Joe Dallasfrom My Recommended Reading List (Part 5 of 12)

One of my goals for this blog in 2013 is to spotlight my “Recommended Reading List”. “The Gay Gospel?: How Pro-Gay Advocates Misread the Bible” is the selection for May. To view the complete list of my favorite books on the subject of same-sex attractions, click this link. . . My Recommended Reading List

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don’t agree with every single idea, concept or thesis discussed in every book on my list. But each selection contributes insight and understanding to the subject.

A couple of quick acknowledgements: The original edition of this book was published in 1996 when the term “homosexual” was still commonly used in reference to a person. In addition to being outdated, the term is offensive to many in the LGBT community. In your interactions and communication, use “LGBT” or “gay” instead.

Also, I strongly recommend that you study Andrew Marin’s first book (“Love Is An Orientation”) alongside with this title by Joe Dallas. I believe you will find comparing and contrasting their views and approaches extremely helpful.

When I studied the first edition of this book back in mid-1990s, it was primarily an intellectual exercise. The “pro-gay advocates” (as identified in the title) are primarily assertive, Christian sexual minorities who support a change in Christian doctrine regarding sexuality and sexual behavior. Generally speaking, they are “side A” Christians.

  • “Side A” Christians believe it is okay for gay Christians to enter into healthy, monogamous relationships (i. e. homosexual sexual activity is not sinful) – also called the “reformed” or “revisionist” view.
  • “Side B” Christians believe that God loves gay people but the Bible prohibits homosexual sexual activity and requires chastity – also called the “traditionalist” view.

This blog entry is a longer than most. My goal is to give prospective readers an expanded and comprehensive preview.

Between Comfort and Truth

The author begins with a brief account of his early personal history and internal struggles, which culminated in his involvement with the Metropolitan Community Church.

“I wanted to see if it was possible to be actively homosexual, Christian, and confident of a right standing before God. . . I was ready to believe what I wanted to believe instead of what I truly believed. And what I wanted to believe, more than anything, was that my self-centered sexuality and faith could live together peacefully.” (pages 13, 14)

Chapter 1: Where Are We Now

A summary of the gay religious movement within the Christian church (as of 2006). Dallas also sets forth the framework of the book. He believes the following are necessary to effectively answer pro-gay theology: (1) an understanding of its origin and evolution over the years (2) a point-by-point knowledge of its claims and (3) a point-by-point response to each claim.

Chapter 2: Why Bother Arguing?

‘We’re just responding to the demand that we approve something we believe is wrong’ is the author’s reply. After discussing a handful of spiritual and cultural consequences that may result from failing to defend normality and moral ideals, he goes on to say. . .

“if the church is to be, as Jesus said, the salt of the earth (a preserver of right standards and truth) and the light of the world (a guide to righteousness and life), then her responsibility to the world is to love it as Christ did – by speaking truth to it, not by accommodating its demands” (pages 58, 59)

Chapter 3: How the Gay Christian Movement Began

Development of the gay-rights movement and the gay Christian movement (1950 – 1979). . .

  • the founding of the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis
  • publication of Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition (by Dr. Derrick S. Baily)
  • the Literary Committee of the Friends Home Service forms in England
  • publication of Homosexual Behavior Among Males (by Wainwright Churchill)
  • founding of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (Troy Perry)
  • the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City’s Greenwich Village
  • the publication of Is the Homosexual My Neighbor (by Letha Scanzoi and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott) and other early gay Christian literature
  • the ordination of openly gay ministers in mainline denominations plus gay alliances and coalitions within major denominations
  • the removal of homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s official list of disorders
  • the campaigns of Anita Bryant, Dr. Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority

Chapter 4: The Gay Christian Movement Comes of Age

Development of the gay-rights movement and the gay Christian movement (1980 – 2005). . .

  • the publication of the ground-breaking book Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (by John Boswell)
  • the political and social controversies surrounding the AIDS epidemic
  • the movement to expose ex-gays and ex-gay ministries
  • gays in the military and the adoption of pro-gay curriculum by school districts are debated nationwide
  • the publication of Stranger At The Gate (by Mel White)
  • the murder of Matthew Shepard; hate crimes debate and legislation
  • Soulforce (plus other religious and social activist groups) organize protests and demonstrations at Christian churches and universities
  • Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O’Donnell and other celebrities self-disclose their sexual orientation
  • Will and Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and other television shows with gay principal characters gain acceptability and popularity
  • Anti-sodomy laws ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court
  • Massachusetts becomes the first state to legalize gay marriage
  • the Episcopal Church elects Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop

Chapter 5: Pro-Gay Theology

“The tendency to subjugate objective truth to subjective experience” (pg 108) is the primary reason the author believes pro-gay theology is erroneous and deceptive. In this chapter, he looks at three “departures from sound doctrine that keeps arising”: (1) the ambiguity about biblical authority, (2) the minimizing of traditional biblical interpretation and (3) the lenient standards concerning sexual ethics.

