Pray for the Bennetts in Australia as they with God's help and for His glory are seeking to establish:
Western Plains Baptist Fellowship, and Gilgandra Baptist Fellowship as New Testament Baptist churches.
INDEPENDENT BAPTISTS AND THE GROWING ACCEPTANCE OF HOMOSEXUALITY
Dr. David C. Bennett, D. Min.
1Timothy 1:15 "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners..." Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Itis important for people to know they are a sinner so they may know what Jesus Christ accomplished for sinners. To name sin is not to hate the sinner but is simply being faithful in proclaiming God’s truth.
We have all heard "The good old days". Well there is some truth to the statement. Fifty years ago (it is now 2004 so that would take us back to 1954) things were different! Back then even the non- church people saw certain actions such as murder and sodomy as wrong. In the "good old days" there were laws against such acts but now we are "contemporary" and times have changed or so some say! Today even a murderer may not be held accountable for the murder he or she has committed. For instance, recently a murderer was found not guilty due to his being under the influence of alcohol. Another murderer had his life sentence lowered and is now on probation from prison because he was schizophrenia when he murdered. In the "good old days" the act of sodomy was once considered evil and unnatural even by the non-religious. Sodomite was the name these people were given rather than gay, homosexual, or lesbian. In the "good old days" sodomy was kept "in the closet." There were laws that forbid the act of sodomy back in the "good old days" but sadly this has now been decriminalised in all States of Australia. The first State to decriminalise sodomy was Victoria in 1981 with Tasmania being the last State in 1995.
Marriage in the "good old days" was between a man and a woman. But that isn’t so today. The uniting of same sex couples in marriage is on the Australian Labor Party’s (ALP) agenda for the 2004 Federal election. In the Sydney Morning Herald 6th December, 2003 it was reported that the ALP Federal opposition leader Mark Latham "put himself at odds with the Prime Minister, John Howard, on the nexus between religion and politics in defining the family." According to Latham he is an agnostic and doesn’t "think love in relationships is defined on religious grounds. As a general proposition, the basic ingredient of a good, successful relationship is love and care. Whether it is a same-sex or different-sex relationship - I don't draw a distinction."
In the United States it is not much better. "Washington, DC: President Bush is given moderately high marks by Republican gays for: 1) appointing at least 30 openly gay staff so far; 2) signing a bill to permit same-sex domestic partners of public safety officers to get a one-time death benefit; 3) signing a bill permitting the D.C. government to give benefits to gay domestic partners of employees and 4) leaving intact two Clinton executive orders against discrimination in employing gays and denying security clearances to gays." (Washington Blade 2/7/03).
Politicians condone the homosexual lifestyle and television promotes it. The following is from the web site for the SBS television broadcasting network in Australia.
"Series 3 comes to SBS Television Monday nights at 10pm from the 26th
This brave, funny and sometimes graphic portrayal of a world not usually seen on television provides an intimate look at six homosexual men: Brian (Gale Harold), a lusty advertising executive; Michael (Hal Sparks); Michael’s HIV+ boyfriend Ben (Robert Gant); flamboyant Emmett (Peter Paige); Ted (Scott Lowell), a cyberporn-loving accountant; and Justin (Randy Harrison), a teenage art student obsessed with Brian. Rounding out the circle of friends are art teacher and new mother Lindsay (Thea Gill), and her lover, no-nonsense attorney Melanie (Michelle Clunie). And then there’s Michael’s cheery waitress mum Debbie (Cagney and Lacey’s Sharon Gless)."
Politicians condone it and television promotes it! However, the battle is not only in these two arenas, politics and television, but also in the realm of the religious. One example of this is the following email from the Episcopal News Service for 8/2/2003.
August 2, 2003
Another example of the churches compromising in this area is the Independent Methodist denomination in the United Kingdom. The Independent Methodists have made the following statements concerning homosexuality. "We commend and encourage those homosexual Christian people who have committed themselves to chastity and celibacy. We believe that such people should be eligible for any office within the church."
