On Thursday, February 16, the film Journey Interrupted was broadcasted on 3ABN. On Sunday, February 19, it will be broadcasted again at 3:00 PM Central Time. I highly recommend this film—it is relevant to those who have questions about how Christianity and homosexuality ought to relate to each other, of course, but it is also a ray of light and clarity amidst an overwhelming flood of confusion, and an amazing testament to all sinners of the saving power of the Gospel.Read More
Satan is laying hold of multitudes, which brings me to the sad case of Jonathan Henderson. In his presentation, “Adam and Steve,” in front of impressionable students during Week of Prayer, he makes a number of declarations. It’s almost as though he’s in a fist fight with God’s Word insisting on a new and different “truth.” He mocks those who believe in God’s written Word, mocks God, and mocks the sanctity of marriage.Read More
A new website sponsored by Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International, Intercollegiate Adventist GSA Coalition and Seventh-Gay Adventists Documentary claims lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) Adventists are being prevented from sharing their stories at the 'In God's Image:' Scripture, Sexuality, and Society Summit in Cape Town, South Africa, this month. The summit will discuss the challenges the church faces with issues surrounding alternative sexualities.Read More
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.Read More
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
As I gasped for my first breath of air, my mother pushed me aside as she was filled with grief and disappointment. She was adamant about giving birth to a precious baby girl. During her pregnancy she had declared over and over that she had no desire for a boy. She was certain that would not happen. Every ounce of her mental determination to have a baby girl left her in anguish. It left me without the love and crucial bonding needed in those first few hours of life.
Her anguish and disappointment manifested itself when she broke my arm on two different occasions before I reached the age of two. My father was a career air force man who was frequently on assignment. As he returned to the base one day, he saw my arm in a sling. Now the abuse rumors which had been circulating became real to him and he found it necessary to give me over for adoption to his Adventist, Christ-centered, sister and husband.
God already had a plan for me. In the years ahead, it would be difficult to recognize what that plan was. At three years old, I ran around the house screaming, “I don’t want to be a boy! I want to be a girl!” Whenever I was lifted into the arms of a woman, I would scream, “Put me down! I hate women!” Was it any wonder?
You see, even prenatal conditions deeply affect the fetus and what lies ahead. We arrive stained with the effects of sin. Thousands of years of sin and wrong choices. Choices mapped in the brains of those who have gone before us.
Christian author Ellen White says; “They have lost their manhood, and this they must win back. Many have to battle against strong hereditary tendencies to evil. Unnatural cravings, sensual impulses, were their inheritance from birth. These must be carefully guarded against. Within and without, good and evil are striving for the mastery” (Ministry of Healing 173).
I have a story. A story of heartbreak that ends beautifully because of the power of choice God gave me. His grace, love, power and truth are magnificent! Unlike the stories portrayed in “Seventh-Gay Adventist,” my story brings me to the foot of the cross denying self and looking up to Jesus. His blood cleanses me.
Decade upon decade Christians have acknowledged homosexual behavior as sin and have done nothing more. Even today, homosexuals are viewed by self-righteous Christians as modern day lepers. Is God impotent? What about the multitudes of those who in their brokenness He healed and brought restoration? And isn’t the relationship of intimacy with Jesus and His truth seen in the healing and restoration of the demoniacs?
Oh what a work there is to be done in educating the believers of Jesus Christ. We lovingly need to teach how a plugged-in and intimate relationship with Jesus will safeguard us from any sin temptation. As a result of decades of this horrible silence and darkness, stories need to be told. Stories that can ignite the immense love, power and truth of Jesus Christ.
The making of “Seventh-Gay Adventist” provided such a glorious opportunity to engage the subjects of this film into an intimate relationship with Jesus. Knowing that his time is short and how he has maintained sexual intimacy as a cornerstone of deception, Satan exercises his howling cry. Through every minute in this film, Jesus is just association, rather than being lifted up as Healer and Redeemer. Instead of calling the broken to live in Christ, He is portrayed as an earthly relative. This was a prime opportunity to draw the sinner to the foot of the cross with the promise of hope and redemption. But I didn’t sense that.
