Scott Lively Brings the “Ugly Jesus” with Him | Next Stop: Oklahoma City

 I ache inside – I really ache.  Many people want nothing to do with Christianity because the public face of Jesus is often ugly and mean. An unholy war of sacred discrimination has been unleashed on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community by some extremist Christians. They are vocal and they are dangerous to not only GLBT people, but to the church itself.  From April 27-29, 2012, perhaps one of the ugliest faces in American Christianity, Scott Lively, (Defend the Family and Abiding Truth Ministry) will be hosted by the Draper Park Christian Church  in Oklahoma City for three days of teaching and preaching.

Lively first came into the public eye twenty years ago in Oregon as a leader in the Oregon Citizens Alliance, which pursued Measure 9, an attempted to ban “special rights” for homosexuals and further add provisions that homosexuality be condemned as “abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse.”  Along with Paul Cameron, they began to create an image of gay people wholly manufactured and sufficiently frightening.  He still disseminates this same destructive propaganda.

Lively, a “Holocaust revisionist”, authored “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party”  in 2002. In it, he contends that homosexuality in the Nazi Party contributed to the extreme violence and militarism of Nazi Germany. He says Hitler and many of the men in his inner circle were gay; together, they masterminded the Holocaust. Historians agree this is completely false.

In February 2009, Lively took his teachings to Family Life Network (FLN) in Uganda.  For three days he exploited Ugandan fears with his outlandish lies: gays are child molesters, they recruit children, they were Hitler’s henchmen in the Holocaust because “gay men are exceptionally brutal and savage,” their intention is to overtake society and destroy the family, and the only hope (besides imprisonment) is to get them into conversion facilities to make them straight.  Within one month of the conference, FLN was quoting Lively’s work and calling for mass arrests of gay and transgender people.  The very next month Ugandan Parliament leader, David Bahati, introduced a bill to strengthen Uganda’s law against homosexuality to include arrest and death. The video trial of these events is well documented.

In 2011, Lively declared a shift in mission and presented himself as the 2.0 version, the kinder, gentler city reformer of Springfield, MA with Redemption Gate. Did he actually leave all that international destruction behind to sell coffee and preach love?  No.  He is currently active in Eastern Europe, Moldova and Russia bringing them the same strain of anti-gay teaching he once exported to Uganda.  As the European Union debates inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in its discrimination laws, Lively is right there in the mix, once again lending his “expertise” with a blend of personal extreme biases and the Bible.

 So, at the end of April, the people of Draper Park Christian Church will hear the poisonous lies about the gay community from the“ugly Jesus” face.  What is shocking is that this event is not hidden away on a radio show in Moldova or inside a small church in Russia or Uganda; this is in Oklahoma City.  By the end of Sunday night, April 29th, Scott Lively will have indoctrinated more people with fear and lies, cleverly duct taped together with some verses from the Bible.  His unholy war of sacred discrimination will inflict new damage to the gay community and the church in Oklahoma.

In response to Lively’s visit to DPCC, Scott Hamilton, Executive Director of the Cimarron Alliance Foundation, Oklahoma City has arranged several events:

  • Thursday, several groups will join together with a unified voice for a Press Conference demanding that truth, rather than “Holocaust revisionism” be told  and that the GLBT community be treated with fairness. Included in that gathering will be: Christians leaders from both affirming and non-affirming congregations, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, The Center for Oklahoma Human Rights Alliance and the ACLU.
  • Saturday morning, several Oklahoma City churches will open their doors for a special time of reflective prayer. People are being asked to focus upon personal truth and fairness.

As unaware and passive Christians sit in the isolating confines of their church homes and potlucks, the “ugly Jesus” is aggressively attacking.  “Scott Lively in Oklahoma City has nothing to do with me,” you think.  “I would never behave hatefully or believe those lies.”  Most of us have gay friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.  We see people, not behaviors; we see men and women, just like the rest of us, who want the same rights as the people around them.  They desire to be in legally and socially recognized relationships, and they want protection for their families.  These are good and noble things.

