Church: Horses can help cure homosexuality

Interesting story:

An American church is promising gay men they will be cured of their homosexuality if they stroke horses.

The Cowboy Church of Virginia, led by chief pastor Raymond Bell, believes homosexuality and other ‘addictions’ can be cured by Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.

Horse therapy, in the right hands, can be used to help overcome fears, develop communication skills, and is generally beneficial to mental health.

But Bell says the horses in his church, a cowboy ranch in the south, are part of teaching men to stop being gay and encourage them to be more masculine.

‘EAP can help any person who is living the homosexual lifestyle or involved in it in anyway,’ he told Gay Star News.

‘The first common misconception is that homosexuality is genetic, or hereditary, or as some say “born this way”.

‘Homosexuality is actually a type of addiction. It is not “curable” as a disease because it is a “choice driven” by the person.’

Bell said he uses EAP to identify how a person got ‘involved’ in homosexuality to begin with. For example, because of rape, abandonment, lacking a male role model, abuse, and having low self-esteem.

He said: ‘Homosexuality is a secondary effect from a single, or multiple, primary events in a person’s life.’

When asked if the therapy ever worked, or if it was even valid, the pastor said ‘it is not now, nor has it ever been, in question’.




The Filter (for the week of September 24)

It’s that time again folks… time for my friend Matt Steen and myself to dive into the world of what’s happening in the church and give you our weekly wrap-up of all-things churchy:

Hit or Miss

Jack Schaap faces 10 years after plea deal (0:26)
Pastors are Hurting (2:45)
Robert A. Schuller defaults on Home (6:22)
That he is renting out for retreats… (June 2012) (9:26)
It Has to Stop (11:06)
Joel Osteen on Homosexuality (13:20)
Is This a Social Statement? (20:02)
Split Congregation Locks Some Members Out (22:55)
Less Than 20% of Church Goers Read their Bible Daily (26:55)
Church Abuse Scandal in Tulsa (29:42)


Is Your Cell Phone Making You a Jerk? (33:30)
How Your Cell Phone Hurts Your Relationships (33:30)
Smartphones and Relationships, or My Eyes are Up Here (33:30)
Updated Trends on Megachurches (38:28)
Do Mega-Churches Hurt the Poor? (43:34)

In Our Heads

Ministering to Sex Offenders, from a protected conversation within the GCM Collective (51:08)
This weekend at the church down the street (53:30)

Joel and Oprah

Joel and Oprah

Tim Schraeder has written a wonderful synopsis of Joel Osteen’s appearance on Oprah’s new show over the weekend.  I think it’s worth your read.

Some of the more interesting things to me:

On preaching prosperity:

Why would people think preaching prosperity is a bad thing?

  • I don’t know who would say that you aren’t supposed to leave your children better off than you were.
  • Prosperity isn’t just financial… it’s abundant life… body, soul, mind, and spirit.
  • You can’t be a blessing if you are poor, broke and depressed.

If you are poor, broke, and depressed is it because you aren’t praying enough or aren’t in alignment?

  • It’s a mixture of things.
  • I think there are forces trying to hold us all down.
  • A lot of it is just that we choose to accept things as they are.
  • We have to choose to rise out of it.

On criticism:

You have been criticized by fundamentalists about the lack of doctrine or Christ in the messages… 

  • I try to search my own heart every morning.
  • I feel like if I am pure before God and my heart is right, I don’t have to listen to my critics or answer to them.
  • I answer to God.
  • I try to stay focused on what God has called me to do.

On money:

Where does the money you live your life with come from?

  • We don’t take a salary from the ministry.
  • It comes from books sales and other things like that.
  • I don’t make apologies for God’s blessings.
  • We’re big givers, we practice what we preach.
  • Money should never be the focus of your life.
  • Your focus should be to be a blessings to others.
  • Wishing you were someone else is an insult to God.
  • He made each one of us as a masterpiece.

Universalism and Homosexuality:

Are there many paths to get to the one God?

  • Jesus is the way to the one God.
  • And I believe there are many paths to Jesus.
  • I’m not into excluding people.

Are gay people also included?

  • Absolutely.
  • I believe gay people will be accepted in Heaven.
  • We look at being gay as being a bigger sin than being prideful.
  • I don’t believe God categorizes sins.
  • We are all changing.
  • We need to be willing to change and grow.
  • Heaven is open for all of us.

Are you saying that being gay is a sin?

  • I believe homosexuality is a sin, according to the Bible.
  • When I read the Scripture with good faith, I see it as being a sin.

Overall, it looks like a good performance by Osteen.

Your thoughts?

Take a moment to read more of Tim’s synopsis of the whole interview here…




Best Argument?

