Gary: Welcome to Search the Scriptures 24/7, a radio ministry of The Berean Call with T.A. McMahon. I’m Gary Carmichael. It’s great to have you with us. In today’s program, Tom begins a two-part series with guest, pastor and author Keith Gibson. Here’s TBC executive director Tom McMahon.
Tom: Thanks, Gary. Our guest for this week and next is Keith Gibson. Keith is a pastor, and he’s the author of Wandering Stars: Contending for the Faith with the New Apostles and Prophets, and if there’s a better book addressing the false teachings that are bound up in the Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God, the so-called Kansas City Prophets, the International House of Prayer, Bethel Church of Redding, CA, and many other heresies, I’m not aware of it.
Keith, thanks for joining me on Search the Scriptures 24/7.
Keith: Well, Tom, it’s great to be with you, and thank you for your kind words about the book. I appreciate being here.
Tom: Keith, as you know, when I interviewed you last, our topic was Wandering Stars, your book, and the primary reason I wanted to discuss your book is that it addresses some of the major false teachings that are attracting young Christians and those who seem to have a zeal for the Lord, but their lack of biblical discernment is…well, it’s made them vulnerable to unbiblical teachings and practices. So today and next week, the Lord willing, I want to talk about an issue that troubles many of them, and it has to do with their being intimidated by those outside (and some within) the church on the subject of homosexuality.
Now, I have to say this to our audience: we’re going to avoid the graphic issues related to this topic.
Tom: And some things, folks, if you have children around, just may not be suitable for young children, the reason being is because you can’t get away from it—homosexuality…this has to do with sex. And as I’ve said, we’re not going to get graphic here, but we need to caution parents regarding how—when they listen to this program.
So it’s definitely, Keith, as you know, a very controversial issue. But could you give us some background as to why this has become a topic you feel the Lord wants you to address, even to the point of dealing with it in a book that you’re working on?
Keith: Yeah, Tom, thanks. I began all of this as a series for my church, not on homosexuality, per se, but on issues that were controversial within the body of Christ, and especially that were controversial between the church and people in the larger society. And I wanted to do some research to really help them have answers, and I went to our youth and also to young adults, and I asked for their help. And overwhelmingly, homosexuality was one of the issues that came up that they were looking for answers to be able to help them to present the truth, especially to people outside of the body of Christ, without looking like a bigot or a hater, because that’s always what we’re called. The minute that you’re not completely accepting of the homosexual lifestyle, you’re referred to as a bigot.
And so I just did a lot of research and put together a series, and when I was done with that, I thought, You know, I just hate for this to sit in a file folder, so maybe we ought to go ahead and put this together and offer it to the larger body.
Tom: Mm-hmm. Keith, you’ve been out here to Bend, and we’ve spent time together, and you know me and my heart and love for our young people. As I’ve mentioned many times on this program, I have five children, all in their early 30s and late 20s, mid-to-late 20s; and I just love this upcoming generation, and my heart goes out to them. But I also recognize some things, as you have—you know, I like to go to young people just to find out where their heads are, what they’re thinking, and so on. And one of the issues that’s problematic for them and puts them in a position of vulnerability is they don’t want to be considered intolerant or judgmental. Is that what you find?
Keith: Absolutely. I think young people in general, regardless of what time period you’re looking at, have a real strong sense of fairness. As the brain’s developing and going through all of that, they don’t want to in any way seem unfair, and so they’re very sensitive to anything that comes across as judgmental.
But in addition to that, as you and I both have talked about before, tolerance is the primary virtue of this current culture, and so anything that is remotely intolerant, that’s the one thing that simply must not be tolerated. And so this group of young people is extremely sensitive to being called intolerant or judgmental.
Tom: Yeah, and when you see (I don’t think this comes as a surprise to anyone who’s listening) the homosexual community has an agenda, and we’re going to get into some of the details of that. But basically, when they come across—we’ve used the term “homosexual lifestyle,” an “alternate lifestyle”—they’re going to work in the arena of, “Wait a minute, this is just an option that people have. It’s a lifestyle,” and to come against it or to deal with it or to address it from an antagonistic (they would say) viewpoint is problematic. So with this agenda and the way it’s promoted, this does intimidate our young people, because basically they’re getting false information.
