A prediction by a leader within the world's largest Protestant denomination that every Christian church, school and missions agency will soon have to decide for or against homosexual practice is probably true, but there is a third option for groups that want to remain faithful to their biblical convictions, according to the producer of a new documentary on the subject.
David Kyle Foster, an author and former homosexual, says the documentary “Such Were Some Of You” presents personal stories of Christian men and women who've left the lifestyle but not their churches. On DVD, the documentary also offers advice from recognized Christian authorities for leaders in churches, seminaries, colleges and other groups who want to help people overcome homosexuality.
Those groups, like the Southern Baptist Convention this week, will be faced with challenges from homosexuals who call themselves Christians but reject biblical teaching on marriage and sexuality, says Dr. Al Mohler, an SBC seminary president and former head of the Nashville, Tenn.-based denomination.
A test for the SBC came from one of its own pastors, Danny Cortez, who told his small California congregation in a Feb. 9, 2014 sermon that his views on homosexuality changed weeks before his son came out as gay in a YouTube video a month later.
Then in March, a Vineyard pastor in Ann Arbor, Michigan told his congregation that he had changed his views on homosexuality after he received “a little nudge from Jesus.”
Known for its belief in signs, wonders and miracles by the Holy Spirit, Vineyard churches traditionally have been congregations where gays find power to leave the lifestyle, not embraces for their practice of homosexuality.
“Once (they come), there is no middle ground and no 'third way,'” Mohler wrote in advance of the SBC's annual convention in Baltimore, Maryland June 10-11. “Sooner or later – and probably sooner – the answer of every church and Christian will be either yes or no.”
Foster, whose book 'Love Hunger' chronicles his story of leaving the homosexual lifestyle through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, says Christian leaders error when they say yes to homosexual practice just because a gay or lesbian shows up in their churches.
By doing so, they abandon the Bible's instruction on human sexuality and formulate a theology that's designed to make homosexual practice compatible with Scripture; Foster says the latter is a lie.
He believes there is a middle-of-the road solution, if not a third way: Hating homosexual practice enough to forbid it as the Bible does, while at the same time offering help to the struggler who wants to hold onto his faith, remain true to Scripture and, hopefully, find freedom from unwanted same-sex attractions.
He acknowledges that, like other sinful predispositions, homosexuality may remain a temptation for some.
“Most who don't believe in change operate out of their own experience of not having met a former homosexual, not really believing the biblical witness of God's power to change, or in believing the phony definition of change by gay activists – that there must be 100 percent removal of attractions or temptations in order for it to be real.
“That's an absurd definition not placed on other sins such as abuse of alcohol, drugs, nicotine, sexual addictions or other sinful behaviors,” Foster says.
“Such Were Some Of You,” the documentary, takes its name from the biblical passage 1st Corinthians 6:11 that states some practicing homosexuals had found healing from the brokenness and strongholds associated with the lifestyle or, at the very least, were no longer trapped in its sinful acts.
A website by the same name (suchweresomeofyou.org) offers resources and discipleship tools for Christian leaders who are faced with questions about the Bible's teachings on homosexuality.
“Some (leaders) have no training whatsoever in how to help a homosexual – which is why we made our documentary – and so they avoid dealing with an issue for which they have no answers,” Foster says.
Other pastors, including some mega church leaders who have massive television, radio and internet followers, have been criticized for their ambiguity on a cultural hot-button issue that's been advanced by Hollywood, politicians and gay activists.
A popular tattooed and pierced pastor in New York City told an interviewer his church will never be pressurized into giving blanket statements on homosexuality.
“I'm not gonna make polarizing, political statements about certain things in our Christian community right now,” Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz said during a HuffPost Live interview.
Hillsong NYC, Lentz says, is known by what it stands for, rather than for what it's against. “We have a stance on love and on everything else we have conversations,” he says.
Joel Osteen, whose books have produced millions of dollars in sales for his ministry at Lakewood Church, also punts on media questions about homosexuality, saying it's not an issue he prefers to focus on as pastor to millions through his popular television program.
The reasons for pastors to avoid the issue, Foster says, are legion. Some don't want to lose members or money by addressing homosexuality.
Others, he says, don't believe the Bible or aren't trained to refute the “Scripture-twisting” arguments of “gay scholars.”
Tragically, some Christian leaders struggle with the issue themselves and are afraid of exposure, he says.
The saddest reason of all, Foster says, are bigot pastors who secretly delight in the idea of homosexuals going to hell, but hide their views on unrepentant gays and lesbians.
Still other pastors don't won't their churches to embrace “those kind of people,'' are themselves victims of homosexual abuse, or have family members who are in the lifestyle. In the latter scenario, Foster says the homosexual uses emotional manipulation to tear down a leader's otherwise biblical stand on same-sex marriage and sexual behavior.
“Some are distancing themselves from other (Christian leaders) who are perceived to be bigots,” Foster says.
In the documentary, men and women describe the development of same-sex attractions, the gay lifestyle, their conversions and how, through their relationships with Jesus Christ, they found healing from sexual brokenness.
“It lays out the facts about healing homosexual confusion and rejoices in the reality that Jesus Christ can heal anyone from anything while providing grace for the journey,” says Foster.
His book was published by Chosen Books. Foster can be contacted at Pure Passion Media (PurePassion.us), Mastering Life Ministries (masteringlife.org) and on Facebook and Twitter.