Self and feeling take center in 'Seventh Gay Adventist' film

Because of my deep, heartfelt love for Jesus Christ and His love for me, I am writing this to help others recognize the danger of living by feelings. 

For nearly forty years I had been searching for meaning without God, living openly as a gay man. To His glory, God awakened me to the distinct importance of His presence and delivered me from that lifestyle.

In the fall of 2009, the conference “Marriage, Homosexuality and The Church” took place at Andrews University. I was there as a speaker, and gave my testimony. Stephen Eyer and Daneen Akers, soon to be producers of the film Seventh Gay Adventists also attended this conference.  After God’s transformation in my life, I was excited that at last a film would boldly proclaim that God redeems gays. I was in for a surprise. 

The film (SGA) has been publicly shown more than seventy times around the world, and just recently became available on DVD and for download. I commend the producers for their compassion for gays and compelling people, not just the church, to love rather than alienate or despise. But I have a concern about the film that I must share here. It bypasses most of God’s Word. This Word is God’s gift of love and knowledge which He freely gives in an effort to preserve our lives. Only by knowing Jesus, can we begin to understand His pure love. In my opinion, the absence of God in this film is alarming. 

If you’ve never heard of a diet, you’d likely believe the first person that informed you of one. Silence on homosexuality, and God’s redemption has paved the way for anyone willing to speak out.  I encourage you to seek God’s Word verifying His words regardless what you see or hear. God alone has the final say about what pleases Him.

In the film’s early development, it never occurred to me that it is not about redemption. Self and feelings take center stage.  I also couldn’t understand why there didn’t seem to be an interest in the testimony of redeemed gays. 

It seemed ironic that just as Jesus is changing lives to testify of His power and love, the enemy has gathered those who would promote a counterfeit.  

First, God doesn’t hide His love from us.  He isn’t trying to trick us. Eliminating Him or replacing His truths with our “feelings” opens us to deception.  Wandering around in self-derived concepts renders danger far beyond the reaches of homosexuality.  Just as many parents yearn for the return of their children to God, my heart aches for those who are conceiving a truth that is not grounded in the Word of God.  God never gives up and I am continually impressed to pray for the producers and the film’s primary subjects in hopes that they will recognize that God’s laws and truths are an extension of His love for us. Please join me in lifting them in prayer before God. Like Eve, we risk consequences by doubting our Creator.  

Life is a ministry to draw people to Jesus, His amazing love and grace. He promises change if we will invite Him in. He is so loving and patient with us. Even while we stumble and cling to things that pain Him, He waits, willing to transforms us.   

Secondly, the film and supporters seem to be introducing a different gospel—the gospel according to the flesh.  The producers publicly stated that they were not making a film about people like me.  They described my past as broken and promiscuous. Indeed it was. But aren’t we all broken and in need of the Savior? Fornicating is sin whether it is with one person or many. God is repulsed by any behavior that is outside of His plan for us. Satan doesn’t care how he deceives us as long as he is successful. The producers contend that the film is about “committed, monogamous relationships that God approves of.” 

Galatians 1:6, 7  says, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.”

Seventh-day Adventists have a deep-rooted history of strong commitment and beliefs founded in God’s Holy Word.  To the producers of the film and its supporters, I ask “Where have I have missed God’s instruction and ideal for monogamous same-sex relationships?  Where does He confirm that such a relationship brings Him glory? Their response is that “Such a verse does not exist.” In all conversations I have had regarding homosexual behavior, no one has provided any confirmation from Jesus that same-sex sexual behavior pleases Him. God calls us to invite His will to be done instead of our own.  And His will is always in agreement with His Word! 

Imagine the strength and power of this film if it had been in agreement with God’s Word, telling the story of humility, self-denial, repentance, redemption and freedom from the slavery of sin. How beautiful it could have been to honor God and His ways.

While I identified with the struggles of the film’s participants, I saw a campaign to honor self and no reference to seeking God’s will or plan. The film calls us to love, which is desperately needed. God’s trustworthy Word on love says: “ And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love” (2 John 1:6).

Thus many err from the faith and are seduced by the devil. Men have been endeavored to be wiser than their Creator; human philosophy has attempted to search out and explain mysteries which will never be revealed through the eternal ages. If men would but search and understand what God had made known of Himself and His purposes, they would obtain such a view of the glory, majesty, and power of Jehovah that they would realize their own littleness and would be content with that which has been revealed for themselves and their children.

