Read ALL of this - or don't read this at ALL!
I am fully aware that some - or all - of what I am about to say is not very popular and certainly not "politically correct", but then again, I have never been accused of trying to win any popularity contest. I am just a simple, plain, down-to-earth, brass tacks, rubber-meets-the-road, and common-sense kind of guy. Now, I didn't say uneducated, for I do at least, have a Bachelors Degree, however, there is just some wisdom and knowledge that you can attain without having to be a rocket scientist or having more degrees than a thermometer.
Whatever happened to what some of the older folks called, "plain old common horse-sense"? Or, to put it like my old high school football coach used to put it, you only need "one eye and half a brain" to plainly see and understand particular situations and circumstances.
I know that I, just like other individuals and ministries, am going to be accused of hate speech, of being judgmental and unloving, and homophobic, and all of the other insults that are hurled at common-sense people from bleeding heart sinners..., uh, er I mean liberals, although nothing could be farther from the truth. And truth, my friend, is something most people these days, including church people, draw up at when it runs diametrically opposed to how they want to live.
You may have guessed by now that I am addressing the sin of homosexuality. No, I didn't say "issue", I said "S-I-N", because that's what God calls it. As a matter-of-fact, God refers to it as an "abomination". There are several Hebrew words for "abomination", basically carrying the same connotations, however the one used in the Old Testament, when referring to men lying with men is the word, "tow`ebah", which is a feminine active participle meaning: properly something disgusting (moral), i.e. (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concrete) an idol :- abominable (custom, thing), abomination.
I referenced Leviticus 20:13 in at least ten different translations and they all say the same thing, just as plain as the nose planted on your face, as to what God's attitude is toward homosexuality. I'll just give you a few examples from a few of those translations that I found:
"And if a man has sex relations with a man, the two of them have done a disgusting thing: let them be put to death; their blood will be on them." - Lev 20:13 (Bible In Basic English translation)
"When a man has sexual intercourse with another man as with a woman, both men are doing something disgusting and must be put to death. They deserve to die." - Lev 20:13(God's Word translation)
"If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense." Lev 20:13 (New Living Translation)
"It's disgusting for men to have sex with one another, and those who do will be put to death, just as they deserve." (Contemporary English Version)
And thou doest not hath to be well enabled to speakest thou "Old English" to understand plainly even the King James Version: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." (Leviticus 20:13)
Now, before someone runs off on a tangent (like I warned above, " Read ALL of this - or don't read this at ALL!"), I am certainly not advocating that homosexuals be put to death. We are now in the age of grace, even though, some of that will be dealt with by the law of sowing and reaping that God has eternally established. I am simply starting off by showing you what God's attitude is toward something that some of these so-called "gay ministers" and others are purporting to be okay. It simply is not okay and again, anyone with common sense knows so. God's attitude about homosexuality is that It is a serious perversion. However, under the New Covenant economy, established by Christ, there is mercy for all sinners, including homosexuals. But we must remember that though He offers grace to the homosexual offender, He rejects his conduct. God does not condone sin because He loves the sinner.
Now, someone may be saying, "oh, that's just some outdated, Old Testament jargon." Okay, let's look at some New Testament jargon and again, from several different translations. I'll start with the KJV: Romans 1:24-32 - "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
Again, no rocket-science mentality needed here to understand exactly what the Apostle Paul is addressing in part of this passage. However, just to be clear, lets see what a few other translations say. "26 That is why God has given them up to vile passions; their women have exchanged the natural function of sex for what is unnatural, 27 and in the same way the males have abandoned the natural use of women and flamed out in lust for one another, men perpetrating shameless acts with their own sex and getting in their own persons the due recompense of their perversity." - Romans 1:26-27 (MOFFATT'S Translation)
"26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.Romans 1:26-27 (New Living Translation)
So, it is plain to any common-sense, thinking person that homosexuality is just plain wrong. Even if I had never seen a Bible or never heard a preacher or anyone else address it, I have common-sense enough to know that it just ain't right! I mean, anyone who has properly functioning gray matter between their ears can tell that the anatomy of a male was not designed to fit with another male, nor the anatomy of a female was not made to fit with any other female. There is a reason why we are different, folks.
Neither can two men reproduce or two females reproduce. It does take two, but it takes two of the opposite sex to accomplish that.
Again, common intelligence dictates that the homosexual lifestyle is a lifestyle of choice. It has nothing to do with any "gay gene", like what some so-called scientists are so desperately trying to find to justify the lifestyle. They are chasing after a chemical U.F.O. or Bigfoot, and you will probably find one or both of them quicker.
You had no choice in what color your skin was when you were born, so to try to gain "civil rights" for the homosexual "life style" is a huge insult and slap in the face to the work of Dr. Martin Luther King and the entire civil rights movement.
Do not misunderstand me. I, and the church I pastor, have great love, compassion and concern for anyone who comes through our church door that needs deliverance and relief from the bondage of sin - any sin. We want to see folks delivered from sin and set free to live a normal, productive, positive life. However, we cannot condone sin simply because we love people who commit sin.
I have family and friends who are or have been in that lifestyle (and by-the-way, many of them are now dead because of contracting disease through that lifestyle), who I dearly love, but I do not have to condone their way of life to love them. And if any of them needed any kind of help that I could provide, as long as it was right, I would happily provide it to them in spite of their choice to be "gay".
If you are a wife-beater we want you to get delivered and get help for your problem, but we are not going to say we condone spousal abuse. What kind of sense would that make?