Keith: Without a doubt, and it’s coming from so many different angles, and the world is speaking in a unanimous voice on this. But you’ve got the media system, you have, of course, the educational system, and then you have political leaders like our current president—that’s not meant as a criticism or a slam, it’s just a statement of fact…
Keith: …who are very eager to promote homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle, as really no different from heterosexuality as far as any moral value is concerned. And our young people are really, really being hit with this issue. I consider it to be the number one apologetic issue that young people are facing today.
Tom: And what we’re hopefully—not just this program, but your book, and there are others out there that are addressing these things. So it’s going to come down to if we’re speaking to believers, we’re talking about young people who claim that the Bible, the Word of God—it’s the Word of God, they believe in the inerrancy and the authority and sufficiency—at least that’s what we hope.
Tom: And as we explain these issues, which we’re going to do from a biblical perspective…Keith, this isn’t our opinion. This isn’t our slant on it. We’re hopefully in this program this week and next week, we’re going to lay out what the Bible actually says, and our young people need to, just like we all, be steadfast in the faith, cling to what—not what Keith Gibson is saying, or T.A. McMahon, but what the Word of God says. That’s where we’re going with this, right?
Keith: Absolutely. And I think it really does come down in many ways to that you have to answer the question, “What do I truly believe about the Bible?” Because if the Bible is God’s Word as it claims to be, as we say we believe that it is, then it can’t be wrong, and it’s not wrong on the issue of homosexuality, either. And the Bible speaks with extreme clarity on this issue. It’s not ambiguous, it’s really not hard to interpret, and despite all of the efforts of some alleged Christians who want to compromise in this issue and who are attempting to present alternative interpretations of these passages, they simply won’t stand. And so if the Bible is God’s Word, then as a believer in Jesus Christ, I’m not to apologize for that; I’m to cling to it, and I’m going to stand on it, and know at the end of the day I’m going to be vindicated. I’m going to be right; whether or not everybody around me thinks that’s the case or not right now is irrelevant.
Tom: Mm-hmm. You see, the difficulty for—not just young people, but for all of us as Christians, if somebody comes along and they’re not believers, they don’t hold to the inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency of Scripture, then this information is foreign to them. So a young person—you know, because that’s who we’re addressing here—has got two problems: number one, he’s dealing—or he’s addressing his peers that don’t have this perspective. But it’s compounded by the problem of maybe the young person doesn’t know what the Scriptures say. So that puts them in not just an awkward position, but in a very vulnerable position to be steadfast, to hang tough with what you’ve just described, what the Word of God says.
Keith: Right. The good news for any person with questions about this issue is not only is the Bible very clear on what God says about it, but in God’s grace, there’s been a great deal of scientific research done, as well, and the scientific research also corroborates what the Bible states. So, really, all of the facts are on our side. Most people just aren’t aware of what they are.
Tom: Right. Now, Keith, I need to have our listeners take heed to this: I mentioned this earlier in the introduction—folks, this is about sex, okay? And as we talk about these things, it isn’t just homosexuality, okay, but it’s heterosexuality within fornication, within adultery. So we’re addressing a particular issue with regard to what the Bible says about sex, and it’s homosexuality, but we’re not saying that this is any worse than fornication or adultery. Would you agree with that, Keith?
Keith: Absolutely. The Bible condemns all forms of sexual activity outside of the boundaries of marriage, and so homosexuality is just one manifestation of that. But the Bible, again, restricts all sexual activity to within the confines of a husband and wife.
Tom: Correct. Now, we’ve addressed it, you’ve mentioned it, but let’s talk about some of the scriptures that deal with homosexuality. You take off on it.
Keith: Sure. Well, there are many—not as many as some people might like, but the Bible is very clear on this. Leviticus 18 would be one, Leviticus 20—there are others, but I think one of the clearest for our purposes today is Romans 1. And so if we just go to Romans 1—really, we should go back and read the entire chapter, but for, again, time’s sake today, I think if we start at v. 21 it becomes very clear. It says, “…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged,” and here it really gets specific, “the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”
And again, that’s very, very clear. It begins with a rejection of God. When mankind rejects the truth about God, God gives mankind up to then reject the truth about themselves. And so we then deviate from what is so clearly obvious just from looking at human biology, and we have women, it says, “giving up what is natural for what is against nature,” and men doing the same thing. And the Bible describes this in very, very clear terms: “uncleanness”; “lust of their hearts”; “dishonoring their bodies”; “vile passions”; “committing what is shameful.” I mean, these are very, very strong terms, so that the Bible is saying…I mean, if Paul wanted to say homosexuality is wrong, how could he say it more clearly than he did in this passage? He’s just piling on adjectives to indicate that this is something that dishonors God.