When I wrote my original review of the film, Stephen and Daneen (film producers), protested and stated it was not right for me to make such observations without having first seen the film. There are many things in life that we don’t need to personally experience to know they are not of God. I had prayed many times prior to going. When I reserved the tickets, they were the last two. It seemed like I was meant to attend. I had been invited by Stephen and Daneen to come and dialog and to finally see what they said they knew I would write and speak about.
The film is not about acknowledging sin and reaching out with an offer of hope and redemption. This film is artfully and craftily designed to deceive you into believing that we are powerless over sin. Any writer or filmmaker wants you to know its subjects in order for you to relate to them and draw the conclusion that the author wants.
If you begin to live with the subjects, you develop a relational understanding that cultivates the thought process of those being portrayed. The film is sprinkled with humor as well as painful moments that bring clarity of each person portrayed. You fondly develop compassion for them. As you should. What a tremendous set up for magnifying God’s incredible love and truth. But that never happens.
Instead, in the midst of heartache, adaptation replaces victory and a follow-your-feelings mode captures the audience and draws you into thinking that nothing else is possible. Oh how Jesus must have wept when He was dethroned and perceived as powerless in this film.
One of the young characters David Carlson, states that he has been given two choices. To be straight or to be celibate. God has given us many choices, but He requests that we choose, that we call upon Him and seek to do His will instead of our own. Nowhere in the Word of God does He point us to any kind of physical relationship of intimacy except under the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. The fact is that every son and daughter of God is called to the same acknowledgement of God’s perfect plan. We have the right to choose whether we are going to follow God’s will or our own. David made the choice to live according to his desires. And he does so with the blessings of His Adventist mother and father, who is a conference president, as well as his brother who is an Adventist pastor. His brother said something to the effect that there can be too much rejection or too much acceptance, and so he was going to err on the side of too much acceptance and let God can slap him on his wrists later.
My family and I had been faced with this very same situation. But rather than show approval for my choice, my parents neither condemned me nor condoned my choice. They loved me with the love of Jesus and never stopped. For forty years my parents prayed for me. God hears and answers every prayer. My heart was not completely hardened. After years of Satan’s deception and delusion, I was at a point where I could hear the Holy Spirit. Under His conviction I responded with deep repentance, reached out and accepted the hope, love and restoration offered by Jesus Christ.
My story and others like it are truly the missing stories in this film. They were offered to the film makers and refused. The filmmakers have an agenda. They made the film in response to the voting down of Proposition 8 in California over same-sex marriage. It is very clear that they do not see homosexual behavior as sin. And they don’t want you to see it as sin either.
In fact, they promised in writing that they would portray the life of someone who chooses to live celibate as part of their film.
They made a film that represents sinful behavior as benign, having no effect on the Adventist faith. They want you to accept the sinner and the sin, voiding any redeeming power of Jesus Christ. It’s just as though Lucifer is saying … I have a better plan. It is the introduction of arrogance and deceit without the flashing red warning lights. Terror struck my heart as this film continued to unfold. Immediately I could sense how Jesus must be pained and how it was so reminiscent of Cain’s offering of fruit, not the offering God had instructed Him to give.
Only a redeemed homosexual can see the extent of deception being introduced to the awe struck, innocent and unaware viewers the producers are seeking to captivate. My stomach was nauseous. This is no truth from the Word of God. This is exaltation of self. The film cleverly seeks to craft a new truth. The Word of God – the flesh translation. As I watched, I felt the love that Jesus has for every character portrayed on this bigger than life screen. These people were immersed in all the cultural trimmings of Adventism. But do they know Jesus?
This has been foretold by the Holy Spirit:
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. He became dissatisfied because all the secrets of God's purposes were not confided to him, and he entirely disregarded that which was revealed concerning his own work in the lofty position assigned him. By arousing the same discontent in the angels under his command, he caused their fall. Now he seeks to imbue the minds of men with the same spirit and to lead them also to disregard the direct commands of God.
Those who are unwilling to accept the plain, cutting truths of the Bible are continually seeking for pleasing fables that will quiet the conscience. The less spiritual, self-denying, and humiliating the doctrines presented, the greater the favor with which they are received. These persons degrade the intellectual powers to serve their carnal desires" (Great Controversy 523)
The story of love that needs telling is not the hippie love of the sixties and early seventies where sex and drugs influenced a non conforming culture. It had consequences. The same is true today. If we promote a self love rather than a Christ love, there will again be consequences--terminal consequences.
