much as many of you abused heterosexual women know. So to try to say that lesbians are victims that started out heterosexual can not be proved on that basis.

John:
But Steven, Alice didn't say that was true for everyone.

Steven:
I'm not talking about Alice.

John:
OK. Then you're talking about what I said earlier. And what I said earlier is that many have that experience but there is no statisical claim. That many people have the same abuse go into heterosexual promiscuity. So I think you are responding to a chimera in that response.

Steven:
And some of them go into healthy relationships, so it all proves nothing.

Questioner:
OK, real quick here. This is for Pastor Kindle. This is Jonathan again. Hey, what's up. All right. From what I understand in the Bible, basically, God does not ordain marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. Therefore, sexual acts done outside of marriage is fornication. Why then, if homosexuality is a gift from God, does he not make provision in the marriage covenant for same sex?

Steven:
I believe that heterosexuality is the norm, not the normative. To say that Genesis teaches that it's the sole expression rather than the usual is to say too much.

John:
And brings us back to our assumption, is homosexuality a gift of God, and if it is, please evidence it in Genesis. The best evidence that Steven has come up with is the idea that a man could have chosen an animal.

Steven:
And God chose an animal as a way of providing that, and it didn't work.

John:
And you would have to argue that God didn't know what he was doing when he tried to hook up a human and an animal.

Steven:
That's right. God is dealing...

John:
OK, therefore you reject Genesis 1 that says every form of life reproduces after its own kind.

Steven:
I reject...

John:
God makes us male and female after his own kind.

Steven:
I reject your interpretation of omniscience, not Genesis 1.

John:
That's a larger issue. You rejected the text of Genesis 1 as I quoted it.

Steven:
In your mind, not in mine.

John:
You haven't shown me otherwise. Why is it then...

Steven:
I'm not going to show you otherwise.

John:
You're not?

Steven:
Maybe somebody out here will get [unintelligible].

John:
You're not going to show me that each form of life reproduces after its own kind, and man and woman were made after God's kind. And therefore to say in Genesis 2 that God could have...

Steven:
That's what adoption is all about.

John:
Oh gracious, that is an extended thought.

Moderator:
On that note I have to terminate the questions because I was just signalled that we are out of time. I do appreciate everybody's questions here this evening. And I'd like to invite each of our speakers to offer very brief concluding remarks.

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  [Contents] [About the Participants] [Opening Statement by Steven Kindle] [Opening Statement by John Rankin][Dialog] [Questions from the Audience] [Closing Statements]
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