Rev. Graham: Pride Month ‘Reveals the Deepening Depravity That Now Vexes Our Country’

By Michael W. Chapman | July 16, 2019

Rev. Franklin Graham. (BGEA)

Evangelical Christian leader Franklin Graham thanked President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for refusing to allow the gay-rainbow flag to fly over U.S. embassies during June “pride” month, noting how offensive the flag is to Christians and millions of people of other faiths. He also criticized liberal politicians for celebrating “pride” in June, stating that the flaunting of such unnatural behavior “reveals the deepening depravity that now vexes our country.”

“Under the Obama administration, U.S. embassies had been allowed to fly the LGBTQ rainbow flag underneath the American flag during the month of June—Pride Month,” said Rev. Graham in his July-August commentary in Decisionmagazine.  “But this year, when embassies in Israel, Germany, Latvia and Brazil requested to do so, their requests were summarily rejected by the U.S. State Department.”

“I want to thank President Donald J. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for making the decision not to fly the gay flag over our embassies during June in recognition of gay pride month,” said Graham. “That is the right decision. The only flag that should fly over our embassies is the flag of the United States of America.”

“The gay pride flag is offensive to Christians and millions of people of other faiths, not only in this country but around the world,” he said. “The U.S. flag represents our nation—everyone—regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.”

Graham continued, “Here at home, 10 of the top Democratic 2020 presidential contenders flocked to Iowa—the nation’s first caucus state—for the Des Moines Capital City Pride Festival. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand served drinks at a gay bar; Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke sported a rainbow sweatband; and gay South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg talked openly about his coming out.”

“The notion that such immoral behavior clearly condemned by Scripture is now flaunted here at home and abroad reveals the deepening depravity that now vexes our country,” he said.

“What has happened to our great nation, whose Founding Fathers were men of uncommon character, virtually all of whom possessed a deep reverence for Almighty God and a firm belief in the hand of divine Providence?” said the reverend.

Rev. Graham also condemned the so-called “Equality Act,” legislation being pushed by liberals that would extend the protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to transgenders and homosexuals.

“This legislation will have catastrophic consequences for competitive sports, along with churches and faith-based nonprofits who would lose all protections to hire people who adhere to their Biblical statements of faith,” said Rev. Graham.  “Christians will be persecuted for their sincerely held beliefs as never before.”

“The clear teachings of the Bible on the sins of homosexuality and abortion will no doubt be considered ‘hate speech,'” he wrote.  “It will be a nightmare from which this nation may never recover.”

In conclusion, the reverend said, “It was men and women of faith who founded this great nation, relying steadfastly upon their faith in God. May it be men and women of faith today—faith in the awesome, sovereign power of God—who will stand fast on the Word of God and refuse to bend their knee to the false gods and idols of this present age.”

https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/rev-graham-pride-month-reveals-deepening-depravity-now-vexes-our-country

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VIDEO CA Legislators Blame Religious People For High LGBT Suicide Rates – no such thing as transgender

There is no reputable, serious research showing people commit suicide because a particular religion refuses to embrace homosexuality. None.

By Glenn T. Stanton  JUNE 27, 2019

Legislators in California have discovered yet another way to make it clear that mainstream religions holding to the sexual teachings of their sacred texts have no business doing so in the Golden State. Why? Because these faiths, which billions of good people worldwide happily hold, do not embrace homosexuality. This includes the three largest: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

In a resolution that recently passed the state assembly, “the Legislature calls upon all Californians to embrace the individual and social benefits of family and community acceptance” of LGBT people. It singles out especially faith-motivated individuals and organizations.

These legislators make a very ugly accusation against such people. California lawmakers are planning to spread the idea, with the power and moral authority of the state, that such religious beliefs actually kill people, including children. The text of this bill boldly states:

WHEREAS, The stigma associated with being LGBT often created by groups in society, including therapists and religious groups, has caused disproportionately high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, depression, rejection, and isolation amongst LGBT and questioning individuals…

Note the absoluteness of their conclusions, particularly two words: create and cause. Stigma, created by religious groups, causes high rates of suicide.