If you’ve been duped, or if you want to make sure you are not duped, consider the stories of those who were met with divine intervention. Five such stories are available to you today via ‘Coming Out’ Ministries. These are stories of hope and redemption. These individuals speak from a combined total of more than a hundred and twenty five years in the gay culture. God spoke to them and they allowed the Holy Spirit to humble them and redeem them.
A documentary has been under production over the past year. But you don’t have to wait to see the documentary. You can hear them share the testimony and the teachings God has graciously given them directly from the Word of God. Their message is one of love. This deep penetrating pure love has won hearts from the beginning of earth’s history. It is the life changing love of Jesus Christ.
Any one or all five individuals are available to speak at schools, churches, universities and conferences. Arrangements for these presentations can be made at www.knowhislove.com. ‘Coming Out’ Ministries is currently an umbrella ministry for four supporting individual ministries.
Dialog is long overdue regarding homosexuality and the precious lives it has affected. But in such dialog both love and truth must be present. Neither is valuable alone and Jesus clearly shows that His truth is love. We are nothing without Him.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:7-10
Regardless of your position as individuals in the film "Seventh-Gay Adventists," I commend you for your honesty and boldness in sharing what has undoubtedly been a difficult walk for each of you. Without question God loves you. And as a child of God, I love you with His love also.
The fallout from the church’s silence on this biblical issue has been devastating. I was a victim of Satan’s lies and deceptions as well. There was no hope or help delivered from the church during my childhood, teenage years and adult life. Because of this silence I was propelled into a sensual abyss. I desperately wanted to be wanted, needed and loved. Yet in the midst of Christ’s believers, I was isolated, alienated and rejected. The loneliness was overwhelming and it took very little to tempt me with the feelings that resulted in “acceptance” by the gay community.
In the spring of 2009, I was struck with a contemplation one day that was inspired by the Holy Spirit without any question whatsoever. God spoke to me and asked me to consider the relationship that He had desired from me all along. Unquestionable clarity was revealed to me. It was not about me. I had had it all backwards. It is about Jesus Christ, my redeemer and creator and how to live according to His plan. Not mine. As I surrendered fully to Him, He revealed truth after truth and gave me strength to begin to continually abide and depend on Him. Each day He revealed more and more of His love to me. As I studied and prayed, I wondered how I could have missed what He had wanted to convey to me since childhood. Satan had deceived me with lies of being unwanted, unloved and unimportant. My day of rejoicing had arrived.
I gave myself to Jesus Christ and became a “New Creation” in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). This requires dying to self daily. I didn’t have any idea that the church still seemed to be in the dark regarding how to reach out to those with same-sex attraction. We need to consider here that there has been a hundred and fifty year history of silence and ignorance. What we don’t talk about, grows like a bacteria in the dark. In fact during the silence, an entire culture and community of gays developed.
Emerging victorious in Jesus, I began to openly share the clarity revealed to me by God and His Word. Now if we don’t believe that God’s Word is inspired by Him, we are at great risk. We then might as well believe in anything. But God’s Word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Matthew 24:3, Hebrews 13:8. If we don’t believe God’s Word, this is where the danger begins.
In the fall of 2009 I was invited to share my testimony at Andrews University during the conference on Marriage, Homosexuality and the Church. Daneen Akers and Stephen Ayers, (producers of "Seventh Gay Adventists") were present at the conference and their work had begun on the film. They heard my testimony and I had contacted them about the film, not realizing the intended angle. By January, it seemed apparent that they were not seeking any testimonies from same-sex attracted individuals who have been redeemed and are choosing to live sexually pure through Christ.
I wrote an article for the Adventist Review which appeared in the April 15, 2010 issue conveying my concern that the film would not represent those who have given their lives to Christ and live sexually pure. The film’s producers contacted me and the Review’s editor asking for a retraction to be printed. Since this film is about loving those who are same-sex attracted, my question is why haven’t they given a voice to those who also suffered so many years of alienation by the church, but have returned to worship God and interact with His family while living a sexually pure life?