God told His people through the prophet Isaiah 2,700 years ago to quit all the external piety and get to the work He was asking them to do: “loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke to set the oppressed free,” (Isaiah 58).

Amazingly to me, it is mostly Christians that actively fight against equality for GLBT people.  In direct defiance of what God tells us to do, many will not only stand in the way of justice; they will manipulate man-made lies to create fear, disgust and discrimination.

You may not be in agreement with the actions or beliefs of another person or group, but, as Christians, that does not excuse us from treating others with complete dignity; no excuses, no exceptions.  As a follower of Christ, I am to contend against oppression and for justice.  Further, as an American, I am to understand and value that every other citizen is due full equality with me.

For the past forty years, Christians have been caught in the mire of judgment against the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.  We have listened to the many, many lies about them and held those dislikes and discomforts in equal truth to the Word of God.  We’ve blended a dogma of personal disgust to the creed of godly compassion and created the “ugly Jesus” that many outside (and inside) the church see.  It will require intentional focus on our beliefs to separate the lies from the truth.

It took five years of relationship for me to see gay and lesbian people without social and religious biases.  I had transformed my truth into God’s truth; my interpretations were surely what God meant, and I was convinced my actions were imbued with His love.  I was wrong on every count.  I am thoughtful and intelligent, yet when I viewed the gay community, I had unconsciously bound together the filth of judgment with the beauty of the Bible and could not separate the two.

As is true for the majority of Christians, I had not studied the verses I so freely used to condemn an entire minority group.  What I thought I knew was in conflict with the evidence I could see in the lives of my gay friends.  As a result, I decided to revisit, not revise, Scripture on the issue of homosexuality.

Unbundling the lies from the truth requires effort. You may think you know God’s truth and believe that you interpret His word correctly.  And you may be just as blind as I was.  A few years ago, we had a particularly snowy winter in Northern Nevada.  The roads were often impassable, so I took a week and dissected those sections of Scripture in original language, context, historical timing and intended audience.  My desk was covered with documents, books, several versions of the Bible and I had two computers open for research.  At the end of each day, I hiked in the snowy woods both screaming and crying. I was discovering truth and hated that I had been part of the oppression of the gay community.

Do you treat a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person the same as you would a heterosexual person?  Do you strive for their equal status in civil rights? If you do not, you are part of the “chains of injustice” and the barrier “to set the oppressed free.”

While Christians are finding their way in this difficult dialogue, we need to extend grace to others as we diligently seek the truth about people and about what God does and does not say concerning human sexuality.  This should be an intentional pursuit.  Hate-filled messages like those of Scott Lively must be drowned out in boldness by courageous, daring and wise Christians who lovingly declare the message of Jesus Christ.

To the people of DPCC who welcome Lively, listen with your Jesus ears and hearts.  Is what Lively says gracious, or is it full of retribution?  Does it divide, or bring peace?  Is it true, or slanted?  Is it just, or discriminatory?

I love my faith tradition.  I love Jesus.  And I hate what is happening to the public presentation of my faith and my God.  I hate what has been done to the gay and transgender children of God.

We are in a pivotal time in the church, in our country and in the world.  Christians are charged to be leaders in justice and truth.  We must speak out strongly against the bias and lies.

His love will defeat the hate.  His peace will heal the damage.  His truth will expose the lies.  His justice will end the oppression.

“Mercy and truth have met each other: justice and peace have kissed.” Psalm 85:10

Contend for these things.