The following email 26 January, 2004 was sent by a minister in the United Kingdom regarding an article that appeared in the January, 2004 Australian Independent Baptist Newsletter. He wrote "I also feel you need to re-examine your own particular interpretation of scripture and the use of the terminology you use. Not many translations of the Bible use the word 'Sodomite' at all (implying a connection with Sodom and Gomorah - the basic fact of which condemns inhospitality, attempts to have sexual relations with the Angelic beings and heterosexual gang rape - no connection to homosexuality whatsoever really if you read it properly)." (Emphasis added).
There are a couple of statements made by this man that require consideration. First he says there are "Not many translations of the Bible use the word 'Sodomite'." Is this not interesting? The King James Bible uses the term sodomite once and sodomites four times whereas the New King James and New International Versions do not. Could this be one of the many reasons why liberals, evangelicals, new-evangelicals, and some fundamentalists like these new versions? Do away with the King James Bible and you may do away with the stigma of Sodomy. Therefore as the independent Methodists have stated a homosexual who is committed to chastity or celibacy is accepted in the churches as members and even officers! How long will it be before sodomites who are committed to chastity or celibacy are defended and accepted as officers in the independent Baptist churches? That day may be near as some have abandoned the King James Bible for the NIV.
There was an interesting article entitled CHILD MOLESTATION AMONG THE CLERGY in the FAMILY RESEARCH REPORT Journal of the Family Research Institute Vol. 18 No. 2 Mar-Apr 2003. The article said the "Religious leaders were grouped into Roman Catholic priests, non-Catholic Christian clergy, and non-Christian clergy. There were 116 Catholic perpetrators: 95 who engaged in homosexuality and who violated 229 children; 17 who engaged in heterosexuality and who raped 24 girls; and 4 who engaged in sex with at least 4 children of unspecified sex.
There were 61 non-Catholic Christian clergy who molested the underage. Those who engaged in homosexuality included four clergywomen (Church of Christ, Protestant, 2 Pentecostals) and 35 clergymen (one each from 7th Day Adventist, Salvation Army, Evangelical Free, and Greek Orthodox; and 9 Protestants, 8 Pentecostals, 2 Lutherans, 4 Episcopalians, 2 Methodists, and 6 Baptists). These 39 ‘homosexuals’ raped 229 children. Twenty one ‘heterosexual’ clergymen raped 31 girls (2 Seventh Day Adventists, 2 Church of Christ, 8 Protestants, 6 Pentecostals, and 3 Baptists). One additional Episcopal clergyman raped a child of unspecified sex."
"If, as FRI estimates, about 15% or one of every 7 clergy is personally involved in homosexuality, the fight within the Church is apt to be as time-consuming as the fight of the Church against outside ‘group rights’ forces. That so many ‘sexual traitors’ inhabit the modern pulpits bodes ill for the Church retaining its stance against homosexual activity." (Emphasis added). It would be interesting to know what version of the Bible these clergy used but chances are it was not the King James Bible. The weaker the Bible versions get the more sin the church will accept!
Secondly the minister from the UK says those in Sodom and their actions had "no connection to homosexuality whatsoever…" The Good News Revised Edition says in Genesis 19:4 "Bring them out to us! The men of Sodom wanted to have sex with them." Sounds like homosexual acts to me. The Life Application Bible is not a fundamentalist’s study Bible to say the least. It is published by Tyndale House and was aided in its notes and Bible helps by Youth for Christ/USA. However of Genesis 19:5 it says "The phrase ‘that we may know them’ means the men wanted to have sexual relations with Lot’s guests." Sounds like homosexual acts to me.
Thirdly this UK minister writes that the situation in Sodom "condemns inhospitality, attempts to have sexual relations with the Angelic beings and heterosexual gang rape" but "no connection to homosexuality whatsoever really if you read it properly)." (Emphasis added). Virginia Mollenkott, a lesbian, served as one of the literary consultants for the New International translating committee said much the same thing in her book IS THE HOMOSEXUAL MY NEIGHBOR? She wrote on page 57 that "…the Sodom story seems to be focusing on two specific evils: (1) violent gang rape and (2) inhospitality to the stranger." The Proper Perspective on THE BIBLE Sodomy and the NIV page 4. (Emphasis added).