Chapter 6: Pro-Gay Arguments on the Nature of Homosexuality

Pro-Gay Arguments:

  • Homosexuality is inborn.
  • Homosexuality is unchangeable.
  • Homosexuality is normal.
  • Ten percent of the population is gay.

At least ten counterarguments from the traditionalist view are given as a response.

Chapter 7: Pro-Gay Arguments from Social Issues

Pro-Gay Arguments:

  • Homophobia is the problem.
  • Anti-gay teaching incites violence.

At least three traditionalist responses are given for these arguments.

Chapter 8: Religious Pro-Gay Arguments

Revisionist Arguments:

  • “I am gay and I am a Christian. Being both are compatible.”
  • “As a gay Christian, I experience the presence and blessing of God too.”
  • “How can true love in a stable, long-term relationship be wrong?”

At least three traditionalist responses are given for these arguments.

Chapter 9: The Nature and Use of the Bible

Revisionist Arguments:

  • Bible writers knew nothing of the homosexual orientation when they condemned homosexual behavior.
  • The Bible has been used in the past to justify bigotry.
  • The average person cannot understand the original Bible languages. It takes an expert to understand what Bible writers said about homosexuality.
  • Conservative Christians pick and choose which Bible verses they take literally.
  • And they use select verses to clobber gays and lesbians.

At least five counterarguments from the traditionalist view are given as a response to these objections.

Chapter 10: Genesis and Homosexuality

Created Intent (Genesis 1:27, 28; 2:18 – 24)

  • Revisionist Argument: The creation account is irrelevant.
  • The traditional view is stated with two responses.

The Destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19:4 – 9)

  • Revisionist Arguments: Inhospitality, rape and general wickedness were the sins of Sodom, not homosexuality.
  • The traditional view is stated with three responses.

Chapter 11: Moses and Homosexuality

What Is the Abomination? (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13)

  • Revisionist Arguments: “Idolatrous homosexuality is the problem” or “You can’t just pick which parts of the Law you want to live under – it’s all or nothing”.
  • The traditional view is stated with four responses.

Chapter 12: Jesus and Homosexuality

Revisionist Arguments:

  • Jesus said nothing about homosexuality.
  • Jesus mentioned homosexuals favorably when referring to eunuchs in Matthew 19.
  • Jesus healed a centurion’s male lover, thus offering tacit approval of their homosexual relationship (Matthew 8).

At least three traditionalist responses are given for these arguments.

Chapter 13: Paul and Homosexuality

“Natural” vs. “Unnatural” (Romans 1:26, 27)

Revisionist Arguments:

  • Paul is describing heterosexuals who practice homosexual sexual behavior, thus changing their nature (which is something God detests).
  • These verses only apply to people given over to idolatry, not gay Christians who worship the true God.
  • Paul is describing excessive, irresponsible sexual behavior based on lust and promiscuity. Not responsible, committed, loving homosexual relationships.

The traditional view is stated with at least three counterarguments.

Paul’s Use of the Terms Malakos and Arsenokoite (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 1 Timothy 1:9, 10)

Revisionist Arguments:

  • Paul was referring to prostitution only (or immoral behavior in general) when he mentioned arsenokoite.
  • Malakos doesn’t refer to gay men, but rather to men who prostitute themselves (probably dressed as women or at least assuming a feminine sexual role).

The traditional view is stated with at least three counterarguments.

Chapter 14: A Time to Speak

After enumerating three reasons why the church must confront pro-gay theology, Dallas goes into great detail explaining how to effectively address it within the church and in the public arena. He purposefully reminds “traditional” Christians. . .

do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:15

and

Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:3 – 5

Chapter 15: A Satisfied Mind

After six years of being involved in the gay Christian movement, Joe Dallas shares in this last chapter the how and why he came to reject the “gay gospel”. . .

“. . . the question was simple: When I embraced the “gay and Christian” identity, was that a decision based on the belief this was God’s will for my life. . . or on the hope that this was about what God might allow? Plain question; enormous implications.” (pages 243, 244)

He ends with his hopes for the future; for the church to act and speak with grace and truth – in regards to pro-gay theology and with the Christian LGBT community.

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For more information about the author’s ministry, click here: JoeDallas.com

To go to this book’s Amazon.com page, click here.

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© Darrell Martin and SameSexAttractions.wordpress.com, 2013.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited (the exception is noted below). Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Darrell Martin and SameSexAttractions.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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