PRESS RELEASE from Pastor Jason Murray of Draper Park Christian Church 4/20/12:
“Our press release about the Lively event. Scroll down and read: don’t be a victim of the media’s distortion: and have the courage to be counted when it counts. “If anyone is ashamed of Me before men….”Press Release on Scott Lively
4-20-2012
By Draper Park Christian Church
Having heard Scott Lively in public and met him in person, as well has having reviewed carefully his books REDEEMING THE RAINBOW and THE PINK SWASTIKA, the leadership of DPCC has determined that God is calling us to give our members and the wider OKC community the opportunity to hear Scott’s message.
We knew that Scott is not only a controversial figure, but one hated and feared by his opponents. Through extensive contact and interviews, we have determined that this hatred and fear is largely based on misrepresentation and distortion of his message. While we cannot overcome the distortion—nor will we waver from God’s call to invite Scott—we can do our best to respond to the fears by explaining our position with regard to Scott Lively.
Draper Park Christian Church exists only because of, and only for the sake of, a shared commitment to Christ Jesus of the Old and New Testaments. He is our Savior, but also our Lord and King.
That commitment forbids us to ever, by our own actions or inactions, to cause or allow harm to any person within our reach who claims to be gay or lesbian.
That commitment also forbids us to harm anyone spiritually and eternally by our silence: especially about sin.
Draper Park spends the majority of its time dealing in God’s grace and truth with sins other than homosexual behavior and commitments. But we have determined that this is a specific season God has called us to help Scott Lively issue a classic, traditional, charitable but unwavering warning about the dangers of enshrining homosexuality as a human norm and a human right.
We believe and expect that Scott Lively will abide by both aspects of our commitment to Christ—the refusal to allow harm as well as the refusal to remain silent—because we have observed for ourselves to our satisfaction that Scott shares our allegiance to Jesus Christ as both Savior and Lord. Thus, we believe Scott will issue his concerns clearly and articulately, in an attitude not only of charity and concern but of urgency.
Based upon our religious freedom and our right to peaceable assembly, we are determined to allow Scott Lively to present his entire message and, as per our publications, invite the public to come peaceably, hear him out, and evaluate his message for themselves.
Finally, Scott has asked us to include the following statement in his own words: “Sometimes the accusation of “hate” is not an honest assessment of a person’s words or deeds, but a calculated tactic to silence an uncomfortable truth. It is a tactic that has worked so well on the topic of homosexuality that very few people still dare to speak about it. I thank Draper Park Church for having the courage to allow this truth to be told, and I promise all who attend my talks that you will witness this most challenging topic handled boldly but with compassion.”The response from  Scott J. Hamilton, Director of Cimaron Alliance, OKC: 

  

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21 Responses to “Scott Lively Brings the “Ugly Jesus” with Him | Next Stop: Oklahoma City”

  1. r May 2, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    To Sola Scriptura, go f**k yourself you sick hate filled sack of ugly s**t.

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  2. Robert May 2, 2012 at 1:35 am #

    Go f**k yourself you sick hate filled sack of s**t.

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    Aurora Reply:

    Robert-God loves each and everyone of us, even those who hate us and persecute us. Perhaps you may be having a bad day, even then, let’s give love towards those who hate and persecute us.

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  3. Sola Scriptura April 27, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    Dear Lady, You label Scott Lively as a dangerous man.What evidence can you produce to support your statement? Since when did telling the truth about sin become dangerous and make an individual a danger to society? Why do you support the destructive homosexual lifestyle? Christians condemn violence, so why do you support those who are killing each other in the privacy of their own bedrooms by engaging in unnatural,violent acts.Did you know that AIDS used to be called GRIDS (Gay Related Immunodeficiency Syndrome).That disease originated within the gay community.

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    Kathy Baldock Reply:

    Francis Susan–your comments are extremely brings and extremist and will no longer be approved for this blog. THis was your final comment. I have found thee is no way to productively
    engage people like you. You are welcome to read and learn , but not to post.
    we do not agree and that is okay.