For two years, I was a spirituality counselor at a facility for mothers who were trying to recover from substance abuse. I loved these individuals and many of them allowed God to transform their lives while they were in treatment there. I never once condoned the sin and sickness of their substance abuse, and they didn't expect me to, but that did not prevent me from loving and helping them, nor did it prevent them from getting the help they sought after. They know that kind of life style is not okay without someone hammering them about it.
Please also understand that if anyone from the gay lifestyle were to come to our church and someone were to say anything inappropriate, out of the way, or insulting to them, I would be the first one to their defense. Just because I would defend them from being openly ridiculed or mistreated does not mean that I would be defending their lifestyle. Neither would I change my message for that particular service and attack someone on a personal level if I knew that they were practicing that lifestyle. However, I would not shirk my responsibility as a Pastor and water-down the message of the Word of God to accommodate them, and they certainly would not serve in leadership in any capacity if I knew they were a practicing homosexual.
Why is it so important to homosexuals to have their lifestyle accepted by all of society, when others who have various problems, issues and sins aren't seeking for acceptance, but are seeking for help? Generally, I tend to think it is because they basically know that the lifestyle is perverted, but are trying to get away from their God-given conscience.
This argument is not for the sake of trying to change someone's mind, because I understand that there has to be a change of heart to change the mind.
Why are more Christians and indeed, you would think all of those in ministry, not speaking out against this heinously deplorable sin, that has undeniably taken so many lives in and of itself? We have all heard the cliche', "no guts - no glory". Many who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, unfortunately, just have no "guts", or inward fortitude to take the heat for standing up for what is right, in the right way, of course. It may not be the popular thing to do, but we cannot afford to let the "Fear-Factor" of criticism or even physical threat prevent us from standing for what is just plain, common-sense right! If we as God's people want to partake of the glory of Christ, we had better start growing a spine and developing some "guts" for Christ.
I thank God for the many individuals and organizations that are standing up for the cause of Christ in the proper way. I applaud their efforts and try to get involved with and/or support some of them or as many as possible. Many of them have demonstrated great courage and resilience in continuing in the "good fight of faith".
We cannot just roll over and pretend that it's all okay simply because Hollywood or some big name companies say that it's okay. I just got an email the other day saying that Face Book is now on the "gay" wagon. The email, which came from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, an organization which maintains strong integrity and is a very reliable source for information and truth, right out of Washington, D.C., stated, "Last week, the social media giant [Face Book] officially friend-ed the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to 'end hate speech and anti-gay bullying' on the Internet. The new partnership, which made a splash in the mainstream news, is significant because it puts Facebook on the media's growing path toward censorship. Apparently, anything they construed to be anti-homosexual will be stripped from the site. Where does that leave Americans who morally oppose the lifestyle and want to help people find freedom from it?"
Right now I, personally, am looking into alternatives to internet media and forums that offers practically everything that Face Book does, but has a Christian world view.
The point I am trying to get across is that we as Christians, must stand for what is right and seek other alternatives when companies and or individuals that we deal with promote or are involved in things that are in direct transgression and contradiction of the Word of God, regardless of the cost, and that may even mean severing some relationships.
Again, I am totally against anyone bullying someone else and causing physical, emotional or psychological harm to them, regardless of who they are, but our right to free speech does afford to us the privilege and responsibility of not only voicing our opinions, but certainly speaking forth the truth. We also have the choice as to whether we want to read or hear and listen to the truth, or not.
It is a tragic thing when someone takes their own life for whatever reason. That is indeed sad, and I certainly sympathize with friends and loved ones over those grievous circumstances. And again, what some of these bullies did, as in one case that was recently in the news, is not okay and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. However, and I know this will go over like a lead balloon with a great number of folks, but just think for a moment. Even though that one act of bullying may (or may not) have been what pushed one young individual over the brink to commit the act of suicide, what were some of the other factors prior to this that could have contributed to the culmination of that final act? Obviously, this person was already very torn emotionally or by the conscience that this lifestyle was not okay.
I propose that it is not decent, loving and sound Christian friends, preachers, counselors, philosophy or doctrine that drives people to confusion and chaos, but rather, it is a society that is trying to make something okay that is clearly condemned by God, by conscience and by general common-sense. There is also a Word from God on this and it says in Isaiah 5:20, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
I also propose and challenge you with this: If you have enlisted in the Army of the Lord, i.e., if you have committed your life to Christ, but are not involved to some degree or measure, or on some level, in the spiritual battle that is being waged, that you get off your duff, grow a backbone, and do what God has commissioned you to do, which is what the apostle Paul advocated in 2 Tim 2:3 (MOFF) "Join the ranks of those who bear suffering, like a loyal soldier of Christ Jesus." "Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus." - 2 Tim 2:3 (NLT) Or as this translation puts it: "As a good soldier of Christ Jesus accept your share of suffering." - 2 Tim 2:3 (WEY)
According to the Word, God never excuses sin because of love. Bottom line: Is homosexuality sin? No question about it. Is there forgiveness and restoration from the sin of homosexuality? Thank God, there is! Does God hate the sin of homosexuality? No doubt. Does God love the sinner who in this case is a homosexual? Praise the Lamb forevermore! I can exuberantly rejoice in the fact that He indeed does! To coin a phrase from a recently developed campaign, "it gets better", but it only gets better in Christ.
Regardless of what public opinion may be, we cannot remain silent any longer and sit on the sideline while people are just going to "hell in a hand basket". It must be love, God's love, that compels us to both warn them of the kingdom of darkness, and at the same time love them into the Kingdom of God!
Michael Parnell, B.Th.