However, more conservative commentators say something dissimilar from what this UK minister and Mollenkott say. Adam Clarke’s Commentary on Genesis 19:5 says that "from these most abominable wretches, has been called Sodomy, is punished in our country with death." Griffith Thomas in his book GENESIS A DEVOTIONAL COMMENTARY pages 171 & 172 says of Genesis 19: verses 4-11 "...the fearful story recorded in these verses it is impossible to enter more than the barest comment. Everyone knows that the sin hinted at here is perpetuated forever by a word in our language to which this chapter has given rise." J. Vernon McGee in his book Genesis Volume II comments on Genesis 19 verses four and five that "This is a sickening scene. It reveals the degradation of this city of Sodom. The name that has been put on that sin from that day until this day is sodomy." (Emphasis in the book). The BIBLE KNOWLEDGE COMMENTARY by John Walvoord and Roy B. Zueck follows the New International Version. On page 60 Walvoord and Zueck in commenting on Genesis 19 say "Lot’s pleas for righteousness (v. 7) were now wasted as the Sodomites saw a different side of their judge (v. 9)." (Emphasis in the book). Note that though they are using the NIV as their text they call the men of Sodom Sodomites! According to the UK minister these men are not reading the text properly.
A popular writer and speaker for new-evangelicalism and some psudo-fundamentalists is Tony Compolo. In February 1996 Tony Campolo and his wife Peggy spoke at North Park College Chapel on the subject IS THE HOMOSEXUAL MY NEIGHBOR? As I said Compolo is a new evangelical but he has the ear of some within fundamentalism. In this 1996 talk Compolo said "Peggy believes in monogamous relationships. In short, she would hold to a belief that within the framework of evangelical Christianity, gay marriages are permissible and she will try to make her point." When will independent "fundamental" Baptists accept the same?!
The April 10, 2003 Baptist Press carried the article PASTOR & LESBIAN ASSOCIATE CLAIM BIBLE IS UNCLEAR ON HOMOSEXUALITY. The article said "Scripture's teachings on homosexuality are unclear and must be viewed solely through the words of Jesus, thus allowing the ordination of homosexuals, pastor Mark Caldwell and associate pastor April Baker, a lesbian, of Nashville's Glendale Baptist Church told a group of college students April 3." This pastor and his associate gave their pro-homosexual views to ninety students at Middle Tennessee State University during what is called "Spring Out" for Middle Tennessee State University’s "gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community."
Glendale Baptist Church was then a member of the Southern Baptist Convention but a vote was planned for later that year by the local Association. This Baptist Pastor said "It is wrong to lift ... allusions to same-sex practices ... from their respective context and then lump them all together and proclaim them to be the biblical teachings about homosexuality." Caldwell said Genesis 19 had nothing to do with homosexual behaviour but with "social injustice and inhospitality." Caldwell went on to say the passages dealt with rape and not "consensual relationships between adults." This Southern Baptist preacher has picked up on Mollenkott’s explanation just as the UK pastor has. I wonder if any independent Baptist critical text preachers have.
What will the various independent Baptist associations and fellowship do when one of their pastors promotes such a lifestyle? I believe it is coming and is not far in the future. It was not many years ago that missionaries went out to evangelize through the preaching of the gospel. Today at least one independent Baptist mission board in Pennsylvania is sending a young lady overseas to teach abstinence, and another couple is teaching movement and dance in South Africa as an evangelistic tool. I wrote a paper critical of this type of evangelism and an independent Baptist pastor wrote criticizing me asking if I was against new methods of evangelism. Will this pastor be defending this independent Baptist mission board when it is teaching homosexual’s commitment to celibacy or chastity?
Revelation 3:22 "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
saith unto the churches."
Missionaries David and Pamela Bennett
The Bennetts Serving the Lord in Australia Since 1979.
Address: Dr. and Mrs. Bennett, PO Box 1241 Dubbo NSW 2830, AUSTRALIA
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