Tom: Right. And again, lust—this is talking about lust. See, I really want to underscore that, because what we’re seeing through the homosexual agenda is that, “No, no, this is just an alternate lifestyle. This is something that we can function in.”
I mean, just in what you read, Keith, here—and again, it’s Romans:1:21-28, at least—but, folks, you need to take a look at this, because “natural use…it’s against nature.” Why is it against nature? Because two men cannot produce a baby. Two women cannot a produce a baby. If this was a lifestyle that the world jumped on board with, that would be the end of the human race. It’s not natural.
Keith: Certainly. You know, when you think about that being against nature, we call certain aspects of our body the “reproductive system” for a reason, and that’s because that’s what that part of our body is designed for. I’m not saying that’s the only purpose, but that’s a primary purpose, and no homosexual relationship can fulfill that. It just simply can’t, and so it’s very clear that this is against nature. And that doesn’t mean, as some homosexual advocates will try and say: “Well, that means against your nature. So if a heterosexual engaged in these activities, it would be wrong for them, but I’m born this way,” and we’ll deal with “born this way” later, “but I’m born this way, so that’s what’s natural to me.” That’s not what Paul is saying. Paul is saying, “It is against the nature of the thing.” And so the nature of our reproductive system is a man and a woman come together in a complimentary fashion that has the capacity to produce life, and no homosexual relationship can do that.
Tom: Right, and as we’ve been saying, if somebody’s of the mentality out there that we’re—we are talking about homosexuality, but as I mentioned earlier, this has to do with sexuality. For example, I have 1 Corinthians:6:9 here: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” Well, is he just talking about homosexuals? No! I’m reading on: “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind…” Again, God is addressing here—you know, the Holy Spirit through 1 Corinthians:6:9—that the issue is immorality, it is sexual sin.
Keith: Mm-hmm, right. And I think that also is very important in entering another argument that defenders of homosexuality use when they try and use the Bible. They’ll point to Romans 1 or they’ll point to Leviticus 18, and they’ll say, “Well, God is only talking about homosexuality in connection with idolatrous worship, but the Bible doesn’t say anything about loving and committed homosexual relationships.” But that only works if you’re willing to say that about everything else in the passage, and Leviticus 18 deals with adultery, it deals with bestiality, it deals with incest. Just like in 1 Corinthians 6 here he talks about fornication, he talks about adultery. So unless you’re willing to say that adultery could be okay as long as it wasn’t associated with pagan worship, or that incest would be okay as long as it wasn’t associated with idolatrous worship, that argument just will not fly. God is condemning sexual sin in all of its forms.
Tom: Yeah, I’m just looking here at 1 Timothy:1:10. It says, “For fornicators…” Now, that’s not just lesbians or homosexuals: “For fornicators, for sodomites…” now, there we’re addressing more specifically homosexuality, “for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.”
Now, Keith, this brings us to the point that we’re going to talk about the medical issues related to this, but I want to underscore the fact that those who claim that the Bible is their authority and all that addresses, they’re obligated to accept what it says regarding homosexuality.
Keith: Correct. And that’s why churches that are compromising in this area are doing such a disservice to their young people, because we can’t on the one hand say, “Trust the Bible in regards to salvation, but here’s an area where you can’t trust it. Here’s an area where it’s outdated.” And so if the Bible can’t be trusted, it can’t be trusted. Let’s move on to something else. But if the Bible is our authority, if it’s God’s Word, then it has to be right in this issue, and it is.
Tom: Right. Now, you said earlier that it isn’t—I mean, we could just go by the Word of God, because it’s God’s Word. But just as we know in dealing with creation versus evolution, the evidence is on the side of creation…
Keith: Without a doubt.
Tom: …and not evolution. But in this case, as well, we have the medical world, its research regarding so-called gay/lesbian/alternate lifestyles…
Now, from that perspective, could it be concluded that it’s a healthy lifestyle? Could you give us some facts?