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    KarenAtFOH Reply:

    SS, I will offer myself as evidence. I am a life-long, birth-baptized Christian who has spent nearly all my 58 years of life in church. I have been exposed to teachings like those of Scott Lively most of my life. My brother is a pastor who continues to preach them. I adopted them, believed them, and used them against myself. It brought me to the brink of suicide. Pastoral “counseling” was of no use. I sought professional help. Minute details of my past have been scrutinized by experienced mental health practitioners. I have been required to demonstrate my successful recovery before a committee of medical experts. I have the tools and personal experience to finish my life in a healthy and constructive manner. And yet, as prepared as I am, reading about Mr. Lively and his activities fills me with dread. It doesn’t help that a church I deeply loved, and was a part of on its paid staff, recently let me go. Another church then denied me employment because I dared tell them I wished to marry God’s gift to me, a woman I love will all my heart. I am in pain and grief over these losses, and the words from you and Mr. Lively do nothing but bring more pain to my soul and stir the dark gnawing inside which says life is no longer worth living. If your words and actions can invoke that in me, with all the capabilities I possess, what chance do you think a young LGBTQ life has against you? You and Mr. Lively are a threat to our spirits. Your words are not the truth. I finished the audio engineering of an outdoor show late last night, and the show people, as they have for the last few years, once again praised me for being not only skillful, but for being exceptionally kind, sweet, and helpful. And a former associate pastor at the church where I worked, saw me at the show and walked halfway across a field to come to me, embrace me, and say “I miss you.” They testify to the truth of who I am. SS, when you and Mr. Lively can be that humane, that compassionate, that loving and that accepting, then maybe I can begin to dry my tears and come to an understanding of Christianity as God sees it. Because right now, what I experience from you bears no resemblance to the beautiful and loving God that lives in my deepest heart.

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  4. Sola Scriptura April 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    I am writing from the UK in the defence of Scott Lively although I don’t suppose people who have been brainwashed by homosexual propaganda will pay attention to my comments.I should substitute the word “brainwashed” with “braincorrupted” for anyone who believes the lies and misrepresentations of the gay lobby have had their minds corrupted by slick propagandists like Madsen and Kirk with their book “After the Ball”.In that book they suggest portraying Christians who oppose them as deranged preachers drooling with hate.This is the way the gay lobby are portraying Scott Lively. You,Cathy,have ceased to think for yourself and are simply parroting the After the Ball script.Talk about herd mentality? By the way, Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was murdered by a male prostitute,he was not murdered by anti-gay Christians and Matthew Shepard was not murdered because he was homosexual.No more lies from the gay lobby please. I’ll conclude with a verse of Scripture, “Speaking lies in hypocrisy;having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Timothy chapter 4 verse 2.

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    Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

    Thank you for your comment , Francis Susan. It is ONLY conservative Christians that have read the book by Madsen. Francis, I am very much using my mind and my knowledge of the Bible. Thank you fro reading, we will not agree, nor do we need to.
    I think Scott Lively is one of the most dangerous people using the name of Christ to validate his hatred. The fact that you so closely align with him, reveals to me that we have very little in common on this issue.
    Kathy

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    KarenAtFOH Reply:

    I have come to expect that when Christians who speak against LGBTQ people offer their “compassion”, it will be little more than a rock in a velvet glove. I have taken enough bruises in the face to have learned the wisdom to duck. “Hate the sin, love the sinner” is still hate. Kathy has so many wonderful suggestions for you on this site to help broaden your understanding that we are much-loved children of God. Based on your comments, I question whether you have ever spent time and effort to get to know a Christian LGBTQ person. If you would, you would hear stories that would fry your hair and rock your spirit to its core. I encourage you to find the courage and compassion to set aside prejudice and see who we really are.

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  5. Michelle April 24, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Wow! Lively is a good example for why I am not a Christian. There are more souls in the body of Christ who believe Lively’s teachings than do not. Until the hate is out of the church I will not identify myself as a Christian. I have sat in more churches and listened to this kind of hate being spread than I care to count. I rarely hear a Christian speak up on the behalf of any of the groups that Christians are taught to hate. I sit in the pew and listen to the hate and the loathing and I look around. Is there not one person in this congregation who has the guts to stand up for what is right? All I have ever heard is “Amen, Brother!” Shame on all Christians, the ones who sit silently, the ones who believe in hating any identified group, and the ones who promote evil ideologies. Shame on you!