It is a masterpiece of Satan’s deceptions to keep the minds of men searching and conjecturing in regard to that which God has not made known and which He does not intend that we shall understand. It was thus that Lucifer lost His place in heaven. The Great Controversy 503

During our lengthy silence on homosexuality, the pendulum has swung from known sin to permissive and irrelevance.  Many subscribe to the idea that it’s not hurting anyone and will be okay with God.  But this is hurting people. Drifting into a self-theology, we are playing directly into the hand of Satan. We dethrone God and put self in His place.

A recent in-depth study among Adventists has revealed that only fifty percent of college students and recent graduates disapprove of homosexual behavior regarding membership in the Adventist denomination.  Adventist doctrine has always acknowledged homosexual behavior as sin. The doctrinal statement on homosexuality is located here. If you don’t agree with the truth of Jesus Christ, why be a member of His body? Does it make sense to get baptized into a belief you don’t believe in? 

Failing to be students of Scripture is giving way to complacency toward sin.  1 John 2:15 asks us not to conform to the pattern of the world. The acceptance of homosexual behavior is rapidly being seen as equal to that of heterosexual practices.  Jesus warns us to come apart from the world. He asks us to pick up our cross and follow Him. 

I believe God is calling us to examine ourselves in love and truth. In Him we do not stand alone. Pure love makes no excuse for sin. We may observe what seems to be genuine love between same-gendered people, but real love comes from God. By applying our own slant to His pure love, we act as a dirty filter causing injury and brokenness.  

Under the pretenses of a filtered love, I have asked many why they would need a “Redeemer.” And to date, I haven’t been provided an answer. 

Same-sex relations and intimacy has been part of my fallen nature. It has been the catalyst that screamed of my need for Jesus Christ and His forgiveness.  By encountering an intimate relationship with Jesus, I am growing in Him. Temptation acts as a reminder of my need for Him.  I must constantly abide in Him, “and His commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). He simply asks me to seek His will and trust Him. He is not a button that I turn on and off.  He asks me to be a vessel of His truth and love, reflecting it to others and drawing them to Him. Without Him, there is no life. 

The love of Jesus Christ will change any one if they will let Him. He will never let you down, leave or forsake you. He is your best friend. 

I am convinced and convicted by the Holy Spirit to share all the love and truth of Jesus with you that I possibly can. You are loved, you matter and you belong.  

Christians are seeing the consequences of years of silence regarding homosexuality. Trust God’s Word. He loves you. He’s not trying to trick you.  My writing and witness of Jesus Christ must be in agreement with His Word and I urge you to seek it out personally. Each of us will stand before God in judgment.  On That Day He will hold us responsible for our beliefs and actions. 

As a single person, you and I are not entitled to sex. Sexual intimacy is a gift from God as revealed in Genesis—between one man and one woman under the Holy ordination of marriage.  In today’s culture—one that is cleverly controlled by Satan—that may seem very odd.  

Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus, put Him first, invite Him in. He desires an intimate relationship with you. How will you know His plan for you if you don’t know Him? How can you know Him if you are not spending time with Him?

In closing, identity in Jesus is independent of man’s focus’ and orientations. We must be oriented to Him, surrendering every aspect of our life. I am concerned about the film Seventh Gay Adventists, because it offers a short-circuited version of the homosexual culture, robbed of responsibility to God. I say this not to condemn but to be honest. If you are a parent, a brother, sister, loved one of someone who is gay or same-sex attracted; God has not left any of us helpless.  He is our Redeemer, our Savior.  He has provided stories of redemption. He changes lives. I know, He’s changing mine.  

Sex and self-love is not my focus today – Jesus is. His promises are true. Today, Revelation 12:11 is a reality.  “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” You can be a new creature in Jesus Christ.

There are many “itching ear” messages, however there is only one message that brings honor and healing. It is directly from the mouth of God to our hearts.  He is asking us to choose who we will serve. 

Know His Love Ministries exists to share the victory and freedom of Jesus through testimony and seminars. I live to share His love and truth.  The message is not about condoning or condemning, but enlightening and sharing a reflection of God’s love that changes people. Young and old people alike are hungry for the freedom Jesus promises. It is available—through the love of God.

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