Do Religious People Make Others Commit Suicide?

Let it sink in. Christians, Muslims, and Jews, your beliefs make gay people kill themselves. If this is indeed true, we are among the worst of the worst kinds of people. These legislators believe this is true and are doing something about it. California is trying to insist that churches, synagogues and mosques, their leaders, congregants, grade schools, universities, and families fully and uncritically support homosexual, bisexual, and transgender identities in every way.

Thus, any teaching, preaching, writings or practices that are faithful to the clear sexual instructions of these faiths will be beyond the pale of official California values. They will not be tolerated. This charge makes this legislation overwhelmingly serious and consequential because of the seriousness of this charge. Either one party is directly culpable for deaths or the other of making such a dreadful allegation.

To be clear, what they’re proposing is a resolution and would not have the razor-sharp edge of law. But it would have the real and devastating blunt force of state-sanctioned shaming of religious convictions. They couldn’t criminalize you, but they could obliterate your reputation and your life. There are too many vivid examples of this already. Of course, this resolution will grease the skids for it becoming enforceable law.

I want to demonstrate, through some objective and undeniable facts, coupled with simple reasoning, why this long-used accusation has no foundation. The case consists of three basic points:

  • There is simply no dependable research support for the accusation. None.
  • Gay and lesbian individuals themselves report being significantly more likely to choose to attend the very churches that teach a more traditional sexual ethic than they do so-called “welcoming and affirming” churches.
  • The most dramatically gay-friendly places in the world still have incredibly and disproportionately high rates of suicides among their gay and lesbian individuals.

1. No Real Evidence

There is no reputable, serious research showing people commit suicide because a particular religion refuses to embrace homosexuality. None. It is largely created as an ideological assumption and political cudgel. But to even question the assertion will cast you immediately as a heartless stone. Remember, any science that does not permit it to be questioned has become fundamentalist dogmatism.
There is a very small amount of literature on the general harms of family rejection (which we at Focus on the Family strongly advise against), but none showing it causessuicide. There is certainly none establishing religious causation. That is an objective fact. Quite simply, anyone making the claim family responses and religious teaching cause suicide do so absent any bit of scientific proof.

2. LGBT People Choose More Traditional Churches

Let’s look at data that raise serious questions about the “religion kills” assertion. Research done by two gay-friendly scholars from Columbia and the University of California at Los Angeles found that, to their absolute disbelief, church-attending, same-sex-attracted individuals are 2.5 times more likely to attend congregations that hold and teach a more traditional, biblical view of sexuality than they are to attend so-called welcoming and affirming churches.
Let’s consider the implications of this interesting finding. Suppose for a moment that the “religion kills” accusation is correct. Either these individuals are too dull to realize they are doing grave harm to themselves by regularly attending such churches, or they find such churches are quite lovely and helpful. Why else would they choose to wake up early on a Sunday morning and go to the trouble of getting themselves there?
This study’s abstract states, “Guided by minority stress theory, the authors hypothesized that exposure to non-affirming religious settings would lead to higher internalized homophobia, more depressive symptoms, and less psychological well-being.” They were honest in admitting they found “There was no main effect of non-affirming religion on mental health, an unexpected finding discussed in this article.” No main effect on mental health itself, much less suicide.