So this brings us to the core of what the film is about: God’s approval or disapproval of homosexual sex. If you read His Word there is no question as to where God stands on this issue. I was recently contacted by a “Gay Christian” who pointed out to me that God loves him and his same-sex partner just the way they are, and that they are familiar with the nine “hate verses” regarding homosexuality in God’s Word. Our God is a God of love and He has not compiled “hate verses,” but has given instruction on sins that are displeasing to Him. Due to the fact that gays and homosexuals have not seen the reflection of God’s love in His people, one can begin to realize why more and more alienated souls have gathered together in their spiritual darkness and created their own truths and are seeking to manipulate God’s approval.
But God’s Word is clear about His desires. He asks that we cast all our burdens upon Him. He asks for our trust and our faith regardless of what our feelings are telling us. There are a lot of feelings that come naturally to people that wouldn’t meet God’s approval much less man’s approval. But for some reason, many are seeking to make an exception for this clearly defined sinful behavior.
With such strong feelings of desire, lust, love, etc., Bible-banging is not going to make any of those feelings less intense. So what actually brings a soul into living according to God’s will? We have got to see the reflection of the love of Jesus in those who claim to be His children. Leading a soul to Christ must be done gently and lovingly under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.
John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” It doesn’t say your feelings will set you free. But if we are not personally and intimately connected to Christ, we are not likely going to be able to help a struggling soul engage with Him in the relationship He intended.
Jesus loves each and every one of us as His own precious child. A child for whom He shed blood and died for while we were still sinning (Romans 5:8). What are we willing to give up for Jesus? Every mention of homosexuality in God’s Word is in a negative connotation. There is no sanctified instruction from God for homosexual unions as there are for unions between a man and a woman. Why would one even venture to take over for God? Doesn’t this sound much like Lucifer saying that he knows better, or has a better plan? Do you see the terminal risk involved? Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” We cannot afford to trust our feelings, especially under the duress and deception of Satan.
Sin is natural. We were all born with it. Choosing Christ is unnatural. It is everything that Satan claims is impossible. We are at the end of this great controversy between Christ and Satan. We are exactly where Christ has told Satan there will be a people who will remain steadfast in truth and trust regardless what they feel. “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40: 1-3).
Without self-denial and without a love-relationship with Jesus stemming from humility, we will fail to see His plan for us.
Dear precious children of God, this is not a constructed prayer that begs for the same-sex attracted person to miraculously become straight. This is a humbling of ourselves before our Creator and asking Him to help us fall more in love with Him each day. Thy will, not my will. Lay your heart in His hands. Surrender completely to Him and let Him make you a “New Creation” in Him. Allow the change to be one that draws you to holiness. Then listen as He guides and directs you. Yes… it’s possible. He may want you to live a celibate life for Him, whether you are attracted to the opposite sex or the same sex. But let Him decide what He wants for you that is in accordance with His Word. Insisting that we know better than Him will only align us with the enemy.
Is it painful? Sometimes. Sometimes my carnal nature just wants to be next to warm flesh that says I love you. But Jesus would rather that I know He loves me. His love, and my trust in that love, brings eternal life and a relationship that will grow forever and ever. Shaping my relationships around what currently feels or seems good, ends here. God is seeking those… those precious few who will make Him their God and obey Him out of love. These are the ones He wants to spend eternity with. Do you see the difference? Can you see how always putting self first is too dangerous for God to allow?
I want you to know with all my heart, that with Christ all things are possible to them that love Him (Philippians 4:13), all things that are according to His plan, not ours. Job endured horrendous trials and mental pain. As we have been given Job as an example, how can we seek our own pleasure in this modern age? How can we not come to God and say, "Lord, I am yours; do with me as you will. Make me a servant of yours?” If that sounds impossible to you, think about it. Pray about it. Invite Him to take control of your life. He’ll do it! I promise! There isn’t anything that He won’t do for you that is better than what you can possibly imagine for yourself. But be careful not to play God. Be careful not to listen to the power of suggestion rather than the love and truth of Jesus.
Experience this: "you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). He deeply desires a one-on-one intimate relationship with you. He died to save you. He knew you and chose you … before you were born.