Best Argument?

I don’t mean to get all political.  That’s not the purpose of this post.

But when it comes to homosexuality, and gay marriage in particular, culture has us pushed up against the wall.

When the church disagrees with something that’s becoming socially acceptable, what is the best way to respond.

Here, Rick Santorum, tries to respond with reason.  That clearly doesn’t work with this crowd of college students.

And I’m sure that if he responded with a Biblical response as to why most Christians are opposed to gay marriage, it would have been much worse for him.

I mean… how could a religious person be so intolerant and unloving?

Watch, and you’ll see what I mean…

What is the best response to the question posed to Santorum?  Is there any answer that will make sense to the questioner?

Is the issue of gay marriage going to keep us from the opportunity to share Jesus in the future?

I think that’s the question.

Because… if the leading thing we’re discussing is gay marriage, we’ll never get to the gospel.

And yet if we don’t tell them what our view on gay marriage is, we feel like we’re backing down.

What’s the solution?

What’s YOUR solution?  What’s your CHURCH’s solution?

(You’ll need to have one… and soon).

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Video found here.



New NIV: Tougher on Homosexuality

New NIV: Tougher on Homosexuality

According to the Christian Post, the latest version of the popular NIV Bible translation has had its verses on homosexuality reworded, making them clearer in denouncing the practice, according to Dr. Douglas J. Moo for Wheaton Collage, a theologian who helped with the translation says.

“The 1984 NIV rendering … did not make clear whether homosexual activity per se was being condemned or whether only certain kinds of ‘offensive’ homosexual activity was being condemned.,” said Moo.

“The updated NIV makes clear that the Greek words here indicate any kind of homosexual activity. The updated NIV also reflects the fact that the key Greek word here refers to males.”

According to Moo, other verses that were altered due to scholarship and to make the message clearer included Romans 1:26-27 and Leviticus 18:22.

In Romans 1:26, the verse “even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones,” was changed to, “even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.” While in Leviticus 18:22, the verse “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman,” was changed to, “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman.”

One verse that appears to have been changed dramatically was 1Timothy 1:10, where the word “perverts” from the 1984 NIV was changed to “those practicing homosexuality.”

“The same key Greek word used in 1 Corinthians 6:9 occurs here also, and so the reason for the change here was the same as the reason for the change in 1 Corinthians 6:9,” said Moo.

The NIV 2011 version debuted amid controversy, with some Christian groups and individuals criticizing the translation for allegedly having too much “gender inclusive” language, similar to the TNIV translation of the Bible.

Last year, members of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Committee on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood criticized the edition, saying the 2011 NIV “cannot be considered sufficiently trustworthy in its translation of gender language.”

You can read more here.




Go away, gay.

Go away, gay.

A gay Tennessee couple said they were assaulted when they tried to attend church services at the Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland last Wednesday, an attack that was prompted by one of the gay men’s father.

“I went over to take the keys out of the ignition and all the sudden I hear someone say ‘sick’em,’” said Gibson County resident, Jerry Pittman Jr.

“My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad’s request. My uncle smashed me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn’t help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back,” said Pittman. He said bystanders did not offer assistance. He said the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived. He said the officers never intervened to stop the deacons from yelling the slurs.

Friday, the couple filed assault charges against Deacons Billy Sims and Eugene McCoy. Pittman pressed additional charges against his father and Deacon Patrick Flatt.


Is there anyone that can justify the actions of this pastor and deacons?

Of course, there is a family dispute element here, but is there ever a time when someone should be physically restrained from entering a church service?  Maybe a domestic violence situation…?  Someone who would be verbally disruptive?

Have any of you had to deal with a situation that was uncomfortable, or, like this, turned to blows?


More here.



Well…how does this picture strike you?


Willow Creek Exodus

Willow Creek Exodus

Willow Creek has ended its formal relationship with Exodus International.

According to a write-up at Christianity today, the two sides are saying two different things:

WILLOW CREEK Elder Scott Vaudrey says the decision was not intended as a social or political statement.  In fact, it was the result of “a season of reviewing and clarifying some of our affiliations with outside organizations.”

EXODUS president Alan Chambers thinks differently though:  ”The choice to end our partnership is definitely something that shines a light on a disappointing trend within parts of the Christian community, which is that there are Christians who believe like one another who aren’t willing to stand with one another, simply because they’re afraid of the backlash people will direct their way if they are seen with somebody who might not be politically correct…Biblical truth is unpopular, and when you’re supporting unpopular truth, you are unpopular too; which means, some days, getting upwards of 10,000 phone calls and emails, and it can be overwhelming.”

Hmmm… which to believe??