3. Gay-Affirming Societies Also Have High Suicide Rates

Leading gay activists and their faithful allies in the media and academia operate on a simple and seemingly reasonable premise: non-acceptance of homosexuality leads to greater levels of suicide. To reduce these tragic rates, replace non-acceptance with full affirmation and all will be well. Doing so would not only dramatically reduce suicide, but also the disproportionately higher levels of mental illness among this population, which are strongly and consistently documented. (See herehere and here for just three strong examples.)
This thesis is easy to test: Determine the most gay-affirming places in the world. Are the suicide rates of gay and lesbian individuals in these places significantly lower than in non-affirming countries?
The most gay-affirming places on the planet are the Netherlands and Scandinavia. In Amsterdam, the gay movement has received every major law, policy, or cultural accommodation they’ve requested, with nearly no opposition, and often with great celebration. They televise their annual gay pride parade, and Amsterdam spends more than a million euros a year to promote itself as “The Gay Capital of the World.” The land of windmills and tulips is gay Valhalla.
Their gay and lesbian suicide rates should be extremely low, if non-existent, right?  That is not what scholars, government officials, and clinicians find. Rates of suicide and suicidal ideation among gay youth and adults are remarkably, tragically high in the Netherlands. Scholars even have a name for this. They call it the “Dutch Paradox.”
Despite the Netherlands’ reputation as a world leader with respect to gay rights, homosexual Dutch men have much higher rates of mood disorders, anxiety disorders and suicide attempts than heterosexual Dutch men. Epidemiologists report similar disparitieselsewhere in Western Europe and North America. [Emphasis mine.]
Let’s look at just a few examples of evidence. A 2006 Dutch study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior reported that despite living “in a country with a comparatively tolerant climate regarding homosexuality” gay and lesbian-identified people were at dramatically higher risk for suicidality than the general Dutch population.
More recently, a 2016 Swedish study shows that the rate of gay males suffering from lifetime suicidal ideation there is 140 percent greater. The same measure for women there is 110 percent higher than the general population. Bisexuals are curiously even higher, with females 250 percent more likely and bisexual men 160 percent.
In France, fourth on the world’s gay-friendly list, gays and lesbians are on average 80 percent more likely to suffer suicidal ideation than their straight peers. All countries that keep such data show similar findings, regardless of changes in attitudes and policies concerning LGB-identified individuals.

Do Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Affect Rates?

With greater specificity, a 2016 study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology examined how legalizing gay-marriage affected suicidality. It should have reduced it, right? Yet Swedes in same-sex marriages, enjoying their anticipated greater social acceptance and security, retained suicide rates nearly three times that of their married opposite-sex peers. The authors caution these numbers are likely an underestimation. A similar study found that Danish men in legal same-sex unions had a dramatic eightfold increase in suicide deaths over opposite-sex married peers.
The fact of the matter is this: There is no research whatsoever demonstrating significantly reduced rates of suicidal deaths or attempts among gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered people as the overall acceptance or affirmation of these groups in a country increases. Any honest person who knows this literature well will admit it.
Thus, this is the conclusion that must be admitted: If the “acceptance of homosexuality equals reduction of suicide” thesis has any validity to it, a society would need to far exceed the acceptance, affirmation, and even celebratory actions of the Netherlands and other countries to demonstrate it. Of course, this is reasonably impossible. What is there left to do that these countries are not already doing?
Reasonable people, even those in the gay rights movement, must call for a sharp end to the absolutely vile and false accusation that certain mainstream religious traditions are culpable for the deaths of gay and lesbian people. The Bible Belt does not run through Amsterdam, Stockholm, or Copenhagen.
We must admit that something else is driving the tragically high suicide rates of our gay and lesbian neighbors, and it’s not traditional faith convictions. True compassion demands we find out what that cause is; these lives are too valuable to play baseless politics with.

Glenn T. Stanton is a Federalist senior contributor who writes and speaks about family, gender, and art, is the director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family, and is the author of the brand new “The Myth of the Dying Church” (Worthy, 2019). He blogs at glenntstanton.com.

https://thefederalist.com/2019/06/27/ca-legislators-blame-religious-people-high-lgbt-suicide-rates/


There is no such thing as transgender – John F MacArthur

“True Love Is” Helping People Come Out, Come Home

May 5, 2019 By Arthur Schaper

In the United States, there is growing awareness within churches as well as in the general public that homosexuality, transgenderism, and related paraphilias must be confronted fully. All the talk about seeking “religious liberty” as a point of compromise is not working. But in the church, there are few real ministries  to help individuals, especially Christians, who struggle with same-sex desires. It’s scary enough to be honest with oneself about sexual feelings, intimacy, and identity. How does one “come out” to others, in the hopes of getting not just support, but truth to be set free?