Keith: Right, and the answer to that is “no.” And what we have found in long-term studies is that there is significant decrease in the lifespan of homosexual men and homosexual women. Men worse—they suffer worse—but lesbian couples also, they have a shortened life expectancy because of these behaviors…
Tom: Now, you’re not making that up. We are quoting—and anybody can do this: you can just google in the facts, and you’re not going to get it from a so-called bigoted, biased Christian perspective—which, I mean, I shouldn’t even use that phrase, but that’s what we’re being accused of. But you are referring to medical facts.
Keith: Correct, and there are a number of studies, and that is removing something like AIDS. If we even takes AIDS out of the picture, the lifestyle is still shortened significantly—10-15 years for men—and the reason for that is simply the way the body was designed. And again, we want to avoid being graphic here, but in the anatomy of the anus, it’s meant to expel, not to receive, and the lining is very thin, and so there is significant damage done to the human body. And so there’s a much greater risk of a multiplicity of diseases. And then…
Tom: Right, and they are sexually transmitted diseases. That’s the main issue here.
Keith: Right, and the other thing that adds to that is that it’s—the idea of the monogamous homosexual relationship is largely a myth, and so some of this relates to the promiscuity that goes along with that. But just the acts themselves place a person at risk.
Tom: Mm-hmm, yeah. I mean, again, according to the statistics, the average homosexual has between 100-500 liaisons between men.
So this is what the facts are, folks, and it’s—I mean, it’s heartbreaking. We’re not here just to rail against homosexuals. I mean, we want them to come to Christ. We want them to be delivered from this. It’s sin! Look, it’s not the only sin, but it’s a very serious sin that has incredible consequences, not just for eternal life, but even in our temporal life.
Keith: Absolutely, and watching somebody destroy themselves and saying nothing is not loving. That is the least loving thing that a person can do is to watch someone engage in behaviors that are risky, that damage them in every way possible, and then that alienate them from a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And just saying nothing is the least loving thing that we can do. And so our heart is for people who wrestle in this area, not against them.
Tom: Right, and again, there are other sins. There are sins that—look, “the wages of sin is death.”
Tom: Any sin keeps us from eternal life unless we turn to Christ, who has paid the penalty for our sins. So it isn’t just, “Well, here’s an option for them,” this is the only way anybody, regardless of what sin they might have, this is the only way to have eternal life, because Jesus paid the full penalty for our sins.
Keith: Absolutely. And I think maybe this is a good point to interject this idea, as well: I think we need to understand that the call of the gospel to the person in homosexuality is no different than the call of Christ to a person in every other sin. I had my own sin issues before I came to know Jesus Christ as a freshman in college, and God’s call to me was to repent of my sin, turn to Him, place my faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, and then follow Him in a progressive walk of holiness where I’m forsaking that sin. That’s no different than what we’re saying to the homosexual. We’re not asking of them anything different than what we all experienced. And so the gospel tells us to deny ourselves, it doesn’t say, “Affirm ourselves.”
And so, you know, you think about for the single person who comes to Christ who’s heterosexual—well, and maybe immoral in their heterosexuality—the gospel says to them, “You repent of that immorality and you place faith in Christ, and then you live a holy life that is celibate until God provides a mate so that you can have a righteous expression of this desire.”
Isn’t that the same thing that we would be saying to a homosexual, to say, “We understand there’s a temptation. Place your faith in Christ for salvation, and begin to follow Him, denying yourself that temptation until God transforms your heart [and He can. There are thousands of testimonies that He has]. And so, until God transforms your heart, and then provides for you to have the relationship that God designed for the proper expression of your sexuality.”
And so I think sometimes Christian young people look at the gospel as though we’re asking the homosexual to do something that is radically different, and it goes to this idea that that’s just the way they are, and we’ll address that down the road. But the idea that we’re asking them to do something radically different than what we’re saying to everybody else, and it’s just not true.
Tom: Right, that’s right. My guest has been Keith Gibson. We’ve been addressing the subject of homosexuality. We’re out of time for this segment, but, Keith, the Lord willing, we’ll pick up with this next week.
Keith: That sounds great, Tom.
Gary: You’ve been listening to Search the Scriptures 24/7 featuring T.A. McMahon, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. We offer a wide variety of resources to help you in your study of God’s Word. For a complete list of materials and a free subscription to our monthly newsletter, contact us at PO Box 7019 Bend, Oregon 97708. Call us at 800-937-6638, or visit our website at thebereancall.org. I’m Gary Carmichael. We’re glad you could join us, and we hope you can tune in again next time. Until then, we encourage you to Search the Scriptures 24/7.