I am passionate about God’s love and redemption regardless of the sin. I want to ask you, whoever might be reading, whether you have been in the church your whole life or if you have shaped your life around your own truths and feelings, to consider this, forgive and seek forgiveness. Everyone of us are ignorant. We have much to learn. Let’s heal together. Not a single person on this earth can claim perfection in and of their own. Jesus offers us His righteousness if we will accept it. It is a lifelong transforming process. But He asks us to model ourselves after Him. Live as He lived. Resist temptation. Surrender. Abide in Him.
As for the film “Seventh Gay Adventists,” ask God to put love in your heart that will draw all sinners to Him, not condone their sin. Be careful not to put your own salvation at risk by sympathizing with the sin rather than the sinner. Love deeply with the love of Jesus. Love is a two-way relationship. Because of our love for Christ, He will grow us and we will want to obey His commands. He is righteous and He is just. He is the Almighty.
If you are a pastor, leader or teacher and you are interested in presentations that exemplify the changing love of our beautiful Savior through those He has redeemed, please do not hesitate to contact me. Four ministries under the umbrella, "Coming Out Ministries," are available to come to wherever you are. We give weekend presentations, week of prayer, and college presentations that bring to light the changing power of God.
This article originally appeared at Know His Love as "Seventh Gay Adventists--Movie vs God's reality." It is reprinted by permission of the author.
Seventh-Gay Adventists, a documentary film advocating for the acceptance of gays and lesbians in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, asks Adventists to think twice about what it means to love their neighbor. The independent film follows three gay and lesbian individuals, as they attempt to reconcile their Adventist identity with their sexuality. David, Marcos and Sherri express their struggles with coming out in an Adventist community, yet attempting to remain in it. All of them relate that at one time they had tried to become straight, but with no success. David tried for five years, eventually leaving fellowship with the Adventist church and finding a non-denominational church with his new partner Colin.
Marcos also leaves the church after being fired as a minister for cheating on his wife with another man. He eventually finds and begins attending Second Wind, a church created by Greg & Shasta Nelson. Later in the film the church closes for financial reasons, and seizing the opportunity, Marcos realizes his dream of being a pastor again and begins his own church.
Sherri and Jill’s story is different because they continue to fellowship with a Seventh-day Adventist church. They tell of the mixed reactions they received from members, but that over all, the church has been very accepting, even allowing Jill to head up the new Adventurer club, which no one was willing to lead out in. There is some initial apprehension when their current pastor Loren Seibold leaves, because they are unsure how the new pastor will treat them. Their eldest daughter is baptised by the new pastor later in the film.
Producers and married couple Daneen Akers and Stephen Eyer do a masterful job at provoking an emotional sympathy for the struggles and pain each couple experienced at the hand of individuals and leaders within the church.
“The ultimate question we wanted to ask is how do we treat each other,” Eyer says. “We wanted to begin a conversation that would break stereotypes, and allow gays to tell their story, and not just have a film talking about gays.”
Akers and Eyer originally had planned to do an issues film, inspired by the political buzz generated by Proposition 8 in California. The proposition says only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. They initially were angry with Proposition 8, but after delving into the personal stories they were following, they decided to tone the film down and focus exclusively on the individuals.
“We wanted to start a thoughtful conversation through story,” says Akers.
The couple spent three years following the lives of about 12 individuals, eventually narrowing it down to the three seen in the film.
Stories are a powerful form of propaganda. The film tells stories in a very non-confrontational style, but the message is loud and clear. With the exception of a few intimate scenes of the couples kissing and a protracted scene of David receiving a backrub from Colin without his shirt, there’s not much to take offense at. The film shows the very mundane activities of each couple. The stereotypes of gay and lesbians as uncommitted, promiscuous sex fiends are absent.
While the film did produce some food for thought, the manner in which the subject is presented is biased against the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s understanding of the biblical view on homosexual behavior. The film is deceptive and artful in its normative presentation of homosexual behavior. It presents homosexual behavior in the most benign way with little regard for the plain texts in the Bible, which prohibit it.