I think Mark Yarhouse from Regent University gives a better understanding to this trend in general:

“Churches are realizing that while there is a small contingent of the gay community responding to language like ‘freedom from homosexuality’ or ‘freedom is possible,’ the vast majority strongly disagree. They’re angry and they believe it’s impossible to change, and to hear this is so offensive that they will have nothing to do with Christians. So I think churches, in response to that vast majority who say, ‘We’re not interested,’ have decided to look at other approaches in an attempt to connect with the gay community on at least some level. That doesn’t mean that churches disagree with the language of ‘freedom from homosexuality’ doctrinally; they’ve just found that it doesn’t work on a social level.”

I think Mark’s right.

Was there more to Willow’s severing the relationship than just shuffling around their partners?  Could be.  I think Mark may have hit the nail on the head though.  The church may just not have been comfortable with Exodus’ delivery methods.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve changed their views on the core subject of homosexuality.  If that’s the case, it’d be good to clarify.

And for Exodus’ point of view:  just because someone doesn’t partner with you doesn’t mean that churches are going to hell in a handbasket, or that no one will stand for truth anymore.  That’s a pretty stark message.  Oh wait…

What do you think?

You can read more here…


Moral Revolution

Moral Revolution

Al Mohler recently wrote a post on how he feels the church in facing a moral revolution in the area of homosexuality.  Read this and see if you agree…

The liberal churches and denominations have an easy way out of this predicament. They simply accommodate themselves to the new moral reality. By now the pattern is clear: These churches debate the issue, with conservatives arguing to retain the older morality and liberals arguing that the church must adapt to the new one. Eventually, the liberals win and the conservatives lose. Next, the denomination ordains openly gay candidates or decides to bless same-sex unions.

This is a route that evangelical Christians committed to the full authority of the Bible cannot take. Since we believe that the Bible is God’s revealed word, we cannot accommodate ourselves to this new morality. We cannot pretend as if we do not know that the Bible clearly teaches that all homosexual acts are sinful, as is all human sexual behavior outside the covenant of marriage. We believe that God has revealed a pattern for human sexuality that not only points the way to holiness, but to true happiness.

Thus we cannot accept the seductive arguments that the liberal churches so readily adopt. The fact that same-sex marriage is a now a legal reality in several states means that we must further stipulate that we are bound by scripture to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman—and nothing else.

We do so knowing that most Americans once shared the same moral assumptions, but that a new world is coming fast. We do not have to read the polls and surveys; all we need to do is to talk to our neighbors or listen to the cultural chatter.

In this most awkward cultural predicament, evangelicals must be excruciatingly clear that we do not speak about the sinfulness of homosexuality as if we have no sin. As a matter of fact, it is precisely because we have come to know ourselves as sinners and of our need for a savior that we have come to faith in Jesus Christ. Our greatest fear is not that homosexuality will be normalized and accepted, but that homosexuals will not come to know of their own need for Christ and the forgiveness of their sins.

This is not a concern that is easily expressed in sound bites. But it is what we truly believe.

It is now abundantly clear that evangelicals have failed in so many ways to meet this challenge. We have often spoken about homosexuality in ways that are crude and simplistic. We have failed to take account of how tenaciously sexuality comes to define us as human beings. We have failed to see the challenge of homosexuality as a Gospel issue. We are the ones, after all, who are supposed to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only remedy for sin, starting with our own.

We have demonstrated our own form of homophobia—not in the way that activists have used that word, but in the sense that we have been afraid to face this issue where it is most difficult . . . face to face.


What do you think?

Is his main point that we have talked about homosexuality without actual talking to homosexuals?  If so, that could be a great point, and a huge mistake for the church over the past 20 years.  You almost never reach people when you talk about them.  Your chances dramatically increase when you talk WITH them.

What will the evangelical church look like on the subject of homosexuality in 10 years?  Will this still be a huge item of contention?  Will ‘the liberals’ win?  If 90% of the culture equates homosexuality and heterosexuality, how will/should the church respond?

Pretty heady questions for today… but I’d love to hear your input…



New View?

New View?

In his June 15 comments at the SBC meeting, Mohler — president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. — said Christians have “not done well on this issue,” have told only “half the truth” regarding homosexuality and have practiced a “certain form of homophobia.” He went on to say it’s “clear that it’s more than a choice” and is “not something that people can just turn on and turn off.” He also was clear in calling homosexuality a sin.

via Baptist Press

Do you agree with Mohler?

Is this a change in his view?  (I’m not sure about him personally)… but it’s the first time I’ve heard any consideration from most conservative folk that homosexuality is ‘more than a choice’.  Have I been missing something, or is this a somewhat significant shift?


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