    Michelle
    middle aged, straight, atheist, mother and wife.

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  6. David W. Shelton April 24, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    Kathy, thank you so much for keeping the fire lit under hate group leaders like Lively. If enough of us are able to get the word out, then eventually the public will begin to get the picture. People like Scott Lively are monsters, pure and simple.

    Lively isn’t quite as mainstream as Tony Perkins, probably because he’s got more in common with Bryan Fischer. But what they ALL have in common is their outright hate toward LGBT people.

    Great piece.

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  7. blaire kirchner April 19, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    we must remember that these same “hate filled” things were once said about african americans, it was wrong then and it’s wrong today.

    why must the church in america allways have a boogey man to rally the the troops. isn’t satan the boogey man anyway. let’s rally around fighting the true evil in the world!!!!!

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  8. Albert April 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    This guy is a wolf in sheeps clothing. You can tell by his “preaching”.

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  9. Rev. Dan April 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    I’ve written a lot about Scott Lively over the years, but perhaps the most telling example of his kind of hate is the video of him at the conference in Kampala (YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPxTXqeOoeo). In it he expounds on the “causes” of homosexuality and clearly states “I probably know more about this than anyone else in the world.” Yes, that’s verbatim. He sets himself up as an “expert” with no real credentials. How is he able to do this? Simple: he preys upon the uneducated, the spiritually lazy, and (I have to say it) the just plain stupid. He was roundly laughed at on the Daily Show, has been discredited, as you say, but numerous historians, labeled a one-man hate group and still keeps going…and going…and going, like some demented energizer bunny.

    And people still believe him.

    Thank God we have people like Scott and Cimmarron Alliance to help counteract him. I wish I could say it’s enough, but I can’t. We need more people like Scott and Wayne Besen.

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  10. Some Teacher April 18, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Thank you, again, for your wise words that matter. Well written. Much appreciated.

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  11. Dan April 18, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    We need a journalist, a GOOD HONEST journalist who has access to the POTUS candidates to read up on this story and take it to candidate Romney. We need to know where HE stands on this issue. Let’s see him “Etch-A-Sketch” his way out of this one!

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  12. Marlene Lund April 18, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    When I read about people like Mr. Lively, who are so vehemently opposed to acceptance of LGBT people, I have to say the thought crosses my mind that they are probably deeply closeted and at war with themselves. We see it over and over again. It’s one of the few reasons I can come up with that would explain such a venomous campaign. I am a Christian, straight, middle-aged mom of a lesbian daughter who challenged me to do the same studying you relate and came to the same conclusions as you. One thing that has recently come to my mind is what I was taught about prophecy and the church of Laodicea (“you and neither hot nor cold and I will spit you out”). I was always taught that referred to “liberal” Christians who watered down the message of the Bible. But as I see the twisting of Jesus’ words and the vicious hate campaign going on against our LGBT brothers and sisters, I begin to see the “watering down” in a very different light. I believe those who express such poison against others are truly diluting the message of the Bible that God loves us all and accepts us just as we are. I say, “Beware, Mr. Lively! You may think you are doing right, but you are on the wrong side of the battle, and you are being used by the Enemy to wound God’s children.”

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  13. Geoff Alnutt April 18, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Lively = Death.

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  14. Lloyd/Bob Peacock April 18, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    Pardon the pun but Scott Lively’s message is deadly. God weeps when Lively speaks, and our treasured youth take their lives because they cannot handle the bullying and discrimination any longer. Unfortunately part of “The Bride of Christ” is wearing a tattered garment. We pray that God will remove the scales from Mr. Lively’s blind eyes

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  15. Stephen April 18, 2012 at 5:17 am #

    What a fine pice.

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  16. Esther April 17, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    Just yesterday evening watched a movie I rented ‘Children of God’ which also shows the danger of a message of Love perverted with fear.

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