Many churches seem to vacillate among extremes: condemn the behavior; compromise by allowing individuals to identify as “gay”, but instruct the to refrain from same-sex sexual contact; celebrate the entire corrupt LGBT rainbow and highlight such behaviors as normal, even exceptional.

Churches in America are not focusing on what causes these unwanted desires, either. In too many cases, there is no guidance from pastors and parishioners in properly dealing with this contentious issue. The implications of this lack are great, since church attendance is in sharp decline, much of it due to a falling away from the truth on core issues, including marriage and sexuality. Worse yet, compromise and condemnation are both culprits in this matter. What is to be done?

One key ministry which deals effectively with these problems came from Life Site News. They reported the incredibly moving and very personal confession of a young Christian and motivational speaker, Jason Lim, aka Jason Yolt. He travels the world testifying to thousands, telling people that they can—they should strive to—live their lives to the fullest. After all, If You Only Live Twice is the title of his best-selling book.

His spirit to engage others sprang out of his near-death experience while traveling in Cambodia five years ago. That near-tragedy forced him to confront his secret shame, too, which he admits openly:

“I like … men.”

This was a long-lasting struggle, his same-sex desires, compounded by what possible outcomes would result from coming out to his parents. Thankfully, Jason’s parents responded in a gracious manner. Jason relates:

“When I came out to [my parents], they told me that even though they don’t approve of it [acting on my same-sex desires], they loved me because I was their son.”

There’s the Gospel response: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” In the Body of Christ, one should say “Love the saint, hate the sin.” All our sins have been forgiven, and the sin in the flesh has been condemned. Christians still sin, but we break free when we understand that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1-3).

This is the blessings of the Gospel which transforms Christians from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18) Sadly, Paul’s revelation, including his exhortation to the Corinthian Church has not settled in the hearts of many believers:

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

We were sinners. Because of Jesus, we become saints, anew identity which causes us to abstain from. Christians will still fail, but we remain Christians still.

God’s love makes us sons, but a lack of revelation will lead us to lusting. John the Beloved writes:

“If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16)

If we do not allow “The Love of the Father” into our selves, we will continue to settle for conditional lusts. From his parents Jason Yolt received unconditional love, a love which included not condoning same-sex behaviors. This love helped him break free. This message, is the heart of the Gospel.

Jason’s testimony is not an isolated victory, but is connected to a larger ministry“True Love Is”, which focuses on God’s true love, which helps to break free from same-sex desires. This ministry is accomplishing what same churches in the United States have failed to do: preaching God’s love without permitting sin.

The Gospel is about God’s grace, about God’s undeserved love, favor in our lives. We were still sinners, lost in our fallen state when God the Father sent His Son to die for us (Romans 5:8). Yet for too many Christians, they believe that following our first step into salvation, we are on our own to live upright lives in order to remain accepted by our loving Father. But David writes:

“Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” (Psalm 32:2)

The main point is that the Lord does not impute sin, even when man sins; otherwise, there would be no reason to call anyone “blessed.”

There is no better example of God’s transformative, true love than the Parable of the Loving Father (Luke 15: 11-24). His prodigal son squandered everything, shortly after telling his father basically to drop dead by requesting his inheritance right away. When the destitute prodigal returns home, His father lavishes so much love on him, re-establishing his son’s status, which helps him break away from that old life. God’s unconditional love helps people break free of conditional pleasures, including sexual perversion. The “True Love Is” Movement rejects homosexuality and transgenderism as innate identities, but enhances our true selves as children of our Loving Father.

To help those caught in LGBT bondage, it’s time to announce: Come out, so that you can come home to God’s unconditional love, for that is where True Love Is!

Arthur Christopher Schaper is a blogger, writer, and commentator on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow his blogs at The State of the Union and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.

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Twitter: @ArthurCSchaper

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Email: ArthurSchaper@hotmail.com

 

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