The premise of the film shows you can be gay and Adventist. However, it is impossible to reconcile homosexual behavior with being a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, and here is where the film completely misses the boat. Christians cannot identify with sin while calling themselves Christian. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (NASB). A gay Adventist is an oxymoron. When we’ve died to self and become a new creature in Christ, we will no longer identify ourselves with the sins of our past. Yet the film attempts to place sexual identity and the desire to be with someone over the Bible and our need to place God’s will before our own. It’s not a film about dying to self and coming into a loving and obedient relationship with Jesus, it’s about taking any measures to please and appease self.
Consider Akers, a fifth generation Adventist, who hasn’t attended an official Adventist church in years. Due to their work on this film, Akers and Eyers have found it difficult to find a church to attend, according to Akers. While she and her husband appear to identify themselves with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, they are opposed to the church theologically regarding homosexuality, which puts them at a disadvantage in the conversation about the intersect of Adventism and homosexuality.*
“Ultimately it’s a question of hermeneutics--how do we interpret the Bible,” Akers said during the Palm Springs screening.
She couldn’t be more correct, but the film doesn’t address what the Bible says with any depth, relying exclusively on emotion appeal.
And the lack of representation from individuals who have overcome homosexual behavior is concerning.
“Initially Daneen [Akers] told me I was the person they were considering to represent those who had been living the gay lifestyle and were now celibate,” Wayne Blakely of Know His Love Ministry said. Blakely is also participating in a merger of ministries dealing with homosexuality called Coming Out.
Blakely said he and his colleagues offered Akers and Eyer their stories of freedom, but the producers didn’t want anything to do with them.
“If [Eyer and Akers] are calling for a reconciliation, is it a reconciliation to God or to the world?” said Blakely. “God's word is not a message of hate, but a message of love. Some Christians are accused of being homophobic, because they’re not placing their stamp of approval on someone's lifestyle. You say you're unable to love your child without condoning their behavior? My parents’ loved me while I was living a gay lifestyle, but they never stopped praying for me and they never condoned my lifestyle.”
Blakely is concerned the film doesn’t give any representation to those who have started a new life in Jesus, and who have overcome homosexuality through the power of Jesus’ healing and restoring grace. This doesn’t mean anyone has labels of gay or straight; it means they are a new creature in Jesus, denying self, ready to be obedient to what a loving God asks in His word.
In response to this lack of representation, Akers said: “A film is really an exploration of a question, and our questions were: how does someone reconcile being both Adventist and gay, and is there a home in the Adventist church for those who are on the margins? The story of celibate gays also deserve attention, as all of our stories do, but it's a very different story because celibate gays live within the church's prescribed standards. That just wasn't the intersection we ultimately wanted to explore because that's not where the real identity challenge is.... We didn't connect with anyone who seemed appropriate to profile in depth with the rigor that participating in a film like this requires.”
It doesn’t appear the producers were interested in how Blakely and others had overcome their sin, but were more interested in promoting stories that nicely condone homosexual behavior in the church, while at the same time desensitizing people to the serious nature of sin. The film pushes a homosexual-behavior-is-acceptable agenda, and doesn’t give a gay person any resources or hope for overcoming sin.
There is no doubt the church has not always dealt with the issue of homosexuality in a loving manner. The church needs to ask forgiveness, and those who have been wronged need to forgive, even if not asked.
Too often “love the sinner but hate the sin” is repeated, but without any knowledge of how this plays out practically. What does it look like to love a brother or sister in Christ who chooses to participate in homosexual behavior and yet hate the sin? It’s a challenge all Christians ask who have friends or family choosing a gay lifestyle.
What’s dangerous about this film is its treatment of homosexuality. Unlike other sins that are universally recognized as such, homosexual behavior is no longer being considered a sin by an increasing number in the church. That poses a problem for the church. The church has not educated its membership adequately, and hopefully this film will stir the laity and church leaders to be more proactive in teaching what the Bible says about how we should love each other and what appropriate boundaries should be made both in the church and in personal relationships with people who choose to live in sin.
Unfortunately, this film will do more to desensitize members to sin than anything else, and if the church remains complacent about the film’s influence, it will also hold some responsibility for the souls it did not educate or help. Even if the producers are misguided, at least they are speaking. We are to be hot or cold, not somewhere in the politically-correct middle.
* UPDATE 5/7/12 Clarification as to why Akers and Eyer no longer regularly fellowship at a Seventh-day Adventist Church.